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In technical papers, physicists generally avoid the commonplace language of "moving" or "traveling" through time."Movement" normally refers only to a change in spatial position as the time coordinate is varied.In the science fiction anthology Far Boundaries (1951), editor August Derleth claims that an early short story about time travel is "Missing One's Coach: An Anachronism", written for the Dublin Literary Magazine While the narrator waits under a tree for a coach to take him out of Newcastle, he is transported back in time over a thousand years.He encounters the Venerable Bede in a monastery and explains to him the developments of the coming centuries.However, these might be interpreted as visions rather than as time travel because Scrooge experiences the time periods as an observer rather than as a participant.A clearer example of backward time travel is found in the popular 1861 book Paris avant les hommes (Paris before Men) by the French botanist and geologist Pierre Boitard, published posthumously.
In Hindu mythology, the Mahabharata mentions the story of King Raivata Kakudmi, who travels to heaven to meet the creator Brahma and is shocked to learn when he returns to Earth that many ages have passed.
The Buddhist Pāli Canon mentions the relativity of time.
The Payasi Sutta tells of one of the Buddha's chief disciples, Kumara Kassapa, who explains to the skeptic Payasi that, "In the Heaven of the Thirty Three Devas, time passes at a different pace, and people live much longer.
In this story, the protagonist is transported to the prehistoric past by the magic of a "lame demon" (a French pun on Boitard's name), where he encounters a Plesiosaur and an apelike ancestor and is able to interact with ancient creatures.
Edward Everett Hale's "Hands Off" (1881) tells the story of an unnamed being, possibly the soul of a person who has recently died, who interferes with ancient Egyptian history by preventing Joseph's enslavement. An unusual clock, when wound, runs backwards and transports people nearby back in time.