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Atlantis
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Atalantis, Atlantica
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An earthly paradise described by Plato in two of his dialogues, "Timaeus" and "Critias". In "Timaeus" quoting Athenian lawgiver Solon Plato describes a circular island that developed a high level of civilization but which degenerated and sank into the sea (due to earthquakes) as punishment. Atlantis was a rich island whose powerful princes conquered many Mediterranean lands until they were finally defeated by the Athenians and their allies. It was described as existing 9000 years before Solon's birth - an unlikely dating. Though its location is unknown it is supposed to have existed between Africa and the New World (west of the Straits of Gibraltar) and larger than Asia Minor and Libya combined. Some have suggested that it was a vanished Minoan civilization or ancient Thera which was destroyed c 1470 BC. Many other interpretations have been offered including that Plato's Atlantis is a philosophical abstraction. In the Critias Plato supplied a history of the ideal commonwealth of the Atlantians.

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