The Description of Atlantis by Platon

by Karl Juergen Hepke

Before here will be given new details about the position of Atlantis, the Greek philosopher Platon will come to word with his detailed description, which he brought to the public around 600 B.C.. He tells:(29)(Translation TOLOS)

"As in the former was told of the raffle done by the gods to distribute the whole earth under each other in more little or bigger parts and let themselves build temples and offer sacrifices, so filled also Poseidon, to whom was given the island of Atlantis, it with his own descendants, whom he fathered with a mortal wife at a place of the island, that was like this:

At the coast of the sea, towards the middle of the whole island, was a plain which should have been prettier and more fertile than any other. In the proximity of this plain, again to the middle of it, was in a distance of 50 stadions ( a stadion is supposed to nearly 190 m , that makes here a distance of nearly 10 Km) a to all sides lowering hill, at which lived a man, named Euenor, out of the number of initially from earth outgrown men, who had as wife Leukippe. Both produced a sole daughter ,Kleito. When the girl reached the age of becoming married, father and mother died.

But Poseidon, touched by love, came together with her and made the hill, where she lived, to a well protected ,by enclosing it round and round by bigger or smaller belts of water and earth, two of earth and three of water, which he formed like turning them out of the middle of the island, everywhere with same distance, so that the hill was inaccessible for men, for there were at that time neither ships nor shipping.

He himself gave, as a god, without difficulty merry flourishing to the island in the middle, by leading out of earth two rivers, from which at his source was one warm the other cold, and let grow at earth enough food of all kind.

Furthermore he fathered five male twins, let them educate and gave, sharing the whole island into ten parts, to the first born of the oldest couple the domicile of their mother and its surrounding part, as the biggest and best, and made him king over all other, who he made governors.

Each of them was given a large area for government with a lot of inhabitants. To all he gave names, to the oldest and king that name, after which was called the whole island and the sea, which was called the Atlantian , because the first king was named Atlas.

The after him born twin brother, to whom was given the outest part of the island to the pillars of Herakles, which is now called the Gadeiric, he called in Greek Eumelos, in the tongue of the country Gadeiros, what gave the name to that area.

The one of the second twin was called Ampheres, the second Euaimon, the first of the third twin was called Mneseus, the after him born Autochthon, the elder of the fourth Elasippos the younger Mestor, the first of the fifth twin was called Azaes and his younger brother Diaprepes.

These all and also their descendants ruled for many generations over many other in the Atlantian Sea lying islands and extended their rule, as told before, over the inside of pillars of Herakles to us living as far as Egypt and Tyrrhenia.

But the descendants of Atlas grew not only in number and reputation, but kept the position of king for many generations, by giving it from the eldest to the eldest. So they reached a such abundance of wealth, that was not known at kings of times before and will not come easily to kings of the future, because they had everything what town and country needs. Because of their rule they got much from outside, but most of the necessary for life they got from their island.

At first that, what is won by mining as rigid and fit for melting and also which is today only known by its name, but at that time was more than a name, the at many places of the island dug out of earth sort of mountain ore, which was reckoned highest, except gold, by all at that time living.

Additionally the island brought in abundance, what gives the forest for the work of builders and a sufficient number of wild and tame animals. Also the gender of elephants was very numerous here, because it gave to this biggest and most voracious large food as to the other animals, living at lakes, bogs and rivers, on mountains and in plains.
What produces anywhere earth of pleasant smell, of roots, sorts of wood, flowers or from fruit coming juice it produced also and let it flourish as by care won fruits, fruits from the field important for food and that, what we use for our subsistence, we call it the genre of pulse.

What produce bushes and trees for dining, drink and anointing, the for our amusement and pleasant taste made, difficult to keep fruits of the trees and what we serve as dessert, a welcome refreshing for the overfilled stomach. All this produced the holy, at that time still by the sun shined island, well and wonderful and in unlimited mass. For their country gave this all, they were careful for building of temples and royal palaces , of harbours and shipyards and other buildings in the whole country and decorated it in that manner.

At first they constructed bridges over the belts of the sea, surrounding the old head quarter, to make a way to the outside and to the castle of the king. This castle they constructed from the beginning at this domicile of their god and their ancestors. By overcoming from one to the other, each tried to surpass by decoration the well decorated of his predecessor and so they raised their home to a by size and beauty astonishing building.

Also they made a 50 stadions long, 200 feet wide and 100 feet deep canal from the sea to the outer belt to give sufficient passage for the biggest ships from the sea to it, like for a harbour. Through the belts of earth, which were between that of water, they made passages at the bridges, wide enough for the coming through of a threerower from one belt to the other and roofed over them. It was possible to go by ship underneath them, for the edges of the earth belts were high enough above the sea.

The width of the biggest sea belt, with which was connected the sea by the canal, was three stadions. The same width had the following earth belt. Of the next two the liquid had a width of two stadions and the firm one had the same width as the liquid. A width of one stadion had at least that, which surrounded the island of the middle.

The island in which the castle of the king was built had 5 stadions as diameter. The island and the bridge, which had a width of 100 feet, were surrounded at both sides with a wall of stone and had at the bridges with the passages to the sea towers and gates. The stones for building that were partly white, partly black and partly also red and were won from the island in the middle and the inside and outside of the belts. By winning it, they eroded double receptacles for the ships, which were so sheltered by the rock.

For the buildings they used generally stones of same colour , but for delight and to raise pleasure partly they built walls of different colours. The whole circumference of the wall which surrounded the outer belt they covered with copper, the inner they poured over with tin and that, surrounding the castle, with mountain ore, shining like fire.

The residence of the king in the castle was built as following:
In it was an inaccessible shrine consecrated to Kleito and Poseidon, surrounded by a golden wall , at the place, where once was fathered and born the first generation of the ten rulers. To it they brought yearly fruits of the season as sacrifice from the ten countries.

The temple of Poseidon was long one stadion, wide 500 feet and of an adequate height, its construction was foreign. The whole temple was covered from the outside with silver, except the with gold covered merlons. At the inside the dome was from ivory with decoration of gold, silver and mountain ore. Here they erected golden statues, the God standing as driver of a car, drawn by six horses with wings, reaching with his head the ceiling by dint of his height, surrounded by a hundred of nereids on dolphins, for so many were thought at that time as existing.

Also other statues, consecrated by men of the nation, were in it. Outside the temple was surrounded by statues of all descendants of the kings and their wife and other big gifts from the kings and citizens of the town and the country of their rule. To this splendour was also corresponding the altar from size and construction. Also the royal palace was built corresponding to the size of the empire and the decoration of the temple.

They utilized the sources, the flowing cold and warm, which had an abundance of water and were wondrous at use by its convenience and quality of water, by surrounding them with buildings and trees , growing at the water, and bathing rooms, partly not sheltered, partly for warm bathing in winter sheltered, these for the king separated from that for the people and the women, separated from places for washing ashore horses and other animals for drawing, all these with reasonable furnishings for its use.

From the water, flowing away, they lead some part to the grove of Poseidon, to trees of all sort , by quality of the soil of celestial beauty and height. The other, however, by canals running besides the bridges to the belts of outside where were built many temples for many gods and besides that many gardens and places for exercises of men and separated from it for horses at each of both islands.

Among other there was a racetrack enclosed at the biggest island, of which was the width one stadion and which surrounded the whole island designated for horse race. At both sides of this racetrack there were flats for the mass of bodyguards. But the more reliable were distributed on the smaller belt, nearer to the castle of the king and these , who had proven their loyalty before all others had flats in the castle around that of the kings. The shipyards were filled with ships and everything was completely fitted.

Such furnishings were made in the neighbourhood of the seat of the king. But when you had crossed the three harbours, there was a wall from the sea round it, which had a distance of 50 stadions from the biggest harbour and belt and closed ,where the canal to the sea lead into it. This whole area was covered with numerous and close arranged houses for living, the entry and the biggest harbour but where filled with vehicles and people of commerce coming from everywhere , raising by its crowd day and night shouting, noise and hubbub of all kind.

It was, as it was told, the whole area to the sea very high and steep, that the town surrounding however a plain surrounded by mountains reaching unto the sea, more long than width. To one side 3000 stadions long, from the sea into the country in the middle 2000 stadions width. The extension of the whole island was going to the South, to the North protected against the wind from the North. It was told of the surrounding mountains that they surpassed all now resting in amount, size and grace. There were many rich small towns and villages and rivers, lakes and meadows with sufficient feed for wild and tame animals, as also forests with sorts and size for all kind of plans and for each completely sufficient. The soil brought two harvests a year, it was fertilized in the winter by the rain of Zeus, in the summer one lead water for irrigation from the canals to it.

Concerning the number of warriors was ordered, that from the inhabitants of the plain, fit for fighting, each district, which was large 10 to 10 stadions and from which there were 60 000, provided a captain. The number of fighters, coming from the mountains and other areas was seen as immeasurable and all were , corresponding to their place of habitation and its situation allocated to their districts and captains.

Each captain had to put into the field by regulation: To 10 000 chariots one sixth of a chariot, two fighters at horse, a couple of horses with a chariot bearing a light shielded fighter and the driver of the two horses, two heavy armed, two archers and skidders, so as light armed throwers of stones and spears, three of each sort. At last four marines for the manning of 1200 ships.
(By this you can see, that only the army of the chief king had 1 200 000 men in arms ) Thus the armament of the seat of the ruling king was ordered, for the other nine it was different , but the description of it would take too much time.

Concerning the ruling and punishing power, there was from the beginning the following organization. Each of the ten kings ruled in his town over the inhabitants of his area and over most of the laws. He punished and condemned to death, as he liked it. About the rule among themselves and their relationship determined the law of Poseidon how the act was handed down to them and a text, noted by the first kings on a pillar of mountain ore, which was placed in the middle of the island in the temple of Poseidon, where they came together each fifth or sixth year, to give the same honour to the odd and straight number. At this meetings they talked about common matters, examined if anybody of them acted against a law and reached his verdict.

About the civil rights of the kings there were many special laws. The most important of them was, that nobody should fight against an other and all should give support if anybody tried to decline the rule of the house of the king in one of the states. Together, as their predecessors, they should discuss about war or other actions and give in that preference to the Atlantian gender. Condemn one of his ascendants or relationship to death should not in power of one of them, without agreement of the greater part of the ten.

With these principles and as far as reached the divine nature, all before described was in growth. But when the part in their being, coming from God, frequently mixed with mortal affliction, degenerated and human character began to dominate, they could not bear their luck, degenerated and appeared, relinquishing the most beautiful of all valuable, to anybody who could see through, in shameful figure. But all, who could not discern the right luck of live, estimated them for glorious and full of luck, when they enjoyed the full advantages of injustice and absolut power".
So far the report of Platon.

In the report follows now the educative explanation, that in consequence to the degeneration of life in Atlantis, the Gods decided to destroy town and country. This educative interpretation of the sinking of Atlantis is also advocated in the bible, it ends always in the threat of priests and prophets that, if people do not live with the rules, supported by them, the punishment of God will come over them perhaps in form of the extermination of the whole nation.

When one considers, which horror the extermination of the so lucky and self confident Atlantis caused in men of the Mediterranean area, one can imagine, that the priests had big success with their version and their position as mediator to the Gods was considerable revalued. They would not have been worth of their position, if they had not exploited that.

Platon himself has not favoured his credibility by this turn. He has got the odour of an educator in the mind of many critical persons, who has only made up the story of Atlantis to show to the Greeks, how a state has to be constructed. They apply the educative end to the whole story. This seems to be excessive in respect to the detailedness of the historical account, but there were and are enough people, who are still putting the story of Atlantis in the area of fable.

One can objekt, that Platon, as a highly intelligent man, must have had foreseen this unwanted effect. But it is imaginable, that he has intended as necessity more or less this effect. For you must consider, that the Atlantians and their successors, the Phenicians and Punians were the most hated people in Greece at that time. This hate was the result of the mutual competition and the cruel wars that were carried out against each other, until the Atlantian side resigned ,and was in the time of Solon and Platon still highly topical.

It is possible, that Solon, who had brought from Egypt this story and had the intention to make a play of it, therefore has hesitated to bring it to the Greek public. His later descendant Platon however , to whom appeared this story too valuable to give it in oblivion, has fitted it with the cleverness and shrewdness, in which the Greeks were famous and also notorious, with an end, which put it in the proximity of a fable. With this he could bring it to the people without being especially unpleasant or have the risk to be accused as an agent of the enemy.


Read to this in English: The History of Atlantis, the forgotten Origin of our Culture         By Karl Juergen Hepke

Or as a book in German language:


DIE GESCHICHTE VON ATLANTIS, der vergessene Ursprung unserer Kultur
by Karl Juergen Hepke
TRIGA - DER VERLAG D 63584 Gruendau-Rothenbergen, Germany, 2nd Edition, Hardcover, 268 Pages, EUR 22,00, ISBN 978-3-89774-539-1 ,