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By Georges Perrot, Charles Chipiez, Walter Armstrong

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That simply wouldn’t work in the dramatic context of what Plato is trying to achieve in having Critias tell his story. 3. Is it possible, perhaps, that Plato came into the possession of a lost manuscript that told the long-forgotten story of Atlantis, used that story for his own purposes in the dialogues, and in so doing revealed this hidden history to the Greek world? Imagine the most likely response on the part of Athenian scholars of Plato’s time if they thought it possible that Critias’s story as presented by Plato represented a newly discovered, authentic history, that Atlantis had been a real place that Athens had defeated in battle some 9,300 years previously, single-handedly saving Atlantis, the Lost Continent | 33 the known world from domination by the powerful Atlanteans.

It is not Plato but Critias, a character in his philosophical drama, who makes that claim, and his assertion appears in the context of a story within a story. Remember, Plato is relating a tale about a discussion between Socrates and his students. Within that story, Critias tells his story about Atlantis. Critias, not Plato, asserts that the story he is about to relate to the group is true. There are innumerable instances in fiction—and even in other dialogues written by Plato—where a character claims that he is telling the truth, but the reader is in no way obliged to believe him.

Mary at Glastonbury (near Bath), England, is reflected in the ruins of a church whose origins can be traced back to about 600 CE. Bent Pyramid | 41 Along with presenting lovely and picturesque ruins, the Abbey of St. Mary is supposed to have, at one time, housed the remains of King Arthur and his queen, Guinevere. Legend, at least, has it that their tombs were discovered by the Benedictine monks on the grounds of the abbey in 1191. The legend maintains that Arthur and Guinevere’s remains were reburied there, but then removed and forever lost sometime during the Reformation.

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A history of art in ancient Egypt by Georges Perrot, Charles Chipiez, Walter Armstrong

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