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timaeus and critias atlantis

And of these citizens the names are preserved, but their works have vanished owing to the repeated destruction of their successors and the length of the intervening periods. Now different gods had their allotments in different places which they set in order. TIMAEUS    He has been taken ill, Socrates; for he would not willingly have been absent from this gathering. In the next place, they had fountains, one of cold and another of hot water, in gracious plenty flowing; and they were wonderfully adapted for use by reason of the pleasantness and excellence of their waters. In this way, then, the names of the ancients, without their works, have been preserved. The only existing written records referring to Atlantis are Plato's 360 BC dialogues Timaeus and Critias. For the ocean there was at that time navigable; for in front of the mouth which you Greeks call, as you say, 'the pillars of Heracles,' there lay an island which was larger than Libya and Asia together; and it was possible for the travellers of that time to cross from it to the other islands, and from the islands to the whole of the continent (25a) over against them which encompasses that veritable ocean. Since Solon was planning to make use of the story for his own poetry, he had found, on investigating the meaning of the names, that those Egyptians who had first written them down had translated them into their own tongue. Did we not say that they were trained in gymnastic, in music, and in all the studies proper for such men? CRITIAS    Moreover, there were a great number of elephants in the island; for as there was provision for all other sorts of animals, both for those which live in lakes and marshes and rivers, (115a) and also for those which live in mountains and on plains, so there was for the animal which is the largest and most voracious of all. These were inscribed by the first kings on a pillar of orichalcum, (119d) which was situated in the middle of the island, at the temple of Poseidon, whither the kings were gathered together every fifth and every sixth year alternately, thus giving equal honour to the odd and to the even number. TIMAEUS    Timaeus (/ t aɪ ˈ m iː ə s /; Greek: Τίμαιος, translit. if the border is within a sentence. And on the inland side of the city channels were cut in straight lines, of about 100 feet in width, across the plain, and these discharged themselves into the trench on the seaward side, the distance between each being 100 stades. For we ordained that as regards marriages and children all should have all in common, so that no one should ever recognize his own particular offspring, but all should regard all (18d) as their actual kinsmen�as brothers and sisters, if of a suitable age; as parents and grandparents, if more advanced in age; and as children and children's children, if junior in age. And now, making no more excuses, I will proceed. (23d) Solon marvelled at his words, and earnestly requested the priests to inform him exactly and in order about these former citizens. So I decided that I ought not to relate it until I had first gone over it all carefully in my own mind. (114d) Now Atlas had a numerous and honourable family, and they retained the kingdom, the eldest son handing it on to his eldest for many generations; and they had such an amount of wealth as was never before possessed by kings and potentates, and is not likely ever to be again, and they were furnished with everything which they needed, both in the city and country. (19b) For many generations, (120e) so long as the inherited nature of the God remained strong in them, they were submissive to the laws and kindly disposed to their divine kindred. And I make my prayer to that God who has recently been created by our speech (although in reality created of old), that he will grant to us the conservation of all our sayings that have been rightly said, (106b) and, if unwittingly we have spoken aught discordantly, that he will impose the fitting penalty. Or is there anything more, my dear Timaeus, which has been omitted? Together the dialogues are a festival speech, prepared by Plato to be told on the day of the Panathenaea, in honor of the goddess Athena. And this is reason why the names of the ancients have been preserved to us and not their actions. And round about it, on this side and on that, were barracks for the greater part of the spearmen; but the guard-house of the more trusty (117d) of them was posted in the smaller circle, which was nearer the acropolis; while those who were the most trustworthy of all had dwellings granted to them within the acropolis round about the persons of the kings. (18b) SOCRATES    And being thus trained they were not to consider gold or silver or anything else to be their own private property; they were to be like hired troops, receiving pay for keeping guard from those who were protected by them-the pay was to be no more than would suffice for men of simple life; and they were to spend in common, and to live together in the continual practice of virtue, which was to be their sole pursuit. On the north side they had dwellings in common and had erected halls for dining in winter, and had all the buildings which they needed (112c) for their common life, besides temples, but there was no adorning of them with gold and silver, for they made no use of these for any purpose; they took a middle course between meanness and ostentation, and built modest houses in which they and their children's children grew old, and they handed them down to others who were like themselves, always the same. Also whatever fragrant things there now are in the earth, whether roots, or herbage, or woods, or essences which distil from fruit and flower, grew and thrived in that land; also the fruit which admits of cultivation, both the dry sort, which is given us for nourishment and any other which we use for food-we call them all by the common name pulse, (115b) and the fruits having a hard rind, affording drinks and meats and ointments, and good store of chestnuts and the like, which furnish pleasure and amusement, and are fruits which spoil with keeping, and the pleasant kinds of dessert, with which we console ourselves after dinner, when we are tired of eating-all these that sacred island which then beheld the light of the sun, brought forth fair and wondrous and in infinite abundance. Each of the ten kings ruled over the men and most of the laws in his own particular portion and throughout his own city, punishing and putting to death whomsoever he willed. (108d) But besides the gods and goddesses whom you have mentioned, I would specially invoke Mnemosyne; for all the important part of my discourse is dependent on her favour, and if I can recollect and recite enough of what was said by the priests and brought hither by Solon, I doubt not that I shall satisfy the requirements of this theatre. The old man, as I very well remember, brightened up at hearing this and said, smiling: Yes, Amynander, if Solon had only, like other poets, made poetry the business of his life, and had completed the tale which he brought with him from Egypt, and had not been compelled, by reason of the factions and troubles which he found stirring in his own country when he came home, (21d) to attend to other matters, in my opinion he would have been as famous as Homer or Hesiod, or any poet. And Poseidon, who received for his lot the island of Atlantis, had children with a mortal woman, and settled them in a part of the island . (119c) As to offices and honours, the following was the arrangement from the first. Consequently, since many great convulsions took place during the 9000 years�for such was the number of years (111b) from that time to this�the soil which has kept breaking away from the high lands during these ages and these disasters, forms no pile of sediment worth mentioning, as in other regions, but keeps sliding away ceaselessly and disappearing in the deep. SOCRATES    I see that I shall receive in my turn a perfect and splendid feast of reason. SOCRATES    Now the country was inhabited in those days by various classes of citizens;-there were artisans, and there were husbandmen, and there was also a warrior class originally set apart by divine men. How or where shall we find another if we abandon this? SOCRATES    (112b) And its outer parts, under its slopes, were inhabited by the craftsmen and by such of the husbandmen as had their farms close by; but on the topmost part only the military class by itself had its dwellings round about the temple of Athene and Hephaestus, surrounding themselves with a single ring-fence, which formed, as it were, the enclosure of a single dwelling. (116d) And the temple of Poseidon himself was a stade in length, three plethra in breadth, and of a height which appeared symmetrical therewith; and there was something of the barbaric in its appearance. SOCRATES    (113a) Yet, before proceeding further in the narrative, I ought to warn you, that you must not be surprised if you should perhaps hear Hellenic names given to foreigners. Now a large family of distinguished sons sprang from Atlas; (114d) but it was the eldest, who, as king, always passed on the scepter to the eldest of his sons, and thus they preserved the sovereignty for many generations; and the wealth they possessed was so immense that the like had never been seen before in any royal house nor will ever easily be seen again; and they were provided with everything of which provision was needed either in the city or throughout the rest of the country. The chief city in this district is Sais�the home of King Amasis,�the founder of which, they say, is a goddess whose Egyptian name is Neith, and in Greek, as they assert, Athena. Concerning the country the Egyptian priests said what is not only probable but manifestly true, that the boundaries were in those days fixed by the Isthmus, and that in the direction of the continent they extended as far as the heights of Cithaeron and Parnes; (110e) the boundary line came down in the direction of the sea, having the district of Oropus on the right, and with the river Asopus as the limit on the left. TIMAEUS    The main part of the discourse I delivered yesterday was concerned with the kind of constitution which seemed to me likely to prove the best, and the character of its citizens. For all that we have here, lying within the mouth of which we speak, is evidently a haven having a narrow entrance; but that yonder is a real ocean, and the land surrounding it may most rightly be called, in the fullest and truest sense, a continent. (120a) When therefore, after slaying the bull in the accustomed manner, they had burnt its limbs, they filled a bowl of wine and cast in a clot of blood for each of them; the rest of the victim they put in the fire, after having purified the column all round. And when they had given judgement, they wrote the judgements, when it was light, upon a golden tablet, and dedicated them together with their robes as memorials. CRITIAS    What story should we adopt, Critias, in preference to this? Atlantis Motherland presents the dialogues of Timaeus and Critias regarding Atlantis with extra paragraph breaks, headings and clickable table of contents for your easy reference. In the center of larger of the two islands (apart from the center Temple of Poseidon island) a race course for horses extended around the island. Solon, after his travels to Egypt, met Sonchis, who in turn told him a great ancient civilization that had disappeared from Earth 9,000 years ago. You have now heard, Socrates, in brief outline, the account given by the elder Critias of what he heard from Solon; (25e) and when you were speaking yesterday about the State and the citizens you were describing, I marvelled as I called to mind the facts I am now relating, reflecting what a strange piece of fortune it was that your description coincided so exactly for the most part with Solon's account. Such were the ancient Athenians, and after this manner they righteously administered their own land and the rest of Hellas; they were renowned all over Europe and Asia for the beauty of their persons and for the many virtues of their souls, and of all men who lived in those days they were the most illustrious. Hence it is, for these reasons, that what is here preserved is reckoned to be most ancient; the truth being that in every place where there is no excessive heat or cold to prevent it there always exists some human stock, now more, now less in number. It shall be done. This matter also was stated exactly so. (113a) But before I begin my account, there is still a small point which I ought to explain, lest you should be surprised at frequently hearing Greek names given to barbarians. But in the primitive state of the country, (111c) its mountains were high hills covered with soil, and the plains, as they are termed by us, of Phelleus were full of rich earth, and there was abundance of wood in the mountains. TIMAEUS    For, as was said before, the stock that survived on each occasion was a remnant of unlettered mountaineers which had heard the names only of the rulers, and but little besides of their works. Ignatius Donelly's Atlantis 1882 (Fg. The accounts given by us all must be, of course, of the nature of imitations and representations; and if we look at the portraiture of divine and of human bodies as executed by painters, (107c) in respect of the ease or difficulty with which they succeed in imitating their subjects in the opinion of onlookers, we shall notice in the first place that as regards the earth and mountains and rivers and woods and the whole of heaven, with the things that exist and move therein, we are content if a man is able to represent them with even a small degree of likeness; and further, that, inasmuch as we have no exact knowledge about such objects, we do not examine closely or criticize the paintings, but tolerate, in such cases, an inexact (107d) and deceptive sketch. And Poseidon, receiving for his lot the island of Atlantis, begat children by a mortal woman, and settled them in a part of the island, which I will describe. Near the plain again, and also in the centre of the island at a distance of about fifty stadia, there was a mountain not very high on any side. when darkness came on, and the fire about the sacrifice was cool, all of them put on most beautiful azure robes, and, sitting on the ground, at night, over the embers of the sacrifices by which they had sworn, (120c) and extinguishing all the fire about the temple, they received and gave judgment, if any of them had an accusation to bring against any one; and when they given judgment, at daybreak they wrote down their sentences on a golden tablet, and dedicated it together with their robes to be a memorial. In the first place, the acropolis, as it existed then, was different from (112a) what it is now. And of the pair that were born next he called the one Ampheres and the other Evaemon; and of the third pair the elder was named Mneseus (114c) and the younger Autochthon; and of the fourth pair, he called the first Elasippus and the second Mestor; and of the fifth pair, Azaes was the name given to the elder, and Diaprepes to the second. For practically all the most important part of our speech depends upon this goddess; for if I can sufficiently remember and report the tale once told by the priests and brought hither by Solon, I am wellnigh convinced that I shall appear to the present audience to have fulfilled my task adequately. And now, if we have not lost recollection of what we heard when we were still children, we will frankly impart to you all, as friends, our story of the men who warred against our Athenians, what their state was and how it originally came about. The problem so far with claiming Pavlopetri to be the Atlantis Plato spoke of, is that the structures and landscape found do not resemble those described clearly in the dialogues. How shall I establish my words? And what is this ancient famous action of the Athenians, which Critias declared, on the authority of Solon, to be not a mere legend, but an actual fact? Two springs, one warm and one cold. And this region, (118b) all along the island, faced towards the South and was sheltered from the Northern blasts. Accordingly, when I had spoken upon my prescribed theme, I in turn prescribed for you this theme which I am now explaining. In the first place, then, according to the account, the whole region rose sheer out of the sea to a great height, but the part about the city was all a smooth plain, enclosing it round about, and being itself encircled by mountains which stretched as far as to the sea; and this plain had a level surface and was as a whole rectangular in shape, being 3000 stades long on either side and 2000 stades wide at its center, reckoning upwards from the sea. And what was the tale about, Critias? Plato's dialogues Timaeus and Critias, written in 360 BCE, contain the earliest references to Atlantis. All this including the zones and the bridge, which was the sixth part of a stadium in width, they surrounded by a stone wall on every side, placing towers and gates on the bridges where the sea passed in. As to the interior, they made the roof all of ivory in appearance, variegated with gold and silver and orichalcum, and all the rest of the walls and pillars and floors they covered with orichalcum. And now having offered my prayer I deliver up the argument to Critias, who is to speak next according to our agreement. (23d) Upon hearing this, Solon said that he marvelled, and with the utmost eagerness requested the priest to recount for him in order and exactly all the facts about those citizens of old. upon the mountains and in dry and lofty places are … SOCRATES    Then the task of filling the place of the absent one falls upon you and our friends here, does it not? And the mountains which surrounded it were at that time celebrated as surpassing all that now exist in number, magnitude and beauty; for they had upon them many rich villages of country folk, and streams and lakes and meadows which furnished ample nutriment to all the animals both tame and wild, and timber of various sizes and descriptions, abundantly sufficient for the needs of all and every craft. (20c) Here am I in festive array, and no man can be more ready for the promised banquet. And when this damsel was now come to marriageable age, her mother died and also her father; and Poseidon, being smitten with desire for her, wedded her; and to make the hill whereon she dwelt impregnable he broke it off all round about; and he made circular belts of sea and land enclosing one another alternately, some greater, some smaller, two being of land and three of sea, which he carved as it were out of the midst of the island; and these belts were at even distances on all sides, so as to be impassable for man; (113e) for at that time neither ships nor sailing were as yet in existence. Now in other regions others of the gods had their allotments and ordered the affairs, but inasmuch as Hephaestus and Athena were of a like nature, being born of the same father, and agreeing, moreover, in their love of wisdom and of craftsmanship, they both took for their joint portion this land of ours as being naturally congenial and adapted for virtue (109d) and for wisdom, and therein they planted as native to the soil men of virtue and ordained to their mind the mode of government. SOCRATES    And when we had given to each one that single employment and particular art (17d) which was suited to his nature, we spoke of those who were intended to be our warriors, and said that they were to be guardians of the city against attacks from within as well as from without, and to have no other employment; they were to be merciful in judging their subjects, (18a) of whom they were by nature friends, but fierce to their enemies, when they came across them in battle. SOCRATES    And what other, Critias, can we find that will be better than this, which is natural and suitable to the festival of the goddess, and has the very great advantage of being a fact and not a fiction? And the correct penalty is to bring into tune him that is out of tune. And beginning from the sea they bored a canal of three hundred feet in width and one hundred feet in depth and fifty stadia in length, which they carried through to the outermost zone, making a passage from the sea up to this, which became a harbour, and leaving an opening sufficient to enable the largest vessels to find ingress. For if we consider the likenesses which painters make of bodies divine and heavenly, (107c) and the different degrees of gratification with which the eye of the spectator receives them, we shall see that we are satisfied with the artist who is able in any degree to imitate the earth and its mountains, and the rivers, and the woods, and the universe, and the things that are and move therein, and further, that knowing nothing precise about such matters, we do not examine or analyze the painting; (107d) all that is required is a sort of indistinct and deceptive mode of shadowing them forth. (114c) Of the fourth pair of twins he called the elder Elasippus, and the younger Mestor. There were many special laws affecting the several kings inscribed about the temples, but the most important was the following: They were not to take up arms against one another, and they were all to come to the rescue if any one in any of their cities attempted to overthrow the royal house; (120d) like their ancestors, they were to deliberate in common about war and other matters, giving the supremacy to the descendants of Atlas. Now in this island of Atlantis there existed a confederation of kings, of great and marvellous power, which held sway over all the island, and over many other islands also and parts of the continent; and, moreover, (25b) of the lands here within the Straits they ruled over Libya as far as Egypt, and over Europe as far as Tuscany. All the exterior of the temple they coated with silver, save only the pinnacles, and these they coated with gold. And the king was not to have the power of life and death over any of his kinsmen unless he had the assent of the majority of the ten. For which reason the sea in those parts is impassable and impenetrable, because there is a shoal of mud in the way; and this was caused by the subsidence of the island. Where the Acropolis now is there was a fountain, which was choked by the earthquake, (112d) and has left only the few small streams which still exist in the vicinity, but in those days the fountain gave an abundant supply of water for all and of suitable temperature in summer and in winter. The city of Pavlopetri off the shore of Laconia, Greece is believed by some as Plato's inspiration for his dialogues speaking of Atlantis. How, then, is this statement plausible, and what residue of the land then existing serves to confirm its truth? There was an abundance of wood for carpenter's work, and sufficient maintenance for tame and wild animals. CRITIAS    I will, if Timaeus, who is our other partner, approves. The surrounding mountains were celebrated for their number and size and beauty, far beyond any which still exist, having in them also many wealthy villages of country folk, and rivers, and lakes, and meadows supplying food enough for every animal, wild or tame, and much wood of various sorts, abundant for each and every kind of work. And next, if I have not forgotten what I heard when I was a child, I will impart to you the character and origin of their adversaries. And he begat five pairs of twin sons and reared them up; and when he had divided all the island of Atlantis into ten portions, he assigned to the first-born of the eldest sons (114a) his mother's dwelling and the allotment surrounding it, which was the largest and best; and him he appointed to be king over the rest, and the others to be rulers, granting to each the rule over many men and a large tract of country. Therefore if you hear names such as are used in this country, you must not be surprised, for I have told how they came to be introduced. 3-8a). This was the prayer which each of them-offered up for himself and for his descendants, at the same time drinking and dedicating the cup out of which he drank in the temple of the god; and after they had supped and satisfied their needs. And of the buildings some they framed of one simple color, in others they wove a pattern of many colors by blending the stones for the sake of ornament so as to confer upon the buildings a natural charm. For as it is now, the action of a single night of extraordinary rain has crumbled it away and made it bare of soil, when earthquakes occurred simultaneously with the third of the disastrous floods which preceded the destructive deluge in the time of Deucalion. And now, Timaeus, you, I suppose, should speak next, after duly calling upon the Gods. For legendary lore and the investigation of antiquity are visitants that come to cities in company with leisure, when they see that men are already furnished with the necessaries of life, and not before. We hope you find them convenient to view, copy or print for your studies, especially if you are just becoming familiar with these ancient classics. They constructed buildings about them and planted suitable trees, (117b) also they made cisterns, some open to the heavens, others roofed over, to be used in winter as warm baths; there were the kings' baths, and the baths of private persons, which were kept apart; and there were separate baths for women, and for horses and cattle, and to each of them they gave as much adornment as was suitable. There are conflicts which all cities undergo, and I should like to hear some one tell of our own city carrying on a struggle against her neighbours, and how she went out to war in a becoming manner, and when at war showed by the greatness of her actions and the magnanimity of her words in dealing with other cities a result worthy of her training and education. It received the streams which came down from the mountains, and winding round the plain and meeting at the city, was there let off into the sea. The royal palace within the acropolis was arranged in this manner. (113b) My great-grandfather, Dropides, had the original writing, which is still in my possession, and was carefully studied by me when I was a child. Note that at the end of the known Critias dialogue, Zeus gathers all of the Gods into their most holy habitation placed in the center of the world for a speech. And as to the city, this is the way in which it was laid out at that time. HERMOCRATES    And we too, Socrates, as Timaeus says, will not be wanting in enthusiasm; and there is no excuse for not complying with your request. It is said that it possessed the most splendid works of art and the noblest polity of any nation under heaven of which we have heard tell.�. So though they gladly passed on these names (109e) to their descendants, concerning the mighty deeds and the laws of their predecessors they had no knowledge, save for some invariably obscure reports; and since, moreover, they and their children for many generations were themselves in want of the necessaries of life, their attention was given to their own needs (110a) and all their talk was about them; and in consequence they paid no regard to the happenings of bygone ages. But one of them exceeds all the rest in greatness and valour. Wherefore you lived under the rule of such laws as these,�yea, and laws still better,�and you surpassed all men in every virtue, as became those who were the offspring and nurslings of gods. . And when you were speaking yesterday about your city and citizens, the tale which I have just been repeating to you came into my mind, and I remarked with astonishment how, by some mysterious coincidence, you agreed in almost every particular with the narrative of Solon; but I did not like to speak at the moment. It will be a fitting monument of our gratitude to you, and a hymn of praise true and worthy of the goddess, on this her day of festival. Timaeus describes the creation of the world and explains natural phenomena while Critias talks of a lost island, its people and ancient Athenians. Now, as regards the depth of this trench and its breadth and length, it seems incredible that it should be so large as the account states, considering that it was made by hand, and in addition to all the other operations, but none the less we must report what we heard: it was dug out to the depth of a plethrum and to a uniform breadth of a stade, and since it was dug round the whole plain (118d) its consequent length was 10,000 stades. (18c) SOCRATES    Neither did we forget the women; of whom we declared, that their natures should be assimilated and brought into harmony with those of the men, and that common pursuits should be assigned to them both in time of war and in their ordinary life. And he named them all; the eldest, who was the first king, he named Atlas, and after him the whole island and the ocean were called Atlantic. Twice in the year they gathered the fruits of the earth-in winter having the benefit of the rains of heaven, and in summer the water which the land supplied by introducing streams from the canals.

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