The awesome and magnificent tale of Atlantis has very deep roots in history. The earliest recorded evidence of its existence comes from about two thousand years ago, in the time of the Greek thinkers and great philosophers such as Plato. Plato was the first to write about the ancient civilization of Atlantis. He is the source of nearly everything we know today about Atlantis and its history. In circa 424 B.C., Plato described Atlantis as a great, powerful, and advanced kingdom that suddenly sank beneath the surface within the short span of one day and one night. He conveyed this tale in the form of a dialogue called Timaeus and Critias.
In Plato’s dialogue, Egyptian priests described Atlantis as an island even larger than Asia and Libya combined. He indicates its location as beyond the “Pillars of Hercules” or what is known today as “the Rock of Gibraltar.” This is what the protagonist, Manny, mentions when explaining his plans to prove the existence of Atlantis to his unbelieving partner, Iris. Many believe that the catastrophic volcanic eruption that destroyed the Greek island of Santorini is the one responsible for Atlantis’ demise, or rather, that its sinking was merely a more colorful way of recording this event.
Poseidon Created Atlantis
According to Plato’s writings, the Greek island of Atlantis was created by Poseidon, the Greek god of the sea, when he fell in love with a mortal woman named Cleito. He created Atlantis, which he placed on top of a hill, isolated in the middle of the sea, to protect her. He and his wife Cleito bore ten sons who then grew up to become the famous ten princes of Atlantis. The eldest of whom was Atlas. Atlas became the first ruler of the kingdom of Atlantis, which was also named after him. It is said that gods and mortals alike lived together in harmony in this utopian civilization.
The Treasures of the Lost Continent
One of the characteristic traits of these islands is also their rich natural resources; they were full of silver, gold, and many other precious metals which supported their thriving economy. Many treasure hunters and explorers today strive to gain even a shred of anything leftover from this prosperous place. One of the most sought-after prizes from Atlantis is the legendary Statue of Poseidon. It is stated in the texts that in the middle of the capital island’s temple was a large statue of Poseidon, wrought in full out of pure solid gold.
The Political System of Atlantis
Atlantis is described to have a rich culture, good morals, and an advanced civilization. Their political system had a constitution dubbed by some to be “suspiciously close” to what was described in Plato’s Republic.
The Atlantean society was split into classes:
- The entire civilization was ruled by a king.
- There were priests tasked with offerings to the gods.
- The people were separated according to occupation and craft.
- Warriors and guards.
In Kenneth Sousa’s book, the titular character, MAN-DAR of Atlantis, uses his combat skills to train an army of Atlantean warriors in preparation for war.
Atlantis Has an Egalitarian Society
Based on Plato’s dialogue, Atlantis is described as what seems to be an egalitarian society that aims to equalize women to men. Plato writes that the constitution aimed at bringing women’s nature closer to that of men. Both sexes shared the same occupations not only in war but also in the rest of life. Children born there were considered everybody’s children which echoes the adage, “It takes a village to raise a child.” No one was to recognize children born as their own but as everyone else’s as well. Laws were created mainly by Poseidon.
However, as famous as its story, Atlantis and all its wonders is its very own demise. This demise was the result of immorality, entitlement, and degeneracy that developed among the people and rulers of Atlantis. It involves the usual recipe of human immorality, the Greek gods’ wrath, and the ensuing destruction.
It is said that the gods and half-gods living in Atlantis lost sight of their virtue and sublime wisdom, becoming more human-like and losing their godliness as well. Thus, Atlantis was destroyed by violent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, leaving what was left of it to sink below the ocean’s surface.
Thus concludes the full history of Atlantis: from its magnificent rise to its inevitable downfall. Like the Egyptian civilization, the Aztecs, the Mayans, and so many more, the wheel of life turns; sometimes you are at the top, but the wheel turns, and you will end up at the bottom again. Perhaps this tale is more important for its commentary on human society.