Some annotations on historical chronology
In Response To: Eclipses in History ()

Some annotations on Egyptian and Biblical chronology:

A clay tablet found in Babylon dated in the reign of Cambyses II says:

"Year 7, Tammuz [approx. July], night of the 14th, 1 2/3 double hours after night came [i. e. three hours and twenty minutes after sunset, or approx. 10:30 p.m.], a lunar eclipse; visible in its full course; it reached over the northern half disc of the moon. Tebet [approx. January], night of the 14th, two and a half double hours at night before morning [i. e. five hours before sunrise, or approx. 2:15 a.m.], the disc of the moon was eclipsed; the whole course visible; over the southern and northern part the eclipse reached." (Inschriften von Cambyses, Knig von Babylon, by J. N. Strassmaier, Leipzig, 1890, No. 400, lines 45-48; Sternkunde und Sterndienst in Babel, by F. X. Kugler, Mnster, 1907, Vol. I, pp. 70, 71)

Traditionally, these two lunar eclipses are identified with the lunar eclipses that were visible at Babylon on July 16, 523 BC and on January 10, 522 BC (Oppolzer's Canon of Eclipses, translated by O. Gingerich, 1962, p. 335) Thus, this tablet establishes the 7th year of Cambyses II as beginning in the spring of 523 BC, so his first year was 529 BC. I scanned all lunar eclipses in that period (1000-0 BC) with a software (StarCal, this software calculates and displays lunar eclipses. See for astronomical software), and I only found two eclipses that matched exactly with that record: 16-17 July 523 BC (beginning at 10:30 a.m.) for the first eclipse (partial, with upper half disc in darkness) and 9-10 January 522 BC (beginning at 3:15 a.m.) for the second one (total), consequently traditional date for Cambyses II (529-522 BC) is right.

According to this, Cambyses II took Egypt in his Year 5, which would be 525 BC, ending the 26th Dynasty (Saitic) and beginning the 27th Dynasty (Persian).

On other hand, the reign of Cyrus II, Cambyses II’s father, is dated in 539-529 BC. As a result, Babylon fall, dated in Year 1 of Cyrus, took place in 539 BC.

An astronomical diary, VAT 4956 (see, dated in Year 37 of Nebuchadrezzar, has forty astronomical annotations, which only match 568/567 BC, consequently the first year of Nebuchadrezzar was 604 BC. The Bible states that Jerusalem fell in Year 19 of Nebuchadrezzar (Jer. 52:12), so that year is 586 BC.

Therefore, we have three unquestionable dates:
1- Fall of Egypt before Cambyses II and dynastic change from 26th to 27th: 525 BC
1- Fall of Babylon before Cyrus II: 539 BC
2- Fall of Jerusalem before Nebuchadrezzar: 586 BC

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