Monthly Archives: December 2015

Several Greek and Roman writers recorded a lunar eclipse that occured before the battle between Alexander the Great's army and Persian forces at Gaugamela near Arbela (todays Erbil in northern Iraq). The date of the battle is given by Arrian as during the month Pyanopsion when Aristophanes was archon at Athens. This means early in the autumn (October) -330 or -329 in our calendar.

There was a large lunar eclipse on -330 September 20, but also a second one on -98 October 6. Both eclipses would date the battle to October as Arrian says, and both were visible in northern Iraq, but at different hours of the night. A strange coincidence is the fact that the two solutions for Pliny's quadruple (see separate report) and the two candidates for the Arbela eclipse are offset by exactly the same number of days: 232 (Julian) years + 16 days = 84754 days.

Moreover, it seems that a Babylonian clay tablet mentioning the battle at Gaugamela has been preserved by a rare coincidence. This tablet contains sufficient astronomical information to date the described battle to -330 October 1 as conventionally assumed.

Even though there are two solutions with 232 years offset for both Pliny's quadruple and the lunar eclipse before the battle at Gaugamela, the Babylonian clay tablet tilts the scales in favour of the conventional solution. However, if our dendrochronological results are correct, something must be wrong with the astronomical records in some way. Ultimately we have to decide which dating method we trust most, and why. Follow our argumentation here.

Starting with the later Han period (25 to 220), there are references to a large civilisation far to the west from China in the Chinese historical records. This civilisation is called Da Qin and has been identified as being either Rome, the Roman Empire or the Roman eastern provinces.

The annalist makes quite fantastic statements about this civilisation, e.g. "their kings are not permanent", and the name of the king of Da Qin in the year 166 was "Andun".

Now, guess what happens if Roman time is offset (i.e. conventionally dated too old) by 232 years. Do the fantastic statements make any sense? Read more about it here.