Are you wondering where Atlantis really was?
Then you have come to the right place. This page uses an innovative approach to identify where the mythical empire must have been. But first we will go on a journey through the history of the Search for Atlantis. However beware! You might encounter charlatans along the way of this quest for knowledge through the ages. They use the Search for Atlantis to merge facts with fiction. By doing this they profit from people who want to believe.
In 2018, the Hollywood film Aquaman was released. The film earned an estimated international box office of $1.148 billion, which makes it one of the 25 most commercially successful movies of all time. It is also the most recent and best-known interpretation of the myth of Atlantis. Plato, who wrote the first version of this story 2400 years ago, could never have foreseen this cinematic adaptation of his tale! In the film, after the collapse of the Bronze Age civilization, the inhabitants of Atlantis adapt within a brief time to become an underwater-breathing people. In this film, the great civilization already has mastered the use of free energy even before it was submerged below the ocean. Thousands of years later, they live under the sea in a magnificent bioluminescent megacity.
The film’s plot is a variation on the Arthurian legend: the protagonist must obtain a legendary weapon to ascend the throne of the underwater kingdom. Visually, Atlantis is a sophisticated underwater spectacle glittering with fluorescent majesty. At the core of the glowing underwater city are Greco-Romanesque ruins overgrown with algae. Around them are skyscrapers, reminiscent of jellyfish. In this city, single and multi-person transport is primarily provided by vehicles that resemble tropical fish. Despite the plasma-based technology, which is functionally indistinguishable from magic, giant turtles are still used as load-pulling animals.
The film’s aesthetics are aqua-futuristic: To create the costumes, the shapes of corals, mussel shells, fins and scales were closely scrutinized and combined with brightly colored accessories. With a few exceptions, all the inhabitants of Atlantis can only breathe underwater. During their missions above sea level, they must wear environmental suits filled with water. The visualizations in science-fiction have come full circle: the nautical world once provided language and images for us to imagine outer space, and now the visual iconography of travel is being used for an underwater environment.
There is also definite inspiration from Disney’s The Little Mermaid: the female lead has bright red hair, a green suit, and lives underwater, like the titular character in the animated film. And of course there are plenty of references to Jules Verne. During the film, the protagonist is stranded on an island beneath the ocean floor, a world within our seemingly hollow world.
In the film, Atlantis is unquestionably treated as fiction. This is after all a film adaptation of a comic book world. Who in their right mind would think of searching for Atlantis in real life?
Why do people search for Atlantis? For many of these people, the journey to an alternative history begins with early stone buildings. The socially legitimized narratives explaining the origins of these structures are perceived by some as implausible. And not merely in the sense that we do not know how they were constructed. Their existence is fundamentally incompatible with current scientific paradigms. They are, therefore, anomalies. Ashworth already considers Stonehenge to be an anomaly. The situation in Egypt is fascinating since it is perhaps here that the most obviously apparent cases of early anomalies are to be found. At the same time, the currently valid narratives about them are the most consolidated. That’s right: I’m talking about the pyramids.
Without going too deep into the discussion at this point, I would like to briefly take up a problem with the current interpretation of the Pyramid of Cheops: the postulated construction time. On Wikipedia and according to the german Society for the Scientific Investigation of Parasciences, 20 years are given as the construction time. As the structure includes 2.5 million tons of limestone, this results in a work rate of one stone every minute. In my opinion, this is an improbable, if not unbelievable, pace of work. To the skeptics such as Stefan Baumann who deny the anomalies at Giza, this fact is not even worth mentioning. There are also many boreholes from the ancient dynasty that defy all explanation. According to the orthodox interpretation, it should be accepted that they were reached with a drilling speed of six centimeters every twenty hours. Incidentally, the orthodoxy-preserving method is also used here, which Pinch already noticed in parapsychology: demonstrating the possibility of producing something with normal procedures is treated as proof that it was produced in this way.
When it comes to cubic meters, the mainstream explanations calculate rates in minutes. But when it comes to centimeters, they calculate in whole days. These numbers do not add up, in my opinion. Therefore, I will treat these pyramids as anomalies. In the search for possible explanations for these anomalies, the thesis of a lost civilization unknown to us – yet terrestrial – comes up repeatedly, gathered under the label ‘Atlantis’.
It seems reasonable to briefly mention the so-called “pyramidology” and distinguish it from the Atlantology – the science dealing with Atlantis.
Pyramidology is a portmanteau composed of pyramid, and numerology. Numerology is understood as the study of the supernatural significance of numbers. Beyond our functionally differentiated science system, it appears in nearly all irrational knowledge systems, such as the occult or esotericism. However, numerology is also a pejorative term used for nonsensical number games. In the famous Cheops pyramid, both the magical and the ridiculous become relevant as connotations.
Apart from some graffiti of dubious origin, the Pyramid of Khufu is without inscription, i.e., it has stood there unlabeled in all its geometric splendor for all these many years. But apparently even buildings communicate, for from modern times onwards, meaning has been found in the numbers it contains. In the past, this practice was carried out in such a misguided way that until now, any non-conforming curiosity about the pyramids is met with rejection by mainstream scholars.
The Pyramids of Giza become atlantological if one assumes that these structures did not initially function as burial chambers of ancient Egyptian pharaohs. Instead, it is assumed that they were built by a past advanced civilization, Atlantis The purpose for which they were made is also the subject of speculation among fringe scientists. However, a technical reference to water is often mentioned.
At this point, I would like to distinguish atlantology from pre-astronautics: for me, the former assumes that these anomalies were produced by an advanced terrestrial civilization, while the latter assumes an extraterrestrial influence. Conceptually, I do not allow for an intersection of these two fields. If extraterrestrials – or transdimensionals –had simply drawn a triangle in the desert sand and known earthlings would then find themselves provoked to amazing civilizational feats, this would be a case for pre-astronautics. (This distinction is my own and it does not necessarily correspond to others’ use of these terms.)
I will now recount the legend of Atlantis told by Lyon Sprague De Camp, who read the story in Plato, who made Critias tell it, who – thanks to the goddess of memory Mnemosyne – remembered the details his great-grandfather had learned from his brother Solon. The story was told to Solon by the Egyptian priest Sonchis.
Lyon Sprague De Camp also decodes Plato’s Atlantis story in terms of the narrative elements it contains. I consider this very conducive to understanding, so I will refer to him in rendering Plato’s original version. De Camp cites the origin of the saga of Atlantis, Plato’s unfinished work Timaeus. The same characters appear here as in his work Politeia (a work concerning the ideal state), which is why it can be assumed that both cases are about state philosophy. Moreover, many features of the Atlantis saga were already present in the Greek world of thought; after all, Atlantis was created by the Greek deity Poseidon, lord of the seas. Also, ancient Greece postulated the existence of islands to the west of the known world, regardless of actual geography.
The basic idea of Atlantis dates back to 355 BC. Plato wrote two Socratic dialogues: Timaeus and Critias. It can be assumed that these are to be understood as a continuation of his essay Politeia since Plato uses the same characters in these dialogues as he does in the essay. Presumably, Plato intended to craft a trilogy of dialogues on the subject, but his work was interrupted in the middle of the second, Critias.
In this narrative, it is the year 421 BC. Socrates, Critias, Timaeus, and Hermocrates are sitting together at a party. They begin their conversation with a recollection of Socrates remarks discussed in Politeia. Hermocrates asks Critias to tell a story from the ancient past. Critias reports that his great-grandfather heard a story from his brother Solon. In the sixth century BC, Solon had made a journey to Egypt. In the city of Sais, he spoke with a group of priests of the goddess Isis, also known as Neith. Solon began to brag about the glorious Greek tradition, but he was laughingly dismissed by the oldest Egyptian priest, Sonchis:
“The Greeks were children,” he said; “they had no ancient history because their records have all been destroyed by the periodical catastrophes of fire and flood that overwhelm the world – all but Egypt, which, being proof against such misfortunes, which had kept unbroken records from the Creation on down.”
Sonchis goes on to say that nine thousand years earlier, the goddess Athena had founded the magnificent Athenian empire, whose divine structure corresponded exactly to Plato’s remarks in Politeia: “A communistic military caste ruled the state, and everybody was brave, handsome, and virtuous.” At the time, however, there was also another powerful empire: Atlantis. Located on a continent larger than North Africa and the Near East combined, it lay off the Pillars of Heracles, a.k.a. the Straits of Gibraltar. The Atlanteans wanted to expand across the entire Mediterranean region, coming as far as Egypt and Tuscany. The Athenians, in turn, armed to fight the Atlanteans on the battlefield. Finally, however, a great earthquake and flood ended their conflict, destroying Athens and causing the continent of Atlantis to sink into the sea.
Critias lay awake all night thinking about the details of the story. After all, they illustrated exactly the political considerations that Socrates had put forward the day before. Surprisingly, it could be seen here that the thoughts occurred in this way in the world. Socrates was enthusiastic about this since the tale was, after all, “no invented fable but genuine history.” Before Critias continues with the story, however, Timaeus speaks. He delivers a monologue on Pythagorean theories, the solar system’s movements, the shape of atoms, the Creation of man, and the structure of body and soul.
Critias continues his tale of Atlantis in his eponymous dialogue. When the gods divided the world among themselves, Athena and Hephaestus got Athens. Here they established their state following the Platonic doctrine. The workers and peasants were not only blessed with a strong sense of industry; at that time, the whole of Greece was more extensive and more fertile than in Plato’s day. When the world was divided up, Poseidon, the god of the sea, received Atlantis. At that time, the Atlantean continent was inhabited by Euenor and Leukippe, who came up from the Earth, and their daughter Cleito. The parents died, and Poseidon took Cleito as his wife. The god of the sea also formed the land for their kingdom, consisting of the now-famous concentric rings of land and water. Together, they then had five pairs of twins as children and divided the continent and the surrounding islands. The eldest child became the supreme king. His name was Atlas, and the empire was named after him. (Plato notes that Solon translated the original Atlantean words into Greek to make it easier for the audience to understand.)
Atlantis was blessed with flourishing vegetation. It was rich in mineral resources, and elephants lived there as well. Plato describes in detail the extravagant splendor of the capital and the impressive strength of the Atlantian army. Notable is the mention of the metal “orichalcum,” which was presumably a copper alloy. Apart from that, Plato does not mention any remarkable anomalies. Thus, he does not bring up any technologies that would have surprised his contemporaries. In terms of civilization, Plato’s Atlantis is an “ordinary advanced” Mediterranean Bronze Age civilization.
For many centuries the Atlanteans were as virtuous as the Athenians. Then, however, their divine blood became increasingly diluted, which brought about a corresponding decline in their morals. Zeus noticed this pernicious development and decided to punish the Atlanteans. The gods father summoned all the other gods to his palace to inform them of his intention. At this point, Plato’s text breaks off, leaving the story of Atlantis unfinished.
De Camp thoroughly analyzes Plato’s extraordinary account. First, it is important to note that there is no reference to the lost continent or the culture of Atlantis before Plato’s text, neither among the Egyptians, the Phoenicians, the Babylonians, or the Sumerians. DeCamp identifies essential elements in Plato’s narrative that also appeared earlier in Greek literature: The deities, the figure of Atlas, the conflict between Poseidon and Athena. Ancient historians such as Herodotus also reported on a people in north-west Africa who bore a name similar to Atlas: the Atlanteans, Atarantes, or Atlantioi. To these points, however, it was added:
“However, since they tell us that these Atlantes have no names and never dream, and that their neighbors include men with snakes for feet (like the Titans) and headless men with faces in their chests, it would seem that the authors were not writing from any first-hand knowledge.”
Diodorus of Sicily also tells the story of the North African Amazons, who lived on an island in the Triton Swamp (in todays Tunesia). Their queen Myrina conquered the neighboring Atlantic and their enemies, the Gorgons. Later, Hercules (Heracles) defeated both the African Amazons and the Gorgons, and the Triton Swamp disappeared due to an earthquake. In Plato’s time, it was also common for writers to speculate about islands west of Greece: authors wrote of Atlantic islands, some highly fanciful, inhabited by people with horses feet, or satyrs, or folk with ears so large they used them instead of clothes.
In Plato’s time, the idea was widespread that a supercontinent enclosed the ocean around the familiar world of Europe, Asia, and Africa and their oceans in turn. Theopompous, a contemporary of Plato, described a tribe of giants who wanted to conquer the known world from this supercontinent. But they turned back because they found too little of worth in the world of man. The Greeks were also familiar with the concept of islands rising from and sinking in the sea.
De Camp reports on the historical discussion about Atlantis, from antiquity to the Middle Ages. In the beginning, there was considerable skepticism about the truth of the story. Aristotle, a student of Plato, commented: “he who invented it also destroyed it.”
Among others, it was the uncritical Church fathers who took Plato literally. This is an exciting detail regarding a method of atlantology presented later. At the same time, they shifted interest from secular phenomena to the sacred, which is why matters such as Atlantis lost importance.
Between antiquity and modern times, Atlantis played a relatively minor role in the writings of scholars. The Columbian encounter with the New World, however, revived the topic. For one thing, America is located roughly where Plato had claimed Atlantis was. For another, people on the double continent confronted Europeans with questions, to which Atlantis’ ideas offered an answer.
At this time, the Bering Strait – the intermittent land passage between Asia and the Pacific Northwest that permitted overland migration of people – was unknown, but the origin of the indigenous population had to be explained somehow. In the sixteenth century, the Jesuit Joseph de Acosta argued for slow migration via a hypothetical land connection from Asia to North America. For him, Atlantis was demonstrably one of the other possible explanations, which was being debated at the time and which he had to refute in his argumentation. Atlantis was supported by “clues” such as the mythical origin of the Aztecs from a place called Aztlan. Also, the syllable “atl,” meaning water, was common in their language.
In this story full of errors, the missionary Diego de Landa plays a central role. First, he was responsible for the burning of all documents including the Mayan script. He was so thorough that afterward, only four manuscripts of the advanced American civilization remained. Then de Landa produced a fundamentally incorrect translation of the Mayan written language. Based on this, and with the help of an “uncontrolled imagination”, the French scholar Charles Étienne Brasseur de Bourbourg translated one of the four remaining manuscripts in the 19th century. In his translation, the writing began with describing a nation’s demise due to a volcanic eruption. Due to a vague superficial similarity between two characters that had not yet been assigned and two characters from Diego de Landa’s translation, which was simply incorrect, the country that had perished was given the name “Mu.” The curious approaches to semiotic phenomena typical of atlantology are already evident here.
Regarding the reference to the New World, Sprague De Camp notes that locating Atlantis in America is an overly simplistic conclusion for the romantic search for the lost civilization. For this reason, the idea of America as a colony of Atlantis was preferred. In modern times, Atlantis became a topic of conversation again. Here, however, it has more the form of an aid, for it explains other phenomena towards which actual interest is directed. It was not until the modern era that the idea of Atlantis has been emancipated and established as a cultural end in itself.
Ignatius Loyola Donnelly
In its current form, Atlantology was is based on a literary innovation from the USA in the 19th century. The European settlers’ descendants were preoccupied with questions about the people who already lived in this New World. Who are they, and where do they come from? Old European lore was consulted in the search for explanations. Scholars came up with various conflicting answers. The most captivating story – and thus the most successful –was written by Congressman Ignatius Loyola Donnelly. With Atlantis: the Antediluvian World, he single-handedly created the Atlantean genre.
Donnelly was a trained lawyer and wrote speculative books on humankind’s early history in his spare time. According to Stephen Williams, it was primarily stylistic and formal criteria that distinguished his work from the competition. Ignatius Loyola numbered his assertions and justifications, referring to a tremendous quantity of sources, giving a heavy veneer of scholarship that contrasted to the more fanciful approach of his contemporaries. Thus his thirteen theses on Atlantis are still reproduced today.
There is unanimous agreement about Donnelly’s central importance to atlantology. A look at his later works also helps to understand his atlantological work. One year after Atlantis: The Antediluvian World, he published a lesser-known book, Ragnarok: The Age of Fire and Gravel. In this text, Donnelly postulates a comet that led to a catastrophic impact on Earth twelve thousand years ago. This was followed by The Great Cryptogram. Finally, he wrote Caesar’s Column, a political novel that is overtly fictional.
In the first two works, the catchy titles stand out, which are as engaging as those of any fictional masterpiece. Williams says of the third book: “The project is truly amazing as it is foolish.” Using an idiosyncratic cryptographic method, Donnelly “proves” in an argument spanning eighthundred pages, that Francis Bacon was actually responsible for William Shakespeare’s works. It is an immense detective work in which a fantastic puzzle is solved; at the same time, however, it lacks a solid connection to reality. One could draw a parallel to his treatment of world history in ‘Ragnarok’ and ‘Atlantis’. Here, too, Donnelly wants to prove that there is ultimately a code behind all the world’s myths and that cracking this code eventually reveals a great secret. His fictional book ‘Caesar’s Columns’ also became a bestseller. Ignatius Loyola Donnelly’s openly fictional, future catastrophic scenarios sold just as well as his supposedly real, catastrophic past scenarios.
“… for one of Donnelly’s real strengths was his broad knowledge of the contemporary literature. The synthesis was Donnelly’s; the views, wether in archaeology, geology, or mythology, were of the period, wrapped in a very exciting package that caught a popular audience.”
I personally believe that Donnelly was completely sincere in his journey through an alternative history. But his commercial success with the Search for Atlantis demonstrated, that there was money to be made with the notion of a lost ancient grandeur. Ignatious Loyola Donnely paved the way for all of the atlantological charlatans of the future.
Helena Petrovna Blavatsky
The next important pillar in the history of atlantology is Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, and a pioneer of modern “esoteric” or “occult” studies. Even if Ms. Blavatsky was actually esoteric and occult, her historical contribution to Atlantology is neither, as her work The Secret Doctrine was a bestseller. The secret doctrine was anything but secret; it was widespread and popular. In retrospect, however, one could regard her atlantological work as a contribution to the doctrine of a proto-religion. The New Age complex should be understood as the religion developing here.
Madame Blavatsky lived a very eclectic life. In 1831 she was born into a noble Russian family. After a series of marriages and love affairs, followed by diverse jobs like circus rider, pianist, and spiritual medium, she emigrated to New York in 1873. Here she founded the Theosophical Society with her husband. She moved in a social milieu obsessed with mysticism and the occult. Blavatsky was very charismatic and gathered numerous followers; she was known for her successful trickery, some proven fraudulent and some speculated to be so. Her approach was also innovative, which can be seen in her “methods” of acquiring knowledge and in their extensions to the complex of Atlantean ideas.
Aristocles, also known as Plato, had made a strong start with his narrative: on ancient Egyptian pillars stands a story in a foreign language, which is told to us fourth-hand. And all thanks to the goddess of memory, Mnemosyne, who helped Kritias to remember! Ignatius Loyola Donnelly accidentally discovered a revolutionary approach to fantasy with his ‘comparative method’. Now Helena Petrovna Blavatsky trumped them both with her fascinating solution: through channeling, Indian masters shared the knowledge of old Tibetan manuscripts directly with her, which allegedly has its origin in Atlantis. The communication took place in the lost language “Senzar,” which of course only she was able to understand.
“The last Vibration of the Seventh Eternity thrills through Infinitude. The Mother swells, expanding from without, like the Bud of the Lotus.”
The Atlantological present began at the end of the 20th century. The British journalist Graham Hancock published his best-selling book Fingerprints of the Gods,which contains the most common argumentative strategies and linguistic conventions of the genre founded by Donnelly. Hancock takes his readers on a detective journey around the globe. Fascinating places, which in themselves are among the most popular tourist attractions in the world, are given an even stronger appeal through his inquisitive style. However, he does not actually mention Atlantis until the end of the book. This approach has two advantages: on the one hand, it strengthens the convincing power of his argument since the word ‘Atlantis’ itself has many dubious connotations. Secondly, it is narratively highly effective, providing the resolution to the mystery late as possible.
Hancock’s knowledge-generating methods and also the basis of his conclusions correspond to Donnelly’s work. In this approach, the peoples of the old and new worlds have a vanished advanced civilization as their common origin. We recognize this partly through parallels in their relics, but above all in their myths. However with Graham Hancock, there is also something new: the expansion of an occult dimension. Hancock speaks of ‘ancient wisdom’ carried from the Atlanteans via secret societies to our present. This intimate knowledge seems to have an astronomical reference. Hancock accordingly interprets the globally distributed, ancient monoliths in their conventionally normal, calendrical function and a message-conveying role. A salient example of this is that the pyramids on the Giza plateau supposedly correspond with the positioning of the belt in the constellation of Orion. Robert Bauval originally came up with this idea, but Hancock keeps referring to it. It is a striking example of atlantological pattern recognition. The buildings on the ground or stars in the sky, which don’t fit into this model, are simply ignored.
To decipher the message transmitted from prehistoric times, an astronomical concept must be invoked: the “cycle of precession.” This is a cycle marked with constellations, continuing over dozens of millennia, which influences life on earth. In essence, all this corresponds quite closely with the teachings of the New Age. The connection to astrological discourses also resonates here. However, the charismatic Hancock does not conjure up an age of love but an approaching catastrophe; it is in fact a form of millenarianism. Indeed, the “sleeping prophet” Edgar Cayce is also used to support this argument. With this state of affairs, Jordan holds:
“If millenarianism is hope and anxiety over a thousand years, then Hancock’s precessional musing constitute a supermillenarianism of truly cosmic foreboding. This is more religion than science.”
The german Society for the Scientific Investigation of Parasciences has also noticed this religiosity - and thus irrationality - presented in scientific packaging. In March 2001, they treated Atlantis as their central theme. The authors Walliss and Spencer state that Hancock, with his proposed inhabitants of atlantis, offered his readership role models for spiritual endeveaors. The people of the high civilization, he postulated were spiritually superior to us. Yet might these higher realms possibly be within our grasp? The point of his Atlanticism, on the other hand, is that this higher spirituality is not religious speculation but a historical fact. Moreover, Hancock offers enough freedom in his narrative for readers to project their spiritual yearnings onto the assumed golden age; he offers transcendental possibilities.
To help explain this phenomenon, the authors introduce the concept of the “spiritual supermarket.” Hancock’s offer is essentially a consumer product. He does not influence his customers’ social identity and does not burden them with extensive moral frameworks, rituals, or instructions. Hancock instead targets individuals, so they can decide for themselves whether to accept or reject his messages. With regards to its significance for society, the factors of commerciality and spirituality seem to have determined the Search for Atlantis in its most important form at the end of the 20th century.
Plato’s narrative is a fourth-hand story, a narrative rooted in divine myth, which relies on the goddess of memory and the god of the sea. However, these mythical trappings must be set aside because the story is actually best understood through its historical context. Plato used a thought experiment to argue for his ideal state. His “desire to fable” created an “audacious fiction” to fulfill a useful function. The idea of a past advanced civilization was useful as an explanation for perceived anomalies. This happened again after the discovery of America, where the anomalous presence of the natives had to be explained by Europeans.
Following this, Ignatius Loyola Donnelly discovered the literary formula that helped Atlantis become extremely popular. He “demonstrated” that practically all traditions and myths to which one has access through the stock of libraries need to be viewed from a new, fantastic point of view. This may seem very appealing to many people. Now all of those many books on the shelf, that have accumulated over the decades, can be reread! They have been given a new meaning. His theory and method allow interested people to playfully “syncretize” all their knowledge about humanity. “Perhaps the very impracticality of Atlantism constitutes part of its charm. It is a form of escapism that lets people play with eras and continents as children play with blocks” as main scholar De Camp put it.
With the commercial success of Helena Blavatsky’s mysticism, a spiritual dimension was added to the idea of Atlantis. A more inconspicuous manifestation, however, can also be found in Graham Hancock’s high popularity. The latter openly represents a spiritual variant of the Atlantis interpretation; he is a charismatic New Age guru. Of course, the references to the prophet Edgar Cayce are also understood as religious references. In my opinion, however, even the original reference to Plato can be understood as a sacred moment.
First of all, the entire enterprise would not exist if Plato were not respected and believed. Then Plato must be properly exegetedarly a religious activity. In general, the idea of a “Search for Atlantis” is a spiritually charged endeavor. The very concept of the search inevitably brings to mind the ideal type of the “private-religious” seeker. A figure that is typical to the contemporary expression of the religious in the so-called “spiritual.”
The current guardians of the orthodox knowledge concerning Atlantology would, of course, vehemently oppose me in all of this. They understand The Search for Atlantis as a border-science. They are very concerned with excluding what they perceive as the “esoteric” dimensions from the whole endeavor. But as long as the word Atlantis is retained and a reference to Plato is invoked, it will be impossible to liberate unconventional thoughts regarding early history from unwelcome esotericism. Atlantology sees itself as the border-scientific study of a real Atlantis. Its most striking feature is its production of a large number of different locations where Atlantis is assumed to have existed. Suppose one looks historically at the attempts to locate Atlantis. In that case, only nationalism - via the intermediary of colonialism - is the most important factor that establishes the most frequent connection between the person searching and their idea of the location of a past, advanced civilization. If one looks for a commonality of all Atlantis localizations, one finds “euhemerism,” which the site Atlantisforschung.de introduces as the “third pillar,” next to catastrophism and diffusionism. I regard it here as the “Theory of Atlantology.”
Euhemeros was an ancient Greek philosopher who lived around the third century BC. He invented the fictitious island of Panchaia in a “philosophical-utopian travel novel”, according to the german Wikipedia article. Presumably being inspired by Plato’s invented Atlantis. Giving little weight to this eyebrow-raising fact, the site Atlantisforschung.de decided to use Euhemero’s name to designate a central methodological decision. This ancient author’s name is associated with the idea that reports about gods are exaggerated accounts of historical people. Euhemerism is thus understood as an approach to myth interpretation in which a “true core” is assumed to exist behind the mythology.
The platform calls this approach a “theory for the rational interpretation of the origin of religion and belief in gods.” In contrast, I see euhemerism as merely rationalizing. This approach allows any myth to be accepted as true on some level. The amount of linguistic, literary, and social theory that is passed over by euhemerism is immense. With euhemerism, the gateway to fantasy is broken wide open.
The so-called Atlantida exegesis is understood to be the correct interpretation of Plato’s words, naturally under the euhemeristic assumption that something real is hidden there. It is considered the most crucial method of Atlantology. As the platform itself states, exegesis as a method is generally only found in theology or literary studies. In terms of claims to scientificity, this is, of course, a more than alarming state of affairs.
I want to underscore the fact that this discipline’s primary method is theological. It shows that Atlantology, which appears to be “scholarly” insofar as it refers to Plato, is predominantly an enterprise of faith
History shows that virtually any place in the world can be identified as the location of Atlantis via “semantic plays”. There is also a lot of freedom of movement through history. Plato asserted, one would think unequivocally, that Atlantis existed nine thousand years before him. But the wing of Atlantology that is striving for scientific recognition now says that Plato meant lunar years, which roughly correspond to our months. This kind of sophistry leads to irreconcilable speculations.
However, the diversity of results when using the instrument of the Atlantida exegesis cannot be accepted by Atlantologists as an argument against its use. If they did so, the whole field would collapse, for Atlantology is Atlantida exegesis. The diversity of Atlantis locations retains validity in the discipline as long as the Atlantologists’ work is presented in as much detail as possible. It is further said:
“Before beginning any Atlantean exegesis, Atlanteans need to be clear about the character, function, and possibilities of their methodological ‘tools of the trade’ or ‘instruments’ to use them effectively and successfully, and to be able to account for how they have achieved their results.”
The expression “before the beginning of each” naturally calls a journey to mind. Accordingly, Atlantis research is treated as an individual journey, whereby it is not the actual destination but the detailed description of one’s path that marks success within the Atlantological community. At this point, I would now like to make my own humble contribution to the field of Atlantology with my localization.