chapter  3
13 Pages

Atlantis

This chapter focuses on Friedrich Schlegel's criticism of the Atlantis myth as a background for his i.e. of an urban Golden Age in Athens. The purpose of the Atlantis myth was to insert Plato's ideal polis, presented in The Republic, into history. The chapter demonstrates how Schlegel associated this myth with the agency of nature: the maritime empire of Atlantis was destroyed by a great flood because of its technological hubris, which resulted from its over-ambitious architecture. It shows that Schlegel was critical of the historical accuracy of this myth. Schlegel was very sceptical about the historical reality of Atlantis. He discusses it especially in his lectures on universal history. The myth of Atlantis is introduced in the transition from what Schlegel calls the physical and geographical history of humankind to the history of humankind proper.