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- The Antediluvian World - 6/73 -
of perfection, and was therefore exclusively ascribed to the Supreme Deity, or to its earthly representative--a king, emperor, or any sovereign. For this reason triple emblems of various shapes are found on the belts, neckties, or any encircling fixture, as can be seen on the works of ancient art in Yucatan, Guatemala, Chiapas, Mexico, etc., whenever the object has reference to divine supremacy." (Dr. Arthur Schott, "Smith. Rep.," 1869, p. 391.)
We are reminded of the, "tiara," and the "triple round of sovereignty."
In the same manner the ten kingdoms of Atlantis are perpetuated in all the ancient traditions.
"In the number given by the Bible for the Antediluvian patriarchs we have the first instance of a striking agreement with the traditions of various nations. Ten are mentioned in the Book of Genesis. Other nations, to whatever epoch they carry back their ancestors, whether before or after the Deluge, whether the mythical or historical character prevail, they are constant to this sacred number ten, which some have vainly attempted to connect with the speculations of later religious philosophers on the mystical value of numbers. In Chaldea, Berosus enumerates ten Antediluvian kings whose fabulous reign extended to thousands of years. The legends of the Iranian race commence with the. reign of ten Peisdadien (Poseidon?) kings, 'men of the ancient law, who lived on pure Homa (water of life)' (nectar?), 'and who preserved their sanctity.' In India we meet with the nine Brahmadikas, who, with Brahma, their founder, make ten, and who are called the Ten Petris, or Fathers. The Chinese count ten emperors, partakers of the divine nature, before the dawn of historical times. The Germans believed in the ten ancestors of Odin, and the Arabs in the ten mythical kings of the Adites." (Lenormant and Chevallier, "Anc. Hist. of the East," vol. i., p. 13.)
The story of Plato finds confirmation from other sources.
An extract preserved in Proclus, taken from a work now lost, which is quoted by Boeckh in his commentary on Plato, mentions islands in the exterior sea, beyond the Pillars of Hercules, and says it was known that in one of these islands "the inhabitants preserved from their ancestors a remembrance of Atlantis, all extremely large island, which for a long time held dominion over all the islands of the Atlantic Ocean."
Ęlian, in his "Varia Historia" (book iii., chap. xviii.), tells us that Theopompus (400 B.C.) related the particulars of an interview between Midas, King of Phrygia, and Silenus, in which Silenus reported the existence of a great continent beyond the Atlantic, "larger than Asia, Europe, and Libya together." He stated that a race of men called Meropes dwelt there, and had extensive cities. They were persuaded that their country alone was a continent. Out of curiosity some of them crossed the ocean and visited the Hyperboreans.
"The Gauls possessed traditions upon the subject of Atlantis which were collected by the Roman historian Timagenes, who lived in the first century before Christ. He represents that three distinct people dwelt in Gaul: 1. The indigenous population, which I suppose to be Mongoloids, who had long dwelt in Europe; 2. The invaders from a distant island, which I understand to be Atlantis; 3. The Aryan Gauls." ("Preadamites," p. 380.)
Marcellus, in a work on the Ethiopians, speaks of seven islands lying in the Atlantic Ocean--probably the Canaries--and the inhabitants of these islands, he says, preserve the memory of a much greater island, Atlantis, "which had for a long time exercised dominion over the smaller ones." (Didot Müller, "Fragmenta Historicorum Gręcorum," vol. iv., p. 443.)
Diodorus Siculus relates that the Phnicians discovered "a large island in the Atlantic Ocean, beyond the Pillars of Hercules, several days' sail from the coast of Africa. This island abounded in all manner of riches. The soil was exceedingly fertile; the scenery was diversified by rivers, mountains, and forests. It was the custom of the inhabitants to retire during the summer to magnificent country-houses, which stood in the midst of beautiful gardens. Fish and game were found in great abundance; the climate was delicious, and the trees bore fruit at all seasons of the year." Homer, Plutarch, and other ancient writers mention islands situated in the Atlantic, "several thousand stadia from the Pillars of Hercules." Silenus tells Midas that there was another continent besides Europe, Asia, and Africa--"a country where gold and silver are so plentiful that they are esteemed no more than we esteem iron." St. Clement, in his Epistle to the Corinthians, says that there were other worlds beyond the ocean.
Attention may here be called to the extraordinary number of instances in which allusion is made in the Old Testament to the "islands of the sea," especially in Isaiah and Ezekiel. What had an inland people, like the Jews, to do with seas and islands? Did these references grow out of vague traditions linking their race with "islands in the sea?"
The Orphic Argonaut sings of the division of the ancient Lyktonia into separate islands. He says," When the dark-haired Poseidon, in anger with Father Kronion, struck Lyktonia with the golden trident."
Plato states that the Egyptians told Solon that the destruction of Atlantis occurred 9000 years before that date, to wit, about 9600 years before the Christian era. This looks like an extraordinarily long period of time, but it must be remembered that geologists claim that the remains of man found in the caves of Europe date back 500,000 years; and the fossil Calaveras skull was found deep under the base of Table Mountain, California, the whole mountain having been formed since the man to whom it belonged lived and died.
"M. Oppert read an essay at the Brussels Congress to show, from the astronomical observations of the Egyptians and Assyrians, that 11,542 years before our era man existed on the earth at such a stage of civilization as to be able to take note of astronomical phenomena, and to calculate with considerable accuracy the length of the year. The Egyptians, says he, calculated by cycles of 1460 years--zodiacal cycles, as they were called. Their year consisted of 365 days, which caused them to lose one day in every four solar years, and, consequently, they would attain their original starting-point again only after 1460 years (365 x 4). Therefore, the zodiacal cycle ending in the year 139 of our era commenced in the year 1322 B.C. On the other hand, the Assyrian cycle was 1805 years, or 22,325 lunations. An Assyrian cycle began 712 B.C. The Chaldeans state that between the Deluge and their first historic dynasty there was a period of 39,180 years. Now, what means, this number? It stands for 12 Egyptian zodiacal cycles plus 12 Assyrian lunar cycles.
+--------------------+----------+ | 12 X 1460 = 17,520 | | +--------------------+----------+ | | = 39,180 | +--------------------+----------+ | 12 X 1805 = 21,660 | | +--------------------+----------+
"These two modes of calculating time are in agreement with each other, and were known simultaneously to one people, the Chaldeans. Let us now build up the series of both cycles, starting from our era, and the result will be as follows:
+-----------------+--------------+ | Zodiacal Cycle. | Lunar Cycle. | +-----------------+--------------+ | 1,460 | 1,805 | +-----------------+--------------+ | 1,822 | 712 | +-----------------+--------------+ | _____ | _____ | +-----------------+--------------+ | 2,782 | 2,517 | +-----------------+--------------+ | 4,242 | 4,322 | +-----------------+--------------+ | 5,702 | 6,127 | +-----------------+--------------+ | 7,162 | 7,932 | +-----------------+--------------+ | 8,622 | 9,737 | +-----------------+--------------+ | 110,082 | 11,542 | +-----------------+--------------+ | 11,542 | | +-----------------+--------------+
"At the year 11,542 B.C. the two cycles came together, and consequently they had on that year their common origin in one and the same astronomical observation."
That observation was probably made in Atlantis.
The wide divergence of languages which is found to exist among the Atlanteans at the beginning of the Historical Period implies a vast lapse of time. The fact that the nations of the Old World remembered so little of Atlantis, except the colossal fact of its sudden and overwhelming destruction, would also seem to remove that event into a remote past.
Herodotus tells us that he learned from the Egyptians that Hercules was one of their most ancient deities, and that he was one of the twelve produced from the eight gods, 17,000 years before the reign of Amasis.
In short, I fail to see why this story of Plato, told as history, derived from the Egyptians, a people who, it is known, preserved most ancient records, and who were able to trace their existence back to a vast antiquity, should have been contemptuously set aside as a fable by Greeks, Romans, and the modern world. It can only be because our predecessors, with their limited knowledge of the geological history of the world, did not believe it possible that any large. part of the earth's surface could have been thus suddenly swallowed up by the sea.
Let us then first address ourselves to that question.
WAS SUCH A CATASTROPHE POSSIBLE?
All that is needed to answer this question is to briefly refer to some of the facts revealed by the study of geology.
In the first place, the earth's surface is a record of successive risings and fallings of the land. The accompanying picture represents a section of the anthracite coal-measures of Pennsylvania. Each of the coal deposits here shown, indicated by the black lines, was created when the land had risen sufficiently above the sea to maintain vegetation; each of the strata of rock, many of them hundreds of feet in thickness, was deposited under water. Here we have twenty-three different changes of the level of the land during the formation of 2000 feet of rock and coal; and these changes took place over vast areas, embracing thousands of square miles.
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