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Author: Gunnar Rudberg
What is so fascinating about this book?
Syracuse was the place where Plato tried to approach his ideal state in reality – and failed because of the decadence and unjustness of the city and its ruler. Indeed, Syracuse shares many similarities with Plato's Atlantis: Like Atlantis, it was situated on a large and fertile island in the west, a city of abundant wealth and power. As in Atlantis, the ruler's castle and magnificent temples were gathered on a small island. As in Atlantis, there were several harbors, quarries and walls encircling the city. And like Atlantis, Syracuse waged war with Athens.
"After this examination, it seems to me all but inevitable that Plato, when developing this portrayal of Atlantis, had the Dionysians’ Syracuse in mind." (Gunnar Rudberg)News magazine FOCUS Online, October 2013:
"... but it is more than fiction. 1917 the Swedish classicist Gunnar Rudberg published a lenghty article 'Atlantis och Syrakusai' ... According to the scholar Plato's account mirrors the geographical, social and political situation on Sicily and its metropolis Syracuse, the biggest bulwark in antiquity. ... The parallels in landscape and agriculture are indeed impressive. ... Syracuse was a military super power: It decisively defeated Athens in 413 BC ... The strong man was the tyrant Dionysius I, whom Plato personally got to know during his first Sicilian journey around 388 BC. Gunnar Rudberg's thesis fits well to Plato's biography."
"Syracuse – that illustrious city which Timaeus calls the greatest of the Grecian towns. It was indeed a most beautiful city; and its admirable citadel, its canals distributed through all its districts, its broad streets, it porticoes, its temples, and its walls, gave Syracuse the appearance of a most flourishing state."
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Underground water conduit system
under the island of Ortygia.
Wikipedia: Syracuse, Sicily Plato's Atlantis Plato's Seventh Letter Gunnar Rudberg
archive.org: Lupus 1887: Syrakus im Altertum Ludwig Marcuse 1947: Plato and Dionysius
Google Books and Maps: Mary Renault 1966: The Mask of Apollo Walk through the streets of today's Syracuse!
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