Plato: Listen, then, to a tale which is though strange, but wholly true, for these histories tell of a mighty power, Atlantis.
Atlantis is an 7)allegory, a morality tale. Plato wrote it as a warning to his fellow Athenians that wealth and power lead to destruction if they are not grounded in virtue. But Plato's description of Atlantis is so rich in specific detail that I think he picked up on stories he'd heard, and transmitted a fantastical version of something that once existed.
Angie Hobbs: …But he is in the streets, he's chatting away, he's picking up ideas, he's…
Bettany Hughes: Angie Hobbs is an expert on Plato. In return for a historical tour of his world, I want to find out what she thinks about the roots of the story.
Angie Hobbs: …That's what I love about Plato, the idea that he's out here, he's in the city, he's using all the tricks he can, in a way, to try to encourage people to listen to his philosophy and to be moved by it and to learn from it. Yes, and, of course, we've got an age without media to promote your message for you. You have to do everything yourself. But he never loses sight of his 8)Socratic inheritance of wanting to get out there and really make individuals', people's lives better. To save their lives, save their souls, as he puts it.
Bettany Hughes: It could be, then, that this is just a moral fable, that the Atlantis story is just one grand political allegory?