The writings of many historical contemporary witnesses include records of vanished islands and continents. Other records, however, doubt the legend of Atlantis. Today, just as in those days, numerous scholars, scientists and hobby researchers disagree on the existence of Atlantis. Nevertheless, 2 500 years after Plato’s report they prove the myth of Atlantis to be still alive.

Yet who were these people communicating with each other or just mentioned in the dialogues about Atlantis? And what social positions did they have?

Critias: He is the narrator of the dialogues about Atlantis and the great-grandson of Dropides II.. Moreover, he is also Plato’s great-grandfather.

Timaeus: He comes from Lower Italy and is both a natural scientist and a Pythagorean (member of Plato’s mathematical guild). At the time of the conversation he was aged 70.

Socrates (470-399 BC): Plato emulated this Greek philosopher who was also his intellectual leader. It is worth noting that no records written by Socrates have been found so far.

Hermocrates: He takes part in the conversation and was a famous strategist. He comes from Syracuse.

Many contemporary witnesses of that age talked and wrote about Atlantis or similar regions and thus corroborate Plato’s statements. The most renowned among them are summed up in the following.

Homer (8th century BC), prior to Solon and Plato, writes in his “Odyssey“ about the island of Scheria in the western ocean. Scheria was home of the Phaeacians who had temples the walls of which were decorated with pure ore and the mouldings were made of blue steel. The city’s core was surrounded by a circular wall and there were all sorts of fruit. Moreover, the city had two springs – no doubt it was a rich land... In this section of the “Odyssey“ it is almost possible to reconcile the descriptions of the island of Scheria with Atlantis. Before Odysseus came to the island of the Phaeacians he was held prisoner on the island of Ogygia which belonged to Calypso, a daughter of Atlas. It took an eighteen days‘ journey from this island to Scheria. Finally, it was Poseidon, assumed founder of Atlantis, who inflicted these exhausting voyages on him.
Aristotle (384-322 BC), one of Plato’s students, was the first to criticize the writings on Atlantis. It was him, however, whose records tell of a huge island in the Atlantic Ocean known by the Phoenicians as “Antilia”. As a result, then, he unconsciously agreed with Plato.
Proklos (410-485 AD), a representative of the Neoplatonic philosophy, recorded that there were several islands west of Europe. The inhabitants of these islands, he proceeds, remember a huge island that they all came from and which had been swallowed up by the sea. He also writes that the Greek philosopher Crantor saw the pillar the hieroglyphic inscriptions of which told the story of Atlantis.
Plutarch (46-120 AD) mentions a continent named Saturnia and an island called Ogygia which are supposed to be situated a five days‘ journey west of Britain. These “Islands of the Blessed“ had mild seasons and were assumed to be the Elysian fields praised by Homer.
Diodorus Siculus (100 BC) writes about a war between the Amazons and a nation called “Atlantioi“. Located a several days‘ journey from Libya, this empire was divided among the sons of Uranus, the most famous among them being Cronus. Furthermore, Siculus reports that this empire was very wealthy and also had mild climatic conditions. The empire was named after Atlas, the island’s highest mountain.
Isocrates (436-338 BC), a Greek philosopher, held the view that Plato’s writings embody a derivation of the Egyptian state system.
Poseidonius (135-51 BC), philosopher and intellectual leader of Cicero, claims that Plato is right.
Crantor (330-275 BC) states that he saw the scrolls with the story of Atlantis. In addition, he says that other ancient contemporary witnesses also mention a huge continent situated in the Atlantic Ocean. It was named “Poseidonis“ after Poseidon, the god of the sea and patron of the Atlantic Ocean.

These various comments seem to resemble each other in many respects although they have different origins. In the Mediterranean area, in ancient Egypt, in Mesopotamia – just all over the world myths and legends of a sunken continent in the Atlantic Ocean are widely spread and could be real – just as the legend of Troy as described by Homer in his “Odyssey“ became real. The very proof that Troy had been found and excavated by the pioneering German archaeologist Schliemann shows that there is some truth behind the ancient legends. The following chapters will provide a more detailed account on this topic.

left picture: Plato l. and Aristotle r. – the first rivals for the topic of Atlantis. However, this is what other people think.  

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