Plato was the first to person to record the existence of Atlantis in his two dialogues “Tiameus” and the “Critias”. They tell the tale of how Solon, the Greek legislator, travelled to Egypt and was told the story of Atlantis by priests who had great respect for the Greeks due to the fact that the patroness and protector of both Greece and Egypt were the same, the Egyptians identifying her as Neith and the Greeks identifying her as Athena. It was also stipulated in the story that the Athenians were the ones who fought and won the war against Atlantis in 9600 BC.
According to the story, the 10 rulers of Atlantis formed a confederation that controlled both Atlantis and other Islands surrounding it. They wanted more power and land, however, so they carried out more missions and sent troop into Europe and Asia. The Athenians, in retaliation, formed a coalition with other Greek islands to defend themselves but when the battle got too heated, their allies abandoned Athens and Athens went on to defeat Atlantis single-handedly. After the war, Atlantis was swallowed up by a tsunami within one day.
Plato states that, according to Solon’s notes, Atlantis was given to Poseidon to rule over by Zeus when the earth was divided among the gods. Atlantis was recorded as being the size of Lybia and Asia combined. Cleito, Poseidon’s mortal wife, bore him ten sons and he divided the island between them handing absolute rule to his eldest son, Atlas. In this manner, Atlantis prospered and remained peaceful for generations.
During the division of the island, Poseidon had set down laws for the rulers of Atlantis to follow. They were supposed to hold a meeting on a regular basis at the temple of Poseidon where the laws were inscribed on a pillar. After an elaborate libation ceremony the rulers discussed matters concerning Atlantis according to the laws as set by Poseidon. Over time, however, the laws were forgotten and that is when the rulers started hungering for more power. When Zeus saw what was happening, he convened a meeting with the other gods and passed judgment on Atlantis.
No one knows exactly whether or not Plato believed in the existence of Atlantis. Some argued that he did because he had put so much detail and time into the accounts whereas others stated that it was fictitious because Plato could have added as much detail as he wanted and it still wouldn’t have amounted to fact. One compelling part of the story was that Atlantis supposedly existed during the Early Stone Age and it was very advanced in terms of agriculture, architecture and sea navigation.
The story of Atlantis is still capturing the attention of many and a lot of research and archaeological digs are being done to find the real Atlantis and its exact location. Some authors during the past few centuries have even written paranormal stories surrounding Atlantis such as Jules Verne’s epic story “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea”.