Who got to the New World first? There is a line-up of claimants, from the refugees of Atlantis, to Phoenicians piloting the Children of Israel, to the Egyptians and the Chinese. Or is it none of the above? Is it possible the truth is something unthinkable about the discovery of America?
…But the claim for the Egyptians raised a nautical problem, and a difficult one. They were a river and valley people, presumably with little maritime skill; how did they get from the banks of the Nile to the shores of Mexico? An answer was found in Plato’s tale about an imaginary continent called Atlantis.
The countless words that had been written about the “lost Atlantis” all go back to a handful of pages in the dialogues the Timaeus and the Critias, particularly the latter. Plato, who was as much a poet as he was a philosopher, relates that Solon, the legendary lawgiver, had journeyed to Egypt at some early date in Greek history. There he met certain priests who told him that nine thousand years earlier, when Athens was the strongest and best-governed state of all, and island called Atlantis, larger than North Africa and Asia combined, lay beyond the Strait of Gibralter. The king of Atlantis had tried to enslave Greece and Egypt, but Athens led the defencse, fighting on alone after all others had deserted, until one day earthquakes and floods swallowed up Atlantis and the Athenian army with it.
Plato’s ancient readers apparently never thought of trying to locate Atlantis. The search began some two millenniums after he wrote- and it has never stopped. Savants like Montaigne and Voltaire seriously debated the islans’s existence, a learned Swede of the seventeenth century wrote no less than three volumes to demonstrate that it had been in Scandinavia, and a stream of books that prove to each author’s utter satisfaction precisely where it must have been still burbles cheerfully along.
The consensus is that Atlantis was a volcanic island in the Aegean Sea that blew up around 1450 B.C. Plato, of course, talks not of an island of pocket-sized dimension, but of an enormous land mass, located not in the Aegean but in the Atlantic, and destroyed not a thousand years ago but a dim nine thousand years ago; but a few discrepancies have never left most authors undaunted and undauntability seems to be the strong point of most writers on Atlantis form pseudo Academics to conspiracy theorists. ( to be continued)…