The August 21 solar eclipse is already an American phenomenon, but what if you witnessed an eclipse in centuries past?  You might hear the sound of cameras clicking during the Great American Eclipse, but there was a time when you may have heard screams and doors being locked.  Without science to provide a comfortable safety net for eclipse viewing, there was no telling what would happen. In his book “American Eclipse”, journalist David Baron reports there was a

Roman emperor who saw an eclipse in 840 AD, and was so distressed he stopped eating and starved to death. Without him, his people eventually plunged into a civil war. The ancient Greeks believed eclipses occurred when the gods were angry with humans, and the Babylonians believed it signified the death of a ruler. The Norse believed a hungry wolf was feasting on the sun, while in Vietnam it was a giant toad. According to, Western Siberia’s Tatars thought a vampire tried to swallow the sun and failed after burning his tongue. READ MORE