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Review of: Revisiting a Flawed Atlantis Classic: W. Brandenstein, Atlantis, Größe und Untergang eines geheimnisvollen Inselreiches, by Heinz-Günther Nesselrath, draft PDF April 2023.
Reviewed by: Thorwald C. Franke, Frankfurt am Main / Germany, 14 April 2023.

In his revisitation, Heinz-Günther Nesselrath has completely missed important points of Wilhelm Brandenstein's book. Because this is not just another Atlantis localization hypothesis by some uneducated Atlantis searcher. This is a book from a scientist working in a field of utmost importance to the Atlantis question, with knowledge of ancient languages and cultures and how languages and civilizations developed over time.

Brandenstein presents literary and cultural arguments considering the historical context of Plato and the Atlantis story. These types of argument are important not for this or for that localization hypothesis, but for the Atlantis question as such and in general. Exploring such arguments is usually neglected by Atlantis sceptics as well as by Atlantis supporters. Atlantis supporters often lack the knowledge to do so, Atlantis sceptics often lack the motivation. Brandenstein is a rare exception! Nesselrath's own revisitation provides striking examples of reluctance and even inability to deal with such arguments, as we will see.

Though Wilhelm Brandenstein did not solve the enigma of Atlantis, and made mistakes, he nevertheless made important contributions for a future solution of the Atlantis question. Progress advances slowly, step-by-step, and with trial and error. Progress does not jump to ultimate solutions in one leap. Scientific minds are able to cherish this.

Questioning Brandenstein's reputation

Heinz-Günther Nesselrath begins his revisitation of Brandenstein's book with questioning Wilhelm Brandenstein's reputation as a researcher in general (p. 1): "Brandenstein seems never to have been one of the pre-eminent historical linguists of his time." – Well, no one actually ever claimed that Brandenstein was a "pre-eminent" researcher. This is not the point. Nesselrath makes up a strawman argument, here. Important is that Brandenstein was an expert in fields of utmost importance for the Atlantis question, pre-eminent or not.

Nesselrath got to know, that the standard text books about the subjects in which Brandenstein specialized were allegedly not written by Brandenstein, as Nesselrath heard from an old colleague. (Nesselrath trusts him as an old colleague and expert, so it is not mere rumour and hearsay, and we expect, of course, that Nesselrath did not invent this source out of thin air, otherwise he would have deceived his readers in a malicious way; in other words: this is a nice example of a literary form which excludes fictionality. It can only be true or a deception. See the chapter below on fictionality.)

Nesselrath observed, that in Wikipedia Brandenstein is remembered especially with respect to his Atlantis hypothesis. – But the same is true for Nesselrath himself: Before Nesselrath is called an expert for Lucian, which he mainly is, he is pointed out as an expert for Atlantis in Wikipedia.

Now, this grey picture of Brandenstein deserves to be painted with some brighter colours than Nesselrath's!

In a "Gedenkschrift" (memorial volume) for Wilhelm Brandenstein from 1968, we find contributions from almost 50 researchers about a broad field of themes on which Wilhelm Brandenstein worked, especially Indo-European linguistics. He may have been not the "pre-eminent scholar" in these fields, but it seems that he was an important and cherished part of a widespread network. One contributor e.g. talks of Brandenstein's "successful and fruitful scientific work". One reviewer of the volume calls him "an outstanding scientist".

Brandenstein's works were not only translated to Spanish, but were also well-received in Italy, as it seems, or why did Massimo Pallottino (!) take notice of Brandenstein's book and praised its "singular logical conclusiveness" (singolare serratezza logica), as Nesselrath mentions, but only in a footnote? (p. 1 footnote 1) And the Linguistic Society of America spent three and a half pages for a review of Wilhelm Brandenstein's memorial volume. Turkey once offered him a tenure at the university of Ankara. This all sounds like an international reputation, doesn't it?

By the way, Nesselrath also completely forgot to mention that Wilhelm Brandenstein published a scientific article on Plato's Atlantis in 1949, i.e. two years before he published his book. Some explanations are given here in more detail than in the book. Brandenstein's article was published in a Czechoslovakian journal. Really a researcher of international reputation, even across the Iron Curtain.

Nesselrath's skewed perspective on Brandenstein's approach

Nesselrath imputes to Brandenstein the claim, that the "main theme" of the Atlantis story is the downfall of a great empire (p. 1). But on the given page, no such claim of a "main theme" can be found (Brandenstein p. 18). Brandenstein himself puts a focus on the downfall to decipher the historicity of Plato's Atlantis story, this is true, but this does not say anything about a "main theme", here. Because this is not Brandenstein's topic, here. On a later page, Brandenstein points out the "main theme" of the Atlantis story: It is about the illustration of Plato's ideal state (Brandenstein p. 34). Did Nesselrath overlook this?

Very speaking is that Nesselrath skips over Brandenstein's important literary analysis, whether the Atlantis story is a myth, a legend (German: "Sage"), or a fairy tale, in only one sentence (p. 1). Somehow, Nesselrath does not like it. Brandenstein concludes on the basis of literary arguments, that the Atlantis story cannot be a myth or a morality tale, but must be a legend with some historical core. One reason for this is that not only the "bad guys" but also the "good guys" suffer a downfall in a natural disaster in the end.

Nesselrath wants to debunk this argument by the correct observation that the downfall of Atlantis and Athens in a natural disaster happened with some distance to the war between them two, that this natural disaster happened periodically, and that also the Zeus does not mention anything of a punishment in the sense of a natural disaster or the complete destruction of a civilization (p. 2 f.). – Though true this is, Nesselrath has overlooked that the effect of the natural disaster is significantly different for Atlantis and Athens: While in Athens only the civilization is destroyed, and has to develop again, in Atlantis the complete country is destroyed, and no development of a civilization can occur again. And though the natural disaster hitting primeval Athens is not meant as a punishment, it still has the effect of disturbing any meaning of the Atlantis story as a morality tale, at least in the usual sense of a morality tale as what it is mostly portrayed.

Since Nesselrath has missed the point, he does not sort out the good ideas from the bad ideas in Brandenstein's literary analysis, but has no understanding for it at all.

Nesselrath's confused idea of fictionality

Concerning fiction and fictionality, it is my repeated experience that Nesselrath has a serious problem to even understand what fictionality actually is. And in his revisitation of Brandenstein this becomes more clear than ever. Therefore, we explain the essence of fictionality now with some detail, before we proceed. Nevertheless, we are convinced that an intellectually capable man like Nesselrath should be able to know the following.

Fictionality is not just inventing stories, though an invented story is at the core of fictionality. – Fictionality also includes, especially in our case of historical stories, that the story is written as if it could really have happened. If the story would not be written as if it could really have happened, it would be e.g. a fairy tale or a phantasy novel, but certainly not a historical novel. – And fictionality also includes that the recipients of the story are not explicitly told that the story is not true. To the contrary, a fictional story presents itself as a true story. – Nevertheless, fictionality also includes that the recipients know in advance by some means (see below) that it is an invention, without being told that it is one. Fictionality is based on a tacit common understanding of author and recipient that the story is not true. – If the recipients would openly be told that it is an invented story, it would be no fictional story, but e.g. an allegory or a thought experiment or a parody of fictionality (e.g. Lucian, see below). If the recipients would not know that it is a fictional story, they would be deceived, or if they find out: they would feel deceived. But deception is not fictionality. – And fictionality also includes, that the recipients nevertheless enjoy the story for some reason, although they know that the story is not true. Such a reason can be simple excitement of an adventurous story, or an artful depiction of the human condition, or conveying certain deeper truths in a literary form.

As we can see, fictionality is significantly more complicated than only inventing stories. Detailed definitions of fictionality are discussed among scholars. But our relatively short definition is enough for our purpose.

There is basically no recognizable difference between a real story and a fictional story, which is written as if it could really have happened. This means, that e.g. one and the same story, once printed in a newspaper as a news article, and once printed in a book with the word "Novel" on the cover, will be a lie and a deception of the readers in the first case, and an enjoyable read in the second case. Nobody will bring back a novel to the bookshop and want his money back because it contains an invented story. But if the very same book is sold as a text book, as a non-fiction book, then this behaviour would be fully justified, though it is exactly the same book. A striking example for the differing perception of one and the same story provided in a different wrapping, is H.G. Wells' novel "The War of the Worlds". When the novel was broadcast in 1938 as a radio play, a part of the audience thought that it was a radio report of events which really happened at this moment.

So, how do the recipients get to know that a fictional text is a fictional text? The answer is easy: It is the way, or the form, in which the story is provided, which indicates the fictionality to the recipient. Best known forms of fictionality in our days are movies and novels. So, these forms have to be established forms, known to the recipients. No one reading a novel or watching a movie will expect that the story is real, because these forms are established forms of fictionality.

There is of course also the possibility to indicate the fictionality of a text by so-called fiction signals. This means that the recipients do not know in advance that a text is invented, but they find out by certain contents of the text, intentionally inserted by the author, which make the invention transparent. These can be e.g. unreal phantasy elements or heavy irony. But this is not our concern here, since Plato's Atlantis story does not contain any fiction signals. The complete story looked completely realistic to ancient Greeks (not to modern readers). This is the reason why the discussion of the forms of fictionality is so important for the interpretation of the Atlantis story.

Now we can come back to ancient Greece: Because in ancient Greece, the various forms of fictionality, well-known to us in our modern world, were just in development. These forms did not just exist as they exist in our days. Therefore, it is important to look for each century, which forms of fictionality already had been developed then. The first attempt to define the phenomenon of fictionality can be found in Aristotle's works, i.e. one generation after Plato. And it is important to understand, that at the beginning of the process, almost no forms of fictionality existed at all! An invented story, which was presented to the listeners as a true story, was inevitably judged as a lie and a deception at the beginning of Greek literature.

Poetry at the beginning of Greek literature was not understood as the art of inventing stories, but as the art of putting true stories into a literary form. This changed only over time. Of course, poets always invented stories. But in most ancient times, poets understood themselves not as inventors out of thin air, but as correctors, selectors, improvers, or combiners of stories handed down to them. Though they in effect invented this or that story out of thin air by correcting, selecting, improving, or combining, this was not their own understanding of their work, and also not the understanding of their audience.

Now we can come back to Nesselrath's idea of fictionality, and how fictionality developed until Plato's time, as described by Brandenstein.

First, Nesselrath complains that Brandenstein would concentrate on only one possible form of fictionality, i.e. the historical novel (also often called historical romance). There would be plenty of other forms of fictionality, says Nesselrath. (p. 4) – But Nesselrath has overlooked that you cannot just transfer fictionality from form to form. Such a form of fictionality has to be established and known to the recipients. You cannot just insert an invented historical novel in a philosophical dialogue, just because such fictional inventions are known to the audience from the tragedies in the theatre, as Nesselrath thinks (p. 5). This would be like selling an invented novel in the form of a news article. Nesselrath completely misses the point.

There is a reason why Plato always makes transparent of which quality his stories are. Yes, Plato does not expect his audience to realize the type of story completely on their own, and therefore he always drops a word here or there to make this clear. Because invented stories in philosophical dialogues are not an established form of fictionality. Therefore it is of great importance that it is explicitly said in Plato's Timaeus that the Atlantis story is not an invented story.

But Nesselrath's problem with fictionality runs even deeper. Time and again it becomes obvious that for him, fictionality just means any kind of invented story. E.g. on p. 5 he very explicitly says that it would be about the "ability to invent a story and make it look like 'real' history". But no. This is not sufficient. This is not fictionality. We do not know why Nesselrath screws up this very important point. Is he really confused himself? Or does he only pretend not to understand? We do not know.

As the earliest example of fiction in Greek history, Nesselrath presents the stories of lies ("Lügengeschichten") in Homer's Odyssey, which Odysseus tells after his return to Ithaca to disguise his real identity (p. 4). But these invented stories are not presented to the audience as true stories! And therefore they simply are no fictional stories. They are told and used as lies within the Odyssey, but to the listeners and readers of the Odyssey it is fully transparent that these stories are not true. And within the Odyssey, the addressees of these stories do not know that these are invented stories, which would be an important part of fictionality. These stories of lies told by Odysseus are no fictional stories, but simply lies, from whatever perspective you are looking at them. (Besides other literary aspects in connection with these stories of lies, which makes this example even more ridiculous, but let us be silent about this.)

Also the Muses in Hesiod are put forward by Nesselrath as an example of fictionality (p. 4), because they say that they can tell lies and deceive. But telling lies and deceiving is not fictionality but telling lies and deceiving.

Also the various variants of the Trojan War are put forward by Nesselrath as fictional texts (p. 5). But the Trojan War was basically considered a historical event in ancient Greece. When Stesichorus or Herodotus wrote about Helen never having been abducted to Troy, they do not present this as an enjoyable novel, but they talk of it as a real event. They simply present an alternative opinion about what really happened. In the case of Stesichorus it might be allowed to assume that he deceived himself and thus invented a new version out of thin air. But no listener or reader of Stesichorus thought that Stesichorus was not serious about the version he presented. He was serious about it. An author of a basically invented story, who believes the story himself, is not an author of fiction.

Finally, Nesselrath again puts forward the example of Ctesias: "the historian Ctesias produced a Persian History that presented an account that was very different from Herodotus and thus contained much invented material, which Ctesias, however, presented as based on 'true' and 'original' Persian sources, blaming Herodotus for having fabricated his own account!" (p. 5 footnote 14) – As Nesselrath says himself, Ctesias did invent these things and deceived his audience. As a historian (!), Ctesias presented invented stories as true stories. This would be the same as if Plato presented invented stories in a philosophical dialogue as true stories. This is not fiction. This is deception. At least in Plato's time. Maybe not in Lucian's time, see below. Why only does the Lucian expert Nesselrath not understand this difference?

Brandenstein's main argument is: Since the historical novel as a form of fictionality developed only centuries after Plato, i.e. in Lucian's time, the readers of Plato's dialogues would simply not have been able to read the Atlantis story as a historical novel. And reading it as a historical novel means, among others, (a) to recognize the alleged invention of the story; but they could not recognize it because they would not have expected this in a philosophical dialogue and in a historical depiction. And it means (b) that the readers would have nevertheless enjoyed an invented story. Also this is impossible. Readers of Plato's dialogues would have ridiculed Plato if he invented stories pretending that they are true. – But Nesselrath does not get it.

Now, Nesselrath has a point in one respect (p. 4):

Brandenstein cites Lucian as being an author of the new form of the historical novel, applying the newly developed literary devices of this new form of fictionality (Brandenstein S. 41). Nesselrath is right that Lucian is the wrong example for this, and that Lucian wrote a parody on this new form of fictionality in his "True Histories". Brandenstein screwed this up, yes, but ...

... but Brandenstein did not screw this up completely or in a severe way. He only screwed up, in which way Lucian is indeed a witness for what Brandenstein wanted to show. Because, Lucian is indeed the major witness for the phenomenon, only that he is not a witness by having made it himself, but by having made a parody of it! In Erwin Rohde's ground-breaking work on the development of the Greek novel, we read e.g. this: "We would, however, have little idea of the fruitfulness and popular importance of this kind of literature if it were not for the distorted picture of it, which Lucian has set up in his 'True Histories'." (German original: "Wir würden aber kaum eine Ahnung von der Fruchtbarkeit und populären Bedeutung dieser Art der Literatur haben, wenn nicht das Zerrbild derselben, welche Lucian in seinen 'Wahren Erzählungen' aufgestellt hat, uns aufmerksam machen müsste.", in: Erwin Rohde, Der griechische Roman und seine Vorläufer, published by Breitkopf und Härtel, Leipzig 1876; p. 190)

Therefore, Brandenstein is fully right to cite Lucian, only that he confused the way in which Lucian is the appropriate witness for the phenomenon. This confusion is the error, not that he cited Lucian for evidence. With a small correction in detail, Brandenstein's argument stays valid.

Nesselrath, as an expert for Lucian, knows this of course. But he does not say it. Nesselrath rather provides the impression as if there was nothing left of Brandenstein's argument (p. 4 f.). Again, we have caught Nesselrath with an attempt to convince his readers not by a fair and open argument, but by providing wrong impressions by omitting important aspects well known to him. This is not the scientific way of making an argument. This is the eristic way.

We do not like the eristic way. We have to admit that Brandenstein screwed this detail up, and that it is a somewhat embarrassing mistake, though not too much. I myself did not realize this mistake, though I am well aware of Lucian's "True Histories" being a parody and thus Lucian being a witness for the new literary form ex negativo. It is my duty to admit the mistake of having overlooked this, and to remedy it wherever I repeated Brandenstein's mistake. Nevertheless, this does not change anything concerning Brandenstein's general argument. Brandenstein is still basically right.

We conclude: Nesselrath's bold claim, that "Brandenstein's dogmatic assertion that it is 'totally impossible' that someone in Plato's time should have produced something like historical fiction, borders on the preposterous" (p. 5), borders itself on the preposterous.

Chronological issues

Nesselrath calls the 6,000 years of Brandenstein a "sheer product of Brandenstein's imagination" (p. 3), only to add a footnote that Brandenstein explains it on later pages: It is an Iranian chronology. So, it is not "sheer imagination", as Nesselrath reveals himself in the footnote, but only Nesselrath's impatience to find the explanation on later pages.

Nesselrath is right, that Brandenstein does not demonstrate in all detail why Plato should have followed an Iranian chronology (p. 7). But at least, Brandenstein makes transparent that the ancient Greeks knew of this chronology. A quick own research reveals that Zoroaster is mentioned in Plato's dialogues, and that Plato's trusted friend Heraclides Ponticus wrote a text titled "Zoroaster". Brandenstein is not taking his assumption out of thin air. Nesselrath is correct that Brandenstein's argument is insufficient, but instead of cutting it down to "sheer imagination", it would have been a better idea to ask for more, or to go himself into the sources.

Generally, the idea of an Iranian chronology is one of the many innovative ideas of Brandenstein which are valuable even in the case they turn out to lead to nowhere. Of course, it makes sense to ask the question where these 9,000 years of Atlantis might have come from! But instead of Persia, it might be an even better idea to look where the Atlantis story allegedly came from: From Egypt! And yes: Egypt was erroneously considered to be 11,000+ years old by the ancient Greeks, therefore the 9,000 years fit perfectly into the pattern of this historical error. This is one of the reasons why the ancient Greeks did not easily think of the Atlantis story as an invention. Nesselrath knows this. Wouldn't it be the task of a reviewer to point his readers to well-known better solutions?

Instead, Nesselrath puts forward the age-old error of an alleged gap of 1000 years in the tradition of handing down the Atlantis story over time (p. 7). There is no such gap. It is an invention by wishful thinking of Atlantis-sceptical interpreters. Allegedly, the Atlantis dialogues say that Egypt was founded 1000 years after Athens (8,000 years before, instead of 9,000 years before). But no. As Nesselrath himself (!) says, the 8,000 years do not relate to Egypt but to the city of Sais. Egypt existed of course long before, as e.g. Plato himself writes in the Laws, and therefore there is no gap in the tradition. This gap exists only in the erroneous conclusions of certain interpreters. Nesselrath even interprets the alleged gap as a fiction signal. Nonsense of course. And even when assuming that Plato wanted to make such a point, Plato would have made it much more explicit, because fiction signals are meant to be understood by the reader. Plato would not have hidden a fiction signal behind a chain of vague conclusions one building upon the other.

Other mistakes of Brandenstein and of Nesselrath

Nesselrath, as usual, skips the important turn in the plot at the beginning of the Atlantis dialogues: Socrates first had the plan to invent a story showing the ideal state in action, and only after this proposal of an invention, Critias makes the counter proposal of a real story as a basis. And as usual, Nesselrath puts forward the wrong claim that the historical tradition presented by Critias contained the ideal state (p. 2). We have already explained this many times, and we will explain all this in detail in our next publication. But not here anymore.

Brandenstein is indeed wrong to repeatedly equal Libya with Northern Egypt ("Nordägypten"), as Nesselrath points out correctly (p. 2). It looks like a misspelling and possibly meant was "Northern Africa". But is it? One argument for a possible misspelling would be that nobody talks of "Northern Egypt" but everybody says "Lower Egypt". One argument against it would be that the misspelling is repeated a second time.

Brandenstein is indeed wrong to impute to Zeus the command to a punishment with earth quakes, as Nesselrath points out correctly (p. 2). But since the dialogue is not finished, Zeus may have made such a command at a later time.

Brandenstein is indeed wrong to impute to Plato the ordering of his dialogues in tetralogies, as Nesselrath points out correctly (p. 3). But Nesselrath is too harsh in his judgement ("absurd") about Brandenstein's proposed series of dialogues Republic - Timaeus - Critias - Hermocrates. Because this is not so wrong. Only that the Republic has to be replaced by a similar unwritten dialogue. The mistake to talk of the Republic as the dialogue before the Timaeus is quite common, also in scientific publications. And that the Hermocrates was never written is also not a problem in forming this series of dialogues. It is a gross exaggeration when Nesselrath judges: "How can somebody who makes such mistakes seriously claim to be able to find out Plato's motivation for presenting the Atlantis story?" (p. 3)

Nesselrath is wrong in seeing "fundamental differences between Atlantis and Troy" (p. 6). There are differences, but not fundamental ones. I dare not to hope that Nesselrath will understand this even once Atlantis will have been found and generally accepted as a real place, like the place of classical Troy.

Nesselrath repeats his vague and confusing translation of Socrates' judgement in Timaeus 26e that the Atlantis story is not an invented mythos but a true logos "pammega pou" (p. 6). – I repeat my answer from 2021: I will not comment on it now. It has to wait for my next book. Only one word in advance: It is just another big mess to be cleaned up, and Atlantis sceptics fail because they systematically avoid to see the bigger picture, because they strongly believe that there is no such thing as a bigger picture. A clear case of shooting yourself in the foot.

Nesselrath rightly lectures Brandenstein "to consider whether such an observation [that a hypothesis is born from the geographical knowledge of Plato's own time] might not also be true for every other detail Plato tells us about Atlantis." (p. 7) – The problem here is that Nesselrath himself should try to consider this wisdom more often.

Brandenstein is indeed wrong to think that Solon knew of the war between Atlantis and Athens from a Greek tradition, as Nesselrath points out correctly (p. 8).

Nesselrath is too harsh in criticizing Brandenstein's attempts to search in Greek traditions and thinking of the time of the Pelasgians (p. 8). Though this trace leads to nowhere, the idea had to be thought through. It is a case similar to the Iranian chronology.

Brandenstein is indeed wrong to say that "Atlantis" cannot be derived from the name of the Atlantic sea, as Nesselrath points out correctly (p. 8). Nevertheless, both are wrong insofar as "Atlantis" is not derived from the sea but from the king Atlas of Atlantis. And Nesselrath creates some confusion by calling "Atlantis" a "female form" of "Atlantic". It is a patronym.

Nesselrath is wrong to see in the name of Gadeiros a fiction signal: "Plato is simply having some fun, which he shares with his readers who likewise know that Gadeira is of Phoenician – and not 'Atlantian' – origin." (p. 8 f.) It is likely that Plato's readers knew that Gadeira was a Phoenician town. It is possible that they knew of the Phoenician origin of the name, though not certain. But independently from this question, this cannot be a fiction signal. Plato's audience had no idea how the Phoenician language developed, when the Phoenicians arrived in Spain, and what is more, Plato is talking about a previous cycle of time, not his own time. Nesselrath's idea of Plato "having some fun" in the presented way is only grotesque, he is imputing modern understandings to ancient readers.

Brandenstein is indeed wrong to say that the mythological titan Atlas was never located in the west, as Nesselrath points out correctly (p. 9).

Nesselrath is wrong in ridiculing Brandenstein for rejecting the idea of a connection of the mythological titan Atlas to Atlantis (p. 9). Because, in his "Kritias" commentary, Nesselrath voiced the same opinion: King Atlas of Atlantis is not the titan Atlas.

Nesselrath is right in criticizing Brandenstein's silent assumption that the Atlantis story derived from Mycenaean times (p. 9). Missing is at least a short justification.

Nesselrath is right in criticizing Brandenstein to declare everything which does not fit to his wanted hypothesis, to be embellishment, or to leave it out without good reasons (p. 9 f.). Nevertheless, Nesselrath should be more merciful here. If everything else would be stable, these aspects wouldn't be of major importance.

Brandenstein is indeed wrong to see a complicated order of succession to the throne in Atlantis, as Nesselrath points out correctly (p. 10).

Nesselrath is too harsh in his judgement of the Minoan hypothesis and striking parallels in bull cult. Of course the parallels are not exclusive (p. 10). But they are striking. It is exaggerated when Nesselrath says, "Brandenstein's conclusion that the number of similarities between Atlantis and Minoan Crete is too great to be coincidental is thus by no means justified" (p. 10), since the number of similarities is indeed conspicuous and therefore this "by no means" is too harsh.


In the end, Nesselrath hopes "that by this demonstration I may have shown that the reputation that Brandenstein's book has enjoyed with a number of Atlantis searchers is really unjustified and should finally be laid to rest" (p. 11). – Since Nesselrath has missed important points, and provided unconvincing arguments, his article will achieve the opposite, as can be hoped.


Wilhelm Brandenstein, Studien zu Platons Atlantiserzählung, Archivi Orientalni (Prag) No. 17 (1949); pp. 69-84.

Wilhelm Brandenstein, Atlantis – Größe und Untergang eines geheimnisvollen Inselreiches, issue No. 3 in the series: Wilhelm Brandenstein (ed.), Arbeiten aus dem Institut für allgemeine und vergleichende Sprachwissenschaft Graz, published by Gerold & Co., Vienna 1951.

Thorwald C. Franke, A scientist in favour of Atlantis – Prof. Dr. Wilhelm Brandenstein and his contribution to Atlantis research, in: Mysteria 3000 August 2006. Translated to English 24 May 2013.
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Heinz-Günther Nesselrath, Revisiting a Flawed Atlantis Classic: W. Brandenstein, Atlantis, Größe und Untergang eines geheimnisvollen Inselreiches, draft PDF, Göttingen 2023.
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