No other story from ancient Greece has fueled so many controversies, theories, investigations, novels, movies, and documentaries as the story of Atlantis – that grand civilization that supposedly flourished thousands of years before the pyramids were built, and was completely wiped off the face of the earth by a major cataclysm. Interestingly, all of the written “evidence” for Atlantis from ancient times is contained in the work of a single author – the philosopher Plato (who we talked about in episode 8). Plato wrote about Atlantis towards the end of his life in two philosophical works called the Timaeus, and the Critias, which are meant to be sequels of his earlier philosophical blockbuster The Republic.
With us today to talk about the various theories that have been proposed on the meaning of the Atlantis tale and whether there’s any grain of truth to it, is someone who has traveled to all the major sites that people have suggested for Atlantis and has met with the most hardcore atlantologists in the world. Mark Adams is author of the book Meet Me In Atlantis. He is probably best known for his New York Times best seller Turn Right at Machu Pichu.
BOOK GIVEAWAY: If you'd like to enter to win a copy of Mark Adams' book Meet Me In Atlantis here's what to do. Go to our Facebook page at facebook.com/greecepodcast. The first post you'll see will be a post about this episode. Share the post with your friends by clicking the "share" button. Then, once you've shared it, go back to our Facebook page, click the “message” button, and send us the word “shared” so we know you shared it. On November 10, we will randomly pick two winners and send to each a copy of Adams' book.
If you would like to read Plato's dialogues the Timeaus and the Critias, you will need reliable translations. The most respected English translations of the Timaeus are those of Donald Zeyl and of Peter Kalkavage. Unfortunately, those editions do not include the Critias. There is an Oxford World Classics paperback that does include the Critias as well and is quite decent.
Most documentaries on Atlantis and sensationalist and misleading. One of the few good ones is by Bettany Hughes and explores the Minoan/Santorini hypothesis for Atlantis.