Ragnarok : the Age of Fire and Gravel eBook

Ignatius Donnelly
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 362 pages of information about Ragnarok .

There is nothing in the mind of man that has not preexisted in nature.  Can we imagine a person, who never saw or heard of an elephant, drawing a picture of such a two-tailed creature?  It was thought at one time that man had made the flying-dragon out of his own imagination; but we now know that the image of the pterodactyl had simply descended from generation to generation.  Sindbad’s great bird, the roc, was considered a flight of the Oriental fancy, until science revealed the bones of the dinornis.  All the winged beasts breathing fire are simply a recollection of the comet.

In fact, even with the patterns of nature before it, the

[1.  Bancroft, “Native Races,” note, vol. iii, p. 17.]

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human mind has not greatly exaggerated them:  it has never drawn a bird larger than the dinornis or a beast greater than the mammoth.

It is utterly impossible that the races of the whole world, of all the continents and islands, could have preserved traditions from the most remote ages, of a comet having struck the earth, of the great heat, the conflagration, the cave-life, the age of darkness, and the return of the sun, and yet these things have had no basis of fact.  It was not possible for the primitive mind to have imagined these things if they had never occurred.

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CHAPTER II.

DID MAN EXIST BEFORE THE DRIFT?

FIRST, let us ask ourselves this question, Did man exist before the Drift?

If he did, he must have survived it; and he could hardly have passed through it without some remembrance of such a terrible event surviving in the traditions of the race.

If he did not exist before the Drift, of course, no myths descriptive of it could have come down to us.

This preliminary question must, then, be settled by testimony.

Let us call our witnesses

“The palæolithic hunter of the mid and late Pleistocene river-deposits in Europe belongs, as we have already shown, to a fauna which arrived in Britain before the lowering of the temperature produced glaciers and icebergs in our country; he may, therefore, be viewed as being probably pre-glacial."[1]

Man had spread widely over the earth before the Drift; therefore, he had lived long on the earth.  His remains have been found in Scotland, England, Ireland, France, Spain, Italy, Greece; in Africa, in Palestine, in India, and in the United States.[2]

“Man was living in the valley of the lower Thames before the Arctic mammalia had taken full possession of

[1.  Dawkins’s “Early Man in Britain,” p. 169.

2.  Ibid., pp. 165, 166.]

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the valley of the Thames, and before the big-nosed rhinoceros had become extinct."[1]

Mr. Tidderman[2] writes that, among a number of bones obtained during the exploration of the Victoria Cave, near Settle, Yorkshire, there is one which Mr. Busk has identified as human.  Mr. Busk says: 

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Ragnarok : the Age of Fire and Gravel from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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