Skip to main content

Full text of "The Legacy Of Egypt"

See other formats

14                 The Calendars and Chronology
theory of his chronology of the first eighteen dynasties appears
to have been that a whole Sothic cycle (of about 1,460 years)
intervened between the Twelfth and Nineteenth Dynasties
extra to the period assigned above; and further that the cycle
which began at the death of Menes was not a Set cycle but a
Sothic cycle. In consequence his chronology would put the
death of Menes some 2,548 years1 earlier than 3141. The
chronology given here allots a period of 1,874 7ears to tne first
eighteen dynasties. The first two books of Manetho assigned
4,421 years apparently to the same period, a difference of
2,547 years. His chronology, or rather that of Africanus, is of
interest inasmuch as it indicates the probable source of the
chronology of the Septuagint, and of the date assigned by the
Church of Alexandria for the Creation, namely 5498 (5499).
The aim of this chapter has been to provide a few chrono-
logical pegs upon which the history of ancient Egypt may be
hung. In the endeavour to fulfil that aim it has seemed desirable
to enter a somewhat conjectural realm in search of the origins
of the calendars of Egypt. The conclusions here suggested
cannot be regarded as established until they can be substantiated
by far more assured evidence than is at present available. It
was, however, necessary to show that the chronological infer-
ences drawn from the Turin papyrus are at least not inconsistent
with the calendric evidence as it now stands.
The question of the sceptic remains without a direct answer:
but it pales to insignificance beside the more profound problem
of the Near East, namely, 'What was the science which enabled
the master mariners of Knossos, without the aid of a compass,
to navigate their ships to the shores of Britain and Norway,
and whence came that science ?'2
1  i.e. 1460+ (1460372).
2  The answer supplied by the historian of the Victorian era was as naive as
it was dogmatic. Apart from the elementary fact that at the epoch 3000 B.C.
there was no 'North Star' in the accepted sense of that term, the historian