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selections from critias by plato

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  • michael
    i had an error on earlier attempt to forward this, so hope this retry doesnt bring repeat. selections from critias by plato
    Message 1 of 2 , Mar 3, 2004
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      i had an error on earlier attempt to forward this, so hope this retry
      doesnt bring repeat.

      selections from critias by plato

      There have been, and will be again, many destructions of mankind
      arising out of many causes; the greatest have been brought about by
      the agencies of fire and water, and other lesser ones by innumerable
      other causes. There is a story, which even you have preserved, that
      once upon a time Paethon, the son of Helios, having yoked the steeds
      in his father's chariot, because he was not able to drive them in the
      path of his father, burnt up all that was upon the earth, and was
      himself destroyed by a thunderbolt. Now this has the form of a myth,
      but really signifies a declination of the bodies moving in the
      heavens around the earth, and a great conflagration of things upon
      the earth, which recurs after long intervals; at such times those who
      live upon the mountains and in dry and lofty places are more liable
      to destruction than those who dwell by rivers or on the seashore. And
      from this calamity the Nile, who is our never-failing saviour,
      delivers and preserves us.

      When, on the other hand, the gods purge the earth with a deluge of
      water, the survivors in your country are herdsmen and shepherds who
      dwell on the mountains, but those who, like you, live in cities are
      carried by the rivers into the sea. Whereas in this land, neither
      then nor at any other time, does the water come down from above on
      the fields, having always a tendency to come up from below; for which
      reason the traditions preserved here are the most ancient. The fact
      is, that wherever the extremity of winter frost or of summer does not
      prevent, mankind exist, sometimes in greater, sometimes in lesser
      numbers. And whatever happened either in your country or in ours, or
      in any other region of which we are informed-if there were any
      actions noble or great or in any other way remarkable, they have all
      been written down by us of old, and are preserved in our temples.

      Whereas just when you and other nations are beginning to be provided
      with letters and the other requisites of civilized life, after the
      usual interval, the stream from heaven, like a pestilence, comes
      pouring down, and leaves only those of you who are destitute of
      letters and education; and so you have to begin all over again like
      children, and know nothing of what happened in ancient times, either
      among us or among yourselves. As for those genealogies of yours which
      you just now recounted to us, Solon, they are no better than the
      tales of children.

      In the first place you remember a single deluge only, but there were
      many previous ones; in the next place, you do not know that there
      formerly dwelt in your land the fairest and noblest race of men which
      ever lived, and that you and your whole city are descended from a
      small seed or remnant of them which survived. And this was unknown to
      you, because, for many generations, the survivors of that destruction
      died, leaving no written word. For there was a time, Solon, before
      the great deluge of all, when the city which now is Athens was first
      in war and in every way the best governed of all cities, is said to
      have performed the noblest deeds and to have had the fairest
      constitution of any of which tradition tells, under the face of


      Many great and wonderful deeds are recorded of your state in our
      histories. But one of them exceeds all the rest in greatness and
      valour. For these histories tell of a mighty power which unprovoked
      made an expedition against the whole of Europe and Asia, and to which
      your city put an end. This power came forth out of the Atlantic
      Ocean, for in those days the Atlantic was navigable; and there was an
      island situated in front of the straits which are by you called the
      Pillars of Heracles; the island was larger than Libya and Asia put
      together, and was the way to other islands, and from these you might
      pass to the whole of the opposite continent which surrounded the true
      ocean; for this sea which is within the Straits of Heracles is only a
      harbour, having a narrow entrance, but that other is a real sea, and
      the surrounding land may be most truly called a boundless continent.

      Now in this island of Atlantis there was a great and wonderful empire
      which had rule over the whole island and several others, and over
      parts of the continent, and, furthermore, the men of Atlantis had
      subjected the parts of Libya within the columns of Heracles as far as
      Egypt, and of Europe as far as Tyrrhenia. This vast power, gathered
      into one, endeavoured to subdue at a blow our country and yours and
      the whole of the region within the straits; and then, Solon, your
      country shone forth, in the excellence of her virtue and strength,
      among all mankind. She was pre-eminent in courage and military skill,
      and was the leader of the Hellenes. And when the rest fell off from
      her, being compelled to stand alone, after having undergone the very
      extremity of danger, she defeated and triumphed over the invaders,
      and preserved from slavery those who were not yet subjugated, and
      generously liberated all the rest of us who dwell within the pillars.

      But afterwards there occurred violent earthquakes and floods; and in
      a single day and night of misfortune all your warlike men in a body
      sank into the earth, and the island of Atlantis in like manner
      disappeared in the depths of the sea. 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

      Kind regards,
      Mike White
    • Mobydoc
      Hy Mike et al ; http://www.activemind.com/Mysterious/Topics/Atlantis/timaeus_page2.htm File Not Found The web page you requested does not exist. ... The page
      Message 2 of 2 , Mar 3, 2004
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         Hy Mike et al ;

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