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Atlantis: The Antediluvian World

(Collector's Library of the Unknown)

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  547 ratings  ·  57 reviews
The great classic of Atlantis, this book more than any other established the existence of this lost continent for the modern world. Attracting hundreds of thousands of readers and stimulating vast debate, it influenced generations of people including countless scientists who went on to do serious work in their fields, and numerous science-fiction writers. It is a measure o ...more
Paperback, 490 pages
Published December 8th 2011 by Dover Publications (first published 1882)
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Brett C
May 09, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ancient-history
I actually thought this was a fun read. The author presented a lot of information from many resources in order to postulate the existence of Atlantis. Atlantis was assumed to exist in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean and was destroyed in the Earth's great flood, the deluge. The only remnants of its existence are the current Azore Islands (pg. 43). The author says these are the mountain tops of Atlantis' highest peaks. Extending from Atlantis there were various mountain ridges that connected Euro ...more
Vrinda Pendred
Jan 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
This was one of the most fascinating books I've ever read. No, really.

1. You get excerpts from flood stories from every culture in the world (believe me, there are a lot!)

2. You get comparative 'mythology', religion, history and culture.

3. You get a glimpse of how archaeologists / historians thought of these things 100 years ago, when it was all first coming to the surface.

4. You can see the scary turn racism took in the first half of the 20th century. For me, that was interesting. Terrifying,
Matt Kelland
Dec 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
Even though I disagree almost entirely with everything Donnelly has to say about Atlantis, I enjoyed this. He raises a lot of intriguing questions about the similarities between ancient human societies across the world which still have not been satisfactorily explained by modern science. Most interesting were the similarities in myths, suggesting that either we all make up the same stories, or we have common memories of something else.
Erik Graff
Jul 07, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: revisionist history fans
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: sciences
One of the ongoing debates in the study of prehistory, ancient history and the history of religions has to do with the origin of symbols, life-ways and artifacts. When there are similarities, does this mean transmission from one culture to another, an archetypal substratum common to the species or mere coincidence? Donnelly presupposes and favors the transmission hypothesis and sees such correspondences between early cultures as evidence of a common source which he associates with Plato's Atlant ...more
Dec 15, 2020 rated it liked it
I disagreed with quite a lot of Donnelly’s arguments, but that’s not really why this book gets quite the average rating. It was an interesting read, with some points that made clear connections between the human race’s early ancestors. Yes, the author is clearly very intrigued by ancient history and anthropology, but I can’t say he knows everything there is to know. I found he did contradict himself on many occasions, and that some of his conclusions weren’t quite complete or satisfactory.

This b
N.A.K. Baldron
Mar 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was a surprisingly quick read. The research is all from the 1800's so I'm unable to say if all the quotes are accurate. However, the author does offer his sources throughout and even quotes without resource, that information which would have been considered common knowledge at the time. I feel that he is able to offer enough circumstantial evidence to indicate that there indeed was a land mass in the Atlantic that predates recorded history. He makes an interesting point specifically with re ...more
C.A. Gray
Apr 13, 2019 rated it liked it
Published in the 19th century, this book posits that Atlantis was the seat of the biblical Garden of Eden, that all of the flood myths actually refer to the sinking of Atlantis (which was where Plato said it was: a continent in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean), and that it was the first and most advanced human culture, seeding colonies all over the world. That the common ancestry of Atlantis explains similarities in language and culture between various groups in the Americas and in Africa, Euro ...more
Fiona Robson
Jul 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
This book was right up my street and provides a very convincing argument that most of the modern wider world, with its myths, religions and customs stem from a common ancestry in an ante-diluvian world.
Aug 26, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I could merely bear this until page 100. Probably more 100 pages than it really deserves. Although the theme does interest me, the writing is dull and is comprised of huge list of similarities between cultures, not even trying to explain them.

I do understand that much of the supposed facts this book is based on are now considered outdated, but even so, it is written in such a pseudo-scientifc manner that is utterly unbearable for anyone with some modern knowledge of geology, mythology and ancie
Feb 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: antediluvian
This book was written in 1882. It has a lot of interesting data. The author's premise is that the Deluge/Flood was actually the sinking of Atlantis. Also that most ancient civilizations derived from Atlantis. There are a lot of facts that support some of his ideas, but some of his ideas are real stretches. All ancient cultures (North and South American, Egyption, European, African, Indian, Asian) have the Deluge/Flood mythology. But who knows, it could have bean an asteroid that caused the Delug ...more
Jun 24, 2017 rated it did not like it
A "non-fiction" scientific investigation into the existence and history of Atlantis. Written by a Minnesota senator in the 1860s (?), he investigates the geography, language, technology, metalwork of many cultures around the world and compares them to prove the existence of Atlantis. Unfortunately is is written in a dry scientific style devoid of humor, making it tough to slog through. For history buffs only.

My eBook copy did not include any charts or photographs. So, if you're inclined to seek
Beth Barany
Feb 09, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, atlantis
I found this book quite interesting and convincing. I did stop reading about 75% through because Donnelly got repetitive. I'll probably go back and finish the book at some point to see if there are a few nuggets he drops. ...more
Jul 21, 2007 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
i'm quite sure this must be a hell of a book. i've got the soft copy but it's really annoying reading on the screen, i'd love to own the original thou i know it may cost a fortune. ...more
Lauraley Dilgard
Jan 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I read this book twice the first time several years ago. When I couldn't find my book I ordered it and read it again I found it so interesting I really learned a lot. ...more
Robert Mills
May 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
A book of its time. As the author admits most of the science he used to set up his theories were in their infancy. Nearly 100 years later we know more and the theories just dont hold up. The real problem is that who ever transferred the book to digital did not read the book or read the finished product to make sure that the words match up. The h's in words like head, hear, etc where in fact read as b's making them bead, bear, and so forth. I hope that someone would please take time to fix this. ...more
Feb 28, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The things I liked about this book:
It gave some mythology of lots of different civilizations around the world.
It gave a little bit of history to certain civilizations that was known or thought to have known at the time of writing, 1880’s.
It is an attempt at a scientific reasoning to prove Atlantis is real, though it falls very short.
What I didn’t like:
I know this was written over a hundred years ago and science, geological and archeology in particular, wasn’t as advanced as it is now but
Jan 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A great compilation of evidence favoring Atlantis as a real place. Taking into account cartography, astronomy, language, myths from many ancient peoples to show that Atlantis has a high probability of existed long ago. The sinking continent in every culture's flood myths. People will forever be skeptical of events so far removed, but his research is comprehensive and interesting. Having been published in the late 1800s, the language reads easily. This book would be good for anyone interested in ...more
Isabella Panzica
Jan 20, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who loved Disney's Atlantis
This book is very in-depth and convincing at times. I loved how the author sourced so many historic events, linguistic facts, anthropology facts, and historical texts. My only complaint was that during the last third of the book I felt like the author crossed the line at times into conspiracy theory. Though I am extremely happy that I read this since I loved the Disney movie Atlantis growing up and listening to this audiobook is exactly what I would imagine Milo lecturing about Atlantis would be ...more
Confused and outdated but with certain fascinating passages. Donnelly was an interesting fellow - will look out for more about him and from him. Not completely convinced about his thesis but willing to explore further. Are we allowed to discuss Atlantis with straight faces or are we to be shunned as eccentric wonks?
Mark Dickson
May 24, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The word “probably” doesn’t mean “definitive proof” like this guy seems to think it does.

Full of archaic and racist analysis of countries and races, and entire portions of other works copied and pasted.

DNF at:
“How could the beardless American Indians have imagined a bearded race?”
John Kusnir
Feb 26, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2019-reads
Boring, dry, with about 20 interesting pages in the 500 page slog. Some cool illustrations.
John Godown

Lots of information but repeats some subjects multiple times and the illustrations did not show up on my kindle those would have been helpful
Melissa Jean
May 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
LOVED this book!!! It's a bit difficult to read since it was written about a hundred years ago... but the amount of info and theories in this book are astounding, and well worth the read! ...more
REx MukTo
Jan 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
this was most classic myth book ever
Sia Fay
Apr 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Chapter 2...
Robin and Michael St Pierre
Great book, I read it years ago. I actually bought it again and re- read it.
Jun 26, 2021 rated it really liked it
was one of the wierdest books i ever read. highly reccomend
Victoria Adams
Sep 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
So, this week we are back with a bang reviewing interesting and, perhaps, rather obscure texts on subjects of interest. I have chosen to review two titles together primarily because they represent the foundation of modern thought on that mystic island in the sea, Atlantis. Each has a slightly different perspective. If you are truly interested in Atlantis and lost civilizations, these books provide much food for thought.

The “book that started it all” was entitled Atlantis, The Antediluvian World.
Karen Collyer
A book I read many years ago when researching Atlantis - the myths, the legends and the theories. This is an important book to read, now save on my 'to read' pile again. ...more
Nox Prognatus
Sep 30, 2012 rated it liked it
This was a very interesting work. Donnelly was not an expert in his field. And has obviously done a lifetimes research and reading to present the facts laid out in his work. I particularly enjoyed how he tried to show various cultures have evolved from Atlantis with evidences to support his hypothesis. I liked the way he showed similarity between various language types and how they could evolve from one to the other. For example, he makes similarities betwwen the Mayan and Phoenecian languages. ...more
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U.S. Congressman, populist writer and science writer.

His most known theories are on Atlantis, Shakespearean authorship and Catastrophism.

Ignatius Loyola Donnelly ran in multiple elections for governor of Minnesota and was Republican congressman from 1863–1868.

In 1892, Donnelly wrote the preamble of the People's Party's Omaha Platform for the presidential campaign of that year. He was nominated f

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