Atlantis: A Lesson That's Twisted or Could It Have Existed?

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Fantasy is a tough sell in the twenty-first century. The world has been completely discovered and fully charted. Popular media has effectively minimized the legend and fantastic rumor, and advances in science continue to disprove many ancient myths. Satellites have mapped and studied the earth, leaving only a space frontier that is yet unreachable. But standing out is a charming fantasy the modern world has yet to verify or condemn: the Lost Continent of Atlantis. Plato gave the world its oldest remaining written account of Atlantis, which he had learned from traveling Egyptians (Mythweb.com), and recorded in his works Timeus and Critias ("Atlantis, Again"). Plato's story explained that Poseidon, god of the sea, created the Island, and eventually passed it on to the five sets of male twins that he had sired. He appointed the eldest of these sons, Atlas the Titan, ruler of the domain, but each of his sons inherited a tenth of the island as his kingdom ("The Lost Continent of Atlantis"). However, it is noted by Plato that the gods who create something so grand also have the power to destroy it, which in the case of Atlantis became a reality when its inhabitants were found to be greedy and dishonest. Plato marks the location of Atlantis in his statement that it was "situated in front of the straits which are by you called the Pillars of Hercules" ("Timeus, Page 2"). It therefore had contact with other cultures in the vicinity: Greece, Egypt, and Athens, as well as access to the Atlantic Ocean for trade endeavors ("Timeus, Page 2"). Atlantis was shaped in rings, alternating between land and water (Frimmer 131), and "the island was supposedly larger than Libya and As... ... middle of paper ... ... atlantis.html>. "Atlantis, Again." 3 November 2002. <http://ancienthistory.about.com/library/ bl/ucaulus_1.htm?terms=Atlantis>. Braymer, Marjorie. Atlantis, The Biography of a Legend. New York, New York: Atheneum, 1983. Frimmer, Steven. Neverland. New York, New York: The Viking Press, 1976. Lang, Sally. Interview. 17 November 2002. "Oldest North American Mummy." 3 November 2002. <http://www.archaeology .org/9609/newsbriefs/nevada.html>. "The Lost Continent of Atlantis." 3 November 2002.<http://unmuseum.mus .pa.us/atlantis.htm>. "Timeus, Page 2." 3 November 2002. <http://www.activemind.com/Mysterious /Topics/Atlantis/timeus_page2.html>. "Who Were the First Americans?" 3 November 2002. <http://www.gpc.edu/ ~rcarrie/cphumanevol.htm>.

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