The Lost Dialogue?

Most people will be familiar with Plato (the ancient Greek philosopher, not the Spanish for plate). Despite living nearly 2,500 years ago his works are still hugely popular and he completes the holy trinity of ancient Greek philosophers along with Socrates and Aristotle (being a student of the former and a teacher of the latter).  On his father’s side he claimed to have been descended from Poseidon, and on his mother’s side he claimed to have been descended from the lawgiver Solon. This perhaps explains the link between Atlantis and Poseidon, and why Solon purportedly passed down the story of Atlantis to Plato via Critias amongst others.

The first time we hear about Atlantis is in Plato’s dialogues: Timaeus and the unfinished Critias. The dialogues are largely a monologue between Timaeus, Critias, Hermocrates and Socrates. In them the four scholars discuss the ideal state and Critias explains how Athens (the ideal state) wages war against Atlantis, and how Atlantis is ultimately destroyed as a result of a great deluge. Critias finishes abruptly for reasons which are unknown. What we would have known about Atlantis had the dialogue been finished has been subject to thousands of years of debate and discussion. Whilst the dialogues are short, they are magnificently detailed, and you could easily fill a library with the number of books and films that have been made on the subject. Many have devoted their lives trying to find the answer. Some are convinced that they have found the answers. 

Hermocrates, whilst involved in the discussions, plays a minor role in the dialogues.  Why is that? Why involve him unless Plato’s intention was to continue with a third dialogue in Hermocrates’ name? What if he did write a third dialogue? What if that dialogue provides more information on Atlantis? Perhaps someone stole it, and kept it hidden for thousands of years. Perhaps it is now time for someone to unravel the mysteries of The Lost Dialogue…

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