Page images

who was archon in the two hundred and fiftieth Olympiad, there were nine hundred and twenty-three archons; and if Philinus was archon in 250 Ol. 1, Creon must have been archon in 19 01. 3, i. e., B.C. 702. According to Eusebius (Chron., 120) the annual archons of Athens were first appointed in 24 Ol. 2, i.e, B.C. 683, and this would give the archons down to 250 Ol. 1 as 904, instead of 923, as given by Africanus, shewing a variation of nineteen archons, and as all are agreed that the archonship of Evænetus, in the year after the death of Philip, was in 111 0l. 2, the nineteen additional archons of Africanus must have been between the first archon and the death of Philip, and this would make it highly probable that the nine additional archons of the time of Philip, which are mentioned by Demosthenes, were eponymus archons. On the other hand, these additional archons of Demosthenes give a credibility to the account of Africanus beyond the account of Eusebius. The 954 years

which the Marble places between the first year of its era and the Trojan war, were evidently made up of a certain number of Olympic or historic years, and a certain number of ante-Olympic or prehistoric years, and if we knew the number of the Olympic, we should also know the number of the ante-Olympic, or if we knew the number of the ante-Olympic, we should also know the number of the Olympic years, and, in either case, we should be able to fix the date of the Marble Era without doubt; but for our purpose we need not assume that the war was an event which actually occurred. All that we want is to ascertain what were the ante-Olympic years, which were adopted by the compiler of the Marble, as its date. We have seen the probability of the truth of Africanus's account, and if Creon was really made archon in 19 Ol. 3, the Marble must have been erected, as we have noticed, in 124 Ol. 3, and its 954 years to the Trojan war must have consisted of 494 Olympic and 460 anteOlympic years.

I will now shew, without the aid of Africanus, the great probability that the ante-Olympic years, which were adopted by the compiler of the Marble as the date of the war, were 460. As the archonship of Evænetus was in 111 01. 2, the 820 years of Timæus and Clitarchus, which reached from thence to the return of the Heraclidæ, must have consisted of 441 Olympic and 379 ante-Olympic years. If to these 379 we add one for the year of the return, and 80 for the distance from the return to the Trojan war, we shall see that Timæus and Clitarchus must have adopted 460 ante-Olympic years as the date of the war—the identical number that we have elicited from the Marble, as explained by Africanus. Suidas (Homerus, ii., 682) has also handed down a tradition, seemingly from Porphyry, that the first Olympiad was 460 years after the Trojan war. These are striking confirmations of the tradition handed down by Africanus, as to the archonship of Creon. But Solinus (c. i., 27) says, " The Olympic contest, which Hercules instituted in honour of Pelops his maternal great-grandfather, Iphitus the Elean restored after its interruption in the four hundred and eighth year from the fall of Troy.” Eusebius (Præp., p. 484) also says, “If you go back to old times, you will find that from the first Olympiad to the taking of Troy there were 408 years, as the accounts of the Greek chronologists have it.” Diodorus (i., 5) also says that, according to Apollodorus the Athenian, and reckoning by the kings of Lacedæmon, there were eighty years from the Trojan times to the return of the Heraclidæ, and from this to the first Olympiad three bundred and twenty-eight years, and this would give four hundred and eight years from the Trojan war to the first Olympiad.

Thus, between the account of Timæus Clitarchus and Suidas and the Marble, as explained by Africanus on the one hand, and the account of Solinus Eusebius and Apollodorus on the other hand, there is a variation of fifty-two years, the amount of thirteen Olympiads. Nor is it difficult to account for this variation. According to Syncellus (p. 196), Callimachus says that there were thirteen Olympiads not recorded, and that Corybus was victor in the fourteenth. Thus, the variation may be easily accounted for on the supposition that the first restored Olympiad was mistaken for the first recorded one by Apollodorus, and those who have handed down the interval, as four hundred and eight years. That the compiler of the Marble adopted one or the other of these two traditions may well be supposed; but it is utterly incredible that he adopted the tradition of the four hundred and eight years ; for, if he had adopted it, there must have been five hundred and forty-six Olympic years in his nine hundred and fifty-four, and the beginning of the reign of Philip, in the ninety-third year of the Marble Era, must have been in 114 Ol. 2. This, of course, is incredible, when no doubt exists that Alexander, Philip's successor, died in 114 01, 1. We should also bear in mind that Timæus Clitarchus and the compiler of the Marble are commonly supposed to have all lived about the time of Alexander.

Thus, there is a value in prehistoric dates, and that not a little enhanced by the different traditions which have been handed down respecting them, and no doubt should exist that the four hundred and sixty ante-Olympic or prehistoric years for the Trojan war, which were most certainly adopted by his cotemporaries Timæus and Clitarchus, and which have been most clearly elicited from the Marble by the rational explanation of Africanus, were in truth adopted by the compiler of the Marble, and should, therefore, be held to be the proper means to determine the date of the Marble Era. These, as I have said, would place the erection of the Marble in 124 Ol. 3, i.e. B.O. 282, and the archonship of Agathocles, in its ninety-third year, would be 101 01. 2. By inserting the additional arehons of Demosthenes in the reign of Philip, all the historic dates of Diodorus above them would, of course, be convicted of error; but the Marble would go further, and point out the proper Olympic years for all its events. Hence the great importance of the right interpretation of the Marble Era. Nor must we lose sight of the statement of Africanus as to the difference of opinion which in his day existed as to the Olympic year in which Creon was archon.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Plutarch (Numa, tom. i., p. 60) also says:—“It is difficult to collect the times accurately, and especially those which are deduced from the Olympiads." Thus, we need not be surprised to find that Diodorus is in error as to the Olympic years, in which be has placed his events from the time of Philip and upwards, especially as we have so clearly convicted him of error in the omission of the archons of Demosthenes and Lysias, and in the order of succession in which he has placed his archons. Nor is it only in reference to the kingdom of Athens that we have evidence as to these additional twenty-one years. We have seen that the reign of Philip of Macedon began in the ninety-third, and must have ended in the fifty-fourth year of the Marble Era. This reign must, therefore, have been

, thirty-nine years; but it is given by Diodorus as twenty-four years. Here we have an excess of fifteen years; and we have also seen that, according to the Marble, the reign of Philip began six years later than it did according to Diodorus. We have also a singular confirmation of this in Diodorus. In his Lib. xvi., 71, he says: “As to historians, Theopompus, the Chian, in his History of the Affairs of Philip, wrote three books containing Sicilian affairs. And he began from the tyranny of Dionysius the elder, and went through a period of fifty years, and ended with the expulsion of Dionysius the younger.'

We conclude that this History of the Affairs of Philip must have extended to the death of Philip. The Marble places the death of Dionysius the elder in the one hundred and fourth year of its

era, and if we descend fifty years from this, we shall come to the fifty-fourth year of the era for the death of Philip, as before. We have also testimony as to these twenty-one additional years in reference to the kingdom of Persia. According to the common chronology, the duration of the kingdom from the first of Cyrus to the sixth year of Darius Codom in 112 01. 2, B.c. 331, was two hundred and twenty-nine years; but, according to Strabo (xv., 851) and Sulpicius Severus, ii., 17, its duration was two hundred and fifty years. Here we have the exact twenty-one years additional. Further: according to Diodorus (xiii., 108; xv. 93), the reign of Artaxerxes Memor, who began to reign at the end of the Peloponnesian war was forty-three years; but, according to Plutarch (Artaxerx., 1027) and Sulpicius Severus (ii., 13), his reign was sixty-two years. Here we have nineteen out of the twenty-one additional years for Persia, and in the alleged period of omission. Further: if the two hundred and fifty years of. Strabo ended in sixth of Darius 112 Ol. 2, B.C. 331, the first year of Cyrus must have been in 50 Ol. 1, B.C. 580. Pliny (Nat. His., xxxvi., 4), says: “Dipænus and Scyllis, natives of the Isle of Crete, were the first who were celebrated for marble sculpture, even in the reign of the Medes before Cyrus began to reign in Persia, that is, in the fiftieth Olympiad. With the first year of Cyrus in 50 Ol. 1, his twenty-first year, when, at the end of the seventy years' captivity of the Jews, he conquered Babylon, and Persia became the great universal monarchy, must have been in 55 Ol. 1; and Africanus, as handed down by Eusebius (Præp. Ev.,

488), says:

“After the seventy years' captivity Cyrus became king of the Persians in the year in which the fifty-fifth Olympiad was celebrated, as we learn from the books of Diodorus and the bistories of Thallus and Castor, and also Polybius and Phlegon, and also others who have paid attention to Olympiads.” Strange to say, this statement is made the foundation of the common chronology: but Clinton (Fast. Hell., p. 2, 55 Ol. 2) says, in reference to it," The date of his (Cyrus') reign in Persia is established by unanimous consent, although Africanus, who preserves these testimonies, has unskilfully applied to the first year of Cyrus in Persia transactions which belonged to the first year of Cyrus in Babylon, twenty-one years afterwards.” I contend that Africanus has not made this mistake. At all events, he is only consistent with bimself in what he has said with respect to the archonship of Creon. As there is no connection whatever between these two events, it is difficult to conceive how Africanus could have made the two mistakes, each involving exactly twenty-one years. If either of the accounts be true, it would be sufficient for my purpose, and, as to the archonship of Creon, he may have adopted the wrong tradition, if he had not a list of his archons before him; but his account cannot be resolved into a mistake ; for he gives the number of archons, and states that a different opinion on the matter was held by others. We have also testimony as to twenty-one additional years in reference to the kingdom of Rome. We learn from Dionysius (Ha., i., 57), that Rome was built when Charops was archon at Athens for the first of his ten years. Charops was first of the seven decennial archons who immediately preceded Creon. Hence, with Creon in 19 01. 3, i.e., B.c. 702, Rome must have been built in B.c. 772. But Dionysius also says that, according to Polybius, it was built in 7 Ol. 2, i.e., B.O. 751. Here again we have a variation of twenty-one years. Further : we learn from Livy (Epit., 51) that Carthage was destroyed by Scipio in its seven hundredth year; and we learn from Eusebius (Chron., p. 147) that this destruction of Carthage took place in 158 Ol. 3, i.e., B.c. 146. Hence the building of Carthage must have been in B.C. 845. We learn from Justin (Hist., xviii., 6), that Rome was built seventy-two years after Carthage; and if by this we may understand that there was an interval of seventy-two years between the end of the year in which Carthage was built, and the beginning of the

year in which Rome was built, we shall have the building of Rome in B.c. 772, as before. Further : we learn from Pliny (Nat. Hist., ii., 12), that an eclipse of the sun, foretold by Thales, occurred in u.c. 170. This, with Rome built in B.c. 772, would place the eclipse in B.c. 603. We learn from Herodotus (Clio., 73, 74), that this eclipse took place in the sixth year of a war between the Lydians and the Medes, when Alyattes was king of Lydia, and Cyaxares was king of Media. We also collect from Clio., that the earliest and most probable year for the beginning of this war was the twenty-ninth of Cyaxares, and consequently the most probable year for the eclipse would be the thirty-fourth of Cyaxares. We


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

also learn from Clio., 102, 106, that Deioces reigned fifty-three years, Phraortes twenty-two years, and Cyaxares forty years,-in all one hundred and fifteen years.

Diodorus, ii., 32 says, “ According to Herodotus, Cyaxares was chosen king by the Medes, 17 Ol. 2," but on comparing Diodorus with Herodotus, it is evident that the name of Cyaxares has been handed down in mistake for Deioces, and if the first year of Deioces was in 17 Ol. 2, i. e., B.c. 711, the last year of Cyaxares must have been in B.C. 597, and the thirty-fourth of Cyaxares must have been in B.c. 603, giving the identical year for the eclipse, which has been before found. The Astronomer Royal (Mr. Airy) in a paper read before the Royal Astronomical Society, February 3, 1853, is clearly of opinion that the eclipse of Thales occurred 28th May, B.o. 585. But this clearly could not have been the eclipse, from not having occurred in the time of Cyaxares. The eclipse could not have been later than B.c. 597, when Cyaxares died. In January, 1857, Dr. Hincks himself came most unexpectedly to my aid, and in Journal of Sacred Literature of this month, p. 466 says, “I myself, however, entertain no doubt that the eclipse of 18th May, 603, (B.c.) was that which terminated the Lydian war," and in the Journal for January, 1863, p. 346, Dr. Hincks says, "I believe that his (Nebuchadnezzar's) father was the Labynetus of Herodotus, and that he was the king who intervened at the termination of the Lydian war in 603 B.0." I feel myself under great obligation to Dr. Hincks for this his repeated testimony; for no one will suspect that it has proceeded in the least from any undue affection for my views. But, the weight of his opinion is very much diminished by the circumstance that it is not supported by the Astronomer Royal. In his p. 193, the Astronomer Royal says, “Thus I have examined every total eclipse in Mr. Oltmann's table, extending from B.C. 631 to B.C. 585, and find only one (namely) that of B.c. 585, May 28, which can have passed near Asia Minor.” In the Monthly Paper of the Royal Asiatic Society, May 12, 1858, p. 148 the Astronomer Royal says, “The eclipse, therefore, of --584, May 28 (B.C. 585), which I adopt as being most certainly the eclipse of Thales, might be predicted from the morning eclipse of ---602, May 17 (B.C. 603); and a man of astronomical and geometrical knowledge, might from the circumstances of one, form a shrewd guess on the circumstances of the other, provided the hours of day were such as to make both eclipses visible. Now the hours of day were such as to make both eclipses visible, and moreover, the eclipse of -602 was a large eclipse in Asia Minor and the Levant.” The united unhesitating testimony of astronomers in favour of the eclipse of B.o. 603 would be highly important, but not indispensable, as the perfect harmony subsisting between Herodotus, Pliny, and the authors who place the building of Rome in 6.c. 772, can scarcely be accounted for, except upon the supposition of truth, especially with the admission of the Astronomer Royal that there was a large eclipse in Asia in B.c. 603. As to the period, when these twenty-one additional years may have been

« PreviousContinue »