Aristotle and Atlantis
Listen with Aristotle to the theory that Atlantis was in Sweden, in this famous frontispiece to Olof Rudbeck the Elder’s Taflor (Tables), the collection of maps and prints that accompanied his Atlantica (1689). Aristotle, centre left beneath Plato and likewise name-labelled, is one of the sagacious authorities looking on. They also include Homer, Ptolemy and Tacitus. Rudbeck was professor of medicine and Rector of Uppsala University. He is depicted as larger than any of them, in the centre, dissecting the earth and pointing at Sweden to uncover the ‘real’ history beneath its surface. In the text, Rudbeck ranged far and wide in ancient sources to illuminate his conviction that the Swedes descended from ancient Goths, Hyperboreans, and inhabitants of Atlantis. He refers to Aristotle more than twenty times, especially the Physics, Meteorology and probably spurious de Mundo.