Atlantis (Ancient Greek: Ἀτλαντὶς νῆσος, "island of Atlas") is a fictional island mentioned within an allegory on the hubris of nations in Plato's works Timaeus and Critias, where it represents the antagonist naval power that besieges "Ancient Athens", the pseudo-historic embodiment of Plato's ideal state in The Republic. In the story, Athens repels the Atlantean attack unlike any other nation of the known world, supposedly giving testament to the superiority of Plato's concept of a state. The story concludes with Atlantis falling out of favor with the deities and submerging into the Atlantic Ocean.
Despite its minor importance in Plato's work, the Atlantis story has had a considerable impact on literature. The allegorical aspect of Atlantis was taken up in utopian works of several Renaissance writers, such as Francis Bacon's New Atlantis and Thomas More's Utopia. On the other hand, nineteenth-century amateur scholars misinterpreted Plato's narrative as historical tradition, most notably in Ignatius L. Donnelly's Atlantis: The Antediluvian World. Plato's vague indications of the time of the events—more than 9,000 years before his time—and the alleged location of Atlantis—"beyond the Pillars of Hercules"—has led to much pseudoscientific speculation. As a consequence, Atlantis has become a byword for any and all supposed advanced prehistoric lost civilizations and continues to inspire contemporary fiction, from comic books to films.
While present-day philologists and classicists agree on the story's fictional character, there is still debate on what served as its inspiration. As for instance with the story of Gyges, Plato is known to have freely borrowed some of his allegories and metaphors from older traditions. This led a number of scholars to investigate possible inspiration of Atlantis from Egyptian records of the Thera eruption, the Sea Peoples invasion, or the Trojan War. Others have rejected this chain of tradition as implausible and insist that Plato created an entirely fictional nation as his example, drawing loose inspiration from contemporary events such as the failed Athenian invasion of Sicily in 415–413 BC or the destruction of Helike in 373 BC.
The only primary sources for Atlantis are Plato's dialogues Timaeus and Critias; all other mentions of the island are based on them. The dialogues claim to quote Solon, who visited Egypt between 590 and 580 BC; they state that he translated Egyptian records of Atlantis. Written in 360 BC, Plato introduced Atlantis in Timaeus:
For it is related in our records how once upon a time your State stayed the course of a mighty host, which, starting from a distant point in the Atlantic ocean, was insolently advancing to attack the whole of Europe, and Asia to boot. For the ocean there was at that time navigable; for in front of the mouth which you Greeks call, as you say, 'the pillars of Heracles,' there lay an island which was larger than Libya and Asia together; and it was possible for the travelers of that time to cross from it to the other islands, and from the islands to the whole of the continent over against them which encompasses that veritable ocean. For all that we have here, lying within the mouth of which we speak, is evidently a haven having a narrow entrance; but that yonder is a real ocean, and the land surrounding it may most rightly be called, in the fullest and truest sense, a continent. Now in this island of Atlantis there existed a confederation of kings, of great and marvelous power, which held sway over all the island, and over many other islands also and parts of the continent.
The four people appearing in those two dialogues are the politicians Critias and Hermocrates as well as the philosophers Socrates and Timaeus of Locri, although only Critias speaks of Atlantis. In his works Plato makes extensive use of the Socratic method in order to discuss contrary positions within the context of a supposition.
The Timaeus begins with an introduction, followed by an account of the creations and structure of the universe and ancient civilizations. In the introduction, Socrates muses about the perfect society, described in Plato's Republic (c. 380 BC), and wonders if he and his guests might recollect a story which exemplifies such a society. Critias mentions a tale he considered to be historical, that would make the perfect example, and he then follows by describing Atlantis as is recorded in the Critias. In his account, ancient Athens seems to represent the "perfect society" and Atlantis its opponent, representing the very antithesis of the "perfect" traits described in the Republic.
According to Critias, the Hellenic deities of old divided the land so that each deity might have their own lot; Poseidon was appropriately, and to his liking, bequeathed the island of Atlantis. The island was larger than Ancient Libya and Asia Minor combined, but it was later sunk by an earthquake and became an impassable mud shoal, inhibiting travel to any part of the ocean. Plato asserted that the Egyptians described Atlantis as an island consisting mostly of mountains in the northern portions and along the shore and encompassing a great plain in an oblong shape in the south "extending in one direction three thousand stadia [about 555 km; 345 mi], but across the center inland it was two thousand stadia [about 370 km; 230 mi]." Fifty stadia [9 km; 6 mi] from the coast was a mountain that was low on all sides ... broke it off all round about ... the central island itself was five stades in diameter [about 0.92 km; 0.57 mi].
In Plato's metaphorical tale, Poseidon fell in love with Cleito, the daughter of Evenor and Leucippe, who bore him five pairs of male twins. The eldest of these, Atlas, was made rightful king of the entire island and the ocean (called the Atlantic Ocean in his honor), and was given the mountain of his birth and the surrounding area as his fiefdom. Atlas's twin Gadeirus, or Eumelus in Greek, was given the extremity of the island toward the pillars of Hercules. The other four pairs of twins—Ampheres and Evaemon, Mneseus and Autochthon, Elasippus and Mestor, and Azaes and Diaprepes—were also given "rule over many men, and a large territory."
Poseidon carved the mountain where his love dwelt into a palace and enclosed it with three circular moats of increasing width, varying from one to three stadia and separated by rings of land proportional in size. The Atlanteans then built bridges northward from the mountain, making a route to the rest of the island. They dug a great canal to the sea, and alongside the bridges carved tunnels into the rings of rock so that ships could pass into the city around the mountain; they carved docks from the rock walls of the moats. Every passage to the city was guarded by gates and towers, and a wall surrounded each ring of the city. The walls were constructed of red, white, and black rock, quarried from the moats, and were covered with brass, tin, and the precious metal orichalcum, respectively.
According to Critias, 9,000 years before his lifetime a war took place between those outside the Pillars of Hercules at the Strait of Gibraltar and those who dwelt within them. The Atlanteans had conquered the parts of Libya within the Pillars of Hercules, as far as Egypt, and the European continent as far as Tyrrhenia, and had subjected its people to slavery. The Athenians led an alliance of resistors against the Atlantean empire, and as the alliance disintegrated, prevailed alone against the empire, liberating the occupied lands.
But afterwards there occurred violent earthquakes and floods; and in a single day and night of misfortune all your warlike men in a body sank into the earth, and the island of Atlantis in like manner disappeared in the depths of the sea. For which reason the sea in those parts is impassable and impenetrable, because there is a shoal of mud in the way; and this was caused by the subsidence of the island.
The logographer Hellanicus of Lesbos wrote an earlier work entitled Atlantis, of which only a few fragments survive. Hellanicus' work appears to have been a genealogical one concerning the daughters of Atlas (Ἀτλαντὶς in Greek means "of Atlas"), but some authors have suggested a possible connection with Plato's island. John V. Luce notes that when Plato writes about the genealogy of Atlantis's kings, he writes in the same style as Hellanicus, suggesting a similarity between a fragment of Hellanicus's work and an account in the Critias. Rodney Castleden suggests that Plato may have borrowed his title from Hellanicus, who may have based his work on an earlier work about Atlantis.
Castleden has pointed out that Plato wrote of Atlantis in 359 BC, when he returned to Athens from Sicily. He notes a number of parallels between the physical organisation and fortifications of Syracuse and Plato's description of Atlantis. Gunnar Rudberg was the first who elaborated upon the idea that Plato's attempt to realize his political ideas in the city of Syracuse could have heavily inspired the Atlantis account.
Some ancient writers viewed Atlantis as fictional or metaphorical myth; others believed it to be real. Aristotle believed that Plato, his teacher, had invented the island to teach philosophy. The philosopher Crantor, a student of Plato's student Xenocrates, is cited often as an example of a writer who thought the story to be historical fact. His work, a commentary on Timaeus, is lost, but Proclus, a Neoplatonist of the fifth century AD, reports on it. The passage in question has been represented in the modern literature either as claiming that Crantor visited Egypt, had conversations with priests, and saw hieroglyphs confirming the story, or, as claiming that he learned about them from other visitors to Egypt. Proclus wrote:
As for the whole of this account of the Atlanteans, some say that it is unadorned history, such as Crantor, the first commentator on Plato. Crantor also says that Plato's contemporaries used to criticize him jokingly for not being the inventor of his Republic but copying the institutions of the Egyptians. Plato took these critics seriously enough to assign to the Egyptians this story about the Athenians and Atlanteans, so as to make them say that the Athenians really once lived according to that system.
The next sentence is often translated "Crantor adds, that this is testified by the prophets of the Egyptians, who assert that these particulars [which are narrated by Plato] are written on pillars which are still preserved." But in the original, the sentence starts not with the name Crantor but with the ambiguous He; whether this referred to Crantor or to Plato is the subject of considerable debate. Proponents of both Atlantis as a metaphorical myth and Atlantis as history have argued that the pronoun refers to Crantor.
Alan Cameron argues that the pronoun should be interpreted as referring to Plato, and that, when Proclus writes that "we must bear in mind concerning this whole feat of the Athenians, that it is neither a mere myth nor unadorned history, although some take it as history and others as myth", he is treating "Crantor's view as mere personal opinion, nothing more; in fact he first quotes and then dismisses it as representing one of the two unacceptable extremes".
Cameron also points out that whether he refers to Plato or to Crantor, the statement does not support conclusions such as Otto Muck's "Crantor came to Sais and saw there in the temple of Neith the column, completely covered with hieroglyphs, on which the history of Atlantis was recorded. Scholars translated it for him, and he testified that their account fully agreed with Plato's account of Atlantis" or J. V. Luce's suggestion that Crantor sent "a special enquiry to Egypt" and that he may simply be referring to Plato's own claims.
Another passage from the commentary by Proclus on the "Timaeus" gives a description of the geography of Atlantis:
That an island of such nature and size once existed is evident from what is said by certain authors who investigated the things around the outer sea. For according to them, there were seven islands in that sea in their time, sacred to Persephone, and also three others of enormous size, one of which was sacred to Hades, another to Ammon, and another one between them to Poseidon, the extent of which was a thousand stadia [200 km]; and the inhabitants of it—they add—preserved the remembrance from their ancestors of the immeasurably large island of Atlantis which had really existed there and which for many ages had reigned over all islands in the Atlantic sea and which itself had like-wise been sacred to Poseidon. Now these things Marcellus has written in his Aethiopica.
Marcellus remains unidentified.
Other ancient historians and philosophers who believed in the existence of Atlantis were Strabo and Posidonius. Some have theorized that, before the sixth century BC, the "Pillars of Hercules" may have applied to mountains on either side of the Gulf of Laconia, and also may have been part of the pillar cult of the Aegean. The mountains stood at either side of the southernmost gulf in Greece, the largest in the Peloponnese, and it opens onto the Mediterranean Sea. This would have placed Atlantis in the Mediterranean, lending credence to many details in Plato's discussion.
The fourth-century historian Ammianus Marcellinus, relying on a lost work by Timagenes, a historian writing in the first century BC, writes that the Druids of Gaul said that part of the inhabitants of Gaul had migrated there from distant islands. Some have understood Ammianus's testimony as a claim that at the time of Atlantis's sinking into the sea, its inhabitants fled to western Europe; but Ammianus, in fact, says that "the Drasidae (Druids) recall that a part of the population is indigenous but others also migrated in from islands and lands beyond the Rhine" (Res Gestae 15.9), an indication that the immigrants came to Gaul from the north (Britain, the Netherlands, or Germany), not from a theorized location in the Atlantic Ocean to the south-west. Instead, the Celts who dwelled along the ocean were reported to venerate twin gods, (Dioscori), who appeared to them coming from that ocean.
During the early first century, the Hellenistic Jewish philosopher Philo wrote about the destruction of Atlantis in his On the Eternity of the World, xxvi. 141, in a longer passage allegedly citing Aristotle's successor Theophrastus:
... And the island of Atalantes [translator's spelling; original: "Ἀτλαντίς"] which was greater than Africa and Asia, as Plato says in the Timaeus, in one day and night was overwhelmed beneath the sea in consequence of an extraordinary earthquake and inundation and suddenly disappeared, becoming sea, not indeed navigable, but full of gulfs and eddies.
The theologian Joseph Barber Lightfoot (Apostolic Fathers, 1885, II, p. 84) noted on this passage: "Clement may possibly be referring to some known, but hardly accessible land, lying without the pillars of Hercules. But more probably he contemplated some unknown land in the far west beyond the ocean, like the fabled Atlantis of Plato ..."
Other early Christian writers wrote about Atlantis, although they had mixed views on whether it once existed or was an untrustworthy myth of pagan origin. Tertullian believed Atlantis was once real and wrote that in the Atlantic Ocean once existed "[the isle] that was equal in size to Libya or Asia" referring to Plato's geographical description of Atlantis. The early Christian apologist writer Arnobius also believed Atlantis once existed, but blamed its destruction on pagans.
... In like manner the philosopher Timaeus also describes this Earth as surrounded by the Ocean, and the Ocean as surrounded by the more remote earth. For he supposes that there is to westward an island, Atlantis, lying out in the Ocean, in the direction of Gadeira (Cadiz), of an enormous magnitude, and relates that the ten kings having procured mercenaries from the nations in this island came from the earth far away, and conquered Europe and Asia, but were afterwards conquered by the Athenians, while that island itself was submerged by God under the sea. Both Plato and Aristotle praise this philosopher, and Proclus has written a commentary on him. He himself expresses views similar to our own with some modifications, transferring the scene of the events from the east to the west. Moreover he mentions those ten generations as well as that earth which lies beyond the Ocean. And in a word it is evident that all of them borrow from Moses, and publish his statements as their own.
Aside from Plato's original account, modern interpretations regarding Atlantis are an amalgamation of diverse, speculative movements that began in the sixteenth century, when scholars began to identify Atlantis with the New World. Francisco Lopez de Gomara was the first to state that Plato was referring to America, as did Francis Bacon and Alexander von Humboldt; Janus Joannes Bircherod said in 1663 orbe novo non novo ("the New World is not new"). Athanasius Kircher accepted Plato's account as literally true, describing Atlantis as a small continent in the Atlantic Ocean.
Contemporary perceptions of Atlantis share roots with Mayanism, which can be traced to the beginning of the Modern Age, when European imaginations were fueled by their initial encounters with the indigenous peoples of the Americas. From this era sprang apocalyptic and utopian visions that would inspire many subsequent generations of theorists.
The Flemish cartographer and geographer Abraham Ortelius is believed to have been the first person to imagine that the continents were joined together before drifting to their present positions. In the 1596 edition of his Thesaurus Geographicus he wrote: "Unless it be a fable, the island of Gadir or Gades [Cadiz] will be the remaining part of the island of Atlantis or America, which was not sunk (as Plato reports in the Timaeus) so much as torn away from Europe and Africa by earthquakes and flood... The traces of the ruptures are shown by the projections of Europe and Africa and the indentations of America in the parts of the coasts of these three said lands that face each other to anyone who, using a map of the world, carefully considered them. So that anyone may say with Strabo in Book 2, that what Plato says of the island of Atlantis on the authority of Solon is not a figment."
The term "utopia" (from "no place") was coined by Sir Thomas More in his sixteenth-century work of fiction Utopia. Inspired by Plato's Atlantis and travelers' accounts of the Americas, More described an imaginary land set in the New World. His idealistic vision established a connection between the Americas and utopian societies, a theme that Bacon discussed in The New Atlantis (c. 1623). A character in the narrative gives a history of Atlantis that is similar to Plato's and places Atlantis in America. People had begun believing that the Mayan and Aztec ruins could possibly be the remnants of Atlantis.
Much speculation began as to the origins of the Maya, which led to a variety of narratives and publications that tried to rationalize the discoveries within the context of the Bible and that had undertones of racism in their connections between the Old and New World. The Europeans believed the indigenous people to be inferior and incapable of building that which was now in ruins and by sharing a common history, they insinuate that another race must have been responsible.
In the middle and late nineteenth century, several renowned Mesoamerican scholars, starting with Charles Etienne Brasseur de Bourbourg, and including Edward Herbert Thompson and Augustus Le Plongeon, formally proposed that Atlantis was somehow related to Mayan and Aztec culture.
The French scholar Brasseur de Bourbourg traveled extensively through Mesoamerica in the mid-1800s, and was renowned for his translations of Mayan texts, most notably the sacred book Popol Vuh, as well as a comprehensive history of the region. Soon after these publications, however, Brasseur de Bourbourg lost his academic credibility, due to his claim that the Maya peoples had descended from the Toltecs, people he believed were the surviving population of the racially superior civilization of Atlantis. His work combined with the skillful, romantic illustrations of Jean Frederic Waldeck, which visually alluded to Egypt and other aspects of the Old World, created an authoritative fantasy that excited much interest in the connections between worlds.
Inspired by Brasseur de Bourbourg's diffusion theories, the pseudoarchaeologist Augustus Le Plongeon traveled to Mesoamerica and performed some of the first excavations of many famous Mayan ruins. Le Plongeon invented narratives, such as the kingdom of Mu saga, which romantically drew connections to him, his wife Alice, and Egyptian deities Osiris and Isis, as well as to Heinrich Schliemann, who had just discovered the ancient city of Troy from Homer's epic poetry (that had been described as merely mythical). He also believed that he had found connections between the Greek and Mayan languages, which produced a narrative of the destruction of Atlantis.
The 1882 publication of Atlantis: the Antediluvian World by Ignatius L. Donnelly stimulated much popular interest in Atlantis. He was greatly inspired by early works in Mayanism, and like them, attempted to establish that all known ancient civilizations were descended from Atlantis, which he saw as a technologically sophisticated, more advanced culture. Donnelly drew parallels between creation stories in the Old and New Worlds, attributing the connections to Atlantis, where he believed the Biblical Garden of Eden existed. As implied by the title of his book, he also believed that Atlantis was destroyed by the Great Flood mentioned in the Bible.
Donnelly is credited as the "father of the nineteenth century Atlantis revival" and is the reason the myth endures today. He unintentionally promoted an alternative method of inquiry to history and science, and the idea that myths contain hidden information that opens them to "ingenious" interpretation by people who believe they have new or special insight.
The Russian mystic Helena Petrovna Blavatsky and her partner Henry Steel Olcott founded their Theosophical Society in the 1870s with a philosophy that combined western romanticism and eastern religious concepts. Blavatsky and her followers in this group are often cited as the founders of New Age and other spiritual movements.
Blavatsky took up Donnelly's interpretations when she wrote The Secret Doctrine (1888), which she claimed was originally dictated in Atlantis. She maintained that the Atlanteans were cultural heroes (contrary to Plato, who describes them mainly as a military threat). She believed in a form of racial evolution (as opposed to primate evolution), in which the Atlanteans were the fourth "Root Race", succeeded by the fifth and most superior "Aryan race" (the modern human race). The Theosophists believed that the civilization of Atlantis reached its peak between 1,000,000 and 900,000 years ago, but destroyed itself through internal warfare brought about by the dangerous use of psychic and supernatural powers of the inhabitants. Rudolf Steiner, the founder of anthroposophy and Waldorf Schools, along with other well known Theosophists, such as Annie Besant, also wrote of cultural evolution in much the same vein.
Some subsequent occultists have followed Blavatsky, at least to the point of tracing the lineage of occult practices back to Atlantis. Among the most famous is Dion Fortune in her Esoteric Orders and Their Work.
Blavatsky was also inspired by the work of the eighteenth-century astronomer Jean-Sylvain Bailly, who had "Orientalized" the Atlantis myth in his mythical continent of Hyperborea, a reference to Greek myths featuring a Northern European region of the same name, home to a giant, godlike race. Dan Edelstein claims that her reshaping of this theory in The Secret Doctrine provided the Nazis with a mythological precedent and a pretext for their ideological platform and their subsequent genocide. However, Blavatsky's writings mention that the Atlantean were in fact olive-skinned peoples with Mongoloid traits who were the ancestors of modern Native Americans, Mongolians and Malayans.
Julius Evola's writing in 1934 also suggested that the Atlanteans were Hyperborean, Nordic supermen who originated at the North Pole (see Thule). Similarly, Alfred Rosenberg (in The Myth of the Twentieth Century, 1930) spoke of a "Nordic-Atlantean" or "Aryan-Nordic" master race. This ideas may contradict the beliefs of several Esoteric and Theosophic groups that, on the contrary, thought that the Atlanteans were non-Caucasian brown-skinned peoples. Also some Esoteric groups, including the Theosophic Society, do not consider Atlantean society to have been superior or Utopian—they rather consider it a lower stage of evolution.
Edgar Cayce was a man from humble upbringings in Kentucky who allegedly possessed psychic abilities, which were performed from a trance-like state. In addition to allegedly healing the sick from this state, he also spoke frequently on the topic of Atlantis. In his "life readings," he purportedly revealed that many of his subjects were reincarnations of people who had lived on Atlantis. By tapping into their collective consciousness, the "Akashic Records" (a term borrowed from Theosophy), he declared that he was able to give detailed descriptions of the lost continent. He also asserted that Atlantis would "rise" again in the 1960s (sparking much popularity of the myth in that decade) and that there is a "Hall of Records" beneath the Egyptian Sphinx, which holds the historical texts of Atlantis.
As continental drift became widely accepted during the 1960s, and the increased understanding of plate tectonics demonstrated the impossibility of a lost continent in the geologically recent past, most "Lost Continent" theories of Atlantis began to wane in popularity.
The continuing industry of discovering Atlantis illustrates the dangers of reading Plato. For he is clearly using what has become a standard device of fiction—stressing the historicity of an event (and the discovery of hitherto unknown authorities) as an indication that what follows is fiction. The idea is that we should use the story to examine our ideas of government and power. We have missed the point if instead of thinking about these issues we go off exploring the sea bed. The continuing misunderstanding of Plato as historian here enables us to see why his distrust of imaginative writing is sometimes justified.
One of the proposed explanations for the historical context of the Atlantis story is a warning of Plato to his contemporary fourth-century fellow-citizens against their striving for naval power.
Kenneth Feder points out that Critias's story in the Timaeus provides a major clue. In the dialogue, Critias says, referring to Socrates' hypothetical society:
And when you were speaking yesterday about your city and citizens, the tale which I have just been repeating to you came into my mind, and I remarked with astonishment how, by some mysterious coincidence, you agreed in almost every particular with the narrative of Solon. ...
Feder quotes A. E. Taylor, who wrote, "We could not be told much more plainly that the whole narrative of Solon's conversation with the priests and his intention of writing the poem about Atlantis are an invention of Plato's fancy."
Since Donnelly's day, there have been dozens of locations proposed for Atlantis, to the point where the name has become a generic concept, divorced from the specifics of Plato's account. This is reflected in the fact that many proposed sites are not within the Atlantic at all. Few today are scholarly or archaeological hypotheses, while others have been made by psychic (e.g., Edgar Cayce) or other pseudoscientific means. (The Atlantis researchers Jacques Collina-Girard and Georgeos Díaz-Montexano, for instance, each claim the other's hypothesis is pseudoscience.) Many of the proposed sites share some of the characteristics of the Atlantis story (water, catastrophic end, relevant time period), but none has been demonstrated to be a true historical Atlantis.
Most of the historically proposed locations are in or near the Mediterranean Sea: islands such as Sardinia, Crete, Santorini (Thera), Sicily, Cyprus, and Malta; land-based cities or states such as Troy, Tartessos, and Tantalis (in the province of Manisa, Turkey); Israel-Sinai or Canaan; and northwestern Africa.
The Thera eruption, dated to the seventeenth or sixteenth century BC, caused a large tsunami that some experts hypothesize devastated the Minoan civilization on the nearby island of Crete, further leading some to believe that this may have been the catastrophe that inspired the story. In the area of the Black Sea the following locations have been proposed: Bosporus and Ancomah (a legendary place near Trabzon).
Others have noted that, before the sixth century BC, the mountains on either side of the Gulf of Laconia were called the "Pillars of Hercules", and they could be the geographical location being described in ancient reports upon which Plato was basing his story. The mountains stood at either side of the southernmost gulf in Greece, the largest in the Peloponnese, and that gulf opens onto the Mediterranean Sea. If from the beginning of discussions, misinterpretation of Gibraltar as the location rather than being at the Gulf of Laconia, would lend itself to many erroneous concepts regarding the location of Atlantis. Plato may have not been aware of the difference. The Laconian pillars open to the south toward Crete and beyond which is Egypt. The Thera eruption and the Late Bronze Age collapse affected that area and might have been the devastation to which the sources used by Plato referred. Significant events such as these would have been likely material for tales passed from one generation to another for almost a thousand years.
The location of Atlantis in the Atlantic Ocean has a certain appeal given the closely related names. Popular culture often places Atlantis there, perpetuating the original Platonic setting as they understand it. The Canary Islands and Madeira Islands have been identified as a possible location, west of the Straits of Gibraltar, but in relative proximity to the Mediterranean Sea. Detailed studies of their geomorphology and geology have demonstrated, however, that they have been steadily uplifted, without any significant periods of subsidence, over the last four million years, by geologic processes such as erosional unloading, gravitational unloading, lithospheric flexure induced by adjacent islands, and volcanic underplating. Various islands or island groups in the Atlantic were also identified as possible locations, notably the Azores. Similarly, cores of sediment covering the ocean bottom surrounding the Azores and other evidence demonstrate that it has been an undersea plateau for millions of years. The submerged island of Spartel near the Strait of Gibraltar has also been suggested.
Several hypotheses place the sunken island in northern Europe, including Doggerland in the North Sea, and Sweden (by Olof Rudbeck in Atland, 1672–1702). Doggerland, as well as Viking Bergen Island, is thought to have been flooded by a megatsunami following the Storegga slide of c. 6100 BC. Some have proposed the Celtic Shelf as a possible location, and that there is a link to Ireland.
In 2011, a team, working on a documentary for the National Geographic Channel, led by Professor Richard Freund from the University of Hartford, claimed to have found possible evidence of Atlantis in southwestern Andalusia. The team identified its possible location within the marshlands of the Doñana National Park, in the area that once was the Lacus Ligustinus, between the Huelva, Cádiz, and Seville provinces, and they speculated that Atlantis had been destroyed by a tsunami, extrapolating results from a previous study by Spanish researchers, published four years earlier.
Spanish scientists have dismissed Freund's speculations, claiming that he sensationalised their work. The anthropologist Juan Villarías-Robles, who works with the Spanish National Research Council, said, "Richard Freund was a newcomer to our project and appeared to be involved in his own very controversial issue concerning King Solomon's search for ivory and gold in Tartessos, the well documented settlement in the Doñana area established in the first millennium BC", and described Freund's claims as "fanciful".
A similar theory had previously been put forward by a German researcher, Rainer W. Kühne, that is based only on satellite imagery and places Atlantis in the Marismas de Hinojos, north of the city of Cádiz. Before that, the historian Adolf Schulten had stated in the 1920s that Plato had used Tartessos as the basis for his Atlantis myth.
Several writers have speculated that Antarctica is the site of Atlantis, while others have proposed Caribbean locations such as the alleged Cuban sunken city off the Guanahacabibes peninsula in Cuba, the Bahamas, and the Bermuda Triangle. Areas in the Pacific and Indian Oceans have also been proposed including Indonesia (i.e. Sundaland). The stories of a lost continent off the coast of India, named "Kumari Kandam," have inspired some to draw parallels to Atlantis.
In order to give his account of Atlantis verisimilitude, Plato mentions that the story was heard by Solon in Egypt, and transmitted orally over several generations through the family of Dropides, until it reached Critias, a dialogue speaker in Timaeus and Critias. Solon had supposedly tried to adapt the Atlantis oral tradition into a poem (that if published, was to be greater than the works of Hesiod and Homer). While it was never completed, Solon passed on the story to Dropides. Modern classicists deny the existence of Solon's Atlantis poem and the story as an oral tradition. Instead, Plato is thought to be the sole inventor or fabricator. Hellanicus of Lesbos used the word "Atlantis" as the title for a poem published before Plato, a fragment of which may be Oxyrhynchus Papyrus 11, 1359. This work only describes the Atlantides (the daughters of Atlas), however, and has no relation to Plato's Atlantis account.
In the new era, the third century AD Neoplatonist Zoticus wrote an epic poem based on Plato's account of Atlantis. Plato's work may already have inspired parodic imitation, however. Writing only a few decades after the Timaeus and Critias, the historian Theopompus of Chios wrote of a land beyond the ocean known as Meropis. This description was included in Book 8 of his Philippica, which contains a dialogue between Silenus and King Midas. Silenus describes the Meropids, a race of men who grow to twice normal size, and inhabit two cities on the island of Meropis: Eusebes (Εὐσεβής, "Pious-town") and Machimos (Μάχιμος, "Fighting-town"). He also reports that an army of ten million soldiers crossed the ocean to conquer Hyperborea, but abandoned this proposal when they realized that the Hyperboreans were the luckiest people on earth. Heinz-Günther Nesselrath has argued that these and other details of Silenus' story are meant as imitation and exaggeration of the Atlantis story, by parody, for the purpose of exposing Plato's ideas to ridicule.
The creation of Utopian and dystopian fictions was renewed after the Renaissance, most notably in Francis Bacon's New Atlantis (1627), the description of an ideal society that he located off the western coast of America. Thomas Heyrick (1649-1694) followed him with "The New Atlantis" (1687), a satirical poem in three parts. His new continent of uncertain location, perhaps even a floating island either in the sea or the sky, serves as background for his exposure of what he described in a second edition as "A True Character of Popery and Jesuitism".
The title of The New Atalantis by Delarivier Manley (1709), distinguished from the two others by the single letter, is an equally dystopian work but set this time on a fictional Mediterranean island. In it sexual violence and exploitation is made a metaphor for the hypocritical behaviour of politicians in their dealings with the general public. In Manley's case, the target of satire was the Whig Party, while in David Maclean Parry's The Scarlet Empire (1906) it is Socialism as practised in foundered Atlantis. It was followed in Russia by Velemir Khlebnikov's poem The Fall of Atlantis (Gibel' Atlantidy, 1912), which is set in a future rationalist dystopia that has discovered the secret of immortality and is so dedicated to progress that it has lost touch with the past. When the high priest of this ideology is tempted by a slave girl into an act of irrationality, he murders her and precipitates a second flood, above which her severed head floats vengefully among the stars.
A slightly later work, The Ancient of Atlantis (Boston, 1915) by Albert Armstrong Manship, expounds the Atlantean wisdom that is to redeem the earth. Its three parts consist of a verse narrative of the life and training of an Atlantean wise one, followed by his Utopian moral teachings and then a psychic drama set in modern times in which a reincarnated child embodying the lost wisdom is reborn on earth.
In Hispanic eyes, Atlantis had a more intimate interpretation. The land had been a colonial power which, although it had brought civilization to ancient Europe, had also enslaved its peoples. Its tyrannical fall from grace had contributed to the fate that had overtaken it, but now its disappearance had unbalanced the world. This was the point of view of Jacint Verdaguer's vast mythological epic L'Atlantida (1877). After the sinking of the former continent, Hercules travels east across the Atlantic to found the city of Barcelona and then departs westward again to the Hesperides. The story is told by a hermit to a shipwrecked mariner, who is inspired to follow in his tracks and so "call the New World into existence to redress the balance of the Old". This mariner, of course, was Christopher Columbus.
Verdaguer's poem was written in Catalan, but was widely translated in both Europe and Hispano-America. One response was the similarly entitled Argentinian Atlantida of Olegario Victor Andrade (1881), which sees in "Enchanted Atlantis that Plato foresaw, a golden promise to the fruitful race" of Latins. The bad example of the colonising world remains, however. Jose Juan Tablada characterises its threat in his "De Atlántida" (1894) through the beguiling picture of the lost world populated by the underwater creatures of Classical myth, among whom is the Siren of its final stanza with
There is a similar ambivalence in Janus Djurhuus' six-stanza "Atlantis" (1917), where a celebration of the Faroese linguistic revival grants it an ancient pedigree by linking Greek to Norse legend. In the poem a female figure rising from the sea against a background of Classical palaces is recognised as a priestess of Atlantis. The poet recalls "that the Faroes lie there in the north Atlantic Ocean/ where before lay the poet-dreamt lands," but also that in Norse belief, such a figure only appears to those about to drown.
The fact that Atlantis is a lost land has made of it a metaphor for something no longer attainable. For the American poet Edith Willis Linn Forbes (1865-1945), "The Lost Atlantis" stands for idealisation of the past; the present moment can only be treasured once that is realised. Ella Wheeler Wilcox finds the location of "The Lost Land" (1910) in one's carefree youthful past. Similarly, for the Irish poet Eavan Boland in "Atlantis, a lost sonnet" (2007), the idea was defined when "the old fable-makers searched hard for a word/ to convey that what is gone is gone forever".
in a dream of Atlantis. Similarly for the Australian Gary Catalano in a 1982 prose poem, it is "a vision that sank under the weight of its own perfection". W. H. Auden, however, suggests a way out of such frustration through the metaphor of journeying toward Atlantis in his poem of 1941. While travelling, he advises the one setting out, you will meet with many definitions of the goal in view, only realising at the end that the way has all the time led inward.
A few late nineteenth century verse narratives complement the genre fiction that was beginning to be written at the same period. Two of them report the disaster that overtook the continent as related by long-lived survivors. In Frederick Tennyson's Atlantis (1888) an ancient Greek mariner sails west and discovers an inhabited island, which is all that remains of the former kingdom. He learns of its end and views the shattered remnant of its former glory, from which a few had escaped to set up the Mediterranean civilisations. In the second, Mona, Queen of Lost Atlantis: An Idyllic Re-embodiment of Long Forgotten History (Los Angeles CA 1925) by James Logue Dryden (1840-1925), the story is told in a series of visions. A Seer is taken to Mona's burial chamber in the ruins of Atlantis, where she revives and describes the catastrophe. There follows a survey of the lost civilisations of Hyperborea and Lemuria as well as Atlantis, accompanied by much spiritualist lore.
William Walton Hoskins (1856-1919) admits to the readers of his Atlantis and other poems (Cleveland OH, 1881), that he is only 24. Its melodramatic plot concerns the poisoning of the descendant of god-born kings. The usurping poisoner is poisoned in his turn, following which the continent is swallowed in the waves. Asian gods people the landscape of The Lost Island (Ottawa 1889) by Edward Taylor Fletcher (1816–97). An angel foresees impending catastrophe and that the people will be allowed to escape if their semi-divine rulers will sacrifice themselves. A final example, Edward N. Beecher's The Lost Atlantis or The Great Deluge of All (Cleveland OH, 1898) is just a doggerel vehicle for its author's opinions: that the continent was the location of the Garden of Eden; that Darwin's theory of evolution is correct, as are Donnelly's views.
Atlantis was to become a theme in Russia following the 1890s, taken up in unfinished poems by Valery Bryusov and Konstantin Balmont, as well as in a drama by the schoolgirl Larisa Reisner. One other long narrative poem was published in New York by George V. Golokhvastoff. His 250-page The Fall of Atlantis (1938) records how a high priest, distressed by the prevailing degeneracy of the ruling classes, seeks to create an androgynous being from royal twins as a means to overcome this polarity. When he is unable to control the forces unleashed by his occult ceremony, the continent is destroyed.
The Spanish composer Manuel de Falla worked on a dramatic cantata based on Verdaguer's L'Atlántida, during the last 20 years of his life. The name has been affixed to symphonies by Janis Ivanovs (1941), Richard Nanes, and Vaclav Buzek (2009). There was also the symphonic celebration of Alan Hovhaness: "Fanfare for the New Atlantis" (Op. 281, 1975).
The Bohemian-American composer and arranger Vincent Frank Safranek wrote Atlantis (The Lost Continent) Suite in Four Parts; I. Nocturne and Morning Hymn of Praise, II. A Court Function, III. "I Love Thee" (The Prince and Aana), IV. The Destruction of Atlantis, for military (concert) band in 1913.
The 1968 song Atlantis by Scottish singer Donovan described Atlantis and its hypothetical fate. It charted in several countries, reaching #1 in Switzerland in 1969 and as high as #7 in the United States.
Paintings of the submersion of Atlantis are comparatively rare. In the seventeenth century there was François de Nomé's "The Fall of Atlantis", which shows a tidal wave surging toward a Baroque city frontage. The style of architecture apart, it is not very different from Nicholas Roerich's "The Last of Atlantis" of 1928.
The most dramatic depiction of the catastrophe was Leon Bakst's "Ancient Terror" (Terror Antiquus, 1908), although it does not name Atlantis directly. It is a mountain-top view of a rocky bay breached by the sea, which is washing inland about the tall structures of an ancient city. A streak of lightning crosses the upper half of the painting, while below it rises the impassive figure of an enigmatic goddess who holds a blue dove between her breasts. Vyacheslav Ivanov identified the subject as Atlantis in a public lecture on the painting given in 1909, the year it was first exhibited, and he has been followed by other commentators in the years since.
Sculptures referencing Atlantis have often been stylized single figures. One of the earliest was Einar Jónsson's The King of Atlantis (1919–1922), now in the garden of his museum in Reykjavik. It represents a single figure, clad in a belted skirt and wearing a large triangular helmet, who sits on an ornate throne supported between two young bulls. The walking female entitled Atlantis (1946) by Ivan Meštrović was from a series inspired by ancient Greek figures  with the symbolical meaning of unjustified suffering.
In the case of the Brussels fountain feature known as The Man of Atlantis (2003) by the Belgian sculptor Luk van Soom, the 4-metre tall figure wearing a diving suit steps from a plinth into the spray. It looks light-hearted but the artist's comment on it makes a serious point: "Because habitable land will be scarce, it is no longer improbable that we will return to the water in the long term. As a result, a portion of the population will mutate into fish-like creatures. Global warming and rising water levels are practical problems for the world in general and here in the Netherlands in particular".
Robert Smithson's Hypothetical Continent (Map of broken clear glass, Atlantis) was first created as a photographical project on Loveladies Island NJ in 1969, and then recreated as a gallery installation of broken glass. On this he commented that he liked "landscapes that suggest prehistory", and this is borne out by the original conceptual drawing of the work that includes an inset map of the continent sited off the coast of Africa and at the straits into the Mediterranean.
Plato also wrote the myth of Atlantis as an allegory of the archetypal thalassocracy or naval power.
Alliance Atlantis Communications Inc. (formerly traded as TSX:AAC) was a Canadian-American media company that operated primarily as a specialty service operator in Canada. Alliance Atlantis also had offices in Halifax, Los Angeles, London, Dublin, Madrid, Barcelona, Shannon, and Sydney.
Alliance Atlantis was acquired by Canwest Global Communications and an affiliate of Goldman Sachs in 2007. The movie business then operated independently as Alliance Films, headquartered in Montreal (subsequently sold to Entertainment One), and the international television distribution businesses is now owned by Echo Bridge Entertainment.
All of the former Alliance Atlantis specialty networks, except for the now-defunct BBC Kids, are now owned by Corus Entertainment. The films division was later acquired by Entertainment One group and folded into eOne on January 9, 2013.Aquaman
Aquaman is a fictional superhero appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. Created by Paul Norris and Mort Weisinger, the character debuted in More Fun Comics #73 (November 1941). Initially a backup feature in DC's anthology titles, Aquaman later starred in several volumes of a solo comic book series. During the late 1950s and 1960s superhero-revival period known as the Silver Age, he was a founding member of the Justice League. In the 1990s Modern Age, writers interpreted Aquaman's character more seriously, with storylines depicting the weight of his role as king of Atlantis.The character's original 1960s animated appearances left a lasting impression, making Aquaman widely recognized in popular culture and one of the world's most recognized superheroes. Jokes about his wholesome, weak portrayal in Super Friends and perceived feeble powers and abilities have been staples of comedy programs and stand-up routines, leading DC at several times to attempt to make the character edgier or more powerful in comic books. Modern comic book depictions have attempted to reconcile these various aspects of his public perception, casting Aquaman as serious and brooding, saddled with an ill reputation, and struggling to find a true role and purpose beyond his public side as a deposed king and a fallen hero.Aquaman has been featured in several adaptations, first appearing in animated form in the 1967 The Superman/Aquaman Hour of Adventure and then in the related Super Friends program. Since then he has appeared in various animated productions, including prominent roles in the 2000s series Justice League and Justice League Unlimited and Batman: The Brave and the Bold, as well as several DC Universe Animated Original Movies. Actor Alan Ritchson also portrayed the character in the live-action television show Smallville. In the DC Extended Universe, actor Jason Momoa portrayed the character in the films Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Justice League, and Aquaman.Atlantis (DC Comics)
Atlantis is a fictional aquatic civilization appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. The first version of Atlantis within the DC Universe debuted in Action Comics #18 (November 1939), and was conceived by Gardner F. Fox and Fred Guardineer.
Other incarnations of Atlantis appeared in various DC comics in the 1940s and 1950s, including the version in the Superman group of books in which the mermaid Lori Lemaris resides. Aquaman's version of the city, the most prominently featured version in the company's line, first appeared in Adventure Comics #260 (May 1959), and was created by Robert Bernstein and Ramona Fradon. All versions are based on the fictional island of Atlantis first mentioned in Plato's initial dialogue, the Timaeus, written c. 360 BC.Atlantis (wrestler)
Atlantis (born September 28, 1962) is a Mexican luchador enmascarado (masked professional wrestler), working for Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (CMLL) where he performs as a Técnico (face or "good guy" character). Atlantis was trained by Diablo Velasco, made his in-ring debut in 1983 and has always wrestled under the ring name Atlantis, named after the sunken city of Atlantis. Atlantis has held a large number of professional wrestling championships over the years, both in Mexico and in Japan, both individually and as a tag team. He has also won the mask of several prominent wrestlers through his career including Kung Fu, Villano III, Último Guerrero and La Sombra.
Atlantis earned the nickname El idolo de los Niños (The idol of the children) as he was always a favorite with the younger fans. He even retained the nickname when he worked as a Rudo (a wrestler who portrays the bad guy) for several years. Atlantis' real name is not a matter of public record, as is often the case with masked wrestlers in Mexico where their private lives are kept a secret from the wrestling fans. In the 1990s Atlantis starred in a couple of Lucha films, including one where he teamed up with Octagón called Octagón y Atlantis, la revancha ("Octagón and Atlantis, the revenge").Atlantis Chaos
Atlantis Chaos is a region of chaos terrain in the Phaethontis quadrangle of Mars. It is located around 34.7° south latitude, and 177.6° west longitude. It is encompassed by the Atlantis basin. The region is 162 kilometers (101 mi) across, and was named after an albedo feature at 30° S, 173° W.Not far to the northeast of the chaos terrain is the Magelhaens Crater, at a distance of half a diameter to the east is the Gorgonum Chaos, to the south is Simois Colles, southwest is Caralis Colles, further west is Ariadne Colles and further northwest is Ma'adim Vallis. Due north of the chaos terrain is the small crater named Kibuye. Not far to the western edge is the 180th meridian.Atlantis Paradise Island
Atlantis Paradise Island is an ocean-themed resort on Paradise Island in the Bahamas. It features a variety of accommodations built around Aquaventure, a 154-acre waterscape, which includes fresh and saltwater lagoons, pools, marine habitats, and water slides and river rides.Atlantis The Palm, Dubai
Atlantis The Palm, Dubai is a luxury hotel resort located at the apex of the Palm Jumeirah in the United Arab Emirates. It was the first resort to be built on the island and is themed on the myth of Atlantis but includes distinct Arabian elements. The resort opened on September 24, 2008 as a joint venture between Kerzner International Holdings Limited and Istithmar.Atlas (mythology)
In Greek mythology, Atlas (; Greek: Ἄτλας, Átlas) was a Titan condemned to hold up the celestial heavens for eternity after the Titanomachy. Atlas also plays a role in the myths of two of the greatest Greek heroes: Heracles (the Roman equivalent being Hercules) and Perseus. According to the ancient Greek poet Hesiod, Atlas stood at the ends of the earth in extreme west. Later, he became commonly identified with the Atlas Mountains in northwest Africa and was said to be "King of Mauretania". Atlas was said to have been skilled in philosophy, mathematics, and astronomy. In antiquity, he was credited with inventing the first celestial sphere. In some texts, he is even credited with the invention of astronomy itself.Atlas was the son of the Titan Iapetus and the Oceanid Asia or Clymene. He had many children, mostly daughters, the Hesperides, the Hyades, the Pleiades, and the nymph Calypso who lived on the island Ogygia.The term Atlas has been used to describe a collection of maps since the 16th century when Flemish geographer Gerardus Mercator published his work in honor of the mythological Titan. The "Atlantic Ocean" means "Sea of Atlas", while "Atlantis" means "island of Atlas", with some myths calling the deity a king of Atlantis.Harry Turtledove
Harry Norman Turtledove (born June 14, 1949) is an American novelist, best known for his work in the genres of alternate history, historical fiction, fantasy, and science fiction.List of Space Shuttle missions
The Space Shuttle was a partially reusable low Earth orbital spacecraft system operated by the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Its official program name was Space Transportation System (STS), taken from a 1969 plan for a system of reusable spacecraft of which it was the only item funded for development. Operational missions launched numerous satellites, conducted science experiments in orbit, and participated in construction and servicing of the International Space Station (ISS). The first of four orbital test flights occurred in 1981, leading to operational flights beginning in 1982.
From 1981 to 2011 a total of 135 missions were flown, all launched from Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida. During that time period the fleet logged 1,322 days, 19 hours, 21 minutes and 23 seconds of flight time. The longest orbital flight of the shuttle was STS-80 at 17 days 15 hours, while the shortest flight was STS-51-L at one minute 13 seconds when the Space Shuttle Challenger broke apart during launch. The shuttles docked with Russian space station Mir nine times and visited the ISS thirty-seven times. The highest altitude (apogee) achieved by the shuttle was 350 miles when servicing the Hubble Space Telescope. The program flew a total of 355 people representing 16 countries. The Kennedy Space Center served as the landing site for 78 missions, while 54 missions landed at Edwards Air Force Base in California and 1 mission landed at White Sands, New Mexico.The first orbiter, Enterprise, was built solely for atmospheric flight tests and had no orbital capability. Four fully operational orbiters were initially built: Columbia, Challenger, Discovery, and Atlantis. Challenger and Columbia were destroyed in mission accidents in 1986 and 2003 respectively, killing a total of fourteen astronauts. A fifth operational orbiter, Endeavour, was built in 1991 to replace Challenger. The Space Shuttle was retired from service upon the conclusion of STS-135 by Atlantis on 21 July 2011.Mera (comics)
Mera () is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. Created by Jack Miller and Nick Cardy, the character first appeared in Aquaman #11 (September 1963) as a queen of the sea.
Originally portrayed as a supporting character to her husband, the superhero Aquaman, modern writers have traditionally emphasised Mera's own superhuman physical strength and magical power to control water, portraying her as a powerful superhero in her own right. In recent years, Mera has even featured as a member of DC Comics' flagship superhero team, the Justice League. Mera's storylines have also portrayed mental breakdown faced with crippling loss and explored her attempts at coping with lasting anger and rage.
In the feature films of the DC Extended Universe, actress Amber Heard portrayed Mera in Justice League, and reprised the role in Aquaman.RV Atlantis
RV Atlantis is a sailboat that served as the first and also the main research vessel for the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution from 1931 to 1964. Several ships, including RV Atlantis (AGOR-25) and the Space Shuttle Atlantis (OV-104) were named after Atlantis. The former Atlantis is now commissioned as an oceanographic research vessel in the Argentine Naval Prefecture as the Dr. Bernardo A. Houssay. Having sailed over 1,300,000 miles to date, she is the oldest serving oceanographic research vessel in the world.Space Shuttle Atlantis
Space Shuttle Atlantis (Orbiter Vehicle Designation: OV‑104) is a Space Shuttle orbiter vehicle belonging to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the spaceflight and space exploration agency of the United States. Constructed by the Rockwell International company in Southern California and delivered to the Kennedy Space Center in Eastern Florida in April 1985, Atlantis is the fourth operational and the second-to-last Space Shuttle built. Its maiden flight was STS-51-J from 3 to 7 October 1985.
Atlantis embarked on its 33rd and final mission, also the final mission of a space shuttle, STS-135, on 8 July 2011. STS-134 by Endeavour was expected to be the final flight before STS-135 was authorized in October 2010. STS-135 took advantage of the processing for the STS-335 Launch On Need mission that would have been necessary if STS-134's crew became stranded in orbit.Atlantis landed for the final time at the Kennedy Space Center on 21 July 2011.
By the end of its final mission, Atlantis had orbited the Earth a total of 4,848 times, traveling nearly 126,000,000 mi (203,000,000 km) or more than 525 times the distance from the Earth to the Moon.
Atlantis is named after RV Atlantis, a two-masted sailing ship that operated as the primary research vessel for the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution from 1930 to 1966.Stargate
Stargate is a science fiction media franchise based on the film written by Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich. The franchise is based on the idea of an alien Einstein–Rosen bridge device (the Stargate) that enables nearly instantaneous travel across the cosmos. The franchise began with the film Stargate, released on October 28, 1994, by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Carolco, which grossed US$197 million worldwide. In 1997, Brad Wright and Jonathan Glassner created a television series titled Stargate SG-1 as a sequel to the film. This show was joined by Stargate Atlantis in 2004, Stargate Universe in 2009, and a prequel web series, Stargate Origins, in 2018. Also consistent with the same story are a variety of books, video games and comic books, as well as the direct-to-DVD movies Stargate: The Ark of Truth, Stargate: Continuum and Stargate: Children of the Gods, which concluded the first television show after 10 seasons.
In 2011, Stargate Universe, the last Stargate program on television, ended its run. Brad Wright announced that there were no more plans to continue the same story in further productions. In 2016, comic publisher American Mythology acquired the rights to publish new Stargate Atlantis stories set within the established franchise canon. This was expanded in 2017 to include new Stargate Universe comics as well, resolving the cliffhanger that ended the show. The predominant story arc thus ran on television for 15 years, including 17 seasons (354 episodes) of programming, and 8 comic book issues as of July 2017. However, a variety of other media either ignore this main continuity or resets it, while maintaining essential elements that define the franchise (mainly, the inclusion of a Stargate device). These include the 2002 animated series Stargate Infinity.
In 2017, the franchise was revived with the announcement of a new prequel web series, Stargate Origins. Episodes premiered on a central "fan hub" for the franchise called Stargate Command, with a first season of ten 10-minute episodes.Stargate Atlantis
Stargate Atlantis (often abbreviated SGA) is a Canadian-American adventure and military science fiction television series and part of MGM's Stargate franchise. The show was created by Brad Wright and Robert C. Cooper as a spin-off series of Stargate SG-1, which was created by Wright and Jonathan Glassner and was itself based on the feature film Stargate (1994). All five seasons of Stargate Atlantis were broadcast by the Sci-Fi Channel in the United States and The Movie Network in Canada. The show premiered on July 16, 2004; its final episode aired on January 9, 2009. The series was filmed in and around Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
The story of Stargate Atlantis follows the events of Stargate SG-1's seventh season finale episode "Lost City" and eighth season premiere episode "New Order", in which the cast of that series discovered an Antarctic outpost created by the alien race known as the Ancients. In the pilot episode "Rising", Stargate Command sends an international team to investigate the outpost, where Dr. Daniel Jackson discovers the location of Atlantis, the legendary city created by the Ancients, and Colonel Jack O'Neill visits the outpost after having been put in stasis and retrieved from it.
The series was a ratings success for the Sci Fi Channel, and was particularly popular in Europe and Australia. Although it received little critical response, Stargate Atlantis was honored with numerous awards and award nominations in its five-season run. After Stargate Atlantis was cancelled, the show's co-creators began working on the already-conceptualized Stargate Universe which the network had approved to have a bigger budget, be less mythology-dependent, and have more focus on character development; Stargate Universe premiered on October 2, 2009, and was cancelled after two seasons. Merchandise for Stargate Atlantis includes games and toys, print media, and an original audio series. With the cancellation of Stargate Universe, the intended direct-to-DVD Stargate Atlantis movie, entitled Stargate: Extinction, was also cancelled.Stargate Atlantis (season 1)
The first season of the television series Stargate Atlantis commenced airing on the Sci Fi Channel in the United States on July 16, 2004, concluded on The Movie Network in Canada on January 31, 2005, and contained 20 episodes. The show was a spin off of sister show, Stargate SG-1. Stargate Atlantis re-introduced supporting characters from the SG-1 universe, such as Elizabeth Weir and Rodney McKay among others. The show also included new characters such as Teyla Emmagan and John Sheppard. The first season is about a military-science expedition team discovering Atlantis and exploring the Pegasus Galaxy. However, there is no way to return home, and they inadvertently wake a hostile alien race known as the Wraith, whose primary goal is to gather a fleet to invade Atlantis and find their new "feeding ground", Earth.
The two-hour premiere "Rising", which aired on July 16, 2004, received Sci Fi Channel's highest-ever rating for a series premiere and episode ever released, it is also the most watched broadcast release ever released by the Sci Fi Channel in the United States. The average viewing rate for the first ten episodes were around 3-4 million in the United States. The series was developed by Brad Wright and Robert C. Cooper, who also served as executive producers. Season one regular cast members included Joe Flanigan, Torri Higginson, Rainbow Sun Francks, Rachel Luttrell, and David Hewlett.Wraith (Stargate)
In the science fiction television series Stargate Atlantis, the Wraith are the original enemy alien species, first introduced in the pilot episode "Rising". In the series, they are a vampire-like telepathic race who feed on the "life-force" of humans, and are the dominant power in the Pegasus galaxy. The first season of Atlantis is focused on the main characters finding a way to survive an overwhelming attack by the Wraith. Although in the later seasons new enemies have taken some of the attention away from the Wraith, they remain a potent and ever-present threat to the Atlantis Expedition.
All of the named Wraith who have appeared on Stargate Atlantis are named by humans, as it is unknown whether wraith even have names. John Sheppard often gives captured Wraith amusing/generic Earth names. The majority of non-warrior male and female Wraith were played by the same actors, James Lafazanos and Andee Frizzell respectively. James Lafazanos left the show after season 2. Other male Wraith have been played by Christopher Heyerdahl (season 3 onwards), Jeffrey C. Robinson (season 2), Dan Payne (season 3), James Bamford (season 3), Brendan Penny (season 4), Tyler McClendon (season 5) and Neil Jackson (season 5).