[b-hebrew] Thera quote

MarianneLuban at aol.com MarianneLuban at aol.com
Fri Aug 27 05:09:25 EDT 2004

In a message dated 8/26/2004 11:19:12 PM Pacific Daylight Time, 
Banyai at t-online.de writes:

> you have misunderstood me. In my reconstruction was the exodus at the same 
> time of the year as reconstructed by the repartition of the Theran ashes 
> following the prevailing winds in September over the Mediteranean. Due to many 
> details in the Exodus story one has to redate this event to July-September too.

Well--yes and no.  The ancient Egyptian calendar only had three 
seasons--Inundation, Winter and Summer.  Each contained four months.  But, for reasons not 
necessary to state here--unless someone expresses interest--their civil 
calendar was a "wandering one".  However, at the same time, they used an 
astronomical calendar based upon the annual rising of the star, Sothis, at a certain 
latitude.  This normally appeared around the time of the annual flooding of the 
Nile.  The Egyptian farmer--and Egypt was primarily an agricultural nation--had 
no use for the civil calendar, as that was only used for administrative 
dating.  So, for the peasant, the sighting of Sothis was the "New Year" and he 
reckoned his planting and reaping accordingly, counting the days.  On the other 
hand, the "New Year" of the civil calendar only coincided with the Sothic "New 
Year" every 1, 460 years.  When this occurred, it was considered a great 
occasion (called "A Perfect Year") and was, of course, the start of a new Sothic 
cycle.  After that the synchronization of the civil and astronomical calendar 
begin to slip by a day every four years.  That is why the winter months could fall 
within the natural season of Shomu (summer) and vice versa.  There are only 
three concordances known to us from dynastic times, revealing the date of the 
civil calendar in relation to the rising of Sothis.  The first is from Year 7 
of King Sesostris  III (12th Dynasty) which says that the rising of the star 
was viewed on the 16th Day of the 4th month of Winter.  In Year 9 of Amenhotep I 
of the 18th Dynasty, the rising took place on the 9th day of the third month 
of Summer.  In an unspecifed year of the reign of Thutmose III, also of the 
18th Dynasty, Sothis was seen to rise on the 29th Day of the third month of 
Summer.  It would seem there were 80 years worth of slippage between these two 
sightings.  For a very long time the ancient Egyptian months only had numbers, 
but eventually they were given names--after their main feast days, usually.  Now 
Josephus wrote that the Exodus, which he believed had taken place in the time 
of Ahmose I, occurred during the month of Pharmouti which, in a Pefect Year, 
would have fallen in the Winter Season, being its last month.  However, during 
the time of Ahmose I, judging by the concordance given in Year 9 of his 
successor, Amenhotep I, Pharmouti would have fallen in April of the Julian 
calendar.  However, the pRhind, which relates the attack of Ahmose on the Hyksos 
strongholds and hints at some bad weather happening at the same time, says this 
occurred during the first month of Inundation--this being September by the Julian 
calendar at the time.  So, Banyai, if the bad weather was somehow connected 
to the Thera eruption in the Fall--that still would not preclude an exodus 
happening in the month of April during the first year of King Ahmose, because it 
is known that the eruption of Thera did not happen on one day but in stages 
possibly lasting for months --as did that of the eruption of Krakatoa.  That is 
why Thera doesn't resemble Pompei--the inhabitants of Thera had warning signs 
and left the island accordingly.  The simple truth is no pharaoh could muster 
an army in one day.  That is why any exodus probably occurred in the month of 
Pharmouti--because this was the month the 18th Dynasty kings usually left on 
their Asiatic campaigns and had to go through the Delta to get there.  They 
stopped at the border fortess of Sile (Djaru) to collect their weapons and went on 
from there.  So it is written.  

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