Atlantis: Existed, Exaggeration, Or World's Bigges Essay, Atlantis: Existed, Exaggeration, Or World's Bigges Did the Island of Atlantis really exist? A place that Plato described as Utopia-was there ever such a place? Did this island disappear beneath the Atlantic Ocean one night? That is what researchers have been trying to figure out. So far, experts have only agreed to disagree. It all started when Plato, in his "Critias' and "Timaeus' dialogues, in great detail, described an island nation that existed in the middle of the Atlantic 9, 000 years before his time. In "Timaeus,' Solon, a mighty lawgiver of Athens, described the island. He had traveled to the district of Sais, a part of Egypt, where he met some of the priests. He and these priests were talking about historical events when Solon realized that he really didn't know much about anything significant.

At one point, one of the priests told Solon tha he and the "Hellenes are never anything, but children, and there is not one man among you.' (Keyes, Active Mind Webpage) When Solon asked the priest what he meant by that, the priest said that it was in mind they were all in their youth. He went on to give a story to explain himself. There have been, and will be again, many destruction of mankind arising out of many causes; the greatest have been brought about by the agencies of fire and water, and other lesser ones by innumerable causes. There is a story, which even you have preserved, that once upon a time, Phaethon, son of Helios, ah ving yoked the steeds in his father's chariot, because he was not able to drive them in the path of his father, burnt up all that was upon the earth, and was himself destroyed by a thunderbolt. Now this has the form of a myth, but really signifies a declination of the bodies moving inthe heaven around the earth, and a great conflagration of things upon the earth, which recurs after the long intervals; at such times those who live upon the earth, which recurs after the long intervals; at such times those who live upon the mountains and in dry and lofty places are more liable to destruction than those who dwell by rivers or on the seashore. And from this calamity the Nile, who is our never-failing saviour, delivers and preserves us.

When, on the other hand, the gods purge the earth with a deluge of water, the survivors in your country are herdsman and shepherds who dwell on the mountains, but those who, like you, live in cities are carried by the rivers into the sea. Whereas in this land, neither then nor at any other time, does the water come down from above on the fields, having always a tendency to come up from below; for which reason the traditions preserved here are the most ancient. The fact is, that wherever the extremity of winter frost or of summer does not prevent, mankind exist, sometimes in greater, sometimes in lesser numbers. And whatever happened either in your country or in ours, or in any other region of which we are informed-if there were any actions noble or great or in any other way remarkable, they have all been written down by us of old, and are preserved in our temples (Keyes).' He also said that since Solon and his people were just starting to develop an alphabet, and other basic necessities of a civilized nation, they have no clue when went on so many, many years ago.

It is because of this and the story above that makes them have minds of children. It was after ths i speech he began to tell Solon of Atlantis. He said there was a place that used to exist where the "noblest race of men' lived and from Solon was a descendent. There was no written material of this place for all the survivors fo the destruction had dies long ago. The priest went into detail about how 9, 000 years earlier there was the Island of Atlantis which was a strong empire. It was bigger than Libya and Asia combined.

This place had a lot of military skill and courage. It was dominant over all Mediterranean lands with he exception of Athens. All was going good for Atlantis. Unfortunately, one night, there were a series fo violent floods and earthquakes, and in one day, the entire island and all her inhabitants went to the bottom of the ocean. Upon hearing this, Solon took the story back to Athens, gave his notes to his son, who gave them to Critias. These recordings were related to Plato.

That is the explanation from "Timaeus.' In Plato's dialogue, "Critias,' Plato describes Atlantis. He describes it as a rich and intelligent nation. They had written works and laws, and women had a specialized status. The place was fertile, beautiful, and plentiful. She provided everything needed by mankind. There was also a vast assortment of animals, including elephants that roamed the island.

People lived in harmony. Blacks and whites got along. The citizens lead simple and moral lives. However, like everything else, all good things must come to an end.

Gradually things began to change. The people became greedy an corrupt. One night, there were a series of earthquakes, sending the island to the bottom of the sea, never to be seen again. That was the end of Atlantis. All of what researchers know about the alleged existence of the island is what Plato wrote. This is where the controversy begins.

In fact, Plato's own student, Aristotle, "thought that the story was invented by Plato and that the destruction of the island by earthquake and flood was simply the philosopher's way of removing it from the stage (Rampage, 1978, p. 23).' Some researchers say that Plato went into such detail that there is no way that he could have made something like that up. Others say that Plato simply make everything up to suit his purposes, for his dialogues are Pro-Athenian literature, and is a figment of Plato's imagination. Still, there are others who feel that Atlantis is just an exaggeration and really the story of Atlantis is based on the fall of the Minoan civilization and the destruction o the island of Thera. So, who to believe? Well, all three theories have points going for and against them. For the theory that it is fiction, here are the arguments that support that.

Nothing has been proven. "Timaeus' and "Critias' are simply stories, and Plato was a good writer with a fantastic imagination. Also, if everything that was written in these works is taken literally, then there is a discrepancy with the years. Plato writes that Atlantis existed 9, 000 years before his time. That would place the island in the late Paleolithic period, where there were still cavemen. This is the timeframe where people painted on cave walls what they hunted.

People of this era are described as hunters and gatherers. It isn't until the Neolithic Age (6-4, 000 BC), that civilization begins to emerge. It is hard to believe that there would have been such an advanced civilization at the period of time to which Plato is referring. However, there are arguments that go against that theory. It is said many times that Atlantis' existence is in fact, true. Also, in the dialogues, it is stated that the reason portions of the Atlantic are impassable is because there is a big barrier of mud in the way, caused by the island's sinking.

Now, it is true that parts of the Alt antic cannot be navigated that were mentioned in "Timaeus' and "Critias.' This could indicate a more detailed knowledge than if it was just a fictional story. There are reasons to believe that Atlantis is an exaggeration due to similarities between Thera's downfall and Atlantis'. Case and point-Thera was a volcanic island, and half of the island sank into the ocean somewhere around 1500 BC due to an eruption. Other supporting evidence-artifacts were found on the remnants of the island that illustrate and advanced culture, which was probably part of the Minoan Civilization. Lastly, there is evidence that the Minoans and Egyptians traded.

This being the case, the Egyptians would have known about the great damage or destruction of one of their trading partners. Here is where there are holes in that proposition. Supporters fo the exaggeration theory claim that when Plato wrote 9, 000 years earlier, it really should have been 900 years. Either Plato or Solon messed up. That would put Atlantis in the era of the Minoan Civilization on Thera and Crete.

That, however, overlooks the fact that in the "Timaeus,' the priest specifically says to Solon that Atlantis and Ancient Athens preceded Egypt by one thousand years. Well, Egypt did exist and is known to have existed way before 1500 BC. This theory doesn't hold much water unless one makes the presumption that the Egyptian priest was oblivious to his own RECORDED history. Last, is the group that believes taht Atlantis did indeed exist. This group believes that at one point in history, an Utopia was here on Earth, and this place is now at the bottom of the ocean.

Does anything support that theory? Well, other than what Plato wrote, nothing is known about Atlantis. There is no documentation to it ever having existed. Furthermore, present archeological evidence had nothing to support the theory that any advanced or sophisticated civilization existed around 9, 000 BC. However, one should at least look at the possibility that an island could have existed and then, through a natural disaster, sink to the ocean's floor. It is geologically possible because it has happened before. The following information has been taken from the book, ‘ Atlantis: The Antediluvian World,' by Ignatius Donnelly: In 1783 Iceland was visited by convulsions mro e tremendous than any recorded in the modern annals of that country.

About a month previous to the eruption on the mainland a submarine volcano burst forth in the sea, at a distance of third miles from the shore. Ti ejected so much pumice [a light volcanic gas] that the sea was covered with it for a distance fo one hundred and fifty miles, and ships were considerable impeded in their course. A new island was thrown up, consisting of high cliffs, which was claimed by his Majesty, and named "Nyo e,' or the New Island; but before a year had elapsed it sank beneath the sea, leaving a reef or rocks thirty fathoms under water. The earthquake of 1783 in Iceland destroyed 9, 000 out of a population of 50, 000; twenty villages were consumed by fire or un undated water, and a mass of lava thrown out greater than the bulk of Mont Blanc (Donnelly, 1882. p.

32) A second occurrence was October 8, 1882, when on the island o f Java, there was a very destructive earthquake near Mt. Ga lung Gung. ‘ A loud explosion was heard, the earth shook, and the immense columns of hot water and boiling mud, mixed with burning brimstone, ashes, and lapilli, of the size of nuts, were projected from the mountain like a water-spout, with such prodigious violence that large quantities fell beyond the rive of Tandon, which is forty miles distant… The first eruption lasted nearly five hours; and on the following days, the rain fell in torrents, and the rivers, densely charged with mud, deluged the country far and wide. At the end of four days, a second eruption occurred, more violent than the first, in which hot water and mud were again vomited, and great blocks of basalt were thrown to the distance of seven miles from the volcano. There was at the same time a violent earthquake, the face of the mountain was utterly changed, its summits broken down, and one side, which had been covered with trees, became an enormous gulf in the form of a semicircle. OVer 4, 000 persons were killed and 114 villages destroyed.

(p. 33) ' So. theoretically, it is possible that an island nation could sink to the depths of the sea, never to be seen again. After looking at all the theories of Atlantis, it is difficult to draw a conclusion. All three theories have evidence that helps to prove and disprove the particular theory. However, if one choose to believe that Atlantis, as Plato described it, was a dominant island nation, there are many things that are being disregarded.

Many things just do not add up. For instance, one source said, "From all this, we can establish that Atlantis sounds like a Bronze-Age civilization. (The anomaly that make Atlantis odd is that it is dated as 9, 000 years before Plato, which is 9, 600 BC) (Elias, T. J.

E. Webpage).' The author didn't even give an explanation as to why there would be a discrepancy in a mere 1, 000 years. Another is, why is it that only Plato wrote about this place? How is it that the creation and destruction of a supposed "Utopia' was only heard about by one man? Wouldn't other nations have known about this place? Probably-but that is something researchers can only speculate about.