The word "antediluvian" (syn.Prediluvian) (Latin for "before the deluge") is used to describe a period of time that preceded the Great Flood of Noah as related in the Book of Genesis in the Bible.

The antediluvian period

The Bible speaks of this era as being a time of great wickedness. There were Gibborim (giants) in the earth in those days as well as Nephilim; some translations identify the two as one and the same. The Gibborim were unusually powerful; Genesis calls them "heroes of old, men of renown;" (Enoshi Ha Shem). The antediluvian period ended when God sent the Flood to wipe out all life except Noah, his family, and the animals they took with them. Nevertheless, the Nephilim (literally meaning 'fallen ones', from the Hebrew root n-f-l 'to fall') reappear much later in the Biblical narrative, in Numbers 13:31-33 (where the spies sent forth by Moses report that there were Nephilim or "giants" in the Promised Land).

Writers such as William Whiston (A New Theory of the Earth 1696) and Henry Morris (The Genesis Flood 1961) describe the antediluvian period as follows:

* People lived much longer than people today, typically between 700-950 years, as reported in the genealogies of Genesis;
* The Earth contained many more people than the Earth contained in 1696. Whiston calculated that as many as 500 million humans may have been born in the antediluvian period, based on assumptions about lifespans and fertility rates;
* There were no clouds or rain. Instead, the Earth was watered by mists which rose from the Earth. (Another interpretation is that the Earth was covered completely by a global cloud layer; the upper waters mentioned in the Creation. This is commonly called the Canopy theory).

Other uses

*"Antediluvian" is sometimes used figuratively to refer to anything of great age and/or outmoded; H. P. Lovecraft was particularly fond of the term, using it frequently in his horror stories.

References in popular culture

* is a 1882 book by Ignatius L. Donnelly that attempted to establish that all known ancient civilizations were descended from Atlantis. Many of theories mentioned in the book are the source of modern-day concepts about Atlantis.

*"Antediluvian" was the winning word in the 1994 Scripps National Spelling Bee.

*"Antediluvian" is the oldest Vampire in the German story of "Wolfgang Hohlbeins Schattenchronik."

*In the "" role-playing game, the Antediluvians are the most ancient of vampires, who have remained in hiding or suspended animation from the time of the flood of Noah. Their return is a sign of the end times known as Gehenna.

*"Antediluvian" is used to describe the "Kings of Atlantis" in the song "Atlantis" by Donovan.
*In the of Montreal song "Rapture Rapes the Muses" Kevin Barnes sings of "antediluvian Troy"

*"Into the Silent Chambers of the Sapphirean Throne (Sagas From the Antediluvian Scrolls)" is a song by Bal-Sagoth, off the album A Black Moon Broods Over Lemuria.

*"Antediluvian Tales" (2007) is a collection of short stories written by Poppy Z. Brite before Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005.

*In Charles Stross's "Saturns' Children" the religious order who believe in evolution reference the antedeluvian period as the time in which man lived alongside Tyrannosaurs

ee also

*Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes
*Sons of Noah
*Sumerian king list

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • antediluvian — ANTEDILUVIÁN, Ă, antediluvieni, e, adj., subst. (Timp) care aparţine unei epoci străvechi a omenirii, dinainte de glaciaţia cuaternară. ♦ fig. Foarte vechi, străvechi; învechit, perimat. [pr.: vi an] – Din fr. antédiluvien. Trimis de ana zecheru …   Dicționar Român

  • antediluvian — an te*di*lu vi*an ([a^]n t[ e]*d[i^]*l[=u] v[i^]*an), a. Of or relating to the period before the Deluge in Noah s time; hence, antiquated; as, an antediluvian vehicle. n. One who lived before the Deluge. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • antediluvian — [an΄tē də lo͞o′vē ən, an΄tidə lo͞o′vē ən] adj. [< ANTE + L diluvium, a flood (see DILUVIUM) + AN] 1. of the time before the Biblical Flood 2. very old, old fashioned, or primitive n. an antediluvian person or thing …   English World dictionary

  • antediluvian — index obsolete, outdated, outmoded Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • antediluvian — (adj.) before Noah s flood, 1640s, formed from L. ante before (see ANTE (Cf. ante)) + diluvium a flood (see DELUGE (Cf. deluge)). Coined by English physician Sir Thomas Browne (1605 1682). As a noun meaning person who lived before the Flood, from …   Etymology dictionary

  • antediluvian — ancient, antiquated, obsolete, antique, venerable, archaic , *old Analogous words: primordial, primeval, primal, pristine (see PRIMARY): *early …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • antediluvian — [adj] out of date; prehistoric age old, ancient, antiquated, antique, archaic, hoary, obsolete, old, old fashioned, passé, primeval, primitive, primordial, timeworn, venerable; concepts 578,797,799 Ant. modern, new, up to date, young …   New thesaurus

  • antediluvian — ► ADJECTIVE 1) belonging to the time before the biblical Flood. 2) chiefly humorous ridiculously old fashioned. ORIGIN from ANTE (Cf. ↑ante ) + Latin diluvium deluge …   English terms dictionary

  • antediluvian — adjective Etymology: ante + Latin diluvium flood more at deluge Date: 1646 1. of or relating to the period before the flood described in the Bible 2. a. made, evolved, or developed a long time ago < an antediluvian automobile > b. extremely p …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • antediluvian — [[t]æ̱ntidɪlu͟ːviən[/t]] ADJ Antediluvian things are old or old fashioned. [HUMOROUS] ...those antediluvian days before telephone answering machines …   English dictionary

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