siddyanta, but the theory of them is unknown in India. There are evidences of the existence of astronomical knowledge long previously to Hipparchus and Ptolemy, far more accurate than these great men were acquainted with. Knowledge, too accurate for their adoption, and which they did not know: knowledge, approaching to modern and recent accuracy. But we know not what nation acquired it before us; or to whom it is to be ascribed; or from what region of the earth it has been traditionally delivered, and become known to the people who, comparatively within these few years only, have discovered its


There are among the most ancient people known, the Scythians, the Orientals, the Egyptians, the Ethiopians, the Phenicians, the Pelasgi, the Etruscans, not to mention the Greeks, mythological coincidences that point to a common stock, to a common form of worship, the parent of all succeeding ones; on which, figurative, poetic, and popular personifications and superstitions have from time to time been every where engrafted, as to whose origin history is silent.

There are probable traces of chemical knowledge, particularly in metallurgy, that point beyond the earliest period of traditionary history.

There are evidences of people beyond the memory of all history, who measured a degree of the meridian approximating to the modern calculation of 57,008 toises so near as 57066 toises, implying a common measure, and an accuracy and a length of observation, that sets modern conjecture at defiance.

Finally, the traditional benefactors of the human race, the men of science who taught what was known, and who, in all parts of the world, have received the traditional homage of the people who knew them only by name-differ in name only: for, at present, no learned man entertains any doubt, but Thaut or Thoth of the Egyptians, Butta or Buddha of the Orientals, Somonocodam of Siam, Fo of the Chinese, and Hermes Trismegistus of the Greeks, are one and the same person. Among all these people, the fourth day of the week is dedicated to Mercury, the great object of worship also with the Gauls.*

And first as to the alphabets and languages. The names given to mere sounds, and the order of arrangement in which these names or letters succeed each other-and when they are used to signify numbers, the numbers to which they are applied-are all circumstances, in themselves, perfectly arbitrary.

* Boch. Chanaan. L. i. c. xlii. Cæs. Com. J. 6.

The Pelasgic, Attic, or Arcadian letters, the Ionian, Phenician, Cadmean, Eolian, those of the old Latins, of the old Germans, of the British and Irish bards, amount to sixteen. To these, in Greek, was added the Digamma, then four others by Palamedes, and four by Simonides. The Runic alphabet consists, properly, of sixteen letters, which are Phenician in their origin. The traditions and chronicles of the North attribute their introduction to Odin.*

According to Dr. Burgess, the old Irish had seventeen primary letters, which are the same with the Arabic. When the seventeenth was added we do not know.

The Welsh (Celts) have thirty-six letters, of which, sixteen only are radical.

The powers of notation of the Samaritan, Hebrew, Greek and Arabic, are the same. How all this happens, none can tell.— Accidental coincidence of circumstances so numerous, is out of the question. These coincidences can arise only from a common source that source must be the system formed by the nation or people who first adopted them. But who are they? What is known concerning them? They have left some brief memorials of their existence, but no more!

The Sanscrit language (says Sir Wm. Jones, third discourse on the Hindus) whatever be its antiquity, is of a wonderful structure, more perfect than the Greek, more copious than the Latin, and more exquisitely refined than either, yet bearing to both of them a stronger affinity both in the roots of verbs, and in the forms of grammar than could possibly have been produced by accident; so strong, indeed, that no philologer could examine them all three, without believing them to have sprung from some common source, which perhaps no longer exists. There is a similar reason, though not quite so forcible, for supposing that both the Gothic and the Celtic, though blended with a very different idiom, had the same origin with the Sanscrit. The old Persian might be added to the same family.

Lieut. Wilkins, in the Asiatic researches, has shewn that the words used at the close of the Eleusinian mysteries, were pure Sanscrit. That the Sanscrit can be traced in the Irish, and therefore in the Hebrew and Phenician, is now settled. That we find it insinuated in the German, and with the Greek, in the Welsh or Celtic, is also out of dispute. Who spake the Sanscrit language? What people constructed, arranged and employed, for their common use, this tongue, so exquisite and refined? That people whose profound knowledge and astronomic

*Nor. Amer. Rev. Jan. 1829, p. 24.

skill, enabled the compiler of the Surya Siddyanta, to collect together that system of astronomical rules and practices, of which, excellent as they are, and different as the Hindoo is for the most part from the Greek astronomy, no Brahmin, known to history or tradition, ever understood the source, or the demonstration. Who were that people, where did they live, what is their history? We leave this puzzling question to be answered by the opponents of M. Bailly.

The ancient Zend and Pahlivi, perhaps dialects of the Sanscrit, exist as a written language in Persia; when were they spoken? who spake them? Sir Wm. Jones assumes, that they were the ancient language of Iran. Perhaps it was so; but who brought these dialects into Iran? Were they confined to Iran? When did they come into, when did they go out of use? Time has placed oblivion as a guard over these objects of curious inquiry: prohibiting approach, there he stands!

Major Vallancey has shewn, as we think conclusively, that the Ogham and Persepolitan characters relate to a language far beyond the limits of known history; the language known perhaps to the Hercules Ogmius of Lucian. This has met the fate of his Irish translation of the scene in Plautus; derided, but never refuted. It is dangerous to stride so far that the feeble powers of contemporaries cannot enable them to follow us. But Vallancey's day is coming on: Renascuntur quæ jam cecidêre.— We think our readers in this country will be obliged to us for a tabular view of Bochart's and Vallancey's explanation of that curious specimen of Carthagino-Phenician, Phenico-Samaritan, and Irish.

Secondly, as to the remnants traceable of ancient astronomic knowledge :

We have carefully perused the history of ancient astronomy, and the history of Indian astronomy by Mr. Bailly; then the papers of Mr. Davis and Mr. Bentley, in the Asiatic researches, fixing the date of the Surya Siddyanta, and shewing, as we think, with great probability, in what way the supposed ancient observations pretended to have been made by the Indian astronomers at the commencement of the Kaliyoug, might have been settled by assuming astronomical appearances, and calculating backward, in recent times. We then perused the remarks of Professor Playfair, in the Edinburgh Transactions; and then the review of the controversy, by Delambre, in his History of Ancient Astronomy (4to. 1817) from page 400 to 537, and his review of Dr. John Taylor's Translation of the Liliwati: and the observations of Delambre on the Bija Ganita. The impres ́sion left on our minds after a laborious perusal of these docu


ments, is, that Bailly is undoubtedly mistaken in many of his astronomical calculations, but that there is a manifest inclination among his critics to destroy the character of his whole sysWe think no one can peruse the criticisms upon it by Sir Wm. Jones and Delambre, without being struck with this intention glaring upon the face of them. With respect to the very ingenious and plausible objections of Messrs. Davis and Bentley, we are of opinion with Professor Playfair, that the processes these gentlemen think the Hindoos have adopted, could not possibly have taken place; inasmuch as they imply a knowledge of astronomical facts, which have not long been known, and which the Hindoos could not have known. What Messrs. Davis and Bentley, with the aid of modern facts can do now, no Hindoo could have done a century ago. The results produced imply more accurate knowledge than any modern Hindoo can be presumed to possess.

It is not worth our while to enter here into a criticism of the method adopted by Mr. Bentley, to determine the dates of the Tirvalore tables and the Surya Siddyanta; we will assume the dates he has assigned, viz. the year 1281 for the Tirvalore tables, and 1060 for the Surya Siddyanta. Is there the slightest proof of the existence of the theorems on which those tables and processes are founded? Granting that Varaha lived after the Arabs and the Greeks, is there even the shadow of proof that he or any other Brahmin ever resorted to that source of knowledge, even if it were adequate? Is there the shadow of proof of any Brahmin so far forgetting the injunctions of his caste, as to travel? to travel especially into Greece? Is there the shadow of proof that Varaha, or any other Brahmin of that day, was acquainted with the theorems and these demonstrations on which the practical directions of the Surya Siddyanta are founded? we know of none. Let any one reflect on the admissions of Delambre, in p. 478 of the chapter on Indian Astronomy, and he will be satisfied, not only that the Indian Astronomy is entirely different from that of the Greeks, and, perhaps, inferior, but that it must be referred to a very different era, and a very different people: exactly the conclusion that Bailly arrives at, although he suspects the travelling philosophers of that people to have profited by an eastern knowledge. To suppose that calculations approaching to accuracy, could be made for the year 3100 before Christ, by means of directions found in a book published in 1060 of the Christian era, is a draft on our credulity, which we are not yet disposed to honour.

Delambre, in p. 517, remarks, that from a calculation of the eclipse of Monday, November 2, 1789, made according to the

tables in the Surya Siddyanta, it appears that the Monday of the Indians is like our Monday, dedicated to the moon, Somavar. He does not account for this coincidence.

Allowing the justice even of the major part of Delambre's criticisms, the main system of M. Bailly remains unshaken, His powers of laborious research, his great talent for inductive reasoning, the luminous arrangement of his arguments, the energy and eloquence of his style, are qualifications that place him far above his critics, and promise a longer duration to the system of opinions he has adopted, than such opponents would be inclined to allow. We were much struck with the fanciful character of some of his chronological calculations, but he has brought out a series of periods, approximating so nearly to the chronology of the Septuagint, that every biblical critic will feel himself under obligations to M. Bailly's ingenuity.

We proceed then to an examination of astronomical facts; all of them forcibly argued, and all of them deduced with great ingenuity, though with more or less probability.

The universal reception of the same number of planets, bearing the same names. The seven days of the week also, in the same succession, with the same name, common not to the Greeks and Romans only, but to the Egyptians, to the Indians, to the Chinese. These names and this order of succession are not suggested by the nature of the thing, but they are, so far as we can discover, arbitrary, or else founded on reasons unknown to us, and to history. Whence comes this coincidence, but from its being part of a system, invented and adopted by people long anterior to the Indians, the Chinese, the Egyptians, the Greeks or Romans?

Again. The measurement of time by lunar and solar years. The Metonic cycle of lunar revolution of nineteen years; not the invention of Meton, because known traditionally to the Chinese and Siamese, and mentioned by Diodorus Siculus, lib. iii. as in use among the Hyperboreans, a people living certainly between 50 and 60° north.

Again. The Neros or luni-solar period of six hundred years, mentioned by Josephus, and attributed by him to the Patriarchs, which must have been the result of at least twelve hundred years observation, previously to its adoption. This period implies a computation of the solar year at 365 days, 5 hours, 51 minutes, and 36 seconds: a computation not varying from the truth, more than three minutes, and considerably more accurate than the computation adopted by Hipparchus and Ptolemy, (365 d. 5h. 55 m. 12s.) Our modern calculation is 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 45 seconds. This cycle implies, that if the

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