001: Atlantis and the Silver City by Peter Daughtrey
001.94: Daughtrey, Peter. Atlantis and the Silver City. New York: Pegasus, 2013. 217 pp. ISBN 978-1-4532-7170-4.
- 000: Computer science, information, and general works
- 001: Knowledge
- 001.9: Controversial knowledge
- 001.94: Mysteries (including Atlantis)
Just under 2,400 years ago, a Greek man named Plato sat down and wrote a tale about a mythical place from a mythical time. It was an island in the vast, unexplored ocean that housed a civilization better than anything ever seen before. The island nation was overseen by a descendant of the god Poseidon and his nine siblings. Every passageway into the mainland was decorated with marble, brass, tin, and orichcalcum, an exotic metal. They oversaw a vast empire, and all that came to an abrupt end in 9600 BCE when a “single day and night of misfortune” wiped the island off the Earth. This island was called Atlantis and Peter Daughtrey’s Atlantis and the Silver City tries to settle the debate of its truth and origin.
Daughtrey investigates the clues given in Plato’s Timaeus and Critias dialogues to pinpoint the extent and location of the Atlantean empire. His thesis is that the empire of Atlantis was once connected to the Portuguese nation, with major earthquakes, fault lines, and geological evidence pointing to Atlantis being just off the coast of the Iberian peninsula. He combs Plato’s “facts” to provide support for the region being the birthplace of the ancient lost island. His theory is that the empire once stretched across the Atlantic and encompassed parts of the five major Atlantic continents. Daughtrey also claims that the Bahamas and their geology provide further proof of the empire’s existence. While it is true that the Great Lisbon Earthquake of 1755 speaks to the incredible potential of the area being able to swallow an island, only scant evidence exists of an entire civilization under the ocean.
This book requires without a doubt a suspension of one’s disbelief. Daughtrey’s writing is clear and fun in places and I wish him well in his research. Major discoveries are often the ones found those at the fringe of the believable. A major assumption here, however, is the veracity of Atlantis’s existence. The first account of the empire is in Plato’s writings, almost ten millennia after the supposed fall of the land. That’s a massive length of time to go without anyone mentioning it. All accounts after Plato are usually traced back to him. Now, I played along for the length of the book, but in the end, I could not dispel the ten millennia issue. And besides, some of his theories about the ancient and deep knowledge of the Atlanteans (advanced metallurgy and writing systems) are just too thin to believe. A fun but unconvincing book.