From Atlantis to the Sphinx

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From Atlantis To The Sphinx
First edition
Author Colin Wilson
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Subject History
Genre Non-fiction
Publisher Virgin Books
Publication date
Media type Print (Hardback)
Pages 294 pp
ISBN ISBN 1-85227-526-X
OCLC 35205669

From Atlantis to the Sphinx is a work of non-fiction by British author, Colin Wilson, with the subheading Recovering the Lost Wisdom of the Ancient World.

Using The Sphinx as his starting point, Wilson explores the ramifications of an alternate time-line for the development of mankind, arguing that an advanced civilisation or civilisations existed in traditionally pre-historic times, in particular, the fabled Atlantis mentioned by Greek philosopher Plato in his work Timaeus.


The book explores the connection between astronomy and mythology, arguing that ancient man used "Lunar knowledge" (intuition) as opposed to modern man's "Solar knowledge" (logic) to interpret the universe and therefore possessed an entirely different but equally valid mentality from that of modern man. Wilson proposes that the outlook of ancient man was based on "seeing the big picture" rather than logically breaking down the universe into its constituent parts.

Wilson develops this idea of civilisations founded on Lunar Knowledge together with astronomy to explain the monumental and seemingly spontaneous achievements of ancient cultures such as the Pyramid Complex at Giza in Egypt.

Wilson argues that the essential weakness of James Frazer's The Golden Bough is that Frazer attributed the fundamental mythological systems to the beginnings of the arming [=farming?] cultures, specifically to fertility. Agreeing with Giorgio de Santillana's thesis developed in Hamlet's Mill, Wilson places the genesis of mythology previous to fertility cultures, linking the fundamental myths to astronomical occurrences such as the Precession of the Equinoxes.

The main observations drawn by Wilson are that our ancient pre-homo sapiens ancestors possessed intelligence equal to that of modern man, their apparent lack of technological achievement being explained by the needlessness of it based on their completely different, intuitive and all-embracing mentality. Over time, a more logical and dissecting mentality evolved leading to the traits which mark modern civilisations.


  1. Egyptian Mysteries
  2. The New Race
  3. Inside the Pyramid
  4. The Forbidden Word
  5. The Realm of the White Gods
  6. The Antiquity of Man
  7. Forbidden Archaeology
  8. More Forbidden Archaeology
  9. Of Stars and Gods
  10. The Third Force