Ragnarok : the Age of Fire and Gravel eBook

Ignatius Donnelly
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 440 pages of information about Ragnarok .

If I have correctly interpreted Job as a religious drama, founded on the fall of the Drift, then we must remember that Job describes the people overtaken by the catastrophe as a highly civilized race.  They had passed the stage of worshiping sticks and stones and idols, and had reached to a knowledge of the one true God; they were agriculturists; they raised flocks of sheep and camels; they built houses; they had tamed the horse; they had progressed so far in astronomical knowledge as to have mapped out the heavens into constellations; they wrote books, consequently they possessed an alphabet; they engraved inscriptions upon the rocks.

But it may be said truly that the book of Job, although it may be really a description of the Drift catastrophe, was not necessarily written at the time of, or even immediately after, that event.  So gigantic and terrible a thing must have been the overwhelming consideration and memory of mankind for thousands of years after it occurred.  We will see that its impress still exists on the

{p. 343}

imagination of the race.  Hence we may assign to the book of Job an extraordinary antiquity, and nevertheless it may have been written long ages after the events to which it refers occurred; and the writer may have clothed those events with the associations and conditions of the age of its composition.  Let us, then, go forward to the other legends, for in such a case we can prove nothing.  We can simply build up cumulative probabilities.

In Ovid we read that the Earth, when the dread affliction fell upon her, cried out: 

“O sovereign of the gods, if thou approvest of this, if I have deserved it, why do thy lightnings linger? . . .  And dost thou give this as my recompense?  This as the reward of my fertility and of my duty, in that I endure wounds from the crooked plow and harrows, and am harassed all the year through?  In that I supply green leaves to the cattle, and corn, a wholesome food for mankind, and frankincense for yourselves? "

Here we see that Ovid received from the ancient traditions of his race the belief that when the Drift Age came man was already an agriculturist; he had invented the plow and the barrow; he had domesticated the cattle; he had discovered or developed some of the cereals; and he possessed a religion in which incense was burned before the god or gods.  The legend of Phaëton further indicates that man had tamed the horse and had invented wheeled vehicles.

In the Hindoo story of the coming of the demon Ravana, the comet, we read that he carried off Sita, the wife of Rama, the sun; and that her name indicates that she represented “the furrowed earth,” to wit, a condition of development in which man plowed the fields and raised crops of food.

When we turn to the Scandinavian legends, we see

{p. 344}

that those who transmitted them from the early ages believed that pre-glacial man was civilized.  The Asas, the godlike, superior race, dwelt, we are told, “in stone houses.”

Project Gutenberg
Ragnarok : the Age of Fire and Gravel from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
Follow Us on Facebook