Hey there. I’m Mike Rugnetta.
This is Crash Course Mythology and Today we’ll be talking about the moment that you’ve all been waiting for… or perhaps dreading. That’s right Thoth, it’s the end of the world. These days books and movies and video games are big on post-Apocalypse stories A Nuclear Fallout, Zombies, Robot uprisings… Nuclear-Powered robot zombie uprisings… but before there were post apocalypse stories, there were plain old apocalypse stories. What’s an apocalypse? Well, it’s a fancy way of saying “the end of the world,” but often with a religious connotation. So yes, fair warning, the apocalyptic visions we’re discussing come from living religious texts, and as usual, We’re not going to touch on their religious significance, but these stories do fit our definition of myth: So let’s get started, with
all of these endings. (Theme Music) We can find stories of the end of the world in cultures around the globe, and perhaps that’s because they reflect the uncomfortable fact that for individual people the world does come to an end (in a sense) When we, you know, die, but apocalypses are about more than any individual death, they’re about imagining how a supernatural power will eventually end all human life in its entirety. According to our old pal David Leeming: This theme of Divine punishment is similar to what we saw in all those flood stories: China, Mesopotamia, the Inca Empire…
but there’s one significant difference. Flood stories are about the past,
but Apocalypse stories… (apocalypse comes from a greek word for
uncovering, by the w) always reveal something yet to come. This makes talking about them a little strange, because they’re old stories rooted in the past, which discuss a distant ‘glob only knows when’ future. What we’ll see today is the
flood story theme of judgment, combined with the focus on torment for those
harshly judged, and in many cases (just like the flood stories) These end of everything tales actually promise a new beginning. There’s more than one tale of apocalypse in the Hebrew Bible foretold by a number of prophets in some of these prophecies the end of the world is marked by two events: First: usually of the natural world, followed by: a judgement punishing the enemies of God. We’re going to see these themes repeated,
again and again. The book of Isaiah describes the promised Destruction: The book of Zachariah has a little bit more detail
about how the judgment will work itself out “Amid the destruction of the world the people of Jerusalem will be embroiled in a great battle” “But the Lord himself will go forth to sway the battle and save his righteous followers” and those on the other side of the battle? The ‘non-righteous’ you might be wondering, well: :O Anyone who manages to survive the
literal face-melting… “The Lord will put a ‘great tumult’ among them leaving
all the non-believers to… …fight each other as the world
burns down around them.” For the true believers in Yahweh, the prophecy promises “safety and survival in the kingdom of God” This is an apocalyptic attribute that we’re going to see more than once today: ‘if you got faith, you safe’ For the ancient Persians, or Astrians,
the ultimate deity Ahura Mazda has a destructive counterpart in Angra Mainyu or ‘Ahriman.’ In their apocalypse prophecy your fate is tied to which one you follow; The many followers of Ahriman will be punished while the few faithful to Ahura Mazda will be rewarded According to David Leeming: Saoshyant, who’s referred to as a single figure sometimes, and other times is a group of figures is a kind of Messiah who will help remake
the world and redeem worthy Humankind in some traditions the Saoshyant is also a product of
a virgin birth, but this story involves… bathing in a lake filled with sperm. Lake of sperm aside, maybe you’re picking up on some similarities? There was a great deal of syncretism among the religions of the Eastern Mediterranean Which brings us to the Christian apocalypse.
The end of the world is described in the book of Revelation. It portrays the coming of the kingdom of God to Earth, the raising of the dead and the last judgement. We got angels and antichrist, plagues, this end of days has it all come on down… to the thought bubble. Amid all the Chaos at the end of days, Saint John Devine described in particular detail the alchemical plagues of Seven Angels. He writes: The seven angels appear, each holding their own vial of Plague liquid. One by one they pour them out across the land the first angel pours their vial and “There fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men… …which had the mark of the beast… …and upon them which worshiped His image” The second angel pours their vial into the sea, which turns into blood. The third angel pours a vial on the rivers and fountains, which also turn into blood. The fourth Angel pours their vial into the sun, which flares up and scorches those on the face of the Earth Angel five pours a vial on the seat of the beast. This fills their kingdom with darkness, and causes their followers to gnaw their own tongues in pain. The sixth angel pours their vial on the great river Euphrates and, in kind of a twist the river doesn’t turn into blood,
but it does dry up entirely. The final Angel pours out their liquid into the air which causes a great booming voice to come from the temple of heaven saying IT IS DONE There’s thunder, lightning, and a terrible earthquake, and all the remaining cities all the
nations of Earth crumble, and fall. Thank you, thought bubble? The apocalypse story in Revelation has a lot in common with the older prophecy Told by Zachariah. Plagues, war, the dissolving of terrestrial nations…
but there’s one very significant difference which is that Revelation makes frequent
reference to ‘The Beast,’ Saint John has added a villain similar to
what we saw in Zoroastrianism. Of course, the villain stuff gets complicated because there are actually two beasts… And a dragon yes, there is also a dragon So I guess that means that there are then three beasts? Also The Dragon is the devil. The last story of apocalypse that we’re going to talk about comes from Islam and since Islam is also an Abrahamic tradition, It’s unsurprising that there are similarities between Jewish Christian and Muslim accounts of the end of the world There’s a long description of the final judgment in Sura 56 of the Quran But there’s also interesting additional information; recorded in a collection of ‘hadith’ which are sayings and stories of the life of Mohammad It’s worth noting that while this is a religious text in Islam, It’s considered a secondary text to the Koran and not all collections of Hadith are equally esteemed. Muslims have a variety of relationships with the hadith often depending upon their denomination, and how well sourced a given hadith is. Here at crash course Mythology were interested in stories, which is why we’re drawing on this particular hadith, but if you want to know more you can check out the two episodes of crash course world history about Islam that cover this very topic. When asked about the judgment that’s mentioned in the Quran, Mohammad offers further explanation: He says that at this terrible time people will forsake studying the quran and indulge in Earthly pleasures. There will be famine and plague in Medina and Mecca earthquakes throughout North Africa Thunderstorms in Iran and Turkey, banditry in Iraq and floods in the far East. As morality decays among all the people the Dajjal or antichrist will appear riding on a donkey and Subjecting all the people to his rule. Dajjal’s rule, not the donkeys rule. The Dajjal will rule for only 40 days though, before God sends Jesus and an army of
the Faithful from Heaven. Jesus will defeat and kill the Dajjal and then rain for 40 years, but each of these years will have 26 months, so it’ll be more like 87 years. At that point, Jesus will travel to Jerusalem, pray at the dome of the rock, And be taken up to heaven. And this is where things
get intense: Seven days after Jesus ascends the monsters Ya’juj and Ma’juj (referred to in the old
and new Testaments as Gog and Magog) will escape their bondage and destroy civilization, then the angel Israphel will blow the horn of judgment, Mountains will crumble, there will be 40 more years of earthquakes and terrible storms then Israphel will sound the horn again, the souls and bodies of the faithful will be reunited, resurrected and spend the next 40 years praising Allah. After this final 40 year period the trumpet will sound again and Mohammad will return to Earth, for the day of judgment. Everyone will have their secret sins measured against their good deeds on the scales of judgment, the Allah will tip the scales if one of the damned sincerely calls for mercy and finally all will walk to cross the bridge into paradise easy and wide for the righteous while the damned can’t help but slip off and fall below into hell But even if they do fall into hell, If they really have a change of heart along the way they’ll be able to scramble out in time. There’s always hope for things to turn around. So these apocalypse stories feature plagues and natural disasters, things far beyond mortal control and let’s not forget the unnatural disasters, like rivers of molten metal or the Dragons; not nice ones interested in responding or helping with floods either. And yet, these apocalypse stories mix terror with hope! As in flood myths, apocalypse stories from the religious traditions of the Eastern Mediterranean all offer some sense of an everlasting life, beyond this world. At least, for believers. If they speak to the end of the world they also speak to the faithful in the present moment, promising great rewards, or amnesty from everlasting torment, if that faith continues. But, let’s hope the world is an end too soon at least not before we get to talk about Ragnarok!
[Heavy metal playing] Thanks for watching, we’ll see you next time. Check out our crash course mythology Thoth tote bag and poster available now at dftba.com Crash course mythology is filmed in the Chad and Stacey Emigholz studio in Indianapolis, Indiana and is produced with the help of all of these very nice people. Our animation team is Thought Cafe. Crash Course exists Thanks to the generous support of our Patrons, at Patreon.
Patreon is a Voluntary subscription service Where you can support the content you love through a monthly donation to help keep crash course free for everyone, forever. Crash Course is made with Adobe Creative Cloud,
check the description for a link to a free trial Thanks for watching, and: Beware!!! The end… (of this video) is nigh!