HUMANPAST.NET

Religion & Legends                   10,000 BC
Africa
Southwest Asia
Egypt
Indus Valley
China
Europe
South America
Mesoamerica
North America
Other

in General

 A summary of available traditional stories would describe the trauma [of the great flood] along the following lines: horrendous thunder and lightning; 40 days of rain, ice, and hail pelting the Earth; hurricane-force winds; and boiling temperatures. Then the water in the Earth's seas, lakes, and rivers was pulled northward, followed by an overwhelming wave of water cascading back over the globe, moving debris and great rocks before it. The Earth wobbled on its axis, pausing in its rotation. There was widespread volcanic activity, magma flowing to the crust of the Earth and igniting raging fires, and the subsidence of land and the lifting of mountains, with continents being cracked by great chasms. (113)

With passage of the early stages, the Earth entered a period of darkness, with sunlight blocked out and glacial conditions. Rains of fire and dust, including metal and stones, made it appear as if the sky had collapsed. Flora and fauna had been destroyed. Mud and gravel were everywhere, and the atmosphere appears to have been poisoned. People reported the moon had moved to a new orbit; the lengths of the days and the seasons had changed; the polar axis had shifted (evidenced by changes in the constellations located at the galactic pole, from Earth's perspective). (113)

The story of Noah's Ark stands out in Western history, but Noah and his family were not the only survivors to receive technical assistance. In the Germanic tradition, the Noah figure was named Bergelmir, who was saved from drowning along with his wife by "going up in his boat" (designed by gods). The Zoroastrians, Aztecs, Indians, Celts, Scandinavians, and others have stories similar to Noah's, with gods who came to the rescue of their own ancestors before or just after the disaster. Whence came these gods? (113)

Only some primitive systems of hash marks and simple runes have been "officially" dated to more than 10,000 BC. It is possible that some writing we now consider post-cataclysmic may have existed more than 12,000 years ago. (113)

Long ago, when the people began to gather again and reassemble their lives after the disaster in 9500 BC, the storytellers who remembered what had happened were treated like gods. The storytellers could see that the people believed the environment was hostile, especially the sky. The people searched the sky nightly to see if it would wreak destruction on them again, and around their campfires they told and retold the old story of when the Earth nearly died. "What happened to us? What could it have been?" The monster came between Sirius and Regulus, through the Pleiades, into the solar system and approached Earth, and then the horrible nightmare began. Earth's atmosphere became electrically charged, and the waters and air heated up so quickly that the people fell down on their knees in terror. The sky writhed with fiery serpents and dragons, Earth tipped toward the chimera, and then there was a deafening explosion. The magnetosphere and the chimera intertwined, and there was a resounding crack! Within hours, blocks of ice, hail, and gigantic masses of water assailed the people. Great electromagnetic storms overwhelmed the bioelectric fields of animals, humans, plants, and even rocks, which is why we still have such mental blocks about this event. On that day, fear was imprinted deep in the reptilian brain, and this memory has been changing our relationship with our environment ever since. Next, chaos reigned as volcanoes exploded and the oceans and lakes boiled; Earth shuddered and cracked insanely. As for the cause of the cataclysm, they've found evidence that fragments from the Vela supernova came into the solar system and struck the Earth's magnetosphere. It is difficult to know for sure what celestial body caused the event, yet it is certain it happened. The Earth's lithosphere was dislocated both vertically and horizontally, and tectonic plates formed that caused the planet to become a polyhedron of twenty faces - an icosahedron. (129)

Africa

 One text relating to these decisions, the Epic of Etana, reports the reorganization of Anunnaki authority after the Flood. Enki assigned his son Gibil to supervise the gold mining area, another son Nergal to manage the south of Abzu (probably sub-Saharan Africa), and Egypt was placed under Marduk's authority. (113)

Not only southwest Europe but "Libya [North Africa to the Greeks] up to the borders of Egypt" was said to be under Atlantic control before the war (Timaeus 25). (115)

Southwest Asia

 We can start with the familiar tale of Noah and his family in Genesis chapters 6 through 8 (also described in the epic of Gilgamesh where the Lord Enki warned Zuisudra). The immediate cataclysm lasted for 40 days and nights, and it consisted of rain that fell unceasingly for that period. The waters swelled, covering all the mountains, and lifted the Ark up to ride the surface 15 cubits above the mountaintops. This account of the Flood (the most prominent local effect of a global event) places it in a time after the period "when the sons of the gods had intercourse with the daughters of men and got children by them." (113)

The Hebrews saw it as punishment by the Lord (a likely reference to Sumer's Enlil) for man's evil thoughts and inclinations, but the physical effects seem real: "…all the springs of the great abyss broke through, the windows of the sky were opened, and rain fell on the earth for 40 days and 40 nights…More and more the waters increased over the earth until they covered all the high mountains everywhere under heaven…Every living creature that moves on the earth perished …The water gradually receded…and by the end of the 150th day it had disappeared." (113)

According to the Sumerians," the Anunnaki possessed space craft that enabled them to escape the turbulence on Earth. Before the situation became untenable, their launch rockets (GIR in Sumerian) had lifted them off Earth to reconnect with mother ship orbiting the Earth beyond the stormy atmosphere. After the air cleared, command modules (MU in Sumerian) or shuttle craft detached from their landing vehicles and flew around the Earth to locate human survivors. (113)

The reportedly extraordinary level of Anunnaki support in the Middle East appears to have been based on pre-cataclysm Anunnaki involvement with humans, including even family ties with Noah and others Evidence of such Anunnaki/human connections comes from the king list and other genealogies that have survived in Egypt, Mesopotamia, and the Hebrew Bible. Atrahasis texts record that the gods, led by the female Anunnakis Sud and Ishtar, wept for humans as they observed the Cataclysm from the sky. (113)

One text relating to these decisions, the Epic of Etana, reports the reorganization of Anunnaki authority after the Flood. Enki assigned his son Gibil to supervise the gold mining area, another son Nergal to manage the south of Abzu (probably sub-Saharan Africa), and Egypt was placed under Marduk's authority. (113)

The spaceport was rebuilt in the Sinai highlands (after flood waters had destroyed the earlier facility in the plains of Sippar and Mippu) and placed under the authority of Enlil's grandson Utu. He was known as Shamash in Akkadian and was the twin brother of Irnini (Ishtar). Ishtar was given control over the Indus Valley area. Utu and Ishtar's father, Sin, had commanded the spaceport before the Cataclysm. Sin was Enlil's firstborn son by his wife Ninlil. Since Ninlil was not Enlil's half sister, according to Anunnaki rules of succession which defined the legitimate heir as the firstborn son of the king by his half sister, Sin could not be considered his legal heir. Nevertheless, the Sinai peninsula still carries his name. (113)

Ninurta, Enlil's son by his half sister Ninhursag/Sud and thus his legal heir, got control over Mesopotamia, which included Anunnaki mission headquarters. Another son, Ishkur/Adad became the leader of Asia Minor and the Eastern Mediterranean islands. The plains area which had included the old spaceport, from the land of Sumer to the Mediterranean, remained in the hands of Sin/Nannar. (113)

This particular organization chart would later cause conflicts that affected humans. In the post-cataclysm period, as prior to it, the Anunnaki exercise of power over humans was direct (resembling slave owning in the southern United States before the Civil War), and the relationship was clearly understood. (113)

Within a short time, Enlil's son Ninurta had dammed rivers to make Mesopotamia habitable again. The Nile Valley was reclaimed for human habitation by Enki. The Sinai Peninsula was prepared for the Anunnaki post-diluvian space port, which included a control center on Mount Moriah (the future Jerusalem). From these geographical areas of Anunnaki focus would spring the three seminal civilizations whose combined influence would someday shape what is known today as Western civilization. First came Sumeria and then Egypt, followed by Israel. (113)

The Anunnaki demonstrated their miracles of technology, taught their superior understanding of nature, and shared their concepts of agriculture, construction, and the handling of social issues. Humans could learn from them by observation and imitation. In return for being good citizens, humans received the patronage of them. The result was, in evolutionary terms, the almost spontaneous rebuilding of human civilization in the "cradle of civilization." (113)

According to the Myth of Cattle and Grain, the Anunnaki genetically modified Earth plants when they first set up E.DIN and had stored the improved seeds back on Nibiru. They were available for the resuscitation of agriculture in the highlands before the lower plains dried out. (This explains why scientists have been puzzled as to why the so-called first fruits and vegetables were grown on the mountainsides instead of in the valleys.) While hillside food production was given priority, to avoid further famine, the gods set about clearing river channels, draining off excess water, and preparing the previously fertile valleys for easier cultivation. When that was accomplished, former population centers were revived on or near the old sites. (113)

"9,000 years ago" from the vantage point of the Egyptian priest, 9600 BC from ours, a divinely sired Atlantic race that wrote laws, raced horses, and controlled populations inside the Straits as far as Italy and Egypt, had succumbed to an all-too-human hunger for power that would eventually lead them to attack the peoples of Europe and Asia. (115)

Dedicated to the sun-god Utu, Sippar is the furthest inland of all the antediluvian cities and plays a special role in the Sumerian flood story. In fragment 4a of the few scattered remnants of the once widely renowned History of the Babylonian priest Berossos (who wrote in the third century BC but whose work is thought by scholars to convey authentic Sumerian traditions), Sippar is remembered as the place where the knowledge of the antediluvian race was hidden away before the flood and preserved for use by the survivors of mankind. (124)

The Zawi Chemi people must have endowed these great raptorial birds with special powers, and the faunal remains we have described for the site must represent special ritual paraphernalia. Certainly, the remains represent a concerted effort by a goodly number of people just to hunt down and capture such a large number of birds and goats....[Furthermore] either the wings were saved to pluck out the feathers, or...wing fans were made, or...they were used as part of a costume for a ritual. One of the murals from a Catal Huyuk shrine...depicts just such a ritual scene; i. e., a human figure dressed in a vulture skin... Here was extraordinary evidence for the existence of what appeared to be the cult of the vulture among the highlands of Kurdistan, c. 8870 BC! (149)

Egypt

 Just after 600 BC, the Athenian political leader Solon heard accounts of the history of Atlantis from the Egyptian priest Sonchis. The Egyptian, reading from inscriptions on stone pillars, told Solon that Atlantis sank beneath the seas more than 9,000 years earlier. Solon said he was also told that before that time, Atlanteans had attacked and defeated Egypt, but that the earlier Greeks had beaten the invaders back. (113)

"9,000 years ago" from the vantage point of the Egyptian priest, 9600 BC from ours, a divinely sired Atlantic race that wrote laws, raced horses, and controlled populations inside the Straits as far as Italy and Egypt, had succumbed to an all-too-human hunger for power that would eventually lead them to attack the peoples of Europe and Asia. (115)

One text relating to these decisions, the Epic of Etana, reports the reorganization of Anunnaki authority after the Flood. Enki assigned his son Gibil to supervise the gold mining area, another son Nergal to manage the south of Abzu (probably sub-Saharan Africa), and Egypt was placed under Marduk's authority. (113)

...Cayce tied in the Atlantis myth with his supposedly unconscious belief that Egypt had once been a fertile region and that survivors of the Atlantean race established a community there after the continent's final submergence in 10,450 BC. Survivors of this dying race are alleged to have built the Pyramids of Giza between 10,490 and 10,390 BC. (149)

Indus Valley

 During the last two centuries, researchers around the world have accumulated evidence regarding an 9,500 BC cataclysmic event that caused the Earth to tremble and nearly wipe out Homo sapiens sapiens. The most familiar story is the biblical Flood and the survival of Noah's family, but numerous other traditions have their own versions. A Vedic myth tells of destruction by a great flood, when only a few humans survived. These were led by Manu who took refuge in a ship that ended up in the Himalayas. Advanced beings came to the aid of these survivors, who later repopulated India. (113)

Indian survivors reportedly led from the Himalayas by Manu were taught by three great gods: Vasishta, Vishwamitra, and Agastra. They helped reestablish Vedic culture along the Sarawati River. (113)

In addition to the previously mentioned differences between non-Indo-European cultures and the Anunnaki colonies in West Asia, the non-Anunnaki assumption seems to be supported by two other factors. First, the Vedic people (the mingling of groups from south India and survivors from the Himalayas--not Tibetans) were a maritime culture, comfortably living along great rivers and seaports. Some of their teachers were referred to as skilled sailors. Atlantis, commonly referred to as the island kingdom, seems to have been a great seagoing ancient culture-unlike the Anunnaki society. (113)

According to Vedic history, the Brahmins (now the priest class) appeared to have been among the few survivors of the Cataclysm in the high Himalayas. Learned beings, they reportedly had advanced knowledge and skills, much reminiscent of the Atlantean culture. They practiced teleportation, sending objects from one place to another at will. Tradition has it that they could control some of the forces of nature, causing rain and parting bodies of water. These feats were accomplished without mechanical technology, through focusing of the mind with meditation and special mantras. The Vedic culture suggests this particular priesthood existed prior to 9,500 BC and used rituals similar to those of shamans in Greece, Rome, Egypt, China, and among American Indians. (113)

Why were India's seas so salty just before 12,000 years ago? The most likely explanation is that the flow of the great rivers draining the Karakoram-Himalayan region had virtually ceased because of the advance of glaciers into their main valleys during Dryas III - pretty much as the Rig Veda tells us ('Ahi who besieged the waters...the insatiate one, extended, hard to waken, who slumbered in perpetual sleep'). Likewise, the explanation for the low salinity values that suddenly appear soon after 10,000 years ago is a sudden gigantic inrush of freshwater to the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal on a scale that could have been caused by the breaching of ice dams in the Himalayas, the freeing of rivers pent up behind them, and the flushing out of parts of the ice-cap. ('The Dragon stretched against the seven prone rivers, where no joint was, thou rentest with thy thunder.' 'Like lowing kine in rapid flow descending, the waters glided downward to the ocean.') (124)

With its dominant motif of a once much larger Dravidian homeland, the opening of the Kumari Kandam flood myth is set in remote prehistory between 12,000 and 10,000 years ago. The work of Glenn Milne and other inundation specialists confirms that between 12,000 and 10,000 years ago India's Dravidian peninsula and its outlying islands would indeed have been far larger than they are today - but were in the process of being swallowed up by the rising seas at the end of the Ice Age. (124)

• Over a period of just under 10,000 years, the Pandyans (a part-historical, part-legendary dynasty of Tamil kings) formed three Sangams or Academies in order to foster among their subjects the love of knowledge, literature and poetry: 'These Assemblies were the fountainhead of Tamil culture, and their principal concern was the perfection of Tamil language and literature. The first two Sangams were not located in what is now peninsular India but in the antediluvian Dravidian land to the south 'which in ancient times bore the name Kumari Kandam' (literally 'the Land of the Virgin' - or perhaps 'the Virgin Continent'). The First Sangam was headquartered in a city named Tenmadurai ('Southern Madurai'). It had 549 members 'beginning, with Agattiyanar (the sage Agastaya)...Among others were God Siva of braided hair...Murugan the hill god, and Kubera the Lord of Treasure.' Patronized by a succession of eighty-nine kings, the First Sangam survived as an institution over an unbroken period of 4440 years, during which time it approved and codified an immense library of poems and literature. (124)

These classic texts, all now lost and known only by their titles, are said to have included works such as the Agattiyam, Paripadal, Mudunarai, Mudukurgu and Kalariyavirai - still well known and revered among Tamils today. At the end of this golden age the First Sangam was destroyed when the deluge arose and Tenmadurai was 'swallowed by the sea' along with large parts of the land area of Kumari Kandam. However, survivors of the antediluvian civilization were able to relocate further north, saving some of the First Sangam books, and the Second Sangam, said to have been patronized by fifty-nine kings, was established in another city - Kavatapuram. 'The Agattiyam and Tolkappiyam, the Mapuranam, Isainunukkam, and Budapuranam were their grammars. The duration of the period of this Sangam was 3700 years.' Then, like its predecessor, the Second Sangam was 'swallowed by the sea' and lost for ever with all its works (with the possible exception, some claim, of the Tolkappiyam, which has survived to this day). Following the inundation of Kavatapuram the survivors of the Kumari Kandam civilization again relocated northward, this time into peninsular India, where the headquarters of the Third Sangam was established in a city identified with modem Madurai - then known as Uttara Madurai or Vadamadurai ('Northern Madurai', presumably to distinguish it from its antediluvian predecessor 'Southern Madurai'). The Third Sangam survived for a further 1850 years: 'Forty-nine were the kings who patronized this Academy.' (124)

If we accept the generally agreed date of between AD 350 and 550 for the end of the - at least semi - historical- 'Third Sangam', then this gives us a fixed reference point on which to anchor the chronology of the myth: AD 350 minus the 1850 years given as the duration of the Third Sangam takes us back to 1500 BC (i.e., about 3500 years ago); 1500 BC minus the 3700 years given as the duration of the Second Sangam takes us back to 5200 BC (7200 years ago); 5200 BC minus the 4440 years given as the duration of the First Sangam takes us back to 9600 BC (11,600 years ago). The date of 9600 BC for the formation of the First Sangam (or 9800 BC or 9400 BC for that matter) coincides closely enough with Plato's date for the inundation of Atlantis - also 9600 BC - to raise the hairs on the back of my neck. Last but by no means least, the Tamil epic Manimekalai speaks of the flooding of a city off-shore of Poompuhur as divine retribution upon a king who had failed to celebrate the festival of Indra. (124)

…Tamil traditions that speak of three episodes of flooding in the millennia preceding the supposed foundation date of the First Sangam: The first great deluge took place in 16,000 BC...The second one occurred in 14,058 BC when parts of Kumari Kandam went under the sea. The third one happened in 9564 BC when a large part of Kumari Kandam was submerged. There are curious echoes here of the yuga system at the heart of the Dwarka story, on the one hand, and of the Vedic notion of the pralaya - the global cataclysm that recurs at the end of each world age - on the other: In both cases we must envisage an antediluvian civilization of high spiritual and artistic achievement and a group of sages - the Seven Rishis in the case of the Vedas, the members of the' Academy' in the case of the Tamil texts - who gather to serve the interests of knowledge and to provide an archive or repository for poetic and religious compositions. In both cases a cataclysm in the form of a global flood intervenes, swallowing up huge areas of land and destroying the antediluvian civilization. In both cases survivors repromulgate the ancient knowledge in the new age - which is portrayed as a decline from the age before - forming a new group of Seven Rishis or a new Sangam suitable to that age. (124)

China

 The Tibetan bible, the Book of Dzyan, which goes back to the very farthest past, records that in the year 9564 BC a very large part of the land sank into the ocean in what is now the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico. History does not tell us how the Tibetans of that time, on the other side of the world, learned about this cataclysm; but they probably got it from the best source - refugees from Atlantis, who went all the way to Tibet to make sure they were on firm ground that wouldn't disappear beneath the waves again. The point is that the date of the catstrophe was exactly recorded and preserved, and the Tibetan record of Atlantis dovetails nicely with Solon's account; so we have no reason to doubt it. (141)

Europe

 Just after 600 BC, the Athenian political leader Solon heard accounts of the history of Atlantis from the Egyptian priest Sonchis. The Egyptian, reading from inscriptions on stone pillars, told Solon that Atlantis sank beneath the seas more than 9,000 years earlier. Solon said he was also told that before that time, Atlanteans had attacked and defeated Egypt, but that the earlier Greeks had beaten the invaders back. (113)

Passages from Plato's “TIMAEUS”

There have been and will be many different calamities to destroy mankind, the greatest of them by fire and water, lesser ones by countless other means. Your own story of how Phaethon, child of the sun, harnessed his father's chariot, but was unable to guide it along his father's course and so burnt up things on the earth and was himself destroyed by a thunderbolt, is a mythical version of the truth that there is at long intervals a variation in the course of the heavenly bodies and a consequent widespread destruction by fire of things on the earth. On such occasions those who live in the mountains or in high and dry places suffer more than those living by rivers or by the sea; as for us, the Nile, our own regular saviour, is freed to preserve us in this emergency. When on the other hand the gods purge the earth with a deluge, the herdsmen and shepherds in the mountains escape, but those living in the cities in your part of the world are swept into the sea by the rivers; here water never falls on the land from above either then or at any other time, but rises up naturally from below. This is the reason why our traditions here are the oldest preserved; though it is true that in all places where excessive cold or heat does not prevent it human beings are always to be found in larger or smaller numbers. But in our temples we have preserved from earliest times a written record of any great or splendid achievement or notable event which has come to our ears whether it occurred in your part of the world or here or anywhere else; whereas with you and others, writing and the other necessities of civilization have only just been developed when the periodic scourge of the deluge descends, and spares none but the unlettered and uncultured, so that you have to begin again like children, in complete ignorance of what happened in our part of the world or in yours in early times. So these genealogies of your own people which you were just recounting are little more than children's stories. You remember only one deluge, though there have been many, and you do not know that the finest and best race of men that ever existed lived in your country; you and your fellow citizens are descended from the few survivors that remained, but you know nothing about it because so many succeeding generations left no record in writing. For before the greatest of all destructions by water, Solon, the city that is now Athens was preeminent in war and conspicuously the best governed in every way, its achievements and constitution being the finest of any in the world of which we have heard tell.'

The age of our institutions is given in our sacred records as eight thousand years, and the citizens whose laws and whose finest achievement I will now briefly describe to you therefore lived nine thousand years ago; we will go through their history in detail later on at leisure, when we can consult the records.

First, our priestly class is kept distinct from the others, as is also their artisan class; next, each class of craftsmen--shepherds, hunters, farmers—performs its function in isolation from others. And of course you will have noticed that our soldier class is kept separate from all others, being forbidden by law to undertake any duties other than military: moreover their armmament consists of shield and spear, which we were the first people in _Asia to adopt, under the instruction of the Goddess, as you were in your part of the world. And again you see what great attention our law devotes from the beginning to learning, deriving from the divine principles of cosmology everything needed for human life down to divination and medicine for our health, and acquiring all other related branches ot knowledge. The Goddess founded this whole order and system when she framed your society. She chose the place in which you were born with an eye to its temperate climate, which would produce men of high intelligence; for being herself a lover of war and wisdom she picked a place for her first foundation that would produce men most like herself in character. So you lived there under the laws I have described, and even better ones, and excelled all men in every kind of accomplishment, as one would expect of children and off-spring of the gods. And among all the wonderful achievements recorded here of your city, one great act of courage is outstanding. Our records tell how your city checked a great power which arrogantly advanced from its base in the Atlantic ocean to attack the cities of Europe and Asia. For in those days the Atlantic was navigable. There was an island opposite the strait which you call (so you say) the Pillars of Heracles, an island larger than Libya and Asia combined; from it travelers could in those days reach the other islands, and from them the whole opposite continent which surrounds what can truly be called the ocean. For the sea within the strait we were talking about is like a lake with a narrow entrance; the outer ocean is the real ocean and the land which entirely surrounds it is properly termed continent. On this island of Atlantis had arisen a powerful and remarkable dynasty of kings, who ruled the whole island, and many other islands as well and parts of the continents; in addition it controlled, within the strait, Libya up to the borders of Egypt and Europe as far as Tyrrhenia. This dynasty, gathering its whole power together, attempted to enslave, at a single stroke, your country and ours and all the territory within the strait. It was then, Solon, that the power and courage and strength of your city became clear for all men to see. Her bravery and military skill were outstanding; she led an alliance of the Greeks, and then when they deserted her and she was forced to fight alone, after running into direst peril, she overcame the invaders and celebrated a victory; she rescued those not yet enslaved from the slavery threatening them, and she generously freed all others living within the Pillars of Heracles. At a later time there were earthquakes and floods of extraordinary violence, and in a single dreadful day and night all your fighting men were swallowed up by the earth, and the island of Atlantis was similarly swallowed up by the sea and vanished; this is why the sea in that area is to this day impassable to navigation, which is hindered by mud just below the surface, the remains of the sunken island.' (116)

Passages from Plato's "CRITIAS"

We must first remind ourselves that in all nine thousand years have elapsed since the declaration of war between those who lived outside and all those who lived inside the Pillars of Heracles. This is the war whose course I am to trace. The leadership and conduct of the war were on the one side in the hands of our city, on the other in the hands of the kings of Atlantis. At the time, as we said, Atlantis was an island larger than Libya and Asia put together, though it was subsequently overwhelmed by earthquakes and is the source of the impenetrable mud which prevents the free passage of those who sail out of the straits into the open sea. The course of our narrative as it unfolds will give particulars about the various barbarian and Greek nations of the day; but we must begin with an account of the resources and constitutions of the Athenians and their antagonists in the war, giving precedence to the Athenians.

Once upon a time the gods divided up the Earth between them—not in the course of a quarrel; for it would be quite wrong to think that the gods do not know what is appropriate to them, or that, knowing it, they would want to annex what properly belongs to others. Each gladly received his just allocation, and settled his territories; and having done so they proceeded to look after us, their creatures and children, as shepherds look after their flocks. They did not use physical means of control, like shepherds who direct their flock with blows, but brought their influence to bear on the creature's most sensitive part, using persuasion as a steersman uses the helm to direct the mind as they saw fit and so guide the whole mortal creature. The various gods, then, administered the various regions which had been allotted to them. But Hephaestos and Athena, who shared as brother and sister a common character, and pursued the same ends in their love of knowledge and skill, were allotted this land of ours as their joint sphere and as a suitable and natural home for excellence and wisdom. They produced a native race of good men, and gave them suitable political arrangements. Their names have been preserved but what they did has been forgotten because of the destruction of their successors and the long lapse of time. For as we said before, the survivors of this destruction were an unlettered mountain race who had just heard the names of the rulers of the land but knew little of their achievements. They were glad enough to give their names to their own children, but they knew nothing of the virtues and institutions of their predecessors, except for a few hazy reports; for many generations they and their children were short of bare necessities, and their minds and thoughts were occupied with providing for them, to the neglect of earlier history and tradition. For an interest in the past and historical research come only when communities have leisure and when men are already provided with the necessities or life. That is how the names but not the achievements of these early generations come to be preserved. What is more, as men and women in those days both took part in military exercises, so the figure and image of the goddess, following this custom, was in full armour, as a sign that whenever animals are grouped into male and female it is natural for each sex to be able to practice its appropriate excellence in the community.

In those days most classes of citizen were concerned with manufacture and agriculture. The military class lived apart, having been from the beginning separated from the others by godlike men. They were provided with what was necessary for their maintenance and training, they had no private property but regarded their possession as common to all, they did not look to the rest of the citizens for anything beyond their basic maintenance… And indeed what we said then about our territory is true and plausible enough; for in those days its boundaries were drawn at the Isthmus, and on the mainland side at the Cithaeron and Parnes ranges coming down to the sea between Oropus on the right and the Asopus river on the left. And the soil was more fertile than that of any other country and so could maintain a large army exempt from the calls of agricultural labour. As evidence of this fertility we can point to the fact that the remnant of it still left is a match for any soil in the world for the variety of its harvests and pasture. And in those days quantity matched quality. What proof then can we offer that it is fair to call it now a mere remnant of what it once was? It runs out like a long peninsula from the mainland into the sea, and the sea basin round it is very deep. So the result of the many great floods that have taken place in the last nine thousand years (the time that has elapsed since then) is that the soil washed away from the high land in these periodical catastrophes forms no alluvial deposit of consequence as in other places, but is carried out and lost in the deeps. You are left (as with little islands) "with something rather like the skeleton of a body wasted by disease; the rich, soft soil has all run away leaving the land nothing but skin and bone. But in those days the damage had not taken place, the hills had high crests, the rocky plain of Phelleus was covered with rich soil, and the mountains were covered by thick woods, of which there are some traces today. For some mountains which today will only support bees produced not so long ago trees which when cut provided roof beams for huge buildings whose roofs are still standing. And there were a lot of tall cultivated trees which bore unlimited quantities of fodder for beasts. The soil benefited from an annual rainfall which did not run to waste off the bare earth as it does today, but was absorbed in large quantities and stored in retentive layers of clay, so that what was drunk down by the higher regions flowed downwards into the valleys and appeared everywhere in a multitude of rivers and springs. And the shrines which still survive at these former springs are proof of the truth of our present account of the country.

This, then, was the general nature of the country, and it was cultivated with the skill you would expect from a class of genuine full-time agriculturalists with good natural talents and high standards, who had an excellent soil, an abundant water supply and a well-balanced climate. Outside, on its immediate slopes, lived the craftsmen and the agricultural workers who worked in the neighbourhood. Higher up the military class lived by itself round the temple of Athena and Hephaestos, surrounded by a single wall like the garden of a single house. On the northern side they built their common dwelling-houses and winter mess-rooms, and everything else required by their communal life in the way of buildings and temples. They had no gold or silver, and never used them for any purpose, but aimed at a balance between extravagance and meanness in the houses they built, in which they and their descendants grew old and which they handed on unchanged to succeeding generations who resembled themselves. In the summer the abandoned their gardens and gymnasia and mess-rooms and used the southern side of the Acropolis instead. There was a single spring in the area of the present Acropolis, which was subsequently choked by the earthquakes and survives as only a few small trickles in the vicinity; in those days there was an ample supply of good water both in winter and summer. This was how they lived; and they acted as Guardians of their own citizens, and were voluntarily recognized as leaders of the rest of Greece. They kept the number of those of military age, men and women, so far as possible, always constant at about twenty thousand.

The story is a long one and it begins like this. We have already mentioned how the gods distributed the whole earth between them in larger or smaller shares and then established shrines and sacrifices for themselves. Poseidon's share was the island of Atlantis and he settled the children borne to him by a mortal woman in a particular district of it. At the centre of the island, near the sea, was a plain, said to be the most beautiful and fertile of all plains, and near the middle of this plain about fifty stades inland a hill of no great size. Here there lived one of the original earthborn inhabitants called Evenor, with his wife Leucippe. They had an only child, a daughter called Cleito. She was just of marriageable age when her father and mother died, and Poseidon was attracted by her and had intercourse with her, and fortified the hill where she lived by enclosing it with concentric rings of sea and land. There were two rings of land and three of sea, like cartwheels, with the island at their centre and equidistant from each other, making the place inaccessible to man (for there were still no ships or sailing in those days). He equipped the central island with godlike lavishness; he made two springs flow, one of hot and one of cold water, and caused the earth to grow abundant produce of every kind. He begot five pairs of male twins, brought them up, and divided the island of Atlantis into ten parts which he distributed between them. He allotted the elder of the eldest pair of twins his mother's home district and the land surrounding it, the biggest and best allocation, and made him King over the others; the others he made governors, each of a populous and large territory. He gave them all names. The eldest, the King, he gave a name from which the whole island and surrounding ocean took their designation of 'Atlantic', deriving it from Atlas the first King. His twin, to whom was allocated the furthest part of the island towards the Pillars of Heracles and facing the district now called Gadira, was called in Greek Eumelus but in his own language Gadirus, which is presumably the origin of the present name. Of the second pair he called one Ampheres and the other Euaemon. The elder of the third pair was called Mneseus, the younger Autochthon, the elder of the fourth Elasippus, the younger Mestor; the name given to the elder of the fifth pair was Azaes, to the younger Diaprepes. They and their descendants for many generations governed their own territories and many other islands in the ocean and, as has already been said, also controlled the populations this side of the straits as far as Egypt and Tyrrhenia. Atlas had a long and distinguished line of descendants, eldest son succeeding eldest son and maintaining the succession unbroken for many generations; their wealth was greater than that possessed by any previous dynasty of kings or likely to be accumulated by any later, and both in the city and countryside they were provided with everything they could require. Because of the extent of their power they received many imports, but for most of their needs the island itself provided. It had mineral resources from which were mined both solid materials and metals, including one metal which survives today only in name, but was then mined in quantities in a number of localities in the island, orichalc, in those days the most valuable metal except gold. There was a plentiful supply of timber for structural purposes, and every kind of animal domesticated and wild, among them numerous elephants. For there was plenty of grazing for this largest and most voracious of beasts, as well as for all creatures whose habitat is marsh, swamp and river, mountain or plain. Besides all this, the earth bore freely all the aromatic substances it bears today, roots, herbs, bushes and gums exuded by flowers or fruit. There were cultivated crops, cereals which provide our staple diet, and pulse (to use its generic name) which we need in addition to feed us; there were the fruits of trees, hard to store but providing the drink and food and oil which give us pleasure and relaxation and which we serve after supper as a welcome refreshment to the weary when appetite is satisfied--all these were produced by that sacred island, then still beneath the sun, in wonderful quality and profusion.

This then was the island's natural endowment, and the inhabitants proceeded to build temples, palaces, harbours and docks, and to organize the country as a whole in the following manner. Their first work was to bridge the rings of water round their mother's original home, so forming a road to and from their palace. This palace they proceeded to build at once in a place where the gods and their ancestors had lived, and each successive king added to its beauties, doing his best to surpass his predecessors, until they had made a residence whose size and beauty were astonishing to see. They began by digging a canal three hundred feet wide, a hundred feet deep and fifty stades long from the sea to the outermost ring, thus making it accessible from the sea like a harbour; and they made the entrance to it large enough to admit the largest ships. At the bridges they made channels through the rings of land which separated those of water, large enough to admit the passage of a single trireme, and roofed over to make an underground tunnel; for the rims of the rings were of some height above sea-level. The largest of the rings, to which there was access from the sea was three stades in in breadth and the ring of land within it the same. Of the second pair the ring ring of water was two stades in breadth, and the ring of land again equal to it, while the ring of water running immediately round the central island was a stade across. The diameter of the island on which the palace was situated was five stades. It and the rings and the bridges (which were a hundred feet broad) were enclosed by a stone wall all round, with towers and gates guarding the bridges on either side where they crossed the water. The stone for them, which was white, black and yellow, they cut out of the central island and the outer and inner rings of land, and in the process excavated pairs of hollow docks with roofs of rock. Some of their buildings were of a single colour, in others they mixed different coloured stone to divert the eye and afford them appropriate pleasure. And they covered the whole circuit of the outermost wall with a veneer of bronze, they fused tin over the inner wall and orichalc gleaming like fire over the wall of the acropolis itself.

The construction of the palace within the acropolis was as follows. In the centre was a shrine sacred to Poseidon and Cleito, surrounded by a golden wall through which entry was forbidden, as it was the place where the family of the ten kings was conceived and begotten; and there year by year seasonal offerings were made from the ten provinces to each one of them. There was a temple of Poseidon himself, a stade in length, three hundred feet wide and proportionate in height, though somewhat outlandish in appearance. The outside of it was covered all over with silver, except for the figures on the pediment which were covered with gold. Inside, the roof was ivory picked out with gold, silver and orichalc, and all the walls, pillars, and floor were covered with orichalc. It contained gold statues of the god standing in a chariot drawn by six winged horses, so tall that his head touched the roof, and round him, riding on dolphins, a hundred Nereids (that being the accepted number of them at the time), as well as many other statues dedicated by private persons. Round the temple were statues of the original ten kings and their wives, and many others dedicated by kings and private persons belonging to the city and its dominions. There was an altar of a size and workmanship to match that of the building and a palace equally worthy of the greatness of the empire and the magnificence of its temples. The two springs, cold and hot, provided an unlimited supply of water for appropriate purposes, remarkable for its agreeable quality and excellence; and this they made available by surrounding it with suitable buildings and plantations, leading some of it into basins in the open air and some of it into covered hot baths for winter use. Here separate accommodation was provided for royalty and for commoners, and, again, for women, for horses and for other beasts of burden, appropriately equipped in each case. The outflow they led into the grove of Poseidon, which (because of the goodness of the soil) was full of trees of marvelous beauty and height, and also channeled it to the outer ring-islands by aqueducts at the bridges. On each of these ring-islands they had built many temples for different gods, and many gardens and areas for exercise, some for men and some for horses. On the middle of the larger island in particular there was a special course for horse-racing; its width was a stade and its length that of a complete circuit of the island, which was reserved for it. Round it on both sides were barracks for the main body of the king's bodyguard. A more select body of the more trustworthy were stationed on the smaller island ring nearer the citadel, and the most trustworthy of all had quarters assigned to them in the citadel and were attached to the king's person. Finally, there were dockyards full of triremes and their equipment, all in good shape.

So much then for the arrangement of the royal residence and its environs. Beyond the three outer harbours there was a wall, beginning at the sea and running right round in a circle, at a uniform distance of fifty stades from the largest ring and harbour and returning on itself at the mouth of the canal to the sea. This wall was densely built up all round with houses and the canal and large harbour were crowded with vast numbers of merchant ships from all quarters, from which rose a constant din of shouting and noise day and night.

I have given you a pretty complete account of what was told me about the city and its original buildings; I must now try to recall the nature and organization of the rest of the country. To begin with the region as a whole was said to be high above the level of the sea, from which it rose precipitously; the city was surrounded by a uniformly flat plain, which was in turn enclosed by mountains which came right down to the sea. This plain was rectangular in shape, measuring three thousand stades in length and at its mid-point two thousand stades in breadth from the coast. This whole area of the island faced south, and 'was sheltered from the north winds. The mountains which surrounded it were celebrated as being more numerous, higher and more beautiful than any which exist today; and in them were numerous villages and a wealthy population, as well as rivers and lakes and meadows, which provided ample pasture for all kinds of domesticated and wild animals, and a plentiful variety of woodland to supply abundant timber for every kind of manufacture.

Over a long period of time the work of a number of kings had effected certain modifications in the natural features of the plain. It was naturally a long, regular rectangle; and any defects in its shape were corrected by means of a ditch dug round it. The depth and breadth and length of this may sound incredible for an artificial structure when compared with others of a similar kind, but I must give them as I heard them. The depth was a hundred feet, the width a stade, and the length, since it was dug right round the plain, was ten thousand stades. The rivers which flowed down from the mountains emptied into it, and it made a complete circuit of the plain, running round to the city from both directions, and there discharging into the sea. Channels about a hundred feet broad were cut from the ditch's landward limb straight across the plain, at a distance of a hundred stades from each other, till they ran into it on its seaward side. They cut cross channels between them and also to the city, and used the whole complex to float timber down from the mountains and transport seasonal produce by boat. They had two harvests a year, a winter one for which they relied on rainfall and a summer one for which the channels, fed by the rivers, provided irrigation.

The distribution of man-power was as follows: each allotment of land was under obligation to furnish one leader of a military detachment. Each allotment was ten square stades in size and there were in all 60,000 allotments; there was an unlimited supply of men in the mountains and other parts of the country and they were assigned by district and village to the leaders of the allotments. The leader was bound to provide a sixth part of the equipment of a war chariot, up to a total complement of 10,000, with two horses and riders; and in addition a pair of horses without a chariot, a charioteer to drive them and a combatant with light shield to ride with him, two hoplites, two archers and two slingers, three light-armed stone throwers and three javelin men, and four sailors as part of the complement of twelve hundred ships. Such were the military dispositions of the royal city; those of the other nine varied in detail and it would take too long to describe them.

Their arrangements for the distribution of authority and office were the following, Each of the ten kings had absolute power, in his own region and city, over persons and in general over laws, and could punish or execute at will. But the distribution of power between them and their mutual relations were governed by the injunctions of Poseidon, enshrined in the law and engraved by the first kings on an orichalc pillar in the temple of Poseidon in the middle of the island. Here they assembled alternately every fifth and sixth year (thereby showing equal respect to both odd and even numbers), consulted on matters of mutual interest and inquired into and gave judgment on any wrong committed by any of them. And before any prospective judgment they exchanged mutual pledges in the following ceremony. There were in the temple of Poseidon bulls roaming at large. The ten kings, after praying to the god that they might secure a sacrifice that would please him, entered alone and started a hunt for a bull, using clubs and nooses but no metal weapon; and when they caught him they cut his throat over the top of the pillar so that the blood flowed over the inscription. And on thr pillar there was engraved, in addition to the laws, an oath invoking awful curses on those who disobeyed it. When they had finished the ritual of sacrifice and were consecrating the limbs of the bull, they mixed a bowl of wine and dropped in a clot of blood for each of them, before cleansing the pillar and burning the rest of the blood. After this they drew wine from the bowl in golden cups, poured a libation over the fire, and swore an oath to give judgments in accordance with the laws written on the pillar, to punish any past offences, never knowingly in future to transgress what was written, and finally neither to give nor obey orders unless they were in accordance with the laws of their father. Each one of them swore this oath on his own behalf and that of his descendants, and after drinking, dedicated his cup to the god's temple. There followed an interval for supper and necessary business, and then when darkness fell and the sacrificial fire had died down they all put on the most splendid dark blue ceremonial robes and sat on the ground by the embers of the sacrificial fire in the dark, all glimmer of fire in the sanctuary being extinguished. And thus they gave and submitted to judgment on any complaints of wrong made against them; and afterwards, when it was light, wrote the terms of the judgment on gold plates which they dedicated together with the robes as a record. And among many other special laws governing the privileges of the kings the most important were that they should never make war on each other, but come to each other's help if any of them were threatened with a dissolution of the power of the royal house in his state; in that case, they should follow the custom of their predecessors and consult mutually about policy for war and other matters, recognizing the suzerainty of the house of Atlas. But the King of that house should have no authority to put any of his fellows to death without the consent of a majority of the ten.

This was the nature and extent of the power which existed then in those parts of the world and which god brought to attack our country. His reason, so the story goes, was this. For many generations, so long as the divine element in their nature survived, they obeyed the laws and loved the divine to which they were akin. They retained a certain greatness of mind, and treated the vagaries of fortune and one another with wisdom and forbearance, as they reckoned that qualities of character were far more important than their present prosperity. So they bore the burden of their wealth and possessions lightly, and did not let their high standard of living intoxicate them or make them loose their self-control, but saw soberly and clearly all of these things flourish only on a soil of common goodwill and individual character, and if pursued too eagerly and overvalued destroy themselves and morality with them. So long as these principles and their divine nature remained unimpaired the prosperity which we have described continued to grow.

But when the divine element in them became weakened by frequent admixture with mortal stock, and their human traits became predominant, they ceased to be able to carry their prosperity with moderation. To the perceptive eye the depth of their degeneration was clear enough, but to those whose judgment of true happiness is defective they seemed, in their pursuit of unbridled ambition and power, to be at the height of their fame and fortune. And the god of gods, Zeus, who reigns by law, and whose eye can see such things, when he perceived the wretched state of this admirable stock decided to punish them and reduce them to order by discipline.

He accordingly summoned all the gods to his own most glorious abode, which stands at the centre of the universe and looks out over the whole realm of change, and when they had assembled addressed them as folllows: ...(117)

At this point the Critias breaks off. Plutarch claimed the Plato died before he could complete the work, Francis Cornford believed Plato abandoned a planned trilogy (Timaeus, Critias, Hermacrates) midway through the Critias and turned to writing The Laws instead. (115)

Stage IV, then (c. 30,000-10,000 BC), reveals the mythology of the naked goddess and the mythology of the temple-caves. The richest finds of the first of these two complexes have turned up in the Ukraine, though the range extends westward to the Pyrenees and eastward to Lake Baikal. Provisionally, therefore, the Ukraine may be designated as the mythogenetic zone; and this likelihood is rendered the more evident when it is considered that many of the basic elements of the complex were to reappear in the neolithic goddess-cults of the fifth millennium B.C., directly to the south, on the opposite flank of the Black Sea. (128)

The old priest at Sais goes on to tell Solon about 'the fairest and noblest race of men which ever lived', before he recounts the story of how the fabled 'islands of Atlantis', beyond the 'Pillars of Heracles', were destroyed by devastating earthquakes and floods '9,000 years' before their age, giving an approximate date of around 9600 BC, exactly the time-frame of the global cataclysms and climatic changes that apparently heralded the end of the last Ice Age. He also tells Solon that according to the 'sacred registers' the Egyptian race was founded '8,000 years' ago, in other words 1,000 years after the submergence of Atlantis and the foundation of the Hellenic race by the survivors of this 'noblest' race." (149)

When the earth was a little younger, Saurid Ibn Salhouk, the king of Egypt - who lived three hundred years before the Great Flood - found that his slumber was constantly being disturbed by terrible nightmares. He saw that 'the whole earth was turned over', its inhabitants too. He saw men and women falling upon their faces and 'stars falling down and striking one another with a terrible noise '. As a consequence, 'all mankind took refuge in terror '. These nightmares continued to trouble the good king, but for some time he concealed them, without telling another soul what he had seen. Finally, after one further night of misery, he summoned his chief priests, who came from all the provinces of Egypt. No less than 130 of them stood before him, the chief among them being the learned Almamon, or Aclimon. King Saurid related every detail of his curious nightmare, and before they offered their own opinions concerning this strange portent, each one consulted the altitude of the stars. Upon returning they unanimously announced to the worried king that his nightmare foretold that first a great flood would cover the earth. Then a great fire would 'come from the direction of the constellation Leo'. They assured him, however, that after these disasters 'the firmament would return to its former site'. 'Will it come to our country?' the king asked. They answered him honestly. 'Yes,' they said, 'and it will destroy it.' Having accepted the future fate of his kingdom, Saurid decided that he would command the building of three wondrous pyramids as well as a very strong vault. All these were to be filled with 'the knowledge of the secret sciences', which included everything they had learned of astronomy, mathematics and geometry. All this knowledge would remain concealed for those who would one day come and find these secret places. This was the story recorded by various Arab and Coptic historians, including Ibn Abd Alhokm, who lived in the ninth century, and Al Masoudi, who died around AD 943...(149)

South America

 In the Andes, legend has it that Inti took pity on the backward humans in their misery and sent the first Incas (meaning rulers) to help them redevelop civilization. The Chibcha people in Peru reportedly appealed to their cultural founder Bochica to mitigate effects of the Flood, and he helped drain the land. (113)

The Andean Plateau appears to have been another center revitalized to some degree along the lines of pre-cataclysmic cultures. Ruins in Bolivia (including the Lake Titicaca area) and Peru point to highly developed architecture and astronomy that survive the Cataclysm. They suggest these areas had some sort of "expert help" not available to most societies in the Americas. Both these Cultures lack the documentation to enable a profound historical study as can be done in Sumeria. (113)

Mesoamerica

 The Mayans reported that life was renewed by Hunab Ku (their supreme god) after the Cataclysm. (113)

North America

 

Other

 The Australian Aborigones offer a wonderful subject for meditations on the nature of humanity. Consider: these people lived in what may have been nearly complete isolation for more than 40,000 years in an ecologically diverse continent, and when first encountered by Europeans in the 17th century, their technology hardly approached the sophistication of the Neanderthals: just simple stone tools and rudimentary wooden implements; and yet they evolved a kinship system and cosmology that most graduate students in anthropology have struggled to comprehend in all its complexity--and probably never do.(24)