The last book contains an account of the dissolution of the world, in both its major and minor cataclysms; and in the particulars of the end of all things by fire and water, as well as in the principle of their perpetual renovation, presents a faithful exhibition of opinions that were general in the ancient world 95. The metaphysical annihilation of the universe, by the release of the spirit from bodily existence, offers, as already remarked, other analogies to doctrines and practices taught by Pythagoras and Plato, and by the Platonic Christians of later days.
lxxi:95 Burnet has collected the opinions of the ancient world on this subject, tracing them, as he says, "to the earliest people, and the first appearances of wisdom, after the flood." The Hindu account explains what is imperfect or contradictory in ancient tradition, as handed down from other and less carefully perpetuated sources. Theory of the Earth, b. III. c. 3.