Atlantis

Beginning & End
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Atlantis in the beginning

In the very beginning the gods distributed the whole earth between themselves. The god Poseidon, the master of the waters, received as his lot an area later known as Atlantis. In the area allotted to him lived a young woman, called Cleito.

Poseidon, the mighty God of the sea, fell in love with this mortal woman. She was living alone on a small hill near the sea because her parents had recently died. To safeguard her he created two rings of land and three rings of water around the hill top.

Together they had five pairs of twin male children, in total ten sons. Because they were ten siblings, the territory that Poseidon had received was divided up into 10 portions. The first-born twin was named Atlas, after him the Atlantic Ocean and the Empire of Atlantis got its name. He also received the dwelling of his mother – which would become the capital city of Atlantis – and the surrounding allotment, which was the best. Poseidon made Atlas the ruler, the king of kings – his nine brothers were made kings and Poseidon gave them rule over many men and a large territory. This is – according to Plato – how Atlantis was established.

VISITING ATLANTIS Gateway to a lost world

Atlantis at the end

Atlantis flourished for many years and each succeeding generation tried to improve on architecture, agriculture and knowledge. Each king had absolute power in his territory and had absolute control over the citizens and could punish or kill whom ever he saw fit.

Every five or six years, to not give preference to even or uneven numbers, the ten kings met at the sacred centre island of the capital city of Atlantis. There a bull was sacrificed, and the kings drank the animal’s blood mixed with wine in a holy ceremony. Invoking terrible curses to the disobedient – an oath was given by each king to uphold the laws handed down by Poseidon, which were inscribed on a pillar of orichalcum (a kind of gold no longer known to us) which was standing in the middle of the centre island. The most important law was that they were not to take up arms against each other and that they would come to the rescue if any one of them was under attack. For many generations, if the divine blood of the god Poseidon lasted in the bloodline of the kings, they were obedient to the law and respectful towards the god whose seed they were. They were gentle and wise rulers. They had great spirits and cared little about their present state of life. They thought lightly about earthly possessions, not caring about gold and property, which seemed only a burden to them. Luxury did not make them drunk – wealth did not take their self-control. They were clear-headed and moderate.

But when their blood became diluted too often and too much with the mortal admixture they began to loose their divine nature. The human nature got the upper hand and they started to behave rude, tasteless and unfair.

Zeus, the god of gods, who rules according to the law, noticed these changes and wanting to inflict punishment on them, called a meeting with all gods. And when he had called them together, he spoke as follows:….

Here Plato’s narration ends. But we do have a good idea how this story continues because there is the Greek legend of ‘Deukalion and Pyrrha’. This ancient text explains as follows:

Zeus held a gathering with all the gods and told them, that he had in mind to destroy mankind which had become immoral and wicked. First, he thought of throwing his bolts of lightning onto all land but then he reconsidered because of concerns that the atmosphere may set alight. He decided rather on a great flood.

However, there was a Titan called Prometheus who did not like the idea of mankind being utterly destroyed. Especially one man and a woman, Deukalion and Pyrrha, just and gentle people, he considered worthwhile saving. He warned them and told them of the intention of Zeus and advised them to build a ship to save them from the great flood which was soon to come.

Zeus called the wind that brings rain and clouds to sweep over the Earth. He called on his brother Poseidon to let the sea pour onto land. With his trident Poseidon struck the Earth to cause tremors, to enable the floods entering the land. Poseidon commanded the rivers to overflow their banks. The clouds and the sea and the rivers poured upon earth. The flood rose higher and higher, some people tried to climb mountains, all in vain. At last the flood receded and the boat of Deukalion and Pyrrha landed on the top of a mountain. When Zeus saw that these two humans were just and kind and respectful to the gods, he spared them.

The dark clouds dispersed, the sea and the rivers returned into their beds, at last even the low laying level plains were surfacing – although everything was covered in mud.

Let us note one thing here (besides the obvious similarities to the Gilgamesh Epos and the flood portrayed in the Bible): Even though everything was initially flooded the land resurfaced as before. So, if Atlantis was destroyed by a huge flood it most probably reappeared, however completely destroyed and covered in mud. Let us see what Plato had to say about that: “Atlantis became an impassable barrier of mud to voyagers sailing from hence to any part of the ocean