Page images

This date of 788 B.C., established by M. de Saulcy, for the definitỉve accession of Phul and Arbaces,' is clearly confirmed by the eponymous list, which gives for the last annual officer of Assurnirar 792 B.C., three years before the downfall of Ninive. This is, moreover, the only date possible that will agree with the Solar eclipse of the 13th of June, 809 B.C., and the sole date reconcilable with the unimpugnable testimony of Biblical history.

I regret that I cannot now explain that the scanty Assyrian chronological texts can neither be understood nor interpreted without the aid of the historical texts of the Kings, and that all chronology neglecting or disdaining these statements will be overthrown.

Diodorus (ii. 32) states that the Chaldæans admitted from the oldest time until Alexander, a period of more than 473,000 years to have elapsed. As the antediluvian times fill up 432,000, they admitted 41,000 years from the Deluge to Alexander. Berosus gives to the two first fabulous kings 5100, and to the other monarchs of the mythical period 34,080,” together 39,180 years. From 2517 B.C. to Alexander 330 B.c. are 2187 years; in all 473,367 years. But how can the evidently cyclical number of 39,180 years be explained ?

As the Babylonians knew the period of the moon, they did not ignore the so-called Sothiac period, in which time the commencement of the year of 365 days turns backwards through all seasons. This period is known to be of 1461 short, or 1460 (4X365) Julian years.

dences abound in history. The Roman Republic and the Parthian Empire both had a duration of the Salomonian number of 480 years. The three Prussian princes, the Grand Elector, Frederick I., Frederick William I., reigned together 100 years, as did their immediate successors Frederick II., Frederick William II., and Frederick William III. And in Berlin there is certainly neither myth nor cycle.

1 Arbaka, not easily explainable by any Iranian language, is an aryanization of the Median erbek, the first, the foregoing. With regard to Phul, some scholars have had the idea of identifying him with Tiglathpileser. This opinion is rejected by all testimonies; and it is only supported by the axiom that all Biblical statements must be wrong. Nevertheless, there are a great many Biblical statements which are true; they are consistent with themselves, and repose on a historical chronology. It can be shown, by mathematical demonstration, that there existed a real era from the Solomonian temple, connected traditionally with a presumed date of the Exodus. This unavoidable supposition of a fixed era explains the whole actually historical epoch of the king's synchronisms.

? In the corrupt text of the Armenian, as it is now, the 5100 years are confounded with the 34,080 years. But it can easily be shown that this 5100 years are necessary to make out the 473,000 years. Moreover, there ought to be the statement of the remaining pretended 28,980 years, which is wanting.


Now, the number of 39,180 years, attributed to the first postdiluvian heroic dynasty, is nothing else but

12 Sothiac periods of 1460 = 17,520
12 Lunar periods of 1805 = 21,660

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

39,180 years. Moreover, the Egyptian Sothiac period finishes in 139. In counting backwards we arrive to the dates of 1322, 2782, 4242, 5702, 7162, 8622, 10,082, 11,542 B.C. Searching the Chaldæan lunar periods retrospectively, they give the following dates: 712, 2517 B.C., and for the mythical time 4322, 6127, 7932, 9737, 11,542 B.C.

This marvellous coincidence is not a mere hazard. I have neither invented nor changed a single number. The chronology of Berosus is therefore restored. The Babylonians placed the Deluge in the year 41,697 B.C.

In all cases the reader can take for granted that the date of 11,512 B.C. reposes on a real historical tradition, and that the two periods, the Chaldæan moon period and the Sothiac period (whether it was Egyptian or not), have the same origin. By mathematical calculation I have been enabled to fix the date of a double phenomenon which struck the sight of men, consisting in an eclipse, and in an apparition of Sirius' visible only during this eclipse, on Tuesday,

[ocr errors]

1 The latitude of Sirius is austral 39° 28', and as it was in 1000 A.D. it approached to its nearest point to the equator, the epoch of 11,542 B.C. coincides almost with its most southern possible position, viz. 62° 30' austral declension. The star was therefore invisible to all regions more northern than 27° 30' L.B. Thebes is situated at 25° 42' boreal latitude. Sirius at this time rose only 1° 48' over the horizon; it may be, in consequence, regarded as almost invisible in the morning or the night, on account of the fog which darkens the horizon in those climates. We obtain the hali arc e of the parallel circle described by the astre in admitting its declension (8), the latitude of the spot (1), by the equation :

cos e=tg 8 tg n. The arc e will be in this instance 22° 24', and Sirius remained only 3 hours over the horizon of Thebes. But as the longitude 1 of the sun on the 28th of January was 307°, in quoting - the obliquity of the ecliptic at this epoch, the right ascension (a) of the sun will be given by the figure:

cot arcot I cos w. We obtain therefore the right ascension of the sun 309° 6'. That of Sirius being then almost 274°, we find that the astre remained in the sky from 8h. löm. until 11h. 15m. in this date. It is highly probable that during this time the eclipse took place, which rendered the sudden apparition of Sirius perceptible to men. These 27th of April, Julian, or the 28th of January, Gregorian. But as at this epoch Sirius was not visible to Northern or Middle Egypt, on account of the equinoctial precession, civilization must start from a more southern point.

considerations exclude also a more southern spot than Thebes. We may therefore suppose that Thebes, or any place in the neighbourhood, was already, in these remotest epochs, one of the cradles of human civilization. All the calculations concerning this matter are contained in a larger work which soon, I hope, will appear.




All chronologists formerly admitted, upon the authority of Simplicius, in his commentary on Aristotle de coelo, that Callisthenes sent to Aristotle the Babylonian observations during 1903 years, viz. from the beginning of Babylonian history. This number of 1903 has been employed by Prof. von Gutschmidt in a system of chronology in which this scholar attempted to show that the real system of the Chaldæans consisted merely in the supposition that between the Deluge and Cyrus 36,000 years were elapsed. But the number itself is a forgery of the Latin translation of Simplicius made by the Aldi, and the original number is not 1903, but 31,000 years. It can be proved that the erroneous opinion of Prof. von Gutschmidt is much older than this scholar, and comes perhaps from the middle ages; it is based on the 45th chapter of Isaiah. The pious substitution of 1903 for 31,000 results from the opinion that Cyrus began a new era for the Babylonians, which the documents prove to be quite inadmissible. Cyrus was a Babylonian king of Babylon, as Cambyses was an Egyptian king of Egypt.

Here is the arithmetical proof: Admit that from the Deluge to Cyrus there are 36,000 years, there will be 36,208 from the Deluge to Alexander (538—330=208). Then the corrupt text of Syncellus

1 M. Martin (de Rennes) has already pointed out this fact. It is highly probable that the true number was 41,000, and that this famous statement is nothing else but that of Berosus and Diodorus (473,000—432,000).

assigns 34,090 years to the mythical period, and 215 from thence to Semiramis ; that is, 34,305 years from the Deluge to Semiramis. Now the difference of 36,208 and 34,305, or the time elapsed between Semiramis and Alexander, is just 1903 years. We discover hereby the origin of this substituted number. Moreover this number has merely been obtained by the previous hypothesis, that from the Deluge down to Cyrus there was an interval of 36,000 years. It is impossible, in consequence, to deny that the idea of Prof. Gutschmidt existed in the time of the Aldi; but, also, the forgery overthrows his system.

I have furnished the proofs on which I found my chronological ideas in a work called Palaea.


« PreviousContinue »