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The Myth of Atlantis (Greek and Latin in Translation)

Wed., 6pm (U.S. Eastern Time)

Course Description: Atlantis was not part of traditional Greek mythology, being first mentioned by the philosopher Plato in his Timaeus and then developed in his Critias. Despite the late entry of Atlantis into the cultural record of Greek civilization, and the minimal impact it had on ancient thinkers, the modern world has largely embraced Atlantis not as the allegory that Plato probably intended but as a real place, and popular culture has elaborated Plato’s account with fanciful speculations. This course will trace key moments in the evolution of Atlantis from Plato to modern mythology, along with recent attempts to locate the fabled sunken land.


Level: This course is open to students at all levels. No prior knowledge of mythology nor any knowledge of Latin or Greek is required.

Textbook: Plato, Timaeus and Critias, translated by Desmond Lee (Penguin Books, 1977). Jason Colavito, Faking History: Essays on Aliens, Atlantis, Monsters, and More (Albany, Books, 2013).

Sections capped at: 5 students. If the course is sold-out, please fill out this waiting-list form.

Regular price $250.00

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Robert Ziomkowski

Robert Ziomkowski has degrees in History from Siena College (B.A., 1991), Cornell University (M.A., 1994; Ph.D., 2000), and the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies (L.M.S., 2002). His research focuses on medieval Platonism and cosmology. His publications include a translation and study of a text by the eleventh-century thinker Manegold of Lautenbach, as well as a study guide for Western Civilization and articles in the New Dictionary of the History of Ideas and PLOS ONE (“Mathematical Philology”). He attended Fr. Reginald Foster’s summer Latin course in 1994 while doing manuscript research in the Vatican Library, and his fascination with human languages has merged with an interest in computer languages (JavaScript, Python) for the creation of computerized Latin exercises. His other interests include animation and video editing; with his students at Ithaca College, he produced a short film in Latin on Homer’s Odyssey entitled Ulixes.