Atlantis is a legendary island first mentioned by the ancient Greek philosopher Plato in his dialogues Timaeus and Critias. These dialogues were written around 360 BC.
Echoes of the tale of Atlantis – an Utopian Atlantic island which, according to Greek mythology, sank beneath the ocean after an earthquake – can be found in the legend of Lyonesse, the land of Tristan, which supposedly sank beneath the sea between Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. Only in modern times have occultists and novelists attempted to connect the legend of Atlantis directly to the Arthurian saga.
Atlantis | The History
According to Plato’s account, Atlantis was a powerful and technologically advanced island civilization located “beyond the pillars of Hercules,” which is typically associated with the Strait of Gibraltar. It was said to be larger than Libya (North Africa) and Asia (Asia Minor) combined. The rulers of Atlantis were described as descendants of the god Poseidon. They were initially benevolent but eventually became corrupt, leading to their downfall.
Atlantis was depicted as a prosperous civilization with impressive engineering, architecture, and military strength. It was said to have concentric rings of water and land, along with a central island with a magnificent capital city.
The downfall of Atlantis occured around 9,000 years before Plato’s time (around 11,000 years ago from present). The civilization’s excessive pride and corruption led the gods to punish Atlantis. The island reportedly sank into the ocean in a cataclysmic event.
While Atlantis has captured the popular imagination, scholars generally interpret Plato’s accounts as allegorical or fictional rather than historical. Some theories propose that the story might have been inspired by real events or locations, but the details are not consistent with any known historical civilization.
Despite numerous theories and speculations, no concrete evidence of the existence of Atlantis has ever been found. The idea of Atlantis has been a subject of much debate, exploration, and popular culture, with many interpretations and adaptions in literature, film, and other media.