Apocalyptic thinking gripped many ancient cultures, including the Romans. Early in Rome's history, many Romans feared that the city would be destroyed in the 120th year of its founding. There was a myth that 12 eagles had revealed to Romulus a mystical number representing the lifetime of Rome, and some early Romans hypothesized that each eagle represented 10 years. The Roman calendar was counted from the founding of Rome, 1 AUC (ab urbe condita) being 753 BC. Thus 120 AUC is 634 BC. (Thompson p.19)
Roman theologian Sextus Julius Africanus (ca. 160-240) claimed that the End would occur 6000 years after the Creation. He assumed that there were 5531 years between the Creation and the Resurrection, and thus expected the Second Coming to take place no later than 500 AD. (Kyle p.37, McIver #21) Hippolytus (died ca. 236), believing that Christ would return 6000 years after the Creation, anticipated the Parousia in 500 AD. (Abanes p.283) The theologian Irenaeus, influenced by Hippolytus's writings, also saw 500 as the year of the Second Coming. (Abanes p.283, McIver #15)
Mar 25, 970 AD
Lotharingian computists foresaw the End on Friday, March 25, 970, when the Annunciation and Good Friday fell on the same day. They believed that it was on this day that Adam was created, Isaac was sacrificed, the Red Sea was parted, Jesus was conceived, and Jesus was crucified. Therefore, it naturally followed that the End must occur on this day!
There are many stories of apocalyptic paranoia around the year 1000. For example, legend has it that a "panic terror" gripped Europe in the years and months before this date. However, scholars disagree on which stories are genuine, whether millennial expectations at this time were any greater than usual, or whether ordinary people were even aware of what year it was. An excellent article on Y1K apocalyptic expectations can be found at the Center for Millennial Studies. (Gould, Schwartz, Randi)
After Jesus failed to return in 1000, some mystics pushed the date of the End to the thousandth anniversary of the Crucifixion. The writings of the Burgundian monk Radulfus Glaber described a rash of millennial paranoia during the period from 1000-1033. (Kyle p.39, Abanes p.337, McIver #50)
Feb 1, 1524 AD
The End would occur by a flood starting in London on February 1 (Julian), according to calculations some London astrologers made the previous June. Around 20,000 people abandoned their homes, and a clergyman stockpiled food and water in a fortress he built. (Sound familiar? It's just like the doomsday cultists and Y2K nuts of today!) As it happened, it didn't even rain in London on that date. (Randi p.236-237)
Originally posted by boncho
I always wonder what people thought when the S was really hitting the F. Just recently when nearly 50 million died in China during the famine*.
What about the Spanish Flu around WW1* where another 20-50 million people died?
The black plague anyone?*, 75-200 million people when the entire population of the Earth wasn't even close to what it is now?
You think the world looks like it's in shambles now, like it's about to end, what about then??
The same people that hope for the world to end are just seeking attention in my opinion. When faced with real problems like the ones I listed they would probably not mention a word because they would be scared out of their wits.
Attention seekers... Charlatans... Weirdos looking to start cults. The end of the world is a never ending drama of ignorance.
Originally posted by SLAYER69
. . . . . . .
I hope I'm wrong here but I have an unshakable feeling of dread that as this certain new mystical date finally arrives there will unfortunately and undoubtedly be stories breaking of those who drank the Kool-Aid or dressed up all in black while wearing in their favorite pair of Nike.
Originally posted by CosmicCitizen
reply to post by boncho
The Black Plaque would have had to feel like the Apocalypse to those living (esp in Europe) at the time.....1/3 of Europe perished and the black plaque lends itself to the "black horseman" imagery.
Originally posted by magma
People can appear to have everything you describe, yet they have no inner peace.
Chained to the mundane, bound by debt for material things, they are sad and lost. What better way to escape? It leaves them without the burden of responsibility.
Just how horrible has their existence been?
Originally posted by deadeyedick
Are you implying that no greater challenges other than indoor pluming have persuaded mankind to dream of a peaceful beginning or that if you have indoor pluming then you have no problems that could exist other than what has previously been addressed with a solution?