Despite its minor importance in Plato's work, the Atlantis story has had a considerable impact on literature.

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On the other hand, nineteenth-century amateur scholars misinterpreted Plato's narrative as historical tradition, most notably in Ignatius L. Plato's vague indications of the time of the events—more than 9,000 years before his time As a consequence, Atlantis has become a byword for any and all supposed advanced prehistoric lost civilizations and continues to inspire contemporary fiction, from comic books to films.

While present-day philologists and classicists agree on the story's fictional character, The only primary sources for Atlantis are Plato's dialogues Timaeus and Critias; all other mentions of the island are based on them.

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Critias mentions a tale he considered to be historical, that would make the perfect example, and he then follows by describing Atlantis as is recorded in the Critias.

In his account, ancient Athens seems to represent the "perfect society" and Atlantis its opponent, representing the very antithesis of the "perfect" traits described in the Republic.

The dialogues claim to quote Solon, who visited Egypt between 590 and 580 BC; they state that he translated Egyptian records of Atlantis.

For it is related in our records how once upon a time your State stayed the course of a mighty host, which, starting from a distant point in the Atlantic ocean, was insolently advancing to attack the whole of Europe, and Asia to boot.

In his works Plato makes extensive use of the Socratic method in order to discuss contrary positions within the context of a supposition.