Berlin: Doomsday was at the forefront of many people’s minds in the 15th-century. Various texts from that period describe how doomsday could play out.
But now, a manuscript has been uncovered that illustrates the end of days in a very different way – using maps.
Written in Latin, the apocalypse maps tell of an Antichrist, the rise of Islam and other events following Judgement Day that was predicted to occur in 1651.
The author remains unknown, but some speculate it was a well-educated doctor known as Baptista, as there is a section on astrological medicine in the eerie text that was ahead of its time.
The manuscript was made in Lübeck, Germany between 1486 and 1488 and currently resides in the Huntington Library in San Marino, California, reports National Geographic.
The prophecy begins with a map describing the state of the world between 639 and 1514.
A large circle is drawn as the Earth, and water surrounds pie wedges that represent Asia, Africa and Europe.
The author warns of the rise of Islam in the text and how it is a growing threat in the Christian world.
‘There’s no way to escape it, this work is very anti-Islamic,’ Van Duzer, author of ‘Apocalyptic Cartography’, said.
‘It’s unfortunate, but it was a widespread bias in that place and time.’
Another map in the manuscript describe the ‘Sword of Islam’ conquering Europe first and making its way to the the rest of the world.
Five swords are placed inside the circle, which is Earth, and each one is labelled: ‘It corrects’, ‘It reforms’, ‘It crushes’ and ‘to Rome’.
The fifth sword is left blank.
The text surrounding the dooming image describes what will happen to the world from 1515 to 1570.
Following the rise of Islam, a separate map shows the rise of the Antichrist 1570 to 1600, which is represented by the triangles in the map.
Pictures show his massive four horns reaching to the ends of the Earth, which signify the different ways he will convince people to follow him: deceit, cunning, cruelty and imitation of the Deity, which means pretending to be the Christian God.
After this account, another describes the post-apocalyptic world with the flag and law of Christ being at the center of the Earth from 1606 to 1661.
The text on the right side of the map reads, ‘It will be raised and worshiped throughout the world’, which Van Duzer says this is pointing to the unification of the world under Christ’s leadership.
The author includes even more detailed information on the page dedicated to Judgement Day, which shows the mouth of Hell opening up, the gates of Paradise at the top and Jesus and the Apostles centered in the sky.
But the creator also includes the distance to Paradise, which his just 777 German miles from Lübeck to Jerusalem, and thence another 1000 miles to the eastern end of the Earth.
There is also a calculated circumferences of Earth and Hell – 8,000 and 6,100 German miles.
Not only does this manuscript of terror tell the story about what could have happened centuries ago, it also lists astrological medicine and a thesis on geography that some say is extraordinarily ahead of its time.