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Proclus

Prof. Theodor Gomperz: Atlantis could be real

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I don't believe that Plato thought Atlantis was a real place. What I do believe is that Plato drew on 4 or 5 real life places to build his example city for his Dialogs. Santorini/Thera, Cadiz in Spain, several cities that sank due to earthquakes.... all add up to equal Atlantis.

Just like in the comic books Superman lives in Metropolis, yet no real Metropolis exists, but no one has a problem identifying the fictional city as New York.

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I don't believe that Plato thought Atlantis was a real place. What I do believe is that Plato drew on 4 or 5 real life places to build his example city for his Dialogs. Santorini/Thera, Cadiz in Spain, several cities that sank due to earthquakes.... all add up to equal Atlantis.

Just like in the comic books Superman lives in Metropolis, yet no real Metropolis exists, but no one has a problem identifying the fictional city as New York.

That's a possibility, thank you. Prof. Massimo Pallottino (maybe I will translate an article on him into English, soon) started with the very same method as Brandenstein (inspired by him) but came to a similar result you present here - with one exception: That Plato did not realize that his sources talked of different places. So according to Pallottino, Plato believed Atlantis to be real, but it wasn't.

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Posted (edited)

Let's leave it to everybody to read the wikipedia article on Gomperz:

http://en.wikipedia....Theodor_Gomperz

Well ... you do a lot to shroud the important thing: That Plato himself believed that his account had a historical kernel. Gomperz concludes this from an analysis of Plato's work and the historical context of it. This is the crucial point. Not this "material science" stuff ("archaeological, geological, genetic, and environmental research").

This then is the root for the question: Which tradition was it, on which Plato based his story? This is the question you carefully avoid with your "material science" talk.

Exactly this is not the case.

It's maybe the realm of error, but surely not the realm of pure fantasy.

_

Traces of the 'traditions' Plato thought about can be found in his other works, this part very much like Atlantis, from The Laws, Book III

Ath. Do you believe that there is any truth in ancient traditions?

Cle. What traditions?

Ath. The traditions about the many destructions of mankind which have been occasioned by deluges and pestilences, and in many other ways, and of the survival of a remnant?

Cle. Every one is disposed to believe them.

Ath. Let us consider one of them, that which was caused by the famous deluge.

Cle. What are we to observe about it?

Ath. I mean to say that those who then escaped would only be hill shepherds-small sparks of the human race preserved on the tops of mountains.

Cle. Clearly.

Ath. Such survivors would necessarily be unacquainted with the arts and the various devices which are suggested to the dwellers in cities by interest or ambition, and with all the wrongs which they contrive against one another.

Cle. Very true.

Ath. Let us suppose, then, that the cities in the plain and on the sea-coast were utterly destroyed at that time.

Cle. Very good.

Ath. Would not all implements have then perished and every other excellent invention of political or any other sort of wisdom have utterly disappeared?

http://classics.mit....laws.3.iii.html

I believe this next part is a clue to what his ideas are on laws and his Atlantis dialogues - Dardania is a 3rd form of government, after 2 previous deluges - so the deluge of Atlantis is a 1st form of government, is how I'd interpret it.

Yes, that would be the natural order of things.

Ath. Then, now let us speak of a third form of government, in which all other forms and conditions of polities and cities concur.

Cle. What is that?

Ath. The form which in fact Homer indicates as following the second. This third form arose when, as he says, Dardanus founded Dardania:

For not as yet had the holy Ilium been built on the plain to be a city of speaking men; but they were still dwelling at the foot of many-fountained Ida. For indeed, in these verses, and in what he said of the Cyclopes, he speaks the words of God and nature; for poets are a divine race and often in their strains, by the aid of the Muses and the Graces, they attain truth.

Edited by The Puzzler
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Posted (edited)

Traces of the 'traditions' Plato thought about can be found in his other works, this part very much like Atlantis, from The Laws, Book III

Ath. Do you believe that there is any truth in ancient traditions?

Cle. What traditions?

Ath. The traditions about the many destructions of mankind which have been occasioned by deluges and pestilences, and in many other ways, and of the survival of a remnant?

Cle. Every one is disposed to believe them.

Ath. Let us consider one of them, that which was caused by the famous deluge.

Cle. What are we to observe about it?

Ath. I mean to say that those who then escaped would only be hill shepherds-small sparks of the human race preserved on the tops of mountains.

Cle. Clearly.

Ath. Such survivors would necessarily be unacquainted with the arts and the various devices which are suggested to the dwellers in cities by interest or ambition, and with all the wrongs which they contrive against one another.

Cle. Very true.

Ath. Let us suppose, then, that the cities in the plain and on the sea-coast were utterly destroyed at that time.

Cle. Very good.

Ath. Would not all implements have then perished and every other excellent invention of political or any other sort of wisdom have utterly disappeared?

http://classics.mit....laws.3.iii.html

Very good point. Scientists (am I allowed to call them scientists? "Academicians"?) talk of serious Platonic Philosophy of cyclic history in case of the 10000 years in the Laws, but they talk of invention and deception in case of the 9000 years of the Atlantis story - although it is quite the same theory. This proofs nothing, except that prevailing ideas of science on Plato's Atlantis (that it is just an invention) may be wrong and asking questions is allowed.

Whereas bold screaming "that it is easy to see that it is fiction" is simply primitive. No, it is not easy to see. Not at all. That's why professors like Wilhelm Brandenstein came to different conclusions.

http://www.atlantis-scout.de/atlantis_brandenstein_engl.htm

_

Edited by Proclus

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Posted (edited)

If the flood of Dardanus is the 3rd flood and form of government, Dardania (Troy), the 2nd is possiblythe eruption of Thera, - the 1st form of Government probably arose in Atlantis and is what Plato is really trying to convey, imo.

Sounding like the Athenians...

How would that be?

Ath. In the first place, the desolation of these primitive men would create in them a feeling of affection and good-will towards one another; and, secondly, they would have no occasion to quarrel about their subsistence, for they would have pasture in abundance, except just at first, and in some particular cases; and from their pasture-land they would obtain the greater part of their food in a primitive age, having plenty of milk and flesh; moreover they would procure other food by the chase, not to be despised either in quantity or quality. They would also have abundance of clothing, and bedding, and dwellings, and utensils either capable of standing on the fire or not; for the plastic and weaving arts do not require any use of iron: and God has given these two arts to man in order to provide him with all such things, that, when reduced to the last extremity, the human race may still grow and increase. Hence in those days mankind were not very poor; nor was poverty a cause of difference among them; and rich they could not have been, having neither gold nor silver:-such at that time was their condition. And the community which has neither poverty nor riches will always have the noblest principles; in it there is no insolence or injustice, nor, again, are there any contentions or envyings. And therefore they were good, and also because they were what is called simple-minded; and when they were told about good and evil, they in their simplicity believed what they heard to be very truth and practised it. No one had the wit to suspect another of a falsehood, as men do now; but what they heard about Gods and men they believed to be true, and lived accordingly; and therefore they were in all respects such as we have described them.

Cle. That quite accords with my views, and with those of my friend here.

Ath. Would not many generations living on in a simple manner, although ruder, perhaps, and more ignorant of the arts generally, and in particular of those of land or naval warfare, and likewise of other arts, termed in cities legal practices and party conflicts, and including all conceivable ways of hurting one another in word and deed;-although inferior to those who lived before the deluge, or to the men of our day in these respects, would they not, I say, be simpler and more manly, and also more temperate and altogether more just? The reason has been already explained.

Cle. Very true.

Ath. I should wish you to understand that what has preceded and what is about to follow, has been, and will be said, with the intention of explaining what need the men of that time had of laws, and who was their lawgiver.

Edited by The Puzzler
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Classics and Philology is a science, at least in German speaking countries. Maybe Anglo-Saxons consider it to be hocus-pocus? Why then professors teaching this hocus-pocus at universities? A definition of science which excludes most important parts of research only because you can't "measure" or "calculate" things sucks. Call it whatever you want, important is: It is rational and reasonable. Not just "opinions" - how crazy is this? You don't like the humanities, don't you?!

As I pointed out above, scientists use regular, defined methodology (see below) because they deal with testable, repeatable facts. People who study the humanities, including historians and philologists, do not deal with testable, repeatable facts. They deal with human beings and their works and deeds, which are not logical, rational, repeatable or testable. They cannot be measured and calculated. They are not quantatative, so they are not science, and the scientific method is not particularly useful for them in gaining or assessing information.

That does not mean such studies are not rational or reasonable, however, nor did I at any point suggest it was. Nor did I suggest it was hocus-pocus.

Nor did I in any way suggest I do not like the humanities. In point of fact, I am a student and teacher of the humanities. (As a result of which, perhaps, comes my readiness to define and defend what they are and are not to people who are unclear on that fact.) I just want to point out here your process -- you are making an unsubstantiated claim based on incomplete evidence. This is neither good science nor humanities criticism.

I suppose this issue might be a quirk of the German language; maybe German Classicists /do/ call themselves scientists. But I've never seen Aby Warburg or or Fritz Saxl or Hermann Diel refer to themselves as /scientists/ before. None of the German-speaking researchers or writers I know (but I don't claim to have that wide a circle of German acquaintance) call themselves scientists. Certainly, none of my English-speaking colleagues do so.

An intolerant prejudice. You surely know the academic discussions on Platonic Myths and that they could contain a core of truth, sometimes? Or don't you? Could it be that you have no clue about what you are talking?

It's niether intolerent nor prejudiced. It's a verifiable statement made by first-hand observation of a field I can claim reasonable familiarity with. If I said most historians are humans, would that be an intolerent prejudice, too*? I defy you to come up with one respected, peer-reviewed publication in any of the humanities to suggest the literal existence of Atlantis as it appears in Plato's Republic.

I would argue that it is clear that the Republic Plato discusses in that eponymous work is clearly ficitional. I'm not aware of the any poets actually being thrown out en masse from Athens at the very least. It is used a metaphor, as is Atlantis, which is presented as the anti-Republic. It may well be based on the distorted reflections of a real place, but using exactly your logic, because London is a real place used in the Harry Potter books, then everything in those novels is equally real. And that's ridiculous on its face. You're certainly not providing any sort of framework to separate that which is fictional from that which is real, so you're not making any sort of useful statement about the reality of Atlantis.

As for your suggestion I don't know what I'm talking about? Again, you're making an unwarranted assumption based on faulty or completely inextant information. That makes twice in one post.

Hopefully you are aware that Atlantis research is a very patient science, information from 65 years ago can be very helpful. Therefore academic articles of this time are still cited in current scientific literature - ah, you are surely aware of this. And "fact-mining" is the very beginning of every science. How can anyone state anything on Atlantis without "fact-mining"? Do you have a problem with "fact-mining"?

Again, in the first place, I'm not aware of any formal, rigorous, profession study of Atlantis at all. In the second place, old academic articles may be used to prove or illustrate old information or old sources in current academic research, but they do not take the place of discussing current academic information and research and are not used in place of such information or research. They are only used in places where they would take the place is instances where there is no current academic research. Like Atlantis. Why is there no current information or research? Because no serious academic is doing that research or writing.

And, in point of fact, fact-mining is not the beginning of scientific research. Observation is. It's a well known process, even to non-scientists like me. First observation, then theorization to explain that observatin, then repeatable, controlled experimentation to confirm or disprove the original theory. Fact-mining does not enter into it. You are mistaken that fact-mining comes into science.

You might have been better off suggesting fact-mining as a part of humanities research. It's not called fact-mining, though, it's called "research". And research is done to amass background knowledge of a subject. The results of that research lead to a formation of a thesis, but the thesis is always a product of the research and never vice-versa. Your 'fact-mining' is the opposite of this process: the attempt to find acontextual data to support a thesis that has already been created. It is the opposite humanities research. So, yes, I do have a problem with it.

Fact-mining is neither an established part of scientific or humanities research: this part of your post shows a faulty conclusion reached by using faulty data.

Surely you realize that your argument is nonsense because Brandenstein is far from the "canals on Mars" level and everybody knows without me talking about it that there is opposition.

Why, exactly, is my argument "non-sense"? I urge to actually make an argument rather than just dismissing because it's inconvenient to you.

Would you please be so kind to put on your friendly face? Again I did not want to claim anything special but just wanted to give this forum's readers the opportunity to read something they do not read every day. Is this forbidden, here? Hopefully not.

Hey, quit trying to put incorrect and insulting words in my mouth or trying to say I believe things without the slightest basis for it, and I'll stop picking apart your logic.

You do understand this is a /discussion/ board, right? As in we discuss things here. We debate them. If you want to publish something without hearing any contrary opinions, you can use the blog function available through this site. You can post whatever you want and moderate the comments directly, so you need never her any dissenting viewpoints and let your appreciation of your own genius never go unchallenged.

Ha, you even didn't realize that the provided article on Brandenstein contains criticism on Brandenstein's thesis *laugh*

You just hacked into your keyboard without thinking: that's your "science", am I right?

I never read the article. I never claimed to. My concern was the way you used the article and (latterly) the claims you made about what I knew and believed, and which I have addressed here. As I have made clear, I am no scientist not have any desire to be.

As concerns your own methodology, it appears based on several instances, to be unwarranted speculation based on bad or incomplete evidence. That hardly inspires confidence either in what you say directly or the information you chose to present.

--Jaylemurph

*My dog, Guyon, digs up old things that smell interesting to him and then sniffs them, so he does both investigation, research and evaluation. That makes him at least as thorough as a lot of undergraduates, so I think he does qualify as an historian.

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@jaylemurph:

> Hey, quit trying to put incorrect and insulting words in my mouth

> You do understand this is a /discussion/ board, right? As in we discuss things here. We debate them.

> I never read the article. I never claimed to.

> Again, in the first place, I'm not aware of any formal, rigorous, profession study of Atlantis at all.

I have nothing to add :-)

I suggest to end this "debate" here.

_

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Posted (edited)

I suggest to end this "debate" here.

You announced that a couple of times already, Proclus....

.

Edited by Abramelin

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Posted (edited)

Jaylemurph, I must say I did like your post, the way you very clearly explained your point of view,

You say philology is not real science because it is not based on 'hard facts'. That is why it is called a 'soft science', btw.

But as far as I understand it, it IS (also) based on logic and not on fantasy or on reasoning to come to a preferred conclusion.

.

Edited by Abramelin

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Posted (edited)

Jaylemurph, I must say I did like your post, the way you very clearly explained your point of view,

You say philology is not real science because it is not based on 'hard facts'. That is why it is called a 'soft science', btw.

But as far as I understand it, it IS (also) based on logic and not on fantasy or on reasoning to come to a preferred conclusion.

.

I'm certainly not suggesting philology is not rigorous, reasoned study. However, it is ultimately based on words created by people -- logic and reason may well act as an excellent guide, but in the end, it cannot be an absolute in the way it is in hard sciences.

It's interesting; philology is not really a current term in American studies (although several decades ago, it was). While its principles still are very much in use, it's more or less been subsumed under the aegis of other, more specialized fields -- Classics Studies, mainly, Linguistics, English studies or Cultural Studies. There used to be several academic journals dedicated to the field, only one of which, the American Journal of Philology, is still published. For me, it always has the fussy air of the 19th Century to it.

--Jaylemurph

Edited by jaylemurph
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The easiest thing to do is stop Posting. Then the thread will die a natural death... :innocent:

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What most forget it was greek poem by Solon, based on a Egyptain tale. Atlantis was most likey about Crete and Thera.

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Posted (edited)

Geus.dk.jpg

and there was an island situated in front of the straits which are by you called the Pillars of Heracles; the island was and from these you might pass to the whole of the opposite continent which surrounded the true ocean; for this sea which is within the Straits of Heracles is only a harbour, having a narrow entrance, but that other is continent. Now in this island of Atlantis there was a great and wonderful empire which had rule over the whole island and several others, and over parts of the continent, and, furthermore, the men of Atlantis had subjected of Europe as far as Tyrrhenia.
But afterwards there occurred violent earthquakes and floods; and in a single day and night of misfortune all your warlike men in a body sank into the earth, the sea. For which reason the sea in those parts is impassable and impenetrable, because there is a shoal of mud in the way; and this was caused by the subsidence of the island.

http://classics.mit.edu/Plato/timaeus.html

Edited by Mario Dantas

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What most forget it was greek poem by Solon, based on a Egyptain tale. Atlantis was most likey about Crete and Thera.

What some willingly ignore is that there is no evidence that there ever was an Egyptian tale on which to base a poem about.

cormac

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I don't believe that Plato thought Atlantis was a real place. What I do believe is that Plato drew on 4 or 5 real life places to build his example city for his Dialogs. Santorini/Thera, Cadiz in Spain, several cities that sank due to earthquakes.... all add up to equal Atlantis.

Just like in the comic books Superman lives in Metropolis, yet no real Metropolis exists, but no one has a problem identifying the fictional city as New York.

Metropolis is Chicago. Gotham is New York.

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Atlantis%2520Iberia.jpg

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Metropolis is Chicago. Gotham is New York.

Nah... Metropolis is New York. The Statue of Liberty is in Manhattan Bay, after all. I can't remember who said it, but Metropolis is basically Midtown on a sunny Spring afternoon and Gotham City is Hell's Kitchen on a rainy January night.

--Jaylemurph

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Posted (edited)

Metropolis is Chicago. Gotham is New York.

Hm, and what about Brandenstein's thesis that such historicizing novels developed only later and nobody would have understood a Gotham-like construction in Plato's time? And, please, do not forget: Brandenstein is an expert in the field.

http://www.atlantis_...nstein_engl.htm

_

Edited by Proclus

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Hm, and what about Brandenstein's thesis that such historicizing novels developed only later and nobody would have understood a Gotham-like construction in Plato's time? And, please, do not forget: Brandenstein is an expert in the field.

http://www.atlantis_...nstein_engl.htm

_

First of all, I think your link is broken, so I can't actually confirm what Brandenstein (allegedly) said or not.

Secondly, Plato was writing well after the the advent of drama. Seeing as how people didn't leave the theatre running for their lives and preparing for war against the Persians after seeing Aeschylus' play of the same name, I think we can safely say the Ancient Greeks were able to understand fiction as fiction -- even historical fiction.

And as I've pointed out before, Brandenstein was an expert a /century/ ago. He's not in any way expressing current opinions or academic consensus in any field.

--Jaylemurph

*Nor did they think Odeipus was really at Thebes, looking for a cure for plague when they saw Oedipus Rex.

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Posted (edited)

First of all, I think your link is broken, so I can't actually confirm what Brandenstein (allegedly) said or not.

Secondly, Plato was writing well after the the advent of drama. Seeing as how people didn't leave the theatre running for their lives and preparing for war against the Persians after seeing Aeschylus' play of the same name, I think we can safely say the Ancient Greeks were able to understand fiction as fiction -- even historical fiction.

And as I've pointed out before, Brandenstein was an expert a /century/ ago. He's not in any way expressing current opinions or academic consensus in any field.

--Jaylemurph

*Nor did they think Odeipus was really at Thebes, looking for a cure for plague when they saw Oedipus Rex.

You haven't got the point.

Did the Athenians accept that the plays presented invented history as history? I don't think so.

Either real history presented as such, or myth and invention presented as such.

But not the confusion of both.

http://www.atlantis-...nstein_engl.htm

Forget your "century ago" and "academic consensus", as arguments this is worth not a penny, besides the fact that it is wrong.

But you stopped insulting me, how great is this?

_

Edited by Proclus

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You haven't got the point.

Did the Athenians accept that the plays presented invented history as history? I don't think so.

All right, then. /Prove/ it. I mean, my suggestion that they weren't running out of theatres is (I think, anyway) moderately persuasive, but was clearly not meant as a serious argument. I -- nor anyone else -- can prove a negative. I can't prove they *didn't* think something. You, however, are in a position to use evidence to prove a positive, to prove what they did think. So go on. Unilateral statments about what people believe or don't believe tend to be difficult, which is why I shied away from it, but since you're the one doing so, the onus is on you.

First of all, thank you for providing a functional link.

However, what you provide on that site is /not/ the opinion or the text of Brandenstein. It's a write-up by someone else that does not include his actual text. For all we know, it has nothing whatsoever to do with anything Bradenstein says. It is at best disingenuous of you to suggest you are directly providing his ideas and at worst an active distortion of what he wrote to agree with your theories. It is not in any position to tell us what Bradenstein did or did not say. It in no way confirms his opinions are what you say they are.

I suggest, in the spirit of clarity, that if you purport to communicate what Bradenstein is writing, you provide specific bibliographic reference, so we sidestep this issue altogether.

Forget your "century ago" and "academic consensus", as arguments this is worth not a penny, besides the fact that it is wrong.

Why exactly is it not worth a penny, other than you disagree with it? You've never actually made a specific argument or reacted to any of the ones I've given. How exactly is it wrong?

But you stopped insulting me, how great is this?

Hearing things you don't like or don't want to hear or being held accountable for the claims you make isn't being insulted.

--Jaylemurph

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Really, I am fed up with this, now. It seems that you even do not realize your impertinence.

_

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Really, I am fed up with this, now. It seems that you even do not realize your impertinence.

_

I'm sorry. I hadn't realize you had ascended to the august point where you neither could be questioned nor needed to defend your arguments.

--Jaylemurph

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What some willingly ignore is that there is no evidence that there ever was an Egyptian tale on which to base a poem about.

cormac

Not to mention that there exists no evidence whatsoever that Solon ever wrote, or contemplated writing, such a poem.

Harte

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There is a record of a storm that destroyed Egypt, around 1550bc. Perhaps the eruption of Threa.Which also relates to the Cecrops dynasties of the 1500 `s hundreds bc, the kings of Athens, that were said to have been in the Atlantis`s war.

The Tempest Stele (alt. Storm Stele) was erected by Ahmose I early in the eighteenth dynasty of Egypt, circa 1550 BCE. The stele describes a great storm striking Egypt during this time, destroying tombs, temples and pyramids in the Theban region and the work of restoration ordered by the king.[

http://en.wikipedia....i/Tempest_Stele

Plato

This I infer because Solon said that the priests in their narrative of that war mentioned most of the names which are recorded prior to the time of Theseus, such as Cecrops, and Erechtheus, and Erichthonius, and Erysichthon,

http://www.forumanci...Chronology.html

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