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Theosophical Encyclopedia

Atlantis

A legendary island said to be located in the Atlantic ocean. While the myths and legends about Atlantis are not a part of mainstream theosophy, it is a fact that the subject seems to have fascinated many people during the 19th century and many references to it are to be found scattered amongst theosophical literature. The earliest “classical” reference to Atlantis is found is in Plato’s Timaeus and the Critias, where Egyptian priests, speaking with Solon (Athenian statesman of about the sixth century BCE), described the island as a country bigger than Asia Minor and Lybia, situated just beyond the Pillars of Hercules with a number of smaller islands beyond it. Plato states that Atlantis existed some 9,000 years before his time and that it was an ideal commonwealth; that its armies overran the Mediterranean region and only Athens resisted.

Writers in medieval times seem to have received information about Atlantis from Arabian geographers and accepted the existence of such a country and many widely scattered races have traditional stories about a deluge long ago, which some suggest may have been the memory of the submergence of Atlantis. When it was first published in 1882, Ignatius Donnelly’s Atlantis: the Antediluvian World caused a big increase in interest in the Atlantean myth; his book was carefully researched and marshalled impressive inferential conclusions.

Blavatsky, in her The Secret Doctrine, writes at some length about the lost continent of Atlantis and its people; she suggests that both the Greeks and Romans are descended from them. She considered that Atlanteans were of the Fourth ROOT RACE and that they misused their considerable psychic powers, thus bringing catastrophe upon themselves. She also suggested that Atlantis was the source of the VEDAS, a suggestion disputed by the Indian Brahman scholar, T. SUBBA ROW (CW III:402).

Many researchers have claimed to have discovered evidence of the former existence of Atlantis, but nothing has been offered that has general acceptance by modern archaeologists.

P.S.H.

 

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