« PreviousContinue »
The Egyptian æra of Menes and the cynic cycle being determined by the Chronicle to the 598th year of the 24th solar canicular period, we find it in the Julian year B. c. 2188, the Thoth, or first day, of the erratic Egyptian years, answering to February 21 ;-a date in harmony with every version of sacred chronology, and—what is very remarkable, as well as important to our present inquiry-possessing the required lunar characters. It will be found by calculation, that the Thoth of the year in question-February 21 B. c. 2188-anticipated the new moon about one day, or a little more ; and a day being the amount of error in 21 Egyptian lunar cycles, or 525 years, it follows that the above-mentioned anticipation refers the date of astronomical coincidence, and of the construction of the Hermaic system, to five or six centuries later ;-a result in harmony with the age of the Hermaic corruption and system developed in my Criteria (part I.)*, being the 16th century B. C., and with many other equally decisive elements, as will appear.
The astronomical Egyptian era, thus detected-an. 598 per. canic. 24, or B. c. 2188—is really that adopted by our great chronologer, Archbishop Usher, on the authority of Constantinus Manasses (1663 before the reduction of Egypt by the Persians, B. c. 525), and it is confirmed by all original authorities; the theories got up by the astronomical corrupters, and by the Fathers and the Byzantine and modern chronographers, in favour of the Greek chronology of Scripture, being alone opposed to it.
Dicæarchus, who wrote in the age of Alexander, acquaints us that king Nilus reigned in Egypt 436 years before the Olympic
This ascends to the year B. c. 1212 (i.e. B. c. 776, Ol. æra +.436 = B. c. 1212). But, as Sir John Marsham justly observes, the intention of Dicæarchus was to refer Nilus to the time of the Trojan war, the date of which this writer and the author of the Parian chronicle anticipated nearly 30 years. Nilus, or Phruron, began to regin 1008 years after Menes founded the monarchy, according to the chronicle of Eratosthenes, the librarian of Ptolemy Euergetes. Adding, therefore, 1008 erratic Egyptian years to the Trojan era of Eratosthenes and all the best authorities, B. c. 1183 (i. e. 407 years before the first Olympiad), we obtain the year b. c. 2190 for the first of Menes.
Diodorus learned from the priests of Thebes that there elapsed
B. C. 2782. But it is evident, from Gen. x. 25–32, that the sons, of Joktan, Peleg's nephews, had arrived at maturity when the nations were peopled ; so that this æra must be placed, at the least, two generations below the birth of Peleg; which renders the protracted systems of Egyptian chronology still more irreconcileable with Scripture. I have here taken the received epoch of the call of Abraham, B.C. 1921 (below which the versions agree), as the basis of computation, because M. Champollion and his followers recognise this epoch. (See Criteria, part II. Morning Watch No. XII.
Morning Watch No, IX.
about 23,000 lunar revolutions from the reign of the gods and the building of that city, till Alexander's empire.. 23,000 lunations amount to between 1858 and 1859 solar
which, reckoned upwards from the Maced. æra, again conduct us to B.C. 2188-90 for the Theban æra ; surprisingly exact for so rough a calculation.
Varro wrote that Thebes was founded 2100 years before the composition of his book “de Re rusticâ.” This again refers Menes to the 22d century B. c. commencing.
Josephus (an advocate for the Greek chronology of Scripture, and his testimony therefore the more valuable) affirms that Menes built Memphis above 1300 years before Solomon's marriage with his Egyptian wife—that is, about six hundred years after the Exode, according to his mode of computation (the times of the servitudes, 111 years, being added to the period of 480 years of 1 Kings vi. 1). This conducts us to about 700 years before the Exode, for the Egyptian or Memphite æra of Josephus, whose works prove that he was well informed on Egyptian antiquities. But, ascending seven centuries from the true date of the Exode, B. c. 1490-1, we find b. c. 2190 for the foundation of Memphis. If to these authorities we add the testimony of Constantine Manasses, before mentioned, we have the evidence of all original and impartial authorities, Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Jewish, and Christian, for fixing the Egyptian æra to the beginning of the twenty-second century B. c.-viz. Egyptian : Astronomical æra of the old Chronicle an. 598 per. can. xxiv... 2188 Greek :..
Dicæarchus and Eratosthenes. Thebes founded about
To these testimonies might be added the important, although indirect, one of the Heliopolitan priest and Egyptian annalist Manetho, whose dynasties, where historically arranged, refer the æra of the monarchy to the year B. c. 2188.
It thus appears that the accounts, whether drawn from Thebes, Memphis, or Lower Egypt, all unite in stamping the astronomical æra of the Hermaic books preserved by the author of the old Egyptian Chronicle, as the true one. The date of the system itself remains to be further shewn.
In my Criteria for determining the Version of Scripture containing the original Hebrew computation of time,' “ on the Hermaic corruption" (Morning Watch, No. IX.), it has been shewn that the difference between the Egyptian diluvian æra B. c. 2697, and the true one, B. C. 2347, 350 years, divided by 30, the difference between the precession of the equinoxes, as estimated in the Hermaic system (about 1011 years to a de
2190 2190 2188
gree of the Ecliptic, and the true rate of 711 years to a degree), gives 11š degrees ferè of precession at the date of the Genesis of Hermes, equal to 838 years; whence that work, and the system extracted from it into the old Chronicle, were referred to about the year B. c. 1510-9. This being the middle time of the sojournment of Moses in the land of Midian, I have supposed the hierophant, Hermes Trismegistus, who (as has been shewn from ancient authorities) flourished in the age of the Jewish lawgiver (Criteria, ubi supra), to have received instructions on the origin and history of the world and its inhabitants from that lawgiver, probably his fellow-student in the colleges of On, or Heliopolis; and thence to have composed his spurious Genesis and System of Time, altering the patriarchal ages according to his own view of astronomical truth.
It has already been observed, that the Egyptian lunar error at the æra of the cynic cycle and of the monarchy, B. C. 2188, refers the construction of the system to five or six centuries lower down. If we descend to the termination of the zodiacal period, and of the last solar canicular and lunar cycles, computed to fall in with the heliacal rising of Sirius at midnight between July 19 and 20, A. D. 136 (the true termination of the solar canicular period, as Des Vignoles has very fully demonstrated), the lunar error will be found more palpable; the new moon having at that date anticipated the epoch of the lunar cycle by about three days and a quarter. This anticipation being at the rate of about one day in 21 cycles, or 525 years, it would amount to 3} days in 1700 years. Ascending therefore 1700 years from A. D. 136, we are conducted to B. c. 1565, for the time when the observations were made from which the Hermaic system was constructed. This age of the Genesis of Hermes, obtained from its proper characters, it is true, comes out half a century earlier than the date obtained from the operation in connection with the writings of Moses ; but, considering that the point of coincidence is one in 36,525 years, the wonder is, first, that it falls at all within the limits of historical time; and, secondly, that it falls in the age of Hermes and Moses, and so very near to the æra otherwise obtained. The difference of date may, in fact, under the circumstances, be considered as absolutely nothing, and the coincidences such as truth alone could elicit.
Other proofs are, however, in store. In my Memoir on the ancient Chaldean and Egyptian Observations, &c. (sect. v.) it has been shewn, from Diogenes Laertius, that the ancient Egyptians estimated the quantity of the tropical solar year nearly as modern astronomers, 365d 5h 49' 14" 10"" ferè ; that it was in all probability determined from observations made in the age of Moses, the sixteenth century B. C. ; that ancient
authorities concur in affirming this to have been an age of great scientific improvement among the Egyptians; and that about the same time some of the Egyptian discoveries were carried into Chaldea, where they gave birth to a new series of astronomical observations in that country. All this goes further to shew the fitness of the time for the operations of Hermes Trismegistus and the construction of his system, which doubtless embraced the whole series of discoveries.
These discoveries no doubt included the estimate of equinoctical precession, which descended to Hipparchus and the Greek astronomers, of about 100 years to a degree. The date of the Hermaic Genesis, obtained in the Criteria, proves the knowledge of this precession ; and the quantity of the tropical year could not have been determined without it. But the great zodiacal cycle fixes the æra of the discovery. It supposes the equinoctical points to have intersected the first minutes of Aries and Libra at its commencement and termination-i. e. in the Julian years B. c. 36,365 and A.D. 136. But the assumed rate of precession being 1° in about 1013 years (for 36,525-360o=1011 ferè) instead of 1° in 713 years, there was of necessity a perpetually increasing error in the Egyptian sphere ; which could have but one point of true astronomical coincidence with the celestial sphere in the whole revolution of 36,525 years, i. e. at the date of the construction of the system.
Granting the first star of Aries to have been the origin of the Egyptian sphere, the colure was computed to intersect it A. D. 136; but this intersection really occurred about the year B. C. 373—508 or 510 years earlier- the longitude of Prima Arietis at the conclusion of the revolution being about y 7° 8. The chronological difference, 510 years, divided by 30, the excess of 1011 over 71+ years, gives 17° of precession between the dates of the invention and termination of the zodiacal period, equal to (1700 x 1013) 1725 years of time; and, ascending 1725 years from A. D. 136, we find B. c. 1590 for the æra of Hermes and his observations. This exceeds the first obtained date of the Genesis by 80 years; but this difference, considering the vast period for progressive error, amounts, as before, to nothing.
Thus do the equinoctial characters of the system unite with the lunar in referring its construction to an age not only within the limits of true historical time, but consistent with the age of its inventor, as fixed by the consent of antiquity; the whole being, moreover, consistent with the scientific character of that age, as proved from the uniform consent of Egyptian, Chaldean, and Grecian authorities; but, above all, in accordance with the results of the Criteria, which go to prove the whole Hermaic system to have had its origin in an astronomical corruption of the Sacred Mosaic numbers. It can hardly, therefore,
be doubted, but that my original acceptation of the zodiacal period, and the Egyptian æra detected in it, are irrefragably verified*.
That epoch being ascertained, the regulation of the thirty dynasties of Manetho becomes a matter of little difficulty. This, together with some important monumental coincidences, which the detection of the true Hermaic system renders palpable, I propose for the subject of another communication.
In conclusion, the construction of the solar canicular period of 1461 erratic or 1460 fixed years, together with the settling of its epochs, is another very obvious characteristic of the labours of Hermes Trismegistus (the second Hermes of Manetho, who first digested the lithographic records into the form of written chronicles), of whose general system it forms the main element. The prophetic nature ascribed by Manetho to the Hermaic records, is likewise accounted for, as well as their extraordinary number, 36,525 volumes (Jamblicus, from Manetho). These were, in fact, as before remarked, ephemerides, calculated (or rather purposed to be calculated) for each year of the zodiacal revolution, in which the regal tables were inserted, as in modern almanacks.
It ought not to be overlooked, that between the age of Hermes, in the 16th century B. C., and that of Manetho and the author of the old Egyptian Chronicle, in the 3d century B. C., the precession amounted to about 17o, which the points had receded ; and 17°x 30 years shews that the error of the Hermaic sphere in time, amounted to about 510 years when Manetho wrote. Hence, therefore, the elevation of the zodiacal period about its true place in time, without regard to its canicular and lunar composition ; and hence the consecutive insertion of all the dynasties from the fifteenth to the thirtieth, several of which both written and monumental history prove to have been contemporary, into its volume; a principle which, if admitted, would obviously bring down the latter Pharoahs to the time of the Cæsars. A due regard to these facts will plainly account for the errors of chronologers (who have hitherto uniformly referred the end of the zodiacal system to the end of the dynasties +, and reconcile their differences. But to dwell upon and detail the various important characters and consequences of this
* To the extraordinary combination of evidence here adduced for fixing the date of the Hermaic system, another conclusive proof is afforded by the fact that calculation shews, that the heliacal rising of Sirius did really fall on July 20 in that age ;-the departure of this phenomenon from any given day of the Julian or fixed Sothoic year, being at the rate of not less than nine days in the space of a solar canicular period of 1461 years, according to truth; and 3 d. 15 h. 39 m. 36 s., according to the Hermaic principles of computation. + See note (E). VOL. VI.-NO. II.