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Does such a way of human time travel occur in ancient myths?

  • The only I know are the other way. You know as the Sleeping Beauty, someone 'vanishing' from time X and coming at time X + y. – Gibet Dec 8 '18 at 15:13
  • I'm not aware of any travelling back in time in ancient myths, but a fun innovation in modern mythology is the idea that UFOs are not aliens, but people from the future. – DukeZhou Dec 10 '18 at 18:47
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    @Dominictheinquisitive Don't. Your question is relevant. There is simply not any example of such a thing, so the basic answer is: No there is not. But you ALWAYS have the possibility to find one in an obscure non modern mythology. (In term of modern myths... Terminator simply is an example) – Gibet Aug 2 '19 at 12:55
  • @Dominictheinquisitive You are free to delete the question, but really this is a GOOD question. The fact there is no answer (or we cannot provide one) doesn't remove the intrinsic quality of your question. You have made a tons of incredibly nice and very acute questions, don't delete them. i know a couple of answers to them, but my time for answering is miserably short, I am deeply sorry for that. Truly, dig more, ask more questions. – Gibet Dec 4 '19 at 13:14
  • To add to what @Gibet said, it is the general consensus on SE that a good question shouldn't be deleted, especially if it already has a answer deemed good by the community. If OP really does not want this or another question under his name, it is possible to ask SE staff to disassociate it from his account: meta.stackexchange.com/a/96746/261831 – Semaphore Dec 20 '19 at 7:02
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I've been wracking my brain but can't think of any examples of ancient mythologies that involve travel backwards in time.

There are myths that involving travelling forward in time:

  • In Jewish parables from the Talmud, the scholar Honi ha-M'agel falls asleep and wakes decades later.

These stories may be the basis for the popular modern folkloric tale of Rip Van Winkle, published in 1819 by Washington Irving.

  • Urashima Tarō is a Japanese folktale about a hero who travels to a magical undersea dragon palace. Although he only spends a few days there, when he returns to the real world, hundreds of years have passed.

  • The Mahabharata includes the story of Kakudmi/Raivata, who visits Brahma in heaven, and, when he returns to the mundane world, finds that many ages have passed. (Brahma explained that time passes differently on differnt planes.)

In Celtic faerie lore, this same time distortion occurs in regard to Tír na nÓg, which probably derives from Oisín, son of Finn Mac Cool, the first bard of Ireland:

  • Oisín agrees to marry the fairy woman Niamh Goldenhair, and returns with her to the Land of Youth, where he becomes king. Although he only stays for 3 days, when he returns to Ireland, 300 years have passed.

(More recently, the celebrated contemporary author Gene Wolfe utilized this device in his Wizard/Knight books.)

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