Atlantis ~ The Lost City Atlantis is known to most people as a legend or myth written by the Greek poet Plato, but is it possible that this lost continent really existed? Is it all legend or could there be some fact to it? Contrary to common belief there have been numerous geological and historical findings that actually give proof to the existence of this lost city. In the book Imagining Atlantis it tells us the story written by Plato. 'According to ancient Egyptian temple records the Athenians fought an aggressive war against the rulers of Atlantis some nine thousand years earlier and won. These ancient and powerful kings or rulers of Atlantis had formed a confederation by which they controlled Atlantis and other islands as well.

They began a war from their homeland in the Atlantic Ocean and sent fighting troops to Europe and Asia. Against this attack the men of Athens formed a coalition from all over Greece to halt it. When this coalition met difficulties, their allies deserted them and the Athenians fought on alone to defeat the Atlantean rulers. They stopped an invasion of their own country as well as freeing Egypt and eventually every country under the control of the rulers of Atlantis.

Shortly after their victory, even before the Athenians could return home, Atlantis suffered catastrophic earthquakes and floods until it disappeared beneath the sea. All of the brave men were swallowed up in one day and night of horror according to legend. This is why the Egyptians were ever grateful to the Athenians.' Also, in Plato's writings it gives a background of Atlantis' history. 'The history of Atlantis began at the beginning of time.

It was then that the immortal gods divided the world among themselves and each ruled their proportion. The god Poseidon received Atlantis, an island larger the Libya and Asia combined. He chose for a wife the mortal woman Cleito, and with her begun the royal family of Atlantis. Poseidon built Cleito's home on a high hill at the very center of the island. The home overlooked a fertile plain, bordered by the sea.

For his beloved wife's protection Poseidon surrounded her house with five concentric rings of water and land. He carved the rings with the ease and skill of a god. He made hot and cold springs come from the earth. With the development of a future city his descendants never lacked for water.

Cleito bore Poseidon ten sons, five sets of boys. Atlas the first son of the first set of twins, was made king over the vast territory by his father. His brothers were appointed princes and each ruled over a large section of the territory which was distributed to him. The most valuable section of the kingdom remained his mother's home on the hilltop and the land surrounding it. This was given to Atlas. Atlas himself had many sons with the succession of the throne always passing to the eldest son.

For generations Atlantis remained peaceful and prospered. Almost all of the population's needs were met from the island's mines, fields and forests. Anything which the kingdom did not produce was imported. This was possible because a channel was eventually built which transverse d all the rings from the ocean to the center of the kingdom, or the acropolis. On this stood the royal palace near the original home of Poseidon and Cleito. Each succeeding king tried to out do his predecessor in building a greater kingdom.

Finally the splendid city Metropolis and the outer city of Atlantis existed behind a great outer wall. Poseidon sat down laws for Atlantis which the rulers were to fellow. The ruling body was to meet regularly. It was to consist of ten rulers which represented the first rulers, Atlas and his nine brothers, who reigned with absolute power of life and death over their subjects. These meeting occurred in the temple of Poseidon where the first rulers inscribed the laws on a pillar of orichalcum.

First, as required by ancient ceremony, pledges were exchanged. Then a sacred bull was captured and killed. The body was burned as a sacrifice to the god. Then the blood was mixed with wine and poured over the fire as a act of purification for each man. The rulers were served wine in golden cups, each poured a libation over the fire and swore by oath to give judgment according to the inscribed laws.

When ending his vow each drank his wine and dedicated his cup to the temple. This was followed by a dinner which preceded the rulers putting on magnificent blue robes in which they judged matters concerning the kingdom according to Poseidon's laws. As long as they judged and lived by Poseidon's laws they and the kingdom prospered. When the laws began to be forgotten trouble began. More of the rulers eventually began marrying mortals and started acting like foolish humans. Soon pride overtook the rulers who soon began grasping for greater power.

Then Zeus saw what had happened to the rulers. They had abandoned the laws of the gods and acted in an evil coalition as men. He assembled all the gods of Olympus around him and was to pronounce judgment on Atlantis.' This is where Plato ends his story. One of the questions much argued over is whether Plato himself believed in the existence of Atlantis. Some argue that because he included so much detail in his description of the island.

Others reject this by arguing that since the story was pure fiction he could have allowed his imagination to run wild and exert as much detail as he wanted into it. Plato made a few mistakes in his calculations. He stated that Atlantis existed 9000 years before his time. This would place the time period in the Early Stone Age. In this period it is hard to imagine the type of sea navigation, agriculture and architecture as Plato depicted in his story.

Scientist's and Historian's believe that Plato must have misinterpreted the Egyptian symbol for '100' for '1000.' If this was true then that would explain the inconsistency of Plato's calculations. This means Atlantis would have existed 900 years before Plato's time, placing Atlantis in the Middle Bronze Age which makes the details of the story much more believable. To collaborate this 900 year theory there is geological evidence showing that roughly around the time of Atlantis there was a huge volcano eruption which caused half of the island to sink into the depths of the sea. So what natural disaster could have taken out a whole continent? One theory is that a huge volcano erupted and destroyed a large portion of the continent, while leaving the other part to be covered by a 300 foot tidal wave, caused by the eruption, to be destroyed by. There is much geological evidence supporting this theory and it is supposed to be the most likely to have happened. What archeological evidence is there to support Plato's story of the lost continent of Atlantis? There have been found a number of other writings from many other civilizations telling an almost identical story as Plato's.

Plato actually studied Egyptian writings to get his own story. There have also been maps found that clearly depict Atlantis on them. One ancient map owned by King Henry owned in 1500 A. D. shows a large unknown island in roughly the same spot as Plato depicted in his writings! In conclusion, whether the actual city described in Plato's writings existed, there is much proof that some sort of ancient city, similar in story, did actually exist and was made extinct by a disaster.

There is much room for speculation about the exaggeration of Plato's writings, but his calculations (Minus the error in translation) are fairly accurate and have been used in recent archeological findings of ancient artifacts. The mystery of this legend remains in the minds of many.