So, I was watching Pompeii last night and it gave me the idea for today’s prompt. Not to mention added to my already growing obsession with Kit Harington (better known as Jon Snow from Game of Thrones).
We all know the myth of Atlantis: a utopian city wiped out in a single night thanks to an unearthly cataclysm. But Atlantis is only the most famous of mythical lost cities. Near-identical stories crop up with such regularity that it’s tempting to think they must be somehow related.
Take Iram (also known as Ubar). A fabled city in the deserts of modern Saudi Arabia, Iram is said to have been wiped out in a single night when Allah buried it under a flood of sand. In other words, it’s the Atlantis myth translated to a world without water. Then you have Ys off the coast of France, which was supposedly flooded around the 5th century by a mythical warrior king. And that’s before we get onto the story of Sodom and Gomorrah and the Hindu myth of Tripura, which both involve gods wiping out immoral cities in a rain of fire.
In short, the idea of a city obliterated overnight is so powerful it seems to show up everywhere. Are these half-remembered tragedies with some basis in fact (like Pompeii) or just stories that play to the apocalyptic fantasist in all of us? We’ll leave it to you to decide.