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Thursday, March 3, 2016

Apocalypse vs. Apocalypse

Apocalyptic writers are probably more numerous in English literature than in Italian. Dante believed that Doomsday was approaching, and so did Torquato Tasso, or rather, the latter thought that the universe was "tired" itself rather than threatened by God.

In the list of apocalyptic writers, an unexpected name is Isaac Newton, whose views on the Book of Revelation were so extreme that he -- who loved quiet -- decided not to publish them; and after his death, the libraries that collected his manuscripts refused to collect these. Such comments, written by Newton in the years 1672-75, then in 1680, then in the 1680s, would be rediscovered no sooner than in the 20th century. Most remarkably, he applied his famous method to the interpretation of the Apocalyps (as he spelled it) decades before applying it to the study of the law of gravity.

Another intriguing detail is that the British Bible scholar and scientist believed to live in "so degenerate an age," when "Antichrist was to seduce ye whole Christian world." Similar concepts would be expressed a little more than a century later by William Blake. With one difference: According to Blake, one of the reasons of the world's ungodly decadence was Newtonian science ^__^