Apocalypses That Weren’tBreaking News
According to ancient Roman legend, 12 mystical eagles told Rome’s founder Romulus that his great civilization would only last for 120 years. Panic gripped many Romans in the years leading up to their city’s 120th anniversary, which turned out to be entirely uneventful.
Pope Innocent III prophesied that the world would come to an end in 1284, 666 years—the number associated with the devil—after the rise of Islam. He died in 1216 and never saw his prediction invalidated.
February 1, 1524
In June 1523, several London astrologers warned residents that apocalyptic floods would engulf the city on February 1 of the following year, causing some 20,000 residents to flee their homes and others to stockpile food and supplies. The day came and went without a drop of rain....
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