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Atlantis. The Antediluvian World
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The origin of all Atlantis-hype, this book similarly starts with the origin of the concept itself. Donnely includes a translation of Plato's story that all Atlantean research goes back too. This was the most interesting part of the book, just hearing the first account all discussion and contemplation aside. It is also the most integral part of the book, since out of it comes all of Donnely's extrapolation.
The basic point of the rest of the book is to try to show that 1) Atlantis could have existed and disappeared geologically ages ago, and then furthermore 2) to explain Atlantis's affect on the rest of human history. Here, his attempts are the most interesting, and, often, the most ridiculous. Generally speaking though, he does state his case scientifically, and in most cases, rather believably.
The only glaring faults are his mistranslation of the original Plato, placing Atlantis most likely in the wrong area, and how sometimes he takes some rather huge leaps to justify his points. But hey, he wrote it 100 years ago and still manages to produce an intriguing study into the Atlantean question, without the aids of more advanced technologies.
Either way, it's a very interesting book, and whether you believe in Atlantis or not, I'm sure it will give you a lot to think about, which was indeed Donnely's purpose in the first place. I recommend it to any inquisitive mind.
mis-reading of Plato as to the site of Atlantis. Donnelly's
translation of the Greek led to his placement of Atlantis as
"opposed to the Pillars of Hercules (Straits of Gibraltar)"
rather than "across" from the straits as related in Sir
Desmond Lee's definitive translation (Desmond Lee was knighted in 1961
for his work in translating Plato). Thus Donnelly, unfortunately to be
followed by scores of others, posited Atlantis as a sunken island in
the Atlantic (geologically unsustainable), rather than as an
island-continent across the Atlantic (the Americas)whose civilization
was destroyed but whose "bare-bones" still appear (Caribbean
islands). Probably, he failed to grasp the scope of Plato's knowledge
which described three distinct seas: The Mediterranean which Plato
described as "only a harbor, having a narrow entrance," the
named sea (the Atlantic), and that other that "is the real sea
(the Pacific), with a surrounding land that may most truy called
continent (Asia)." In fact, the North Atlantic 11,500 years ago
could not have supported a climate such as that found in Plato's
description of lush Atlantis. With the geological knowledge available
at his time, Donnelly can hardly be faulted for mis-placing Atlantis,
but we should not continue to repeat this key error.
1. You get excerpts from flood stories from every culture in the world (believe me, there are a lot!)
2. You get comparative 'mythology', religion, history and culture.
3. You get a glimpse of how archaeologists / historians thought of these things 100 years ago, when it was all first coming to the surface.
4. You can see the scary turn racism took in the first half of the 20th century. For me, that was interesting. Terrifying, but interesting. Because it's not something I was ever taught, and psychologically, I found myself wondering just how half the planet could have got swept away by ideas that were ultimately founded in a belief that we descended from the stars. You don't see that mentioned in WW2 documentaries on the History Channel, do you? But it's true. I've come across it so many times. And I think it's an important part of our history because it demonstrates the power of belief and stories. And I think that's very relevant to the modern world and the irrational wars and hate people still wage against each other. How will it ever stop if we don't look back on this stuff and see how insane it is.
I should note that I didn't get the impression the author of this book was racist. At one point, he actually states categorically that he believes every 'white' person in the world is partly 'black', as part of his hypothesis that the whole world was once one unified race that later spread in the aftermath of the great deluge. But he quoted a number of other 'great thinkers' from his time who, frankly, scared me. Yet these people seem to have been in the US Congress, etc. We like to think the Germans were alone in Naziism, but it was rife everywhere - including America. I think we shouldn't gloss over that.
At any rate - a really, really interesting book that gave me a lot more to think about than I expected.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I really enjoyed this book! Donnelly makes a convincing case for the existance of Atlantis.Published 2 months ago by Violet Bunny
See my comments on The Destruction of Atlantis by the same Author.Published 2 months ago by Aged Aerospace Engineer
Interesting reprint of a book that had enormous mpact in the nineteenth century. Unhappily, all the pictures and diagrams of the original were left out.Published 3 months ago by Dr. James Gregor
Haven't actually read it yet - but know it's a classic on the subject, and have wanted to add it to my library for a number of years. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Iasan
A refreshing take on the Plato's account. Well researched and worth a read. Thank you.Published 7 months ago by Simon Payne
Knowing this was the key Atlantis book to read I grabbed this off the shelf when I saw it. The first thing was the intro by E,F. Bleiler and it was annoying. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Rick M. Pilotte
I am reading this one for the third time and am amazed at how much i haven't retained from the first tow readings. I have found a few typos in the script such as manu and mann. Read morePublished 9 months ago by HECTOR VERA PEREZ