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    ECLIPSES

    In considering the elements of Chronology the importance of eclipses should not be overlooked. Says Dr. Hales:-ASC 38.1

    “Eclipses are justly reckoned among the surest and most unerring characters of Chronology; for they can be calculated with great exactness, backwards as well as forwards; and there is such a variety of distinct circumstances of the time when, and the place where, they were seen-of the duration, or beginning, middle, or end, of every eclipse, and of the quantity, or number of digits eclipsed-that there is no danger of confounding any two eclipses together, where the circumstances attending each are noticed with any tolerable degree of precision.”-An. Chro., vol. i., p. 180.ASC 38.2

    The precise date of the battle of Arbela, is settled by an eclipse of the moon, Sept. 20th, b. c. 331, which Plutarch describes as occurring eleven days previously. The battle of Actium, the year of the destruction of Jerusalem, the battle of Pharsalia, and many other very important chronological dates, are thus definitely settled.ASC 38.3

    Dr. Hales gives the following eclipses, which, happening in connection with historical events, are found by astronomical calculation to have occurred in the years assigned:-ASC 39.1

    b. c.
    753. S. April 21. Old calculation; the day of the foundation of Rome.-Plutarch.
    721. M. March 19. Aft. 10, 34; total; first year of Mardok Empad, king of Babylon.-Ptolemy.
    720. M. March 8. Aft. 11, 56; dig. 3[Original illegible]; second of Mardok Empad.-Ptolemy.
    715. S. May 26. Aft. 5, 12; dig. 9 1-5; death of Romulus.-Livy.
    621. M. April 21. Morn. 6, 22; dig. 2.5; fifth of Nabopolassar.-Ptolemy.
    603. S. May 18. Morn. 9, 30; total; eclipse of Thales, according to Costard, Montucla, Kennedy, and Hales.
    547. S. Oct. 22. Aft. 0, 35; total; when Cyrus took Larissa in Media.-Xenophon. Anab.
    523. M. July 17. Morn. 0, 12; dig. 7.5; seventh of Cambyses.-Ptolemy.
    502. M. Nov. 19. Morn. 8, 21; dig. 2; twentieth of Darius Hystaspes.
    491. M. April 25. Morn. 0, 12; dig. 1; thirty-first of Darius Hystaspes.
    481. S. April 19. Aft. 2, 27; dig. 7; when Xerxes left Susa to invade Greece.-Herodotus.
    480. S. Oct. 2. Aft. 2; dig. 8; soon after the battle of Salamis.-Herodotus.
    478. S. Feb. 13. Aft. 2; dig. 11.5; year after the Persian war.
    463. S. April 30. Aft. 3; dig. 11; Egyptians revolt from the Persians.
    431. S. Aug. 3. Aft. 5, 53; total; first year of the Peloponnesian war.-Thucydides.
    424. S. March 22. Morn. 6, 34; dig. 9; eighth year of the war.-Thucydides.
    415. M. Aug. 27. Aft. 10, 15; total; nineteenth year of the war; defeat of Nicias and the Athenians at Syracuse.-Thucydides.
    406. M. April 15. Aft. 8, 50; total; twenty-sixth year of the war.
    404. S. Sept. 2. Morn. 9, 16; last year of the war.-Xenophon.
    394. S. Aug. 14. Morn. 9, 17; dig. 11; Conon defeats the Lacedæmonians in a sea-fight at Cnidus.-Xenophon.
    331. M. Sept. 20. Aft. 6, 35; total; eleven days before the battle of Arbela.-Plutarch.
    200. M. March 19. Morn. 2, 48; total. Ptolemy.
    Sept. 11. Morn. 2, 15; total.
    First year of the Macedonian war.
    190. S. March 14. Morn. 0; dig. 11; first year of the Syrian war.
    188. S. July 17. Morn. 8, 38; dig. 10; three days supplication decreed at Rome.-Livy, 34, 36.
    168. M. June 21. Aft. 8, 2; total; night before the battle of Pydna, and end of the Macedonian war.-Livy.
    63. M. Oct. 27. Aft. 6, 22; total; Jerusalem taken by Pompey this year.
    48. M. Jan. 18. Aft. 10; total; battle of Pharsalia; death of Pompey this year.
    45. M. Nov. 7. Morn. 2; total; first Julian year.
    31. S. Aug. 20. Sunset; great eclipse; battle of Actium, Sept. 3.
    4. M. March 13. Morn. 2, 45; dig. 6; before Herod the Greats death.-Josephus.
    a. d.
    14. M. Sept. 27. Morn. 5; total; mutiny of the Pannonian legions, quelled thereby, after the death of Augustus.-Tacitus, Annal. 1.
    29. S. Nov. 24. Morn. 9, 30; total; death of John Baptist this year.
    31. M. April 25. Aft. 9; dig. 4; month after the crucifixion.
    33. S. Sept. 12. Morn. 10, 30; annular.
    45. S. Aug. 1. Morn, 10; dig. 5; birth-day of the Emperor Claudius.
    49. M. Dec. 31. Aft. 9, 30; total.
    59. S. April 30. Aft. 1; central; Nero murdered his mother, Agrippina, this year.
    09. M. Oct. 18. Aft. 10; dig. 11; night of the battle of Cremona, between the armies of Vespasian and Vitellius.-Dio. lib. 65; Tacit. Hist. 3, 23. The year before the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus, a. d. 70, hereby ascertained.-An. Chron. vol. i., pp. 181-183.

    Says Ferguson: “In Chronology, both solar and lunar eclipses serve to determine exactly the time of any past event; for there are so many particulars observable in every eclipse, with respect to its quantity, the places where it is visible, (if of the sun,) and the time of the day or night, that it is impossible there can be two solar eclipses in the course of many ages which are alike in all circumstances.”-Astron. Ex., p. 285.ASC 41.1

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