1895 – 1979
Who was Immanuel Velikovsky?
Immanuel Velikovsky was a Russian-Jewish independent scholar, best known as the author of a number of controversial books reinterpreting the events of ancient history, in particular the US bestseller Worlds in Collision, published in 1950. Earlier, he played a role in the founding of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel, and was a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst.
His books use comparative mythology and ancient literary sources to argue that Earth suffered catastrophic close contacts with other planets in ancient times. In positioning Velikovsky among catastrophists including Hans Bellamy, Ignatius Donnelly, and Johann Gottlieb Radlof, the British astronomers Victor Clube and Bill Napier noted "... Velikovsky is not so much the first of the new catastrophists ...; he is the last in a line of traditional catastrophists going back to mediaeval times and probably earlier." Velikovsky argued that electromagnetic effects play an important role in celestial mechanics. He also proposed a revised chronology for ancient Egypt, Greece, Israel and other cultures of the ancient Near East.
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- Jun 10, 1895
- Moscow State University
- University of Edinburgh
- Nov 17, 1979
on July 23, 2013