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B. L. VANDER WaERDEN 1. Introduction Yearas a periodat theend of Plato defines (Timaios39C-D) thePerfect started to thepointfrom which return starsand planets thefixed which they Greatest and saysthat Aristotle * callsthesameperiod revolutions. their Year, a takesplace,in thesummer of thisyeara flood(kataklysmos) in thewinter thiscosmicperiodis In laterGreekand Latintexts (ekpyrosis). conflagration
called the Great Year. In a series of papers2'3'4'5'6 and in a joint paper with E.S.KENNEDY7 I the historyof the doctrineof the "Great Year", and the have investigated applicationof thisdoctrinein Persianand Hindu Astronomy. My papers on this subject have been vigorously criticized by and many are distorted In his papers,manyof myarguments D. PlNGREE8'9'10. are not of some are leftout altogether. Moreover, easily accessible, my papers I have found new connectionsbetween Hellenisticand Persian and recently For thesereasons,it seems desirableto presenta new expositionof astronomy. will be explained anew, and PlNGREE's the whole subject. All my arguments be refuted. will criticism 1 Censorinus: De die natali, 18. Chapter 2 B.L. van der Waerden: Das GrosseJahrund die EwigeWiederkehr. Hermes 80 (1952)p. 129-155. 3 Β.L. van der Waerden: Das GrosseJahr des Orpheus. Hermes81(1953)p. 481484. 4 B.L. van der Waerden: in der undPlanetenperioden Gleichungen Diophantische 100(1955)p. 153-170. indischen Astronomie. naturf. Ges. Zürich Vierteljahrsschrift 5 B.L. van der Waerden: Methode der Perser und indische Ausgleichspunkt, Hist.ExactSei. 1 (1961)p. 107-121. Archive Planetenrechnung. 6 B.L. van der Waerden: Das heliozentrische in der griechischen, System per55 (1970) naturf. Ges. Zürich Astronomie. sischen undindischen Neujahrsblatt 7 E. S.Kennedy & B.L. van der Waerden: The WorldJ. Year of the Persians. Amer. Oriental Soc. 83 (1963)p. 315-327. 8 D. Pingree: and Astrology in IndiaandIran.Isis54 (1963)p. 229-245. Astronomy 9 D. Pingree: The Persian oftheSolarApogee in Ca. A.D. 450.J.of "Observation" 24 (1965)p. 334-336. NearEastern Studies 10D. Pingree: Review 20 (1976)p.258-260. of6. Centaurus
Β. L. VANDER WAERDEN
in favourof the some arguments In my expository paper6,I have presented was inhypothesisthat the astronomyof the Persians and of ÂRYABHATA fluenced by the heliocentric systemof Aristarchos of Samos. In the present to it on anotheroccasion. paper I shall leave thissubjectaside. I hope to return
in Greek Sources 2. The "Great Year" and theDoctrineof EternalReturn From a fragment of Eudemos quoted by SlMPLiKiOS11we know that the Pythagoreans believed in the eternal returnof all things "according to If one believesthe Pythagoreans, says Eudemos, I too shall stand numbers". here again in future, holdingthislittlestickin my hand and tellingyou myths, now. and you will sit herebeforeme just as you are sitting Accordingto Nemesios12 and other sources,the Stoic philosophersheld caused There will be a conflagration the same opinion as the PYTHAGOREANS. and and afterwards the world will be recreated by the planets,so theytaught, and an will be as before:therewill be a PLATO and a SOCRATES, everything of all motionsin the skyand on earth. exact repetition followedby a new creationand an exact The same doctrineof annihilation of everything in the worldcan be foundin Hindu sources,notablyin repetition the Mahâbhârata and the Laws of Manu13, as we shall see presently. The idea of a Great Year with Flood and Ekpyrosis seems to be of Babylonianorigin.Berossos, a priestof the Babyloniangod BEL, who came to on theislandKos, tells a school ofastrology Greece about 300 B.C. and founded in Cancer, willtake place whenall planetscome together us thata conflagration in Capricorn14.In anotherfragment15, and a deluge when theycome together of 120 saroi as thesum of theregnalyearsofmythical Berossos givesthefigure 1 the before Flood, sar being 3600 years. Hence, a certainpart of the kings of BEROSSOS, Great Year was, accordingto the chronology 120x3600 = 432000 years. forthe durationof the Great Year are given in later Greek Several figures I shall mentiononlythosethatare composed of factors texts. Of thesefigures 2, 3 and 5. According to Censorinus (De die natali, Ch. 18) the following GreatestYears wereproposed: Heraclitus and Linus Orpheus Cass ANDRUS 10800 years, 120000 years, 3 600000 years.
11Simplikios: to Aristotle's Physics, p.732(ed. Diels). Commentary 12Nemesios:Anthropology 38,p.309(ed. Matthaei). 13G. Bühler: The Law ofManu.SacredBooksoftheEast 25 (Oxford, Clarendon Press1886). 14Seneca: Quaest.nat.Ill 29. 15P. Schnabel: Berossos (Leipzig1923)p. 261-263.
See also the article Dodekaeteris 120-127. immutable. eternal. Periodsa) and c) wereboth ascribedto Orpheus. and ascribed to also called Dodekaeteris of Zeus (i. p.(Aetios II 32.p. The nextlargerunitis the of 360 ordinary vears. Periods a) and b) are connectedwiththe 12 zodiacal signs.e. each governed b) a Persianperiod of 12000 years. monthsand years. see 2. of 12 millennia. known. c) the Great Year of Orpheus of 120000 years3.starting with nimeshas(twinklings of the eye) and then passing to days. because its connectionswith Babylonian.e. The Great Year of Berossos was composed of the factors120 and 3600. 17E. Justso. I shall leave aside the Great Year of Heraclitus and Linus. of the planet Jupiter) Orpheus or to Zoroaster16.existed already in the second centuryA. 134). a) the "Chaldaean Dodekaeteris" of 12 years.A yearis called "a day and nightof the gods". especially Chapter . More important fromthe factor12 multiplied There are threeperiods formed by powers of viz: 10. by F. p.Bidez& F. p. 138-187.consisting 1 a zodiacal by sign 7. In the commencement existsthe Brahmanwithout or end. i. Ithaca26 VIII-2IX 1962(Hermann. The IndianYuga System The Laws of Manu and the Mahâbhârata both contain a passage on a commonsource Yugas. lxxxiii).S. Aetios tells us: "According to Herakleitosthe Great Year contains18000 years. BÜHLERhas translated the two passages and printedthemin parallel columns The Mahâbhârata passage beginsthus: (13.The GreatYear 361 On the otherhand. The Great Years of Orpheus the same factors: and Cassandrus may be obtainedfrom 120x1000= 120000 3600x1000 = 3600000 3. thisprobablymeans that they were mentioned in the "Books of Orpheus". consisting Our passage describes thedurationof a "nightand day of Brahman"and the foursuccessiveYugas or WorldAges as follows: 16J. decay. forus is the "Great Year of Orpheus". (Paris1938. p.Cumont: Les Les belleslettres). Next the authorproceedsto an explanationof the divisionsof time.Boll in PaulyWissowa's Realencyclopaedie. Paris).Kennedy: Ramifications of theWorldYear Concept in IslamicAstrology.The twopassages clearlycome from which. I. "year of the gods". byreasoning. the Great Year of Diogenes was composed of the factors360 and 18000.and the Persianperiod b) of 12 and 1000.cosmicperiods.mentionedby CENSORINUS. mageshellénisés and II.D.according to BÜHLER13. unborn.Persian or Indian cosmic periods are not clear. IV. beginning free from unfathomable notto be fully luminous. 23^5.but accordingto Diogenes the Stoic 360 such years as thatof Herakleitos".
thethousands and following. their In the(other) three twilights ages. i. Since the saros contains10 neroi.But now are of BEROSSOS the The unitsin system chronological saros= 3 600 years. VANDER WAERDEN of four thousand yearsof thegods.the Dvâparayuga 200 + 2000 + 200 = 2400 and the Kaliyuga 100+1000+100=1200 yearsof the gods.with preceding one and hundreds arediminished (in each). Now thesum 432000 is obtained special signsforthenumbers as 120 saroi= 432000 years. Kaliyuga is a well-defined of numericalvalues mighthave been One mightargue that this agreement 432000 are obtainedin both cases! the numbers look how accidental. 360 and 3600. that in the Great Year of Berossos the sum of The readerwill remember the regnal years of the kings beforethe Flood. This systemof countingis typically Babylonian: The Sumeriansalready had 60. . following twilight preceding samenumber. the Theydeclarethatthe Kritaage consists it ofthe of as many and thetwilight it consists hundreds. neros= 360 years.and the durationof the Kaliyuga is calculatedas 1200 yearsof the Gods = 432000 years.the Hindu "Year of the Gods" is just the Babylonianneros of 360 years.one can also writethisequation as 1200 neroi= 432000 years. On the otherhand.and the period was a well-defined part of the Indian Mahâyuga. 1200x360 = 432000 years. This means thatthe Kritayuagais a period of 400 + 4000 + 400 = 4800 yearsof the gods. the Tretâyugahas 300+ 3000 + 300= 3600 yearsof the gods. by Thus. This part of the "Great Year" of BEROSSOS.362 Β. was also 432000 vears.e. L. sossos= 60 years.
Brahman. p. and all others Thus ignored. 91 and II. (ages)their Next the sum total of the fourages is calculatedas 12000 yearsof the gods. The Mahâbhârata passage adds: When Brahman at theendofthis he modifies himself and awakes imperishable night. (theprevalence successively gains. All in all.This periodis called one age of thegods. theelement creates that themind which is discrete.In laterastronomical texts the same period is called Caturyuga( = fourfoldYuga) or Mahâyuga ( = Great Yuga). we have founda whole networkof interrelations betweenBabylonian. 18See Bidez-Cumont16. 142-143. appointed aloneithas spontaneously in eachsuccessive creation. sin. i.truth (afterwards) clung spontaneously This is just the same doctrineof endless repetition as Eudemos ascribes to the Pythagoreans.Greek and Hindu doctrines. disease. I. from themerit falsehood and fraud is diminished (in each). Note on Pingree'sCriticism In his review10 of mypaper6.by reasonof(unjust) gainaccrueto menby unrighteousness. and (so is) Truth. The Manu passage ends thus: that To whatever course ofactiontheLordat first each(kindofbeings).PlNGREEwrites: Another oftheauthor's flaws is his failure to look at hissources critically: anytext thatcan be interpreted to fithis hypotheses is accepted. Whatever he assigned to adopted eachat the(first) noxiousness or harmlessness. (called)theGreatOne (and)from The idea of a repeated creation of the world by the Supreme God also underlies a Hymnof the Magi summarized by Dion CHRYSOSTOMOS18. ofone foot. p. accomplish life is lessened theTretaand thesucceeding byone quarter. virtue or creation. years (age). and through Dharma is deprived of)theft. I shall quote the versionof Manu: nordoes any and entire.The GreatYear 363 This is a strongargumentin favourof a Babylonian originof the Indian calculation. In theKritaage Dharmais four-footed In theother (three ages). gentleness or falsehood. or ferocity.(Men are)free byone-fourth in four hundred in the Krita but all their and live aims.4320000 years. and Nemesios to the Stoics. Manu proceeds: But knowthatthe sum of one thousand ages of the gods (makes)one day of and that hisnight has thesamelength. that to it.e. This "day of Brahman"is called in latertextskalpa: 1 kalpa=1000 Mahâyugas= 4320000000 years. of the fourages in the Indian textis verysimilarto that of The description Hesiodos. .
0. originated itwasthere that andthat thearkin Kufa. The astrologers beginning ofBabel. PlNGREEwrites: himself The last yuga. interpretation of PlNGREEis wrongin severalrespects: This statement 1) Seneca was not my only source. 19Albîrûnî:Chromology.E. Accordingto triedto date the Deluge by this method. 2) In my expository paper6. 27-29. severalastrologers writes: BÎRÛNÎ19 "Chronology". It number: it would be written is the 2. era is theera ofthegreat following Deluge. p. and thefollowing Alexandři. the Deluge and the Era the periodbetween we shall have to mention.inthefirst instance.for from derive their Thoraforthesameperiod whilst theChristians period1.there everything perished as to thecorrectness ofthe and sucha confusion. their country. .364 Β. Babylonian sexagesimally span of time of Berossos before the Flood in the histories and givento the Babylonian kingdom It seems thatit should havebecome a significant in Indiaat a number Abydenos. I have all pointingtowards a Babylonian originof the presentedseveral arguments.as Berossos says.The next in which Era oftheDeluge. thatyouhaveno chanceofdeciding andyoudo noteven feel truth. then it must be possible to date the Deluge by means of astronomicalcalculationsof conjunctionsof planets in the past. of Aljûdî. VANDER WAERDEN citation ofBerossus Seneca's is taken to represent a truly source Babylonian (pp.written to a few testimonies but in myself supporting my hypotheses. whichis not veryfarfrom mountain andtried studied Thisdatethey 229years 108daysbefore theDeluge. likely time when other felt . thattheark rested its waters" "the wellpouredforth upon the (Sûra xi. One of these argumentswas used by PlNGREE on page 238 of his paper8. or 432. Now thisconjunction thoseregions.000 This is a years. . .792years. regarding thislatter theThora.0. conjunction in theDelugehaving haveconstructed astronomical andtheChaldaens tables. is sucha difference ofopinions. It would be nice if he hypotheses would thinkit over and withdraw his unjustaccusation. at thetime ofNoah. influences were Babylonian being I had to restrict fora "Neujahrsblatt". For theJews derive from books.. occurred carefully... theinhabitants for which thesagesamong ofSaturn and Jupiter. So PlNGREE'sassertionthat I selectedtextsfavourableto my withthe exclusionof othersis not justified. and theDeluge. 4. is 1/10mahâyuga.On page 141-143 of my paper2.xxiii.Here. translated byC. my more fundamentalpapers2'3'4'5 and in thejoint papers7'22I have always quoted all texts available to me.In his Al-Bîrûnî. already. doctrineof the Great Year. regarding thatdifference. Al-Bîrûnî and Abu Ma'shar If. thoroughly theperiod between theEra Adami reason thedifference is.then.27).the Deluge took place whenall planetscame together in Capricorn. 2. which which we havementioned and secondly. of the from the first have triedto correct theseyears.938 years. the kaliyuga.21-22) noneofour hundreds ofthousands ofextant cuneiform texts would van though justify derWaerden's ofit.Sachau (London1879). L.42. The inclined to investigate itshistorical matter. that Noah built For peoplesay. too.0.
between thattimeand the epochof the Era Alexandři.Kennedy: The SassanianAstronomical HandbookZîj-i Shâh. bytheobservations What does BÎRÛNÎmean by "the Persians"? I claim thathis "Persians" are the authors of the "Tables of the Shah".Kennedy: A of IslamicAstronomical Tables. and whenhe had arrived thatthe duration of thoseperiods. 15 degrees. p. 20E.The GreatYear 365 to correct thesubsequent theDeluge So they found between times. Thisman. was 360. 129-130. Survey Soc. 147). Philos.This computation intercalated comesnearto thatof the years7 months 249years and 3 months lessthan theestimate oftheastronomers.. 1-28. one obtains the so-called excess of revolution of the fixedstarsin a solar year: 93. one. placesfor .32. being when he thought thathe had wellestablished thecomputation ofthissumaccording to themethod.p.30 days accordingto "the Persians".Trans. 15 to the "Tables of the Shâh" (see again20.604 years. thefirst andhe tried to compute their that time.000 beginning precede Delugeby years. On the other the Escoriai hand. p. which astronomers call "star-cycles". a result theinterval between Nebukadnezar and Alexander 436years. inconsiderate thattheDelugehad occurred oncein every and conclusion. 15.p. 180.If one leaves out of account the 365 days and multipliesthe fractionalpart by 360. which he has explained. Oriental Soc. Amer. Centaurus 13 (1968)p. (Nabonassar). Christians.p..This claim is supportedby severaltestimonies: 1) BÎRÛNÎsays in his Chronology (19.S.L. J.Now he supposed that regarding of of theDelugehad taken at the the in the last stars and conjunction place part Pisces. Thenhe found.Further. themotions as they had beenfixed ofthePersians . 21E.ifwe identify the "Tables of the Shâh".which This was the era which'Abû-Ma'shar Albalkhî wanted.000 the years. of of which was to the time the he drew the 180. 147).all of them . van der Waerden: Das astronomische der System Persischen Tafeln I. there of 2. the statements of the threeauthors are in perfect accordance. 46. 121) thatthe solar yearhas 365. . whois so proud ofhisingenuity. Now. partofAries. which comes pretty from nearto that is derived theThoraoftheChristians.790 is an interval and 26 days. manuscriptof the Mumtahan ZÎJ ascribes the value 93. This same value is also attributed to "the Persians" by Al-Hâshimî (see20.J. 78. as theinterval bythat andthebeginning ofthereign andas ofthefirst Nebukadnezar 2. at theresult. the"Persians" of BÎRÛNÎand HÂSHIMÎwiththe authorsof Hence.Burckhardt& B.S. which were composed in Sassanid Persia underKhosro Anûshîrvan about 560 and revisedunderYazdigerd III about 640 (see20'21'22). 22J.000 years. upon whichto base his statements themeanplacesofthestarsin his Canon. degreeof Aries. 30. had computed these starcycles onlyfrom ofthestars. No. 246-262. that itwouldagainoccurin future at similar intervals.stoodin conjunction thatthey in thespace between thetwenty-seventh of and the end of the first he supposed that degree Pisces.Amer.
p.Obviously. The meaningof "the Babylonians"will be discussedin a latersection. 2 (1962). L. of translated University by E. of H.section Oriental Series Beirut 24O.BÎRÛNÎ gives a list of numbers of revolutionof the planets in 360000 years according to "the thousands" of 23Al-Bîrûnî: On Transits. Venus Mercury Saturn Jupiter Mars 4° 11°12' 2°13' 5°6' 8°37' in thesame of"the Persians"and next. No.S.366 Β. is clear. American 24: 7-11. . byR. Tablesof al-Khwârizmî. is referring BÎRÛNÎsays (30:10) about theequationsofthefive 3) In thesame treatise23.the statement context. sameSkrifter. in the Elements Section Luzac 1934). In the paper of BuRCKHARDT& van der Waerden22 it was shownthat the "Method of the Persians"was actuallyused in the "Tables of the Shah".and The Hindusand Persians opinion.In the first BÎRÛNÎ "Tables oftheShah" and in thesecondhalfof"the Persians". 113-114. In thatIbn al Qifti also uses the expression to the tables of Al-Khwarizmi (see 24) Ibn al Qifti states his commentary thatin thesetablestheequationsof theplanetswerecalculatedaccordingto the "Method of the Persians". transi. This agreement withthe statement impliesthat Abu Ma'shar and Al-Bîrûnî use the expression"the Persians" in the same sense.-filos. planets: have a common so thezîjes of theShah. about the source of Abu Mashar's We now see thatin BÎRÛNÎ'sstatement cycle of 360000 years the expression"cycles whichhave been based upon the in as "cycles mentioned be interpreted of the Persians"may safely observations the Tables of the Shah".Suter in the DanskeVid.-Selsk. "the Persians" are regarded as the authors of that Zîj. except only nothing they have for not one minute. 33. 134).Kennedy.Wright(London. claimed thatthe In the nextsectionwe shall see that Abu Ma'shar himself of 360000 years is due to "the Persians and some of the Babyworld-year his claim is in fullagreement lonians". In his "Elements of Astrology"25. commentary 4. 25Al-Bîrûnî: The Book of Instruction of the Artof Astrology.For an explanationof thismethodsee 5 or 22 or 24. R. 32. no. As far as the Persians are concerned. the difference of which does exceed They thing. Once more. especially p. . VANDER WAERDEN thatthe maximalequations of on Transits23 2) Bîrûnî statesin his treatise the sun and the moon accordingto the "Tables of the Shah" agree exactlywith the Hindu values 2°14' and 4°56' "because these values had passed fromthe halfof thissentenceBÎRÛNÎspeaks of the Hindus to the Persians". 204.p. to the same set of tables in both partsof his sentence. is the authorof a zîj called "SindhindZîj".Neugebauer: The Astronomical Skrifter Hist.The third author mentioned by Bîrûnî.Next we shall show 4) So forBÎRUNÎand Al-HÂSHIMÎthesituation "the Persians" in the same sense. one on which differ and Ya'qûb ibnTâriqcontain AbuMa'shar. In thisstatement. whichis based on Hindu astronomy (see 20.See also theearlier 7th series 3 (1914). BÎRÛNÎspeaks first makes sense only if of the Zîj of the Shah. namelyYa'qûb ibn Târiq. of Al-Bîrûnî.
who said quite clearlythat Abu Ma'shar's "Great Year" and his numbersof revolution were derived from Persian sources. ArabianIdrîsreceived from God at Akhmîm This knowledge (Panopolis)in Egypt. He states that Abu Ma'shar has recorded these numbers "fromPersian sources". 1000).The GreatYear 367 Abu Ma'shar26. imperfect who. was the first to revive scienceafter the Flood. ThreeWorldYears Compared In an excerptfromAbu Ma'shar's "Book of the Thousands". These timelimitsare invented Pingree. 5. thelead ofa number following ofearly ofIranian and Miskawayh). Warburg 1968). included the astronomical of the Persians". p. by My own opinion about the time of inventionof Abu Ma'shar's systemwill be explained in section11 of the present paper. written by Al-Suzi (about A. thatby"the Persians" AbuMa'sharintended to refer to theSasanians rather thinking thanto Hûsankand Tahmûrath oflegendary fame. In AbuMa'shar's theBabylonians do indeedderive their Babylonians history of astronomy from the second"Hermes". 'Abbâsid scholars Ibn Nawbakht origin (e. Pingree writes: In order to lendweight to hisdoctrine AbuMa'shar. The "Persians" of Al-Bîrûnî were denot the legendaryHûsank and Tamûrath. Pingree: The Thousands ofAbu Ma'shar Institute (London. of which Tahmûrath knowledge "System buried a description in theSârawîya at Jayin Isfahan before theFlood. quoted history astonishing All this is completelywrong. Note on Pingree'sCriticism In his review10. This manuscript was (the Bodhisattva) excavated notlongbefore AbuMa'shar's and he claims that hisdoctrine is directly time.To see this source as serious in 1970 is indeed. 30). the WorldYear of 360000 yearsis comparedwith 26D. history according whois at oncetheIranian theHebrew Khanukh and the (Hûshank).g. He thusconceives of AbuMa'shar's as representing an early Sasanian to pushitbackto the system zij. from derived thisante-Diluvian source. . finitely I never triedto push back Abu Ma'shar's system to the period between Also. His theories and themany ofhistwo fragments bookshavebeenthoroughly discussed reviewer inThe Thousands ofAbu bythepresent London1968. these sources include the "Tables of one of the main sources the Shah". endhe invented a mythological to which thefirst ofthree "Hermes". sought to ascribe itsdiscovery to ante-Diluvian and eventually to God Himself. he has been misledinto However.in the timeof knowledge NabrîzBâni (whoever he is supposed to be). As we have seen.D. My main source was not Abu Ma'shar but Al-Bîrûnî.but real Sassanid Persians.butnotbefore Bûdhâsaf had carriedthe system to India. . by alHÂshimî and al-Tanûkhi (see Pingree26.48 he eventries between 200 and 250 because AbuMa'shar..on p. Abanjhan (Enoch). To this times. So the "Tables of the Shah" were certainly of Abu Ma'shar's astronomical are confirmed Biruni's figures system. states thatthe period al-Sijzî.200 and -250. A little morethana millenium after Abu Ma'sharpublished his fiction Professor van derWaerden has resurrected thismythology. I never tried to resurrectAbu Ma'shar's mythology. Ma'shar. quoting used it.
longitudes). oftheyears thepartisans ofthem. 24. VersionΒ givesessentially Abu Ma'shar. was used by Abu Ma'shar in his "Book of the Thousands". Years. .This Worldsome of the Babylonians". minutes. The ascriptions 27 hisowncommentary with by byBrahmagupta.000.000 they (Aryabhata). in A. The period 3) is the "Great Year" of Abu Ma'shar al-Balkhi. ^ written GUPTAin his Brâhmasphutasiddhânta27.15 are 36. and they at the end Pisces nodesbegin themotion thefirst conjoin differ oftheyearofArjabhaz As for thepartisans 4. just as he of 1) and 2) ascribes 1) to "the Indians" and 2) to "Arjabhaz". authors) Arjabhazby the authorsays thathe was just 23 yearsold in A.ascribedin versionA to "the Persiansand 3) a WorldYear and in versionΒ to "the Persians".D. VANDER WAERDEN two other. or is the The period 2) (called Catoryugaused by ARYABHATA Mahâyuga his treatise in Arab Rightat thebeginning Âryabhatîya28.32.000.. group 4. reprinted 28W. of 4320 millionsof years.E. of and some the from this.ascribedto Arjabhaz. the authorof the "Book of the Thousands": are oftheworld theyears ofIndia. (ashãb) being partisans they ofthe theyears that claim ofArjabhaz.000 years.Dvivedi (Benares.e. The Persians Arkand said differently (ahl Fars) Babylonians of whichthere are 365 days.000solar years.320. If we dividetheyearsof theSindhind by a thousand ofthePersians. in two versions. So the treatise or later.320.they claimthat ofone oftheregions As for those the other of the Sindhind. L. there comeout the at Aries0°).320. 628. of theyears of the The partisans from and maketheworld-year them 4.D. 499 was written 3600 yearsof the Kaliyuga had passed.edited Brâhmasphutasiddhânta.is the Kalpa used by BrahmaA. outtheyear Ifwedivide there comes thousand bytwelve years. Vol. Both versionsare said to come fromthe treatiseAl-Jâmial-Shâhî of Al-Suzî.willutilize now. explained way partisans world-years according used. Year" are compared. The excerptis preserved which longerWorldwere translatedby E. world (sãhib) usedthe someofthemoderns and tasyïrât. 499.S. of the astrologers.D. beinga difference andtheir and ofIndiaandtheir theseven adherents. The first versionA beginsthus: A world-year. to Al-BîrûnÎ. M. the However.000. thisGreat Year was derivedfrom Abu Ma'shar too ascribes the period 3) to "the Persians". The period 1). Year of 4320000 years. they saythat planets apogees region of in from of Aries.Kennedy and discussed in our joint paper7.Clark: The Aryabhatîya ofAryabhata (Chicago1930). when of thistreatise. they they being usedthe ofthe"Book oftheThousands" Buttheauthor are 4.S. said thatthe world-years their without 3 seconds. years. requiring apogeesand nodes(to be (and)24 thirds.namely: threevariantsof the "WorldIn thesetexts. Pandit.ascribed to "those in a region of 1) a WorldIndia". ofthe"Book oftheThousands" theauthor what in this book.368 Β. thecycles for ofthePersians However. years butwe of the Sindhind the to the them. According "the cyclesof the Persians". 2) a WorldYear of 360000 years. from MedicalHall Press1900).000. Arjabhaz but adds a fewwordsabout thesame information. arrival oftheplanets at thefirst ofAries until thetime return As forthosein a without there in their amounts (i. is from the timeof to the generality according oftheir to theendofPisces. Year of 4320000000 years.
Tuesday of Al-HÂSHIMÎ'swordsseemsto be thatthe The mostnaturalinterpretation Year was a Tuesday and the last day a Friday. Kaliyuga is assumedto take place at midnight February 17 and Friday.The GreatYear 369 are correct.but this is in with the verywords of Al-HÂSHIMÎ as well as with our calcucontradiction lations. Vidensk. was connectedwitha Flood.C. Thibaut & Dvivedin (Benares Lahore 1930). and it took place. Friday.February 17. Al-HÂSHIMÎstates(see PlNGREE26.-Fil. thisconjunctionmarksthe beginning adopted by Abu Ma'shar. 35-36) the first day of Abu Ma'shar's Great Year would be a Wednesday and the last day a Saturday. In the "morningsystem". the conjunctionwhich marks thebeginning betweenThursday. ed. In Pingree's opinion (26. 500) two In the first.reprinted by Neugebauer & Pingree. February 18. 35). the figures forÂryabhata from mypaper4. 3102 B. The lattercomposed (about A.| 30352-^ 191402 360000 585199 1494750 4812778 SunriseSystem 12214. Danske 6 (1970-71). the "midnight astronomical whichis knownfrom system".C. I shall now compare the numbersof revolutions in 360000 yearsaccording to Abu Ma'shar and Âryabhata.D.New translation 1889. In the system3) and 2).18 February. so I see no reason to doubt the ascriptionof 3) to "the Persians". the conjunctionof 3102 B.The numbersfor Abu Ma'shar are taken fromPingree's book26. Hist. The period 1) is 1000 timesthe period2). Numbers in 360000 years of Revolutions Planet Saturn Jupiter Mars Sun Venus Mercury Moon Abu Ma'shar 12214 30352 191402 360000 585199 1494751 4812778 MidnightSystem 12214. The vanderWaerden7.They are all based upon the assumption conjunction 3102 B.Sengupta (Calcutta 1934). and 2) is 12 times3). This first day of the Worldin full withthe calculationsof Kennedy & van der is accord interpretation Waerden. Varâha Mihira's account of the old Sûryasiddhânta29 and also fromthe treatiseKhandakhâdyaka of Brahmagupta30. correctly mentioned under1) 2) 3) are similarin many The threeastronomical systems of an approximate details. p. according to the calculations of Kennedy & in the nightjust before Thursday. Year was 131493240days.i 30352 191402 360000 585199 1494751+§ 4812778 29Varâhamihira: Pancasiddhântikâ. systems. is confirmed Moreoverthisascription by Al-BÎRÛNÎ.and it began on a durationof Abu Ma'shar's Worlda as and ended with p.C. Skrifter Selskab. The two systems differ onlyin details. . In the systems1) of all planetsnear the point 0° Aries in February. translated by P. as VersionA states. whichis the systemof the Âryabhatîya. the conjunctiontakes place at sunrise on Friday. ÓV Brahmagupta: Khandakhâdyaka. of the Kaliyuga.
degree of thatin thekalpasystem remark Pingree (8. Jupiter. thatthey The three astronomical 1). whichwas probablycalled Zlk-i Shatroof a Pahlavi original.C. VANDER WAERDEN from In my paper4 I have shownthatthe meanlongitudes computed of Âryabhata (A. It overcome is to add constant correction thisdifficulty forBiruni19 saysthataccording to seemsthatAbuMa'shar did just that. 799 a for A. longitudes to observations is always possible. p. . is increased so that increased the mean by 7°48'. together Ptolemy theArkand to be He found twobooks. 3) agreein so many points systems butI do not On thispointI agreewith must havea common PlNGREE. If one ofthenumbers a good for A. longitude to is not The to observations alwayspossible. andhe lookedoverthese judgments. may from terms Persiansources(as BÎRÛNÎsays). Because thereis a In AbuMa'shar's system.In this way. 4): and what the Arkand between whenhe beheldthedifference KhusroAnûshîrvân. Saturn. "stood in forthe timeof the Deluge theplanets AbuMa'shar's calculation of and the the the Pisces in between twenty-seventh degree conjunction space endofthefirst of Aries". Zîj ash-Shâh. only way good adaptation terms to thelongitudes.2).The "sunrise is even better thanthe "midnight is that system" system".In order sharehis opinion thatthisorigin ofthe"TablesoftheShah". It is a translation as follows ayâr. origin. 157). 499 areincreased by 1°12'(see 4.p. L.D. (astrological) based its and and observation themostaccurate upon planets eyesight.D. If thisis assumed. conjunction If of the and the moon must be one numbers is Mars even. It is quite possible that AbuMa'shar at the beginning in orderto obtainsuitable correction AbuMa'shar used thiskalpa system of360000 have taken his to theplanetary He well terms period longitudes. adaptation the situation is different. four kardajas. themeanlongitudes are supposed to be of 3102B. In histheory.p.D. all numbers ofrevolutions revolutions In Âryabhata's system themean must be divisible is increased by4 units. by4. Âryabhata's theory are very thelifetime good for but less good fordates one or two centuries earlieror later. by2.245) madetheimportant between the limitsset by Brahmagupta the mean planetsare precisely of Kaliyuga. accordingto Kennedy20. 6. and in the people learnedin computation he gathered asserted.370 Β.to change only possible wayofadjusting in a Mahâyuga. My explanation his numbers of revolutions to observations madein his Âryabhata adjusted ofall planets owntime. zeroat thetimeoftheconjunction the exactly thenumbers of themeanlongitudes is. to statemyarguments was Indian. judgments by with outa zîj called"The Shah"andhemadeitinkardajas So heworked more accurate. I must thehistory first discuss clearly. of his numbers ofrevolutions for in the middle his "Great Year".but his correction yearsfrom Brahmagupta. The Tables of theShah The Arabicname of thistable set is. The historyof this Persian table set is told by AL-HÂSHIMÎ (see22. 500).
15. local timeUjjain. However. p.e. and that this midnight was also the middle of the Great Year of Abu Ma'shar.i. the MidnightSystemof ÂRYABHATA.the astronomers to use the not use the Almagest. but theycould use so the astronomers the underlying whichwas composed about A.C. reigned of KHUSRO could not use this treatise.whichoccurs threetimesin thistext.C. 130.in the MidnightSystem.e.30days (see 20. work with it.D. apogees and maximalequations. 365.30days32. J^ Ihis duration ol daysin a Mahayuga was tound thenumber bydividing bythe number ofyears.Its explanatory oftheArkand to those as to midnight mean andequations (motions) correspond (epoch). In the Tables of the Shah. includingmean motions. at system. they preferred Arkand.31. 31See R. one sees that 3600 years(the time fromthe conjunction From thesefigures of 3102 B. the Almagest)to of KHUSRO did the books in his Royal Treasury31.C. Hence the Tables of the Shah musthave placed the midnight conjunctionat about midnight just beforeFebruary17. MidnightSystem.. the calculationsof Kennedy21 and of Burckhardt & vander Waerden22 have shown that the Tables of the Shah agree withthe Khandakhâdyakaand hence with the Midnight System in many points. Let us recallthatthe Epoch of the Flood accordingto BÎRÛNÎ'sChronological Table (19. p. . This resultagrees well withBÎRÛNÎ'sstatement thatthe Zîj-i Shah used midnight epoch in contrastto the generalpracticeof usingnoon. 15. In fact. Peoplestill The work Arkand. It followsthat a book of Ptolemy existedat the Sassanian court.p. p. the year was supposed to contain(in sexagesimal fractions) 365. 139. 3102 B. See Kennedy's Survey20. a Zoroastrian Dilemma (Oxford 1955). 500. 133) is the same midnight beforeThursday. Once more. 147).Accordingto Al-Hâshimî.February17. Now KHUSRO ANÛSHÎRVÂN in Persia from 531 to 579. is probablyderived from Sanskrit Khandakhâdyaka. book of the Denkartto the effect in the fourth This is confirmed by a statement of Al-majistî thatShapur I added a copy (or a translation) (i.Zaehner: Zurvan. to the lifetime of Âryabhata)contain one more day accordingto the Tables of the Shah than accordingto the MidnightSystem.32.Abu Ma'shar agreeswith"the Persians".In the latter the conjunctiontook place betweenFebruary17 and 18. and the Khandakhâdyakawas written in 665. This is the name of an extant treatise of Brahmagupta30.He madeit in three out a zîj and he namedit after brought textand apogeesand nodesand kardajasand calledit "The Triple". in whichthe calculationof planetary positionsaccordingto the Midnight System of Âryabhata is taught. the durationof the year is only On the otherhand. Al-Hâshimî states that Khusro compared the Arkand with a book of Ptolemy.The GreatYear 371 ibn Shahriyar ibn Khusro.He Theywereusingit untilthe reignof Yazdigerd theexample oftheShah.
it seemsthatÂryabhata knewabout theThursday In thetreatise he writes: tradition. System this of the moon during of revolutions 180000yearsis used33. traditional Thursday In the old Sûrya-Siddhânta. 12).There are 14 Manusin a dayofBrahman (a kalpa). VANDER WAERDEN of3102B. before existed Shahactually 33Varâhamihira: Pancasiddhântikâl Saura 14:"According tothe ( = Sûryasiddhânta) lunar months and 1045092 66389intercalary arein 180000 there days. i. was thefirst battle. a lunarperiodof of whichis based on the Midnight Âryabhata.It seems Persian possible namely System.Sincethebeginning period ofW. begun on in which thekaliyuga at sunrise ownsystem. from derived anyofthetwosystems On theother hand. 500. Another factpointsintothe same direction.before thetime oftheTablesofthe version we shallsee thatan earlier In thenextsection A. On this ofthekaliyuga "theThursday with beginning for in the point.The kaliyuga years ofthecurrent ofthekaliyuga is themoment when yuga. In hisSunrise at midnight between System. Friday morning. years period GreatYear. 27 yugas and 3 yugapadas haveelapsed battle (translation p.D. Âryabhatîya the and 72 yugas constitute 1. kaliyuga day with Âryabhata's Thisis in contradiction in thenight before Thursday. tookplace theconjunction In Âryabhata's Midnight System. of thesystem and Friday.So theThursday February ofÂRYABHATA. ofÂryabhata.D. not dateoftheTablesoftheShahwas certainly 18. of of4320000years. the conjunction took place at sunrise the treatise Âryabhatîya." years .e.Âryabhata identifies yugapadas of theBhâratabattle". 500.C. Because in the before 17.Hencethebeginning this of thecurrent three yugahave elapsed. L. the Bhârata battle he the he mentioned but when kept Fridaymorning. theThursday date in an earlier to be thatÂryabhata found of a Great doctrine withthe Persian connected earlier tradition was perhaps of two halvesof 180000yearseach. oftheBhârata ofthiskalpaup to theThursday ofa Manu.Âryabhata is in accordancewithan earliertradition.The number the same as in the is exactly to the old Sûrya-Siddhânta periodaccording thatÂryabhata tookthis 2406389. date. began natural seems The most this contradiction? How can we explain explanation This tradition. with thePersian withits that the "Persian System" We thus are led to the conjecture before even existed of 360000 Year Great its and years Thursday conjunction A.C. Thursday on Friday. of at battle ofBhârata the Mahâbhârata itis saidthat thegreat beginning began have of the must IfThursday the thekaliyuga. What Âryabhata calls a yuga is the This calls forsome explanation. February Thursday.CLARK28. 6 Manus. into4 yugapadas or quarter-yugas It is divided mahâyuga in which we nowliveis thelastquarteryuga 1080000 each. separated Year consisting by a Great 3102 B. connected was somehow which from an earlier of180000 tradition.372 Β. night Conjunction to thisconjunction to shift he was forced Âryabhata's yearwas shorter.E.3.
an assemblageof astronomers convoked. 610.The GreatYear of theTables of theShah 7. BÎRÛNÎ probablyhad in mind the Yazdigerd editionof the Tables.D. fromthe midnight systemof ÂRYABHATA.and revisedunderKhusroAnùshîrvân about composed 560. Hence the statement the observations of the apogee about 610 is in accordance withwhat we know from othersources. 143. The value 77°55' was knownalreadyabout 450. fragment of the at A. What was the situation of the Persian astronomers about 610? Theyhad the choice betweenseveralvalues of the solar apogee. 610 apogee what Ibn Now does YOnis mean the (see 7. The same value was also used in the tables of Al-KhwâRizmi24.e. 124.D. About 450. 1423.D. Or. i. year of From i. So we may his statement as follows:The Persian astronomers determined safelyinterpret the apogee of the sun by observationsmade about A.p. the Tables the Shah. 450 sun 77°55' about and again at 80° about A. by theexpression "observing sun's apogee"? The solar apogee is not an object one can see in thesky. They may have known Ptolemy's value 65°30'. 325). fromtwo and one solstice (method of HlPPARCHOSand PTOLEMY) or from equinoxes threelunareclipses. as we know fromIbn Yûnis.we may conclude that a set of astronomical tables was about 450 or a littlelater. is given by Ibn YÛNIS in the Leiden Anothervery valuable information Hâkimî of Ibn his YÛNIS statesthat the Persiansobservedthe Zîj35.Ibn YÛNIS knewthis:he was a competent who astronomer.The Persiansmade observations and decided to adopt the value 80°.D. p. 130) existedalreadyat thatdate. I feelwe should interpret the otherstatement of Ibn YÛNIS in the same way.One has to determine it fromthree observationsof the sun's position. collectedmanyancientobservations and made observations himself. the Persian astronomers were in doubt about thevalue of thesolar apogee. 34Al-BîrûnÎ:Al OsmaniaOriental Publications Qânûnal-Mas'ûdî. thistestimony.g. a hundredyears beforeKhusro. Az-Zîjal-Kabîr p. Bureau. So we may conjecturethat about 450 the Persians actually computed astronomicaltables. .e. Hyderabat-Deccan (1954-56). LeidenCod. for Al-BîrûnÎ informs us that the value 80° was used in the Tables of the Shah. the correcting Zîj ash-Shahriyâr a & Kennedy concluded that Persian set of tables Taqîzâdeh (20.e. and the value 80° was known fromthe "Arkand" system. This conjectureis confirmed by BÎRÛNÎ's testimony quoted of rightat the beginningof the presentsection.D. in the 556. 35IbnYûnis: al-Hâkimî. p. whichwas of Ibn YÛNIS concerning composed between632 and 642. Theymade observations and adopted the value 77°55'. Why did the Persiansobservethe apogee? The most naturalanswerto this questionis: because theywantedto computea table forthe motionof the sun. Persianpredecessors 373 Al-BirOni informs us in his Masudic Canon34 thatKhusro AnÛshÎrvan forthepurposeof A. Combining the statements BÎRÛNÎ and Ibn YÛNIS. 450 and again by observationsmade about A.
54. fromIndia. Paitâmahasiddhânta. fromthe Persians. universally ambhû". and as it is to by Âryabhata under the name Svayambhû (Âryabhatîya. thatthe To thisconclusionI have two objections. In Pingree's opinion Abu Ma'shar got theidea of a Great Year connected withthe conjunctionof 3102 B. PlNGREE Centaurus14.As faras I can see. and thus he revolutions obtainedhis period of 360000 years. but not this text existed text(B). the Brâhmasphutasiddhanta the in the Visnudharmottarapurâna. the Paitâmahasiddhântamust be even older. thatthe Persiansobserved statement So whynot accept Ibn YÛNIS definite the apogee about 450 and again about 610? The author of the astronomical exposed in thetexts(B) and (P) may well have knowna Persiantable set system in whichthe apogee was located at 11°55'. 450.and computed from the beginningof the Kalpa!" Visnudharmottarapurâna Now let us have a look at this"demonstration".He also apogee beginning kalpa. : The Later Paulisasiddhânta. (P).Goreferred 50). 172-241.C.but the nextstep in the argument " As thelatter was compiledbetweenca.D. p. the Paitâmahasiddhânta of the . p. He roundedoffthe numbersof in a Mahayuga so as to make them divisibleby 12. 450 and 650. thenit would followonlythat 499.First. was "in factcomputedby means of the parameters of an Indian text. it mustbe dated at least A. work(theVisnudharmottarapurâna) A. ifit werea certaintruth.it is not at all certain work referred to by Âryabhata under the name Svayambhû (which means Brâhma or Paitâmaha) is the same as text(B). as PlNGREEclaims.374 Β." lâdhyâya.D. incorporated PlNGREE shows that many parameters. . Âryabhata mentions "the revealed by Svaywhich was formerly true science of astronomy.D.it is muchmoreprobable thatthe Hindu astronomers I Âryabhata about the conjunctionof 3102 B. and I thinkthat his guess as He onlyguesses. 450.C.D. PlNGREEhas no good off of his thesis:he just speaks of "Abu Ma'shar's rounding in favour arguments as ifit werea fact(26.reported by Ibn YÛNIS as observedby the Persiansabout A.D. of the Sindhind parameters" learnt In myopinion. but I do not know what revelationhe refersto. and he finds77. In the Appendixto his paper9. 178-179) mentions four of them.17 degrees. suppose 36 D. by it existedA. 33).p. PlNGREEcomparestwo textswhichhe calls (B)and(P): of Brahmagupta.PlNtreatises going underthe name Brahmasiddhânta GREE (36. (P). VANDER WAERDEN Note on Pingree'sCriticism In his paper9 and again in 10 PlNGREEclaimsto have demonstrated thatthe value 77°55' of thelongitude of theapogee of the sun. (B). includingthe motion of the solar of from the the are just the same in both texts. L. to the My second objectionis: Even if one admitsthat Âryabhata refers that A.7. 450. calculatesthe longitudeof the apogee of the sun accordingto the texts(B) and whichmay be roundedoff to 77°55'.and he presents PlNGREEdoes not know it either. seems verydoubtful: So farI agree. There were severalastronomical or Paitâmahasiddhânta.
oftheworld takes itclearthat this destruction ofthese makes "The context passages ofAbû-Ma'shar that a deluge thetheory andhence is derived placeat theendofa kalpa. becoming. of Ibn YÛNIS and tronomical point of view. astronomy. the Sassanian king According to the middleSHÂPÛRI (240-270) collectedwritings fromIndia. tables and the textof Abu Ma'shar beforehis eyes.(see 31.C. 8).p.as theyhad been fixed by theobservations the Persians". Thesecatastrophes were connected already in certain to return whentheplanets cametogether signsof the supposed periodically with a conjuction ofthe zodiac. 17. movement. it must cycle years theWest. but in any case theyrest on a betterfoundation than Pingree's firm assertions. they placeat theconjunction ofeachkaliyuga. 8.p. substance. creation.the Persian "Great Year" of 360000 years by the Mahâyuga and Kalpa theyknew from earliertraditions. byE. p. -3101. at infact.and it agrees withthe testimonies Al-Bîrûnî.and otherlands. was However. Amongthe books collectedwas Ptolemy's Almagest(see 31. translated Al-Bîrûnî. with themyths oftheDelugeand Ekpyrosis. takes because.space. the the "battle of does not mention he alludes to planets. the ByzantineEmpire. and whichtreatedof medicine." and at thebeginning theendofeachcaturyuga of returnIn thispassage. Âryabhata Deluge: only of a Bhârata" on Thursday. 139). Bîrûnî seems to say that Abu Ma'shar's theory in "India" his statement derived from Hindu sources. forthe latterassertsthat Abu Ma'shar's systemwas exclusively of based on "the motionsofthestars. in the Abu Persian sources statement Ma'shar's "Chronology" is concerning When writing the "Chronology". PersianAstronomy before Khusro Persian treatise Denkart. The hexameters of the firstcentury astrologerDorotheos of Sidon were translatedinto Pahlavi under 37 IndiaI. 325. The idea of a Delugein themiddle February of 360. stand inconjunction oftheplanets.and he could compare the Persiancycleswiththose of Abu Ma'shar. passingaway.BÎRÛNÎ had the Persian clear and definite. 323: of the"GreatYear" was thedoctrine In classical Greekand Hellenistic literature. It is truethat in Al-Bîrûnî's India a different opinion on Abu Ma'shar's to BÎRÛNÎ writes37: sourceseems be expressed.etc. ing deluges whereas his he for it is not is rather and the reason veryconvincing. time. in myjoint in favourof my hypothesis was presented One more argument paper withKennedy7 on p. I admitthattheopinionsexpressed in this"Note on Pingree's are Criticism" not certain.Sachau.The GreatYear 375 and Brahmagupta replaced.forgood reasons. gives vague. better and more to construct The largerperiodsenabled the Hindu astronomers This hypothesis seems reasonable fromthe asflexibleastronomicalsystems.In thePersian we still find theDelugeconnected system. .000 cannot be derived from havecometo Persiafrom India.
Io in the 6thcentury. the times of the successivemean conjunctionscan be calculated. underKhusro was takingplace in Persia in the thirdcentury". of revolutionsof Jupiterand Saturn are 30352 and 12214. Neugebauer: Reviewof L'Inde classiqueby L.D. 2° in the 5thcentury.Nallino: Traccedi opere Teubner. 241-242)..These methodsare foundin severalPersian Both Pingree and Kennedy assume the sources. Leipzig1903.Therefore tables fromthe very we may safelyassume that the Persianshad astronomical of the under Shâpûr I.C. ArFilliozat. See also C. p. di scritti Raccolta trafila arabi p. the "Paranatellonta" of Teukros the Babylonian were also into Pahlavi38.L. hence thereare 18138 conjunctions betweenthesenumbers to the next is from one mean of motion Saturn and the conjunction years.Neugebauer39 rightly concluded that "serious astronomicalacLater on.p. 31). different values (17. of Jupiter and Saturn The lapse of timebetweentwo successiveconjunctions is nearly 20 years. The difference in 360000 is 18138. of Jupiter and Saturnoughtto be zero at the times ences ofthemean longitudes of the calculatedmean conjunctions. A. Abu Ma'shar's value Otherauthorsgive slightly in whichperiodthenumbers is in fullaccordancewithhis cycleof 360000 years. and its astrologicalapplicationsto have been invented astronomy conjunction in Sassanid Persia (17. 7 is approximately thecalculationsof Kennedy & van der Waerden theerror 5° in the 3rdcentury. per agli giunte greche 39O. Renouand J.. 172. Accordingto Actually. 450 was probablymade in orderto correct existing mean conjunctions In Kennedy's paper17.The contentsof the Paranatellontawill be discussed translated in Section11.but not in Hindu treatises. chives . A.376 Β. pehlevica. tivity AnûSHÎrvân. p. ^•360° = 242°25'17".. Also translatedduringthe Sassanid Period were the "Anthologies" of Vettius Valens (see again8. Withoutastronomicaltables it is impossibleto cast horoscopes. The observation apogee of the sun about beginning tables. 6 (1948).Boll: Sphaera. The motion of Saturn during this time is given by Abu Ma'shar as 242°25'17". 241). From these facts. p.285-303. theyare not zero.Persian methodsforcomputing of Jupiter and Saturnare discussed.van der Waerden ShÂPÛR (see Pingree8. 38 F. 41).p. des Sciences d'Histoire Internationales 8. 4° in the 4thcentury. If the mean motions of the the differPersian systembased upon the cycle of 360000 years were correct. Startingwith the assumed conjunction of 3102 B.
9. So the conjunctionof 3102 B. Centaurus 41Kitâb Escoriai MS arabe937. perhapsby one of thoseastrologers who. to the timeof Âryabhata.C. 11 (1965)p.L. On February17 the mean longitudes of Jupiter and Saturndiffered by more than 40°. This quotationends withthe words: 40See B.or 26° in the 3600 yearsfrom 3102 B. was not observed. The firstpart of this passage was quoted in Kennedy's paper17.C. . is inthelibrary oftheNearEastSchoolofTheology. al-qirânat. was a Greek invention. century This conclusion is well in accordance with the testimony of Ibn YÛNIS the observationof the solar apogee about A.C.C.In thatyear.van der Waerden: dermittleren in dergriechiVergleich Bewegungen schen undindischen Astronomie. no conjunction of the planets took place. Albumasarde magnis coniunctionibus annorumrevolutionibus ac eorum was publishedin Venice 1515. Let me first note that the conjunctionof 3102 B.fol.The GreatYear 377 From these errorsKennedy & van der Waerden7 concluded that the Persiansystem in the form in whichwe know it. p. was found by a backward calculation.5r. 25.The Greeks of the hellenistic age were the first to calculate planetary mean longilongitudesby first computing tudes and nextadding correction terms. A Latin translation. The main reason forthis deviationis that the real Saturn moves much faster than it was supposed to move in the Persian system40. Now we know in 360000 years.The extrapolation Babylonians of the Seleucid era had no such methods: the notion "mean longitude"does not occur in theirtheories.cannot have originated that in 556 Khusro's astronomers decided to replace the old "Tables of the Shah" by better tables based on the "Midnight System" of Âryabhata. Now for such an one needs methodsto calculate mean longitudesof planets. MS PB 20.triedto date the flood by computingconjunctionsof Jupiterand Saturn. 16.another According copyofthe"Book ofConjunctions". So we may concerning that about this timethe Persianscomposed tables of the same kind conjecture as the later"Tables of the Shah".D. but based upon the cycleof 360000 years. This is the main reason whyI suppose thatthe conjunction of 3102 B. 42 to Kennedy7. note.but calculated. The Hellenistic Originof the"Persian System" is thatthe"Persian System"withitsconjunction of 3102 My nexthypothesis B. 450. in the middle of a cycle of 360000 years was ultimately derived from Hellenistic sources.no matter whether the calculationis made forFebruary 17 or 18 or any otherdate in thatneighbourhood.with18138 mean conjunctions beforethe 5thcentury. Another reasonis a passage from Abu Ma'SHAR's"Book ofConjunctions"41. Kitâbal-Qirânât. profectionibus.D. The difference amountsto 26" a year.C.accordingto BÎRÛNÎ. See also footnote42. Beirut. of the "Persian System"withits Therefore the most probable timeof invention of revolutions 30352 and 12214 forJupiter numbers and Saturnseemsto be the fifth A.
it here is almost certainly The name ANYNÛS mentioned can be read as If are name be read as Anianos. a moderate acceptance 43Thistranslation to me communicated wasmadebyDr. myself of the Deluge with the name of a Greek author who had computedthe time from the creationto the Deluge. chronographer.I quote from and between thecreation theinterval to one of thehistorians.D. daysand four a Greek name. the "conjunctionof the Arabs" was A. the yearjust after of thispassage in the Escoriai MS Arabe 937. theConjunctions) the name Anianus is based on a conjecturedue to the In this translation the translator Sachau. who wrote about Assyrianhistory. 44See8.. Anianus. name is written as 'THNYWS. of in Oldwater I the translation II 20.C.5 r reads: The continuation ofthebirth that between thebeginning mentioned Andverily ANYNÛS and others ofGod uponhim..C. the Greek historian that it is ABTNUS. As suggested A. some dots the may changed.. therefore of PanAnianus. is 2226years when thedeluge oftheFriday thenight commenced. since the identification I shall restrict to statingthat Abu Ma'shar connectedhis date certain. Abydenos is meant. in theplalace. p. If one countsback fromthis year 3671 solar years. shall DlODOROS mentioned quote by Loeb's Classical Library: but thatCtesiasof Cnidushas givenaboutSemiramis.then. the conjunction B. This Anianus was an Egyptian monk. is found in BÎRÛNÎ's "ChroSachau's translation. and because courtesan a was that she other historians and certain Athenaeus comely say shewasaccorded Now at first oftheAssyrians.. whichmight he prefers the reading author Athenaios is out of the question.378 Β. fol.who wrotea book on Babylonianhistory based on the "Babyloniaka" of BEROSSOS. the name Abydenos would fitextremely of ANYNÛS with Abydenos is far from However.Sachs44. Accordingto Kennedy. . According 23 daysand4 hours. dots.. and theFriday on which was theDeluge of Adam. L. waslovedbytheking ofherbeauty only a lawful when shehad beenproclaimed butlater. page 25: nology".one arrivesat the year 3101 of 3102 B. in the diacritical Athnyws differ only is Note that a historianAthenaios. hundred and seventyone years.Since Berossos wroteon the partly well. S. a contemporary AnynÛS and The two a as who was known readings ODORUS. 571. Anwar Sinnu andkindly byE. in his Kitâb-alkirânât is reported Thisstatement (Book of byIbn-Albâzyâr by Anianus .the mean ATHENAIOS. A similar statementabout the date of the deluge according to a Greek author. 243. VANDER WAERDEN Andthere is between thefirst day oftheyearoftheFlood and thefirst day ofthe theArabpeople. Kennedy.probably drawn fromthe same source. three was theconjunction thousand and six yearin which indicating 3761.43. Deluge and on the Great Year. theprayers night and one month and twentyand twohundred and twenty-six was twothousand years three hours .footnote 114. On page 374 Sachau notes that in the manuscripts In his opinion. possible by and chronology. is theaccount Such.
in the"Isagoge" of Geminos).and on the to co-operate and all thegreatest themilitary forces dignitaries were hertheir notable citizens while thepeopleandthemost second respects paying day. "the Persians".Concerningthe originof these treatisesI have reached the conclusions: following All testimonies to the "Chaldaeans" come from one treatise 1) referring (or of related written in 170 Greek between 330 and group treatises) B. on thefirst thesceptre andtheregal dayheld garb. Heidelberger Abhandlung . in which Babylonian astronomyand astrologywere summarized. herhusband shearrested as queen.) 5. a and sinceshewasbynature andputhimin prison.AndSemiramis. "Aegypter" Akad. I shall illustrate the consequences of these conclusionsby an example. uponreceiving days. thecareer in thehistorians regarding maybe found 10.g.and I have shown that these can all be understoodas quotations fromspecifictreatiseswrittenby or ascribed to Chaldaean and Egyptianauthors. sometimesas "the Egyptiansaround Petosiris".L. Who were the "Babylonians" mentioned by BÎRÛNÎ as well as by Abu Ma'shar? In ancientastronomicaland astrologicaltextsone findsmanyreferences to collectivities such as "the Chaldaeans".The GreatYear 379 to herfora periodof five thekingto yieldtheroyalprerogatives she persuaded wife.-nat.vanderWaerden: Die und die "Chaldäer". The "Chaldaeans" and the"Babylonians" We have seen that Al-BîrûnÎ.C.then. gave magnificent high withher. of the at commanders which she a festival and persuaded banquet. many great ofSemiramis. 1972. "the Egyptians". mentions "the inhabitants We also have seen that Abu Ma'shar ascribesthe cycleof 360000 yearsto "the Persiansand some of the Babylonians". Sitzungsber.from whichwe have extensive excerpts (e. In a recent the"Chaldaeans" paper45I have collectedmanyquotationsfrom and the "Egyptians". was based on cuneiform texts. and veryoften just as "the Egyptians"or "the ancientEgyptians". "the Indians". thethrone andremaining andboldas well.. to the "Egyptians" come fromone astrological 2) All testimonies referring treatise written in Greek in Hellenistic Egyptbefore150 B.This treatise. "the Babylonians". The authorsof this treatiseare sometimesquoted as "Nechepso and Petosiris".(Math. DeMensibus II 12 we read: 45B. to date the Deluge by means of conjunctions astrologers of Babel and the Chaldaeans". In Lydus. in his account of the attemptsof the of Saturnand Jupiter. things.C. sheseized ofgreat woman queenuntil designs are theconflicting accounts which old age accomplished Such.
"the Persians". logies" 1) In VI 3. When BÎRÛNÎ speaks of "the astronomical Hindus and Persians"(see section4). It impliesthat the planetaryweek. Theological (1954). 65-67.was used in the book of the "Chaldaeans" as well as in thatof the "Egyptians".or morespecifically the authorsof "Tables of the Shah". on page 353. The "Persians" are authorsof treatises written in Middle Persian(Pahlavi). twicein the "AnthoNow considerthe "Babylonians". he is comparing parameters used by Persianand Hindu authors. W. 47The textof the"Astrologer of 379" was published by F. as we have seen in section Regarding 4.VETTIUSspeaks of Saturnand makes sense says: "The Babylonianscall the planet Phainon". Babylonianswritten between"Chal2) In IX 11. This statement only if Vettius had before his eyes an exposition of the doctrinesof the in Greek. p.In bothbooks the Greek word Phainonwas used to denote Saturdayas well as Saturn.and to the Babyloniansanother. The first is given who have written 46VettiusValens: Anthologiae. werecopied by PALCHOS47. yearwas different of 3) Three chaptersof an anonymousauthor. and in the source certaindoctrines othersource doctrineswere ascribed to the Babylonians.This is a meaningful and interesting statement. 194-211. namely 365+| + TÍ4days· If theword"Chaldaeans" is takenin its usual sense as Babylonianastronomers. It does a distinction sources.the situationis similar. and the Babylonianscalled it kaimanu.They are mentioned of Vettius Valens46.The durationof the accordingto his two sources. between Chaldaeans and Babylonians makes no sense. VANDER WAERDEN The Egyptians and Chaldaeanscall the seventh day of the week and also the starPhainon.Kroll (Berlin 1908).He ascribesto theChaldaeans a certain the year.Neugebauer: The Chronology Valens. The same thing holds for "the Indians".Cumont in Catalogus Graecorum codicum VI. See also 47 Review Harvard of Vettius O. L. in whicheach weekdayis put under the supremacyof a planet.known as "The Astrologer of authors a list first At theend ofthe chapter 379".as a about books written in Greek it is perfectly statement reasonable.When Abu Ma'shar speaks of "those in a regionof India" who use the kalpa of 4320 millionsof years(see section5).forthe Egyptianscalled the planet Saturn"Horus the Bull".ed. on page 249 of Kroll's edition. p. he just means Brahmagupta. astrologorum . about the phenomenaof the fixedstars.it is just nonsense. corresponding If thisstatement is interpreted as a testimony about the inhabitants of Egypt and southern Babylonia. Vettius makes a distinctions durationof daeans" and "Babylonians". However.380 Β. two different weretakenfrom if make sense we assume thathis figures In the first wereascribedto the Chaldaeans.
However.Hence we may conjecture thatthe "Babylonian"source of the Anonymouswas just Teukros. and Method C to "the people of Babylon". edited Opusastronomicum byC. p. p. 50M.30 days. More material is in Al-Bîrûnî's"Exhaustive Treatise on Shadows". and C: arithmetical. p. 137: 2-12 Β: Risâ'il IV.See also Boll38. I shall call thesemethodsA. a clear distinction is made betweenthe two sources. 5) A very interesting testimony concerning"the people of Babylon" (ahl Babil) comes fromAl-Bîrûnî.Nallino (Milano1903). 121-141.Lesley: Bîrûnî on Rising Timesand Daylight Centaurus 5 (1957)p. It seems thathe foundboth methodsin one and the same Persian source. who in his book Risâ'il IV describesseveral methodsfor calculatingthe risingtimes of the twelvezodiacal signs50. Nobody doubts that this Siddhântawas based on a Greek treatisefromthe Hellenistic period. 49Al-Battânî: I. University Chapter 22). The subjectmatterin this chapterof the Anonymousis just the same as in the Paranatellontaof "Teukros the Babylonian"38.thesemethodswereadapted to different latitudesby of the shadow This is not made in usingmultiples equinoctial length.The GreatYear 381 authorslistedare "The Babyloniansand the Chaldaeans".366. A: Risâ'il IV. next the Greeks.hence Lesley concludes that the adaptation to otherclimata thanthatof Babylon was made in the Hellenisticage. Justas in the textof Vettius Valens. I shall mentionfourcases. 137: 13-138:2 C: Risâ'il IV. Accordingto Al-BattânÎ49 the "Egyptians" and the "Babylonians" assumedthe durationof the yearto be 365. methodsA and C are based on thesame arithmetical methodsas were used in cuneiform textsbelongingto the ancient Babylonian SystemA. Varaha Mihira ascribesthesame value to the Paulisa-Siddhânta. by E. 4) Alexander of Aphrodisias48.A. for afterhaving described Method B. thePleiads severaltimesin his Paranatellonta who mentions (see Boll38.Most but the last three methods are purely methods make use of trigonometry. commentaria.speaking of the number seven of the mentionsthe Chaldaeans. As Lesley has shown50. adaptation cuneiform texts. Translationand Commentary forHistory of ArabicScience. Let us now pass to Islamic sources. first the Babylonians. 15. Lengths. 138: 3-13.again the Chaldaeans Pleiads. . B. Metaphysica Hayduk (Berlin 1891)p. he : writes 48Alexander Aphrodisiensis: In Aristotelis ed.Kennedy (Institute ofAleppo1976.S.40.832. Abu Ma'shar and Al-Battani and Al-Bîrûnî ascribe certainastronomicaltheoriesand numericalvalues to "the Babylonians"or to "the people of Babylon". 122 and 280). BÎRÛNÎ ascribes Method Β to "some of the books of the Persians". and finally By the"Babylonians"he may well mean TEUKROS.
foraccordwhereasthe ing to our resultsthe "Chaldaeans" were earlyHellenisticauthors.just as in the Anaphorikosof Hypsikles and in the Anthologies of Vettius Valens52. (Steiner. "Babylonians" were late Hellenisticauthors. Willy . 53Β. requiring I suppose thequotation"The Persiansand some of the Babylonians"means Year in a Persian that Abu Ma'shar found the descriptionof the Worldin was as in a source which source. Geography. century of Abu Ma'shar 7) In Section 5 I have already quoted the testimony (VersionA): solar The Persians saidthat theworld-years are360000 andsomeoftheBabylonians without of whichthereare 365 days.C. 5).15 minutes. Kennedy. 32 seconds. Neugebauer: On Some Astronomical of Anand RelatedProblems Papyri 251-263. I guess the "Chaldaean" books werewritten in the thirdcentury B. for and they did it to theascension and so on to Aries to obtain and to theascension for Taurus to obtain Gemini. Prismata. obtain Virgo"51. forAriesfrom subtracted twice theascension and divided theremainder sixty. communicated waskindly 52 O.D. originated in their country. The last sentenceimpliesthatthe ascensiontimesof the signsfromAriesto an arithmetical Virgo form sequence. p. beginning ofSaturn and Jupiter. for which thesagesamong theinhabitants ofBabel.431-440. The conclusionis the same as before:The "Babylonians" were Hellenistic authors. quoted. Several in my paper53 in the were presented in favourof this identification arguments 51 Thistranslation to mebyE. and 24 thirds. they theequatorial and divided theresult and shadow multiplied bytwenty-five byeighteen. by ňve.. L. Taurus. Thereresulted thebase of increase foreach sign. years. 32 Philos. conjunctions and theChaldaeans haveconstructed astronomical theDelugehaving tables. theapogees and nodes(to be at Aries 0°).382 Β. "As forthe peopleof Babylon. American of the Transactions cient (1942). subtracted whatresults Thereremained theascension Thenthey thirty. TeukrostheBabylonian In my opinion it is extremely probable that the common source of all quotations from"the Babylonians" was "Teukros the Babylonian".L. testimony Babylonian Can we make a reasonableguess about thissource?I thinkwe can. of Al-BÎRÛNÎ has alreadybeen quoted in Section4: 6) Another testimony from the first of the The astrologers have triedto correct theseyears. S. and the "Babylonian" books in the first A.as in the testimonies of Vettius Valens and Palchos. 11.van der Waerden The (Persian) authorof the operation said. from forAries. Soc. p.van der Waerden: The "Babylonians" Festand the"Persians". the Chaldaeans are distinguished fromthe Babylonians.This is correct. Wiesbaden Hartner fur schrift 1977). Once more.
C. and we also know that these three authors have known and used the work of in favourof the identification. but rathera Accordingto BOLL38. Steiner. Only after approximate conjunction thisdiscovery was it possible to set up an astronomical based upon the theory thatthisconjunction took place in the middleof a "Great Year" of assumption 360000 years.One of the variantsis ascribedto the "Persians".TEUKROS was not an originalastronomer. In Islamic sources TEUKROS was known as TÎNQALÛSor TÎNQARÛSor into Pahlavi under KhuTankalOsha. This seems to be a strongargument of Teukros not much is known.1978) January 54W.p.The GreatYear 383 for Willy H artner. been an astronomerwho calculated conjunctionsin the past and found an of all planetsnear 0° Ariesin theyear3102. In fact. 100. 1966).C. I don'tbelievethatTeukros theBabylonianinvented the"Persian System". 140). and this translationwas used by Abu Ma'shar in his "Great Introduction".Boll showed (38. As we have seen. 8) About the lifetime thathe musthave lived beforecirca A. We may conclude that Teukros lived. G. "the Babylonians" were Festschrift quoted by Vettius Valens as well as by Abu Ma'shar and Al-Bîrûnî. His "Paranatellonta" were translated SRO Anôshirvân. one to the Indians and one to Ptolemy.book 6. p. Chapter 1 of this work containsthree variantsof the list of "Paranatellonta"or simultaneously rising (or culminating or setting) stars55.D. must have compilator. 112 55A German translation ofthispartoftheGreatIntroduction by K. Teukros. So the road of transmittance was Teukros Pahlavi Translation Abu Ma'shar I suppose that Abu Ma'shar's knowledgeabout the Great Year of 360000 yearsand the Conjunctionof 3102 B. was transmitted by the same road. probably. in Boll's Sphaera38. printed together . On the otherhand. p. 490-539. Gundel: Wiesbaden Astrologumena (F. GUNDEL54 thelongitudes in the"Paranatellonta"ofTEUKROSthathe lived concludesfrom "not long afterHipparchos".C.) and Vettius Valens (A. The "Persian" list was derivedfrom the Pahlavi versionof the workof Teukros. The man who discoveredthe conjunctionof 3102 B. most betweenHipparchos (130 B.D.Gundel & H. Mathematical Institute ofZürich University (Received 20. Dyroff was with theArabtext.
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