Atlantis (in Greek "island of Atlas") is the name of a legendary island first mentioned in Plato's dialogues Timaeus and Critias. In Plato's account, Atlantis, lying "beyond the pillars of Heracles", was a naval power that conquered many parts of Western Europe and Africa, over 9,000 years before Plato's own time, or approximately 9400 BC. After a failed attempt to invade Athens, Atlantis sank into the ocean "in a single day and night of misfortune". As a story embedded in Plato's dialogues, Atlantis is generally seen as a myth created by Plato to illustrate his political theories. Although the function of the story of Atlantis seems clear to most scholars, they dispute whether and how much Plato's account was inspired by older traditions. Some scholars argue Plato drew upon memories of past events such as the Thera eruption or the Trojan War, while others insist that he took inspiration of contemporary events like the destruction of Helike in 373 BC or the...''This information was automatically generated from Freebase article Atlantis.