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Copper coinage, i.e. ancient chronology

This post is also available in: Polish (polski)

Thomas Cole, Interior of the Colosseum
Thomas Cole, Interior of the Colosseum

The division of time into two eras is widely known and is not controversial. When subjected to a critical analysis, a range of questions and doubts arise that I would like to present in this article.

Establishing the date of the founding of Rome

Wikipedia is a very popular source of information, though depending on the sources used it may not always be the best one. This is clearly visible on the basis of the ab urbe condita motto i.e. ‘from the founding of the city’ (of Rome). I will deal with this motto a little later. Initially I will relate to the footnotes to it, which arise from Maria Jaczynowska’s academic textbook entitled “Historia starożytnego Rzymu” (Eng: The History of Ancient Rome). The sources may seem very reliable and strictly scholarly. Here are the footnotes:

1. The ancients made various attempts to combine Roman chronology with Greek based on olympiads. It was especially difficult to calculate the period between the legendary arrival of Aeneas after the fall of Troy (1180 BCE) and the founding of Rome. According to the version ofVirgilis Rome was founded in 848 BCE,Timajos set this date at 814 BCE, considering that at the same time Rome and Carthage arose. Fabius Piktor proposed the year 748, this chronology was adopted Dionysius of Halicarnassus , Cincius Alimentus thought that Rome was founded in 729/728 BCE The date of Rome’s foundation proposed by M. Terentius Warron (1st century BCE) – 754/3 BCE (third year of the Sixth Olympiad) was adopted by most Roman historians of the Empire. On it he based the chronologyLiwius in Ab urbe condita and in this way the years counted from the foundation of the city were recalculated. It should be added, however, that the Warroń date is not based on any documentary basis, but only speculative. The starting point for these calculations was the adoption as a certain date of the beginnings of the Roman republic. The Roman annalists assumed that the royal period lasted 244 or 245 years, which corresponds to seven generations of 35 years each. Since Fabius Piktor took 504 as the date of establishing the republic, the establishment of Rome by Romulus would have been 748, Warro, assuming that the republic was founded in 509/508, adopted 754/753 as the date of the beginning of Rome. (Maria Jaczynowska History of Ancient Rome Warsaw 1986 ISBN 83-01-00268-9 p. 25n)

In the above footnotes there are ancient authors, each of whom in his own way specified the date of foundation of Rome. It is obvious that the ancient authors mentioned in the footnotes cited above, if they already calculated the date of foundation of Rome, then logically they adopted it as year 1, and not any other, because no one begins to count time from the end, and only modern times they would determine according to their calculations. And so Timajos of Tauromenion, Fabius Piktor, or Cincius Alimentos living in the 3rd century BCE, for modern times would have taken around 400 years, and Wergilius or M. Terentius Warron would have adopted around 700, since they lived in the 1st century BCE. M. Terentius Warron could in no way accept the year 754/3, neither as the year of founding Rome, nor, more logically, as modern times, because he died in 27 BCE, and 754 years from the founding of Rome did not pass until 1 CE, when M. Terentius Warron was long dead. The year 1 CE was determined only in the 6th century CE by Dionysius Scythian, also called Minor. Reading the information provided by M. Jaczynowska on determining the date of establishment of Rome, one can get the impression that these dates were determined after the introduction of the division of time into two era and took into account the start year of our era. Surely the ancient authors could not do it, because they lived in the third or first century BCE, when they did not even dream about dividing time into two ages. So how do you treat setting Rome’s date of foundation? After all, the entire chronology is based on this date from antiquity to modern times.

M. Jaczynowska writes: “The date of foundation of Rome proposed by M. Terentius Warron (1st century BCE) – 754/3 BCE (third year of the 6th Olympiad) was adopted by most Roman historians of the Empire era. He based the chronology on it Liwius in Ab urbe condita and in this way the years counted since the city was founded. “ I think I have shown above that M . Terentius Warron could not in any way propose this date, so we base our chronology on completely uncertain data, unless it is only inaccuracy and lack of precision in writing this information in the academic handbook. For example, the phrase “754/3 BCE” is amazing, which allows the absurd conclusion that MT Warron, living in the first century BCE, took into account the decreasing passage of years, which in any case is not possible, unless it is agreed chronological antiquity must be looked completely different, and certainly not as it is presented in Maria Jaczynowska’s academic handbook “History of Ancient Rome”.

Maria Jaczynowska mentions attempts to compare Roman chronology with Greek chronology based on olympiads. In Wikipedia, under the slogan “ab urbe condita” is a table illustrating this issue, in which, according to logic, the year of foundation of Rome is taken as 1.

Compare calendars

Years according to olympics


Gregorian calendar

1. year 1 olympics

776 BCE

4. year 6 of the Olympic Games


753 BCE

4. 194th Olympic Games



1. 195. Olympic Games


1 ne

4. year 694. olympics



4. year 697. olympics



Explanation requires the abbreviation AUC, present in the above list. At Wikipedia, we have the explanation: “Ab urbe condita oranno urbis conditae (AUC or AUC) Latin a phrase meaning “since the foundation of the City” ( Rome ), which happened, according to calculations, on April 21, 753 BCE

It was one of many [1] methods used by Roman historians to count past years when the Roman calendar was in use andjuliański . This system, proposed byWarrona , was replaced by Anno Diocletiani (CE), which in turn was gradually supplanted via Anno Domini (CE).

Some modern historians [ who? ] claim that this expression was not really used in the ancient world and using it in this way has only recently appeared. It occurs, however, e.g. in Book XVIII, Chapter 107 “Natural History” Pliny the Elder : Pistores Romae non fuere ad Persicum usque bellum annis ab urbe condita super DLXXX (in Rome no there were bakers until the war with Perseus for over 580 years since the founding of the city), or in Fr. XXXV chapter 22 of the same, where again dating from this system. Similarly to other authors, such as Pompey Festus , Sextus Julius Frontyn , Gellius , Titus Liwius ,Serwius

I would like to stop at the comparison of the Roman calendar with the Greek calendar based on the Olympic Games. I have not found information since when the time according to the Olympic Games was counted in Greece, but certainly did not know this way Thucydides (V century BCE), one of the most rational Greek historians. In his work “The Peloponnesian War” in two places he mentions the Olympics (pp. 155 and 318), but only gives the winner, and does not refer them to the chronology, as if he did not know what in turn was the Olympics. So, in the fifth century BCE, the Olympic Games were certainly not counted sequentially. Characteristically, Thucydides does not use any calendar in his work, and notes the following years of the war counting consecutive years and winters, which he considers to be the most accurate chronological method. So he was on his own mind and meticulousness, no less made mistakes by skipping the sixth year of the war, and 17 counted twice.

In my opinion, chronology is based on an uncertain basis, which is the date of the founding of Rome, which certainly should raise doubts, both in terms of the time of its establishment as well as proper authorship and its subsequent application.

Ludwik Piotrowicz in the third volume of the Great Universal History – “Roman History” – states that the count of Warrońska is absolutely false, no less questions his authorship regarding the establishment of the date of foundation of Rome in 753 BCE, and admits that despite falsehood we keep it in calculations .

The very year of foundation of Rome is most likely false, it is absurd to mention that Rome originated exactly on April 21, 753 BCE Equally unbelievable is the information mentioning ancient authors such as Virgil, Timajos, Fabius Piktor, Cincius Alimentus or M. Terentius Warron and assigning them a date foundations of Rome, impossible logically. I believe that such information should be specified in the academic textbook, if possible, or at least commented on. Unfortunately, also Ewa Wipsycka in the “Vademecum of the historian of ancient Greece and Rome” gives similar, inaccurate and illogical information regarding the establishment of the date of the foundation of Rome in antiquity, I quote: “Contrary to popular belief, in the antiquity the era from the foundation of Rome was used (ab urbe condita), only exceptionally. This method of counting dates can only be found in modern historiography. Roman erudites could not agree on the date of establishment of Rome. The most successful in antiquity was the year 752 BCE We meet him at Dionysius of Halicarnassus, in Fastia Consulares Capitolinii, Fastia Triumphales Capitolinii. The date commonly set on 754/753 BCE by Cicero’s friend Attica in his missing chronicle (Liber annalis) and then adopted by Warron (and hence called Warroń) was widely known. This was the modern historiography that was credible. II century BCE) placed the foundation of Rome in 751 BCE, the Roman historian Cincius Alimentus (III century BCE) in 729/728 BCE, the Greek historian Timajos (356-260 BCE) in 814 BCE, the Roman poet Ennius (239-169 BCE) – around 875 BCE “(p. 557).

Determining who and when he set the current date of foundation of Rome remains an open matter, certainly the ancient authors mentioned above, which Maria Jaczynowska refers to in the academic textbook “The History of Ancient Rome”, and Ewa Wipsycka in the “Vademecum of the Historian of Ancient Greece” and Rome. ” Unfortunately, I do not know what sources the authors mentioned above used, and it would certainly be important to check how the issue of establishing the date of establishment of Rome is included in ancient sources.

Division of time into two eras

According to historical sources, the division of time into two eras was made by the monk Dionysius Scythian, also called Minor, on the order of Pope John I, in the sixth century CE, exactly in 525. The starting point for the new era was supposed to be the year of Jesus ‘birth, unfortunately this monk made a mistake in his calculations, setting the date of Jesus’ birth to 754 from the founding of Rome, while this date should be shifted back by 5 or slightly more years (Millennium Bible – chronological tables) . Who was the monk Dionysius the Minor, who created the time clock commonly used today? I will answer using a fragment of the article of the Editor-in-Chief of Nowa Gazeta Trzebnicka entitled “Where does the current number of years come from”?

Dionysius was from Scythia (probably today’s Dobrogea in Romania), but he spent almost his entire life in Rome, where he died in 540. He was one of the greatest scholars of his time, but he humbly referred to himself as “Lesser” (Exiguus). He had extensive theological and astronomical knowledge, fluent in Greek and Latin.
At the request of Pope John I, in 525 Dionizy prepared a table containing the dates of Easter. The existing and then valid list by Cyril of Alexandria was brought to the year 531. Based on the complicated lunar and solar calendar system, Dionysius developed movable dates for celebrating Easter for the next 95 years, i.e. from 532 to 626. Dionysius rejected the count of years according to the then popular Diocletian era, according to which the Easter celebrations were calculated. This era began with the reign of Diocletian (284), one of the greatest Roman emperors and also the most cruel persecutors of Christians. Dionysius deliberately omitted the use of this era, justifying it as follows: “We did not want to include in our calculations the memory of a godless and persecutor who was a tyrant rather than a ruler.
Dionysius paid special attention to the theological significance of his time count. According to these assumptions, he was less interested in chronology. It was decisive for him that the birth of Jesus was a turning point in human history. The beginning and source of hope for salvation.
To make it more interesting, Dionysius the Lesser himself did not use his calculations to mark any other events or facts other than the Easter tables. How did it happen that despite this the count of the Roman monk introduced in the 6th century still connects the nations of the world and is an important element of the common cultural heritage? What was the path to the dissemination of Dionysius’s thought? Its great writer from the 8th century, Saint. He will be the Reverend, also called the Venerable. He consistently applied calculations in relation to the birth of Jesus in the descriptions of past and contemporary historical events. In this way, he recorded the work of a Roman monk. Soon the first private and royal documents appeared in England, which took the birth of Jesus as the basis for dating. So this way of dating became popular first in the British Isles, then in the Carolingian states, and in the 11th century also became popular in Italy. Spain adopted a new way of counting the years only in the fourteenth century, and unification throughout Europe occurred in 1700, when in Russia, by the special display of Tsar Peter the Great, the count of years was introduced from the birth of Jesus.
Today, we can hardly imagine another way of calculating dates, which is why it can be said that Dionysius’s calculations have not only a practical dimension, but also unifying humanity. A large part of humanity uses it, regardless of beliefs and beliefs. Therefore, it connects the nations of the world and is an important element of the common cultural heritage.
It is well known today that Dionysius made a mistake in calculating the date of Jesus’ birth. In fact, the date should have been a few years earlier. It is said to be between 4 and 7 years old. So is there a need to reform the calendar, as some sometimes suggest? Trying to answer, it is worth imagining the complicated and various ways of calculating the years in antiquity. Dionysius Minor was not a historian and did not conduct detailed historical research. As a theologian, he paid special attention to the theological strengthening of dates and events. Jesus’ year of birth was determined by placing him at the beginning of one of the Easter cycles (19 years old), that is, in his first year. He did this to emphasize that Christ is the beginning of everything, everything begins with Him. “According to these theological assumptions, this was correct.” – emphasizes Fr. Józef Naumowicz “.

To sum up, it is not known on what basis Dionysius Scythian set the date of foundation of Rome, how did he make calculations from the perspective of over 1300 years? Similarly, you can ask about the premises for determining the year of Jesus’ birth. It can be assumed with a high degree of certainty that the monk Dionysius did not introduce a decreasing system of years for the period before our era, because he was not a historian but a theologian and did not use his own timing. He only specified the moving dates of Easter. So the question remains: who introduced the current time count regarding all events of antiquity until 525, when Dionysius determined the start year of our era? From that moment, i.e. from the year 525, but not before, it was possible to introduce a decreasing date system for the period before our era and increasing since the year 1 CE. Only then could it be determined, for example, that the Diocese era began in 284, or that Dionizy took the year of Jesus’ birth as the beginning of a new era in 525. According to the Roman calendar, i.e. since the foundation of the city, it was 1279 (754 + 525).

Chronology in Thucydides’ “Peloponnesian War” – V century BCE

Thucydides is an author, born, as is assumed in 471 or 460 BCE, is considered the first historian to capture history from a purely rationalist point of view, which gave rise to scientific historiography. I traced his work mainly in terms of chronology.

Thucydides writes: “In my description, the accidents run sequentially according to summer and winter.” (Book 2, 1, p. 87). He presents his method and justification more precisely on the basis of one of the treaties concluded between the Lacedemonians and the Athenians, and does so as follows:

The treaty was concluded for the pleorate of Pleistolas, the fourth day of the last decade of the month Artemizjos, and in Athens for the archonontate of Alkajos, the sixth day of the last decade of the month Elabebolion. […] The treaty was concluded at the end of winter, when it was springtime, immediately after the city Dionysias, ten years and a few days after the invasion of Attica and the beginning of this war. To find out more accurately, you need to calculate individual periods of time, not set back chronologies, based on calculating the names of heads of state for whose office some accidents happened, or other people holding this or that dignity. This method is inaccurate because it does not determine if the accident happened at the beginning, in the middle or at the end of someone’s office. Whoever counts as I do, according to the summer and winter seasons, will find that both these periods give the year and that this first war lasted for ten summer seasons and as many winters.

Book 5, 19-21 p. 300

The above example clearly illustrates what a problem chronology was for historians of ancient times and how difficult it was to describe it in an approximate way. The same event, in this case the treaty, was differently positioned in time by both parties concerned, because each of them referred to their official or to their months, if such were established, and as follows from the above quote, the Lacedemonic months did not coincide with the Athenians. In Thucydides’ work there is only one more reference to the years of the ruler’s reign, which is a total of two in the whole work. Here is the relevant passage: “In the thirteenth year of Darius’s reign, when Lacypemon was Alexypidas, the arrangement was … in the Meandra Valley …” (Book 8, 57-58; pp. 488) In other cases, the following years and winters are counted, giving together the year starting in spring.

In the passage quoted above, against the background of various chronological difficulties, the phrase “” after ten years and a few days “ appears very interestingly. How did the author register these few days? A similar situation occurs in Book 5, 27; p. 303,: “The war lasted for twenty-seven years and several days” What an incredible accuracy with the simultaneous lack of a single, fixed calendar and reliance on subsequent summer and winter seasons, which end differently each year and they start. Did the author, adding those few days to 27 years of age, by chance? He must have done the same when he used a kind of prophecy, and I quote:

And if you add to the first ten-year war the period of dubious peace and subsequent years of war following it and count them by period, it turns out that the war lasted twenty-seven years and several days and that among all this prophecy has come true fully. I recall that it was widely said, both at the beginning and during the war, that this war would last three times for nine years.

Book 5, 27 p. 303

As follows from the foregoing, prophecies and prophecies are characteristic not only of the Bible. If you want so much, any prophecy can come true, all you have to do is call it doubtful and count it as a war.

The text of Thucydides’ work contains various formulations regarding chronology. The most common terms are: “the same winter”, “that summer”, “the next winter”, “soon next spring”, etc. There are also such as: “the next summer grain ripening season “(Book 3, 1, p. 151),the next summer when the corn is lying” (book 4, 1 p. 215),of this just summer shortly before the harvest” (Book 4, 83-85; p. 260), the same winter during the solstice of the night” (Book 8, 39- 40; p. 477)

From the above examples, it is clear that Thucydides, referring to the aftermath of the events described, did not refer to any calendar, so it can be assumed that it simply did not exist. When he specified the time of events, he relied almost exclusively on observations of nature and weather, which, as is known, is very variable from year to year. This is probably why the described action does not have any time frame. The Peloponnesian War is suspended in a chronological vacuum, with no marked beginning and end, i.e. it could have occurred at any age, both before our era and in our era. Based on the work of Thucydides, the Peloponnesian War cannot be located in time.

Thucydides’ attention in the Peloponnesian War is very imprecise, such as “some time later”, “soon after”. In my opinion, it results from the fact that the Peloponnese did not have a permanent calendar, or the author did not have access to it, and if there were any calendars, they were certainly different in different Peloponnese communes and random rather than continuous. Certainly few of them had access to them. Thucydides, like other historians, was therefore on his own mind and meticulousness. He wrote down subsequent summer-winter periods, usually as follows: “winter has come to an end, and with it the first year of war“, or the following. The sixth year of war was not recorded in this way, as well as 19 and 20, while 17 occurs twice, before 18 and after 18. Maybe a mistake in printing or translation, but most likely it is a Thucydides error, which is not difficult to count years according to the following summer and winter seasons, without the help of any calendar.

Thucydides certainly was interested in astronomy, as evidenced by references to solar eclipses, e.g. “solar eclipse, occurring more often than it was mentioned in previous times” (Book 1, 24, p. 17), or ; “Immediately at the beginning of the following summer, during the New Moon, a partial solar eclipse occurred; in the same month there was an earthquake” (Book 4, 53-55, p. 242). Could it have something to do with Egyptian priests, or even more, if he could observe a partial solar eclipse? This phenomenon is, after all, a small and short-term change in light intensity. How did he even know about the solar eclipse, he could even observe the lunar eclipse. The footnotes to the “Peloponnesian War” give the exact dates of the solar eclipses mentioned by Thucydides, e.g. “solar eclipse: August 3, 431″ (footnote to p. 103), or “lunar eclipse: August 27 413″ (footnote to p. 434). I admit that I was very curious who the author of such footnotes was. The answer turned out to be very simple, it was enough to look at the title page of the “Peloponnesian War”, where you can read the following: “He translated the preface from the Greek language and added footnotes to Kazimierz Kumaniecki”

I am extremely interested in how the translator, Kazimierz Kumaniecki set the dates of eclipses of the sun and moon, as well as all the others regarding the events described by Thucydides, and given in footnotes. Based on the ancient text of the Peloponnesian War, it is impossible to define any dates . It would be extremely interesting to explain this matter.

Decreasing date layout in studies

In the work of Thucydides, all numbers are written in words, as I checked, also in the Greek original the numbers are written in words. It is also characteristic that there are no dates, the day of the month is written in words and its name sporadically, but it is clear that the names of the months were different in different cities, and their duration was varied, i.e. the months did not coincide . So there was a huge mess and total freedom in lunar calendars, if they existed at all.

The case is completely different in studies, such as NGL Hammond’s “History of Greece”, Ludwik Piotrowicz’s “History of Rome”, or Tadeus Wałek-Czarnecki’s and Stanisław Witkowski’s “Greek History”. The chronology of these great studies is amazing. In the abovementioned works there are very numerous and very detailed dates, concerning even very small and trivial events, of course in descending order for the period before our era and in a way that increases for our era. Who and when did he introduce these dates and, most importantly, how, on what basis? It could have happened at the earliest in the sixth century CE, when Dionysius Scythian divided the time into two eras, so more than 1000 years have passed since the times described by Thucydides, for example. In my opinion, it was not possible to introduce such a detailed chronology from such a distant time perspective. Going deeper into the chronological and digital problem, it can be concluded that this significant date system could not be introduced until the 14th century CE, because the dates are written in Arabic numerals, previously known in Europe only in a small group of mathematicians, e.g. the mathematician used them Italian Fibonacci (1175-1250), and the oldest Arabic number record on our continent dates from 1138. Who could do such an incredible thing as a perfectly coherent chronological system, covering almost all of Europe, Africa and Asia, while remaining unknown to history? Or maybe the above-mentioned authors of these historical studies brought these numerous and detailed dates to their works in the 20th century CE? After 2000 or 3000 years from the occurrence of the corresponding events and without any support in ancient sources …

Before proceeding to try to solve this puzzle, I would like to illustrate the problem to cite examples of the texts of the above-mentioned authors of great studies in which there is a decreasing order of years assigned to the period before our era. I will use quotes from the History of Greece by NGL Hammond, which were written on the basis of ancient historians, such as Herodotus, Thucydides, Pausanias, Diodorus Sicilian, Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Livius, Plutarch, Xenophon, Polybius and many, very many other personal and non-personal sources, listed in extremely extensive footnotes. A similar arrangement of dates also appears in volumes 2 and 3 of the Universal Universal History. In the 3rd volume of the Great Universal History, or “The History of Rome,” Ludwik Piotrowicz appears next to a decreasing, also increasing number of dates, covering the subsequent years of the reign of Roman emperors, up to 488 CE. All dates and numbers are written in Arabic numerals, which could not be entered earlier than in the fourteenth century CE, at least according to the current knowledge on the subject. It is amazing that nowhere is there even a mention of such an unbelievably great work as establishing chronology for both eras. Here are examples of decreasing date system in NGL Hammond’s study entitled “History of Greece”:

Quote 1: “From September 411 to June 410, the city of Athens was ruled by Five Thousands.”

“Journal of Greece” p. 482 – Thucydides (460 – 400 BCE) VIII 96 – 98

Quote 2: “The Peloponnesians could keep the garrison in Byzantium from 410 until the winter of 408/407″

“Journal of Greece” p. 488 – Diodor Sicilian (1st century BCE) XIII 65, 5 – 67

Quote 3: “Sparta did not take any major action between July 420 and the same month in 418 […], during the winter of 419/418 only 300 people were sent who were to strengthen the garrison in Epidaurus. “

“Journal of Greece” p. 454 – Thucydides V 34; 49 – 57

Quote 4: “Skione fell after a two-year siege in the summer of 421; adult men were killed, the rest of the population sold into captivity. This act of cruelty (as Diodotos already predicted in 427), strengthened the will to resist rebellious countries. “

“Journal of Greece” p. 452 – Thucydides V 32, 1; 35, 1; 39, 1

Quote 5: “Argos […] finally defeated Sparta at Hysiaj in 669. The weakening of the prestige of Sparta and the success of Argos probably encouraged Pisa, who in 668 rebelled against Elis, and in 660 it gained control of the holy district in Olympia. […] then around the year 640, the Messenes rebelled “

“Journal of Greece” pp. 179-180 – Pauzanias IV 14 – 24 p. 362; Herodotus (485-425 BCE) III 47, I 82

In the examples cited, the extraordinary detail of the chronology is noteworthy, which accurately places even small and insignificant events in time, which certainly have not been recorded anywhere. Even the date of the prophecy of Diodotus is given (quote 4) … Below the quotes I gave a page from “History of Greece” on which the verses appear, as well as included indexes referring to footnotes, from where I copied data about the ancient sources listed there. In most cases, the ancient source is Thucydides ‘Peloponnesian War, so for obvious reasons I checked the appropriate places in Thucydides’ work. It turned out that I did not find any grounds to set a date there, let alone such a detailed chronology, which is the case in these quotes. I think that in other authors of antiquity it can only be worse with chronology, because from all of them Thucydides is considered the most rational and scientific historian. So the question remains: how did this strikingly detailed and consistent date system come from NGL Hammond’s History of Greece? Similarly, in studies such as the 2nd and 3rd volumes of the Great Universal History. In the text of both volumes, unlike the History of Greece by NGL Hammond, there is no reference to a bibliography in which only Western sources from the 19th and 20th centuries are found.

In the quoted quotations, apart from the decreasing order of years typical for our era, interesting are the names of the months: July, September, June and the turn of the next two years in winter, e.g. winter 408/407, which indicates that the calendar developed by Julius Caesar, as is assumed in 46 BCE, (or by the Egyptian priest Sozygenes, acting on behalf of Caesar). Certainly, according to the Julian calendar, the year began on January 1, that is, in winter, and this day was at the same time every year, because Julius Caesar assumed in his calendar the length of the year corresponding to the length of time the Earth orbits the sun. Unexplainable, how the calendar created in 46 BCE could have been introduced to an earlier period, i.e. e.g. in the aforementioned year 408/407 (citation 2), or at the turn of 418/419 (citation 3), although it is known that it was not functioning at that time in Greece, a uniform, permanent calendar, and even more sunny on which to base. Yes, most likely, lunar calendars were used, in which the year began in spring, but different in different cities – Greek countries. There are also references to the Greek calendar, associated with the Seleucide era beginning in 312 BCE. It was used by the author of the Maccabees, where, surprisingly, he presents, in words, a growing sequence of dates – from 137 to 177 – which for the period before ours the era is quite unusual. I have the impression that the author of the Maccabean Books wanted to show that only the ascending order of years is a logical and natural system, while the descending order can never be introduced by the author describing any events on a regular basis, but must be artificially introduced from some time perspective, i.e. after establishing er boundary How to treat the chronology presented using the Seleucide era calendar? I believe that, like all chronological findings of antiquity – with great criticism, these are copper counting tokens rather than real denominations. It is amazing and also symptomatic that such a suggestion is given by the creator of the word “ERA”, which means “copper counting tokens” (“Dictionary of Foreign Words and Foreign Language Phrases” by Władysław Kopaliński). The notation with the word “era” has an overtones message for posterity from the brilliant author of the division of time into 2 eras, is a kind of clue how to treat the chronology of the era, it also allows to draw the conclusion that he was not only “God of Time”, but also linguist – “God of the Word”.

Comparison of chronologies in NGL Hammond’s “History of Greece” and Thucydides “Peloponnesian War”

In this part I would like to present a detailed comparison of the chronology in the ancient original and the chronology in the study, i.e. comparing the Thuringian Peloponnesian War and NGL Hammond’s History of Greece. From the preface of the author of NGL Hammond to the History of Greece, it can be concluded that the author himself annexes to your work, as well as extremely extensive and complicated source footnotes – 36 pages of intricate abbreviations and references, which can be confirmed by a quote;

This book was written after a thorough examination of the original sources on which our knowledge of the history of Greece is based. Therefore, I decided to provide references in footnotes to the most basic sources in the hope that many readers will want to look at ancient authors themselves, in translation or in original to form my own opinion. The lack of space did not allow me to refer to the work of modern scholars (…) “

After reviewing both the source work and the study, I doubt whether NGL Hammond looked at the original of the “Peloponnesian War” at all. If he did, he would have to notice that there are no dates in the ancient work, what is more, there are no grounds to determine them . I suspect that not only did he not write footnotes and annexes, but he did not even read, because if he did, he would notice that modern scholars are numerous in footnotes, and he would not include such an absurd sentence at the end of the annex titled “Date of the attack on Plateje in 431” which I quote:

In 1953 the harvest was also delayed: on the plain it began on May 13, but then stretched until the period between May 27 and June 10, when the grain was mostly harvested, but some was still on trunk on June 28.

A strange coincidence in the passage about the fifth century BCE appears in 1953, probably our era? Quite unreasonable are the details of “delayed harvests starting exactly on May 13”, and especially their extremely detailed course, as if it were important. In the annex in question, concerning the attack on Plateje in 431, it is equally ridiculous and even slanderous to frequently refer to Thucydides on other dates, while the ancient author does not give any dates in the original work, what is more, based on his work, deduce in what time frame the Peloponnesian War took place. It is characteristic that the date of the attack on Plateje, i.e. the year 431, is taken for granted, without any proof and any analysis or mention justifying it, although it should be the most important in this annex. However, the date of the solar eclipse in 424 is analyzed in detail, but not very precisely, I quote the relevant fragment of the annex:

Hippokrates (Vict. 3, 1) sets the end of winter to the spring equalization of the day, which can be dated exactly on March 24, Thucydides, however, probably conducted his own observations almost every year and could base the end on them winters a little earlier or a little later, probably between our 20 and 27 March. The adoption of this period as the beginning of spring, and also – according to Thucydides terminology – years, agrees with the solar eclipse of March 21, 424 (Th.IV 52, 1) …

I cited a slightly broader context because it well depicts Thucydides’ chronological methodology described here, although it is not known where it came from, because in the ‘Peloponnesian War’, as I explained earlier, Thucydides does not apply it. The special complexity and inaccuracy of this so-called “chronological methodology”. As for the exact date of the solar eclipse, in the indicated place in Thucydides’s “Peloponnesian War” we read: “Immediately with the beginning of the next summer, during the new moon, a partial solar eclipse occurred; in the same month there was an earthquake (Book 4, 50-52, p. 242). How can such information be used to determine the exact date: day, month and year? Is it the wrong choice of source? If there was no calendar and it was not, because if it existed Thucydides would certainly use it, and the time was determined on the basis of observation of nature and depended on the memory of the observer, all sources of antiquity, until the introduction of a permanent calendar and the division of time into two eras, have a suspicious chronology. The main problem is the excessive detail of dates in combination with the variety of ancient calendars and the mess they contain, and the distant perspective time dividing the events described since the introduction of the Christian count of years.

Who, when and why divided time into two eras?

When I read NGL Hammond’s History of Greece, or volumes 2 and 3 of “Universal Universal History,” I tried to look for a logical explanation for the bizarre chronology, unfortunately incompatible with the elementary principles of logic and without any support in the original works of ancient historians. The only possibility is to introduce chronological “corrections” after setting the division of time into two ages for all works written earlier, because, as I have already pointed out, no historian writing any history can use a decreasing date system on a regular basis, because he would have to count the time from the end, which is illogical, unnatural and impossible. Due to the huge amount and detail of dates, it was rather impracticable to introduce them from a later perspective. Besides, who in their right mind would make illogical changes from the perspective of over 1000 years or more? Such a variant as presented above – is therefore out of the question.

There is only one meaningful explanation for this situation – first there was the idea of ​​dividing time into 2 eras, but it was mainly about the inauguration of our era – the Christian era, whose starting year was to commemorate the birth of Man – God, and thus confirm Christianity. It is very possible that it was also about introducing a uniform, permanent calendar, so that the chronology was ordered for centuries, which was largely successful and is certainly a huge civilization achievement. It was only the idea of ​​dividing time into two eras that inspired the creation of an appropriate historical writing base and the preparation of other so-called historical testimonies. All this happened in the first century CE. It is therefore necessary to realize that all works that have survived to our times, and whose creation dates back to the period of antiquity, both before our era and from the beginning of our era, have a questionable chronology.

It follows from the above that we must clearly realize that what was until now considered to be the history of Greece, Rome, Egypt, Persia, Israel, Judah, etc. falling before the era, has at least a suspicious chronology. It is also doubtful that the division of time into two eras was made only in the sixth century CE. This should raise serious doubts, if one considers the uniquely coherent and detailed chronology from before the division, and oddly enough adapted to this division, simply too perfectly, given the huge differences between different regions of Europe, Asia or Africa, and take it for granted one may fact is that there was certainly no uniform calendar in these regions that could at least partly explain such a perfectly compatible and very detailed chronology both in our era and in distant times before our era. And most strangely, this exceptionally consistent and detailed chronology is ubiquitous in distant works from the twentieth century, and it is not in the original ancient works.

The division of time into two eras gave great opportunities to Him who did it. He could move freely along the timeline, both backwards, and jump a few or several centuries forward, which can be described as the so-called predation and post-dating. He attributed his works, achievements and achievements to various fictitious people in a vast historical space – from the distant past to modern times, while he placed the history of the first century of our era in a different time frame, due to the censorship of the rulers of the time, which was not a real performance their shameful activities related mainly to the introduction of Christianity. Clear indications of terror and cruelty accompanying the birth of a new or renewed faith can be found in the Bible. I discuss this issue in other articles. It is rather difficult to expect references to censorship in censored texts, but there are quite clear suggestions on this topic. The author of the Second Book of Maccabees, describing his writing efforts, uses a symptomatic comparison: “Similarly, it is not easy for those who prepare a feast and want to satisfy the tastes of others” (2 Mk 2, 27), not necessarily my own. NGL Hammond’s “History of Greece” also has a sentence attesting to the control of written works: “Athenians had a well-trained memory, because they had to judge art, statesmen and prisoners on the basis of a single hearing only” (History of Greece p. 512). In the Second Letter, Peter writes: “Above all, keep in mind that no prophecy of the Scriptures is for private explanation” (2P 1, 20), it can therefore be concluded that if explaining the prophecies it could not be arbitrary and free, the more it controlled the writing of any texts. You can also guess who was the main censor in the 1st century CE. Precisely because of the harsh and ruthless censorship, the works of ancient historians are not very historically reliable, which is also manifested in the very special features of their work. According to Ludwik Piotrowicz, author of “Roman History” – III volume of “Universal Universal History”, the greatest threat to credibility and historical accuracy was the fact that historiography was the domain of rhetoricals. He writes: “In place of short, dry notes, compiling the chronicle messages preserved from previous centuries, large publications appear, the more extensive and comprehensive they are, the further the times discussed, enlivened by colorful and abundant details, as well as numerous speeches, inserted on the lips of those acting “(” Acts of Rome “ p. 5)

The division of time into two eras is widely known and is not controversial. When subjected to a critical analysis, a range of questions and doubts arise that I would like to present in this article.

In my opinion, this is a very correct observation, which significantly undermines the credibility of ancient sources, including in particular the Bible, both in terms of extremely detailed events and the chronology adopted so far. As a side note, I am very curious about who and when he developed the chronological tables, placed at the end of the Millennium Bible, very detailed and accurate, dating back to ancient times, and concerning almost all biblical events that are accurately placed in time, starting from in 1800 BCE and synchronized with other events in Asia, Europe and Africa. They certainly were not developed on the basis of the Bible, because apart from the Maccabees, there are no dates in Scripture. Nowhere could I find information on this topic.

To the question of who divided the time into two era, I give detailed explanations in the next article.

Author: Małgorzata Brojek
  • Biblia Tysiąclecia, wydanie 3, Pallottinum 1990
  • N.G.L. Hammond Dzieje Grecji, PIW 1977
  • – Królestwo rzymskie
  • Maria Jaczynowska, Historia starożytnego Rzymu, PWN, Warszawa 1986
  • Władysław Kopaliński Słownik wyrazów obcych i zwrotów, obcojęzycznych, Wiedza Powszechna, Warszawa 1983
  • Ludwik Piotrowicz Dzieje Rzymskie tom 3 Wielkiej Historii Powszechnej, Księgarnia Trzaski, Everta i Michalskiego, Warszawa 1934
  • Tukidydes Wojna peloponeska, Czytelnik 1953
  • Wikipedia
  • Praca zbiorowa pod redakcją Ewy Wipszyckiej, Vademecum historyka starożytnej Grecji i Rzymu I/II tom PWN, Warszawa 2001
  • Tadeusz Wołek-Czarnecki i Stanisław Witkowski Dzieje Greckie tom 2 Wielkiej Historii Powszechnej, Księgarnia Trzaski, Everta i Michalskiego, Warszawa,1934
  • Ś – cyfry arabskie

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