Timeline of the Cthulhu Mythos

From the ‘Official’ Cthulhu Mythos FAQ

18-10 bil BC: Somewhere in this range our Universe began. Big Bang — space, time, and matter appear. Some blame Azathoth for this mess. (real)

4.5 bil BC: Earth formed. (Real)

?: According to some, the earth is brought out of an alternate dimension by the Great Old Ones.

2 billion BC: Elder Things arrive (crinoid Old Ones from AtMoM). (AtMoM, by HPL) Possibly the Antarctic was already inhabited by something nasty (?) at the time, but the record is unclear. (AtMoM) (Note: The original FAQ said that the something nasty was Tawil at’Umr, but that hardly seems likely.)

Ubbo-Sathla, the progenitor of all earthly life, definitely exists by now. (Smith)

?: The people of K’n-yan, who reputedly came to earth with “Tulu” (Cthulhu), migrated to the surface when the land was fit to live on. (HPL/Bishop)

600 million BC: Flying Polyps arrive, and build basalt cities with windowless towers (in Australia). (No Ref)

Archaean slate preserves striated triangular footprints of Elder Things. (AtMoM)

200 million BC: Pangea broke up. (Real)

R’lyeh emerges(?)/is built(?). (No Ref)

Spawn of Cthulhu arrive, war with the Elder Things, and drive them into the sea. (AtMoM)

190-140 million BC: Jurassic. (Real)

Mi-go arrive from Yuggoth (Pluto) and drive Elder Things from Northern Hemisphere. (AtMoM)

150 million BC: Permian Age. (Real)

Marine Elder Things re-subjugate Shoggoths. (AtMoM)

Elder Things war with Great Race. (No Ref)

?: Great Race of Yith (minds only) flees unknown doom on Yith. They come forward in time and inhabit the bodies of the indigenous Australian conical entities. (No Ref)

100 million BC: Rifts seperate Africa from Europe/Valusia and Asia. (No Ref)

50 million BC: City founded in Mts of Madness to replace older city on site of first arrival, by Elder Things. (AtMoM)

Land bridge to Americas through Iceland ends, seperating the flora/fauna evolution of America from Europe. (Real)

30-25 million BC: Development of CircumAntarctic current, essentially isolating Antarctica from the rest of the continents, and beginning the establishment of the Antarctic Ice Sheet. (Real)

Pliocene map. (Real)

No sea cities of Elder Things north of 50deg S; no land cities outside of Antarctica and tip of South America. (AtMoM)

750,000 BC: Civilization of Hyperborea, based around present-day Greenland, destroyed by the ice. Its wisdom, including the Book of Eibon, is passed down through secret cults. (Smith/CoC)

100,000 BC: Kull the Atlantean becomes king of Valusia. (Howard)

50,000 BC: Civilization of great-headed brown people of South Africa. (No Ref)

24,000 BC: Hairy cannibal Gnophkehs overcame many-templed Olathoe and slay all the heros of the land of Lomar (inside 80 deg N). (Polaris, by HPL)

Pnakotic Manuscripts taken to Ulthar in the Dreamlands. (No Ref)

Hyperborean copy of PM preserved by same cult which wrote the Book of Eibon. (No Ref)

18,000 BC: Atlantis and Lemuria sink beneath the waves. The years that follow are the Hyborian Age, time of Conan. (Howard)

c. 9500 BC: Isle of Poseidonis, last remnant of Atlantis, sinks. (Smith)

3700 BC: Rise of Uruk period of Sumerian civilization. (Real)

3100 BC: The First Dynasty of Egypt is founded. (Real).

30 BCE: Ubar/Irem “a many-columned city … whose like has never been built in the whole land” [Koran] vanishes in sandstorm. [1984 Challenger mission spots buried roadway stretching for 60 miles in desert north of Oman’s Dhofar province] [Mankato Free Press, 7/16/1990] [Hitti, HIST.ARABS: “A recently discovered Nabataean site, ‘RM, 25 miles east of al-Aqabah, is Kornaic Iram (sur. 89:6)”][2/5/92 NYT “Archeologists and explorers in Oman have uncovered the ruins of eight towers and adjoining walls and deposits of pottery dating to Roman times and as far back as 2,000 BC. The explorers are virtually sure it is UBAR, the fabled entrepot of the rich frankincense trade thousands of years ago.”]

c. 300: Decline and fall of Rome. (Real)

c. 730: Al Azif written at Damascus by Abdul Alhazred, who claimed to have visited Irem and an even older city; worshipped Yog-Sothoth and Cthulhu. (HPL)

738: Alhazred dies or disappears under terrible circumstances. Said by Ebn Khiallikan to have been seized in broad daylight and devoured by an invisible monster before a horrified crowd. (HPL) (August Derleth claimed this happened in 731.)

950: Al Azif translated into Greek as Necronomicon by Theodorus Philetas. (HPL)

1050: Greek text of Necronomicon burnt by Michael, Patriarch of Constantinople (Arabic text lost at this point). (HPL)

1228: Olaus translates Necronomicon into Latin. (HPL)

1232: Pope Gregory IX bans Necronomicon. (HPL)

15th century: Black letter edition of Latin Necronomicon printed in Germany. (HPL)

1492: Columbus discovers New World. (Real)

1500 – 1550: Greek text of Necronomicon printed in Italy. (Last known copy vanished in burning of a certain Salem man’s library in 1692. Copy kept by Pickman family of Salem? If so, vanished with R. U. Pickman in 1926.) (HPL)

16th c.: Ludwig Prinn pens De Vermis Mysteriis while awaiting execution. (Bloch)

1692: Salem witch-trials. (Real)

17th cent: bish printing (in Latin?) of Necronomicon (copies of this edition now at Bibliotheque National in Paris, Widener Library at Harvard, Miskatonic U. library at Arkham, library of Buenos Aires). (HPL)

1771: The four Brown brothers, Reverend Manning and the Governor of Rhode Island (Lippincott?) take action against Joseph Curwen. (HPL)

1775: The American Revolution begins. (Real)

1795: Friedrich Wilheim von Junzt born.(“The Black Stone”, Howard)

1839: Unaussprechlichen Kulten published in Dusseldorf. Written by Friedrich von Junzt [read Necronomicon in Greek translation]. Von Junzt dies six months after returning from trip to Mongolia while working on second book. Less than a dozen copies exist of this edition. [“Von Junzt relates many stories of the survivals of cults worshipping pre-human entities or prehistoric gods, such as Ghatanothoa, Bran, and others. The principle obscurity of the book is in Von Junzt’s use of the term ‘keys’ — phrase used many times by him, in various relations, such as descriptions of the infamous Black Stone in Hungary and the legendary Temple of the Toad in Honduras.”] (Howard)

1845: Bridewell, London publisher, does a pirated translation of Unaussprechlichen Kulten. “… full of grotesque woodcuts, and riddled with misspellings, faulty translations, and the usual errors of a cheap and unscholarly printing. …” (Howard)

1860-65: American Civil War. (Real).

1882, June: Meteorite lands west of Arkham. (“The Colour Out of Space”) (HPL)

1892: Body exhumed, heart burned in Exeter, RI. (mentioned “The Shunned House”) (HPL)

1901, February 22: Climax of “Beyond the Wall of Sleep.” (HPL)

1907, November 1: Raid near New Orleans captures Cthulhu cultists. (HPL)

1908 – 1913: Wingate Peaslee, professor of economics at Miskatonic, is afflicted with amnesia. (HPL)

1909: Golden Goblin Press, New York. Expurgated edition of Unaussprechlichen Kulten (fully one quarter of work cut), handsomely bound, illustrated by Diego Vasquez. Approx. 30 known to still exist. (Howard)

1910, January: Houdini is “Imprisioned With the Pharaohs.” (HPL)

1913, August 3: Box delivered to A. Jermyn, who subsequently sets himself on fire. (HPL)

1917, August 20: “The Temple” 20 N, 35 W. (HPL)

1918, November 11: World War I ends. (Real)

1919, August 25: Exploration of the Shunned House. (HPL)

1921, August: Reporter encounters “The Lurking Fear.” (HPL)

1922, January: “The Attic Window” published in Whispers. (See “The Unnameable”)

1923, July 16: Delapore moves into Exham Priory. (HPL)

1925, March 23 to April 2: R’lyeh emerges from ocean. (HPL)

1926: R. U. Pickman disappears. (HPL)

1927, Good Friday: Charles Dexter Ward revives Joseph Curwen. (HPL)

1927, July 6: “The Shadow Over Innsmouth.” (HPL)

1928, February: Raid on Innsmouth. (HPL)

1928, August: The Dunwich Horror. (HPL)

Professor Wilmarth flees from Akeley’s house in Vermont. (HPL)

1928, October 7: Randolph Carter goes through the Gate of the Silver Key [Aug 30, 1932 letter “Dear Abdul … And for each plane of cutting, we get a different 3 dimensional solid. Thus from an original, unchangeable 4th dimensional SOMETHING, we get a (sic) infinity of seemingly different 3 dimensional forms; as by varying the angle at which a plane cuts a cone … All of which is the thesis accounting for Carter’s scrambled affairs.”]. (HPL)

1931, January 22: Plane spots the Mountains of Madness 76 15′ S, 113 10′ E. (HPL)

1931, March: Gale wrecks roof of the Witch House. (HPL)

1935, June 3: First blocks found by Peaslee’s Australian expedition. (HPL)

1935, Night of July 17-18: Peaslee explores ruins. (HPL)

1939-1945: World War II. (Real)

During this time, most copies of the Necronomicon are stolen by Nazis or vanish. (Colin Low’s “Necronomicon Anti-FAQ”)

1945: Atom bomb exploded, supposedly with Nyarlathotep’s help. (Bloch)

c. 1968: The Wilmarth Foundation begins its war against the cthonians. (Lumley)

1969: Titus Crow and Henri-Laurent de Marigny killed (?) in freak windstorm. (Lumley)

1973: First published Necronomicon hoax appears. (real)

Events in the Future:

Great Old Ones return. Either everyone dies, or life becomes extremely unpleasant. (HPL)

5000 BC: Empire of Tsan-Chan rises (this may be before or after previous entry). (HPL)

Great Race returns to earth in bodies of beetles. (HPL)

Sun grows in size to red giant, then contracts once again, making earth uninhabitable. (Real — too bad for you)

End of universe. (Real)