The History of Atlantis
The romantic legend of the rise and fall of Atlantis has enchanted imaginations since Plato first told of a glorious island in the Atlantic that sank beneath the waves. Speculation has abounded ever since: Was there really a great ancient civilization on a vast continent, now many thousands of fathoms under the sea? Or is Atlantis rooted in the Great Flood stories found in cultures around the world?
Scientists formerly dismissed the possibility of Atlantis’ existence but were obliged to reconsider, partly because of the author of this book. Lewis Spence (1874–1955) wrote five books about Atlantis, and this one is considered his best. A distinguished scholar, Spence sifted through a tremendous body of fact and guesswork in fields ranging from mythology and comparative religion to geography, geology, and archeology. He brings a fresh and imaginative vision to the old stories, separating fact from fancy in regard to Atlantis’ history, geography, animal life, government, and religion. This work stands as the most authoritative study ever published on Atlantis, and Spence represents the perfect guide to this strange and enthralling mystery of the ancient world.
C O N T E N T S
2. The Sources of Atlantean History: Plato
3. The Sources of Atlantean History: 4th Century BC Onwards
4. Atlantean Historical Sources Examined
5. The Geography of Atlantis
6. The Races of Atlantis
7. The Stone Age in Atlantis
8. The Kings of Atlantis
9. Atlantis in Britain
10. The Traditions of Atlantis
11. Life in Atlantis
12. The Atlantean State and Polity
13. The Religion of Atlantis
14. Animal Life in Atlantis
15. The Colonies of Atlantis
16. The Atlantean Culture-Complex
About the Author
James Lewis Thomas Chalmers Spence (1874–1955) was a Scottish journalist, poet, author, folklorist, and occult scholar. He was a Fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, and Vice-President of the Scottish Anthropological and Folklore Society. He was also founder of the Scottish National Movement. Spence’s researches into the mythology and culture of the New World, together with his examination of the cultures of western Europe and northwest Africa, led him to the question of Atlantis. During the 1920s he published a series of books which sought to rescue the topic from the occultists who had more or less brought it into disrepute. Spence died in Edinburgh in 1955 at the age of eighty.