Ancient Greece
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Atlantis - Fact or Fantasy?

Atlantis - Fact or Fantasy?
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 5 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   6.01

     challenging words:    archaeological, engulf, existence, historical, original, fictional, society, imagine, archaeologists, dates, abound, mythical, wealthy, destruction, legend, undersea
     content words:    Atlantic Ocean, Ancient Egyptians, Minoan Civilization, Black Sea

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Atlantis - Fact or Fantasy?
By Phyllis Naegeli

1     Imagine living in a perfect city - under the ocean! That's what some people think about Atlantis. Movies, books, and stories abound. All of these are inspired by the legend of a lost civilization. Is it true? Or it is all just make-believe? Let's look at what we know. Then you can decide what you think.
2     Plato wrote the first stories about Atlantis. In his stories of Timaeus and Critias, he tells of an island that was in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. It was the home of Poseidon, the god of the sea. While living on Atlantis, Poseidon fell in love with a mortal woman, Cleito. He built a special place for Cleito to live on a mountain in the middle of the island. He encircled it with strips of land and water to keep her safe. Cleito and Poseidon had ten sons, five sets of twins. When the boys grew up, they became the rulers of Atlantis. Poseidon made Atlas the king. His other sons were made princes of territories on the island.
3     The people of Atlantis became very wealthy. The island had numerous natural resources. Other countries traded there. Vegetation was abundant. Many different animals wandered among the forests and mountains of the island. The people were happy and peaceful. But over the years, this began to change. The people became greedy and wanted to conquer other lands. Zeus, the ruler of the gods, watched Atlantis change. He didn't like what he saw. So, Zeus met with the other gods. They decided that Atlantis needed to be punished. Zeus sent a giant wave to engulf the island. In a moment, Atlantis was swept into the sea.

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