Atlantis mon amour

Lost cities must have a lot,  more than we imagine, of all the most famous, Atlantis. The only certainty is that everything we know about this mythical world is little, and we owe to the Greeks, not Disney how today some people might think. It was Plato who gave us a legend that has intrigued to curious and researchers more or less serious, like many specialists who abstain from show public interest to safeguard its reputation.

The Timaeus and Critias are  two dialogues whose authenticity are confirmed, ie there are no significant differences between the Latin copies that have survived and historical references of classic and modern authors also confirm it, the authorship is beyond any doubt, all which is far more than what it can be said about other books, such as the Bible. There is no other source, whatever what Blavatsky and her circle of  theosophical-mystical-just-for-initiated have said, there is no other except for some veiled mythological insinuations, and although that look too far into the complexity of the beliefs of the Greeks does not lead to a more profound comprehension of the question, it can be made some notes.

Going backwards until Hesiod times, we know through him that the Greeks believed that in ancient times there was a war between Gods and Titans. The Titans were the first generation of gods, sons of heaven and earth (Uranus and Gaia), the primordial gods. Atlas, among these Titans, was a character closely related to the far western Mediterranean, which is where I want to arrive. He was the son of the Titan Iapetus and as Apollodorus describes, Atlas’s mother was a Oceanid, which can be interpreted as a clue he was out of the Mediterranean. Daughters of Atlas were the Hesperides, three in number, with different eponyms, all interchangeable as, glow, red, sunset … more evidence pointing to the west, Strabo and other Latin authors place the Hesperides in front of Tartessos river , at least one of them, talking specifically about the Erytheia island  (the red one), where the Phoenicians came to install a colony at the gates of the ocean, called Gades.

Atlas also had time to Pleione, another Oceanid, whose relationship the Pleiades were born,  also called the Atlantides and they were converted into stars to escape of Orion the hunter and his dog Sirius, is a group of stars well known to ancient mariners, they show the west in the night sky during the season of go out to sea. Egyptians, outside the Greek ambient, if it is possible to consider this, becouse the Greek dependance of Egyptian culture is profound, they considered the West, as the place where live the gods and towards this place, they sent the souls of their deads Critias describes how after defeating the Titans, after the distribution of all the earth by lot, among the Olympian gods, Poseidon had got Atlantis, it seems clear he is a god without luck as the god Zeus, in many ways recalls the Sumerian ENKI.

It also specifies clearly that the island is “beyond the Pillars of Heracles”, a place that it has sought to identify with a temple of Melkart currently buried under a bulwark of the eighteenth century on the island of Sancti Petri. Heracles was associated with the god of the Tyrians, Melkart, in syncretistic thinking Greek. The temple probably included a pair of columns or Bethylidae, typical of the Phoenician mystical architecture. In any case, there is no doubt refers to the Strait of Gibraltar, although other locations have been proposed, from Peru to Antarctica, being the preferred one,  the Greek island of Thera, while not by conventional is less capricious.

Finally, Herodotus speaks of the Atlantians, settled at the foot of the Atlas Mountains in North Africa and they could possibly identify with the indigenous of Amazigh ethnia, splitted off between Algeria and Morocco and who still retain a language and writing distinct of Arabic.

Solon, the poet, the politician, the troublemaker of the seventh century before actual era, at one point of his life, decided to leave the Greek world for a period of time no less than ten years and direct their steps to different places including Egypt, where he became interested in democratic politics and administrative management of Amasis and at some point of the trip came to establish a relationship with priests of a temple of Neith at Sais, which first sermonized him mortally, yell at him that the Greeks are ignorants about the ancient events and then boasting about their old written records. Yet, through them, he had notice of the history, with which he later would regret  having not written a poetic work, because as Critias says, it would have surpassed to Homer and Hesiod, in whatever poetic contest.

Apparently the condescending priests of Neith, had registered in their records, facts which dated back eight thousand years ago, about the sudden imperialist desire that seized  Atlanteans and led them to try to conquer the world, shortly before the great cataclysm, which would have achieved if they would have not encountered with Athens, not the actual Athens but another that vanished as Atlantis. The priest mentioned the name of the arcane Athenian king, Cecrops  and other familiar names to Solon, which probably fueled his interest. Indeed perhaps they just wanted to warm his ear to the poor Greek Robbersons by talking about how great were the people who populated the original Athens, how well they fought and how skillfully  they save the world from the threat Atlantean, it should be noted that the Nile delta had a long tradition of trade with the north coast of the Mediterranean and especially in time of Amasis, when, in the economic background of this times, from power, the relations were intended to be more than cordial, clear policies and military, in short, getting along with the Greeks was State Policy.

In any case the fact is that Solon was apparently able to record accurate details of a lost civilization, perhaps to some, suspiciously accurate, such as measures, specific dimensions of the different areas, heights, quantities, a whole host of data seemingly impossible to remember but that he could have put in writing, although it makes no mention of this fact. It does not seem right on the other hand, putting in question the capacity of memorization of the poets of this time, do not forget that both the Odyssey and the Iliad, two bricks of significant size (12,000 and 15,693 lines respectively) were not designed to be written, but to be recited from memory, which should not surprise us, since before the existence of writing; legends, myths, knowledge, everything was recorded and transmitted mnemonically.

It has been wanted to attribute to Critias a symbolic sense, denying so any hint of veracity, so  Atlantis described would be just as an archetypal of Persia, as invader enemy, face of the Athens of that time, ie only an emulated environment to discuss the uses and abuses of monarchies, a problem that was opressive in times of Solon, when the Athenians fought to escape the pressure of the Eupatrids (those pureblood), the dominant social class which was in favor of the establishment of the monarchy,  the own Solon led some popular revolts, indeed.

Are many, at this point, the legends that have surpassed the general skepticism, and as in the case of Heinrich Schliemann‘s Troy, there are many topological and circumstantial data that suggest  the story of Critias is not just a mere philosophical game, mainly because are data useless in a debate of this nature, I mean, at some point a question should be arise, what value has to mention the moat that surrounded the palace of Poseidon was 100 feet deep, if the issue is to expose where is virtue?. Also, if it is true that there are some parallelisms, really Persian rulers were feudal kings and they were immensely rich, as the rulers of Atlantis, on the other hand it is equally true that, being a continental people, were dreadful sailors, they depended entirely on the Spartan  and Phoenician fleet primarily while the Atlanteans theoretically dominated the sea before  it was discovered navigation .

Despite the inconsistencies, the theory of metaphysical excursus, linkable with other dialogues, especially with “The Republic”, has spread among the scientific community and  the discovery of a supposed “sunken city” at 600 feet deep at one end of the island of Cuba  has not moved a whit the mood of the staff, Atlantis is a taboo subject, like aliens or the chupacabra.

In the Critias is described in fairly general lines, the layout of the city, the capital of a feudal empire divided into ten kingdoms, one for each son of Poseidon and Clitus, who was human female. To the eldest, named Atlante,  handed  the capital and sovereignty over the rest of his brothers, while his twin brother, Eumelus in Greek, Gadirus in the language of origin, received an area at the other end of the island. Is the own narrator who speculates,  this is the cause of the coasts of Tartessos carry the name of Gadiric region . At this point it should be noted that most of the maps that swarm over the network, erroneously place the city of Atlantis looking to Africa when should look to America, if we accept that the kingdom of Gadirus was at the antipodes of the kingdom of Atlante Another issue is the own name of Atlantis, I’m not a linguist but  investigating a little, it  results that the structure -tl is extremely rare in any known language except in the family Uto-Aztecan, derived from protonahuatl, splitted off by most of the western United States, Utah and Central America. The Nahuatl really does a use abusive of this particle, which as a suffix indicates singular . But this fact may or may not mean nothing, thousands of years separate the Central American cultures of Atlantis, nor even what we know about the Olmec culture reach an age so distant.

I’m not a fanatic of diffusionism, however I must admit the testimonies are numerous throughout the world, and somehow it would be expected to find in Plato’s account, the description of some Atlantean pyramid and may be so, although the description is very vague:

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“… There was a temple to Poseidon of a stadium in length and three hundred feet wide, its height seemed proportional to these measures, since it had a shape somewhat barbarian…”

I know, I know, it’s a very short and dark passage, but it’s what we get,  an almost square building or slightly rectangular, as preferred, however at the time to mention the height the text goes down the branches with a “seemed proportional” and then “had a shape somewhat barbarian” , it was not the typical Greek temple, come on. It may be helpful to clarify this, that the term “barbarian” had not then the current connotations related to the savage or brutality, really, “barbarian” was then synonymous foreigner. The Egyptian pyramids and the Babylonian ziggurats, in the eyes of the Greeks also probably were   “somewhat barbarian.”

The Atlanteans were apparently, wise, cultivated and prudent people, in the end, virtuous and so on, under Plato said that Critias had told him, what his grandfather had told him, whom Solon had told what the Egyptians had explained him. Apparently, while generations were passing , the divine blood volume did go diluting itself because of the merge with human beings exclusively, so the spiritual quality was declining and the Atlanteans eventually turned fools and violent, ie humans. This sort of thing fascinated to certain part of the Germanic masonry, many centuries later, to the point of inciting  to the sadly notorious Himmler to send expeditions around the world in search of the atlantean ancestors of the  Aryans (?), While for their part the British took a look on the Azores.

A curious detail is the mention of the fact that even in historical times, the strait of gibraltar was impracticable because of the shallow and mud, remnants of the collapse, a fact that may well have been a fable, spreaded by Phoenician sailors, who was not interested in that other naval powers snooping around the pewter route or may well be true, given the continuing geological activity in the area, you can inquire about it to the inhabitants of the Hierro island.

It can also be said that the Atlanteans had an advanced technology, based on the “oricalchos” an unidentified metal and also they were capable to apply iron as painting to the walls, by an undetermined procedure,. On the other hand remained a feudal system, they celebrated sacrifices, during which they ritually drank blood from slaughtered animals, things particularly uncivilized for a supposedly highly evolved people. As for the disposition of the territory surrounding the city in concentric circles alternating land and water, at first it might seem bizarre and arrogant, considering the instability of the area, which should be at the level of Ecuador, in the surroundings or in the middle of Mid-Atlantic Ridge, that creepy scar that crosses the ocean from pole to pole. It is obvious that millions of people like to live dangerously, or they have no other choice, in the case of some islands of Japan, Los Angeles in the United States and many other places, famous for lack of future, surely the Atlanteans suspected something, because the place was provided with sources of hot and cold water, always a sure sign that the mantle magma is not far away. However the rings might serve as dikes against storm season, as those at present periodically devastate the Caribbean areas. The environment described is distinctly tropical, and the text states that the elephants were very numerous, a fact that automatically discards the American continent, where the closest thing to an elephant, are the mastodon fossils from 60,000 years ago.

Personally I am convinced that most legends have a background of reality, a logical explanation. In the case of Atlantis, I personally tend to think that it existed, especially because they are not impossible  natural phenomena at a large-scale, especially when the event coincides chronologically with the period of thaw at the end of the last glaciation. Unfortunately the issue has fallen into the hands of esoteric and ufologists who have armed the powerful film industry, with all sorts of storylines that have coated the whole matter, with a dense web of dreams and fantasies from where will be difficult to rescue some truth, is what happens to the mythology in general,  it wants to enlarge, embellish, expand their legends to such an extent, that along thousands of years, it loses the original meaning. If it would lose the work of Plato, the Atlanteans would have had zero-point technology, they would have flown in jumpers and would have not been decimated by nature, but they would have amounted to another spiritual level as Jesus Christ.

We will have to revisit the matter.