Ancient/Classical History/The Lost City of Atlantis


If you believe that the beautiful utopia called Atlantis that Plato described is real, where do you think it is located? If you do not believe in what Plato wrote about can you please give reasoning to why you feel that way?


I really do not  believe that the island of Atlantis (Greek, Ἀτλαντὶς νῆσος), that Plato describes in his dialogues  "Timaeus"   and "Critias"  written  around 360 BC, is real, though Plato says that such an island “larger than Libya and Asia together “ (see Timaeus 24e  and Critias 108e) was located “in front of the mouth which you Greeks call ….. the pillars of Heracles”, i.e. the Straits of Gibraltar.

Also, Plato says that “in this island of Atlantis there existed a confederation of kings, of great and marvellous power, which held sway over all the island, and over many other islands also and parts of the continent……But at a later time there occurred portentous earthquakes and floods, ….. and the island of Atlantis …was swallowed up by the sea and vanished” (Plato, Timaeus 25c -25d).

In short, though many scholars have tried to identify the island of Atlantis with an actual country, and have said that the story of Atlantis, if Plato did not invent it, could  reflect ancient Egyptian records of a volcanic eruption on the island of Thera (today Santorini)   about 1500 BC., no archaeological evidence support up to now the fact that Atlantis existed anywhere in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean , beyond the Pillars of Hercules, i. e. the Straits of Gibraltar.

On the other hand it is possible that the eruption on the island of Thera  (today Santorini), which  was accompanied by a series of earthquakes and tsunamis, thereby perhaps gave rise to the legend of Atlantis that inspired Plato to write his story of a kind of ideal commonwealth of the Atlantians who eventually became wicked and impious, and thus  their island was swallowed up by the sea as a result of earthquakes on a divine retribution for their  impiety (see Plato, Critias 121b).

Best regards,


Ancient/Classical History

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts




My field of expertise is Ancient Greek and Roman History.


Over 25 years teaching experience.

I received my Classics (summa cum laude) from Genova University (Italy).

This expert accepts donations:

©2016 All rights reserved.