This is how the end of the world was imagined in ancient Greece

Long before climate catastrophe, viruses, nuclear war and Ragnarök, Ancient Greece had doomsday scenarios and the Ekpyrosis cycle.

Recently, our views of the end of the world have ranged from the very severe climate crisis and the threat of nuclear war, to dreams of artificial intelligence incorporating us and major earthquakes..

Before these, the angels and bloodstained the Earth Ragnarok in Norse myths There were stories like And of course, The ancient Greeks also had their own ideas about the end of the world..

End of the World prophecies in Ancient Greece

philosophers PlatoAnd AristotleThe world does not end for many Ancient Greeks, including was in a repeating cycle . Plato believed that survivors after a disaster will always rebuild the Earth. Before a new cycle begins again, most Stoics ( According to Plato, every 36,000 years), in which the cosmos is periodically destroyed EkpyrosisHe believed in.

Greek mythology and philosophy spoke more of the gods and calamities of the past rather than focusing on the end of humanity and the world. However, there are also some explanations about past and future apocalypse in ancient writings.

Greek poet, economic philosopher, Homercontemporary and sometimes historiographer of Hesiod speaks of a kind of apocalypse in which the gods destroy humanity.

In his epic poem Works and Days (700 BC), Hesiod divided the five epochs of human history into different eras. Gold, Silver, Bronze, BraveryAnd Iron AgesThese epochs, called epochs, describe human progress through the lens of Greek mythology.

The first of these is, After the immortal gods living on Olympus created a golden race of mortal humans ” was the Golden Age that followed immediately. Next ” a second generation of silver and by far less noble ” came. Next came the Bronze Age, a third generation that was terrifying and powerful and keen on violence.

Hesiod wrote that “they were destroyed by their own hands, and the cold passed into the dank house of Hades, leaving no name behind:” While they were terrifying, the black Death caught them and they left behind the bright light of the sun.

In some versions of this legend, Zeus sends a flood to end the Bronze Age.

A godlike hero-human race

After this incident, Zeus Perseus, OdysseusAnd AchillesIt is assumed that most of the Greek mythological heroes, including ” a divine hero-human race ” created. Hesiod was not very happy about this, as he was born not in the age of heroes, but in the later age.

For now there really is a race of iron, and men never rest from labor and sorrow during the day, and destruction at night, and the gods will wreak havoc upon them…” Hesiod believed that this age of “bitter” and “hardhearted” would come to an end: “ But despite this, there will be some good mixed in with even their evil. And Zeus will destroy this mortal human race when they are born with white hair on their temples.

Hesiod goes into more detail about this age, describing it as a time when evildoers were praised for their violent actions and humanity enjoyed evil: And then Aidos and Nemesis, in their sweet forms clad in white robes, will depart from the wide-way world and leave humanity to join the company of the immortal gods: and mortal men will remain bitter and have no defense against evil.