Wednesday, December 30, 2015
Part # 2 13:20 V.S. 12:60 The 360 Day Year in Ancient History
Immanuel Velikovsky points out in Worlds in Collision that, “Numerous evidences are preserved which prove that prior to the year of 365 ¼ days, the year was only 360 days long” (p.330). He states that in ancient India, “The texts of the Veda period know a year of only 360 days.” Passages in which this length of year are clearly stated are found in all the Brahmanas. Those texts nowhere mention an intercalary period of five extra days which are currently part of the solar year. Dr. Velikovsky goes on, “This Hindu year of 360 days is divided into twelve months of thirty days each. The texts describe the moon as crescent for fifteen days and waning for another fifteen days; they also say that the sun moved for six months or 180 days to the north and for the same number of days to the south” (p.331).
In their astronomical works, the Brahmans used “very ingenious geometric methods,” Velikovsky states, and so their apparent “failure” to discern that the year of 360 days was 5 ¼ days too short seemed baffling to western historians. Their perplexity fails to account for the fact that the terrestrial year may have once been 360 days.
In the ancient Persian calendar, “The ancient Persian year was composed of 360 days or twelve months of thirty days each. In the seventh century [B.C.] five Gatha days were added to the calendar,” Velikovsky continues (p.332).
The old Babylonian year was also 360 days. Ctesias wrote that the walls of Babylon were 360 furlongs in compass, “as many as there had been days in the year” (quoted on page 333). The Babylonians divided the heavens into 36 decans, a decan being the space the sun moved relative to the fixed stars in a 10-day period. 36 decans in a year would make a year of 360 days – no more, no less.
Historians realize that at first the Babylonians recognized a year of 360 days, “and the division of a circle into 360 degrees must have indicated the path traversed by the sun each day in its assumed circling of the earth” (Cantor, Vorlesungen uber Geschichte der Mathematik, I, 92, quoted by Velikovsky).
The ancient Assyrians also had a 360 day year with each month containing 30 days. Assyrian documents refer to months of 30 days each, only, and count the months from the moon’s crescent to crescent. These facts all puzzle astronomers who cannot understand why all these ancient civilizations were so consistently erroneous in their calculation of the months and the year.
The ancient Mayans, half way around the world, also had a year of 360 days, in remote antiquity. The Mexicans, at the time of the conquest, called a thirty-day period a moon, even though they knew that the moon’s synodical period is 29.5209 days. Their calculations were even more accurate than the Gregorian calendar. Says Velikovsky, “Obviously, they adhered to an old tradition dating from the time when the year had twelve months of thirty days each, 360 days in all” (p.339).
Similarly, in ancient China the people had a year divided into twelve months of 30 days each, comprising a 360 day year. Says Velikovsky, “A relic of the system of 360 days is the still persisting division of the sphere into 360 degrees; each degree represented the diurnal advance of the earth on its orbit, or that portion of the zodiac which was passed over from one night to the next. After 360 changes the stellar sky returned to the same position for the observer on the earth” (p.340). After the year changed from 360 days to 365 ¼, the Chinese added 5 ¼ days to their year.
Suffice it to say, the 360 day year is well attested to in ancient history.
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