« PreviousContinue »
Epiphanes killed by poison.
And his son
Syria, plunders Jerusalem
and the Temple. His army cruelly destroys the
city, sets up the image of Jupiter in the Temple, and persecutes the Jews. Whereupon Mattathias a priest, and his sons the Maccabees take
Observations, and finds the
tember 27. (km)
(km) Philometor, wounded in battle,
dies. And his son is killed by
Philometor's brother, viz. Called Physcon, who reigned Sept. 28, Hipparchus begins his
period of 304 years. (k x) Euergetes dies. And his son
called Lathurus, reigns 36 years. (a) Cicero born, and lives 64 years.
(k m) Pompey the Great born, and
lives 58 years. (k m)
years. (k m)
69 years. (my)
Pompey puts an end to the
reign of the Seleucidæ kings
From him succeeds a race of princes ruling in Judea, till the Roman Senate gave the kingdom from king Antigonus to Herod, an Idumæan. a The former part of his reign his mother governed.
b Cicero and Suetonius say, that Soter's only legitimate offspring Bernice immediately succeeded him and married her cousin Alexander, who quickly killing her, reigned 15 years ; and then the Egyptians expelling him, raised Auletes to the throne ; but Appian says that Alexander reigned but 19 days after he killed his queen ; and then the Egyptians killing, him, Auletes succeeded; (m) and the Canon follows Appian.
of Syria, and makes the king
dom a Roman province. Octavius born, and lives 76
years. (k m) (e)
Jerusalem. (k m)
Cæsar form the first Trium
virate. Livy born, and lives 76 years.
(k h i) Aug 26, Julius Cæsar first
lands in Britain. (k i ha) This spring, he lands the second
time in Britain. (k i ha) Crassus plunders the Temple of
his daughter Reigns 22 years. Cæsar passes the Rubicon and
begins the civil war. (m) Pompey beats Cæsar at Dyrra
chium; but is beat by Cæsar
Egypt. (c h m)
at Utica. (k m) Cæsar, as high priest, reforms
the Roman Calendar (km) (c) January 1, being now placed at
the Winter Solstice, (f) the first Julian year begins (k m)
March 15, Cæsar killed in the
Senate. (k m) c He was Julius Cæsar's sister's grandson by her daughter Attia. h Helvicus į Isaacson. ha Dr. Halley in Philosoph. Transac.
d He had two legitimate sons; but by Julius Cæsar's favor Cleopatra is preferred before them.
e In order to which, by the direction of Sosigenes he makes this year to consist of 445 days, (Lvdiat, Petavius, Usher, Strauchius, Prideaux, &c.)
f Danet says, at the new moon, eight days after; and Carey says, on the day the sun entered 8th of Capricorn, which by the ancients was held to be the point of the Winter Solstice; and at seven in the afternoon that day, there happened a new moon at Rome.
g These years are called Julian from Julius Cæsar who appointed them ; they contain 365 days six hours; which six hours in four years make one day, and added in February every fourth year, makes that year to consist of 366 days, and is called a leap year; but through mistake, the Romans made every third year a leap year for the first 36 years of this era ; and then Augustus reduced them into order. (Lydiat, Calvisius, Petavius, Usher, Prideaux.)
Ovid born, and lives 59 years.
(k m) Octavius, Antony, and Lepidus,
form the second Triumvirate ; and Antony kills Cicero, aged
64. (k m) Octavius and Antony vanquish
Brutus and Cassius at Philip
pi. (k m) The Parthians conquer Syria
and Phænicia, and take Jerusalem ; and Herod flying to Rome, the Senate vote him
king of Judea. (k m) Ventidius beats the Parthians
out of Phænicia and Syria.
(k m) July 16, by the help of Sosius,
Herod takes Jerusalem and
therein king Antigonus. (k) This summer, Antony kills king
Antigonus at Antioch. (1) Octavius deposes Lepidus from
the Triumvirate. (k m) September 3, (*) the marine
victory of Octavius over Antony and Cleopatra at Actium.
August 1, Octavius takes Alex
andria ; at which Antony kills himself, and soon after Cleopatra ; and Egypt is made a Roman province. (ch u)
h By the continual instigation and bribery of Herod. (u p).
The Chronology of the Roman emperors, successively, from the beginning of
the reign of Augustus, to the death of Constantine the Great, the first Christian emperor, when the empire came to be divided ; being the space
of 365 years, nine inonths.
Having brought the reader through the darker scenes of the ancient ages to the beginning of the Roman emperors, we are opening now into fairer prospects, and the path of time grows clearer and more certain ; partly by the regulation of the year by Julius Cæsar, and partly by the advance of learning in the Roman empire. But though the course of time through the present period meets with little or no difficulty, yet the punctual dates of those great events, the decease of Herod, and the birth, ministry and death of John the Baptist, and our blessed Savior, have perplexed the minds of the most learned men, as much as any other points of history. For the New English reader's fuller view of these famous problems, I must refer to Scaliger, Calvisius, Petavius, Strauchius, Gregory, Lightfoot, Swan, Wbiston, Wbitby, Prideaux, Marshal, and Lardner, whose performances are found among us; but above all, to the critical examination of Paterculus, Josephus, Tacitus, Suetonius, and Dio, compared with the writers of the New Testament; without consulting whose originals, I find there can be no safety or exactness in our reasonings from them.
However, to oblige my readers, that cannot come at these authentic records, I may briefly observe, as to the death of Herod, that though Archbishop Usher and Mr. Whiston place it in November, yet Josephus plainly representing that he died a little before the passover, and the Jewish writer from whom they take that end of Herod's life, being a modern author, and of little credit, as Dr. Whitby observes from Dr. Allix, the learned therefore seem to be giving up this article, and the great inquiry is, whether Herod died in the spring of the year of Rome 750, 751, or 752 ; that is, according to Varro's computation, which Petavius, Cary, and Perizonius, follow in their Chronological tables ; though the very same years are called 749, 750, 751, according to Cato ; followed by Helvrus, Isaacson, Swan, and Tallents. Now because Josephus mentions an eclipse of the moon at Jericho, in the time of Herod's final illness, astronomers, searching for this celestial character, Kepler and Petavius have found it on March 13th, in the year of Rome 750 ; that is, according to Varro and Dio's account, which we here use, (a) and therefore place the decease of Herod between this phenomenon, and April 11th, the day of the following passover. And though Herod had not arrived to the 37th entire year from the time he was declared king by the Roman Senate, yet if Josephus begins his Jewish years with the first of Nisan, as Ptolemy, bis Egyptian with the first of Thoth; then on the first of Nisan, in 750, Herod entered his 37th year, and there is no difficulty.
For (1) Josephus tells us, that Herod was declared king by the Romans in the 184th Olympiad, Calvinus and Pollio being consuls ; Dio says, that these were consuls in the year of Rome 714; and the learned all agree that this Olympiad ended in the summer of this very year.
But by comparing these two authors, it seems to me that Herod did not sail to Rome till the winter coming on at the end of 714 ; and though Calvinus and Pollio began their consulships in the 184th Olympiad, yet the 185th began in the summer before Herod's voyage ; which Josephus expressly tells us after Pentecost and (xel povos ovtos,) in the winter season. (2) Josephus also says, that Herod reigned thirty-seven years; that bis son Philip succeeded him in part of his dominions, ruled also thirty-seven years, and died in the twentieth year of the empire of Tiberius; and all Chronologers agree that the twentieth year of Tiberius began on August 19th, in the year of Rome 786. By this, it is plain, Josephus means, not entire years, with respect to either son or father, but the thirty-seventh year current only. (3) Josephus also writes in his book of the war, that Archelaus succeeded Herod in another part of his kingdom, namely, Judea ; and being accused in the ninth year of his government, he was banished to Vienna. But in his book of antiquities written after the other, and we may suppose more correctly, he says, that Archelaus was accused and banished in the tenth year of his government; and in his own life be repeats the same, asserting that his father's birth was in the said tenth year of Arche
a See the calculation of this eclipse at the end of Mr. Whiston's astronomical lectures ; though his calculation is for the meridian of Jerusalem, which makes it something earlier in the morning than it appeared at Jericho.