Print version ISSN 0120-4688
COSTA, Ivana. The prosperity and the fall of Atlantis: Herodotean Influences in the platonic tale of the corruption of the pólis. Prax. filos. [online]. 2009, n.28, pp. 77-98. ISSN 0120-4688.
Departing from an analysis of the way in which Herodotus reflects on prosperity and fall in his Croesus lógos, this article seeks to show some links between this story and Plato's tale of the rise and fall of Atlantis, a brilliant fable about the corruption and decay of the political community. I will try to show up to what extent the cause of the fall of the powerful and desappeared island lays in its inhabitants gradual disregard of phrónesis. I will try to contribute in this way -secondarily-to reinforce, with new hypothesis, a certain interpretation about the role played by the Atlantis myth in the unity and coherence of the whole Platonic project of Timaeus-Critias dialogues. In these pages, I will first analyze (section 2) the crucial difference between Herodotus conception of prosperity and the one shown by archaic poets. Second, (section 3), I will analyze the more superficial and the more deep influences of Herodotus conception in the Platonic making of his Atlantis myth. I will try to show the strategic presence, both in Timaeus and Critias, of the references to phrónesis. Then, I will try (section 4) to confirm the influence of Herodotus in Plato, looking at the narrative construction of the characteres of Solon and above all of Croesus. Finally (section 5) I will offer some hypothesis about the reasons Plato might have had to finish his own tale sinking not only the decadent Atlantis, but also the victorious Athens.
Keywords : Plato; Herodotus; Croesus; Atlantis; corruption of the polis.