ABOUT THE AUTHOR
George A. Sarantitis
Born in Athens on 07 – 07 – 1954
Postgradute, trained on technical and sales in GREECE, USA, JAPAN, GERMANY, UK, FRANCE, BELGIUM and DENMARK.
1) Design and manufacture of Industrial machinery.
3) Manufacture of Telecommunications and Audio Systems.
4) Laser Technology & Applications.
5) Computer Science – Industrial Computers and Networks.
6) High Level Software Languages.
7) Phototypesetting Engineering.
8) Offset – Web Press Technology
Speaks English and German and French.
Six years of studies on Ancient Greek Literature and History in a Greek High School (primary lesson).
Started Manufacturing of Industrial machinery and automotive spare parts. A company that was unique in Greece.
Once, on the body of the Hellenic Telecommunications Organization (OTE). Resigned.
Partner of Technical Service Support Company in the field of Press and Pre-Press systems.
Founding partner and General Manager and shareholder in a manufacturing and commercial company in the field of Graphic Arts.
Director of Graphlelectronic and Unimag.
Increasingly involved in writing.
Offshore sailing for the past 35 years.
Study of Ancient Greek texts, references and reports.
Study of Ancient Greek History – Classical age and earlier
Ex-heavy smoker (at last)
MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR
By Nick Kaloudis- English Translator of
‘The Apocalypse* of a Myth’ and the Plato Project Website
When on reading George A. Sarantitis’ ‘biography’, as he had laid it out above, I found that it was just a boring CV which did not do him or his work any justice and I told him so. I asked for free rein to write my impressions as a third party and he was agreeable. Thus, herein there are also things which out of modesty, reticence, embarrassment or simply not thinking of them, he would not have written himself.
I became acquainted with GS in March 2009 through a common friend, at a time when he was looking for an English translator and I was looking for a translation. After 2 ½ years of collaboration on “The Apocalypse* of a Myth” and scores of abstracts, papers and presentations later, if there is one word by which I would describe him, it is ‘thorough’.
There is valid reason for this. Professionally, GS is an engineer and businessman. He is not an academically qualified philologist or archaeologist. These latter are his hobbies which he takes very seriously indeed. So much so, that he once told me that if he could raise adequate funds, he would give up his business to dedicate himself to historical research. Amongst other things, he is an enthusiast of his mother tongue -Greek- and its evolution or devolution as has usually been the case. He regards highly the written word and mathematics, considering the two as one in the olden writings. He is deeply knowledgeable of Ancient Greece and is an avid reader of the ancient authors in their own tongue while always keeping in mind the social conditions and political state of affairs under which they wrote.
His favorite thinker is Plato so, predictably, GS values rationalism and because he is a scientist at core, he values and works by the principles of scientism. Interestingly, Plato wrote several mythical narratives. As an exponent of rationalism himself, GS found it hard to accept that a person of square logic would, if could, produce pure fiction. He suspected that there was more in those writings than meets the eye. To find out why and how, he devised a Methodology of Mythology to find the logic underlying such stories (the fascinating subject of a book currently in progress and soon to be completed).
While reading a translation of Plato’s Timaeus, he noticed an obviously misinterpreted nautical word which intrigued him enough to look for it in all available translations, both Greek and non-Greek. Indeed, he found it mistranslated over and over again. He also observed that there were various degrees of incompatible, even conflicting logic in all translations. This was at odds with the rationalist and very precise in meaning Plato. Also, there were discrepancies between translations and always over the same sections. This clearly indicated that Plato had written certain passages that were particularly difficult to comprehend and so GS surmised that, in order to make sense of those, whichever translators had rendered them according to their own sensibility and knowledge.
Thus, he began to retranslate Plato with the basic premise that if there were problematic renderings of the original text, a connotatively accurate translation of it would clear them up. From the very start, the results were revolutionary and revelatory. Pieces of the seeming puzzle began to slot together and in the end, the writings proved to be less than apocryphal. And yet, nobody had for millennia made the connections.
This was some years ago. He has since spent phenomenal amounts of energy, time and money translating, checking and rechecking the results with qualified philologists. He self-published 200 (300 2013) copies of his book (in Greek) and distributed it to knowledgeable persons of several disciplines, for their feedback. It has been overwhelmingly positive. He is right in premise and procedure and the book he has penned proves it. Confident in his findings, he is offering a sizeable reward to whoever can prove his translations and his interpretation of them wrong.
The quest for Atlantis was not in his intentions. It was a serendipitous event, the instance when he noticed that single word which sparked his interest and put him on course for Atlantis. ATLANTIS: A topic of heated debate, which, because of mistranslation and subsequent misinterpretation, has remained controversial and irreconcilable as to its content and has given rise to explanations ranging from the weakly plausible to the supremely ludicrous. It has become the stuff of mysticism, cultism, wild speculation and gross exaggeration, of movies and cartoons. Volumes have been written on it and more are bound to come to market. Many have jumped to take advantage of this subject by tearing it apart and serving it up to make a quick profit. Others are earnest in their hypotheses but blinkered as to fundamental inconsistencies. Regrettably, anyone nowadays who dares deal seriously with this matter is looked upon as quaint at best, while the scientific community (most, not all) tends to ostracize such sincere individuals as deluded pseudo scientists and their efforts as unworthy of consideration. The issue of Atlantis is riddled with illogicality while practically nobody anymore takes into account that it was PLATO who wrote it! None of this put GS off.
How did he achieve the breakthrough? First of all, by keeping an open mind unfettered by preconceptions. Then, by deciding to simply -huge understatement- make his own thorough translation of the ancient texts from scratch so that he was sure he had the right material to work with. Actually this decision turned out to be incredibly time consuming, work intensive and expensive because Plato is not easy. But GS now feels fully justified in taking this decision because his accurate translation not only clarified previous ambiguities but also offered up new defining meanings and depictions.
He strived not to leave any loose end that might cast doubt on the correctness of his retranslations or his interpretation of them. To this end, he cross-referenced them with other ancient reports and crosschecked the results with qualified philologists and other experts in their fields. He subsequently spent over 4000 (!) hours in retranslating ~700 lines of text (of which, only a few dozen lines are very difficult) from the ancient into current Greek, the new rendition, as already mentioned, being checked and rechecked by experts in Ancient Greek. Such thoroughness demonstrates GS’ commitment to scientism. Evidently, it took time and money. Indeed, it has cost him more than a few thousand of £, €, $. (About two Hundred Thousand Euro ~ Euros 200.000. No exaggeration!) He has spent phenomenal amounts of energy, time and money! In short, he has been very, very thorough!
Apart from his inherent methodicalness, there are also external reasons for his thoroughness. Because he is not a qualified philologist or archaeologist and is dealing with issues outside his professional ‘domain’, he knew he would come to face all sorts of reservations, even hostility, from the Greek academic establishment. The conservatism, conformism and entrenched preconceptions that a few -thankfully- but vociferous ‘authoritative’ individuals, in all sciences, demonstrate to those whom they perceive as ‘amateurs’, are neither unknown nor modern-day phenomena. Although GS has never or will ever use these terms I am about to, I suppose he expected scholarly snubs by academic snobs who would see him as overly audacious in treading on their professional turf and to be especially dismissive of the subject of his investigations which is the logic behind myths and as it turned out, of the controversial issue of Atlantis in particular; a subject which the scientific community has by and large relegated to the status of pseudo-scientific dabble, considering this story as offering behavioral instruction but unworthy of further empirical consideration (to my mind, an illogical conclusion because they do not take into account who wrote it). To be fair however, I must admit that good reason has been given for this stance because of the all too often fantastical dimensions given to Atlantis by less than thorough persons. Hence this distorted public image of Atlantis as a tall tale at best. GS is first to admit this and this is why he has gone to utmost lengths to substantiate and corroborate the validity of his findings.
On the other hand, he also expected that there would have been others alert enough to recognize the soundness of his work and on realizing its import, possibly sly enough to try and appropriate it, or aspects of it, as their own. Hence his foresight to comprehensively copyright all his work and to subsequently put out the Invitation-Challenge to counteract such underhanded individuals and actions while at the same time seeking the corroboration mentioned previously. Clearly, intellectual usurpers cannot begin to fathom the degree of thoroughness by which GS has derived and tied up his conclusions (for which I can vouch).
But GS is far from the stuffy bookish type one may be forgiven for understanding by reading the above. In proof of his deductions, he has flown, driven and walked several times over the site of Richat and will no doubt do so again. Apart from these exploratory trips, he has travelled the world extensively in study and for business. He is a family man who paints, plays the guitar (scratches it, he says) has a tuneful baritone, is involved in local politics and civil affairs, was a keen sportsman in his earlier youth, is not adverse to wining and dining (recently cut out smoking) and jumps at the chance to make merry in good company. He is a whiz on the computer and generally techno-literate. He is an accomplished sailor (regatta trophy holder) with instructor status. Even as I sit in front of the PC writing these lines with 36o C outside, he is on his sailing boat somewhere off his beloved island of Lefkas, having a nip, I imagine. He has both sides of his brain working in parallel. In short, he is not as boring as his CV…
So, apart from being a stickler for detail, GS is a Greek internationalist of a scientific frame of mind but with artistic leanings. As a keen hobbyist, he thinks out of the box, free from academic conventions and restrictions which could -possibly- have prevented him, in trepidation of his peers, from touching subjects considered as scholastic non-starters. Also, fortuitously as it turned out, he is a man of the sea. It somehow seems to me fitting that all these elements rolled into one, should lead an individual such as he to the verge of instigating what may well be the greatest discovery in the human sciences; the roots of civilization no less!?
For me, prior to my involvement with GS, Atlantis was just a science fiction story cum historical tale, of those one vaguely recalls but can’t remember in detail, never mind who wrote it. As I became more and more drawn in with the translation, I found GS’ work more and more compelling and quickly became a bit of a researcher myself. My not so few and sometimes picky requests for elucidation were always clarified conclusively by GS and on one or two rare occasions when he was stuck for the answer, he asked for a short timeout to come back presto with the reply. The changes and revisions were constant as new material cropped up or previous material was re-evaluated. There were cases of revisions that went into double figures and last minute changes to presentations. I remember on one occasion, he was very concerned as to how to structure his book since it deals with issues that are of interest to scholars and laymen (like me) alike, only to conclude that there was no other way but to put it all out there on the line. He knew and I now do too, that his is a piece of writing that needs to be read at least twice because of the correlations and interrelations involved. It is indeed gripping. I am no expert of course, but, all things considered, I believe that GS is spot-on. The whole thing speaks to reason! Plato’s givens, when juxtaposed with the geographical location in point, are a match that is way beyond the wildest coincidence! It bears no doubt that Richat is the site of Plato’s Atlantis.
I once asked GS (since unfortunately I was not a fly on the wall) as to his initial emotion at that moment when he transposed his diagram of Plato’s directions to the map of the world and for the first time saw the Eye of Africa staring right back at him, there where Plato wrote it would be and where it can be visited today by anyone who wants to! (Note: GS had never even heard of it before that moment).
In summary, I translate his utterances as … WOW! He added that the first huge YES! was when he managed to locate the Pillars of Heracles that Plato wrote of, as being at the Gulf of Gabes in Tunis. That helped to define the Continent of Atlantis and the rest followed relatively easily. He has said WOW! and YES! many times since then in justification of his retranslation effort. His onsite visits corroborated the dimensions and land features described by Plato. He went on to be wowed repeatedly as his findings reconciled previously unexplainable ancient reports. He continues to be wowed as to how his Methodology in Mythology is turning up incredible new information buried in Homers epics (he says he has material for several more books and there’s work to occupy several generations). Most of all, he was wowed as to how a less than precise translation can mislead, misrepresent and put a cap on knowledge.
At another time, on taking a break after almost an hour of intense deliberation as to what should be the most suitable English word to convey the concept of a Greek word, I asked GS what he expects an archaeological dig to bring to light. He was non-committal, stating reservedly that according to his estimations, whatever trace of whatever level of civilization survived the ravages of the natural catastrophe and the course of time, will be approximately 10-15 m underground.
Whatever the case may be, the fact remains that George A. Sarantitis has revealed through his thorough retranslation of Plato’s references to Atlantis, that that great intellectual of 2.300 years ago had, with precision albeit in deliberate circumlocution, not only described a place that existed at least 11.000 years in the past, but also gave the directions to it, with one of its highest points being at coordinates 21o 07’26.14” N & 11o 24’17.00” W!
This fact alone, not to mention how Plato came to know about this location in the first place, is not only mind boggling but gives cause for eager anticipation as to future apocalypses, revelations if you wish, for which GS has laid the groundwork and hopefully will be actively involved in exploring!
In the end, I cannot but respect and admire his dogged sleuthing (read scientific methodicalness and scholarly thoroughness) in the hours he steals away from his ‘regular’ occupation. But more than this, I cannot but respect and admire his respect and admiration for the ancient logos. I have tried to respond actively and to express my respect and admiration by undertaking to do the English translations equally thoroughly. To assist me in this effort, I rely on the expert opinion and invaluable assistance of Deborah Cotterell, English Language Instructress (BA Hons.) to proofread, tweak and correct the grammar and syntax when I sometimes lose the ball in my anxiousness to be faithful in translation.
I hope that in this More About the Author, I have given readers an insight to the man behind the incredible effort that has gone into realizing this project. It has been a most challenging proactive experience so far. May it be the beginning of more apocalypses (sic) with George A. Sarantitis at the forefront. Without a doubt, the prospects are overwhelmingly exciting.