Apocalypticism is one of the fundamental elements that constitute Judaism and Christianity. It is also an important cultural motif that has substantially shaped and influenced the Western civilization. This article is a critical introduction to the origins and development of Apocalypticism in the West, with an emphasis on its final formation in the Hellenistic and early Roman Empire periods. It consists of five parts. The first defines the contents of Apocalypticism; the second explains how this important religious thought arose and came to formation in Judaism; the third introduces the works on Apocalypticism; the fourth, then, analyzes the major features of these works; the last part brings out different theories by which modern scholars interpret Apocalypticism. Besides looking into the historical background in which Apocalypticism originated and came to fruition in the West, this article also highlights its significance in religious and cultural history. Lastly, this article suggests that the light that has been shed on the study of Apocalypticism in the West can be applied to similar religious phenomena in both traditional China and contemporary Taiwan.