Ancient Mysteries

The Kings of Atlantis

Did Plato Point the Way to South America?

In his 2,300-year-old “dialogue” known as the Kritias, Plato provides the names of the first kings of Atlantis. Athens’ famous philosopher tells us very little about them, although at least some have been identified by investigators with particular places, peoples, or persons. For example, he cites an Atlantean monarch called Gadeiros. Curiously, that is the same name by which the modern Spanish city of Cadiz was known to Plato’s fellow Greeks. Another member of the Atlantean kings list is Elasippos, as Portugal’s Lisbon was called by the earlier Phoenicians. Euaemon from the Kritias suggests Eremon, the flood-hero of pre-Celtic Irish myth who survived the cataclysmic deluge of a splendid kingdom with his wife and children to settle in Ireland, where they became the Emerald Isle’s first royal family. Four hundred years after Plato, a Greek geographer, Diodorus Siculus, told of an indigenous people dwelling along the Atlantic coast of Morocco who called themselves the Autochthones, apparently after Autochthon, the sixth Atlantean ruler. Appropriately, each of the first ten kings of Atlantis has been associated with a particular location, folk, or mythic figure in non-Greek societies on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean which long ago was dominated from its center by the great capital of Atlantis.

It seems unlikely Plato merely fabricated these names, given their geographical and cultural affinities. A case in point is his fifth Atlantean monarch, Musaeus. The name bears a philological resemblance to Muyscas, the founding father of the Chibcha Indians. They occupied the high valleys surrounding Bogota and Neiva at the time of the Spanish Conquest, in the early sixteenth century. Although Muyscas means, literally, “the Civilizer,” they also referred to him as the “White One,” a bearded man from across the Eastern Water (i.e., the Atlantic Ocean), who long ago laid down the ground rules for Colombia’s first civilization. The Chibcha referred to themselves, after Muyscas, as the Muisca. Appropriately, Colombia’s outstanding archaeological remains may be found along the Atlantic shores of Santa Maria, just where Muyscas was said to have landed in the company of fellow “sorcerers” who escaped a great flood that overwhelmed their overseas homeland. It was here, along this coastal region, that G. Reichel-Dolmatoff, the doyen of Colombian archaeology, found abundant evidence of a sprawling public works system, cities and ceremonial centers, paved roads, efficient irrigation, and sophisticated agricultural practices.


Although these abundant ruins were discovered in the mid-twentieth century, they are still largely unknown to the outside world, just as the identity of their builders continues to defy scholars...


Kemo D. 7

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