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This historical enumeration of dates and opinions. is abridged from Dionysius of Halicarnassus *; whose testimony merits more credit, as a voucher of ancient traditions, than as an authentic record of fa&s. One infallible chronological character, the overthrow of Troy, Sir I. Newton has ascertained by a process of operations in reasoning, the result of which is equivalent to demonstration. The date discovered, A. M. 3108, derives confirmation from a multiplicity of coincident events, in the pedigrees of families, and the records of kingdoms, which not only enforce conviction, but reduce to an absurdity, every pretension to contradi&tory evidence.
By this test let the presumed date of the first Olympiad be tried. To the 18th of Jeholhaphat, A. M. 3108, add 432, the sum 3540, continues the reckoning to the 17th of Xerxes, king of Persia, or the 4th year of the 520 Olympiad, counted from the restoration of that epoch by Iphitus, A. M.3232. Sir I. Newton, reprobating this arrangement as exorbitant, has recourse to an equation, which brings the last year of the Latine kings down to the 38th Olympiad. · By 14, the number of the kings, divide 432, the duration of their reigns, and the quotient, 31, will be the common measure nearly. This illustrious author, assigning but 20 years a-piece to each sovereign, reduces the total sum from 432 to 280. This equation is still exceptionable on the score of excess. For 3108+
• Lib. i. c.78–75.
280=3388, prolong the computation to the 19th of Josiah ; or the 3d of the 39th Olympiad. A much shorter term must be allowed for the 14 kings in Latium prior to Romulus. Our worthy Reformer of ancient chronology had two justifiable methods of ad. justing history by the joint aid of generations and reigns :-He excluded such kings as had done nothing memorable, or seemed to fall under the class of Utopian princes, imaginary characters, inserted in national calendars, on purpose to amplify the accounts of time ;--and abridged reigns apparently too long, or numerous, to accord with the course of nature. It fairly admits a query, whether many of the kings between Æneas and Romulus, were not Utopian?
If from the date of the restored Olympiad, be deducted the year of Troy's downfal, (that is 3232 3108=124), the result of the operation is the astronomical interval ; and why should historical arrangements be constructed, in contradiction to physical truth? In the passage above quoted immediately from Sir I. Newton on the authority of Dionysius the Halicarnassian, is recorded the testimony of several ancient writers, (prior in time to Alexander the Great), whose belief it was, that a grandson, or great grandson, of neas laid the foundation of Rome; whether Romulus and Remus were the founders, or either, is an indifferent circumstance. Sir Isaac has overlooked a remark of Dionyfius, which is, “ That Cephalon, a very anciens author, referred the building of Rome to the second generation after the Trojan war, by a colony who
escaped from Troy with Æneas; that its founder was Remus, the leader of the colony; that he was a son of Æneas, and that Romulus, was one of four brothers by the same father. Demagoras, Agathyllus also, and many others, agree in the circumstance of time, and in the conductor of the expedition *. Dionyfius adds many testimonies of Roman writers, who unanimously affirmed that a Trojan colony settled in Italy. soon after the Trojan war; and that Rome was built after the second generation in the line from Æneas. An interval of 15 generations, Sir Isaac Newton admits, was never pretended till after the rise of the Greek Empire, fix full centuries after the conflagration of Troy.
The more ancient writers of all nations never incurred the censure of affecting an extravagant antiquity. Among the Jews, Moses was more moderate than Josephus ; and the more ancient authors in Greece and Rome, than their successors. This consideration fupports the not improbable conjecture, that the interval from the period of the Trojan war to the first Olympiad, has been protracted to a duration which no evidence can justify, or even credulity admit. .
• SUPPOSE, what Sir I. Newton will not allow, that the Varronian era was the third of the 6th Olympiad, or the 23d from the restoration of that chronological term, Rome began to be built 147 years after the fall of Troy. For 124+23=147; and 3108+1473 A. M. 3255, coincident with the first year of Romulus,
• Rom. Ant q. lib. i. Ca 92.
and less by unity, than the first year of the Varronian reckoning, Ą. M. 3256. · The Newtonian computation proceeds on the postulate, that the reigns both in Latium and Rome are to be reduced. But the latter clause of the poftulate is inadmislible, because no fcheme of historical arrangement can vindicate the propriety, or truth, of deferring the accession of Romulus, or the origin of his capital, to the 38th Olympiad, That great man might, without the least fufpicion of violating physical probability, have retrenched the number of the Latian kings. By 14 divide 147, the result is. 10 years 6 months each. These reigns are shorter by one half than Sir ltaac is willing, in other cases, to admit. At the rate of s reigns for a century, and proportionally for the residuary number, seven intermediate princes might exhaust the space from the fall of Troy to the rise of Rome, equivalent to about four generations of 33 years one with another.
The date assigned in the Chronology of ancient Kingdoms amended, for the subversion of Priam's capital, is. in reality that fixed point, whence commences certainty in computation by the national eras of paganism ; because the time of that catastrophe is defined, by a cluster of chronological notations, which bring into coinçidence the history of the Hebrews, with that of the co-existing pagan establishments. Some of the more notable synchronisms, in the natural order, are, by way of recapitulation, subjoined.
1. JEHOSHAPHAT, Ahab, and Ethbaal, were contemporary sovereigns in Jerusalem, Samaria, and Sidon ; for Ahab married Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal, and Jeholhaphat's son, Jehoram, married. Athaliah, the daughter of Ahab.
2. TROY was laid in ashes in the reigns of the same Jehoshaphat and Ahab, as also in that of Agenor, Belus, or Matgenus, the grandson of Ethbaal.
3. New Salamis in Cyprus was founded seven years after the conflagration of Troy, by Teucer the son of Telamon, in whole family the sovereignty continued seven centuries, in that island.
4. Æneas about the same time became the father of kings, in a new series, over Latium, prior to Romulus. This series contains 14 names, to whose reigns is affigned a period of 432 years, which Sir I. Newton reduces to 280*. The annexed Table will perhaps evince, that even the less number exceeds the truth.
• Such is the diversity of names, that the number of sovereigns, and the order of succession, cannot easily be afcertained. Æneas the father of the colony, to whom Dionyfius afligns a reign of 7 years from the fall of Troy, is excluded. This little addition makes the sum total 432, as in the next page. But the number of reigns thus enlarged, exceeds 14by vnity.