|Photo by Aaron Escobar|
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.
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. 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 ", 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 ' 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.
Civilization is not communicable to all; many savage tribes are incapable of it. There are two great divisions of mankind, the civilized and the savage; and, as we shall show, every civilized race in the world has had something of civilization from the earliest ages; and as " all roads lead to Home," so all the converging lines of civilization lead to Atlantis.Was Ignatius smoking crack? Did he create a hoax and sell it to the public for fame and fortune? Or is there any validity to his claims? If Atlantis did exist, what could it's architecture be compared to? The Romans? Egyptians? Peruvians? The Oompa Loompas?