My Sucess Story and Future Plans
Thorwald C. Franke
Atlantis-Scout and Atlantis Newsletter
In 2000 my Web page Atlantis-Scout was established, and since then it has developed to an internationally known and practically the only Web page about a historical-critical approach for the interpretation of Plato's Atlantis. From 2007 on, the Atlantis Newsletter has been published, keeping you up to date on everything that is happening concerning Atlantis. The Atlantis Newsletter is accompagnied by activities in social media.
Even established academic Atlantis skeptics recommend my page and my newsletter in their publications, e.g. Dr Stephen P. Kershaw (Oxford) or Prof. Heinz-Günter Nesselrath (Göttingen), although they do not share my basic hypothesis at all: This means something.
In 2006 I started to publish my ideas about Atlantis in scientifically substantiated books. These books found attention not only with Atlantis supporters but are read also by established academic Atlantis skeptics, who mention them in their publications as worth reading, although they do not share my basic hypothesis at all. Among them e.g. Prof. Heinz-Günter Nesselrath, Prof. Malcolm Heath, or Dr Stephen P. Kershaw.
- 2006: Mit Herodot auf den Spuren von Atlantis – Könnte Atlantis doch ein realer Ort gewesen sein?
i.e. Herodot and Atlantis, and whether Atlantis possibly could have been a real place.
Demonstrating that it is principally possible to read Plato's Atlantis in a historical-critical way.
- 2010: Aristoteles und Atlantis – Was dachte der Philosoph wirklich über das Atlantis des Platon?
English 2012: Aristotle and Atlantis – What did the philosopher really think about Plato's island empire?
Debunking the modern myth that Aristotle spoke out against Atlantis.
- 2012: Gunnar Rudberg: Atlantis and Syracuse (as editor and author of the epilogue).
Demonstrating a possible connection with Sicily.
- 2016: Kritische Geschichte der Meinungen und Hypothesen zu Platons Atlantis – Von der Antike über das Mittelalter bis zur Moderne.
i.e. Critical history of the opinions and hypotheses about Plato's Atlantis. From Antiquity via the Middle Ages to Modernity.
Debunking the modern myth that most ancient authors were against the existence of Atlantis.
Debunking the modern myth that the Middle Ages were silent about Atlantis.
Debunking the modern myth that with the discovery of America the number of crazy localization hypotheses exploded.
Debunking the modern myth that scientists "always" thought of Atlantis as an invention.
Debunking the modern myth that Atlantis was part of Nazi ideology.
- 2021: Platonische Mythen – Was sie sind und was sie nicht sind.
Clean-up of the mess in science concerning the concept of "Platonic Myth".
Debunking the idea that Atlantis cannot be a real place because it is "only" a Platonic Myth.
For each book I care for Addenda and Corrigenda. For some of the books, improved second editions have been published. Partially, English translations habe been produced which clearly improved the awarness of my hypotheses. Unfortunately, I have not found a "real" editor for my books. Academic editors do not like Atlantis books, if Atlantis is not depicted as invention. Publishers of popular books do not like my books because they are too academic and not made for the broader public. Therefore, my books are self-edited at Books-on-Demand. This is way better than having them edited by a shady editor.
Atlantis Conference 2008
With three submissions of which I could present one before the conference's audience, I was participant at the Atlantis Conference 2008 in Athens/Greece. It was one of three Atlantis conferences which had been organized by Greek scientis in 2005/08/11. From stubborn Atlantis skeptics to "cranks" the whole spectrum of hypothese had been present. Yet except verbal endorsements and double applause no tangible support could be gained, there. On the other hand, this conference helped me a lot to improve the awareness for my hypotheses. And I presented there for the first time my (yet incomplete) Sicily hypothesis. My submissions are printed in the conference's proceedings:
- The Atlantis Research Charter: A defined position in the colourful world of Atlantis research. (together with other authors)
- The Importance of Herodotus' Histories for the Atlantis problem.
- King Italos = King Atlas of Atlantis? A contribution to the Sea Peoples hypothesis.
Two years later I had to slightly revise my Italos hypothesis in order to maintain it. But such learning effects and self-corrections are also a success under the perspective of science.
Aristotle: Effecting a clear change of mind among Atlantis skeptics!
A clear change of mind of academic Atlantis skeptics could be effected by my argument that the author of a certain Atlantis-skeptical word in Strabo's works is not Aristotle, as had been generally thought until then. Partially scientists dropped the thesis, partially they tried to save the thesis by an over-complicated and over-twisted argument. Partially the cause for the change of mind was left unmentioned, partially it was openly recognized that I successfully undermined the old opinion. Partially the search for alternative authors started, since Aristotle may not have been the author. Such changes of mind can be found e.g. here:
- Dr Andreas Hartmann (Eichstätt), Atlantis – Wissen was stimmt, 2010; pp. 61 f., 63 f.
Hartmann struggles with my arguments what is made clear by choice of words. My name remains unmentioned.
- Prof Kenneth L. Feder (Connecticut), Frauds, Myths, and Mysteries – Science and Pseudoscience in Archaeology, 8th edition 2014; p. 203 (After Plato).
Feder silently removes the claim about Strabo 2.3.6 and Aristotle present in previous editions.
- Dr Stephen P. Kershaw (Oxford), A Brief History of Atlantis, 2017; pp. 112-114.
Contrary to 2007, Kershaw now offers complicated considerations and jumps (!) to the conclusion that Aristotle is the author.
- Prof. Christopher Gill (Exeter), Plato's Atlantis Story: Text, Translation and Commentary, 2017; p. 39.
Contrary to 1980, when Gill cited Aristotle explicitly, Gill now says that "it looks" that Aristotle was skeptic about Plato's Atlantis.
- Prof. Heinz-Günther Nesselrath (Göttingen), Atlantis nach Platon – Bemerkungen zu einer neuen Rezeptionsgeschichte der von Platon erfundenen Insel, in: Jahresheft des Vereins der Göttinger Freunde der antiken Literatur No. 16 (2017); pp. 12-24; esp. p. 23.
"... Franke has comprehensively examined this attribution [of Aristotle's authorship], and thereby undermined its supposed certainty so much,
that since then it cannot be assumed any longer with unconcerned conscience that here actually Aristotle is speaking." (translated by Thorwald C. Franke)
Nesselrath proposes Eratosthenes as the possible author of the statement.
- Prof. Benjamin B. Olshin (Philadelphia), Lost Knowledge – The Concept of Vanished Technologies and other Human Histories, 2019; pp. 261-263.
Although all his sources claim a statement by Aristotle in Strabo 2.3.6, Olshin is conspicuously silent about it.
- Prof. Irmgard Männlein-Robert (Tübingen), Forget about Atlantis – Plato’s Invention of Tradition or Symbolic Dimensions of Knowledge, 2021.
Although Männlein-Robert talks about Aristotle and Atlantis in length, she is conspicuously silent about Strabo 2.3.6.
What others write about me
Reviews of my books by scientists
- Anna S. Afonasina, Plato and Atlantis – A review of: Gunnar Rudberg, Atlantis and Syracuse – Did Plato’s Experience on Sicily Inspire the Legend? A Study on Plato’s Later Political Writings, translated by C. Murphy, edited by Th. C. Franke, 2012, in: ΣΧΟΛΗ Vol. 8 Issue 2 (2014); pp. 249-256. (I got to know about this review only in february 2020.)
See more on the book's page.
- Heinz-Günther Nesselrath, Atlantis nach Platon – Bemerkungen zu einer neuen Rezeptionsgeschichte der von Platon erfundenen Insel, in: Jahresheft des Vereins der Göttinger Freunde der antiken Literatur No. 16 (2017); pp. 12-24.
See more on the book's page.
- In 2006 Atlantis was the cover story of the Austrian news magazine "Profil". The article delt not least with the Atlantis Research Charter, presented by me and others in 2006. Yet I was not mentioned by name.
- In 2013 an science article by Dr. Ralf Bülow was published about my book of Gunnar Rudberg: "Atlantis and Syracuse" in the German news magazine "Focus".
- In 2015 the book "Meet me in Atlantis" by the New York Times bestselling author Mark Adams was published which became a world-wide success. Mark Adams interviews and mentions all possibly known Atlantis supporters and Atlantis skeptics of our present time. So am I, with my thesis about the alleged word of Aristotle.
- 2008: Heinz-Guenther Nesselrath, BMCR 2008.08.22 Review of: Pierre Vidal-Naquet, L'Atlantide – Petite histoire d'un mythe platonicien, 2005. Footnote 10.
"Recently, a book by a leading contemporary German "Atlantologist" has also taken VN to task for his overstressing Herodotus as Plato's source
(Th. C. Franke, Mit Herodot auf den Spuren von Atlantis: Könnte Atlantis doch ein realer Ort gewesen sein?, Norderstedt, 2006, 153-231).
In other respects, this book (with its extraordinary claim that studying Herodotus may help us to find out more accurately about Atlantis' real existence)
has quite a few deficiencies, but its painstaking rebuttal of VN's Herodotus theory is worth reading."
- 2008: Hermann Haarmann, Berlin im Kopf – Arbeit am Berlin-Mythos – Exil und Innere Emigration 1933 bis 1945.
The Herodotus book is cited with its comparison of Atlantis and Babylon.
- 2013: Two reviews of my book "Atlantis and Syracuse" by Dr. Ralf Bülow are published in Mysteria3000 and in Cthulhu Libria.
- 2015: Silke Anzinger, Post Oceanum nihil? Albinovanus Pedo und die Suche nach einer anderen Welt, in: Rheinisches Museum für Philologie No. 158 (2015); pp. 326-407. Footnote 45 on pp. 339 f.
"Aristoteles und Atlantis vgl. ferner Franke 2010."
- 2017: Stephen P. Kershaw, A Brief History of Atlantis; pp. 325 f., 339.
Mentioning of the Atlantis Research Charter and recommendation of Atlantis-Scout.
- 2018: Tony O'Connell, Joining the Dots – Plato’s Atlantis in the Central Mediterranean.
Numerous approving mentions of my theses.
- 2019: Stefan Bittner, Atlantis wissenschaftlich analysiert.
Numerous approving mentions of my book on Herodotus.
- 2020: Heinz-Guenther Nesselrath, BMCR 2020.04.15 (extended version!) Review of: Tony O'Connell, Joining the Dots – Plato’s Atlantis in the Central Mediterranean, 2018.
Partially approving partially dissenting remarks on my Aristotle thesis; my interpretation of meizon is called "quite ingenious".
- Meanwhile there are numerous smaller mentions in the works of various Atlantis supporters. Sometimes my arguments are passed on without naming their author.
- Last but not least: The two world-wide leading internet portals about Atlantis, Atlantipedia.ie and Altantisforschung.de, mention my works and ideas in numerous articles. (Please note that these portals report and partially embrace "alternative" ideas which I clearly reject.)
- Book: Why Atlantis is a real place, and why the invention hypothesis is wrong.
A comprehensive presentation of all arguments.
- Book: Why the island of Sicily is Atlantis.
A detailed argument of probative force, thoroughly based on all the publications before.
No academic publication
I repeatedly tried with no success to achieve some publication in academic journals. Partially I had been brushed off with ludicrous excuses, as documented here. Today, it is my opinion, that private researchers should not try to publish in academic journals of academic scholarship. Private researchers stand outside academic scholarship and therefore shall not publish there. There is a reason for having an established academic scholarship. Academic editors and Web sites may provide access and services for private researchers, too, and bring private researchers and academic scholarship into contact, but not by blurring the difference. It is the duty of academic scholarship, not of private researchers, to realize the quality and value of non-academic publications, and to integrate them into academic scholarship without them being published "academically". This idea of a division of duties and of non-academically published science may help to foster the awareness of academic scholarship:
- that academic scholarship has no monopoly on the creation of new and better insights, though important academic scholarship is.
- that academic scholarship is not immune against criticism from outside, and by no means infallible.
- that academic publications may be of poor quality and non-academic publications may be of high quality.
- that academic scholarship has to actively maintain contact with the outside world in order to live the ideal of science where nothing counts than the better argument, and to serve the society by which it was established.
COPYRIGHT © Oct 2019 Thorwald C. Franke