• Diego Ratti

Atlantis between Asia and Libya

Updated: Apr 12, 2021

The book “Atletenu” has been available on Amazon for 3 weeks , so far it has already been purchased by some readers even if I have not made any advertising ! "Atletenu" is probably not a book for the mass market, it is more a book for a selected “niche” of readers with a good knowledge of Ancient Hystory and that is not very popular virtue…anyway among the first readers of the book it seems there are very sharp observers because I have received very smart questions. I would like to reply here to a question that was sent to me by Bill from the U.S.

Dear Diego, I read on your book you decided to translate the description of Atlantis island as “between Asia and Libya” rather than “larger than Asia and Lybia together”. I understand your explanation to read μείζων as μεταξύ but what about the adv. ἅμα “together with”? It seems to me that the presence of the adv. ἅμα makes sense only if you read the passage as “larger than Asia and Lybia together”….I would appreciate to hear your comments about this.

Thank you and compliments for the book and your findings!!!!!

This is a smart question indeed: when I translated Plato’s description of Atlantis I noticed that the reference to Asia and Lybia could be found in both “Timaeus” and “Critias” but the adverb ἅμα “together with” is found only in “Timaeus” and not in “Critias”:

Timaeus (24e): ἅμα Λιβύης ἦν καὶ Ἀσίας μείζων

Critias (108e): Λιβύης καὶ Ἀσίας μείζω

I decided to consider the "Critias"’s version of this description as the most important one because, as I explained in the book, the original Solon's manuscript has been copied by Plato in "Critias" while in "Timaeus" there are only brief introductory statements about Atlantis, moreover a discussion of the exact size of the Atlantis Island is provided in great detail in “Critias” [116a] when Plato said that Atlantis Island had a 5 stadia diameter so it would really make no sense to read “Critias” [108e] as “larger than Asia and Lybia together”, there Plato was just talking of the location of Atlantis and not of his size which is covered later in great detail in “Critias” [116a] .

Some commentators of Plato use the expression “larger than Asia and Lybia together” to discredit the whole history of Atlantis when with just some common sense it would be so easy to understand that Plato really meant “between Asia and Libya” .

I hope this answers to Bill’s question and I thank him again for providing me with an opportunity to clarify my opinion!