Joscelyn Godwin’s ‘Atlantis and the Cycles of Time’

godwin cycles of timeDavid Metcalfe provides a thorough look at Joscelyn Godwin’s Atlantis and the Cycles of Time: Prophecies, Traditions, and Occult Revelations:

Existing in the liminal spaces of the cultural narrative Atlantis has been a magnet for alternative theories of history and a tool for those looking for a vision of unity in the evolutionary development of human culture. With the solidification of allegory during the Enlightenment Atlantis provided the perfect mythic capstone for rationalists in a quest for historical accuracy in their explorations of the possibilities of a perennial culture.

From the 17th century inquiries of Athanasius Kircher to the publication of Ignatius Donnelly’s Atlantis: The Antediluvian World in 1882, the empirical search for Atlantis has provided an impetus for archaeological speculation on the unification of cultures across the globe. Where present facts show disunity, the idea of an advanced and far reaching civilization in prehistory gave momentum for theorists to develop complex models of cultural evolution using Atlantean civilization as the missing link.

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  • Anonymous

    You know, I think there should be something similar to Godwin’s Law but for Atlantis instead of Nazis: “As any New Age or pseudo-archaeological discussion grows longer, the likelihood that Atlantis will be used as an explanation or treated as fact approaches 1.” Specifically, there should be the corollary that as soon as it’s brought in as an explanation or treated as fact the person who does so has “lost” the argument and demonstrated their complete lack of touch with reality. (Hm. Does invoking Godwin’s Law for comparison mean I have just tacitly made a 1:1 comparison between Atlantis and Nazis and therefore Godwined my own comment?)

    The book sounds like an interesting treatise on how outright fiction turns into myth.

  • quartz99

    You know, I think there should be something similar to Godwin’s Law but for Atlantis instead of Nazis: “As any New Age or pseudo-archaeological discussion grows longer, the likelihood that Atlantis will be used as an explanation or treated as fact approaches 1.” Specifically, there should be the corollary that as soon as it’s brought in as an explanation or treated as fact the person who does so has “lost” the argument and demonstrated their complete lack of touch with reality. (Hm. Does invoking Godwin’s Law for comparison mean I have just tacitly made a 1:1 comparison between Atlantis and Nazis and therefore Godwined my own comment?)

    The book sounds like an interesting treatise on how outright fiction turns into myth.

    • http://twitter.com/agent139 James Curcio

      Sure. But don’t get me started on “myth.” ;)

  • http://twitter.com/agent139 James Curcio

    Sure. But don’t get me started on “myth.” ;)

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