“…The notion that the calendar was devised by and for farmers so that they would know when to sow and when to reap has been taken for granted too long… Farmers do not need a formal calendar to know the seasons, and primitive societies have managed to feed themselves for generations without a calendar. The historic fact is that the calendar was devised in order to predetermine the precise time of festivals honoring the gods. The calendar in other words was a religious device. The first names by which months were called in Sumer had the prefix EZEN. The word did not mean “month”; it meant “festival.” The months were the times when the Festival of Enlil, or the Festival of Ninurta, or those of the other leading deities were to be observed.
“…That the calendar’s purpose was to enable religious observances should not surprise one at all. We find an instance that still regulates our lives in the current common, but actually, Christian, calendar. Its principal festival and the focal point that determines the rest of the annual calendar is Easter, the celebration of the resurrection, according to the New Testament, of Jesus on the third day after the crucifixion. Western Christians celebrate Easter on the third Sunday after the full moon that occurs on or right after the spring equinox. This created a problem for the early Christians at Rome, where the dominant calendrical element was the solar year of 365 days and the months were of irregular length and not exactly related to the Moon’s phases. The determination of Easter Day therefore required a reliance on the Jewish calendar, because the Last Supper, from which the other crucial days of Eastertide are counted, was actually the Seder meal with which the Jewish celebration of Passover begins on the eve of the fourteenth day of the month Nissan, the time of the full Moon.
Jewish Traditional Seder Meal.
Jewish Traditional Seder Meal.
Jewish Traditional Seder Meal.
Expression of New Life; Easter, in the Christian World.
Expression of New Life; Easter, in the Christian World.
“…As a result, during the first centuries of Christianity Easter was celebrated in accordance with the Jewish calendar. It was only when the Roman emperor Constantine, having adopted Christianity, convened a church council, the Council of Nicaea, in the year 325, that the continued dependence on the Jewish calendar was severed, and Christianity, until then deemed by the gentiles as merely another Jewish sect, was made into a separate religion.
Ruined statue of Roman Emperor Constantine, Rome.
“…The current Common Era Christian-calendar was introduced by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582 and is therefore called the Gregorian Calendar. It constituted a reform of the previous Julian Calendar, so named after the Roman Emperor Julius Caesar.
“…That noted Roman emperor, tired of the chaotic Roman calendar, invited in the first century B.C. the astronomer Sosigenes of Alexandria, Egypt, to suggest a reform of the calendar. Sosigenes’ advice was to forget about lunar-time keeping and to adopt a solar calendar “as that of the Egyptians.” The result was a year of 365 days plus a leap year of 366 days once in four years.
Julius Caesar (1st century B.C.)
Pope Gregory XIII (late 1500s)
“…But that still failed to account for the extra 11 1/4 minutes a year in excess of the quarter day and above the 365 days. That seemed too minute to bother with; but the result was that by 1582 the first day of spring, fixed by the Council of Nicaea to fall on March 21, was retarded by ten days to March 11th. Pope Gregory corrected the shortfall by simply decreeing on October 4, 1582, that the next day should be October 15. This reform established the currently used Gregorian calendar, whose other innovation was to decree that the new year begin on January first.
“…The Egyptians were aware that the solar year is somewhat longer than 365 days – not just by the full day every four years, as Julius Caesar had allowed for, but by enough to shift the calendar back by one month every 120 years and by a full year every 1,460 years. The determining or sacred cycle of the Egyptian calendar was this 1,460-year period, for it coincided with the cycle of the heliacal rising of the star Sirius (Egyptian Sept, Greek Sothis) at the time of the Nile’s annual flooding, which in turn takes place at about the summer solstice (in the northern hemisphere).
“…Edward Meyer (Agyptische Chronologie) concluded that when this Egyptian calendar was introduced, such a convergence of the heliacal rising of Sirius and of the Nile’s inundation had occurred on July 19th. Based on that, Kurt Sethe (Urgeschichte und altested Religion der Agypter) calculated that this could have happened in either 4240 B.C. or 2780 B.C. by observing the skies at either Heliopolis or Memphis.
“…By now researchers of the ancient Egyptian calendar agree that the solar calendar of 360 + 5 days was not the first prehistoric calendar of that land. This “civil” or secular calendar was introduced only after the start of dynastic rule in Egypt, i.e., after 3100 B.C.; according to Richard A. Parker (The Calendar of the Ancient Egyptians) it took place circa 2800 B.C. “probably for administrative and fiscal purposes.” This civil calendar supplanted, or perhaps supplemented at first, the “sacred” calendar of old. In the words of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, “the ancient Egyptians originally employed a calendar based upon the Moon.” According to R.A. Parker (Ancient Egyptian Astronomy) that earlier calendar was, “like that of all ancient peoples,” a calendar of twelve lunar months plus a thirteen intercalary month that kept the seasons in place.
“…That earlier calendar was also, in the opinion of Locker, equinoctial and linked indeed to the earliest temple at Heliopolis, whose orientation was equinoctial. In all that, as in the association of months with religious festivals, the earliest Egyptian calendar was akin to that of the Sumerians.
“…The conclusion that the Egyptian calendar had its roots in predynastic times, before civilization appeared in Egypt, can only mean that it was not the Egyptians themselves who invented their calendar. It is a conclusion that matches that regarding the zodiac in Egypt, and regarding both the zodiac and the calendar in Sumer: They were all the artful inventions of the “gods.”
“… Ra was the head of the first divine dynasty according to the Egyptian priest Manetho… The reign of Ra and his successors, the gods Shu, Geb, Osiris, Seth and Horus, lasted more than three millennia. It was followed by second divine dynasty that was begun by Thoth, another son of Ptah; it lasted half as long as the first dynasty. Thereafter a dynasty of demigods, thirty of them, reigned over Egypt for 3,650 years. Altogether, according to Manetho, the divine reigns of Ptah, the Ra dynasty, the Thoth dynasty and the dynasty of the demigods lasted 17,520 years…
“…Based on substantial evidence, we have concluded in The Wars of Gods and Men and other volumes of The Earth Chronicles that Ptah was none other than Enki and that Ra was Marduk on the Mesopotamian pantheon. It was to Enki and his descendants that the African lands were granted when the Earth was divided among the Anunnaki after the Deluge, leaving the E.DIN (the biblical land of Eden) and the Mesopotamian sphere of influence in the hands of Enlil and his descendants. Thoth, a brother of Ra/Marduk, was the god of the Sumerians called Ningishzidda.
Sculpture at Temple of Ptah
Sesostris I and Ptah
From the Tomb of Ptah
Adoration of Ra
“…Much of the history and violent conflicts that followed the Earth’s division stemmed from the refusal of Ra/Marduk to acquiesce in the division. He was convinced that his father was unjustly deprived of lordship of Earth (what the epithet-name EN.KI, “Lord Earth,” connoted); and therefore he and not Enlil’s foremost son Ninurta, should rule supreme on Earth from Babylon, the Mesopotamian city whose name meant “Gateway of the Gods.” Obsessed by his ambitions, Ra/Marduk caused not only conflicts with the Enlilites, but also aroused the animosity of some of his own brothers by involving them in these bitter conflicts as well as by leaving Egypt and then returning to reclaim lordship over it.
“…In the course of these comings and goings and ups and downs in Ra/Marduk’s struggles, he caused the death of a younger brother, Dumuzi, let his brother Thoth reign and then forced him into exile, and made his brother Nergal change sides in a War of the Gods that resulted in a nuclear holocaust. It was in particular the on-again, off-again relationship with Thoth, we believe, that is essential to the Calendar tales.
“…The Egyptians, it will be recalled, had not one but two calendars… one, was “based upon the Moon.” The later one… was based on the 365 days of the solar year. Contrary to the notion that the latter “civil calendar” was an administrative innovation of a Pharaoh, we suggest that it too, like the earlier one, was an artful creation of the gods; except that while the first one was the handiwork of Thoth, the second one was the craftwork of Ra.
“…One aspect of the civil calendar considered specific and original to it was the division of the thirty-day months into “decans,” ten-day periods each heralded by the heliacal rising of a certain star. Each star (depicted as a celestial god sailing the skies), was deemed to give notice of the last hour of the night; and at the end of ten days, a dew decan-star would be observed.
“…It is our suggestion that the introduction of this decan-based calendar was a deliberate act by Ra in a developing conflict with his brother Thoth.
“…Was there, perhaps, some jealousy between the two brothers on this score…? Marduk lacked the knowledge of medicine and healing, his knowledge fell short of his brother’s: he could not revive the dead, while Thoth could… His Sumerian depictions show him with the emblem of the entwined serpents, the emblem originally of his father Enki as the god who could engage in genetic engineering – the emblem, we have suggested, of the double helix of DNA.
Cro Protein Molecules Bound to DNA Helix.
“…His Sumerian name, NIN.GISH.ZID.DA, which meant “Lord of the Artifact of Life,” bespoke recognition of his capacity to restore life by reviving the dead… He was prominently featured in magical healing and exorcism texts; a Maklu (“Burnt Offerings”) series of incantations and magical formulas devoted a whole tablet, the seventh, to him. In one incantation, devoted to drowned mariners (“the seafaring folk who are utterly at rest”), the priest invokes the formulas of “Siris and Ningishzidda, the miracle workers, the spellbinders”).
“…Siris is the name of a goddess otherwise unknown in the Sumerian pantheon, and the possibility that it is a Mesopotamian rendition of the star’s name Sirius comes to our mind because in the Egyptian pantheon Sirius was the star associated with the goddess Isis.
“…The Egyptians held that the whole Book of the Dead, verses from which were inscribed on the walls of pharaonic tombs so that the deceased pharaoh could be translated into an Afterlife, was a composition of Thoth, written with his own fingers.” In a shorter work called by the Egyptians the Book of Breathings, it was stated that,
“Thoth, the most mighty god, the lord of Khemennu, cometh to thee, he writeth for thee the book of Breathings with his own fingers, so that thy Ka shall breathe for ever and ever and thy form endowed with life on Earth.”
“…We know from Sumerian sources that this knowledge, so essential in pharaonic beliefs – knowledge to revive the dead – was first possessed by Enki.
“…Evidently, the secret was not divulged to Marduk; and when he complained, his father gave him an evasive answer. That alone would have been enough to make the ambitious and power-hungry Marduk jealous of Thoth… All that (and other events) led – as the Sumerian text makes clear – to an affinity between Thoth and the star Sirius, the controller of the Egyptian calendar and the harbinger of the life-giving inundation of the Nile.
“…Were these the only reason for the jealousy, or did Ra/Marduk have more compelling reasons to see in Thoth a rival, a threat to his supremacy?
“…Why was it Thoth, of all the other sons of Ptah/Enki who was chosen to replace the dynasty of Ra in Egypt?
“…It is known that initially the dominating “company of the gods” or divine dynasty was that of Heliopolis; later on was superseded by the divine triad of Memphis (when Memphis became the capital of a unified Egypt). But in between there was an interim Paut or “divine company” of gods headed by Thoth. The “cult center” of the latter was Hermopolis (“City of Hermes” in Greek) whose Egyptian name, Khemennu, meant “eight.” One of the epithets of Thoth was “Lord of Eight,” which according to Heinrich Brugch (Religion and Mythologie der alien Aegypter) referred to eight celestial orientations, including the four cardinal points. It could also refer to Thoth’s ability to ascertain and mark out the eight standstill points of the Moon – the celestial body with which Thoth was associated.
“Marduk, a “Sun god,” on the other hand, was associated with the number ten. In the numerical hierarchy of the Anunnaki, in which Anu’s rank was the highest… the rank of Marduk was ten, and that could have been the origin of the decans. Indeed the Babylonian version of the Epic of Creation, attributes to Marduk the devising of a calendar of twelve months each divided into three “celestial astrals”:
He determined the year,
designating the zones:
For each of the twelve months
he set three celestial astrals,
[thus] defining the days of the year.
“…This division of the skies into thirty-six portions as a means of “defining the days of the year” is as clear a reference as possible to the calendar – a calendar with thirty-six decans. And there in Enuma Elish, the division is attributed to Marduk, alias Ra.
“…Without further discovery of intact or even fragmented tablets inscribed with the original Sumerian text of the Epic of Creation, it is impossible to say whether the thirty-six decans were a true innovation by Marduk or were just borrowed by him from Sumer. A basic tenet of Sumerian astronomy was the division of the celestial sphere enveloping the earth into three “ways” – the Way of Anu as a central celestial band, the Way of Enlil of the northern skies, and the Way of Ea (i.e., Enki) in the southern skies. It has been thought that the three ways represented the equatorial band in the center and the bands demarcated by the two tropics, north and south; we have, however, shown in The 12th Planet that the Way of Anu, straddling the equator, extended 30º northward and southward of the equator, resulting in a width of 60º; and the Way of Enlil and the Way of Ea similarly extended for 60º each, so that the three covered the complete celestial sweep of 180º from north to south.
“…If this tripartite division of the skies were to be applied to the calendrical division of the year into twelve months, the result would be thirty-six segments. Such a division – resulting in decans – was indeed made in Babylon.
“…While this Babylonian planisphere does not answer the question of the origin of the relevant verses of the Enuma Elish, it does establish that what it was supposed to have been a unique and original Egyptian innovation in fact had a counterpart (if not a predecessor) in Babylon – the place claimed by Marduk for his supremacy.
“…The fact is that when the time came, circa 3100 B.C., to extend the Sumerian level of civilization (human Kingship) to the Egyptians, Ra/Marduk – having been frustrated in his efforts to establish supremacy in Babylon – returned to Egypt and expelled Thoth.
“…It was then, we believe, that Ra/Marduk – not for administrative convenience but in a deliberate step to eradicate the vestiges of Thoth’s predominance – reformed the calendar. A passage in the Book of the Dead relates that Thoth was “disturbed by what hath happened to the divine children” who have “done battle, upheld strife, created fiends, caused trouble.” As a consequence of this Thoth “was provoked to anger when they [his adversaries] bring the years to confusion, throng in and push to disturb the months.” All that evil, the text declares, “in all they have done unto thee, they have worked iniquity in secret.”
“…This may well indicate that the strife that led to the substitution of Thoth’s calendar by Ra/Marduk’s calendar in Egypt took place when the calendar… needed to be put back on track. R.A. Parker, we have noted… believes that this change occurred circa 2800 B.C. Adolf Erman… was more specific: The opportunity, he wrote, was the return of Sirius to its original position, after the 1,460-year cycle, on July 19, 2776 B.C.
“…It should be noted that that date, circa 2800 B.C., is the official date adopted by the British authorities for Stonehenge I.
“…Scholars have long debated, but have yet to verify, the origin of the week, the slice of the year measured in lengths of seven days. We have shown in earlier books of The Earth Chronicles that seven was the number that represented our planet, the Earth. Earth was called in Sumerian texts “the seventh,” and was depicted in representations of celestial bodies by the symbol of the seven dots because journeying into the center of our Solar System from their outermost planet, the Anunnaki would first encounter Pluto, pass by Neptune and Uranus… and continue past Saturn and Jupiter… They would count Mars as the sixth (as six pointed star) and Earth would be the seven… For the Sumerians it was Enlil, and no other, who was “Lord of Seven.” Mesopotamian as well as biblical names, of persons (e.g., Bath-sheba, “Daughter of Seven”) or of places (e.g., Beer-Sheba, “the well of Seven”) honored the god by this epithet.
“…Though no one can say who “invented” the seven-day week, it is obviously associated in the Bible with the earliest times – indeed, when Time itself began: witness the seven days of Creation with which the Book of Genesis begins. The concept of a seven-day delineated period of counted time, a Time of Man, is found in biblical as well as the earlier Mesopotamian Deluge tale, thereby attesting to its antiquity. In the Mesopotamian texts, the hero of the flood is given seven days’ advance warning by Enki… In those versions the Deluge is said to have begun with a storm that “swept the country for seven days and seven nights.” In the biblical version the Deluge also began after a seven-day advance warning to Noah.
“…The biblical tale of the flood and its duration reveals a far-reaching understanding of the calendar in very early times. Significantly, it shows familiarity with the unit of seven days and of a division of the year into fifty-two weeks of seven days each. Moreover, it suggests an understanding of the complexities of a lunar-solar calendar.
“…That this was not the result of adding 354 + 10 as the number of days, but a deliberate division of the year into fifty-two weeks of seven days each, is made clear in the text of the Book of Jubilees. It states (chapter 6) that Noah was given, when the Deluge ended, “heavenly tablets” ordaining that,
All the days of the commandment
will be two and fifty weeks of days
which will make the year complete.
Thus it is engraven and ordained
on the heavenly tablets;
there shall be no neglecting for a single
year or from year to year.
And command thou the children of Israel
that they observe the year according to
three hundred and sixty-four days;
these shall constitute a complete year.
“… The Book of Enoch, especially in its version known as Enoch II, is believed to show elements of scientific knowledge centered at the time of Alexandria, Egypt. How much of that can be traced back to the teaching of Thoth cannot be stated with any certainty; but biblical as well as Egyptian tales suggest a role for seven and fifty-two times seven beginning in much earlier times.
“…Well known is the biblical tale of Joseph’s rise of governorship over Egypt after he had successfully interpreted the pharaoh’s dreams… Few are aware, however, that the tale – “legend” or “myth” to some – had strong Egyptian roots as well as an earlier counterpart in Egyptian lore. Among the former (7 fatfleshed cows devoured by 7 leanfleshed cows) was the Egyptian forerunner of the Greek Sibylline oracle goddesses; they were called the Seven Hathors, Hathor having been the goddess of the Sinai peninsula who was depicted as a cow, in other words, the Seven Hathors symbolized seven cows who could predict the future.
“…The earlier counterpart of the tale of the seven lean years that followed the seven years of plenty is a hieroglyphic text, that E.A.W. Budge (Legends of the Gods) titled “A legend of the god Khnemu and of a seven year famine.” Khnemu was another name for Ptah/Enki in his role as fashioner of Mankind. The Egyptians believed that after he had turned over lordship over Egypt to his son Ra, he retired to the island of Abu (known as Elephantine since Greek times because of its shape), where he formed twin caverns – two connected reservoirs – whose locks or sluices could be manipulate to regulate the flow of the Nile’s waters. (The modern Aswan High Dam is similarly located above the Nile’s first cataract).
Ancient ruins at Abu Island, (Elephantine today).
Ancient ruins at Abu Island, (Elephantine today).
Site of First Cataract, Nile River.
Aswan High Dam, regulating the Nile’s waters, just like Ptah/Enki did.
Women carrying water from the Nile to their villages.
Aswan Dam seen from Space.
“…According to this text (continuing with Joseph’s events, as per the Egyptian account), the Pharaoh Zoser (builder of the step-pyramid at Saqqara) received a royal dispatch from the governor of the people of the south that grievous suffering had come upon the people “because the Nile hath not come forth to the proper height for seven years.” As a result, “grain is very scarce, vegetables are lacking altogether, every kind of thing which men eat for their food hath ceased, and every man now plondereth his neighbor.”
“…Hoping that the spread of famine and chaos could be avoided by a direct appeal to the god, the king traveled south to the island of Abu. The god, he was told, dwells there “in an edifice of wood with portals formed of reeds,” keeping with him “the cord of the tablet” that enable him to “open the double door of the sluices of the Nile.” Khnemu, responding to the king’s pleadings, promised “to raise the level of the Nile, give water, make the crops grow.”
“Since the annual rising of the Nile was linked to the heliacal rising of the star Sirius, one must wonder whether the tale’s celestial or astronomical aspects recall not only the actual shortage of water (which occur cyclically even nowadays) but also the shift… in the appearance of Sirius under a rigid calendar. That the whole tale had calendrical connotations is suggested by the statement in the text that the abode of Khnemu at Abu was astronomically oriented:
“The god’s house hath an opening to the southeast, and the Sun standeth immediately opposite thereto every day.”
This can only mean a facility for observing the Sun in the course of moving to and from the winter solstice.
“…This brief review of the use and significance of the number seven in the affairs of gods and men suffices to show its celestial origin (the seven planets from Pluto to Earth) and its calendrical importance (the seven-day week, a year of fifty-two such weeks). But in the rivalry among the Anunnaki, all that assumed another significance: the determination of who was the God of Seven (Eli-Sheva in Hebrew, from which Elizabeth comes) and thus the titular Ruler of Earth.
“…And that we believe, is what alarmed Ra/Marduk on his return to Egypt after his failed coup in Babylon: the spreading veneration of Seven, still Enlil’s epithet, through the introduction of the seven-day week into Egypt.
“…In these circumstances the veneration of the Seven Hathors, as an example, must have been anathema to Ra/Marduk.
“…Since the official spouses of both (Ninki of Enki, Ninlil of Enlil) were not their half sisters, it was important for them to beget a son by Ninharsag (their half sister): such a son under the succession rules of the Anunnaki, would be the undisputed Legal Heir to the throne on Earth… Ninharsag only bore daughters to Enki… but Enlil was more successful and his Foremost Son was conceived…This entitled Ninurta (Ningirsu, the “Lord of Girsu” to Gudea) to inherit his father’s rank of fifty – at the same time depriving Enki’s firstborn, Marduk, of rulership over the Earth.
“…Archaeologists have discovered in the area of Saqqara (of the times of Zoser), a circular “altar top” of alabaster whose shape suggests that it was intended to serve as a sacred lamp to be lighted over a seven-day period. Another find is that of a stone “wheel” (some think it was the base of an omphalos, an oracular “navel stone“) that is clearly divided into four segments of seven markers each, suggesting that it was really a stone calendar – a lunar calendar, no doubt – incorporating the seven-day week concept and (with the aid of the four dividers) enabling a lunar monthly count ranging from twenty-eight to thirty-two days… It is our belief that the genius behind all of those geographically (Stonehenge in Britain; Aztec calendar in Mexico) spread stone calendars was one and the same god: Thoth.
“…What archaeologists identify as games or game boards have been found almost everywhere in the ancient Near East… Mesopotamia, Canaan, and Egypt… Two players moved pegs from one hole to another in accordance with the throw of dice. Archaeologists see in that no more than games with which to while away the time; but the usual number of holes, fifty-eight, is clearly an allocation of twenty-nine to each player – and twenty-nine is the number of full days in a lunar month. There were also obvious subdivisions of the holes into smaller groups, and grooves connected some holes to others (indicating perhaps that the player could jump-advance there)…
“…Nowadays we employ ditties (“Thirty days hath September”) and games to teach the modern calendar to children; why exclude the possibility that it was so also in antiquity?
“…That these were calendar games and that at least one of them, the favorite of Thoth, was designed to teach the division of the year into fifty-two weeks, is evident from an ancient Egyptian tale known as “The Adventures of Satni-Khamois with the Mummies.”
“…It is a tale of magic, mystery, and adventure, an ancient thriller that combines the magical number fifty-two with Thoth and the secrets of the calendar. The tale is written on a papyrus (catalogued as Cairo-30646) that was discovered in a tomb at Thebes, dating to the third century B.C. Fragments of other papyruses with the same tale have also been found, indicating that it was part of the established or canonical literature of ancient Egypt that recorded the tales of gods and men.
“…The hero of this tale was Satni, a son of the pharaoh, “well instructed in all things.” He was wont to wonder in the necropolis of Memphis… One day a mysterious old man told him of a tomb “where there is deposited the book that the god Thoth had written with his own hands,” and in which the mysteries of the Earth and the secrets of heaven were revealed…
It was a challenging fate for Satni, as he tried to retrieve the book and face the wrath of Thoth…
“…How Satni managed to escape with the book, the calamities that befell him as a result, and how he in the end returned the book to its hiding place, makes fascinating reading but is unessential to our immediate subject: the fact that the astronomical and calendrical “secrets of Thoth” included the Game of Fifty-Two – the division of the year into fifty-two seven day portions, resulting in the enigmatic year of only 364 days of the books of Jubilees and Enoch.
“…It is a magical number that vaults us across the oceans, to the Americas, returns us to the enigma of Stonehenge, and parts the curtains on the events leading to, and resulting from, the first New Age recorded by Mankind.