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Syncellus then, after the letter, thus proceeds:" He says these things respecting the interpretation of the books of the second Hermes; he afterwards gives a narrative concerning the five Egyptian nations, called with them gods, demigods, manes, and mortals, of whom Eusebius, alluding to them in his chronological writings, thus speaks : “The Egyptians have strung together many trifling legends respecting gods and demigods, and with them manes (veXV@r), and other mortal kings. For the most ancient among them reckoned by lunar years of thirty days each, but those who came after called the horas (Spous), periods of three months, years.'”
It should be remarked that this letter to Ptolemy Philadelphus (with the work spoken of by Syncellus, Bifhos vñs Eborws) is pronounced by many * a forgery executed by some Jewish or Christian writer subsequent to the Christian era. This opinion, however, or charge of forgery, I can not think to be well sustained.
* Kenrick (Anc. Eg., vol. ii. p. 72) says the Book of Sothis " is proved to be spurious by the epithet E&suotós, which the introductory epistle gives to Ptolemy, the translation of Augustus, and never found among the titles of the Ptolemies." And the writer of the article Manetho, in Smith's Dictionary, is equally positive that the letter and Book of Sothis are forgeries; and he mentions the occurrence of the epithet Sebastos as the principal reason for regarding them as the work of a pseudo Manetho.
Though the epithet may not have been used as an official title given to, or assumed by, the Ptolemies, may it not have been applied occasionally to those sovereigns, e. g., Philadelphus? I have not yet seen satisfactory evidence that the letter above quoted and the Book of Sothis, spoken of by Syncellus, were not from the pen of the true Manetho, the great Egyptian historian.
E. Page 69.,
AS GIVEN BY AFRICANUS AND EUSEBIUS.
THE version of Africanus is reported to us by Syncellus (Chron. pp. 18, 19) under this heading: “ Africanus respecting the Mythological Chronology of the Egyptians and Chaldeans." We regard the passage, therefore, as a quotation from Africanus, though Rawlinson (Herod. vol. ii. p. 69) thinks it is from Manetho. The point, however, is not important.
“Manetho, the Sebennyte, priest of the impure sacred rites in Egypt, who lived after Berosus, in the time of Ptolemy Philadelphus, like Berosus weaving lies, wrote to this same Ptolemy respecting the six * dynasties (that is, of the seven gods who never existed), who, he says, reigned through a period of 11,985 years. The first of these, the god Hephaistos, reigned 9000 years. But these 9000 years some of our historians (regarding them as so many lunar months, and dividing the whole number of days in them by 365, the number of days in a solar year) reduce to 7271 years, thinking they have made a wonderful correction, whereas they have rather confounded truth with error in a manner that is ridiculous.”
* So in the original, though there is reason to think that the language as written was sixteen, viz., seven gods and nine demigods. The passage, as it stands, does not make sense, and is evidently corrupted
“ THE FIRST DYNASTY.
1. Hephaistos (Vulcan) reigned over the Solar Years. Lunar Years.
Egyptians, . i . . . . 7278 2. Helios, son of Hephaistos, . . 80% 3. Agathodaimon, . .
700 4. Kronos, . . . . . . 405
501 5. Osiris and Isis, .
35 6. Typhon, • . .. Sum, . .
Quarters of Years. 7. Horus, demigod, . . 8. Ares, . . . . . . . 9. Anubis, . . . . . . 10. Heracles, . 11. Apollo, . 12. Ammon, . 13. Tithoes, . . . . . . 27
108 14. Sosos, .
· 128 15. Zeus, . . . . . . . 20 Deficiency, . .
Totals, . . . 12843 11835 The year of the gods is lunar=1 month; and the year of the demigods is trimestre, and called upos, four of which make one solar year.
In this table the names with the numbering, and the duration of the reigns in solar years, are as found in Syncellus; in the second column, or that of lunar years (months), only the 9000 of the first god-king are given by Syncellus,
with the statement that they equal 7271 solar years, and that the whole duration of the reigns of the gods was 11,985 lunar years (months); that is, lunar periods of 30 days cach, according to the early Christian chronographers. But Syncellus (p. 41) gives additional statements, apparently on the authority of Panodorus, that the 11,985 month-years of the gods are equal to 969 solar years, and that the duration of the reigns of the “ two dynasties of nine demigods ” was 2144 solar years, deduced from 858 öynı or 1 ponov, i. e., tri-monthly periods, the whole amounting to 1183solar years. These critical points and computations would not deserve the prominent notice we have given them but for the fact that the result, 11833 solar years, is an important number with the early chronographers, since by adding it to another number, viz., 1058, the number of years from the creation of Adam to the commencement of the reign of the gods, according to their computation (Sync. Chron. p. 41, c.), they make out the sum of 2242 years, the length of the period from the creation to the flood, according to the Septuagint. And this result we regard as worthy of notice.
The ante-historic reigns in Egypt are given by Eusebius, in his Chronology, lib. I, chap. xx. 1. The chapter is headed, “ Ex Ægyptiacis Manethonis monumentis, qui in tres libros historianı suam tribuit. De diis, et de heroibus, de manibus et de mortalibus regibus qui in Ægypto præfuerunt usque ad regem Persarum Darium.”
“The first god of the Egyptians was Vulcan, who is celebrated as the inventor of fire. After him was Sol, then Agathodæmon, then Saturn, then Osiris, then Typhon, brother of Osiris, and
- lastly Horus, son of Osiris and Isis; these first ruled over the Egyptians. Afterwards, the royal authority continued in regular succession to Bytis, through a period of 13.900 years. But I un. derstand the year to be lunar, consisting of thirty days; for what we call a month the Egyptians formerly indicated by the name of year.
Years After the gods, heroes reigned, .
1255 Then other kings, . . .
. 1817 Then other 30 Memphite kings, ..
1790 Then other 10 Thinite kings, . . . . 350 Then followed the rule of manes and heroes, . . 5813 The whole sum amounts to 11,000, (really) 11,025 years, which are lunar, that is, monthly. But, in truth, the rule of gods, heroes, and manes, which the Egyptians narrate, is supposed to be a period of 24,900 lunar years, which make only 2206 solar years."
Eusebius then, after some remarks to the import that Mizraim of the Holy Scriptures was the founder of the Egyptian race, and that the foregoing chronology can be made to harmonize essentially with that of the Hebrew Scriptures by regarding the year as equal to a lunai month,* proceeds to give, in detail, the thirty dynasties.
* ... plane æquum est, ut hi anni in menses convertantui quot ab Hebræis memorati anni; nempe ut qui menses continentur in memoratis apud Hebræos annis, ii totidem intelligantur Ægyptiorum lunares anni, pro ea temporum summa quæ a primo condito homine ad Mezraim usque colligitur. Etenim Mezraimus Ægyptiaci auctor fuit ab eaque prima Ægyptiorum dynastia credenda est. Quod si temporum copia adhuc exuberet, reputandum sedulo est plures fortasse Ægyptiorum reges una eademque ætate exstitisse: namque Thinitas regnavisse aiunt et Memphitas et Saitas et Æthiopes eodemque tempore alios. Videntur præterea alii quoque alibi imperium tenuisse, ctc. . . Lat. transl. of the Armenian, etc., B. I ch. xx. 3.