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The mysterious mysteries of the Ancients!

tbloxhamtbloxham Registered User regular
edited September 2009 in Debate and/or Discourse
2012, stonehenge, the alignment of historical sites around the world! It all points to one thing, mysterious mysteries beyond the ken of modern science

Stonehenge_1877.JPG

Could these stones point the way to the stars? How did the ancients calculate so precisely the angle at which to place them? Could it be alien intervention, or, possibly the fact that there is a huge amount of evidence that they just shifted the stones about a lot over a 1000 years until they all lined up nicely.

What of the pyramids. Built in dozens of countries around the world. Evidence of a transplanetary gestalt mind implanted by alien overlords? Perhaps a globe spanning empire, sharing knowledge and living in peace. Or perhaps, evidence of the fact that if you only have access to stone and don't know how to build a decent arch, scaffolding, or concrete its your only real option to build something tall.

What of the mysterious alignments between historical sites. Could it be a sign of powerful leylines buzzing beneath the crust of the earth, resonating secret messages of power which only our ancestors could read? Could tapping into them solve our energy crisis! Or perhaps, evidence of the fact that nearly every square inch of this planet is sacred to someone and thus it's easy to make some of the sites line up, espescially when people like to build things halfway between other major things.

And most mysterious of all the mysteries, the end of the world calender of the Mayans. Could it be the most accurate of all calenders? Predicting the motion of unknown and unseen worlds. Could its strange accounting system indicate a deeper tie to reality than our own? Did they predict the end of days in 2012? Could their science have been in advance of ours? Or, in fact is our calender and almost all calenders from after theirs such as the chinese or Persian calender far more accurate in every way than theirs. And could what seems to be an epic mystery, in fact simply be that their king liked the idea of 4 days at work to 1 day off.

In truth its clear that tens of thousands of people around the world, if not millions, truly believe there is something to all this stuff. Clearly you can see from my tone that I think its about as valid a belief as Odin, but do you think there is something to it? Something beyond the fact that people since the dawn have time have loved patterns and puzzles. If so, then what is going on? And where did all this mysterious ancient knowledge go. If you think as I do that its all rubbish, why do so many other people believe it so absolutely?

tbloxham on
Your puny weapons are useless against me
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Posts

  • RichyRichy Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    tbloxham wrote: »
    And most mysterious of all the mysteries, the end of the world calender of the Mayans. Could it be the most accurate of all calenders? Predicting the motion of unknown and unseen worlds. Could its strange accounting system indicate a deeper tie to reality than our own? Did they predict the end of days in 2012? Could their science have been in advance of ours? Or, in fact is our calender and almost all calenders from after theirs such as the chinese or Persian calender far more accurate in every way than theirs. And could what seems to be an epic mystery, in fact simply be that their king liked the idea of 4 days at work to 1 day off.

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  • SentrySentry Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Why do I feel like you are about to sell me a set of Time Life books...

    Also, people believe it because people are idiots and will believe anything.

    I'm not trying to be elitist, I'm just saying that any bit of nonsense you can come up with, you can find someone to believe in it.

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    wrote:
    When I was a little kid, I always pretended I was the hero,' Skip said.
    'Fuck yeah, me too. What little kid ever pretended to be part of the lynch-mob?'
  • DuffelDuffel Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    People believe in this stuff so absolutely because they find the truth boring and/or too complicated.

    EDIT: They also believe it because of a sizable streak of modern-era arrogance where they refuse to believe that ancient people were intelligent enough to do the marvelous things they did because said ancient people didn't have the technology that we have today and therefore they must have been stupid.

  • HonkHonk Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    edited August 2009
    Pyramids are common because they are obviously very stable and easy to build. You want to build something that lasts, like your future eternal grave, then make sure it stays there forever.

  • RichyRichy Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    tbloxham wrote: »
    In truth its clear that tens of thousands of people around the world, if not millions, truly believe there is something to all this stuff. Clearly you can see from my tone that I think its about as valid a belief as Odin, but do you think there is something to it? Something beyond the fact that people since the dawn have time have loved patterns and puzzles. If so, then what is going on? And where did all this mysterious ancient knowledge go.
    Well there is something to "lost ancient knowledge" that goes beyond mere conspiracy theory. Back in ancient times, trades and trade secrets were passed on from master to apprentice. They were not written down anywhere, as the tradesmen were illiterate and the literate population cared more about grand philosophical issues and would have nothing to do with peasant earthly concerns. As a result, when a tradesman died without passing on his knowledge, it was lost. This happened all the time in ancient times, but by far the most famous, most massive and widespread example of it is the massive setback caused by the Fall of Rome. Take specifically the example of glass-making. In the Roman Empire, glass-making was common, and the Roman middle-class loved its glass statuettes so much that artisans developed mass-manufacturing techniques of class statuettes - history's first mass-production of consumer goods. But after the Fall of Rome, and the loss of administrative and military control needed to supply cities and artisans with food from more distant agricultural regions of the Empire, local tradesmen had to give up their trades and turn to agriculture in order to put food on their tables for their families. As a result, knowledge of glass-making was lost in the western world, only to be reintroduced by the Arabs many centuries later.

    Glass-making was not the only thing lost. Ever wonder why so many ancient Roman aqueducts are named "Bridge"? Because, again, after the Fall of Rome, the western world lost the knowledge to maintain them, and without maintenance they didn't carry water anymore. Then people in the Middle-Ages started using them as bridges. Ancient Rome also moved Egyptian Obelisks, a feat that would not be repeated until the 16th Century, and they had in-door plumbing and heating, which were virtually unknown in the Middle-Ages. A massive amount of Ancient Greek texts on natural philosophy and how the natural world works (or was believed to work) was lost; only one text from Plato (the Timaeus was known until the Renaissance of the 12th Century).

    So that's where the idea of "lost ancient knowledge" comes from: from actual lost knowledge in Ancient times, and in the Middle-Ages.

    Thing is, since the Middle-Ages, we have greatly advanced scientifically and technologically. But the idea of "lost ancient knowledge" endured, and was constantly updated to reflect our level. When we didn't know about glass-making and in-door plumbing, it was true that there was much lost Ancient knowledge. Now that we have space-age technology, if the ancient had lost knowledge, well they must have had contact with aliens.

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  • DuffelDuffel Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Honk wrote: »
    Pyramids are common because they are obviously very stable and easy to build. You want to build something that lasts, like your future eternal grave, then make sure it stays there forever.
    Seriously, there's only so many ways to make a 100-foot building when you're working with unmortared stone.

    Nobody ever seems to attach a particular significance to the fact that, all over the world, people construct rectangular buildings. Even to this day many societies carry on this strange tradition. What could explain this mysterious phenomenon? Nobody knows.

    And then you have the fact that mayan pyramids and most egyptian pyramids barely even resemble each other in shape, design, function, etc., other than the fact that they're both "pyramids" in the sense that we would consider both the Dome of the Rock and the Capital Rotunda "domes".

  • PreacherPreacher Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Wasn't there also a large ancient library that got destroyed that purported to contain a lot of invalueable knowledge?

    Has "greek fire" ever been rediscovered or is that what basically napalm is?

  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Sentry wrote: »
    Why do I feel like you are about to sell me a set of Time Life books...

    Also, people believe it because people are idiots and will believe anything.

    I'm not trying to be elitist, I'm just saying that any bit of nonsense you can come up with, you can find someone to believe in it.

    To be fair there are an awful lot of us. When you have 7 billion odd people even small percentages of stupid add up to millions.

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  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Preacher wrote: »
    Wasn't here also a large ancient library that got destroyed that purported to contain a lot of invalueable knowledge?

    Alexandria.
    Has "greek fire" ever been rediscovered or is that what basically napalm is?

    What?

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  • DuffelDuffel Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Greek fire was a medieval weapon which supposedly burned more violently the more water was poured on it; the Byzantines used it as a projectile during some naval battles and stuff. Nobody really knows how to replicate it now, but there's a lot of debate about it.

  • SentrySentry Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    moniker wrote: »
    Sentry wrote: »
    Why do I feel like you are about to sell me a set of Time Life books...

    Also, people believe it because people are idiots and will believe anything.

    I'm not trying to be elitist, I'm just saying that any bit of nonsense you can come up with, you can find someone to believe in it.

    To be fair there are an awful lot of us. When you have 7 billion odd people even small percentages of stupid add up to millions.

    Precisely. Add to that the notion that stupid people somehow tend to be really loud, and you have the makings of a religion.

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    wrote:
    When I was a little kid, I always pretended I was the hero,' Skip said.
    'Fuck yeah, me too. What little kid ever pretended to be part of the lynch-mob?'
  • PreacherPreacher Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    moniker wrote: »
    Preacher wrote: »
    Wasn't here also a large ancient library that got destroyed that purported to contain a lot of invalueable knowledge?

    Alexandria.
    Has "greek fire" ever been rediscovered or is that what basically napalm is?

    What?

    Was that library real? I remember because I want to say its associated with the atlantis myth, but it could have been a real place that much like a lot of things got associated with a nice myth to add validity.

  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Preacher wrote: »
    moniker wrote: »
    Preacher wrote: »
    Wasn't here also a large ancient library that got destroyed that purported to contain a lot of invalueable knowledge?

    Alexandria.
    Has "greek fire" ever been rediscovered or is that what basically napalm is?

    What?

    Was that library real? I remember because I want to say its associated with the atlantis myth, but it could have been a real place that much like a lot of things got associated with a nice myth to add validity.

    It was real. The king or pharoah or emperor or whatever he called himself banned the export of papyrus so he could use it as leverage (or a 'gift') to other rulers in order to get copies of anything in their own libraries. He also confiscated any/all books that people carried with them into the city in order to have it copied for his library. They'd give it back later, but still.

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  • SentrySentry Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Yeah, it's not just an awesome Magic: The Gathering card. It actually existed.

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    wrote:
    When I was a little kid, I always pretended I was the hero,' Skip said.
    'Fuck yeah, me too. What little kid ever pretended to be part of the lynch-mob?'
  • PreacherPreacher Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Pharohs are dicks, I'm not even sure if I like them.

  • Zetetic ElenchZetetic Elench Registered User
    edited August 2009
    Yes it was real, and yes it contained a lot of really valuable ancient texts.

    However - this is just from memory so I'm not sure - I believe the library didn't suffer a single catastrophic event, but rather from several lootings, fires, and invasions throughout a period of time which slowly destroyed it.

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  • DuffelDuffel Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Preacher wrote: »
    Was that library real? I remember because I want to say its associated with the atlantis myth, but it could have been a real place that much like a lot of things got associated with a nice myth to add validity.
    Definitely real. Alexandria was prosperous, cosmopolitan, and a seat of learning in the ancient world. I personally feel that the 'lost knowledge' contained therein was probably way overblown in recent years by the von Daniken types, but I'm sure there was a lot of extremely interesting and informative texts, treatises, histories and literature which is now gone forever.

    As far as the Atlantis myth being connected to the library goes... it definitely got shoehorned in there in the past few years because it was an ancient library and it had books so obviously it had all kinds of texts on Atlantis and it was destroyed because even back then the Man didn't want you to know.

    While it's very possible that similar myths to Atlantis were contained in the texts at the library, it's important to keep in mind that pretty much nobody took the Atlantis myth seriously until the 19th century, not even during ancient times.

  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Though keep in mind that the number of items it likely had would pale in comparison to even most local libraries nowadays. Simply because there just wasn't that much stuff back then, what with almost nobody being literate, and it was a pain in the ass to make multiple copies because it wall done by hand.

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  • DrakmathusDrakmathus Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    the library of Alexandria?

    edit: ugh! beaten bad.

  • SentrySentry Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Yes it was real, and yes it contained a lot of really valuable ancient texts.

    However - this is just from memory so I'm not sure - I believe the library didn't suffer a single catastrophic event, but rather from several lootings, poor maintenance, and invasions throughout a period of time which slowly destroyed it.

    That and no self respecting state wastes funds on a library. We got police and firemen to hire!!

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    wrote:
    When I was a little kid, I always pretended I was the hero,' Skip said.
    'Fuck yeah, me too. What little kid ever pretended to be part of the lynch-mob?'
  • emnmnmeemnmnme Heard about this on conservative radio:Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    The Sandman comic brought up the notion that medieval scholars knew more about book binding than modern publishers ever will. Is this accurate? My books seem plenty sturdy to me.

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  • PreacherPreacher Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    So where did the Atlantis myth come from? Just a general "There used to be a utopia?" type thing. Or perhaps an island that was eliminated by a volcano or other natural event and given mythic status?

  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Preacher wrote: »
    So where did the Atlantis myth come from? Just a general "There used to be a utopia?" type thing. Or perhaps an island that was eliminated by a volcano or other natural event and given mything status?

    Plato.

    It was most likely Santorini since that's a relatively concentric circle island and it got asploded by a volcano.

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  • PreacherPreacher Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    moniker wrote: »
    Preacher wrote: »
    So where did the Atlantis myth come from? Just a general "There used to be a utopia?" type thing. Or perhaps an island that was eliminated by a volcano or other natural event and given mything status?

    Plato.

    Damn it Hasbro does your evil know no bound?!

  • BubbaTBubbaT Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Duffel wrote: »
    Greek fire was a medieval weapon which supposedly burned more violently the more water was poured on it; the Byzantines used it as a projectile during some naval battles and stuff. Nobody really knows how to replicate it now, but there's a lot of debate about it.

    Just a matter of time, right? I mean, Damascus steel was lost for centuries, now you can use it to chop your veggies.

  • PreacherPreacher Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    BubbaT wrote: »
    Duffel wrote: »
    Greek fire was a medieval weapon which supposedly burned more violently the more water was poured on it; the Byzantines used it as a projectile during some naval battles and stuff. Nobody really knows how to replicate it now, but there's a lot of debate about it.

    Just a matter of time, right? I mean, Damascus steel was lost for centuries, now you can use it to chop your veggies.

    Now we know the real reason billy mays was killed, he discovered greek fire...

  • DuffelDuffel Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Preacher wrote: »
    So where did the Atlantis myth come from? Just a general "There used to be a utopia?" type thing. Or perhaps an island that was eliminated by a volcano or other natural event and given mythic status?
    Well, there was a society - the Minoans, who were kind of Greeks back before the Greeks were Greek yet - who had a prosperous and relatively advanced civilization which spanned the Aegean. One of the islands, Santorini, was home to an especially well-off city, known as Akrotiri, which undoubtedly seemed wondrous to many of the common fishermen and farmers which made up most of ancient Bronze Age society.

    Of course, that part of the world is pretty volcanically active, and Santorini itself is actually an active volcano. One day there was an enormous eruption - no doubt preceded by many ominous warning signs such as earthquakes, unnatural heat and what have you (not a geologist here) - wherein the middle of the island (and the city inside of it) literally blew sky-high. A big chunk of the island collapsed into the ocean (you can clearly see it on a map of the island) while the rest was made desolate and covered in volcanic ash.

    Seeing such cataclysmic destruction, you could hardly have blamed ancient people for believing they were being punished by the gods. As oral tradition got handed down in the region, the story went from oral folktale to true legend. Eventually Plato wrote it down in his Dialogues and the rest is history.

    That's one theory, anyway, and the one that I find the most plausible. Most myths have some basis in reality, after all, however tenuous. Check out the wiki article on Santorini if you're interested. There's been a lot of fascinating things excavated out of the ash; it's kind of like Pompeii but over a thousand years older.

  • Gabriel_PittGabriel_Pitt Damn you, eidetic memory! Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Preacher wrote: »
    moniker wrote: »
    Preacher wrote: »
    So where did the Atlantis myth come from? Just a general "There used to be a utopia?" type thing. Or perhaps an island that was eliminated by a volcano or other natural event and given mything status?

    Plato.

    Damn it Hasbro does your evil know no bound?!
    I believe you're thinking of Play-doh. The difference is subtle, yet vital.

    Origin ID: Null_Cypher
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  • RichyRichy Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Preacher wrote: »
    moniker wrote: »
    Preacher wrote: »
    So where did the Atlantis myth come from? Just a general "There used to be a utopia?" type thing. Or perhaps an island that was eliminated by a volcano or other natural event and given mything status?

    Plato.

    Damn it Hasbro does your evil know no bound?!
    I believe you're thinking of Play-doh. The difference is subtle, yet vital.
    You kid, but seriously, some history profs I've talked to told me they've had undergrads who confused Plato and Play-Doh.

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  • HamHamJHamHamJ Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    The History Channel actually had a very interesting series at one point called something like Ancient Machines that showed that ancient civilizations were a lot more technologicaly capable than we give them credit for.

    For example, they had crazy special effects shows going on in their temples, with pyrotechnics, animatronics, and all kinds of stuff.

    While racing light mechs, your Urbanmech comes in second place, but only because it ran out of ammo.
  • RichyRichy Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Preacher wrote: »
    So where did the Atlantis myth come from? Just a general "There used to be a utopia?" type thing. Or perhaps an island that was eliminated by a volcano or other natural event and given mythic status?
    It's from Plato's set of dialogues. In The Republic, Plato, through the dialogue of his characters, explained his vision for an ordered, structured, perfect human society. In the Timaeus, written much later but featuring the same characters on the following day, he explains how the natural world itself is structured and ordered - so how could human society be any less? Finally, the uncompleted Critias features the third day of this dialogue, where the characters discuss ancient Greek history (thousands of years before Plato). They recall how the more powerful civilization of Atlantis tried to conquer Athens, but failed thanks to the superiority of Athenian social structure and order. Later, Atlantis itself sank below the ocean in a single day and night - not because of a volcano like is commonly believed, but because of an earthquake according to Plato.

    It's important to note that Atlantis was not a utopia for Plato. Plato's utopian society was the one he described in The Republic, which had nothing to do with Atlantis. Atlantian society was disorderly and decadent, while the Athenians were ordered and functioned like whatever the Ancient Greek equivalent of a well-oiled machine was, which each individual Athenian knowing his function and his place and performing his function for the greater good. And it was this social superiority that allowed the Athenians to defeat the Atlantians, despite their superior military might.

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  • themightypuckthemightypuck MontanaRegistered User regular
    edited August 2009
    You can't just make a mock thread. I want to hear what the aliens seeded the earth crowd have to say.

    “Reject your sense of injury and the injury itself disappears.”
    ― Marcus Aurelius
  • DuffelDuffel Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    HamHamJ wrote: »
    The History Channel actually had a very interesting series at one point called something like Ancient Machines that showed that ancient civilizations were a lot more technologicaly capable than we give them credit for.

    For example, they had crazy special effects shows going on in their temples, with pyrotechnics, animatronics, and all kinds of stuff.
    The ancient Romans built an opulent cruise ship for aristocrats which was not only decked out in the sort of extravagance you only find in the ancient world (gold and marble and ivory everything, basically), but even had its own library and hot tubs (kept warm by some ingenious ancient tech). Of course, it was defended by its own cohort of legionaries, since just like today, cruise ships were good targets for pirates.

    The ancient Egyptians had a method of primitive "air conditioning" for their Nile barges which involved constant use of poured water; obviously, it was only available to the royalty and other extremely wealthy people.

    The ancient world is intensely interesting to me (that's what I hope to study for a living, anyway). I never cease to be amazed at how much like our own society they could be.

  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Duffel wrote: »
    HamHamJ wrote: »
    The History Channel actually had a very interesting series at one point called something like Ancient Machines that showed that ancient civilizations were a lot more technologicaly capable than we give them credit for.

    For example, they had crazy special effects shows going on in their temples, with pyrotechnics, animatronics, and all kinds of stuff.
    The ancient Romans built an opulent cruise ship for aristocrats which was not only decked out in the sort of extravagance you only find in the ancient world (gold and marble and ivory everything, basically), but even had its own library and hot tubs (kept warm by some ingenious ancient tech). Of course, it was defended by its own cohort of legionaries, since just like today, cruise ships were good targets for pirates.

    The ancient Egyptians had a method of primitive "air conditioning" for their Nile barges which involved constant use of poured water; obviously, it was only available to the royalty and other extremely wealthy people.

    The ancient world is intensely interesting to me (that's what I hope to study for a living, anyway). I never cease to be amazed at how much like our own society they could be.

    When you have as much gold and slaves as Tutankhamen, anything's possible.

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  • Gabriel_PittGabriel_Pitt Damn you, eidetic memory! Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Well, I'm sure people back then hated being hot and miserable just as much as people today do, so it wouldn't have taken too much tinkering around to find out ways to make evaporation work to your advantage, so long as you had the resources and manpower to do it. I'm pretty sure you could rig a functioning swamp-cooler to work by hand.
    Richy wrote: »
    Later, Atlantis itself sank below the ocean in a single day and night - not because of a volcano like is commonly believed, but because of an earthquake according to Plato.
    Of course, anyone in a position to see the eruption was probably killed by it, because they were either on the island, or in the surrounding water where even if they survived the flying debris, there was probably some heinous wave action going on. Everyone else though, would've felt the massive earthquake, and hey, what do you know, that island city is gone!

    Which of course ignores all the smoke and ash, but for most of the people who were alive then, it would've been felt as an earthquake.

    Origin ID: Null_Cypher
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  • UmaroUmaro Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    BubbaT wrote: »
    Duffel wrote: »
    Greek fire was a medieval weapon which supposedly burned more violently the more water was poured on it; the Byzantines used it as a projectile during some naval battles and stuff. Nobody really knows how to replicate it now, but there's a lot of debate about it.

    Just a matter of time, right? I mean, Damascus steel was lost for centuries, now you can use it to chop your veggies.
    No... it's still lost, though it may never have even existed as all we have are written accounts. Well, it probably existed, but whether it was as crazy awesome as we would be led to believe is impossible to know.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Damascene_steel

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  • NostregarNostregar Registered User
    edited August 2009
    Preacher wrote: »
    moniker wrote: »
    Preacher wrote: »
    So where did the Atlantis myth come from? Just a general "There used to be a utopia?" type thing. Or perhaps an island that was eliminated by a volcano or other natural event and given mything status?

    Plato.

    Damn it Hasbro does your evil know no bound?!

    :^:

    Spoiler:
  • RichyRichy Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Richy wrote: »
    Later, Atlantis itself sank below the ocean in a single day and night - not because of a volcano like is commonly believed, but because of an earthquake according to Plato.
    Of course, anyone in a position to see the eruption was probably killed by it, because they were either on the island, or in the surrounding water where even if they survived the flying debris, there was probably some heinous wave action going on. Everyone else though, would've felt the massive earthquake, and hey, what do you know, that island city is gone!

    Which of course ignores all the smoke and ash, but for most of the people who were alive then, it would've been felt as an earthquake.
    Or, you know... it never existed, and Plato made it up to further make his point on the supreme benefits of an ordered, structured society, which was what he had been arguing for throughout these three books.

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  • King RiptorKing Riptor Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    IIRC the romans had the tech for steam engines but the current emperor canned the project. I guess mainly because it would destroy the need for slave labor and cripple their economy.

  • HamHamJHamHamJ Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    I don't think anything can top the theory that Santorini is not only Atlantis, but also caused the plagues of Egypt and that one of the tribes of Israel crossed the Mediterranean instead of going to the holy land.

    While racing light mechs, your Urbanmech comes in second place, but only because it ran out of ammo.
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