PLATO ON THE IMMORTAL SOUL AND ATLANTIS

PLATO ON TRANSMIGRATION OF THE SOUL


Plato

On transmigration in the Myth of Er, Plato wrote in “Republic” X, 614: “Let me tell you,” said I, “the tale to Alcinous told that I shall unfold, but the tale of a warrior bold, Er, the son of Armenius, by race a Pamphylian. He once upon a time was slain in battle, and when the corpses were taken up on the tenth day already decayed, was found intact, and having been brought home, at the moment of his funeral, on the twelfth day as he lay upon the pyre, revived, and after coming to life related what, he said, he had seen in the world beyond.[Source: Plato. Republic, “Plato in Twelve Volumes,” Vols. 5 & 6 translated by Paul Shorey. Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann Ltd. 1969]

“He said that when his soul went forth from his body he journeyed with a great company and that they came to a mysterious region where there were two openings side by side in the earth, and above and over against them in the heaven two others, and that judges were sitting between these, and that after every judgement they bade the righteous journey to the right and upwards through the heaven with tokens attached to them in front of the judgement passed upon them, and the unjust to take the road to the left and downward, they too wearing behind signs of all that had befallen them, and that when he himself drew near they told him that he must be the messenger to mankind to tell them of that other world, and they charged him to give ear and to observe everything in the place.

“And so he said that here he saw, by each opening of heaven and earth, the souls departing after judgement had been passed upon them, while, by the other pair of openings, there came up from the one in the earth souls full of squalor and dust, and from the second there came down from heaven a second procession of souls clean and pure and that those which arrived from time to time appeared to have come as it were from a long journey and gladly departed to the meadow and encamped there as at a festival, and acquaintances greeted one another, and those which came from the earth questioned the others about conditions up yonder, and those from heaven asked how it fared with those others.

“And they told their stories to one another, the one lamenting and wailing as they recalled how many and how dreadful things they had suffered and seen in their journey beneath the earth1—it lasted a thousand years—while those from heaven related their delights and visions of a beauty beyond words. To tell it all, Glaucon, would take all our time, but the sum, he said, was this. For all the wrongs they had ever done to anyone and all whom they had severally wronged they had paid the penalty in turn tenfold for each, and the measure of this was by periods of a hundred years each, so that on the assumption that this was the length of human life the punishment might be ten times the crime; as for example that if anyone had been the cause of many deaths or had betrayed cities and armies and reduced them to slavery, or had been participant in any other iniquity, they might receive in requital pains tenfold for each of these wrongs, and again if any had done deeds of kindness and been just and holy men they might receive their due reward in the same measure; and other things not worthy of record he said of those who had just been born and lived but a short time; and he had still greater requitals to tell of piety and impiety towards the gods and parents and of self-slaughter. For he said that he stood by when one was questioned by another ‘Where is Ardiaeus the Great?’ Now this Ardiaeos had been tyrant in a certain city of Pamphylia just a thousand years before that time and had put to death his old father and his elder brother, and had done many other unholy deeds, as was the report. So he said that the one questioned replied, ‘He has not come,’ said he, ‘nor will he be likely to come here.

Websites on Ancient Greece and Rome: Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy iep.utm.edu; Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy plato.stanford.edu; Internet Ancient History Sourcebook: Greece sourcebooks.fordham.edu ; Internet Ancient History Sourcebook: Hellenistic World sourcebooks.fordham.edu ; BBC Ancient Greeks bbc.co.uk/history/; Canadian Museum of History historymuseum.ca; Perseus Project - Tufts University; perseus.tufts.edu ; ; Gutenberg.org gutenberg.org; British Museum ancientgreece.co.uk; Illustrated Greek History, Dr. Janice Siegel, Department of Classics, Hampden–Sydney College, Virginia hsc.edu/drjclassics ; The Greeks: Crucible of Civilization pbs.org/empires/thegreeks ; Oxford Classical Art Research Center: The Beazley Archive beazley.ox.ac.uk ; Ancient-Greek.org ancientgreece.com; Metropolitan Museum of Art metmuseum.org/about-the-met/curatorial-departments/greek-and-roman-art; The Ancient City of Athens stoa.org/athens; The Internet Classics Archive kchanson.com ; Internet Ancient History Sourcebook: Rome sourcebooks.fordham.edu ; Internet Ancient History Sourcebook: Late Antiquity sourcebooks.fordham.edu ; Forum Romanum forumromanum.org ; “Outlines of Roman History” forumromanum.org; “The Private Life of the Romans” forumromanum.org|; BBC Ancient Rome bbc.co.uk/history; The Roman Empire in the 1st Century pbs.org/empires/romans; The Internet Classics Archive classics.mit.edu ; Bryn Mawr Classical Review bmcr.brynmawr.edu; De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors roman-emperors.org; Cambridge Classics External Gateway to Humanities Resources web.archive.org/web; Ancient Rome resources for students from the Courtenay Middle School Library web.archive.org ; History of ancient Rome OpenCourseWare from the University of Notre Dame /web.archive.org ; United Nations of Roma Victrix (UNRV) History unrv.com

Plato on Judgement in the Underworld


Plato wrote in “Republic” X, 617-620: And the spindle turned on the knees of Necessity, and up above on each of the rims of the circles a Siren stood, borne around in its revolution and uttering one sound, one note, and from all the eight there was the concord of a single harmony. And there were another three who sat round about at equal intervals, each one on her throne, the Fates, daughters of Necessity, clad in white vestments with filleted heads, Lachesis, and Clotho, and Atropos, who sang in unison with the music of the Sirens, Lachesis singing the things that were, Clotho the things that are, and Atropos the things that are to be. And Clotho with the touch of her right hand helped to turn the outer circumference of the spindle, pausing from time to time. Atropos with her left hand in like manner helped to turn the inner circles, and Lachesis alternately with either hand lent a hand to each. [Source: Plato. Republic, “Plato in Twelve Volumes,” Vols. 5 & 6 translated by Paul Shorey. Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann Ltd. 1969]

“Now when they arrived they were straight-way bidden to go before Lachesis, and then a certain prophet first marshalled them in orderly intervals, and thereupon took from the lap of Lachesis lots and patterns of lives and went up to a lofty platform and spoke, ‘This is the word of Lachesis, the maiden daughter of Necessity, “Souls that live for a day, now is the beginning of another cycle of mortal generation where birth is the beacon of death. No divinity shall cast lots for you, but you shall choose your own deity. Let him to whom falls the first lot first select a life to which he shall cleave of necessity. But virtue has no master over her, and each shall have more or less of her as he honors her or does her despite. The blame is his who chooses: God is blameless. “’ So saying, the prophet flung the lots out among them all, and each took up the lot that fell by his side, except himself; him they did not permit.

“And whoever took up a lot saw plainly what number he had drawn. And after this again the prophet placed the patterns of lives before them on the ground, far more numerous than the assembly. They were of every variety, for there were lives of all kinds of animals and all sorts of human lives, for there were tyrannies among them, some uninterrupted till the end and others destroyed midway and issuing in penuries and exiles and beggaries; and there were lives of men of repute for their forms and beauty and bodily strength otherwise and prowess and the high birth and the virtues of their ancestors, and others of ill repute in the same things, and similarly of women. But there was no determination of the quality of soul, because the choice of a different life inevitably determined a different character. But all other things were commingled with one another and with wealth and poverty and sickness and health and the intermediate conditions. —And there, dear Glaucon, it appears, is the supreme hazard for a man.


Tartarus

“And this is the chief reason why it should be our main concern that each of us, neglecting all other studies, should seek after and study this thing —if in any way he may be able to learn of and discover the man who will give him the ability and the knowledge to distinguish the life that is good from that which is bad, and always and everywhere to choose the best that the conditions allow, and, taking into account all the things of which we have spoken and estimating the effect on the goodness of his life of their conjunction or their severance, to know how beauty commingled with poverty or wealth and combined with what habit of soul operates for good or for evil, and what are the effects of high and low birth and private station and office and strength and weakness and quickness of apprehension and dullness and all similar natural and acquired habits of the soul, when blended and combined with one another, so that with consideration of all these things he will be able to make a reasoned choice between the better and the worse life, with his eyes fixed on the nature of his soul, naming the worse life that which will tend to make it more unjust and the better that which will make it more just. But all other considerations he will dismiss, for we have seen that this is the best choice, both for life and death. And a man must take with him to the house of death an adamantine faith in this, that even there he may be undazzled by riches and similar trumpery, and may not precipitate himself into tyrannies and similar doings and so work many evils past cure and suffer still greater himself, but may know how always to choose in such things the life that is seated in the mean and shun the excess in either direction, both in this world so far as may be and in all the life to come; for this is the greatest happiness for man.

“And at that time also the messenger from that other world reported that the prophet spoke thus: ‘Even for him who comes forward last, if he make his choice wisely and live strenuously, there is reserved an acceptable life, no evil one. Let not the foremost in the choice be heedless nor the last be discouraged.’ When the prophet had thus spoken he said that the drawer of the first lot at once sprang to seize the greatest tyranny, and that in his folly and greed he chose it without sufficient examination, and failed to observe that it involved the fate of eating his own children, and other horrors, and that when he inspected it at leisure he beat his breast and bewailed his choice, not abiding by the forewarning of the prophet. For he did not blame himself for his woes, but fortune and the gods and anything except himself. He was one of those who had come down from heaven, a man who had lived in a well-ordered polity in his former existence, participating in virtue by habit and not by philosophy; and one may perhaps say that a majority of those who were thus caught were of the company that had come from heaven, inasmuch as they were unexercised in suffering. But the most of those who came up from the earth, since they had themselves suffered and seen the sufferings of others, did not make their choice precipitately. For which reason also there was an interchange of good and evil for most of the souls, as well as because of the chances of the lot. Yet if at each return to the life of this world a man loved wisdom sanely, and the lot of his choice did not fall out among the last, we may venture to affirm, from what was reported thence, that not only will he be happy here but that the path of his journey thither and the return to this world will not be underground and rough but smooth and through the heavens. For he said that it was a sight worth seeing to observe how the several souls selected their lives. He said it was a strange, pitiful, and ridiculous spectacle, as the choice was determined for the most part by the habits of their former lives.”

Plato on Tartarus and Traveling Through the Underworld

Plato wrote in “Republic” X, 615-617: “‘For indeed this was one of the dreadful sights we beheld; when we were near the mouth and about to issue forth and all our other sufferings were ended, we suddenly caught sight of him and of others, the most of them, I may say, tyrants. But there were some of private station, of those who had committed great crimes. And when these supposed that at last they were about to go up and out, the mouth would not receive them, but it bellowed when anyone of the incurably wicked or of those who had not completed their punishment tried to come up. And thereupon,’ he said, ‘savage men of fiery aspect who stood by and took note of the voice laid hold on them and bore them away. But Ardiaeus and others they bound hand and foot and head and flung down and flayed them and dragged them by the wayside, carding them on thorns and signifying to those who from time to time passed by for what cause they were borne away, and that they were to be hurled into Tartarus. [Source: Plato. Republic, “Plato in Twelve Volumes,” Vols. 5 & 6 translated by Paul Shorey. Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann Ltd. 1969]

“And then, though many and manifold dread things had befallen them, this fear exceeded all—lest each one should hear the voice when he tried to go up, and each went up most gladly when it had kept silence. And the judgements and penalties were somewhat after this manner, and the blessings were their counterparts. But when seven days had elapsed for each group in the meadow, they were required to rise up on the eighth and journey on, and they came in four days to a spot whence they discerned, extended from above throughout the heaven and the earth, a straight light like a pillar, most nearly resembling the rainbow, but brighter and purer. To this they came after going forward a day's journey, and they saw there at the middle of the light the extremities of its fastenings stretched from heaven; for this light was the girdle of the heavens like the undergirders of triremes, holding together in like manner the entire revolving vault. And from the extremities was stretched the spindle of Necessity, through which all the orbits turned. Its staff and its hook were made of adamant, and the whorl of these and other kinds was commingled.


Doomed souls in the Underworld


“And the nature of the whorl was this: Its shape was that of those in our world, but from his description we must conceive it to be as if in one great whorl, hollow and scooped out, there lay enclosed, right through, another like it but smaller, fitting into it as boxes that fit into one another, and in like manner another, a third, and a fourth, and four others, for there were eight of the whorls in all, lying within one another, showing their rims as circles from above and forming the continuous back of a single whorl about the shaft, which was driven home through the middle of the eighth. Now the first and outmost whorl had the broadest circular rim, that of the sixth was second, and third was that of the fourth, and fourth was that of the eighth, fifth that of the seventh, sixth that of the fifth, seventh that of the third, eighth that of the second; and that of the greatest was spangled, that of the seventh brightest, that of the eighth took its color from the seventh, which shone upon it. The colors of the second and fifth were like one another and more yellow than the two former. The third had the whitest color, and the fourth was of a slightly ruddy hue; the sixth was second in whiteness. The staff turned as a whole in a circle with the same movement, but within the whole as it revolved the seven inner circles revolved gently in the opposite direction to the whole, and of these seven the eighth moved most swiftly, and next and together with one another the seventh, sixth and fifth; and third in swiftness, as it appeared to them, moved the fourth with returns upon itself, and fourth the third and fifth the second.

Plato and Atlantis

Our knowledge of the lost continent of Atlantis is based on what Plato wrote in relatively minor works around 360 B.C. when he was in his 70s. In “Timaeus” and “Critias.” he described Atlantis like it was a real place and said it was a great naval power that sunk into the sea over 10,000 years ago in a catastrophic event. Some say the source of his information was a Greek historian who heard about the continent from an Egyptian priest in 590 B.C. Others say Plato heard about Atlantis from Socrates, who in turn said he was told about it by the Egyptians. The Atlantic Ocean is named after Atlantis.

According to the Egyptian priest the people of Atlantis fought a war with a group of pre-historic Athenians. The Athenians won the war. When the people of Atlantis were driven back to their island a great earthquake enveloped the Mediterranean, leveling Athens and submerging Atlantis.

In Plato's story the Atlantis culture flourished on an island paradise near the Strait of Gibraltar. The city had temples "coated with silver save only the pinnacles and these were coated with gold" and roofs "all of irony in appearance, variegated with gold and silver." There were temples to the Greek gods, one of them with Poseidon and six winged horses in it. According to Plato, Atlantis disappeared in a "single day of earthquakes, floods and rain."

Atlantis: The Facts?


Dr Iain Stewart wrote for the BBC: “So what do we actually know about Atlantis and its demise? The answer is not much. Plato's story comes to us from two short pieces, Tinnaeus and Critias, believed to have been written in the decade or so before his death in 348 B.C. . In these, he presents an apparently true account of an ideal society that existed many millennia before the Classical Greek times in which he was writing. [Source: Dr Iain Stewart, BBC, February 17, 2011. Dr Stewart is a senior lecturer in Geography and Earth Sciences at Brunel University, with research interests in the geology and archaeology of earthquakes in the eastern Mediterranean. He co-edited a Geological Society of London special publication on 'The Archaeology of Geological Catastrophes', and was co-convenor of Brunel University's conference on Holocene Environmental Catastrophes and Recoveries. |::|]

“According to Plato, Atlantis was a great island (larger than Libya and Asia combined) in the Atlantic Ocean, but its control extended beyond the 'Pillars of Heracles' into the Mediterranean as far as Egypt and Tyrrhenia (Italy). Its powerful and remarkable dynasty of kings arose directly from Poseidon, god of sea and of earthquakes, though this divine and heroic lineage gradually became diluted by mixing with mortal stock. |::|

“The resulting degeneration of this noble civilisation led it into a war with its former ally, Athens, and culminated in its cataclysmic destruction, which Plato dates as 9,000 years previously. Of the destruction itself, Plato simply notes, 'Some time later there were earthquakes and floods of extraordinary violence, and in a single dreadful day and night all your life [ie, Athenian] fighting men were swallowed up by the earth, and the island of Atlantis was similarly swallowed up by the sea and vanished'. |::|

“While the bulk of Plato's account of Atlantis details its physical and political layout, its location and the nature of its destruction warrant only a few hundred words. It is a meagre foundation for the weight of subsequent theories and speculations on which the modern controversy is based. |::|

Fascination with Atlantis and Theories About Its Existence

Atlantis continues to inspire the popular imagination in a way that is unrivaled by other archaeological mysteries. Dr Iain Stewart wrote for the BBC: “Quite why a story written 2,500 years ago by the Greek philosopher Plato continues to capture the public imagination is a mystery in itself - a mystery fed by countless books, films, articles, web pages, and” even “a Disney cartoon. It has spawned a rich populist sub-culture (much of it internet-based) which pits the passions and imaginations of committed 'Atlanteans' against the orthodox analysis of the scientific mainstream. [Source: Dr Iain Stewart, BBC, February 17, 2011 |::|]


“Part of the contemporary appeal of the Atlantis story has no doubt been fed by scientists. Historians, archaeologists and geologists have also entered the debate to contest the various literary, historical or geographical elements of the story: including Bernhard Zangger's book “presenting the archaeological case for Troy as the true inspiration for Atlantis’ and the BBC Horizon documentary 'Helike - The Real Atlantis' staking the same claim for the Classical Greek city of Helike. Atlantis. |::|

“Today, the myriad of theories - many of them breathtakingly fantastic ('Atlantis was an exploded planet'!) - ensures that the true nature of Plato's story is as elusive as ever. For those committed Atlanteans that believe Atlantis existed much as Plato described, the possible locations of the lost city are becoming increasingly exotic. Recent candidates lie as far afield as the Caribbean, South America, Antarctica, Ireland and French Polynesia. |::|

“Many theories, however, contend that the Plato's Atlantis refers to the rise and fall of a known ancient civilisation, though one whose age or location differs from that expressed by Plato. Which ancient civilisation, of course, is a matter of vigorous debate. The Minoans of Crete have long been a popular choice, though there are plenty of other suggestions, one of which, Troy, has been given fresh support by Zangger. |::|

Search for Atlantis

Archaeologists debate whether Atlantis really existed and sort out plausible location if it ever actually existed among the many sunken ruins discovered around the world in places such as the Bahamas, the Greek Islands, Cuba, and even Japan. Even without definitive proof,


In a book called “True History “, written in A.D. A.D., the Greek philosopher Lucian describes being pushed over the Atlantic Ocean in a waterspout propelled by the winds of the moon. After breaking up a fight between the Sun-King and the Moon-king over the planet Jupiter he traveled to the moon where he encountered people with artificial genitals, archers riding on fleas and birds with salad wings. In an earlier book called Icaramenippus , Lucian took a wing from an eagle and one from a vulture and flew from Mount Olympus to the moon where he saw the Earth was a sphere."

During the Middle Ages, maps often depicted Atlantis. In recent of centuries explorers, like those searching for Noah's Ark, have gone searching from Atlantis. One of the explorers was the grandson of a man who said he discovered Troy who said he found Atlantis with secret papers left by his grandfather."

Explorers have also searched for Atlantis in reed boats in Bolivia's Lake Poopo. According to Moscow Institute of Metahistory, Atlantis is located 100 miles off the southwest coast of England. The institute based their finding on "energetic readings" of Plato's Republic .

Some scholars speculate that Atlantis was in reality the Minoan culture on Santorini and Crete that was destroyed in part by a Krakatoa-like volcanic eruption around 1,500 B.C. In 2004 professional Atlantis searcher Robert Sarmast found a big pile of amphorae and a three-kilometer-long wall and a deep trench which he said fit Plato's description of the Atlantis acropolis at the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea between Cyprus and Syria and claimed it was Atlantis. He presented pictures of the amphorae and said the walls had been found with sonar scans. Archaeologists were skeptical and said more proof was necessary.

Atlantis as a Metaphor and Literary Device

Dr Iain Stewart wrote for the BBC: “However, the fact that each of these competing theories requires some degree of adjustment (or re-interpretation of Plato's original account) has led many scholars to adopt the view held by many of his contemporaries - that Atlantis is a piece of fiction and is arguably best summed up in the words of the American classical scholar Daniel Dombrowski: “'Atlantis was only a powerful literary device invented by Plato, which was to act as a means of highlighting the fate of the ideal state created in Plato's mind's eye. The only place in which Atlantis can be found, in addition to the writings of Plato, is in the minds of those with an imagination as vivid as that of Plato.' [Source: Dr Iain Stewart, BBC, February 17, 2011 |::|]

“But if it was fictional, to what extent is the story drawn from or coloured by events in Classical Greek history? The story was written during a remarkable golden age of observation and discourse about the natural world. Through the writings of contemporary scholars like Herodotus, Thucydides, Aristotle and Callisthenes, historical seismologists have been able to piece together a picture of earthquakes affecting Greece at this time. That picture reveals that earthquakes struck with a frequency and ferociousness which far exceeds anything modern records have documented in recent centuries. Perhaps more significantly, several of these earthquakes assumed great political and cultural importance.” |::|

Did Earthquakes Inspire the Atlantis Myth


Helike ruins

Dr Iain Stewart wrote for the BBC: “The first earthquake of 'epoch-making importance' struck Sparta in 469-464 B.C. occurring at a time when the balance of power between Sparta and Athens was in a delicate state. It took Sparta by surprise, killing more than 20,000 Spartans and immediately leading to internal and external uprisings by its subject peoples. The result was the so-called 'earthquake war' between the Spartans and their neighbours, during which Sparta's refusal to accept help from Athens resulted in increased hostilities between them. These hostilities festered for decades, culminating in 431 B.C. with the start of the Peloponnesian Wars, a 25-year bloody civil war between Sparta and her allies and Athens and her allies. [Source: Dr Iain Stewart, BBC, February 17, 2011 |::|]

“Shortly after the start of the Peloponnesian War and the third in a series of epidemics that ravaged Athens, the summer of 426 B.C. brought one of the most disastrous earthquakes recorded in the ancient sources. Contemporary reporters tell of widespread building collapse, destruction caused by seismic sea-waves (tsunamis) and thousands of victims. Although its effects were concentrated north of Athens, near modern-day Lamia, there were wider ramifications. A Spartan army camped 100km west of Athens at the Isthmus of Corinth were poised to attack the city, but numerous violent earthquakes forced them to flee home. |::|

“Meanwhile the seismic sea-wave wreaked havoc along much of the coast north of Athens, including an island called Atalante where an Athenian fort and several warships were destroyed. Accounts by later writers such as Diodorus Siculus (first century B.C.) and Strabo (first century AD) actually report that the island of Atalante was created as a consequence of the seismic sea wave. The high death toll, widespread damage and dramatic coastline changes would no doubt have exacerbated the tense situation endured by an Athens besieged by war and epidemics. |::|

“The Peloponnesian Wars formally ended in 404 B.C. though intermittent hostilities continued between Sparta and Athens until a peace treaty in 387 B.C. . But shortly after this another calamitous earthquake event befell the region: in 373 B.C. a violent earthquake, accompanied by a seismic sea wave, destroyed Helike and Bura, two cities situated on the southern shores of the Gulf of Corinth, roughly 150 km west of Athens. |::|

“Other hallmarks can be found in the accounts of the two great earthquakes that preceded it, however. With the great Spartan earthquake of 464 B.C. that ushered in the frenetic wars between Sparta and Athens, and the seismic sea-wave that ripped apart Atalante island in 426 B.C. under the shadow of these warring superpowers, most of the ingredients for Plato's obliteration of Atlantis are there.” |::|

Destruction of Helike: Source of the Atlantis Myth?

Dr Iain Stewart wrote for the BBC: “At the time of its destruction, Helike was the flourishing capital of the Achaean League, a confederation of city states, and revered throughout the ancient world as the cult centre for worship of Poseidon. The sacred grove of Poseidon was second only to the oracle at nearby Delphi in terms of sanctuary sites at that time, and in promoting a spirit of harmonious co-existence and collaboration with neighbouring states, Helike ensured that it largely remained uninvolved in the turbulent political upheaval around it. This state of political and social harmony, and the healthy economic growth that it encouraged, ended one winter's night in 373 B.C. . [Source: Dr Iain Stewart, BBC, February 17, 2011 |::|]

“Numerous contemporary and later sources provide dramatic testimony to what happened to Helike and Bura that night. The Greek writer Pausanius, visiting the site of the devastation almost 500 years later, recounted how, 'An earthquake struck the country and destroyed every single building, until the very foundations of the city were lost for all time.'


One view of the earthquake that submerged Atlantis


“The accompanying seismic sea-wave '...flooded in far over the land and overwhelmed the city and its surroundings, and the swell of the sea so covered the sacred grove of Poseidon that nothing could be seen but the tops of the trees. A sudden tremor was sent by the god, and with the earthquake the sea ran back, dragging down Helike into the receding waters with every living person.'

“After the disaster, whatever was left of Helike's land was divided amongst its neighbours. The nearby city of Aegion assumed control of the Achaean League, and Helike went into political obscurity. A tradition sprang up amongst its Achaean neighbours that Helike had been punished by Poseidon for defiling the sanctuary, though it was perhaps more its unrivalled supremacy amongst the other city states that sealed its ultimate downfall. |::|

“Nevertheless, its removal from the political scene was mirrored by the physical removal of the city, believed by most ancient writers to now lie deep below the waters of the Corinthian gulf. Travellers like Strabo and Pausanius, searching out the city several centuries later, were shown only a few sunken ruins and accounts of a submerged bronze statue of Poseidon that snagged the nets of local fishermen.” |::|

“The destructive force and the vicinity of the great cultural centres of the Greek world, undoubtedly made the earthquake at Helike a momentous scientific event. It led to Aristotle formulating his theory that earthquakes and accompanying seismic sea-waves were the physical product of contrary meteorological conditions rather than supernatural actions, a theory subsequently accepted for more than 1,800 years. It must have also made had a major impact on Aristotle's contemporary, Plato - born around 427 B.C. and in his mid 50s when Helike was lost. The destruction in a single night of the revered city of Poseidon by an earthquake and seismic sea-wave and its disappearance into the sea bear the main hallmarks of Atlantis's sudden demise. |::|

Image Sources: Wikimedia Commons

Text Sources: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy /plato.stanford.edu, Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy iep.utm.edu; Internet Ancient History Sourcebook: Greece sourcebooks.fordham.edu ; Internet Ancient History Sourcebook: Hellenistic World sourcebooks.fordham.edu ; BBC Ancient Greeks bbc.co.uk/history/ ; Canadian Museum of History historymuseum.ca ; Perseus Project - Tufts University; perseus.tufts.edu ; MIT, Online Library of Liberty, oll.libertyfund.org ; Gutenberg.org gutenberg.org Metropolitan Museum of Art, National Geographic, Smithsonian magazine, New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Live Science, Discover magazine, Times of London, Natural History magazine, Archaeology magazine, The New Yorker, Encyclopædia Britannica, "The Discoverers" [∞] and "The Creators" [μ]" by Daniel Boorstin. "Greek and Roman Life" by Ian Jenkins from the British Museum.Time, Newsweek, Wikipedia, Reuters, Associated Press, The Guardian, AFP, Lonely Planet Guides, World Religions edited by Geoffrey Parrinder (Facts on File Publications, New York); History of Warfare by John Keegan (Vintage Books); History of Art by H.W. Janson Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, N.J.), Compton’s Encyclopedia and various books and other publications.

Last updated October 2018

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