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Created 5928± 13 272024 [2008-04-04]

Updated 5928± 01 12 2024 [2008-04-19]






Which Total Solar Eclipse is Phlegon Referencing?


What is Correct Olympic Calendar Reckoning in Terms of

How the Olympic Calendar Was Being Used During the First Century?


An Analysis of the 29 CE and the 33 CE Eclipse Paths




Quoting Origen (“ca 185 - ca 254 A.D.:”)


"And Phlegon also who compiled the Olympiads writes about the same things in his 13th book in the following words: 'In the fourth year of the 202nd Olympiad, an eclipse of the Sun took place greater than any previously known, and night came on at the sixth hour of the day, so that stars actually appeared in the sky; and a great earthquake took place in Bithynia and overthrew the greater part of Niceaea;"

(“From: Phlegon, Olympiades, fragment 17. Quoted in Historical Eclipses and Earth's Rotation, by F Richard Stephenson, Cambridge University Press, 1997, page 359-360;” Solar Eclipse Newsletter, Vol. 8:11, Nov 2003. Cf. Google Book Search.)





The following is an attempt to explain in a simple manner some of the details found on NASA’s web site re the 29 CE and the 33 CE total solar eclipses:



A Brief Analysis:


If you look at NASA’s map at this link, you’ll see a narrow blue line (=”Total Eclipse”) across Europe, Arabia and India. Next to it you see the label “0029 Nov 24.” Somewhere near the middle of the blue line you see a black asterisk that indicates “the position of greatest eclipse.” Total eclipses in that map are always indicated by “blue paths” and by “dates… in bold style.” (The quoted definitions are found at this link.) The blue line identify the only places where the total solar eclipse could be perceived as a total solar eclipse such that it would be dark as night and such “that stars actually appeared in the sky” as indicated by Phlegon. Outside of the blue line the solar eclipse could only be seen as a partial eclipse and the sky would not be dark enough for stars to become visible. The duration that any total solar eclipse is seen as a total eclipse at any one locality is only a matter of seconds or up to 8 minutes at the most, as you can see from the rightmost column labeled “Central dur.” within this link. If in the same table you look up the line for the “0029 Nov 24” eclipse, you’ll see next to it, in the column labeled “TD of Greatest Eclipse” the time stamp “12:15:21” corresponding to the black asterisk on the map. If I am not mistaken TD is pretty much the same as local solar time. Because the eclipse shadow moves from left to right across the map, i.e. from west to east, and because the local time is less the further west you are on the map, you would know that “the sixth hour” would correspond to a point somewhere along the narrow blue band and to the left of the black asterisk. As you can see in the rightmost column this particular solar eclipse lasted no longer than “01m59s” at any one locality. Thus Phlegon’s record of “an eclipse of the Sun” fits this “0029 Nov 24” eclipse perfectly since there can be no question but that the places on said blue band to the west of said black asterisk are located within the Roman Empire. Do you see that?


If on the other hand, we look, at the same map, for the only total solar eclipse within the Olympic year between July 1, 32 CE and July 1, 33 CE, what do we see? We see a wider and longer blue band labeled “0033 Mar 19” and located in the lower part of said map, correct? The time associated with the black asterisk on that blue line is “13:40:16,” is it not? But that’s more than 1 hour and 40 minutes after noon, i.e. “the eight hour,” thus to find a location along said blue line where the local time was still within “the sixth hour,” i.e. between 11:00 and 12:00, we must move quite far from the black asterisk towards the left/west along said blue band of “0033 Mar 19.” Where would such a location be found? Only somewhere close to the coast of Antarctica, correct? On March 19 those places have late fall (southern hemisphere) or even winter season, and as you probably know sailors in those days avoided most sailing during the winter season (from September through March in the northern hemisphere) even on the Mediterranean sea, did they not? Thus, how likely is it that any one from the Roman Empire observed and reported this March 19, 33 A.D. total solar eclipse from the vicinity of Antarctica? I believe the only ones observing this particular total solar eclipse of “0033 Mar 19” may have been some penguins and some whales, but I very much doubt that those reported their observations to Phlegon, or do you disagree?


Now, do you or don’t you see for yourself firsthand which one of the 29 AD vs. the 33 AD solar eclipses is the only possible correct anchor point for the Olympic calendar, i.e. as the Olympic calendar was being used during the time of Phlegon? How does this appear to your mind?: Very strong evidence? Even proof? How convincing are those facts to you? How well do you understand these facts of the matter? That’s what it is all about, is it not?









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