June 5, 8498 BCE Today is a traditional date of the natural calamity that destroyed the supposed ancient civilization of Atlantis.
One wonders what is the origin of the human love of the unlikely, the irrational, the bizarre and the preposterous, but no amount of wondering will solve the puzzle. The chance that an advanced civilization lies beneath the ocean, undetected by 21st-century oceanography, satellite imaging, geology and any number of modern scientific aids, is slim indeed, but here we have a persistent legend that is probably believed by more people today than in the Middle Ages. I confess to having my own imp of fascination for many things to which I give no credence whatsoever. A hobgoblin, a tale from the crypt, or a UFO or two can brighten the dreariest evening.
Atlantis, or so it is said, was a huge island lying beyond the Pillars of Hercules (now known as the Straits of Gibraltar) and its culture had dominated the Mediterranean nine thousand years before Solon, the lawmaker of Athens. From its ideal condition as an advanced culture it deteriorated into a military aggressor, so the gods resolved to punish the civilisation ... [More at the Book of Days]
Ignatius Donnelly: Congress to Atlantis via Australia
As an interesting sidelight, one of the most prominent 19th-century Atlantist authors (he made his fortune with Atlantis: the Antediluvian World) was Ignatius Donnelly (born Philadelphia, November 3, 1831), an idiosyncratic and somewhat quixotic American Congressman whose writings, particularly the utopian sci-fi novel, Cæsar's Column: A Story of the Twentieth Century, profoundly influenced the working class in pre-federation (1901) Australia. Perhaps ironically, he died in Minneapolis on January 1, 1901 (precisely 100 years before this Almanac was founded) on the first day of the century, the very day that Australia's federation took effect.
Donnelly is perhaps better known for his The Great Cryptogram: Francis Bacon's Cipher in Shakespeare's Plays about an alleged code in Shakespeare's work that reveals that Francis Bacon wrote much of Shakespeare's work ...
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