1 – ATLANTIS

PREVIEW OF ATLANTIS

From the author …

Welcome to the Prophet Chronicles. A series, but not a series, this collection of independent self-contained stories are each one set within different ages and cultures and each story including their own separate cast of characters; with the obvious and only exceptions being that of the two Prophets themselves, Elias and Kemuel and their two wives, Shira and Eddi.

As the books are released, these stories can be read out of sequence for they are interdependent of one another, giving you the reader the choice as to which time and age you would like to visit next. Each story will be based upon factual history and legend, coupled with both historical and fictional characters to help bring the era to life.

Now on to our first story . . .

The story of the lost continent of Atlantis begins in 355 B.C. with the Greek philosopher Plato. Plato had planned to write a trilogy of books discussing the nature of man, the creation of the world, and the story of Atlantis as well as other subjects.

Plato was a student of Socrates until the latter’s death in 399 BC at the hands of the Athenian authorities. After his teacher’s passing, Plato traveled extensively, including journeys in Egypt.

In 387 BC he returned to Athens and founded the Academy, a school of science and philosophy that became the model for the modern university. Perhaps the most famous student of the Academy was Aristotle, whose teachings have had tremendous impact on philosophy through today.

Due to the Academy’s safekeeping, many of Plato’s works have survived. His extant writings are in the form of letters and dialogues, the most famous of which is probably “The Republic”. His writings cover subjects ranging from knowledge to happiness to politics to nature.

Plato used dialogues to express his ideas. In this type of writing, the author’s thoughts are explored in a series of arguments and debates between various characters in the story. Plato often used real people in his dialogues, such as his teacher, Socrates, but the words he gave them were his own.

In Plato’s book “Timaeus”, a character named Kritias tells an account of Atlantis that has been in his family for generations. According to the character, the story was originally told to his ancestor, Solon, by a priest during Solon’s visit to Egypt.

As the account goes, over 10,000 years ago, there had been a powerful empire located to the west of the “Pillars of Hercules” (what we now call the Straight of Gibraltar) on an island in the Atlantic Ocean. The nation there had been established by Poseidon, the God of the Sea. Poseidon fathered five sets of twins on the island. The firstborn, Atlas, had the continent and the surrounding Atlantic ocean named after him. Poseidon divided the land into ten sectors, each to be ruled by a son, or his heirs.

The capital city of Atlantis was a marvel of architecture and engineering. The city was composed of a series of concentric walls and canals. At the very center was a hill, and on top of the hill a temple to Poseidon. Inside was a gold statue of the God of the Sea showing him driving six winged horses.

About 9000 years before the time of Plato, after the people of Atlantis became corrupt and greedy, the gods decided to destroy them. A violent earthquake shook the land, giant waves rolled over the shores, and the island sank into the sea, never to be seen again.

So, is the story of Atlantis just a fable used by Plato to make a point? Or is there some reason to think he was referring to a real place? Well, at numerous points in the dialogues, Plato’s characters refer to the story of Atlantis as “genuine history” and it being within “the realm of fact.” Plato also seems to put into the story a lot of detail about Atlantis that would be unnecessary if he had intended to use it only as a literary device.

Only the first book of Plato’s trilogy was ever completed, and as was already mentioned, it was entitled “Timeaus”. The second book “Critias” was abandoned part way through. And the final book, was never even started.

Or was it?

Prologue

This power came forth out of the Atlantic Ocean, for in those days the Atlantic was navigable; and there was an island situated in front of the straits which are by you called the Pillars of Heracles; the island was larger than Libya and Asia put together, and was the way to other islands, and from these you might pass to the whole of the opposite continent which surrounded the true ocean; for this sea which is within the Straits of Heracles is only a harbour, having a narrow entrance, but that other is a real sea, and the surrounding land may be most truly called a boundless continent. Now in this island of Atlantis there was a great and wonderful empire which had rule over the whole island and several others, and over parts of the continent, and, furthermore, the men of Atlantis had subjected the parts of Libya within the columns of Heracles as far as Egypt, and of Europe as far as Tyrrhenia. This vast power, gathered into one, endeavoured to subdue at a blow our country and yours and the whole of the region within the straits; and then, Solon, your country shone forth, in the excellence of her virtue and strength, among all mankind. She was pre-eminent in courage and military skill, and was the leader of the Hellenes. And when the rest fell off from her, being compelled to stand alone, after having undergone the very extremity of danger, she defeated and triumphed over the invaders, and preserved from slavery those who were not yet subjugated, and generously liberated all the rest of us who dwell within the pillars. But afterwards there occurred violent earthquakes and floods; and in a single day and night of misfortune all your warlike men in a body sank into the earth, and the island of Atlantis in like manner disappeared in the depths of the sea. For which reason the sea in those parts is impassable and impenetrable, because there is a shoal of mud in the way; and this was caused by the subsidence of the island.”

– Plato, Timaeus and Critias, 355 B.C.

*** *** ***

“No, no, no; that is not the way it happened.”

Plato sighed and shook his head. “I am a philosopher, a chronicler and a storyteller, not a historian. May I not be afforded at least some measure of creative adornment? Am I not sitting at my own desk with my own quill in my own hand? Am I not the author of this tale?”

“A tale, it is not. “

“Says the man who claims he was actually there. Says the man who claims to be nine thousand years old. Who is to believe your incredible tale over mine?”

And then a third voice entered the room. “I, for one.”

Plato smiled at the new presence. “Ah. Beauty visits my chambers. Surely your loveliness and temptress allure might temper this man’s insipid insistence upon colorless and monotonous historical accuracy over elegance of the written word.”

Eddi crossed her arms and gave Plato a smirk. “That was a bit over the top.”

“No.” Plato winked. “That was about right for me.”

“And seriously, did you just call me a temptress?”

Plato grinned. “When it comes to managing your husband, woman, you alone seem to possess the wherewithal. You alone are capable of correcting his path. Who else, but a lovely and alluring temptress such as yourself, can ever hope to reform this stubborn mule?”

“Mule!?” exclaimed Kemuel.

“Uh huh.” Then Eddi looked at Kemuel. “Husband, are you giving him a difficult time, again?”

“But Eddi! He keeps wanting to change things!”

“Need I remind you, Husband; that when you agreed to collaborate with him and offer him insights into Atlantis of old, that you would allow him some freedom of expression?”

“Some freedom, yes. But he is changing everything!”

“Such as?”

“Eddi, he just wrote that the island was larger than Libya and Asia put together! It was NOT that big! It was an island; not a continent.”

Eddi looked at Plato. “Is this true?”

Plato grinned sheepishly at Kemuel. “So I exaggerated a little. How about … an island continent? Would that suffice?”

“Better.” Kemuel replied. “I shall meet you halfway.”

Eddi smiled at them. “You two boys have been at it for the better part of a month. Perhaps you should take a rest from your labors. You both need to get out and get some exercise. And Plato, I still say you need to find yourself a good and compatible woman.”

“No, no; I have neither interest in women nor children. I enjoy my life of solitude and without shackles and constraint of family.”

“You need to get out more, Plato. There is more to life than sitting behind a desk.”

“But Eddi!” Plato complained. “We are just getting to the good part!”

“Oh?” Eddi smirked. “And what good part would that be?”

Kemuel grinned at his wife. “We are just getting to the part where you and I first arrived in Atlantis.”

“What!? It has been a month and you are only getting started!? What have you two been doing all this time!?”

Plato shrugged. “Reviewing facts. Determining names of characters and places of interest and lines of plot.”

“Didn’t Kemuel give you the names of the people and the places and what happened?”

“He did. But I was struggling with the names.”

Kemuel shook his head. “He actually wanted to change the names, can you believe it?”

Eddi raised her eyebrow. “You wanted to change people’s real names?”

“What kind of name is Ogred?” Plato replied in defense. “Or Meephie? Or … Scratch?”

“Those names were true names among many. Let me guess; they do not sound Greek.”

“Of course not! How can I use names which feel so wrong upon the thinking man’s tongue?”

“Those were their names, Plato. Keep in mind, this was 9,000 years ago. Greece was not even in existence. If you really desire for your readers to know and understand a different age and culture, then do not slight them by using modern names and vernacular.”

“I can appreciate that. And so your husband has also convinced me. I have already consented to the preservation of names and places; we now only quarrel on matter of plot, story and circumstance.”

Eddi shrugged. “It matters little to me. You write what you will, philosopher. As you say, you make no claim to be a historian. My only concern is that you faithfully preserve the honor of those whom Kemuel and I once knew to be friends. The rest of your tale may be of your own choosing. That is, if you find truth to be so distasteful and unacceptable.”

Plato groaned. “Must you put it that way? It paints me the color of a liar.”

Eddi grinned at him. “And we would not want that, would we?”

“Fine, fine.” Plato sighed. “I shall strive to keep events, such as they happened, and not change the truth…” Plato paused and grinned, “…much.”

Eddi rolled her eyes. “Uh huh. I cannot wait to read your male-flavored version.”

“Are you sure you are 9000 years old?” Plato teased. “You do not look a day over 19.”

“Thank you for the compliment, philosopher. Am I to assume you speak such flatteries in exchange of a favor?”

“You are indeed astute and intelligent … for a woman. And yes, I would ask a favor of you.”

“I would hope you would wish to hear my perspectives on Atlantis as a woman.”

“Oh please, no; who would be interested in a woman’s perspective? I only ask you to remain here, to help keep your husband’s over-scrutinous and un-flavorful opinions to himself. That is, provided you can keep your own opinions to yourself.”

“I don’t think so, Plato. With talk like that, you can kiss goodbye, any assistance from me. And you can also kiss your dinner goodbye.” Then in a huff, Eddi turned around and stormed out the door; but not before they heard her mutter under her breath, “Idiot.”

Plato looked at Kemuel in surprise. “What? What did I say?”

Kemuel grinned. “I just love that woman. I could go another 9000 years with her.”

Plato shook his head in consternation. “You can have her. Women are more trouble than they are worth. So, where were we?”

“I believe I was about to tell you of the day Eddi and I first set foot in Atlantis.”

“How can you remember something from 9000 years ago?”

“Some things you never forget. Some things stay with you.”

Plato nodded, and then turned and looked worriedly at the door. “Do you think I should go and apologize?”

“Do you want dinner?”

“It is not just that. It was not my intention to insult her.”

“You know, Plato; for a man who claims to be enlightened, you are not very enlightened.”

“Is that supposed to be funny?”

“Oh, no. That was an insult.”

Ahem. “If you will excuse me, I think I will go and speak with Eddi.”

“Good idea. And while you are gone…”

“No!” Plato exclaimed, grabbing his quill so that Kemuel couldn’t touch it. “I … am the author; not you. Neither jot nor tittle shall touch this page that is not ascribed to my hand.”

“Oh, pish posh.”

~ 9600 B.C. ~

Chapter 1

Poseidonis, capital city of Atlantis

Like the seams of a baseball, great ridges circumnavigate all the oceans of the whole earth, the greatest being the mid-Atlantic Ridge. The 10,000 mile long submarine ridge is located at the juncture of crustal plates that form the floor of the Atlantic Ocean, in a curving path from the Arctic Ocean to near the southern tip of Africa, dissecting the earth’s great land masses on either side. This massive global rift contains the zone of seafloor spreading, in which molten magma from beneath the Earth’s crust continuously wells up, cools, and is progressively pushed away from the ridge’s flanks, causing the continents to spread further apart at the rate of about 4 inches per year. The Mid-Atlantic Ridge is also the site of great seismic and volcanic activity, resulting in the formation of the longest mountain range on earth; albeit underwater, reaching a width in places of 1,000 miles wide. These mountains sometimes reach above sea level, thus forming islands or island groups.

And even once produced a great island continent named Atlantis.

Sparkling like a bright gem rising from the mid-Atlantic depths, the fabled nation of Atlantis was a young, bustling and popular civilization; one which had become the fastest growing civilization in the known world. The island continent was the talk of every city, town and village from every corner of the globe, and the envy of most. Powerful in trade and commerce as well as military and naval strength, the Atlanteans were easily the most academic and prosperous of all civilizations. They were the world’s first superpower; excelling in all areas of humanistic pursuit such as art, science, philosophy, literature, politics, theatre and even technology.

There were ore mines, fruit plantations, minerals, high-grade woods and metals, among them a copper-gold alloy called “oreichalcos”. The roofs of Atlantean temples were golden and mounted with brass, and the empire was wealthy and had vast mineral resources at its disposal. Roaming the small island continent were elephants and a myriad of wild animal species. The Atlanteans enjoyed an abundance of food and hunger was virtually unknown. Fresh water was in abundance and kept the entire landscape fertile and green, thanks to a massive underground thermal spring which vented countless geysers. The Atlanteans had powerful military forces and ruled over colonies, some of them even in Europe and Africa. They were known for their skill in engineering and architecture and built numerous temples, canals, palaces, harbors and docks with complex and well-integrated waterway systems throughout the entire empire.

The nation’s capital city of Poseidonis was a magic in itself, with mountains, valleys, rivers, lakes, meadows, villages, plains with two harvests in a year. There was an abundance of fruits, herbs, nuts, flowers and wildlife. Most prominently, people were simple, virtuous, courteous, powerful and wealthy.

Unlike their leaders, who were a bit more … unique in most regards.

The Atlanteans were also a very religious people, in that they universally worshipped the god of the sea, Poseidon. But to the people of Atlantis, it was more than religion and it was more than worship. For their sea god was very real. So real, in fact, that even though few ever claimed to have actually seen him, there was actual tangible living evidence of his existence.

For Poseidon had come to have relations with a mortal woman named Cleito. And in exchange for bearing him children, he offered her a regal dwelling sanctuary atop the hill near the middle of the island continent, and surrounded the dwelling with concentric rings of water and land to protect her.

As a result, Cleito gave birth to five sets of twin boys. The ten boys grew up to be giants; each of them standing over nine feet tall. The firstborn, who being named Atlas, became the overlord of Atlantis. The entire nation was then divided into ten regions, each one ruled by the ten sons of Poseidon. To the eldest son Atlas, was given control of the central great sacred hill in the capital city and the surrounding areas. Atlas built a temple at the top of the great central hill, to honor his father, the god Poseidon; consisting of a massive golden statue of Poseidon riding his chariot that was pulled by winged horses. The ten ruling sons of Poseidon and Cleito conducted the administration and the rendering of the justice from within the temple.

And so it was, that on the day that two strangers came to town, Cleito, the wife of Poseidon, and her ten sons, were alive and well in Atlantis.