Atlantis Story: A Short History of Plato's Myth [Hardback]

Pierre Vidal-Naquet (Author)

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ISBN: 9780859898058 | Published by: The Exeter Press | Year of Publication: 2007 | Language: English 192p, b/w illus




Atlantis Story

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Atlantis remains a perrenial fascination, wild theories as to its whereabouts abound and it sits only just behind the Grail, the Templars and so on in the volume of pseudoarchaeology it has inspired. Here the eminent historian Pierre Vidal-Naquet in what was to be his last work wastes little time in dismissing the arguments for a 'real' Atlantis, he has done that elsewhere, but instead concentrates on the uses that have been made of the myth of Atlantis by those who have chosen to believe in its actual existence. During antiquity the myth was more often than not seen as precisely that, and it was not really until the rediscovery of the Platonic dialogues in the Renaissance that the ball really got moving, spurred on by the context of the age of exploration. Thereafter we read of an extraordinary array of political and philosophical contexts for Atlantis, it was conflated with the lost tribes of Israel, identified with America, Italy, Britain and a whole host of others during the Age of Nationalism, and under Hitler used to prove that Jesus wasn't Jewish. A fascinating history of a myth that will be with us for some time yet, throwing up ever more bizarre variations, no doubt.

Table of Contents

Foreword to the English edition; Introduction; Chapter 1: In the beginning was Plato; Chapter 2: The Atlantis theme in Antiquity; Chapter 3: The return of the Atlantes, 1485-1710; Chapter 4: The Atlantis of the Enlightenment, 1680-1786; Chapter 5: The great turning-point, 1786-1841; Chapter 6: Societies that are open and those that are closed; Chapter 7: Interlude: Notes without music; Chapter 8: Water, earth and dreams; Appendix: Two articles from The Times of 19 February, 1909; Index of names.

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