The End of the World
Many myths of the end of the world maintain that the world will be recreated or refreshed after the end of this incarnation of it. Perhaps this is because of the cyclic nature of many of the changes ancient peoples saw around them; the seasons, the waxing and waning of the moon, the cycle of birth, reproduction, and death present in all animals and in themselves as well.
Norse mythology predicts that, after Ragnarok, the world will rise anew from the ashes, the sons of the old gods will rule over this world, and two people, a man and a woman, who survived the apocalypse will repeople it. Indian mythology goes farther - the connection between Vishnu's recreation of the world and the reincarnation of each individual soul present in Indian mythology is unmistakable.
One of the most famous myths, the Christian story of the apocalypse, also deals with a new world after the old. Jesus Christ will come back as a warrior on a white horse, the story says, and lead his followers to a new and better Earth where there is no suffering.
Perhaps the ancients saw the cycles around them and reasoned that cosmic changes must happen in cycles as well. Whatever the reason, they are an interesting and recurring theme in apocalypse myths.
The Dawn and Dusk of Man is a Thinkquest Mythology Project by Sheila, Min, Ana and Tencia of Montgomery Blair High School.