Originally posted by Odium
Basically, you are telling him to proove Plato made it up.
Why don't you proove he didn't?
I don't see in my post where I asked him or her to prove anything. Instead I see me making a list of information in support of my claim which he or
she challenged. The debate over the validity of Plato's account is a long one and if you think anyone here is going to be able to produce some
incontrovertible proof in a forum like this you're going to be disappointed. I actually try to be very careful about not speaking in absolutes in
matters such as this. I'm not always right and sometimes I say things the wrong way. If someone can demonstrate to me that I'm wrong I'll be the
first to admit my mistake. I'm not wrong in this case. The idea of any one generating a story of any nature wholly separate and unique from their
language, customs and culture is completely naive.
In most of Plato's dialogs it is difficult to distinguish which ideas are Socrates' and which are Plato's, but the Atlantis account is clearly
attributed. In "Critias" Plato's friend Critias tells the tale to Socrates. Critias states he learned the story from his grandfather. His
grandfather is said to have heard it from Solon the Athenian, one of Greece's Seven Sages. Solon claimed to have heard the story from the Egyptian
priest Sonchis of Sais. The dialogue itself presents a clear lineage. Plato insists the story is true four times. In "Timaeus" he states, "The
fact that it is not invented fable but a genuine history is all important,". It's certainly reasonable to consider Solon gave an accurate account
of what his sources told him. This suggests the tale of Atlantis to be a genuine Egyptian tradition rather than a philosophical fable. Aristotle
stated his opinion that Plato's story of Atlantis was fictional. That does not mean, however, that Plato derived the story unconnected to any
Many cultures around the world had a belief in a cyclical course of human history in which a catastrophe marks the end of each great age. A Golden
Age is described by Hesiod c. 700 BCE (Plato was born nearly three hundred years later). Of course the most familiar catastrophe account comes from
the Bible (Genesis 6-9), the story of Noah and his Ark. The theme appeared earlier in the Sumerian Gilgamesh epic when the hero met the survivor
Ziusudra (also called Utnapishtim) on the island Dilmun. In India the first incarnation of Vishnu, in the form of a fish, saves Manu, the earliest
ancestor of humanity, from a great flood by bringing him to safety in the peaks of the Himalayas. The Greek survivors of the great flood are
Deucalion and his wife Pyrrha, the daughter of Pandora and thus the first woman to be mortally born (and not forged by Hephaestus). In Mexico the
notion of a cyclical pattern of creation is described as a series of successive "suns". The age called the "water sun" ends in a great flood.
The Incas told a story of the cultural hero Viracocha. According to accounts presented by Father Molina in his "Relacion de las fabulas ritos de los
Yngas", Viracocha was the survivor of a great catastrophe. Molina's account states: "in it [the catastrophe] perished all races of men and created
things insomuch that the waters rose above the highest mountain peaks in the world". The city Viracocha is credited with founding was called
Tiahuanaco, the ruins of which exist to this day. By all accounts the site is awe-inspiring. Mid-sixteenth century visitor Garcilasco de la Vega's
description includes: "We must now say something about the large and almost incredible buildings of Tiahuanaco. There is an artificial hill, of
great height, built on stone foundations so that the earth will not slide. There are gigantic figures carved in stone...these are much worn which
shows great antiquity. There are walls, the stones of which are so enormous it is difficult to imagine what human force could have put them into
place. And there are remains of strange buildings, the most remarkable being stone portals, hewn out of solid rock; these stand on bases up to thirty
feet long, fifteen feet wide and six feet thick. How, and with the use of what tools or implements, massive works of such size could be achieved are
questions we are unable to answer". These are just a few examples. There are tales of cataclysmic floods from within the interior of Asia and the
Americas told by people who had never seen the sea, lakes or great rivers.
Returning to Plato's account we find in the description of the fabled continent's location that Atlantis "was the way to other islands, and from
these you might pass to the whole of the opposite continent, which surrounds the true Ocean". Whatever your stance on Plato's account this is a
startling description of the Earth's true geography than anyone living in that era would be supposed to possess by modern popular tradition.