Background to Christmas Martyrology · What Martyrology, by the way?
I was told by my correspondent, Stephan Borgehammar : "Texten intogs sedan i det officiella Mart. Rom. enligt Joannes Baptista Sollerius: 'Aliae temporum dimensiones ex calculo Septuaginta interpretum hodie adjectae, in nullo codice repertae sunt, in nullo Martyrologio quod antiquius sit editione Bellini'." And now, let's translate that to English, both his Swedish and Sollerius' Latin: The text was thereupon entered into the official Martyrologium Romanum, according to Johannes Baptista Sollerius : "the other dimensions of times today added from the LXX calculation, are found in no codex, in no Martyrology that is older than the edition of Bellini."
Bellini 25.12 (Venetiis 1498): Anno a creatione mundi, quando in principio Deus creavit caelum et terram, quinto millesimo centesimo nonagesimo nono, qui annorum numerus complebatur in proximo sequente mense Martii, ejusdem mensis die vigesimo, in illa enim die creatus est mundus. A diluvio vero, anno secundo millesimo nongentesimo quinquagesimo septimo, qui numerus complebatur decima septima die sequentis Aprilis. A nativitate Abraae, anno secundo millesimo quinto decimo. A Moyse & egressu populi Israel de Egypto, anno millesimo quingentesimo decimo. Ab excidio Troiae, anno millesimo centesimo septuagesimo nono. Ab unctione David in regem, anno millesimo trigesimo secundo. Olimpiade centesima nonagesima tertia. A prima autem Olimpiade, anno octingentesimo. Ab urbe Roma condita, anno septingentesimo quinquagesimo secundo. Hebdomada sexagesima tertia, juxta Danielis prophetiam, scilicet anno quadringentesimo quadragesimo vel circa. Anno imperii Octaviani quadragesimo secundo. Sexta mundi aetate, januis clausis, toto orbe in pace composito, Christus Jesus aeternus Deus, aeternique patris filius, mundum volens suo adventu piissimo consecrare, de Spiritu sancto conceptus, novemque post conceptionem decursis mensibus, (hic dicitur alta voce) In Bethleem Judae nascitur ex Maria virgine factus homo; (hic autem altius & in tono passionis:) Nativitas Domini nostri Jesu Christi secundum carnem.
Year from Creation of the World, when in the beginning God created Heaven and Earth, five thousand, one hundred and ninety-nine, which number of years was completed in the following year of March, in the 20th day of same month, for in that day the world was created. But from the Deluge, the two thousand nine hundred fifty seventh year, which number was completed seventeenth day of following April. From birth of Abraham, the two thousand fifteenth year. From Moses & the Exodus of the people of Israel from Egypt, the thousand five hundred tenth year. From the ruin of Troy, the thousand hundred seventy-ninth year. From the anointing of David unto king, the thousand thirty-second year. In the hundred ninenty third Olimpiad, and in the eight hundredth year from the first Olimpiad. From the founding of the city of Rome, the seven hundredth fifty second year. The sixty-third week, accorting to the prophecy of Daniel, that is the four hundred fortieth year or thereabout. Year of the rule of Octavian, the forty-second. Sixth age of the world, gates closed, all world composed in peace, Christ Jesus eternal God, and Son of the eternal Father, wanting by his most tender advent consecrate the world, conceived by the Holy Ghost and nine months gone through after conception (here it is said in high voice) is born in Bethlehem of Judah from the Virgin Mary, made man; (here higher voice and in passion tone:) Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ according to the flesh.
Where do the numbers come from? It seems for 942 years between Flood and birth of Abraham, though Josephus has something similar if you take his partials and add them up, and not his total, can have come from at least as far back as Sextus Julius Africanus:
Noe was 600 years old when the flood came on. From Adam, therefore, to Noe and the flood, are 2262 years.
And after the flood, Sem begot Arphaxad.
Arphaxad, when 135 years old, begets Sala in the year 2397.
Sala, when 130 years old, begets Heber in the year 2527.
Heber, when 134 years old, begets Phalec in the year 2661, so called because the earth was divided in his days.
Phalec, when 130 years old, begot Ragan, and after living other 209 years died.
In the year of the world 3277, Abraham entered the promised land of Canaan.
Extant Works (Julius Africanus)
[Enjoy or ignore the maths here as you like it:]
2397 3277 3277 2527
2262 2262 2242 2397
0135 1015 1035 0130
2661 1015 1035 2661
2262 0075 0075 2527
0401 0940 0990 0134
However, his total for pre-Flood world exceeds the usual one by 20 years. And this is not reflected in Roman Martyrology.
Here we have the great name whose authority is behind the numbers given in Roman Martyrology:
|All the years are added up until the 6th consulate of the Emperor Valens and the second of the Emperor Valentinian the younger:
St. Jerome, Chronicle : Preface
St. Jerome, Chronicle : part I
St. Jerome, Chronicle : part II
To return to Stephan, he suggested Roman Martyrology could have gotten this from Historia Scholastica, a manual of Biblical history which was also translated to vernaculars, at times, at least Flemish Rijmbijbel, I thought I recalled it had Tower of Babel 100 years after Flood, which would be Masoretic chronology, no, in Historia Scholastica, Babel project starts after Noah died, that is no earlier than 350 after Flood. It was Postilla in Libros Geneseos, presumably by St Thomas Aquinas in his youth, before he came to Paris, or by an unknown author, which had a Masoretic chronology to Tower of Babel. Historia Scholastica for Gospel History then actually does say Christ was born 5199 after the world was created.
Meanwhile, I looked at the Annals of the Four Masters, which has Partholan arrive in Ireland before Babel:
From the Deluge until Parthalon took possession of Ireland 278 years; and the age of the world when he arrived in it, 2520.
These annals use the Chronology of St Jerome, hence, one can presume Partholan arrived speaking Hebrew, however his name in later records came about.
Par = Bar? Tholan = Tolam = Tolmai? Was the original Hebrew Aramaic?
Either way, the chronology stating Christ born in 5199 after creation can be traced back to St Jerome. And at least in some detail, as Flood to Abraham, beyond.
Hans Georg Lundahl
St Gabriel of Our Lady
Insulae, in Aprutio, sancti Gabrielis a Virgine Perdolente, Clerici Congregationis a Cruce et Passione Domini nuncupatae, et Confessoris; qui, magnis intra breve vitae spatium meritis et post mortem miraculis clarus, a Benedicto Papa Decimo quinto in Sanctorum canonem relatus est. (Isola del Gran Sasso in Abruzzo region)