First published in 1950 The author gratefully acknowledges permission to quote from the following books: G. A.
Dorsey, The Pawnee: Mythology, Carnegie Institution of Washington, 1906; Maimonides: The
Guide for the Perplexed, translated M. Friedlander, E. P. Dutton, Inc., 1928; Clements R.
Markham, The Incas of Peru, E. P. Dutton, Inc., 1910; Sha\untala and other writings of Kalidasa,
transl. A. W. Ryder, Everyman's Library, E. P. Dutton, Inc., 1912; James Moffatt, The Bible: A
New Translation, copyright, 1935, Harper & Brothers; The Loeb Classical Library, Harvard
University Press: Homer, The Iliad, transl. A. T. Murray, 1925; Hesiod, Theogony, transl. H.
Evelyn-White, 1914; Euripides, Electra, transl. A. S. Way, 1919; Plato, Timaeus, transl. R. C.
Bury, 1929, and The Statesman (Politicus), transl. H. N. Fowler, 1925; Apollodorus, The
Library, transl. J. B. Frazer, 1921; Seneca, Thyestes, transl. F. J. Miller, 1917; Virgil, Georgics,
transl. H. R. Fairclough, 1920; Ovid, Metamorphoses, transl. F. L. Miller, 1916; Philo, The
Eternity of the World, transl. F. H. Colson, 1941; Plutarch, Life of Numa, transl. B. Perrin, 1914;
Louis Ginzberg, The Legends of the Jews, copyright, 1910, 1928, The Jewish Publication
Society of America; L. de Cambrey, Lapland Legends, Yale University Press, 1926; The
Philosophy of Spinoza, ed. J. Ratner, copyright, 1927, Modern Library, Random House, Inc.; R.
A. Daly, Our Mobile Earth, copyright, 1926, Charles Scribner's Sons; Evelyn Stefansson, Here Is
Alaska, copyright, 1943, Charles Scribner's Sons; J. F. Fleming, Terrestrial Magnetism and
McGraw-Hill Book Company, New York, 1939.
Printed in the United States of America

Worlds in Collision is a book of wars in the celestial sphere that took place in historical times. In
these wars the planet earth participated too. This book describes two acts of a great drama: one
that occurred thirty-four to thirty-five centuries ago, in the middle of the second millennium
before the present era; the other in the eighth and the beginning of the seventh century before the
present era, twenty-six centuries ago. Accordingly, this volume consists of two parts, preceded
by a prologue.
Harmony or stability in the celestial and terrestrial spheres is the point of departure of the
present-day concept of the world as expressed in the celestial mechanics of Newton and the
theory of evolution of Darwin. If these two men of science are sacrosanct, this book is a heresy.
However, modern physics, of atoms and of the quantum theory, describes dramatic changes in
the microcosm— the atom—the prototype of the solar system; a theory, then, that envisages not
dissimilar events in the macrocosm—the solar system-brings the modern concepts of physics to
the celestial sphere.
This book is written for the instructed and uninstructed alike. No formula and no hieroglyphic
will stand in the way of those who set out to read it. If, occasionally, historical evidence does not
square with formulated laws, it should be remembered that a law is but a deduction from
experience and experiment, and therefore laws must conform with historical facts, not facts with
The reader is not asked to accept a theory without question. Rather, he is invited to consider for
himself whether he is reading a book of fiction or non-fiction, whether what he is reading is
invention or historical fact. On one point alone, not necessarily decisive for the theory of cosmic
catastrophism, I borrow credence: I use a synchronical scale of Egyptian and Hebrew histories
which is not orthodox.
It was in the spring of 1940 that I came upon the idea that in the days of the Exodus, as evident
from many passages of the Scriptures, there occurred a great physical catastrophe, and that such
an event could serve in determining the time of the Exodus in Egyptian history or in establishing
a synchronical scale for the histories of the peoples concerned. Thus I started Ages in Chaos, a
reconstruction of the history of the ancient world from the middle of the second millennium
before the present era to the advent of Alexander the Great. Already in the fall of that same year,
1940, I felt that I had acquired an understanding of the real nature and extent of that catastrophe,
and for nine years I worked on both projects, the political and the natural histories. Although
Ages in Chaos was finished first, in the order of publication it will follow this work.
Worlds in Collision comprises only the last two acts of the cosmic drama. A few earlier acts—
one of them known as the Deluge—will be the subject of another volume of natural history.
The historical-cosmological story of this book is based on the evidence of historical texts of
many peoples around the globe, on classical literature, on epics of northern races, on sacred
books of the peoples of the Orient and Occident, on traditions and folklore of primitive peoples,
on old astronomical inscriptions and charts, on archaeological finds, and also on geological and
paleontological material.
If cosmic upheavals occurred in the historical past, why does not the human race remember
them, and why was it necessary to carry on research to find out about them? I discuss this
problem in the Section "The Collective Amnesia." The task I had to accomplish was not unlike
that faced by a psychoanalyst who, out of disassociated memories and dreams, reconstructs a
forgotten traumatic experience in the early life of an individual. In an analytical experiment on
mankind, historical inscriptions and legendary motifs often play the same role as recollections
(infantile memories) and dreams in the analysis of a personality.
Can we, out of this polymorphous material, establish actual facts? We shall check one people
against another, one inscription against another, epics against charts, geology against legends,
until we are able to extract the historical facts.
In a few cases it is impossible to say with certainty whether a record or a tradition refers to one
or another catastrophe that took place through the ages; it is also probable that in some traditions

robin-bobin various elements from different ages are fused together. In the final analysis, however, it is not
so essential to segregate definitively the records of single world catastrophes. More important, it
seems, is to establish (1) that there were physical upheavals of a global character in historical
times; (2) that these catastrophes were caused by extraterrestrial agents; and (3) that these agents
can be identified.
There are many implications that follow from these conclusions. I refer to them in the Epilogue,
so that I can omit reference to them here.
A few readers went over this book in manuscript and made valuable suggestions and remarks. In
chronological order of their reading they are:
Dr. Horace M. Kallen, formerly Dean of the Graduate Faculty of the New School for Social
Research, New York; John J. O'Neill, Science Editor of the New York Herald Tribune; James
Putnam, Associate Editor of the Macmillan Company; Clifton Fadiman, literary critic and
commentator; Gordon A. Atwater, Chairman and Curator of the Hayden Planetarium of the
American Museum of Natural History, New York. The last two read the work at their own
request after Mr. O'Neill had discussed it in an article in the Herald Tribune of August 11,1946. I
am indebted to all of them but I alone am responsible for content and form.
Miss Marion Kuhn cleared the manuscript of grammatical weeds and helped in reading the
Many an author has dedicated his book to his wife or mentioned her in the preface. I have always
felt this was somewhat ostentatious, but now that this work is being published, I feel I shall be
most ungrateful if I fail to mention that my wife Elisheva spent almost as much time on it at our
desk as I did. I dedicate this book to her.
The years when Ages in Chaos and Worlds in Collision were written were years of a world
catastrophe created by man—of war that was fought on land, on sea, and in the air. During that
time man learned how to take apart a few of the bricks of which the universe is built—the atoms
of uranium. If one day he should solve the problem of the fission and fusion of the atoms of
which the crust of the earth or its water and air are composed, he may perchance, by initiating a
chain reaction, take this planet out of the struggle for survival among the members of the
celestial sphere. New York, September 1949.

Author's Preface  - vii

Chapter 1 - 8
In an Immense Universe - The Celestial Harmony-The Origin of the Planetary System • The Origin of the Comets
Chapter 2 - 16
The Planet Earth-Ice Ages "The Mammoths-The Ice Age and the Antiquity of Man • The World Ages • The Sun Ages

Chapter 1 - 39
The Most Incredible Story-On the Other Side of the Ocean
Chapter 2 - 47
Fifty-Two Years Earlier-The Red World-The Hail of Stones • Naphtha • The Darkness • Earthquake • "13"
Chapter 3 - 67
The Hurricane • The Tide-The Battle in the Sky-The Comet of Typhon-The Spark-The Collapsed Sky
Chapter 4 - 91
Boiling Earth and Sea-Mount Sinai • Theophany • Emperor Yahou
Chapter 5 - 105
East and West • The Reversed Polarity of the Earth • The Quarters of the World Displaced • Changes in the Times and the Seasons
Chapter 6 - 126
The Shadow of Death • Ambrosia • Rivers of Milk and Honey • Jericho
Chapter 7 - 141
Stones Suspended in the Air • Phaethon • Atlantis • The Floods of Deucalion and Ogyges
Chapter 8 - 153
The Fifty-Two-Year Period • Jubilee • The Birth of Venus • The Blazing Star • The Four-Planet
System • One of the Planets is a Comet • The Comet Venus
Chapter 9 - 168
Pallas Athene • Zeus and Athene • Worship of the Morning Star • The Sacred Cow • Baal Zevuv
(Beelzebub) • Venus in the Folklore of the Indians
Chapter 10 - 194
The Synodical Year of Venus ¦ Venus Moves Irregularly • Venus Becomes the Morning Star 

Chapter 1 - 207
Amos • The Year —747 • Isaiah • The Argive Tyrants • Again Isaiah • Maimonides and Spinoza, the Exegetes
Chapter 2 - 227
The Year - 687 • Ignis e Coelo • March 23rd • The Worship of Mars • Mars Moves the Earth from Its Pivot
Chapter 3 - 244
What Caused Venus and Mars to Shift Their Orbits?' When Was the Iliad Created? •
Huitzilopochtli • Tao • Yuddha • The Bundahis • Lucifer Cut Down
Chapter 4 - 261
Sword-God • Fenris-Wolf • Sword-Time, Wolf-Time • Syn-odos • The Stormer of the Walls
Chapter 5 - 279
The Steeds of Mars* The Terrible Ones-Samples from the Planets • The Archangels • Planet
Worship in Judea in the Seventh Century
Chapter 6 - 298
A Collective Amnesia • Folklore • Of "Preexisting Ideas" in the Souls of Peoples • The Pageants
of the Sky • The Subjective Interpretation of the Events and Their Authenticity
Chapter 7 -
Poles Uprooted • Temples and Obelisks-The Shadow Clock-The Water Clock-A Hemisphere Travels Southward
Chapter 8 - 330
The Year of 360 Days • Disarranged Months • Years of Ten Months • The Reforming of the Calendar
Chapter 9 - 360
The Moon and Its Craters • The Planet Mars • The Atmosphere of Mars • The Thermal Balance
of Mars • The Gases of Venus • The Thermal Balance of Venus • The End

Facing Many Problems - 379
Index 391 — -----""--------- PROLOGUE

CHAPTER 1 In an Immense Universe
Quota pars opens tanti nobis committitur?
IN AN immense universe a little globe revolves around a star; it is the third in the row—
Mercury, Venus, Earth—of the planetary family. It is of a solid core covered over most of its
surface with liquid, and it has a gaseous envelope. Living creatures fill the liquid; other living
creatures fly in the gas; and still others creep and walk upon the ground on the bottom of the
gaseous ocean. Man, a being of erect stature, thinks himself the prince of creation. He felt like
this long before he, by his own efforts, came to know how to fly on wings of metal around the
globe. He felt godlike long before he could talk to his fellow-man on the other side of the globe.
Today he can see the microcosm in a drop and the elements in the stars. He knows the laws
governing the living cell with its chromosomes, and the laws governing the macrocosm of the
sun, moon, planets, and stars. He assumes that gravitation keeps the planetary system together,
man and beast on their planet, the sea within its borders. For millions and millions of years, he
maintains, the planets have rolled along on the same paths, and their moons around them, and
man in these eons has arisen from a one-cell infusorium all the long way up the ladder to his
status of Homo sapiens.
Is man's knowledge now nearly complete? Are only a few more steps necessary to conquer the
universe: to extract the energy of

the atom—since these pages were written this has already been done —to cure cancer, to control
genetics, to communicate with other planets and learn if they have living creatures, too?
Here begins Homo ignoramus. He does not know what life is or how it came to be and whether it
originated from inorganic matter. He does not know whether other planets of this sun or of other
suns have life on them, and if they have, whether the forms of life there are like those around us,
ourselves included. He does not know how this solar system came into being, although he has
built up a few hypotheses about it. He knows only that the solar system was constructed billions
of years ago. He does not know what this mysterious force of gravitation is that holds him and
his fellow man on the other side of the planet with their feet on the ground, although he regards
the phenomenon itself as "the law of laws." He does not know what the earth looks like five
miles under his feet. He does not know how mountains came into existence or what caused the
emergence of the continents, although he builds hypotheses about these, nor does he know from
where oil came— again hypotheses. He does not know why, only a short time ago, a thick
glacial sheet pressed upon most of Europe and North America, as he believes it did; nor how
palms could grow above the polar circle, nor how it came about that the same fauna fill the inner
lakes of the Old and the New World. He does not know where the salt in the sea came from.
Although man knows that he has lived on this planet for millions of years, he finds a recorded
history of only a few thousand years. And even these few thousand years are not sufficiently well
Why did the Bronze Age precede the Iron Age even though iron is more widely distributed over
the world and its manufacture is simpler than that of the alloy of copper and tin? By what
mechanical means were structures of immense blocks built on the high mountains of the Andes?
What caused the legend of the Flood to originate in all the countries of the world? Is there any
adequate meaning to the term "antediluvian"? From what experiences grew the eschatological
pictures of the end of the world?

In this work, of which the present book is the first part, some of these questions will be
answered, but only at the cost of giving up certain notions now regarded as sacred laws in
science—the millions of years of the present constitution of the solar system and the harmonious
revolution of the earth—with all their implications as regards the theory of evolution.
The Celestial Harmony
The sun rises in the east and sets in the west. The day consists of twenty-four hours. The year
consists of 365 days, 5 hours, and 49 minutes. The moon circles around the earth, changing its
phases-crescent, full, decrescent. The terrestrial axis points in the direction of the polar star.
After winter comes spring, then summer and fall. These are common facts. Are they invariable
laws? Must it be so forever? Was it so always?
The sun has nine planets. Mercury has no satellites; Venus has no satellites; the earth has a
moon; Mars has two small trabants, mere pieces of rock, and one of them completes its month
before Mars ends its day; Jupiter has eleven moons and eleven different kinds of months to
count; Saturn has nine moons, Uranus has five moons,1 Neptune one, Pluto none.2 Was it
always so? Will it be so forever?
The sun rotates in an easterly direction. All planets revolve in their orbits in the same direction
(counterclockwise if seen from the north) around the sun. Most of their moons revolve
counterclockwise (in direct motion), but there are a few that revolve in the opposite direction (in
retrograde motion).
No orbit is an exact circle; there is no regularity in the eccentrical shapes of the planetary orbits;
each elliptical curve verges in a different direction.
It is not known for certain, but it is assumed that Mercury permanently shows the same face to
the sun, as our moon does with respect
1 The fifth satellite of Uranus was discovered in 1948.

2 Due to the great distance of Neptune and Pluto from the earth, smaller satellites around these planets may have remained undiscovered.
Note: While this book was on the press another satellite of Neptune was discovered by G. P. Kuiper.

to the earth. Information obtained by different methods of observation of Venus is contradictory;
it is not known whether Venus rotates so slowly that its day equals its year, or so rapidly that the
night side is never sufficiently cooled. Mars rotates in 24 hours, 37 minutes, 22.6 seconds (mean
period), a period comparable to the terrestrial day. Jupiter, which in volume is thirteen hundred
times larger than the earth, completes a rotation in the short space of 9 hours and 50 minutes.
What causes this variability? It is not a law that a planet must rotate or have days and nights; still
less that its day and night must return every twenty-four hours.
If Pluto rotates from east to west,3 it has the sun rising in the west. Uranus has the sun rising and
setting neither in the east nor in the west. So it is not a law that a planet of the solar system must
rotate from west to east and that the sun must rise in the east.
The equator of the earth is inclined to the plane of its ecliptic at an angle of 23M°; this causes the
change of seasons during the annual revolution around the sun. The axes of other planets point in
the directions of seemingly deliberate choice. It is not a general law for all planets that winter
must follow fall and summer the spring.
The axis of Uranus is placed almost in the plane of its orbit; for about twenty years one of its
polar regions is the hottest place on the planet. Then night gradually descends and twenty years
later the other pole enters the tropics for an equal length of time.4
The moon has no atmosphere. It is not known whether Mercury has any atmosphere. Venus is
covered with dense clouds, but not of water vapor. Mars has a transparent atmosphere, but
almost without oxygen or water vapor, and its composition is unknown. Jupiter and Saturn have
gaseous envelopes; it is not known whether they have solid cores. It is not a general law that a
planet must have atmosphere or water.
Mars is 0.15 of the volume of the earth; the next planet, Jupiter, is about 8,750 times as large as
Mars. There is no regularity of, or relation between, the size of the planets and their position in
the system.

3 G. Gamow, Biography of the Earth (1941), p. 24.
4 The equator of Uranus is inclined at an angle of 82° to the plane of its orbit.

On Mars are seen "canals" and polar caps; on the moon, craters; the
earth has reflecting oceans; Venus has brilliant clouds; Jupiter has belts and a red spot; Saturn
has rings.
The celestial harmony is composed of bodies different in size, different in form, different in the
velocity of rotation, with differently directed axes of rotation, with different directions of
rotation, with differently composed atmospheres or without atmospheres, with a varying number
of moons or without moons, and with satellites revolving in either direction.
It appears then to be by chance that the earth has a moon, that we have day and night and that
their combined length is equal to twenty-four hours, that we have a sequence of seasons, that we
have oceans and water, atmosphere and oxygen, and probably also that our planet is placed
between Venus at our left and Mars at our right.
The Origin of the Planetary System
All theories of the origin of the planetary system and the motive forces that sustain the motion of
its members go back to the gravitational theory and the celestial mechanics of Newton. The sun
attracts the planets, and if it were not for a second force, they would fall into the sun; but each
planet is impelled by a motive force to proceed in a direction away from the sun, and as a result,
an orbit is formed. Similarly, a satellite or a moon is subject to a force that drives it away from
its primary, but the attraction of the primary bends the path on which the satellite would have
proceeded if there had been no attraction between the bodies, and out of these forces a satellite
orbit is traced. The inertia or persistence of motion implanted in planets and satellites was
postulated by Newton, but he did not explain how or when the initial pull or push occurred.1
The theory of the origin of the planetary system which dominated the entire nineteenth century
was proposed by Swedenborg, the theologian, and Kant, the philosopher. It was put into
scientific terms by Laplace,2 although not explored by him quantitatively, and in brief is as
1 Isaac Newton, Principia (Mathematical Principles) (1686), Bk. III.
2 P. S. Laplace, Exposition du susteme du monde (1796).

Hundreds of millions of years ago the sun was nebulous and very large and had a form
approaching that of a disc. This disc was as wide as the whole orbit of the farthest of the planets.
It rotated around its center. Owing to the process of compression caused by gravitation, a
globular sun shaped itself in the center of the disc. Because of the rotating motion of the whole
nebula, a centrifugal force was in action; parts of matter more on the periphery resisted the
retracting action directed toward the center and broke up into rings which balled into globes—
these were the planets in the process of shaping. In other words, as a result of the shrinkage of
the rotating sun, matter broke away and portions of this solar material developed into planets.
The plane in which the planets revolve is the equatorial plane of the sun.
This theory is now regarded as unsatisfactory. Three objections stand out above others. First, the
velocity of the axial rotation of the sun at the time the planetary system was built could not have
been sufficient to enable bands of matter to break away; but even if they had broken away, they
would not have balled into globes. Second, the Laplace theory does not explain why the planets
have larger angular velocity of daily rotation and yearly revolution than the sun could have
imparted to them. Third, what made some of the satellites revolve retrogradely, or in a direction
opposite to that of most of the members of the solar system?
"It appears to be clearly established that, whatever structure we assign to a primitive sun, a
planetary system cannot come into being merely as the result of the sun's rotation. If a sun,
rotating alone in space, is not able of itself to produce its family of planets and satellites, it
becomes necessary to invoke the presence and assistance of some second body. This brings us at
once to the tidal theory." 8

supposed to have been torn from the planets by the sun's attraction on their first perihelion
passage, when, sweeping along on stretched orbits, the planets came close to the sun.
The circling of the satellites around the planets also confronts existing cosmological theories
with difficulties. Laplace built his theory of the origin of the solar system on the assumption that
all planets and satellites revolve in the same direction. He wrote that the axial rotation of the sun
and the orbital revolutions and axial rotations of the six planets, the moon, the satellites, and the
rings of Saturn present forty-three movements, all in the same direction. "One finds by the
analysis of the probabilities that there are more than four thousand billion chances to one that
this arrangement is not the result of chance; this probability is considerably higher than that of
the reality

of historical events with regard to which no one would venture a doubt." 7 He deduced that a
common and primal cause directed the movements of the planets and satellites.
Since the time of Laplace, new members of the solar system have been discovered. Now we
know that though the majority of the satellites revolve in the same direction as the planets
revolve and the sun rotates, the moons of Uranus revolve in a plane almost perpendicular to the
orbital plane of their planet, and three of the eleven moons of Jupiter, one of the nine moons of
Saturn, and the one moon of Neptune revolve retrogradely. These facts contradict the main
argument of the Laplace theory: a rotating nebula could not produce satellites revolving in two
In the tidal theory the direction of the planets' movements depended on the star that passed: it
passed in the plane in which the planets now revolve and in a direction which determined their
circling from west to east. But why should the satellites of Uranus revolve perpendicularly to
that plane and some moons of Jupiter and Saturn in reverse directions? This the tidal theory fails
to explain.
According to all existing theories, the angular velocity of the revolution of a satellite must be
slower than the velocity of rotation of its parent. But the inner satellite of Mars revolves more
rapidly than Mars rotates.
Some of the difficulties that confront the nebular and tidal theories also confront another theory
that has been proposed in recent years.8 According to it, the sun is supposed to have been a
member of a double star system. A passing star crushed the companion of the sun, and out of its
debris planets were formed. In further development of this hypothesis, it is maintained that the
larger planets were built out of the debris, and the smaller ones, the so-called "terrestrial" planets,
were formed from the larger ones by a process of cleavage.
The birth of smaller, solid planets out of the larger, gaseous ones is conjectured in order to
explain the difference in the relation of
7 Laplace. Theorie analytique des probabilites (3rd ed., 1820), p. lxi; cf. H. Faye, Sur I'Origine
du monde (1884), pp. 131-132.
8 By Lyttleton and, independently, by Russell.

weight to volume in the larger and smaller planets; but this theory is unable to explain the
difference in the specific weights of the smaller planets and their satellites. By a process of
cleavage, the moon was born of the earth; but since the specific weight of the moon is greater
than that of the larger planets and smaller than that of the earth, it would seem to be more in
accord with the theory that the earth was born of the moon, despite its smallness. This confuses
the argument. The origin of the planets and their satellites remains unsolved. The theories not
only contradict one another, but each of them bears within itself its own contradictions. "If the
sun had been unattended by planets, its origin and evolution would have presented no difficulty."
•The Origin of the Comets

The nebular and tidal theories endeavor to explain the origin of the solar system
but do not include the comets in their schemes. Comets are more numerous than planets.
More than sixty robin-bobin comets are known to belong definitely to the solar system.
These are the comets of short periods
(less than eighty years); they revolve in stretched ellipses and all but one do not go beyond the
line marked by the orbit of Neptune. It is estimated that, besides the comets of short periods,
several hundred thousand comets visit the solar system; however, it is not known for certain that
they return periodically. They are seen presently at an approximate rate of five hundred in a
century, and are said to have an average period of tens of thousands of years.
A few theories of the origin of comets have been proposed, but aside from one attempt to see in
them planetesimals that did not receive a side pull sufficiently strong to bring them into circular
orbits,1 no scheme has been developed that explains the origin of the solar system in its entirety,
with its planets and comets; yet no cosmic theory can persist which limits itself to the problem of
either planets or comets exclusively.
9 Jeans, Astronomy and Cosmogony, p. 395.
1 An attempt to explain the comets, in the frame of the planetesimal theory, as scattered debris of
a great wreck, was made by T. C. Chamberlin, The Two Solar Families (1928).
One theory sees in the comets errant cosmic bodies arriving from interstellar space. After
approaching the sun, they turn away on an open (parabolic) curve. But if they happen to pass
close to one of the larger planets, they may be compelled to change their open curves to ellipses
and become comets of short period.2 This is the theory of capture: comets of long periods or of
no period are dislodged from their paths to become short-period comets. What the origin of the
long-period comets is remains an unanswered question.
The short-period comets apparently have some relation to the larger planets. About fifty comets
move between the sun and the orbit of Jupiter; their periods are under nine years. Four comets
reach the orbit of Saturn; two comets revolve inside the circle described by Uranus; and nine
comets, with an average period of seventy-one years, move within the orbit of Neptune. These
comprise the system of the short-period comets as it is known at present. To the last group
belongs the Halley comet, which, among the comets of short periods, has the longest period of
revolution—about seventy-six years. Then there is a great gap, after which there are comets that
require thousands of years before they return to the sun, if they return at all.
The distribution of the short-period comets suggested the idea that they were "captured" by the
large planets. This theory has for its support the direct observation that comets are disturbed on
their path by the planets.
Another theory of the comets supposes their origin to have been in the sun, but in a manner
unlike that conceived of in the tidal theory of the origin of planets. Mighty whirls on the surface
of the sun sweep ignited gases into great protuberances; these are observed daily. Matter is
driven off from the sun and returns to the sun. It is calculated
2 That planets are able to change the path of a comet is not only known from observation but has
even been calculated in advance. In 1758 Clairaut predicted the retardation of Halley's comet, on
its first return foretold by Halley, for a period of 618 days, because it had to pass near Jupiter and
Saturn. It was retarded for almost the computed length of time. Similarly, the orbits of other
comets were occasionally distorted. LexelTs comet was disturbed by Jupiter in 1767 and in 1770
by the earth, D'Arest's comet was disturbed in 1860, Wolf's comet in 1875 and 1922. By an
encounter with Jupiter in 1886, Brook's comet changed its period from 29 years to 7 years; the
period of Jupiter was not altered by more than two or three minutes, and probably less.

that if the velocity of the ejection were to exceed 384 miles per second, the speed of motion in a
parabola, the matter would not return to the sun but would become a long-range comet. Then the
path of the ejected mass might become perturbed as a result of its passage near one of the larger
planets, and the comet would become one of a short period.
Birth of a comet in this manner has never been observed, and the probability that matter in
explosion may reach a speed of 384 miles per second is highly questionable. It was therefore

robin-bobin supposed alternatively that millions of years ago, when the activity of their gaseous masses was
more dynamic, the large planets expelled comets from their bodies. The speed required for the
ejected mass to overcome the gravitational pull of the ejecting body is less in the case of the
planets than in the case of the sun, owing to their smaller gravitational pull. It is calculated that a
mass hurled from Jupiter at a speed of about 38 miles per second, or at only a little more than a
third of this velocity in the case of Neptune, would become expelled.
This variant of the theory neglects the question of the origin of the long-period comets. However,
an explanation was offered, according to which the large planets throw the comets that pass close
to them from their short orbits into elongated ones, or even expel them entirely from the solar
When passing close to the sun, comets emit tails. It is assumed that the material of the tail does
not return to the comet's head but is dispersed in space; consequently, the comets as luminous
bodies must have a limited life. If Halley's comet has pursued its present orbit since late pre-
Cambrian times, it must "have grown and lost eight million tails, which seems improbable." 3 If
comets are wasted, their number in the solar system must permanently diminish, and no comet of
short period could have preserved its tail since geological times.
But as there are many luminous comets of short period, they must have been produced or
acquired at some time when other members of the system, the planets and the satellites, were
already in their places. A theory has been offered that once the solar system moved through a
nebula and obtained its comets there. 3H. N. Russell, The Solar System and Its Origin (1935), p.

Did the sun emit planets by shrinkage or by tide, and comets by explosion? Did the comets come
from interstellar space and were they captured into the solar system by larger planets? Did the
larger planets produce the smaller planets by cleavage, or did they expel the short-period comets
from their bodies?
It is admitted that we cannot know the truth about the origin of the planetary and cometary
systems billions of years ago. "The problem of the origin and development of the solar system
suffers from the label 'speculative.' It is frequently said that as we were not there when the
system was formed, we cannot legitimately arrive at any idea of how it was formed." * The most
we can do, it is believed, is to investigate one planet, the one under our feet, in order to learn its
past; and then, by the deductive method, to apply the results to other members of the solar
4 Harold Jeffreys, "The Origin of the Solar System" in Internal Constitution of the Earth, B.
Gutenberg, ed. (1939).

The Planet Earth
THE PLANET earth has a stony shell—the lithosphere; it consists of igneous rock, like granite
and basalt, with sedimentary rock on top. The igneous rock is the original crust of the earth;
sedimentary rock is deposited by water.
The inner composition of the earth is not known. The propagation of seismic waves gives
support to the assumption that the shell of the earth is over 2,000 miles thick; on the basis of the
gravitational effect of mountain masses (the theory of isostasy), the shell is estimated to be only
sixty miles thick.
The presence of iron in the shell or the migration of heavy metals from the core to the shell has
not been sufficiently explained. For these metals to have left the core, they must have been
ejected by explosions, and in order to remain spread through the crust, the explosions must have
been followed immediately by cooling.
If, in the beginning, the planet was a hot conglomerate of elements, as the nebular as well as the
tidal theories assume, then the iron of the globe should have become oxidized and combined
with all available oxygen. But for some unknown reason this did not take place; thus the
presence of oxygen in the terrestrial atmosphere is unexplained.

robin-bobin The water of the oceans contains a large amount of soluble sodium chloride, common salt.
Sodium might have come from rocks eroded by rain; but rocks are poor in chlorine and the
proportion of sodium and chlorine in sea water calls for fifty times more chlorine in the igneous
rock than it actually contains.

The deep strata of igneous rock contain no signs of fossil life. Incased in sedimentary rock are
skeletons of marine and land animals, often in many layers one upon the other. Not infrequently
igneous rock is found protruding into sedimentary rock or even covering it over large areas,
pointing to successive eruptions of igneous rock that became heated and molten after there was
life on the earth.
Upon strata which show no signs of fossil life are strata containing shells, and sometimes the
shells are so numerous as to constitute the entire mass of the rock. They are often found in the
hardest rock. Higher strata contain skeletons of land animals, often of extinct species, and not
infrequently, above the strata with the remains of land animals are other strata with marine fauna.
The species of the animals, and even their genera, change with the strata. The strata often assume
an oblique position, sometimes being almost vertical; frequently they are faulted and overturned
in many ways.
Cuvier (1769-1832), the founder of vertebrate paleontology, or the science of petrified skeletons
of animals possessing vertebrae, from fish to man, was much impressed by the picture presented
by the sequence of the layers of earth.
"When the traveller passes over these fertile plains where gently flowing streams nourish in their
course an abundant vegetation, and where the soil, inhabited by a numerous population, adorned
with flourishing villages, opulent cities, and superb monuments, is never disturbed, except by the
ravages of war, or by the oppression of the powerful, he is not led to suspect that Nature also has
had her intestine wars, and that the surface of the globe has been broken up by revolutions and
catastrophes. But his ideas change as soon as he digs into that soil which now presents so
peaceful an aspect." 1
Cuvier thought that great catastrophes had taken place on this earth, repeatedly changing sea
beds into continents and continents into sea beds. He held that genera and species were
unchangeable since Creation; but, observing different animal remains in various levels of earth,
he concluded that catastrophes must have annihilated
1 G. Cuvier, Essay on the Theory of the Earth (5th ed., 1827) (English transl. of Discours sur les
revolutions de la surface du globe, et sur les changements qu'elles ont produits dans le resne

life in vast areas, leaving the ground for other forms of life. Where did these other genera come
from? Either they were newly created or, more likely they migrated from other parts of the
world, which were not at that time also visited by cataclysms.
He could not find the cause of these cataclysms. He saw in their traces "the problem in geology it
is of most importance to solve," but he realized that "in order to resolve it satisfactorily, it would
be necessary to discover the cause of these events—an undertaking which presents a difficulty of
quite a different kind." He knew only of "many fruitless attempts" already made and he did not
find himself able to offer a solution. "These ideas have haunted, I may almost say have
tormented me during my researches among fossil bones." 2
Cuvier's theory of stabilized forms of life and of annihilating catastrophes was supplanted by a
theory of evolution in geology (Lyell) and biology (Darwin). The mountains are what is left of
plateaus eroded by wind and water in a very slow process. Sedimentary rock is detritus of
igneous rock eroded by rain, then carried to sea, and there slowly deposited. Skeletons of birds
and of land animals in these rocks are presumed to have belonged to animals that waded close to
the shore of the sea in shallow water, died while wading, and were covered by sediment before
fish destroyed the cadavers or the water separated the bones of their skeletons. No widespread

robin-bobin catastrophes disrupted the slow and steady process. The theory of evolution, which can be traced
to Aristotle, and which was the teaching of Lamarck in the days of Cuvier and of Darwin after
him, has been generally accepted as truth by natural sciences for almost a hundred years.
Sedimentary rock covers high mountains and the highest of all, the Himalayas. Shells and
skeletons of sea animals are found there. This means that at some early time fish swam over
these mountains. What caused the mountains to rise?
A force pushing from within or pulling from without or twisting on the sides must have elevated
the mountains and lifted continents from the bottom of the sea and submerged other land masses.
If we do not know what these forces are, we cannot answer the problem of the origin of the
mountains and of continents, wherever 3 Ibid., pp. 240-242.

The process of raising the mountains is supposed to have been very slow and gradual. On the
other hand, it is clear that igneous rock, already hard, had to become fluid in order to penetrate
sedimentary rock or cover it. It is not known what initiated this process, but it is asserted that it
must have happened long before man appeared on the earth. So when skulls of early man are
found in late deposits, or skulls of modern man are found together with bones of extinct animals
in early deposits, difficult problems are presented. Occasionally, also, during mining operations,
a human skull is found in the middle of a mountain, under a thick cover of basalt or granite, like
the Calaveras skull of California.
Human remains and human artifacts of bone, polished stone, or pottery are found under great
deposits of till and gravel, sometimes under as much as a hundred feet.
The origin of clay, sand, and gravel on igneous and sedimentary rock, offers a problem. The
theory of Ice Ages was put forth (1840) to explain this and other enigmatic phenomena. As far
north as Spitzbergen, in the polar circle, at some time in the past, coral reefs were formed, which
do not occur except in tropical regions; palms also grew on Spitzbergen. The continent of
Antarctica, which today has not a single tree on it, must have been covered at one time by
forests, since it has coal deposits.
As we see, the planet earth is full of secrets. We have not come closer to solving the problem of
the origin of the solar system by investigating the planet under our feet; on the contrary, we have
found many other unsolved problems concerning the lithosphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere
of the earth. Shall we be more fortunate if we try to understand the process that caused the
changes on the globe in the most recent geological epoch, the time of the last glacial period, a
period close to the time which is regarded as historical?
Ice Ages
Not many thousands of years ago, we are taught, great areas of Europe and of North America
were covered with glaciers. Perpetual

on the globe we are faced with it. Here is how the question is put concerning the eastern coast of
North America.
"Not long ago in a geological sense, the flat plain from New Jersey to Florida was under the sea.
At that time the ocean surf broke directly on the Old Appalachian Mountains. Previously the
southeastern part of the mountain structure had sunk below the sea and become covered with a
layer of sand and mud, thickening seaward. The wedgelike mass of marine sediments was then
uplifted and cut into by rivers, giving the Atlantic coastal plain of the United States. Why was it
uplifted? To the westward are the Appalachians. The geologist tells us of the stressful times
when a belt of rocks extending from Alabama to Newfoundland was jammed, thrust together, to
make this mountain system. Why? How was it done? In former times the sea flooded the region
of the great plains from Mexico to Alaska, and then withdrew. Why this change?" 3
The birth of the Cordilleras—"again the mystery of mountain-making clamors for solution."
And so on all over the world. The Himalayas were under the sea. Now Eurasia is three miles or
more above the bottom of the Pacific. Why?

"The problem of mountain-making is a vexing one: many of them [mountains] are composed of
tangentially compressed and over-thrust rocks that indicate scores of miles of circumferential
shortening in the Earth's crust. Radial shrinkage is woefully inadequate to cause the observed
amount of horizontal compression. Therein lies the real perplexity of the problem of mountain-
making. Geologists have not yet found a satisfactory escape from this dilemma." *
Even authors of textbooks confess their ignorance. "Why have sea floors of remote periods
become the lofty highlands of today? What generates the enormous forces that bend, break, and
mash the rocks in mountain zones? These questions still await satisfactory answers."5
3 R. A. Daly; Our Mobile Earth (1926), p. 90.
4 F. K. Mather, Review of Biography of the Earth by G. Gamovr, Science, Jan. 16, 1942.
5 C. R. Longwell, A. Knopf, and R. F. Flint, A Textbook of Geology (1939), p. 405.

ice lay not only on the slopes of high mountains, but loaded itself in heavy masses upon
continents even in moderate latitudes. Where today the Hudson, the Elbe, and the upper Dnieper
flow, there were then frozen deserts. They were like the immense glacier of Greenland that
covers that island. There are signs that a retreat of the glaciers was interrupted by a new massing
of ice, and that their borders differed at various times. Geologists are able to find the boundaries
of the glaciers. Ice moves very slowly, pushing stones before it, and accumulations of stones or
moraines remain when the glacier retreats melting away.
Traces have been found of five or six consecutive displacements of the ice sheet during the Ice
Age, or of five or six glacial periods. Some force repeatedly pushed the ice sheet toward
moderate latitudes. Neither the cause of the ice ages nor the cause of the retreat of the icy desert
is known; the time of these retreats is also a matter of speculation.
Many ideas were offered and guesses made to explain how the glacial epochs originated and why
they terminated. Some supposed that the sun at different times emits more or less heat, which
causes periods of heat and cold on the earth; but no evidence that the sun is such a "variable star"
was adduced to support this hypothesis.
Others conjectured that cosmic space has warmer and cooler areas, and that when our solar
system travels through the cooler areas, ice descends upon latitudes closer to the tropics. But no
physical agents were found responsible for such hypothetical cold and warm areas in space.
A few wondered whether the precession of the equinoxes or the slow change in the direction of
the terrestrial axis might cause periodic variations in the climate. But it was shown that the
difference in insolation could not have been great enough to have been responsible for the glacial
Still others thought to find the answer in the periodic variations in the eccentricity of the ecliptic
(terrestrial orbit), with glaciation at the maximal eccentricity. Some of them supposed that winter
in aphelion, the remotest part of the ecliptic, would cause glaciation; and some thought that
summer in aphelion would produce that effect.

Some scholars thought about the changes in the position of the terrestrial axis. If the planet earth
is rigid, as it is regarded to be (L. Kelvin), the axis could not have shifted in geological times by
more than three degrees (George Darwin); if it were elastic, it could have shifted up to ten or
fifteen degrees in a very slow process.
The cause of the ice ages was seen by a few scholars in the decrease of the original heat of the
planet; the warm periods between the ice ages were attributed to the heat set free by a
hypothetical decomposition of organisms in the strata close to the surface of the ground. The
increase and decrease in the action of warm springs were also considered.
Others supposed that dust of volcanic origin filled the terrestrial atmosphere and hindered
insolation, or, contrariwise, that an increased content of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere
obstructed the reflection of heat rays from the surface of the planet. A decrease in the amount of
carbon dioxide in the atmosphere would cause a fall of temperature (Arrhenius), but calculations
were made to show that this could not be the real cause of the glacial ages (Angstrom).

unfit product of evolution. The extinction of the mammoth is thought to have coincided with the
end of the last glacial period.
Tusks of mammoths have been found in large numbers in northeast Siberia; this well-preserved
ivorv has been an object of export to China and Europe ever since the Russian conquest of
Siberia and was exploited in even earlier times. In modern times the ivory market of the world
still found its main source of supply in the tundras of northeast Siberia.
In 1799 the frozen bodies of mammoths were found in these tundras. The corpses were well
preserved, and the sledge dogs ate the flesh unharmed. "The flesh is fibrous and marbled with
fat" and 'looks as fresh as well frozen beef." 1
What was the cause of their death and the extinction of their race?
Cuvier wrote of the extinction of the mammoths: "Repeated irruptions and retreats of the sea
have neither all been slow nor gradual; on the contrary, most of the catastrophes which have
occasioned them have been sudden; and this is especially easy to be proved with regard to the
last of these catastrophes, that which, by a twofold
1 Observation of D. F. Hertz in B. Digby, The Mammoth (1926), p. 9.

motion, has inundated, and afterwards laid dry, our present continents, or at least a part of the
land which forms them at the present day. In the northern regions it has left the carcasses of large
quadrupeds which became enveloped in the ice, and have thus been preserved even to our own
times, with their skin, their hair, and their flesh. If they had not been frozen as soon as killed,
they would have been decomposed by putrefaction. And, on the other hand, this eternal frost
could not previously have occupied the places in which they have been seized by it, for they
could not have lived in such a temperature. It was, therefore, at one and the same moment that
these animals were destroyed and the country which they inhabited became covered with ice.
This event has been sudden, instantaneous, without any gradation, and what is so clearly
demonstrated with respect to this last catastrophe, is not less so with reference to those which
have preceded it." 2
The theory of repeated catastrophes annihilating life on this planet and repeated creations or
restorations of life, offered by Deluc 3 and expanded by Cuvier, did not convince the scientific
world. Like Lamarck before Cuvier, Darwin after him thought that an exceedingly slow
evolutional process governs genetics, and that there were no catastrophes interrupting this
process of infinitesimal changes. According to the theory of evolution, these minute changes
came as a result of adaptation to living conditions in the struggle of the species for survival.
Like the theories of Lamarck and Darwin, which postulate slow changes in animals, with tens of
thousands of years required for a minute step in evolution, the geological theories of the
nineteenth century, and of the twentieth as well, regard the geological processes as exceedingly
slow and dependent on erosion by rain, wind, and tides.
Darwin admitted that he was unable to find an explanation for the extermination of the
mammoth, an animal better developed than
2 Cuvier, Essay on the Theory of the Earth, pp. 14-15.
SJ. A. Deluc (1727-1817), Letters on the Physical History of the Earth (1831).
the elephant which survived.* But in conformity with the theory of evolution, his followers
supposed that a gradual sinking of the land forced the mammoths to the hills, where they found
themselves isolated by marshes. However, if geological processes are slow, the mammoths
would not have been trapped on the isolated hills. Besides, this theory cannot be true because the
animals did not die of starvation. In their stomachs and between their teeth undigested grass and
leaves were found. This, too, proves that they died from a sudden cause. Further investigations
showed that the leaves and twigs found in their stomachs do not now grow in the regions where
the animals died, but far to the south, a thousand or more miles away. It is apparent that the

robin-bobin climate has changed radically since the death of the mammoths; and as the bodies of the animals
were found not decomposed but well preserved in blocks of ice, the change in temperature must
have followed their death very closely or even caused it.
There remains to be added that after storms in the Arctic, tusks of mammoths are washed up on
the shores of arctic islands; this proves that a part of the land where the mammoths lived and
were drowned is covered by the Arctic Ocean.

The Ice Age and the Antiquity of Man
The mammoth lived in the age of man. Man pictured it on the walls of caves; remains of men
have repeatedly been found in Central Europe together with remains of mammoths; occasionally
the settlements of the neolithic man of Europe are found strewn with the bones of mammoths.1
Man moved southward when Europe was covered with ice and returned when the ice retreated.
Historical man witnessed great variation in climate. The mammoth of Siberia, the meat of which
is still fresh, is supposed to have been destroyed at
4 See G. F. Kunz, Ivory and the Elephant in Art, in Archaeology, and in Science (1916), p. 236.
1 In Predmost in Moravia a settlement has been excavated in which remnants of a human culture
and remains of men were found together with skeletons of eight hundred to one thousand
mammoths. Shoulder blades of mammoths were used in the construction of human graves.

the end of the last glacial period, simultaneously with the mammoths of Europe and Alaska. If
this is so, the Siberian mammoth was also the contemporary of a rather modern man. At a time
when in Europe, close to the ice sheet, man was still in the later stages of neolithic culture, in the
Near and Middle East—the region of the great cultures of antiquity—he may already have
progressed well into the metal age. There exists no chronological table of neolithic culture
because the art of writing was invented approximately at the advent of the copper—the early—
period of the Bronze Age. It is presumed that the neolithic man of Europe left pictures but no
inscriptions, and consequently there are no means of determining the end of the Ice Age in terms
of chronology.
Geologists have tried to find the time of the end of the last glacial period by measuring the
detritus carried by rivers from the glaciers and the deposits of detritus in lakes. The quantity
carried by the Rhone from the glaciers of the Alps and the amount on the bottom of the Lake of
Geneva, through which the Rhone flows, were calculated, and from the figures obtained the time
and velocity of the retreat of the glacial sheet of the last glacial period were estimated. According
to the Swiss scholar Francois Forel, twelve thousand years have passed since the time the ice
sheet of the last glacial period began to melt, an unexpectedly low figure, as it was thought that
the ice age ended thirty to fifty thousand years ago.

Such calculations suffer from being only indirect evaluations; and since the velocity at which the
glacial mud had been deposited in the lakes was not constant and the amount varied, the mud
must have assembled on the bottom of a lake at a faster rate in the beginning when the glaciers
were larger; and if the Ice Age terminated suddenly,'the deposition of detritus would have been
much heavier at first, and there would be little analogy to the accumulation of detritus from the
seasonal melting of snow in the Alps. Therefore, the time that has elapsed since the end of the
last glacial period must have been even shorter than reckoned.

Geologists regard the Great Lakes of America as having been formed at the end of the Ice Age
when the continental glacier retreated and the depressions freed from the glacier became lakes.

In the last two hundred years Niagara Falls has retreated from Lake Ontario toward Lake Erie at the
rate of five feet annually, washing lown the rocks of the bed of the falls.2 If this process has been
going m at the same rate since the end of the last glacial period, about seven thousand years were
needed to move Niagara Falls from the mouth of the gorge at Queenston to its present position.
The assumption that the quantity of water moving through the gorge has been uniform since the
end of the Ice Age is the basis of this calculation, and therefore, it was concluded, seven
thousand years may constitute "the maximum length of time since the birth of the falls." 3 In the
beginning, when immense masses of water were released by the retreat of the continental glacier,
the rate of movement of Niagara Falls must have been much more rapid; the time estimate "may
need significant reduction," and is sometimes lowered to five thousand years.4 The erosion and
sedimentation on the shores and the bottom of Lake Michigan also suggest a lapse of time
counted in thousands, but not in tens of thousands, of years. Also the result of paleontological
research in America carries evidence which constitutes "a guarantee that before the last period of
glaciation, modern man, in the form of that highly developed race, the American Indian, was
living on the eastern seaboard of North America" (A. Keith).5 It is assumed that with the advent
of the last glacial period the Indians retreated southward, returning to the north when the ice
uncovered the ground and when the Great Lakes emerged, the basin of the St. Lawrence was
formed, and Niagara Falls began its retreat toward Lake Erie.

If the end of the last glacial period occurred only a few thousand years ago, in historical times or
at a time when the art of writing may
2 The recession has been 5 feet per year since 1764; at present it is 2.3 feet on the sides of the
horseshoe cataract, but substantially more in the center.
3 G. F. Wright, "The Date of the Glacial Period," The Ice Age in North America and Its Bearing
upon the Antiquity of Man (5th ed., 1911).
4 Ibid., p. 539. Cf. also W. Upham in American Geologist, XXVIII, 243, and XXXVI, 28S. He
dates the uprise of the St. Lawrence basin 6,000 to 7,000 years ago; the St. Lawrence must have
been freed from ice before Niagara Falls could come into full action. Not dissimilar figures were
obtained from the retreat of the Falls of St. Anthony on the Mississippi at Minneapolis.
5 Keith thinks that the development of the human skull went through a process of advance and
retrogression during exceedingly long ages.

have been already employed in the centers of ancient civilization, the records written in rocks by
nature and the records written by man must give a coordinated picture. Let us, therefore,
investigate the traditions and the literary records of ancient man, and compare them with the
records of nature.

The World Ages
A conception of ages that were brought to their end by violent changes in nature is common all
over the world. The number of ages differs from people to people and from tradition to tradition.
The difference depends on the number of catastrophes that the particular people retained in its
memory, or on the way it reckoned the end of an age.

In the annals of ancient Etruria, according to Varro, were records of seven elapsed ages.
Censorinus, an author of the third Christian century and compiler of Varro, wrote that "men
thought that different prodigies appeared by means of which the gods notified mortals at the end
of each age. The Etruscans were versed in the science of the stars, and after having observed the
prodigies with attention, they recorded these observations in their books."*

The Greeks had similar traditions. "There is a period," wrote Censorinus, "called 'the supreme
year' by Aristotle, at the end of which the sun, moon, and all the planets return to their original
position. This 'supreme year' has a great winter, called by the Greeks kata-klysmos, which means
deluge, and a great summer, called by the Greeks ekpyrosis, or combustion of the world. The
world, actually, seems to be inundated and burned alternately in each of these epochs."
Anaximenes and Anaximander in the sixth pre-Christian century, and Diogenes of Apollonia in
the fifth century, assumed the destruction of the world with subsequent recreation. Heraclitus (-
540 to -475) taught that the world is destroyed in conflagration after every period of 10,800
years. Aristarchus of Samos in the third century be-
1 Censorinus Liber de die natali xviii.

WORLDS IN COLLISION robin-bobin fore the present era taught that in a period of 2,484 years the earth undergoes two destructions—
of combustion and deluge. The Stoics generally believed in periodic conflagrations by which the
world was consumed, to be shaped anew. "This is due to the forces of ever-active fire which
exists in things and in the course of long cycles of time resolves everything into itself and out of
it is constructed a reborn world" —so Philo presented the notion of the Stoics that our world is
refashioned in periodic conflagrations.2 In one such catastrophe the world will meet its ultimate
destruction; colliding with another world, it will fall apart into atoms out of which, in a long
process, a new earth will be created somewhere in the universe. "Democritus and Epicurus,"
explained Philo, "postulate many worlds, the origin of which they ascribe to the mutual impacts
and interlacing of atoms, and their destruction to the counterblows and collisions by the bodies
so formed." As this earth goes to its ultimate destruction, it passes through recurring cosmic
catastrophes and is re-formed with all that lives on it.
Hesiod, one of the earliest Greek authors, wrote about four ages and four generations of men that
were destroyed by the wrath of the planetary gods. The third age was the age of bronze; when it
was destroyed by Zeus, a new generation repeopled the earth, and using bronze for arms and
tools, they began to use iron, too. The heroes of the Trojan War were of this fourth generation.
Then a new destruction was decreed, and after that came "yet another generation, the fifth, of
men who are upon the bounteous earth"—the generation of iron.3 In another work of his, Hesiod
described the end of one of the ages. "The life-giving earth crashed around in burning ... all the
land seethed, and the Ocean's streams ... it seemed even as if Earth and wide Heaven above came
together; for such a mighty crash would have arisen if Earth were being hurled to ruin, and
Heaven from on high were hurling her down." 4
Analogous traditions of four expired ages persist on the shores of
2 Philo, On the Eternity of the World (transl. F. H. Colson, 1941), Sec. 8. s Hesiod, Works and
Days (transl. H. G. Evelyn-White, 1914), 1. 169. 4 Hesiod, Theogony (transl. Evelyn-White, 1914), 11. 693 ff.

the Bengal Sea and in the highland of Tibet—the present age is the fifth.5
The sacred Hindu book Bhagavata Purana tells of four ages and of pralayas or cataclysms in
which, in various epochs, mankind was nearly destroyed; the fifth age is that of the present. The
world ages are called Kalpas or Yugas. Each world age met its destruction in catastrophes of
conflagration, flood, and hurricane. Ezour Vedam and Bhaga Vedam, sacred Hindu books,
keeping to the scheme of four expired ages, differ only in the number of years ascribed to each.6
In the chapter, "World Cycles," in Visuddhi-Magga, it is said that "there are three destructions:
the destruction by water, the destruction by fire, the destruction by wind," but that there are
seven ages, each of which is separated from the previous one by a world catastrophe.7
Reference to ages and catastrophes is found in Avesta (Zend-Avesta), the sacred scriptures of
Mazdaism, the ancient religion of the Persians.8 "Bahman Yast," one of the books of Avesta,
counts seven world ages or millennia.9 Zarathustra (Zoroaster), the prophet of Mazdaism, speaks
of "the signs, wonders, and perplexity which are manifested in the world at the end of each
The Chinese call the perished ages kis and number ten kis from the beginning of the world until
Confucius.11 In the ancient Chinese encyclopedia, Sing-li-ta-tsiuen-chou, the general
convulsions of na-
5E. Moor, The Hindu Pantheon (1810), p. 102; A. von Humboldt, Vues des CordilUres (1816),
English transl.: Researches Concerning the Institutions and Monuments of the Ancient
Inhabitants of America (1814), Vol. II, pp. 15 ff.
• See C. F. Volney, New Researches on Ancient History (1856), p. 157.
'H. C. Warren, Buddhism in Translations (1896), pp. 320 ff.
8 F. Cumont, "La Fin du monde selon les mages occidentaux," Revue de
Vhistoire des religions (1931), p. 50; H. S. Nyberg, Die Religionen des alten
Iran (1938), pp. 28 ff.

» "Bahman Yast" (transl. E. W. West), in Pahlavi Texts (The Sacred Books of
the East, ed. F. M. Muller, V [1880]), 191. See W. Bousset, "Die Himmelsreise
der Seele," Archiv fiir Religionswissenschaft, IV (1901).
10 "Dinkard," Bk. VIII, Chap. XIV (transl. West), in Pahlavi Texts (The Sacred Books of the
East, XXXVII [1892]), 33.
11 H. Murray, J. Crawfurd, and others, An Historical and Descriptive Account of China (2nd ed.,
1836), I, 40.

ture are discussed. Because of the periodicity of these convulsions, the span of time between two
catastrophes is regarded as a "great year." As during a year, so during a world age, the cosmic
mechanism winds itself up and "in a general convulsion of nature, the sea is carried out of its
bed, mountains spring out of the ground, rivers change their course, human beings and
everything are ruined, and the ancient traces effaced." 12
An old tradition, and a very persistent one, of world ages that went down in cosmic catastrophes
was found in the Americas among the Incas,13 the Aztecs, and the Mayas.14 A major part of
stone inscriptions found in Yucatan refer to world catastrophes. "The most ancient of these
fragments [katuns or calendar stones of Yucatan] refer, in general, to great catastrophes which, at
intervals and repeatedly, convulsed the American continent, and of which all nations of this
continent have preserved a more or less distinct memory."15 Codices of Mexico and Indian
authors who composed the annals of their past give a prominent place to the tradition of world
catastrophes that decimated humankind and changed the face of the earth.
In the chronicles of the Mexican kingdom it is said: "The ancients knew that before the present
sky and earth were formed, man was already created and life had manifested itself four times."
A tradition of successive creations and catastrophes is found in the Pacific—on Hawaii17 and on
the islands of Polynesia: there were nine ages and in each age a different sky was above the
earth.18 Icelanders, too, believed that nine worlds went down in a succession of ages, a tradition
that is contained in the Edda.19
12 G. Schlegel, Uranographie chinoise (1875), p. 740, with reference to Wou-foung.
13 H. B. Alexander, Latin American Mythology (1920), p. 240.
14 Humboldt, Researches, II, 15.
15 C. E. Brasseur de Bourbourg, S'il existe des Sources de Vhistoire primitive du Mexique dans
les monuments 4gyptiens, etc. (1864), p. 19.
16 Brasseur, Histoire des nations civilisSes du Mexique (1857-1859), I, 53. « B. B. Dixon,
Oceanic Mythology (1916), p. 15.
18 B. W. Williamson, Religious and Cosmic Beliefs of Central Polynesia (1933), I, 89.
19 The Poetic Edda: Voluspa (transl. from the Icelandic by H. A. Bellows, 1923), 2nd stanza.

The rabbinical conception of ages crystallized in the post-Exilic period. Already before the birth
of our earth, worlds had been shaped and brought into existence, only to be destroyed in time.
"He made several worlds before ours, but He destroyed them all." This earth, too, was not
created at the beginning to satisfy the Divine Plan. It underwent reshaping, six consecutive
remoldings. New conditions were created after each of the catastrophes. On the fourth earth lived
the generation of the Tower of Babel; we belong to the seventh age. Each of the ages or "earths"
has a name.

Seven heavens were created and seven earths were created: the most removed, the seventh,
Eretz; the sixth, Adamah; the fifth, Arka; the fourth, Harabah; the third, Yabbashah; the second,
Tevel; and "our own land called Heled, and like the others, it is separated from the foregoing by
abyss, chaos, and water."20 Great catastrophes changed the face of the earth. "Some perished by
deluge, others were consumed by conflagration," wrote the Jewish philosopher Philo.21
According to the rabbinical authority Rashi, ancient tradition knows of periodic collapses of the
firmament, one of which occurred in the days of the Deluge, and which repeated themselves at
intervals of 1,656 years.22 The duration of the world ages varies in Armenian and Arabian

The Sun Ages
An oft-repeated occurrence in the traditions of the world ages is the advent of a new sun in the
sky at the beginning of every age. The word "sun" is substituted for the word "age" in the
cosmogonical traditions of many peoples all over the world.
The Mayas counted their ages by the names of their consecutive suns. These were called Water
Sun, Earthquake Sun, Hurricane Sun, Fire Sun. "These suns mark the epochs to which are
attributed the various catastrophes the world has suffered."1
Ixtlilxochitl (circa 1568-1648), the native Indian scholar, in his
20 Louis Ginzberg, Legends of the Jews (1925), I. 4, 9-10, 72; V, 1, 10.
21 Philo, Moses, II, x, 53.

22 Commentary to Genesis 11 : 1.
23 See R. Eisler, Weltmantel und Himmelszelt (1910), II, 451. 1 Brasseur, Sources de I'histoire
primitive du Mexique, p. 25.
annals of the kings of Tezcuco, described the world ages by the names of "suns." 2 The Water
Sun (or Sun of Waters) was the first age, terminated by a deluge in which almost all creatures
perished; the Earthquake Sun or age perished in a terrific earthquake when the earth broke in
many places and mountains fell. The world age of the Hurricane Sun came to its destruction in a
cosmic hurricane. The Fire Sun was the world age that went down in a rain of fire.3
"The nations of Culhua or Mexico," Humboldt quoted G6mara, the Spanish writer of the
sixteenth century, "believe according to their hieroglyphic paintings, that, previous to the sun
which now enlightens them, four had already been successively extinguished. These four suns
are as many ages, in which our species has been annihilated by inundations, by earthquakes, by a
general conflagration, and by the effect of destroying tempests." * Every one of the four
elements participated in each of the catastrophes; deluge, hurricane, earthquake, and fire gave
their names to the catastrophes because of the predominance of one of them in the upheavals.
Symbols of the successive suns are painted on the pre-Columbian literary documents of
"Cinco soles que son edades," or "five suns that are epochs," wrote G6mara in his description of
the conquest of Mexico.8 An analogy to this sentence of Gomara may be found in Lucius
Ampelius, a Roman author, who, in his book Liber memorialis, wrote: 7 "Soles fuere quinque"
(There were five suns): It is the same belief that Gomara found in the New World.
The Mexican Annals of Cuauhtitlan, written in Nahua-Indian (circa 1570) and based on ancient
sources, contains the tradition of seven sun epochs. Chicon-Tonatiuh or "the Seven Suns" is the
designation for the world cycles or acts in the cosmic drama.8
The Buddhist sacred book of Visuddhi-Magga contains a chapter
2 Fernando de Alva Ixtlilxochitl, Obras Histdricas (1891-1892), Vol. II, Historia Chichimeca.
3 Alexander, Latin American Mythology, p. 91.
4 Humboldt, Researches, II, 16.

5 Codex Vaticanus A, plates vii-x. «F. L. de G6mara,
Conquista de Mexico (1870 ed.), II, 261.
7 Liber memorialis ix.
8 Brasseur, Histoire des nations civilisies du Mexique, I, 206.

on "World Cycles."9 "There are three destructions: the destruction by water, the destruction by
fire, the destruction by wind." After the catastrophe of the deluge, "when now a long period has
elapsed from the cessation of the rains, a second sun appeared." In the interim the world was
enveloped in gloom. "When this second sun appears, there is no distinction of day and night,"
but "an incessant heat beats upon the world." When the fifth sun appeared, the ocean gradually
dried up; when the sixth sun appeared, "the whole world became filled with smoke." "After the

robin-bobin prescribed path. Is such a disturbance conceivable? No record of the slightest confusion is
registered in the present annals of the earth. Each year consists of 365 days, 5 hours, and 49
A departure of the earth from its regular rotation is thinkable, but only in the very improbable
event that our planet should meet another heavenly body of sufficient mass to disrupt the eternal
path of our world.
It is true that aerolites or meteorites reach our earth continually, sometimes by the thousands and
tens of thousands. But no dislocation of our precise turning round and round has ever been
This does not mean that a larger body, or a larger number of bodies, could not strike the
terrestrial sphere. The large number of asteroids between the orbits of the planets Mars and
Jupiter suggests that at some unknown time another planet revolved there; now only these
meteorites follow approximately the path along which the destroyed planet circled the sun.
Possibly a comet ran into it and shattered it.
That a comet may strike our planet is not very probable, but the idea is not absurd. The heavenly
mechanism works with almost absolute precision; but unstable, their way lost, comets by the
thousands, by the millions, revolve in the sky, and their interference may disturb the harmony.
Some of these comets belong to our system. Periodically they return, but not at very exact
intervals, owing to the perturbations caused by gravitation toward the larger planets when they
fly too close to them. But innumerable other comets, often seen only through the telescope, come
flying in from immeasurable spaces of the universe at very great speed, and disappear—possibly
forever. Some comets are visible only for hours, some for days or weeks or even months.
concerning the wonder of the sun standing still: "The Scripture did not intend to teach men
philosophy, or accommodate itself to the true and Pythagoric system of the world." And again:
"The prophets and holy penmen themselves . . . being seldom or never philosophers, were not
capable of representing these things otherwise than they, with the vulgar, understood them."

Might it happen that our earth, the earth under our feet, would roll toward perilous collision with
a huge mass of meteorites, a trail of stones flying at enormous speed around and across our solar
system? This probability was analyzed with fervor during the last century. From the time of
Aristotle, who asserted that a meteorite, which fell at Aegospotami when a comet was glowing in
the sky, had been lifted from the ground by the wind and carried in the air and dropped over that
place, until the year 1803 when, on April 26, a shower of meteorites fell at 1'Aigle in France and
was investigated by Biot for the French Academy of Sciences, the scholarly world—and in the
meantime there lived Copernicus, Galileo Galilei, Kepler, Newton, and Huygens—did not
believe that such a thing as a stone falling from the sky was possible at all. And this despite
many occasions when stones fell before the eyes of a crowd, as did the aerolite in the presence of
Emperor Maximilian and his court in Ensisheim, Alsace, on November 7, 1492.3
Only shortly before 1803, the Academy of Sciences of Paris refused to believe that, on another
occasion, stones had fallen from the sky. The fall of meteorites on July 24, 1790 in southwest
France was pronounced "un phenomene physiquement impossible." 4 Since the year 1803,
however, scholars have believed that stones fall from the sky. If a stone can collide with the
earth, and occasionally a shower of stones, too, cannot a full-sized comet fly into the face of the
earth? It was calculated that such a possibility exists but that it is very unlikely to occur.5
If the head of a comet should pass very close to our path, so as to effect a distortion in the career
of the earth, another phenomenon besides the disturbed movement of the planet would probably
3 C. P. Olivier, Meteors (1925), p. 4.
4 P. Bertholon, Vubhlicazionl della specola astronomica Vaticana (1913).
5 D. F. Arago computed on some occasion that there is one chance in 280 million that a comet
will hit the earth. Nevertheless, a hole one mile in diameter in Arizona is a sign of an actual
headlong collision of the earth with a small comet or asteroid. On June 30, 1908, a calculated

robin-bobin forty-Uiousand-ton mass of iron fell in Siberia at 60° 56' north latitude and 101° 57' east
longitude. In 1946 the small Giacobini-Zinner comet passed within 131,000 miles of the point
where the earth was eight days later.
While investigating whether an encounter between the earth and a comet had

a rain of meteorites would strike the earth and would increase to a torrent. Stones scorched by
flying through the atmosphere would be hurled on home and head.
In the Book of Joshua, two verses before the passage about the sun that was suspended on high
for a number of hours without moving to the Occident, we find this passage:
>"As they [the Canaanite kings] fled from before Israel, and were in the going down to Beth-
horon ... the Lord cast down great stones from heaven upon them unto Azekah, and they died:
they were more which died with hail stones [stones of barad] than they whom the children of
Israel slew with the sword." 6
The author of the Book of Joshua was surely ignorant of any connection between the two
phenomena. He could not be expected to have had any knowledge about the nature of aerolites,
about the forces of attraction between celestial bodies, and the like. As these phenomena were
recorded to have occurred together, it is improbable that the records were invented.
The meteorites fell on the earth in a torrent. They must have fallen in very great numbers for they
struck down more warriors than the swords of the adversaries. To have killed persons by the
hundreds or thousands in the field, a cataract of stones must have fallen. Such
been the subject of a previous discussion, I found that W. Whiston, Newton's successor at
Cambridge and a contemporary of Halley, in his New Theory of the Earth (the first edition of
which appeared in 1696) tried to prove that the comet of 1680, to which he (erroneously)
ascribed a period of 575K years, caused the biblical Deluge on an early encounter.
G. Cuvier, who was unable to offer his own explanation of the causes of great cataclysms, refers
to the theory of Whiston in the following terms: "Whiston fancied that the earth was created
from the atmosphere of one comet, and that it was deluged by the tail of another. The heat which
remained from its first origin, in his opinion, excited the whole antediluvian population, men and
animals, to sin, for which they were all drowned in the deluge, excepting the fish, whose
passions were apparently less violent."
I. Donnelly, author, reformer, and member of the United States House of Representatives, tried
in his book Ragnarok (1883) to explain the presence of till and gravel on the rock substratum in
America and Europe by hypothesizing an encounter with a comet, which rained till on the
terrestrial hemisphere facing it at that moment. He placed the event in an indefinite period, but at
a time when man already populated the earth. Donnelly did not show any awareness that
Whiston was his predecessor. His assumption that there is till only in one half of the earth is
arbitrary and wrong. 6 Joshua 10: 11.

a torrent of great stones would mean that a train of meteorites or a comet had struck our planet.
The quotation in the Bible from the Book of Jasher is laconic and may give the impression that
the phenomenon of the motionless sun and moon was local, seen only in Palestine between the
valley of Ajalon and Gibeon. But the cosmic character of the prodigy is pictured in a
thanksgiving prayer ascribed to Joshua:
Sun and moon stood still in heaven,
and Thou didst stand in Thy wrath against our oppressors....
All the princes of the earth stood up,
the kings of the nations had gathered themselves together....
Thou didst destroy them in Thy fury, and Thou didst ruin them in Thy rage.
Nations raged from fear of Thee,
kingdoms tottered because of Thy wrath. . . .
Thou didst pour out Thy fury upon them.... Thou didst terrify them in Thy wrath. . . .
The earth quaked and trembled from the noise of Thy thunders.

robin-bobin Thou didst pursue them in Thy storm,
Thou didst consume them in the whirlwind. . . .
Their carcasses were like rubbish.7
The wide radius over which the heavenly wrath swept is emphasized in the prayer: "All the
kingdoms tottered. . . ."
A torrent of large stones coming from the sky, an earthquake, a whirlwind, a disturbance in the
movement of the earth—these four phenomena belong together. It appears that a large comet
must have passed very near to our planet and disrupted its movement; a part of the stones
dispersed in the neck and tail of the comet smote the surface of our earth a shattering blow.
Are we entitled, on the basis of the Book of Joshua, to assume that at some date in the middle of
the second millennium before the present era the earth was interrupted in its regular rotation by a
comet? Such a statement has so many implications that it should not
1 Ginzberg, Legends, IV, 11-12.

be made thoughtlessly. To this I say that though the implications are great and many, the present
research in its entirety is an interlinked sequence of documents and other evidence, all of which
in common carry the weight of this and other statements in this book.
The problem before us is one of mechanics. Points on the outer layers of the rotating globe
(especially near the equator) move at a higher linear velocity than points on the inner layers, but
at the same angular velocity. Consequently, if the earth were suddenly stopped (or slowed down)
in its rotation, the inner layers might come to rest (or their rotational velocity might be slowed)
while the outer layers would still tend to go on rotating. This would cause friction between the
various liquid or semifluid layers, creating heat; on the outermost periphery the solid layers
would be torn apart, causing mountains and even continents to fall or rise.
As I shall show later, mountains fell and others rose from level ground; the earth with its oceans
and continents became heated; the sea boiled in many places, and rock liquefied; volcanoes
ignited and forests burned. Would not a sudden stop by the earth, rotating at a little over one
thousand miles an hour at its equator, mean a complete destruction of the world? Since the world
survived, there must have been a mechanism to cushion the slowing down of terrestrial rotation,
if it really occurred, or another escape for the energy of motion besides transformation into heat,
or both. Or if rotation persisted undisturbed, the terrestrial axis may have tilted in the presence of
a strong magnetic field, so that the sun appeared to lose for hours its diurnal movement.8 These
problems are kept in sight and are faced in the Epilogue of this volume.
On the Other Side of the Ocean
> The Book of Joshua, compiled from the more ancient Book of Jasher, relates the order of
events. "Joshua . . . went up from Gilgal all night." In the early morning he fell upon his enemies
unawares at Gibeon, and "chased them along the way that goes up to Beth-
8 This explanation was suggested to me by M. Abramovich of Tel Aviv.
horon." As they fled, great stones were cast from the sky. That same day ("in the day when the
Lord delivered up the Amorites") the sun stood still over Gibeon and the moon over the valley of
Ajalon. It has been noted that this description of the position of the luminaries implies that the
sun was in the forenoon position.1 The Book of Joshua says that the luminaries stood in the
midst of the sky.
Allowing for the difference in longitude, it must have been early morning or night in the Western
We go to the shelf where stand books with the historical traditions of the aborigines of Central
The sailors of Columbus and Cortes, arriving in America, found there literate peoples who had
books of their own. Most of these books were burned in the sixteenth century by the Dominican
monks. Very few of the ancient manuscripts survived, and these are preserved in the libraries of

robin-bobin Paris, the Vatican, the Prado, and Dresden; they are called codici, and their texts have been
studied and partly read. However, among the Indians of the days of the conquest and also of the
following century there were literary men who had access to the knowledge written in
pictographic script by their forefathers.2
In the Mexican Annals of Cuauhtitlan 3—the history of the empire of Culhuacan and Mexico,
written in Nahua-Indian in the sixteenth century—it is related that during a cosmic catastrophe
that occurred in the remote past, the night did not end for a long time.
The biblical narrative describes the sun as remaining in the sky for an additional day ("about a
whole day"). The Midrashim, the books of ancient traditions not embodied in the Scriptures,
relate that the sun and the moon stood still for thirty-six itim, or eighteen hours,*
1 H. Holzinger, Josua (1901), p. 40, in "Hand-commentar zum Alten Testament," ed. K. Marti.
R. Eisler, "Joshua and the Sun," American Journal of Semitic Languages and Literature, XLH
(1926), 83: "It would have had no sense early in the morning of a battle, with a whole day ahead,
to have prayed for the lengthening of the sunlight even into the night time."
2 The Mayan tongue is still spoken by about 300,000 people, but of the Mayan hieroglyphics
only the characters employed in the calendar are known for certain.
3 Known also as Codex Chimalpopoca. "This manuscript contains a series of annals of very
ancient date, many of which go back to more than a thousand years before the Christian era"
*Sefer Ha-Yashar, ed. L. Goldschmidt (1923); Pirkei Rabbi Elieser (Hebrew

and thus from sunrise to sunset the day lasted about thirty hours.
In the Mexican annals it is stated that the world was deprived of light and the sun did not appear
for a fourfold night. In a prolonged day or night time could not be measured by the usual means
at the disposal of the ancients.5
Sahagun, the Spanish savant who came to America a generation
fter Columbus and gathered the traditions of the aborigines, wrote
that at the time of one cosmic catastrophe the sun rose only a little
way over the horizon and remained there witiiout moving; the moon
also stood still.8
I am dealing with the Western Hemisphere first, because the biblical stories were not known to
its aborigines when it was discovered. Also, the tradition preserved by Sahagun bears no trace of
having been introduced by the missionaries: in his version there is nothing to suggest Joshua ben
Nun and his war against the Canaanite kings; and the position of the sun, only a very little above
the eastern horizon, differs from the biblical text, though it does not contradict it.
We could follow a path around the earth and inquire into the various traditions concerning the
prolonged night and prolonged day, with sun and moon absent or tarrying at different points
along the zodiac, while the earth underwent a bombardment of stones in a world ablaze. But we
must postpone this journey. There was more than one catastrophe when, according to the
memory of mankind, the earth refused to play the chronometer by undisturbed rotation on its
axis. First, we must differentiate the single occurrences of cosmic catastrophes, some of which
took place before the one described here, some after it; some of which were of greater extent,
and some of lesser.
sources differ as to how long the sun stood still); the Babylonian Talmud, Tractate
Aboda Zara 25a; Targum Habakkuk 3:11.
B With the exception of the water clock.
6 Bernardino de Sahagun (1499P-1590), Historia general de las cosas de Nueva
Espana, new ed. 1938 (5 vols.) and 1946 (3 vols.). French transl. D. Jourdanet
and R. Simeon (1880), p. 481.
Fifty-two Years Earlier

robin-bobin THE PRE-COLUMBIAN written traditions of Central America tell us that fifty-two years before
the catastrophe that closely resembles that of the time of Joshua, another catastrophe of world
dimensions had occurred.1 It is therefore only natural to go back to the old Israelite traditions, as
narrated in the Scriptures, to determine whether they contain evidence of a corresponding
catastrophe. i»The time of the Wandering in the Desert is given by the Scriptures as forty years.
Then, for a number of years before the day of the disturbed movement of the earth, the protracted
conquest of Palestine went on.2 It seems reasonable, therefore, to ask whether a date fifty-two
years before this event would coincide with the time of the Exodus.
In the work Ages in Chaos, I describe at some length the catastrophe that visited Egypt and
Arabia. In that work it is explained that the Exodus took place amid a great natural upheaval that
terminated the period of Egyptian history known as the Middle Kingdom. There I endeavor to
show that contemporary Egyptian documents describe the same disaster accompanied by "the
plagues of Egypt," and that the traditions of the Arabian Peninsula relate similar occurrences in
this land and on the shores of the Red Sea. In that work I refer also to Beke's idea that Mt. Sinai
was a smoking volcano. However, I reveal that "the scope of the catastrophe must
1 These sources will be cited on subsequent pages.
2 According to rabbinical sources, the war of conquest in Palestine lasted fourteen years.

have exceeded by far the measure of the disturbance which could be caused by one active
volcano," and I promise to answer the question: "Of what nature and dimension was this
catastrophe, or this series of catastrophes, accompanied by plagues?" and to publish an
investigation into the nature of great catastrophes of the past. Both works—the reconstruction of
history and the reconstruction of natural history—were conceived within the short interval of
half a year; the desire to establish a correct historical chronology before fitting the acts of nature
into the periods of human history impelled me to complete Ages in Chaos first.3
I shall employ some of the historical material from the first chapters of Ages in Chaos. There I
use it for the purpose of synchronizing events in the histories of the countries around the eastern
Mediterranean; here I shall use it to show that the same events took place all around the world,
and to explain the nature of these events.

The Red World
^ In the middle of the second millennium before the present era, as I intend to show, the earth
underwent one of the greatest catastrophes in its history. A celestial body that only shortly before
had become a member of the solar system—a new comet—came very close to the earth. The
account of this catastrophe can be reconstructed from evidence supplied by a large number of
The comet was on its way from its perihelion and touched the earth first with its gaseous tail.
Later in this book I shall show that it was about this comet that Servius wrote: "Non igneo sed
sanguineo rubore fuisse" (It was not of a flaming but of a bloody redness).
One of the first visible signs of this encounter was the reddening of the earth's surface by a fine
dust of rusty pigment. In sea, lake, and river this pigment gave a bloody coloring to the water.
Because of these particles of ferruginous or other soluble pigment, the world turned red.
The Manuscript QuichS of the Mayas tells that in the Western Hemisphere, in the days of a great
cataclysm, when the earth quaked
3 In order of publication it will follow the present volume.

and the sun's motion was interrupted, the water in the rivers turned to blood.1
Aipuwer, the Egyptian eyewitness of the catastrophe, wrote his lament on papyrus: 2 "The river
is blood," and this corresponds with the Book of Exodus (7 :20): "All the waters that were in the
river were turned to blood." The author of the papyrus also wrote: 'Tlague is throughout the land.
Blood is everywhere," and this, too, corresponds with the Book of Exodus (7 : 21): "There was
blood throughout all the land of Egypt."

rom Egypt to Palestine.2 On the way from Egypt to Palestine the Israelites, after a night of
terror and strong east wind, witnessed the upheaval of the day of the Passage. These parallel
circumstances lead to a conclusion that will sound somewhat strange. Typhon (Typheus) lies on
the bottom of the sea where the spell-
w> Job 26 : 7-13.

« Psalms 74 : 12-15.
1 Mount Casius, mentioned by Apollodorus, is the name of Mount Lebanon as well as of Mount
Sinai. Cf. Pomponius Mela De situ orbis.
2 Herodotus iii, 5. Also Apollonius Rhodius in the Argonautica, Bk. ii, says that Typhon
"smitten by the bolt of Zeus . . . lies whelmed beneath the waters of the Serbonian lake."

Babylonia, India, in the sign Jo, in the form of a disc, at the very time when the Israelites were
on their march from Egypt to the Promised Land. So Rockenbach. The Exodus of the Israelites is
placed by Calvisius in the year of the world 2453, or 1495 b.c." 6
I was fortunate enough to locate one copy of Rockenbach's De cometis tractatus novus
methodicus in the United States.7 This book was published in Wittenberg in 1602. Its author was
professor of Greek, mathematics, and law, and dean of philosophy at Frankfort. He wrote his
book using old sources which he did not name: "ex pro-batissimis ir antiquissimis veterum
scriptoribus" (from the most trustworthy and the most ancient of the early writers). As a result of
his diligent gathering of ancient material, he made the following entry:
"In the year of the world two thousand four hundred and fifty-three—as many trustworthy
authors, on the basis of many conjectures, have determined—a comet appeared which Pliny also
mentioned in his second book. It was fiery, of irregular circular form, with a wrapped head; it
was in the shape of a globe and was of terrible aspect. It is said that King Typhon ruled at that
time in Egypt. . . . Certain [authorities] assert that the comet was seen in Syria, Babylonia, India,
in the sign of Capricorn, in the form of a disc, at the time when the children of Israel advanced
from Egypt toward the Promised Land, led on their way by the pillar of cloud during the day and
by the pillar of fire at night." 8
Rockenbach did not draw any conclusion on the relation of the comet of the days of Exodus to
the natural phenomena of that time; his intent was only to fix the date of the comet of Typhon.
Among the early authors, Lydus, Servius (who quotes Avienus),
6J. Hevelius, Cometographia (1688), pp. 794 f.
7 In the library of the American Antiquarian Society, Worcester, Mass.
8 "Anno mundi, bis millesimo, quadrigentesimo quinquagesimo tertio, Cometa (ut multi probati
autores. de tempore hoc statuunt, ex conjecturis multis) cuius Plinius quoque lib. 2 cap. 25
mentionem facit, igneus, formam imperfecti circuli, & in se convoluti caputq; globi
repraesentans, aspectu terribilis apparuit, Typhonq; a rege, tune temporis ex Aegypto imperium
tenente, dictus est, qui rex, ut homines fide digni asserunt, auxilio gigantum. reges Aegyptoru
devicit. Visus quoq; est, ut aliqui volut, in Siria, Babylonia, India, in signo capricomi, sub forma
rotae, eo tempore, quando filii Israel ex Aegypto in terram promissam, duce ac viae monstratore,
per diem columna nubis, noctu vero columna ignis, ut cap. legitur profecti sunt."

Hephaestion, and Junctinus, in addition to Pliny, mention the Typhon comet.9 It is depicted as an
immense globe (globus immodicus) of fire, also as a sickle, which is a description of a globe
illuminated by the sun, and close enough to be observed thus. Its movement was slow, its path
was close to the sun. Its color was bloody: "It was not of fiery, but of bloody redness." It caused
destruction "in rising and setting." Servius writes that this comet caused many plagues, evils, and
To discover what were the manuscript sources of Abraham Rocken-bach that led him to the same
conclusion at which we have arrived, namely, that the Typhon comet appeared in the time of the
Exodus, is a task not yet accomplished. Servius says that more information about the calamities
caused by this comet is to be found in the writings of the Roman astrologer Campester and in the
works of the Egyptian astrologer Petosiris.10 It is possible that copies of works of some authors
 containing citations from the writings of these ancient astrologers, preserved in the libraries of
Europe, were Rockenbach's manuscript sources.
Campester, as quoted by Lydus, was certain that should the comet Typhon again meet the earth,
a four-day encounter would suffice to destroy the world.11 This implies also that the first
encounter with the comet Typhon brought the earth to the brink of destruction.
But even without this somber prognostication of Campester, we have a very imposing and quite
inexhaustible array of references to Typhon and its destructive action against the world: almost
every Greek author referred to it. The real nature of Typhon being that of a comet, as explained
by Pliny and others, all references to the disas-
9 Johannis Laurentii Lydi Liber de ostentis et calendaria Craeca omnia (ed. by C. Wachsmuth,
1897), p. 171. In this work Wachsmuth also printed excerpts from Hephaestion, Avienus apud
Servium, and Junctinus.
10 The time when Campester flourished is not Known, but it is assumed to have been in the third
or fourth century of the present era. See Pauly-Wissowa, Real-Encyclopddie der classischen
Altertumswissenschaft, s.v. The time of Petosiris is tentatively dated in the second pre-Christian
era (Pauly-Wissowa, s.v.). But he is mentioned in The Danaides of Aristophanes (—448 to—
388). See also E. Riess, Nechepsonis et Petosiridis fragmenta magica (1890).
11 Campester in Lydus Liber de ostentis; cf. Handworterbuch des deutschen Aberglaubens
(1932-1933), Vol. V, s.v. "Komet."

ters caused by Typhon must be understood as descriptions of natural catastrophes in which the
earth and the comet were involved. As is known, Pallas of the Greeks was another name for
Typhon; also Seth of the Egyptians was an equivalent of Typhon.12 Thus the number of
references to the comet Typhon can be enlarged by references to Pallas and Seth.
It was not only Abraham Rockenbach who synchronized the appearance of the comet Typhon
with the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt. Looking for authors who might have done likewise,
I found that Samuel Bochart, a scholarly writer of the seventeenth century, in his book
Hierozoicon,13 has a passage in which he maintains that the plagues of the days of the Exodus
resemble the calamities that Typhon brought in his train, and that therefore "the flight of Typhon
is the Exodus of Moses from Egypt."14 In this he actually follows the passage transmitted by
Plutarch.15 But since Typhon, according to Pliny and others, was a comet, Samuel Bochart was
close to the conclusions at which we arrive, traveling along another route.
The Spark
A phenomenon of great significance took place. The head of the comet did not crash into the
earth, but exchanged major electrical discharges with it. A tremendous spark sprang forth at the
moment of the nearest approach of the comet, when the waters were heaped at their highest
above the surface of the earth and before they fell down, followed by a rain of debris torn from
the very body and tail of the comet.
"And the Angel of God, which went before the camp of Israel,
12 "The Egyptians regularly call Typhon 'Seth'; it means 'overmastering' and 'overpowering,' and
in very many instances 'turning back,' and again 'overpassing'." Plutarch, Isis and Osiris (transl.
F. C. Babbitt, 1936), 41 and 49.
13 Bochart, Hierozoicon, I, 343.
14 "Fuga Typhonis est Mosis ex Egypto excessus." Ibid., p. 341.
15 "Those who relate that Typhon's flight from the battle [with Horus] was made on the back of
an ass and lasted seven days, and that after he had made his escape, he became the father of sons,
Hierosolymus [Jerusalem] and Judaeus, are manifestly, as the very names show, attempting to
drag the Jewish traditions into the legend." Plutarch, Isis and Osiris, 32.

removed and went behind them; and the pillar of the cloud went from before their face, and
stood behind them . . . and it was a cloud and darkness but it gave light by night." An
exceedingly strong wind and lightnings rent the cloud. In the morning the waters rose as a wall
and moved away. "And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground:
and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left. And the Egyptians
pursued.... And it came to pass, that in the morning watch the Lord looked unto the host of the
Egyptians through the pillar of fire and of the cloud, and troubled the host of the Egyptians, and
took off their chariot wheels . . . and the waters returned, and covered the chariots, and the
horsemen, and all the host of Pharaoh that came into the sea after them; there remained not so
much as one of them."1
The immense tides were caused by the presence of a celestial body close by; they fell when a
discharge occurred between the earth and the other body.
Artapanus, the author of the no longer extant De Judaeis, apparently knew that the words, "The
Lord looked unto the host of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and of the cloud," refer to a
great lightning. Eusebius quotes Artapanus: "But when the Egyptians . . . were pursuing them, a
fire, it is said, shone out upon them from the front, and the sea overflowed the path again, and the
Egyptians were all destroyed by the fire and the flood." 2
The great discharges of interplanetary force are commemorated in the traditions, legends, and
mythology of all the peoples of the world. The god—Zeus of the Greeks, Odin of the Icelanders,
Ukko of the Finns, Perun of the Russian pagans, Wotan (Woden) of the Germans, Mazda of the
Persians, Marduk of the Babylonians, Shiva of the Hindus—is pictured with lightning in his
hand and described as the god who threw his thunderbolt at the world overwhelmed with water
and fire.
1 Exodus 14 : 19 ff.
2 Eusebius, Preparation for the Gospel (transl. Gifford), Bk. ix, Chap, xxvii. Calmet,
Commentaire, VExode, p. 154, correctly understood the passage in Artapanus because he
paraphrases it as follows: "Artapanus dans Eusebe dit que les Egyptiens furent frappes de la
foudre, et abbatus par le feu du ciel dans le meme temps que l'eau de la mer vint tomber sur eux."

^Similarly, many psalms of the Scriptures commemorate the great discharges. "Then the earth
shook and trembled; the foundations also of the hills moved and were shaken. . . . He bowed the
heavens also, and came down ... he did fly upon the wings of the wind.... At the brightness that
was before him his thick clouds passed, hail stones and coals of fire. The Lord also thundered in
the heavens, and the Highest gave his voice; hail stones and coals of fire . . . and he shot out
lightnings.... Then the channels of waters were seen, and the foundations of the world were
discovered." 3 "The voice of the Lord is powerful.. . . The voice of the Lord breaketh the cedars.

. . .The voice of the Lord divideth the flames of fire. The voice of the Lord shaketh the wilderness;
the Lord shaketh the wilderness of Kadesh."4 "The kingdoms were moved; he
uttered his voice, the earth melted."5 "The waters saw thee; they were afraid: the depths also
were troubled . . . the skies sent out a sound: thine arrows also went abroad. The voice of thy
thunder was in the heaven; the lightnings lightened the universe: the earth trembled and shook."
6 "Clouds and darkness are round about him ... a fire goeth before him and burneth up his
enemies round about.... His lightnings enlightened the world: the earth saw, and trembled."7
^Nothing is easier than to add to the number of such quotations from other parts of the
Scriptures—Job, the Song of Deborah, the Prophets.
With the fall of the double wall of water, the Egyptian host was swept away. The force of the
impact threw the pharaoh's army into the air. "Come and see the works of God: he is terrible in
his doing toward the children of men. He turned the sea into dry land: they went through the
flood on foot.... Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and
through water." 8
This tossing of the Egyptian host into the air by an avalanche of 8 Psalms 18 : 7-15.

* Psalms 29 : 4-8. » Psalms 46 : 6.
6 Psalms 77 : 16-19. Tevel is the universe, but the King James Version translates "world"; world
is olam.
7 Psalms 97 : 2-4.

8 Psalms 66 : 5-12. On cosmic discharges see infra the Sections, ^gnis e Coelo" and "Synodos."
water is referred to also in the Egyptian source I quoted before: on the shrine found in el-Arish
the story is told of a hurricane and of a prolonged darkness when nobody could leave the palace,
and of the pursuit by the pharaoh Taoui-Thom of the fleeing slaves whom he followed to Pi-
khiroti, which is the biblical Pi-ha-khiroth. "His Majesty leapt into the place of the whirlpool."
Then it is said that he was 'lifted by a great force." 9

Although the larger part of the Israelite fugitives were already out of the reach of the falling tidal
waves, a great number of them perished in this disaster, as in the previous ones of fire and
hurricane of cinders. That Israelites perished at the Sea of Passage is implied in Psalm 68 where
mention is made of "my people" that remained in "the depths of the sea."
These tidal waves also overwhelmed entire tribes who inhabited Tehama, the thousand-mile-long
coastal region of the Red Sea.
"God sent against the Djorhomites swift clouds, ants, and other signs of his rage, and many of
them perished. ... In the land of Djohainah an impetuous torrent carried off all of them in a night.
The scene of this catastrophe is known by the name of Idam (fury)." The author of this passage,
Masudi, an Arab author of the tenth century, quotes an earlier author, Omeyah, son of Abu-Salt:
"In days of yore the Djorhomites settled in Tehama, and a violent flood carried all of them
Likewise the tradition related in Kitab Alaghaniu is familiar with the plague of insects (ants of
the smallest variety) that forced the tribe to migrate from Hedjaz to their native land, where they
were destroyed by "Toufan"—a deluge. In my reconstruction of ancient history, I endeavor to
establish the synchronism of these events and the Exodus.
9 Griffith, The Antiquities of Tel-el-Yahudiyeh; Goyon, "Les travaux de Chou et les tribulations
de Geb," Kemi (1936).
10 EI-Macoudi, Les Prairies d'or (transl. C. Barbier and P. de Courteille, 1861), III, Chap. 39. An
English translation is by A. Sprenger (1841): El-Mas'udi, Meadows of Gold and Mines of Gems.
11 F. Fresnel, "Sur l'Histoire des Arabes avant I'lslamisme (Kitab alaghaniyy)," Journal asiatique


The Collapsed Sky
The rain of meteorites and fire from the sky, the clouds of dust of exogenous origin that drifted
low, and the displacement of the world quarters created the impression that the sky had
The ancient peoples of Mexico referred to a world age that came to its end when the sky
collapsed and darkness enshrouded the world.1
Strabo relates, in the name of Ptolemaeus, the son of Lagus, a general of Alexander and founder
of the Egyptian dynasty called by his name, that the Celti who lived on the shores of the Adriatic
were asked by Alexander what it was they most feared, to which they replied that they feared no
one, but only that the sky might collapse.2
The Chinese refer to the collapse of the sky which took place when the mountains fell.3 Because
mountains fell or were leveled at the same time when the sky was displaced, ancient peoples, not
only the Chinese, thought that mountains support the sky.
"The earth trembled, and the heavens dropped . . . the mountains melted," says the Song of
Deborah.4 "The earth shook, the heavens also dropped at the presence of God: even Sinai itself
was moved," says the psalmist.5
The tribes of Samoa in their legends refer to a catastrophe when "in days of old the heavens fell
down." The heavens or the clouds were so low that the people could not stand erect without
touching them.6
The Finns tell in their Kalevala that the support of the sky gave way and then a spark of fire
kindled a new sun and a new moon.7 The Lapps make offerings accompanied by the prayer that
the sky

 1 Seler, Gesammelte Abhandlungen, II, 798.
2 Strabo, The Geography, vii, 3, 8.
8 A. Forke, The World Conception of the Chinese (1925), p. 43.
4 Judges 5 : 4-5.
5 Psalms 68 : 8. On periodic collapses of the firmament see also Rashi's commentary on Genesis
11:1, referred to in the Section, "World Ages."
6 Williamson, Religious and Cosmic Beliefs of Central Polynesia, I, 41.
7 See Section, "The Darkness," note 8.

should not lose its support and fall down.8 The Eskimos of Greenland are afraid that the support
of the sky may fail and the sky fall down and kill all human beings; a darkening of the sun and
the moon will precede such a catastrophe.9
The primitives of Africa, in eastern as well as western provinces of the continent, tell about the
collapse of the sky in the past. The Ovaherero tribesmen say that many years ago "the Greats of
the sky" (Eyuru) let the sky fall on the earth; almost all the people were killed, only a few
remained alive. The tribes of Kanga and Loanga also have a tradition of the collapse of the sky
which annihilated the human race. The Wanyoro in Unyoro likewise relate that the sky fell on
the earth and killed everybody: the god Kagra threw the firmament upon the earth to destroy
The tradition of the Cashinaua, the aborigines of western Brazil, is narrated as follows: "The
lightnings flashed and the thunders roared terribly and all were afraid. Then the heaven burst and
the fragments fell down and killed everything and everybody. Heaven and earth changed places.
Nothing that had life was left upon the earth." u
In this tradition are included the same elements: the lightnings and thunderings, "the bursting of
heaven," the fall of meteorites. About the change of places between heaven and earth there is
more to say, and I shall not postpone the subject for long.
8 Olrik, Ragnarok (German ed.), p. 446.
9 Ibid., p. 406. The tradition was told by the Eskimos to P. Egede (1734-1740).
10 L. Frobenius, Die Weltanschauung der Naturvolker (1898), pp. 355-357.
11 Bellamy, Moons, Myths and Man, p. 80.

Boiling Earth and Sea
TWO CELESTIAL BODIES were driven near to each other. The interior of the terrestrial globe
pushed toward the exterior, The earth, disturbed in its rotation, developed heat. The land surface
became hot. Various sources of many peoples describe the melting of the earth's surface and the
boiling of the sea.
The earth burst and lava flowed. The Mexican sacred book, Popol Vuh, the Manuscript
Cakchiquel, the Manuscript Troano all record how the mountains in every part of the Western
Hemisphere simultaneously gushed lava. The volcanoes that opened along the entire chain of the
Cordilleras and in other mountain ranges and on flat land vomited fire, vapor, and torrents of
lava. These and other Mexican sources relate how, at the closing hours of the age that was
brought to an end by the rain of fire, mountains swelled under the pressure of molten masses and
new ridges rose; new volcanoes sprang out of the earth, and streams of lava flowed out of the
cleft earth.1 .-.Events underlying Greek and Mexican traditions are narrated in the Scriptures.
"The mountains shake with the swelling . . . the earth melted." 2 "Clouds and darkness . . . fire . .
. the earth saw and trembled. The hills melted like wax." 3 "He looketh on the earth, and it
trembleth: he toucheth the hills, and they smoke." * "The earth trembled . . . the mountains
melted . . . even that Sinai." 5 "He rebuketh the sea, and maketh it dry, and drieth up all the
1 See Seler, Gesammelte Abhandlungen, II, 798.

2 Psalms 46 : 3-6. 8 Psalms 97 : 2-5. * Psalms 104 : 32. " Song of Deborah, Judges 5 : 4-5. 91 robin-bobin 92 WORLDS IN COLLISION
. . . The mountains quake at him, and the hills melt, and the earth is burned . . . yea, the world,
and all that dwell therein." 8
The rivers steamed, and even the bottom of the sea boiled here and there. "The sea boiled, all the
shores of the ocean boiled, all the middle of it boiled," says the Zend-Avesta. The star Tistrya
made the sea boil.7

The traditions of the Indians retain the memory of this boiling of the water in river and sea. The
tribes of British Columbia tell: "Great clouds appeared . . . such a great heat came, that finally
the water boiled. People jumped into the streams and lakes to cool themselves, and died." 8 On
the North Pacific coast of America the tribes insist that the ocean boiled: "It grew very hot . . .
many animals jumped into the water to save themselves, but the water began to boil." 9 The
Indians of the Southern Ute tribe in Colorado record in their legends that the rivers boiled.10
Jewish tradition, as preserved in the rabbinical sources, declares that the mire at the bottom of
the Sea of Passage was heated. "The Lord fought against the Egyptians with the pillar of cloud
and fire. The mire was heated to the boiling point by the pillar of fire." n The rabbinical sources
say also that the pillar of fire and of smoke leveled mountains.12
Hesiod in his Theogony, relating the upheaval caused by a celestial collision, says: "The huge
earth groaned. ... A great part of the huge earth was scorched by the terrible vapor and melted as
tin melts when heated by man's art . . . or as iron, which is hardest of all things, is softened by
glowing fire in mountain glens."13
.6Nahum 1:4-5.
7 The Zend-Avesta (Pt. II, p. 95 of J. Darmesteter's translation, 1883); Carnoy, Iranian
Mythology, p. 268.
8 "Kaska Tales" collected by J. A. Teit, lournal of American Folk-lore, XXX (1917), 440.
9 S. Thompson, Tales of the North American Indians (1929); H. B. Alexander, North American
Mythology (1916), p. 255.
10 R. H. Lowie, "Southern Ute," lournal of American Folk-lore, XXXVII (1924).
11 Ginzberg, Legends, III, 49.
^Ibid., II, 375; III, 316; VI, 116. Tractate Berakhot, 59a-59b. 13 Hesiod, Theogony (transl.
Evelyn-White), 11. 856 ff.

According to the traditions of the New World, the profile of the land changed in a catastrophe,
new valleys were formed, mountain ridges were torn apart, new gulfs were cut out, ancient
heights were overturned and new ones sprang up. The few survivors of the ruined world were
enveloped in darkness, "the sun in some way did not exist," and in intervals in the light of
blazing fires they saw the silhouettes of new mountains.
The Mayan sacred book Popol-Vuh says that the god "rolled mountains" and "removed
mountains," and "great and small mountains moved and shaked." Mountains swelled with lava.
Coniraya-Vira-cocha, the god of the Incas raised mountains from the flat land and flattened other
> And similarly, "When Israel went out of Egypt . . . the sea saw and fled . . . the mountains
skipped like rams, and the little hills like lambs. ... Tremble, thou earth, at the presence of the
"Which removeth the mountains . . . which overturneth them in his anger; which shaketh the
earth out of her place . . . which com-mandeth the sun and it riseth not . . . which alone spreadeth
out the heavens, and treadeth upon the waves of the sea."16
Mount Sinai
Along the eastern shore of the Red Sea there stretches a mountain^ ous crest with a number of
volcanic craters, at present extinguished; some, however, were active not many centuries ago.
One of these volcanoes is usually described as the Mount of the Lawgiving: In the seventies of
the last century a scholar, Charles Beke, suggested that Mount Sinai was a volcano in the
Arabian Desert.1 The Book of Deuteronomy (4:11) says "the mountain burned with fire unto the
midst of heaven, with darkness, clouds, and thick darkness." Beke's idea was rejected by his
contemporaries and ultimately by himself.2 Modern scholars, however, agree with his original
14 Brasseur, Sources de Vhistoire primitive du Mexique, pp. 30, 35, 37, 47. « Psalms 114 : 1-7.
M Job 9 : 5-8.
1 Beke, Mount Sinai, a Volcano (1873).
2 The Late Dr. Charles Beke's Discoveries of Sinai in Arabia and of Midian (1878), pp. 436,

and for this reason they look for the Mount of the Lawgiving among the volcanoes of Mount Seir
and not on the traditional Sinai Peninsula where there are no volcanoes. Thus the claims of the
rival peaks of the Sinai Peninsula for the honor of being the Mount of the Law-giving 3 are
silenced by new contestants.
'It is true that it is stated "the mountains melted . . . even that Sinai," * but this melting of
summits does not necessarily mean an opening up of craters. Rocks turned into a flowing mass.
The plateau of the Sinai Peninsula is covered with formations of basalt lava; 5 wide stretches of
the Arabian Desert also glisten with lava.6 Lava formations, interspersed with extinguished
volcanoes, stretch from the vicinity of Palmyra southward into Arabia as far as Mecca.7 Only a
few thousand years ago the deserts glowed with the beacons of many volcanoes, mountains
melted, and lava flowed over the ground from numerous Assures.
-The celestial body that the great Architect of nature sent close to the earth, made contact with it
in electrical discharges, retreated, and approached again. If we are to believe the Scriptural data,
there elapsed seven weeks, or by another computation, about two months 8 from the day of the
Exodus to the day of the revelation at Mount Sinai.
**There were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the
trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that was in the camp trembled. . . . And mount
Sinai was altogether on a smoke . . . and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace,
and the whole mount quaked greatly. And when the voice of the trumpet sounded long, and
waxed louder and louder, Moses spake, and God answered him by a voice." 9
3 Cf. Palmer, Sinai: From the Fourth Egyptian Dynasty to the Present Day.
4 Song of Deborah, Judges 5 : 5.
6 W. M. Flinders Petrie, "The Metals in Egypt," Ancient Egypt (1915), refers
to "the enormous eruption of ferruginous basalt . . . which probably burnt up
forests in its outflow.'
8 N. Glueck, The Other Side of the Jordan (1940), p. 34.
i C. P. Grant, The Syrian Desert (1937), p. 9.

8 Exodus 19 : 1.
» Exodus 19 : 16-19.
The Talmud and Midrashim describe the Mountain of the Law-giving as quaking so greatly that
it appeared as if it were lifted up and shaken above the heads of the people; and the people felt as
it they were no longer standing securely on the ground, but were held up by some invisible
force.10 The presence of a heavenly body overhead caused this phenomenon and this feeling.
"Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations also of the hills moved and were shaken,
because he was wroth.... He bowed the heavens also, and came down: and darkness was under
his feet. ... At the brightness that was before him his thick clouds passed, hail stones and coals of
fire. The Lord also thundered in the heavens . . . hail stones and coals of fire.... He shot out
lightnings.... Then the channels of waters were seen, and the foundations of the world were
Earth and heaven participated in the cosmic convulsion. In the Fourth Book of Ezra the
occurrences witnessed at Mount Sinai are described in these words: "Thou didst bow down the
heavens, didst make the earth quake, and convulsed the world. Thou didst cause the deeps to
tremble and didst alarm the spheres." 12
The approach of a star toward the earth in the days of the revelation at Sinai is implied by the
text of the Tractate Shabbat: Although the ancestors of the later proselytes were not present at
the Mountain of the Lawgiving, their star was there close by.13
An author of the first century of the present era, whose work on biblical antiquities has been
ascribed to Philo, the Alexandrian philosopher, thus describes the commotion on the earth below
and in the sky above: "The mountain [Sinai] burned with fire and the earth shook and the hills
were removed and the mountains overthrown; the depths boiled, and all the inhabitable places
were shaken . . . and flames of fire shone forth and thunderings and lightnings were
10 CL Ginzberg, Legends, II, 92, 95.
n Psalms 18 : 7-15. An identical text is found in 2 Samuel 22.
12 IV Ezra (transl. Box), in The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament, ed. R. H.
13 The Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Shabbat 146a. According to Midrash Shir (15a-15b) the
pharaoh warned the Israelites not to leave Egypt, because they would meet the bloody star Ra (in
Hebrew "Evil").

multiplied, and winds and tempests made a roaring: the stars were gathered together
[collided]."14 Referring to the verse, "He bowed the heavens also, and came down" (Psalms 18),
Pseudo-Philo describes the events of Mount Sinai and says that the Lord "impeded the course of
the stars."15 "The earth was stirred from her foundation, and the mountains and the rocks
trembled in their fastenings, and the clouds lifted up their waves against the flame of the fire that
it should not consume the world . . . and all the waves of the sea came together."16
The Hindus depict the cosmic catastrophe at the end of a world age: "The whole world breaks
into flames. So also a hundred thousand times ten million worlds. All the peaks of Mount Sineru,
even those which are hundreds of leagues in height, crumble and disappear in the sky. The
flames of fire rise up and envelop the heaven." 17 The sixth sun or sun age ended. Similarly, in
the Jewish tradition, with the revelation at Sinai the sixth world age was terminated and the
seventh began.18

Earthquakes are often accompanied by a roaring noise that comes from the bowels of the earth.
This phenomenon was known to early geographers. Pliny * wrote that earthquakes are "preceded
or accompanied by a terrible sound." Vaults supporting the ground give way and it seems as
though the earth heaves deep sighs. The sound was attributed to the gods and called theophany.
The eruptions of volcanoes are also accompanied by loud noises. The sound produced by
Krakatoa in the East Indies, during the eruption of 1883, was so loud that it was heard as far as
Japan, 3,000 miles away, the farthest distance traveled by sound recorded in modern annals.2
•^Jn the days of the Exodus, when the world was shaken and rocked,
14 The Biblical Antiquities of Philo (transl. M. R. James, 1917), Chap. XI. is Ibid., Chap. XXIII.
" Ibid., Chap. XXXII. W Warren, Buddhism, p. 323.

18 Midrash Rabba, Bereshit. 1 Pliny.
Natural History, ii, 82.
2G. J. Symons (ed.), The Eruption of Krakatoa: Report of the Krakatoa Committee of the Royal
Society (of London) (1888).
and all volcanoes vomited lava and all continents quaked, the earth groaned almost unceasingly.
At an initial stage of the catastrophe, according to Hebrew tradition, Moses heard in the silence
of the desert the sound which he interpreted to mean, "I am that I am." 3 "I am Yahweh," heard
the people in the frightful night at the Mountain of the Lawgiving.4 "The whole mount quaked
greatly" and "the voice of the trumpet sounded long." 5 "And all the people saw the roars, and
the torches, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it,
they trembled, and stood afar off."6
It was a perfect setting for hearing words in the voice of nature in an uproar. An inspired leader
interpreted the voice he heard, ten long, trumpetlike blasts. The earth groaned: for weeks now all
its strata had been disarranged, its orbit distorted, its world quarters displaced, its oceans thrown
upon its continents, its seas turned into deserts, its mountains upheaved, its islands submerged,
its rivers running upstream—a world flowing with lava, shattered by meteorites, with yawning
chasms, burning naphtha, vomiting volcanoes, shaking ground, a world enshrouded in an
atmosphere filled with smoke and vapor.
Twisting of strata and building of mountains, earthquakes and rumbling of volcanoes joined in
an infernal din. It was a voice not only in the desert of Sinai; the entire world must have heard it.
"The sky and the earth resounded . . . mountains and hills were moved," says the Midrash. "Loud
did the firmament roar, and earth with echo resounded," says the epic of Gilgamesh.7 In Hesiod
"the huge earth groaned" when Zeus lashed Typhon with his bolts—"the earth resounded
terribly, and the wide heaven above." 8

The approach of two charged globes toward each other could also produce trumpetlike sounds,
varying as the distance between them increased or lessened.9 It appears that this phenomenon is
3 Exodus 3 : 14.

* Exodus 20 : 1. 5 Exodus 19 : 18-19.
6 Exodus 20 : 18; "the thunderings and the lightnings" of the King James Version
is not an exact translation of Kolot and Lapidim.
i Epic of Gilgamish (transl. Thompson).

8 Theogony, 11. 820 ff., 852 ff.
9 This phenomenon of sound between two charged bodies changing with distance
is utilized for musical effect by Theremin.

by Pseudo-Philo as "testimony of the trumpets between the stars and their Lord."10 Here we can
trace the origin of the Pythagorean notion of the "music of the spheres" and the idea that stars
make music. In Babylonia the spheres of the planets were called "voices" and they were
supposed to produce music.11 According to Midrashic literature, the trumpet sounding at Mount
Sinai had seven different pitches (or notes), and the rabbinical literature speaks of "the heavenly
music" heard at the revelation. "At the first sound the sky and the earth moved, the seas and the
rivers turned to flight, mountains and hills were loosened in their foundations." 12
Homer depicts a similar occurrence in these words: "The wide earth rang, and round about great
heaven pealed as with a trumpet." 13 "The world all burns at the blast of the horn," is said in the
"'According to the Hebrew tradition, all the nations heard the roaring of the lawgiving. It appears
that at Mount Sinai the sound that "sounded long" rose ten times; in this roaring the Hebrews
heard the Decalogue.
'"'-'Thou shalt not kill" (Lo tirzah); "Thou shalt not commit adultery" (Lo tin of); "Thou shalt not
steal" (Lo tignov).... "These words [of the Decalogue] . . . were not heard by Israel alone, but
by the inhabitants of all the earth. The Divine voice divided itself into the seventy tongues of
men, so that all might understand it.... The souls of the heathens almost fled from them when
they heard it."15
The din caused by the groaning earth repeated itself again and again, but not so loud, as
subterranean strata readjusted themselves after being dislocated; earthquakes incessantly shook
the ground for years. The Papyrus Ipuwer calls these years "years of noise." "Years
10 The Biblical Antiquities of Philo, Chap. XXXII.
11 E. F. Weidner, Handbuch der Babylonischen Astronomie (1915), I, 75.
12 Sefer Pirkei Rabbi Elieser.
i» The Iliad, xxi, 385 ff. (transl. A. T. Murray, 1924).
14 Cf. W. Bousset, The Antichrist Legend (transl. A. H. Keane, 1896), p. 113.

15 Ginzberg, Legends, III, 97; the Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Shabbat 88b. WORLDS IN COLLISION 99
of noise. There is no end to noise," and again, "Oh, that the earth would cease from noise, and
tumult (uproar) be no more."18
The sound probably had the same pitch all over the world as it came from the deep interior of the
earth, all of whose strata were dislocated when it was thrown from its orbit and forced from its
The great king-lawgiver of China, in whose time a dreadful cataclysm took place and the order
of nature was disturbed, bore the name Yahou.17 In the Preface to the Shu King, attributed to
Confucius, it is written: "Examining into antiquity, we find that the Emperor Yaou was called
Fang-heun." 18 Yahou was a surname given to him in the time following the flood, apparently
inspired by the sound of the earth's groaning.
The same sound was heard in those years in the Western Hemisphere or wherever the ancestors
of the Indians then lived. They relate that once when the heavens were very close to the earth, all
mankind lifted the sky little by little at the repeated shouting 'Tahu," which rang all over the
In Indonesia an oath is accompanied by the invocation of the heavenly bodies. An arrow is shot
toward the sky, "while all present raise a cry of 'ju ju huwe.'" z0 The same sound is heard in the
very name Jo, Jove (Jupiter). The name Yahweh is preserved in shorter
16 Papyrus Ipuwer 4 : 2, 4-5.
17 For the Chinese pronunciation of this name see R. van Bergen, Story of China (1902), p. 112:
"At the time of the flood, the Emperor of China was named Yau (Yah-oo)."
18 Shoo-king, the Canon of Yaou (transl. James Legge), Vol. Ill, Pt. 1 of The Chinese Classics
(Hongkong, 1865). In this edition Legge used this spelling of the name of the book and of the
name of the king; his later spelling is different.
In Volume LX of the Universal Lexicon (Leipzig and Halle, 1732-1754), s.v. "Yao," it is said
tiiat some call Yao by the name Tarn and also Tao. This is curious because in my reconstruction
of ancient history I come to the conclusion that the name of the pharaoh of the Exodus was Taui
Thom (Greek "Tau Timaeus") of the Thirteenth Dynasty, the last of the Middle Kingdom. He
was a contemporary of this Chinese king.
19 F. Shelton, "Mythology of Puget Sound: Origin of the Exclamation Tfahu,'" Journal of
American Folk-lore, XXXVII (1924).
20 J. G. Frazer, The Worship of Nature (1926), p. 665. F. Boas, Kwakiutl Culture as Reflected in
Mythology (1935), p. 130, tells of Yuwe gendayusens na lax ("die wind edge of our world"),
from where also come "death-bringing arrows that set mountains on fire."

forms, as well, Yahou and Yo,21 as the name of the Deity in the Bible.22 Diodorus wrote of
Moses that he had received his laws from the God invoked by the name Iao.23
In Mexico, Yao or Yaotl is the god of war; the similarity of sound has already been noted.24
Nihongi, chronicles of Japan from the earliest times, begins with a reference to the time when "of
old, heaven and earth were not yet separated, and the In and Yo not yet divided." Yo is the earth.
The time when the sky touched the earth is the time when the heavy dust and vapor-charged
clouds of the comet enveloped the globe and lay very close to the ground.
Emperor Yahou
The history of China is commonly supposed to extend back to gray antiquity. But in reality the
sources of the ancient period of the Chinese past are very scanty, for they were destroyed by the
Emperor Tsin-chi-hoang (246-209 before the present era). He ordered all books on history and
astronomy, as well as works of classic literature, to be burned. Search for these books was made
throughout the empire for this purpose. The story persists that a few remnants of the old
literature were again put into writing from the memory of an old man; some were said to have
been found hidden in the sepulcher of Confucius, and are ascribed to his pen.

robin-bobin Of these few remains of the old lore, the most cherished are those which tell of the Emperor
Yahou and his times. His personality and his period are considered as "the most auspicious in the
Chinese annals."1 The history of China preceding his reign is ascribed to the
21 Psalms 68 : 4.
22 Cf. R. A. Bowman, "Yahweh the Speaker," lournal of Near Eastern Studies, III (1944). H.
Torczyner, Die Bundeslade und die Anfdnge der Religion Israels (1930), p. iii, sees a connection
between the name jhwh and the Arab word wahwa, to roar.
23 Diodorus of Sicily, Library of History, I, 94.
24 Brasseur, Quatre lettres sur le Mexique, p. 374.
1 H. Murray, J. Crawfurd, and others, An Historical and Descriptive Account of China.

mythical period of the Chinese past. In the days of Yahou the event occurred which separates the
almost obliterated and very dim past of China from the period that is considered historical: China
was overwhelmed by an immense catastrophe.
"At that time the miracle is said to have happened that the sun during a span of ten days did not
set, the forests were ignited, and a multitude of abominable vermin was brought forth." a "In the
lifetime of Yao [Yahou] the sun did not set for ten full days and the entire land was flooded." 3
An immense wave "that reached the sky" fell down on the land of China. "The water was well up
on the high mountains, and the foothills could not be seen at all." 4 (This recalls Psalm 104: "The
waters stood above the mountains . . . they go up by the mountains" and Psalm 107: "The waves
mount up to the heaven.")
"Destructive in their overflow are the waters of the inundation," said the emperor. "In their vast
extent they embrace the hills and overtop the great heights, threatening the heavens with their
floods." The emperor ordered that all efforts be made to open outlets for the waters that were
caught in the valleys between the mountains. For many years the population labored, trying to
free the plains and valleys of the waters of the flood by digging channels and draining the fields.
For a considerable number of years all efforts were in vain. The minister who was in charge of
this urgent and immense work, Khwan, was sentenced to death because of his failure— "For
nine years he labored, but the work was unaccomplished" 5—and only his son Yu succeeded in
draining the land. This achievement was so highly rated that Yu became emperor of China after
King Shun, first successor to Yahou. This Yu was the founder of the new and notable dynasty
called by his name.
The chronicles of modern China preserve records of one million
2 "Yao," Universal Lexicon, Vol. LX (1749).
3 J. Hubner, Kurze Fragen aus der politischen Historie (1729).
* The Shu King, the Canon of Yao (transl. Legge, 1879). See also C. L. J. de Guignes, Le Chou-
king (1770). Pt. 1, Chap. 1, and J. Moryniac, Histoire gSnerale de la Chine (1877), 1,53. o The
Shu King.

lives lost in a single overflow of the Yellow River.6 Another natural catastrophe—the
earthquake—also caused great devastation in China at various times: it is estimated that in the
year 1556 the quaking earth took 830,000 lives and 3,000,000 in 1662.7 Was not the catastrophe
of the time of Yahou one of the major inundations of rivers, as modern scholars suppose it to
have been? But the fact that this catastrophe has been vivid in traditions for thousands of years,
while neither the overflow of the Yellow River, when a million people perished, nor the great
earthquakes, play a conspicuous part in the recollections of the nation, is an argument against the
established interpretation.
Rivers do not overflow in the form of a sky-high wave. The overflowing rivers of China subside
in a few weeks, and the water does not remain in the plains until the following spring, but flows
away, and the ground dries in a few more weeks. The flood of Yahou required draining for many
years, and during all this period water covered the lower part of the country.

robin-bobin Yahou's reign is remembered for the following undertaking: This emperor sent scholars to
different parts of China, and even to Indo-China, to find out the location of north, west, east, and
south by observing the direction of the sun's rising and setting and the motion of the stars. He
also charged his astronomers to find out the duration of seasons, and to draw up a new calendar.
The Shu King is called the oldest book of Chinese chronicles, rewritten from memory or from
some hidden manuscript after the burning of books by Tsin-chi-hoang. In its oldest section, the
canon of Yaou [Yahou], it is written:
"Thereupon Yaou [Yahou] commanded He and Ho, in reverent accordance with the wide
heavens, to calculate and delineate the movements and appearances of the sun, the moon, the
stars, and the zodiacal spaces; and to deliver respectfully the seasons to the people." *
6 Andree, Die Flutsagen, p. 36; C. Deckert, "Der Hoangho und seine Strom-laufanderung,"
Globus, Zeitschrift fur Lander- und Volkerkunde, LIU (1888), 129, concerning the flood of
7 Daly, Our Mobile Earth, p. 3.

8 The Shoo-king (Hong Kong edition).
The necessity, soon after the flood, of finding anew the four directions and learning anew the
movements of the sun and the moon, of delineating the zodiacal signs, of compiling the calendar,
of informing the population of China of the sequence of the seasons, creates the impression that
during the catastrophe the orbit of the earth and the year, the inclination of the axis and the
seasons, the orbit of the moon and the month, changed. We are not told what caused the
cataclysm, but it is written in ancient annals that during the reign of Yahou "a brilliant star issued
from the constellation Yin." 9
According to the old Tibetan traditions, the highlands of Tibet, too, were flooded in a great
cataclysm.10 The traditions of the Tibetans speak also of terrifying comets that caused great
Calculations were undertaken to establish the dates of the Emperor Yahou. On the basis of a
remark that the constellation Niao, thought to be the constellation Hydra, culminated at sunset on
the day of the vernal equinox in the time of Yahou, it was reckoned that the flood occurred in the
twenty-third century before the present era, but this date has been questioned by many.
Sometimes it has also been supposed that the "Flood of Yahou" was the Chinese story of the
universal flood, but this point of view has been abandoned. The story of the deluge of Noah has
its parallel in a Chinese tradition about a universal flood in prehistoric times, in the days of Fo-
hi, who alone of all the country was saved. The flood of Yahou is sometimes regarded as
simultaneous with the flood of Ogyges.
The flood of Ogyges did not occur in the third millennium, but in the middle of the second
millennium before this era. In the section entitled "The Floods of Deucalion and Ogyges," the
synchronism of these devastations with the catastrophes of the days of Moses and Joshua will be
demonstrated and supported by ancient and chronological sources.
When we summarize what has been told about the time of Yahou,
9 The Annals of the Bamboo Books, Vol. 3, Pt. 1 of The Chinese Classics (transL
Legge), p. 112.
10Andree, Die Flutsagen, quoting S. Turner, An Account of an Embassy to the
Court of the Teshoo Lama in Tibet (1800).
n Eckstein, Sur les Sources de la cosmogonie du Sanchoniathon (1860), p. 227.

we have the following data: the sun did not set for a number of days, the forests were set on fire,
vermin filled the country, a high wave "reaching the sky" poured over the face of the land and
swept water over the mountain peaks and filled the valleys for many years; in the days of Yahou
the four quarters of the heaven were established anew, and observations of the duration of the
year and month and of the order of the seasons were made. The history of China in the period
before this catastrophe is quite obliterated.
Hai Gaon, the rabbinical authority who flourished between 939 and 1038, in his Responses refers
to the cosmic changes in which the sun rose in the west and set in the east.43
The Koran speaks of the Lord "of two easts and of two wests," 44 a sentence which presented
much difficulty to the exegetes. Aver-rhoes, the Arab philosopher of the twelfth century, wrote
about the eastward and westward movements of the sun.45
References to the reversal of the movement of the sun that have been gathered here do not refer
to one and the same time: the Deluge, the end of the Middle Kingdom, the days of the Argive
tyrants, were separated by many centuries. The tradition heard by Herodotus in Egypt speaks of
four reversals. Later in this book and again in the book that will deal with earlier catastrophes, I
shall return to this subject. At this point, I leave historical and literary evidence on the reversal of
earth's cardinal points for the testimony of the natural sciences on the reversal of the magnetic
poles of the earth.
The Reversed Polarity of the Earth
A thunderbolt, on striking a magnet, reverses the poles of the magnet. The terrestrial globe is a
huge magnet. A short circuit between it and another celestial body could result in the north and
south magnetic poles of the earth exchanging places.
It is possible to detect in the geological records of the earth the orientation of the terrestrial
magnetic field in past ages.
"When lava cools and freezes following a volcanic outburst, it takes up a permanent
magnetization dependent upon the orientation of the Earth's magnetic field at the time. This,
because of small capacity for magnetization in the Earth's magnetic field after freezing, may
remain practically constant. If this assumption be correct, the
41 Steinschneider, Hebraische Bibliographie, Vol. XVIII, pp. 61 ff.
42 Ginzberg, Legends, I, 69.

43 Taam Zekenim 55b, 58b. 44 Koran, Sura LV.
48 Steinschneider, Hebraische Bibliographie, Vol. XVIII.

direction of the originally acquired permanent magnetization can be determined by tests in the
laboratory, provided that every detail of the orientation of the mass tested is carefully noted and
marked when it is removed." 1
We would expect to find a full reversal of magnetic direction. Although repeated heating of lava
and rocks can change the picture, there must have remained rocks with inverted polarity.
Another1 author writes:
"Examination of magnetization of some igneous rocks reveals that they are polarized oppositely
from the prevailing present direction of the local magnetic field and many of the older rocks are
less strongly magnetized than more recent ones. On the assumption that the magnetization of the
rocks occurred when the magma cooled and that the rocks have held their present positions since
that time, this would indicate that the polarity of the Earth has been completely reversed within
recent geological times." 2
Because the physical facts seemed entirely inconsistent with every cosmological theory, the
author of the above passage was cautious not to draw further conclusions from them.
The reversed polarity of lava indicates that in recent geological times the magnetic poles of the
globe were reversed; when they had a very different orientation, abundant flows of lava took
Additional problems, and of a large scope, are: whether the position of the magnetic poles has
anything to do with the direction of rotation of the globe, and whether there is an
interdependence in the direction of the magnetic poles of the sun and of the planets.
The Quarters of the World Displaced
The traditions gathered in the section before last refer to various epochs; actually, Herodotus and
Mela say that according to Egyp-
1 J. A. Fleming, "The Earth's Magnetism and Magnetic Surveys" in Terrestrial Magnetism and
Electricity, ed. by J. A. Fleming (1939), p. 32.

robin-bobin 2 A. McNish, "On Causes of the Earth's Magnetism and Its Changes" in Terrestrial Magnetism
and Electricity, ed. by Fleming, p. 326.

tian annals, the reversal of the west and east recurred: the sun rose in the west, then in the east,
once more in the west, and again in the east.
Was the cosmic catastrophe that terminated a world age in the days of the fall of the Middle
Kingdom and of the Exodus one of these occasions, and did the earth change the direction of its
rotation at that time? If we cannot assert this much, we can at least maintain that the earth did not
remain on the same orbit, nor did its poles stay in their places, nor was the direction of the axis
the same as before. The position of the globe and its course were not settled when the earth first
came into contact with the onrushing comet; in Plato's terms, already partly quoted, the motion
of the earth was changed by "blocking of the course" and went through "shaking of the
revolutions" with "disruptures of every possible kind," so that the position of the earth became
"at one time reversed, at another oblique, and again upside down," and it wandered "every way
in all six directions."
The Talmud and other ancient rabbinical sources tell of great disturbances in the solar movement
at the time of the Exodus and the Passage of the Sea and the Lawgiving.1 In old Midrashim it is
repeatedly narrated that four times the sun was forced out of its course in the few weeks between
the day of the Exodus and the day of the Lawgiving.2
The prolonged darkness (and prolonged day in the Far East) and the earthshock (i.e., the ninth
and the tenth plagues) and the world conflagration were the result of one of these disturbances in
the motion of the earth. A few days later, if we follow the biblical narration, immediately before
the hurricane changed its direction, "the pillar of cloud went from before their faces and stood
behind them"; this means that the column of fire and smoke turned about and appeared from the
opposite direction. Mountainous tides uncovered the bottom of the sea; a spark sprang between
two celestial bodies;
1 See, e.g., the Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Taanit 20; Tractate Avoda Zara 25a.
2 Pirkei Rabbi Elieser 41; Ginzberg, Legends, VI, 45-46.

and "at the turning of the morning," 3 the tides fell in a cataclysmic avalanche.
The Midrashim speak of a disturbance in the solar movement on the day of the Passage: the sun
did not proceed on its course.4 On that day, according to the Psalms (76 : 8), "the earth feared
and was still." It is possible that Amos (8 : 8-9) is reviving the memory of this event when he
mentions the "flood of Egypt," at the time "the earth was cast out of the sea, and dry land was
swallowed by the sea," and "the sun was brought down at noon," although, as I show later on,
Amos might have referred to a cosmic catastrophe of a more recent date.
Also, the day of the Lawgiving, when the worlds collided again, was, according to numerous
rabbinical sources, a day of unusual length: the motion of the sun was disturbed.5 ^^On this
occasion, and generally in the days and months following the Passage, the gloom, the heavy and
charged clouds, the lightning, and the hurricanes, aside from the devastation by earthquake and
flood, made observation very difficult, if not impossible. "They walk on in darkness: all the
foundations of the earth are out of course" (Psalms 82:5) is a metaphor used by the Psalmist.
e Papyrus Ipuwer, which says that "the earth turned over like a potter's wheel" and "the earth is
upside down," was written by an eyewitness of the plagues and the Exodus.6 The change is
described also in the words of another papyrus (Harris) which I have quoted once before: "The
south becomes north, and the earth turns over." v,Whether there was a complete reversal of the
cardinal points as a result of the cosmic catastrophe of the days of the Exodus, or only a
substantial shift, is a problem not solved here. The answer was not apparent even to
contemporaries, at least for a number of decades. In the gloom that endured for a generation,
observations were im-
3 Rashi, the commentator, is surprised by the combination of the words, "at the turning of the
morning" (lifnot haboker). The word lifnot (from pana), when used with reference to time, means
"to turn away" or "to go down." The word is applied here, not to "day," which goes down, but to
the morning, which rises, changes to day, but does not go down.
* Midrash Psikta Raboti; Likutim Mimidrash Ele Hadvarim (ed. Buber, 1885). B Ginzberg,
Legends, III, 109.

6 See the Section, "The Red World," note is \Th

possible, and very difficult when the light began to break through.
The Kalevala relates that "dreaded shades" enveloped the earth, and "the sun occasionally steps
from his accustomed path." T Then Ukko-Jupiter struck fire from the sun to light a new sun and
a new moon, and a new world age began.
In Voluspa (Poetic Edda) of the Icelanders we read:
No knowledge she [the sun] had where her home should be,
The moon knew not what was his,
The stars knew not where their stations were.
Then the gods set order among the heavenly bodies.
The Aztecs related: "There had been no sun in existence for many years.... [The chiefs] began
to peer through the gloom in all directions for the expected light, and to make bets as to what
part of heaven he [the sun] should first appear in. Some said 'Here,' and some said 'There'; but
when the sun rose, they were all proved wrong, for not one of them had fixed upon the east." 8
Similarly, the Mayan legend tells that "it was not known from where the new sun would appear."
"They looked in all directions, but they were unable to say where the sun would rise. Some
thought it would take place in the north and their glances were turned in that direction. Others
thought it would be in the south. Actually, their guesses included all directions because the dawn
shone all around. Some, however, fixed their attention on the orient, and maintained that the sun
would come from there. It was their opinion that proved to be correct." 9
According to the Compendium of Wong-shi-Shing (1526-1590), it was in the "age after the
chaos, when heaven and earth had just separated, that is, when the great mass of cloud just lifted
from the earth," that the heaven showed its face.10
7 J. M. Crawford in the Preface to his translation of Kalevala.
8 Quoted by I. Donnelly, Ragnarok, p. 215, from Andres de Olmos. Donnelly thought that this
tradition signified that "in the long-continued darkness they had lost all knowledge of the
cardinal points"; he did not consider that it might refer to the displacement of the cardinal points.
9 Sahagun, Historia general de las cosas de Nueva Espana, Bk. VII, Chap. 2.
10 Quoted by Donnelly, Ragnarok, p. 210.

In the Midrashim it is said that during the wandering in the desert the Israelites did not see the
face of the sun because of the clouds. They were also unable to orient themselves on their
The expression repeatedly used in the Books of Numbers and Joshua, "the east, to the sunrising,"
12 is not tautology, but a definition, which, by the way, testifies to the ancient origin of the
literary materials that served as sources for these books; it is an expression that has its
counterpart in the Egyptian "the west which is at the sun-setting."
The cosmological allegory of the Greeks has Zeus, rushing on his way to engage Typhon in
combat, steal Europa (Erev, the evening land) and carry her to the west. Arabia (also Erev) kept
its name, "the evening land,"13 though it lies to the east of the centers of civilization—Egypt,
Palestine, Greece. Eusebius, one of the Fathers of the Church, assigned the Zeus-Europa episode
to the time of Moses and the Deucalion Flood, and Augustine wrote that Europa was carried by
the king of Crete to his island in the west, "betwixt the departure of Israel out of Egypt and the
death of Joshua."14
The Greeks, like other peoples, spoke of the reversal of the quarters of the earth and not merely
in allegories but in literal terms.
The reversal of the earth's rotation, referred to in the written and oral sources of many peoples,
suggests the relation of one of these events to the cataclysm of the day of the Exodus. Like the
quoted passage from Visuddhi-Magga, the Buddhist text, and the cited tradition of the Cashinaua
tribe in western Brazil, the versions of the tribes and peoples of all five continents include the
same elements, familiar to us from the Book of Exodus: lightning and "the bursting of heaven,"
which caused the earth to be turned "upside down," or "heaven and earth to change places." On
the Andaman Islands the natives are afraid that a natural catastrophe will cause the world
11 Exodus 14 : 3; Numbers 10 : 31.
i2 Numbers 2 : 3; 34 : 15; Joshua 19 : 12.
13 Cf. Isaiah 21 : 13. In Jeremiah 25 : 20 the name "Arab" is used to denote "a
mingled people."
** Eusebius, Werke, Vol. V, Die Chronik (transl. J. Karst, 1911), "Chronikon
Kanon"; St. Augustine, The City of God, Bk. XVIII, Chap. 12.

to turn over.15 In Greenland also the Eskimos fear that the earth will turn over.16
Curiously enough, the cause of such perturbation is revealed in beliefs like that of the people of
Flanders in France. Thus we read: "In Menin (Flanders) the peasants say, on seeing a comet: 'The
sky is going to fall; the earth is turning over!'"1T
Changes in the Times and the Seasons
Many agents collaborated to change the climate. Insolation was impaired by heavy clouds of
dust, and the radiation of heat from the earth was equally hindered.1 Heat was generated by the
earth's contacts with another celestial body; the earth was removed to an orbit farther from the
sun; the polar regions were displaced; oceans and seas evaporated and the vapors precipitated as
snow on new polar regions and in the higher latitudes in a long Fimbul-winter and formed new
ice sheets; the axis on which the earth rotated pointed in a different direction, and the order of the
seasons was disturbed.
Spring follows winter and fall follows summer because the earth rotates on an axis inclined
toward the plane of its revolution around the sun. Should this axis become perpendicular to that
plane, there would be no seasons on the earth. Should it change its direction, the seasons would
change their intensity and their order.
The Egyptian papyrus known as Papyrus Anastasi IV contains a complaint about gloom and the
absence of solar light; it says also: "The winter is come as (instead of) summer, the months are
reversed and the hours are disordered." 2
15 Hastings, "Eschatology," Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics.
!« Olrik, Ragnarok. p. 406.
if Revue des traditions populaires, XVII (1902-1903), 571.
1 Cf. the works of Arrhemus on the influence of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere on the
temperature, and J. Tyndall (Heat a Mode of Motion, 6th ed., pp. 417-418) on the influence or
the climate of a theoretical layer of olefiant gas surrounding our earth at a short distance above
its surface.
2 A. Erman, Egyptian Literature (1927). p 309. Cf. also J. Vandier, La Famine dans I'Egtjpte
ancienne (1936), p. 118: "Les mois sont a l'envers, et les heures se confondent" (Papyrus
Anastasi IV, 10), and R. Weill, Bases, methodes, et risultats de la chronologie igyptienne (1926),
p. J>5.

"The breath of heaven is out of harmony. . . . The four seasons do not observe their proper
times," we read in the Texts of Taoism.3
In the historical memoirs of Se-Ma Ts'ien, as in the annals of the Shu King which we have
already quoted, it is said that Emperor Yahou sent astronomers to the Valley of Obscurity and to
the Sombre Residence to observe the new movements of the sun and of the moon and the
syzygies or the orbital points of the conjunctions, also "to investigate and to inform the people of
the order of the seasons." * It is also said that Yahou introduced a calendar reform: he brought

robin-bobin the seasons into accord with the observations; he did the same with the months; and he
"corrected the days." 5
Plutarch gives the following description of a derangement of seasons: "The thickened air
concealed the heaven from view, and the stars were confused with a disorderly huddle of fire and
moisture and violent fluxions of winds. The sun was not fixed to an unwander-ing and certain
course, so as to distinguish orient and Occident, nor did he bring back the seasons in order." 6
In another work of his, Plutarch ascribes these changes to Typhon, "the destructive, diseased and
disorderly," who caused "abnormal seasons and temperatures." 7
It is characteristic that in the written traditions of the peoples of antiquity the disorder of the
seasons is directly connected with the derangement in the motion of the heavenly bodies.
The oral traditions of primitive peoples in various parts of the world also retain memories of this
change in the movement of the heavenly bodies, the seasons, the flow of time, during a period
when darkness enveloped the world. As an example I quote the tradition of the Oraibi in
Arizona. They say that the firmament hung low and the world was dark, and no sun, no moon,
nor stars were seen. "The people murmured because of the darkness and the cold." Then the
3 Texts of Taoism (transl. Legge), I, 301.
* Les Memoires historiques de Se-ma Ts'ien (transl. E. Chavannes, 1895), p. 47.
B Ibid., p. 62.
6 Plutarch, "Of Eating of Flesh," Morals (transl. "by several hands," revised by W. Goodwin, ed.
7 Plutarch, Isis and Osiris, 49.

planet god Machito "appointed times, and seasons, and ways for the heavenly bodies." 8
Among the Incas the "guiding power in regulating the seasons and the courses of the heavenly
bodies" was Uira-cocha. "The sun, the moon, the day, the night, spring, winter, are not ordained
in vain by thee, O Uira-cocha." 9
The American sources, which speak of a world colored red, of a rain of fire, of world
conflagration, of new rising mountains, of frightening portents in the sky, of a twenty-five-year
gloom, imply also that "the order of the seasons was altered at that epoch." "The astronomers and
geologists whose concern is all this . . . should judge of the causes which could effect the
derangement of the day and could cover the earth with tenebrosity," wrote a clergyman who
spent many years in Mexico and in the libraries of the Old World which store ancient
manuscripts of the Mayas and works of early Indian and Spanish authors about them.10 It did
not occur to him that the biblical narrative of the time of the Exodus contains the same elements.
.->With the end of the Middle Kingdom in Egypt, when the Israelites left that country, the old
order of seasons came to an end and a new world age began. The Fourth Book of Ezra, which
borrows from some earlier sources, refers to the "end of the seasons" in these words: "I sent him
[Moses] and led my people out of Egypt, and brought them to Mount Sinai, and held him by me
for many days. I told him many wondrous things, showed him the secrets of the times, declared
to him the end of the seasons." n
J>Because of various simultaneous changes in the movement of the earth and the moon, and
because observation of the sky was hindered when it was hidden in smoke and clouds, the
calendar could not be correctly computed; the changed lengths of the year, the month, and the
day required prolonged, unobstructed observation. The words
8 Donnelly, Ragnarok, p. 212.

• C. Markham, The Incas of Peru, pp. 97-98. 10 Brasseur,
Sources de Vhistoire primitive du Mexique, pp. 28-29. In his later work Quatre lettres sur
Mexique (1868), Brasseur came to the conclusion that a stupendous catastrophe occurred in
America and that migrating tribes carried the echo of this catastrophe to many peoples of the
world, ii IV Ezra 14 : 4.

of the Midrashim, that Moses was unable to understand the new' calendar, refer to this situation;
"the secrets of the calendar" (sod ha-avour), or more precisely, "the secret of the transition" from

robin-bobin one time-reckoning to another, was revealed to Moses, but he had difficulty in comprehending it.
Moreover, it is said in rabbinical sources that in the time of Moses the course of the heavenly
bodies became confounded.12
"^The month of the Exodus, which occurred in the spring, became the first month of the year:
"This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to
you." 18 Thus, the strange situation was created in the Jewish calendar that the New Year is
observed in the seventh month of the year: the beginning of the calendar year was moved to a
point about half a year away from the New Year in the autumn.
With the fall of the Middle Kingdom and the Exodus, one of the great world ages came to its
end. The four quarters of the world were displaced, and neither the orbit nor the poles nor,
probably, the direction of rotation remained the same. The calendar had to be adjusted anew. The
astronomical values of the year and the day could not be the same before and after an upheaval
in which, as the quoted Papyrus Anastasi IV says, the months were reversed and "the hours
"-The length of the year during the Middle Kingdom is not known from any contemporaneous
document. Because in the Pyramid texts dating from the Old Kingdom there is mention of "five
days," it was erroneously concluded that in that period a year of 365 days was already known.14
But no inscription of the Old or Middle Kingdom has been found in which mention is made of a
year of 365 days or even 360 days. Neither is any reference to a year of 365 days or to "five
days" found in the very numerous inscriptions of the New Kingdom prior to the dynasties of the
seventh century.15 Thus the infer--
12 Pirkei Rabbi Elieser 8; Leket Midrashim 2a; Ginzberg, Legends, VI, 24.
13 Exodus 12 : 2.

** Breasted, A History of Egypt, p. 14.
15 The table of the dynasties in Egypt and their chronological ordei are the subject of die
forthcoming Ages in Chaos.

ence that "the five days" of the Pyramid Texts of the Old Kingdom signify the five days over 360
is not well founded.
There exists a direct statement found as a gloss on a manuscript of Timaeus that a calendar of a
solar year of three hundred and sixty days was introduced by the Hyksos after the fall of the
Middle Kingdom; 16 the calendar year of the Middle Kingdom apparently had fewer days. ^The
fact I hope to be able to establish is that from the fifteenth century to the eighth century before
the present era the astronomical year was equal to 360 days; neither before the fifteenth century,
nor after the eighth century was the year of this length. In a later chapter of this work extensive
material will be presented to demonstrate this point.
The number of days in a year during the Middle Kingdom was less than 360; the earth then
revolved on an orbit somewhat closer to the present orbit of Venus. An investigation into the
length of the astronomical year during the periods of the Old and Middle Kingdoms is reserved
for that part of this work which will deal with the cosmic catastrophes that occurred before the
beginning of the Middle Kingdom of Egypt.
^.Here I give space to an old Midrashic source which, taking issue with a contradiction in the
scriptural texts referring to the length of time the Israelites sojourned in Egypt, maintains that
"God hastened the course of the planets during Israel's stay in Egypt," so that the sun completed
400 revolutions during the space of 210 regular years.17 These figures must not be taken as
correct, since the intention was to reconcile two biblical texts, but the reference to the different
motion of the planets in the period of the Israelites' stay in Egypt during the Middle Kingdom is
worth mentioning.
In Midrash Rabba,18 it is said on the authority of Rabbi Simon
16 See Bissing, Geschichte Aegyptens (1904), pp. 31, 33; Weill, Chronologie egijptienne, p. 32.
But cf. also "The Book of Sothis" of Pseudo-Manetho in Manetho (transl. Waddell), Loeb
Classical Library; there the introduction of the reform of adding five days to a year of 360 days
is ascribed to the Hyksos King Aseth, who also introduced the worship of the bull calf Apis.

17 An unknown Midrash quoted in Shita Mekubetzet, Nedarim 31b; see Ginzberg, Legends, V,
18 Midrash Rabbah, Bereshit (ed. Freedman and Simon), ix, 14.

that a new world order came into being with the end of the sixth world age at the revelation on
Mount Sinai. "There was a weakening (metash) of the creation. Hitherto world time was
counted, but henceforth we count it by a different reckoning." Midrash Rabba refers also to "the
greater length of time taken by some planets." 19
19 Ibid., p. 73, footnote of the editors.

The Shadow of Death
AN ENTIRE YEAR after the eruption of Krakatoa in the East - Indies in 1883, sunset and
sunrise in both hemispheres were very colorful. Lava dust suspended in the air and carried
around the globe accounted for this phenomenon.1
In 1783, after the eruption of Skaptar-Jokull in Iceland, the world was darkened for months;
records of this phenomenon are found in many contemporary authors. One German
contemporary compared the gloomy world of the year 1783 with the Egyptian plague of
The world was gloomy in the year of Caesar's death, —44. "After the murder of Caesar the
dictator and during the Antonine war," there was "almost a whole year's continuous gloom,"
wrote Pliny.3 Virgil described this year in these words: "The sun . . . veiled his shining face in
dusky gloom, and godless age feared everlasting night.... Germany heard the clash of arms
through all the sky; the Alps rocked with unwonted terrors . . . and spectres, pale in wondrous
wise, were seen at evening twilight." 4
On September 23, —44, a short while after the death of Caesar, on the very day when Octavian
performed the rites in honor of the deceased, a comet became visible at daytime; it was very
bright and
1 The Eruption of Krakatoa: Report, ed. by G. J. Symons, pp. 40 f.
2 Ibid., p. 393; W. J. Phythian-Adams, The Call of Israel (1934), p. 165.
3 Natural History, Bk. ii, 30.
* Virgil, Georgics (transl. H. R. Fairclough, 1920), i, 466.

moved from north to west. It was seen for only a few days and vanished while still in the north.6
It appears that the gloom which enveloped the world the year after Caesar's death was caused by
the dust of the comet dispersed in the atmosphere. The "clash of arms" heard "through all the
sky" was probably the sound that accompanied the entrance of the gases and dust into the earth's
If the eruption of a single volcano can darken the atmosphere over the entire globe, a
simultaneous and prolonged eruption of thousands of volcanoes would blacken the sky. And if
the dust of the comet of —44 had a darkening effect, contact of the earth with a great cinder-
trailing comet of the fifteenth century before this era could likewise cause the blackening of the
sky. As this comet activated all the volcanoes and created new ones, the cumulative action of the
eruptions and of the comet's dust must have saturated the atmosphere with floating particles.
Volcanoes vomit water vapor as well as cinders. The heating effect of the contact of the globe
with the comet must have caused a great evaporation from the surface of the seas and rivers.
Two kinds of clouds—water vapor and dust—were formed. The clouds obscured the sky, and
drifting very low, hung as a fog. The veil left by the gaseous trail of the hostile star and the
smoke of the volcanoes caused darkness, not complete, but profound. This condition prevailed
for decades, and only very gradually did the dust subside and the water vapors condense.
"A vast night reigned over all the American land, of which tradition speaks unanimously: in a
sense the sun no longer existed for this ruined world which was lighted up at intervals only by
frightful conflagrations, revealing the full horror of their situation to the small number of human
beings that had escaped from these calamities." 6
"Following the cataclysm caused by the waters, the author of the
6 Dio Cassius, Roman History, xlv. 7; Pliny ii. 71. 93; Suetonius Caesar 88; Plutarch Caesar 69.
3. It is remarkable that a new world age was proclaimed by an Etruscan diviner named Voclanius
as having begun with the approach of the comet of —44. Cf. "Komet." by Stegemann in
Handworterhuch des deutschen Aberglaubens (1927). 6 Brasseur, Sources de Fhistoire primitive
du Mexique, p. 47.

Codex Chimalpopoca, in his history of the suns, shows us terrifying celestial phenomena, twice
followed by darkness that covered the face of the earth, in one instance for a period of twenty-
five years." "This fact is mentioned in the Codex Chimalpopoca and in most of the traditions of
Mexico." 7
Gomara, the Spaniard who came to the Western Hemisphere in the middle of the sixteenth
century, shortly after the conquest, wrote: 8 "After the destruction of the fourth sun, the world
plunged in darkness during the space of twenty-five years. Amid this profound obscurity, ten
years before the appearance of the fifth sun, mankind was regenerated."
In the years of this gloom, when the world was covered with clouds and shrouded in mist, the
Quiche tribe migrated to Mexico, crossing a sea enveloped in a somber fog.9 In the so-called
Manuscript Quiche it is also narrated that there was 'little light on the surface of the earth . . . the
faces of the sun and of the moon were covered with clouds." 10
In the Ermitage Papyrus in Leningrad previously mentioned there are lamentations about a
terrible catastrophe, when heaven and earth turned upside down ("I show thee the land upside
down; it happened that which never had happened"). After this catastrophe, darkness covered the
earth: "The sun is veiled and shines not in the sight of men. None can live when the sun is veiled
by clouds. . .. None knoweth that midday is there; the shadow is not discerned. . . . Not dazzled
is the sight when he [the sun] is beheld; he is in the sky like the moon." u
In this description the light of the sun is compared to the light of the moon; but even in the light
of the moon objects cast a shadow. If the midday could not be discerned, the disc of the sun was
not clearly visible, and only its diffused light made the day different from the night. The gloom
gradually lifted with the passing years as
» Ibid., pp. 28-29.
8 Gomara, Conquista de Mexico, II, 261. See Humboldt, Researches, II, 16.
9 Brasseur, Histoire des nations civilisSes du Mexique, I, 11. 10 Ibid., p. 113. 11 Papyrus 1116b
recto, published by Gardiner, Journal of Egyptian Archaeology, I (1914).

the clouds became less thick; little by little the sky and the sun appeared less and less veiled.
~The years of darkness in Egypt are described in a number of other documents. The Papyrus
Ipuwer, which contains the story of the plagues of Egypt, says that the land is without light
[dark].12 In the Papyrus Anastasi IV the years of misery are described, and it is said: "The sun, it
hath come to pass that it riseth not." 13 ^ It was the time of the wandering of the Israelites in the
desert.14 Is there any indication that the desert was dark? Jeremiah says (2 : 6): "Neither said
they, Where is the Lord that brought vis up out of the land of Egypt, that led us through the
wilderness, through a land of deserts and of pits, through a land of drought, and of the shadow of
death, through a land that no man passed through, and where no man dwelt?"
v->The "shadow of death" is related to the time of the wanderings in the desert after the Exodus
from Egypt. The sinister meaning of the words "shadow of death" corresponds with the
description of the Ermitage Papyrus: "None can live when the sun is veiled by clouds."
At intervals the earth was lighted by conflagrations in the desert.15 S».The phenomenon of
gloom enduring for years impressed itself on the memory of the Twelve Tribes and is mentioned
in many passages of the Bible: "Thou hast . . . covered us with the shadow of death" (Psalms 44 :
19); "The people that walked in darkness ... in the land of the shadow of death" (Isaiah 9:2). The
Israelites "wandered in the wilderness in a solitary way . . . hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted
in them," and the Lord "brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death" (Psalms 107);
"The terrors of the shadow of death" (Job 24 : 17).
In Job 38 the Lord speaks: "Who shut up the sea with doors [barriers], when it brake forth. . . .
When I made the cloud the garment thereof, and thick darkness a swaddling band for it . . . and
12 Papyrus Ipuwer 9 : 8.
13 Erman, Egyptian Literature, p. 309.
" See the Section, "The Red World," note 2. 15 Numbers 11 : 3; 16 : 35.

the dayspring to know his place; that it might take hold of the ends of the earth, that the wicked
might be shaken out of it?" 16 ^The low and slowly drifting clouds enshrouded the wanderers in
the desert. These clouds dimly glowed at night; their upper portion reflected the sunlight. The
glow being pale during the day and red after sunset, the Israelites were able to distinguish
between day and night.17 They were protected by the clouds from the sun during the wandering
in the desert, and according to the Midrashic literature, they saw sun and moon for the first time
only at the end of the wandering.18
^The clouds that covered the desert during the wandering of the Twelve Tribes were called a
"celestial garment" or "clouds of glory." "He spread a cloud for a covering; and fire to give light
in the night." "And the cloud of the Lord was upon them by day." 19 For days or months the
cloud tarried in one place, and the Israelites "journeyed not"; but when the cloud moved, the
wanderers followed it, and revered it because of its celestial origin.20
In Arabic sources, too, we read that the Amalekites, who left Hedjaz because of plagues,
followed the cloud in their wandering through the desert.21
JZ> On their way to Palestine and Egypt they met the Israelites, and in the battles between them
the screen of clouds played an important part.22
Nihongi, a chronicle of Japan from the earliest period, refers to a time when there was
"continuous darkness" and "no difference of day and night." It describes in the name of the
Emperor Kami Yamato an ancient time when "the world was given over to widespread desola-
i« Cf. also Job 28 : 3 and 36 : 32.
17 Baraita d'Melekhet ha-Mishkan 14; Ginzberg, Legends, V, 439. Cf. also Job 37 : 15.
18 Ginzberg, Legends, VI, 114.
i» Psalms 105 : 39; Numbers 10 : 34.
20 Numbers 9 : 17-22; 10 : 11 ff. The names Bezalel and Rafael mean "in the shadow of God"
and "the shade of God."
21 Kitab-Alaghaniyy (French transl. F. Fresnel), lournal asiatique, 1838. Cf. El-Macoudi
(Mas'udi), Les Prairies d'or, III, Chap. 39. In Ages in Chaos these events will be synchronized
with the Exodus.
22 Sources in Ginzberg, Legends, VI, 24, n. 141.

tion; it was an age of darkness and disorder. In this gloom Hiko-ho-no-ninigi-no-Mikoto fostered
justice, and so governed this western border." 23
In China the annals telling of the time of the Emperor Yahou refer to the Valley of Obscurity and
to the Sombre Residence as places of astronomical observations.24
The name "shadow of death" expresses the influence of the sunless gloom upon the life
processes. The Chinese annals of Wong-shi-Shing, in the chapter dealing with the Ten Stems
(the ten stages of the earth's primeval history), relate that "at Wu, the sixth stem . . . darkness
destroys the growth of all things." 25
Buddhist scholars declare that with the beginning of the sixth world age or "sun," "the whole
world becomes filled with smoke and saturated with greasiness of that smoke." There is "no
distinction of day and night." The gloom is caused by a "cycle-destroying great cloud" of cosmic
origin and dimensions.26

On the Samoan islands the aborigines narrate: "Then arose smell . . . the smell became smoke,
which again became clouds. . . . The sea too arose, and in a stupendous catastrophe of nature the
land sank into the sea.... The new earth (the Samoan islands) arose out of the womb of the last
earth." 27 In the darkness that enveloped the world, the islands of Tonga, Samoa, Rotuma, Fiji,
and Uvea (Wallis Island), and Fotuna rose from the bottom of the ocean.28
Ancient rhymes of the inhabitants of Hawaii refer to a prolonged darkness:
The earth is dancing . . .
let darkness cease....
The heavens are enclosing. . . .
Finished is the world of Hawaii.29
23Nihongi (transl. W. G. Aston), pp. 46 and 110.
24 Les Memoires historiques de Se-ma Ts'ien (transl. Chavannes, 1895), I, 47.
25 Donnelly, Ragnarok, p. 211.
26 Warren, Buddhism in Translations, pp. 322-327.
27 Williamson, Religious and Cosmic Beliefs of Central Polynesia, I, 8.
28 Ibid., I, 37.
29 Ibid., I, 30.
The Quiche tribe migrated to Mexico, the Israelites roamed in the desert, the Amalekites
migrated toward Palestine and Egypt—an uneasy movement took place in all corners of the
ruined world. The migration in Central Polynesia, shrouded in gloom, is narrated in the traditions
of the aborigines of this part of the world about a chief named Te-erui who "lived long in utter
darkness in Avaiki," who migrated in a canoe named "Weary of Darkness" to find a land of light,
and who, after many years of wandering, saw the sky clearing little by little and arrived at a
region "where they could see each other clearly." 30
In the Kalevala, the Finnish epos which "dates back to an enormous antiquity," 31 the time when
the sun and moon disappeared from the sky, and dreaded shadows covered it, is described in
these words:
Even birds grew sick and perished, men and maidens, faint and famished, perished in the cold
and darkness, from the absence of the sunshine, from the absence of the moonlight. . . . But the
wise men of the Northland could not know the dawn of morning, for the moon shines not in
season nor appears the sun at midday, from their stations in the sky-vault.32
An explanation which would rationalize this picture as the description of a seasonal long night in
northern regions will stumble over the second part of the passage: the seasons did not return in
their wonted order. The dreaded shadow covered the earth when Ukko, the highest of the Finnish
deities, relinquished the support of the heavens. Hailstones of iron rained down furiously, and
then the world became shrouded in a generation-long darkness.
This "twilight of the gods" of the Nordic races is but the "shadow
30 Ibid., I, 28-29.
31 Crawford, in the Preface to the English translation of the Kalevala, refers the poem to a time
when Hungarians and Finns were still united as one people, "in other words, to a time at least
three thousand years ago."
32 The Kalevala, Rune 49.

of death" of the Scriptures. The entire generation of those who left Egypt perished in the lightless
desert. Vegetation died in the catastrophe. The Iranian book of Bundahis says: "Blight was
diffused over the vegetation, and it withered away immediately." 33 When the sky was shattered,
the day became dark, and the earth teemed with noxious creatures. For a long time there was no
green thing seen; seeds would not germinate in a sunless world. It took many years before the
earth again brought forth vegetation; this is told in the written and oral traditions of many
peoples. According to American sources, the regeneration of the world and of humankind took
place under the veil of the gloomy shadows, and the time is indicated as the end of the fifteenth
year of the darkness, ten years before the end of the gloom.34 In the scriptural narration it was
probably the day when Aaron's dried twig budded for the first time.35
~The eerie world, dark and groaning, was unpleasant to all the senses save the sense of smell: the
world was fragrant. When the breeze blew, the clouds conveyed a sweet odor.
In the Papyrus Anastasi IV, written "in the year of misery," in which it is said that the months are
reversed, the planet-god is described as arriving "with the sweet wind before him." 36
-In a similar text of the Hebrews we read that the times and seasons were confused, and "a
fragrance perfumed all the world," and the perfume was brought by the pillar of smoke. The
fragrance was like that of myrrh and frankincense. "Israel was surrounded by clouds," and as
soon as the clouds were set in motion, the winds "breathed myrrh and frankincense." 3T
The Vedas contain hymns to Agni which "glows from the sky." Its fragrance became the
fragrance of the earth.
33 The Bundahis, Chap. 3, Sec. 16.
34 Gomara, Conquista, cxix.
35 Numbers 17 : 8. The cover of clouds remained over the desert until after the death of Aaron.
Cf. Ginzberg, Legends, VI, 114.
36 Erman, Egyptian Literature, p. 309.
37 Ginzberg, Legends, III, 158 and 235; VI, 71. According to Targum Yerushalmi, Exodus 35 :
28: "The clouds brought the perfumes from paradise and placed them in the wilderness for

That fragrance of thine . . .
which the immortals of yore gathered up.38
The generation of those days, when the star conveyed its fragrance to men on the earth, is
immortalized in the tradition of the Hindus. The Vedic hymn compares the fragrance of the star
Agni to the scent of the lotus.
In what way did this veil of gloom dissolve itself?
When the air is overcharged with vapor, dew, rain, hail, or snow falls. Most probably the
atmosphere discharged its compounds, presumably of carbon and hydrogen, in a similar way.
Has any testimony been preserved that during the many years of gloom carbohydrates
'When the dew fell upon the camp in the night, the manna fell upon it." It was like "the hoar frost
on the ground." It had the shape of coriander seed, the yellowish color of bdellium, and an oily
taste like honeycomb. It was called "corn of heaven" and it was ground between stones and
baked in pans.1 The manna fell from the clouds.2
After the nightly cooling, the carbohydrates precipitated and fell with the morning dew. The
grains dissolved in the heat and evaporated; but in a closed vessel the substance could be
preserved for a long time.3
The exegetes have endeavored to explain the phenomenon of manna and were helped by the
naturalists who discovered that a tamarisk in the desert of Sinai sheds its seeds during certain
months of the year.4 But why should this seed be called "corn of heaven,"
38 Hymns of the Atharva-Veda (transl. M. Bloomfield, 1897), 201-202. i Exodus 16 : 14-34;
Numbers 11 : 7-9.

2 Psalms 78 : 23-24.
3 Exodus 16 : 21, 33-34.
4 See A. P. Stanley, Lectures on the History of the Jewish Church (1863), Pt. I, p. 147: "The
manna . . . according to the Jewish tradition of Josephus, and the belief of the Arab tribes, and of
the Greek church at the present day, is still found in the dropping from the tamarisk bushes."
However, Josephus, in his Antiquities, III, 26 ff.: does not speak of tamarisks but of dew which
looked like snow and still falls in the desert, being a "mainstay to dwellers in these parts."
An expedition of Jerusalem University in 1927 investigated the tamarisk in

"bread of heaven,"5 or why should it be said it "will rain bread from heaven?" 6 It is also not
easy to explain how a multitude of men and animals could have existed for many years in a
wilderness on the scarce and seasonal seeds of some desert plant. Were such a thing possible, the
desert would be preferable to tillable land that yields bread to the laborer only in the sweat of his
• The clouds brought the heavenly bread, it is also said in the Talmud.7 But if the manna fell
from clouds that enveloped the entire world, it must have fallen not only in the Desert of
Wanderings, but everywhere; and not only the Israelites, but other peoples, too, must have tasted
it and spoken of it in their traditions.
There was a world fire, says the Icelandic tradition, followed by the Fimbul-winter, and only one
human pair remained alive in the north. "This human pair lie hidden in the holt during the fire of
Surt." Then came "the terrible Fimbul-winter at the end of the world [age]; meanwhile they feed
on morning dew, and from them come the folk who people the renewed earth." 8
Three elements are connected in the Icelandic tradition which are the same three we met in the
Israelite tradition: the world fire, the dark winter that endured many years, and the morning dew
that served as food during these years of gloom when nothing budded.
The Maoris of New Zealand tell of fiery winds and fierce clouds that lashed the waters into tidal
waves that touched the sky and were accompanied by furious hailstorms. The ocean fled. The
progeny of the storm and hail were "Mist, and Heavy-dew and Light-dew." After the catastrophe
"but little of the dry land was left standing above the sea. Then clear light increased in the world,
and the beings who had
the Sinai Desert. See F. S. Bodenheimer and O. Theodor, Ergebnisse der Sinai Expedition
(1929), Pt. III.
A German professor suggested also Blattlause. "Blattlause wie Blattsauger schwitzen zuweilen
auch aus dem After einen honigartigen Saft in solcher Menge aus, dass die Pflanzen, besonders
im Juli, damit gleichsam iiberfirnisst sind" (W. H. Roscher, Nektar und Ambrosia [1883], p. 14).
But where are forests in a desert where lice would prepare on the leaves of the trees three meals a
day for a myriad of migrants?
5 Psalms 78 : 24 and 105 : 40.

6 Exodus 16:4. 1 Tractate Yoma 75a.
*J. A. MacCulloch, Eddie Mythology (1930), p. 168.

been hidden between [sky and earth] before they were parted, now multiplied upon the earth." 9
This tradition of the Maoris has substantially the same elements as the Israelite tradition. The
destruction of the world was accompanied by hurricanes, hail (meteorites), and sky-high billows;
the land submerged; a mist covered the earth for a long time; heavy dew fell to the ground
together with light dew, as in the passage quoted from Numbers 11 : 9.
The writings of Buddhism relate that when a world cycle comes to an end with the world
destroyed and the ocean dried up, there is no distinction of day and night and heavenly ambrosia
serves as food.10
In the hymns of Rig-Veda,11 it is said that honey (madhu) comes from the clouds. These clouds
originated from the pillar of cloud. Among the hymns of the Atharva-Veda there is one to the
honey-lash: "From heaven, from earth, from the atmosphere, from the sea, from the fire, and
from the wind, the honey-lash hath verily sprung. This, clothed in amrite (ambrosia), all the
creatures revering, acclaim in their hearts." 12
The Egyptian Book of the Dead speaks of "the divine clouds and the great dew" that bring the
earth into contact with the heavens.13
The Greeks called the heavenly bread ambrosia. It is described by the Greek poets in identical
terms with manna: it had the taste of honey and a fragrance. This heavenly bread has given
classical scholars many headaches. Greek authors from Homer and Hesiod down through the
ages continually referred to ambrosia as the heavenly food which in its fluid state is called
nectar.14 But it was used also as ointment15 (it had the fragrance of a lily), and as food for the
horses of Hera when she visited Zeus in the sky.16 Hera (Earth) was

9 Tylor, Primitive Culture, I, 324. "> Warren, Buddhism in Translations, p. 322.
11 Cf. Roscher, Nektar und Ambrosia, p. 19.
12 Hymns of the Atharva-Veda, p. 229, Rigveda I, 112.
13 E. W. Budge, The Book of the Dead (2nd ed., 1928), Chap. 98; cf. G. A. Wainwright, Journal
of Egyptian Archaeology, XVIII (1932), 167.
14 Roscher, Nektar und Ambrosia.

15 Iliad xiv. 170 ff.
10 Iliad v. 368 f?.; see also ibid., v. 775 ff.; xiii. 34 ff., and Ovid, Metamorphoses ii. 119 ff.

veiled in it when she hurried from her brother Ares (Mars) to Zeus (Jupiter). What could it be,
this heavenly bread, which served also as a veil for a goddess-planet, and was used as an
ointment, too? It was honey, said some scholars. But honey is a regular food for mortals,
whereas ambrosia was given only to the generation of heroes.
"Then what was this substance that served as fodder on the ground for horses, as a veil for
planets, bread from the sky for heroes, and that also turned fluid for their drink, and was oil and
perfume for ointments?
•It was the manna that was baked into bread, had an oily taste and also a honey taste, was found
on the ground by man and beast, wrapped the earth and the heavenly bodies in a veil, was called
"corn of heaven" and "bread of the mighty,"1T had a fragrant odor, and served the women in the
wilderness as ointment.18 Manna, like ambrosia, was compared with honey and with morning
The belief of Aristotle and other writers19 that honey falls from the atmosphere with the dew
was based on the experience of those days when the world was veiled in the carbon clouds that
precipitated honey-frost.
These clouds are described as "dreaded shades" in the Kalevala. From these "dreaded shades,"
says the epos, honey dropped. "And the clouds their fragrance sifted, sifted honey . . . from their
home within the heavens." 20
The Maoris in the Pacific, the Jews on the border of Asia and Africa, the Hindus, the Finns, the
Icelanders, all describe the honey-food being dropped from the clouds, dreary shades of the
shadow of death, that enveloped the earth after a cosmic catastrophe. All traditions agree also
that the source of the heavenly bread falling from the clouds with the morning dew was a
celestial body. The Sibyl says that the sweet heavenly bread came from the starry heavens.21
The planet-god Ukko, or Jupiter, is said to have been the source of the
17 Tractate Yoma 75a.

18 Ginzberg, Legends, III, 49.
19 Aristotle, Historia Animalium ("Generation of Animals"), v. 22. 32; Galen (ed. by C. G.
Kiihn, 1821-1823), VI, 739; Pliny, Natural History, xi. 30; Diodorus, The Library of History,
xvii. 75.
20 The Kalevala (transl. Crawford), p. xvi and Rune 9.
21 Ginzberg, Legends, VI, 17.

honey that dropped from the clouds.22 Athena covered other planet-goddesses with a "robe
ambrosial," and provided nectar and ambrosia to the heroes.23 Other traditions, too, see the
origin of the honey-dew in a celestial body that enveloped the earth in clouds. For this reason
ambrosia or manna is called "heavenly bread."
Rivers of Milk and Honey
•^The honey-frost fell in enormous quantities. The haggadic literature says that the quantity
which fell every day would have sufficed to nourish the people for two thousand years.1 All the
peoples of the East and the West could see it.2
A few hours after the break of day, the heat under the cloud cover liquefied the grains and
volatilized them.3 The ground absorbed some of the liquefied mass, as it absorbs dew. The
grains also fell upon the water, and the rivers became milky in appearance.
The Egyptians relate that the Nile flowed for a time blended with honey.4 The strange
appearance of the rivers of Palestine—in the desert the Israelites saw no river—caused the scouts
who returned from a survey of the land to call it the land that "floweth with milk and honey"
(Numbers 13 : 27). "The heavens rain oil, the wadis run with honey," says a text found in Ras-
Shamra (Ugarit) in Syria.5
In the rabbinical literature it is said that "melting of manna formed streams that furnished drink
to many deer and other animals." 6
The Atharva-Veda hymns say that honey-lash came down from fire and wind; ambrosia fell, and
streams of honey flowed upon the earth. "The broad earth shall milk for us precious honey . . .
22 The Kalemla, Rune 15.
23 Iliad xiv. 170 ff. Cf. Plutarch, On the Face (De facie quae in orbe lunae apparet).
1 Midrash Tehillim to Psalm 23; Tosefta Sota 4, 3.

2 Tractate Yoma 76a.
3 Exodus 16 : 21.
4 Manetho refers this phenomenon to the time of Pharaoh Nephercheres. See the volume of
Manetho in the Loeb Classical Library, pp. 35, 37, 39.
5 C. H. Gordon, The Loves and Wars of Baal and Anat (1943), p. 10.
6 Midrash Tannaim, 191; Targum Yerushalmi on Exodus 16 : 21; Tanhuma, Beshalla 21, and
other sources.

pour out milk for us in rich streams." T The Finnish tradition narrates that land and water were
covered successively by black, red, and white milk. The first and second were the colors of the
substances, ashes and "blood," that constituted the plagues (Exodus 7 and 9); the last one was the
color of ambrosia that turned into nectar on land and water.
A memory of a time when "streams of milk and streams of sweet nectar flowed" is also
preserved in Ovid.8

' The earth's crust trembled and cracked again and again as its strata settled after the major
displacement. Chasms opened up, springs disappeared, and new springs appeared.1 When the
Israelites approached the river Jordan, a slice of one bank fell, blocking the stream long enough
for the tribes to cross over. "The waters which came down from above stood and rose up upon a
heap very far from the city Adam, that is beside Zaretan: and those that came down toward the
sea of the plain, even the salt sea, failed, and were cut off: and the people passed over right
against Jericho." 2
A similar occurrence took place on the eighth of December, 1267, when the Jordan was dammed
for sixteen hours, and again following the earthquake of 1927, when a slice of one bank fell into
the river not far from Adam and blocked the water for over twenty-one hours; at Damieh (Adam)
the people crossed the river on its dry bed.3
The fall of the walls of Jericho at the blast of the trumpets is a well-known episode, but it is not
well interpreted. The horns blown by the priests for seven days played no greater natural role
than Moses' rod with which, in the legend, he opened a passage in the sea. "When the people
heard the sound of the trumpet," it happened that
* "Hymn to Goddess Earth," Hymns of the Atharva-Veda (transl. Bloomfield),
pp. 199 f.
» Metamorphoses (transl. F. J. Miller, 1916), i. 111-112.
i Numbers 16 : 31-35; 20 : 11; Psalms 78 : 16; 107 : 33-35.
2 Joshua 3 : 16. A correct translation requires: "very far at the city Adam."
8 J. Garstang, The Foundations of Bible History (1931), p. 137.

"the wall fell down flat."4 The great sound of the trumpet was produced by the earth; the Israelite
tribes, believing in magic, thought that the sound of the earth came in response to the blowing of
the rams' horns for seven days.
-.The great walls of Jericho—they were twelve feet wide—have been excavated.5 They were
found to have been destroyed by an earthquake. The archaeological evidences also prove that
these walls collapsed at the beginning of the Hyksos period, or shortly after the close of the
Middle Kingdom.6 The earth had not yet recovered from the previous world catastrophe, and
reacted with continuous tremors when the hour of a new cosmic disaster approached: the event
we described at the beginning of this book only to go back to the cataclysm of the Exodus—the
upheaval of the days of Joshua, when the earth stood still on the day of the battle at Beth-horon.
4 Joshua 6 : 20.
5 E. Sellin and C. Watzinger, Jericho: Die Ergebnisse der Ausgrabungen (1913).
6 J. Garstang and G. B. E. Garstang, The Story of Jericho (1940).

Stones Suspended in the Air
THE HOT HAILSTONES which, at Moses' intercession, had remained suspended in the air
when they were about to fall upon the Egyptians, were now cast down upon the Canaanites." 1
These words mean that a part of the meteorites of the cometary train of the days of Exodus
remained in the celestial sphere for about fifty years, falling in the days of Joshua, in the valley
of Beth-horon, on the same forenoon when the sun and the moon stood still for the length of a
full day.
The language of the Talmud and Midrash suggests that the same comet returned after some fifty
years. Once more it passed very close to the earth. This time it did not reverse the poles of the
earth, but kept the terrestrial axis tilted for a considerable length of time. Again the world was, in
the language of the rabbis, "consumed in the whirlwind," "and all the kingdoms tottered," "the
earth quaked and trembled from the noise of thunder"; terrified mankind was decimated once
more, and carcasses were like rubbish in this Day of Anger.2
On the day when this took place on the earth, the sky was in confusion. Stones fell from the
heavens, sun and moon stopped in their paths, and a comet must also have been seen. Habakkuk
describes the portent in the sky on that memorable day when, in his words, "the sun and moon
stood still in their habitation": it had the form of a man on a chariot drawn by horses and was
regarded as God's angel.
1 Ginzberg, Legends, IV, 10; the Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Berakhot 54b. See also Midrash
of Rabbi Elieser or of 32 Midot.
2 See the Section, "The Most Incredible Story."

In the King James version the passages read:
'His glory covered the heavens . . . and his brightness was as the light; he had horns coming out
of his hand . . . burning coals went forth at his feet . . . [he] drove asunder the nations; and the
everlasting mountains were scattered. . . . Was thine anger against the rivers? Was thy wrath
against the sea, that thou didst ride upon thine horses and thy chariots of salvation . . . ? Thou
didst cleave the earth with rivers. The mountains saw thee, and they trembled: the overflowing of
the water passed by: the deep uttered his voice. . . . The sun and moon stood still in their
habitation: at the light of thy arrows they went, and at the shining of thy glittering spear. Thou
didst march through the land in indignation, thou didst thresh the heathen in anger.... Thou
didst walk through the sea with thine horses, through the heap of great waters." 3
Since the texts of the Scriptures have, for some psychological reason rooted in the readers, the
quality of being easily misread, misunderstood, or misinterpreted, I give also some of the
passages of the third chapter of Habakkuk in another, modernized reading:
His splendour over all the sky,
his glory filling all the earth,
his radiance is a lightning blaze,
on either side flash rays....
At his step the earth is shaken,
at his look nations are scattered,
the ancient hills are shattered,
mountains of old sink low....
Art thou wrathful at the sea,
that thou art storming on the steeds,
upon the chariots in triumph . . . ?
The hills writhe at thy sight . . .
the sun forgets to rise,
the moon to move,
before the flashes of thy darting arrows,
before the sheen of thy lightning, thy lance.
Thou trampest earth in fury,
thou art threshing the peoples in thine anger.4
3 Habakkuk 3 : 3-15.
4 The Old Testament: A New Translation (transl. James Moffatt, 1924-1925).

With the earth disturbed in its spinning on its axis, the mechanical friction of displaced strata and
magma must have set the world on fire.
The world burned. The Greek story of Phaethon will be introduced here because of the
interpretation heard by Solon during his visit to Egypt.

The Greeks as well as the Carians and other peoples on the shores of the Aegean Sea told of a
time when the sun was driven off its course and disappeared for an entire day, and the earth was
burned and drowned.
The Greek legend says that the young Phaethon, who claimed parentage of the sun, on that fatal
day tried to drive the chariot of the sun. Phaethon was unable to make his way "against the
whirling poles," and "their swift axis" swept him away. Phaethon in Greek means "the blazing
Many authors have dealt with the story of Phaethon; the best known version is a creation of the
Latin poet Ovid. The chariot of the sun, driven by Phaethon, moved "no longer in the same
course as before." The horses "break loose from their course" and "rush aimlessly, knocking
against the stars set deep in the sky and snatching the chariot along through uncharted ways."
The constellations of the cold Bears tried to plunge into the forbidden sea, and the sun's chariot
roamed through unknown regions of the air. It was "borne along just as a ship driven before the
headlong blast, whose pilot has let the useless rudder go and abandoned the ship to the gods and
prayers." 1
"The earth bursts into flame, the highest parts first, and splits into deep cracks, and its moisture is
all dried up. The meadows are burned to white ashes; the trees are consumed, green leaves and
all, and the ripe grain furnishes fuel for its own destruction.... Great cities perish with their
walls, and the vast conflagration reduces whole nations to ashes."
"The woods are ablaze with the mountains. . . . Aetna is blazing
* Ovid, Metamorphoses (transl. F. J. Miller), Book II.

boundlessly . . . and twin-peaked Parnassus... . Nor does its chilling clime save Scythia;
Caucasus burns . . . and the heaven-piercing Alps and cloud-capped Apennines."
The scorched clouds belched forth smoke. Phaethon sees the earth aflame. "He can no longer
bear the ashes and whirling sparks, and is completely shrouded in the dense, hot smoke. In this
pitchy darkness he cannot tell where he is or whither he is going."
"It was then, as men think, that the peoples of Aethiopia became black-skinned, since the blood
was drawn to the surface of their bodies by the heat."
"Then also Libya became a desert, for the heat dried up her moisture.... The Don's waters
steam; Babylonian Euphrates burns; the Ganges, Phasis, Danube, Alpheus boil; Spercheos' banks
are aflame. The golden sands of Tagus melt in the intense heat, and the swans . . . are scorched. .
 . . The Nile fled in terror to the ends of the earth . . . the seven mouths lie empty, filled with dust;
seven broad channels, all without a stream. The same mischance dries up the Thracian rivers,
Hebrus and Strymon; also the rivers of the west, the Rhine, Rhone, Po and the Tiber. . . . Great
cracks yawn everywhere. . . . Even the sea shrinks up, and what was but now a great watery
expanse is a dry plain of sand. The mountains, which the deep sea had covered before, spring
forth, and increase the numbers of the scattered Cyclades."
How could the poets have known that a change in the movement of the sun across the firmament
must cause a world conflagration, blazing of volcanoes, boiling of rivers, disappearance of seas,
birth of deserts, emergence of islands, if the sun never changed its harmonious journey from
sunrise to sunset?
The disturbance in the movement of the sun was followed by a period as long as a day, when the
sun did not appear at all. Ovid continues: "If we are to believe report, one whole day went
without the sun.2 But the burning world gave light."
A prolonged night in one part of the world must be accompanied by a prolonged day in another
part; in Ovid we see the phenomenon related in the Book of Joshua, but from another longitude.
This may 2 "Si modo credimus. irnum isse diem sine sole ferunt."

stimulate surmise as to the geographical origin of the Indo-Iranian or Carian migrants to Greece.
The globe changed the inclination of its axis; latitudes changed, too. Ovid ends the description of
the world catastrophe contained in the story of Phaethon: "Causing all things to shake with her
mighty trembling, she [the earth] sank back a little lower than her wonted place."
Plato recorded the story heard two generations before from Solon, the wise ruler of Athens.3
Solon, on his visit to Egypt, questioned the priests, versed in the lore of antiquity, on early
history. He discovered that "neither he himself nor any other Greek knew any thing at all, one
might say, about such matters." Solon unfolded before tha priests the tale of the deluge, the only
ancient tradition he was aware of. One of the priests, an old man,4 said:
"There have been and there will be many and divers destructions of mankind, of which the
greatest are by fire and water, and lesser ones by countless other means. For in truth the story
that is told in your country as well as ours, how once upon a time Phaethon, son of Helios, yoked
his father's chariot, and, because he was unable to drive it along the course taken by his father,
burnt up all that was upon the earth and himself perished by a thunderbolt—that story, as it is
told, has the fashion of a legend, but the truth of it lies in the occurrence of a shifting of the
bodies in the heavens which move around the earth, and a destruction of the things on the earth
by fierce fire, which recurs at long intervals." 6
The Egyptian priest explained to Solon that in these catastrophes the literary works of many
peoples and their learned men perished; for that reason the Greeks were still childish, as they no
longer knew the true horrors of the past.
These words of the priest were only an introduction to a revelation of his knowledge about lands
that were erased when Greece also and
3 Plato Timaeus (transl. R. G. Bury, 1929).
4 According to Plutarch (Isis and Osiris) the name of the priest was Sonchis of Sais.
0 Plato Timaeus 22 C-D.
the entire world were visited with heavenly wrath. He told the story of a mighty kingdom on a
great island in the middle of the Atiantic Ocean that submerged and sank forever into its waters.

The story narrated by Plato of the island of Atlantis that ruled Africa as far as the border of
Egypt and Europe as far as Tuscany on the Apennine peninsula and that in one fatal night was
shattered by earthquakes and sank, never ceased to occupy the imagination of the literati. Strabo
and Pliny thought that the story of Atlantis was an illusion of the elderly Plato. But to this day
the tradition, as revived by Plato, has not died. Poets and novelists have exploited the story
freely; scientists have done so with caution. An incomplete catalogue of the literature on Atlantis
in 1926 included 1,700 titles.1 Although Plato said clearly that Atlantis was situated behind the
Pillars of Hercules (Gibraltar), in the Atlantic Ocean, as is also indicated by the name of the
island, travelers and other guessers have placed Atlantis in all parts of the world, even on dry
land, as, for example, in Tunisia,2 Palestine,3 and South America. Ceylon, Newfoundland, and
Spitzbergen have also been considered. This was due to the fact that traditions of inundations
and submersion of islands exist in all parts of the world.
Plato set down what Solon had heard in Egypt from the learned priest. "The [Atlantic] ocean
there was at that time navigable; for in front of the mouth which you Greeks call, as you say, 'the
Pillars of Heracles' [Hercules], there lay an island which was larger than Libya and Asia [Asia
Minor] together; and it was possible for the travellers of that time to cross from it to the other
islands, and from the islands to the whole of the continent over against them which encompasses
that veritable ocean.... Yonder is a real ocean, and the land surrounding it may most rightly be
called, in the fullest and
1 J. Gattefosse and C. Roux, Bibliographie de TAtlantide et des questions con-nexes (1926).
2 A. Herrmann, Unsere Ahnen und Atlantis (1934). 8 F. C. Baer, L'Atlantique des anciens

truest sense, a continent. Now in this island of Atlantis there existed a confederation of kings, a
great and marvelous power, which held sway over all the island, and over many other islands
also and parts of the continent; and, moreover, of the lands here within the Straits they ruled over
Libya as far as Egypt, and over Europe as far as Tuscany." 4
In the nineteenth century ships sailed the Atlantic Ocean to explore its bed in search of Atlantis,
and before the Second World War scientific societies existed for the sole purpose of exploring
the problem of the sunken island.
Much speculation was offered, not only on the whereabouts of Atlantis, but also on the cultural
achievements of its inhabitants. Plato, in another work of his (Critias), wrote a political treatise,
and, as no real place in the world could have been the scene of his utopia, he chose for that
purpose the sunken island. Modern scholars, finding some affinity between American, Egyptian,
and Phoenician cultures, think that Atlantis may have been the intermediary link. There is much
probability in these speculations; if they are justified, Crete, a maritime base of Carian
navigators, may disclose some information about Atlantis as soon as the Cretan scripts are
satisfactorily deciphered.
One point in Plato's story about the submersion of Atlantis requires correction. Plato said that
Solon told the story to Critias the elder, and that the young Critias, Plato's friend, heard it from
his grandfather when he was a ten-year-old boy. Critias the younger remembered having been
told that the catastrophe which befell Atlantis happened 9,000 years before. There is one zero too
many here. We do not know of any vestiges of human culture, aside from that of the Neolithic
age, nor of any navigating nation, 9,000 years before Solon. Numbers we hear in childhood
easily grow in our memory, as do dimensions. When revisiting our childhood home, we are
surprised at the smallness of the rooms—we had remembered them as much larger. Whatever the
source of the error, the most probable date of the sinking of Atlantis would be in the middle of
the second millennium, 900 years before Solon, when the earth twice suffered great
* Plato Timaeus 24 E-25 B.

catastrophes as a result of "the shifting of the heavenly bodies." These words of Plato received
the least attention, though they deserved the greatest.
The destruction of Atlantis is described by Plato as he heard it from his source: "At a later time
there occurred portentous earthquakes and floods, and one grievous day and night befell them,
when the whole body of your [Greek] warriors was swallowed up by the earth, and the island of
Atlantis in like manner was swallowed up by the sea and vanished; wherefore also the ocean at

robin-bobin that spot has now become impassable and unsearchable, being blocked up by the shoal mud
which the island created as it settled down." 5
At the time when Atlantis perished in the ocean, the people of Greece were destroyed: the
catastrophe was ubiquitous.
As if recalling what had happened, the Psalmist wrote: "Destructions are come to a perpetual
end: and thou hast destroyed cities, their memorial is perished with them." 6 He prayed also:
"God is our refuge and strength . . . therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed and
though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though the waters thereof roar and be
troubled." T

The Floods of Deucalion and Ogyges
The history of Greece knows two great natural catastrophes: the floods of Deucalion and of
Ogyges. One of them, usually that of Deucalion, is described by Greek authors as having been
simultaneous with the conflagration of Phaethon. The floods of Deucalion and Ogyges brought
overwhelming destruction to the mainland of Greece and to the islands around and caused
changes in the geographical profile of the area. That of Deucalion was most devastating: water
covered the land and annihilated the population. According to the legend, only two persons—
Deucalion and his wife—remained alive. This last detail must not be taken more literally than
similar statements found in descriptions of great catastrophes all around the world; for example,
two daughters of Lot, who hid with him in a cave
« Plato Timaeus 25 C-D.

« Psalms 9:6. » Psalms 46 : 1-3. WORLDS IN COLLISION 149
after the catastrophe of Sodom and Gomorrah, believed that they and their father were the only
survivors in the land.1 ^*"
The chronologists among the Fathers of the Church found material for assuming that one of the
two catastrophes, the flood of Deucalion or that of Ogyges, had been contemporaneous with the
Julius Africanus wrote: "We affirm that Ogygus [Ogyges] from whom the first flood [in Attica]
derived its name, and who was saved when many perished, lived at the time of the Exodus of the
people from Egypt along with Moses." 2 He further expressed his belief in the coincidence of the
catastrophe of Ogyges and the one that occurred in Egypt in the days of the Exodus in the
following words: J^"The Passover and the Exodus of the Hebrews from Egypt took place, and
also in Attica the flood of Ogygus. And that is according to reason. For when the Egyptians were
being smitten in the anger of God with hail and storms, it was only to be expected that certain
parts of the earth should suffer with them." s
^Eusebius placed the Flood of Deucalion and the conflagration of Phaethon in the fifty-second
year of Moses' life.4 Augustine also synchronized the Flood of Deucalion with the time of
Moses; 5 he assumed that the Flood of Ogyges took place earlier. .-^ A chronologist of the
seventh century (Isidore, bishop of Seville) * dated the Flood of Deucalion in the time of Moses;
chronologists of the seventeenth century likewise calculated that the Flood of Deucalion took
place in the time of Moses, close to but not simultaneous with the Exodus.7
It would seem to be more probable that, if the catastrophes oc-
1 Genesis 19 : 31.
2 Julius Africanus in The Ante-Nicene Fathers, ed. A. Roberts and J. Donaldson (1896), VI, 132.
3 Ibid., p. 134. 4 Eusebius, Werke, Vol. V, Die Chronik, "Chronikon-Kanon." s The City of
God, Bk. XVIII, Chaps. 10, 11.
6 See J. G. Frazer, Folklore in the Old Testament (1918), I. 159. ?Seth Calvisius, in Opus
chronologicum (1629), assigns the year 2429 anno mundi or 1519 before the present era to
Phaethon's conflagration, and 2432 (-1516) to the Flood of Deucalion, and 2453 (-1495) to the
Christopher Helvicus (1581-1617), in Theatrum historicum (1662), assigns 2437 anno mundi to
the Flood of Deucalion and Phaethon's conflagration, and 2453 (or 797 a Diluvio universali) to
the Exodus from Egypt.

curred one shortly after the other, the catastrophe of Ogyges took place after that of Deucalion
which practically destroyed the land, depopulated it, and erased every memory of what had
happened up to that time. In the words of Plato, who quoted the Egyptian priest speaking to
Solon, the catastrophes must have escaped the notice of the future generations because, as a
result of the devastation, "for many generations the survivors died with no power to express
themselves in writing." The memory of the catastrophe of Ogyges would have vanished in the
catastrophe of Deucalion if Ogyges had preceded Deucalion.8
Apparently, the truth is with those who placed the catastrophe of Deucalion in the days of
Exodus; but those who reckoned that Ogyges was a contemporary of Moses were also correct,
except that Moses did not live until the Flood of Ogyges—it took place in the days of Joshua.
In commemoration of the Deucalion flood, the people of Athens observed a feast in the month of
Anthesterion, which is a spring month; the feast was called Anthesteria. On the thirteenth of the
month, the main day of the feast, honey and flour were poured into a fissure in the earth as a
The date of this ceremony—the thirteenth day of Anthesterion in the spring—is revealing if we
remember what was said in the section entitled "13." It was on the thirteenth day of the spring
month (Aviv) that the great planetary contact occurred which preceded by a few hours the
Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt.
The offering of honey and flour as the main ceremony of the feast is also revealing if we
recollect that manna, or heavenly corn, tasting like honey, fell on the earth after the contact of
the earth with a celestial body.
As to the provenance of the name Deucalion, scholars admit that
8 But cf. Frazer, "Ancient Stories of a Great Flood," Journal of the Royal Anthropological
Institute, XLVI (1916). However, Eusebius placed Deucalion before Ogyges.
9 Cf. Pausanias, Description of Greece, I, xviii, 7. Pauly-Wissowa, ReaUEncyclo-padie, s. v.
"Anthesterion"; also Andree, Die Flutsagen, p. 41.

it is not known.10 For the name and the person of Ogyges we have some concrete information.
Although Ogyges was a king, the Greek annalists who wrote of the "flood of Ogyges" as one of
the outstanding events of the past of their country, at the same time did not know anything about
a king of that name in Greece.11 Who was Ogyges?
> We can solve this problem. When the Israelites under Moses approached the border of Moab,
Balaam in his blessing of Israel used these words: "His king shall be higher than Agag [Agog]."
12 Agog must have been the most important king of that time in the area around the eastern
In my reconstruction of ancient history, I shall put forward proofs that the Amalekite king, Agog
I, was identical with the Hyksos king whose name the Egyptologists tentatively read Apop I, and
who, a few decades after the invasion of Egypt by the Amu (Hyksos), laid the foundation of
Thebes, the future capital of the New Kingdom in Egypt.
In conformity with this assertion, I can point to the fact that Greek tradition, which does not
know of any activities of King Ogyges in Attica, occasionally places the domicile of Ogyges in
Egyptian Thebes, and Aeschylus calls Thebes of Egypt "the Ogygian Thebes," to differentiate it
from the Greek Thebes in Boeotia. Ogyges is also credited with founding Thebes in Egypt.13
¦^Agog was a contemporary of the aging Moses; he was a ruler who, in his time, had no equal in
the region bordering the eastern Medi-
10 "While the meaning of the legend is clear, the meaning of the name Deucalion is enigmatic."
Roscher, "Deukalion," Lexikon d. griech. und romisch. Mythologie.
According to Homer, Deucalion was a son of Minos, king of Crete, and a grandson of Zeus and
Europa (The Iliad, xiv, 321 ff; xiii, 450 f.). According to Apollodoms (The Library, I, vii),
Deucalion was a son of Prometheus.

robin-bobin WORLDS IN COLLISION 163
to guess that by "one of the planets" is meant Venus; only Mercury and Venus rise a little above
the horizon.
Aristotle disagreed with the Pythagorean scholars who considered one of the five planets to be a
"These views involve impossibilities.... This is the case, first, with those who say that the
comet is one of the planets . . . more comets than one have often appeared simultaneously ... as a
matter of fact, no planet has been observed besides the five. And all of them are often visible
above the horizon together at the same time. Further, comets are often found to appear, as well
when all the planets are visible as when some are not."6
With these words, Aristotle, who did not learn the secrets of the Pythagoreans directly, tried to
refute their teaching by arguing that all five planets are in their places when a comet appears, as
if the Pythagoreans thought that all comets were one and the same planet leaving its usual path at
certain times. But the Pythagoreans did not think that one planet represents all comets.
According to Plutarch,7 they taught that each of the comets has its own orbit and period of
revolution. Hence the Pythagoreans apparently knew that the comet which is "one of the planets"
is Venus.
The Comet Venus
During the centuries when Venus was a comet, it had a tail.
The early traditions of the peoples of Mexico, written down in pre-Columbian days, relate that
Venus smoked. "The star that smoked, la estrella que humeava, was Sitlae choloha, which the
Spaniards call Venus."1
"Now, I ask," says Alexander Humboldt, "what optical illusion could give Venus the appearance
of a star throwing out smoke?"2
Sahagun, the sixteenth century Spanish authority on Mexico, wrote
7 Plutarch, "Les Opinions des philosopher," in QZuvres de Plutarque (transl.
Amyot), Vol. XXI, Chap. Ill, Sec. 2.
1 Humboldt, Researches, II, 174; see E. T. Hammy, Codex Telleriano-Remensis (1899).
2 Humboldt, Researches, II, 174.

that the Mexicans called a comet "a star that smoked." 3 It may thus be concluded that since the
Mexicans called Venus "a star that smoked," they considered it a comet.
It is also said in the Vedas that the star Venus looks like fire with smoke.4 Apparently, the star
had a tail, dark in the daytime and luminous at night. In very concrete form this luminous tail,
which Venus had in earlier centuries, is mentioned in the Talmud, in the Tractate Shabbat: "Fire
is hanging down from the planet Venus." 5
This phenomenon was described by the Chaldeans. The planet Venus "was said to have a beard."
6 This same technical expression ("beard") is used in modern astronomy in the description of
These parallels in observations made in the valley of the Ganges, on the shores of the Euphrates,
and on the coast of the Mexican Gulf prove their objectivity. The question must then be put, not
in the form, What was the illusion of the ancient Toltecs and Mayas? but, What was the
phenomenon and what was its cause? A train, large enough to be visible from the earth and
giving the impression of smoke and fire, hung from the planet Venus.
Venus, with its glowing train, was a very brilliant body; it is therefore not strange that the
Chaldeans described it as a "bright torch of heaven," 7 also as a "diamond that illuminates like
the sun," and compared its light with the light of the rising sun.8 At present, the light of Venus is
less than one millionth of the light of the sun. "A stupendous prodigy in the sky," the Chaldeans
called it.9 vThe Hebrews similarly described the planet: "The brilliant light of
3 Sahagun, Historia general de las cosas de Nueva Espana, Bk. VII, Chap. 4. * J. Scheftelowitz,
Die Zeit als Schicksalsgottheit in der iranischen Religion (1929), p. 4; Venus "aussieht wie ein

mit Rauch versehenes Feuer" ("looks like a fire accompanied by smoke"). Cf. Atharva-Veda vi.
3, 15. B Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Shabbat 156a.
6 M. Jastrow, Religious Relief in Rabylonia and Assyria (1911), p. 221; cf. J. Schaumberger,
"Der Bart der Venus' in F. X. Kugler, Sternkunde und Stern-dienst in Babel (3rd supp., 1935), p.
7 "A Prayer of the Raising of the Hand to Ishtar," in Seven Tablets of Creation, ed. L. W. King.
8 Schaumberger in Kugler, Sternkunde und Stemdienst in Rabel, 3rd supp., p. 291.

Venus blazes from one end of the cosmos to the other end."10
The Chinese astronomical text from Soochow refers to the past when "Venus was visible in full
daylight and, while moving across the sky, rivaled the sun in brightness." J1
.-As late as the seventh century, Assurbanipal wrote about Venus (Ishtar) "who is clothed with
fire and bears aloft a crown of awful splendor."12 The Egyptians under Seti thus described
Venus (Sekh-met): "A circling star which scatters its flame in fire ... a flame of fire in her
tempest." 13
Possessing a tail and moving on a not yet circular orbit, Venus was more of a comet than a
planet, and was called a "smoking star" or a comet by the Mexicans. They also called it by the
name of Tzonte-mocque, or "the mane." 14 The Arabs called Ishtar (Venus) by the name Zebbaj
or "one with hair," as did the Babylonians.15
"Sometimes there are hairs attached to the planets," wrote Pliny;1S an old description of Venus
must have served as a basis for his assertion. But hair or coma is a characteristic of comets, and
in fact "comet" is derived from the Greek word for "hair." The Peruvian name "Chaska" (wavy-
haired) 17 is still the name for Venus, though at present the Morning Star is definitely a planet
and has no tail attached to it.
The coma of Venus changed its form with the position of the planet. When the planet Venus
approaches the earth now, it is only partly illuminated, a portion of the disc being in shadow; it
has phases like the moon. At this time, being closer to the earth, it is most brilliant.
10 Midrash Rabba, Numeri 21. 245a: "Noga shezivo mavhik me'sof haolam ad sofo." Cf.
"Mazal" and "Noga" in J. Levy, Worterbuch iiber die Talmudim und Midrashim (2nd ed., 1924).
11 W. C. Rufus and Hsing-chih tien, The Soochow Astronomical Chart (1945).
12 D. D. Luckenbill, Ancient Records of Assyria (1926-1927), II, Sec. 829.
13 Breasted, Records of Egypt, III, Sec. 117.
14 Brasseur, Sources de Vhistoire primitive du Mexique, p. 48, note.
18 H. Winckler, Himmels- und Weltenbild der Babylonier (1901), p. 43.
i« Pliny, Natural History, ii. 23.
1T "The Peruvians call the planet Venus by the name Chaska, the wavy-haired."
H. Kunike, "Sternmythologie auf ethnologischer Grundlage" in Welt und Mensch,
IX-X. E. Nordenskiold, The Secret of the Peruvian Quipus (1925), pp. 533 ff.

When Venus had a coma, the horns of its crescent must have been extended by the illuminated
portions of the coma. It thus had two long appendages and looked like a bull's head.
%. Sanchoniathon says that Astarte (Venus) had a bull's head.18 The planet was even called
Ashteroth-Karnaim, or Astarte of the Horns, a name given to a city in Canaan in honor of this
deity.19 The golden calf worshiped by Aaron and the people at the foot of Sinai was the image
of the star. Rabbinical authorities say that "the devotion of Israel to this worship of the bull is in
part explained by the circumstance that, while passing through the Red Sea, they beheld the
celestial Throne, and most distinctly of the four creatures about the Throne, they saw the ox."20
The likeness of a calf was placed by Jeroboam in Dan, the great temple of the Northern
Tistrya of the Zend-Avesta, the star that attacks the planets, "the bright and glorious Tistrya
mingles his shape with light moving in the shape of a golden-horned bull." 22
•vThe Egyptians similarly pictured the planet and worshiped it in the effigy of a bull.23 The cult
of a bull sprang up also in Mycenaean Greece. A golden cow head with a star on its brow was
found in Mycenae, on the Greek mainland.24
The people of faraway Samoa, primitive tribes that depend on oral tradition as they have no art
of writing, repeat to this day: "The planet Venus became wild and horns grew out of her head."
Examples and references could be multiplied ad libitum.
The astronomical texts of the Babylonians describe the horns of the planet Venus. Sometimes
one of the two horns became more prominent. Because the astronomical works of antiquity have
so much to say about the horns of Venus, modern scholars have asked them-
18 Cf. L. Thorndike, A History of Magic and Experimental Science (1923-1941), I, Chap. X.
19 Genesis 14 : 5. See also I Maccabee v. 26, 43, and II Maccabee xii. 21-26; G. Rawlinson, The
History of Herodotus (1858), II, 543.
20 Ginzberg, Legends, III, 123.

211 Kings 12 : 28.
™The Zend-Avesta (transl. James Darmesteter, 1883), Pt. II, p. 93.
23 Cf. E. Otto, Beitrdge zur Geschichte der Stierkulte in Agypten (1938).
2* H. Schliemann, Mycenae (1870), p. 217.
25 Williamson, Religious and Cosmic Beliefs of Central Polynesia, I, 128.
selves whether the Babylonians could have seen the phases of Venus, which cannot now be
distinguished with the naked eye; 26 Galileo saw them for the first time in modern history when
he used his telescope.
The long horns of Venus could have been seen without the aid of a telescopic lens. The horns
were the illuminated portions of the coma of Venus, which stretched toward the earth. These
horns could also have extended toward the sun as Venus approached the solar orb, since comets
were repeatedly observed with projections in the direction of the sun, while the tails of the
comets are regularly directed away from the sun.
When Venus approached close to one of the planets, its horns grew longer: this is the
phenomenon the astrologers of Babylon observed and described when Venus neared Mars.27
26 "It is well known that not a few passages in the cuneiform texts on astrology speak of the
right or the left horn of Venus. It was deduced that the phases of Venus were observed already
by the Babylonians and that Galileo, in the sixteenth century, was not the first to see them."
Schaumberger, "Die Homer der Venus" in Kugler, Stemkunde, 3rd Supp., pp. 302 ff.
27 Ibid.

Pallas Athene
IN EVERY COUNTRY of the ancient world we can trace cosmo-logical myths of the birth of
the planet Venus. If we look for the god or goddess who represents the planet Venus, we must
inquire which among the gods or goddesses did not exist from the beginning, but was born into
the family. The mythologies of all peoples concern themselves with the birth only of Venus, not
with that of Jupiter, Mars, or Saturn. Jupiter is described as heir to Saturn, but his birth is not a
mythological subject. Horus of the Egyptians and Vishnu, born of Shiva, of the Hindus, were
such newborn deities. Horus battled in the sky with the monster-serpent Seth; so did Vishnu. In
Greece the goddess who suddenly appeared in the sky was Pallas Athene. She sprang from the
head of Zeus-Jupiter. In another legend she was the daughter of a monster, Pallas-Typhon, who
attacked her and whom she battled and killed.
The slaying of the monster by a planet-god is the way in which the peoples perceived the
convulsion of the pillar of smoke when the earth and the comet Venus disturbed each other in
their orbits, and the head of the comet and its tail leaped against each other in violent electrical

The birth of the planet Athene is sung in the Homeric hymn dedicated to her, "the glorious
goddess, virgin, Tritogeneia." When she was born, the vault of the sky—the great Olympus—
"began to reel horribly," "earth round about cried fearfully," "the sea was moved and tossed with
dark waves, while foam burst forth suddenly," and

the sun stopped for "a long while." x The Greek text speaks of "purple waves"2 and of "the sea
[that] rises up like a wall," and the sun stopping in its course.3
Aristocles said that Zeus hid the unborn Athene in a cloud and then split it open with lightning,4
which is the mythological way to describe the appearance of a celestial body from the pillar of
Athene, or Latin Minerva, is called Tritogeneia (or Tritonia) after the lake Triton.5 This lake
disappeared in a catastrophe in Africa when it broke into the ocean, leaving the desert of Sahara
behind it, a catastrophe connected with the birth of Athene.
Diodorus,6 referring to undisclosed older authorities, says that Lake Triton in Africa
"disappeared from sight in the course of an earthquake, when those parts of it which lay toward
the ocean were torn asunder." This account implies that a great lake or marsh in Africa, separated
from the Atlantic Ocean by a mountainous barrier, disappeared when the barrier was broken or
lowered in a catastrophe. Ovid says that Libya became a desert in consequence of Phaethon's
In the Iliad it is said that Pallas Athene "darted down to earth a gleaming star" with sparks
springing from it; it darted as a star "sent by Jupiter to be a portent for seamen or for a wide host
of warriors, a gleaming star." 7 Athene's counterpart in the Assyro-Babylonian pantheon is
Astarte (Ishtar) who shatters mountains, "bright torch of heaven" at whose appearance "heaven
and earth quake," who causes darkness and appears in a hurricane.8 Like Astarte (Ash-teroth-
Karnaim), Athene was pictured with horns. "Athena, daughter of Zeus . . . upon her head she set
the helmet with two horns,"
1 "The Homeric Hymns to Athena" (transl. Evelyn-White) in Hesiod's volume in the Loeb
Classical Library.
2 The correct translation requires "purple waves"; see "The Homeric Hymn to Minerva" (transl.
A. Buckley) in The Odyssey of Homer with the Hymns (1878).
3 L. R. Famell, The Cults of the Greek States (1896), I, 281.

* Ibid.
5 "Minerva ... is reported to have appeared in virgin age in the times of
Ogyges at the lake called Triton, from which she is also styled Tritonia."
Augustine, The City of God, Bk. XVIII, Chap. 8.
« Diodorus of Sicily iii. 55 (transl. C. H. Oldfather).

* Iliad iv. 75 f.
8 "A Prayer ... to Ishtar" in Seven Tablets of Creation (transl. King); Famell,
The Cults of the Greek States, I, 258 ff.
said Homer.8 Pallas Athene is identified with Astarte (Ishtar) or the planet Venus of the
Babylonians.10 Anaitis of the Iranians, too, is identified as Pallas Athene and as the planet
Plutarch identified Minerva of the Romans or Athene of the Greeks with Isis of the Egyptians,
and Pliny identified the planet Venus with Isis.12
It is necessary to recall this here because it is generally supposed that the Greeks had no deity of
importance who personified the planet Venus13 and that, on the other hand, they "did not find
even a star in which to place" Athene.14 Modern books on the mythology of the Greeks repeat
today what Cicero wrote: "Venus, called in Greek Phosphorus and in Latin Lucifer when it
preceded the sun, but when it follows it Hesperos." 15 Phosphorus does not play any role on
Olympus. But following Cicero in his description of the planets, we read also of "the planet
called Saturn's, the Greek name of which is Phaenon," though we know a more common name,

robin-bobin Cronus, by which the Greeks called the planet Saturn. Cicero gives the Greek names of other
planets which are not the common ones. It is therefore entirely wrong to think that Phosphorus
and Hesperos are the chief or only names of the planet Venus in Greek. Athene, in whose honor
the city of Athens was named, was the planet Venus. Next to Zeus she was the most honored
deity of the Greeks. The name Athene in Greek, according to Manetho, "is indication of self-
originated move-
»Iliad v. 735.

W s. Langdon, Tammuz and Ishtar (1914), p. 97.
11 F. Cumont, Les Mysteres de Mithra (3rd ed., 1913), p. 111.
12 Plutarch, Isis and Osiris, Chap. 62: "They often call Isis by the name of Athena." See G.
Rawlinson, The History of Herodotus, II, 542; Pliny, Natural History, ii, 37.
13 The name Venus or Aphrodite belonged to the moon.
i* Augustine, The City of God, Bk. VII, Chap. 16. Farnell, The Cults of the Greek States, I, 263,
discusses the various hypotheses of the physical nature of Athene and, unable to agree with any,
asks: "Is there any proof that Athene, as a goddess of the Hellenic religion, ever was a
personification of some part of the physical world?"
Cicero De natura deorum i. 41, referred to a treatise by the Stoic Diogenes Babylonius, De
Minerva, in which its author gave a natural explanation of the birth of Athene. The work is not
15 Cicero De natura deorum ii. 53.
ment." He wrote of the name Athene as meaning, "I came from myself." 18 Cicero, speaking of
Venus, explained the origin of the name thus: "Venus was so named by our countrymen as the
goddess who 'comes' [venire] to all things." 1T The name Vishnu signifies "per-vader," from the
Sanskrit vish, to "enter" or "pervade."
The birth of Athene was assigned to the middle of the second millennium. Augustine wrote:
"Minerva [Athene] is reported to have appeared ... in the times of Ogyges." This statement is
found in The City of God,18 the book containing the quotation from Varro that the planet Venus
changed its course and form in the time of Ogyges. Augustine also synchronized Joshua with the
time of Minerva's activities.19
The cover of carbonigenous clouds in which the earth was enveloped by the comet is the "robe
ambrosial" wrought by Athene for Hera (Earth) .20 The source of ambrosia was closely
connected with Athene.21 The origin of Athene as a comet is implied in her epithet Pallas which,
as is commonly known, is synonymous with Typhon; Typhon, as Pliny said, was a comet.
The bull and the cow, the goat and the serpent, were animals dedicated to Athene. "The goat
being usually tabooed but chosen as an exceptional victim for her," the animal was annually
sacrificed on the Acropolis of Athens.22 With the Israelites the goat was the victim for Azazel,
or Lucifer.
18 "The usage of the Egyptians is also similar: they often call Isis by the name of Athena, which
expresses some such meaning as 'I came from myself,' and is indication of self-originated
movement." Manetho, cited by Plutarch, Isis and Osiris (transl. Waddell), Chap. 62. But cf.
Farnell, The Cults of the Greek States, I, 258: "The meaning of the name remains unknown."
17 Cicero De nature deorum ii. 69.

« The City of God, Bk. XVIII, Chap. 8.
19 Ibid., Bk. XVIII, Chap. 12.
20 Iliad xiv. 170 ff. In the Babylonian mythology Marduk cuts Tiamat in two and makes from
one part a cover or veil for the sky.
21 T. Bergk, "Die Geburt der Athene" in Fleckeisen's lahrbiicher fur classische Philologie
(1860), Chap. VI, refers to the relation of Athene to the "Quellen der Ambrosia" ("the sources of
ambrosia"). Apollodorus (The Library) says that Athene "slayed Pallas and used his skin," which
appears to refer to the envelope of Venus that previously formed the tail of the comet.
22 Farnell, The Cults of the Greek States, I, 290.

WORLDS IN COLLISION robin-bobin The bull is sacred to Shiva, "the god of destruction in the Hindu Trinity." "The consecration of
the bulls and letting them loose as privileged beings to roam at their will and draw respect from
all people is to be noted with particular interest.... The freedom and privileges of the Brahman
bull are inviolate." Even when it is destructive, the bull must not be restrained.10
These quotations show the Apis cult preserved until our times. The "celestial cow" that gored the
earth with its horns and turned rivers and lakes into honey and milk is still revered in the
common cow and bull by hundreds of millions of the people of India.
7 Ram, Cow-Protection in India, p. 43.
8 "Visistha Dharmasastra." See Ram. Cow-Protection in India, p. 40.
• M. Monier-Williams, Brahmanism and Hinduism (1891), pp. 317-319. 10 Ram, Cow-
Protection in India, p. 58.


Baal Zevuv (Beelzebub)
The beautiful Morning Star was related to Ahriman, Seth, Lucifer, name equivalents of Satan. It
was also Baal of the Canaanites and of the Northern Kingdom of the Ten Tribes, the god hated
by the biblical prophets, also Beelzebub or Baal Zevuv, or Baal of the fly.
In the Pahlavi text of the Iranian book, the Bundahis, describing the catastrophes caused by
celestial bodies, it is written that at the close of one of the world ages "the evil spirit [Ahriman]
went toward the luminaries." "He stood upon one-third of the inside of the sky, and he sprang,
like a snake, out of the sky down to the earth." It was the day of the vernal equinox. "He rushed
in at noon," and "the sky was shattered and frightened." "Like a fly, he rushed out upon the
whole creation, and he injured the world and made it dark at midday as though it were in dark
night. And noxious creatures were diffused by him over the earth, biting and venomous, such as
the snake, scorpion, frog, and lizard, so that not so much as the point of a needle remained free
from noxious creatures." *
Then the Bundahis proceeds: "The planets, with many demons [comets], dashed against the
celestial sphere, and they mixed the constellations; and the whole creation was as disfigured as
though fire disfigured every place and smoke arose over it."
similar plague of vermin is described in the Scriptures, in Exodus, Chapters 8 to 10, and also in
Psalm 78 where it is told that there were sent "divers sorts of flies among them [the people of
Egypt], which devoured them; and frogs, which destroyed them." Their labor was given to the
caterpillar and the locust. "The dust of the land became lice throughout all the land of Egypt."2
"And there came a grievous swarm of flies . . . into all the land of Egypt." 3 The second, third,
fourth, and eighth plagues were caused by vermin. The plague of eruv, "swarms of flies" of the
King James Version, is translated in the Septuagint, "a stinging fly," and Philo calls it "the dog-
fly," a ferocious insect; 4 it is also called "gnat" by the rabbis. Psalm 105 narrates that

i Bundahis (in the Pahlavi Texts, transl. West), Chap. III. 2 Exodus 8 : 17. s Exodus 8 : 24. * Philo Vita Mosis i. 23.

darkness was sent upon the country and 'locusts came, and caterpillars, and that without number,
and did eat up all the herbs." "Their land brought forth frogs in abundance, in the chambers of
their kings," and "there came divers sorts of flies, and lice in all their coasts."
The Amalekites left Arabia because of "ants of the smallest kind" and wandered toward Canaan
and Egypt at the same time that the Israelites went from Egypt toward the desert and Canaan.
In the Chinese annals describing the time of Yahou, from which I quoted previously, it is said
that when the sun did not set for ten days and the forests of China were destroyed by fire,
multitudes of loathsome vermin were bred in the entire land. N. During their wanderings in the
desert, the Israelites were plagued by serpents.5 A generation later, hornets preceded the
Israelites under Joshua, plaguing the land of Canaan and driving entire nations from their

robin-bobin The inhabitants of the islands in the South Seas relate that when the clouds lay only a few feet
from the ground and "the sky was so close to the earth that men could not walk," "myriads of
dragonflies with their wings severed the clouds confining the heavens to the earth." 7
After the close of the Middle Kingdom, the Egyptian standard bore the emblem of a fly.
^ When Venus sprang out of Jupiter as a comet and flew very close to the earth, it became
entangled in the embrace of the earth. The internal heat developed by the earth and the scorching
gases of the comet were in themselves sufficient to make the vermin of the earth propagate at a
very feverish rate. Some of the plagues, like the plague of the frogs ("the land brought forth
frogs") or of the locusts, must be ascribed to such causes. Anyone who has experienced a
khamsin (sirocco), an electrically charged wind blowing from the desert,
B Numbers 21 : 6, 7; Deuteronomy 8 : 15.
• Exodus 23 : 28; Deuteronomy 7 : 20.
7 Williamson, Religious and Cosmic Beliefs of Central Polynesia, I, 45.

knows how, during the few days that the wind blows, the ground around the villages begins to
teem with vermin.8
The question arises here whether or not the comet Venus infested the earth with vermin which it
may have carried in its trailing atmosphere in the form of larvae together with stones and gases.
It is significant that all around the world peoples have associated the planet Venus with flies.
In Ekron, in the land of the Philistines, there was erected a magnificent temple to Baal Zevuv,
the god of the fly. In the ninth century King Ahaziah of Jezreel, after he was injured in an
accident, sent his emissaries to ask advice of this god at Ekron and not of the oracle at
Jerusalem.9 This Baal Zevuv is Beelzebub of the Gospels.10
Ahriman, the god of darkness who battled with Ormuzd, the god of light, is compared in the
Bundahis to a fly. Of the flies that filled the earth buried in gloom it is said: "His multitudes of
flies scatter themselves over the world that is poisoned through and through." u
Ares (Mars) in the Iliad calls Athene "dog-fly." "The gods clashed with a mighty din, and the
wide earth rang, and round about great heaven pealed as with a trumpet." And Ares spoke to
Athene: "Wherefore now again, thou dog-fly, art making gods to clash with gods in strife?" 12
The people of Bororo in central Brazil call the planet Venus "the sand fly," 13 an appellation
similar to that which Homer used for Athene. The Bantu tribes of central Africa relate that the
"sand fly brought fire from the sky," 14 which appears to be a reference to the Promethean role
of Beelzebub, the planet Venus.
The Zend-Avesta, describing the battle of Tistrya, "the leader of
8 A change in atmospheric conditions can cause galloping germination among insects.
9 II Kings 1 : 2 ff.
i» Matthew 10 : 25; 12 : 24, 27; Mark 7 : 22; Luke 11 : 15 ff.
11 Bundahis, Chap. Ill, Sec. 12. Cf. H. S. Nyberg, "Die Religionen des alten Iran," Mitteil. d.
Vorderasiat.-agypt. Ges., Vol. 43 (1938), pp. 28 ff.
12 Iliad xxi. 385 ff. In Greek mythology, Metis, pregnant with Pallas, took the shape of a fly.
13 See Kunike, "Sternmythologie," Welt und Mensch, IX-X. "A. Werner, African Mythology
(1925), p. 135.

the stars against the planets" (Darmesteter), refers to worm-stars that "fly between the earth and
heaven," and that supposedly signify the meteorites.15 Possibly it is a reference to their infesting
This idea of contaminating comets is found in a belief of the Mexicans described by Sahagun:
"The Mexicans called the comet citlalin popoca which means a smoking star. . . . These natives
called the tail of such a star citlalin tlamina, exhalation of the comet; or, literally, 'the star shoots
a dart.' They believed that when such a dart fell on a living organism, a hare, a rabbit, or any
other animal, worms suddenly formed in the wound and made the animal unfit to serve as food.

robin-bobin It was for this reason that they took great care to cover themselves during the night so as to
protect themselves from this inflaming emanation." 16
The Mexicans thus thought that larvae from the emanation of the comet fell on all living things.
As I have already mentioned, they called Venus a "smoking star." Sahagun says also that at the
rising of the Morning Star, the Mexicans used to shut the chimneys and other apertures in order
to prevent mishap from penetrating into the house together with the light of the star.17
"^/The persistence with which the planet Venus is associated with a fly in the traditions of the
peoples of both hemispheres, also the emblems carried by the Egyptian priests and the temple
services conducted in honor of the planet-god "of the fly," create the impression that the flies in
the tail of Venus were not merely the earthly brood, swarming in heat like other vermin, but
guests from another planet.
The old question, whether there is life on other planets, has been debated time and again without
much progress.18 Atmospheric and thermal conditions are so different on other planets that it
seems incredible that the same forms of life exist there as on the earth; on
is Zend-Avesta, Pt. II, p. 95.
16 Sahagun, Historia general de las cosas de la Nueva Espana, Bk. VIII, Chap. 3.
18 See H. Spencer Jones, Life on Other Worlds (1940) and Sir James Jeans,
"Is There Life on Other Worlds?" Science, June 12, 1942.

the other hand, it is wrong to conclude that there is no life on them at all.
Modern biologists toy with the idea that microorganisms arrive on the earth from interstellar
spaces, carried by the pressure of light. Hence, the idea of the arrival of living organisms from
interplanetary spaces is not new. Whether there is truth in this supposition of larval
contamination of the earth is anyone's guess. The ability of many small insects and their larvae to
endure great cold and heat and to live in an atmosphere devoid of oxygen renders not entirely
improbable the hypothesis that Venus (and also Jupiter, from which Venus sprang) may be
populated by vermin.

Venus in the Folklore of the Indians
Primitive peoples often are bound by inflexible customs and beliefs that date back hundreds of
generations. The traditions of many primitive races speak of a "lower sky" in the past, a 'larger
sun," a swifter movement of the sun across the firmament, a shorter day that became longer after
the sun was arrested on its path.
World conflagration is a frequent motif in folklore. According to the Indians of the Pacific coast
of North America the "shooting star" and the "fire drill" set the world aflame. In the burning
world one "could see nothing but waves of flames; rocks were burning, the ground was burning,
everything was burning. Great rolls and piles of smoke were rising; fire flew up toward the sky
in flames, in great sparks and brands.... The great fire was blazing, roaring all over the earth,
burning rocks, earth, trees, people, burning everything.... Water rushed in ... it rushed in like a
crowd of rivers, covered the earth, and put out the fire as it rolled on toward the south. . . . Water
rose mountain high." A celestial monster flew with "a whistle in his mouth; as he moved forward
he blew it with all his might, and made a terrible noise.... He came flowing and blowing; he
looked like an enormous bat with wings spread . . . [his] feathers waved up and down, [and]
grew till they could touch the sky on both sides."
* 1 Alexander. North American Mythology, p. 223.

The shooting star that made the earth into a sea of flames, the terrible noise, the water that rose
mountain high, and the appearance of a monster in the sky, like Typhon or a dragon, all these
elements were not brought together in this Indian narrative by sheer invention; they belong
The Wichita, an Indian tribe of Oklahoma, tell the following story of "The Deluge and the
Repeopling of the Earth": 2 "There came to the people some signs, which showed that there was

robin-bobin something in the north that looked like clouds; and the fowl of the air came, and the animals of
the plains and woods were seen. All of this indicated that something was to happen. The clouds
that were seen in the north were a deluge. The deluge was all over the face of the earth."
The water monsters succumbed. Only four giants remained, but they fell, too, each on his face.
"The one in the south as he was falling said that the direction he fell should be called south." The
other giant said that "the direction in which he was falling should be called west—Where-the-
sun-goes." The third fell and named the direction of his fall north; the last called his direction
Only a few men survived. The wind also survived on the face of the earth; everything else was
destroyed. A child was born to a woman (from the wind), a Dream-girl. The girl grew rapidly. A
boy child was born to her. "He told his people that he would go in the direction of the east, and
he was to become the Morning Star."
This tale sounds like an incoherent story, but let us note its various elements: "something in the
north that looked like clouds" which made people and animals huddle together in apprehension
of an approaching catastrophe; wild beasts emerging from the forests and coming to human
abodes; an engulfing tide that destroyed everything, even the monster animals; the determination
of the new four quarters of the horizon; a generation later the birth of the Morning Star.
This combination of elements cannot be accidental; all these
2G. A. Dorsey, The Mythology of the Wichita (1904).

events, and in the same sequence, were found to have occurred in the middle of the second
millennium before the present era.
The Indians of the Chewkee tribe on the Gulf Coast tell: "It was too hot. The sun was put 'a
handbreadth' higher in the air, but it was still too hot. Seven times the sun was lifted higher and
higher under the sky arch, until it became cooler." 3
In eastern Africa we can trace the same tradition. "In very old times the sky was very close to the
earth." 4
The Kaska tribe in the interior of British Columbia relate: "Once a long time ago the sky was
very close to the earth." s The sky was pushed up and the weather changed.
The sun, after being stopped on its way across the firmament, "became small, and small it has
remained since then." •
Here is a story, told to Shelton by the Snohomish tribe on Puget Sound, about the origin of the
exclamation "Yahu," 7 to which I have already referred briefly. "A long time ago, when all the
animals were still human beings, the sky was very low. It was so low that the people could not
stand erect. . . . They called a meeting together and discussed how they could raise the sky. But
they were at a loss to know how to do so. No one was strong enough to lift the sky. Finally the
idea occurred to them that possibly the sky might be moved by the combined efforts of the
people, if all of them pushed against it at the same time. But then the question arose of how it
would be possible to make all the people exert their efforts at exactly the same moment. For the
different peoples would be far away from one another, some would be in this part of the world,
others in another part. What signal could be given that all people would lift at precisely the same
time? Finally, the word 'Yahu!' was invented for this purpose. It was decided that all the people
should shout Tahu!'
3 Alexander, North American Mythology, p. 60.
4 L. Frobenius, Dichten und Denken in Sudan (1925).
5 J. A. Teit, "Kaska Tales," Journal of American Folk-Lore, XXX (1917).
6 Frobenius, Das Zeitalter des Sonnengottes, pp. 205 ff.
7 Shelton, "Mythology of Puget Sound," Journal of American Folk-Lore, XXXVII (1924).

together, and then exert their whole strength in lifting the sky. In accordance with this, the people
equipped themselves with poles, braced them against the sky, and then all shouted 'Yahu!' in
unison. Under their combined efforts the sky rose a little. Again the people shouted 'Yahu!' and

robin-bobin lifted the heavy weight. They repeated this until the sky was sufficiently high." Shelton says that
the word "Yahu" is used today when some heavy object like a large canoe is being lifted.
It is easy to recognize the origin of this legend. Clouds of dust and gases enveloped the earth for
a long time; it seemed that the sky had descended low. The earth groaned repeatedly because of
the severe twisting and dislocation it had experienced. Only slowly and gradually did the clouds
lift themselves from the ground.
The clouds that enveloped the Israelites in the desert, the trumpetlike sounds that they heard at
Mount Sinai, and the gradual lifting of the clouds in the years of the Shadow of Death are the
same elements that we find in this Indian legend.
Because the same elements can be recognized in very different settings, we can affirm that there
was no borrowing from one people by another. A common experience created the stories, so
dissimilar at first, and so much alike on second thought.
The story of the end of the world, as related by the Pawnee Indians, has an important content. It
was written down8 from the mouth of an old Indian:
"We are told by the old people that the Morning Star ruled over all the minor gods in the
heavens.... The old people told us that the Morning Star said that when the time came for the
world to end, the Moon would turn red . . . that when the Moon should turn red, the people
would know that the world was coming to an end.
"The Morning Star said further that in the beginning of all things they placed the North Star in
the north, so that it should not move. . . . The Morning Star also said that in the beginning of all
things they gave power to the South Star for it to move up close, once in a while, to look at the
North Star to see if it were still standing in the north. If it were still standing there, it was to
move back to its
8 Dorsey, ed., The Pawnee Mythology (1906), Pt. I, v>. 35.

place. . . . When the time approached for the world to end, the South Star would come higher....
The North Star would then disappear and move away and the South Star would take possession
of the earth and of the people.... The old people knew also that when the world was to come to
an end, there were to be many signs. Among the stars would be many signs. Meteors would fly
through the sky. The Moon would change its color once in a while. The Sun would also show
different colors.
"My grandchild, some of the signs have come to pass. The stars have fallen among the people,
but the Morning Star is still good to us, for we continue to live. . . . The command for the ending
of all things will be given by the North Star, and the South Star will carry out the command....
When the time comes for the ending of the world, the stars will again fall to the earth."
In this narrative of the Pawnee Indians, elements are brought together which, as we know now,
actually belong together. The planet Venus established the present order on the earth and placed
the north and south polar stars in their places. The Pawnees believe that the future destruction of
the world depends on the planet Venus. When the end of the world will come, the North and
South poles will change places. In the past the South Star left its place a few times and came up
higher, bringing about a shifting of the poles, but on these occasions the polar stars did not
reverse their positions.
The change in the color of the sun and the moon was conditioned by the presence of cometary
gases between the earth and these bodies; it is referred to in the Prophets of the Scriptures.
Stones falling from the sky belong to the same complex of phenomena.

The Pawnee Indians are not versed in astronomy. For one hundred and twenty generations father
has transmitted to son and grandfather to grandchild the story of the past and the signs of future
The belief that the world is endangered by the planet Venus plays an important role in the ritual
of the Skidi Pawnee Indians of Nebraska.

Next in rank to Tirawa (Jupiter) stands the Morning Star. "Tirawa gave most of his power to the
Morning Star." 9 "Through her four assistants, Wind, Cloud, Lightning, and Thunder, she
transmitted the mandates of Tirawa to the people upon earth." Next in rank to the Morning Star
"were the gods of four world-quarters, who stood in the northeast, southeast, southwest, and
northwest and supported the heavens. Next in rank was the North Star. Below these in turn were
the Sun and Moon." "The greater part of the heavenly gods were identified with stars. The sacred
bundle of each village was believed to have been given to its ancestors by one of these heavenly
The ceremony of sacrifice to the Morning Star is the main ritual of the Pawnee Indians. It is a
"dramatization of the acts performed by the Morning Star." A human offering was sacrificed
when Venus "appeared especially bright or in years when there was a comet in the sky." The act
of appeasing Venus when a comet was seen in the sky takes on clearer meaning in the light of
the present research.10
The sacrificial procedure took the following form. A captive girl was turned over by her captor
to a man who would howl like a wolf. She was kept by the guardian until the day of the sacrifice.
"Her guardian then painted her whole body red and dressed her in a black skirt and robe. His face
and hair were painted red, and a fan-shaped headdress of twelve eagle feathers was attached to
his hair." "This was the costume in which the Morning Star usually appeared in visions."
The scaffold was erected between four poles that pointed to the four quarters (northeast,
southeast, southwest, northwest). A few words were pronounced about the darkness that
threatened to endure forever, and in the name of the Morning Star a command was addressed to
the poles to keep upright "so that you will always hold up the heavens."
The chief priest then "painted the right half of her body red and
9 This and the following quotations are from The Thunder Ceremony of the Pawnee and The
Sacrifice to the Morning Star, compiled by R. Linton from unpublished notes of G. A. Dorsey,
Field Museum of Natural History, Department of Anthropology, Chicago (1922). io See the
Section, "The Fifty-two Year Period."

the left half black. A headdress of twelve black-tipped eagle feathers, arranged like a fan, was
fastened on her head."
"At the moment the Morning Star appeared, two men came forward bearing firebrands." The
breast of the girl was cut open and the heart taken out, and "the guardian thrust his hand into the
thoracic cavity and painted his face with the blood." The people around shot arrows into the
body of the victim. "Boys too young to draw a bow were helped by their fathers or mothers."
Four bundles were laid northeast, northwest, southeast, and southwest of the scaffold and were
"There seem to have been astronomical beliefs connected with the sacrifices."
These human sacrifices, as described by Dorsey, were executed by the Indians only a few
decades ago. They recall the Mexican sacrifices to the Morning Star described by the authors of
the sixteenth century.
The meaning of these ceremonies and their relation to the planet Venus, especially in the years of
a comet, the references to the cardinal points and to prolonged darkness, the anxiety that the sky
should not fall, and even such details as the black and red colors so important in the ceremonies,
become understandable now that we know the role Venus played in world upheavals.

The Synodical Year of Venus
THE PLANET Venus, at the present time, revolves around the sun in 288 days, which is the
siderial year of the planet. However, seen from the earth, which revolves around the sun on a
larger orbit and at a lower speed, Venus returns to the same position with respect to the earth
after 584 days, which is its synodical year. It rises before the sun, earlier every day for seventy-
one days, until it reaches the western elongation or its westernmost point away from the rising
sun. Each morning thereafter the Morning Star rises lower and lower and for 221 days

robin-bobin The destruction of Sennacherib's army having taken place in a later—evidently the last—
campaign of Sennacherib before his assassination, it was not inserted on the eight-campaign
prism; this must have been his ninth, or possibly his tenth, campaign. Its disastrous outcome
would not have inspired the king to order a new prism which should include this campaign, too.
In the last century it was realized that the first part of the story in the Book of Kings is the
counterpart of the record on the prism, and that the second part of the story in the Book of Kings,
as well as the whole story in Chronicles and in the Book of Isaiah, is a separate record of a
separate campaign in Palestine.2
2 H. Rawlinson was the first to assume two campaigns of Sennacherib against Palestine. G.
Rawlinson was of the same opinion. The Taylor Cylinder covers the time down to the 20th of
Adar —691. H. Winckler supported this view with the argument that Tirhakah the Ethiopian
became king of Ethiopia and Egypt after —691: "It can signify only a new campaign of
Sennacherib which must have taken place after the destruction of Babylon (689 b. c. ) and of
which we have no record by Sennacherib himself."
The reference, "in the fourteenth year of Hezekiah," in the beginning of the record in the Book of
Kings, explains why the obvious fact that there were two campaigns escaped earlier
commentators. Also, the mention of Lachish in both campaigns was a stumbling block. In this
connection K. Fullerton remarked ("The Invasion of Sennacherib" in Biblioteca Sacra, 1906) that
Richard Cceur de Lion also made Lachish a base of operations on two different crusades.
Modern historians support the view that Tirhakah did not become king before -689.
See also J. V. Prasek, "Sanheribs Feldziige gegen Juda," Mitt. d. Vorderasiat. Ges. (1903), and
R. Rogers, Cuneiform Parallels to the Old Testament (1926), p. 259.

The first campaign against Judah took place in —702 or —701. The date of the second campaign
is established as —687, or less probably, -686.
"Of the remaining eight years of his reign [after the conclusion of the prism records] we have no
information from his own annals, which now cease. Sennacherib once more arrived in the West
(687 or 686?)."3
Ignis e Coelo
The destruction of the army of Sennacherib is described laconically in the Book of Kings: "And
it came to pass that night, that the angel of the Lord went out, and smote in the camp of the
Assyrians a hundred fourscore and five thousand; and when the people arose early in the
morning, behold, they were all dead corpses. So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed, and went
and returned, and dwelt in Nineveh." It is similarly described in the Book of Chronicles: "And
the prophet Isaiah, the son of Amoz, prayed and cried to heaven. And the Lord sent an angel
which cut off all the mighty men of valor, and the leaders and captains in the camp of the king of
Assyria. So he [Sennacherib] returned with shame of face to his own land."
What kind of destruction was this? Malach, translated as "angel," means in Hebrew "one who is
sent to execute an order," supposed to be an order of the Lord. It is explained in the texts of the
Books of Kings and Isaiah that it was a "blast" sent upon the army of Sennacherib.1 "I will send
a blast upon him . . . and [he] shall return to his own land," was the prophecy immediately
preceding the catastrophe. The simultaneous death of tens of thousands of warriors could not be
due to a plague, as it is usually supposed, because a plague does not strike so suddenly; it
develops through contagion, if rapidly, in a few days, and may infect a large camp, but it does
SH. R. Hall, Ancient History of the Near East (1913), p. 490. "The Jewish account seems to be
confused, as it stands, with that of the earlier invasion of 701 b. c. In the story of II Kings,
Tirhakah is spoken of as king, which he was not till 689 b.c. at the earliest." (Ibid.) See also D.
D. Luckenbill, The Annals of Sennacherib (1924), p. 12. 1II Kings 19 : 7; Isaiah 37 : 7.

231 affect great multitudes without showing a curve of cases mounting from day to day. robin-bobin The Talmud and Midrash sources, which are numerous, all agree on the manner in which the
Assyrian host was destroyed: a blast fell from the sky on the camp of Sennacherib. It was not a
flame, but a consuming blast: "Their souls were burnt, though their garments remained intact."
The phenomenon was accompanied by a terrific noise.2
Arad ftbil is the Babylonian designation of ignis e coelo (fire from the sky).3
Another version of the destruction of the army of Sennacherib is given by Herodotus. During his
visit in Egypt, he heard from the Egyptian priests or guides to the antiquities that the army of
Sennacherib, while threatening the borders of Egypt, was destroyed in a single night. According
to this story, an image of a deity holding in his palm the figure of a mouse was erected in an
Egyptian temple to commemorate the miraculous event. In explanation of the symbolic figure,
Herodotus was told that myriads of mice descended upon the Assyrian camp and gnawed away
the cords of their bows and other weapons; deprived of their arms, the troops fled in panic.
Josephus Flavius repeated the version of Herodotus, and added that there is another version by
the Chaldeo-Hellenistic historian Berosus. Josephus wrote introductory words to a quotation of
Bero-sus, but the quotation itself is missing in the present text of the Jewish Antiquities.
Obviously, it was an explanation different from that of Herodotus. Josephus' own account,
somewhat rationalistic as usual, says a (bubonic) plague was the cause of the sudden death of
one hundred and eighty-five thousand warriors in the camp of the Assyrians before the walls of
Jerusalem on the very first night of the siege.
Herodotus recounts that he saw the statue of the god with a mouse in the palm of his hand, which
was erected in memory of the event.
2 Tractate Shabbat 113b; Sanhedrin 94a; Jerome on Isaiah 10: 16; Ginzberg, Legends, VI, 363.
3Cf. Winckler, Babylonische Kultur (1902), p. 53; Eisler, Welt mantel und Himmelszeti, II, 451

Two cities in Egypt claimed the same sacred animal, the shrew-mouse: Panopolis (Akhmim) in
the south and Letopolis in the north. Herodotus did not travel to the south of Egypt; thus, he must
have seen the statue in Letopolis. Even today many bronze mice, sometimes inscribed with the
prayers of pilgrims, are found in the ground of Letopolis.
Both cities with the cult of the sacred mouse were "sacred cities of thunderbolt and meteorites."
* The Egyptian name for Letopolis is indicated by the same hieroglyphic as "thunderbolt."
In a text dating from the New Kingdom and originating in Letopolis, it is said that a festival was
established in this city in memory of "the night of fire for the adversaries." This fire was like "the
flame before the wind to the end of heaven and the end of earth." ' "I come forth and go in the
devouring fire on the day of the repelling of the adversaries," says the text in the name of the
god. Thus tha god with the sacred mouse was a god of devouring fire.
However, interpreting the mouse as a symbol of bubonic plague,* the commentators agreed with
Josephus that Sennacherib's army must have been destroyed by a plague.
It is peculiar that the numerous commentators of Herodotus and the no less numerous
commentators of the Bible did not draw attention to a certain coincidence in these descriptions of
the calamity. Hezekiah became gravely ill of some bubonic affection and was near death. Isaiah
was called. He told the king that he would die, but soon he returned and offered a remedy—a
lump of figs for the boil —and told the king that the Lord would deliver him from immediate
death and would also deliver "this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria."
"And this shall be a sign unto thee from the Lord . . . Behold, I will bring again the shadow of the
degrees, which is gone down in
4 G. A. Wainwright, "Letopolis," Journal of Egyptian Archaeology, XVIII (1932).
5 "The devouring fire of Letopolis is reminiscent of 'the flame before the wind to the end of
heaven and the end of earth' which is connected with *—>, tho primitive form of the thunderbolt
sign such as that of Letopolis." Ibid.
6 Cf. I Samuel 6 : 4.

the sun dial of Ahaz, ten degrees backward. So the sun returned ten degrees, by which degrees it
was gone down." 7
An optical illusion is the common explanation of the meaning of this passage.8 The sundial
mentioned together with the name of Ahaz is supposed to have been a dial built by Ahaz, father
of Heze-kiah. But the Talmudic tradition explains that the day was shortened by ten degrees on
the day when Ahaz was buried, and the day was prolonged by ten degrees when Hezekiah was ill
and recovered, and this is the meaning of the "shadow of the degrees which is gone down in the
sun dial of Ahaz." 9
The rabbinical sources state in a definite manner that the disturbance in the movement of the sun
happened on the evening of the destruction of Sennacherib's army by a devouring blast.10
Returning to Herodotus, we shall give our attention to the following important fact neglected by
the commentators. The famous paragraph of Herodotus which records, in the name of the
Egyptian priests, that since Egypt became a kingdom, the sun had repeatedly changed its
direction, is inserted in no other place of Herodotus' history, but directly following the story of
the destruction of Sennacherib's army.
The destruction of Sennacherib's army and the disturbance in the movement of the sun are also
described in two subsequent passages of the Scriptures. Now the two records seem to be in better
7 Isaiah 38 : 6-8; similarly in II Kings 20 : 9 ff.
8 Schiaparelli in Astronomy in the Old Testament, p. 99, points to a whole literature of "curious
and eccentric ideas" written on the subject of die "steps of Ahaz" and refers to Winer's Bibl.
Realworterbuch, I, 498-499, where "most remarkable gnomics are reviewed." "None of die
explanations can be regarded as well-founded," wrote Winer, "and it will never be possible to
establish die factual element that is the basis of this narrative."
9 See the Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 96a; Pirkei Rabbi Elieser 52. Other sources are
mentioned by Ginzberg, Legends, VI, 367. M. Gaster, The Exempla of the Rabbis (1924), in the
Chapter, 'Merodach and the Sun," lists Talmudic references to the described phenomenon.
10 Seder Olam 23. Cf. Eusebius and Jerome on Isaiah 34 : 1. See Ginzberg, Legends, VI, 366.

March 23rd
It was apparently some cosmic cause that was responsible for the sudden destruction of the army
of Sennacherib and brought about the perturbation in the rotating movement of the earth.
Gaseous masses reaching the atmosphere could asphyxiate all breath in certain areas.
This explanation requires supporting statements from other sources; disturbances in the
movement of the sun could not be confined to the sun over Palestine and Egypt. Also, other
circumstances of this catastrophe, like the gaseous masses covering the sky, should have been
noticed in other regions of the earth, too.
First, a more exact date for the night of the annihilation of Sennacherib's army should be
established. From modern research we know that it was in the year —687 (less probably in the
year —686). The Talmud and Midrash give another valuable clue: the destruction occurred
during the first night of Passover. The giant host was destroyed when the people began to sing
the Hallel prayer of the Passover service.1 Passover was observed about the time of the vernal
In the book of Edouard Biot, Catalogue general des etoiles filantes et des autres meteores
observes en Chine apres le VIP siicle avant J.C.,3 the register begins with this statement:
"The year 687 B.C., in the summer, in the fourth moon, in the day sin mao (23rd of March)
during the night, the fixed stars did not appear, though the night was clear [cloudless]. In the
middle of the night stars fell like a rain."
The date, 23rd of March, is Biot's calculation. The statement is based on old Chinese sources
ascribed to Confucius. In another
i The Jerusalem Talmud, Tractate Pesahim; Seder Olam 23; Tosefta Targum

robin-bobin II Kings 19 : 35-37; Midrash Rabba, III, 221 (English ed. by H. Freedman and
M. Simon).
2 In the last two thousand years or so, the Feast of Passover, bound to the lunar
calendar, has been observed between the middle of March and the latter part
of April.
* Paris, 1846.

translation of the text, by Remusat,4 the last part of the passage is rendered as follows: "Though
the night was clear, a star fell in the form of rain" (il tomba une etoile en forme de pluie).
The annals of the Bamboo Books obviously refer to the same event when they inform us that in
the tenth year of the Emperor Kwei (the seventeenth emperor of the Dynasty Yu, or the
eighteenth monarch since Yahou) "the five planets went out of their courses. In the night, stars
fell like rain. The earth shook." 5
The words in the annals, "in the night, stars fell like rain," are the same as in the record of
Confucius dealing with the cosmic event on the 23rd of March, —687. The annals supply the
information that the cause of this phenomenon was a disturbance among the planets. The record
of Confucius is a precious entry, because the time of the phenomenon—the day, the month, and
the year—is given.
The sky was cloudless, so that the stars should have been visible —but they were not, and this
reminds us of the words of the prophets.6
The Biot Catalogue, which begins with this description of the year —687, subsequently notes
only solitary meteors falling from the sky during all the following centuries up to the beginning
of this era; the prodigy of the year —687 was not a pageant such as we may find again in the
Chinese annals of later centuries.
The rare phenomenon occurred in that year and in that part of the year—23rd of March, —687—
when, as explained above, according to modern calculations and the Talmudic data, the
destruction of Sennacherib's army took place. In the Chinese record we have a short but precise
account of the night, which we have recognized as the night of annihilation.
We also expect to find in Chinese sources a record of the disturbance in the movement of the
sun. China is forty-five to ninety degrees longitude east of Palestine, the difference in time being
three to six hours.
4 Abel Remusat, Catalogue des bolides et des aerolithes observes a la Chine, et dans les pays
voisins (1819): "On a beaucoup discute sur ce texte de Confucius" (p. 7).
¦ The Chinese Classics (transl. and annot. by J. Legge, Hong Kong ed.), III,
Pt. 1, 125.
6 Joel 2 : 10; 3 : 15.
Huai-nan-tse,7 who lived in the second century before the present era, tells us that "when the
Duke of Lu-yang was at war against Han, during the battle the sun went down. The Duke,
swinging his spear, beckoned to the sun, whereupon the sun, for his sake, came back and passed
through three solar mansions."
The subjective-mythological part reminds us of the primitive-subjective approach of the author
of the Book of Joshua, and probably also of the contemporaries of Joshua; it is the primitive way
of interpreting natural phenomena. However, it differs from what is described in the Book of
Joshua in that it was not a phenomenon of a long pause by the sun, but of a short retrograde
motion; in this the Chinese description corresponds with the twentieth chapter of II Kings.
The exact date of the reign of Han is not known; it is sometimes supposed, on the basis of
astronomical computation, to have been in the fifth century before this era, or even later.8 If this
is true, then the event described refers to a period before the dynasty of Han became dominant in

The land of China is large; it was divided into many princedoms. Probably the story of Prince
Tau of Yin is another description of the same event in a different part of China. Lu-Heng9
records that Prince Tau of Yin was an involuntary guest of the king of China when the sun
returned to the meridian; it was interpreted as a sign to allow the prince to return home.
The story of the Argive tyrants tells of the sun going speedily to its setting and the evening
coming before its proper time; and we recognized in this the phenomenon described in the
rabbinical sources as having occurred on the day of the burial of Ahaz, father of Hezekiah. The
prodigy of the day of Hezekiah or of the Duke of
7 Huai-nan-tse VI. iv. See Forke, The World Conception of the Chinese, p. 86.
8 Moyriac de Mailla (1679-1748), Histoire general de la Chine: T' ong-Kien-Kang-Mou (1877),
Vol. I, has the Han Dynasty coming to power in the last quarter of the fifth century; Forke, The
World Conception of the Chinese, thinks that the war of the Duke of Lu-yang against Han took
place in the fifth century. But these calculations are based upon an astronomical computation
which may be erroneous.
8 Lu-Heng II, 176. See Forke, The World Conception of the Chinese, p. 87.

Lu-yang and Prince Tau of Yin took place at the time of the same tyrants, or was so ascribed.
"Atreus," says Apollodorus,10 "stipulated with Thyestes that Atreus should be king if the sun
should go backward; and when Thyestes agreed, the sun set in the east."
Ovid describes this phenomenon of the days of the Argive tyrants: Phoebus broke off "in mid-
career, and wresting his car about turned round his steeds to face the dawn." u Also in Tristia
Ovid refers to this literary tradition12 about "the horses of the sun turning aside."13
A Mayan inscription says that a planet brushed close to the earth.14
Three solar mansions of the Chinese must have been equal to ten degrees on the dial at the
palace in Jerusalem.
According to Talmudic sources,15 an equal perturbation, but in the opposite direction, occurred
on the day Ahaz was carried to his grave: at that time the day was quickened. A case of two
consecutive perturbations of a celestial body, where the second perturbation corrected the effect
of the first, is recorded in the annals of modern observations. In 1875 Wolfs comet passed near
the large planet Jupiter and was disturbed on its way. In 1922, when it again passed near Jupiter,
it was once more disturbed, but with an effect which corrected that of the first disturbance. No
perturbation was noticed in the revolution of Jupiter; its rotation probably proceeded normally,
too—there was a great difference in the masses of these two bodies.
10 Apollodorus, The Library, Epitome II.
" Ovid, The Art of Love (transl. J. H. Mosley, 1929), i. 328 ff.
12 Ovid, Tristia (transl. A. L. Wheeler, 1924), ii. 391 ff.
13 More about the movement of the sun toward the east instead of the west in the time of the
Argive tyrants was said in the Section "East and West," and several Greek authors were quoted.
More will be said when we examine oral traditions of primitive peoples in a later section on
14 Published by Ronald Strath. I could not locate the publication. It is referred to in Bellamy's
Moons, Myths and Man (1938), p. 258. The only other reference to the work by Strath I found in
Jean Gattefosse and Claudius Roux, Bibliographie de I'Atlantide et des questions connexes
(Lyon, 1926), under No. 1184, but these authors also were unable to trace the publication. Cf. P.
Jensen, Kosmologie, III, R561, 5a: "A great star fell." Jupiter was known to the Babylonians as
the "great star." How large was the star? Jensen asked.
is Tractate Sanhedrin 96a.

The Worship of Mars
The body which periodically—once in fourteen to sixteen years—approached the orbit of the
earth must have been of considerable mass, for it was able to influence the rotation of the earth.

Apparently, however, it was much smaller than Venus, or it did not approach so closely, because
the catastrophes of the days of the Exodus and the Conquest were greater than those of the time
of Uzziah, Ahaz, and Hezekiah. Nevertheless, for the peoples who lived at that time, they must
have been impressive experiences and must have been incorporated in their cosmogonic
Shall we be able, when inquiring into this matter, to find guiding hints to help us obtain some
data about the body which periodically approached the earth?
It would probably be the Latin people, at that time very young, just appearing on the historical
scene and not loaded down with science, who would give the prodigy a prominent place in their
mythology. Roman mythology was appropriated from the Greeks. Only one god of Roman
mythology plays a role not comparable to that attributed to him on the Greek Olympus. It is the
god Mars, whose counterpart is Ares of the Greeks.1 Mars, the lord of war, was second to
Jupiter-Zeus. He personified the planet Mars, to him was dedicated the month of March (Mars),
and as a god he was supposed to be the father of Romulus, the founder of Rome. He was the
national god of the Romans. Livy wrote in the preface to his history of Rome, "the mightiest of
empires, next after that of Heaven": "The Roman people . . . profess that their Father and the
Father of their Empire was none other than Mars."
Placing the time of Mars' activity as late as the foundation of Rome indicates that the Romans
had a tradition that the city on the Tiber came into existence during a generation which witnessed
some great exploit of their god-planet.
1 Besides Ares, Hercules also represents the planet Mars. Eratosthenes (Era-tosthenis
catasterismorum reliquiae, ed. C. Robert, 1878): "Tertia est Stella Martis quam alii Herculis
dixerunt" (Mars is the third star, which others say is Hercules). Similarly, Macrobius (Saturnalia
iii. 12. 5-6), whose authority is Varro.

The founding of Rome took place close in time to the great perturbations of nature in the days of
Amos and Isaiah. According to the calculation of Fabius Pictor, Rome was founded in the latter
half of the first year of the eighth Olympiad, or the year —747; other Roman authorities differ by
a few years only.2 The year —747 is the beginning of an astronomical era in the Middle East;
and the "commotion of Uzziah" took place, apparently, in the same year.
According to a persistent Roman tradition, the conception of Romulus by his mother, the
foundation of Rome, and the death of Romulus occurred in years of great commotions
accompanied by celestial phenomena and disturbances in solar movement. These changes were
connected in some way with the planet Mars. Plutarch wrote: "To the surname of Quirinus
bestowed on Romulus some give the meaning of Mars." 3 The legend says that Romulus was
conceived in the first year of the second Olympiad (—772) when the sun was totally eclipsed.
According to Latin historians, on the very day of Rome's foundation, the sun was disrupted in its
movement and the world was darkened.4 In Romulus' time "a plague fell upon the land, bringing
sudden death without previous sickness," and "a rain of blood" and other calamities. Earthquakes
convulsed the earth for a long period. Jewish tradition knows that "the first settlers of Rome
found that the huts collapsed as soon as built." 5
The death of Romulus occurred when, according to Plutarch, "suddenly strange and
unaccountable disorders with incredible changes filled the air; the light of the sun failed, and
night came down upon them, not with peace and quiet, but with awful peals of thunder and
furious blasts," and amidst this storm Romulus disappeared.6
2 Polybius dated the foundation of Rome in the second year of the seventh Olympiad (—750);
Porcius Cato, in the first year of the seventh Olympiad (—751); Verrius Flaccus, in the fourth
year of the sixth Olympiad (—752); Terentius Varro, in the third year of the sixth Olympiad (—
753); Censorinus followed Varro.
3 Plutarch, Lives, "The Life of Romulus" (transl. B. Perrin, 1914).
4 Cf. F. K. Ginzel, Spezieller Kanon der Sonnen- und Mondfinsternisse (1899), and T. von
Oppolzer, Kanon der Finsternisse (1887).

Thus did the blessed gods urge on the two hosts to clash in battle, and amid them made grievous
strife to burst forth. Then terribly thundered the father of gods and men from on high; and from
beneath did Poseidon cause the vast earth to quake, and the steep crests of the mountains. All the
roots of many-fountained Ida were shaken, and all her peaks, and the city of the Trojans, and the
ships of the Achaeans. And seized with fear in the world below was Ai'doneus, lord of the shades
. . . lest above him the earth be cloven by Poseidon, the Shaker of Earth, and his abode be made
plain to view for mortals and immortals ... so great was the din that arose when the gods clashed
in strife.
In this battle of gods above and beneath, Trojans and Achaeans clashed together and the whole
universe roared and shivered. The

battle was fought in gloom; Hera spread a thick mist. The river "rushed with surging flood, and
roused all his streams tumultuously." Even the ocean was inspired with "fear of the lightning of
great Zeus and his dread thunder, whenso it crasheth from heaven." Then rushed into the battle a
"wondrous blazing fire. First on the plain was the fire kindled, and burned the dead . . . and all
the plain was parched." Then to the river turned the gleaming flame. "Tormented were the eels
and the fish in the eddies, and in the fair streams they plunged this way and that. . . . The fair
streams seethed and boiled." Nor had the river "any mind to flow onward, but was stayed,"
unable to protect Troy.
Upon the gods "fell strife heavy and grievous." "Together then they clashed with a mighty din,
and the wide earth rang, and round about great heaven pealed as with a trumpet.... Zeus—the
heart within him laughed aloud in joy as he beheld the gods joining in strife."
Ares . . . began the fray, and first leapt upon Athene, brazen spear in hand, and spake a word of
reviling: "Wherefore now again, thou dog-fly, art thou making gods to clash with gods in strife .
. . ? Rememberest thou not what time . . . thyself in sight of all didst grasp the spear and let drive
straight at me, and didst rend my fair flesh?"
This second encounter between Ares and Athene was also lost by Ares.
He [Ares] smote upon her tasselled aegis.... Thereon bloodstained Ares smote with his long
spear. But she gave ground, and seized with her stout hand a stone that lay upon the plain, black
and jagged and great. . . . Therewith she smote furious Ares on the neck, and loosed his limbs...

.Pallas Athene broke into a laugh. ... "Fool, not even yet hast thou learned how much mightier
than thou I avow me to be, that thou matchest thy strength with mine."
Aphrodite came to wounded Ares, "took [him] by the hand, and sought to lead [him] away." But
"Athene sped in pursuit.... She smote Aphrodite on the breast with her stout hand . . . and her
heart melted."
These excerpts from the Iliad show that some cosmic drama was projected upon the fields of
Troy. The commentators were aware that originally Ares was not merely the god of war, and that
this quality is a deduced and secondary one. The Greek Ares is the Latin planet Mars; it is so
stated in classic literature a multitude of times. In the so-called Homeric poems, too, it is said
that Ares is a planet. The Homeric hymn to Ares reads:
Most mighty Ares . . . chieftain of valor, revolving thy fiery circle in ether among the seven
wandering stars [planets], where thy flaming steeds ever uplift thee above the third chariot.6
But what might it mean, that the planet Mars destroys cities, or that the planet Mars is ascending
the sky in a darkened cloud, or that it engages Athene (the planet Venus) in battle? Ares must
have represented some element in nature, guessed the commentators. Ares must have been the
personification of the raging storm, or the god of the sky, or the god of light, or a sun-god, and so
on.7 These explanations are futile. Ares-Mars is what his name says—the planet Mars.

robin-bobin I find in Lucian a statement which corroborates my interpretation of the cosmic drama in the
Iliad. This author of the second century of the present era writes in his work On Astrology this
most significant and most neglected commentary on the Homeric epics:
"All that he [Homer] hath said of Venus and of Mars his passion, is also manifestly composed
from no other source than this science [astrology]. Indeed, it is the conjuncture of Venus and
Mars that creates the poetry of Homer." 8
Lucian is unaware that Athene is the goddess of the planet Venus,9
6 The Odyssey of Homer with the Hymns (transl. Buckley), p. 399. The translation by H.
Evelyn-White (Hesiod volume in the Loeb Classical Library) is: "Who whirl your fiery sphere
among the planets in their sevenfold courses through the ether wherein your blazing steeds ever
bear you above the third firmament of heaven." Allen, Holliday, and Sikes, The Homeric Hymns
(1936), p. 385, regard the hymn to Ares as post-Homeric.
7 These divergent views are offered by L. Preller (Griechische Myihologie [1894]), G. F. Lauer
{System der griechischen Myihologie [1853], p. 224), F. G. Welcker (Griechische Gotterlehre, I
[1857], 415), and H. W. Stoll (Die urspriingliche Bedeutung des Ares [1855]).
8 Lucian. Astrology (transl. A. M. Harmon, 1936), Sec. 22.
9 In the same sentence Lucian identifies Venus with Aphrodite of the Iliad.

and yet he knows the real meaning of the cosmic plot of the Homeric epic, which shows that the
sources of his instruction in astrology were cognizant of the facts of the celestial drama.
My interpretation of the Homeric poem, I find, has been anticipated by still others. Who they
were, it is impossible to say. However, Heraclitus, a little known author of the first century, who
should not be confused with the philosopher, Heraclitus of Ephesus, wrote a work on Homeric
allegories.10 In his opinion, Homer and Plato were the two greatest spirits of Greece, and he
tried to reconcile the anthropomorphic and satiric description of gods by Homer with the
idealistic and metaphysical approach of Plato. In Paragraph 53 of his Allegories, Heraclitus
confutes those who think that the battles of the gods in the Iliad signify collisions of the planets.
Thus I find that some of the ancient philosophers must have held the same opinion at which I
arrived independently after a series of deductions.
The problem of the date when the Homeric epics originated was raised here, to be solved with
the help of this criterion: If the cosmic battle between the planets Venus and Mars is mentioned
there, then the epics could not have originated much before the year —800. If the earth and the
moon are involved in this struggle, the time of the birth of the Iliad must be lowered to —747 at
least and probably to an even later date. The first earthshaking contact with our planet had
already taken place, and for this reason Ares is repeatedly called "bane of mortals, blood-stained
stormer of walls."
Homer was thus, at the earliest, a contemporary of the prophets Amos and Isaiah, or more likely
he lived shortly after them. The Trojan War and the cosmic conflict were synchronous; the time
of Homer was not separated from the time of the Trojan war by several centuries, possibly not
even by a single one.
The statement by Lucian regarding the inspiring drama of the Homeric epics—the conjunction of
the planets Venus and Mars—can be refined. There was more than one fateful conjunction
between Venus and Mars—at least two are described in the Iliad, in the fifth
i° Heracliti questiones Homericae (Teubner's ed. 1910). Cf. F. Boll, Stemglaube und Sterndienst
(ed. W. Gundel, 1926), p. 201.

and the twenty-first books. The conjunctions were near contacts; the mere passage of one planet
in front of another could not have provided material for a cosmic drama.

The Greeks chose Athene, the goddess of the planet Venus, as their patron, but the people of
Troy looked to Ares-Mars as their protector. A similar situation existed in ancient Mexico.
Quetzal-cohuatl, known as the planet Venus, was the patron of the Toltecs. But the Aztecs, who

robin-bobin later came to Mexico and supplanted the Toltecs, revered Huitzilopochtli (Vitchilupuchtli) as
their protector-god.1
Sahagun says that Huitzilopochtli was "a great destroyer of towns and killer of people." The
epithet "blood-stained stormer of walls" is familiar to us from the Iliad, where it is regularly
applied to Mars. "In warfare he [Huitzilopochtli] was like live-fire, greatly feared by his
enemies," writes Sahagun.2
In his large work on the Indians of America, H. H. Bancroft writes:
"Huitzilopochtli had, like Mars and Odin, the spear or a bow in his right hand, and in the left,
sometimes a bundle of arrows, sometimes a round white shield. . . . On these weapons depended
the welfare of the state, just as on the ancile of the Roman Mars, which had fallen from the sky,
or on the palladium of the warlike Pallas Athene. Bynames also point out Huitzilopochtli as war
god; so he is called the terrible god Tetzateotl, or the raging Tetzahuitl."3 Bancroft proceeds:
"One niight be led to compare the capital of the Aztecs with ancient Rome, on account of its
warlike spirit, and therefore it was right to make the national god of Aztecs a war god like the
Roman Mars." 4
But Huitzilopochtli was not like Mars, he was Mars. The identity of their appearance, character,
and action is dictated by the fact that Mars and Huitzilopochtli were one and the same planet-
1 J. G. Miiller, Der mexikanische Nationalgott Huitzilopochtli (1847).
2 Sahagun, A History of Ancient Mexico (transl. F. R. Bandelier, 1932), p. 25.
3 H. H. Bancroft, The Native Races of the Pacific States (1874-1876), III, 302.
4 Ibid., p. 301.

The conflict between Venus and Mars was also symbolized in religious ceremonies of the
ancient Mexicans. In one of these ceremonies the priest of Quetzal-cohuatl shot an arrow into an
effigy of Huitzilo-pochtli, which penetrated the god, who was then considered dead.5 This
appears to have been a symbolic repetition of the electrical discharge that Venus ejected toward
But the Aztecs would not concede the death of Mars, the bellicose destroyer of towns, the god of
sword and pestilence, and carried on their wars against the Toltecs, the people who looked to the
planet Venus. These wars between the Toltecs and the Aztecs must have taken place earlier than
is generally supposed; they might have occurred before the present era, when there was rivalry
between the peoples devoted to Venus and those devoted to Mars, and when the memory of the
cosmic conflict was still vivid.
What is it that we call the Tao? There is the Tao, or Way of Heaven; and there is the Tao, or
Way of Man.

Planets of the solar system were disturbed by the contacts of Venus, Mars, and the earth. We
have already referred to the annals of the Bamboo Books, where it is written that in the tenth
year of the Emperor Kwei, the eighteenth monarch since Yahou, "the five planets went out of
their courses. In the night, stars fell like rain. The earth shook."J The disturbances in the family
of planets were caused by collisions between Venus and Mars. The battles of two stars appearing
as bright as suns are mentioned in another Chinese chronicle as having occurred in the days of
the same Emperor Kwei (Koei-Kie):
"At this time the two suns were seen to battle in the sky. The five
6 Sahagun, Historia general de las cosas de la Nueva Espana, III, Chap. I, Sec. 2. 1 James Legge
(ed), The Chinese Classics, III, Pt. 1, 125.

planets were agitated by unusual movements. A part of Mount Tai-chan fell down." 2
The two battling stars are recognized by us as Venus and Mars. In the language of Eratosthenes,
the Alexandrian librarian of the third century before this era: "In the third place is the star [stella]
of Mars. ... It was pursued by the star [sidus] Venus; then Venus took hold of him and inflamed
him with an ardent passion." 3
In an astronomical chart dating from the Middle Ages (1193), used in the education of emperors
and known as the Soochow Astronomical Chart,4 it is asserted on the authority of the ancients
that it happened that planets went off their courses. It is said that once Venus ran far off the
zodiac and attacked the "Wolf-Star." A change in the course of the planets was regarded as a sign
of heavenly wrath, since it occurred when the emperor or his ministers sinned.
In the old Chinese cosmology "Earth is represented as a body suspended in air, moving
eastward,"5 and thus was understood as one of the planets.
The following passage from the Taoist text of Wen-Tze 6 contains a description of calamities
which, as we have found, belong together:
"When the sky, hostile to living beings, wishes to destroy them, it burns them; the sun and the
moon lose their form and are eclipsed; the five planets leave their paths; the four seasons
encroach one upon another; daylight is obscured; glowing mountains collapse; rivers are dried
up; it thunders then in winter, hoarfrost falls in summer; the atmosphere is thick and human
beings are choked; the state perishes; the aspect and the order of the sky are altered; the customs
of the age are disturbed [thrown into disorder] ... all living beings harass one another."
Hoei-nan-tze, a Taoist author of the third century of this era, speaks of the sun and the earth
leaving their paths; he transmits the tradi-
2L. Wieger, Textes historiques (2nd ed., 1922-1923), I, 50.
3 Eratosthenes, ed. Robert, p. 195.
4 The Soochow Astronomical Chart (transl. and ed. by Rufus and Hsing-chih tien).
5 J. C. Ferguson, Chinese Mythology (1928), p. 29.
6 Wen-Tze in Textes Tadistes, transl. C. de Harlez (1891).

tion that "if the five planets err on their routes," the State and the provinces are overcome by a
Taoism is the dominant religion of China. "The term Tao originally meant the revolution of the
way of the heavens about the earth. This movement of the heavens was regarded as the cause of
the phenomena on earth. The Tao was located about the celestial pole which was considered to
be the seat of power because all revolves about it. In the course of time Tao was viewed as the
universal cosmic energy behind the visible order of nature." 8
In an old textbook on Hindu astronomy, the Surya-Siddhanta, there is a chapter, "Of planetary
conjunctions." Modern astronomy knows only one kind of conjunction between planets, when
one planet (or sun) stands between the earth and another planet (differentiated only as superior
and inferior conjunction and opposition). But ancient Hindu astronomy distinguished between
many different conjunctions, translated as follows: samyoga (conjunction), sama-gama (coming
together), yoga (junction), melaka (uniting), yuti (union), yuddha (encounter, in the meaning of
conflict, fight).1
The first paragraph of this chapter, "Of planetary conjunctions," of the Surya-Siddhanta tells us
that between planets there occur encounters in battle (yuddha) and simple conjunction (samyoga
samagama). The force of the planets, which manifests itself in conjunctions, is called hala. A
planet can be vanquished (jita) in an "apasvya encounter," struck down (vidhvasta), utterly
vanquished (vijita). A powerful planet is called balin, and the victor-planet in an encounter,
jayin. "Venus is generally victor."
To the last sentence the translator of Surya-Siddhanta wrote: "In this passage we quit the proper
domain of astronomy, and trench upon that of astrology." Aside from the introductory lines in
which the work is presented as a revelation of the sun (a common introduc-
7 Hoei-nan-tze in Textes Taoistes.
8 L. Hodous, "Taoism," Encyclopaedia Britannica, 14th ed. 1 Surya-Siddhanta, Chap. VII (transl. Burgess).

tion in many astronomical works of the Hindus), it is written in very sober terms. It makes use of
square roots and geometrical figures, and speaks in algebraic terms; every sentence of the work
is in scientific language, very precious, indeed.2
This manual of the Surya contains also the correct notion of the earth as a "sphere" or "globe in
the ether," showing that the Hindus of early times knew that the earth is one of the planets,
though they thought it to be situated in the center of the universe.3 Aryabhatta held the opinion
that the earth revolves on its axis.4 Like the author of the Book of Job, who wrote that the earth
hangs "upon nothing" (26 : 7), the Surya knew that "above" and "beneath" are only relative:
"And everywhere upon the globe of the earth, men think their own place to be uppermost—but
since it is a globe in the ether, where should there be an upper, or where an under side of it?" 5
The strange chapter of Surya-Siddhanta dealing with the conjunctions of planets and with their
conflicts when in close proximity made modern scholars think that this portion did not have the
scientific value of the rest of the work, and was a product of astrological invention, or even an
interpolation. We know now that this chapter has equal scientific value with other chapters of the
work and that encounters between planets actually took place a number of times in the solar
In Hindu astronomy a junction of the planets is called yoga [yuga]. Very revealing is the fact that
the world ages are also called yogas, planetary conjunctions 6 (or more precisely, junctions).
The Bundahis
Theomachy, the battle of the gods, described in the Homeric epics, in the Edda, and in the
Huitzilopochtli epos, is related also in the
2 The following formula may serve as an example of the Surya method: "Multiply the earth's
circumference by the sun's declination in degrees, and divide by the number of degrees in a
circle; the result, in yojanas, is the distance from the place of no latitude where the sun is passing
overhead." (Chap. xii.)
3 Tycho Brahe, in post-Copernican times, still adhered to this view. * Surya-Siddhanta, note to
p. 13.

5 Ibid., p. 248.
6 Bentley, A Historical View of the Hindu Astronomy (1825), p. 75: "The periods themselves
were named Yugas, or conjunctions."

Indo-Iranian text of the Bundahis.1 "The planets ran against the sky
and created confusion" in the entire cosmos.2
In the long battle of the celestial bodies, one of them made the world entirely dark, disfigured
creation, and filled it with vermin. This act of the cosmic drama was recognized by us as the first
contact of the earth with the comet Typhon, the same as Pallas Athene. Other acts of the drama
followed. The planetary disturbances lasted for a long time. "The celestial sphere was in
revolution.... The planets, with many demons, dashed against the celestial sphere, and mixed
the constellations; and the whole creation was as disfigured as though fire disfigured every place
and smoke arose over it." 3
The planet named Gokihar or "Wolf-progeny" and "special disturber of the moon,"4 and a
celestial body called Mievish-Muspar, "provided with tails," or a comet,5 brought confusion to
the sun, moon, and stars. But in the end "the sun has attached Muspar to its own radiance by
mutual agreement, so that he may be less able to do harm." 6
In this description of "the battle of the planets," we recognize the wolf-progeny and disturber of
the moon, the planet Gokihar, as Mars; Muspar with tails apparently is Venus, called also
Tistrya, or "the leader of the stars against the planets." As the final result of these battles, the sun
made Venus into an evening-morning star or put Lucifer lower down so that it could do no harm.
In the Bundahis the conflicting forces are called, not "gods," but merely "planets."
Lucifer Cut Down

robin-bobin It can be said that the planet Mars saved the terrestrial globe from a major catastrophe by
colliding with Venus. Since the days of Exodus and Joshua, Venus was dreaded by the peoples
of the earth.
1 The Bundahis, Pahlavi Texts (transl. West).
2 "Die Planeten rarmten, Vervvirrung stiftend, gegen den Himmel an." J. Hertel, "Der Planet
Venus in Avesta," Berichte der Sachsischen Akademie det Wissenschaften, Phil. hist. Klasse,
LXXXVII (1935).
3 Bundahis, Chap. 3, Sees. 19-25. 4 See infra the Section "Fenris-Wolf," note 5. 5 Olrik,
Ragnarok, p. 339.
« Bundahis, Chap. V, Sec. 1.
For about seven hundred years this terror hung over mankind like the sword of Damocles.
Human sacrifices were made to Venus in both hemispheres in order to propitiate her.
After centuries of terror, one sword of Damocles was removed from above the heads of mankind,
only to be replaced by another. Mars became the dread of the peoples, and its return was feared
every fifteen years. Before this, Mars had absorbed the blow, even the repeated blows of Venus,
and had saved the earth.
Venus, which collided with the earth in the fifteenth century before the present era, collided with
Mars in the eighth century. At that time Venus was moving at a lower elliptical velocity than
when it first encountered the earth; but Mars, being only about one-eighth the mass of Venus,
was no match for her. It was therefore a notable achievement that Mars, though thrown out of the
ring, nevertheless was instrumental in bringing Venus from an elliptical to a nearly circular 1
orbit. Looked at from the earth, Venus was removed from a path that ran high to the zenith and
over the zenith to its present path 2 in which it never retreats from the sun more than 48 degrees,
thus becoming a morning or an evening star that precedes the rising sun or follows the setting
sun. The awe of the world for many centuries, Venus became a tame planet.
Isaiah, referring figuratively to the king of Babylon who destroyed cities and made the land into
a wilderness, uttered his remarkable words about Lucifer that fell from heaven and was cut down
to the ground. The commentators recognized that behind these words applied to the king of
Babylon must have been some legend about the Morning Star. The metaphor regarding the king
of Babylon implied that his fate and the fate of the Morning Star were not dissimilar; both of
them fell from on high. But what could it mean that the Morning Star fell from the heights?
asked the commentators.
Significant are the words of Isaiah about the Morning Star, that it "weakened the nations" before
it was cut down to the ground. It weakened the nations in two collisions with the earth, and it
1 Eccentricity of Venus' orbit is .007.
2 Inclined 3° 4' to the plane of the ecliptic (Duncan, 1945).

ened the nations by keeping them in constant fear for centuries. The Book of Isaiah, in every
chapter, provides abundant evidence that with the removal of Venus, so that it no longer crossed
the orbit of the earth, danger was not eliminated, but became even more threatening.

IN BABYLON of the eighth century the planet Mars became a great and feared god, to whom
many prayers were composed and hymns and invocations were sung and magic formulas were
whispered. Such formulas are referred to as "magic words with raising the hand to the planet
Nergal [Mars]." These prayers were addressed directly to the planet Mars.1 Like the Greek Ares,
Nergal is called "king of battle, who brings the defeat, who brings the victory." Nergal could not
be regarded as favoring the people of the Double Streams; on a most fateful night he inflicted a
defeat on Sennacherib.
Shine of horror, god Nergal, prince of battle, Thy face is glare, thy mouth is fire, Raging Flame-
god, god Nergal.

Thou art Anguish and Terror, Great Sword-god, Lord who wanderest in the night, Horrible,
raging Flame-god . . . Whose storming is a storm flood.
In one of its great conjunctions, Mars' atmosphere was stretched so that it appeared like a sword.
Often before and later, too, celestial prodigies assumed the shape of swords. Thus, in the days of
David a
1 Bollenrticher, Gebete und Hymnen an Nergal, p. 19. Bezold in Boll, Sternglaube und
Sterndeutung, p. 13: "Gebete der Handerhebung: von denen eine Anzahl an Planetengotter
andere dagegen ausdrucklich an die Gestirne selbst (Mars) gerichtet sind" (prayers with the
lifting of the hand: some of them are directed to the planetary gods and others expressly to the
planets themselves).

comet appeared in the form of a human being "between the earth and the heaven, having a drawn
sword in his hand stretched out over Jerusalem." 2
The Roman god Mars was pictured with a sword; he became the god of war. The Chaldean
Nergal is called "Sword-god." Of this sword Isaiah spoke when he predicted the repetition of the
catastrophe, a stream of brimstone, flame, storm, and reeling of the sky. "Then shall the Assyrian
fall with the sword, not of a mighty man; and the sword, not of a mean man, shall devour him . . .
and his princes shall be afraid of the ensign." 3 "And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved . . .
for my sword shall be bathed in heaven." *
The ancients classified the comets according to their appearance. In old astrological texts, as in
the book of Prophecies of Daniel, comets that took the form of a sword were originally related to
the planet Mars.5
Besides the swordlike appearance of the atmosphere of Mars, elongated on its approach to the
earth, there was also another reason to make of the planet Mars the god of war. A bellicose or
martial character was ascribed to the planet because of the great excitement it caused, excitement
that brought anxiety to peoples, that led to migrations and to wars. Since early times celestial
prodigies have been regarded as portents that forecast great commotions and great wars.
A planet that collided with other planets in the sky and rushed against the earth as if with a fire-
sword became the god of battle, wresting this title from the hands of Athene-Ishtar.
"The gods of heaven put themselves in war against thee," the hymns to the planet Nergal say,
and this is the war that was recounted in the Iliad.
Nergal was named quarradu rabu, "the great warrior"; he waged war against gods and the earth.
The most frequent ideogram for Nergal in Semitic cuneiform is read namsaru, which means
"sword"; 6
2 I Chronicles 21 : 16.

3 Isaiah 31 : 8-9. * Isaiah 34 : 4-5.
s Gundel, "Kometen," in Pauly-Wissowa, Real-Encyclopadie, XI, Col. 1177,
with reference to Cat. cod. astr., VIII, 3, p. 175.
6 Bollenriicher, Gebete und Hymnen an Nergal, p. 8.

the planet Mars, in the Babylonian inscriptions of the seventh century, was called "the most
violent among the gods."
Herodotus said that the Scythians worshiped Ares (Mars), and that a scimitar of iron was their
image of him; to him they made human sacrifices and poured the blood on the scimitar.7 Solinus
wrote of the people of Scythia: "The god of this people is Mars; instead of images they worship
swords." 8
War in heaven among the colliding planets, war on earth among the nations wandering in unrest,
a planet running toward the earth with an outstretched flaming sword, attacking land and sea,
participating in the wars among the nations—all these made Mars the god of war.
The sword of the god of battle was not like the sword "of a mighty man"; it was not thrust into
the belly, and yet it caused sickness and death. The god of war scattered pestilence. In a prayer to
the planet Mars (Nergal) it is said: 9

Radiant abode, that beams over the land . . .
Who is thy equal?
When thou ridest in the battle,
When thou throwest down,
Who can escape thy look?
Who can run away from thy storming?
Thy word is a mighty catch net,
Stretched over Sky and Earth....
His word makes human beings sick, It enfeebles them.
His word—when he makes his way above-Makes the country sick.
The outbreak of pestilence that appears to have accompanied the first contact with the planet
Mars was repeated on each subsequent contact. Amos uttered these words: "I have smitten you
with blasting and mildew. ... I have sent among you the pestilence after the manner of Egypt."
7 Herodotus iv. 62.
8 Solinus Polyhistor (transl. A. Golding, 1587), Chap, xxiii.
9 Bollenriicher, Gebete und Hymnen an Nergal, p. 36.
The planet Nergal was regarded by the Babylonians as the god of war and pestilence; thus, too,
did the Greeks regard the planet Ares and the Romans the planet Mars.

In the Babylonian astrological texts it is said that "a star takes the shape of divers animals: lion,
jackal, dog, pig, fish."1 This, in our opinion, explains the worship of animals by ancient peoples,
notably by the Egyptians.
The planet Mars, its atmosphere distorted by its approaches to other celestial bodies—Venus,
earth, moon—took on different shapes. The Mexicans narrated that Huitzilopochtli, the bellicose
destroyer of cities, took the form of various birds and beasts.2 On one occasion Mars very
characteristically resembled a wolf or a jackal. In Babylonia Mars had seven names—Jackal was
one of them.3 Also, the god with the head of a jackal or wolf in the Egyptian pantheon was
apparently Mars. Of him it is said that he is a "prowling wolf circling this land." *
In the Chinese Chart of Soochow, in which it is related on the authority of more ancient sources
that "Once Venus suddenly ran into the Wolf-Star," Wolf-Star apparently means Mars.5
Wolf or Lupus Martius was the animal symbol for Mars of the Roman religion.6 It gave rise to
the legend about Romulus, son of Mars, who was fed by a she-wolf. According to the tradition,
the conception of Romulus took place during a prolonged eclipse.
1 Kugler, Babylonische Zeitordnung, Vol. II of Sternkunde und Sterndienst in Babel, 91.
2 Sahagun, Historia general de las cosas de Nueva Espana, Vol. I. s Bezold, in Boll's Sternglaube
und Sterndeutung, p. 9.
4 Breasted, Records of Egypt, III, Sec. 144.
' The translators of the chart surmised that by Wolf-Star Sirius is meant. 6 Cf. Virgil Aeneid iv.
566; Livy, History of Rome, Bk. XXII. i. 12. A statue of Mars on the Appian Way stood between
figures of wolves. "Among the animal symbols of Mars, the wolf holds first place. . . . The wolf
belonged so definitely to Mars that Lupus Martius or Martialis became its usual name. As to the
meaning of this symbol, it is difficult to understand it." Roscher in Roscher's Lexikon d.
griech.und rom. Myth., s. v. "Mars," Col. 2430.

The Slavic Vukadlak, who followed the clouds and devoured the sun or the moon, had the shape
of a wolf.7 The North-Germanic tribes, too, spoke of the wolf Skoll that pursued the sun.8 In the
Edda, the planetary god that darkened the sun is called Fenris-Wolf. "Whence comes the sun to
the smooth sky back, when Fenris has swallowed it forth?" The battle of Mars and Venus is
presented, in the Icelandic epos, as a fight between the wolf Fenris and the serpent Midgard.

"The bright snake gaping in the heaven above" and "the foaming wolf" battle in the sky. Storms
come in summer. Then comes the day, and "dark grows the sun"; in a great upheaval "the heaven
is cloven." "In anger smites the warden of earth, forth from their homes must all men flee. . . .
The sun turns black, earth sinks in the sea, the hot stars down from the heaven are whirled, fierce
grows the stream ... till fire leaps high above heaven itself."9
Sword-Time, Wolf-Time
Quaking of places, tumult of peoples, scheming of nations, confusion of leaders. -IV Ezra 9
The fear of the Judgment Day not only did not pacify the nations, but on the contrary, uprooted
them, impelling them to migration and war.
The Scythians came down from the plains of the Dnieper and Volga and moved southward. The
Greeks left their home in Mycenae and on the islands of the Aegean and carried on the siege of
Troy through years of cosmic disturbances. Assyrian kings waged war in Elam, Palestine, Egypt,
and beyond the Caucasus.
Civil war in the nations, tribal strife, and strife between members of households became so
widespread that the same complaint was
1 J. Machal, Slavic Mythology (1918), p. 229.
8L. Frobenius, Das Zeitalter des Sonnengottes (1904), I, 198.
9 The Poetic Edda: Vbluspa (transl. Bellows, 1923).

heard in many parts of the world. As I have already said, Mars was named the war god not only
because of his swordlike appearance, but also because of these conflicts.
". . . The land [is] darkened, and the people shall be as the fuel of the fire: no man shall spare his
brother," said Isaiah (9 : 19). In Egypt an inscription of the eighth century that refers to the moon
disturbed in its movement, mentions incessant fighting in the land: "While years passed in
hostility, each one seizing upon his neighbor, not remembering his son to protect."1 Isaiah,
speaking of the Day of Wrath, says: "And I will set the Egyptians against the Egyptians: and they
shall fight every one against his brother, and every one against his neighbor; city against city,
and kingdom against kingdom." 2 It was no different seven hundred years earlier, in the days of
the catastrophes caused by Venus. At that time an Egyptian sage complained: "I show thee the
land upside down; the sun is veiled and shines not in the sight of men. I show thee the son as
enemy, the brother as foe, a man slaying his father." 3
The Icelandic Voluspa says: "Dark grows the sun... . Brothers shall fight and fell each other. . . .
Axe-time, sword-time, shields are sundered, wind-time, wolf-time, ere the world falls; nor ever
shall men each other spare." *
The wars of Shalmaneser IV, Sargon II, and Sennacherib were carried on in the intervals
between the catastrophes and at the very time of their occurrence. The campaigns were
repeatedly interrupted by the forces of nature. Of his second campaign Sennacherib wrote: "The
month of rain set in with extreme cold and the heavy storms sent down rain upon rain and snow.
I was afraid of the swollen mountain streams; the front of my yoke I turned and took the road to
Nineveh."5 Before Sennacherib set out on his last campaign to Palestine, his astrologers told him
that he had to hurry if he would
1 Breasted, Records of Egypt, IV, Sec. 764.
2 Isaiah 19 : 2.
3 Gardiner, "New Literary Works from Ancient Egypt," Journal of Egyptian Archaeology, I
4 The Poetic Edda: Voluspa (transl. Bellows). 6 Luckenbill, Records of Assyria, II, Sec. 250.
escape calamity; 6 as we know, he did not escape it. At the same time Isaiah, who encouraged
Hezekiah to resist Sennacherib, reckoned with the possibility of a disaster in the year of the
opposition of Mars, and thus built his hope on the intervention of the forces of nature.
The Babylonians called the year of the close opposition of Mars "the year of the fire-god," and
the month "the month of descent of the fire-god," as, for instance, in an inscription of Sargon.7

 In The Birth of the War-God, the Hindu poet Kalidasa gives a vivid picture of the wars above
and on the earth, weaving them into one great battle.
"Foul birds came, a horrid flock to see . . . and dimmed the sun. . . . And monstrous snakes, as
black as powdered soot, spitting hot poison high into the air, brought terror to the army
underfoot.... The sun a sickly halo round him had; coiling within it frightened eyes could see
great, writhing serpents . . . and in the very circle of the sun were phantom jackals."
There fell, with darting flame and blinding flash Lighting the farthest heavens, from on high A
thunderbolt whose agonising crash Brought fear and shuddering from a cloudless sky.
There came a pelting rain of blazing coals With blood and bones of dead men mingled in; Smoke
and weird flashes horrified their souls; The sky was dusty grey like asses' skin.
The elephants stumbled and the horses fell, The footmen jostled, leaving each his post, The
ground beneath them trembled at the swell Of ocean, when an earthquake shook the host.8
Lightning is usually discharged between two clouds or a cloud and the ground. But if for some
reason the charge of the ionosphere, the electrified layer of the upper atmosphere, should be
sufficiently increased, a discharge would occur between the upper atmosphere
6 Ginzberg, Legends, IV, 267, n. 53.
7 LuckenbilL Records of Assyria, II, Sec. 121.
8 Translated by A. W. Ryder (1912).

and the ground, and a thunderbolt would crash from a cloudless sky.
The planet-god Shiva, Kalidasa says, "deposited his seed in fire" and gave birth to Kumara who
battled the great demon named Taraka that "troubled the world."
The Babylonian astrologers ascribed to their planet-gods the ability to emit the sounds of
different animals—lion, pig, jackal, horse, ass—and of two species of birds.9 The ancient
Chinese likewise asserted that planets emit animal sounds when they approach the earth with a
rain of stones.10 It is fairly probable that on some occasion the crash of the discharge "from the
cloudless sky" sounded like Ta-ra-ka, the name of the demon who battled the planets.
The Ethiopian king who went up against Sennacherib called himself Taharka or Tirhakah.11 In
many places in the Near and Middle East this or similar names suddenly became very popular at
the close of the eighth century before the present era; before that time it was unknown.
Taraka troubled the world so that
The seasons have forgotten how to follow one another now; they simultaneously bring flowers of
autumn, summer, spring.
The night when Sennacherib's army was destroyed, he survived, but according to rabbinical
sources, was badly burned. Some time after his inglorious return from Palestine without his
army, he was killed by two of his sons as he knelt in a temple; Esarhaddon pursued his brother-
patricides, killed them, and became king. On one of his campaigns against Egypt, his armies
became so panicky at some natural phenomenon that they scattered and fled from Palestine
where Sennacherib had lost his army to the storm-god Nergal. The laconic cuneiform chronicles,
composed in the days of Nabonidus, the last Babylonian king, who lived in the sixth century,
record the main events of Esarhaddon's war: "In the sixth year the troops of
9 Kugler, Babylonische Zeitordnung, p. 91.
10 F. Arago, Astronomie populaire, IV, 204.
ll Isaiah 37 : 9.

Assyria went to Egypt. They fled before a great storm." 1S An army as disciplined as the
Assyrian army under one of its famous kings would not have run away from a cloudburst. The
event mentioned in this inscription suggested to its modern publisher that the scriptural story of a
blast that destroyed the Assyrian host refers, not to Sennacherib's army, but to that of his
successor-son; otherwise one must think that on two similar occasions a natural cause subdued
the Assyrian army. However, it is probable that after the army of Sennacherib was annihilated,
violent atmospheric discharges and some portents in the sky, so numerous in those years, threw
the Assyrian troops into a panic so that they fled.

The trembling earth, the displacement of the poles, the change in the climate, the frightening
prodigies in the sky, caused great movements of peoples. The Aztecs changed their homeland.
"These Mexicans carried with them an idol which they called Huitzilo-pochtli. . . . They asserted
that this idol commanded them to leave their country, promising to make them lords and masters
of all the lands . . . which abounded with gold, silver, feathers . . . and all the things necessary for
life. The Mexicans departed like the children of Israel in their search of a promised land." 13 In
India the patron of the invading Aryan race was Indra, the god of war, the Hindu Mars.
The Ionians and Dorians spread to the islands, the Latins were pressed by newcomers to the
Apennine Peninsula, the Cimmerians wandered from Europe across the Bosporus into Asia
Minor, the Scythians crossed the Caucasus into Asia.
We remember that Josephus Flavius, after giving Herodotus' account of the destruction of
Sennacherib's army, intended to quote a divergent account of Berosus, and introduced it with the
words, "Here is what wrote Berosus," but the account is not preserved.
12 Sidney Smith, Babylonian Historical Texts (1924), p. 5.
13 Manuscrit Ramirez (of the 16th century) translated by D. Charnay, Histoire de Vorigine des
Indiens qui habitent la Nouvelle Espagne selon leurs traditions (1903), p. 9.

Now, if we know what happened on the night of March 23, —687, are we not able to find out
what the missing account of Berosus was?
We can assume that Berosus knew that the catastrophe was caused by a planet in contact with the
earth. Seneca, in his work, Naturales quaestiones, described the cataclysms of water and fire that
visited this world and brought it to the brink of destruction. He also presented the opinion of
Berosus, which is remarkable in that it reflects ancient knowledge similar to that at which we
arrived after a long series of deductions and conclusions. Seneca wrote: "Berosus, the translator
of Bel, attributed to the planets the cause of these perturbations." And he added: "His certainty in
this matter was so great as to fix the dates of the universal conflagration and deluge. Everything
terrestrial, he says, will be burned, when the stars which now follow different orbits will reunite
in the sign of Cancer, and will place themselves in one line, so that a straight line would pass
through the centers of all these globes. The deluge will come when the same planets will have
conjunction in Capricorn." 1
Disregarding the specific details of this assumption, there still remains a kernel of truth. The
catastrophes of flood and of conflagration were ascribed to the influence of planets, and the
conjunction was called the fatal moment. Such being the opinion of Berosus on the cause of the
world catastrophes, the catastrophe that befell Sennacherib was probably explained by him in the
same way. We are thus able to reconstruct Berosus' record which was omitted in Josephus.
Chaldean scholars were aware that the planetary system is not rigid and that the planets undergo
changes. We find in Diodorus of Sicily: "Each of the planets, according to them [the Chaldeans]
has its own particular course, and its velocities and periods of time are subject to change and
variation." 2 They counted the earth among the planets, for Diodorus wrote that the Chaldeans
stated "that the
1 The same idea, but with varying positions of the stars as the cause of the catastrophes, is found
in Nigidius, quoted by Lucan, and in Olvmpiodor, Commentary to Aristotle. See Boll,
Sternglaube, p. 201, and idem, Sphaera, p. 362; Gennadius (George Scholarius, patriarch at
Constantinople), Dialogus Christiani cum Judaeo (1464). A French edition of the works of
Gennadius was printed in 1930.
2 Diodorus of Sicily, The Library of History ii. 31 (transl. Oldfather).

moon's light is reflected and her eclipses are due to the shadow of the earth." 3 This implies that
they knew the earth is a sphere in space, a fact known also to a number of Greek philosophers.4
observation could be basically correct: "When the earth quakes through the whole day, there will be a destruction of the land. When it quakes continually, there will be an invasion of the enemy." 2Reports concerning earthquakes in Mesopotamia in the eighth and
1 Hesiod, Theogony, 11. 935 S. Purandara or "town destroying" is the usual appellative of Indra.
2 R. C. Thompson (ed.), The Reports of the Magicians and Astrologers of Nineveh and Babylon
in the British Museum (1900), Vol. II, Nos. 263, 265.

seventh centuries are very numerous, and they are dated.3 Nothing comparable is known in
modern times. In some of these reports, Nergal (Mars) is mentioned as the cause of the calamity.
"The earth shook; a collapsing catastrophe was all over the country; Nergal strangles the
country."4 Temples constructed with great care, so that the foundations might absorb shocks and
resist them, were often destroyed by the catastrophes, and the cause was again the planet Nergal.
Thus Nergal is referred to in connection with the collapse of the temple in Nippur that was
destroyed in an earthquake.5
The kings of Babylon, the successors to Sennacherib, record im many inscriptions the repairing
of breaches in the palaces and temples of the land. Sometimes the same temples or palaces were
repaired by two kings in close succession, as in the case of Nergilissar (Neriglissar) and
Nebuchadnezzar.8 In the great catastrophes of the eighth to the seventh centuries, practically no
structure escaped damage, and new buildings were erected so as to absorb frequent shocks. At
the close of the seventh century, Nebuchadnezzar described the precautions taken in placing the
foundations of the palaces "on the breast of the netherworld"; these foundations of large stones
with joints fitting one into the other have been unearthed in excavations.7 The Babylonians also
found that walls of burnt bricks were of greater elasticity than walls of stones; they were built on
foundations of great blocks of stone.8
These ever recurrent earthshocks in a country as rich in oil as Mesopotamia also caused
eruptions of earth deposits: "The earth threw oil and asphalt," observed the official astrologers,
as the effect of an earthquake.9
3 See Kugler, Babylonische Zeitordnung, p. 116.

4 Ibid.
5 Langdon, Sumerian and Babylonian Psalms, p. 99.
• See the Section "Mars Moves the Earth from Its Pivot," note 6.
7 R. Koldeway, The Excavations at Babylon (1914); idem, Das wieder entstan-dene Babylon
(4th ed., 1925).
8 Koldeway, Die Konigsburgen von Babylon (1931-1939), Vols. I and II. Cf. Pliny, ii. 84: "The
solidly built portion of the city being specially liable to collapses of this nature . . . walls built of
clay bricks suffer less damage front being shaken."
9 Kugler, Babylonische Zeitordnung, p. 117.

The Scriptures and the rabbinical sources record repeatedly the repairing of breaches in the
House of the Lord. On the day of the "commotion" of Uzziah the temple suffered a great
breach.10 References to breaches in houses, large palaces, and small dwellings are very
numerous in the prophets of the eighth century. Isaiah speaks of "breaches of the city of David
that they are many." u Repair of breaches in the Temple was the permanent concern of the kings
of Jerusalem, also "the wall that was broken" of the city's outer bulwark.12
Since in modern times earthquakes occur only very seldom in Palestine, the frequent reference of
the prophets and psalmists to them caused perplexity: "The earthquake held a place in the
religious conceptions of the Israelites quite out of proportion to its slight and relatively rare
occurrence in Palestine." 13
Troy, the scene of the Homeric epos, was destroyed by an earthquake. The famous "sixth city" at
Hissarlik, recognized as the fortress of Priam, king of the Trojans, fell because of earthshocks, a

robin-bobin fact established in the excavation by the archaeological expedition of the University of
There are a number of theories concerning the cause of the earthquakes, but none of them is
generally accepted. One connects the cause of earthquakes with the process of mountain
building. Mountains are supposed to have their origin in the cooling of the earth and contraction
of its crust.15 This theory is based on the assumption that originally the earth was liquid. The
folding of the crust creates mountains and causes earthquakes.
Another theory sees the cause of earthquakes in the migration of
10 Josephus, Antiquities, IX. x. 4. See Ginzberg, Legends, VI, 358.
« Isaiah 22 : 9.
12 II Kings 12 : 5; 22 : 5; II Chronicles 32 : 5; Amos 6 : 11; 9 : 11.
x3 A. Lods, Israel: From Its Beginnings to the Middle of the Eighth Century
(transl. S. H. Hooke, 1932), p. 31.
14 C. W. Blegen, "Excavation at Troy," American loumal of Archaeology, XXXIX (1935),
15 See the discussion of the problem of mountain building in the Section "The Planet Earth."
land masses, even of entire continents. This theory, too, is based on the concept of a thin crust
resting on a viscous substratum. Geological and faunal similarities of South America and West
Africa suggested their separation in recent geological times, and their migration in opposite
directions. According to this theory, thermal convection is the mechanical cause of this
migration, with magma supplying the heat.
Still another theory supposes that there are great mountains and deep valleys on the inner surface
of the crust, facing the magma. The sliding of huge rocks along these mountainous slopes under
the pull of gravity is presumed to be the cause of earthquakes.
The mountainous western coast of North and South America, or the shore of the Cordilleras, and
the eastern coast of Asia stretching into the East Indies form the area of greatest earthquake
activity, with 80 per cent of the entire mechanical force released in earthquakes concentrated
there. Another area stretches from the Mediterranean toward the highland of Asia.
In an attempt to find the relation of earthquakes to other natural phenomena, a statistical
investigation of the earthquakes of the middle of the nineteenth century was conducted, and the
results suggested that earthquakes are more numerous when the moon is new and again when it
is full, or when the pull of the moon acts in the same direction as the pull of the sun or when it
acts in the opposite direction. The time when the moon is in perigee, or closest to the earth, was
also found to be favorable for earthquakes.16 These observations were challenged as to their
general validity.
However, mountain building is a process the causes of which have not been established; the
migration of continents is but a hypothesis; and the crumbling of the earth's crust must have
some additional cause besides the force of gravity, because this force was active when the crust
was built and made possible the formation of the crust in its present shape. Hence, all these
theories are only hypotheses about unknown causes of known phenomena.
On the basis of the material offered in the foregoing pages, the assumption is made here that
earthquakes result from torsion of the 16 Cf. the scientific publications of A. Perrey.

crust following a change in the position of the equator and the displacement of matter inside the
globe caused by the direct attraction of a cosmic body when in a close contact. Pull, torsion, and
displacement were responsible for mountain building, too.
If this conception of the causes of earthquakes is correct, then there must have been fewer and
fewer earthquakes during the course of time since the last cosmic catastrophe. The regions of the
Apennine Peninsula, the eastern Mediterranean, and Mesopotamia, for which we have reliable
records, can be compared in this respect with the same regions of today.

Earthquakes in Asia Minor, Greece, and Rome are described or mentioned by many classic
authors. For the purpose of comparison with the earth-tremor activity of the present day, it is
enough to point to fifty-seven earthquakes reported in Rome in a single year17 during the Punic
wars (—217).
If our interpretation of the cause of earthquakes is correct, then not only must more tremors and
stronger shocks have been experienced in olden times, but also their cause must have been
known to the ancients.
Pliny wrote: 'The theory of the Babylonians deems that even earthquakes and fissures in the
ground are caused by the force of the stars that is the cause of all other phenomena, but only by
that of those three stars (planets) to which they assign thunderbolts."18
" Pliny ii. 86.
i» Pliny u. 81.

The Steeds of Mars
' I 'HE CASE of Abraham Rockenbach and David Herlicius, who * wrote about the year 1600,
and who were informed on the matter of the comets of antiquity,1 shows that the contents of
some old manuscripts were known to the scholarly world then, though not to modent scholars.
A scholar and pamphleteer, Jonathan Swift, in his Gulliver's Travels (1726), wrote that the planet
Mars had two satellites, very small ones. "Certain astrologers . . . have likewise discovered two
lesser stars, or satellites, which revolve about Mars, whereof the innermost is distant from the
center of the primary planet exactly three of its diameters, and the outermost five; the former
revolves in the space of ten hours, and the latter in twenty-one and a half . . . which evidently
shews them to be governed by the same law of gravitation, that influences the other heavenly
Actually Mars has two satellites, mere rocks, one being as small as about ten (?) miles in
diameter, the other only five (?) miles.8 One travels around Mars in 7 hours 39 minutes, the
other in 30 hours 18 minutes. Their distance from the center of Mars is even less than Swift said
it was.4 They were discovered by Asaph Hall in 1877. With
1 See the Section, "The Comet of Typhon."
2 Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World, by Lemuel Gulliver (London, 1726), 11,43.
3 The diameters of these satellites are not exactly known (Russell, Dugan and Stewart, 1945).
4 Phobos is distant from the planet's surface less than one diameter of the planet (from the
planet's center less than one and a half diameters of the planet).

the optical instruments of the days of Swift, they could not have been seen, and neither Newton
nor Halley, the contemporaries of Swift, nor William Herschel in the eighteenth or Leverrier in
the nineteenth century suspected their existence.5 It was bold of Swift to assume their very short
periods of revolution (months), measured only in hours; it was a very rare coincidence, indeed, if
Swift invented these satellites, guessing correctly not only their existence, but also their number
(two), and especially their very short revolutions. This passage of Swift aroused the literary
critics' wonder.
It is an even chance that Swift invented the two satellites of Mars and thus by a rare accident
came close to the truth. But it may also have been that Swift had read about the trabants in some
text not known to us or to his contemporaries. The fact is that Homer knew about the "two steeds
of Mars" that drew his chariot; Virgil also wrote about them.6
When Mars was very close to the earth, its two trabants were visible. They rushed in front of and
around Mars; in the disturbances that took place, they probably snatched some of Mars'
atmosphere, dispersed as it was, and appeared with gleaming manes.7 The steeds were yoked
when Mars (Ares) prepared to descend to the earth on a punitive expedition.

When Asaph Hall discovered the satellites, he gave them the names of Phobos (Terror) and
Deimos (Rout), the two steeds of Mars; 8 without fully realizing what he did, he gave the
satellites the same names by which they were known to the ancients.
Whether or not Swift borrowed his knowledge of the existence of two trabants of Mars from
some ancient astrological work, the ancient poets knew of the existence of the satellites of Mars.
6 Leverrier died one month after Asaph Hall made his discovery.
• Iliad xv. 119; Georgics iii. 91. Horses were sacrificed to Mars (Plutarch, Roman Questions,
xcvii) either because they are animals employed in war, or because af the trabants of Mars which
looked like horses drawing a chariot.
7 G. A. Atwater suggests that these might have been electrical effects.
8 Asaph Hall, The Satellites of Mars (1878): "Of the various names that have bemi proposed for
these satellites, I have chosen those suggested by Mr. Madan of Eton, England," Deimos and Phobos.

The Terrible Ones
Venus had a tail, considerably shortened since the time it was a comet, but still long enough to
give the impression of a hanging flame, or smoke, or attached hair. When Mars clashed with
Venus, asteroids,1 meteorites, and gases were torn from this trailing part, and began a semi-
independent existence, some following the orbit of Mars, some other paths.
These swarms of meteorites with their gaseous appendages were newborn comets; flying in
bands and taking various shapes, they made an uncanny impression. Those which followed Mars
closely looked like a troop following their leader. They also ran along different orbits, grew
quickly from small to giant size, and terrorized the peoples of the earth. And when, soon after the
impact of Venus and Mars, Mars began to threaten the earth, the new comets, running very close
to the earth, added to the terror, continually recalling the hour of peril.
Ares of Homer, going into battle, is accompanied by never resting horrible creatures, Terror,
Rout, and Discord. Terror and Rout yoke the gleaming horses of Ares, themselves dreadful
beasts, also known by these names; Discord, "sister and comrade of man-slaying Ares, rageth
incessantly; she at the first rears her crest but little, yet thereafter planteth her head in heaven,
while her feet tread on earth."
Similarly, the Babylonians saw the planet Mars-Nergal in the company of demons, and wrote in
their hymns to Nergal: 2 "Great giants, raging demons, with awesome members, run at his right
and at his left." These "raging demons" are pictured also in the Nergal-Eriskigal poem; 3 they
bring pestilence and cause earthquakes.
It appears that the mythological figures of the Furies of the Latins or the Erinyes of the Greeks,
with serpents winding about their heads
1 Between Mars and Jupiter are over a thousand asteroids that have been thought to have once
been a planet. G. A. Atwater queries whether they could have resulted from the encounter
between Mars and Venus.
2 Bollenrucher, Gebete und Hymnen an Nergal, p. 29.
3 Fragments of this poem were found presumably at el-Amarna. It is very likely that the
Ethiopians, who subdued Egypt in the eighth century, occupied Akhet-Aten (Tell-el-Amarna),
and that some parts of the archives may have been deposited by them.
and arms, flashing flame with their eyes, swinging torches around like wheels, grew out of the
same prodigies which moved rapidly, changed their forms hourly, and acted violently. The
Erinyes traveled in a group, like huntresses or like a "pack of savage hounds," 4 but sometimes
they appeared to be split into two groups.5

robin-bobin To these comets, traveling in bands with Mars or Indra, are dedicated many Vedic hymns, indeed
a great part of them. They are called Maruts "shining like snakes," "blazing in their strength,"
"brilliant like fires." •
O Indra, O strong hero, grant thou glory to us with the Maruts, terrible with the terrible ones,
strong and giver of victory.7
And it is said that their "strength is like the vigor of their father."
Your march, O Maruts, appears brilliant. . . .
We invoke you, the great Maruts,
the constant wanderers....
Like the dawn, they uncover the dark nights
with red rays, the strong ones,
with their brilliant light,
as with a sea of milk. . . .
Streaming down with rushing splendor,
they have assumed their bright and brilliant color.8
Stones were hurled by these comets.
You the powerful, who shine with your spears, shaking even what is unshakable by strength . . .
Hurling the stone in the flight! . . . All beings are afraid of the Maruts.9
May your march be brilliant, O Maruts . . .
Shining like snakes.
May that straightforward shaft of yours, O Maruts,
bounteous givers, be far from us,
and far the stone which you hurl! 10
* J. Geffcken, "Eumenides, Erinyes" in Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics, ed. J. Hastings,
Vol. V.
* Euripides, Iphigenia in Tauris, 1. 968; Aeschylus, Eumenides.
* Vedic Hymns (transl. F. Max Miiller, 1891). 7 Ibid., Mandala I, Hymn 171.
* Ibid., Hymn 172.

• Ibid., Hymn 85. 10 Ibid., Hymn 172.
Meteorites, when entering the earth's atmosphere, make a frightful din. So did the Maruts:
Even by day the Maruts create darkness.... Then from the shouting of the Maruts over the
whole space of the Earth, men reeled forward.11
This darkness and this din were narrated in scriptural and rabbinical sources, in Roman
traditions, and in hymns to Nergal. As the similarity of the description of the "terrible ones" in
the Vedic hymns and in Joel is striking, but has not been noticed, a few more quotations should
follow here.
The comets, just beginning to whirl, looked like revolving torches or writhing snakes; they
assumed the form of spinning wheels, and the celestial phantasmagoria appeared like swift
chariots; changing their forms, the Maruts looked like horses racing along the sky, and then
again like a host of warriors, leaping, climbing, irresistible.
The verses of the second chapter of Joel (2 : 2-11) are given in their order, interspersed with
verses taken from a number of Vedic hymns dedicated to the Maruts.
Joel 2:2

A day of darkness and of gloominess,
a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains: a great people
and a strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the
years of many generations.
Vedic Hymns Even by day the Maruts create darkness.12 The terrible Marut-host of ever-
youthful heroes.13 All beings are afraid of the Maruts: they are men terrible to behold, like
Joel 2:3

A fire devoureth before them;
and behind them a flame burneth.. . . Nothing shall escape them.
" Ibid., Hymn 48.

12 Ibid., Hymn 38. «Ibid., Mandala V, Hymn 53, robin-bobin i« Ibid., Mandala I, Hymn 85.
Vedic Hymns Like a blast of fire....
Blazing in their strength, brilliant like fires, and impetuous.15
Joel 2 : 4

The appearance of them
is as the appearance of horses: and as horsemen, so shall they run.
Vedic Hymns At their racings, the earth shakes, as if broken,
when on the heavenly path they harness for victory.
They wash their horses like racers in the courses, they hasten with the points of the reed on their
quick steeds.16
Joel 2 : 5

Like the noise of chariots on the tops of mountains
shall they leap, like the noise of a flame of fire that devoureth the stubble, as a strong people set
in battle array.
Vedic Hymns They are like headlong charioteers on their ways.
They who are brilliant, of terrible design, powerful, and devourers of foes.
On your chariots charged with lightning . . .
Host of your chariots, terrible Marut host.17
Joel 2 : 6

Before their face the people shall be much pained:
all faces shall gather blackness.
Vedic Hymns At your approach the son of man holds himself down. . . . You have caused men
to tremble, you have caused mountains to tremble.18
Joel 2 : 7

They shall run like mighty men;
they shall climb the wall like men of war; and they shall march every one on his ways, and they
shall not break their ranks.
is Ibid., Hymns 39, 172.

" Ibid., Hymns 86, 172.
" Ibid., Hymns 172, 19, 36; Mandala V, Hymn 53. J8 Ibid., Mandala I, Hymn 37.

Vedic Hymns Your conquest is violent, splendid, terrible, full and crushing. . . . The terrible
train of untiring Maruts. . . . Full of terrible designs, like giants.19
Joel describes how these warriors, coming with fire and clouds, will run upon the wall, enter in
at the windows, run to and fro in the city, and the sword can do them no harm. In similar terms
the Vedic hymns describe the conquest by this terrible host.
If there is any doubt as to the nature of the "terrible ones," the following words should dissipate
Joel 2 : 10

The earth shall quake before them;
the heavens shall tremble; the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their
Maruts are often called "shakers of heaven and earth." Vedic Hymns You shake the sky.
The terrible ones . . . even what is firm and unshakable is being shaken.
When they whose march is terrible have caused the rocks to tremble,
or when the manly Maruts have shaken the back of heaven.
Hide the hideous darkness,
make the light which we long for! 20
The earth groaned, the meteorites—the host of the Lord—filled the sky with a battle cry "over
the whole space of the Earth," and "men reeled forward."
These were, in Joel's words, the "wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and
pillars of smoke," when the "sun is turned into darkness, and the moon into blood."
The clouds, the fire, the terrifying din, the darkness in the middle of the day; the fantastic figures
on the sky of speeding chariots, run-'
* Ibid., Hymns 168, 64.
20 ibid., Hymns 168, 167, 106,
38, 86.

ning horses, marching warriors; the trembling of the earth, the reeling of the firmament, were
visualized, felt, and feared on the shores of both the Mediterranean Sea and the Indian Ocean, for
they were not local disturbances, but displays of cosmic forces in cosmic dimensions. Joel did
not copy from the Vedas nor the Vedas from Joel. In more than this one instance it is possible to
show that peoples, separated even by broad oceans, have described some spectacle in similar
terms. These were pageants, projected against the celestial screen, that, a few hours after they
were seen in India, appeared over Nineveh, Jerusalem, and Athens, shortly thereafter over Rome
and Scandinavia, and a few hours later over the lands of the Mayas and Incas.
The spectators saw in the celestial prodigies either demons, as the Erinyes of the Greeks or the
Furies of the Latins, or gods whom they invoked in prayers, as in the Vedas of the Hindus, or the
executors of the Lord's wrath, as in Joel and Isaiah.
In the Section "Isaiah" we maintained that the army of the Lord was not the Assyrian host, but a
celestial host. Isaiah called the army of the Most High "the terrible ones."
And he will lift up an ensign to the nations from far,
and will hiss unto them from the end of the earth:
and, behold, they shall come with speed swiftly:
None shall be weary nor stumble among them;
none shall slumber nor sleep;
neither shall the girdle of their loins be loosed,
nor the latchet of their shoes be broken:
Whose arrows are sharp, and all their bows bent,
their horses' hoofs shall be counted like flint,
and their wheels like a whirlwind.
Their roaring shall be like a lion . . .
they shall roar like young lions . . .
like the roaring of the sea:
and if one look unto the land,
behold darkness and sorrow;
and the light is darkened in the heavens thereof.21
21 Isaiah 5 : 26 ff.
The mighty roaring, the wheels revolving like a whirlwind, the horses with hoofs of flint, the
light darkened in heaven are once more common features.
Vedic Hymns These strong, manly, strong armed Maruts do not strive among themselves; firm
are the horns, the weapons on your chariot, and on your faces are splendours.22
They who by their own might
seem to have risen above heaven and earth . . .
they are glorious like brilliant heroes,
they shine forth like foe-destroying youths.23
They who are roaring and hasting like winds,
brilliant like the tongues of fire,
powerful like mailed soldiers . . .
who hold together like the spokes of chariot-wheels,
who glance forward like victorious heroes,
who are swift, like the best of horses.24
The dreadful figures scattered a hail of meteorites that bombarded walls with hot gravel and flew
into windows; simultaneously cities were turned into heaps by the leaping ground.
"The multitude of the terrible ones" is "like small dust," their invasion "shall be at an instant
suddenly," says Isaiah.25 The Lord shall send his host "with thunder, and with earthquake, and
great noise, with storm and tempest, and the flame of devouring fire."

robin-bobin These Maruts are men brilliant with lightning, they shoot with thunderbolts, they blaze with the
wind, they shake the mountains.28
Isaiah (25 : 4) says that "the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall."
Thou [the Lord] shalt bring down the noise of strangers . . . the branch of the terrible ones shall
be brought low.27
22 Mandala VIII, Hymn 20.

23 Mandala X, Hymn 77. 24 Ibid., Hymn 78. 25 isaiah 29 : 5. 26 Vedic Hymns, Mandala V, Hymn 54. 27 Isaiah 25 : 5.
The Maruts are often called "the terrible ones," the same term Isaiah used. "The terrible ones" of
the Vedas were not common storm clouds, nor were the "terrible ones" of Joel and Isaiah human
beings. Certainly only by chance did the similarity of names and pictures in the Vedas and the
Prophets escape the attention of students of religion.
The Maruts are understood here as comets which in great numbers started to whirl in the sky on
short orbits, after the impact of Mars and Venus. They followed and preceded the planet Mars.
The name Mars (genitive, Martis) would be of the same origin as Marut. It is therefore gratifying
to read that the philological relation has already been established.28 It is even more satisfactory
that this philological equation was made without knowledge of the actual relation between the
planet Mars and "the terrible ones."
By comparing Hebrew historical, Chinese astronomical, and Latin ecclesiastical material, we
have established that it was the planet Mars which caused a series of catastrophes in the eighth
and seventh centuries before this era. The Greek epos explained how it happened that Venus
ceased and Mars began to be a threat to the earth. In heavenly battles, Ares or Nergal, both
known as the planet Mars, had an entourage of demoniac figures. The name Mars is derived
from the Indian Marut; Maruts, "the terrible ones," are "the terrible ones" of Isaiah and Joel.
The origin of the Greek name Ares was debated by philologists,29 and reasons against a
common root with the identical Mars were admitted. It seems to me that just as Mars is derived
from Marut, "the terrible ones" of the Vedas, so Ares was formed from the "terrible one" of the
Hebrew, which, as used by Joel and Isaiah, is ariz.
In a no longer extant passage of Pliny there was something said about comets being produced by
planets.30 Also the Soochow Chart
28 "Why should we object to Mars, Martis as a parallel form of Maruts? I do not say the two
words are identical, I only maintain that the root is the same.. .. If there could be any doubt as to
the original identity of Marut and Mars, it is dispelled by the Umbrian name cerfo Martio, which,
as Grassmann (Kuhn's Zeitschrift, XVI, 190, etc.) has shown, corresponds exactly to the
expression sardha-s maruta-s, the host of the Maruts. Such minute coincidences can hardly be
accidental." F. Max Miiller, Vedic Hymns (1891), I, xxv. » Ibid., p. xxvi.

so Cf. Pauly-
Wissowa, Real-Encyclopadie, Vol. XI, Col. 1156.

refers to occasions in the past when comets were born from planets, from Mars, Venus, and

Samples from the Planets
In the Vedic hymns the Maruts are implored to "be far from us and far the stone which you hurl."
When comets pass close to the earth, stones occasionally fall; the classic case is that of the
meteorite that fell at Aegospotami when a comet shone in the sky.1 The Hindu book of
Varahasanhita sees in the meteorites portents of devastation by fire and earthquake.2
Since the planets were gods, stones hurled by them or by the comets created in their encounters,
were feared as divine missiles,3 and when they fell and were found, they were worshiped.
The stone of Cronus at Delphi,4 the image of Diana at Ephesus, which, according to Acts (19 :
35), was the image which fell down from Jupiter, the stones of Amon and Seth at Thebes,5 were
meteorites. Also the image of Venus on Cyprus was a stone which fell from the sky.6 The

robin-bobin Palladium of Troy was a stone that fell on the earth "from Pallas Athene" 7 (the planet Venus).
The sacred stone of Tyre, too, was a meteorite related to Astarte, the planet Venus. "Traveling
about the world, she [Astarte] found a star falling from air, or sky, which she taking up,
consecrated on the holy island [Tyre]."8 At Aphaca in Syria a meteorite fell which "was thought
to be Astarte herself," and a temple to Astarte was built there; festivals "were regu-
1 Aristotle Meteorologica i. 7.

2 Frazer, Aftermath (supplement to The Golden Bough) (1936), p. 312.
Two Greek cities, Bura and Helice, were destroyed by earthquake and tidal wave and swallowed
by the earth and sea in the year —373, when a comet shone in the sky.
3 According to Mohammed, stones that fell on the sinful tribes were inscribed with the names of
those whom they were destined to kill.
* G. A. Wainwright, "The Coming of Iron," Antiquity, X (1936), 6.
8 Wainwright Journal of Egyptian Archaeology, XIX (1933), 49-52.
« Olivier, Meteors, p. 3.

1 Cf. Bancroft, The Native Races, III, 302.
8 R. Cumberland, Sanchoniatho's Phoenician History (1720), p. 36. Lucian says
that Astarte was the fallen star of Sanchoniathon. Ibid., p. 321. See also F. Movers,
Die Phonizier, I, 639.

larly timed to coincide with the appearance of Venus as the Morning or Evening Star." 9
The stone on which the Temple of Solomon was built—Eben Shetiya, or fire stone—is a bolide
that fell in the beginning of the tenth century, in the time of David, when a comet, which bore the
appearance of a man with a sword, was seen in the sky.10 The sacred shield of Numa at Rome,
the ancile of Roman Mars, was a bolide; it fell from the sky n in the beginning of the seventh
century and its origin was connected with Mars.
In the years when the planet Mars had long been pacified, its position was still watched when
meteorites fell. Thus the Chinese wrote in —211: "The planet Mars being in the neighborhood of
Antares, a star fell at Toung-Kiun, and arriving to the ground, it changed to a stone."12 The
people of the place cut a prophecy of evil for the emperor on the stone, and the emperor had it
destroyed. Carving messages to peoples or kings on fallen stones was known before and has
been practiced since.
One of the stones that fell from the sky is still worshiped today—it is the black stone of Kaaba in
Mecca. Now its surface is black from being touched and kissed innumerable times, but under its
cover of dirt it retains its original reddish color. It is the holiest thing in Mecca, built into the wall
of Kaaba, and pilgrims travel thousands of miles to kiss it.
Kaaba is older than Mohammedanism. Mohammed, in the early part of his career, worshiped
Venus (al-Uzza) and other planetary gods, which even today enjoy great veneration among the
Moslems as the "daughters of the god." 13
The black stone of Kaaba, according to Moslem tradition, fell from
• Frazer, The Golden Bough, V, 258 ff. Cf. the Section "Worship of the Morning Star," note 18.
W» I Chronicles 21; II Samuel 24. See Tractate Yoma 5, 2; cf. Tractate Sota 48b; also Ginzberg,
Legends, V, 15.
11 Olivier, Meteors, p. 3.
12 Abel-Remusat. Catalogue des bolides et des a4roliihes observes a la Chine, p. 7.
13 Wellhausen, Reste arabischen Heidentums, p. 34.

the planet Venus;14 but another legend says that it was brought down by the Archangel
Gabriel.15 Granted that this legend may conceal some information about the origin of the stone,
we ought to ask ourselves: Who is the Archangel Gabriel?

The Archangels
In the Scriptures the destruction of the army of Sennacherib is said to have been caused by a
"blast," and a few verses later it is said to have been the act of an angel of God.1 The Talmudic

A month of thirty days and a year of 360 days formed the basis of early Hindu chronology used
in historical computations.
3 Ibid.

4 Ibid. «Ibid.
6 F. K. Ginzel, "Chronologie," Encykhpadie der mathematischen Wissenschaften (1904-1935),
Vol. VI.
7 The Aryabhatiya of Aryabhatta, an ancient Indian work on mathematics and astronomy (transl.
W. E. Clark, 1930), Chap. 3, "Kalakriya or the Reckoning of Time," p. 51.

The Brahmans were aware that the length of the year, of the month, and of the day changed with
every new world age. The following is a passage from Surya-siddhanta, a classic of Hindu
astronomy. After an introduction, it proceeds: "Only by reason of the revolution of the ages,
there is here a difference of times." 8 The translator of this ancient manual supplied an
annotation to these words: "According to the commentary, the meaning of these last verses is
that in successive Great Ages . . . there were slight differences in the motion of the heavenly
bodies." Explaining the term bija, which means a correction of time in every new age, the book
of Surya says that "time is the destroyer of the worlds."
The sacerdotal year, like the secular year of the calendar, consisted of 360 days composing
twelve lunar months of thirty days each. From approximately the seventh pre-Christian century
on, the year of the Hindus became 565% days long, but for temple purposes the old year of 360
days was also observed, and this year is called savana.
When the Hindu calendar acquired a year of 365M days and a lunar month of twenty-nine and a
half days, the older system was not discarded. "The natural month, containing about twenty-nine
and a half days mean solar time, is then divided into thirty lunar days (tithi), and this division,
although of so unnatural and arbitrary a character, the lunar days beginning and ending at any
moment of the natural day and night, is, to the Hindu, of the most prominent practical
importance, since by it are regulated the performances of many religious ceremonies, and upon it
depend the chief considerations of propitious and unpropitious times, and the like."9
The double system was the imposition of a new time measure upon the old.
The ancient Persian year was composed of 360 days or twelve months of thirty days each. In the
seventh century five Gatha days were added to the calendar.10
8 Surya-siddhanta: A Text Book of Hindu Astronomy (transl. Ebenezer Burgess, 1860).
9 Ibid., comment by Burgess in note to p. 7.
10 "Twelve months ... of thirty days each . . . and the five Gatha-days at

In the Bundahis, a sacred book of the Persians, the 180 successive appearances of the sun from
the winter solstice to the summer solstice and from the summer solstice to the next winter
solstice are described in these words: "There are a hundred and eighty apertures [rogin] in the
east, and a hundred and eighty in the west . . . and the sun, every day, comes in through an
aperture, and goes out through an aperture. ... It comes back to Varak, in three hundred and sixty
days and five Gatha days." ll
Gatha days are "five supplementary days added to the last of the twelve months of thirty days
each, to complete the year; for these days no additional apertures are provided. . . . This
arrangement seems to indicate that the idea of the apertures is older than the rectification of the
calendar which added the five Gatha days to an original year of 360 days."12
The old Babylonian year was composed of 360 days.13 The astronomical tablets from the period
antedating the Neo-Babylonian Empire compute the year at so many days, without mention of
additional days. That the ancient Babylonian year had only 360 days was known before the
cuneiform script was deciphered: Ctesias wrote that the walls of Babylon were 360 furlongs in
compass, "as many as there had been days in the year." u
The zodiac of the Babylonians was divided into thirty-six decans, a decan being the space the
sun covered in relation to fixed stars during a ten-day period. "However, the 36 decans with their

robin-bobin decades require a year of only 360 days."15 To explain this apparently arbitrary length of the
zodiacal path, the following conjecture was made: "At first the astronomers of Babylon
recognized a year of 360 days,
the end of the year." "The Book of Denkart," in H. S. Nyberg, Texte zum mazdayasnischen
Kalender (Uppsala, 1934), p. 9.
11 Bundahis (transl. West), Chap. V.
12 Note by West on p. 24 of his translation of the Bundahis.
13 A. Jeremias, Das Alter der babylonischen Astronomie (2nd ed., 1909), pp. 58 ff.
liThe Fragments of the Persika of Ktesias (Ctesiae Persica), ed. J. Gilmore
(1888), p. 38; Diodorus ii. 7.
15 W. Gundel, Dekane und Dekansternbilder (1936), p. 253.

and the division of a circle into 360 degrees must have indicated the path traversed by the sun
each day in its assumed circling of the earth." 16 This left over five degrees of the zodiac
unaccounted for. The old Babylonian year consisted of twelve months of thirty days each, the
months being computed from the time of the appearance of the new moon. As the period
between one new moon and another is about twenty-nine and a half days, students of the
Babylonian calendar face the perplexity with which we are already familiar in other countries.
"Months of thirty days began with the light of the new moon. How agreement with astronomical
reality was effected, we do not know. The practice of an intercalary period is not yet known." 17
It appears that in the seventh century five days were added to the Babylonian calendar; they were
regarded as unpropi-tious, and people had a superstitious awe of them.
The Assyrian year consisted of 360 days; a decade was called a sarus; a sarus consisted of 3,600
"The Assyrians, like the Babylonians, had a year composed of lunar months, and it seems that
the object of astrological reports which relate to the appearance of the moon and sun was to help
to determine and foretell the length of the lunar month. If this be so, the year in common use
throughout Assyria must have been lunar. The calendar assigns to each month thirty full days;
the lunar month is, however, little more than twenty-nine and a half days."19 "It would hardly be
possible for the calendar month and the lunar month to correspond so exactly at the end of the
year." 20
Assyrian documents refer to months of thirty days only, and count such months from crescent to
crescent.21 Again, as in other countries,
16 Cantor, Vorlesungen iiber Geschichte der Mathematik, I, 92.
1-7 "Sin" in Roscher, Lexikon der griech. und rom. Mythologie, Col. 892.
18Georgius Syncellus, ed. Jacob Goar (Paris, 1652), pp. 17, 32.
18 R. C. Thompson, The Reports of the Magicians and Astrologers of Nineveh
and Babylon in the British Museum, II (1900), xix.
20 Ibid., p. xx.
21 Langdon and Fotheringham, The Venus Tablets of Ammizaduga, pp. 45-46; C. H. W. Johns,
Assyrian Deeds and Documents, IV (1923), 333; J. Kohler and A. Ungnad, Assyrische
Rechtsurkunden (1913) 258, 3; 263, 5; 649, 5.

it is explicitly the lunar month that is computed by the Assyrian astronomers as equal to thirty
days. How could the Assyrian astronomers have adjusted the length of the lunar months to the
revolutions of the moon, modern scholars ask themselves, and how could the observations
reported to the royal palace by the astronomers have been so consistently erroneous?
The month of the Israelites, from the fifteenth to the eighth century before the present era, was
equal to thirty days, and twelve months comprised a year; there is no mention of months shorter
than thirty days, nor of a year longer than twelve months. That the month was composed of thirty
days is evidenced by Deuteronomy 34 : 8 and

21 : 13, and Numbers 20 : 29, where mourning for the dead is ordered for "a full month," and is
carried on for thirty days. The story of the Flood, as given in Genesis, reckons in months of thirty
days; it says that one hundred and fifty days passed between the seventeenth day of the second
month and the seventeenth day of the seventh month.22 The composition of this text apparently
dates from the time between the Exodus and the upheaval of the days of Uzziah.23
The Hebrews observed lunar months. This is attested to by the fact that the new-moon festivals
were of great importance in the days of Judges and Kings.24 "The new moon festival anciently
stood at least on a level with that of the Sabbath." 25 As these (lunar) months were thirty days
long, with no months of twenty-nine days in between, and as the year was composed of twelve
such months, with no additional days or intercalated months, the Bible exegetes could find no
way of reconciling the three figures: 354 days, or twelve lunar months of twenty-nine and a half
days each; 360 days, or a multiplex of twelve times thirty; and 365K days, the present length of
the year.
22 Genesis 7 : 11 and 24; 8 : 4.
23The other variant of the story of the Flood (Genesis 7 : 17; 8 : 6) has the Deluge lasting 40
days instead of 150.
2* I Samuel 20 : 5-6; II Kings 4 : 23; Amos 8 : 5; Isaiah 1 : 13; Hosea 2 : 11; Ezekiel 46 : 1, 3.
In the Bible die montii is called hodesh, or "die new (moon)," which testifies to a lunation of
diirty days. 25 J. Wellhausen, Prolegomena to the History of Israel (1885), p. 113.

The Egyptian year was composed of 360 days before it became 365 by the addition of five days.
The calendar of the Ebers Papyrus, a document of the New Kingdom, has a year of twelve
months of thirty days each.26
In the ninth year of King Ptolemy Euergetes, or —238, a reform party among the Egyptian
priests met at Canopus and drew up a decree; in 1866 it was discovered at Tanis in the Delta,
inscribed on a tablet. The purpose of the decree was to harmonize the calendar with the seasons
"according to the present arrangement of the world," as the text states. One day was ordered to
be added every four years to the "three hundred and sixty days, and to the five days which were
afterwards ordered to be added." 2T
The authors of the decree did not specify the particular date on which the five days were added
to the 360 days, but they do say clearly that such a reform was instituted on some date after the
period when the year was only 360 days long.
On a previous page I referred to the fact that the calendar of 360 days was introduced in Egypt
only after the close of the Middle Kingdom, in the days of the Hyksos. The five epigomena must
have been added to the 360 days subsequent to the end of the Eighteenth Dynasty. We have no
mention of "five days" in all the numerous inscriptions of the Eighteenth Dynasty; the
epigomena or, as the Egyptians called them, "the five days which are above the year," 28 are
known from the documents of the seventh and following centuries. The pharaohs of the late
dynasties used to write: "The year and the five days." The last day of the year was celebrated, not
on the last of the epigomena, but on the thirtieth of Mesori, the twelfth month.29
In the fifth century Herodotus wrote: "The Egyptians, reckoning thirty days to each of the twelve
months, add five days in every ye
26 Cf. G. Legge in Recueil de travaux relatifs d la philologie et d VarcMolog egyptiennes et
assyriennes (La Mission frangaise du Caire, 1909).
27 S. Sharpe, The Decree of Canopus (1870).
28 E. Meyer, "Agyptische Chronologie," Philos. und hist. Abhandlungen der Preuss. Akademie
der Wissenschaften (1904), p. 8.
2» Ibid.

over and above the number, and so the completed circle of seasons is made to agree with the
calendar." 30

The Book of Sothis, erroneously ascribed to the Egyptian priest Manetho,31 and Georgius
Syncellus, the Byzantine chronologist,32 maintain that originally the additional five days did not
follow the 360 days of the calendar, but were introduced at a later date,33 which is corroborated
by the text of the Canopus Decree.
That the introduction of epigomena was not the result of progress in astronomical knowledge,
but was caused by an actual change in the planetary movements, is implied in the Canopus
Decree, for it refers to "the amendment of the faults of the heaven." In his Isis and Osiris 34
Plutarch describes by means of an allegory the change in the length of the year: "Hermes playing
at draughts with the moon, won from her the seventieth part of each of her periods of
illumination, and from all the winnings he composed five days, and intercalated them as an
addition to the 360 days." Plutarch informs us also that one of these epigomena days was
regarded as inauspicious; no business was transacted on that day, and even kings "would not
attend to their bodies until nightfall."
The new-moon festivals were very important in the days of the Eighteenth Dynasty. On all the
numerous inscriptions of that period, wherever the months are mentioned, they are reckoned as
thirty days long. The fact that the new-moon festivals were observed at thirty-day intervals
implies that the lunar month was of that duration.
Recapitulating, we find concordant data. The Canopus Decree states that at some period in the
past the Egyptian year was only 360 days long, and that the five days were added at some later
date; the Ebers Papyrus shows that under the Eighteenth Dynasty the calendar had a year of 360
days divided into twelve months of thirty days each; other documents of this period also testify
that the lunar month
so Herodotus, History, Bk. ii. 4 (transl. A. D. Godley).
31 See volume of Manetho in Loeb Classical Library.
32 Georgii Monachi Chronographia (ed. P. Jacobi Goar, 1652), p. 123.
33 In the days of the Hyksos King Aseth. But see the Section "Changes in the Times and the
3* Translated by F. C. Babbit.

had thirty days, and that a new moon was observed twelve times in a period of 360 days. The
Sothis book says that this 360-day year was established under the Hyksos, who ruled after the
end of the Middle Kingdom, preceding the Eighteenth Dynasty.
In the eighth or seventh century the five epigomena days were added to the year under conditions
which caused them to be regarded as unpropitious.
Although the change in the number of days in the year was calculated soon after it occurred,
nevertheless, for some time many nations retained a civil year of 360 days divided into twelve
months of thirty days each.
Cleobulus, who was counted among the seven sages of ancient Greece, in his famous allegory
represents the year as divided into twelve months of thirty days: the father is one, the sons are
twelve, and each of them has thirty daughters.35
From the days of Thales, another of the seven sages, who could predict an eclipse, the Hellenes
knew that the year consists of 365 days; Thales was regarded by them as the man who
discovered the number of days in the year. As he was born in the seventh century, it is not
impossible that he was one of the first among the Greeks to learn the new length of the year; it
was in the beginning of that century that the year achieved its present length. A contemporary of
Thales and also one of the seven sages, Solon was regarded as the first among the Greeks to find
that a lunar month is less than thirty days.36 Despite their knowledge of the correct measure of
the year and the month, the Greeks, after Solon and Thales, continued to keep to the obsolete
calendar, a fact for which we have the testimony of Hippocrates ("Seven years contain 360
weeks"), Xenophon, Aristotle, and Pliny.37 The persistence of reckoning by 360 days is
accounted for not only by a certain reverence for the earlier astronomical year, but also by its
convenience for every computation.

35 See Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Eminent Philosophers, "Life of Thales."
36 Proclus, The Commentaries on the Timaeus of Plato (1820); Diogenes Laertius, Lives, "Life
of Solon"; Plutarch, Lives, "Life of Solon."
37 Aristotle Historia animalium vi. 20; Pliny, Natural History, xxxiv. 12 (transL Bostock and

The ancient Romans also reckoned 360 days to the year. Plutarch wrote in his "Life of Numa"
that in the time of Romulus, in the eighth century, the Romans had a year of 360 days only.88
Various Latin authors say that the ancient month was composed of thirty days.39
On the other side of the ocean, the Mayan year consisted of 360 days; later five days were added,
and the year was then a tun (360-day period) and five days; every fourth year another day was
added to the year. "They did reckon them apart, and called them the days of nothing: during the
which the people did not anything," wrote J. de Acosta, an early writer on America.40
Friar Diego de Landa, in his Yucatan before and after the Conquest, wrote: "They had their
perfect year like ours, of 365 days and six hours, which they divided into months in two ways. In
the first the months were of 30 days and were called U which signifies the moon, and they
counted from the rising of the new moon until it disappeared."41 The other method of reckoning,
by months of twenty days' duration (uinal hunekeh), reflects a much older system, to which I
shall return when I examine more archaic systems than that of the 360-day year. De Landa also
wrote that the five supplementary days were regarded as "sinister and unlucky." They were
called "days without name."42 Although the Mexicans at the time of the conquest called a thirty-
day period "a moon," they knew that the synodical moon period is 29.5209 days,43 which is
more exact than the Gregorian calendar introduced in Europe ninety years after the discovery of
America. Obviously, they adhered to an old tradition dating from the time when the year had
twelve months of thirty days each, 360 days in all.44
38 Plutarch. Lives, "The Life of Numa," xviii.
39 Cf. Geminus Elementa astronomiae viii; cf. also Cleomedes De motu circulari corporum
celestium xi. 4.
40 J. de Acosta, The Natural and Moral Histories of the Indies, 1880 (Historia natural y moral de
las Indias, Seville, 1590).
41 Diego de Landa, Yucatan, p. 59.
<2 D. G. Brinton, The Maya Chronicles (1882).
43 Gates' note to De Landa, Yucatan, p. 59.
44 R. C. E. Long, "Chronology—Maya," Encyclopaedia Britannica (14th ed.):

In ancient South America also the year consisted of 360 days, divided into twelve months.
"The Peruvian year was divided into twelve Quilla, or moons of thirty days. Five days were
added at the end, called Allcacanquis." 45 Thereafter, a day was added every four years to keep
the calendar correct.
We cross the Pacific Ocean and return to Asia. The calendar of the peoples of China had a year
of 360 days divided into twelve months of thirty days each.46
A relic of the system of 360 days is the still persisting division of the sphere into 360 degrees;
each degree represented the diurnal advance of the earth on its orbit, or that portion of the zodiac
which was passed over from one night to the next. After 360 changes the stellar sky returned to
the same position for the observer on the earth.
When the year changed from 360 to 365M days, the Chinese added five and a quarter days to
their year, calling this additional period Khe-ying; they also began to divide a sphere into 365K
degrees, adopting the new year-length not only in the calendar, but also in celestial and terrestrial
Ancient Chinese time reckoning was based on a coefficient of sixty; so also in India, Mexico,
and Chaldea, sixty being the universal coefficient.
The division of the year into 360 days was honored in many ways,48

robin-bobin "They [the Mayas] never used a year of 365 days in counting the distance of
time from one date to another."
45 Markham, The Incas of Peru, p. 117.
48 Joseph Scaliger, Opus de emendatione temporum, p. 225; W. Hales, New
Analysis of Chronology (1809-1812), I, 31; W. H. Medhurst, notes to pp. 405-
406 of his translation of The Shoo King (Shanghai, 1846).
47 H. Murray, J. Crawfurd, and others, An Historical and Descriptive Account of China (p. 235);
The Chinese Classics, III, Pt. 2, ed. Legge (Shanghai, 1865), note to p. 21.
Cf. also Cantor, Vorlesungen, p. 92: "Zuerst wurde von den Astronomen Babylons das Jahr von
360 Tagen erkannt, und die Kreisteilung in 360 Grade sollte den Weg versinnlichen welchen die
Sonne bei ihrem vermeintlichen Um-laufe urn die Erde jeden Tag zuriicklegte."
48 C. F. Dupuis (L'Origine de tous les cultes [1835-1836], the English compendium being The
Origin of All Religious Worship [1872], p. 41) gathered material on the number 360, "which is
that of the days of the year without the

and, indeed, it became an incentive to progress in astronomy and geometry, so that people did
not readily discard this method of reckoning when it became obsolete. They retained their
"moons" of thirty days, though the lunar month in fact became shorter, and they regarded the five
days as not belonging to the year.
All over the world we find that there was at some time the same calendar of 360 days, and that at
some later date, about the seventh century before the present era, five days were added at the end
of the year, as "days over the year," or "days of nothing."
Scholars who investigated the calendars of the Incas of Peru and the Mayas of Yucatan
wondered at the calendar of 360 days; so did the scholars who studied the calendars of the
Egyptians, Persians, Hindus, Chaldeans, Assyrians, Hebrews, Chinese, Greeks, or Romans. Most
of them, while debating the problem in their own field, did not suspect that the same problem
turned up in the calendar of every nation of antiquity.
Two matters appeared perplexing: a mistake of five and a quarter days in a year could certainly
be traced, not only by astronomers, but even by analphabetic farmers, for in the short span of
forty years— a period that a person could readily observe—the seasons would become displaced
by more than two hundred days. The second perplexity concerns the length of a month. "It seems
to have been a prevailing opinion among the ancients that a lunation or synodical month lasted
thirty days."49 In many documents of various peoples, it is said that the month, or the "moon," is
equal to thirty days, and that the beginning of such a month coincides with the new moon.
Such declarations by ancient astronomers make it clear that there was no such thing as a
conventional calendar with an admitted error;
epigomena." He refers to the 360 gods in the "theology of Orpheus," to the 360 eons of the
gnostic genii, to the 360 idols before the palace of Dairi in Japan, to 360 statues "surrounding
that of Hobal," worshiped by the ancient Arabs, to the 360 genii who take possession of the soul
after death, "according to the doctrine of the Christians of St. John," to the 360 temples built on
the mountain of Lowham in China, and to the wall of 360 stadia "with which Semiramis
surrounded the city" of Babylon. This material did not convey to its collector the idea that an
astronomical year of 360 days had been the reason for the sacredness of the number 360. 49
Medhurst, The Shoo King.

as a matter of fact, the existence of an international calendar in those days is extremely unlikely.
After centuries of open sea lanes and international exchange of ideas, no uniform calendar for
the whole world has as yet been devised: the Moslems have a lunar year, based on the
movements of the moon, which is systematically adjusted every few years to the solar year by
intercalation; many other creeds and peoples have systems of their own containing many vestiges
of ancient systems. The reckoning of months as equal to thirty and thirty-one days is also a relic
of older systems; the five supplementary days were divided among the old lunar months. But at
present the almanac does not ascribe an interval of thirty days between two lunations or a period
of 360 days for twelve lunations.
The reason for the universal identity of time reckoning between the fifteenth and the eighth
centuries lay in the actual movement of the earth on its axis and along its orbit, and in the
revolution of the moon, during that historical period. The length of a lunar revolution must have
been almost exactly 30 days, and the length of the year apparently did not vary from 360 days by
more than a few hours.
Then a series of catastrophes occurred that changed the axis and the orbit of the earth and the
orbit of the moon, and the ancient year, after going through a period marked by disarranged
seasons, settled into a "slow-moving year" (Seneca) of 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, 46
seconds, a lunar month being equal to 29 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes, 2.7 seconds, mean
synodical period.
Disarranged Months
As a result of repeated perturbations, the earth changed from an orbit of 360 days' duration to
one of 365/4 days, the days probably not being exactly equal in both cases. The month changed
from thirty to twenty-nine and a half days. These were the values at the beginning and at the end
of the century of "the battle of the gods." As a result of the perturbations of this century, there
were intermediary values of the year and the month. The length of the year probably ranged
between 360 and 365/4 days, but the moon, being a smaller (or

weaker) body than the earth, suffered greater perturbations from the contacting body, and the
intermediate values of the month could have been subjected to greater changes.
Plutarch declares that in the time of Romulus the people were "irrational and irregular in their
fixing of the months," and reckoned some months at thirty-five days and some at more, "trying to
keep to a year of 360 days," and that Numa, Romulus' successor, corrected the irregularities of
the calendar and also changed the order of the months. This statement suggests the question:
Might it not have been that during the period between consecutive catastrophes the moon
receded to an orbit of thirty-five or thirty-six days' duration?
If, in the period of confusion, the moon actually changed for a while to such an orbit, it must
have been an ellipse or a circle of a radius larger than before. In the latter case, each of the four
moon phases must have been of nine days' duration. It is of interest, therefore, to read that in
many sagas dealing with the moon, the number nine is used in measures of time.1
A series of scholars found that nine days was for a while a time period of many ancient peoples:
the Hindus, the Persians,2 the Raby-lonians,3 the Egyptians,4 and the Chinese.5 In religious
traditions, literature, and astrological works, seven days and nine days compete as the measure of
the month's quarter.
In the time of the Homeric epics, the nine-day week became prevalent in the Greek world. The
seven-day week and the nine-day
1 "The number nine occurs conspicuously in so many sagas which, for other reasons, I
recognized to be moon sagas, that I am convinced that the holiness of this number has its origin
in its very ancient application in time division." The author of this passage (E. Siecke, Die
Liebesgeschichte des Himmels, Vnter-suchungen zur indogermanischen Sagenkunde [1892]) did
not suppose a change in the nature of the lunar cycles, and also was not aware of the work of the
scholar referred to in the following footnote, yet he was forced to believe that nine was
connected with a time subdivision of a month.
2 A. Kaegi, "Die Neunzahl bei den Ostarien." in the volume dedicated to H. Schweizer-Sidler
3 Kugler, "Die Symbolik der Neunzahl," Babylonische Zeitordnung, p. 192.
* E. Naville, Transactions of the Society of Biblical Archaeology, IV (1875), 1-18. B Roscher,
Die enneadischen und hebdomadischen Fristen und Wochen, Vol. XXI, No. 4, of Abhandlungen
der philol.-histor. Klasse der Kgl. sachs. Ges. der "Wissenschaften (1903).

week are both found in Homer.6 The Romans, too, retained the recollection of a time when the
week had been of nine days' duration.7
The change from a seven-day phase to a nine-day phase is found in the traditions of the peoples
of Rumania, Lithuania, and Sardinia, and among the Celts of Europe, the Mongols of Asia, and
the tribes of West Africa.8
In order to explain this strange phenomenon in time reckoning, obviously connected with the
moon, the suggestion was made that, in addition to the seventh-day phase of the moon, a nine-
day phase was also observed, which is a third part of the month.9 But this idea must be rejected,
because a third part of a month of twenty-nine and a half days would more nearly be ten days
and not nine.10 Besides, the quarter-month phases are easily observable periods during which
the moon increases from new moon to half moon, to full moon, and then decreases accordingly;
but a nine-day period falls between these phases.
Therefore, and in view of the vast material from many peoples, we conclude that at one time
during the century of perturbations, for a period between two catastrophes, the moon receded to
an orbit of thirty-five to thirty-six days' duration. It remained on such an orbit for a few decades
until, at the next upheaval, it was carried to an orbit of twenty-nine and a half days' duration, on
which it has proceeded since then.
These "perturbed months" occurred in the second half of the eighth century, at the beginning of
Roman history.11 What is more, we have
6 Roscher, Die Sieben- und Neunzahl im Kultus und Myihus der Griechen, ibid., Vol. XXIV,
No. 1 (1904): "Die beiden Arten von Fristen schon bei Homer und ebenso auch im altesten
Kultus nebeneinander vorkommen" (p. 54). "In der Zeit des alteren Epos herrschend gewordene
9-tagige Woche" (p. 73).
7 Cf. Ovid Metamorphoses vii. 23 ff.; xiii. 951; xiv. 57.
8 Roscher, Die Sieben- und Neunzahl.

9 Roscher, Fristen und Wochen.
10 The sidereal month, or the period of time during which the moon completes a revolution in
relation to the fixed stars is 27 days, 7 hours, 43 minutes. But the phases of the moon change
according to the synodical month of 29 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes; after a synodical month the
moon returns to the same position in relation to die sun as viewed from the earth.
11 It was probably these changes that caused the gods in The Clouds of Aristophanes to accuse
the moon of having brought disorder in the calendar and in the cult. Aristophanes, The Clouds
11. 615 ff.

actual dates like "the 33rd day of the month," cited in the Babylonian tablets of that period.12
Thus the month which was equal to thirty days changed to thirty-six and then to twenty-nine and
a half days. The last change was simultaneous with the change of the terrestrial orbit to one of
365% days' duration.

Years of Ten Months
When the month was about thirty-six days and the year between 360 and 365/4 days, the year
must have been composed of only ten months. This was the case.
According to many classical authors, in the days of Romulus the year consisted of ten months,
and in the time of Numa, his successor, two months were added: January and February. Ovid
writes: "When the founder of the city [Rome] was setting the calendar in order, he ordained that
there should be twice five months in his year. ... He gave his laws to regulate the year. The
month of Mars was the first, and that of Venus the second. . . . But Numa overlooked not Janus
and the ancestral shades [February] and so to the ancient months he prefixed two." 1
Geminus, a Greek astronomer of the first century before the present era, says similarly that it was
Romulus who (in the eighth century) established the year of ten months.2 Aulus Gellius, a
second century author, writes in his Attic Nights: "The year was composed not of twelve months,
but of ten."3 Plutarch remarks that in his day there was a belief that the Romans, in the time of
Romulus, computed the year "not in twelve months, but in ten, by adding more than thirty days
to some of the months."4 At the beginning of Numa's reign the ten-month year was still the
official one.5 "March was considered the first month until the reign of Numa, the full year before
12 Kugler, Babylonische Zeitordnung, p. 191, note, i Ovid Fasti i. 27 ff.
2 Geminus, "Introduction aux phenomenes" in Petau, Uranologion (1630).
3 Aulus Gellius Nodes Atticae iii. 16. 4 Plutarch, The Roman Questions, xix. 5 Eutropius
Brcvarium return rornanorum i. 3 says: "Numa Pompilius divided the year into ten months." This
must refer to the beginning of Numa's reign, when the calendar of Romulus was still valid.

that time containing ten months," wrote Procopius of Caesarea, who lived in the closing years of
the Roman Empire.6 The fact that, in Romulus' time, the first month was named in honor of
Mars and the second in honor of Venus shows the importance of these two deities in that period
of history. July was named Quintilis (the fifth). The difference of two months still survives in the
names September, October, November, and December, which denote the seventh, eighth, ninth,
and tenth months, but according to present-day reckoning they are the ninth, tenth, eleventh, and
twelfth months, respectively.
Not only was the year divided into fewer than twelve months, but also the zodiac, or the path of
the sun and the moon across the firmament, at present consisting of twelve signs, at one time had
eleven and at another time ten signs. A zodiac of fewer than twelve signs was employed by the
astrologers of Rabylonia, ancient Greece, and other countries.7 A Jewish song in the Aramaic
language which is included in the Seder Service refers to eleven constellations of the Zodiac.
The calendars of the primitive peoples disclose their early origin by the fact that many of them
are composed of ten months, and some of eleven months. If the time of the lunar revolution was
thirty-five days and some hours, the year was something over ten months long.
The Yurak Samoyeds reckon eleven months to the year.8 The natives of Formosa, too, have a
year of eleven months.9 The year of the Kamchadals is made up of ten months, "one of which is
said to be as long as three." 10 The inhabitants of the Kingsmill Islands in the Pacific, also called
the Gilbert Islands, near the equator, use a ten-month period for their year.11 In the Marquesas
(in Polynesia
6 Procopius of Caesarea, History of the Wars, Bk. V, "The Gothic War" (transl. H. B. Dewing,
1919), Sec. 31.
7 Boll, Stemglaube und Stemdeutung, p. 92; A. del Mar, The Worship of Augustus Caesar, pp. 6,
11, with references to Ovid, Virgil, Pliny, Servius, and Hyginus.
8 M. P. Nilsson, Primitive Time-Reckoning (1920), p. 89.
9 A. Wirth, "The Aborigines of Formosa," The American Anthropologist, 1897.
10 A. Schiefner, Rulletin de FAcadSmie de St. Petersbourg, Hist.-phil. Cl., XIV (1857), 198,201
11 H. Hale, Ethnography and Philology: U.S. Exploring Expedition, 1838-42, VI (1846), 106,

south of the equator) ten months form a year (tau or puni), but the actual year of 365 days is also
The Toradja of the Dutch East Indies compute time in moon-months. Each year, however, a
period of two or three months is not brought into the computation at all, and is omitted in time
The Chams of Indo-China have a calendar of only ten months to the year.14 The natives in some
islands of the Indian Ocean also observe ten months to the year.15
The aborigines of New Zealand do not count two months in the year. "These two months are not
in the calendar: they do not reckon them; nor are they in any way accounted for."ie
"Among the Yoruba of South Nigeria the three months—February, March, April—are generally
given no specific name."1T
These calendars of primitive peoples are similar to the old Roman calendar. They were not
invented in disregard of the solar year ('Tears with less than twelve months are to us the strangest
of phenomena"18); their fault is that they are more constant than the revolution of the earth on
her orbit around the sun. The work of adapting the old systems to a new order is still evident in
the systems of the aborigines of Kamchatka, South Nigeria, the Dutch East Indies, and New
Zealand. Instead of introducing two additional months, as in the reform of Numa, one of the
months is extended to triple its length, or a period equivalent to two months is not counted at all
in the calendric system.
The abundance of proofs of the existence of a ten-month year is even embarrassing. Since the
period when the year was composed of ten months of thirty-five to thirty-six days each was
short, how could this ten-month year leave so many vestiges in the calendar systems all over the
world? The answer to this question will become simple when we shall find that this was the
second time in the history of the
12 G. Mathias, Lettres sur les Isles Marquises (1843), 211.
13 N. Adriani and A. C. Kruijt, De Bare'e-sprekende Toradja's (1912-1914), II, 264.
"Frazer, Ovid's Fasti (1931), p. 386.

1B Ibid.
16 W. Yate (English missionary in the early part of the nineteenth eentury),
quoted in Frazer, Ovid's Fasti, p. 386.
1T Ibid.
18 Nilsson, Primitive Time-Reckoning, p. 89.

world that the year was composed of ten months. In a much earlier age, when the year was of an
entirely different length, one revolution of the earth was also equal in time to ten revolutions of
the moon. We shall trace this period in history in a succeeding volume of this work.
The Reforming of the Calendar
In the middle of the eighth century the calendar then in use became obsolete. From the year —
747 until the last of the catastrophes on the twenty-third of March, —687, the solar and lunar
movements changed repeatedly, necessitating adjustments of the calendar. Reforms undertaken
during this time soon became obsolete in their turn, and were replaced by new ones; only after
the last catastrophe of —687, when the present world order was established, did the calendar
become permanent.
Some of the clay tablets of Nineveh found in the royal library of that cityx contain astronomical
observations made during the period before the present order in the planetary system was
established. One tablet fixes the day of the vernal equinox as the sixth of Nisan: "On the sixth of
the month Nisan, the day and night are equal." But another tablet places the equinox on the
fifteenth of Nisan. "We cannot explain the difference," wrote a scholar.2 Judging by the accurate
methods employed and the precision achieved in their observations, the stargazers of Nineveh
would not have erred by nine days.
In the astronomical tablets of Nineveh "three systems of planets" are extensively represented;
single planets are followed in all their movements in three different schedules. For the
movements of the moon there are two different systems.3 Each of these systems is carried out
down to the smallest detail, but only the last system of the planets and of the moon conforms to
the present world order.
According to Tablet No. 93, the perihelion, or the point on the earth's orbit that is nearest the sun,
is defined as the twentieth degree
1 The palace of Nineveh was the residence of Sargon II, Sennacherib, Esarhaddon, and
2 J. Menant, La Bibliotheque du palais de Ninive (1880), p. 100.
3 Kugler, Die babi/lonische Mondrechnung: Zwei Systeme der Chaldaer iiber den Lauf des
Mov.dcs und der Sonne, pp. 207-209.

of the sign of the zodiac called the Archer; at aphelion, when the earth is farthest from the sun,
the sun is said to be at the twentieth degree of Gemini. Accordingly, these points are designated
as stations of the fastest and slowest solar motion. "But the real position of the apsides decidedly
contradicts these statements." 4 Another tablet, No. 272, seventy years younger than the first,
gives very different data for the perihelion and aphelion, and scholars wonder at this.
All the numerous data on solar movements in one of the systems lead to one and the same
conclusion. "The solstitial and equinoctial points of the ecliptic lay 6° too far to the east." 5
"The distances traveled by the moon on the Chaldean ecliptic from one new moon to the next
are, according to Tablet No. 272, on the average 3° 14' too great." 6 This means that during a
lunar month the moon moved a greater distance in relation to the fixed stars than present
observation shows.
In Tablet No. 32, the movement of the sun along the zodiac is precisely calculated in degrees,
and the station of the sun at the beginning of each lunar month is determined exactly; but it is "a
perplexing presentation of the ununiform movement of the sun. The question is insistent: Why is
it that the Babylonians formulated the nonuniformity of the solar movement precisely in this
way?" 7
As the various systems recorded in the astronomical tablets of Nineveh show, the world order
changed repeatedly in the course of a single century. Hence, the Chaldean astronomers had the
task of repeatedly readjusting the calendar. "From certain passages in the astrological tablets it is
easy to see that the calculation of times and seasons was one of the chief duties of the astrologers
in Mesopotamia." 8 The scholars ask: How could those men, employed for that very purpose,
have made the egregious mistakes recorded in the tablets, and carried these mistakes over into
systems in which the movements of the sun, the moon, and the five planets were recorded with
repetitions at regular intervals, these movements and intervals being consistently different from
those of the present celestial order?
* Ihid., p. 90.

B Ibid., p. 72. « Ibid., p. 90. » Ibid., p. 67
8 R. C. Thompson, The Reports of the Magicians and Astrohgers of Nineveh and
Babylon, II, xviii.
How could the stargazers who composed the earlier tablets be so careless as to maintain that the
year is 360 days long, a mistake that in six years accumulates to a full month of divergence; or
how could the astronomers of the royal observatories announce to the king the movements of the
moon and its phases on wrong dates, though a child can tell when the moon is new,9 and then
record all this in very scholarly tablets requiring advanced mathematical knowledge?10 Hence
scholars speak of "enigmatic mistakes." n
However, it appears to us that the tablets with their changing astronomical systems reflect the
changing order of the world and consequent attempts to adjust the calendar to the changes.
When the cataclysm of the 23rd of March, —687 brought about another disturbance in the length
of the year and the month, the new standards remained uncertain until they could be calculated
anew in a series of investigations.
From the time of that catastrophe until about the year —669 or —667, no New Year festivals
were observed at Babylon.12 "Eight years under Sennacherib, twelve years under Esarhaddon:
for twenty years . . . the New Year's festival was omitted," says an ancient chronicle on a clay
tablet.13 According to cuneiform inscriptions, in the days of Sargon II a new world age began,
and in the days of his son Sennacherib another world age.14 In the days of Assurbanipal, son of
Esarhaddon, son of Sennacherib, the planetary movements, the precession of the equinoxes, and
the periodic returns of the eclipses were recalculated, and these new tablets, together with the
older ones or copies of the older ones, were stored in the palace library at Nineveh.
9 "The class of magicians who calculated the length of the months and published information
concerning them formed a very important section of the Babylonian and Assyrian priesthood."
Ibid., p. xxiii.
10 C. Bezold, "Astronomie, Himmelschau und Astrallehre bei den Babyloniern," in
Sitzungsberichte der Heidelberger Akademie der Wissenschaften, philos.-histor. Klasse, 1911,
expresses the opinion that before the sixth century the Babylonians were unaware of the relative
 lengths of the solar year and 12 lunar months. See also Gundel, Dekane und Dekansternbilder, p.
11 Kugler, Die Mondrechnung, p. 90.
12 S. Smith, Babylonian Historical Texts, p. 22.

13 Ibid., p. 25.
14 A. Jeremias, Der alte Orient und die agyptische Religion (1907), p. 17; Winckler,
Forschungen, III, 300.

The tablets from Nineveh provide the best possible opportunity to learn how the order of the
world changed in the eighth and seventh centuries.
Repeated changes in the course of the sun across the firmament led the astronomers of Babylonia
to distinguish three paths of the sun: the Anu path, the Enlil path, and the Ea path. These three
paths created much difficulty for the writers on Babylonian astronomy, and many explanations
were offered and as many rejected.15 The Anu, Enlil, and Ea paths of the planets across the sky
appear to denote the successive ecliptics in various world ages. Like the sun, the planets in
different times moved along the Anu, Enlil, and Ea paths.
In the Talmudie a number of scattered passages deal with a calendric change made by Hezekiah.
The Talmud was written about a thousand years after Hezekiah, and not all details of the reform
are preserved; it states that Hezekiah doubled the month of Nisan.
In later times, in order to adjust the lunar year to the solar year, an intercalary month was added
every few years by doubling the last month of the year, Adar. This system of an intercalary Adar
is preserved in the Hebrew calendar to this day.
The rabbis wondered why Hezekiah added another Nisan (the first month). The story is told in
the Scriptures that Hezekiah, instead of celebrating Passover in the first month, put off the feast
to the second month.17 The Talmud explains that it was not the second month, but an additional
It must be noted that in Judea in the days of Hezekiah the months were not called by Babylonian
names, and therefore the situation should be stated as follows: Hezekiah, after the death of Ahaz,
and before the second invasion of Sennacherib, added a month and postponed the feast of
Passover. According to the Talmud this was done to make the lunar year correspond more
closely to the solar year. As
15 Bezold, Zenit und Aequatorialgestirne am babylonischen Fixsternhimmel (1913), p. 6; M.
Jastrow, The Civilization of Babylonia and Assyria (1915), p. 261.
16 Tractate Berakhot 10b; Pesahim 56a; other sources in Ginzberg, Legends, VI, 369.
IT II Chronicles 30.

we shall see, there appears to be some similarity between this action
and that by Numa at about the same time.
What permanent changes Hezekiah introduced in the calendar is not stated, but it is apparent that
at that time calendar reckoning became a complicated matter. As Moses in his day "could not
understand how to compute the calendar until God showed him the movements of the moon
plainly," so in the days of Hezekiah the determination of the month and of the year became a
matter, not of calculation, but of direct observation, and could not be performed much in
advance. Isaiah called the astrologers "the monthly prognosticators."1S \ As we have already
said, there is in the Talmud19 the information that the Temple of Solomon was built so that on
the equinoctial days of the year the direction of the rays of the rising sun could be tested. A gold
plate or disc was affixed to the eastern gate; through it the rays of the rising sun fell into the heart
of the Temple. The Festival of the Tabernacle (Sukkoth) "was originally an equinoctial festival
as Exodus 23 : 16 and 34 : 22 state explicitly, celebrated during the last seven days of the year,
and immediately preceding the New Year's Day, the day of the fall equinox, upon the tenth of the
seventh month." 20 In other words, New Year's Day, or the day of the autumnal equinox, was
observed on the tenth day of the seventh month, the day when the sun rose exactly in the east and

robin-bobin set exactly in the west, the Day of Atonement falling on the same day.21 Thereafter, the day of
the New Year was moved back to the first day of the seventh month. Wemay note that not only
on the Jewish calendar, but also according to the Babylonian tablets, the equinoctial dates were
displaced by nine days: one tablet says that in the spring day and night are equal on the fifteenth
of the month Nisan; another tablet says that it takes place on the sixth of the same month. This
indicates that the change
18 Isaiah 47 : 13.
19 Talmudic references may be found in the article cited in the following footnote.
20 Morgenstern, "The Gates of Righteousness," Hebrew Union College Annual, VI (1929), p.
21 Morgenstern says: "Upon the tenth of the seventh month ancient Israel celebrated originally,
not die Day of Atonement, but die New Year's day." Ibid., p. 37. in the calendar of the feasts
observed in Jerusalem followed astronomical changes.
The eastern gate of the Temple of Jerusalem was no longer correctly oriented after the cardinal
points had become displaced. On his accession to the throne following the death of Ahaz,
Hezekiah "inaugurated a sweeping religious reformation."22 II Chronicles 29 : 3 ff. says: "He in
the first year of his reign, in the first month, opened the doors of the house of the Lord, and
repaired them." Apparently the natural changes in terrestrial rotation which took place in the
days of Uzziah and again on the day of the burial of Ahaz, necessitated a reform. Hezekiah
therefore gathered the priests "into the east street" and spoke to them, saying that "our fathers
have trespassed" and "have shut up the doors of the porch."
In the pre-Exilic period it was held "to be of imperative necessity that on two days of the year the
sun shone directly through the eastern gate," and "through all the eastern gates of the Temple
arranged in line, directly into the very heart of the Temple proper." 2S The eastern gate, also
called "sun gate," served not only to check on the equinoxes, when the sun rises exactly in the
east, but on the solstices as well: a device on the eastern gate was designed to reflect the first
rays of the sun on the summer and winter solstices, when the sun rises in the southeast and the
northeast, respectively. According to Talmudic authorities, the early prophets experienced much
difficulty in making this arrangement work.24
From biblical times vestiges of three calendar systems remain,25 and this assumes a special
interest in view of the fact we noted some pages back, namely, that the tablets from Nineveh
record three different systems of solar and planetary movements, each of which is complete in
itself and differs from the others at every point.
It appears that the adjustment of the calendar, following the initiation of the new world order in
the days of Hezekiah, was a long &nd tedious process. As late as one hundred years after
22 Ibid., p. 33.

23 ibid., pp. 17, 31.
2* The Jerusalem Talmud, Tractate Erubin 22c.
25 Morgenstern, "The Three Calendars of Ancient Israel," Hebrew Union College Annual, I
(1924), 13-78.

during the Babylonian exile, in the days of Solon and Thales, Jeremiah, Baruch, and Ezekiel
drew up the calendar from year to year.26
When the Jews returned from the Babylonian exile, they brought with them their present
calendar, in which the months are called by Assyro-Babylonian names.
"For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will [do] make, shall remain before me, saith
the Lord, so shall your seed and your name remain," reads the closing chapter of the Book of
Isaiah. All flesh will come to worship the Lord "from one new moon to another, and from one
sabbath to another." The "new heavens" means a sky with constellations or luminaries in new
places. The prophet promises that the new sky will be everlasting and that the months will keep
forever their established order.

robin-bobin The assumed contacts with the earth would have caused much greater changes in and on Mars
than in and on the earth, because of the difference in mass. An interplanetary contact must have
caused a conversion of motion into heat, and consequently resulted in an excess of thermal
radiation over the quantity of heat brought to the planet by insolation.
The contacts of Mars with Venus, and in a lesser degree with the earth, less than three thousand
years ago probably are responsible for the present temperature of Mars; interplanetary electric
discharges could also initiate atomic fissions with ensuing radioactivity and emission of heat.
The Gases of Venus
A part of the gaseous trail of Venus remained attached to the earth, another part was torn away
by Mars, but the main mass of gases followed the head of the comet. Of the part which remained
with the earth, some became a deposit of petroleum; some, in the form of clouds, enveloped the
earth for many years, slowly precipitating. The part retained by Venus burned or smoked for a
long time, as long as the oxygen carried from the earth lasted; what remained forms today the
envelope of carbon clouds of the Morning Star. To the depth penetrated by spectroscopic
analysis, oxygen and water vapor are absent. The planet is covered with clouds of dust. Carbon
dioxide is an ingredient of Venus' atmosphere.1
The brilliant envelope of Venus is the remnant of its tail of the days when, three thousand years
ago, it was a comet. The reflecting power (albedo) of Venus is greater than that of any other
1 C. E. St. John and J. B. Nicholson, "The Spectrum of Venus," Contributions from the Mount
Wilson Observatory, No. 249 (1922).
The supposition has been advanced that Venus is covered with formaldehyde (R. Wildt)
although no spectral lines of this compound have been identified in the atmosphere of Venus.
It is 0.75 as compared with 0.22 for Mars, and 0.13 for the moon.2 The reflecting capacity of
Venus is not only much greater than that of desert sand, but is almost equal to that of newly
fallen snow.
On the basis of this research, I assume that Venus must be rich in petroleum gases. If and as long
as Venus is too hot for the liquefaction of petroleum, the hydrocarbons will circulate in gaseous
form. The absorption lines of the hydrocarbon spectrum lie far in the infrared where usual
photographs do not reach. When the technique of photography in the infrared is perfected so that
hydrocarbon bands can be differentiated, the spectrogram of Venus may disclose the presence of
hydrocarbon gases in its atmosphere, if these gases lie in the upper part of the atmosphere where
the rays of the sun penetrate.
If the petroleum that poured down on the earth on its contact with the comet Venus was formed
by means of electrical discharges from hydrogen and gaseous carbon, Venus must still have
petroleum because of the discharges that passed, as we assume, between the head and tail of the
comet when it was intercepted by the earth and in other celestial contacts.
Some indirect conclusion can also be drawn concerning the presence of liquid petroleum on
Jupiter. If, as is assumed here, Venus was thrown off from Jupiter in a violent expulsion, and if
Venus has petroleum gases, then Jupiter must have petroleum. The fact that methane has been
discovered in the atmosphere of Jupiter—the only known constituents of its atmosphere are the
poisonous gases methane and ammonia—makes it rather probable that it has petroleum; the so-
called "natural gas" found in and near oil fields consists largely of methane.
The modern theory of the origin of petroleum, based upon its polarizing quality, regards
petroleum as originating from organic, not inorganic, matter. Consequently, if I am not mistaken,
Venus and Jupiter must possess an organic source of petroleum. On preceding pages it was
shown that there are some historical indications that Venus—and therefore also Jupiter—is
populated by vermin; this organic life can be the source of petroleum.
2 These figures are from Arrhenius, Das Schicksal der Planeten (1911), p. 6. E. A. Antoniadi (La
planete Mercure [1939], p. 49) gives 0.63 for Venus, 0.17 for Mars, and 0.10 for the moon.


The Thermal Balance of Venus
Radiometric observations at the Mount Wilson and Flagstaff observatories in 1922 have shown
that "a considerable amount of heat" is emitted by the dark part of the disc of the planet Venus.
Venus, being nearer to the sun than the earth, turns in succession its illuminated and shaded parts
toward the earth: it shows phases like the moon. The temperature of the day and night sides of
Venus was measured by a radiometric method and it was found that there is "a nearly uniform
temperature over the planet's surface both on the illuminated and dark hemispheres." "This
sentence [of E. Pettit and S. B. Nicholson] is a terse statement of what is perhaps the most
valuable single discovery ever made with respect to the planet Venus." * Similar results were
also obtained independently and almost simultaneously by a second pair of researchers.2
What explanation can be given for the phenomenon of the nearly uniform temperature of the day
and night hemispheres of Venus? The conclusion drawn was this: The daily rotation of the planet
Venus is very rapid and during the short night the temperature cannot fall to any considerable
extent. But this conclusion stands in complete contradiction to what was believed to be the
established fact of the nonrotation of Venus (with respect to the sun, or of a rotation in relation to
the fixed stars with a period equal to the time of one revolution on its planetary orbit or 225
terrestrial days). Due to the cover of clouds over Venus, it is impossible to have a direct
impression as to whether Venus has a day-night rotation or not. The spectro-graphic data suggest
that the planet revolves always with the same side to the sun, just as the moon revolves always
with the same side to the earth, or that, at most, it rotates very slowly.3 In any case, a short
period of rotation is excluded by the spectrographic data.
"If the period of rotation of Venus is 225 days, as many observers
1 F. E. Ross, "Photographs of Venus," Contributions from the Mount Wilson Observatory, No.
363 (1928).
2 Coblentz and Lampland, lournal of Franklin Institute, Vol. 199 (1925), 804. 8 E. St. John and
S. B. Nicholson, "The Spectrum of Venus," Astraphysical Journal, Vol. LVI (1922).

have been led to believe, it is difficult to see how the high temperature of the rotating layer of the
night side can be maintained." 4
Compromise does not satisfy either side. Neither the radiometric data, which suggest a short
period of rotation, nor the precise spec-troscopic data, which indicate a long period of rotation,
may be ignored, and "they will undoubtedly furnish material for discussion and debate for many
years." "
In reality there is no conflict between the two methods of physical observation. The night side of
Venus radiates heat because Venus is hot. The reflecting, absorbing, insulating, and conducting
properties of the cloud layer of Venus modify the heating effect of the sun upon the body of the
planet; but at the bottom of the problem lies this fact: Venus gives off heat.
Venus experienced in quick succession its birth and expulsion under violent conditions; an
existence as a comet on an ellipse which approached the sun closely; two encounters with the
earth accompanied by discharges of potentials between these two bodies and with a thermal
effect caused by conversion of momentum into heat; a number of contacts with Mars, and
probably also with Jupiter. Since all this happened between the third and first millennia before
the present era, the core of the planet Venus must still be hot. Moreover, if there is oxygen
present on Venus, petroleum fires must be burning there.
These conclusions are drawn from the history of Venus as established in this research.
The End
This world will be destroyed; also the mighty ocean will dry up; and this broad earth will be
burnt up. Therefore, sirs, cultivate friendliness; cultivate compassion.
—"World Cycles" in Visuddhi-Magga The solar system is not a structure that has remained
unchanged for billions of years; displacement of members of the system oc-* Ross, "Photographs
of Venus," p. 14.
B Ibid.

curred in historical times. Nor is there justification for the excuse that man cannot know or find
out how this system came into being because he was not there when it was arranged in its present
Catastrophes have repeatedly reduced civilization on this earth to ruins. But our earth has fared
well in comparison with Mars; and judged by the state of civilization at which mankind has
arrived, conditions for life processes have been improved in some respects. But if events of this
kind happened in the past, they may happen again in the future, with perhaps a different—fatal—
The earth has come in contact with other planets and comets. At present no planet has a course
that endangers the earth, and only a few asteroids—mere rocks, a few kilometers in diameter—
have orbits that cross the path of the earth. This was discovered, to the amazement of scholars,
only recently. But in the solar system there exists a possibility that at some date in the future a
collision between two planets will occur, not a mere encounter between a planet and an asteroid.
The orbit of Pluto, the farthest of the planets from the sun, though much larger than Neptune's,
crosses that of Neptune. True, the plane of the orbit of Pluto is inclined 17° to the ecliptic, and
therefore the danger of a collision is not impending. However, since the long axis of Pluto's orbit
changes its direction, future contact between the two planets is probable if no comet intervenes
to disrupt the intersecting orbits of these bodies. Astronomers will see the planets stop or slow
down in their rotation, cushioned in the magnetic fields about them; a spark will fly from one
planet to another, and thus an actual crushing collision of the lithospheres will be avoided; then
the planets will part and change their orbits. It may happen that Pluto will become a satellite of
Neptune. There is also the possibility that Pluto may encounter, not Neptune, but Triton,
Neptune's satellite and about one-third as large as Pluto. Whether Pluto will become another
moon of Neptune or will be thrown into a position much closer to the sun, or whether it will free
Triton from being a satellite are matters of conjecture.
Another case of intersection may be found among the moons of Jupiter. The orbit of the sixth
satellite is interlocked with the orbit of the seventh, and the eighth satellite is highly erratic and

the path of the ninth. One should be able to calculate how long the sixth and seventh satellites
have moved on their present paths; the figures will probably not be large.
Each collision between two planets in the past caused a series of subsequent collisions, in which
other planets became involved. The collision between major planets, which is the theme of the
sequel to Worlds in Collision, brought about the birth of comets. These comets moved across the
orbits of other planets and collided with them. At least one of these comets in historical times
became a planet (Venus), and this at the cost of great destruction on Mars and on the earth.
Planets, thrown off their paths, collided repeatedly until they attained their present positions,
where their orbits do not intersect. The only remaining cases of intersection are those of Neptune
and Pluto, the satellites of Jupiter, and some planetoids (asteroids) that cross the orbits of Mars
and the earth.
Moreover, comets may strike the earth, as Venus did when it was a comet; in that major
catastrophe it was fortunate that Venus is a. slightly smaller body than the earth. A large comet
arriving from interstellar spaces may run into one of the planets and push it from its orbit; then
chaos may start anew. Also, some dark star, like Jupiter or Saturn, may be in the path of the sun,
and may be attracted to the system and cause havoc in it.
The scholarly world assumed that in some hundreds of millions of years the heat of the sun
would be exhausted, and then, as Flam-marion frightened his readers, the last pair of human
beings would freeze to death in the ice of the equator. But this is far off in the future. In view of
modern knowledge that heat is discharged in the process of breaking up atoms, scientists are now
prepared to credit the sun with an immense reserve of heat. The fear, if any, is focused on the
possibility that the sun may explode; a few minutes later the earth will become aware of this, and
soon thereafter will no longer exist. But the one end, that of freezing, is very remote; the other
end, that of explosion, is very improbable; and the world is thought to have billions of peaceful
years ahead. It is believed that the world has gone through eons of undisturbed evolution, and
equally long eons are before us. Man can go far in such a span of

time, considering that his entire civilization has endured less than ten thousand years, and in
view of the great technological progress he has made in the last century.
The average man is no longer afraid of the end of the world. Man clings to his earthly
possessions, registers his landholdings and fences them in; peoples carry on wars to preserve and
to enlarge their historical frontiers. Yet the last five or six thousand years have witnessed a series
of major catastrophes, each of which displaced the borders of the seas, and some of which
caused sea-beds and continents to interchange places, submerging kingdoms, and creating space
for new ones.
Cosmic collisions are not divergent phenomena, or phenomena that, in the opinion of some
modern philosophers, take place in defiance of what is supposed to be physical laws; they are
more in the nature of occurrences implicit in the dynamics of the universe, or, in terms of that
philosophy, convergent phenomena.
"Lest by chance restrained by religion,"—and we may read 'science' instead of 'religion'—"you
should think that earth and sun, and sky, sea, stars, and moon must needs abide for everlasting,
because of their divine body," think of the catastrophes of the past; and then "look upon seas, and
lands, and sky; their threefold nature . . . then-three textures so vast, one single day shall hurl to
ruin; and the massive form and fabric of the world held up for many years, shall fall headlong."1
"And the whole firmament shall fall on the divine earth and on tne sea: and then shall flow a
ceaseless cataract of raging fire, and shall burn land and sea, and the firmament of heaven and
the stars and creation itself it shall cast into one molten mass and clean dissolve. Then no more
shall there be the luminaries' twinkling orbs, no night, no dawn, no constant days of care, no
spring, no summer, no winter, no autumn."2
"A single day will see the burial of all mankind. All that the long forbearance of fortune has
produced, all that has been reared to eminence, all that is famous and all that is beautiful, great
1 Lucretius De rerum natura, v (transl. C. Bailey, 1924).
2 The Sibylline Oracles, transl. Lanchester.
great nations—all will descend into one abyss, will be overthrown in one hour."8
The vehemence of flames will burst asunder the framework of the earth's crust.4
3 Seneca Naturales quaestiones III, xxx (transl. J. Clarke).
* Seneca Epistolae morales, Epistle xcl (transl. R. M. Gummere).

Facing Many Problems
IN THIS BOOK, containing the first part of a historical cosmology, I have endeavored to show
that two series of cosmic catastrophes took place in historical times, thirty-four and twenty-six
centuries ago, and thus only a short time ago not peace but war reigned in the solar system.
All cosmological theories assume that the planets have revolved m their places for billions of
years; we claim that they have been traveling along their present orbits for only a few thousand
years. We maintain also that one planet—Venus—was formerly a comet and that it joined the
family of planets within the memory of mankind, thus offering an explanation of how one of the
planets originated. We conjectured that the comet Venus originated in the planet Jupiter; then we
found that smaller comets were born in contacts between Venus and Mars, thus offering an
explanation of the principle of the origin of the comets of the solar system. That these comets are
only a few thousand years old explains why, despite dissipation of the material of their tails in
space, they have not yet disintegrated entirely. From the fact that Venus was once a comet we
learned that comets are not nearly immaterial bodies or "rien visible," as was thought because
stars are usually seen through their tails and, on the passage of one or two of them in front of the
sun, their heads were not perceptible.
We claim that the earth's orbit changed more than once and with it the length of the year; that the
geographical position of the terrestrial axis and its astronomical direction changed repeatedly,
and that at a recent date the polar star was in the constellation of the Great Bear. The length of
the day altered; the polar regions shifted,

the polar ice became displaced into moderate latitudes, and other regions moved into the polar
We arrived at the conclusion that electrical discharges took place between Venus, Mars, and the
earth when, in very close contacts, their atmospheres touched each other; that the magnetic poles
of the earth became reversed only a few thousand years ago; and that with the change in the
moon's orbit, the length of the month changed too, and repeatedly so. In the period of seven
hundred years between the middle of the second millennium before the present era and the eighth
century the year consisted of 360 days and the month of almost exactly thirty days, but earlier
the day, month, and year were of different lengths.
We offered an explanation of the fact that the nocturnal side of Venus emits as much heat as the
sunlit side; and we explained the origin of the canals of Mars and of the craters and seas of lava
on the moon as brought about in stress and near collisions.

We believe we came close to solving the problem of mountain building and the irruption of the
sea; the exchange of place between sea and land; the rise of new islands and volcanic activity;
sudden changes in climate and the destruction of quadrupeds in northern Siberia and the
annihilation of entire species; and the cause of earthquakes.
Furthermore, we found that excessive evaporation of water from the surface of the oceans and
seas, a phenomenon that was postulated to explain excessive precipitation and formation of ice
covers, was caused by extraterrestrial agents. Though in such occurrences we see the origin of
the Fimbul winter, we are inclined to regard the erratic boulders and till, or gravel, clay, and sand
on the substratum of rock as having been carried, not by ice, but by onrushing gigantic tides
caused by change in the rotation of the terrestrial globe; thus have we accounted for moraines
that migrated from the equator toward higher latitudes and altitudes (Himalayas) or from the
equator across Africa toward the South Pole.
We recognized that the religions of the peoples of the world have a common astral origin. The
narrative of the Hebrew Bible concerning the plagues and other wonders of the time of the
Exodus is

historically true and the prodigies recorded have a natural explanation. We learned that there was
a world conflagration and that naphtha poured from the sky; that only a small proportion of
people and animals survived; that the passage of the sea and the the-ophany at Mount Sinai are
not inventions; that the shadow of death or twilight of the gods (Gotterdammerung) refers to the
time of the wandering in the desert; that manna or ambrosia really fell from the sky, from the
clouds of Venus.
We found also that Joshua's miracle with the sun and the moon is not a tale for the credulous. We
learned why there are common ideas in the folklore of peoples separated by oceans, and we
recognized the importance of world upheavals in the content of legends and why the planets
were deified and which planet was represented by Pallas Athene, and what is the celestial plot of
the Iliad and in what period this epic was created, and why the Roman people made Mars their
national god and progenitor of the founders of Rome. We came to understand the real meaning
of the messages of the Hebrew prophets Amos, Isaiah, Joel, Micah, and others. We were able
also to ascertain the year, month, and day of the last cosmic catastrophe and to establish the
wanderings of peoples in the fifteenth and eighth centuries. We learned the origin of the belief in
the chosenness of the Jewish people; we traced the original meaning of the archangels, and the
source of eschatological beliefs in doomsday.
In giving this enumeration of the claims made and problems dealt with in this book, we are
aware that more problems have arisen than have been solved.
The question before historical cosmogony is this: If it is true that cosmic catastrophes occurred
such a short time ago, how about the more remote past? What can we find out concerning the
Deluge, at present thought to have been a local flooding of the Euphrates that impressed the
Bedouins coming from the desert? In general, what can be brought to light concerning the
world's more distant past and earlier celestial battles?
As explained in the Preface, the story of catastrophes as they can be reconstructed from the
records of man and of nature is not completed in this volume. Here are presented only two
chapters—two world ages—Venus and Mars. I intend to go further back into the past and piece
together the story of some earlier cosmic upheavals. This will be the subject of another volume.
There I hope to be able to tell a little more of the circumstances preceding the birth of Venus
from the body of Jupiter and narrate at length why Jupiter, a planet which only a few persons out
of a crowd know how to find in the sky, was the main deity of the peoples of antiquity. In that
book an attempt will be made to answer some more of the questions raised in the first pages of
the Prologue of this volume.
Historical cosmogony offers a chance to employ the fact that there were catastrophes of global
extent in establishing a synchronized history of the ancient world. Previous efforts to build
chronological tables on the basis of astronomical calculations—new moons, eclipses, heliacal
rising or culmination of certain stars—cannot be correct because the order of nature has changed
since ancient times. But great upheavals of cosmic character may serve as points of departure for
writing a revised history of the nations.
Such a synchronization of the histories of the ancient world is attempted in Ages in Chaos. Its
starting point is the simultaneity of physical catastrophes in the countries of the ancient East and
the comparison of records referring to such catastrophes among the peoples of antiquity. For the
rest, I have proceeded by collating political records and archeological material of the ancient
East covering a period of over a thousand years, from the end of the Middle Kingdom in Egypt
to the time of Alexander of Macedonia: going step by step from century to century, the research
arrives at an entirely revised sequence of events in ancient history and discloses a discrepancy of
a number of centuries in the conventional chronology.
The development of religion, including the religion of Israel, comes under a new light. The facts
established here may help in tracing the origin and the growth of planetary worship, animal
worship, human sacrifices—also the source of astrological beliefs. The author feels an obligation
to expand the scope of his work in order to include the problem of the birth of religion and of

in particular. Investigation should be made into why and how the Jewish people, who had the
same experiences as other peoples and who started with an astral religion like the rest of the
nations, early cast off astral deities and forbade the worship of images.
The Scriptures invite a new approach to Bible criticism, one that will make it possible to see the
process of transition from an astral religion to monotheism with its idea of a single Creator, not a
star, not an animal, and not a human being.
An intriguing problem presents itself in psychology. Freud searched for primordial urges in
modern man. According to him, in the primitive society of the stone age, when the sons grew up,
they looked for a chance to dispose of the father, once all-powerful and now aging, and to work
their will on their mother; and this urge is part of the heritage that modern man carries over from
his prehistoric ancestors. According to the theory of another psychologist, Carl Jung, there exists
a collective unconscious mind, a receptacle and carrier of ideas deposited there in primeval
times, which plays an important role in our concepts and actions. In the light of these theories,
we may well wonder to what extent the terrifying experiences of world catastrophes have
become part of the human soul and how much, if any, of it can be traced in our beliefs, emotions,
and behavior as directed from the unconscious or subconscious strata of the mind.1
In the present volume geological and paleontological material was discussed only occasionally—
when we dealt with rocks being carried considerable distances and placed on top of foreign
formations; with mammoths being killed in a catastrophe; with the changes of climate, the
geographical contours of the polar ice in the past, moraines in Africa, and remains of human
culture in the north of Alaska; with the source of a substantial part of oil deposits, the origin of
volcanoes, the cause of earthquakes. However, geological, paleontological, and anthropological
material related to the problems of cosmic catastrophes is vast and may give a complete picture
of past events no less than historical material.
1 In connection with my idea of collective amnesia, G. A. Atwater suggests a search for the
vestiges of terrifying experiences of the past in the present behavior of man.

What can we establish concerning the disappearance of species and even of genera, the theory of
evolution versus the theory of catastrophic mutations, and the development of animal and plant
life in general, or the time when giants lived or when brontosauri populated the earth?
The submersion and emersion of land, the origin of the salt in the sea, the origin of deserts, of
gravel, of coal deposits in Antarctica, and the palm growth in the arctic regions; the building of
sedimentary rocks; the intrusion of igneous rock above levels containing bones of marine and
land animals and of iron in the superficial layers of the earth's crust, the times of geological
epochs and the age of man on the earth—all these ask for treatment in the light of the theory of
cosmic catastrophism.
Then there are physical problems. The accounts given in this book about planets changing their
orbits and the velocities of their rotation, about a comet that became a planet, about
interplanetary contacts and discharges, indicate a need for a new approach to celestial mechanics.
The theory of cosmic catastrophism can, if required to do so, conform with the celestial
mechanics of Newton. Comets and planets pushing one another could change their orbits,
although it is singular how, for instance, Venus could achieve a circular orbit, or how the moon,
also forced from its place, could hold to an almost circular orbit. Nevertheless, there are
precedents for such a concept. The planetesimal theory postulates innumerable collisions
between small planetesimals—that flew out of the sun, gradually rounded their orbits, and
formed planets and satellites; the tidal theory also regards the planets as derivatives of the sun
swept by a passing star into a direction and with a force that, together with the gravitational
attraction of the sun, created nearly circular orbits, the same having occurred to the moons in
relation to their parent planets.2 Another precedent for circular orbits formed under extraordinary
circumstances can be found in the theory that regards the retrograde
2 One of the authors of the tidal theory, Harold Jeffreys, writes that first among the "several
striking facts" which "still remain unexplained" by the tidal theory is "the smallness of the
eccentricities of the orbits of the planets and satellites" (The Earth, 2nd ed. [1929], p. 48).

satellites as captured asteroids which succeeded, after being captured, in achieving
approximately circular orbits.
If such effects from contacts between two stars or from capture of a smaller body by a larger
body are not incompatible with celestial mechanics, then the orbits resulting from worlds in
collision should be regarded as in harmony with it, too.
The physical effects of retardation or reversal of the earth in its diurnal rotation are differently
evaluated by various scientists. Some express the opinion that a total destruction of the earth and
volatilization of its entire mass would follow such slowing down or stasis. They concede,
however, that destruction of such dimensions would not occur if the earth continued to rotate and
only its axis were tilted out of its position. This could be caused by the earth's passing through a
strong magnetic field at an angle to the earth's magnetic axis. A rotating steel top, when tilted by
a magnet, continues to rotate. Theoretically, the terrestrial axis could be tilted for a certain length
of time, and at any angle, and also in such a fashion that it would lie in the plane of the ecliptic.
In that case, one of the two hemispheres —the northern or the southern—would remain in
prolonged day, the other, in prolonged night.
The tilting of the axis could produce the visual effect of a retrogressing or arrested sun; a greater
tilting, a multiple day or night; and in the case of still greater tilting, a reversal of poles with east
and west exchanging places; all this without a substantial disruption in the mechanical
momentum of the rotation or revolution of the earth.
Other scientists maintain that a theoretical slowing down or even stoppage of the earth in its
diurnal rotation would not by itself cause the destruction of the earth. All parts of the earth rotate
with the same angular velocity, and if the theoretical stoppage or slowing down did not upset the
equality of the angular velocity of the various parts of the solid globe, the earth would survive
the slowing down, or stasis, or even a reversal of rotation. However, the fluid parts—the air and
the water of the oceans—would certainly have their angular velocity disrupted, and hurricanes
and tidal waves would sweep the earth. Civilizations would be destroyed, but not the globe.

According to this explanation, the actual results of such a slowing down of the angular velocity
of rotation would depend on the manner in which it occurred. If the application of an external
medium, say a thick cloud of dust, acted equally on all parts of the surface of the globe, the globe
would change its speed of rotation or might even cease rotating, and the energy of its rotation
would be transferred to the cloud of dust; heat would develop as the result of the bombardment
by the particles of dust striking the atmosphere and the ground. The earth would be buried under
such a thick layer of dust that its mass would noticeably increase.
The cessation of the diurnal rotation could also be caused—and most efficiently—by the earth's
passing through a strong magnetic field; eddy currents would be generated in the surface of the
earth,3 which in turn would give rise to magnetic fields, and these, interacting with the external
field, would slow down the earth or bring it to a rotational stasis.
It is possible to calculate the mass of a cloud of particles and also the strength of the magnetic
field that would cause the earth to stop rotating or to slow down, say, to half its original
rotational velocity. A rough calculation shows that if the mass of this cloud were equal to the
mass of the earth and consisted of iron particles magnetized close to saturation, it would create a
magnetic field strong enough to stop the rotation of the earth; if the magnetic field were half as
strong it would slow the rotation of the earth to half its original velocity. However, if the cloud
were electrically charged, the strength of its magnetic field would depend on its charge.
If the interaction with the magnetic field caused the earth to renew its spinning, it would almost
certainly not be renewed at the same speed. If the magma inside the globe continued to rotate at a
different angular velocity than the shell, it would tend to set the earth rotating slowly. In the tidal
theory the origin of the earth's rotation is ascribed to the action of meteorites.
3 In this connection see the description of a sudden calamity in Numbers 16 : 45-49, in which
thousands of Israelites roaming in the desert were "consumed as in a moment."

If the angular velocity of the various strata or segments of the globe were disrupted by some
stress, these strata or segments would shift, and heat would be created as the result of the
friction. Cracks and rifts would appear, seas would erupt, land would submerge or rise in
mountain ridges, with "the midmost of the earth trembling with terror and the upper layers of the
earth falling away." 4
The stresses between the various strata that would result in all this might also convert some of
the energy of rotation, not into heat, but into other forms of energy, including electrical. A
discharge of great magnitude between the earth and the outer body (or cloud) could take place in
this way.

robin-bobin Thus celestial mechanics does not conflict with cosmic catastro-phism. I must admit, however,
that in searching for the causes of the great upheavals of the past and in considering their effects,
I became skeptical of the great theories concerning the celestial motions that were formulated
when the historical facts described here were not known to science. The subject deserves to be
discussed in detail and quantitatively. All that I would venture to say at this time and in this place
is the following: The accepted celestial mechanics, notwithstanding the many calculations that
have been carried out to many decimal places, or verified by celestial motions, stands only if the
sun, the source of light, warmth, and other radiation produced by fusion and fission of atoms, is
as a whole an electrically neutral body, and also if the planets, in their usual orbits, are neutral
Fundamental principles in celestial mechanics including the law of gravitation, must come into
question if the sun possesses a charge sufficient to influence the planets in their orbits or the
comets in theirs. In the Newtonian celestial mechanics, based on the theory of gravitation,
electricity and magnetism play no role.
When physicists came upon the idea that the atom is built like a solar system, the atoms of
various chemical elements differing in the mass of their suns (nuclei) and the number of their
planets (electrons), the notion was looked upon with much favor. But it was stressed that "an
atom differs from the solar system by the fact that * See p. 74.

it is not gravitation that makes the electrons go round the nucleus, but electricity" (H. N.
Besides this, another difference was found: an electron in an atom, on absorbing the energy of a
photon (light), jumps to another orbit, and again to another when it emits light and releases the
energy of a photon. Because of this phenomenon, comparison with the solar system no longer
seemed valid. "We do not read in the morning newspapers that Mars leaped to the orbit of
Saturn, or Saturn to the orbit of Mars," wrote a critic. True, we do not read it in the morning
papers; but in ancient records we have found similar events described in detail, and we have tried
to reconstruct the facts by comparing many ancient records. The solar system is actually built
like an atom; only, in keeping with the smallness of the atom, the jumping of electrons from one
orbit to another, when hit by the energy of a photon, takes place many times a second, whereas in
accord with the vastness of the solar system, a similar phenomenon occurs there once in
hundreds or thousands of years. In the middle of the second millennium before the present era,
the terrestrial globe experienced two displacements; and in the eighth or seventh century before
the present era, it experienced three or four more. In the period between, Mars and Venus, and
the moon also, shifted.
Contacts between celestial bodies are not limited to the domain of the solar system. From time to
time a nova is seen in the sky, a blazing fixed star which until then had been small or invisible. It
burns for weeks or months and then loses its light. It is thought that this may be the result of a
collision between two stars (a phenomenon that, according to the tidal theory, occurred to the sun
or to its theoretical companion). Comets arriving from other solar systems may have been born
in such collisions.

If the activity in an atom constitutes a rule for the macrocosm, then the events described in this
book were not merely accidents of celestial traffic, but normal phenomena like birth and death.
The discharges between the planets, or the great photons emitted in these contacts, caused
metamorphoses in inorganic and organic nature. Of these things I intend to write in another
volume, where problems

of geology and paleontology and the theory of evolution will be discussed.
Having discovered some historical facts and having solved a few problems, we are faced with
more problems in almost all fields of science; we are not free to stop and rest on the road on
which we started when we wondered whether Joshua's miracle of stopping the sun was a natural
phenomenon. Barriers between sciences serve to create the belief in a scientist in any particular
field that other scientific fields are free from problems, and he trusts himself to borrow from
them without questioning. It can be seen here that problems in one area carry over into other
scientific areas, thought to have no contact with each other.
We realize the limitations which a single scholar must be aware of on facing such an ambitious
program of inquiry into the architectonics of the world and its history. In earlier centuries
philosophers not infrequently attempted a synthesis of knowledge in its various branches. Today,
with knowledge becoming more and more specialized, whoever tries to cope with such a task
should ask in all humility the question put at the beginning of this volume: Quota pars operis
tanti nobis committitur—Which part of this work is committed to us?

Aaron, 133, 166, 293
Abihu, son of Aaron, 56
Achaeans, 247-249
Acosta, J. de, 339
Adam, city of, 139
Adar, month of, 351
Adrastus of Cyzicus, 158
Aegospotami, 289
Aeneas, 246
Aeschylus, 151, 282
Aethiopia, people of, 144
Africa, 76, 380, 383
Agassiz, Louis, 76
Agni, Vedic deity, 133, 134
Agog, King, 151, 158

Ahaz, King, 212-213, 216-219, 233, 237-238, 274, 322, 351, 353, 363 Ahaziah, King, 185 Ahriman, 183, 185
L'Aigle (the fall of meteorites at), 41 Ainu peoples, in Japan, 327 Ajalon, in Palestine, 39, 45
Akhet-Aten, in Egypt, 281 Alaska, 326-329, 383 Alexander of Macedonia, 53, 89, 382
Algonquin tribe, 309 Almagest, by C. Ptolemy, 195 Alps, 27
Amalekites, 130, 184 Amenhotep III, pharaoh, 323, 324 Ammizaduga, of Babylonia, 198 Amon,
Amon Temple (at Karnak), 323 Amos, prophet, 117, 176, 207-209,215,
239, 252, 263, 274, 381 Amur River, 327 Anaitis, goddess, 170 Anastasi Papyrus, 129 Anat,
goddess, 177, 297 Anat-Yahu, in Elephantine, 297 Anaxagoras, 271, 317

AME INDEX Anaximander, 29
Anaximenes, 29
Ancasmarca, mountain of, 61
Andes, 273
Angstrom, A. J., 22
Antarctica, coal deposits on, 20, 384
Antefoker, vizier of Sesostris I, 56
Anthesteria, feast of, 150
Anthesterion, spring month, 150
Anu path in the sky, 351
Anugita, Iranian book, 61
Apennine Peninsula, 269, 273, 278
Aphaca, town in Syria, 178, 289
Aphrodite, 247, 250, 251, 361
Apis, 180, 181, 182
Apollo, 248, 301
Apollodorus, 49, 79, 81, 171, 237, 306
Apollonius Rhodius, 161
Apop, King in Egypt, 151
Apopi, 50; see also Seth
Appalachians, 19
Appian Way, 264
Arabia, Arabs, 33, 119, 179, 180
Arabot (sky with the sun's rising point in the west), 114 Arago, D. F., 41 Archilochus, 216 Arctic Circle, 327, 328 Arctic Ocean, 26 Ares, 137, 185, 238, 263-264, 274, 281, 288; see also Mars Argive plain, 216-217 Argive tyrants, 216-218, 237, 307; see also Atreus and Thyestes Arimi, people of Syria, 79 Aristarchus of Samos, 29 Aristocles, 169 Aristophanes, 84 Aristotle, 18, 29, 41, 137, 162-163. 221, 271, 338 Arizona, 41
Armenians, 33
Annilustrium, feast of, 240
Arno River, 273
Arrhenius, S. A., 22
Artapanus, 64, 86

AryaDhatta, Hindu astronomer, 257, 331 Arzachel, Arabian scholar, 316 Ascension of Moses, book, 294 Ashteroth-Karnaim, 166,
169, 179 Asia, 277, 328, 329 Asia Minor, 146, 269, 278 Assurbanipal, 165, 177, 180, 198, 350
Assyria, Assyrian, 212, 228, 230-232,
241, 242, 262, 265, 269, 292, 293,
310, 334, 335, 355 Assyro-Babylonia, 244, 354 Astarte, 166, 169, 289 Atharva-Veda, 136, 138,
181, 182 Athene, 138, 168-175, 179, 185, 196,
241, 247-251, 253, 258, 262, 297,
361 Athens, 170 Atlantis, 146-148 Atlas, 240
Atreus, Argive tyrant, 109, 216, 237 Atymnios, driver of sun's chariot, 160 Augustus, see
Octavian Augustine, St., 57, 119, 158, 159, 171 Aulus Genius, 345 Averrhoes, Arab philosopher,
114 Avesta, see Zend Avesta Avienus, Latin poet, 83 Avila, Spanish author, 61 Aviv, month of,
65 Azazel, 156
Azekah, in Palestine, 42 Aztecs, 32, 118, 253, 269 Azza, angel, 156
Baal, 178, 197, 294, 295
Baal Zevuv, 183-186
Babylon, Babylonia, Babylonian, 177, 178, 200, 222, 223, 225, 242, 259, 261, 264, 268, 274,
275, 278, 281, 295-296, 315, 316, 318, 333, 334, 343, 345, 346, 351, 352, 354
Baffin Land, 326
Bahman Yast, 31, 62
Balaam, 151, 159
Bamboo Books, 235, 254
Bancroft, H. H., 253
Bantu tribes, 185
Baruch, disciple of Jeremiah, 354
Beelzebub, see Baal Zevur
Beke, Charles, 93
Belith, 179
Bereshit Rabba, book, 224
Bering Strait, 327
Berosus, Chaldean author, 231, 269-
270 Bertholon, P., 41
Beth-horon, in Palestine, 39, 42, 44 Bhaga Vedam, Hindu book, 31 Bhagavata Furana, Hindu
books, 31 Biot, E., 234, 235 Bochart, Samuel, 85 Boghaz Keui, in Anatolia, 161 Bofsena lake,
273 Bolsena, town of, 273 Book of the Dead, 136 Book of the Lord, 220 Book of Sothis, 337,
338 Boothia Felix Peninsula, 326 Borneo, 35
Bororo, in Brazil, 185 Bosporus, 269 Branmanas, 330 Brahmans, 31, 35, 161, 182, 313, 320,
331; see also Hindu Brasseur de Bourbourg, C. E., 122 Bronze Age, 4 Bundahis, book of, 62,
133, 183, 185,

robin-bobin 257-258, 333 Bura, city in Greece, 289 Buriats, people in Siberia, 160
Calaveras skull, 20
Calvisius, 82
Campester, Roman astrologer, 84
Cancer, sign of zodiac, constellation,
270 Canopus Decree, 195, 336 Capricorn, 83, 270 Carthage, 246
Cashinaua, aborigines of W. Brazil, 90 Castor, 158, 159 Caucasus, 57, 265, 269 Celsus, Roman
philosopher, 272 Celts, Celtic, 89, 344 Censorinus, Latin author, 29, 239, 273 Chaldeans, 164,
241, 270, 349

Chamberlain, T. C, 8 Chams, tribe in Indo-China, 347 Chaska, name of Venus, 165 Chewkee
tribe, on the Gulf Coast, 189 Chichimex tribe in Mexico, 177 Chicon-Tonatiuh, "the Seven
Suns," 34 China, Chinese, 89, 100-104, 234-237, 254, 268, 290, 306, 307, 315, 327, 340, 343,
355, 358 Choctaw Indians, 71 Chou (Shu), Egyptian god, 88 Cicero, 170, 171 Cimmerians,
people, 269 City of God, 158, 171; see also Augustine Clavius, crater on the moon, 360
Cleobulus, a sage, 338 Codex Borgia, 177 Codex Chimalpopoca, 45, 128 Confucius, 99, 100,
234, 235 Cordilleras, 19, 91, 277 Crete, 119, 160 Critias, by Plato, 147 Critias, the Elder and the
Younger, 147 Cronus, 170, 173, 289; see also Saturn Ctesias, Greek historian, 333 Cuauhtitlan,
Annals of, 34, 45, 53, 54 Culhua, Culhuacan, Kingdom of, 34,
45 Cuvier, G, 17, 18, 24-25, 42 Cuzco (Cusco), in Peru, 319 Cyprus, 179, 289, 297
Dan, in Palestine, 178
Danaans, 248
Daniel, Prophecies of, book, 262
Daniel, prophet, 354
Darwin, Charles, 18, 25, 305
Darwin, George, 22
David, King, 261, 290
Day of Atonement, 155, 352
Deborah, Song of, 89
Deimos, satellite of Mars, 280
Delphi, 289
Deluc, J. A., 25
Democrirus, 30,161,162,178, 271,317
Deucalion, Flood of, 119, 148-152
Deutero-Isaiah, 318, 354
Deuteronomy, Book of, 295
Dhrura, polar star, 314
Diana, 289
Dinkard, Iranian book, 31
Diodorus of Sicily, 100, 169, 270
Diogenes Laetius, 271, 317, 356, 357
Dion of Naples, 158
Discord, companion of Ares, 281
Djohainah, land of, 88
Djorhomites, Arab tribe, 88
Dnieper River, 265
Dominican monks, 45
Donnelly, I., 42
Dorians, 269
Dorsey, G. A., 193
Dragon, 80, 82, 293, 306
Dresden Codex, 196
in Ea path in the sky, 351
Earthquake-sun of the Mayas, 33-34
East Indies, 277, 347
Ebb, in Egypt, see Elephantine
Ebers Papyrus, 336, 337
Ecclesiastes, Book of, 226
Edda, Icelandic epic, 32, 257, 265
Edom, the name of, 50
Egypt, Egyptians, 47-52, 65-66, 87, 105, 180, 231-233, 261, 263-266, 271, 293, 296, 299, 310,
314, 320-324, 336, 337, 343, 355, 357
Ekron, in Palestine, 185
Elam, 265
El-Arish, shrine of, 59, 88
Electra, by Euripides, 110
Elephantine, in Egypt, 296
Eleusis, in Attica, 318, 319
Empedocles, 245, 317
Engineer Creek, in Alaska, 328
EnBl path in the sky, 351
Ensisheim, in Alsace, 41
Ephesus, in Ionia, 289
Epicurus, Greek philosopher, 30
Eratosthenes, Alexandrian geometer, 255
Erie, Lake, 28
Erinyes, 282
Ermitage Papyrus, 107, 128, 129
Erythrean Sea, 50
Esarhaddon, 229, 242, 268, 350
Eskimos of Alaska, 327; Canada, 160; of Greenland, 90, 113
Ester, in Alaska, 328
Ethiopia, 268
Etruscans, 29, 273
Euphrates, river, 304
Euripides, 110, 282
Europa, 119
Eusebius, 64, 86, 119, 149
Eyuru, gods of the Ovaherero tribe, 90
Ezekiel, 354
Ezour Vedam, Hindu book, 31
Ezra, Fourth Book of, 95, 122, 265
Fabius Pictor, Roman annalist, 239
Faijum, in Egypt, 321, 322
Fairbanks, in Alaska, 328
Fang-heun, name of Emperor Yahou,
99 February, 240, 345 Fenris-Wolf, 264-265 Fimbul-winter, 120, 135, 380 Finnish tradition,
139; see ahoKalevala Fire-star, 243
Fire Sun of the Mayas, 33-34 Flagstaff, Arizona, observatory in, see
Lowell Observatory Flame-god, 261 Flammarion, C., 373 Flanders, 120
Fo-hi, flood in the days of, 103 Forel, Francois, 27 Formosa, 346 Frazer, T., 302 Freud, S., 302,
383 Furies, 286
Gabriel, Archangel, 291-294
Gaius Porcius, consul, 51
Gardiner, A. H., 49
Gatha days, 332, 333
Geb, Egyptian god, 88
Geminus, 345
Genesis, Book of, 300
Gennadius, patriarch, 270
George, St., 306
Georgius Syncellus, chronologer, 211,
337 Giacobini-Zinner comet, 41 Gibeon, in Palestine, 39, 44-45, 219 Gilbert Islands, see
Kingsmill Islands Gilgal, in Palestine, 44 Gilgamesh Gilgamish), epic of, 61,
67, 97 Ginzberg, L., 33, 299
Gokihar, planet, 258
G6mara, F. L. de, 34, 128
Great Bear, 218, 313, 314, 379
Great Lakes of America, 28
Greeks Greek, 145, 148, 216, 246, 247,
264, 265, 271, 272, 278, 301, 338
346, 356 Greenland, 90, 325 Gregorian calendar, 339 Guide for the Perplexed, 221 Gukumatz,
the Morning Star, 157 Gula, goddess, 172 Gulf Stream, 22
Habakkuk, 142
Haggadah, 55
Hai Gaon, rabbinical authority, 114
Hall, Asaph, 279, 280
Halley, comet, 13, 14
Halley, E., 280
Hamon, name of Gabriel, 292
Han, dynasty, 236
Harakhte, the western sun, 107-108
Harris Papyrus, 107, 117
Hatshepsut", Queen, 108, 313
Hatuncolla, in Peru, 320
Hawaii, Hawaiians, 32, 131, 273, 308
He and Ho, Chinese astronomers, 102
Helice, city in Greece, 289
Helvicus, 82
Hephaestion, 84
Hera, 136, 171, 248, 249, 361
Heracles (Hercules), 294
Heraclitus, author of Homeric Allegories, 252
Heraclitus, philosopher, 28, 252
Herlicius, David, 82, 279
Herschel, William, 280
Hesiod, 30, 92, 97, 136, 160
Hesperos, 170
Herodotus, 81, 105, 106, 108, 114, 231-233, 245, 263, 269, 310, 336
Hevelius, 82
Hezekiah, 176, 218, 227-229, 232, 238, 240, 267, 274, 294, 307, 310, 311, 351, 352, 353, 356
Hieronymus, see Jerome
Hilkiah, high priest, 295
Hiko-Mikoto, Emperor, 131

robin-bobin Himalaya Mountains, 18, 76, 380 SELECTIVE NAME INDEX 395
Hindu (tables of planets, calendar), 161, 200, 243, 256, 269, 313, 326, 331, 332, 343, 354; see
also Brah-mans, India

Hippocrates, 338 Hissarlik, site of Troy, 276 Hiuen-tsong, Emperor, 358 Hoei-nan-tze, 255 Homer, 98, 136, 245-247, 251-252, 274, 280, 281, 344 Hommel, F., 198 Horapollo, 196
Horns, 52, 168, 174
Hosea, prophet, 208
Hatuncolla, in Peru, 320
Huai-nan-tse, Chinese author, 236
Huehue-Tlapallan, in Mexico, 358
Huitzilopochtli, god, 253, 254, 257, 264, 269
Humboldt, A. von, 34, 106, 163
Hurakan, god, 67
Hurrican Sun, of the Mayas, 33-34

Hyginus, 160 Hyksos, 124, 180, 299, 336, 338
Iceland, 32, 257, 265, 266; see also Edda, Voliispa
Ida, Mount, 249
Iliad, 169, 245-252, 253, 262, 361
Ilium, 246; see also Troy, Hissarlik
Incas, 32, 122, 196, 358
India, 76, 330, 355; see also Hindu, Brahmans
Indian Ocean, 286
Indians, American, 73, 187, 253, 307, 314, 327
Indo-China, 347
Indonesia, 99
Indra, Vedic god, 78, 269, 282
Inti-capac-Yupanqui, Inca king, 357
Ionians, 269
Ipiutak, in Alaska, 327
Ipuwer Papyrus, 49, 52, 55, 62, 98, 107, 117, 129
Iron age, 5
Iran, 201
Isaiah, 80, 175, 176, 202, 208, 212-216, 218-220, 222, 225, 228, 230, 239, 252, 260, 262, 266,
267, 274, 286-288, 292, 307, 309, 310, 329, 352, 381; see also Deutero-Isaiah
Ishtar, 165, 177, 178, 180, 200, 262;
see also Astarte Isidore, bishop of Seville, 149 Isis, 51, 78, 170, 174, 181, 195, 301 Israel,
kingdom, 178, 222, 227, 295 Israelites, 58, 88, 269, 276, 293, 335 Istehar, 160 Italy, 246
Ixtlilxochitl, Fernando de Alva, 33-34,
153 Izebel, Queen, 179
Jaiminiya-Upanisad, Hindu book, 314
January, month of, 345
Japan, Japanese, 70, 358
Jasher, Book of, 39-43, 220
Jeans, J. H., tidal theory of, 9
Jeffreys, H., 9

robin-bobin Jeremiah, 129, 179, 295, 296, 354
Jericho, 39, 139-140
Jeroboam, King, 166, 291
Jerome, 64, 176, 292

Jerusalem, 178, 209, 213, 219, 227, 228, 231, 262, 276, 295, 296, 353 Jewish Antiquities, book, 231 Job, Book of, 201, 257 Joel,
prophet, 208, 215, 283-288, 381 Jordan, river, 139
Josephus Flavius, 231, 232, 269, 270 Joshua ben Nun, 39-43, 43-45, 46, 150,
159, 219, 293, 300, 306, 385 Joshua, Book of, 39-44, 236 Josiah, King, 178, 295 Jotham, King,
212 Jubmel, god of the Lapps, 74 Judah, Judea, 178, 230, 293, 294-297,
351 Julius Africanus, 149 Julius Caesar, 126, 195 Junctinus, 84 Jung, C, 383 Jupiter, 5, 6, 7, 9,
11, 14, 78, 172-
175, 187, 237, 238, 242, 271, 272,
289, 301, 355, 361, 371, 379, 382
Kaaba, 290
Kadesh, wilderness of, 87
Kagra, god, 90
Kalevala, Finnish epos, 50, 60-61, 89,
118, 132, 137 Kalidasa, 267, 268

Kamchadals, 346
Kamchatka, 329
Kami Yamato, Emperor, 130
Kanga, tribe in Africa, 90
Kant, I., 7, 368
Karnak, Temple of, 323, 324
Kaska, tribe in British Columbia, 189
Katuns, calendar stones of Yucatan, 32
Keith, A., 28
Kelvin, L., 22
Kepler, Johannes, 316
Khwan, Chinese administrator, 101
Kidron, valley, 295
Kingsmill Islands, 346
Kirghiz people, 160
Kis, Chinese world age, 31
Kitab Alaghani, 88
Koluma River, 329
Korah, revolt of, 56
Koran, 72, 114
Krakatoa, volcano in the East Indies,
96, 126 Kukulcan, the Morning Star, 157 Kumara, semi-god, 268 Kwang-Tze, 254 Kwei,
Emperor, 235, 254
Lachish, in Judea, 227-229
Lamarck, J. B., 18, 25
Landa, D. de, 73, 339
Laplace, P. S., 7, 8, 11, 368
Lapland, Lapps, 73-74, 89, 314
Latins, 269, 307
Layard, Henri, 198
Leiden Papyrus, 107
Lena River, 329

Leningrad Papyrus, see Ermitage Papyrus Letopolis, in Egypt, 232, 310 Leucippus, Greek philosopher, 317 Leverrier, U. J. J., 280
Lexell's comet, 78 Liber memorialis, by Lucius Ampelius,
34 Libna, town in Palestine, 228 Libya, 144, 147, 169 Libyan Dynasty, 204, 322, 355 Lick
Observatory, 365 Lithuania (time measure in), 344 Little Bear, 218, 313 Livy, Titus, 238
Loanga, tribe in Africa, 90
Lowell Observatory, 364, 365
Lowell, P., 364
Lucan, 270
Lucian, 251, 252
Lucifer, 156, 170, 176, 202, 203, 258,
259, 293 Lucius Ampelius, 34 Lu-Heng, Chinese, author, 236 Lupus Martius, 264 Lux Divina,
180 Lu-Yang, duke of, 236, 237 Lydia, 55 Lydus, 83, 84 Lyell, Charles, 18, 305
Maadim, Hebrew for Mars, 292 Macrobius, 178, 301 Madison boulder, 75 Maimonides, 220-224
Manasseh, King, 294, 295, 296 Manetho, 69, 170, 299, 337 Mango, Fiji Islands, 160 Manius
Acilius, consul, 51 Manuscript Cakchiquel, 91 Manuscript QuichS, 48, 54, 128 Manuscript
Troano, 67, 91 Maoris of New Zealand, 68, 135, 136 March, month of, 238, 241 Marduk, 67, 78,
86, 174 Marquesas Islands in Polynesia, 346 Mars, 5, 6, 9, 11, 238-294, 346, 362-
368 Maruts, 282-289 Mary, 294
Masudi, Arab author, 88 Maui, god, 308, 309 Maximilian, Emperor, 41 Mayas, 32, 45, 118, 196,
237, 305, 339 Mazda, 86; see also Ormuzd Mazdaism, 31, 57 Mazzaroth, 201, 202 Mecca, 94,
Mediterranean, 73, 277, 278, 286 Menin, in Flanders, 120 Menomini Indians, 309, 310 Mercury,
5, 6, 9, 243, 355 Mesopotamia, 274, 275, 278, 349; see

also Assyria, Babylonia, Assyro- Babylonia, Euphrates
Mexico, people of, 34, 45, 89,112,113, 163, 179, 186, 211, 263, 264, 269, 339; see also Aztecs,
Toltecs, Maya
Micah, prophet, 208, 215, 381
Michael, Archangel, 292-294, 306
Michigan, Lake, 28
Middle Kingdom of Egypt, 47, 49

Midgard, serpent, 265 Midrash Koheleth, book, 224
Midrash-Rabba, 124-125
Mievish-Muspar, 258
Milo, in the city of David, 228
Minerva, 169-172,241; see also Athene
Missouri, valley of, 326
Mithra, 178
Mohammed, 156, 289, 290
Molina, 61
Mongols, 344
Moon, 10, 360-362, and passim
Moph and Noph (Memphis), 69
Moses, 65, 94, 97, 149, 151, 176, 296, 352
Moses ben Maimon, see Maimonides
Moslem year, 342
Moulton, F. R., 8, 359
Mount Carmel, 209

robin-bobin Mount Casius, 79
Mount Haemus, 49, 79
Mount Sinai, see Sinai
Mt. Wilson Observatory, 365
Mycenae, 166, 216, 265
Nabonassar's era, 210
Nabonidus, King, 268
Nadab, son of Aaron, 56
Naga or snake gods, 175
Nahua-Indian, 45
Nebuchadnezzar, 222, 242, 275, 354
Neptune, 5, 9, 372, 373
Nergal, 241-244, 261-264, 268, 274,
275, 283, 288, 292 N'ergal-Eriskigal poem, 281 Nergalsharezer, 242 Nergilissar, 242, 275 New
Year's Day, 123, 318, 352 New Zealand, 308, 347 Newton, Isaac, 7, 280, 384 Niagara Falls, 28
Niao, constellation of, 103 Nidana-Sutra, Sanskrit text, 331 Nigeria, in Africa, 347
Nigidius, 270
Nihongi, chronicles of Japan, 100, 130 Nile, 138, 209
Nineveh, 198, 266, 274, 348, 351, 353 Nippur, temple of, 275 Nisan, month of, 348, 351, 352
Noga, 165, 175 North Pole, 326 North Star, 190, 218 Numa Pompilius, 240, 290, 343, 545, 352,
Octavian Augustus, 126, 195, 320
Odin, 86, 253
Odyssey, 245, 247
Oedipus, 301
Ogyges, 61, 103, 158, 171
Olin, 66
Ollantaytampu, in Peru, 320
Olympiads, Olympic games, 196, 211,
239 Olympiodor, 270 Olympus, 50, 168, 173, 247-249 Omeyah, son of Abu-Salt, 88 Oraibi,
tribe in Arizona, 121 Origen, 203, 272, 292 Orion, 108-109 Ormuzd, 185; see also Mazda Orphic
hymns, 50 Osiris, 50, 174, 301 Osorkon II, pharaoh, 209, 355 Ovaherero, tribe in Africa, 90

Ovid, 139, 143-145; 169, 237, 240, 301, 311, 320, 345, 356
Palestine, 265, 268, 276; see also
Judea Pallas, 85, 171 Pallas Athene, see Athene Palmyra, 94
Panathenaic processions, 196 Panmotu, in South Pacific, 68 Panopolis, in Egypt, 232 Pawnee
Indians, 190-192 Persia, 332, 343
Peru, Peruvians, 61, 71, 196, 340, 357 Perun, 86
Peter, on God's day, 35 Petosiris, 84 Phaenon, 170 Phaethon, 143-145, 159-160, 169
Philistratus, 245
Philo, 30, 33, 57, 300
Phobos, satellite of Mars, 279-280
Phosphorus, 170
Pi-ha-khiroth, 60, 88
Pi-khiroti, 60, 88
Pillars of Hercules, 146
Pissac, in Peru, 320
Pithom, 64
Plato, 109, 111, 112, 145, 160, 252,
271, 298, 299 Pliny, 51, 82, 83, 96, 126, 165, 171,
195, 272, 273, 278, 288, 320, 338 Plutarch, 53, 85, 121, 163, 170, 239,
317, 320, 337, 339, 343, 345, 356 Pluto, 5, 6, 9, 372, 373 Point Hope, in Alaska, 327 Polar star,

191, 314, 379; see also North Star Polibius, 239 Politicus, of Plato, 109 Polyhistor, of Solinus, 152 Polynesia, 32, 179
Pomponius Mela, 106-107 Popol-Vuh, Mayan book, 54, 91, 93 Porcius Cato, 239 Poseidon, 249
Predmost, 26
Priam, King of Troy, 247, 276 Procopius of Caesarea, 346 Prometheus, 57 Pseudo-Philo, 95-96,
98 Ptolemaeus (Ptolemy), son of Lagus,
89 Ptolemy, Claudius, 174, 195, 210, 316 Ptolemy III (Euergetes), 195, 336 Punic wars, 278
Puranas, 314 Pyramid texts, 123 Pythagoras, 111, 162, 299 Pythagoreans, 162, 163
Queen Mary Land (in Antarctica ), 326 Queen of Heaven, 179, 296 Queenston, 28 Quetzal-

cohuatl, the Morning Star, 157, 160, 177, 179, 253 Quiauh-tonatiuh (the sun of fire-rain),
54 Quiche tribe, 128, 132 Quirinus, surname of Romulus, 239
Rab-sha-keh, general, 228
Rahab, 80, 82
Rainey, F. G., 327
Ramayana, 181
Rambam, see Maimonides
Ramses, city of, 64
Raphael, 50
Rashi, 33, 72
Ras-Shamra (Ugarit), 112, 138, 177
Red Sea, 50, 69, 72, 73, 172; see also
Sea of Passage Remusat, A., 235 Rhone, river, 27 Rig-Veda, 136 Rockenbach, Abraham, 82, 83,
84, 85,
275 Roman people, Romans, 238, 264, 272,
339, 344, 345 Rome, 238, 239, 246, 253, 278, 290-
292, 320, 356 Romulus, 238, 239, 240, 264, 307, 339,
343, 345, 346, 356 Rout, companion, of Ares, 281 Rumania (time measure in), 344
Sahagun, Hernardino de, 46, 163, 186,
253, 305 Salii, dancing priests, 240 Samaria, 223, 227, 228, 242 Samaritan chronicle, 159
Samoa, tribes, 89, 166 Samoan Islands, 131 Sanchoniathon, Phoenician author,
166, 289 Sanhedrin, Tractate of, 113 Sardinia, people of, 344 Sargon II, 227, 242, 243, 266, 267,
350 Satan, 183, 203, 294 Saturn, 5, 7, 9, 170, 301, 355 Savana-year, 331, 332 Scaliger, Joseph,
105 Schiaparelli, G. V., 325 Schliemann, H., 246 Schwassmann-Wachmann comet, 197
Scorpion, constellation, 305, 306 Scythia, Scythians, 263, 265, 269 Sea of Passage, 69, 92, 293;
see also
Red Sea Seir, in Arabia, 50, 214 Sekhmet, 165 Selene, 301

Se-Ma Ts'ien, 121
Sengle-Das, water of fire, 55
Seneca, 110, 217, 218, 270-272, 313, 314, 317, 342
Senmut, architect, 108, 312, 313
Sennacherib, 222, 224, 227-235, 240, 242, 261, 266-267, 269, 270, 275, 291, 292, 294, 309-311,
350, 351, 363, 381
Septuagint, 183, 202, 203
Serbon, lake, 81
Serpent-cloud, 177
Servius, 48, 83, 84
Sesothis, pharaoh, 320

robin-bobin Seth, 50, 78, 85, 156, 289
Seti, pharaoh, 165, 321
Seven Suns, discourse of, Mexican, 34; Buddhist, 35
Shadow of Death, 126-133
Shalmaneser IV, 266
Shamash, 301
Shamash-shum-ukin, 242
Sharappu, 243
Shari (Red Sea), 69
Shiking, book of, 211
Shiva, 86, 182, 268
Shoshonean Indians, 310
Shu-king (Shoo-king), Chinese Chronicles, 99, 102
Shun, Emperor of China, 101
Siberia, 24, 26, 41, 54, 56, 58, 324, 326-329, 364, 380
Sibyl, Sibylline books, 35, 137
Simon, Rabbi, 124
Sin, Babylonian deity, 301
Sinai, Mount, 91, 93-100, 381
Sing-li-ta-tsiuen-chou, Chinese encyclopedia, 31
Sirius, 108-109, 195, 201
Skaptar-Jokull, volcano, 126
Skidi Pawnee Indians, 154, 191
Skoll, 265
Snohomish, tribe, 189

Society Island, 160 Sodom and Gomorrah, 300
Solinus, Caius Julius, 61, 112, 152, 263
Solomon, King, 291
Solomon, seal of, 180

Solomon, temple of, see Temple of Jerusalem on, 143, 145, 299, 338, 354, 357 Sombre Residence (in China), 121 131 Sonchis of Salis, priest, 145 Soochow Astronomical Chart, 165,
243, 255, 264, 288 Sophocles, 109 Sosenk III, 355 Sothis period, 106, 195 South America, 277
South Pole, 326 South Seas, 184 South Star, 190 Southern Ute tribe, 92 Speos Artemidos, temple
of, 64 Spinoza, 224-226 Spitzbergen, 20 St. Anthony Falls, 28 St. Lawrence River, 28 Stoics, 30,
271 Strabo, 79, 81, 89, 110 Sudan, 60 Sukkoth, 65, 352 Sun, 5, 8, 21, 33-35, 39, 45, 307-311,
and passim Surabhi, 181
Surya-Siddhanta, 256, 332 Swedenborg, Emanuel, 7 Swift, Jonathan, 279, 280 Sword-god, 261
Taafanua, 68
Tabernacle (Sukkoth), Feast of, 352
Taharka, King, 228, 229, 268
Tahiti, 160
T'aichan, Mount, 255
Takaofo Island, in Polynesia, 70

Talmud, 45-46, 116, 141, 215, 216, 231, 237, 240, 318, 351, and passim Tanis, in Egypt, 336 Tao, 254-256 Taraka, 268 Tau of Yin, prince, 236, 237 Taui Thom, pharaoh, 82, 88 Tawhirima-tea, god of storm, 68 Tefaafanau, god, 68 Tehama, coastal region of the Red Sea, 88 Tell-el-Amarna, 281 Temple of Jerusalem, 176, 290, 295, 318, 319, 352, 353 Ten Tribes, 293 robin-bobin 400
"Terrible ones," 281-288
Terror, companion of Ares, 281
Tetzahuitl, 253
Tetzateotl, 253
Tevel, 113
Tezcuco, Annals of the kings of, 34
Thales, 338, 354, 356
Thebes, in Egypt, 151, 289, 323-324,
355 Theopompus, 245 Theremin, L., 97 Thracians, 49 Thyestes, 216-218, 237 Thyestes, by
Seneca, 110, 314 Tiamat, 50, 67, 78 Tiber river, 273, 320 Tibet, 31, 103 Timaeus, by Plato, 111
Tirawa, god, 192 Tirhaka, see Taharka Tiryns, 216
Tistrya, 92, 166, 178, 185, 201, 258 Tlagoltiotl, witch, 304 Tlahuizcalpanteuctli, the Morning
Star, 157, 158 Toltecs, 177, 196, 253, 254, 358 Toradja tribe, in East Indies, 347 Toufan (Arab),
deluge, 68, 88 Toung-Kiun, in China, 290 Tower of Babel, 33 Tritogeneia, 168, 169 Triton,
Lake, 169 Triton, satellite of Neptune, 372 Trojan war, generation of, 30, 246-252 Troy, 246-
251, 253, 265, 276 Tsin, early emperor of China, 358 Tsin-chi-hoang, Emperor of China, 100
Tubilustrium, feast, 240, 241 Tu-erui, a Polynesian chief, 132 Tufan, see Toufan Tuscany, 273
Tutimaeus, 82
Twain, constellation (Gemini), 271 Twilight of the gods, 132 Tv-fong (Chinese), 69 Tvfoon
(Arab), 68 Typhon, 49, 79, 81-85, 97, 119, 121,
171-174, 217, 258, 306 Typhonia, 79 Tyre, 289 Tzontemocque, 165
Ugarit, see Ras-Shamra Uira-cocha, god of the Ineas, 122 Ukko, Finnish deity, 86, 132, 137
Unyoro, in Africa, 90 Upham, W., 28 Ural Mountains, 326 Uranus, 5, 6, 9, 11 Ute Indians, 310
Uzza, al-Uzza, planet, 156, 290 Uzziah, King, 207, 209-213, 219, 238, 239, 274, 276
Valley of Obscurity (in China), 121,
131 Varaha Mihira, 354 Varahasanhita, book of, 289 Varro, Marcus Terentius, 29, 158, 171,

239 Vedas, Vedic hymns, 68, 179, 282- 288, 314, 330 Venus, 5-7, 9, 154-203, 241, 244-296
passim, 346, 366, 368-371 Venus comuta, 180 Verrius Flaccus, Roman grammarian,
239 Virgil, 126, 280, 325 Vishnu, 78, 168, 171 Visuddhi-Magga, Hindu book, 31,
34-35, 52, 119, 371 Vitchilupuchtli, see Huitzilopochtli Voguls, 54, 56 Volga River, 265
Volsinium, see Bolsena Voluspa, 32, 98, 118; see also Edda Vukadlak, 265 Vulgate, 202, 203
Wain, constellation of (Great Bear),
218 Wanyoro, tribe in Africa, 90 War-god, the birth of, 267 Water-Sun, of the Mayas, 33-34
Wen-Tze, Taoist author, 255 West Africa, 277 Whiston, W., 42, 330 Wichita, tribe, 188 Wolf's
comet, 237 "Wolf-star", 255, 258, 264 Wong-shi-Shing, Chinese annals, 118,
131 Wotan, 86 Wright, G. F., 28

SELECTIVE Xenophon, 338
Yahou, Emperor, 62, 71, 99-104, 121, 159, 184, 254
Yahweh, 97, 208
Yakuts, 160
Yaotl, Mexican god, 100
Yellow River, 102
Yen-Yang, King, 211

Y-hang, astronomer, 358 Yin, constellation of, 103
Ying-Huo, fire planet, 243
Yoga, world age, planetary conjunction, 257
Yoruba tribe in Nigeria, 347

Yu, Emperor of China, 101 AME INDEX 401
Yucatan, 339; see also Maya
Yuddha, 256
Yu Dynasty, 235
Yugas, 31
Yurak Samoyeds, 346
Zamora, Ramon y, 197
Zarathustra, 31, 201
Zebbaj, 165
Zend Avesta, 31, 67, 92, 166, 185, 201
Zeno, 271
Zephaniah, prophet, 222
Zeus, 49, 79, 86, 97, 119, 136-137.
168, 169, 172, 216, 248, 249, 250 Zoroaster, see Zarathustra