The Seven Great Monarchies Of The Ancient Eastern World, Vol 1. (of 7): Chaldaea eBook

George Rawlinson
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 190 pages of information about The Seven Great Monarchies Of The Ancient Eastern World, Vol 1. (of 7).
recourse, in some degree, to conjecture.  Berosus declared that six dynasties had reigned in Chaldaea since the great flood of Xisuthrus, or Noah.  To the first, which consisted of 86 kings, he allowed the extravagant period of 34,080 years.  Evechous, the founder of the dynasty, had enjoyed the royal dignity for 2400 years, and Chomasbelus, his son and successor, had reigned 300 years longer than his father.  The other 84 monarchs had filled up the remaining space of 28,980 years—­their reigns thus averaging 345 years apiece.  It is clear that these numbers are unhistoric; and though it would be easy to reduce them within the limits of credibility by arbitrary suppositions—­as for instance, that the years of the narrative represent months or days—­yet it may reasonably be doubted whether we should in this way be doing any service to the cause of historic truth.  The names Evechous and Chomasbelus seem mythic rather than real; they represent personages in the Babylonian Pantheon, and can scarcely have been borne by men.  It is likely that the entire series of names partook of the same character, and that, if we possessed them, their bearing would be found to be, not historic, but mythological.  We may parallel this dynasty of Berosus, where he reckons king’s reigns by the cyclical periods of sosses and ners, with Manetho’s dynasties of Gods and Demigods in Egypt, where the sum of the years is nearly as great.

It is necessary, then, to discard as unhistorical the names and numbers assigned to his first dynasty by Berosus, and to retain from this part of his scheme nothing but the fact which he lays down of an ancient Chaldaean dynasty having ruled in Babylonia, prior to a conquest, which led to the establishment of a second dynasty, termed by him Median.

The scheme of Berosus then, setting aside his numbers for the first period, is—­according to the best extant authorities, as follows:—­

Dynasty I. of (?) Chaldaean kings. (?) years. 
        II. of 8 Median " 234 (?) "
       III. " 11 " " 48 (?) "
        IV. " 49 Chaldaean " 458 "
         V. " 9 Arabian " 245 "
        VI. " 45 (?) " 526 "
Reign of Pul (?)
Dynasty VII. of (?) (?) kings (?)
    " VIII. " 6 Chaldaean " 87 "

[Illustration:  PAGE 98]

It will be observed that this table contains certain defects and weaknesses, which greatly impair its value, and prevent us from constructing upon it, without further aid, an exact scheme of chronology.  Not only does a doubt attach to one or two of the numbers—­to the years, i.e., of the second and third dynasty—­but in two cases we have no numbers at all set down for us, and must supply them from conjecture, or from extraneous sources, before we can make the scheme available.  Fortunately in the more important case, that of the

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The Seven Great Monarchies Of The Ancient Eastern World, Vol 1. (of 7): Chaldaea from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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