Purported Ancient Worlds/Printable version
| This is the print version of Purported Ancient Worlds
You won't see this message or any elements not part of the book's content when you print or preview this page.
What is meant by purported ancient worlds?[edit | edit source]
What is meant is any world that has been proposed as existing in the past, whether in theory or fiction. These have either been disproven or the evidence to show whether they exist or not is lacking.
In physical cosmology, the Big Bang is the scientific theory that the universe emerged from an enormously dense and hot state about 13.7 billion years ago. The Big Bang theory is based on the observed Hubble's law redshift of distant galaxies that when taken together with the cosmological principle indicate that space is expanding according to the Friedmann-Lemaître model of general relativity. Extrapolated into the past, these observations show that the universe has expanded from a state in which all the matter and energy in the universe was at an immense temperature and density. Physicists do not widely agree on what happened before this, although general relativity predicts a gravitational singularity (for reporting on some of the more notable speculation on this issue, see cosmogony).
The term Big Bang is used both in a narrow sense to refer to a point in time when the observed expansion of the universe (Hubble's law) began — calculated to be 13.7 billion (1.37 × 1010) years ago (±2%) — and in a more general sense to refer to the prevailing cosmological paradigm explaining the origin and expansion of the universe, as well as the composition of primordial matter through nucleosynthesis as predicted by the Alpher-Bethe-Gamow theory.
Atlantis is an ancient mythical island, whose existence and location have never been confirmed. The first known references to Atlantis are from the classical Greek philosopher Plato, who said it was engulfed by the ocean as the result of an earthquake 9,000 years before his own time. Plato claimed it was somewhere outside the Pillars of Hercules, now known as the Strait of Gibraltar. While there are many theories about Atlantis, nearly all serious research concludes that Atlantis never existed as Plato described it, although elements of his story may have been drawn from real events.
In astronomy, the geocentric model (in Greek: geo = earth and kentron = center) of the universe is the theory that the Earth is at the center of the universe and the Sun and other celestial objects go around it.
Belief in this system was common in ancient Greece. It was embraced by both Aristotle and Ptolemy, and most Greek philosophers assumed that the Sun, Moon, stars, and naked eye planets circle the Earth. Aristarchus of Samos proposed a heliocentric model of the solar system, but he was clearly in the minority in believing that the Earth was not central.
Madoc (Madog or Madawg) ap Owain Gwynedd was a Welsh prince who, according to legend, discovered America in 1170, over three hundred years before Christopher Columbus's voyage in 1492. Madoc has been the subject of much historical speculation, but most scholars doubt that Madoc ever made a trip to North America, and some doubt the prince existed at all.
A later development in the legend claimed the settlers were absorbed by groups of Native Americans, and their descendants remained somewhere on the American frontier for hundreds of years. The first to report an encounter with a Welsh-speaking Indian was the Reverend Morgan Jones, who was captured in 1669 by a tribe of Tuscaroras called the Doeg. The chief spared his life, however, when he heard Jones speak Welsh, a tongue he understood. Jones lived with the Doeg for several months preaching the Gospel in Welsh, and returned to the British Colonies where he recorded his adventure in 1686.
A number of later travellers claimed to have found the Welsh Indians, and one even claimed the tribe he visited venerated a copy of the Gospel written in Welsh. Stories of Cymric Indians became popular enough that even Lewis and Clark were ordered to look out for them, and folklore has long claimed that Louisville, Kentucky was once home to a colony of Welsh-speaking Indians. 18th century Missouri River explorer John Evans of Waunfawr, Wales took up his journey in part to find the Welsh-descended "Padoucas" or "Madogwys" tribes. The legend was not apparently restricted to whites; in 1810, John Sevier, the first governor of Tennessee, wrote to his friend Major Amos Stoddard about a conversation he had had with the old Cherokee chief Oconostota concerning ancient fortifications built along the Alabama River. The Chief said the forts were built by the white people who had once lived in the area as protection against the ancestors of the Cherokee. They were called "Welsh" and their leader was "Modok". How much of the original conversation, which was supposed to have occurred in 1782, was accurately related in Sevier's letter in 1810 is of course debatable.
In the early tales, the white Indians' specific European language ranged from Irish to Portuguese, and the tribe's name varied from teller to teller (often, the name was unattested elsewhere), but later versions settled on Welsh and the Mandan people, who differed strikingly from their neighbors in culture, language, and appearance. The painter George Catlin suggested the Mandans as descendants of Madoc and his fellow voyagers in North American Indians (1841); he found the round Mandan Bull Boat similar to the Welsh coracle, and thought the advanced architecture of Mandan villages must have been learned from Europeans (advanced North American societies such as the Mississippian and Hopewell cultures were not well known in Catlin's time). Supporters of this theory have drawn links between Madoc and the Mandan mythological figure Lone Man, who, according to one tale, provided his people with homes during and after a great deluge.