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The Antediluvian World by Ignatius Donnelly

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Prepared by Norm Walcott, walcott@kreative.net, source from Mr. J.B. Hare.

ATLANTIS-the Antediluvian World

[Redactor's Note: This text version of "Atlantis, the Antediluvian
World" was prepared from input provided by Mr. J.B. Hare. For an HTML
text with the illustrations from the original see his web site at


Inline Mayan glyphs in Part III Chapter 7 have been replaced by '###'.
Figure captions are retained as text in capital letters centered on the
page set off by blank lines.
The line length is 73 characters, but one table in Part II Chap V
unavoidably had to be extended to 107 characters.]
This is an 8-bit text with accent marks.





The world has made such comet-like advance
Lately on science, we may almost hope,
Before we die of sheer decay, to learn
Something about our infancy; when lived
That great, original, broad-eyed, sunken race,
Whose knowledge, like the sea-sustaining rocks,
Hath formed the base of this world's fluctuous lore

Frontpiece: The Profile of Atlantis























































This book is an attempt to demonstrate several distinct and novel
propositions. These are:

1. That there once existed in the Atlantic Ocean, opposite the mouth of
the Mediterranean Sea, a large island, which was the remnant of an
Atlantic continent, and known to the ancient world as Atlantis.

2. That the description of this island given by Plato is not, as has
been long supposed, fable, but veritable history.

3. That Atlantis was the region where man first rose from a state of
barbarism to civilization.

4. That it became, in the course of ages, a populous and mighty nation,
from whose overflowings the shores of the Gulf of Mexico, the
Mississippi River, the Amazon, the Pacific coast of South America, the
Mediterranean, the west coast of Europe and Africa, the Baltic, the
Black Sea, and the Caspian were populated by civilized nations.

5. That it was the true Antediluvian world; the Garden of Eden; the
Gardens of the Hesperides; the Elysian Fields; the Gardens of Alcinous;
the Mesomphalos; the Olympos; the Asgard of the traditions of the
ancient nations; representing a universal memory of a great land, where
early mankind dwelt for ages in peace and happiness.

6. That the gods and goddesses of the ancient Greeks, the Phœnicians,
the Hindoos, and the Scandinavians were simply the kings, queens, and
heroes of Atlantis; and the acts attributed to them in mythology are a
confused recollection of real historical events.

7. That the mythology of Egypt and Peru represented the original
religion of Atlantis, which was sun-worship.

8. That the oldest colony formed by the Atlanteans was probably in
Egypt, whose civilization was a reproduction of that of the Atlantic

9. That the implements of the "Bronze Age" of Europe were derived from
Atlantis. The Atlanteans were also the first manufacturers of iron.

10. That the Phœnician alphabet, parent of all the European alphabets,
was derived from an Atlantis alphabet, which was also conveyed from
Atlantis to the Mayas of Central America.

11. That Atlantis was the original seat of the Aryan or Indo-European
family of nations, as well as of the Semitic peoples, and possibly also
of the Turanian races.

12. That Atlantis perished in a terrible convulsion of nature, in which
the whole island sunk into the ocean, with nearly all its inhabitants.

13. That a few persons escaped in ships and on rafts, and, carried to
the nations east and west the tidings of the appalling catastrophe,
which has survived to our own time in the Flood and Deluge legends of
the different nations of the old and new worlds.

If these propositions can be proved, they will solve many problems which
now perplex mankind; they will confirm in many respects the statements
in the opening chapters of Genesis; they will widen the area of human
history; they will explain the remarkable resemblances which exist
between the ancient civilizations found upon the opposite shores of the
Atlantic Ocean, in the old and new worlds; and they will aid us to
rehabilitate the fathers of our civilization, our blood, and our
fundamental ideas-the men who lived, loved, and labored ages before the
Aryans descended upon India, or the Phœnician had settled in Syria, or
the Goth had reached the shores of the Baltic.

The fact that the story of Atlantis was for thousands of years regarded
as a fable proves nothing. There is an unbelief which grows out of
ignorance, as well as a scepticism which is born of intelligence. The
people nearest to the past are not always those who are best informed
concerning the past.

For a thousand years it was believed that the legends of the buried
cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum were myths: they were spoken of as
"the fabulous cities." For a thousand years the educated world did not
credit the accounts given by Herodotus of the wonders of the ancient
civilizations of the Nile and of Chaldea. He was called "the father of
liars." Even Plutarch sneered at him. Now, in the language of Frederick
Schlegel, "the deeper and more comprehensive the researches of the
moderns have been, the more their regard and esteem for Herodotus has
increased." Buckle says, "His minute information about Egypt and Asia
Minor is admitted by all geographers."

There was a time when the expedition sent out by Pharaoh Necho to
circumnavigate Africa was doubted, because the explorers stated that
after they had progressed a certain distance the sun was north of them;
this circumstance, which then aroused suspicion, now proves to us that
the Egyptian navigators had really passed the equator, and anticipated
by 2100 years Vasquez de Gama in his discovery of the Cape of Good Hope.

If I succeed in demonstrating the truth of the somewhat startling
propositions with which I commenced this chapter, it will only be by
bringing to bear upon the question of Atlantis a thousand converging
lines of light from a multitude of researches made by scholars in
different fields of modern thought. Further investigations and
discoveries will, I trust, confirm the correctness of the conclusions at
which I have arrived.



Plato has preserved for us the history of Atlantis. If our views are
correct, it is one of the most valuable records which have come down to
us from antiquity.

Plato lived 400 years before the birth of Christ. His ancestor, Solon,
was the great law-giver of Athens 600 years before the Christian era.
Solon visited Egypt. Plutarch says, "Solon attempted in verse a large
description, or rather fabulous account of the Atlantic Island, which he
had learned from the wise men of Sais, and which particularly concerned
the Athenians; but by reason of his age, not want of leisure (as Plato
would have it), he was apprehensive the work would be too much for him,
and therefore did not go through with it. These verses are a proof that
business was not the hinderance:

"'I grow in learning as I grow in age.'

And again:

"'Wine, wit, and beauty still their charms bestow,
Light all the shades of life, and cheer us as we go.'

"Plato, ambitious to cultivate and adorn the subject of the Atlantic
Island, as a delightful spot in some fair field unoccupied, to which
also be had some claim by reason of his being related to Solon, laid out
magnificent courts and enclosures, and erected a grand entrance to it,
such as no other story, fable, or Poem ever had. But, as he began it
late, he ended his life before the work, so that the more the reader is
delighted with the part that is written, the more regret he has to find
it unfinished."

There can be no question that Solon visited Egypt. The causes of his
departure from Athens, for a period of ten years, are fully explained by
Plutarch. He dwelt, be tells us,

"On the Canopian shore, by Nile's deep mouth."

There be conversed upon points of philosophy and history with the most
learned of the Egyptian priests. He was a man of extraordinary force and
penetration of mind, as his laws and his sayings, which have been
preserved to us, testify. There is no improbability in the statement
that be commenced in verse a history and description of Atlantis, which
be left unfinished at his death; and it requires no great stretch of the
imagination to believe that this manuscript reached the bands of his
successor and descendant, Plato; a scholar, thinker, and historian like
himself, and, like himself, one of the profoundest minds of the ancient
world. the Egyptian priest had said to Solon, "You have no antiquity of
history, and no history of antiquity;" and Solon doubtless realized
fully the vast importance of a record which carried human history back,
not only thousands of years before the era of Greek civilization, but
many thousands of years before even the establishment of the kingdom of
Egypt; and be was anxious to preserve for his half-civilized countrymen
this inestimable record of the past.

We know of no better way to commence a book about Atlantis than by
giving in full the record preserved by Plato. It is as follows:

Critias. Then listen, Socrates, to a strange tale, which is, however,
certainly true, as Solon, who was the wisest of the seven sages,
declared. He was a relative and great friend of my great-grandfather,
Dropidas, as be himself says in several of his poems; and Dropidas told
Critias, my grandfather, who remembered, and told us, that there were of
old great and marvellous actions of the Athenians, which have passed
into oblivion through time and the destruction of the human race and one
in particular, which was the greatest of them all, the recital of which
will be a suitable testimony of our gratitude to you....

Socrates. Very good; and what is. this ancient famous action of which
Critias spoke, not as a mere legend, but as a veritable action of the
Athenian State, which Solon recounted!

Critias. I will tell an old-world story which I heard from an aged man;
for Critias was, as be said, at that time nearly ninety years of age,
and I was about ten years of age. Now the day was that day of the
Apaturia which is called the registration of youth; at which, according
to custom, our parents gave prizes for recitations, and the poems of
several poets were recited by us boys, and many of us sung the poems of
Solon, which were new at the time. One of our tribe, either because this
was his real opinion, or because he thought that he would please
Critias, said that, in his judgment, Solon was not only the wisest of
men but the noblest of poets. The old man, I well remember, brightened
up at this, and said, smiling: "Yes, Amynander, if Solon had only, like
other poets, made poetry the business of his life, and had completed the
tale which he brought with him from Egypt, and had not been compelled,
by reason of the factions and troubles which he found stirring in this
country when he came home, to attend to other matters, in my opinion be
would have been as famous as Homer, or Hesiod, or any poet."

"And what was that poem about, Critias?" said the person who addressed

"About the greatest action which the Athenians ever did, and which ought
to have been most famous, but which, through the lapse of time and the
destruction of the actors, has not come down to us."

"Tell us," said the other, "the whole story, and bow and from whom Solon
heard this veritable tradition."

He replied: "At the head of the Egyptian Delta, where the river Nile
divides, there is a certain district which is called the district of
Sais, and the great city of the district is also called Sais, and is the
city from which Amasis the king was sprung. And the citizens have a
deity who is their foundress: she is called in the Egyptian tongue
Neith, which is asserted by them to be the same whom the Hellenes called
Athene. Now, the citizens of this city are great lovers of the
Athenians, and say that they are in some way related to them. Thither
came Solon, who was received by them with great honor; and be asked the
priests, who were most skilful in such matters, about antiquity, and
made the discovery that neither he nor any other Hellene knew anything
worth mentioning about the times of old. On one occasion, when he was
drawing them on to speak of antiquity, he began to tell about the most
ancient things in our part of the world--about Phoroneus, who is called
'the first,' and about Niobe; and, after the Deluge, to tell of the
lives of Deucalion and Pyrrha; and he traced the genealogy of their
descendants, and attempted to reckon bow many years old were the events
of which he was speaking, and to give the dates. Thereupon, one of the
priests, who was of very great age; said, 'O Solon, Solon, you Hellenes
are but children, and there is never an old man who is an Hellene.'
Solon, bearing this, said, 'What do you mean?' 'I mean to say,' he
replied, 'that in mind you are all young; there is no old opinion handed
down among you by ancient tradition, nor any science which is hoary with
age. And I will tell you the reason of this: there have been, and there
will be again, many destructions of mankind arising out of many causes.
There is a story which even you have preserved, that once upon a time
Phaëthon, 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 around the earth and in the heavens,
and a great conflagration of things upon the earth recurring at long
intervals of time: when this happens, 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 sea-shore; and from this calamity the
Nile, who is our never-failing savior, saves and delivers us. When, on
the other hand, the gods purge the earth with a deluge of water, among
you herdsmen and shepherds on the mountains are the survivors, whereas
those of you who live in cities are carried by the rivers into the sea;
but in this country neither at that time nor at any other does the water
come from above on the fields, having always a tendency to come up from
below, for which reason the things preserved here are said to be the
oldest. The fact is, that wherever the extremity of winter frost or of
summer sun does not prevent, the human race is always increasing at
times, and at other times diminishing in numbers. And whatever happened
either in your country or in ours, or in any other region of which we
are informed--if any action which is noble or great, or in any other way
remarkable has taken place, all that has been written down of old, and
is preserved in our temples; whereas you and other nations are just
being provided with letters and the other things which States require;
and then, at the usual period, the stream from heaven descends like a
pestilence, and leaves only those of you who are destitute of letters
and education; and thus you have to begin all over again as children,
and know nothing of what happened in ancient times, either among us or
among yourselves. As for those genealogies of yours which you have
recounted to us, Solon, they are no better than the tales of children;
for, in the first place, you remember one deluge only, whereas there
were many of them; and, in the next place, you do not know that there
dwelt in your land the fairest and noblest race of men which ever lived,
of whom you and your whole city are but a seed or remnant. And this was
unknown to you, because for many generations the survivors of that
destruction died and made no sign. For there was a time, Solon, before
that great deluge of all, when the city which now is Athens was first in
war, and was preeminent for the excellence of her laws, and 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 heaven.'
Solon marvelled at this, and earnestly requested the priest to inform
him exactly and in order about these former citizens. 'You are welcome
to hear about them, Solon,' said the priest, 'both for your own sake and
for that of the city; and, above all, for the sake of the goddess who is
the common patron and protector and educator of both our cities. She
founded your city a thousand years before ours, receiving from the Earth
and Hephæstus the seed of your race, and then she founded ours, the
constitution of which is set down in our sacred registers as 8000 years
old. As touching the citizens of 9000 years ago, I will briefly inform
you of their laws and of the noblest of their actions; and the exact
particulars of the whole we will hereafter go through at our leisure. in
the sacred registers themselves. If you compare these very laws with
your own, you will find that many of ours are the counterpart of yours,
as they were in the olden time. In the first place, there is the caste
of priests, which is separated from all the others; next there are the
artificers, who exercise their several crafts by themselves, and without
admixture of any other; and also there is the class of shepherds and
that of hunters, as well as that of husbandmen; and you will observe,
too, that the warriors in Egypt are separated from all the other
classes, and are commanded by the law only to engage in war; moreover,
the weapons with which they are equipped are shields and spears, and
this the goddess taught first among you, and then in Asiatic countries,
and we among the Asiatics first adopted.

"'Then, as to wisdom, do you observe what care the law took from the
very first, searching out and comprehending the whole order of things
down to prophecy and medicine (the latter with a view to health); and
out of these divine elements drawing what was needful for human life,
and adding every sort of knowledge which was connected with them. All
this order and arrangement the goddess first imparted to you when
establishing your city; and she chose the spot of earth in which you
were born, because she saw that the happy temperament of the seasons in
that land would produce the wisest of men. Wherefore the goddess, who
was a lover both of war and of wisdom, selected, and first of all
settled that spot which was the most likely to produce men likest
herself. And there you dwelt, having such laws as these and still better
ones, and excelled all mankind in all virtue, as became the children and
disciples of the gods. Many great and wonderful deeds are recorded of
your State in our histories; but one of them exceeds all the rest in
greatness and valor; for these histories tell of a mighty power which
was aggressing wantonly 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 you call the Columns of
Heracles: the island was larger than Libya and Asia put together, and
was the way to other islands, and from the islands you might pass
through the whole of the opposite continent which surrounded the true
ocean; for this sea which is within the Straits of Heracles is only a
harbor, having a narrow entrance, but that other is a real sea, and the
surrounding land may be most truly called a continent. Now, in the
island of Atlantis there was a great and wonderful empire, which had
rule over the whole island and several others, as well as over parts of
the continent; and, besides these, they subjected the parts of Libya
within the Columns of Heracles as far as Egypt, and of Europe as far as
Tyrrhenia. The vast power thus gathered into one, endeavored to subdue
at one blow our country and yours, and the whole of the land which was
within the straits; and then, Solon, your country shone forth, in the
excellence of her virtue and strength, among all mankind; for she was
the first 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 subjected, and freely liberated all the others who dwelt
within the limits of Heracles. But afterward there occurred violent
earthquakes and floods, and in a single day and night of rain all your
warlike men in a body sunk into the earth, and the island of Atlantis in
like manner disappeared, and was sunk beneath the sea. And that is the
reason why the sea in those parts is impassable and impenetrable,
because there is such a quantity of shallow mud in the way; and this was
caused by the subsidence of the island.' ("Plato's Dialogues," ii., 617,
Timæus.) . . .

"But in addition to the gods whom you have mentioned, I would specially
invoke Mnemosyne; for all the important part of what I have to tell is
dependent on her favor, and if I can recollect and recite enough of what
was said by the priests, and brought hither by Solon, I doubt not that I
shall satisfy the requirements of this theatre. To that task, then, I
will at once address myself.

"Let me begin by observing, first of all, that nine thousand was the sum
of years which had elapsed since the war which was said to have taken
place between all those who dwelt outside the Pillars of Heracles and
those who dwelt within them: this war I am now to describe. Of the
combatants on the one side the city of Athens was reported to have been
the ruler, and to have directed the contest; the combatants on the other
side were led by the kings of the islands of Atlantis, which, as I was
saying, once had an extent greater than that of Libya and Asia; and,
when afterward sunk by an earthquake, became an impassable barrier of
mud to voyagers sailing from hence to the ocean. The progress of the
history will unfold the various tribes of barbarians and Hellenes which
then existed, as they successively appear on the scene; but I must begin
by describing, first of all, the Athenians as they were in that day, and
their enemies who fought with them; and I shall have to tell of the
power and form of government of both of them. Let us give the precedence
to Athens. . . .

"Many great deluges have taken place during the nine thousand years, for
that is the number of years which have elapsed since the time of which I
am speaking; and in all the ages and changes of things there has never
been any settlement of the earth flowing down from the mountains, as in
other places, which is worth speaking of; it has always been carried
round in a circle, and disappeared in the depths below. The consequence
is that, in comparison of what then was, there are remaining in small
islets only the bones of the wasted body, as they may be called, all the
richer and softer parts of the soil having fallen away, and the mere
skeleton of the country being left. . . .

"And next, if I have not forgotten what I heard when I was a child, I
will impart to you the character and origin of their adversaries; for
friends should not keep their stories to themselves, but have them in
common. Yet, before proceeding farther in the narrative, I ought to warn
you that you must not be surprised if you should bear Hellenic names
given to foreigners. I will tell you the reason of this: Solon, who was
intending to use the tale for his poem, made an investigation into the
meaning of the names, and found that the early Egyptians, in writing
them down, had translated them into their own language, and be recovered
the meaning of the several names and retranslated them, and copied them
out again in our language. My great-grandfather, Dropidas, had the
original writing, which is still in my possession, and was carefully
studied by me when I was a child. Therefore, if you bear names such as
are used in this country, you must not be surprised, for I have told you
the reason of them.

"The tale, which was of great length, began as follows: I have before
remarked, in speaking of the allotments of the gods, that they
distributed the whole earth into portions differing in extent, and made
themselves temples and sacrifices. And Poseidon, receiving for his lot
the island of Atlantis, begat children by a mortal woman, and settled
them in a part of the island which I will proceed to describe. On the
side toward the sea, and in the centre of the whole island, there was a
plain which is said to have been the fairest of all plains, and very
fertile. Near the plain again, and also in the centre of the island, at
a distance of about fifty stadia, there was a mountain, not very high on
any side. In this mountain there dwelt one of the earth-born primeval
men of that country, whose name was Evenor, and he had a wife named
Leucippe, and they had an only daughter, who was named Cleito. The
maiden was growing up to womanhood when her father and mother died;
Poseidon fell in love with her, and had intercourse with her; and,
breaking the ground, enclosed the hill in which she dwelt all round,
making alternate zones of sea and land, larger and smaller, encircling
one another; there were two of land and three of water, which he turned
as with a lathe out of the centre of the island, equidistant every way,
so that no man could get to the island, for ships and voyages were not
yet heard of. He himself, as be was a god, found no difficulty in making
special arrangements for the centre island, bringing two streams of
water under the earth, which he caused to ascend as springs, one of warm
water and the other of cold, and making every variety of food to spring
up abundantly in the earth. He also begat and brought up five pairs of
male children, dividing the island of Atlantis into ten portions: he
gave to the first-born of the eldest pair his mother's dwelling and the
surrounding allotment, which was the largest and best, and made him king
over the rest; the others he made princes, and gave them rule over many
men and a large territory. And he named them all: the eldest, who was
king, he named Atlas, and from him the whole island and the ocean
received the name of Atlantic. To his twin-brother, who was born after
him, and obtained as his lot the extremity of the island toward the
Pillars of Heracles, as far as the country which is still called the
region of Gades in that part of the world, be gave the name which in the
Hellenic language is Eumelus, in the language of the country which is
named after him, Gadeirus. Of the second pair of twins, he called one
Ampheres and the other Evæmon. To the third pair of twins he gave the
name Mneseus to the elder, and Autochthon to the one who followed him.
Of the fourth pair of twins he called the elder Elasippus and the
younger Mestor, And of the fifth pair be gave to the elder the name of
Azaes, and to the younger Diaprepes. All these and their descendants
were the inhabitants and rulers of divers islands in the open sea; and
also, as has been already said, they held sway in the other direction
over the country within the Pillars as far as Egypt and Tyrrhenia. Now
Atlas had a numerous and honorable family, and his eldest branch always
retained the kingdom, which the eldest son handed on to his eldest for
many generations; and they had such an amount of wealth as was never
before possessed by kings and potentates, and is not likely ever to be
again, and they were furnished with everything which they could have,
both in city and country. For, because of the greatness of their empire,
many things were brought to them from foreign countries, and the island
itself provided much of what was required by them for the uses of life.
In the first place, they dug out of the earth whatever was to be found
there, mineral as well as metal, and that which is now only a name, and
was then something more than a name--orichalcum--was dug out of the
earth in many parts of the island, and, with the exception of gold, was
esteemed the most precious of metals among the men of those days. There
was an abundance of wood for carpenters' work, and sufficient
maintenance for tame and wild animals. Moreover, there were a great
number of elephants in the island, and there was provision for animals
of every kind, both for those which live in lakes and marshes and
rivers, and also for those which live in mountains and on plains, and
therefore for the animal which is the largest and most voracious of
them. Also, whatever fragrant things there are in the earth, whether
roots, or herbage, or woods, or distilling drops of flowers or fruits,
grew and thrived in that land; and again, the cultivated fruit of the
earth, both the dry edible fruit and other species of food, which we
call by the general name of legumes, and the fruits having a hard rind,
affording drinks, and meats, and ointments, and good store of chestnuts
and the like, which may be used to play with, and are fruits which spoil
with keeping--and the pleasant kinds of dessert which console us after
dinner, when we are full and tired of eating--all these that sacred
island lying beneath the sun brought forth fair and wondrous in infinite
abundance. All these things they received from the earth, and they
employed themselves in constructing their temples, and palaces, and
harbors, and docks; and they arranged the whole country in the following
manner: First of all they bridged over the zones of sea which surrounded
the ancient metropolis, and made a passage into and out of they began to
build the palace in the royal palace; and then the habitation of the god
and of their ancestors. This they continued to ornament in successive
generations, every king surpassing the one who came before him to the
utmost of his power, until they made the building a marvel to behold for
size and for beauty. And, beginning from the sea, they dug a canal three
hundred feet in width and one hundred feet in depth, and fifty stadia in
length, which they carried through to the outermost zone, making a
passage from the sea up to this, which became a harbor, and leaving an
opening sufficient to enable the largest vessels to find ingress.
Moreover, they divided the zones of land which parted the zones of sea,
constructing bridges of such a width as would leave a passage for a
single trireme to pass out of one into another, and roofed them over;
and there was a way underneath for the ships, for the banks of the zones
were raised considerably above the water. Now the largest of the zones
into which a passage was cut from the sea was three stadia in breadth,
and the zone of land which came next of equal breadth; but the next two,
as well the zone of water as of land, were two stadia, and the one which
surrounded the central island was a stadium only in width. The island in
which the palace was situated had a diameter of five stadia. This, and
the zones and the bridge, which was the sixth part of a stadium in
width, they surrounded by a stone wall, on either side placing towers,
and gates on the bridges where the sea passed in. The stone which was
used in the work they quarried from underneath the centre island and
from underneath the zones, on the outer as well as the inner side. One
kind of stone was white, another black, and a third red; and, as they
quarried, they at the same time hollowed out docks double within, having
roofs formed out of the native rock. Some of their buildings were
simple, but in others they put together different stones, which they
intermingled for the sake of ornament, to be a natural source of
delight. The entire circuit of the wall which went round the outermost
one they covered with a coating of brass, and the circuit of the next
wall they coated with tin, and the third, which encompassed the citadel
flashed with the red light of orichalcum. The palaces in the interior of
the citadel were constructed in this wise: In the centre was a holy
temple dedicated to Cleito and Poseidon, which remained inaccessible,
and was surrounded by an enclosure of gold; this was the spot in which
they originally begat the race of the ten princes, and thither they
annually brought the fruits of the earth in their season from all the
ten portions, and performed sacrifices to each of them. Here, too, was
Poiseidon's own temple, of a stadium in length and half a stadium in
width, and of a proportionate height, having a sort of barbaric
splendor. All the outside of the temple, with the exception of the
pinnacles, they covered with silver, and the pinnacles with gold. In the
interior of the temple the roof was of ivory, adorned everywhere with
gold and silver and orichalcum; all the other parts of the walls and
pillars and floor they lined with orichalcum. In the temple they placed
statues of gold: there was the god himself standing in a chariot--the
charioteer of six winged horses--and of such a size that be touched the
roof of the building with his bead; around him there were a hundred
Nereids riding on dolphins, for such was thought to be the number of
them in that day. There were also in the interior of the temple other
images which had been dedicated by private individuals. And around the
temple on the outside were placed statues of gold of all the ten kings
and of their wives; and there were many other great offerings, both of
kings and of private individuals, coming both from the city itself and
the foreign cities over which they held sway. There was an altar, too,
which in size and workmanship corresponded to the rest of the work, and
there were palaces in like manner which answered to the greatness of the
kingdom and the glory of the temple.

"In the next place, they used fountains both of cold and hot springs;
these were very abundant, and both kinds wonderfully adapted to use by
reason of the sweetness and excellence of their waters. They constructed
buildings about them, and planted suitable trees; also cisterns, some
open to the heaven, other which they roofed over, to be used in winter
as warm baths, there were the king's baths, and the baths of private
persons, which were kept apart; also separate baths for women, and
others again for horses and cattle, and to them they gave as much
adornment as was suitable for them. The water which ran off they
carried, some to the grove of Poseidon, where were growing all manner of
trees of wonderful height and beauty, owing to the excellence of the
soil; the remainder was conveyed by aqueducts which passed over the
bridges to the outer circles: and there were many temples built and
dedicated to many gods; also gardens and places of exercise, some for
men, and some set apart for horses, in both of the two islands formed by
the zones; and in the centre of the larger of the two there was a
race-course of a stadium in width, and in length allowed to extend all
round the island, for horses to race in. Also there were guard-houses at
intervals for the body-guard, the more trusted of whom had their duties
appointed to them in the lesser zone, which was nearer the Acropolis;
while the most trusted of all had houses given them within the citadel,
and about the persons of the kings. The docks were full of triremes and
naval stores, and all things were quite ready for use. Enough of the
plan of the royal palace. Crossing the outer harbors, which were three
in number, you would come to a wall which began at the sea and went all
round: this was everywhere distant fifty stadia from the largest zone
and harbor, and enclosed the whole, meeting at the mouth of the channel
toward the sea. The entire area was densely crowded with habitations;
and the canal and the largest of the harbors were full of vessels and
merchants coming from all parts, who, from their numbers, kept up a
multitudinous sound of human voices and din of all sorts night and day.
I have repeated his descriptions of the city and the parts about the
ancient palace nearly as he gave them, and now I must endeavor to
describe the nature and arrangement of the rest of the country. The
whole country was described as being very lofty and precipitous on the
side of the sea, but the country immediately about and surrounding the
city was a level plain, itself surrounded by mountains which descended
toward the sea; it was smooth and even, but of an oblong shape,
extending in one direction three thousand stadia, and going up the
country from the sea through the centre of the island two thousand
stadia; the whole region of the island lies toward the south, and is
sheltered from the north. The surrounding mountains he celebrated for
their number and size and beauty, in which they exceeded all that are
now to be seen anywhere; having in them also many wealthy inhabited
villages, and rivers and lakes, and meadows supplying food enough for
every animal, wild or tame, and wood of various sorts, abundant for
every kind of work. I will now describe the plain, which had been
cultivated during many ages by many generations of kings. It was
rectangular, and for the most part straight and oblong; and what it
wanted of the straight line followed the line of the circular ditch. The
depth and width and length of this ditch were incredible and gave the
impression that such a work, in addition to so many other works, could
hardly have been wrought by the hand of man. But I must say what I have
heard. It was excavated to the depth of a hundred feet, and its breadth
was a stadium everywhere; it was carried round the whole of the plain,
and was ten thousand stadia in length. It received the streams which
came down from the mountains, and winding round the plain, and touching
the city at various points, was there let off into the sea. From above,
likewise, straight canals of a hundred feet in width were cut in the
plain, and again let off into the ditch, toward the sea; these canals
were at intervals of a Hundred stadia, and by them they brought, down
the wood from the mountains to the city, and conveyed the fruits of the
earth in ships, cutting transverse passages from one canal into another,
and to the city. Twice in the year they gathered the fruits of the
earth--in winter having the benefit of the rains, and in summer
introducing the water of the canals. As to the population, each of the
lots in the plain had an appointed chief of men who were fit for
military service, and the size of the lot was to be a square of ten
stadia each way, and the total number of all the lots was sixty thousand.

"And of the inhabitants of the mountains and of the rest of the country
there was also a vast multitude having leaders, to whom they were
assigned according to their dwellings and villages. The leader was
required to furnish for the war the sixth portion of a war-chariot, so
as to make up a total of ten thousand chariots; also two horses and
riders upon them, and a light chariot without a seat, accompanied by a
fighting man on foot carrying a small shield, and having a charioteer
mounted to guide the horses; also, be was bound to furnish two
heavy-armed men, two archers, two slingers, three stone-shooters, and
three javelin men, who were skirmishers, and four sailors to make up a
complement of twelve hundred ships. Such was the order of war in the
royal city--that of the other nine governments was different in each of
them, and would be wearisome to narrate. As to offices and honors, the
following was the arrangement from the first: Each of the ten kings, in
his own division and in his own city, had the absolute control of the
citizens, and in many cases of the laws, punishing and slaying
whomsoever be would.

"Now the relations of their governments to one another were regulated by
the injunctions of Poseidon as the law had handed them down. These were
inscribed by the first men on a column of orichalcum, which was situated
in the middle of the island, at the temple of Poseidon, whither the
people were gathered together every fifth and sixth years alternately,
thus giving equal honor to the odd and to the even number. And when they
were gathered together they consulted about public affairs, and inquired
if any one had transgressed in anything, and passed judgment on him
accordingly--and before they passed judgment they gave their pledges to
one another in this wise: There were bulls who had the range of the
temple of Poseidon; and the ten who were left alone in the temple, after
they had offered prayers to the gods that they might take the sacrifices
which were acceptable to them, hunted the bulls without weapons, but
with staves and nooses; and the bull which they caught they led up to
the column; the victim was then struck on the head by them, and slain
over the sacred inscription, Now on the column, besides the law, there
was inscribed an oath invoking mighty curses on the disobedient. When,
therefore, after offering sacrifice according to their customs, they had
burnt the limbs of the bull, they mingled a cup and cast in a clot of
blood for each of them; the rest of the victim they took to the fire,
after having made a purification of the column all round. Then they drew
from the cup in golden vessels, and, pouring a libation on the fire,
they swore t hat they would judge according to the laws on the column,
and would punish any one who had previously transgressed, and that for
the future they would not, if they could help, transgress any of the
inscriptions, and would not command or obey any ruler who commanded them
to act otherwise than according to the laws of their father Poseidon.
This was the prayer which each of them offered up for himself and for
his family, at the same time drinking, and dedicating the vessel in the
temple of the god; and, after spending some necessary time at supper,
when darkness came on and the fire about the sacrifice was cool, all of
them put on most beautiful azure robes, and, sitting on the ground at
night near the embers of the sacrifices on which they had sworn, and
extinguishing all the fire about the temple, they received and gave
judgement, if any of them had any accusation to bring against any one;
and, when they had given judgment, at daybreak they wrote down their
sentences on a golden tablet, and deposited them as memorials with their
robes. There were many special laws which the several kings had
inscribed about the temples, but the most important was the following:
That they were not to take up arms against one another, and they were
all to come to the rescue if any one in any city attempted to over.
throw the royal house. Like their ancestors, they were to deliberate in
common about war and other matters, giving the supremacy to the family
of Atlas; and the king was not to have the power of life and death over
any of his kinsmen, unless he had the assent of the majority of the ten

"Such was the vast power which the god settled in the lost island of
Atlantis; and this he afterward directed against our land on the
following pretext, as traditions tell: For many generations, as long as
the divine nature lasted in them, they were obedient to the laws, and
well-affectioned toward the gods, who were their kinsmen; for they
possessed true and in every way great spirits, practising gentleness and
wisdom in the various chances of life, and in their intercourse with one
another. They despised everything but virtue, not caring for their
present state of life, arid thinking lightly on the possession of gold
and other property, which seemed only a burden to them; neither were
they intoxicated by luxury; nor did wealth deprive them of their
self-control; but they were sober, and saw clearly that all these goods
are increased by virtuous friendship with one another, and that by
excessive zeal for them, and honor of them, the good of them is lost,
and friendship perishes with them.

"By such reflections, and by the continuance in them of a divine nature,
all that which we have described waxed and increased in them; but when
this divine portion began to fade away in them, and became diluted too
often, and with too much of the mortal admixture, and the human nature
got the upper-hand, then, they being unable to bear their fortune,
became unseemly, and to him who had an eye to see, they began to appear
base, and had lost the fairest of their precious gifts; but to those who
had no eye to see the true happiness, they still appeared glorious and
blessed at the very time when they were filled with unrighteous avarice
and power. Zeus, the god of gods, who rules with law, and is able to see
into such things, perceiving that an honorable race was in a most
wretched state, and wanting to inflict punishment on them, that they
might be chastened and improved, collected all the gods into his most
holy habitation, which, being placed in the centre of the world, sees
all things that partake of generation. And when he had called them
together he spake as follows:"

[Here Plato's story abruptly ends.]



There is nothing improbable in this narrative, so far as it describes a
great, rich, cultured, and educated people. Almost every part of Plato's
story can be paralleled by descriptions of the people of Egypt or Peru;
in fact, in some respects Plato's account of Atlantis falls short of
Herodotus's description of the grandeur of Egypt, or Prescott's picture
of the wealth and civilization of Peru. For instance, Prescott, in his
"Conquest of Peru" (vol. i., p. 95), says:

"The most renowned of the Peruvian temples, the pride of the capital and
the wonder of the empire, was at Cuzco, where, under the munificence of
successive sovereigns, it had become so enriched that it received the
name of Coricancha, or 'the Place of Gold.' . . . The interior of the
temple was literally a mine of gold. On the western wall was emblazoned
a representation of the Deity, consisting of a human countenance looking
forth from amid innumerable rays of light, which emanated from it in
every direction, in the same manner as the sun is often personified with
us. The figure was engraved on a massive plate of gold, of enormous
dimensions, thickly powdered with emeralds and precious stones. . . .
The walls and ceilings were everywhere incrusted with golden ornaments;
every part of the interior of the temple glowed with burnished plates
and studs of the precious metal; the cornices were of the same material."

There are in Plato's narrative no marvels; no myths; no tales of gods,
gorgons, hobgoblins, or giants. It is a plain and reasonable history of
a people who built temples, ships, and canals; who lived by agriculture
and commerce: who in pursuit of trade, reached out to all the countries
around them. The early history of most nations begins with gods and
demons, while here we have nothing of the kind; we see an immigrant
enter the country, marry one of the native women, and settle down; in
time a great nation grows up around him. It reminds one of the
information given by the Egyptian priests to Herodotus. "During the
space of eleven thousand three hundred and fort years they assert," says
Herodotus, "that no divinity has appeared in human shape, . . . they
absolutely denied the possibility of a human being's descent from a
god." If Plato had sought to draw from his imagination a wonderful and
pleasing story, we should not have had so plain and reasonable a
narrative. He would have given us a history like the legends of Greek
mythology, full of the adventures of gods and goddesses, nymphs, fauns,
and satyrs.

Neither is there any evidence on the face of this history that Plato
sought to convey in it a moral or political lesson, in the guise of a
fable, as did Bacon in the "New Atlantis," and More in the "Kingdom of
Nowhere." There is no ideal republic delineated here. It is a
straightforward, reasonable history of a people ruled over by their
kings, living and progressing as other nations have lived and progressed
since their day.

Plato says that in Atlantis there was "a great and wonderful empire,"
which "aggressed wantonly against the whole of Europe and Asia," thus
testifying to the extent of its dominion. It not only subjugated Africa
as far as Egypt, and Europe as far as Italy, but it ruled "as well over
parts of the continent," to wit, "the opposite continent" of America,
"which surrounded the true ocean." Those parts of America over which it
ruled were, as we will show hereafter, Central America, Peru, and the
Valley of the Mississippi, occupied by the "Mound Builders."

Moreover, be tells us that "this vast power was gathered into one;" that
is to say, from Egypt to Peru it was one consolidated empire. We will
see hereafter that the legends of the Hindoos as to Deva Nahusha
distinctly refer to this vast empire, which covered the whole of the
known world.

Another corroboration of the truth of Plato's narrative is found in the
fact that upon the Azores black lava rocks, and rocks red and white in
color, are now found. He says they built with white, red, and black
stone. Sir C. Wyville Thomson describes a narrow neck of land between
Fayal and Monte da Guia, called "Monte Queimada" (the burnt mountain),
as follows: "It is formed partly of stratified tufa of a dark chocolate
color, and partly of lumps of black lava, porous, and each with a large
cavity in the centre, which must have been ejected as volcanic bombs in
a glorious display of fireworks at some period beyond the records of
Acorean history, but late in the geological annals of the island"
("Voyage of the Challenger," vol. ii., p. 24). He also describes immense
walls of black volcanic rock in the island.

The plain of Atlantis, Plato tells us, "had been cultivated during many
ages by many generations of kings." If, as we believe, agriculture, the
domestication of the horse, ox, sheep, goat, and bog, and the discovery
or development of wheat, oats, rye, and barley originated in this
region, then this language of Plato in reference to "the many ages, and
the successive generations of kings," accords with the great periods of
time which were necessary to bring man from a savage to a civilized

In the great ditch surrounding the whole land like a circle, and into
which streams flowed down from the mountains, we probably see the
original of the four rivers of Paradise, and the emblem of the cross
surrounded by a circle, which, as we will show hereafter, was, from the
earliest pre-Christian ages, accepted as the emblem of the Garden of

We know that Plato did not invent the name of Poseidon, for the worship
of Poseidon was universal in the earliest ages of Europe;
"Poseidon-worship seems to have been a peculiarity of all the colonies
previous to the time of Sidon" ("Prehistoric Nations," p. 148.) This
worship "was carried to Spain, and to Northern Africa, but most
abundantly to Italy, to many of the islands, and to the regions around
the Ægean Sea; also to Thrace." (Ibid., p. 155.)

Poseidon, or Neptune, is represented in Greek mythology as a sea-god;
but he is figured as standing in a war-chariot drawn by horses. The
association of the horse (a land animal) with a sea-god is inexplicable,
except with the light given by Plato. Poseidon was a sea-god because he
ruled over a great land in the sea, and was the national god of a
maritime people; be is associated with horses, because in Atlantis the
horse was first domesticated; and, as Plato shows, the Atlanteans had
great race-courses for the development of speed in horses; and Poseidon
is represented as standing in a war-chariot, because doubtless wheeled
vehicles were first invented by the same people who tamed the horse; and
they transmitted these war-chariots to their descendants from Egypt to
Britain. We know that horses were the favorite objects chosen for
sacrifice to Poseidon by the nations of antiquity within the Historical
Period; they were killed, and cast into the sea from high precipices.
The religious horse-feasts of the pagan Scandinavians were a survival of
this Poseidon-worship, which once prevailed along all the coasts of
Europe; they continued until the conversion of the people to
Christianity, and were then suppressed by the Church with great

We find in Plato's narrative the names of some of the Phœnician deities
among the kings of Atlantis. Where did the Greek, Plato, get these names
if the story is a fable?

Does Plato, in speaking of "the fruits having a hard rind, affording
drinks and meats and ointments," refer to the cocoa nut?

Again: Plato tells us that Atlantis abounded in both cold and hot
springs. How did he come to hit upon the hot springs if be was drawing a
picture from his imagination? It is a singular confirmation of his story
that hot springs abound in the Azores, which are the surviving fragments
of Atlantis; and an experience wider than that possessed by Plato has
taught scientific men that hot springs are a common feature of regions
subject to volcanic convulsions.

Plato tells us, "The whole country was very lofty and precipitous on the
side of the sea, but the country immediately about and surrounding the
city was a level plain, itself surrounded by mountains which descended
toward the sea." One has but to look at the profile of the "Dolphin's
Ridge," as revealed by the deep-sea soundings of the Challenger, given
as the frontispiece to this volume, to see that this is a faithful
description of that precipitous elevation. "The surrounding mountains,"
which sheltered the plain from the north, are represented in the present
towering peaks of the Azores.

Plato tells us that the destruction of Atlantis filled the sea with mud,
and interfered with navigation. For thousands of years the ancients
believed the Atlantic Ocean to be "a muddy, shallow, dark, and misty
sea, Mare tenebrosum." ("Cosmos," vol. ii., p. 151.)

The three-pronged sceptre or trident of Poseidon reappears constantly in
ancient history. We find it in the hands of Hindoo gods, and at the base
of all the religious beliefs of antiquity.

"Among the numerals the sacred three has ever been considered the mark
of perfection, and was therefore exclusively ascribed to the Supreme
Deity, or to its earthly representative--a king, emperor, or any
sovereign. For this reason triple emblems of various shapes are found on
the belts, neckties, or any encircling fixture, as can be seen on the
works of ancient art in Yucatan, Guatemala, Chiapas, Mexico, etc.,
whenever the object has reference to divine supremacy." (Dr. Arthur
Schott, "Smith. Rep.," 1869, p. 391.)

We are reminded of the, "tiara," and the "triple round of sovereignty."

In the same manner the ten kingdoms of Atlantis are perpetuated in all
the ancient traditions.

"In the number given by the Bible for the Antediluvian patriarchs we
have the first instance of a striking agreement with the traditions of
various nations. Ten are mentioned in the Book of Genesis. Other
nations, to whatever epoch they carry back their ancestors, whether
before or after the Deluge, whether the mythical or historical character
prevail, they are constant to this sacred number ten, which some have
vainly attempted to connect with the speculations of later religious
philosophers on the mystical value of numbers. In Chaldea, Berosus
enumerates ten Antediluvian kings whose fabulous reign extended to
thousands of years. The legends of the Iranian race commence with the.
reign of ten Peisdadien (Poseidon?) kings, 'men of the ancient law, who
lived on pure Homa (water of life)' (nectar?), 'and who preserved their
sanctity.' In India we meet with the nine Brahmadikas, who, with Brahma,
their founder, make ten, and who are called the Ten Petris, or Fathers.
The Chinese count ten emperors, partakers of the divine nature, before
the dawn of historical times. The Germans believed in the ten ancestors
of Odin, and the Arabs in the ten mythical kings of the Adites."
(Lenormant and Chevallier, "Anc. Hist. of the East," vol. i., p. 13.)

The story of Plato finds confirmation from other sources.

An extract preserved in Proclus, taken from a work now lost, which is
quoted by Boeckh in his commentary on Plato, mentions islands in the
exterior sea, beyond the Pillars of Hercules, and says it was known that
in one of these islands "the inhabitants preserved from their ancestors
a remembrance of Atlantis, all extremely large island, which for a long
time held dominion over all the islands of the Atlantic Ocean."

Ælian, in his "Varia Historia" (book iii., chap. xviii.), tells us that
Theopompus (400 B.C.) related the particulars of an interview between
Midas, King of Phrygia, and Silenus, in which Silenus reported the
existence of a great continent beyond the Atlantic, "larger than Asia,
Europe, and Libya together." He stated that a race of men called Meropes
dwelt there, and had extensive cities. They were persuaded that their
country alone was a continent. Out of curiosity some of them crossed the
ocean and visited the Hyperboreans.

"The Gauls possessed traditions upon the subject of Atlantis which were
collected by the Roman historian Timagenes, who lived in the first
century before Christ. He represents that three distinct people dwelt in
Gaul: 1. The indigenous population, which I suppose to be Mongoloids,
who had long dwelt in Europe; 2. The invaders from a distant island,
which I understand to be Atlantis; 3. The Aryan Gauls." ("Preadamites,"
p. 380.)

Marcellus, in a work on the Ethiopians, speaks of seven islands lying in
the Atlantic Ocean--probably the Canaries--and the inhabitants of these
islands, he says, preserve the memory of a much greater island,
Atlantis, "which had for a long time exercised dominion over the smaller
ones." (Didot Müller, "Fragmenta Historicorum Græcorum," vol. iv., p.

Diodorus Siculus relates that the Phœnicians discovered "a large island
in the Atlantic Ocean, beyond the Pillars of Hercules, several days'
sail from the coast of Africa. This island abounded in all manner of
riches. The soil was exceedingly fertile; the scenery was diversified by
rivers, mountains, and forests. It was the custom of the inhabitants to
retire during the summer to magnificent country-houses, which stood in
the midst of beautiful gardens. Fish and game were found in great
abundance; the climate was delicious, and the trees bore fruit at all
seasons of the year." Homer, Plutarch, and other ancient writers mention
islands situated in the Atlantic, "several thousand stadia from the
Pillars of Hercules." Silenus tells Midas that there was another
continent besides Europe, Asia, and Africa--"a country where gold and
silver are so plentiful that they are esteemed no more than we esteem
iron." St. Clement, in his Epistle to the Corinthians, says that there
were other worlds beyond the ocean.

Attention may here be called to the extraordinary number of instances in
which allusion is made in the Old Testament to the "islands of the sea,"
especially in Isaiah and Ezekiel. What had an inland people, like the
Jews, to do with seas and islands? Did these references grow out of
vague traditions linking their race with "islands in the sea?"

The Orphic Argonaut sings of the division of the ancient Lyktonia into
separate islands. He says," When the dark-haired Poseidon, in anger with
Father Kronion, struck Lyktonia with the golden trident."

Plato states that the Egyptians told Solon that the destruction of
Atlantis occurred 9000 years before that date, to wit, about 9600 years
before the Christian era. This looks like an extraordinarily long period
of time, but it must be remembered that geologists claim that the
remains of man found in the caves of Europe date back 500,000 years; and
the fossil Calaveras skull was found deep under the base of Table
Mountain, California, the whole mountain having been formed since the
man to whom it belonged lived and died.

"M. Oppert read an essay at the Brussels Congress to show, from the
astronomical observations of the Egyptians and Assyrians, that 11,542
years before our era man existed on the earth at such a stage of
civilization as to be able to take note of astronomical phenomena, and
to calculate with considerable accuracy the length of the year. The
Egyptians, says he, calculated by cycles of 1460 years--zodiacal cycles,
as they were called. Their year consisted of 365 days, which caused them
to lose one day in every four solar years, and, consequently, they would
attain their original starting-point again only after 1460 years (365 x
4). Therefore, the zodiacal cycle ending in the year 139 of our era
commenced in the year 1322 B.C. On the other hand, the Assyrian cycle
was 1805 years, or 22,325 lunations. An Assyrian cycle began 712 B.C.
The Chaldeans state that between the Deluge and their first historic
dynasty there was a period of 39,180 years. Now, what means, this
number? It stands for 12 Egyptian zodiacal cycles plus 12 Assyrian lunar

| 12 X 1460 = 17,520 | |
| | = 39,180 |
| 12 X 1805 = 21,660 | |

"These two modes of calculating time are in agreement with each other,
and were known simultaneously to one people, the Chaldeans. Let us now
build up the series of both cycles, starting from our era, and the
result will be as follows:

| Zodiacal Cycle. | Lunar Cycle. |
| 1,460 | 1,805 |
| 1,822 | 712 |
| _____ | _____ |
| 2,782 | 2,517 |
| 4,242 | 4,322 |
| 5,702 | 6,127 |
| 7,162 | 7,932 |
| 8,622 | 9,737 |
| 110,082 | 11,542 |
| 11,542 | |

"At the year 11,542 B.C. the two cycles came together, and consequently
they had on that year their common origin in one and the same
astronomical observation."

That observation was probably made in Atlantis.

The wide divergence of languages which is found to exist among the
Atlanteans at the beginning of the Historical Period implies a vast
lapse of time. The fact that the nations of the Old World remembered so
little of Atlantis, except the colossal fact of its sudden and
overwhelming destruction, would also seem to remove that event into a
remote past.

Herodotus tells us that he learned from the Egyptians that Hercules was
one of their most ancient deities, and that he was one of the twelve
produced from the eight gods, 17,000 years before the reign of Amasis.

In short, I fail to see why this story of Plato, told as history,
derived from the Egyptians, a people who, it is known, preserved most
ancient records, and who were able to trace their existence back to a
vast antiquity, should have been contemptuously set aside as a fable by
Greeks, Romans, and the modern world. It can only be because our
predecessors, with their limited knowledge of the geological history of
the world, did not believe it possible that any large. part of the
earth's surface could have been thus suddenly swallowed up by the sea.

Let us then first address ourselves to that question.



All that is needed to answer this question is to briefly refer to some
of the facts revealed by the study of geology.

In the first place, the earth's surface is a record of successive
risings and fallings of the land. The accompanying picture represents a
section of the anthracite coal-measures of Pennsylvania. Each of the
coal deposits here shown, indicated by the black lines, was created when
the land had risen sufficiently above the sea to maintain vegetation;
each of the strata of rock, many of them hundreds of feet in thickness,
was deposited under water. Here we have twenty-three different changes
of the level of the land during the formation of 2000 feet of rock and
coal; and these changes took place over vast areas, embracing thousands
of square miles.

All the continents which now exist were, it is well understood, once,
under water, and the rocks of which they are composed were deposited
beneath the water; more than this, most of the rocks so deposited were
the detritus or washings of other continents, which then stood where the
oceans now roll, and whose mountains and plains were ground down by the
action of volcanoes and earthquakes, and frost, ice, wind, and rain, and
washed into the sea, to form the rocks upon which the nations now dwell;
so that we have changed the conditions of land and water: that which is
now continent was once sea, and that which is now sea was formerly
continent. There can be no question that the Australian Archipelago is
simply the mountain-tops of a drowned continent, which once reached from
India to South America. Science has gone so far as to even give it a
name; it is called "Lemuria," and here, it is claimed, the human race
originated. An examination of the geological formation of our Atlantic
States proves beyond a doubt, from the manner in which the sedimentary
rocks, the sand, gravel, and mud--aggregating a thickness of 45,000
feet--are deposited, that they came from the north and east. "They
represent the detritus of pre-existing lands, the washings of rain,
rivers, coast-currents, and other agencies of erosion; and since the
areas supplying the waste could scarcely have been of less extent than
the new strata it formed, it is reasonably inferred that land masses of
continental magnitude must have occupied the region now covered by the
North Atlantic before America began to be, and onward at least through
the palæozoic ages of American history. The proof of this fact is that
the great strata of rocks are thicker the nearer we approach their
source in the east: the maximum thickness of the palæozoic rocks of the
Appalachian formation is 25,000 to 35,000 feet in Pennsylvania and
Virginia, while their minimum thickness in Illinois and Missouri is from
3000 to 4000 feet; the rougher and grosser-textured rocks predominate in
the east, while the farther west we go the finer the deposits were of
which the rocks are composed; the finer materials were carried farther
west by the water." ("New Amer. Cyclop.," art. Coal.)


The history of the growth of the European Continent, as recounted by
Professor Geikie, gives an instructive illustration of the relations of
geology to geography. The earliest European land, he says, appears to
have existed in the north and north-west, comprising Scandinavia,
Finland, and the northwest of the British area, and to have extended
thence through boreal and arctic latitudes into North America. Of the
height and mass of this primeval land some idea may be formed by
considering the enormous bulk of the material derived from its
disintegration. In the Silurian formations of the British Islands alone
there is a mass of rock, worn from the land, which would form a
mountain-chain extending from Marseilles to the North Cape (1800 miles),
with a mean breadth of over thirty-three miles, and an average height of
16,000 feet.

As the great continent which stood where the Atlantic Ocean now is wore
away, the continents of America and Europe were formed; and there seems
to have been from remote times a continuous rising, still going on, of
the new lands, and a sinking of the old ones. Within five thousand
years, or since the age of the "polished stone," the shores of Sweden,
Denmark, and Norway have risen from 200 to 600 feet.

Professor Winchell says ("The Preadamites," p. 437):

"We are in the midst of great, changes, and are scarcely conscious of
it. We have seen worlds in flames, and have felt a cornet strike the
earth. We have seen the whole coast of South America lifted up bodily
ten or fifteen feet and let down again in an hour. We have seen the
Andes sink 220 feet in seventy years. . . Vast transpositions have taken
place in the coast-line of China. The ancient capital, located, in all
probability, in an accessible position near the centre of the empire,
has now become nearly surrounded by water, and its site is on the
peninsula of Corea. . . . There was a time when the rocky barriers of
the Thracian Bosphorus gave way and the Black Sea subsided. It had
covered a vast area in the north and east. Now this area became drained,
and was known as the ancient Lectonia: it is now the prairie region of
Russia, and the granary of Europe."

There is ample geological evidence that at one time the entire area of
Great Britain was submerged to the depth of at least seventeen hundred
feet. Over the face of the submerged land was strewn thick beds of sand,
gravel, and clay, termed by geologists "the Northern Drift." The British
Islands rose again from the sea, bearing these water-deposits on their
bosom. What is now Sicily once lay deep beneath the sea: A subsequently
rose 3000 feet above the sea-level. The Desert of Sahara was once under
water, and its now burning sands are a deposit of the sea.

Geologically speaking, the submergence of Atlantis, within the
historical period, was simply the last of a number of vast changes, by
which the continent which once occupied the greater part of the Atlantic
had gradually sunk under the ocean, while the new lands were rising on
both sides of it.

We come now to the second question, Is it possible that Atlantis could
have been suddenly destroyed by such a convulsion of nature as is
described by Plato? The ancients regarded this part of his story as a
fable. With the wider knowledge which scientific research has afforded
the modern world, we can affirm that such an event is not only possible,
but that the history of even the last two centuries has furnished us
with striking parallels for it. We now possess the record of numerous
islands lifted above the waters, and others sunk beneath the waves,
accompanied by storms and earthquakes similar to those which marked the
destruction of Atlantis.

In 1783 Iceland was visited by convulsions more tremendous than any
recorded in the modern annals of that country. About a month previous to
the eruption on the main-land a submarine volcano burst forth in the
sea, at a distance of thirty miles from the shore. It ejected so much
pumice that the sea was covered with it for a distance of 150 miles, and
ships were considerably impeded in their course. A new island was thrown
up, consisting of high cliffs, which was claimed by his Danish Majesty,
and named "Nyöe," or the New Island; but before a year had elapsed it
sunk beneath the sea, leaving a reef of rocks thirty fathoms under water.

The earthquake of 1783 in Iceland destroyed 9000 people out of a
population of 50,000; twenty villages were consumed by fire or inundated
by water, and a mass of lava thrown out "greater than the entire bulk of
Mont Blanc."

On the 8th of October, 1822, a great earthquake occurred on the island
of Java, near the mountain of Galung Gung. "A loud explosion was heard,
the earth shook, and immense columns of hot water and boiling mud, mixed
with burning brimstone, ashes, and lapilli, of the size of nuts, were
projected from the mountain like a water-spout, with such prodigious
violence that large quantities fell beyond the river Tandoi, which is
forty miles distant. . . . The first eruption lasted nearly five hours;
and on the following days the rain fell ill torrents, and the rivers,
densely charged with mud, deluged the country far and wide. At the end
of four days (October 12th), a second eruption occurred, more violent
than the first, in which hot water and mud were again vomited, and great
blocks of basalt were thrown to the distance of seven miles from the
volcano. There was at the same time a violent earthquake, the face of
the mountain was utterly changed, its summits broken down, and one side,
which had been covered with trees, became an enormous gulf in the form
of a semicircle. Over 4000 persons were killed and 114 villages
destroyed." (Lyell's "Principles of Geology," p. 430.)

In 1831 a new island was born in the Mediterranean, near the coast of
Sicily. It was called Graham's Island. It came up with an earthquake,
and "a water-spout sixty feet high and eight hundred yards in
circumference rising from the sea." In about a month the island was two
hundred feet high and three miles in circumference; it soon, however,
stink beneath the sea.

The Canary Islands were probably a part of the original empire of
Atlantis. On the 1st of September, 1730, the earth split open near Year,
in the island of Lancerota. In one night a considerable hill of ejected
matter was thrown up; in a few days another vent opened and gave out a
lava stream which overran several villages. It flowed at first rapidly,
like water, but became afterward heavy and slow, like honey. On the 11th
of September more lava flowed out, covering up a village, and
precipitating itself with a horrible roar into the sea. Dead fish
floated on the waters in indescribable multitudes, or were thrown dying
on the shore; the cattle throughout the country dropped lifeless to the
ground, suffocated by putrid vapors, which condensed and fell down in
drops. These manifestations were accompanied by a storm such as the
people of the country had never known before. These dreadful commotions
lasted for five years. The lavas thrown out covered one-third of the
whole island of Lancerota.


The Gulf of Santorin, in the Grecian Archipelago, has been for two
thousand years a scene of active volcanic operations. Pliny informs us
that in the year 186 B.C. the island of "Old Kaimeni," or the Sacred
Isle, was lifted up from the sea; and in A.D. 19 the island of "Thia"
(the Divine) made its appearance. In A.D. 1573 another island was
created, called "the small sunburnt island." In 1848 a volcanic
convulsion of three months' duration created a great shoal; an
earthquake destroyed many houses in Thera, and the sulphur and hydrogen
issuing from the sea killed 50 persons and 1000 domestic animals. A
recent examination of these islands shows that the whole mass of
Santorin has sunk, since its projection from the sea, over 1200 feet.

The fort and village of Sindree, on the eastern arm of the Indus, above
Luckput, was submerged in 1819 by an earthquake, together with a tract
of country 2000 square miles in extent.

"In 1828 Sir A. Burnes went in a boat to the ruins of Sindree, where a
single remaining tower was seen in the midst of a wide expanse of sea.
The tops of the ruined walls still rose two or three feet above the
level of the water; and, standing on one of these, he could behold
nothing in the horizon but water, except in one direction, where a blue
streak of land to the north indicated the Ullah Bund. This scene," says
Lyell ("Principles of Geology," p. 462), "presents to the imagination a
lively picture of the revolutions now in progress on the earth-a waste
of waters where a few years before all was land, and the only land
visible consisting of ground uplifted by a recent earthquake."

We give from Lyell's great work the following curious pictures of the
appearance of the Fort of Sindree before and after the inundation.


In April, 1815, one of the most frightful eruptions recorded in history
occurred in the province of Tomboro, in the island of Sumbawa, about two
hundred miles from the eastern extremity of Java. It lasted from April
5th to July of that year; but was most violent on the 11th and 12th of
July. The sound of the explosions was heard for nearly one thousand
miles. Out of a population of 12,000, in the province of Tombora, only
twenty-six individuals escaped. "Violent whirlwinds carried up men,
horses, and cattle into the air, tore tip the largest trees by the
roots, and covered the whole sea with floating timber." (Raffles's
"History of Java," vol. i., p. 28.) The ashes darkened the air; "the
floating cinders to the westward of Sumatra formed, on the 12th of
April, a mass two feet thick and several miles in extent, through which
ships with difficulty forced their way." The darkness in daytime was
more profound than the blackest night. "The town called Tomboro, on the
west side of Sumbawa, was overflowed by the sea, which encroached upon
the shore, so that the water remained permanently eighteen feet deep in
places where there was land before". The area covered by the convulsion
was 1000 English miles in circumference. "In the island of Amboyna, in
the same month and year, the ground opened, threw out water and then
closed again." (Raffles's "History of Java," vol. i., p. 25.)


But it is at that point of the European coast nearest to the site of
Atlantis at Lisbon that the most tremendous earthquake of modern times
has occurred. On the 1st of November, 1775, a sound of thunder was heard
underground, and immediately afterward a violent shock threw down the
greater part of the city. In six minutes 60,000 persons perished. A
great concourse of people had collected for safety upon a new quay,
built entirely of marble; but suddenly it sunk down with all the people
on it, and not one of the dead bodies ever floated to the surface. A
great number of small boats and vessels anchored near it, and, full of
people, were swallowed up as in a whirlpool. No fragments of these
wrecks ever rose again to the surface; the water where the quay went
down is now 600 feet deep. The area covered by this earthquake was very
great. Humboldt says that a portion of the earth's surface, four times
as great as the size of Europe, was simultaneously shaken. It extended
from the Baltic to the West Indies, and from Canada to Algiers. At eight
leagues from Morocco the ground opened and swallowed a village of 10,000
inhabitants, and closed again over them.

It is very probable that the centre of the convulsion was in the bed of
the Atlantic, at or near the buried island of Atlantis, and that it was
a successor of the great earth throe which, thousands of years before,
had brought destruction upon that land.


Ireland also lies near the axis of this great volcanic area, reaching
from the Canaries to Iceland, and it has been many times in the past the
seat of disturbance. The ancient annals contain numerous accounts of
eruptions, preceded by volcanic action. In 1490, at the Ox Mountains,
Sligo, one occurred by which one hundred persons and numbers of cattle
were destroyed; and a volcanic eruption in May, 1788, on the hill of
Knocklade, Antrim, poured a stream of lava sixty yards wide for
thirty-nine hours, and destroyed the village of Ballyowen and all the
inhabitants, save a man and his wife and two children. ("Amer. Cyclop.,"
art. Ireland.)

While we find Lisbon and Ireland, east of Atlantis, subjected to these
great earthquake shocks, the West India Islands, west of the same
centre, have been repeatedly visited in a similar manner. In 1692
Jamaica suffered from a violent earthquake. The earth opened, and great
quantities of water were cast out; many people were swallowed up in
these rents; the earth caught some of them by the middle and squeezed
them to death; the heads of others only appeared above-ground. A tract
of land near the town of Port Royal, about a thousand acres in extent,
sunk down in less than one minute, and the sea immediately rolled in.

The Azore Islands are undoubtedly the peaks of the mountains of
Atlantis. They are even yet the centre of great volcanic activity. They
have suffered severely from eruptions and earthquakes. In 1808 a volcano
rose suddenly in San Jorge to the height of 3500 feet, and burnt for six
days, desolating the entire island. In 1811 a volcano rose from the sea,
near San Miguel, creating an island 300 feet high, which was named
Sambrina, but which soon sunk beneath the sea. Similar volcanic
eruptions occurred in the Azores in 1691 and 1720.

Along a great line, a mighty fracture in the surface of the globe,
stretching north and south through the Atlantic, we find a continuous
series of active or extinct volcanoes. In Iceland we have Oerafa, Hecla,
and Rauda Kamba; another in Pico, in the Azores; the peak of Teneriffe;
Fogo, in one of the Cape de Verde Islands: while of extinct volcanoes we
have several in Iceland, and two in Madeira; while Fernando de Noronha,
the island of Ascension, St. Helena, and Tristan d'Acunha are all of
volcanic origin. ("Cosmos," vol. v., p. 331.)

The following singular passage we quote entire from Lyell's Principles
of Geology," p. 436:

"In the Nautical Magazine for 1835, p. 642, and for 1838, p. 361, and in
the Comptes Rendus, April, 1838, accounts are given of a series of
volcanic phenomena, earthquakes, troubled water, floating scoria, and
columns of smoke, which have been observed at intervals since the middle
of the last century, in a space of open sea between longitudes 20° and
22' W., about half a degree south of the equator. These facts, says Mr.
Darwin, seem to show that an island or archipelago is in process of
formation in the middle of the Atlantic. A line joining St. Helena and
Ascension would, if prolonged, intersect this slowly nascent focus of
volcanic action. Should land be eventually formed here, it will not be
the first that has been produced by igneous action in this ocean since
it was inhabited by the existing species of testacea. At Porto Praya, in
St. Jago, one of the Azores, a horizontal, calcareous stratum occurs,
containing shells of recent marine species, covered by a great sheet of
basalt eighty feet thick. It would be difficult to estimate too highly
the commercial and political importance which a group of islands might
acquire if, in the next two or three thousand years, they should rise in
mid-ocean between St. Helena and Ascension."

These facts would seem to show that the great fires which destroyed
Atlantis are still smouldering in the depths of the ocean; that the vast
oscillations which carried Plato's continent beneath the sea may again
bring it, with all its buried treasures, to the light; and that even the
wild imagination of Jules Verne, when he described Captain Nemo, in his
diving armor, looking down upon the temples and towers of the lost
island, lit by the fires of submarine volcanoes, had some groundwork of
possibility to build upon.

But who will say, in the presence of all the facts here enumerated, that
the submergence of Atlantis, in some great world-shaking cataclysm, is
either impossible or improbable? As will be shown hereafter, when we
come to discuss the Flood legends, every particular which has come down
to us of the destruction of Atlantis has been duplicated in some of the
accounts just given.

We conclude, therefore: 1. That it is proven beyond question, by
geological evidence, that vast masses of land once existed in the region
where Atlantis is located by Plato, and that therefore such an island
must have existed; 2. That there is nothing improbable or impossible in
the statement that it was destroyed suddenly by an earthquake "in one
dreadful night and day."



Suppose we were to find in mid-Atlantic, in front of the Mediterranean,
in the neighborhood of the Azores, the remains of an immense island,
sunk beneath the sea--one thousand miles in width, and two or three
thousand miles long--would it not go far to confirm the statement of
Plato that, "beyond the strait where you place the Pillars of Hercules,
there was an island larger than Asia (Minor) and Libya combined," called
Atlantis? And suppose we found that the Azores were the mountain peaks
of this drowned island, and were torn and rent by tremendous volcanic
convulsions; while around them, descending into the sea, were found
great strata of lava; and the whole face of the sunken land was covered
for thousands of miles with volcanic débris, would we not be obliged to
confess that these facts furnished strong corroborative proofs of the
truth of Plato's statement, that "in one day and one fatal night there
came mighty earthquakes and inundations which ingulfed that mighty
people? Atlantis disappeared beneath the sea; and then that sea became
inaccessible on account of the quantity of mud which the ingulfed island
left in its place."


And all these things recent investigation has proved conclusively.
Deep-sea soundings have been made by ships of different nations; the
United States ship Dolphin, the German frigate Gazelle, and the British
ships Hydra, Porcupine, and Challenger have mapped out the bottom of the
Atlantic, and the result is the revelation of a great elevation,
reaching from a point on the coast of the British Islands southwardly to
the coast of South America, at Cape Orange, thence south-eastwardly to
the coast of Africa, and thence southwardly to Tristan d'Acunha. I give
one map showing the profile of this elevation in the frontispiece, and
another map, showing the outlines of the submerged land, on page 47. It
rises about 9000 feet above the great Atlantic depths around it, and in
the Azores, St. Paul's Rocks, Ascension, and Tristan d'Acunha it reaches
the surface of the ocean.

Evidence that this elevation was once dry land is found in the fact that
"the inequalities, the mountains and valleys of its surface, could never
have been produced in accordance with any laws for the deposition of
sediment, nor by submarine elevation; but, on the contrary, must have
been carved by agencies acting above the water level." (Scientific
American, July 28th, 1877.)

Mr. J. Starke Gardner, the eminent English geologist, is of the opinion
that in the Eocene Period a great extension of land existed to the west
of Cornwall. Referring to the location of the "Dolphin" and "Challenger"
ridges, he asserts that "a great tract of land formerly existed where
the sea now is, and that Cornwall, the Scilly and Channel Islands,
Ireland and Brittany, are the remains of its highest summits." (Popular
Science Review, July, 1878.)

Here, then, we have the backbone of the ancient continent which once
occupied the whole of the Atlantic Ocean, and from whose washings Europe
and America were constructed; the deepest parts of the ocean, 3500
fathoms deep, represent those portions which sunk first, to wit, the
plains to the east and west of the central mountain range; some of the
loftiest peaks of this range--the Azores, St. Paul's, Ascension, Tristan
d'Acunba--are still above the ocean level; while the great body of
Atlantis lies a few hundred fathoms beneath the sea. In these
"connecting ridges" we see the pathway which once extended between the
New World and the Old, and by means of which the plants and animals of
one continent travelled to the other; and by the same avenues black men
found their way, as we will show hereafter, from Africa to America, and
red men from America to Africa.

And, as I have shown, the same great law which gradually depressed the
Atlantic continent, and raised the lands east and west of it, is still
at work: the coast of Greenland, which may be regarded as the northern
extremity of the Atlantic continent, is still sinking "so rapidly that
ancient buildings on low rock-islands are now submerged, and the
Greenlander has learned by experience never to build near the water's
edge," ("North Amer. of Antiq.," p. 504.) The same subsidence is going
on along the shore of South Carolina and Georgia, while the north of
Europe and the Atlantic coast of South America are rising rapidly. Along
the latter raised beaches, 1180 miles long and from 100 to 1300 feet
high, have been traced.

When these connecting ridges extended from America to Europe and Africa,
they shut off the flow of the tropical waters of the ocean to the north:
there was then no "Gulf Stream;" the land-locked ocean that laved the
shores of Northern Europe was then intensely cold; and the result was
the Glacial Period. When the barriers of Atlantis sunk sufficiently to
permit the natural expansion of the heated water of the tropics to the
north, the ice and snow which covered Europe gradually disappeared; the
Gulf Stream flowed around Atlantis, and it still retains the circular
motion first imparted to it by the presence of that island.

The officers of the Challenger found the entire ridge of Atlantis
covered with volcanic deposits; these are the subsided mud which, as
Plato tells us, rendered the sea impassable after the destruction of the

It does not follow that, at the time Atlantis was finally ingulfed, the
ridges connecting it with America and Africa rose above the water-level;
these may have gradually subsided into the sea, or have gone down in
cataclysms such as are described in the Central American books. The
Atlantis of Plato may have been confined to the "Dolphin Ridge" of our


The United States sloop Gettysburg has also made some remarkable
discoveries in a neighboring field. I quote from John James Wild (in
Nature, March 1st, 1877, p. 377):

"The recently announced discovery by Commander Gorringe, of the United
States sloop Gettysburg, of a bank of soundings bearing N. 85° W., and
distant 130 miles from Cape St. Vincent, during the last voyage of the
vessel across the Atlantic, taken in connection with previous soundings
obtained in the same region of the North Atlantic, suggests the probable
existence of a submarine ridge or plateau connecting the island of
Madeira with the coast of Portugal, and the probable subaerial
connection in prehistoric times of that island with the south-western
extremity of Europe." . . . "These soundings reveal the existence of a
channel of an average depth of from 2000 to 3000 fathoms, extending in a
northeasterly direction from its entrance between Madeira and the Canary
Islands toward Cape St. Vincent. . . . Commander Gorringe, when about
150 miles from the Strait of Gibraltar, found that the soundings
decreased from 2700 fathoms to 1600 fathoms in the distance of a few
miles. The subsequent soundings (five miles apart) gave 900, 500, 400,
and 100 fathoms; and eventually a depth of 32 fathoms was obtained, in
which the vessel anchored. The bottom was found to consist of live pink
coral, and the position of the bank in lat. 36° 29' N., long. 11° 33' W."

The map on page 51 shows the position of these elevations. They must
have been originally islands;--stepping-stones, as it were, between
Atlantis and the coast of Europe.

Sir C. Wyville Thomson found that the specimens of the fauna of the
coast of Brazil, brought up in his dredging-machine, are similar to
those of the western coast of Southern Europe. This is accounted for by
the connecting ridges reaching from Europe to South America.

A member of the Challenger staff, in a lecture delivered in London, soon
after the termination of the expedition, gave it as his opinion that the
great submarine plateau is the remains of "the lost Atlantis."



Proofs are abundant that there must have been at one time uninterrupted
land communication between Europe and America. In the words of a writer
upon this subject,

"When the animals and plants of the Old and New World are compared, one
cannot but be struck with their identity; all or nearly all belong to
the same genera, while many, even of the species, are common to both
continents. This is most important in its bearing on our theory, as
indicating that they radiated from a common centre after the Glacial
Period. . . . The hairy mammoth, woolly-haired rhinoceros, the Irish
elk, the musk-ox, the reindeer, the glutton, the lemming, etc., more or
less accompanied this flora, and their remains are always found in the
post-glacial deposits of Europe as low down as the South of France. In
the New World beds of the same age contain similar remains, indicating
that they came from a common centre, and were spread out over both
continents alike." (Westminster Review, January, 1872, p. 19.)

Recent discoveries in the fossil beds of the Bad Lands of Nebraska prove
that the horse originated in America. Professor Marsh, of Yale College,
has identified the several preceding forms from which it was developed,
rising, in the course of ages, from a creature not larger than a fox
until, by successive steps, it developed into the true horse. How did
the wild horse pass from America to Europe and Asia if there was not
continuous land communication between the two continents? He seems to
have existed in Europe in a wild state prior to his domestication by man.

The fossil remains of the camel are found in India, Africa, South
America, and in Kansas. The existing alpacas and llamas of South America
are but varieties of the camel family.

The cave bear, whose remains are found associated with the hones of the
mammoth and the bones and works of man in the caves of Europe, was
identical with the grizzly bear of our Rocky Mountains. The musk-ox,
whose relics are found in the same deposits, now roams the wilds of
Arctic America. The glutton of Northern Europe, in the Stone Age, is
identical with the wolverine of the United States. According to
Rutimeyer, the ancient bison (Bos priscus) of Europe was identical with
the existing American buffalo. "Every stage between the ancient cave
bison and the European aurochs can be traced." The Norway elk, now
nearly extinct, is identical with the American moose. The Cervus
Americanus found in Kentucky was as large as the Irish elk, which it
greatly resembled. The lagomys, or tailless hare, of the European eaves,
is now found in the colder regions of North America. The reindeer, which
once occupied Europe as far down as France, was the same as the reindeer
of America. Remains of the cave lion of Europe (Felix speloæ), a larger
beast than the largest of the existing species, have been found at
Natchez, Mississippi. The European cave wolf was identical with the
American wolf.

Cattle were domesticated among the people of Switzerland during the
earliest part of the Stone Period (Darwin's "Animals Under
Domestication," vol. i., p. 103), that is to say, before the Bronze Age
and the Age of Iron. Even at that remote period they had already, by
long-continued selection, been developed out of wild forms akin to the
American buffalo. M. Gervais ("Hist. Nat. des Mammifores," vol. xi., p.
191) concludes that the wild race from which our domestic sheep was
derived is now extinct. The remains of domestic sheep are found in the
debris of the Swiss lake-dwellings during the Stone Age. The domestic
horse, ass, lion, and goat also date back to a like great antiquity. We
have historical records 7000 years old, and during that time no similar
domestication of a wild animal has been made. This fact speaks volumes
as to the vast period, of time during which man must have lived in a
civilized state to effect the domestication of so many and such useful

And when we turn from the fauna to the flora, we find the same state of

An examination of the fossil beds of Switzerland of the Miocene Age
reveals the remains of more than eight hundred different species of
flower-bearing plants, besides mosses, ferns, etc. The total number of
fossil plants catalogued from those beds, cryptogamous as well as
phænogamous, is upward of three thousand. The majority of these species
have migrated to America. There were others that passed into Asia,
Africa, and even to Australia. The American types are, however, in the
largest proportion. The analogues of the flora of the Miocene Age of
Europe now grow in the forests of Virginia, North and South Carolina,
and Florida; they include such familiar examples as magnolias,
tulip-trees, evergreen oaks, maples, plane-trees, robinas, sequoias,
etc. It would seem to be impossible that these trees could have migrated
from Switzerland to America unless there was unbroken land communication
between the two continents.

It is a still more remarkable fact that a comparison of the flora of the
Old World and New goes to show that not only was there communication by
land, over which the plants of one continent could extend to another,
but that man must have existed, and have helped this transmigration, in
the case of certain plants that were incapable of making the journey

Otto Kuntze, a distinguished German botanist, who has spent many years
in the tropics, announces his conclusion that "In America and in Asia
the principal domesticated tropical plants are represented by the same
species." He instances the Manihot utilissima, whose roots yield a fine
flour; the tarro (Colocasia esculenta), the Spanish or red pepper, the
tomato, the bamboo, the guava, the mango-fruit, and especially the
banana. He denies that the American origin of tobacco, maize, and the
cocoa-nut is proved. He refers to the Paritium tiliaceum, a malvaceous
plant, hardly noticed by Europeans, but very highly prized by the
natives of the tropics, and cultivated everywhere in the East and West
Indies; it supplies to the natives of these regions so far apart their
ropes and cordage. It is always seedless in a cultivated state. It
existed in America before the arrival of Columbus.

But Professor Kuntze pays especial attention to the banana, or plantain.
The banana is seedless. It is found throughout tropical Asia and Africa.
Professor Kuntze asks, "In what way was this plant, which cannot stand a
voyage through the temperate zone, carried to America?" And yet it was
generally cultivated in America before 1492. Says Professor Kuntze, "It
must be remembered that the plantain is a tree-like, herbaceous plant,
possessing no easily transportable bulbs, like the potato or the dahlia,
nor propagable by cuttings, like the willow or the poplar. It has only a
perennial root, which, once planted, needs hardly any care, and yet
produces the most abundant crop of any known tropical plant." He then
proceeds to discuss how it could have passed from Asia to America. He
admits that the roots must have been transported from one country to the
other by civilized man. He argues that it could not have crossed the
Pacific from Asia to America, because the Pacific is nearly thrice or
four times as wide as the Atlantic. The only way he can account for the
plantain reaching America is to suppose that it was carried there when
the North Pole had a tropical climate! Is there any proof that civilized
man existed at the North Pole when it possessed the climate of Africa?

Is it not more reasonable to suppose that the plantain, or banana, was
cultivated by the people of Atlantis, and carried by their civilized
agricultural colonies to the east and the west? Do we not find a
confirmation of this view in the fact alluded to by Professor Kuntze in
these words: "A cultivated plant which does not possess seeds must have
been under culture for a very long period--we have not in Europe a
single exclusively seedless, berry-bearing, cultivated plant--and hence
it is perhaps fair to infer that these plants were cultivated as early
as the beginning of the middle of the Diluvial Period."

Is it possible that a plant of this kind could have been cultivated for
this immense period of time in both Asia and America? Where are the two
nations, agricultural and highly civilized, on those continents by whom
it was so cultivated? What has become of them? Where are the traces of
their civilization? All the civilizations of Europe, Asia, and Africa
radiated from the Mediterranean; the Hindoo-Aryans advanced from the
north-west; they were kindred to the Persians, who were next-door
neighbors to the Arabians (cousins of the Phœnicians), and who lived
along-side of the Egyptians, who had in turn derived their civilization
from the Phœnicians.

It would be a marvel of marvels if one nation, on one continent, had
cultivated the banana for such a vast period of time until it became
seedless; the nation retaining a peaceful, continuous, agricultural
civilization during all that time. But to suppose that two nations could
have cultivated the same plant, under the same circumstances, on two
different continents, for the same unparalleled lapse of time, is
supposing an impossibility.

We find just such a civilization as was necessary, according to Plato,
and under just such a climate, in Atlantis and nowhere else. We have
found it reaching, by its contiguous islands, within one hundred and
fifty miles of the coast of Europe on the one side, and almost touching
the West India Islands on the other, while, by its connecting ridges, it
bound together Brazil and Africa.

But it may be said these animals and plants may have passed from Asia to
America across the Pacific by the continent of Lemuria; or there may
have been continuous land communication at one time at Behring's Strait.
True; but an examination of the flora of the Pacific States shows that
very many of the trees and plants common to Europe and the Atlantic
States are not to be seen west of the Rocky Mountains. The magnificent
magnolias, the tulip-trees, the plane-trees, etc., which were found
existing in the Miocene Age in Switzerland, and are found at the present
day in the United States, are altogether lacking on the Pacific coast.
The sources of supply of that region seem to have been far inferior to
the sources of supply of the Atlantic States. Professor Asa Gray tells
us that, out of sixty-six genera and one hundred and fifty-five species
found in the forests cast of the Rocky Mountains, only thirty-one genera
and seventy-eight species are found west of the mountains. The Pacific
coast possesses no papaw, no linden or basswood, no locust-trees, no
cherry-tree large enough for a timber tree, no gum-trees, no
sorrel-tree, nor kalmia; no persimmon-trees, not a holly, only one ash
that may be called a timber tree, no catalpa or sassafras, not a single
elm or hackberry, not a mulberry, not a hickory, or a beech, or a true
chestnut. These facts would seem to indicate that the forest flora of
North America entered it from the east, and that the Pacific States
possess only those fragments of it that were able to struggle over or
around the great dividing mountain-chain.

We thus see that the flora and fauna of America and Europe testify not
only to the existence of Atlantis, but to the fact that in an earlier
age it must have extended from the shores of one continent to those of
the other; and by this bridge of land the plants and animals of one
region passed to the other.

The cultivation of the cotton-plant and the manufacture of its product
was known to both the Old and New World. Herodotus describes it (450
B.C.) as the tree of India that bears a fleece more beautiful than that
of the sheep. Columbus found the natives of the West Indies using cotton
cloth. It was also found in Mexico and Peru. It is a significant fact
that the cotton-plant has been found growing wild in many parts of
America, but never in the Old World. This would seem to indicate that
the plant was a native of America; and this is confirmed by the
superiority of American cotton, and the further fact that the plants
taken from America to India constantly degenerate, while those taken
from India to America as constantly improve.

There is a question whether the potato, maize, and tobacco were not
cultivated in China ages before Columbus discovered America. A recent
traveller says, "The interior of China, along the course of the
Yang-tse-Kiang, is a land full of wonders. In one place piscicultural
nurseries line the banks for nearly fifty miles. All sorts of
inventions, the cotton-gin included, claimed by Europeans and Americans,
are to be found there forty centuries old. Plants, yielding drugs of
great value, without number, the familiar tobacco and potato, maize,
white and yellow corn, and other plants believed to be indigenous to
America, have been cultivated there from time immemorial."

Bonafous ("Histoire Naturelle du Mais," Paris, 1826) attributes a
European or Asiatic origin to maize. The word maize, (Indian corn) is
derived from mahiz or mahis, the name of the plant in the language of
the Island of Hayti. And yet, strange to may, in the Lettish and
Livonian languages, in the north of Europe, mayse signifies bread; in
Irish, maise is food, and in the Old High German, maz is meat. May not
likewise the Spanish maiz have antedated the time of Columbus, and borne
testimony to early intercommunication between the people of the Old and
New Worlds?

It is to Atlantis we must look for the origin of nearly all our valuable
plants. Darwin says ("Animals and Plants under Domestication," vol. i.,
p. 374), "It has often been remarked that we do not owe a single useful
plant to Australia, or the Cape of Good Hope--countries abounding to an
unparalleled degree with endemic species--or to New Zealand, or to
America south of the Plata; and, according to some authors, not to
America north of Mexico." In other words, the domesticated plants are
only found within the limits of what I shall show hereafter was the
Empire of Atlantis and its colonies; for only here was to be found an
ancient, long-continuing civilization, capable of developing from a wild
state those plants which were valuable to man, including all the cereals
on which to-day civilized man depends for subsistence. M. Alphonse de
Candolle tells us that we owe 33 useful plants to Mexico, Peru, and
Chili. According to the same high authority, of 157 valuable cultivated
plants 85 can be traced back to their wild state; as to 40, there is
doubt as to their origin; while 32 are utterly unknown in their
aboriginal condition. ("Geograph. Botan. Raisonnée," 1855, pp. 810-991.)
Certain roses--the imperial lily, the tuberose and the lilac--are said
to have been cultivated from such a vast antiquity that they are not
known in their wild state. (Darwin, "Animals and Plants," vol. i., p.
370.) And these facts are the more remarkable because, as De Candolle
has shown, all the plants historically known to have been first
cultivated in Europe still exist there in the wild state. (Ibid.) The
inference is strong that the great cereals--wheat, oats, barley, rye,
and maize--must have been first domesticated in a vast antiquity, or in
some continent which has since disappeared, carrying the original wild
plants with it.


Darwin quotes approvingly the opinion of Mr. Bentham ("Hist. Notes Cult.
Plants"), "as the result of all the most reliable evidence that none of
the Ceralia--wheat, rye, barley, and oats--exist or have existed truly
wild in their present state." In the Stone Age of Europe five varieties
of wheat and three of barley were cultivated. (Darwin, "Animals and
Plants," vol. i., p. 382.) He says that it may be inferred, from the
presence in the lake habitations of Switzerland of a variety of wheat
known as the Egyptian wheat, and from the nature of the weeds that grew
among their crops, "that the lake inhabitants either still kept up
commercial intercourse with some southern people, or had originally
proceeded as colonists from the south." I should argue that they were
colonists from the land where wheat and barley were first domesticated,
to wit, Atlantis. And when the Bronze Age came, we find oats and rye
making their appearance with the weapons of bronze, together with a
peculiar kind of pea. Darwin concludes (Ibid., vol. i., p. 385) that
wheat, barley, rye, and oats were either descended from ten or fifteen
distinct species, "most of which are now unknown or extinct," or from
four or eight species closely resembling our present forms, or so
"widely different as to escape identification;" in which latter case, he
says, "man must have cultivated the cereals at an enormously remote
period," and at that time practised "some degree of selection."

Rawlinson ("Ancient Monarchies," vol. i., p. 578) expresses the opinion
that the ancient Assyrians possessed the pineapple. "The representation
on the monuments is so exact that I can scarcely doubt the pineapple
being intended." (See Layard's "Nineveh and Babylon," p. 338.) The
pineapple (Bromelia ananassa) is supposed to be of American origin, and
unknown to Europe before the time of Columbus; and yet, apart from the
revelations of the Assyrian monuments, there has been some dispute upon
this point. ("Amer. Cyclop.," vol. xiii., p. .528.)


It is not even certain that the use of tobacco was not known to the
colonists from Atlantis settled in Ireland in an age long prior to Sir
Walter Raleigh. Great numbers of pipes have been found in the raths and
tumuli of Ireland, which, there is every reason to believe, were placed
there by men of the Prehistoric Period. The illustration on p. 63
represents some of the so-called "Danes' pipes" now in the collection of
the Royal Irish Academy. The Danes entered Ireland many centuries before
the time of Columbus, and if the pipes are theirs, they must have used
tobacco, or some substitute for it, at that early period. It is
probable, however, that the tumuli of Ireland antedate the Danes
thousands of years.


Compare these pipes from the ancient mounds of Ireland with the
accompanying picture of an Indian pipe of the Stone Age of New Jersey.
("Smithsonian Rep.," 1875, p. 342.)

Recent Portuguese travellers have found the most remote tribes of savage
negroes in Africa, holding no commercial intercourse with Europeans,
using strangely shaped pipes, in which they smoked a plant of the
country. Investigations in America lead to the conclusion that tobacco
was first burnt as an incense to the gods, the priest alone using the
pipe; and from this beginning the extraordinary practice spread to the
people, and thence over all the world. It may have crossed the Atlantic
in a remote age, and have subsequently disappeared with the failure of
retrograding colonists to raise the tobacco-plant.




Having demonstrated, as we think successfully, that there is no
improbability in the statement of Plato that a large island, almost a
continent, existed in the past in the Atlantic Ocean, nay, more, that it
is a geological certainty that it did exist; and having further shown
that it is not improbable but very possible that it may have sunk
beneath the sea in the manner described by Plato, we come now to the
next question, Is the memory of this gigantic catastrophe preserved
among the traditions of mankind? We think there can be no doubt that an
affirmative answer must be given to this question.

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