Appendix: Scaliger's List of Eras

Grafton A. Joseph Scaliger, A study in the History of Classical Scholarship, II Historical Chronology. — Oxford: Clarendon press, 1993, p.277–298

No accumulation of case-studies will reveal the scale and majesty of the structure that Scaliger erected or identify all its derivative or weak components. The table that follows lays out all the eras that Scaliger explicitly established in the first De emendatione; the commentary summarizes the arguments that underpinned them. Crusius' results appear beside Scaliger's corresponding ones. It will be evident at once that Scaliger's methods, for all their ingenuity and versatility, neither ensured success in every case nor radically altered the framework that Copernicus, Funck, and Crusius had already built. Scaliger sometimes forgot as anyone will when doing chronological computations whether he sought a current or a completed year, and therefore gave Julian dates that did not actually match the cyclical dates his computations had determined (e.g. eras 37,42, and 49). He sometimes laid too much weight on inappropriate evidence, as when he assumed that Ptolemy had used the civil accession dates of Trajan, Hadrian, and Antoninus as their eras, when in fact he used i Thoth of the Egyptian years in which their accessions fell (eras 65, 66, 67). And he sometimes used the same evidence that Crusius had assembled less judiciously than his predecessor had (e.g. era 41). On the other hand, he fixed a far more thickly detailed and richly articulated tapestry of dates and events than Crusius or anyone else had woven to the firm hooks already installed by the astronomers. Where Crusius wrote a neat little book and avoided most pitfalls, Scaliger's ambition and generosity led him to undertake something both greater in scale and more vulnerable to criticism.

Eras in De Emendatione and Crusius

This table lists all the eras explicitly given as such by Scaliger, with their positions in the Julian Period and their dates in years BC or AD. The numbers refer the reader to the commentary that follows the table. This reveals the evidence and explains the arguments Scaliger used in each case.

Era no. Title Scaliger Crusius
JP BC/AD BC/AD
1 Creation 765 3949 BC 3963BC
2 Creation (Jewish) 954   3760
3 Flood 2420 2294 2307
  Tower of Babel     2177
  Migration of Abraham     1941
4 Exodus 3218 1496 1511
5 Sabbatic year 1 3270 1444 1463
6 Fall of Troy 3533 1181  
7 Solomon's Temple 3697 1017 1031
8 Encaenia of Temple 3703   1011
9 Samaritan era 3935 779  
10 Olympic era 3938 776 776
11 Foundation of Rome 3961 753 753
12 Era Nabonassar 3967 747 747
13 Era Hezekiah 3984 730  
14 Era Merodac 3993 721  
15 Death of Romulus 3999 715  
16 Era Nabopollassar 4089 625  
17 Era Nabuchodonosor 4107 607  
18 Fall of Jehoiachin 4114 600  
19 Fall of Zedekiah 4125 589 606
20 Era Hewilmerodach 4150 564  
21 Era Cyrus 4154 560 558
22 Era Cambyses 4185 529 529
23 Era Darius filius Hystaspis 4193 521  
24 Iunius Brutus and Regifugium 4205 509  
25 Marathon 4223 491  
26 Era Xerxes 4227 487  
27 Crossing of Hellespont 4233 481  
28 Death of Xerxes 4249 465  
  Weeks of Daniel   458  
  Meton's cycle   432  
29 Peloponnesian war 4283 431 431
30 Death of Artaxerxes Longimanus 4288 426
31 Era Darius Nothus 4289 425
32 Era Artaxerxes Mnemon 4309 405
33 Expedition of Cyrus Minor 4312 402
34 Allia 4326 388
35 Leuctra  4343 371
36 Callippic cycle I 4384 330 330
37 Era Philip 4390 324  324
38 Seleucid era 4402 312  312
39 Seleucid era of Jews 4403 311
40 Seleucid era of Chaldeans 4403 311 311
41 Ptolemy Philadelphus 4429 285
  Dionysius     285
  Callippic cycle II     254
42 Philometor 4534 180
  Callippic cycle III   178
43 Encaenia of Judah Maccabee 4550 164
44 Era of Simon 4573 141
  Era Caesar     48
45 1 Jan. 1 Julian 4669 45
46 Era Indorurn 4669 45
47 Death of Caesar 4670 44
48 Era Augustus 4671 43
49 Spanish era [4676] [38]
50 Era Herod 4674 40
    4677 37
51 Actium 4684 30 30
52 1 Augustorum 4687 27
  Alkept   25
53 Death of Herod 4713 1
54 Correction of calendar 4721 AD 8
55 Death of Augustus/Era Tiberius [4727] [14]
  Passion     33
56 Era Caligula 4750 37
57 Era Claudius 4754 41
58 Era Nero 4767 54 54/5
59 Vespasian 4782 69  
60 Destruction of second Temple 4783 70  
61 Era Titus 4792 79  
62 Era Domitian 4794 81  
63 Agon Capitolinus 4799 86  
64 Era Nerva 4808 95  
65 Era Trajan 4810 97  
66 Era Hadrian 4829 116  
67 Era Antoninus Pius 4850 137  
68 Era Diocletian/      
  Era of the Martyrs 4997 284  
69 Persecution 5016 303  
70 Era Constantine 5021 308  
71 Council of Nicaea 5038 325 322
72 Indiction 1 5041 328  
73 Encaenia of Constantinople 5043 330  
74 1 Sahami of Armenians 5265 552  
  Papacy in Rome     607
75 Hegira 5335 622 622
76 1 Farvardln 1 Yazdgard 5345 632 632
77 Era of Calcutta [5620] 907  
  German Empire     1001
78 1 Farvardln Gelali 5792 1079  
  Maximilian II     1563

Commentary on Scaliger's Eras in De Emendatione Temporum (1583), book V

1. Creation

Scripture gives the following absolutely valid intervals in years:

Creation to Exodus 2453y
Exodus to Solomon's Temple 480y SUBTOTAL 2933y
Temple to fall of Zedekiah 427y SUBTOTAL 3360y
Zedekiah to fall of Jehoiachin −10y SUBTOTAL 3350y

We thus have a firm interval from Creation to the fall of Jehoiachin. Here the Bible becomes less definite but astronomy becomes more so. Ezekiel sets the fifth year from the fall of Jehoiachin in «the thirtieth year»; this is Nabopollassar 30. From Ptolemy (Almagest, 5. 14.) we know that

1 Nabopollassar = 123 Nabonassar = JP 4089.

Hence

fall of Jehoiachin = 25 Nabopollassar = JP 4114.

The fall of Zedekiah is then

JP 4114+10 = JP4124 4124−3360=764.

Creation can then be dated to JP 765, 764 completed years from 1 Jan. JP 1. 1

2. Creation according to the Jews

The Jews wanted to have the equinox, the fasis (first visibility of the new moon), and feria iv (Wednesday) coincide in Creation week, in the beginning of Nisan. To do this they had to choose a year later than the true Creation by 189 years, in JP 955 or 3759 BC. 1 Tisri of this Jewish year falls in JP 954, 3760 BC, and the first Nisan in JP 955. 2

3. The Flood

The Bible sets the interval from Creation to the end of the Flood at 1,656 years. Since Creation fell in JP 765, the Flood fell in JP 764+1656y = JP 2420 = 2294 BC. As we have seen, Scaliger thought that he had corroboratory information from Callisthenes. 3

4. Exodus

The Flood fell in JP 2420. Scripture makes the interval from the Flood to Exodus 797 years.

JP 2420+797y = 3217y

The Exodus itself took place in the spring of the next year, JP 3218 = 1496 BC.

From then on the Jews' year began in the spring. 4

5. Sabbatic year

Scaliger took his Palestinian calendar as announcing that AD 1575 = Jewish 5335 was year 1 of the Sabbatic cycle, and he knew that 5335/7 = 762 rem. 1. He also found in both Josephus and Maccabees that Seleucid 178 (or Jewish 3626) was a sabbatic year, and thus 7 in the same cycle (3626/7 = 518). And he found in Josephus that Seleucid 276 (or Jewish 3724) was a sabbatic year (3724/7 = 532). (For Scaliger's version of the Seleucid era see below, eras 37–9.) In all cases the year in the Jewish era, divided by 7, correctly gave the position in the Sabbatic cycle; evidently, then, the cycle must begin in the year immediately following a year of the Jewish era which was an even multiple of 7.

In Joshua 14 Caleb says that Moses told him to explore the land in year 2 after the Exodus, when he was 40. The lands were to be divided when Caleb was 85,45 years later. Hence the division by lots fell precisely in year 46 after the Exodus. The Exodus fell after the Jewish year 2264, and the division, accordingly, in 2264+46y = Jewish year 2310, which is evenly divisible by 7. Accordingly, the first year of farming would be Jewish 2311, and the first sabbatic year would be Jewish 2317.

2317 + 953 (by era 2 above) = JP 3270= 1444 BC. 5
6. Fall of Troy

Scaliger — as we have seen above — used his cyclical reconstruction of the Greek calendar to determine that the fall took place 405 whole years before the Olympic era, 776 BC = JP 3938. He thus chose JP 3533 = 1181 BC from among the various possibilities offered by ancient scholars. By projecting his 76-year cycle backwards he determined that 23 Thargelion, the night of the fall fell on 16 June, while the solstice fell 17 days later, on 3 July. 6

7. Solomon's Temple

The first year of Solomon's Temple is the 480th from the Exodus, which fell in JP 3218. Thus Scaliger puts as the year of the foundation of the Temple JP 3697 = 1017 BC. 7

8. Encaenia of Temple

This took place 7 years after the laying of foundations, in JP 3703 = 1011 BC. 8

9. Samaritan era

Scaliger sets this era in JP 3935 = 779 BC, which he says is 4. whole years before the Olympic era. He cannot explain it, but then neither can the Samaritans. Scaliger hopes that good rulers will help scholars obtain the Samaritans' Pentateuch, Calendar, and «Sedarim sive Annales». 9

10. Olympic era

Scaliger points out that errors have been made about this «a quibusdam Astronomis magni nominis», and that it is vital to provide a «character» for the Olympic era to prevent recurrences of the mistake. This can be provided not only by computing Julian dates for the eclipses mentioned by Greek historians — Crusius' technique — but expeditiore ratiocinio by using Censorinus. He made

Olympiad year 1014 (254.2) = 986 Nabonassar.

The year 986 Nabonassar began on 7 Kal. July AD 238, which was lunar cycle xi. If Olympiad year 1014 was lunar cycle xi, and

1014/19 = 53 rem. 7,

then one must add 4 to years of the Olympic era before dividing by 19 to find their position in the lunar cycle, and Olympiad year 1 must be lunar cycle (1+4) = v. This is neatly confirmed by other evidence. For example, the Gaugamela eclipse of 21 September 331 fell in Olympiad year 446:

(446+4)/19 = 23 rem. 13.

And in lunar cycle xiii, sure enough, the epact is 12 and the regular for September is 16. The moon is thus 28 days old on 1 September, and there will be a full moon around the 20th. Ol. 1.1 will begin in JP 3938 = 776 BC, which has the required character v. 10

11. Foundation of Rome

Censorinus and Cicero attest that Varro discovered Rome's early history. The former makes Varro's AUC 991 = Olympiad year 1014. Hence Rome will have been founded in Olympiad year 23 = Ol.6.3, on the 21 April before the Olympiad year changes to 24. This makes JP 3961 = 753 BC. To give the foundation a character we note that

991/19 = 52 rem. 3.

But we know that AUC 991 is AD 238, which is lunar cycle xi. Thus we know that we add 8 to years AUC to find their lunar cycles, and that the character of the foundation is ix.

Scaliger also lists divergent eras. For example, he notes that Velleius set the era at Ol. 7.2, lunar cycle xii. This was determined, he thought, by Tarrutius. Scaliger took Plutarch's report of a solar eclipse that accompanied the foundation of Rome in Ol.6.3 (Romulus, 12) as an inaccurate reference to a solar eclipse dated by Tarrutius to Ol.7.2, which would then have supplied an alternative date for the foundation, with lunar cycle xii as its character. He also analyses Pliny's account of Thales' eclipse. Pliny set this at Ol. 48.4 = AUC 170 (NH 2.53). But Scaliger corrected the Olympiad year, from other sources to 49.3. If AUC 170 is Olympiad year 195, then Rome was founded in Olympiad year 25 = Ol.7.1. Many agree — e.g. Solinus.

Scaliger concludes by pointing out that the Fasti agree with Varro, and by insisting that even Varro's views, and all others, were matters of conjecture, not certainty. 11

12. Era Nabonassar

The date 1 Thoth 1 Nabonassar falls on 26 February JP 3967 = 747 BC. Scaliger points out at length, in a passage to be considered below, that Nabonassar was a Chaldean; he therefore could not be identified with the Assyrian Salmanassar. 12

13. Era of Hezekiah Pius

In his year 14 Senacherib threatened Jerusalem, and Isaiah told the Jews to gather their fruits, while in the next year they would have to live on what grew spontaneously (chs. 36–7). Hence 15 Hezekiah would be a sabbatic year. [The interval from the foundation of the Temple to 1 Hezekiah is 288 years. Since the Temple was founded in JP 3697, 1 Hezekiah will be JP 3984, from autumn, and Jewish year 3031, which is evenly divisible by 7 and therefore a sabbatic year. 13

14. Era Merodach

The date 1 Merodach is 27 Nabonassar = JP 3993 = 721 BC (Ptolemy, Almagest, 4.7). Despite Annius' assertions, he was not an Assyrian who invaded Babylon. 14

15. Death of Romulus

Romulus' death was marked by a solar eclipse on 24 May Ol. 16.1 = JP 3999 = 715 BC. If Romulus ruled Rome for 37 years, then he founded it in Ol.6.4. But this too is probably a conjectural reconstruction, perhaps by Tarutius. 15

16. Era Nabopollassar

Ptolemy sets 5 Nabopollassar in 127 Nabonassar (Almagest, 5. 14). Then 1

Nabopollassar = 123 Nabonassar = JP4089=625 BC. 16
17. Era Nabuchodonosor

Ezekiel (ch. 1) makes the fifth year from the fall of Jehoiachin = 30 Nabopollassar, and the fall itself = 26 Nabopollassar = JP 4114. Jehoiachin went into captivity in 8 Nabuchodonosor; i Nabuchodonosor will then have been JP 4107 = 607 BC. 17

18. Fall of Jehoiachin

This is dated by Ezekiel (ch. 1) to 26 Nabopollassar = 148 Nabonassar = JP4114 = 600 BC. 18

19. Fall of Zedekiah/Destruction of Temple

This is the eleventh year from the fall of Jehoiachin = JP 4125 = 589 BC. 19

20. Era Hewilmerodach

Nabuchodonosor ruled 43 solid years (so Berosus, FrGrHist 680). Accordingly, the year 37 of the fall of Jehoiachin will be 1 Hewilmerodach. This is JP4150 = 564BC. 20

21. Era Cyrus

All authorities put this in Ol. 55.1 = JP 4154 = 560BC. 21

22. Era Cambyses

According to Cicero (De divinations, i. 23. 46), Cyrus ruled 30 years. His reign lasts, then, until the end of 218 Nabonasssar, and Cambyses' begins in 219; Cambyses' era will then be JP 4185 = 529 BC. This is confirmed by the lunar eclipse dated by Ptolemy to 7 Cambyses = 225 Nabonassar (Almagest, 5.14). 22

23. Era Darius filius Hystaspis

Herodotus gives Cambyses 7y 5m (3. 66. 2). This would make his reign end

219 + 7 = 226 Nabonassar.

This is confirmed by a lunar eclipse dated by Ptolemy 29 Epiphi 20 Darius [= 246 Nabonassar = 20 November, lunar cycle xiii (= JP 4212)] (Almagest, 4.9). If 20 Darius = 246 Nabonassar, 1 Darius = 227 Nabonassar. The last five months of Cambyses — and the seven of the rule of the Magi — all belong to 226 Nabonassar. Further confirmation comes from the lunar eclipse dated by Ptolemy 3 Tybi 31 Darius = 25 April 257 Nabonassar, lunar cycle v (ibid,). If 31 Darius = 257 Nabonassar, 1 Darius = 227 Nabonassar = JP 4193 = 521 BC. 23

24. Consulate of Iunius Brutus and Regifugium

Polybius dates the consulate of Brutus to 28 years before Xerxes crossed the Hellespont (3. 22. 2).

Olympiad year 297 = 28y = Olympiad year 269 = Ol. 68.1 = 508/7 BC.

Dionysius of Halicarnassus sets it 16 years before Marathon (5. 17).

Olympiad year 285–16y = Olympiad year 269.

But an old chronologer in Clement (Strom. 1. 21. 13. 4) gives the interval from foundation to the end of the monarchy as 243 years, and the foundation itself as Ol. 7.1; we thus get an interval one year shorter, making the era Ol. 67.4, 509/8 BC. Moreover, Cuspinian's Fasti (the Chronographer of 354) gives the year epact 29, which makes it vi in the lunar cycle. It seems best to assign the era, with Clement's source and Cuspinian's character, to JP 4205 = 509BC which has the requisite lunar-cycle position of vi. 24

25. Marathon

Darius ruled for 36 years and died in the sixth year after Marathon (Herodotus 7.1–4, 20). This would make Marathon fall in 31 Darius = Olympiad year 286, Ol. 72.2 = JP4223 = 491 BC. Eusebius agrees. Herodotus also identifies the year as 31 Darius, when we know there was a lunar eclipse on 25 April (era 23 above). One might criticize Thucydides for dating the crossing of the Hellespont in the tenth year after Marathon. 25

26. Era Xerxes

Xerxes began to rule with his father in the fifth year after Marathon = JP 4227 = 487 BC. He ruled alone from the next year. 26

27. Crossing of Hellespont

As we saw, Scaliger believed in the veracity of Herodotus account of the solar eclipse that accompanied the crossing, and dated this to 30 Choiac 267 Nabonassar = Ol. 74.3 = 19 April 481 BC (JP 4233). Here Scaliger says that Thucydides agrees with Herodotus, putting «annos decem» between Marathon and the crossing. 27

28. Death of Xerxes

Xerxes was killed in Olympiad year 312, Ol. 78.4=JP 4249=465 Be. 28

29. Peloponnesian War

Three solar eclipses, a lunar one, and the «scriptores» all fix this era with certainty to Ol. 87.1 = JP 4283 = 431 BC. 29

30. Death of Artaxerxes Longimanus

Thucydides dates Artaxerxes' death to the seventh year of the Peloponnesian war, in early winter = the end of JP 4288 = 426 BC. 30

31. Era Darius Nothus

Darius begins to rule in JP 4289 = 425 BC; this is confirmed by Thucydides' testimony that the twentieth year of the war was 13 Darius (8.58.1). He died (so Diodorus 13. 107. 5–108. 1) in Ol. 93.4=JP 4309=405 BC. 31

32. Era Artaxerxes Mnemon

Artaxerxes began to rule at his father's death in JP 4309 = 405 BC; he ruled until JP 4352 = 362 BC, when his son Achus Artaxerxes succeeded him. 32

33. Expedition of Cyrus Minor

Socrates died in Ol. 95.1. Diogenes Laertius, who tells us this (2. 44), also says that Xenophon went off with Cyrus one year earlier, hence in Ol. 94.4 = 3 Artaxerxes=jp 4313 [recte 4312] = 402 BC (2. 55). The regnal year makes it clear that 4313 is a slip or misprint. 33

34. The Battle of the Allia

Dionysius of Halicarnassus dates this to the end of Ol. 97.4, just before the start of Ol. 98.1. Livy (6. 1. 11–12) and Tacitus (Histories, 2. 91) date it to 18 July. Plutarch dates it around the full moon [and «after the solstice» (Camillus, 19. 1); though Scaliger omits this point it is implied, for him, by the Olympiad date). Three points must then coincide: the 4th year of the Olympiad, the full moon, and the solstice. The lunar cycle must be xiii, when the epact of 12 will result in a full moon around 24 June. This is true of the year in which Ol. 98. 1 begins, since the Olympiad date

(389+4)/19 = 20 rem. 13.

Moreover, the solstice can be dated readily to 27/8 June, thanks to Meton's and Euctemon's solstice observation of a few decades before the battle. Scaliger lays great weight on Dionysius' accuracy in recording the Olympiad date. 34 The date falls in JP 4326=388 BC.

35. Leuctra

Eratosthenes makes the interval from the end of the Peloponnesian war to the battle of Leuctra 34 years (FrGrH 241 F 1). The Peloponnesian war ended in Olympiad year 371= Ol. 93.3 = lunar cycle xv = 405 BC. Leuctra, since it falls 34 years later, must be in lunar cycle xi, Ol. 102.2, which actually runs from x to xi in the cycle. Pausanias confirms this by naming the Athenian archon of the year in question. Plutarch dates the battle to 5 Hecatombaion = 31 July JP 4343. 35

36. Callippic cycle 1 and Alexander's empire in Asia

The Gaugamela eclipse of 11 Epiphi 417 Nabonassar = 20 September, and the battle of Gaugamela 11 days later on 1 October JP 4383 = 331 BC, date Alexander's conquest of Asia. (True, Cicero wrongly says there was a lunar eclipse in Leo [De divinatione, 1. 53. 121].) Callippus began his cycle from the next year, JP 4384=330 BC, but posteri dated Callippic years from the lunar month next after the autumnal equinox in 331. 36

37. Era Philip

This is so called because during Alexander's lifetime the Macedonians dated years from the era of Philip; the name remained though the reason for using it had disappeared. Theon in his commentary on the Almagest gives the interval from 1 Nabonassar to era Philip as 424 years. Censorinus makes AD 238 = 986 Nabonassar = 562 Philip (Death of Alexander). Hence 1 Thoth 425 Nabonassar should be the era of Philip; Ptolemy concurs in Almagest, 3 [7]. 'This 1 Thoth = 20 [recte 12] November JP 4390 (Scaliger, by a slip, gives 4389) = Ol. 114.1 [which confirms that the Julian Period date is a slip] = BC 324. The Philip in question, Scaliger insists, is not Alexander's brother but his father. 37

38. Seleucid era

Seleucus Nicanor began to rule in Ol. 117.1= lunar cycle xiii, in October (so the Antiochene Church) or September (so al-Battani). This is 19 years (one full luni-solar cycle) from the defeat of Darius. Years in this era were erroneously called Alexandrei (for example, in Arabic astronomical texts). The Julian date is 4402Ч312 BC. 38 Crusius calls this the era of Adhilcarnain (the two-horned [Alexander] ), following the Arab astronomers.

39. Seleucid era of the Jews

The popular year of the Jews began from Nisan, in the spring. Hence they set the Seleucid era six months later than the Seleucids themselves, in spring JP 4403 = 311BC. This is apparent, for example, in 1 Maccabees 9: 3, where the first month of 152 is Nisan; from 1 Maccabees 9: 54; and from 1 Maccabees 10, where Alexander son of Antiochus takes Ptolemais in 160 Sel., and Jonathan puts on the vestments of the high priest in Jerusalem during Tabernacles, in the seventh month of the same year. Since Tabernacles falls in the autumn [15–21 Tisri], evidently year 160 has its midpoint in the autumn and its beginning in the spring. Further evidence comes from the sabbatic years mentioned in 1 Maccabees. None the less, the Jews use the normal Seleucid era, 312 BC, as their minyan shetarot, the era of Contracts, from Tisri of their year 3449. 39

40. Seleucid era of the Chaldeans

Scaliger finds evidence for the use of this era — beginning c. 1 Elul of the Jewish year in 311 BC — in 2 Maccabees, notably in 2: ch. 13, where he finds minor inconsistencies with 1 Maccabees (e.g. the fact that 2 Maccabees 13: 1 sets the invasion of Antiochus Eupator in 149 Sel., where 1 Maccabees 6: 16 puts the death of Antiochus Epiphancs; the two events were separated by a year). He considers that its date perhaps derived from the desire to begin a full 19-year cycle after the start of Callippic cycle 1, and its position in the year was established «propter epocham aequinoctii» (Elul is the sixth month from Nisan, and thus falls around the autumnal equinox). 40

41. Era of Ptolemy Philadelphus

Previous chronologers have failed to realize that this is set by the dated observations of Dionysius in Ptolemy's Almagest, which are computed from an era in 463 NabonassarЧ JP 4429Ч285 BC. This is not correct; see Sect. 2.14 above. 41

42. Era of Philometor

Ptolemy dates a lunar eclipse in 7 Philometor to 27 Phamenoth of 574 Nabonassar = 30 April JP 4540 = 174 BC, in lunar cycle xviii (Almagest, 6.5). Philometor's era is therefore 568 Nabonassar = JP 4534 (Scaliger writes 4533; the luhar cycle shows this to be a slip) = 180 BC. 42

43. Encaenia of Judah Maccabee

The temple was purified on 25 Kislev in 148 of the Seleucid era of the Jews (149 of the official era), in lunar cycle ix. This is Jewish AM 3597, when Kislev begins on 20 November and 25 Kislev falls on 14 December = JP 4550 = 164 BC, an era in 463 Nabonassar JP 4429 = 285 BC. 43

44. Era of Simon Iudaeorum ethnarcha

The Jews ceased to use the era of Contracts when Simon became high priest in 170, from Nisan; however, the true era of Simon was 171, from 23 Ijar, when he saved the Jewish people from the yoke of slavery. From then until the fall of Jerusalem the Jews used the era of Simon (see 1 Maccabees 13: 42), This is JP 4573= 141 BC. 44

45. First Kalends of the Julian Calendar

Censorinus (21) makes Olympiad year 1014 = 986 Nabonassar = 283 Julian from 1 January. Hence 1 January 1 Julian fell in 703 Nabonassar; 1 Thoth 703 Nabonassar was 4 September 46 BC; 1 January then fell on 30 Choiac, 120 days later. The interval from 1 Thoth 1 Nabonassar to 1 January 1 Julian = 7[o] 2ey 120d; 1 Julian is solar cycle 21, lunar cycle xiv, with `novilunium vel potius interlunium ipsis Kal. Ianuarii'. This is JP 4669 = Ol.183.3 = 45 BC. 45

46. Era Indorum

Nicolol di Conti Venetus made AD 1400 = 1490 Indorum = AH 803 from 22 August. Reckoning in lunar years and months:

1490ly-8o3 = 687ly + 8lm 687ly + 8lm=666jy.

AH 1 is AD 622.

666jy-621jy = 45jy;

accordingly, an interval of 45jy lies between the Indians' epoch and the beginning of the Christian era, and their era is not, as Conti thought, that of Octavian (Augustus), but that of Julius Caesar. 46 Their era began with that new moon which had its fasiV on the night following Caesar's first Kalends. To find the Indian year one adds 687 to the year of the Hegira. Perhaps, Scaliger suggests, the Indians' era- rather than the flight of Muhammad — is the real basis of the Islamic calendar, given their close correspondence. 47

47. Death of Caesar

Caesar was assassinated in his fifth consulate, which he shared with Mark Antony; this is 2 Julian, solar cycle 22, lunar cycle xv. Mercator dated this event also by a solar eclipse supposedly mentioned by Virgil and identified as such by Servius, which he assigned to 28 Pachon 703 Nabonassar = 28 May; but this would have to have happened in lunar cycle xiv, which would be 1 Julian, and the consular fasti and historians show this to be impossible. In fact there was an eclipse — not visible in the eastern hemisphere — in lunar cycle xvi, on 7 April; hence any eclipse in lunar cycle xiv would have fallen on 29 April, not 28 May. In lunar cycle xvii = 4 Julian there could have been an eclipse on 27 March. Virgil described a year-long atmospheric portent, and Servius mistook it for an eclipse. Caesar's death then fell in JP 4670=44BC. 48

48. Era Augustus

The problem here is where to begin: with Caesar's death or Octavian's first consulship? At Res gestae 1 Augustus says that he assembled an army at the age of 19; this testimony deserves credence. Octavian's 19th year fell in the consulship of Hirtius and Pansa; he entered the magistracy prematurely on 22 September 3 Julian, solar cycle 23, lunar cycle xvi, JP 4671= 43 BC. 49

49. The Spanish era

This falls 38 years before Christ's birth in JP 4675, solar cycle 27, lunar cycle i = 39 BC. The solar and lunar cycles confirm the Julian Period date, which is in fact wrong; it should be 4676–38 BC. Scaliger's description of his procedure ("Annus natalis Christi Dionysianus est periodi lulianae 4713. Deductis 38, remanent 4675 vents annus Aerae Hispanicae") shows that he forgot that to change a year BC to a current year of the Julian Period one must subtract it from 4714, not 4713. 50

50. Era Herod

Herod had two eras:

  1. JP 4674 = Ol. 185.1 = 40 BC, when the Senate declared him king.
  2. JP 4677= Ol. 185.4 = 37 BC, lunar cycle iii, at the outset of a sabbatic year.

Jerusalem fell on 17 Tamuz, 72 days before 1 Tisri next, when a sabbatic yjear was to start; the latter was 37 BC.

Since (a) was lunar cycle xix, (b) was iii. When Josephus says that Herod restored the temple in his eighteenth year (Ant. 15. 380), he uses (a); when he says Herod did so in his fifteenth year (BJ 1.401), he uses (b). 51

51. Actium

This era can be dated either from the battle itself or from the acceptance of Roman rule in Alexandria. Ptolemy dates the former era to 718 years from Nabonassar, and Dio provides the calendar date 2 September, though Macrobius seems to set the victory in August. The year in question is 16 Julian, when 1 Thoth fell in 29 August [recte 31 August for 30 BC]. The Egyptian fleet was defeated, then, on 5 Thoth; the Julian Period date is 4684, lunar cycle x = 30 BC. Josephus puts 1 Actium in 7 Herod, which is also lunar cycle x (by era 50). Again, Josephus says that Augustus and Antony ruled together for 14 years. Actium will then fall in 15 Augustus = 16 Julian.

The fasti marmorei, on the other hand, register Roman rule in Asia on 27 March 29 BC. 52

52. 1 Augustorum

Augusts was declared emperor in his seventh consulship = JP 4687 = 19 Julian = 722 Nabonassar = 27 BC. 53

53. Death of Herod

After Simon Hyrcanus the Jews compute their years from 1 Ijar. When Josephus says that Herod died after ruling 37 years, before Passover, he uses this.computation; in fact the next year would have been 39 Herod from the summer solstice. Thus Herod died at the end of lunar cycle xix. This is confirmed by Josephus' synchronism of 9 Archelaus with 37 Actium = lunar cycle ix; thus q Archelaus will be lunar cycle i, and the end of Herod's reign will be in the beginning of lunar cycle i also. [In fact 37 Actium has lunar cycle viii.] The lunar eclipse that accompanied Herod's illness (Josephus, Ant. 17.6.4) offers further confirmation. Scaliger dates it to 18/19 Tybi 747 Nabonassar, when 1 Thoth fell on 24 August, 1 Tybi on 22 December, and 18 Tybi on 8 January = JP 4713, while Herod died shortly after it, at the beginning of Nisan. [Lunar eclipses visible in Jerusalem took place on 13 March 4 BC and 10 January 1 BC.] Since Herod began in 709 Nabonassar and died in 747, he ruled 38 full years. In fact, Scaliger chose the wrong eclipse, as Kepler would show. Herod died in 4 BC. 54

54. Era of the corrected intercalation

Suetonius says that Augustus corrected the calendar, and renamed Sextilis Augustus (31.2). Censorinus says that Sextilis became Augustus in the consulship of C. Martius Censorinus and C. Asinius Callus = 20 Augustorum = 38 Julian (22.16). An interval of 30 years had passed while the pontifices intercalated wrongly; in 38 Julian the 12th bissextile day was added. In this year, JP 4706 - 8 BC, Augustus decreed that the next 12 years must pass without intercalation, and that intercalation must occur only after 4 full years had passed since the last one. The next year to gain a quarter of a day would then be 50 Julian = JP 4718, and the first intercalary year would be 53 Julian = JP 4721 = AD 8. 55

55. Death of Augustus/Era Tiberius

To find the lunar cycle of a year in Augustus' life one adds 14 to it, since he was born in the consulate of Cicero and Mark Antony, 18 years before 1 Julian = lunar cycle xiv. Augustus died in his 76th year; had he lived to autumn he would have reached his 77th.

(77 +14)/19 = 4 rem. 15.
Augustus then died in lunar cycle xv. Again, he died 21 years after correcting the intercalation.
38 Julian + 21 = 59 Julian.
(59+ 13)/19= 3 rem. 15, which was sought.
Augustus died, therefore, in JP 4728, lunar cycle xv.

[In fact JP 4728 = AD 15 has lunar cycle xvi; Augustus died in JP 4727= AD 14 = lunar cycle xv. The lunar cycle shows that Scaliger's Julian Period date is a slip or misprint for 4727. Tacitus sets a lunar eclipse in 27 September of this year (which is possible in lunar cycle xv) (Annals, i. 16); Dio, wrongly, sets a solar eclipse in it (57.4, actually referring to the same lunar eclipse).]

Tiberius' era is the same year. 56

56. Era Caligula

Tiberius was born in the consulship of A. Aemilius Lepidus (II) and L. Munatius Plancus = 4 Julian = lunar cycle xvii. Hence we add 16 to his age to find the lunar cycle. He died at 78, and would have been 79 had he lived until November. Hence he died in

(79+ 16)/19= 5, or lunar cycle xix.
This is JP 4750 = AD 37, which is also the era of Caligula. We also know that Tiberius ruled 22 years and died in his 23rd; counting backwards to era Augustus we find JP 4728, which confirms our reckoning. 57
57. Era Claudius

Caligula was born in the consulate of his father, Ti. Iulius Germanicus, and C. Fonteius Capito, on 31 August 57 Julian = lunar cycle xiii. Hence we add 12 to his age to find the lunar cycle. He died at 29 on 24 January, and would have been 30 had he lived until the end of August.

(30+12)/19 = 2 rem. 4.
He died in lunar cycle iv; this is JP 4754= AD 41, and is also era Claudius. This is supported by the fact that a solar eclipse took place in 5 Claudius on Claudius' birthday, 1 August (Dio 60. 26. 1), which could happen only in lunar cycle viii.

Again, under the consulship of Q. Veranius and C. Pompeius Gallus 'Olympias 207 publicis actis signata est' (according to Solinus, 1. 29). This is 9 Claudius = lunar cycle xii; hence 1 Claudius must be lunar cycle iv.

True, A. Schottus' Aurelius Victor [Epitome de Caesaribus, 4. 14] seems to make 6 Claudius = AUC 800. To find the lunar cycle of a year AUC we add 8 (since the foundation took place in cycle ix).

808/19 = 42 rem. 10,
which would make 1 Claudius lunar cycle v. But this must be a mistake. 58
58. Era Nero

Claudius died in his 14th year = lunar cycle xvii, on 13 October JP 4767 = AD 54. This establishes Nero's era. This is confirmed by the solar eclipse that took place in the consulship of C. Vipsanius Apronianus and L. Fonteius Capito = [5] Nero, on 30 April; 5 Nero must be lunar cycle iii, and 1 Nero must be xviii from 1 January following the death of Claudius. If 1 Nero is JP 4767 from October, then 12 Nero is 4778. When Josephus in BJ. 2 [284] puts September in 11 Nero, November in 12 Nero, he is counting from the beginning of the reign in the Julian calendar, and referring in both cases to JP4778=AD65. 59

59. Era Vespasian

Nero ruled just under 14 years. He died, accordingly, in lunar cycle xii = JP 4781 = AD 68. Galba died on the 8th day of the 8th month from his accession; Otho on the 5th day of the 4th month from the death of Galba; Vitellius on the 5th day of the 8th month from the death of Otho. Scaliger sums, these intervals as ly 6m 18d — correct if the month is the current one, though he takes it as complete. Scaliger holds that the interval starts before the death of Nero, and that only one year passed from the death of Nero to the accession of Vespasian [modern accounts set the interval between Nero's death on 6 June 68 and Vitellius' by 20 December 69]. Vespasian accedes on 1 July lunar cycle xiii = JP 4782 = AD 69. Suetonius supplies the calendar date; regnal year 1 can be computed backwards from era 60. 60

60. Destruction of the Temple

Titus destroyed the Temple in 2 Vespasian, lunar cycle xiv = JP 4783 = AD 70, on day 41 of 2 Vespasian. This is Jewish AM 3829 = the end of Jubilee 31 since

(3829–2310)/49=31
Scaliger comments: «Mira est Dei Opt. Max. in eo providentia». 61
61. Era Titus

Vespasian ruled 9y 11m 7d. Taking these from 1 July, lunar cycle xiii, we find that he ruled until 24 June, lunar cycle iv = JP 4792 = AD 79, when Titus had his accession. [The subtraction, a simplified procedure, gives the wrong interval, which should be 9y 11m 23 whole days.] 62

62. Era Domitian

Titus ruled 2y 2m 20d from 25 June of lunar cycle iv; this interval will end on 12 [recte 13] September, lunar cycle vi = JP 4794 = AD 81= 12 Paophi 829 Nabonassar. This agrees with Ptolemy's record of an occultation of Australis Vergiliarum by the moon on 2 Tybi 840 Nabonassar = 12 Domitian (Alm. 7. 3). If 829 Nabonassar = 1 Domitian, then 840 Nabonassar = 12 Domitian, lunar cycle xvi [recte xviii]. 63

63. Agon Capitolinus
1

These games took place at intervals of 4 years from the consulship of Domitian (XII) and Servius Cornelius [86]. Censorinus wrote in Olympiad year 1014, when agon 39 was held. Hence agon year (4×38)+1=153 = Olympiad year 1014; hence agon year 1 = Olympiad year 862. To find the lunar cycle of an Olympiad year we add 4; agon year i is lunar cycle xi, since

(862+4)/19 = 45 rem. 11.
Ab 238Ч 152 = AD 86, which has lunar cycle xi; 86 is also 5/6 Domitian from January = lunar cycle xi. The era of the agon is then JP 4799. 64
64. Era Nerva

Domitian died on 18 September of his 15th year, having ruled 14y 4d. Adding 5 to 15 (recte 6, cf. 62), we find that he died in lunar cycle i = JP 4808 = AD 95 = 20 Paophi 843 Nabonassar. Nerva begins here.

It is wrong to set a solar eclipse at Nerva's death, as Aurelius Victor did (Epitome de Caesaribus, 12. 12). [The modern date for Nerva's death is 27 January 98, and an eclipse took place on 21 March.] 65

65. Era Trajan

Nerva died ly 4m gd from his era = 27 January, lunar cycle iii = JP 4810 = AD 97 = 1 Phamenoth 845 Nabonassar [recte 26 January 98]. Thus Menelaus, as Ptolemy records in Almagest 7.3, observed an occultation of Spica by the moon on Mechir 15/16 845 Nabonassar = 1 Trajan. [The problem here is twofold. Ptolemy dates Trajan's accession, not historically but astronomically, to 1 Thoth = 30 July 97 instead of January 98. And in any event Menelaus' observation has the Julian date 10/11 January 98 = JP 4811.] 66

66. Era Hadrian

Trajan died on 10 August of his 2oth year. He ruled 19y, 199d. Since he began in lunar cycle iii, he died in lunar cycle iii = 17 Thoth 864 Nabonassar = JP 4829 = AD 116. This gives era Hadrian. Ptolemy records a lunar eclipse on 17/18 Pachon 9 Hadrian = 5/6 April AD 125 (Alm.4.9); if 1 Hadrian is lunar cycle iii, then 9 Hadrian will be lunar cycle xi. The year 872 Nabonassar had lunar cycle xi; the eclipse fell accordingly on 6 April of the Julian year in which 872 Nabonassar ends, which had lunar cycle xii [when an eclipse could fall on 5/6 April].

In fact Scaliger has almost found Ptolemy's astronomical era Hadrian (1 Thoth 864 Nabonassar = 25 July 116); but Hadrian's true accession year is 117. 67

67. Era Antoninus Pius

The year 2 Antoninus is 886 Nabonassar; hence 1 Antoninus is 885 Nabonassar. His accession followed Hadrian's death on 10 [recte 9] July = [2]5 Mesori 884 Nabonassar = JP 4850 = AD 137. Ptolemy's era for Antoninus is 1 Thoth = 20 July AD 137; the civil era is 10 July AD 138. 68

68. Era Diocletian/Era of the Martyrs

This era, used by Theon and the Coptic Church (which called it the era of the Martyrs), is AD 284. Ignatius is wrong to think this era to be 19 Diocletian. Though that is the date of the persecution, the era of the Martyrs is 1 Diocletian = 314 Actium = JP 4997. 69

69. Persecution

Eusebius says that the imperial edict against the churches went forth in March. But the fragments of it in his Ecclesiastical History are dated to the time when Easter approached in 19 Diocletian (8. 2). The year 19 Diocletian, AD 303, had lunar cycle xix and solar cycle 4. In xix the paschal term (luna xiv of Nisan) is 17 April; in solar cycle 4 the next Sunday after the paschal term is 18 April, which is Easter Sunday, Hence Eusebius' date must be wrong.

Again, Eusebius says (Martyrs of Palestine, 1. 2) that Procopius was martyred on 8 Daisius70 = 7 before the Ides of June (7 June) = Wednesday, all in 19 Diocletian. But 8 Daisius is 8 June; and in 303 it is 9 June that falls on feria iv. All of Eusebius' characterismi are flawed for the persecution. 71

70. Era Conslantine

Constantius Chlorus died on 25 July Ol. 271.1, solar cycle 9 [actually AD 305, solar cycle 6J. The Encaenia of Constantine can be dated to 24 September 308, since Constantine reached Britain on 25 July and then took Ci days to assume imperium. Panvinio wrongly dates the victory over Maxcntius to 24 September on the basis of a panegyrist; the Panegyrid edited by Beatus Rhenanus do not include this date. 72 The Encaenia then have the date JP 5021. 73

71. Council of Nicaea

The date of this great event has been curiously controversial. Socrates puts it in 636 Alexander; to find the lunar cycle we add 12, and find lunar cycle ii = AD 324; 636 Alexander will begin in October 324 and run through most 0(325. The first session of the Council will then fall in 325, with lunar cycle Hi, on 19 June, in the consulship of Anitius Paulinus and Ceionius lulianus. Eusebius confirms this when he dates the opening of the Council to 18 Constantine = AD 325 and its closing to 21 Constantine = AD 328. The Julian Period years are 5038 and 5041.

Epiphanius says (Panarium, 3. 1. 9 [haeresis 70], PG 42, col. 353) that pascha fell on Constantine's birthday in the first year of the Council. If so, he was born on 18 April, since in 325 the paschal term was 13 April and Easter Sunday fell on the 18th. This refutes those who date the Council to AD 323 'and Constantine's birth to 31 March. 74

72. Indiction 1 at Constantinople

Constantine held Quinquennalia in JP 5025 = AD 312 and Vicennalia in JP 5041 = AD 328. The latter coincides with the dismissal of the Council of Nicaea and marks the true beginning of the indictions, which marked not the raising of taxes but their celebratory remission. The connection of the Victory over Maxentius with 8 September [a slip for 8 Kal. Oct. = 24 September] is a conjecture of Panvinio, who also wrongly set the first .iridiction in AD 313. 75

For purposes of calendrical computation, however, indiction 1 begins on 24 September 312. To find the pontifical indiction from 1 January one adds 3 to years AD; to find the imperial indiction from the next 24 September one adds 4. The current year 1582 is year 10 in indiction 85 from 24 September 1581, and year 11 from 24 September 1582. 76

73. Encaenia of Constantinople

Constantinople was founded on 11 May AD 330, indiction 3, in the consulship of Ouinius Pacatianus and Mecilius Hilario. Scaliger takes these names from Panvinio, Fastorum libri v, 55, 285. In fact the consuls in AD 330 were Flavius Gallicanus and Valerius Tullianus Symmachus; L. Papinius (Fabius) Pacatianus and M(a)ecilius Hilarianus were consuls in AD 332. Therefore we add 3 to years of Constantinople to find the indiction. Marcellinus Comes makes 197 Constantinople = AD 527, indiction 5;

(197 + 3)/15 = 13 rem. 5, which was sought.
Suidas is wrong to set the encaenia of the city in 362 Actium; the true Actium date is 360 = JP 5043. 77

74. 1 Sahami of the Armenians

This falls on 9 July AD 552, feria iii; it should fall in solar cycle 1, 5265, on 11 July, since 1 Choiac in the Egyptian calendar, which is 1 epagom. in the Armenian, falls on 6 July then. The Armenians date years from their acceptance of Christianity, according to Bede. 78

75. 1 Muharram of the Hegira

This falls on 15 July AD 622, feria vi = solar cycle 15, JP 5335. In 1582 AH 990 will begin on 25 [recte 26] January, feria v. 79

76. 1 Farvardin of Tazdgard

This fell on 16 June AD 632, feria iii = JP 5345; the name is given catachrestically to the era of Othman, who defeated Yazdgard. 80

77. Era of Calcutta

The citizens of Calcutta reckon their lunar years from the foundation of their city in AD 907–952 Julian = 984 Ind. from September = AH 297. To find a year in this era, subtract 296 from the date in the era of the Hegira. Though they are devil-worshippers, not Muslims, the Calcuttans use this calendar because Serma, king of Malabar, converted to Islam and gave land to his nepos, who founded the city «cum Mauris». 81

78. 1 Farvardin Gelali Neuruz elsaltani

This era, the meaning of which Scaliger does not clarify, falls on 15 March AD 1079, feria vi = JP 5792. Gf. Sects. 3.2 and 4.9 below for the explanation, which Scaliger did not have at this point. 82

References

1 DET (1583), 200–1.
2 Ibid. 201.
3 Ibid. 201–3.
4 Ibid. 203–4.
5 Ibid. 204–5.
6Ibid. 206–7.
7 Ibid. 207.
8 Ibid.
9 Ibid. 208–12.
11 Ibid. 212–14.
l2 Ibid. 214–15.
13 Ibid. 217.
14 Ibid. 215–16.
15 Ibid. 216–17.
16 DET (1583), 217–18.
17 Ibid. 218.
18 Ibid. 218–19.
19 Ibid. 219–220.
20 Ibid. 220.
21 Ibid.
22 Ibid. 220–1.
23 Ibid. 221.
24 Ibid.
25 Ibid. 222.
26 Ibid.
27 DET (1583), 222–3.
28 Ibid. 223–4.
29 Ibid. 223.
30 Ibid. 224.
31 Ibid.
32 Ibid.
33 Ibid. 225.
34 Ibid.
35 Ibid.
36 Ibid. 226–7.
37 Ibid. 227.
38 DET (1583), 227–8.
39 Ibid. 228–9. Scaliger does a remarkable job, here and in what follows, of sorting out the divergent eras used in Maccabees (and presumably taken over from sources some of which dated by Jewish, and others by Seleucid, custom). See E. J. Bickerman, The God of the Maccabees, trans. H. R. Moehring (Leiden, 1979), 101–4.
40DET (1583), 229.
41 Ibid. 229–30.
42 Ibid. 230.
43 Ibid.
44 Ibid. 230–1.
45 Ibid. 231.
46 See "Viaggio di Nicolo di Conti', in G. B. Ramusio, Navigazioni e viaggi, ed. M. Milanesi, ii (Turin, 1979), 817.
47 DET (1583), 231–2.
48 Ibid. 232–3.
49 Ibid. 234.
50 Ibid. 234–6.
51 Ibid. 236–7.
52 Ibid. 237–8.
53 Ibid. 238.
54 DET (1583), 239–40.
55 Ibid. 238–9.
56 Ibid. 240–1.
57 Ibid. 241.
58 Ibid. 241–2.
59 Ibid. 242.
60 DET (1583), 242–3.
61 Ibid. Jubilees were the periods of 49 years at the end of which the Jews were commanded to leave their land fallow; Renaissance scholars disagreed as to whether the period in question should last 49 or 50 years. For the biblical texts in question and the chronology of the Book of Jubilees see J. Hughes, Secrets of the Times (Sheffield, 1990), 2, 22–3, 165–7.
62DET (1583), 243.
63 Ibid.
64 Ibid. 243–4.
65 Ibid. 244. See D. J. Schove, Chronology of Eclipses and Comets (Dover, NH, 1984), 20.
66 Det (1583), 244.
67 Ibid.
68DET (1583), 245.
69 Ibid. 245–6.
70 Modern texts give 7 Daisius.
71DET (1583), 245–6.
72 O. Panvinio, Fastorum libri v (Heidelberg, 1588), Commentarius, 264.
73DET (1583), 246–7.
74 Ibid. 247.
75Panvinio, Fasti, 266.
76DET (1583), 247–9.
77Ibid. 249.
78DET( 1583), 249–50.
79 Ibid. 250.
80 Ibid.
81 Ibid
82 Ibid


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