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Plato  (PLAY-toh)

Greek philosopher who lived from about 429-347 B.C.E. It was Plato who passed on to posterity the legend of Atlantis, an island-continent with an advanced civilization that sunk beneath the sea. The philosopher maintained that Atlantis was a real place, not a myth. He had heard of it from certain wise men of Egypt, whose civilization spanned the era when Atlantis was said to have flourished, whereas earlier civilizations in Greece had been wiped out by natural catastrophes - or so the Egyptians said. Atlantis derives its name from the mythological Titan Atlas, who supports the heavens by means of a pillar on his back somewhere on the far western edge of the world. This is where Atlantis was located according to Plato. The Titan Atlas. (zoom)