Due to one interpretation of the Mayan calendar, in this period, many people are concerned with apocalyptic theories and eschatological prophecies of the coming end of the world on December 21. However, this fear is not new to humanity.
The fear of the end of the world obsessed human mind for millennia: floods, eternal fire, sandstorms, the twilight of the gods. Faced with the great cycles of nature, people lived for centuries under the rule of fear that winter or night will never go.
Centuries later, we are still afraid of the “Judgment day”, imagining a nuclear winter, environmental destruction, a giant asteroid colliding with our planet…
The Aztecs believed that every 52 years there was a risk that the Sun would disappear and made human sacrifices to ensure its rebirth.
Rains play an important role in the apocalyptic theories and the myths about the world’s end. The myth of the Flood is one of the oldest ones and appeared long before the legend of Noah’s Ark.
In Mesopotamia, the flood appears in mythology in the Sumerian epoch and culminates in the Epic of Gilgamesh, in the 8th century BC.
Tornadoes also appear in Greek and Roman antiquity. The first flood of Greek antiquity is the Ogygian flood, dating back to the 5th century BC, and then comes the legend of Atlantis described by Plato.
In the Book of Genesis, God decides to destroy humans and animals in the flood of Noah. In the New Testament, we also find flood, fire, and final judgment, the model of the divine court of the Egyptian Osiris.
In West Africa, the most widespread myth is the myth of pumpkin that swallows whole villages and the entire humanity.
The myth of ecumenical (universal) fire exists in Greece, Scandinavia, India, and the cultures of American Indians. It is often accompanied by a flood, such as the Hindu cosmogony with the four types of annihilation (pralaya). The Aztecs also mentioned four consecutive disasters, including water and fire.
Together with the monotheistic religions, myths of the Apocalypse came. The “Apocalypse” of Jewish prophets was followed by the Biblical “Revelation of John”.
In the world of Islam, there is also a description of the destruction of the world by sandstorms, invasion, or fire, accompanied by the Day of Judgment.
In the Middle Ages, the advent of the year 1000 provoked fear of the end of the world in Europe extinct by the plague and hunger. In 1013, a solar eclipse reawakened fear, while the approach of the year 2000 became a cause of irrational phobias.
Thus, apocalyptic theories are not new and you can see that the story repeats. So the question is: is there any adequate cause for us to be afraid of the end of the world this time?
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