THE DISCOVERY OF ATLANTIS AND THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL REMAINS.
The existence of Atlantis and indeed of all the peoples and civilisations which flourished for centuries so long ago on the Great Continent was completely unknown to modern Western man until the most recent times. This is because of the massive geological convulsions which shattered this whole continent some 15000 years ago, (after the year 900 in Atlantean chronology) and buried it beneath the present Sahara desert in Africa. All living creatures, as well as every artifact of the period thus perished and vanished as if they had never been, and our whole world itself was tipped over so that an area well north of the Equator thus ended up buried under a region now very close to it. Myths of a great civilisation called Atlantis did survive and were written about by the Ancient Greeks, and again from time to time up until the twentieth century. But no real facts survived, other than that it perished in a gigantic geological catastrophe. Even its location was unknown: it was generally believed to have sunk beneath the waves of the Atlantic Ocean.
Now it has been rediscovered under the African sands, and all the time more and more evidence of the mighty history of Atlantis is being brought to light. Archaeologically speaking, the only part of the Great Continent that can actually be unearthed is the north-western corner, including the areas of Atlantis and Helvris, most of Yc´el Atlantis and a small part of the Marossan coast. To this can be added the north of the Province of Thainen Thissaindix and the N.W. corner of Manralia. All the rest of the old Continent lies either beneath the Ahaggar or Atlas Mountains in North Africa, or is otherwise completely irrecoverable. One exception from this Ancient World is the so-called South Island ("Trayanaxo"), which should lie some 250 miles north of Timbuktu in Mali, and there appears to be some recent evidence that a part of this may now have been found.
ARCHITECTURAL AND OTHER NON-LITERARY FINDS
Within these limitations, considerable architectural remains have by now been found beneath the sands, including the sites of the cities of Atlantis and Helvris and other cities in the area. Because of earthquakes and geological convulsions all buildings were toppled and damaged, and what remains are only the foundations and bases of buildings, rather like Pompeii. Evidence for the upper parts of these buildings must be garnered from literary sources and plans, which were often inscribed in clay or stone inside the entrances.
A drawing of an aerial view of the excavations of Helvris,
We are fortunate also that a few photographs have survived from the later period of Atlantean history, and these can provide us with pictures of complete buildings, normally in black and white. Examples of buildings and landscapes within this history are occasionally completely original but in other cases careful reproductions worked out from literary sources.
Evidence of everyday articles has also been found in considerable numbers - household goods, furniture, remains of food, machines from the eighth or ninth centuries (note that all dates relating to Atlantean times will be given according to Atlantean chronology). Some fabrics have survived and many works of art, mostly damaged, such as pottery, sculpture and paintings.
On the negative side, no finds have been made of human or animal bodies (though some preserved mummies exist), landscapes and gardens, and obviously the whole area east of Atlantis and Manralia is closed to us. Part of the former seas west of Atlantis, and also the "Helveng´o" sea lie within our recoverable area, and this has allowed us to discover the remains of ports, parts of ships, and the cargoes of some vessels sunk at sea.
We are here considering evidence of every aspect of Atlantean and other civilisations of the period discovered from writings, engravings, paintings, music and so on. Most of our literary knowledge comes from just four main discoveries of documents and remnants of libraries. But other important evidence can be adduced from chance finds of letters, coins and inscriptions.
A few scattered coins have been found, most of which seem to have been buried in about 18 "caches", hidden in the ground by their owners at different times.
Only a few of these have been found, on tablets or in buildings, all of relatively minor interest. Funerary inscriptions are potentially more important, but again few have been unearthed hitherto.
3. Letters, bills and documents.
These have been found in scattered areas, surviving in sand or in decay-proof caves or holes. They are of great interest in giving us a picture of everyday life, though mostly only from the ninth century (Atlantean).
4. Books and manuscripts.
Though there are so far only four sites where these have been found, their importance cannot be overrated, and it is little exaggeration to say that our whole reconstruction of Atlantean history and art is based on the information provided by these finds. Recently, a few other finds have been made, which have been of exceptional importance with regard to the end of the Atlantean Empire.
The sites are as follows : firstly, a mass of documents deliberately buried in the 880s. These are close to the city of Atlantis, and a note in them states that the owner wished to preserve some literary treasures of Atlantis before all was destroyed by the ravages of the "barbarians" in the Final Wars of the 870 and 880s. Luckily for us most of them also survived the subsequent geological upheavals. The books include copies of many famous pieces of literature, as well as reproductions of paintings, and some general histories of Atlantis. For the purposes of discussing the books found in this site in the section Sources of Atlantean history, I shall use the abbreviation "A" for these documents.
A second cache consists in the remains of an old Atlantean library in the Province of Thoinen Thissaindix, taken over from Atlantis by the Southern Empire ("Rabarr´eh") around 800. This is overlaid with many Southern Empire documents and literary works, as well, which are still being translated. I abbreviate this library as "TT".
Thirdly, the remains of an old Manralian religious library has survived from western Manralia, evidently no longer used after about 740. It contains many Manralian and Helvran works of religion, philosophy and politics, as well as some Atlantean ones. This site will be abbreviated as "M".
Finally a part of the Great Library of Atlantis, badly damaged when Atlantis city was stormed in 888, has also come to light. The library was partly arranged chronologically according to the date of writing, and the surviving section is one that contains works from before 585. This part was below ground, and may well have been additionally protected in the 880s. It has provided us with valuable material on early Atlantean history. The abbreviation here is "GL".
Very recently, additional finds in the area of former Yciel Atlantis, or possibly Phonaria, have revealed notes apparently hidden by Atlantean refugees around 890, after the fall of Atlantis. Even more spectacular discoveries are now being made in the second site mentioned above, the library in Thoinen Thissaindix. These are hasty notes in Rabarran describing the fall of Atlantis from the Rabarran point of view, and then some separate, even briefer scribbles, perhaps written about 892, which relate to subsequent events within the former Atlantean Empire - fighting between Rabarran and Ughan troops, and the geological upheavals, which between them were evidently leading to the collapse of all order and civilisation.
Generally there has survived a considerable proportion of the acknowledged Atlantean literary classics, some miscellaneous music, a few technical works, and some Manralian, Helvran and S. Empire works. There are very few works in Chalcran or any other language except for Elioss´en. The history of the Atlantean Empire itself, over the centuries of its existence, can be filled in reasonable detail from all these sources, but some periods have much more written about them than do others. I give much more detail about these sources in the next section.
The history which I have written below is completely dependent on these incomplete sources (although more material is coming to light all the time), and for this reason some sections will be found to contain much more detail than others. Maps, too, as provided, are conjectural in many respects, especially for the more eastern and northern areas. Nevertheless, I feel that, despite its limitations, this history, the first of its kind ever written, will open the eyes of the present generation to the magnificent and tragic story of a civilisation whose very existence so nearly passed from the memory of mankind.
For more detail about the actual books discovered in the buried libraries and elsewhere, click on Sources of Atlantean history. This lists most of the Atlantean books themselves under various headings: general history, military history, literature, linguistics, philosophy and religion.
Prologue : the Peoples of the Great Continent before 200
THE EARLIEST EMPIRES
As far back into the mists of time as we are able to penetrate, there seem always to have been empires dominating large tracts of the Great Continent. As we delve back into the pre-Atlantean centuries, our information on the movements and residents of the peoples of the Continent becomes increasingly fitful. Our sources for these periods number three : archaeological survivals, written remains in the languages of these peoples, and historical reminiscences of later times, above all of the Atlanteans.
Using Atlantean chronology, which dates the theoretical beginnings of an Atlantean state to the year 0, we can venture back certainly as far as -1400 with some security. About that time, and in fact also for some centuries earlier, a vast tract of the continent was dominated by the Marossan Empire. This extended at its greatest extent from almost the eastern edge of the later Atlantean Empire north to include the subsequent Keltish areas, west into later Yc´el Atlantis and Phonaria, and south to the Helveng´o. However the western part of Atlantis itself, from the R.Rollepp to the west of the Lillerunix, plus the Numidis area of Helvr´eh seems never to have been conquered by the Marossans. In Atlantean times there were still quite a number of impressive remains built by this people, especially in the NW. parts of the Continent, such as Marossan itself, and Phonaria. Quite a bit was also reconstructed of its language by the Atlanteans, mostly from inscriptions, names of places, and the study of Keltish, which was evidently a development of one particular dialect of Marossan. Thus we find in Atlantean times the mountain named Toill Caidhu in N.E. Marossan, where Toill is the Marossan word for Mountain , and Caidhu the Marossan for Old. The Keltish for these two words is Dol and Cadd, so the similarity is clear.
Some time just after -1400 the Marossan Empire disappeared, at least in part. Three new, smaller empires appear on the scene, all around the period -1400- -1300. These were the Dravedean Empire, which took over the later area of Chalcr´eh, and further S.E. across the R. Gestes; the North Numedean Empire, which occupied the whole of later Helvr´eh, Atlantid´eh and the area of the Jutes; and finally the South Numedean Empire, which took over most of the area later ruled by Atlantis to the south of the Helveng´o as far east as the R.Vulcan. This latter area was not in fact ever under the control of the Marossan Empire. The Dravideans, as well as the North and South Numedeans were evidently related, and the latter two languages were merely dialects of each other. Both later Jutish and Manralian were descendants respectively of North and South Numedean. As with Marossan, there remained into Atlantean times relics of these two empires, albeit less impressive than the Marossan ones - ruins, earthworks, and other archaeological features could be found in Numidis in the north, and Numedeas and other areas of the south. The original N.Numedean peoples later fled to Numidis and the N.W. parts of Atlantis when the Juralic invasions took place, while S. Numedean peoples became intermingled in the south with folk of Southern stock, and later on with Atlantean settlers. Many examples of the speech of the Numedeans can be found in place-names, for example Daigorunix in Numidis, where Daigor represents N.Numedean Doigos, old; and Numaipson, east of Numedeas in the south, where the first element is of course Numedean, and Ipson is Opson, the Numedean for Hill.
Ruins of a Numedean building
The Dravedean peoples, whose empire bordered both the North and the South Numedeans, appear to have been somewhat distantly related to the Numedeans. This is most clear from their language, -of which we have the usual old fragmentary remains, but also slightly more continuous extracts preserved by the Atlanteans, as the Dravedean people itself survived fairly intact for centuries after 0, although its language died out soon after 500. An example would be the name of the wood Taucafembe where the element Tauca, meaning Old, is related to Daigos, Old in N.Numedean (see above).
The final collapse of the old Marossan Empire must have come after ľ1200. The Kelts had already been living in the mountainous areas of the north for a long time, occupying that northern area between the Cresskor and the Nundor mountains, where they were to remain ever after. They themselves always denied they were originally Marossans, but their religion and culture was obviously closely related to the Marossansĺ, and their language, as we know it in later times, is descended from Marossan. They were probably divided into two groups, the Northern and the Western, right from the beginning.
Around -900 the Liossan peoples appeared on the scene, descending to the west of the area occupied by the Kelts most probably from the NW. They were in three interrelated groups in later years, and the beginnings of this division probably go back to this time. The Elioss´ens settled north and south of the R.Ereipha, the Phonerians in later Yc´el Atlantis and the islands thereabouts, while the L´o-Marossans moved south of the R. Ruphaio as far as the R. Noilofa. All three peoples became great traders and sailors, especially the Phonerians, and the latter in due course made settlements on the large island of Phonaria. The fact that these peoples were originally one is clearly to be seen in their languages, which are obviously related, and go back to an earlier Old Liossan. The word for Hill for example is Leyassa in Elioss´en, Lias(s)o in L´o-Marossan, and laso in Phonerian (cf. the town named Atalaso ). The Liossans remained in their original areas into Atlantean times, and different groupings of people gained hegemony over the others at various times. After about 150, there developed a Marossan empire, in which the L´o-Marossans took over Elioss´e and the mainland Phonerians, and it was with this empire that Atlantis first came into conflict in the First Phonerian War.
THE ARRIVAL OF THE JURALIC PEOPLES
The earliest history of the Juralic people is shrouded in mist and legend, and it is extremely difficult to distinguish genuine historical truth from the legends with which Atlantis in particular was wont to drape over her pre-Imperial days. Atlantean stories tended to give the early Atlantean peoples a disproportionately important and indeed aggressive role in relation to other nations with which they came in contact. Moreover these myths, which formed the basis of the Atlantean Imperial religion, claimed that Atlantis established an heroic empire over vague areas of the Great Continent after she and the other Juralic peoples had overcome the Dravedean and Numedean empires. This too is a gross exaggeration, indeed travesty of the facts.
In reality virtually nothing is known of the Juralic people at all before about -400, when they suddenly burst on the scene across the Gestix Mountains, and attack the Dravedean and S. Numedean empires. It is clear from anthropological and linguistic research that the Juralic people were originally one group, which split into different linguistic and obviously geographic sub-groups after about -900. It is agreed that at about that stage the Juralic language began a process of change whereby it split into three main groups: Atlanchalcric, Old Helvran and Old Yalland. These languages correspond to the later Atlantean and Chalcran people (still linked together at this stage), the Helvrans and the Yallands. The languages continued to develop and change over the following centuries, becoming more and more separate, as each underwent different phonological changes. Most notably, Atlanchalcric split into Early Atlantean and Early Chalcran around -500. Throughout this period, until the migrations after -400, we know next to nothing concrete about the Juralics, and of their languages, we possess only a few stone-carved inscriptions, and some debatable evidence from place-names east of the Gestix Mountains. After the great invasions, we do also possess a few fragmentary grammars and word-lists written down by the Numedeans at the time and preserved in part by later Atlantean and Chalcran linguists. In addition historical linguistical techniques have been able to reconstruct early forms of the Juralic languages from their later versions.
The cause of the sudden irruption of the Juralics west from the Gestix Mountains after -400 seems to have been pressure from the east by nomadic tribes. This was a pattern, at any rate, which would repeat itself in later years. It is also generally agreed, and vociferously championed by the Helvrans themselves in ancient times, that the Helvran people, who may have been placed to the east of the Chalcrans and the Yallands, themselves then pushed west and in turn forced the other Juralic peoples to move. Certainly, also, to judge by the quantity of Old Helvran roots in the Atlantean, and to a lesser extent, Chalcran vocabuary, all of which date from the period prior to about ľ350, the Helvrans did indeed have a considerable sway over both these peoples at this time.
The Atlanteans always claimed they began the attacks on the Dravedean empire to the west, but in truth it seems to have been the Chalcrans who crossed the River Gestes in its middle course, with the Helvrans to their left in the Borepande region. At the same time, the Yallands moved south-west over the River Vulcan and struck the South Numedeans. As for the Atlanteans, they were probably involved in a minimum of fighting, and moved in great measure round the northern edge of the Dravedean empire through the Chalcran Forests.
It happened that at this time the Dravedean and South Numedean empires were themselves at war and fighting across the River Vulcan. This must be one reason why the attacks of the Juralics seem to have been so quickly successful. The Dravedean empire collapsed within a very short time, perhaps eight to ten years, and the Chalcrans and Helvrans swarmed over its territory. The Chalcrans proceeded to settle to the north and west of the Crolden Mountains, there coming into conflict with the North Numedean empire . The Helvrans moved south-westward and ultimately also collided with the Numedeans on the River Cresslepp. The Helvrans, and also the Atlanteans who were passing right round the north of Lake Chalcris, were evidently unwilling to settle to the east, and so began to attack the North Numedeans, along with the Chalcrans in the centre. This campaign probably took a long time, as the North Numedean empire was in good shape, but in the end numbers must have told, and the Numedeans were either conquered or pushed further and further westwards, eventually ending up in the extreme south-west and north-west of Atlantis (note the name of the area Numidis in the south-west.) The Chalcrans now took over the eastern part of the defeated empire, the Helvrans occupied the area south of the Meilox Mountains, while the Atlanteans again sidled round the northern flank . They then settled in two main areas, each fairly distinct from each other: the area west of the River Bore, where the core of the kingdom of Atlantis would later emerge, and the region on either side of the River Rollepp, later to become the core of the Atlantid city-states.
Meanwhile to the south of the Helveng´o, the Yallands were fighting and migrating altogether separately from the other peoples. Having taken over the eastern part of the South Numedean empire, some settled here and would later develop the Yalland City-states. Others continued to move west and south-west, the latter moving into desert areas which were never under the control of the Numedeans, but which were occupied by tribes and groups of Southern peoples. These Yallands moved down the valleys of the rivers Itheerdi and Gosal and some reached the mouth of the river Gosal, where they settled by the later city of Siphiya, on the coast. The other migrants moved over many decades all through the Numedean empire, settling along the south coast of the Helveng´o and throughout the northern part of the area later to be the Coastal City-states. Unlike their northern neighbours, the Yallands seem to have been less aggressive towards their Numedean victims, and a pattern emerged of settlements and towns of both nationalities growing up side by side. The original indigenous Southern peoples were also able to live alongside their new neighbours. In later years, it is true, there would be tension and conflict between all three communities, not to mention later Helvran and Atlantean colonisers, but it is remarkable how different the situation was north of the Helveng´o, where the Dravedeans were reduced to a peasantry, completely intermingled with their former subjects.
The situation of the North Numedeans must have been even worse, as all trace of them in the central parts of their former empire has disappeared by around 200-300, and they linger on virtually unrecognised only in the coastal north- and south-western parts of Atlantis. Their greatest influence on their successors was simply to leave traces of their language in place-names here and there. There was one important exception to the general assimilation or massacre of the North Numedeans, and this was the Jutish people. In their remote and mountainous peninsula they were never overrun by any of the Juralic peoples, and thus they preserved their way of life and their language, which was a dialect of N.Numedean, for centuries to come.
THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE JURALIC PEOPLES
By about -300, all the Juralic people were in roughly the areas they would be occupying centuries hence in historical times. They continued to drift apart culturally and linguistically, although trade began to develop in due course between themselves and with other peoples. Linguists denote the forms of their speech after -200 (or -250 for the Yallands) with different titles to the languages as they were spoken prior to this time. Very significant sound-changes occurred to these languages just before and during the invasions, and the forms of them after -200 are quite different to their earlier manifestations. The Yalland, Helvran and Chalcran languages now develop the characteristics they will have right up to their confrontations with the Atlanteans after 250, which in the cases of Chalcran and ultimately Helvran would lead to their extinction. Atlantean itself changed again quite radically after about 300, when it is officially dubbed Imperial Atlantean.
As for the history of these peoples between -300 and the foundation of the Atlantean Empire in 200, our sources remain very sparse, most particularly so for the Atlanteans themselves, who had plenty of legends and stories, but very few hard facts. We gather that the Atlanteans near the western coast gradually spread inland and formed themselves into city-states and after 0 into bigger groupings of cities run by nobles or kings. There was a major war between the two main settlements of Atlanteans, round Atlantis itself and west of the Lillerunix and Dallase Fembe, which was won by the latter probably around 166. Traditionally this was seen as the conquering of a more pacific and artistic strain of Atlanteans by a more vigorous and aggressive type, leading to a somewhat uneasy amalgam of the two characteristics in the later unified Atlantean nation. This probably mythologises what was doubtless a very ordinary war, and may represent an "after the event" attempt to account for the rather contradictory traits of the Atlantean people. In any case there followed various wars between the Atlantean kings and subordinate nobles until in 199 Lir-Craonos overcame all his enemies and became the first Atlantean Emperor. Other Atlantean settlements remained completely independent of the rising kingdom, most notably the Atlantid city-states to the east of the River Rollepp.
To their east, a multitude of Chalcran states grew up from the lakes Chalcris and Oncia east to the Crolden Mountains, and north to the Chalcran Forests and the Keltish areas. These were at least as highly civilised as the Atlanteans by 150 or 200, and represented a kaleidoscopic array of forms of government, generally republics in the south, and kingdoms in the north. Their language and religion, though originally the same as the Atlanteans' of course, had now become quite different, although still obviously related.
In the south, the Yalland communities grew no larger than cities or city-states, usually close to similar Numedean and Southern settlements, with which they were intermittently at war. More often they formed trading relations with each other, and it was as traders that the Yallands became best known. Their main settlements were in the northern part of the western Coastal city-states, and in the Yalland city-states between the rivers Vulcan and Gairase. They also had smaller settlements all along the southern coast of the Helveng´o.
There is no doubt that the Juralic people which was most successful initially was the Helvran. This warlike people had by -50 already developed into a strongly centralised and militarily successful empire, ruled by an absolute and very traditional monarchy. By 150 their powerful army and strong fleet had dominated the Helveng´o, and conquered an empire out of the lands surrounding this sea. These included Manralia, the northern Coastal city-states, some areas north of the Meilox Mountains, and nominally at least, the Jutes. This empire would meet its match when it encountered the rising Atlanteans after 250, but only after a long and hard-fought struggle.
The link below will give a brief description of the Great Continent as described by Carel Zuaippo, a travel writer of the fourth century.