11 Creation of the Contemporary Chronology of the Ancient Times

Let us discuss briefly the current state of the presently accepted chronology of the ancient and medieval history. The chronology is simply an order of historical events in a certain region arranged on the time line. It also indicates the time interval between a particular historical even and the present era. Almost all the most fundamental historical conclusions and interpretations depend on the dating of related historical events. The chronology is the core of the historical knowledge. The most of modern dating methods are based on the comparison of data in a document with those documents whose datings had been established earlier and are regarded as known and fixed. The dating of ancient events is predominately based on the Roman chronology, which is the "spinal column" of the whole global chronology and history. As a matter of fact, "all the remaining dates in ancient chronology were determined by means of direct or indirect synchronizations with the Romans ones1."

Chronology, as we know it today, has been basically established in the 16th and 17th centuries. It was initiated by the fundamental works of Joseph Scaliger (1540-1609) (Iosephus Iustus Scaliger), whom the contemporary chronologist E. Bickerman considers as the "founder of the modern chronology as a science." In his fundamental works Opus novum de emendatione temporum, published in 1583 by Lutetiac in Paris, and Thesaurum temporum, published in 1606, Scaliger laid the foundations for the chronological science. His work on establishing chronology was concluded by Dionisyus Petavius (1583-1652), who in 1627 published in Paris his famous book De doctrina temporum. Later, in the 18th century, Gerhard Frideric Miller (1705-1783), applied Scaliger's schema to "revise" Russian history. We should also mention the chronological works of the 18th-19th century, which are interesting because they reveal how the original chronological research was conducted.

However, the chronologist E. Bickerman points out that "there is no adequate, full-scale treatment of ancient chronology2." Indeed, in spite of the fact that the chronology is far from being complete, there is a clear lack of a modern study, based on strict scientific methods, that could be considered as a substantiation of correctness of the global chronology of ancient times and the Middle Ages. All kinds of difficulties in processing various original historical material necessitate such a scientific substantiation of the chronology.

It is appropriate to call the accepted today chronology of the ancient times and the Middle Ages the Scaliger-Petavius (or simply the Scaliger) version of chronology. This was not the only version of chronology that was considered by the 17th and 18th centuries scientists.

In the 16th and 17th century works by Scaliger and Petavius, the ancient chronology was presented in form of tables containing the dates.

It is assumed today that the foundations of the chronology were established by Eusebius Pamphili and St. Jerome (Hieronymous), presumably in the 4th century A.D. Although, according to Scaliger's history, Eusebius lived around the years 240-340 A.D., his work "History form the Creation until the Oecumenical Council of Nicaea" (Eusebii Pamphili Chronicorum) was discovered only in the late Middle Ages. Moreover, only fragments of the Greek original of the Eusebius' work survived, — they were completed by the free Latin translation made by St. Jerome. It is also interesting that Nicephorus Callistus made an attempt in the 14th century to write a new history of the first three

IOSFPHUS JUSTUS SCAUGER IUL.CitSAR.IS A BURDEN F.

Figure 1.1: Iosephus Iustus Scaliger (1540-1609)

IOSFPHUS JUSTUS SCAUGER IUL.CitSAR.IS A BURDEN F.

Figure 1.1: Iosephus Iustus Scaliger (1540-1609)

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