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granpa

the myth of Atlantis in context

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Harte

Solon visited Egypt. This is problematic to any skeptic.

That Solon probably visited Egypt is not problematic to anyone that knows anything about Ancient Greece.

Secondly, Solon himself vouched for a "true" Atlantis. Again, this is another blow for the skeptics.

Of course it's a problem to skeptics. After all, we have no evidence that Solon said any such thing.

We know Plato did. Very little of Solon's writings remain for use to peruse today and none of those mention any epic poem about a lost ancient civilization.

Solon was one of the Seven Wise Men of Greece and Plato describes him as wise and trustworthy. Yet according to the skeptics we are to believe Solon was a liar.

Your ignorance is on display here, as (again) there exist no writings by Solon that say anything at all about anything even remotely similar to Plato's Atlantis allegory.

IMO as far as historical source criticism goes, the skeptic position is actually irrational.

Given that you've just shown us that you have no knowledge whatsoever concerning Solon and his works, your opinion regarding Solon as an "historical source" is worthless.

Harte

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Atlantisresearch

That Solon probably visited Egypt is not problematic to anyone that knows anything about Ancient Greece.

It is known almost for certain he traveled there based on a poem he wrote (a line is preserved in Plutarch's Life of Solon).

Of course it's a problem to skeptics. After all, we have no evidence that Solon said any such thing.

If the conversations found in Plato never took place (this is part of the Socratic problem) it does not follow what is described is fiction. Indeed, a popular view among classicists is that some of the dialogue characters express Plato's own views. You cannot use this as an argument against a historical Atlantis.

We know Plato did. Very little of Solon's writings remain for use to peruse today and none of those mention any epic poem about a lost ancient civilization.

Your ignorance is on display here, as (again) there exist no writings by Solon that say anything at all about anything even remotely similar to Plato's Atlantis allegory.

The point I made you completely ignored. Solon was one of the Wise Men of Greece, considered to be wise, trustworthy and an authoritative source (even Plato describes him as such). Yet your skeptic position is saying Plato lied about Solon's views: while Solon vouches for Atlantis being "true" you are saying this wasn't his position because the conversation never took place. Perhaps you failed to address this because you realize it makes your stance look irrational.

Given that you've just shown us that you have no knowledge whatsoever concerning Solon and his works, your opinion regarding Solon as an "historical source" is worthless.

Harte

lol. Says the guy who cherry-picks quotes from Timaeus to fit his pre-conceived idea.

Edited by OliverDSmith

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nico_k

Plato has given us a description that has been manipulated to start with - if Plato knows the story outside of the dialogue he may know it from a similar source he uses, such as Apaturia. He would have to know the story and know it came from Solon - outside the context of the dialogues.

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110314-science-rings-1031p.grid-5x2.jpg

A computer graphic shows the concentric rings that may have existed during Atlantis' ancient heyday. Scientists have seen evidence of such submerged structures beneath the vast marshlands of southern Spain's Dona Ana Park.

http://www.nbcnews.c...n/#.Uu98bMLxuM8

The people of Western Europe had a thriving maritime trading community all along the seaboard and inland, the area is abundant with precious minerals, it looks like an island of great size and isn't mentioned as part of Libya and Asia combined. It's in the vicinity of where Plato has it. It's in an earthquake zone.

The people may have spanned the strait and consisted of parts of North Africa also.

"Mr Villarías-Robles [a top anthropologist with the Spanish government's scientific research body, CSIC, who was part of a team investigating ancient geomorphology and settlements in Donaña] says the concentric circles the German identified were never found and other circles had either been formed naturally or by man in much later times, probably in the Middle Ages, from when the rectangles are also dated. Nor, he said, are there any "memorial cities" in central Spain.

But the exciting find his team plan to detail is that of "a geological anomaly" between 2,500 and 2,000 BC when "a high energy event" devastated the Donaña coastal area thrusting pottery shards and bones inland. These have been dated as coming from the third millennium BC and indicate there was a settlement there far earlier than at first believed.

"It might have been a tsunami, further analysis is required," admits the Spanish scientist, "It was 2,000 years before more settlements were built. But you cannot say Atlantis was there, we don't go in for farfetched interpretations."

Then Villarias Robles himself wrote:

I am an anthropologist and historian working for Spain's High Council for Scientific Research (CSIC) and am a Ph. D. candidate in Social & Cultural Anthropology for The University of Chicago. I represent a team of Spanish scientists who since 2005 have done research in Spain's Donnana National Park and elsewhere in testing the most obvious material implications of Werner Wickboldt's (Braunschweiger Zeitung, 10 January and 19 February, 2003) and Rainer Kuehne's (Antiquity, June 2004) complex hypothesis regarding Atlantis and the pre-Roman kingdom of Tartessus. Members of the team are, besides myself: Sebastian Celestino (CSIC, archaeologist), Antonio Rodriguez-Ramirez (University of Huelva, geologist), Angel Leon (FUHEM Foundation, historian and aircraft pilot), Enrique Cerrillo (CSIC, archaeologist), Jose Antonio Lopez-Saez (CSIC, biologist), Victorino Mayoral (CSIC, archaeologist), Tomas Cordero (CSIC, archaeologist), and José Angel Martinez (CSIC, cartographer and aerial photography analyst).

Early in 2009, four years after it started, UofH Professor Richard Freund became interested in our project (coded name, "The Hinojos Project"), came to visit us and offered his collaboration with a number of geophysical tests that we had planned but could not afford at the time. Such tests, relatively fast to do but very expensive, were to be carried out by a major engineering consulting firm in Canada, Worley Parsons. Funding was to be provided by an internationally renown filming company for scientific documentaries, Associated Producers, in return for the production of a documentary on the controversial subject of Atlantis to be purchased and broadcast by the U. S. National Geographic Society.

Because of our common scientific interests, and out of congenial fellowship among colleagues, we agreed to the proposed collaboration. The tests were carried out in September, 2009. Professor Freund's presence at the site (the marshlands of Hinojos within Donnana National Park), together with cartographer Phil Reader and the Worley Parsons team, plus the Associated Producers crew, amounted to less than a week. These tests were part of a larger, longer investigation that comprehended other tests: photographic documentation and analysis; core-drilling of the soil; pollen, lithic and fauna analysis of the cores obtained; archaeological survey of the area and probing of previously selected features; and searching of the relevant ancient texts and scholarly literature.

The hypothesis advanced by W. Wickboldt in 2003, and elaborated by R. Kühne in 2004, that Plato's story of Atlantis might be a poetic or symbolic cover for the historical existence of the kingdom and city of Tartessus, or of an earlier cultural formation in southwestern Iberia, had been seriously argued for long before; e. g., by a number of humanists and scholars of Golden Age Spain such as Juan de Mariana and Jose Pellicer de Ossau in the 16th and 17th centuries. It is also ancient the understanding that the island enclosing the capital of Tartessus or of Atlantis, or both, could have been located somewhere in what is now Donnana National Park or its vicinity. As early as 1634 humanist Rodrigo Caro put forward this argument for the city of Tartessus in his authoritative work Antigüedades y principado de la ilustrísima ciudad de Sevilla. In the 20th century, so have Antonio Blazquez (El periplo de Himilco, Madrid 1909) and Juan Fernández Amador de los Ríos (Atlantida: Estudio arqueologico, historico y geografico, Zaragoza 1925), also from Spain; so have the French Georges E. Bonsor (El coto de Donna Ana, Madrid 1922) and the German Adolf Schulten (Tartessos: Contribucion a la historia antigua de Occidente; Madrid 1924), among others.

In his statements for The Hartford Current, quoted in your article, Professor Freund must be referring to a research project other than ours; a project which only incidentally may concern serious field investigation in Donnana National Park and its vicinity. His work with us there in September, 2009 was part and parcel of "The Hinojos Project," which he did not design nor does he lead.

The Hinojos marshland stays dry from May through October. We selected September for doing the said tests in 2009 partly because of schedule considerations for all parties involved and partly because we wanted the water table to be as low beneath the ground as possible. His sentence "Part of our project is to help [teams already in the field] figure out how to solve the problem that they have" we find patronizing. He again must be referring to a project different from ours. The mentioned "German researchers" (namely W. Wickboldt and R. Kuehne) examined many photographs of 1996 from the IRS satellite, not just one, and eventually identified what seemed to them two rings and two rectangles. The rings were corroborated by our independent images. The two rectangles, however, turned out to be smaller than those they had figured out. We identified six more rectangles, two more rings, two circles and a trapezium-like form. Although most of these forms do look like blueprints of man-made structures, we have reason to believe they cannot date from pre-Roman times. In all likelihood, they date to the Muslim period (AD 711-1250). Part of the reason for this conclusion, ironically enough, comes from the geophysical tests of the subsoil we had planned and Professor Freund obliged by getting in touch with Worley Parsons for the task....

No walls of any kind have been found in the research area in the Park. With regard to the "ritual cities", Professor Freund might be referring to the site of Cancho Roano, in the middle Guadiana river basin, Estremadura, more than 100 miles north of the Park. We took him there, out of courtesy. Cancho Roano is an impressive stand-alone shrine or temple, a rectangular structure surrounded by what appears to be a ceremonial moat. The entire site occupies a surface about 25 m long and 20 m wide. Found by accident in the 1970s, Sebastian Celestino and his team worked at the site for many years afterwards and became internationally renown for it. The structure dates to the late Tartessian period, roughly 600-400 BC. At the threshold of the only doorway to the inner side of the structure is a stele (apparently put there to secondary use) of the kind known as "warrior steles," collected since the 19th century from various areas of Estremadura and neighboring locations and dating to the late Bronze Age in Southwestern Iberia (roughly 1000-750 BC). Sebastian Celestino is also an expert on this side subject. The original significance and function of these steles is unclear. When we were at the site, Professor Freund came up with the suggestion that the structure of it (apparently a sacred place surrounded by a moat that was not utlitarian) might have stood symbolically for a micro-replica of a city on an island, this city being the capital of the realm of Tartessus. I found the suggestion interesting, and worth pursuing it. Yet in your article Professor Freund seems to assume that Tartessus and Atlantis was one and the same thing, which is a moot point. It also assumes that the capital city of such a realm was on a island. The city of Tartessus probably was. There are some ancient testimonies to that effect. Yet we have found no trace of the material culture of Tartessus in the marshlands of Hinojos. Another possible "symbol of Atlantis" is the notched round shield represented in many of the "warrior steles." We have no doubt that these shields represent actual shields, made of skins. Although no one has ever been found in Iberia, some have turned up in Ireland, which was in contact with the Atlantic coast of Iberia in the late Bronze Age. I enclose a reproduction. Professor Freund seems to be unaware of this fact.

We did find remains of ancient wood in our core-drilling of the Park's sedimentary deposits, but the C-14 date obtained is c. 3,100 B. C. instead. We did come across a layer of methane, but cannot rule out that it is a natural phenomenon. Methane has been encountered in nearby locations, revealing decay of organic matter carried there by the Guadalquivir and other rivers.

Finally, when talking about "Atlantis in Harlem," Professor Freund must be referring to the said George E. Bonsor. He was indeed famous and a good archaeologist, and lived in Spain. But he was not Spanish. He was French, with an English background."

http://blogs.courant.com/roger_catlin_tv_eye/2011/03/muddying-up-atlantis.html

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cormac mac airt

Nice article nico_k, thanks. Sadly this too will likely be ignored by Atlantis proponents.

cormac

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Harte

It is known almost for certain he traveled there based on a poem he wrote (a line is preserved in Plutarch's Life of Solon).

Everyone who was anyone traveled to Egypt when they retired back then. Which is why I said he probably did.

If the conversations found in Plato never took place (this is part of the Socratic problem) it does not follow what is described is fiction. Indeed, a popular view among classicists is that some of the dialogue characters express Plato's own views. You cannot use this as an argument against a historical Atlantis.

I'm using it in an argument against your claim of what "Solon said..."

The point I made you completely ignored. Solon was one of the Wise Men of Greece, considered to be wise, trustworthy and an authoritative source (even Plato describes him as such). Yet your skeptic position is saying Plato lied about Solon's views: while Solon vouches for Atlantis being "true" you are saying this wasn't his position because the conversation never took place. Perhaps you failed to address this because you realize it makes your stance look irrational.

No, Plato told no lie about Solon's "views." Solon's "veiws" are not elucidated in Plato's works, nor does Plato claim they are.

Regarding Solon's great reputation, it wasn't always thus. Solon was deposed and literally run out of town - banished - from Athens at the end of his career.

Plato wouldn't hesitate to fabricate a tale about Solon, especially when you note that the idea that Solon was revered and respected doesn't match what we know of Solon. That is, this reputation is itself a lie.

Note also that what Plato claims Solon did or said doesn't involve anything untoward, so why should he hesitate to include him in his allegory, as a character of high standing?

Lastly, it is you that made the claim that Solon "vouches" for Atlantis being true. We have no such record from Solon, and even in the allegory, Solon never says a thing about this. You're thinking of the character Critias. He's the one that swears it's all true.

Helps to read Plato, if your gonna discuss Plato.

lol. Says the guy who cherry-picks quotes from Timaeus to fit his pre-conceived idea.

LOL Says the guy who never read either dialogue.

Harte

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Atlantisresearch

Harte you're evidently some sort of pseudo-intellectual professing to know something about the Atlantis dialogues when you don't. I'm not sure why you were recommended on the subject by a mod.

Timaeus 20d-e:

"Let me tell you this story then, Socrates. It's a very strange one, but even so, every word of it is true. It's a story that Solon, the wisest of the seven sages once vouched for".

This is basics... :rolleyes:

Edited by OliverDSmith
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docyabut2

Perhaps the Egyptian tale was originally of Thera, 1500bc, however when Necho 2 of Sais 595bc sailed around Africa and brought back the report of the missing city of Tartessos, the tales were some how intertwined together.

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jaylemurph

Solon visited Egypt. This is problematic to any skeptic. Secondly, Solon himself vouched for a "true" Atlantis. Again, this is another blow for the skeptics. Solon was one of the Seven Wise Men of Greece and Plato describes him as wise and trustworthy. Yet according to the skeptics we are to believe Solon was a liar.

IMO as far as historical source criticism goes, the skeptic position is actually irrational.

Solon himself said no such thing. Please provide some evidence of writing /attributable directly to Solon himself/ where he states this to prove me wrong. Otherwise, any such statement is reportage or hearsay and subject to more severe historical scrutiny because such a report can be manipulated and edited by intervening sources. It certainly doesn't warrant attacking en bloc the rational, skeptic position.

To believe that something reported by others is believable... well, you don't really give a reason to credit it without warranted justification, other than "I'd like to believe it's the truth"... is not evidence of scholarly thought and in no way justifies the accusations you baselessly level against Harte.

If you want to believe something, that's fine. But don't use the circular "I believe this because I want to believe this" as somehow persuasive or authoratative to other people.

--Jaylemurph

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kmt_sesh

Solon visited Egypt. This is problematic to any skeptic.

Not at all problematic. Many Greeks must have visited Egypt, as would Romans. As with the rest of them, Solon would've been a tourist. It remains, however, that there is no concrete evidence that Solon was even there; Plato tells us this. A line in a poem is not evidence. In any case, it's certainly possible Solon was there—but to what extent?

That Solon visited at length with high-ranking priests and was told of the details of Egyptian sacred beliefs, is rather implausible on the face of it. This is reinforced by the obvious fact that practically everything the priest is supposed to have said to Solon, has nothing whatsoever to do with Egyptian traditional beliefs about history or religion. It is Plato putting words in the mouths of Egyptian priests for the sake of a story. Using Egypt—the most ancient people of whom the Greeks were aware—simply lent credibility to Plato's story.

Secondly, Solon himself vouched for a "true" Atlantis. Again, this is another blow for the skeptics.

This isn't saying much. Herodotus wrote significant amounts of information about peoples with whom Greeks had interacted, and significant amounts of information Herodotus recorded are comically incorrect. This doesn't detract from the continuing literary value of his work, but a great deal of care must be taken when one wishes to interpret the works of Classical and Hellenistic writers as hard-core truth.

What better way to make a story seem credible than to call it true? Then again, pay close attention to the players in Plato's dialogue. There is no possible way that grouping of men could've even met at the same time and place. Plato was a philosopher, not an historian. It's not his fault that so many modern people misinterpret his intent.

Solon was one of the Seven Wise Men of Greece and Plato describes him as wise and trustworthy. Yet according to the skeptics we are to believe Solon was a liar.

Why do you suppose Solon figures so prominently in Plato's story? It's because he was considered one of the great sages of Athens. Again, a literary device to lend credibility to a tale. No one's calling Solon a liar because there's no extant evidence that Solon experienced the events ascribed to him by Plato. And no one is even calling Plato a liar because he wasn't writing history, he was writing allegory. This is what critical analysis of the Atlantis tale reveals. What almost all Atlantis-believers seem always to ignore is the actual motive Plato probably had for writing the Atlantis story.

IMO as far as historical source criticism goes, the skeptic position is actually irrational.

Quite the contrary, historical source criticism does not allow either Timaeus or Critias to be works of history. Think about it critically: prior to Plato, not a single source from any ancient Mediterranean civilization has yielded a story anything close to the details of Plato's story. We're honestly supposed to believe that from all of ancient history, Plato and Plato alone wrote of a sophisticated island super-state that existed more than 9,000 years before his own time?

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Atlantisresearch

Ti. 20d-e says Solon vouched for a "true" Atlantis. Solon isn't a speaker in the dialogues, so when I said "himself" I meant through Critias, so let's not deny the obvious. Critias (as the main speaker) is describing the contents of Solon's manuscript and he states that Atlantis is "true", which Solon vouches for. Socrates does not question this: "a great point in its favor, that it is not a fiction" (26e) and Plato himself it has been argued also took this position (Luce, 1978). No speaker in the dialogues expresses the viewpoint that Atlantis is fiction, but the opposite. The skeptic position since Jowett, has been to just claim none of the conversations took place and that Plato invented everything. However as I said above this doesn't prove Atlantis is allegorical or fiction, it is a non-argument. You're now left with just Plato and the question of determining if what he is describing has any historical basis or came from his imagination.

The arguments against an allegorical Atlantis are more convincing:

(1) Atlantis is contrasted to the ideal state throughout the Timaeus. Yes, they are not the same. 25e:

"what a strange piece of fortune it was that your description coincided so exactly for the most part with Solon's account"

26d also superimposes one onto the other. Again the distinction is made. If both were allegorical why are they differentiated?

(2) Solon is a trustworthy authority, and he vouches for Atlantis being true -

“Critias obviously knew of and respected his host’s [socrates] insistence on truth, and so he prefaces his account of Atlantis with certain facts which he brings forward as evidence that his tale ‘though strange, is certainly true’. Socrates, no doubt, inquired how he could be sure any tale was true… vouched for by none other than Solon, the greatest of our lawgivers” (Wellard, J. [1975]. The Search for Lost Worlds.

Pan Books)

(3)

If Atlantis is an allegory or fiction, then of what? It is certainly no utopia. As Luce notes the Atlantis myth is: "very-unlikely fiction for a romancer to have devised".

And I could go on.

Edited by OliverDSmith
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Ryinrea

I'd say that at least they're reading classics, except I've noted that what seems to be about half of the Atlantis believers have never laid eyes on either one of the two dialogues. Pity.

Harte

Funny, that you say that I need to pull out my copy that has both dialogues in the same book.

Which is pretty sad too say the lest he's a great writer! His story The Republic was his greatest story in my opinion

The Cave or was that Socrates. Haven't read that one in a long time lol.

But all in all I like the idea of Atlantis being real but I find it sad they haven't read any of his other works.

Edited by Ryinrea
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Frank Merton

I don't really know why I've been following this Atlantis thread all this time; the place is a myth, probably invented by Plato or at least given flesh by him. The Solon bit is not good evidence and those who argue it is are not thinking clearly. Nevertheless, unlike most myths it doesn't even really matter to anyone's belief system, so the argument seems so pointless.

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Atlantisresearch

Not at all problematic. Many Greeks must have visited Egypt, as would Romans. As with the rest of them, Solon would've been a tourist. It remains, however, that there is no concrete evidence that Solon was even there; Plato tells us this. A line in a poem is not evidence. In any case, it's certainly possible Solon was there—but to what extent?

Yet no skeptic doubts Solon visited Cyprus. Why the double standard when it comes to Egypt?

That Solon visited at length with high-ranking priests and was told of the details of Egyptian sacred beliefs, is rather implausible on the face of it. This is reinforced by the obvious fact that practically everything the priest is supposed to have said to Solon, has nothing whatsoever to do with Egyptian traditional beliefs about history or religion. It is Plato putting words in the mouths of Egyptian priests for the sake of a story. Using Egypt—the most ancient people of whom the Greeks were aware—simply lent credibility to Plato's story.

The focus of the Atlantis myth is actually prehistoric Athens. The Athenians forgot their history and the war they waged with the Atlanteans. You miss the point entirely if you are expecting "Egyptian traditional beliefs". Also we don't have Solon's manuscript, Critias is only summarizing what Solon heard and recorded.

This isn't saying much. Herodotus wrote significant amounts of information about peoples with whom Greeks had interacted, and significant amounts of information Herodotus recorded are comically incorrect. This doesn't detract from the continuing literary value of his work, but a great deal of care must be taken when one wishes to interpret the works of Classical and Hellenistic writers as hard-core truth.

This is an old straw man from skeptics. No serious scholar who argues Atlantis was historically real takes everything in Plato literally.

What better way to make a story seem credible than to call it true? Then again, pay close attention to the players in Plato's dialogue. There is no possible way that grouping of men could've even met at the same time and place. Plato was a philosopher, not an historian. It's not his fault that so many modern people misinterpret his intent.

Actually as Luce (1978) notes: "the literary of the genre of the fictitious 'True History' had not yet appeared" (when Plato was writing). So now what? :blink:

I believe the "true history fiction" came a century or more after Plato. This fact alone makes the skeptic position untenable.

Why do you suppose Solon figures so prominently in Plato's story? It's because he was considered one of the great sages of Athens. Again, a literary device to lend credibility to a tale. No one's calling Solon a liar because there's no extant evidence that Solon experienced the events ascribed to him by Plato. And no one is even calling Plato a liar because he wasn't writing history, he was writing allegory. This is what critical analysis of the Atlantis tale reveals. What almost all Atlantis-believers seem always to ignore is the actual motive Plato probably had for writing the Atlantis story.

It doesn't make sense to use Solon as a literary device to give Atlantis credibility by saying Atlantis is "true", repeatedly call him trustworthy and wise, but then claim he never held such a position that Atlantis existed... This is essentially calling him a liar. Also this doesn't explain why. Why go through all that trouble if Atlantis is nothing more than from Plato's imagination? Again no skeptic can answer.

Quite the contrary, historical source criticism does not allow either Timaeus or Critias to be works of history. Think about it critically: prior to Plato, not a single source from any ancient Mediterranean civilization has yielded a story anything close to the details of Plato's story. We're honestly supposed to believe that from all of ancient history, Plato and Plato alone wrote of a sophisticated island super-state that existed more than 9,000 years before his own time?

The historical Atlantis would have been nothing spectacular. Of course, if you think otherwise, no wonder you are a skeptic.

Edited by OliverDSmith

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Harte

Kmt and Jay,

Watch out. You appear not to have "the basics!"

Harte

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The Puzzler

Yes, I don't think any "Egyptian sacred beliefs" or "Egyptian traditional beliefs" are being told to Solon on his visit regarding the information he heard, they may have seen sacred registers, but this does not equate to hearing any sacred beliefs, as registers, as far as I'm aware, are not recording beliefs.

It's historical information concerning Athenians and Atlanteans and the subjugation of Egypt during it would be what made it a memorable event to the priests imo.

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The Puzzler

Kmt and Jay,

Watch out. You appear not to have "the basics!"

Harte

Neither does cormac as he's insisting on keeping his signature that makes no sense on his side, as many of us have pointed out.

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The Puzzler

Not at all problematic. Many Greeks must have visited Egypt, as would Romans. As with the rest of them, Solon would've been a tourist. It remains, however, that there is no concrete evidence that Solon was even there; Plato tells us this. A line in a poem is not evidence. In any case, it's certainly possible Solon was there—but to what extent?

Been here before and we agreed as you say Solon most likely did visit. To what extent? More than just a tourist imo - but probably not as a dignitary - but privy to more than your regular Joe.

Herodotus: "Amasis was partial to the Greeks, and among other favors which he granted them, gave to such as liked to settle in Egypt the city of Naucratis for their residence."

The place he would have went was Naucratis. Going to Sais to visit 'Athena's' temple would have been a natural thing to do while there on "fair Canopus' shore". Any other time I'd say, probably didn't visit the temple, but in Amasis reign, it seems highly likely that he did.

Archaeological evidence suggests that the history of the ancient Greeks in Egypt dates back at least to Mycenaean times and more likely even further back into the proto-Greek Minoan age. This history is strictly one of commerce as no permanent Greek settlements have been found of these cultures to date.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naucratis

I think it's very likely the priests of the Delta area were aware of the ancient Greeks history.

Edited by The Puzzler

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Harte

Yet no skeptic doubts Solon visited Cyprus. Why the double standard when it comes to Egypt?

No skeptic seriously doubts Solon visited Egypt.

The focus of the Atlantis myth is actually prehistoric Athens. The Athenians forgot their history and the war they waged with the Atlanteans. You miss the point entirely if you are expecting "Egyptian traditional beliefs". Also we don't have Solon's manuscript, Critias is only summarizing what Solon heard and recorded.

Plato is putting words in his character's mouth. Critias says nothing on this (any of several Critias' of renown in Ancient Athens.)

This is an old straw man from skeptics. No serious scholar who argues Atlantis was historically real takes everything in Plato literally.

They can't because the facts as Plato laid them out have suince been shown to be non-factual. So every "serious" scholar is forced to manufacture his own.

Actually as Luce (1978) notes: "the literary of the genre of the fictitious 'True History' had not yet appeared" (when Plato was writing). So now what? :blink:

How about reading Plato:

[Republic 376] In this education, you would include stories, would you not? These are of two kinds, true stories and fiction. Our education must use both and start with fiction. . . . And the first step, as you know, is always what matters most, particularly when we are dealing with those who are young and tender. (EDIT - Like the "young and tender" children attending the Feast of Apaturia mentioned by Critias) That is the time when they are easily moulded and when any impression we choose to make leaves a permanent mark (Desmond Lee translation).

I believe the "true history fiction" came a century or more after Plato. This fact alone makes the skeptic position untenable.

Unfortunately for you, Plato used exactly this same literary device in other writings: Gorgias, Republic, Meno and Laws all contain the same admonition.

It doesn't make sense to use Solon as a literary device to give Atlantis credibility by saying Atlantis is "true", repeatedly call him trustworthy and wise, but then claim he never held such a position that Atlantis existed... This is essentially calling him a liar. Also this doesn't explain why. Why go through all that trouble if Atlantis is nothing more than from Plato's imagination? Again no skeptic can answer.

Every skeptic can answer, obviously. During Plato's time, Solon was revered. Casting Solon as the source provided simultaneously a weight of authority to the tale as well as a connection to what, at the time, was considered to be Athen's Golden Age - an Athens that was more idealized than real but one that Plato was using to contrast his current Athens with.

Harte

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cormac mac airt

Neither does cormac as he's insisting on keeping his signature that makes no sense on his side, as many of us have pointed out.

My signature...

The city and citizens, which you yesterday described to us in fiction, we will now transfer to the world of reality. It shall be the ancient city of Athens, and we will suppose that the citizens whom you imagined, were our veritable ancestors, of whom the priest spoke; they will perfectly harmonise, and there will be no inconsistency in saying that the citizens of your republic are these ancient Athenians. -- Plato's Timaeus

...is the perfect example of what Harte's quote from Plato's Rebublic, Book II is saying, to whit:

In this education, you would include stories, would you not? These are of two kinds, true stories and fiction. Our education must use both and start with fiction

Plato's Timaeus does exactly that, it takes the previous days story of Atlantis, of whom the priest spoke, (a fiction) and overlays the next days story of Plato's current Athens (true story) over it, melding the two stories as if they were originally one and the same.

cormac

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Van Gorp

I did not get a clear view on all that Platonic stuff, but the encouragements of many posters did it: I re-read all the stuff and I admit:

I'm convinced!

"

Very good.

And what is this ancient famous action of the Athenians, which Critias declared, on the authority of Solon, to be not a mere legend, but an actual fact?

"

After reading and rereading the concerned dialogues I still can't get the idea why people should sherrypick (or is it nitpick) what is in fact of value in them and what not?

How can you admire all Plato's other misty explanations and at the same time dismiss the part about the different deluges which form a reset button in historymaking?

This seems to me the most "factional" between al the other mystifications.

But it must be that I don't get the platonic basics, which seem so obvious for a real Platonic mystic denouncing the deluge story.

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Sir Wearer of Hats

dismiss the part about the different deluges which form a reset button in historymaking?

Because there's no archaeological evidence supporting a series of "deluges" that act as "reset" buttons?

Sure we have flood evidence in some of the "first generation" cities, but those cities went on being lived on or at least life went on at the site, history didn't "stop and restart".

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jaylemurph

As Harte points out, there's a significant difference between consensus of a historiographic conclusion -- in this case "Solon went to Egypt" -- and a conclusion based on a second-hand report of a third person's activities -- in this case "Plato says that because Solon went to Egypt he believe in Atlantis".

If you don't comprehend this -- and I can't tell whether you do not comprehend it or whether you just think such distinguishing is irrelevant in the face of your own set of beliefs -- your conclusions about understanding the past are of limited value.

--Jaylemurph

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spacecowboy342

I'm certainly no scholar but it seems plain to me that Plato was using an artistic device to make a point not trying to recount history

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The Puzzler

My signature...

...is the perfect example of what Harte's quote from Plato's Rebublic, Book II is saying, to whit:

Plato's Timaeus does exactly that, it takes the previous days story of Atlantis, of whom the priest spoke, (a fiction) and overlays the next days story of Plato's current Athens (true story) over it, melding the two stories as if they were originally one and the same.

cormac

Firstly, you are mixed up. Atlantis is not mentioned the day before (previous days story) a perfect state is though. Atlantis is in the next days story.

You have it wrong cormac, others said it too, I don't care really, I'm only concerned you have yourself looking like you're pro-Atlantis when you are so obviously not, for your own benefit.

Van Gorp, good on you for reading the dialogues, I find it as intriguing as the OLB.

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Frank Merton

What really gets me about the dialogs is that I understand the reasoning two and a half thousand years later. The human mind seems pretty much the same after all that time, and I grew up in a Confucian world.

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