MANETHO - EGYPTIAN
Old Kingdom -
of Egyptian Chronology is based on Manetho's list of the Dynasties of
Kings, but this too only second-hand, primarily through Julius
Africanus and Eusebius. Indeed, Manetho may be a description of the
subject [Latvian MAINITU "changes"] rather than an author at all.
Still, we use Manetho's name to refer here to what we call "Manetho's
Sums" for the Old Kingdom. These sums are quite unusual, since the
individual lengths of the reigns of pharaohs DO NOT equal the
subsequent sums appended as sums at the end of each Dynasty by Julius
total length of the actual individual reigns for the Old Kingdom is
1480 years - when we add them individually. But the sum of those reigns
as actually given by Africanus is 1497 years - in the same document!
Surely Manetho could add, or is there an unknown intercalation in his
Here are Manetho's
OWN numbers for Dynasties 1 through 6
sums per Dynasty plus sums as appended by Manetho)
263 (253), 304
(302), 214 (214), 284 (277), 218 (248), 197 (203).
other words, for the first dynasty, the actual sum of reigns is 263
years but Africanus sums it as 253. For the second dynasty, the actual
sum is 304, which Africanus sums as 302. For the third dynasty, there
is agreement. For the fourth dynasty, the actual sum is 284 but
Africanus gives 277. For the fifth dynasty, the actual sum is 218 but
Africanus writes 248. For the sixth dynasty, the actual sum is 197 but
Africanus has 203.
numbers are strange - no one can add that badly, so that the constant
discrepancies must be intentional, which chronologers have inexplicably
ignored. The answer appears to be found in adjustment intercalations
for the Sothic Year.
The Sothic Year
Sothic Year (heliacal rising of a star coincident with the start of the
solar year) is 1460 years, after which time one year is added to this
total to make 1461 years to bring the solar year into synchronization
with star time - which is called the tropical year. The Sothic Year can
be understood if one takes the solar year as 365 days and a tropical
star year as 365.25 days. Without intercalation (correction) the solar
year lags . 25 days behind the tropical star year each year so that it
takes 1460 years until the systems are again synchronized, with a
difference of 1 full year. Egyptologists think the Sothic Year was tied
to Sirius (Sothis) but this was originally surely not so, since Sirius
apparently became important only with the Papyrus
of Ebers. As Eduard Meyer wrote, no Egyptian source ties the
Sothic Year to Sirius.
same basic system is used to intercalate a leap day every 4 years, i.e.
4 x 365 days = 1460 days but 4 x 365.25 days = 1461 days, which is why
we have leap years and add February 29 every 4 years to our calendar.
In 1460 years (the Sothic Year) we thus add 365 such leap days or one
Dynasties 1 through 6 add up according to Manetho on the one hand to
1480 years and on the other hand to 1497 years, so that these sums
surely represented Sothic year-days of 1460 days viz. years, with a
possible precessional intercalation of either 20 day-years or 37
day-years. Such an intercalation would have been required in any case
for astronomical data since Manetho calculated the figures thousands of
years after the fact.
Manetho had to
make Adjustments for Precession
know that precession of the solstices and equinoxes within the stars
advances one degree-day of stars in 72 years so that 37 days x 72 years
= 2664 years. Hence, the Old Kingdom dynasty must have started about
2736 years prior to Manetho's writing (i.e. 37 degree-days of heliacal
risings had been "lost"). If we presume, however - as the evidence of
76 kings at Abydos indicates - that the Pharaonic astronomers and
Manetho used the Metonic 76-year period (4 x 19 Metonic Cycles) as
their precessional measuring stick, then 37 x 76 years = 2812 years and
2812 years minus the date of December 25, -3116 (3117 BC) as the start
of the Old Kingdom gives a date of -304 (305 BC) as the date from which
Manetho calculated his lists of Pharaonic kings, and this date of 305
BC corresponds with current dating of Manetho's writing.
Donate to the ISandIS Network
of blogs and websites
to help sustain our research and writing.
search words for LexiLine are: Aegean, Akkad, Anatolia, ancient,
astronomy, ancient Britain, ancient Europe, Ancient Greece, ancient
languages, ancient Near East, ancient signs, ancient
world, anthropology, archaeology, archaeoastronomy, art
history, artefacts, artifacts, astronomy, barrows, Biblical Studies,
paintings, celestial, civilization, Crete, cultural astronomy, Cyprus,
decipherment, dolmens, Egyptology, Elam, Fertile Crescent, geodetics,
heavens, hieroglyphs, history of art,
history of astronomy, history of civilization, history of mankind,
of science, history of technology, history of Western Civilization,
land survey, languages, linguistics, logograms, Luvian, Luwian,
megaliths, megalithic, Minoan, Mycenae, Neolithic, Neolithic
art, Oriental Studies, origins, origins of writing, Phaistos,
pictographs, planisphere, prehistoric, prehistoric art, Pyramids, rock
art, rock drawings, standing
stones, stars, stellar constellations, stone circles, stone rings,
Age, stone rows, Sumer, surveyors, tumuli, Andis, Andis Kaulins,