Reading this it is clear that you have not understood Gomperz. Gomperz did not say that Athens is 10000 years old, but Gomperz said, that Plato said this and believed this! Note the difference! This is not the same. Because with this it is irrelevant which opinion on the age of Athens you have, it is even irrelevant how old Athens really is. It's only about the believes of Plato, right or wrong is not important. For Athens we know that Plato was wrong not only in date but also in facts. But Plato: He believed it. As he did with Atlantis! And this means: Atlantis could be a wrong composition like Plato's primeval Athens, but it could also be real!
You surely noticed that Gomperz contradicts himself to a certain extent, using the word "fiction", but then opening the question on which traditions Plato relied, and to which extent he relied on them. You cannot cite Gomperz to call Atlantis a "pure fiction", this would be a mis-citation. In the end Gomperz simply does not know it, and he confesses this implicitly. You cannot bend Gomperz to be pro or contra a real Atlantis.
The question of reality depends on the extent Plato relied on (distorted) traditions. As we can see with Plato's primeval Athens, it could be unreal, but if Plato relied on a compact Egyptian tradition it could be real. It's an open question, and that is all I wanted to show.
"science": This is an intercultural misunderstanding. In German Classical Studies are considered as science, too, as it was in the Anglo-Saxon world in former times as I read on Wikipedia, but today the meaning of "science" narrowed down to "natural science" in the Anglo-Saxon world. Please help me: How do you call a Classicist, then, if you want to express that he is a "scientist" using scientific means and standards like "historical criticism", without using the word "scientist"?
Edited by Proclus, 07 January 2013 - 01:33 PM.