Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Second Edition

The aftermath of the tsunami has shown the good and evil sides of humanity. Billions of dollars worth of aid has been pledged to help the victims, and child slavers have been busy taking advantage of the many children left orphaned - with no parents to report them missing they are easy bait. It is perhaps also notable that when a disaster strikes here in the USA, the victims are offered low interest LOANS, not outright gifts or grants generally. Why is this?

I've been working on a couple of articles and in the research I found some interesting info on chronology. For example, using Eusebius (and Diodorus) as a guide, it is possible to actually get a precise date (year) of the fall of Troy, (1184 BC) from this you can get the outbreak of the Trojan war, (1194 BC) the return of the Heracleidae (1104 BC) we have the approximate time of Homer being alive (same time, sources say he lived 80 years after the end of the Trojan war) and we learn that the original Hercules (Herakles, Melqart) lived one generation before the Trojan war (a generation is usually rated as about 33 years) and that Theseus was a contemporary of him. Further on you can arrive at the years that Samson ruled the Hebrews as Shophet, (1207 BC) and the year that Moses led the Hebrews out of Egypt in the exodus (1647 BC). I have not tried to work out the dates of king Solomon yet, but how do these figures compare with the estimates you find in history books? Well no history book I have seen will actually assign a date to the Trojan war, though I have seen numbers of 700-900 BC and 1200 BC. The guess of 1200 BC is pretty close to the figure you get by calculating the numbers in Eusebius and Diodorus. Then there is the question of the date of the Exodus. There is a natural disaster thought by some theorists to be the cause of the ten plagues of Egypt and resulting exodus of Hebrews - the eruption of Thera volcano.

A side note is in order here - the eruption of Thera triggered a massive tsunami that destroyed the Minoan civilization of Crete. By coincidence, there is an ancient Greek myth of the "flood of Ogyges" which is frequently cited by theorists as one and the same event with the flood of Noah. However, Ogyges and his family survived his flood by climbing to the top of Mount Ide - which is apparently a mountain on Crete! I suspect that the "flood of Ogyges" is a memory of the tsunami that occurred with the eruption of Thera.

The best guess based on the pottery styles puts this volcanic event in the 15th century BC (1400s) but a more accurate dating, based on dendochronology and radiocarbon dating dates the event to 1628-27 BC. This is only 20 years difference from the chronology you get using the figures of Eusebius and the other ancient writers! A possible answer to this gap may be in the figures given for the Hebrew rulers between Joshua and Samuel - Eusebius assigns 40 years to the combined rule of Debborah and Barak. This may come from some source which said 20 years and named both names, however there may have been only one of them as a ruler not both. This would put Moses and the Exodus exactly at the same time as the eruption of Thera! We might question the accuracy of dating by pottery, which is inexact at best. Then there is the question of which pharaoh was the one who faced Moses. The Egyptologists often point to Rameses II (the Great) whose 67 year rule and many sons are seen as the most likely candidate, however his reign is dated to 1279-1212 BC so it cannot be him. Ancient sources say the pharaoh was Amosis - (Ahmose) who is credited with expelling the Hyksos invaders, however his reign is dated by Egyptologists as 1570-1546. Could the Egyptologists be off by nearly 70 years? The last two rulers of the 17th dynasty, Seqenre Tao and his son Kamose had campaigned against the Hyksos (a people who appear to be directly related to the Hebrews) and Kamose is pretty close to Ahmose.

That is it for this edition, unless more RNF occur later tonight.

"By all means marry; if you get a good wife, you will be happy; if you get a bad one you will become a philosopher." --Socrates


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