Was the lost city of Atlantis real?

According to Plato, Atlantis was an advanced civilisation lost 9,000 years before his written account, but was it real?

Ste Wright | 4 min read

The legend of Atlantis has been a topic of fascination for centuries. According to Plato's account, Atlantis was a powerful and advanced civilization that existed around 9,000 years before his own time but was destroyed in a catastrophic event. The idea of an advanced civilization that existed in ancient times, only to be lost to the ages, has captured the imaginations of people around the world. But is the lost city of Atlantis real? That is a question that has intrigued scholars and adventurers for centuries and one that still remains a mystery.

The first written record of Atlantis comes from the ancient Greek philosopher Plato, who described the city in his dialogues "Timaeus" and "Critias." According to Plato, Atlantis was a mighty empire that was located beyond the "Pillars of Hercules" (thought to be the Straits of Gibraltar) and was home to advanced technology, a powerful military, and a great civilization. However, due to the people's greed and corruption, the gods became angry and destroyed the city with a catastrophic event, such as an earthquake or a tsunami.

For many years, scholars have debated whether Atlantis was a real place or merely a myth. Some people believe that Plato's story is based on a real civilization, while others think it was purely a fictional creation. There are many theories and speculations about where Atlantis might have been located, with some people suggesting that it was in the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, or even Antarctica.

Baia statue
Comparisons between Atlantis and the Roman city of Baia have been made

Despite centuries of searching, no concrete evidence of Atlantis has ever been found. There have been many alleged discoveries over the years, but none have been confirmed as the lost city. In fact, many of the supposed findings have been proven to be hoaxes or misinterpretations of natural phenomena.

One of the most famous alleged discoveries was made by a man named Ignatius Donnelly in the 19th century. Donnelly claimed that Atlantis was located in the mid-Atlantic and had been destroyed by a comet impact. However, his theory has been widely discredited by modern scientists.

In recent years, there have been some new discoveries that have reignited interest in the search for Atlantis. In 2011, a team of archaeologists discovered a submerged city off the coast of southern Spain that they believed could be the remains of Atlantis. However, further research has suggested that the city was actually built by the ancient Tartessians and is not connected to Atlantis at all.

Comparisons between Baia and Atlantis

Known for its hot springs and luxurious resorts, Baia was a destination for the wealthy and powerful of the Roman Empire, and many of them built opulent villas there. Atlantis, on the other hand, is said to have been a powerful and advanced civilization that existed thousands of years ago. It was said to have been a utopian society, with incredible technological advancements and a highly advanced culture.

Baia was a real city with a tangible history and a physical presence. Baia was a coastal city in the Bay of Naples, it has been excavated by archaeologists, and many of its ruins can still be seen today. Atlantis, on the other hand, has never been found or verified by any scientific evidence. It exists only in the imagination, as a symbol of lost greatness and utopian ideals. Despite this, both cities continue to inspire and intrigue people to this day.

Baia mosaics
Baia boasts a number of preserved Roman mosaics

So, is the lost city of Atlantis real? The answer is that we don't know for sure. While there are many theories and speculations, there is no concrete evidence that proves the existence of Atlantis. It is possible that Atlantis was based on a real civilization that was lost to history, but it is also possible that Plato's story was purely fictional. Until concrete evidence is found, the mystery of Atlantis will continue to captivate the world's imagination.

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