Printed by F.L. for Tho. Horne ... [and 2 others],
Text on page 258
2^ 5 8 -A New Hiftorical Relation Tome IL
The Moon. a , xx s
. The end of the Conftellation Xe., ; a SS}' 11L.
And in 24 hours or thereabouts happened the Conjundion of the Moon with the Sun. : . , , a a ; a . . t a
The Chinefe Chronology places the Conjunction of the Planets between the *513 and 143? years before the Birth of Jefus chrift. There will b? therefore a difference of f Ages between the tinse denoted by this Chronology and the true time. Thus the Chinefe Epocha will ,he five Ages, later their the Chinefe Hiftorians fuppofe it. . a
VII. An Ancient Observation of a Winter Sol/lice made at China.
T His difference of five Age whereby it appears according to this calculation, that the Chinefes do make their Epocha too ancient, is confirmed by another place of Father Martinius his Hiftory, where this Author reports that under Jao the feventh Emperor of the Chinefes, the Wiqter Solftice was obferved about the firft degree ofthe conftellation Hiu, which at prefent begins about the 18th of Aquarius, fo that fince this time the Solftice is removed above 48 degrees from its firft place 5 he refers this Obfervation to the 20th year of which he reports to have been the 1341 before the Birth of Jefus chrift.
It appears by the Table that this conftellation Hiu began with the Star which is in the left fhoulder of Aquarius, which in the year 1628 was at 18 degrees, 16 Minutes of Aquarius 5 but the 2ctfa year of Jao it was in 29 degrees of Sagitarias and fome minutes, feeing that the Winter Solftice, which is always at the beginning of Capricorn, was at the firft of the conftellation Hiu. The diftance between thefe two places of the Zodiac is 49 degrees 16 minutes, which the fixed Stars according to Tycho's Table do make in 3478 years, by reafon of y 1 feconds per annum: from whence having deduded 1617 years at moft, which are elapfed from the Epocha of Jefus Chrift, the aoth of Jao would be the 185-2 year before the Birth of jefus Chrift, which Father Martinius according to the Chinefe Hiftory placeth in the 2347th year before Jefus Chrift, making ic more antient by about 497 years. Thus there are about 5; Ages difference between this Epocha taken from the Chinefe Hiftory, and the lame drawn from the motion of the fixed Stars made in this interval of time, as we have found by the Examination of the Obfervation of the s Planets in the Conftellation Xe.
According to Father Martinius in the beginning cf his Hiftory of China, it feems that the Chinefes do reckon butfive Planets, Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Venus, and Mercury, and that they fuppofe at the time of their fifth Emperor, the concourfe of thofe five Planets in the Conftellation Xe, on the fame day that there was a ConjmBion of the Moon with the Sun, But if this Chinefe obfervation muft be thus under flood, 'twould be a meer gromdlefs miftakf: fuch a concourfe having not happened at the time denoted by the Chi-nefes, nor long before it, fo that it cannot be known perhaps how to take it.
The Hiftprjans fupportedwith Aftronomical Obfervations, do merit therefore to be ex' amined before, that credit be given thereunto. Thus an account of Eclipfes, which u at the beginning of Diogenes Laertius, and which he relates after Soticn, is condemned M falfe by Monfieur Caff.ni. Sotion reckoned 48863 years between Vulcan and Alexander the Great, and in this interval he placed 373 folar Eclipfes, and 83 lunar.
A too ready belief muft not likewife be given to an Hiftory, becaufe it gives us a well ranged fucceffion of Kwgs.The Petfians do give us one tf this Nature,which we know to be full of falfities :and we have the Genealogies of our Kings from Adam, which are yet more fpurious. 'TU not only from a well aajuftcd fucceffion, that the Hiftoriesto which we give credit, do take their certainly, but from that they are confirmed one by the other'. All the Nations that can have a knowledge ef the fame things, relating them after the fame man-vier^ at leaft as to the moft important circttm-ftanccs, fo that where there is a diverftty of