Zephyr: Atlantis & the west

For it is related in our records how once upon a time your State stayed the course of a mighty host, which, starting from a distant point in the Atlantic ocean, was insolently advancing to attack the whole of Europe, and Asia to boot. For the ocean there was at that time navigable; for in front of the mouth which you Greeks call, as you say, 'the pillars of Heracles,' there lay an island which was larger than Libya and Asia together; and it was possible for the travellers of that time to cross from it to the other islands, and from the islands to the whole of the continent over against them which encompasses that veritable ocean. For all that we have here, lying within the mouth of which we speak, is evidently a haven having a narrow entrance; but that yonder is a real ocean, and the land surrounding it may most rightly be called, in the fullest and truest sense, a continent.
- Plato, Timaeus [24e-25a].

Many are the modern theories as to the "true" location of the sunken continent of Atlantis. However, any attempt to locate Atlantis in some far-flung locale, despite whatever other evidence is brought to bear or how much the owner of the theory may feel his or her work on the subject is definitive, is hamstrung by the simple fact that Plato tells the reader quite plainly where Atlantis was supposed to have been. Thus, any proposed "Atlantis" which is not beneath the Atlantic ocean, stretching from a point close to the south west of the Iberian peninsula [Crit. 114b], presented without any mechanism for how Atlantis came to be elsewhere, I think it's fair to say, is probably not Atlantis.

This section groups together essays loosely on a theme of Atlantis' location according to Plato and various ancient ideas about the far west.

The location of Atlantis

A sunset.

What clues does Plato give us about the location of Atlantis?

The Straits of Gibraltar.

Where were the Pillars of Heracles?

A map of ancient Gades.

Brief history of the Phoenician settlement of Gades.

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