Myth of Atlantis: Part of the New World

The Atlantis theory, concerning the origin of peoples in the New world, is the story of a land that formerly lay in or beyond the Atlantic, and was subsequently submerged.

Several ancient Greek writers put forth the idea that the island had been communicated to Solon by the priests of several Egyptian cities. According to Plato, these priests declared that the events related to Solon had taken place nine thousand Egyptian years previously. In the Platonic version the priestly story was to the effect that beyond the Pillars of Hercules there was an island larger than Asia Minor and Libya combined. From this island one could pass to other islands, and thence to a continent which surrounded the sea containing them. In the island of Atlantis reigned three powerful kings, whose dominion extended to some of the other islands and to part of the continent, and reached at one time into Africa and Europe. Uniting their forces, they invaded eastern Europe, but were defeated and their army destroyed by the Athenians, independence being gained by all the subject countries east of the Pillars of Hercules. Afterwards, in one day and night, earthquakes and inundations overwhelmed Atlantis and sunk it beneath the sea, which became impassable on account of the mud which the sunken island left in its place.

The theory that there actually existed such an island, extending to the vicinity of, or perhaps continuous with, the American continent, has been held by several writers. The recent advocacy of the theory is based on the fact that traditions and written records of cataclysms similar to that described by the Egyptian priests have been found among the American nations. Yet the story is in all probability one of those fabulous statements of which many can be found in the works of ancient writers.

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