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Plato's story has fueled a Search for the Ancient Lost Civilization

The story of Atlantis begins with the Greek philosopher Plato.  More specifically, two of Plato's dialogues, Timaeus, and Critias, are the only two known written records that mention the ancient lost civilization of Atlantis.  There are many people who believe the tale to be complete fiction, only existing in the mind of a Plato, and used to illustrate an argument. There are others who believe that the story was inspired by catastrophic events which may have destroyed the Minoan civilization on Crete and Thera. Still others maintain that the story is an accurate representation of a long lost and almost completely forgotten land.  However, getting back to the two dialogues in which Atlantis is mentioned......the dialogues are conversations between Socrates, Hermocrates, Timeaus, and Critias and apparently in response to Socrates talk of ideal societies, Timaeus and Critias agree to entertain Socrates with a tale that is "not fiction but a true story."  The story is about a conflict between the ancient Athenians, and the Atlantians supposedly 9000 years before Plato's time....this knowledge was supposedly forgotten by the Athenians of Plato's time, and so the story of Atlantis was told to Solon by Egyptian priests.  Solon then passed the tale to Dropides, who was the great-grandfather of Critias and Critias learned it from his grandfather who was also named Critias and was the son of Dropides.
>>Note>> If you look at the map closely, and we are to believe that the 17th century scholar was correct in his depiction of where Atlantis lied, then It looks an awful lot like South America!!  Could it be possible that South America was Atlantis (there certainly were some great civilizations there, the Olmecs, Maya, Inca, and Aztecs to name a few), they all had advanced technology, and built amazing cities and structures.  There are many scholars who would dispute this, many would claim that trans Atlantic travel was not possible back then, however, I believe that it not only was possible, but that there was trade between the civilizations in the Americas and the civilizations along the Mediterranean and elsewhere (for example there is now evidence of this because there are trace amounts of chemicals in the Egyptian mummies made from plants that are only indigenous to the Americas), and also of note is that the Olmec statue heads look an awful lot like Africans (so could it be possible that Africans made the trip across the Atlantic and established a civilization).  There are just too many similarities to ignore, such as the fact that both civilizations, Egypt, and in the civilizations in the America, had built massive pyramids, both had advanced calenders, both had advanced knowledge of astronomy, mathematics, and physics.  I think that travel across the Atlantic was possible, contrary to what others think, and I think that there was extensive trade and mingling between both civilizations.  What happened is anyone's guess.  Maybe there was a great war between the civilizations in the east and the civilizations in the west that caused them to stop traveling and trading, maybe over time the trade routes were forgotten or the winds changed and therefore making cross Atlantic travel too risky and forgetten about, maybe it was a combination of all of these things, who really knows.  But until we start excepting as fact that it was possible and they were doing it, then we might never know what led to the end of the mingling.  I believe that if Plato's story is read closely enough and then compared and reasoned with other things that we do know then we can plainly see that there is some truth to what he was telling us and some of it may have been fabrication (just to tell a good story), or what is often done when tales are passed down from generation to generation, that tale might have been confused, and while some facts remian, much of it had become fabricated.  However, I believe that he was talking about the cities of the Americas, and the trade that florished between those cities and places like Greece and Egypt, and eventually a war may have developed, or the winds may have changed, or a combination of both and the trade and mingling stopped but it is worth looking into!!
>>Note>> We now know that The Epic of Gilgamesh was a story written by the Sumerians telling of a great flood which wiped out much of mankind, because the gods deemed that mankind was evil and had to be destoryed.  It started out by saying that a conflict arose between the King of Uruk, and the distant town of Arrata.  Apparantly the town or kingdom of Uruk was a paradise, and this was the earliest known writing telling of a paradise and the fall of mankind.  The Bible and the Torah borrowed from this tale and changed some things around to make it their own, however, they are virtually identical.  So, if one people copied it, then it is likely that others would have as well, indicating that it might not have been just a good story that people wanted to copy and use an example.....we do know that a great flood probably did occur and probably did kill and wipe out many people and the story has some truth to it.  We can also say that there probably was a great civilization that pre dates all known civilizations that may have even been technologically superior than we are today.  We also know that all over the world there are civilizations with similar stories, and similar legends of an ancient lost civilization and continent, and we also know that many of the civilizations around the world have many similarities in other areas as well.  So could the Epic of Gilgamesh be the Legend of the Lost City of Atlantis?  We know that Plato got his story from his relatives, who recieve this information from the Egyptians (who incidentally may have been decendents of the lost civilization), and from that story we know that Atlantis was a great civilization, a paradise, that supposedly had a war with the ancient Athenians, and because the people of Atlantis became evil, they were wiped out and destroyed (possible by a gigantic flood, and earthquakes are mentioned as well, my guess is it was a combination of both)....but does this all sound is the same as in the Epic of Gilgamesh, and in the Torah and the Bible, and I believe it to be the same for Plato's story as well.  My guess is that it actually does have its roots somewhere in history and an ancient great lost civilization is waiting to be discovered......I think that remaining people of 'Atlantis' that managed to survive, managed somehow to spread out to different areas and spread and continue what they had left of their technologies, by helping to establish new civilizations around the world and building pyramids-temples, developing laguages and hieroglyphic writing, continuing their calendar systems as well as their astronomical, mathematical, metallurgical, and other itellectual endeavors, and when they died off only the remants of some of their technology remained which is evidenced in the ruins of many of the ancient civilizations that they helped to establish and cultivate. 
For now check out these links:
The Story of Atlantis
Timaeus & Critias
Vital Statistics
Where in the world is Atlantis

Copyright 2004 Michael Chapman