Talk:Atlantis

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Former good article Atlantis was one of the Philosophy and religion good articles, but it has been removed from the list. There are suggestions below for improving the article to meet the good article criteria. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
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Original research[edit]

The source for the recent Ortellius quote [1] is not in English [2], so it appears the quote is that editor's translation. A published and more complete translation can be found here.[3] Edward321 (talk) 14:06, 16 May 2015 (UTC)

Incorrect sources added to intro[edit]

"While present-day philologists and historians unanimously accept the story's fictional character,[7] there is still debate on what served as its inspiration. The fact that Plato borrowed some of his allegories and metaphors—most notably the story of Gyges[8]—from older traditions has caused a number of scholars to investigate possible inspiration of Atlantis from Egyptian records of the Thera eruption, the Sea Peoples invasion, or the Trojan War.[9][10][11][12] Others have rejected this chain of tradition as implausible and insist that Plato designed the story from scratch,[13][14][15] drawing loose inspiration from contemporary events like the failed Athenian invasion of Sicily in 415–413 BC or the destruction of Helike in 373 BC."

Let's look at [9] and [12].

  • 1. [9] is Luce (1978). John V. Luce did not "accept the story's fictional character", he argued Atlantis was Crete. Secondly, he did not argue Plato was just "inspired" by traditions of Minoan Crete, but that Atlantis was actually Crete.
  • 2. [12] is Zangger (1993). Same as above, but substitute Troy for Crete. Zangger thinks Troy was Atlantis, not that Plato was merely "inspired" by the Trojans. SolontheAthenian (talk) 23:30, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
Both is wrong. Plato did not intend to describe Crete or Troy. Even if some distorted Egyptian record of the Battle of Troy or the Minoans reached Plato somehow, he did not intend to report it as factual history. Plato used some actual place (possibly Troy, as Zangger argues, or Crete, as Luce claims, or Helike, as Giovannini argues) as inspiration for his "Platonic myth." Nobody, I repeat: nobody, in academia claims Atlantis existed according to Plato's description. --bender235 (talk) 20:09, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
You don't know what you are talking about and reveal you have not read either Luce or Zangger. Luce thought Minoan Crete was Atlantis, not that Plato was simply 'inspired' by that location. It is tiresome having read this whole page and archive you have repeated this error over and over. Zangger also argued Atlantis was Troy. Of course Plato's descriptions of Atlantis don't all match either Crete or Troy, in fact few do. However Zangger/Luce argue(d) the descriptions that don't match are errors. They argue(d) Plato did not invent Atlantis but that it was a story (oral tradition) passed down to him - most the mismatch or erroneous descriptions are explained as having been added as the story was transmitted, like Chinese whispers. SolontheAthenian (talk) 00:06, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
Perhaps you could direct us to some passages of Luce or Zangger that illustrate your point? --Akhilleus (talk) 00:11, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

PLATO’S ROLE AS A REPORTER

"Computer-supported investigations of the style in the Kritias suggest that the text is not by Plato (ZANGGER, 1992). Perhaps Plato did indeed write the story of Atlantis using only Solon’s notes. On so important a journey as that to Egypt Solon probably kept a travel journal. This would certainly have been kept in his family after his death and perhaps one day entrusted to Plato, his famous descendant and director of the Academy. At any rate, that is how Plato describes it. He must have been convinced that Solon had given an authentic historical account. Solon had, however, adapted the text, and Plato knew this too. In keeping with the practice of his day, Solon “Greekified” the names – that is, in place of the foreign names he inserted a Greek equivalent, or what he thought was an equivalent." - A Lost Civilisation in Western Asia Minor, Eberhard Zangger, Zurich

Zangger regards Atlantis to be historical, not fiction. He explains the erroneous descriptions or details in Plato that don't match Troy as translation errors by Solon. If you take those away you're left with Troy in his view. SolontheAthenian (talk) 03:52, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

You fail to understand the central argument: even if Plato some Minoan or Trojan myth that passed onto him, it does not make any of his works a description of factual history. For comparison, Shakespeare used Roman history in his works, but still Julius Caesar is not a historiographic work that tells us anything about Ancient Rome. It remains a work of fiction, even if it had real-life inspiration. --bender235 (talk) 00:35, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
Shakespeare wrote that play himself, Luce and Zangger are saying Plato recorded a story that he did not invent (at least not entirely). So what you are posting is false. It is amazing this has been posted so many times here by different posters but you completely ignore it. Luce and Zangger's position is that there is a factual historical core behind Atlantis - an oral tradition of a place that was passed down to Plato. This makes that place real. For Luce this place was Crete, for Zangger, Troy. SolontheAthenian (talk) 03:27, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
Wait a second, did you just said Shakespeare invented Julius Caesar from scratch, without inspiration from oral and/or written traditions? --bender235 (talk) 03:48, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
What is relevant is who wrote/originated the text, or at least parts of it. Plato could not have invented Atlantis (as fiction) if he copied what was passed to him. No one though passed down Julius Caesar to Shakespeare, he wrote it all himself, regardless if he was inspired by Roman history and tradition, or influenced by other books and plays. Read Zangger above. People can read these sources and see you are wrong. SolontheAthenian (talk) 04:19, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
You seem to not understand. Shakespeare used Roman history that has been passed onto him as a source for a work of fiction. Plato used some story/history that has been passed onto him or occurred during his day for a work of fiction. Period. Regardless of what inspired Atlantis, whether it was Helike, Persia, Troy or Crete: none of these places is Atlantis. Just like Gotham City is not New York City, even though the latter clearly inspired it. --bender235 (talk) 04:28, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
No, it is you who still doesn't understand... Shakespeare wrote Julius Caesar, he was the author. There was no text he copied. All the text traces back to him regardless what influenced his play. In contrast Zangger and Luce argue Plato did not author all of Timaeus-Critias but that he copied, or recorded what was passed to him orally, or from "Solon's travel log". This rules out the idea Plato himself invented the story as fiction. Do you not yet see this? Quote above from Zangger: "Computer-supported investigations of the style in the Kritias suggest that the text is not by Plato". Are you then saying Julius Caesar was not written by Shakespeare? otherwise stop using this false comparison.SolontheAthenian (talk) 14:48, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
Oh, now I see where you're fundamentally wrong. Plato might use real-life persons in his dialogues, but everything they "say" is purely fictional. Despite Plato's (!) Kritias claims so, there was no "Solon's travel log." In general, Plato's dialogues are not protocols of actual discussions between real people. They are a literary device to allow presentation of arguments in a back-and-forth manner. Galileo did something similar in Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems. --bender235 (talk) 20:51, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

Actually, based on the quote SolontheAthenian gave us above, I'm convinced that Zangger does believe that Troy was Atlantis. However, it's also clear that Zangger is not writing as a critical scholar on this matter, but belongs to the realm of popular writing--or less kindly, crackpottery. The idea that Plato was a descendant of Solon, and that he was in possession of a "travel journal" written by Solon and passed down through his family--this is full of howlers.

Luce, on the other hand, is not a crackpot, and bender235's description of his views is more accurate than Solontheathenian's. --Akhilleus (talk) 13:14, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

Luce (1969) is identical to Zangger (1992) in regards to Solon having passed down the story to Plato through his family:

"Solon's account, and possibly 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." Luce, The End of Atlantis, 1969 p. 140

There is no distinction between Zangger and Luce here. Bender is wrong about both, not just Zangger. The "skeptics" that dominate the Atlantis entry are complete amateurs and are apparently not familiar with much Atlantis literature. Some clown has just re-added both source (Luce & Zangger) when they don't match up to what is said. SolontheAthenian (talk) 16:28, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

Please stop wasting time with this. The scientific consensus is that Atlantis is fictional, read this piece by a skeptic [4]. There is not a shred of evidence Atlantis, MU, or Lemuria exist. It is in the same boat as Von Daniken or Blavatsky's nonsense. Built on wishful thinking. Regards. Quack Hunter (talk) 18:45, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
Actually, I don't think this is a waste of time, because this discussion has shown me that the article should not treat Zangger the same way it treats Nesselrath, Vidal-Naquet, Luce, and other classicists. Zannger is clearly an Atlantis enthusiast, is no doubt considered an expert in some circles, but is out of his depth in dealing with classical sources, still less when dealing with Bronze Age texts and archaeology. I would have zero problems taking him out of the lead, which is in any case overloaded with footnotes.
Luce is a different story--based on the quote Solontheathenian gave us, I can see that he is excessively credulous, but he's still a bona fide classicist. And if one reads the book Solontheathenian quoted from (I actually own it, but hadn't read any of it before now), it's clear that Luce identifies Minoan Crete with Atlantis, but this is far from saying that Plato gave us a historically accurate account. It would be accurate to say that in Luce's view Plato's account of Atlantis was inspired by Minoan Crete. --Akhilleus (talk) 03:24, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
Remember that the article cites Luce, John V. (1978). "The Literary Perspective". In Ramage, Edwin S. Atlantis, Fact or Fiction?. Indiana University Press. ISBN 0-253-10482-3. , not Luce (1969) as SolontheAthenian above. In this chapter, Luce argues that Greek myths like Talos, a giant who protects Crete by throwing rocks at attacking ships, reflects on the Thera eruption, and thus may have inspired Plato. Obviously this is not only far-fetched, but also clearly not a claim that "Crete is Atlantis". --bender235 (talk) 13:17, 23 May 2015 (UTC)