Did Helike inspire Plato's Atlantis?

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Rokcet Scientist

Did Helike inspire Plato's Atlantis?

Post by Rokcet Scientist » Wed Jun 11, 2008 4:14 pm

There are many proposed locations for Atlantis. From Akrotiri, via Antarctica, and off the coast of Brasil, to Iceland, or even Polynesia. But this one looks like a serious, and imo a very strong contender: Helike.

http://video.stumbleupon.com/?s=ad3yta3 ... 17o1lsmec9

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Post by Minimalist » Wed Jun 11, 2008 5:15 pm

I've always considered the Atlantis story allegorical. Could it have been inspired by this real event? Of course it could.
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Post by rich » Wed Jun 11, 2008 6:35 pm

Hmmm - Plato was pretty specific about his description of the mediterranean as a basin, the Atlantic ocean as a true sea in comparison to the Mediterranean, and the other continent on the other side of the Atlantic as surrounding it.

From the Timaeus:
For these histories tell of a mighty power which unprovoked made an expedition against the whole of Europe and Asia, and to which your city put an end. This power came forth out of the Atlantic Ocean, for in those days the Atlantic was navigable; and there was an island situated in front of the straits which are by you called the Pillars of Heracles; the island was larger than Libya and Asia put together, and was the way to other islands, and from these you might pass to the whole of the opposite continent which surrounded the true ocean; for this sea which is within the Straits of Heracles is only a harbour, having a narrow entrance, but that other is a real sea, and the surrounding land may be most truly called a boundless continent. Now in this island of Atlantis there was a great and wonderful empire which had rule over the whole island and several others, and over parts of the continent, and, furthermore, the men of Atlantis had subjected the parts of Libya within the columns of Heracles as far as Egypt, and of Europe as far as Tyrrhenia.
Now granted there are no other texts (save maybe a mention in the Crittias) and people constantly deride plato for it by saying he never refuted it, but then again most of the documents from back then were also destroyed (of which I'm sure the Christian churches had a heavy hand in), so we may never discover any more documentation of it. Doesn't mean it was true but also doesn't mean it was fable. Merely means it was possible.
I mean, think about all everybody is trying to show the way man traversed the Atlantic side to the Americas back then - the possibility is there that Plato was telling what he had heard. Solon did supposedly go to Egypt along with Thales. And both did learn from the Egyptian priests.
Why look for Atlantis some where else? Better yet, with all the derision it gets, why are they trying to relate it to this place or that at all?
i'm not lookin' for who or what made the earth - just who got me dizzy by makin it spin

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Post by Minimalist » Wed Jun 11, 2008 6:47 pm

He also claimed that it all happened 9000 years before Solon.

Athens dates to the 15th century BC. and was just a village then.
Something is wrong here. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption, and the Ice Capades. Something is definitely wrong. This is not good work. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed.

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Post by rich » Wed Jun 11, 2008 7:02 pm

You mean this reference:
In the first place you
remember a single deluge only, but there were many previous ones; in
the next place, you do not know that there formerly dwelt in your land
the fairest and noblest race of men which ever lived, and that you and
your whole city are descended from a small seed or remnant of them
which survived. And this was unknown to you, because, for many
generations, the survivors of that destruction died, leaving no
written word. For there was a time, Solon, before the great deluge
of all, when the city which now is Athens was first in war and in
every way the best governed of all cities, is said to have performed
the noblest deeds and to have had the fairest constitution of any of
which tradition tells, under the face of heaven.
Seems to me like they could also be referring to an older version of the city since he says which NOW is Athens. The older one could have been buried over.
Either way, if you're going to search for it - at least look where he said it was considering he was right about the geographical information. Unless he guessed it all!
Still doesn't mean there was such a place though.
i'm not lookin' for who or what made the earth - just who got me dizzy by makin it spin

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Atlantic Ocean

Post by Cognito » Wed Jun 11, 2008 7:05 pm

Plato was pretty specific about his description of the mediterranean as a basin, the Atlantic ocean as a true sea in comparison to the Mediterranean, and the other continent on the other side of the Atlantic as surrounding it.
Be careful here since prior to 1601 the name used on every map for the Atlantic Ocean was Latin, Mare Oceanum. According to Strabo, the Phoenicans set out to find the Pillars of Herakes about 1100bc since the pillar had been lost. They couldn't find them, so they named the Gibraltar Straight the pillars since it was the next best thing. Of course, the nearest mountain range was then named the mountains of Atlas. "Atlantikon" in old Greek simply means "Sea of Atlas".

Nobody knows where to look and, besides, the story was a fable to one-up Homer (today we would call it a whopper). There was no bronze age civilisation with millions of people at 10,000bc.
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Post by rich » Wed Jun 11, 2008 7:09 pm

And what does Sea of Atlas mean??
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Post by rich » Wed Jun 11, 2008 7:16 pm

Would you say this could be an image of Atlas?

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Image ... ymetry.jpg
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Post by Pippin » Wed Jun 11, 2008 10:43 pm

Hi

Couldnt the inspiration for this myth come from different sources. Sounth America and Antartica is of course absurt, but it could be derivided from both Akrotiri, Helike and some other place, which may not even have been destroid by water. We will proberly never know.

kim

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Post by rich » Wed Jun 11, 2008 10:57 pm

Pippin - yes it could have come from a number of places, but what necessity would he have to look to another culture - Plato was smart enough to come up with the idea for Atlantis all on his own. But then - how did he describe the rest so accurately? And that is more what I'm wondering about. Somewhere there was an indication for the people back then (at least some) to have known enough about another continent across the sea to be able to describe it. If you look at the link I posted it shows a bathymetric view of the Atlantic ocean - and that looks like it could be Atlas in the classic pose of holding up the world on his shoulders. So even in myth there was a hint of them knowing what that ocean looked like. And that is interesting to say the least.
i'm not lookin' for who or what made the earth - just who got me dizzy by makin it spin

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Re: Atlantic Ocean

Post by Ishtar » Thu Jun 12, 2008 5:13 am

Cognito wrote:
Plato was pretty specific about his description of the mediterranean as a basin, the Atlantic ocean as a true sea in comparison to the Mediterranean, and the other continent on the other side of the Atlantic as surrounding it.
Be careful here since prior to 1601 the name used on every map for the Atlantic Ocean was Latin, Mare Oceanum.
Cogs, Herodotus mentions the Atlantic Ocean around 450 BC. Plato was about 20 years after that.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlantic_Ocean
The first part of its name refers to the Atlas of Greek mythology, making the Atlantic the "Sea of Atlas". The oldest known mention of this name is contained in The Histories of Herodotus around 450 BC (I 202); see also: Atlas Mountains.
Maybe those Latinos were a bit slow on the uptake? :wink:

Rokcet Scientist

Post by Rokcet Scientist » Fri Jun 13, 2008 5:31 am

Here's a nicely sobering yet entertaining quasi analytical DE-construct by the BBC about the Atlantis myth and on-going hype.

http://video.stumbleupon.com/?s=085h0to ... 17o1lsmec9

48 minutes.

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Post by rich » Fri Jun 13, 2008 6:44 am

RS - you miss what I'm saying. I don't understand why they keep coming up with "Oh - look at this - it must have been the inspiration for Plato to come up with the Atlantis story." As I said, Plato didn't need any inspiration to develop the story - he was intelligent enough to make up the story on his own. And on top of that - they keep trying to connect it with sites that are way off the mark of it's location and timeframe. They are making it hype by so continuing to do so.
What I do find interesting in the story is that Plato could describe the Atlantic and the continent on the other side of the Sea of Atlas. Plus that the Atlantic does appear to have the classic shape of Atlas holding up the world. Add that to the coincidence that he gives a date that would point to around 11500-12500 years ago and it tends to fall in line with the migration theories for pre-clovis considering that the 11500 year mark would be the time around which it seems to have stopped. In other words, somehow it "appears" as though some knew there was travel to and possibly from that continent and this one.
I just wish they would stop coming up with all these alternate locations for it and trying to shove them down peoples throats in order to gain their own fame for "solving" the riddle of Atlantis. Atlantis isn't the point.
i'm not lookin' for who or what made the earth - just who got me dizzy by makin it spin

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Atlantic

Post by Cognito » Fri Jun 13, 2008 11:36 am

Cogs, Herodotus mentions the Atlantic Ocean around 450 BC. Plato was about 20 years after that.
Sorry Ish, not quite. Herodotus mentions in his Histories (I, 202) that Atlantis was beyond the Pillars of Hercules. It is interpreted that he was referring to the Atlantic Ocean, but that is simply a modern-day interpretation. He begins by referring to the Araxes River as it flows into the Caspian Sea, and then moves on. I could interpret his comments in a variety of ways, and therein lies the problem with the location of the mythical Atlantis. 8)

Image

"But one of the mouths of the Araxes flows with clarity into the Caspian Sea; but the Caspian Sea is by itself, not connected to the other sea. For the sea navigated by all the Greeks and the one outside the Pillars called the Atlantis Sea and the Erythraean, are one and the same." (Translated by R. Cedric Leonard)

See: http://www.atlantisquest.com/Writings.html

There is no reference to the term "Atlantic Ocean" prior to 1601; however, there are references to "Atlantis" which in archaic Greek at the time of Solon was "Atlantikon". It simply means "Sea of Atlas". For the origin of the phrase "Atlantic Ocean" reference here:

http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?sea ... hmode=none

So what was Herotdotus referring to? To make matters more confusing, Herodotus lived from 484bc to 425bc (Plato was two years old when Herodotus assumed room temperature) and the Greeks weren't even sailing into the Atlantic Ocean until after Pytheas' expedition circa 330bc to 320bc - over a hundred years later. So what did Herodotus mean by "the sea navigated by all the Greeks" when they hadn't even been there in any numbers? Figure that one out, write a book, and make millions. :D
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Post by Ishtar » Fri Jun 13, 2008 12:06 pm

Thank you, Cogs. I had no idea the whole matter was so tricky. So it was very helpful to have it explained in such a clear way.

But here's my thinking:

Am I right that we're saying that the Atlantic Ocean was the Sea of Atlas, and was possibly named after the Atlas mountains?

If so, in the mythology, Atlas is the son of Poseiden, the sea god - and Plato tells us that there was a huge, elaborately ornate temple at the centre of Atlantis that was dedicated to Poseiden.

Added to that, Madame Blavatsky (who got her information from two Indian mahatmas in the 19th century), in The Secret Doctrine says:
The huge continent we call Atlantis, the continent of the fourth Race, named Kusha in the occult records, embraced northern Asia - untouched, as said, from Lemurian times - stretching far to the north of the great sea, now the Gobi Desert; it extended eastwards, in a solid block of land, including China and Japan, and passed beyond them across the present northern Pacific Ocean, till it almost touched the western coast of North America; southwards it covered India and Ceylon, Burmah, and the Malay peninsula, and westwards included Persia, Arabia and Syria, the Red Sea and Abyssinia, occupying the basin of the Mediterranean, covering southern Italy and Spain, and, projecting from Scotland and Ireland, then above the waters, into what is now sea, it stretched westwards, covering the present Atlantic Ocean and a large part of North and South America.

The catastrophe which rent it, in the mid-Miocene, about four million years ago, into seven islands, of varying size, brought to the surface Norway and Sweden, much of southern Europe, Egypt, nearly all Africa, and much of North America, while sinking northern Asia, and breaking Atlantis off from the Imperishable Sacred Land. The lands later called Ruta and Daitya, the present bed of the Atlantic, were rent away from America, but a great belt of land still connected them, a belt submerged in the catastrophe of 850,000 years ago, in theatre Pliocene, leaving the two lands as separate islands. These, again, perished, some 200,000 years ago, leaving Poseidonis in the midst of the Atlantic.
So, if this is true (and I have no idea if it is), Plato could be referring to the island of Poseidonis as Atlantis, when in fact, it was all the remained of the much larger Atlantis from a catastrophe of 850,000 years ago.

Does anyone know if this fits any known geological models?

She goes on:
After the disappearance of Poseidonis, (the last remaining island after the Deluge) the deterioration of the scattered Atlantean tribes was rapid, though the Atlanteans in the east of Asia held their own and the Polynesians, Samoans and Tongas are surviving relics. Some of the tribes even sank so low as to intermarry with the hybrid creatures that sprang from the sin of the mindless. Others intermarried with the degraded remnants of the seventh Lemurian sub-race, and the Veddahs of Ceylon are the descendants from such unions, as are the hairy men of Borneo, the Andaman Islanders, Bushmen, and some Australian aborigines. The majority of the inhabitants of the earth are still Fourth Round people, but the only ones that seem to have future are the Japanese, and perhaps the Chinese.
Now, I don't know if there ever was an Atlantis. The jury in my head is definitely out on it, although I've read a lot about it. I also have no idea if Madame Blavatsky's mahatmas were correct.

But my point of posting all this is to show the link in the mythology between Poseiden, father of Atlas, and the Sea of Atlas, or Atlantis Sea.

So this dovetails neatly into your quote from the wonderful Online Etymological Dictionary (my bolding):
Atlantic ocean

1387, ocean of athlant "sea off the west coast of Africa," from L. Atlanticus, from Gk. Atlantikos, adjectival form of Atlas (gen. Atlantos), in ref. to Mount Atlas in Mauritania (see Atlas). Applied to the whole ocean since 1601.
So maybe I should write that book! :D
Last edited by Ishtar on Fri Jun 13, 2008 1:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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