Poseidon fell in love with Cleito, the daughter of Evenor and Leucippe, who bore him five pairs of male twins. The eldest of these, Atlas, was made rightful king of the entire island and the ocean (called the AtlanticOcean in his honor), and was given the mountain of his birth and the surrounding area as his freedom. Atlas's twin Gadeirus, or Eumelus in Greek, was given the extremity of the island towards the pillars of Hercules.
Theother four pairs of twins—Ampheres and Evaemon,Mneseusand Autochthon,Elasippus and Mestor, and Azaes and Diaprepes—were also given "rule overmany men, and a large territory."Poseidon carved the mountain where his love dwelt into a palace and enclosed it with three circular moats of increasing width, varying from one to threestadia and separated by rings of land proportional in size. The Atlanteans then built bridges northward from the mountain, making a route to the rest of the island. They dug a great canal to the sea, and alongside the bridges carved tunnels into the rings of rock so that ships could pass into the city around the mountain; they carved docks from the rock walls of the moats. Every passage to the city was guarded by gates and towers, and a wall surrounded each of the city's rings. The walls were constructed of red, white and black rock quarried from the moats, and were covered with brass,tin and the precious metalorichalcum, respectively.
According to Critias, 9,000 years before his lifetime a war took place betweenthose outside the Pillars of Hercules at theStrait of Gibraltarand those whodwelt within them. The Atlanteans had conquered the parts of Libya withinthe Pillars of Hercules as far as Egypt and the European continent as far asTyrrhenia, and subjected its people to slavery. The Athenians led an alliance of resistors against the Atlantean empire, and as the alliance disintegrated, prevailed alone against the empire, liberating the occupied lands but at a later time there occurred portentous earthquakes and floods, one grievous day and night befell them, when the whole body of your warriors was swallowed up by the earth, and the island of Atlantis in like manner was swallowed up by the sea and vanished; wherefore also the ocean at that spot has now become impassable.
GATEWAY TO ATLANTIS
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