Encyclopedia of Prophecy
by Geoffrey Ashe
June 2001, 291pp, 7 x 10
1 volume, ABC-CLIO

Hardcover: 978-1-57607-079-6
$96, £74, 84€, A132
Please contact your preferred distributor for pricing.
eBook Available: 978-1-57607-528-9
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

From the Greek oracles and biblical prophets to the tabloid headlines of today, the desire to see into the future is one of the most universal of human traits. The Encyclopedia of Prophecy is an entertaining yet dispassionate guide to this phenomenon, a guide that presents its findings neither too credulously nor too critically.

A definitive, factual, A–Z reference guide offering a global perspective on the role of prophecy in world history, religion, folklore, and literature.

From at least 1200 B.C. and probably long before, prophets have attempted to see into the future. Most—from ancient oracles to modern astrologers, from doomsday sects to telephone psychics—have been wrong the majority of the time, says British researcher Geoffrey Ashe. True foreknowledge is rare, but those rare occurrences are impressive.

In this fascinating reference work, the first to encompass the entire 3,000 year span of recorded prophecy, Ashe examines the predictions of both good prophets and bad, including seers like Jacques Cazotte, who forecast the Reign of Terror in the French Revolution, and Morgan Robertson, who described the Titanic disaster 14 years before it happened. He refutes many of the far-fetched claims of Nostradamus, and highlights those that foreshadow events after his lifetime. He also examines failed prophecies that have been influential, including the many end-of-the-world forecasts, along with the surprisingly accurate visions of some science-fiction authors.


  • More than 100 entries on prophets and prophecies from the Antichrist to Yevgeny Zamyatin, the Russian author whose writings influenced Aldous Huxley's Brave New World and George Orwell's 1984
  • Extensive illustrations with drawings and diagrams including engravings from William Blake's so-called prophetic books and depictions of the ten incarnations of Vishnu
  • Numerous photographs of writers such as D. H. Lawrence, H. G. Wells, and E. M. Forster; spiritual leaders such as Madame Blavatsky, founder of Theosophy; and Theodor Herzl, founder of Zionism
  • A bibliography as a guide for extended research
Geoffrey Ashe is a well-known scholar based in Glastonbury, England. He is an authority on British legend and a pioneer of Arthurian studies.


"The eminently readable text can be perused at leisure or easily used to locate points of interest ... Ashe handles the material expertly, giving historical context where necessary ... The global perspective makes this a timely and lasting title for public libraries."—Library Journal, July 1, 2001

"Entries are comprehensive, clearly written, entertaining, appropriate for young readers, well indexed, and often include a brief list of further readings."—Choice, October 1, 2001
By clicking “Accept All Cookies”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts.
Accept All Cookies | Decline.