Plato wrote about this land called Atlantis in two of his dialogues, Timaeus and Critias, around 370 B.C. Plato stated that the continent lay in the Atlantic Ocean near the Straits of Gibraltar until its destruction 10,000 years previous.to
Plato described Atlantis as alternating rings of sea and land,
with a palace in the center 'bull's eye'.
The Capitol of Atlantis
imaeus begins with an introduction, followed by an account of the creations and structure of the universe and ancient civilizations. In the introduction, Socrates muses on the perfect society (as described in Plato's Republic) and wonders if he and his guests could come up with a story which puts this society into action. Critias mentions an allegedly historical tale that he would make the perfect example, and follows up by describing Atlantis in the Critias. In his account, ancient Athens represents the "perfect society," and Atlantis, its opponent, represents the opposite of the "perfect" traits described in the Republic. Critias claims that his account of ancient Athens and Atlantis stems from a visit to Egypt by the Athenian lawgiver Solon in the 6th century BC. In Egypt, Solon met Sonchis, a priest of Thebes, who translated the history of ancient Athens and Atlantis, recorded on pillars in Egyptian hieroglyphs, into Greek.
According to Critias, the Hellenic gods of old divided the land so that each god might own a lot; Poseidon was appropriately, and to his liking, bequeathed the island of Atlantis. The island was larger than Libya and Asia Minor combined, but has since been sunk by an earthquake and became an impassable mud shoal, inhibiting travel between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. The Egyptians described Atlantis as an island approximately 700 km across, comprising mostly mountains in the northern portions and along the shore, and encompassing a great plain of an oblong shape in the south "extending in one direction three thousand stadia [about 600 km], but across the center inland it was two thousand stadia [about 400 km]."
Fifty stadia inland from the middle of the southern coast was a "mountain not very high on any side." Here lived a native woman with whom Poseidon fell in love and who bore him five pairs of male twins.