Från: Tree of Life (c) Time [TreeOfLifeTime@gmail.com]
Skickat: Monday, June 28, 2010 2:55 PM
Till: 'Ann OMaly'
Ämne: Time flies... and these things do take time to consider and to grow by... Thanks for your tremendous help in correcting my flawed thinking!
Från: Ann OMaly
Skickat: Wednesday, May 19, 2010 8:36 PM
Ämne: Re: Do you like it better now?...
Hi (may I call you ...) Gunnar.
Why certainly, Ann! You may call me Gunnar. No problem!
Well, you are bringing me much brain work to do. Much healthy cleansing of my mind and prior work! If that isn’t an important aspect of ‘sanctification,’ I don’t know what is… Or isn’t it true that words such as ‘sanctify’ and ‘holy’ has everything to do with ‘cleansing?!!!’ Cf. Strong’s H6942, G37, G48. Thanks for ever for helping me get rid of cumbersome dirt and errors within my mind and thoughts!
First, you’ll notice that, thanks to you, I’ve been making a major revision of my prior understanding of the word ‘cubit’ as that word is used in VAT 4956. Thanks for ever for doing that for me! Naturally there were also many changes of my prior work re VAT 4956 following in the wake of that fundamental understanding. This is worth a lot to me! Most especially I wish to thank you for helping me find and correct so many and extensive errors of my own! No doubt there are more of them that I haven’t yet found, but the best I can do is the best I can do… at any one moment of my life…
Second, as you noted I’ve been using el Bab as the location for the observations before this. The reason for this is that I find good reasons for believing that that city may well be the Babylon of the Scriptures. Yet, I realize that the kingdom of Babylon was comprised of a much larger area and that other cities further east may well be considered in certain settings too, for instance (?) re such as has to do with specific clay tablets such as VAT 4956. If you know specifics re the location where exactly those tablets were found and/or originally written, then I am certainly more than interested in sharing of your insights… It would certainly be most valuable to know the exact point of observation for all that which is recorded on VAT 4956, or don’t you agree?
Third, you’ll notice that I find no good or valid reason for buying into your day of choice for the New Moon crescent of Month II. See details below! I’ll look forwards to your feedback on that! Please see also my latest corresponding footnotes on my web page re that detail! As you can see I discovered some interesting details re the reckoning of that Month II.
Fourth, Comparing line 3 obverse and my corresponding footnote re the Akkadian words translated “β Virginia” with line 14 obverse and the words translated “the bright star of the end of the Lion’s foot,” I find that the record on VAT 4956 indicates that the very same star is being referenced, that is, Porrima. Apparently the ancients considered that star the end of the tail of the Lion. Perhaps you’ll see some value in that discovery? Please let me know what you think!
And there is more…
[To help facilitate our reading of this mail I’ve followed your convention of placing the respondent’s, my, words at the leftmost margin. In addition I am using this deep red font for my most recent comments.]
I’ll be looking forwards to any feedback of yours for me to further consider upon my path of life…
Here we go:
Please call me Ann :-) Thanks for your reply.
I hope I didn’t offend you before by toying with your name? I certainly did not intend to offend you! I actually thought your name was a pseudonym you’ve created yourself while thinking of some of the anomalies associated with VAT 4956 etc.. Perhaps it still is?
Re “many of the anomalies…”
The most important question, to me, that I have for you is this one re your statement “Beginning the new year a day earlier will resolve many of the anomalies you see, I think.” If you would please specify for me what species of “anomalies” you are referring to, while also providing for me a representative sampling of such “anomalies,” such that I can be sure not to misunderstand you and such that I may learn and grow in my own understanding of the reality that now is, and that was, likewise, in times past? If you’ll please accommodate me by answering the above question I’ll be very happy indeed. Thanks in advance! – For instance, re the “anomalies” you’re thinking of, are they directly associated with VAT 4956, ... ?
Yes. I have found that frequently a lot of 'discrepancies' people see on this tablet are due to misunderstandings and mistakes by those generally unfamiliar with Babylonian astronomical texts or just simply basic astronomy or by those trying to make the observations fit into a different calendar year. By the way, I am also an amateur so it's worth checking out for yourself anything I may put forward. I do, however, try to keep in line with the accepted scholarship I know of.
Thanks for answering my questions in that paragraph of mine! I take your “Yes” as being your response to my last question within that paragraph, and that the “anomalies” you are referring to are not in reference to historical events outside of that which is being documented upon VAT 4956. Thanks again!
Thanks also for teaching me and giving me light where I was previously in darkness re the specific meaning of various details found on VAT 4956, including also such things within this last mail of yours as I am now about to more carefully consider in comparison to may best available sources! [As with my 1st email to you, I’ve been writing this email likewise in parallel with my working through your suggestions and while working on revising and updating my prior work… I hope you won’t mind that?]
I am glad you are “an amateur!” In my experience “the accepted scholarship” cannot ever be blindly relied upon as correct or authoritative, either because of the influence and indoctrination received in our “educational system,” or frequently also for fear of losing their job, their pay check, their status, their position, and/or the securities they’ve learned to build their lives upon…
Thus, as for me, I spend zero energy upon keeping “in line with the accepted scholarship I know of.” Even so, I find such scholarship publications being frequently helpful by providing references to original work – which such “scholarship” frequently is too prejudiced to accept at face value… apparently believing that they, said “scholarship,” know better than the originators of such original work…
Yet, I have to be very careful lest by so doing I commit much the same error, or lest I “throw the baby out with the bath water…” That is, I have to do my best in accepting whatever publication for whatever it might be worth in the light of the best available original sources…
Re your primary observation re the evening of April 22 vs. April 23, 568 BCE.
No doubt you are aware of the Scripture rule re beginnings of months being dependent upon an actual real time observation of the new moon crescent, that is, in contradistinction to a more or less certain predictable visibility of the same at the end of the 29th day of any lunar month? Accordingly, you will no doubt also be aware of the fact that all it takes, for the beginning of any given month to be delayed until a default beginning at the end of the 30th day of the prior month, is inclement weather, such that no certain actual observation is being made at the end of the 29th day? You are well aware of this rule, are you not?
As based for instance upon NASA’s Phases of the Moon tables for that year (-567 = 568 BCE) it appears almost certain that, as you’ll certainly agree, the New Moon crescent was indeed potentially visible, weather allowing, in the evening of April 22, 568 BCE. The only question remaining then, is this: Did the weather allow for that observation to actually happen or not? What facts are borne out by the record we know of as VAT 4956, that is, re an actual observation, or not, on that 29th day referenced by you as “day 0 of Month I (day 29 of Month XII2) was April 21/22?” Depending upon our answer to this last prior question will be also, as you’ll agree?, the validity of your statement “logically day 1 of Month I would be April 22/23…”
Usually, when weather prevented an observation the scribe would either write 'I did not watch' or just say something like 'cloudy' or 'rain' or whatever. The tablet itself says the moon was 'visible' or 'seen' behind the Bull. Moreover, April 22 is the correct starting point for that month because the lunar observations that follow on from that day fit (apart from line 3, on the night of the 9th, where there's an error with either the star position or the date - there was a similar glitch with similar terminology on another early tablet). The moon shifts position around 12-13 degrees per day, therefore starting the month a day later will throw off the subsequent calculated positions and you'll end up with many more discrepancies.
Good points! As you’ve noticed I’ve learned and grown upon the light you’ve previously sent my way, that is, such that you and I are now in agreement re the evening of April 22 being the correct starting point of that particular month.
As to your parenthetical statement, “(apart from line 3, on the night of the 9th, where there's an error with either the star position or the date - there was a similar glitch with similar terminology on another early tablet,)” which obviously is building upon the presumptions and understanding of the translator – and not primarily upon the associated Akkadian words – I do not find sufficient reasons for not giving precedence to the primary Akkadian words as written upon the tablet per the translator’s own translation. You’ve probably already noticed my reasons for that as noted under my associated footnotes, haven’t you? I will, however, carefully consider the additional insight you’re sharing with me within this 2nd mail of yours… Who knows, perhaps I’ll find reason for changing my mind?... [Post script: For a while I thought that you and the translator were correct and that I was the one in error… but in the end I believe that we were all in error and that there were more in it for each and all of us to find!... Thanks for helping me see my errors and grow with the added light! What can be more valuable than that?!!! Perhaps you too will find value in my latest discoveries and conclusions re this particular…? Please cf. the appropriate footnotes within my revised web page!... Check the last edit date at the top left of the web page to make sure your computer is updating itself! Mine didn’t at first, so I had to press F5 for an updated page…]
If our only problems pertain to such “anomalies” as we may seem to perceive within the VAT 4956 record itself, then all we have to address is our own interpretation and understanding of VAT 4956. In so doing we must, of course, be very careful indeed not to rely so much upon our own preconceived ideas, as based upon today’s schools of thought, that we blame any apparent problem upon the authors of VAT 4956 while forgetting the proverbial three fingers pointing back to ourselves and to our own flawed schools of thought and the associated scholars and “authorities.” Indeed, could it be that we, you or I, are reading more into “Sachs and Hunger” than they themselves intended by their words? Are we allowing ourselves to be subject to the natural laws pertaining to the whispering of the neighbors and to the gossip being brought from one generation of scholars and church fathers to the next, or else are we being careful always to fall back upon nothing less than a careful study of the best available primary facts themselves?
I'm not sure what you mean here by asking are we 'reading more into Sachs and Hunger's intended words?' The sky is a finely tuned clock. Either the tablet's observations harmonize with that celestial clock or they are out of sync. But yes, the danger for amateurs like us when exploring a highly technical and involved subject like this is in hastily assuming the anomalies are due to faulty scholarship (or to incompetent and/or devious scribes) when more likely they're products of our own misunderstandings and agendas :-)
Re my statement re Sachs and Hunger: When written that statement of mine was intended merely as a general caution re reading too much into our sources, most especially into relatively recent scholarship such as Sachs and Hunger. After reading the introduction of the copy of ADT I that you sent my way… – Thanks ever so much for sharing with me that gift of God! – I also realize that Sachs was the primary researcher and that Hunger was/is one of Sachs’ followers, one given the important task of furthering Sachs’ prior work. But that being the case, we are yet another step away from the original source while being subject to whatever qualities pertain to Hunger’s own de facto qualifications. In other words: Added cause for caution!
Did you notice my footnote #1 and the highlighted words there quoted from the translator of VAT 4956? That is, the words re the beginning of each month as indicated on VAT 4956 itself? Yes, indeed, per that note of the translator, and per his translation, “Year 37 of Nebukadnezar, king of Babylon. Month I. (the 1stof which was identical with) the 30th (of the preceding month,)” the end of the 29th day of the preceding month should indeed be, as you say, the beginning of Nebuchadnezzar’s 37th year. But, the question before us now is, Is this translation itself an anomaly? Is this translation consistent with the remainder of the facts being brought to us by VAT 4956? If you study the actual position of the New Moon, relative to the Bull, on the evenings of the 22nd and 23rd, you’ll probably notice with me that only on the 23rd is it true that “the moon became visible behind the Bull of Heaven,” or isn’t that so?
The 'Normal Star' of the Bull was Aldebaran ('Normal Stars' were stars close to the ecliptic and used as reference points). The moon on April 22 was definitely behind that. Don't forget that OUR constellation boundaries were often different to those of the ancient Babylonians. The next two 'Normal Stars' are beta and zeta Tauri but the ancients counted them in with the Chariot (Auriga) and not with Taurus. On April 23, the moon had gone past these two Chariot stars and was approaching Gemini. (For the list of 'Normal Stars' see Astronomical Diaries and Related Texts From Babylonia, Vol. I (ADT I for short, to answer your question below), 'Introduction,' p.17-19). In case you don't have access to it, try HERE for an extract.
Thanks for this info re ‘normal stars’ and re the ancient boundaries of constellations! That info was new to me and most helpful in gathering further light! I shall test this concept out as I keep studying the tablet, ADT I, and this mail of yours…
I find the following words of ADT I, p. 7 [of the electronic copy] reassuring, but not necessarily convincing, that is, a relatively ancient reference though certainly several centuries more recent than the original VAT 4956 itself:
“The Akkadian word for them is MUL ŠIDmeš (attested in a diary for SE 175 XII2, and in a procedure text concerning planetary periods16 ), probably to be read kakkab minâti, which seems to mean something like "stars of counting, predictable stars" (see CAD s.v. mintu).”
I find the subsequent sentence on the same page very interesting, that is, in view of Velikovsky’s works and all the extant evidence for interplanetary catastrophes, within the 7th and 8th centuries BCE, involving at least Mars and the Earth:
“Note that Mars had the epithet kakkab l minâti (see CAD loc.cit. ), which has been taken to refer to the difficulties in predicting its motion17.”
I notice you are using original page references, “p. 17-19” and not the pages of the electronic copy, i.e. “p. 7-9.”
Again thanks for that link to ADT I !
- And a late addition: Thanks for helping me identifying the Chariot as Auriga! Before that, all I could think of was the Big Dipper… (Cf. line 6’, reverse.)
- Another late addition: Using my revised understanding, thanks to you!, of the length of the cubit, I am now able to more correctly identify several uncertain or questionable objects on the sky being referenced by the translator’s version of VAT 4956. You may notice that I find fault with the translator’s questioning of the original scribe’s entry on line 3 obverse, which I believe is due to his mistranslation “β Virginis” for a correct “γ Virginis.” Cf. my corresponding footnotes under this link. Naturally, I’ll value any feedback from you re this matter! Thanks in advance!
As a late afterthought I might add, that, if my point here re the moon’s position relative to the Bull is correct, than why is it that no reference is given also to the obvious proximity to Venus, which on April 23 was no more than 8+ degrees from the moon?
The tablet was broken off at the end of Line 1 and the last of the day 1 observations was about Saturn on Line 2, so if you were correct about the date it couldn't be known whether the scribe originally wrote something about Venus or not in that missing part.
Good point! Thanks!
this be a third instance of “one god… [being] seen with the other?” That is, as referenced in line
4, obverse, and in line 16, on the reverse side of VAT 4956?
Yet, in favor of April 22 would also be that, otherwise meaningless, translator’s Comment re line 1, that is, “The last sign visible can be any number from 14 to 18…” For isn’t it true that if April 22 is indeed the correct date, then it would make sense also to apply the number “14,” that is, as in “14 degrees between the setting sun and the moon…” (whereas the corresponding distance for April 23 would be 26 degrees…) And perhaps too, those bracketed words of the translator, “[sunset to moonset:] ….[….],” would gain some meaning, that is, reminiscent of those initially enigmatic words of line 4, obverse, and of line 16, reverse side of the clay table, that is, the words “sunrise to moonset: 4o” etc.? (Cf. my new footnotes to line 4, obverse side of the clay tablet!) Well, so much for afterthought…
Right. According to the program I’m using, sunset-moonset would be 16 degrees.
An even more precise – and much less questionable – observation of VAT 4956 is brought to us by line 10 re Mars in Praesepe, that is, within the Beehive Cluster, which line 10 states, re Month #2, that: “The 3rd, Mars entered Praesepe. The 5th, it went out (of it).” Looking at those links there can be no question, so far as I can see, but that the 3rd day of Month #2 is identical with the evening of May 25, etc.. It follows that the 1st day of Month #2 began on May 23, or isn’t that so?
My results are as follows:
Ayyaru 1 began at sunset May 22, -567. The moon was a considerable distance from the sun (about 21° altitude at sunset) and would have been visible, with its illuminated fraction a “thick” 4.7% before the sun completely disappeared below the horizon. It was also about 7° (3.5 cubits) below, or south of, Pollux (beta Gem) – consistent with the tablet’s observation.
What evidence do you have for identifying “β Berninorum” with “Pollux (beta Gem?)” Isn’t Venus an even better alternative? I realize you are of the opinion that 1 cubit = ~2 degrees. Well, thanks ever so much for making me thoroughly reconsider the length of a cubit! I used to think that 1 cubit = ~7 degrees before I got this email of yours. Since receiving your last email and up to this point, June 24, 2010, I’ve been thoroughly reevaluating the length of the cubit as used on VAT 2956, and I’ve come to the conclusion thus far that 1 cubit, as used in VAT 4956, = between 1.2 and 1.5 degrees (using the most extreme possibilities.) I’ve noted that the cubit is being used as a fairly rough means of measurement and that very likely the numbers given should be understood as round numbers in many cases. Indeed, per my recent analysis of the length of the cubit as used in VAT 4956, I believe 1 cubit = between 1.2 – 1.5 degrees, when used in a more precise manner, and when this definition does not fit a rounded cubit value as given in VAT 4956, then I believe the difference should be attributed to the cubit being frequently used as a somewhat rough estimate of the observer… That is, after first and always remembering the three proverbial fingers pointing back at myself and my contemporary basis in society...
Based upon that finding of mine re the length of the cubit as used in VAT 4956, I find Venus a perfect fit for “β Berninorum” and VAT 4956, obv. line 8. Furthermore, as line 8 obv. is translated it seems inescapable that all the observations, except the “earthshine,” were done before sunset, which pretty much rules out Pollux as a contender, does it not? Besides, per my analysis, your “7°” would translate to about 5 cubits – or even 5-6 cubits… considering that the actual center to center distance at the time of the first likely sighting of Pollux was about 7.5 degrees.
(Parenthetically: I seem to remember reading somewhere the term ‘Berenice's Hair …’ Very possibly (?) in connection with Immanuel Velikovsky’s works. At any rate, Immanuel Velikovsky, in his publications, has brought together much information to the effect that at one time, not too long ago, Venus looked like a comet, a prominent star with hair or with flames of fire. If so, then the name “β Berninorum” certainly does find its place and it explanation in the setting of VAT 4956, doesn’t it?!! Cf. Velikovsky, Immanuel, Worlds in Collision, pp. 165, 202 (Doubleday & Co., 1950.) Then, too, as I just noticed, we have the constellation Coma Berenices, which means ‘Berenice's Hair,’ and which of course is strongly associated with the hair of a certain queen, Berenice II, of Egypt (3rd century BCE.))
I should add that the translator’s parenthetical words “(of which followed the 30th of the preceding month)” represents his own presumption only. However, a natural contrary argument with some strength is that why then would line 12. obv. provide us with an actual “30th?” That is, if indeed that New Moon day was the beginning of the 29th day and not the beginning of the 30th? However, could it be that the Akkadian word translated “30th” has an inherent meaning such that it could also be applied to the 29th, perhaps something in terms of “something not yet quite perfect or complete as in a perfected 30 or a triangle?”
Therefore Ayyaru 3 would be May 24/25, -567, when Mars was approaching the misty-looking Beehive Cluster or Praesepe. Two evenings later, on May 26/27 (Ayy. 5), Mars was in the center of this hazy patch. As far as I can see, the tablet is a day out with my (other) astro-program (Alcyone Ephemeris), which has Mars entering its clearly defined Praesepe on May 25 (Ayy. 4) and leaving it on May 27 (Ayy. 6). A day’s difference seems like a lot, but in degree terms the difference is negligible. Mars traveled a little less than 1° per day, so we are talking about less than 1° discrepancy with the tablet’s statement. Additionally, given the hazy nature of Praesepe and that the ancients relied on their naked eyes, I think it would be unreasonable to expect more precision than they gave. Alternatively there might also be a very slight difference in the Delta-T values applied to the modern astronomy program and the historical sky.
Well, I am not buying that kind of argument… To me that is underestimating the abilities of the ancients. Besides that, if, as you say, 1 cubit = 2 degrees, then, if indeed 1 cubit = 24 fingers (?,) then how could it be that line 11 obv. provides us with a measurement, “1 cubit 4 fingers,” that can hardly be considered less than 1 cubit or more than 1.5 cubits, that is, a distance corresponding to a value that is more than 2 degrees and less than 3 degrees. In other words, the precision in this particular measurement is definitely better than 1 degree. Even more so if you consider my new definition of the cubit, which is even smaller than yours… Accordingly, the observer behind VAT 4956 must necessarily have had means in his disposal for making such precise observations, and we have no reason for thus discrediting the precise abilities of the ancients. To me that species of reasoning is just part of the propaganda used by the media for fooling the masses into believing the myths of the theory of evolution which obviously do not hold up to a close scrutiny of the facts! Indeed, I do not believe that, as you say, “the ancients relied [exclusively] on their naked eyes!”
But, per line 8, “Month II, the 1st (of which followed the 30th of the preceding month),” it seems
quite clear to me that the 30th day
of Month #1 was none other than the day beginning with the evening of May 22,
568 BCE. From this it follows that the 1st day of Month #1 must be none other
than the day beginning with the evening of April 23rd. Given that
April always has 30 days, I can see no way out of this but to conclude that
Month #1 of Nebuchadnezzar’s 37th year
began with the evening of April 23rd, 568 BCE, can you?
There we go!!! Once I discovered the certain and confirmed reference point found in line 4, obverse, re the 14th day, I found something solid to stand upon re the beginning of the 1st month. This finding being wholly in accord with your suggestions as per your email to me, it remains for me to thank you from the bottom of my heart for pointing me effectively in the right direction such that I could correct this rather serious error of mind re VAT 4956! Thanks! Thanks! Thanks ever so much!
And besides that, there were quite a number of other details that I’ve corrected or improved upon over and above my prior work on VAT 4956. Thanks again! This was really needed! - And yet, I realize that there is yet much work for me to do before I’ve completely covered all of the data available for me to consider on VAT 4956. Much to be excited about and to enjoy when time allows!
If I can pass on something I learned that in turn you can find useful, great!
Indeed you did in that first email of yours! And indeed you did, once again, in this second email of yours! In this one, most importantly re the correct understanding of the word “cubit” as used by these astronomers! Thanks ever so much! That sure helps in making sense of so much more of the data available upon this tablet, VAT 4956! Thanks!
Upon reviewing again your below email after having extensively reviewed and revised my prior work – thanks to this your incentive! – I am finally understanding the details given in your email and I appreciate a little of your insight into these matters. Thanks for sharing with me of that which you’ve come to know and understand re these important things!
I notice your last bit of information re line 12 obverse and the “20°” there referenced… Per the method you’re using, you are getting: “Time difference: 91 minutes or 22.75° - this is acceptably close to the tablet's 20°…” You may perhaps appreciate that, by measuring, at the time of sunset, the angular distance between the Sun and the Moon, you’ll arrive at a value even closer to the “20°” provided by VAT 4956… You’ll notice that I found that angular distance being 19° 35’! That’s even more “acceptably close,” isn’t it?!!
Yes it would be more ‘acceptably close.’ I’m not familiar with the program you are using, however. Just a note of caution: some astronomy programs are better suited to historical skies than others are. Most popular ones will be accurate for more modern epochs but their precision slides the further back in time they go – especially BC dates. It’s good to do a little homework on that.
Well, what better “homework on that” can be done than testing it against VAT 4956, such as you and I are doing here with our respective software?!! What better reference can be found as a ruler for testing the precision of the instrument used, the software, than the primary observations of the ancients themselves?
You’ll notice too, that, albeit I agree with you that in this instance, of the Akkadian word behind the translator’s word, “thick” may well be referencing, as you say the “illuminated fraction of 3.1%,” yet, in the remainder of VAT 4956 it seems to me that that interpretation is inconsistent with the facts and that the word translated “thick” is more likely a reference to the overall size of the Moon, that is, to its nearness to the Earth. Would you agree with that?
Not really. According to the Chigago Assyrian Dictionary (Vol. 8, p. 4-5, definition 2.f), the word kabar (kabaru) – as is used on the tablet - has the sense of ‘fat, thick, heavy.’ Theoretically, naked eye first crescent visibility could easily occur at 1% illuminated fraction (as long as other criteria were favourable), so 3.1% for a Day 1 is quite substantial.
I am not questioning the very potential visibility of the New Moon crescent on May 22, nor am I questioning that crescent being well characterized by the words “fat, thick, heavy.” If there was inclement weather on May 22, then, on the next day, May 23, the New Moon crescent would have been even more so, i.e. even more “fat, thick, heavy…” While also large and near! Accordingly, I do not find that argument very helpful for distinguishing between May 22 and May 23. You see that, don’t you?
May the peace of the Creator rest over your family and home!
Thank you. And with you too! :-)
PS. If you don’t mind?, I’ll be giving you credit for helping me along the way by placing a link to this correspondence of ours where appropriate. Please let me know any objection you may have to my doing so!
I have ambiguous feelings about that. All I’m interested in is that the tablet is as accurately/fairly represented as possible. If you want to put in a small footnote at the bottom about some new revisions being prompted by a correspondence with Ann O’Maly, by all means, but I'd rather you didn't make a big thing out of it. Just incorporate the info as appropriate :-)
May the Peace of the Creator rest over each our families and homes,