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Plato cites Solon as the origin of the story of Atlantis[edit]

Why is Plato being credited with the story, when Plato credits Solon as the origin (who credited anonymous Egyptian priests)? (talk) 11:55, 4 December 2014 (UTC)


There are many who believe it's not fiction, so I would hardly call the lead neutral. By the same token there are many sources that contest it's reality, so call it real is also non neutral. Hence some like alleged, hypothetical or conjectured seems the more neutral terms to use.Slatersteven (talk) 09:47, 4 April 2014 (UTC)

Neutrality has a limit. We cannot include nonsense just because someone "believes" so. Because this is not about "believe", but facts. Atlantis is a literary topic, not a historic. It might have been losely based on some other myth, but that doesn't make it "real" or even "hypothetically real". The same way Hamlet or Robinson Crusoe weren't historical persons. You won't find a scholar that believes otherwise. --bender235 (talk) 20:14, 4 April 2014 (UTC)
Except that many ancient scholars did treat Atlantis as real. Moreover if it is based on "some other myth" that still means it's a mythical (not fictional) island.Slatersteven (talk) 13:30, 5 April 2014 (UTC)
No, it does not. Hamlet was based on a myth, yet he himself is a literary figure, not a mythical one. The video game series God of War is based on Greek mythology, but that does not make it a myth itself. You see the difference?
There may have been ancient or medieval scholars that took Atlantis for real, but that does not mean we have to repeat their uneducated mistakes in this encyclopedia. The geocentric model of the universe was believed to be true by those same scholars, too, but that doesn't require us to teach the controversy. --bender235 (talk) 14:31, 5 April 2014 (UTC)

Are there academicians who consider Atlantis to be real? Yes, there always have been academicians who considered the possibility that Atlantis was a real place, and such academicians still exist today. Among them names such as Alexander von Humboldt, August Boeckh, Wilhelm Christ, Theodor Gomperz, Wilhelm Brandenstein, Massimo Pallottino, Spyridon Marinatos, John V. Luce, Eberhard Zangger, Herwig Görgemanns. Source: C. Franke (talk) 17:01, 5 April 2014 (UTC)

You, too, confuse a claim like "Atlantis was a real place" with "Atlantis was inspired by this other real place". Gotham City was inspired by a real place, but that doesn't make it real on it's own right. Luce claims Atlantis was inspired by Greek traditions based on the Minoans. Zangger claims Atlantis was inspired by Egyptian accounts of the Trojan War. Görgemanns claims Atlantis was inspired by Egyptian accounts of the Sea Peoples invasion. All three are cited in the article already. And neither claims Atlantis to be real. --bender235 (talk) 17:33, 5 April 2014 (UTC)
OK where does Plato say Atlantis is not real? All of the examples you give were acknowledged (by their authors) as works of fiction.Slatersteven (talk) 11:02, 6 April 2014 (UTC)
Is there any sentence in Batman comics that tell you Gotham City was a fictional place? No, there is not, because people know that Batman comics are a piece of light fiction, not historiography. It's the same with Plato's work: Timaios and Critias are philosophical treatises, not history books. There is no "all persons fictitious disclaimer" because most people in antiquity were smart enough to tell the difference on their own. --bender235 (talk) 13:54, 6 April 2014 (UTC)
I love to watch bender235 silencing all academic opinions he does not like. What a show! :-) --Thorwald C. Franke (talk) 17:49, 6 April 2014 (UTC)
There is no credible scholar that claims Timaios and Critias (or any of Plato's work, for that matter) to be historiography. None, period. There are some who argue that Plato drew inspiration in his fiction from some (now lost) traditions, but again this is not to be confused with claiming Atlantis itself to be of historic fact. I'm sorry that you're unable to recognize this on your own, but that's how it is. Arguing that Emmanuel Goldstein is based on Leo Trotzki does not infer one claims Nineteen Eighty-Four to be a historic account of the Soviet Union. --bender235 (talk) 20:05, 6 April 2014 (UTC)
Of course there is no "credible" scholar of this opinion, because scholars with this opinion are by bender235's defintion not "credible" :-) --Thorwald C. Franke (talk) 12:52, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
I linked WP:RS for a reason. There is no source, meeting those criteria there, that claims Plato's Atlantis story to be historically correct and factual. --bender235 (talk) 13:30, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
Oh, you clever fox, you twist the words as you need it, congratulations :-) Now you talk of "historically correct" which is not the same as your previous word "historiography" (which is often not correct). Go on, go on! Your credibility is beyond any doubt :-) --Thorwald C. Franke (talk) — Preceding undated comment added 13:40, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
Maybe a good compromise would be just to say that Atlantis is "mythical" rather than fictional. I think this might better reflect the genre of the story anyway. Here's a good paper from Christopher Gill (very well-respected Plato scholar): [1] "Most scholars --Atethnekos (DiscussionContributions) 18:36, 6 April 2014 (UTC)
I just read the Clay 2000 which is currently cited (Clay is also a very well-respected Plato scholar). Of course he he says that the story is a "fiction" with just that word, but Clay also agrees that the story is a "myth". So changing to "mythical" won't be contradicted by the current source either. --Atethnekos (DiscussionContributions) 19:17, 6 April 2014 (UTC)
There is a big difference between "myths" and "fiction". Greek mythology is a mixture of folklore and religion. Atlantis, however, has no basis in Greek mythology. It simply does not exist there. Atlantis does not belong in line with the Fortunate Isles or the Hesperides, but with Panchaea and Cloud cuckoo land.
@Atethnekos: be careful not to confuse scholars' label of "myth" in the context of Atlantis with that of "Platonic myth", which is used to summarize the bunch of allegories and stories-within-the-story in Plato's work (such as Chariot, or Er). --bender235 (talk) 19:58, 6 April 2014 (UTC)
Yes, will do. Quite right, it is not part of Greek mythology proper. Of course I am fine with describing it as "fictional". Obviously "myth" has a lot of uses, and describing Plato's story as a myth is well-attested. E.g., when Gill says "most classical scholars, as readily, take [Plato's Atlantis story]] as the invented myth it is explicitly denied to be." He does mean myth in just that sense, inclusive of "philosophical myth". --Atethnekos (DiscussionContributions) 20:07, 6 April 2014 (UTC)
Atlantis would qualify as myth (in the original meaning of the word) if there was just one Ancient Greek author that mentioned it independently of Plato. But there is none. --bender235 (talk) 20:15, 6 April 2014 (UTC)
Well, I guess it depends on what you mean by the "original" meaning of the word, I guess.

In the Timaeus Plato tells the story of the island of Atlantis, supposedly told originally to the seventh-century B.C.E. Athenian statesman Solon by Egyptian priests. According to the myth, there was once a large island west of the Pillars of Herakles opposite Mt. Atlas.

—Leeming, David, Oxford Companion to World Mythology, Oxford University Press (2005), p. 37.
If the recent Oxford Companion and all these Plato scholars are using the word wrong, then I don't know what the solution for us would be.--Atethnekos (DiscussionContributions) 20:46, 6 April 2014 (UTC)
By "original meaning" of myth I meant a story from within the Ancient Greeks system of religious folklore. Those stories have to be distinguished from fiction by Ancient Greek writers. Titanomachy, the Labours of Hercules, or the Argonauts are myths. On the other hand, Seven Against Thebes, The Birds, or Samia are fiction. Atlantis clearly belongs in the latter group.
This distinction is somewhat similar to the one of "legends" from other fiction in "our" literature. Robin Hood, the Flying Dutchman, or the Golem are "legendary" figures. Batman, Hell-Rider, or Shrek, are clearly not. I don't know how else to break it down to layman's terms.
But don't get me wrong: fiction can be based on mythology or legends, because that's where the author drew his inspiration from. But it still remains fiction. Luce, Zangger and Görgemanns argue in favor of mythological or historical inspiration for Atlantis, but they do not claim Atlantis to a historic fact or part of Greek mythology. --bender235 (talk) 21:43, 6 April 2014 (UTC)
So where do you stand now: Do you agree that many reliable sources affirm that Plato's story of Atlantis is a myth? Do you think that other reliable sources deny this? On which side do you think the balance of them is? --Atethnekos (DiscussionContributions) 22:27, 6 April 2014 (UTC)
My standpoint is that Atlantis is fiction first and foremost, as explained by Gill and Morgan. Within Plato's work, it is a pseudo-mythical allegory, embedded as a story-within-the-story, i.e. a Platonic myth (de) (which, I'm pretty sure, Leeming's out-of-context quote above refers to). Unfortunately, we don't have an article on Platonic myths yet, but even then I'd argue that we should leave the label "fictional" in the lead and just pipe [[Platonic myth|fictional]], because the "mythical" label is simply wrong. --bender235 (talk) 07:49, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
Yes, I think that's a fair assessment. This would be my reading of Morgan: She says that the story of Atlantis in Plato is an example of "philosophical myth": "The next level is that of philosophical myth meant to instruct. This level corresponds to the Noble Lie of the Republic and is represented by the myth of Atlantis" (Location 4253, Kindle edition). However, philosophical myth is a "subgenre" of philosophy, not of traditional myth (location 243). So I guess I would at least agree now that simply saying "mythical" would be POV, so I retract that suggestion. Thanks for the reference to Morgan. Don't buy the Kindle Edition by the way, it's really low-quality; it looks nothing like that the "Look Inside" preview that Amazon offers. I feel like I wasted 44 dollars! --Atethnekos (DiscussionContributions) 10:11, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
A Noble Lie works only, if people believe it. But bender235 said above:
"There is no "all persons fictitious disclaimer" because most people in antiquity were smart enough to tell the difference on their own".
So, both cannot be, or? --Thorwald C. Franke (talk) 12:52, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
An allegory can "work" (i.e., prove a point) even if it is not true in a historical or factual sense. I'm pretty sure most people understand the message of "The Ant and the Grasshopper", even though they do not believe this dialogue between an ant and a grasshopper actually occurred. --bender235 (talk) 13:26, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
Hello-oohoooo, please wake up: There was talk of a Noble Lie, not of an allegory ... --Thorwald C. Franke (talk) 13:42, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
Why would this Platonic myth subgenre be any different? Does the myth of the metals (Resp. 3.414d1–415c7), that explains the origin of the three social classes, need to be historically true to maintain its philosophical value? I don't see that. --bender235 (talk) 14:05, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
I leave now this game of intentional misunderstanding, good bye! (And strange: The concept of a deceitful Noble Lie does not occur in the whole Atlantis article, strange, very strange ...) --Thorwald C. Franke (talk) 15:58, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
Thorwald, I believe Morgan is saying that the within Timaeus and Critias, the story of Atlantis is a Noble Lie to the characters in the fictional world, i.e. it's a Noble Lie to Timaeus, Critias and Hermocrates from Socrates the characters. She is not saying that it is a Noble Lie to the readers of the dialogue. --Atethnekos (DiscussionContributions) 18:33, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
No, quite the contrary: Educated persons, according to Morgan, allegedly could recognize the Noble Lie, i.e. persons like the dialogue partners. --Thorwald C. Franke (talk) 20:45, 7 April 2014 (UTC) PS: And it is not a story from Socrates. Socrates is one of the listeners. --Thorwald C. Franke (talk) 20:47, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
Yes quite, right, I corrected that howler. What makes you think that though? Morgan says: "As, readers we are meant to find this rhetoric fairly transparent. Whereas the interlocutors must agree to accept the account at face value (in order for it to function as a Noble Lie), we are under no obligation to do so. Indeed, if we did we would the point that Plato is making, that Atlantis is an exercise in speculative political rhetoric, albeit philosophically based." (Location 4127) I think her position is clearly that the Atlantis story plays the role of a Noble Lie within the dramatic world, but not to the reader. --Atethnekos (DiscussionContributions) 21:01, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
No, you are wrong. You confuse the levels of fiction and reality. Kathryn A. Morgan sees it like this: Of course the interlocutors all accept the story. But this is fiction in order to create a Noble Lie. A Noble Lie which (of course) has to become active in reality. Only educated readers are meant to see it, not every reader. Otherwise there would be no sense at all in the whole Noble Lie story. In reality, educated persons like the interlocutors do recognize the Noble Lie. Only in the fiction they do not see it in order to establish the deception. I repeat: The story cannot be an allegory recognized by everybody as untrue and a Noble Lie at the same time. And the idea of a Noble Lie is completely missing in the current article. --Thorwald C. Franke (talk) 08:52, 8 April 2014 (UTC)
We can dabble into the details of Plato's philosophy, or we can accept the obvious: Plato was not a historian. His intention, unlike Herodot's or Thukydides's, was not to present a historic account, but a philosophical argument. Therefore, his whole work has to be seen as fictional. He certainly was influenced by contemporary events, and maybe even by older traditions, but his work itself and everything it contains is fiction. --bender235 (talk) 10:22, 8 April 2014 (UTC)
Some start to be frightened when the details do not fit as they thought *smile* - But alas, I do not want to tease you, please be pragmatic and just include the idea of the Noble Lie into the article (on a superficial level, if you do not know better). You cannot cite Morgan but then not mention the Noble Lie. It must be included into the article. --Thorwald C. Franke (talk) 13:11, 8 April 2014 (UTC)
Where does Morgan say these things? For example, she says "This level corresponds to the Noble Lie of the Republic and is represented by the myth of Atlantis. ... It is not undermined explicitly by any of the characters in the dialogue; nevertheless, its status as a festival composition and useful falsehood is apparent to the reader" (location 4258). What is it in the text that makes you think that Morgan thinks the Noble Lie has to be active in reality? Etc.? --Atethnekos (DiscussionContributions) 19:16, 8 April 2014 (UTC)
I do not understand your question. A Noble Lie generally makes sense only, if it takes effect in reality. In the Republic the Noble Lie is discussed theoretically, open to the reader. The Atlantis story (if it is a Noble Lie) is not disclosed as a Noble Lie to the reader. If it is recognizable as Noble Lie to every reader, why then does the text emphasize its truth? Why not presenting it openly as a Noble Lie like in the Republic, if all the readers (allegedly) understand that it is a Noble Lie? It is absolutely clear and there is no doubt about this, that Morgan divides the readers in two groups: Some will see the Noble Lie, some others not. p. 104: The Atlantis dialogues put the Noble Lie from the Republic into action. p. 118: "manipulation" --Thorwald C. Franke (talk) 10:03, 9 April 2014 (UTC)
So the Noble lie in The Republic, that provides rationality for Plato's suggestion of three social classes, can fulfill its purpose only if it was actually true? --bender235 (talk) 10:09, 9 April 2014 (UTC)
We talk about Morgan's approach here, not my approach. And we talk about the strange fact that the concept of the Noble Lie is missing in the article. It has to be included! --Thorwald C. Franke (talk) 10:43, 9 April 2014 (UTC)

I think

A: we need to outdent. B:we need third party commentsSlatersteven (talk) 11:31, 9 April 2014 (UTC)

(re: Thorwald): The question is about your statement that Morgan holds that the story of Atlantis is "A Noble Lie which (of course) has to become active in reality." And similarly for the other statements. Where does Morgan make these claims? --Atethnekos (DiscussionContributions) 08:33, 10 April 2014 (UTC)
I said what had to be said. Even with page numbers. See above. --Thorwald C. Franke (talk) 09:37, 10 April 2014 (UTC)
I didn't see anything on those pages. I have the Kindle Edition, but I can see those pages on Google Books, and on there they don't say anything about Noble Lie or Atlantis. What are the quotes you're thinking of? --Atethnekos (DiscussionContributions) 10:18, 10 April 2014 (UTC)
I figure now you must be talking about her paper 1998 JHS paper, and not Myth and Philosophy. Give me a minute to fetch that.--Atethnekos (DiscussionContributions) 10:26, 10 April 2014 (UTC)
So, on p. 104 in the (1998), she says: "The truth of the tale must be acknowledged by the interlocutors because a successful noble lie does not make its fictional status transparent. This does not, however, mean that its status cannot be transparent to the reader." So that is clearly saying that the tale is meant to be a successful noble lie within the drama (and that explains why the characters regard it as true), but that it is not meant to be a successful noble lie within the real world of the intended readers (because the status as a lie can be transparent to the reader, and it can't be a successful noble lie when it is transparent to the reader). I'm not sure how p. 118 is supposed to bolster the case. --Atethnekos (DiscussionContributions) 10:52, 10 April 2014 (UTC)
If you want to believe this, then believe it. Maybe you need this in order to escape some contradictions in Morgan's argumentation, pointed out by me several paragraphs above. But it is not what Morgan said and meant. No intended effect of the Atlantis Noble Lie on the real world according to Morgan? Forget it ... --Thorwald C. Franke (talk) 14:54, 10 April 2014 (UTC)
"But it is not what Morgan said and meant." Yes, I understand that to be your claim—I'm trying to understand what in Morgan makes you think this. What is it?--Atethnekos (DiscussionContributions) 23:10, 10 April 2014 (UTC)
I'm not quite sure why this fixation on Morgan. Let me throw in a relevant quote from Gill (p. 76): "Plato knows the story he presents as true is false, and that its apparent reality is only that of a plausible simulacrum, a copy of reality (though it is one whose creative originality belies the narrow limitations of Plato's own description of the writer as a mere "imitator"). And he is not, despite appearances, trying to deceive his reader into accepting his false story as true; he has given the reader enough hints for him to be able to gauge the real character of the work. Why, then, does he say his story is true? I think the reason is that he is not only writing fiction but, consciously, playing the game of fiction, the game, that is, of presenting the false as true, the unreal as real. And in his preface, he is inviting his reader to take part in the same game, to pretend (to himself) to be deceived when he is not, to take as true what he knows is false." --bender235 (talk) 05:34, 11 April 2014 (UTC)
Gill seems to be as clever as the German Hans Herter, just saying: Oh it is not true and Plato does not say it, and he even adds many words and literary devices to make the story trustworthy, but in the end, it's all not a deception of the reader. But this is not our discussion here. Wikipedia is about reflecting academic positions, not making them.
a) Morgan: Plato's charter myth, deceptive, only learned persons realize it.
b) Gill: Just a game, a play. (But in 1980 he writes an interesting phrase: "ironic wink to his more perceptive readers", for me this sounds like Morgan)
c) Vidal-Naquet: Clearly a deception. In best case no one realizes it. Plato's intention to deceive is "perverse".
d) John V. Luce: There is a reality behind it.
And there is only one thing to do for every Wikipedian: Reflect all these in the article.
Wikipedia is not about making science, and not about omitting science. It is about reflecting science.
--Thorwald C. Franke (talk) 19:08, 11 April 2014 (UTC)

So some says it's myth or even not fiction and some say it is fiction.Slatersteven (talk) 11:33, 11 April 2014 (UTC)

Who says it's part of Greek mythology (≠ Platonic myth)? --bender235 (talk) 11:41, 11 April 2014 (UTC)
Many like to say it's a myth although they clearly know it is not. --Thorwald C. Franke (talk) 19:10, 11 April 2014 (UTC)

fiction - Lessons learned about hidden agendas[edit]

... o World ... do you can hear the "sound of silence" ...?
When it comes to accept the presence of unwanted Atlantis invention hypothesis in the Atlantis article, certain "very academic" Wikipedians suddenly try to escape by avoiding the topic or finally by silence, as we can see above again and again.
We learn: Not only crazy Atlantis searchers want to make the Atlantis article reflect their views, but it's quite the same with Atlantis skeptics, too! Since there is not one single great accepted and safe invention hypothesis, but many, the same game is played among Atlantis skeptics as among Atlantis searchers.
I think this observation is a very valuable contribution to the discussion of the Atlantis article, since it helps to recognize hidden agendas. Wikipedia should not be the place to follow hidden agendas.
Happy Easter! --Thorwald C. Franke (talk) 12:09, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
Thorwald, how are we to understand what you are saying now as anything but casting aspersions? I try in good faith to understand why you think that Morgan thinks what you think she thinks. When I asked you for what in Morgan's text gave you your interpretation and how, you said, "If you want to believe this, then believe it", and you proceeded to speculate about intent. If you still want to explain your interpretation of Morgan, I am all ears. Take this from Morgan: "The truth of the tale must be acknowledged by the interlocutors, since a successful Noble Lie does not make its fictional status transparent. This does not mean that its status cannot be transparent to the reader. Does this mean that Plato is inviting his readers to play the `game of fiction'? Probably not. Rather, he invites us to speculate what might happen if the tale of Athens and Atlantis were accepted as a charter myth not only by the political elite, but by all citizens." (M&P 2000, Kindle Location 4054) That is saying that Plato intends for his readers to speculate about an alternative reality where the Atlantis story is accepted as a charter myth. --Atethnekos (DiscussionContributions) 19:21, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
You miss the point again and again. We are not only talking about Morgan (whom you misunderstood almost certainly intentionally (yes, no trust any more)) but about all the various invention hypotheses missing in this article. So much of academic production is missing in this article and nobody cares. This is the point. By making this conclusion, the discussion is over for me. --Thorwald C. Franke (talk) 09:42, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
I never said we are only talking about Morgan. I made no judgement about any of the other viewpoints you mention. I have done nothing but try to understand both your interpretation and user:bender235's interpretation of these viewpoints. Again, if you are willing to explain how what Morgan says in M&P means what you think it means, then please do so. --Atethnekos (DiscussionContributions) 20:56, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

Gill & Morgan - Even crazier than I thought[edit]

It is crazier than I thought: On the one hand side, Gill and Morgan consider the Atlantis account to be a deceptive myth / Noble Lie. On the other hand side they claim that the readers are not deceived by it. It was my mistake not to realize the craziness of their thought about Plato's Atlantis: Gill and Morgan see a difference between (a) a deceptive myth displayed without calling it a deceptive myth, and (b) a deceptive myth set into effect (and not calling it a deceptive myth, too, of course). How to see the difference?! Is there any difference?! Some may say, it would be easy to see that it is a deceptive myth (yet I heavily doubt this for ancient Greek readers), but even if it would be easy to see, why then a deceptive myth? Can a deceptive myth be of any use and effect, if you easily see it is wrong? Wouldn't ancient readers talk more about the weird truth status of the story than about its purpose, as modern readers to? - So, I have to apologize of having been wrong in the discussion above, but I dare to put some of the guilt on the shoulders of Gill & Morgan. The incapability of the other participants of the discussion above to put forward clearly convincing arguments is a hint to the craziness of Gill's and Morgan's ideas. Morgan (2000) p. 269: "As readers, we are meant to find this rhetorc fairly transparent. Whereas the interlocutors must agree to accept the account at face value (in order for it to function as a Noble Lie), we are under no obligation to do so. Indeed, if we did we could miss the point Plato is making, that Atlantis is an exercise in speculative political rhetoric, albeit philosophically based". Since this sentence finds currently academic acceptance, I suggest to include it into the article, in order to make this academic viewpoint clear. --Thorwald C. Franke (talk) 17:25, 1 May 2014 (UTC)

"Fiction" not appropriate[edit]

It is misleading to portray Plato as a writer of "fiction", even though his works do include fictional elements. In its usual sense, "fiction" is used to describe texts that are known to be works of imagination. The significance of Atlantis was that many people have treated it as factual. While you can argue Atlantis was not part of classical Greek mythology, the development of the idea over history is better described as a "legend" that a work of fiction. The parallel is with medieval lives of saints which often had little or no factual basis but which were treated as real by many people over many years. Describing Atlantis as "fictional" in the lead sentence not only misrepresents the facts; it also misrepresents the content of the article. Whatever its origins, Atlantis as a fictional device is only part of the article.--Jack Upland (talk) 03:01, 13 June 2014 (UTC)

(it may have been better had you only started on thread of discussion)
Ignoring the fact that the label "fiction" is backed by the numerous sources in the article, your definition of "legend" seems flawed. As I have mentioned above Robin Hood, the Flying Dutchman, or the Golem are "legendary" figures. Batman, Hell-Rider, or Shrek, are clearly not. Atlantis does not belong in the "legend" category because it can be traced back to a single author.
You're right insofar as this article right now contains a lot of pseudoscientific nonsense about "location hypotheses" of Atlantis. But we should fix that problem at it's root, instead of adopting the lead to it. --bender235 (talk) 12:16, 13 June 2014 (UTC)

(October 2014) I feel that the best compromise would be to label the city as "Legend," as it could have easily been inspired by historical fact. In this case the demise of the Minoan Civilization via volcano. . .yes I know this is improper format but I don't often have editing suggestions. Yes, calling it factual is flat out wrong. Calling it fictitious feels narrow given that there is a chain to the narrative's origin before arriving via Plato, and Plato passed it as a reminiscence of something he overheard his teacher saying. Or maybe I'm just crazy and Atlantis is more Dan Brown-esque money farming for the History Channel. (talk) 10:17, 3 October 2014 (UTC)presently anonymous

I thought this debate at was worth reading and relates directly to this debate here: Also, what is the difference between a "fiction," a "legend" and a "myth"? Isn't Atlantis "mythical"? Doesn't terming it a myth satisfy both those who insist it is a fiction, and also those who hold that it really did exist in some way shape or form? Further still, from the page,:

"It seems that my opponent still rejects the notion that Plato sincerely believed in the historicity of Atlantis. My opponent states, “Plato's purpose was not to pass on stories, but instead to create stories to teach moral lessons to others.” This is simply untrue within the context of the Atlantis story. Plato sincerely believed Solon’s account: “Plato was adamant the story was absolutely true,” [3] as he “believed that the story of Atlantis is about something that actually happened,” and had Critias emphasize twice that the story is accurate. [4]
That is not to say Solon or Plato did not exaggerate anything, as the noted Greek historian Herodotus did, [5] especially when teaching a moral lesson. Once again, Plato was speaking with a historical tone, not an allegorical tone. He provided a reference for the story as a way to substantiate its historical authenticitiy. This argument simply does not stand when faced with fact.

So the idea that Plato was the origin of the "story" is a TOTAL LIE to start with. The original story, ACCORDING TO PLATO, came from Solon. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:46, 4 December 2014 (UTC) (talk)

This very debate has been going on since Plato died (fact vs fiction), and, that is one of the most useful aspects of this topic: that it stimulated such debates and provoked such questions and imagination for thousands of years. To label it a "fiction" denies the possibility that it did, in some way shape or form, exist (which was the more common point of view of the more ancient scholars of Plato's days - this more modern pov, of it being a pure fiction, is new and not accepted or supported by all modern scholars). That said, it would also be improper to say that it did, in fact, exist.. without more evidence.

The NEUTRAL POINT OF VIEW on this topic is that Atlantis is a "Myth"/"Legend", neither a FACT or a FICTION.. but something else. Myths and/or Legends have the possibility of having had some kind of reality to them, but are not mistaken as accurate historical accounts by anyone. I would argue that a "Myth" is a much older type of "Legend" and that in light of this, that it should be termed a "Myth." In addition, the story also incorporates the Greek Pantheon (which I suspect was Plato twisting an Egyptian Myth into a Greek one ;-).

Further still, this article should document this very debate.. over the ages. An entire section should be devoted to this very subject (The Great Debate), within the article because it is a MAJOR part of the subject of Atlantis. But the lead should neither confirm or deny the existence of Atlantis, nor should the article attempt to end the debate. (talk) 07:42, 15 December 2014 (UTC)

Cultural Marxist Bias[edit]

Content clearly biased with a Cultural Marxist Point of View. Text uses several mechanisms for degrading opposing view points, including stating it was of Minor importance to Plato's works, was used to show Plato's concept as a state as superior; constant use of terms such as allegorical, fictional, and pseudoscience. The legend of Atlantis is not to a single source, but within multiple cultures and historians. Text also states "present-day philologists and historians unanimously accept the story's fictional character." No they do not. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Atlantiansatlas (talkcontribs) 17:30, 5 July 2014 (UTC)

Do you have any reliable sources to support the missing opposing viewpoints, or with which to establish WP:DUE weight to change the article altogether? Your blog link does not meet our reliable source requirements.- MrX 18:25, 5 July 2014 (UTC)
(a) What is a "cultural Marxist"?
(b) The legend of Atlantis is not to a single source, but within multiple cultures and historians. Not true. Atlantis only exists in Plato's work. No Greek author before him, or one of his contemporaries, mentions Atlantis. Let alone any non-Greek author at any time. There are, of course, other legends of sunk continents and mysterious islands. But none of these are related to Atlantis. Just like there are hundreds of movies with spaceships and aliens without any relation to Star Trek. --bender235 (talk) 21:33, 5 July 2014 (UTC)
I disagree with both points of view. The attack on "Cultural Marxism" is a misunderstanding piled on a misunderstanding piled on a misunderstanding. And scarcely relevant unless you're a adherent of esoteric Hitlerism. Secondly, it is radically not true that Atlantis only exists in Plato's work. Furthermore there is no proof that no Greek author before or contemporary with Plato mentioned Atlantis. It is just that we have not (yet) found extant sources. So what? Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, as any student of ancient history should know. What we have is a story, the earliest source of which is Plato. By the way, the main source regarding Socrates and his philosophy is also Plato. Most people (except for esoteric Platonic fictionalists) do not conclude that Socrates and his philosophy was (basically) a fictional invention of Plato. This is a fringe theory. By the way, I do not believe Atlantis was real. But that is not the point.--Jack Upland (talk) 11:24, 3 October 2014 (UTC)
[...] there is no proof that no Greek author before or contemporary with Plato mentioned Atlantis. It is just that we have not (yet) found extant sources.
This is nonsense. You could just as well claim there is no proof time travel, quantum physics and Batman was not mentioned by some Classical Greek author, it's just that we haven't found the extant source yet. That is tautologically true. When you start with a false premise, you can claim anything. --bender235 (talk) 17:16, 3 October 2014 (UTC)
I really don't understand the idea that if you can't find any evidence for something that isn't evidence that it might not exist. The lack of any evidence of radiation in my house isn't evidence that there isn't a suitcase of uranium under my bed? Tell an archaeologist that has conducted a thorough excavation of a site that the fact that they found no ruins of a Roman villa doesn't mean there is no evidence that there wasn't one there. Dougweller (talk) 18:23, 3 October 2014 (UTC)
Although the traditional "absence of evidence is not evidence of absence" aphorism may be perceived as fallacious, I guess Jack's point is summarized here and here. Basically, the assertion of the "lack of any evidence of radiation in the house" may actually be the result of a faulty geiger counter as well. Logos (talk) 20:16, 3 October 2014 (UTC)
My comment was specifically about ancient history. We know for a fact that many sources are lost.--Jack Upland (talk) 00:51, 4 October 2014 (UTC)
PS Strictly speaking, I should have said that the absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence. The question is whether the expectation that there is evidence is reasonable. The irony is that the link which suggested my argument was "fallacious" actually makes the point about the fallacy of argument from ignorance: "It asserts that a proposition is true because it has not yet been proven false (or vice versa). This represents a type of false dichotomy in that it excludes a third option, which is that there is insufficient investigation and therefore insufficient information to prove the proposition satisfactorily to be either true or false." It further mentions a fourth option, that the question is "unknowable". In this case, it is "unknowable" based on the available information. Sources about ancient history are so scanty that the assertion that it is "known" that Atlantis was a "fiction" made up by Plato is highly dubious. An example of this issue is the existence of the Hittites which was discounted because the only evidence was the Bible, and then was confirmed by archeology. See also the city of Troy...--Jack Upland (talk) 12:42, 26 October 2014 (UTC)


Plato was writing a story for a literate but limited audience. Nobody during the classical period seems to have regarded this work as other than a political allegory.

One possibility is that the Atlantis story was added simply as " another place, another time". In modern terms a fantasy or even science fiction aside. The late professor Willy Ley's reconstruction seems by far the most credible.AT Kunene 123 (talk) 10:40, 11 October 2014 (UTC)

Interesting comment. You may also want to read: Gill, Christopher (1979). "Plato's Atlantis Story and the Birth of Fiction". Philosophy and Literature 3 (1): 64–78. doi:10.1353/phl.1979.0005.  --bender235 (talk) 20:00, 11 October 2014 (UTC)

A Fiction Devised by Plato? Sources Relating to Debates[edit]

This page has seen long debates about whether Atlantis should be described as "devised by Plato", and as "fiction" or "legend". Here are some sources:

  • "Altantis" in Encyclopaedia Brittanica, 2013: "A legendary island... The principal sources for the legend are two of Plato’s dialogues, Timaeus and Critias... Atlantis is probably a mere legend, but medieval European writers who received the tale from Arab geographers believed it to be true, and later writers tried to identify it with an actual country."
  • "Atlantis: Fact or Fiction?" in Calliope, May/Jun 1992, Vol 2, Issue 5: "Ever since the famed Greek philosopher Plato ...told of a land he called Atlantis in two dialogues (Timaeus and Critias), scholars have discussed, debated, and refuted the truth of his description. Today, more than two thousand years later, the controversy continues... Plato's account of Atlantis is the only one that exists. Was it one of many written and the only one to survive? Or was he the only ancient author to write about Atlantis? If so, did he use an imaginary island to illustrate a particular philosophical principle, or was he documenting a lost civilization?"
  • J Gwyn Griffiths, "Atlantis and Egypt" in Historia: Zeitschrift für Alte Geschichte, Bd 34, H 1, 1st Qtr, 1985, p 3: "the theme has an eternal quality in that exhibits several problems that remain unsolved and are likely to remain so even after the completion of this paper. For example: Where was Atlantis! What is the origin and meaning of its name? Is the story fact or fiction? Did Plato invent it?"
Ditto, p 27: "What concerns me mainly, none the less, is the extent of the conceptual debt to Egypt. The story certainly does not derive from Egypt in toto. Diverse sources and materials have been used, and the process is patently the construction of a pastiche."
  • Dorothy B Vitaliano, "Geomythology: The Impact of Geologic Events on History and Legend with Special Reference to Atlantis" in Journal of the Folklore Institute, Vol 5, No 1, June, 1968, pp 11-12: "As for Atlantis, surely no other legend has intrigued so many, or spawned such a wealth of literature, ranging from out-and-out fantasy to respectable speculations as to its reality and location and the reason for its destruction... At the same time there is probably no other legend with a more limited source. Except for a couple of uncertain references in Herodotus and Homer, all that is known about Atlantis comes from two of Plato's dialogues, the Timaeus and the Critias. Some have dismissed Atlantis as a tale Plato made up to illustrate a point, but most agree he told it as he heard it and believed it to be the truth."

It is abundantly clear that many reputable sources consider that (a) it is still an open question whether Plato devised the story, (b) it is acceptable to call the story a "legend". QED.--Jack Upland (talk) 16:46, 10 November 2014 (UTC)

We shouldn't be using tertiary sources such as the Britannica. Nor should we use magazines written for "young people" such as Calliope. Vitaliano is a geologist, not qualified to comment on this specific issue. We can use Griffiths's opinion, but you don't seem to understand the sort of sources we should use and how. And you've provided no evidence that it is generally considered a legend. Dougweller (talk) 19:19, 11 November 2014 (UTC)
@Jack Upland:, you could save everyone a lot of time by reading: Clay, Diskin (2000). "The Invention of Atlantis: The Anatomy of a Fiction". In Cleary, John J.; Gurtler, Gary M. Proceedings of the Boston Area Colloquium in Ancient Philosophy 15. Leiden: E. J. Brill. pp. 1–21. ISBN 90-04-11704-0. . Thanks. --bender235 (talk) 05:30, 12 November 2014 (UTC)

A lot of people claim it was not a fiction, yet there are no sources for Atlantis before Plato, and not that many that are contemporary (are there in fact any?).Slatersteven (talk) 11:54, 12 November 2014 (UTC)

There are no sources for Atlantis other than Plato and authors referring to Plato. --bender235 (talk) 14:06, 12 November 2014 (UTC)
Britannica, as a tertiary source, establishes that it is considered a legend by many. I agree that Calliope is probably not an appropriate source, though it does sum up the issue rather well. The article should reflect the diversity of views and the scholarship of various disciplines. It should not reflect the view of one person, Diskin Clay, to the exclusion of all other points of view, no matter how right he might be.--Jack Upland (talk) 16:54, 12 November 2014 (UTC)
No, the Britannica sums up the view of its article's author. You can't use it in this way. Dougweller (talk) 18:04, 12 November 2014 (UTC)
Oh, Clay (2000) is just one of the more recent articles describing you the consensus view on Atlantis among historians and philologists. Morgan (2004) would be another, and the article cites numerous others. --bender235 (talk) 15:39, 13 November 2014 (UTC)
Since I have been accused of abandoning this debate (see below), here is a response to these supposedly crushing arguments: (a) having a first class honours degree in history from a reputable university, which included the study of Plato, I do not think I need a lecture from a couple of self-appointed Wikipedia experts about sources; (b) as previously pointed out, you cannot cite a couple of sources, no matter how good they are, or how good you think they are, to the exclusion of all others; (c) it is purely arrogant to demand other people produce sources, and then to dismiss the sources they produce in a couple of lines, and it is also arrogant to accuse them of wasting your time; (d) Wikipedia pages are not the property of individual editors, and if you are acting as if they are, you are in the wrong regardless of anything else; (e) purely because Britannica has authors for its entries does not stop it being a reputable tertiary source; (f) Calliope is designed for young people, but then many young people read Wikipedia; (g) a few recent sources do not represent a "unanimous consensus" (in the words of the article); (h) the argument that Plato must have invented the story because there are no extant earlier sources is a logical fallacy, which shows an incomprehension of the scarcity of sources in the ancient world, as previously pointed out; (i) Wikipedia is an inclusive project, and should not exclude sources because they are geologists etc; (j) the fact that this debate has been going on for years, with various contributors, indicates that there is no consensus, and it is a denial of reality to suggest otherwise; (k) I do not intend to "debate" this forever; I have already passed the point of ad nauseum, and it is clear that the self-appointed guardians of this page are not interested in an intelligent discussion with other editors; however, this should not be interpreted as accepting the "last word" of these "philosopher kings" as truth and beauty.--Jack Upland (talk) 14:09, 24 November 2014 (UTC)
It's interesting that you claim to have a degree in history (not that it matters; on the internet, we're all dogs. Only the argument counts on Wikipedia), yet fail to recognize that Plato's work in general is as much a historiographic source as is Shakespeares', Dickens', or Tolkiens'; that's not at all, in case you wonder. Plato did not record historic events. He developed philosophical arguments.
That being said, we have to weigh carefully what "description" of Atlantis to put in the lead. Yes, there are some (you named them) who confuse Plato's work with Greek mythology. Just as there are some, who consider Atlantis entirely real. But these fringe positions do not belong in the lead. I have cited numerous sources to you of the common perception of Plato's work among historians and philologists. We should stick to that. --bender235 (talk) 13:16, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
But Shakespeare, Dickens, and Tolkien are creative writers. Plato, as you say, is a philosopher. Plato's dialogues are known to be invented (to some degree), even though they involve largely real people expounding their real opinions. The narrative is merely a contrivance in order to allow Plato to put forward his point of view (from the mouth of Socrates). I'm not aware of anyone calling Plato a fiction writer, or calling The Republic a novel. Notably, the Ring of Gyges is described in its article as a "myth", even though, like Atlantis, Plato's text is the earliest extant source. Plato could have made up the story, but we have no reason to say that, and it isn't asserted in the article. (And, no, I'm not stating that rings of invisibility are real, whether they are mentioned in the works of Plato or the scholarly writings of an Oxford professor...)--Jack Upland (talk) 04:59, 3 December 2014 (UTC)
For someone claiming to have "a first class honours degree in history from a reputable university" your lack of knowledge is astounding. The Story of Gyges, which Plato used in his works, is partly based on Herodotus, who mentioned it a century earlier. Another version, although of less influence on Plato, was delivered by Archilochos, three hundred years before Plato's time. And there's another version, by Xanthus, also almost two centuries before Plato. And that's why the article refers to the Gyges story as one that was "borrowed from older traditions." (see, for instance, Danzig (2008)).
Atlantis, on the other hand, is mentioned by no other Ancient Greek author before Plato. Period. That is because, just like Gotham City or the Land of Oz, it is an original invention, i.e. fiction. --bender235 (talk) 05:51, 5 December 2014 (UTC)


The POV of this page is now blatantly obvious. My NPOV tag has been twice removed by bender235, the very person mainly responsible for the lack of neutrality. I don't want to waste my time in an edit war, or debate with people whose idea of an argument is mere gainsaying. But I do want to flag the issue for other editors.--Jack Upland (talk) 00:38, 24 November 2014 (UTC)

Seriously? You started the section above on the issue but refuse to comment for almost two weeks to a couple of answers and reasonings given to you. Why do you persist on keeping a POV template on this article then? --bender235 (talk) 02:07, 24 November 2014 (UTC)
I didn't refuse to comment. I was busy doing other things. A fortnight is not a long time.--Jack Upland (talk) 02:42, 24 November 2014 (UTC)


The main problem with the article is that it is lumping academics or researchers who argue for a real/historical Atlantis, with those that argue it was invented/fiction but that Plato borrowed from factual or historical sources for his imaginary island (e.g. that he was influenced by a circular structure somewhere for the layout of Atlantis). Admittedly with some authors the distinction between these two viewpoints is blurred. This can clearly be seen on page 177 of Atlantis Destroyed by Rodney Castleton. For example he regards there to be a "Bronze Age Component" (folk memory of the Thera eruption) in Plato's dialogues, but does this mean he is a proponent of a real Atlantis as Santorini or Crete? At the same time he has Plato himself inventing descriptions of Atlantis. So it could either be argued that Atlantis was real, or fiction (but that Plato borrowed from sources/was influenced by real places). Platonics (talk) 14:42, 1 December 2014 (UTC)

Note above that user "Bender235" is posting incorrect statements on the subject, e.g. that Luce's position was that Atlantis was not a real place. This is a silly statement and shows he has never read Luce, at least not properly. Platonics (talk) 04:40, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
And yet another person who doesn't understand the difference between "A is a real place" and "A was inspired by a real place". We should add a FAQ to this talk page, I guess.
In a nutshell: Gotham City and Metropolis are "inspired by a real place" (New York City), yet they are still fictional places. So can Batman and Superman comics be considered historiographic just because their setting was inspired by a real place? Do they tell us anything about the history of New York City? No, they don't.
Same with Atlantis: even if Atlantis was inspired by the Minoans, the Sea Peoples, or the Trojans neither makes it identical to those places/people, nor does it tell us anything how any of this places/people look like. Because it is a piece of fiction, inside a piece of literature that couldn't be further from historiography. --bender235 (talk) 12:22, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
Bender235, Since Plato credits Solon (who said the story came from anonymous Egyptian priests), and since it is quite common for 2 places to have 2 different, but real, names, your juxtaposition of Atlantis with works who's classification as fiction is not in dispute is erroneous.
The Atlantis story came from Egypt, ACCORDING TO PLATO. If the Egyptians called it Atlantis, but the Greeks had a different name for the same place, then it is an "alias." (talk) 12:19, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
You may want to get familiar with the literary concept of frame stories. Plato does not credit the real-life Solon. Plato's (fictional) character Critias credits a (fictional) Solon, who in turn credits a (fictional) Egyptian priest. Again, this is a literary device for style purposes, not a chain of tradition. --bender235 (talk) 13:09, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
And your evidence supporting this ^^^ interpretation is??? (talk) 04:49, 5 December 2014 (UTC)
[Bender235,] You're wrong and are posting lies. Luce's position was that Atlantis was a real place. Platonics (talk) 12:44, 2 December 2014 (UTC)

"The prosecution has alleged that the empire of Atlantis is entirely fictional. But surely the picture of an island-centered empire dominating other islands and parts of a continent is a very unlikely fiction for a romancer to have devised, especially in a Utopian context. When it is realized that the picture is a startling accurate sketch of the Minoan empire in the sixteenth century BC, does this not create the presumption that there must be some historical tradition at the core of the legend." - Luce, 1969, p. 137

"The overall case is that Solon acquired in Egypt a genuine, if somewhat garbled, tradition of Minoan Crete [...] Solon's account and also a Solonian manuscript, then descended to Plato by the route he indicates within his own family. This would explain why it was a genuine historical tradition, and yet not a part of [current] Greek mythology. Ibid, p. 140

For Luce (1969) Atlantis was a real place (Keftiu of the ancient Egyptians, i.e. Crete) not fiction. Nor does he have it as fiction but Plato having incorporated traditions (e.g. perhaps as Rodney Castledon, but even this is debatable). For Luce the tradition of Keftiu itself is Plato's source for Atlantis, not that he made up Atlantis as fiction and borrowed designs from real places (although of course as an oral tradition/myth he doesn't claim Atlantis as it is described should be taken always literal). Luce identified Plato's source as a Bronze Age Egyptian oral tradition that recorded the height of the Minoan thalassocracy (Atlantis "empire") and the Thera eruption(s), c. 1600-1500 BC. According to Luce, Atlantis was Keftiu and he even equates these in etymology. He even wrote that Solon substituted Keftiu for Atlantis while writing his manuscript. Bizarrely "Bender235" however is spamming his lame 'gotham city' nonsense all over this page, and posting lies that Luce thought Atlantis was fiction or not real. Like I said its very apparent "Bender" has not read Luce, or any of the others he has wrongly misinterpreted, or worse just deliberately lied about on this page to push his own point of view. Platonics (talk) 14:02, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
This is very concerning. We should consider asking for an intervention.--Jack Upland (talk) 04:44, 3 December 2014 (UTC)
For Luce (1969) Atlantis was a real place (Keftiu of the ancient Egyptians, i.e. Crete) not fiction.
Unfortunately, you still don't understand. For Luce, the real place "Minoan Crete" inspired Atlantis. Just like New York City inspired Gotham City. It does not not create an identity between the two. Why is that so hard to understand? --bender235 (talk) 13:09, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
No, you're wrong. For Luce (1969) Keftiu = Atlantis. He made that direct equation. The "inspired" fallacy is your mistake. You haven't even read Luce and just continue to post lies across this page, despite having been corrected multiple times. Troll? Platonics (talk) 17:43, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
Let me just ask you this: would you be surprised to hear that the story of Julius Caesar is "genuine historical tradition"? Probably not, right? So does that mean Shakespeares' Julius Caesar is a piece of historiography rather than art and fiction? Is there, in your mind, no chance that artists and authors may take "historical events" as loose inspiration for their works? --bender235 (talk) 13:16, 8 December 2014 (UTC)

Bad edits by "Bender"[edit]

Like I said the main problem with the article seems to be "Bender" replacing proponents of a real/historical Atlantis as fiction proponents, but who argue Plato was inspired or incorporated other sources/traditions (Troy, Minoans etc). As you can see from the edit below he's replacing the origin of Atlantis with 'inspired'. John V Luce's position is then distorted to imply he is a fiction proponent only arguing Plato was inspired by Thera/Minoan Crete. This is totally false as shown above. Luce argued for a real/historical Atlantis via an Egyptian oral tradition that ended up passed on to Plato's family, not that he invented Atlantis but was merely inspired by some vague knowledge or memory of the Thera eruption. Unfortuantly as it stands, the article seems to have been completely destroyed with these sort of toxic edits that are labelling proponents of a real Atlantis as fiction. Platonics (talk) 17:02, 2 December 2014 (UTC)

Let me suggest that blatant personal attacks on other editors do not help your case. The vast majority of scholarship has concluded the Plato's Atlantis was a fictional place. Luce's opinion that Plato's story was inspired by actual events does not make Plato's version non-fiction. Using your reasoning, we could not classify Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express as fiction, since it was inspired by the actual events of the Lindbergh Kidnapping. Edward321 (talk) 00:38, 6 December 2014 (UTC)

How to distinguish[edit]

How do we distinguish between proponents of a real/historical Atlantis to those that maintain Plato invented it as fiction but borrowed or was inspired from other sources, such as real places? The answer is to look at the origin of the Atlantis story. Luce (1969) does not claim Plato invented Atlantis, but was inspired by the Minoans, instead he claims Atlantis derived from an Egyptian oral tradition of Minoan Crete. For Luce, Atlantis was a real place. The same can be said for Eberhard Zangger, but for Troy. Zangger does not propose Plato invented Atlantis but was influenced by the Trojan war, or borrowed from Homer. "Bender" has inserted more incorrect claims here. In Rodney Castledon it is less clear how to distinguish between these two viewpoints because he has confusing mix, see page 177. That was my opening point. Platonics (talk) 17:22, 2 December 2014 (UTC)


The only way you arrive at the ridiculous claim posted on the article that virtually all scholars recognize Atlantis is fiction, is by falsely including proponents of a historical/real Atlantis (Luce, Zangger etc) among those arguing it is fiction. This is dishonest and misleading. No one has ever disputed that most scholars hold the Atlantis is fiction position, but a sizable and respectable minority of classicists and archaeologists disagree and have argued, and continue to argue, Atlantis was real. Therefore introducing the article as "Atlantis is fiction" should be removed. This is not NPOV. Platonics (talk) 17:36, 2 December 2014 (UTC)

Atlantic Ocean[edit]

World map of Hecataeus, to illustrate Plato's "knowledge" of geography.

This statement from the article: "At the end of the story, Atlantis eventually falls out of favor with the gods and famously submerges into the Atlantic Ocean" is false. It links to the modern Atlantic Ocean, but this identification was never made by Plato/or we don't know where the original Atlantic Sea in regards to Atlantis was located. Luce (1969) for example rejected the modern Atlantic Ocean equation. Platonics (talk) 09:53, 3 December 2014 (UTC)

In one of the footnotes, the articles point you towards Hecataeus of Miletus, where you can see the famous map that shows you how Plato's contemporaries pictured the world. Let me add it here for good measure. As you can see, the Ancient Greeks of Plato's time had a very clear understanding that there's an ocean beyond the strait of Gibralta. They didn't know how big it was, or where it ended. Which made it the perfect place for an imaginary island kingdom that no one ever heard of. Just like 19th century authors placed fictional cities or "lost worlds" within then-unknown parts of Africa (for instance, King Solomon's Mines). It's a literary trick. The 4th-century BC equivalent of saying "[...] in a galaxy far, far away". --bender235 (talk) 13:19, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
Agh, this your interpretation only again. The Atlantis civilization according to the dialogues existed millennia before Plato. So this is why Luce (1969) located the "Atlantic Sea" in the eastern Mediterranean around Crete, which during the Bronze Age was the remotest island in the west the Egyptians had direct knowledge. Platonics (talk) 17:37, 4 December 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Luce may have rejected the Atlantic Ocean, but in doing so he was rejecting that part of Plato's story. The Timaeus says "The most famous of them all was the overthrow of the island of Atlantis. This great island lay over against the Pillars of Heracles, in extent greater than Libya and Asia put together, and was the passage to other islands and to a great ocean of which the Mediterranean sea was only the harbour; and within the Pillars the empire of Atlantis reached in Europe to Tyrrhenia and in Libya to Egypt. This mighty power was arrayed against Egypt and Hellas and all the countries bordering on the Mediterranean. Then your city did bravely, and won renown over the whole earth. For at the peril of her own existence, and when the other Hellenes had deserted her, she repelled the invader, and of her own accord gave liberty to all the nations within the Pillars. A little while afterwards there were great earthquakes and floods, and your warrior race all sank into the earth; and the great island of Atlantis also disappeared in the sea. This is the explanation of the shallows which are found in that part of the Atlantic ocean." Edward321 (talk) 00:48, 6 December 2014 (UTC)

A concerned user[edit]

Hello, before I begin I'd like to say that I and many others appreciate all of your hard work. I'd like to point out that I am not an editor and I have no intention of becoming one either. I may be breaking some sort of Wikipedia taboo but everyone of you needs to hear from a regular person who needed to use this page for a project. After reading the article and the talk comments it's clear some egos have gotten out of control. This article needs to be reviewed and changed. It is not neutral - especially the beginning. What you have all seemed to have missed is that none of you can confirm or deny that Atlantis existed - there is no overwhelming proof for or against it and yet this article leans so heavily towards the idea that Atlantis never existed it's useless. I'm not saying that the article should confirm that it existed or that it didn't but that a balanced perspective should be presented that is helpful to us - the end users. Wikipedia is not your personal publication and articles should not reflect your personal prejudices. Thank you. Amelija2 (talk) 00:03, 3 December 2014 (UTC) Amelija2

Hear! Hear!--Jack Upland (talk) 04:34, 3 December 2014 (UTC)
[...] you can confirm or deny that Atlantis existed - there is no overwhelming proof for or against it
Please proof to me the non-existence of Aristophanes' Cloud cuckoo land. I'll grab me some popcorn in the meantime. Oh, and while you're at it, please proof to me the non-existence of unicorns and Underpants Gnomes.
Ok, sarcasm aside, we have something called WP:UNDUE, which tells you that just because there exists a theory on something, we don't have to include it on Wikipedia. For instance, there might be fringe theories of hollow earth, but that doesn't mean we have to transform the Earth article into one including that theory as well. The Atlantis article reflects the mainstream view of academic historians and philologists. Thtat's all due weight needed. --bender235 (talk) 13:31, 4 December 2014 (UTC)

Thank you, Bender for proving my point. I politely point out that to the end users – the people like me who donate to keep this site up and running need useful balanced information. What is your response – sarcasm and insulting my intelligence. Doesn’t that violate the first three RULES of the forum?

  • Be polite, and welcoming to new users
  • Assume good faith
  • Avoid personal attacks

Your ego is out of control and you should be banned as an editor. Are you a member of the Church of Scientology, by chance? Amelija2 (talk) 15:48, 4 December 2014 (UTC) Amelija2

I don't think even the most highly sensitive would consider what I wrote as an "insult" or "personal attack", but anyways, my apologies. My point was that one cannot "prove" the non-existence of something. It's a logical fallacy. Just give it a try and prove to me the non-existence of "a galaxy far far away". If you can't do that, you cannot expect anyone to prove Atlantis doesn't exist. --bender235 (talk) 16:49, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
"Your ego is out of control and you should be banned as an editor". Couldn't agree more, he's also been inserting his "inspired" fallacy into the article. Despite also being corrected multiple times, he's too bigheaded to admit his error(s). Platonics (talk) 17:45, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
Was Russell's teapot launched from Atlantis? What scholarly inquiry concludes there is adequate evidence to consider the possibility Atlantis existed within the realm of serious academic inquiry in relevant fields such as history, archeology or geology? What have been the results of such inquiry? This is what a WP article on the subject should reflect in terms of the possibility/plausibility of the existence of Atlantis. - - MrBill3 (talk) 04:19, 5 December 2014 (UTC)

Allegory, pseudo-history[edit]

I've reverted as I don't see a consensus to remove these. Maybe a WP:RfC would be a good idea. Particularly as we seem to have new editors focussing only on this article. Dougweller (talk) 09:53, 3 December 2014 (UTC)

NPOV or 'neutrality' would state that while most scholars argue it is fiction/allegory, there is a sizable minority of academics past and present who disagree; not start the article by stating Atlantis is fiction. This is biased and inaccurate, its equivalent to a faith statement or personal opinion. And for those editors pushing this, its rather strange that the vast majority of the article is sheer crackpottery: Donnelly, Cayce, Nazi occult etc. Why not discuss respectable archaeologists and classicists who take Atlantis to be real? Instead the article spends its sections on crazy nonsense like "Madame Blavatsky and the Theosophists". Platonics (talk) 10:09, 3 December 2014 (UTC)
"Wikipedia is not fringe!", but bizarrely the majority of the Atlantis page focuses and pays so much attention to fringe theories/pseudo-history/woo/occult mumbo-jumbo on Atlantis. Can you explain this? Why not instead cover respectable academics arguing for a real Atlantis? See: Spyridon Marinatos, Rhys Carpenter, John V. Luce, and a contemporary: Mary Settegast. Platonics (talk) 10:29, 3 December 2014 (UTC)
@Platonics... could you give us a better indication as to which academics are in this "sizable minority"? Blueboar (talk) 12:27, 3 December 2014 (UTC)
And in what sense do these academics "take Atlantis to be real"? Do they hold that there was a real place named Atlantis, just as Plato described it? That there was a real place, not called Atlantis but matching Plato's description of Atlantis's location and layout, which warred with the ancient Athenians? Or just that there was a real place, not matching Plato's description of Atlantis, that somehow came to ruin? In the latter case, I see no problem with calling Atlantis a fiction of Plato's, whether or not he was familiar with accounts of the destroyed city/island/civilization. Deor (talk) 13:03, 3 December 2014 (UTC)

The main dispute concerns the origin of the story. Those academics I listed have argued that Plato did not invent Atlantis, but that what he records in his two dialogues is an oral tradition, folk memory or ancient myth of an island civilization that Solon (or Plato himself) learnt while in Egypt (others however may dispute where Plato received the tradition). So in this sense Atlantis would have been real, i.e. it would have been an actual historical place. This is not the same as saying Plato invented Atlantis, but borrowed or incorporated traditions into his story. User "Bender" confuses these two viewpoints. Platonics (talk) 13:29, 3 December 2014 (UTC)

Okay, for the last time: arguing that Atlantis is based on actual tradition does not make one claim that Plato's story is non-fictional. Please wrap your head around this distinction! Even if (and this is highly doubtful, but let's assume it for the sake of the argument) Plato traveled to Egypt, and got an account of "Egypt's history of the Minoans", first hand. That still does not turn Plato's philosophical works into history books describing actual history. Because even if you, as an author, use real places or events to emphasize your point or just for entertaining reasons, it does not turn you into an historian. What you describe is still fiction. For instance, think of how The Wolverine embeds elements of actual WWII history into a still fictional story. --bender235 (talk) 13:39, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
You're still posting the same fallacy. The Wolverine is fiction (regardless whether influenced by, or incorporating details of something real) because someone originally invented it. Instead, Luce (1969) and others have argued that Atlantis is an oral tradition of an actual island civilization. This means it wasn't originally invented: Atlantis was a real place, like Troy. This has been repeated to you many times, but you still apparently don't get it. How on earth is an oral tradition or folk memory of real place a fiction? You are possibly the most confused & irrational individual I've yet come across. Platonics (talk) 17:13, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
Yes, please do a Rfc. I am not a new editor. This needs an independent assessment.--Jack Upland (talk) 22:31, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
Alright, I'm sorry, but I'm too busy to deal with an army of knucklehead meatpuppets. I have no idea what sent all those people to this talk page simultaneously, but I stop commenting on ignorant posts from now on and focus on keeping the article clean. I neither have time nor intent to explain the difference between fictional and non-fictional literature to lay people. Anyone with education beyond high school level should be able to realize that difference, and if not, please visit your nearest public library and read about it. --bender235 (talk) 05:35, 5 December 2014 (UTC)

Plato existed during a time when the majority of the histories were still being passed orally, via songs, poems and stories. Written works were still relatively new. Ergo, the lack of accurate descriptions in these oral histories should be expected. It's why they are called "Myths" or "Legends," and not "History."

As an aside, the use of quartz crystals in magic is documented into the ancient myths as well... and it was thought to be "rubbish" by many scholars until the crystal radio was invented. So there had been some truth to the pagan/occult belief that vibrations could be sent through a crystal to other crystals. It obviously doesn't make it all true, but God forbid we should lose humanities Mythos to these narrow minded, condescending, zealots. Had they had their ways, the crystal radio may never have been invented.. or WiFi, or the cell phone, etc..

What has been held as "Myth" or "Legend" should continue to be held as Myth or Legend, and not be allowed to be perverted into "fiction" (or "fact"), by "modern" academia. (talk) 08:12, 15 December 2014 (UTC)

Ok, crystal bogus aside, let me just comment on this statement of yours: "Plato existed during a time when the majority of the histories were still being passed orally, via songs, poems and stories. Written works were still relatively new."
Plato lived about 130 yrs after who is considered the first true historian of Ancient Greek history, Hecataeus of Miletus. Saying written works were "new to Plato" would be the equivalent of saying electricity is new to us, just because we only have it for a century. And I guess by that definition you do not expect anyone to use computers until the year 2100. --bender235 (talk) 14:46, 15 December 2014 (UTC)


There has been considerable dispute about this page only reflecting the point of view of a few editors, particularly bender235, and allegedly egotistical behaviour preventing other editors having input.--Jack Upland (talk) 01:46, 6 December 2014 (UTC)

Is there a particular question of content or policy that you'd like RfC to answer? bobrayner (talk) 02:16, 8 December 2014 (UTC)
I would like an independent person to review this discussion page, as it appears the theory that Atlantis was a fiction devised by Plato is being imposed on the article without respect for other points of view. This seems to be a violation of the NPOV policy to me.--Jack Upland (talk) 03:19, 8 December 2014 (UTC)
Unless you can formulate a clear question for people to comment on, this RfC isn't likely to go anywhere. What about the article, exactly, do you find objectionable? Is it just the word fictional in the opening sentence? How about the third paragraph of the lead? Do you think suggestions that Plato, in creating his account of Atlantis, drew inspiration from legends of ancient (to him) disasters should prevent the use of the term fiction to characterize his account? Or are you just objecting to conduct on this talk page? You need to give people a better idea of what you want to be discussed—see Wikipedia:Requests for comment#Statement should be neutral and brief, noting particularly the "Good questions" and "Bad questions" examples in the side box. Deor (talk) 17:47, 8 December 2014 (UTC)
I suggest closing the RfC and perhaps take the discussion to WP:DRN, and notifying any individuals who you think might be interested of the discussion there. John Carter (talk) 17:59, 8 December 2014 (UTC)
Ideally, this should not be here at an RfC but on the on ANI. --Rsrikanth05 (talk) 10:05, 9 December 2014 (UTC)
ANI? For what? --bender235 (talk) 13:24, 9 December 2014 (UTC)
The behavorial review requested by the original poster of this thread, presumably. John Carter (talk) 17:29, 9 December 2014 (UTC)
As John Carter said. An RfC is not needed for editorial behaviour related disputes. --Rsrikanth05 (talk) 18:14, 9 December 2014 (UTC)
Please note: this RfC was suggested by Dougweller in the section above. You really should ask him why. I was only attempting to resolve this repetitive dispute.--Jack Upland (talk) 23:37, 9 December 2014 (UTC)
About the wording - suggesting possible forms of wording - it's my opinion that serious historians, etc consider it to be essentially fictional/mythological but with some aspects of the story coming from Plato's knowledge and experience. Dougweller (talk) 16:55, 10 December 2014 (UTC)
I believe it is valid (and quite possibly true) to argue that Atlantis is a fiction devised by Plato. However, there is no definitive evidence for that, and the problem is here that that one point of view is being imposed on the page. I don't think that is WP policy.--Jack Upland (talk) 18:59, 10 December 2014 (UTC)
If there needs to be a question, how about this: Should the lead of an article only reflect the consensus of serious scholars in the field? And who decides what this consensus is? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jack Upland (talkcontribs)
What I constantly tried to get across was the information that even those few serious scholars that argue that Plato was inspired by some (now lost) tradition of Minoans, Trojans, or Sea Peoples, still would categorize Atlantis as a piece of fiction. Because fiction inspired by real events or places is still fiction. One may argue that Orwell's Animal Farm was inspired by the Soviet Union. That this doesn't make it a piece of historiography. It remains fiction. Same with Plato's Atlantis. Whether he was inspired by Helike, or the Sicilian invasion, or the Sea Peoples or whatever, his work itself is still fiction. Period. There was no place named Atlantis, and the information in his dialogues does not tell us anything about whatever served as inspiration. --bender235 (talk) 04:39, 11 December 2014 (UTC)

To interject a comment please. Two things are obvious:

  1. The article has a point of view
  2. The article is very well written and makes numerous useful citations

I feel the POV aspect should be dealt with, but deal with gently so as not to mar this masterpiece of writing which has been contributed to the Wikipedia canon. It is possibly less important to the long-term usefulness of Wikipedia that articles be vetted for various factions' standards of impartiality than that they be readable, informative, well-sourced and interesting. JacquesDelaguerre (talk) 18:20, 13 December 2014 (UTC)

As discussed above, some of the citations are misrepresentations (Luce, for example), and there is a heavy reliance on a few sources to the exclusion of others. For example, the claim that "present-day philologists and historians unanimously accept the story's fictional character" has only one source (Diskin Clay). That's hardly "unanimous", is it? For your information, I do not belong to any faction. I have never recruited anyone to this debate. Like the "concerned user" above, I only came here seeking information.--Jack Upland (talk) 18:31, 13 December 2014 (UTC)
The thing is, Luce does not say Plato wanted to deliver a piece of historiography. He argues that there was some (today unknown) tradition of Minoan Crete that reached Plato via Egypt. It's a far-fetched theory, but even if true, it does not mean Plato's intention was to report a piece of ancient history, or document a tradition about some real place. His intention with the Atlantis story in Timaios and Kritias was to give evidence how well-functioning his ideal state concept is. By making up a story how a state like this existed in Athens 9,000 years earlier. And how did that state prove its superiority? By defeating a naval power juggernaut from the West, just like glorious Athens of the 5th century defeated the land power juggernaut Persians from the East. That's the whole point of the story. It's a philosophical argument. And for the same reason it does not matter whether the cave in the analogy actually existed, it does not matter for Atlantis. --bender235 (talk) 03:59, 14 December 2014 (UTC)
Without taking sides, it seems to me that criticism of this article stands on two legs: POV and Original Research. Has any Original Research been detected? Possibly combing that out first would allow light to penetrate the POV discussion? JacquesDelaguerre (talk) 02:37, 16 December 2014 (UTC)
- Given the first sentence in the lead says that the article is an island part of an allegory, it is not necessary to call it fictional. No matter how likely or unlikely it is that Plato was referring to a real island society, it is not essential to the understanding of Atlantis (in it's full historical context) to insist that it was fictional throughout the article. Elmmapleoakpine (talk) 00:55, 18 December 2014 (UTC)
If not "fictional", what other attribute would you add in the lead? Or would you not add any, leaving the reader in doubt whether he's reading about a piece of fiction or some real-life fairy land under the seas? --bender235 (talk) 06:09, 18 December 2014 (UTC)
bender235 I admire your style :) You are a "debunker", like the Great Randini of the Skeptics. However, let me toss a little epistemological quibble into the mix: It's not uncommon for some ancient mythological shibboleth to actually have some basis in fact, mythology being largely misremembered history. So perhaps ambiguity in the form of one of the adjectives "notional" or "supposéd" (that fine old English term) is a better adjective.
Along these lines we could concretely offer the following intro 1st sentence: Atlantis (Ancient Greek: Ἀτλαντὶς νῆσος, "island of Atlas") is the name of a supposedly historical island mentioned within an allegory on the hubris of nations in Plato's works etc. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jaxdelaguerre (talkcontribs)
On the account of WP:SCAREQUOTES, I say "no" to "supposedly" or anything along those lines that introduces unneccesary ambiguity. --bender235 (talk) 18:39, 18 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment I was chosen by a bot to comment and I am not involved in the article. WP:WEIGHT is a good guideline to follow in this discussion. It says all points of view in reliable sources should be mentioned in accordance to the frequency they appear. It uses the Flat Earth point of view as an example and is very much on point here. We as editors are not supposed to discount any point of view, but make sure all points of view are covered. Even if its about the Flat Earth which is scientifically proven false. The article suffers from a POV problem and more information from other views should be brought in from reliable sources. AlbinoFerret 00:18, 19 December 2014 (UTC)
I agree. I actually think Plato might have made the story up. But that's not the point. I'm not trying to push any point of view. I just want a balanced article. For the kids.--Jack Upland (talk) 04:40, 19 December 2014 (UTC)
No, that's not how an encyclopedia works. We don't include every opinion. We include scientific consensus, and we leave out fringe theories for good reason. What's good for Evolution, Moon landing, and Assassination of John F. Kennedy is good for Atlantis, too. --bender235 (talk) 09:00, 19 December 2014 (UTC)
But most sensible people (and me too), accept that evolution, the moon landing, and the assassination happened!!! Atlantis is a legend!!!--Jack Upland (talk) 17:52, 19 December 2014 (UTC)
The point this hot-headed young fellow Bender235 doesn't get is that it doesn't matter whether Atlantis is fictional or not. What matters in an encyclopedic article of this sort is conveying accurately whether the author of the Greek sources believed it was historical. That's all we can really document, we can't prove anything much about any Atlantis, for or against. Only what the source documents meant, and how the story has affected world literature since. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jaxdelaguerre (talkcontribs)
I suppose I'm in line with WP:EQ when I refuse to further engage in discussion with people that attempt to ridicule me. I'm out. --bender235 (talk) 21:30, 20 December 2014 (UTC)
There is no way to effectively deal with the subject of this RfC through RfC, so I suggest once again that the RfC be closed, and perhaps an attempt to formulate a question which actually can be addressed through RfC. FWIW, as someone who has not been really involved in this article per se, I would think that the best thing to do would be to close the RfC, and then discuss the phrasing of a second RfC which can be more directly addressed by RfC. I would suggest as one possible version of such a question something along the lines of how much should this article be specifically about the Atlantis of Plato, and how much about the Location hypotheses of Atlantis, and possibly other related topics, and how much comparative weight to give the two topics in this article. John Carter (talk) 21:38, 20 December 2014 (UTC)
Jaxdelaguerre appears to misunderstand what Wikipedia is about. The article certainly should not be limited to discussing whether Plato believed Atlantis was real, nor is that all we can document. Numerous historical sources have discussed Plato's work. The majority of reliable sources, based on history, archeology, and geology have concluded that Atlantis never existed and was a fiction created by Plato for an illustration. A minority of reliable sources have theorized that Plato's allegory was inspired by an actual event, such as the Thera eruption. Fiction inspired by actual events is still fiction; several examples have been given on this talk page. Edward321 (talk) 00:20, 21 December 2014 (UTC)
Seems to be a ridiculous amount of Wikilawyering on this Talk page!--Jack Upland (talk) 06:43, 21 December 2014 (UTC)
I stumbled into this discussion quite late, but it's become clear in merely a few days that article is POV, who the POV artists are, and their non-negotiable position on their taking the Atlantis page hostage to express their contempt for persons who even slightly differ from their POV. Certain persons should be locked out of edits until the page can be cleaned up a bit. JacquesDelaguerre (talk) 03:51, 22 December 2014 (UTC)
  • We shouldn't label Atlantis "fiction" because Plato didn't present it as fiction, whether he made it all up or not, in the way modern novels are clearly understood by readers to be fiction. The current wording is potentially confusing and misleading to readers. If necessary we should use "legendary" like the other encyclopedias do, or something like it. Atlantis is notable precisely because so many people, including scholars, have concluded that Plato was honestly relaying information, information that may have been partly true. This has led to the idea of Atlantis transcending his actual commentary on the topic. These people may be wrong, but Wikipedia shouldn't take sides when covering the dispute. The "fiction" tag isn't extremely well sourced, and seems to be based on a few obscure, speculative articles with price tags that will prevent most people from verifying them.
I have no intention of paying $30 to read one, but I found a freely accessible version of Diskin Clay's 2000 article being used to source the assertion (in Wikipedia's voice) that "present-day philologists and historians unanimously accept the story's fictional character". This is an absurdly bold and unnecessary claim. One, it's doubtful that more than a small percentage of philologists and historians have really studied the topic (it's also unclear that philologists should necessarily be singled out and exalted here over some other fields), and, in the absence of some comprehensive survey firmly establishing every one of their opinions, if the segment remains at all "unanimously" should be replaced with more cautious language (e.g. "...generally view..."; possibly prefaced with "...who have studied the topic..."). Two, the supposed source doesn't appear to make any such claim. In fact, Clay states (p. 8): "By contrast, Plato fabricated the myth of Atlantis with such art that it has virtually gone unrecognized as fiction, even as its imitators were detected." He outright says it has virtually gone unrecognized as fiction. While the article, presented as an argument, advances Clay's personal view of the account being what he calls "fiction", if anything it undermines the notion of universal agreement on the matter, and certainly the case for there being sufficient weight for us to declare it "fiction" in the opening paragraph. VictorD7 (talk) 09:58, 22 December 2014 (UTC)
"We shouldn't label Atlantis "fiction" because Plato didn't present it as fiction, whether he made it all up or not, in the way modern novels are clearly understood by readers to be fiction."
See, you start off with a wrong premise right away. Plato never intended to have his work understood as anything other than fiction. His work is philosophical, not historiographical. That's why it's not the author "speaking" in the texts, but fictional representations of historical characters. Almost like a theatre play. What is said by the Kritias character in Plato's work is as much "historic" as what Shakepeare's Hamlet says. Not at all, just in case you don't know. --bender235 (talk) 17:16, 22 December 2014 (UTC)
Last I checked, philosophy books, including Plato's, typically reside in the non-fiction sections. The employment of allegories or thought experiments doesn't make a work fictional. You also completely ignored my direct quote contradicting your position from the "unanimous" segment's sole source. Have you considered the possibility that you might be the one starting from the wrong premise? Even if everyone agreed that the Atlantis account was totally invented by Plato, and there is serious dispute about that, slapping the "fiction" label on it is bizarre and imprecise (and possibly somewhat anachronistic). For example, we don't typically describe Biblical stories clearly presented as allegories or parables, like Jesus' parable of the barren fig tree, as "fictional", as if it was the latest Star Wars or Dean Koontz novel. Plato actually goes so far as to differentiate the Atlantis account from the allegorical, describing the former as true history. VictorD7 (talk) 20:55, 22 December 2014 (UTC)
Alright, if it's the "fictional" label you have issues with, give us an alternative. Atlantis is clearly not "mythical", because it never was part of Greek mythology the way, for instance, the Greek underworld is. Also, it is not "legendary" the way Gyges of Lydia and his ring was, because there is no mention of Atlantis independent of Plato. So, what other label do you have in mind? --bender235 (talk) 21:20, 22 December 2014 (UTC)
--Bender, if all it would take to make the complainers happy is for "fictional" to be replaced with "legendary" in the opening sentence, I'd be quite happy for that to be done. Although there is no evidence that the story of Atlantis was legendary in Plato's day, it could reasonably be maintained that the story has become legendary in the succeeding millennia. Deor (talk) 22:15, 22 December 2014 (UTC)
You still haven't addressed the fact that the source used contradicts your position. It and other sources also use the word "mythical", though I prefer "legendary" (or no such qualifier at all; it may not be necessary), which is common in still other sources. Plato is the oldest known source on the topic (and maybe the original, or maybe not; only a small percentage, scraps really, of classical writing survives), but that doesn't preclude a term like "legendary". Some extant account has to be the oldest. As for your analogies, no, but myths and legends can come in different forms. The Atlantis account isn't "fictional" either in the way that the Hardy Boys, Wolverine, or for that matter the dramas of Sophocles and other classical playwrights are (though people then likely didn't have quite the same conception of pure entertainment "fiction" that we do). VictorD7 (talk) 23:58, 22 December 2014 (UTC)

Mythical and fictional are both fine. It doesn't have to be part of a single specific Greek tradition to be termed mythical in the word's general sense. It also doesn't matter, in the context of generally describing Atlantis as a concept, what Plato possibly intended or believed to be true. Whatever he meant at the time, any claim that this is a place that existed as described has been overruled by the weight of scholarship. We don't base articles on the possibility of hitherto unfound sources, or the absence or presence of sincerity of the original teller, we base it on current, reliable, mainstream scholarship, which overwhelmingly consider this a fiction. WP:FRINGE applies here, and something that denotes "fictional" or "mythical" is completely appropriate and policy-required here. __ E L A Q U E A T E 01:06, 23 December 2014 (UTC)

Don't conflate "doesn't exist" with "fiction". "Non-fiction" isn't necessarily synonymous with "true", and "fiction" isn't necessarily synonymous with "false", especially when describing written works. VictorD7 (talk) 03:23, 23 December 2014 (UTC)
The Hardy Boys are fictional??? Dudes! Anyway, Bender himself is fast becoming a legend.--Jack Upland (talk) 17:23, 23 December 2014 (UTC)

Removed uncited sentence[edit]

This sentence has been without any citations since July 2012, so I removed it: However detailed geological studies of the Canary Islands, the Azores, Madeira, and the ocean bottom surrounding them found a complete lack of any evidence for the catastrophic subsidence of these islands at any time during their existence and a complete lack of any evidence that the ocean bottom surrounding them was ever dry land at any time in the recent past, with the exception of what appeared to be beaches.[citation needed]