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Appendix I

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Chapter Summary

The idea of a periodical destruction of the earth by water and fire or by fire and water can be found in Plato, Timaeus 2IE-22E, a work which had a considerable influence on both pagan and Christian authors. The story of Phaeton was a fable, but the truth was that "a deviation of the bodies that revolved in heaven round the earth causes a destruction, occurring at long intervals, of things on earth by a great conflagration". The idea of a periodical disaster was widely known in Jewish and Christian literature. Plato's Timaeus can usually be accepted as the source of this tradition. It is, however, obvious that Plato was dependent on earlier traditions. It is generally accepted that he was influenced by Babylonian ideas of the great year.

Keywords: Christian literature; periodical disaster; Plato; Timaeus

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