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Earth without a Moon

Immanuel Velikovsky
Copyright 1973 by Immanuel Velikovsky

Democritus and Anaxagoras taught that there was a time when the Earth was without the Moon.  Aristotle wrote that Arcadia in Greece, before being inhabited by the Hellenes, had a population of Pelasgians, and that these aborigines occupied the land already before there was a moon in the sky above the earth; for this reason they were called Proselenes (1).

Appolonius Rhodius mentioned the time "when not all the orbs were yet in the heavens, before the Danai and Deukalion races came into existence, and only the Arcadians lived, of whom it is said that they dwelt on the mountains and fed on acorns, before there was a moon (2)."

Plutarch wrote in "The Roman Questions": "These were Arcadians of Evander's following, the so-called Pre-Lunar people (3)."  Also Ovid: "The Arcadians are said to have possessed their land before the birth of Jove, and that folk is older than the Moon (4)."  Lucian in his book on Astrology says that the Arcadians "affirm in their folly that they are older than the moon (5)."  Censorinus alludes to the time in the past when there was no moon in the sky (6).

The Assyrians referred to the time of the Moon god as to the oldest period in the memory of the people: before other planetary gods came to dominate the world ages, the Moon was the Supreme Deity (7).  Such references are found in the inscriptions of Sargon I I (about -720): (8).  "Since the far-off days of the Moon-god's time (era)."

Some allusions to the time before there was a moon may be found also in the Scriptures.  In Job 25:5 the grandeur of the Lord who "makes peace in the heights" is praised and the time is mentioned "before (there was) a moon and it did not shine."  Also in Psalm 72:5 it is said: "Thou wast feared since (the time of) the sun and before (the time of) the moon, a generation of generations." [See A.S. V., 1901, fn. 7. Ed.]

A "generation of generations" means a very long time.  Of course, it is of no use to counter this psalm with the myth of the first chapter of Genesis, a tale brought down from exotic and later sources. It is probably the most remote remembrance of mankind: the time when there was no moon.

The memory of a world without a moon lives in oral tradition among the Indians.  The Indians of the Bogota highland in the eastern Cordilleras of Columbia relate some of their tribal reminiscences to the time before there was a moon.  "In the earliest times, when the moon was not yet in the heavens," say the tribesmen of Chibchas (9).

The traditions of diverse people offer corroborative testimony to the effect that in a very early age, but still in the memory of mankind, no moon accompanied the earth.  Since human beings already peopled the earth, it is improbable that the moon sprang from it: there must have existed a solid lithosphere, not a liquid earth.  Thus it is more probable that the moon was captured by the earth.

(The above remains as it was prepared for press before 1950.  See also A. M. Paterson, "Giordano Bruno's View on the Earth without a Moon," in the Forum Section of this issue.  Ed.)


[1]   Aristotle, Fr. 591 (ed.  V. Rose).

[2]   Apollonius Rhodius.  IV, 264.

[3]   PIutarch's Moralia, tr.  F.C. Babbit.  Section 76.

[4]   Ovid, Fasti, tr.  Sir James G. Frazer, II, 290.

[5]   Lucian, Astrology, tr.  A. M. Harmon, 26 (p. 367).

[6]   Censorinus, De die natal, 19. also Scholium on Aristophanes, Clouds, 398.

[7]   "It is remarkable that at first the primacy was assigned to the moon." Fr.  Cuznont. Astrology and Religion among the Greeks and Romans, (1912) p. 124.

[8]   Luckenbill, Ancient Records of Assyria, Vol.  II, 870.

[9]   A. Humboldt, Vues des Cordilleras, I, 87.


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