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Critias by Plato
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alone in the struggle, in which she conquered and became the liberator of
Greece, is also an allusion to the later history. Hence we may safely
conclude that the entire narrative is due to the imagination of Plato, who
has used the name of Solon and introduced the Egyptian priests to give
verisimilitude to his story. To the Greek such a tale, like that of the
earth-born men, would have seemed perfectly accordant with the character of
his mythology, and not more marvellous than the wonders of the East
narrated by Herodotus and others: he might have been deceived into
believing it. But it appears strange that later ages should have been
imposed upon by the fiction. As many attempts have been made to find the
great island of Atlantis, as to discover the country of the lost tribes.
Without regard to the description of Plato, and without a suspicion that
the whole narrative is a fabrication, interpreters have looked for the spot
in every part of the globe, America, Arabia Felix, Ceylon, Palestine,
Sardinia, Sweden.

Timaeus concludes with a prayer that his words may be acceptable to the God
whom he has revealed, and Critias, whose turn follows, begs that a larger
measure of indulgence may be conceded to him, because he has to speak of
men whom we know and not of gods whom we do not know. Socrates readily
grants his request, and anticipating that Hermocrates will make a similar
petition, extends by anticipation a like indulgence to him.

Critias returns to his story, professing only to repeat what Solon was told
by the priests. The war of which he was about to speak had occurred 9000
years ago. One of the combatants was the city of Athens, the other was the
great island of Atlantis. Critias proposes to speak of these rival powers
first of all, giving to Athens the precedence; the various tribes of Greeks
and barbarians who took part in the war will be dealt with as they
successively appear on the scene.
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