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[XTalk] Re: time

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  • Weasel
    At 19:14 02/05/2000 -0500, Dave H. wrote: Snip... ... Something here seems amiss. There is no way an ancient army on march could average 84 miles a day.
    Message 1 of 11 , Feb 5, 2000
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      At 19:14 02/05/2000 -0500, Dave H. wrote:

      Snip...
      >
      >1) In Mesopotamia, distance was measured by Sumerian distance units called
      >"danna" (= about 7 English miles, known to be used about 2400 BCE). Around
      >1000 BCE this distance measure was also being used as a time measure. As
      >the average distance which could be traversed in a day (by an army, I
      >presume) was about 12 "danna" distance units (about 84 miles), the day
      >became divided into 12 "danna" time units.

      Something here seems amiss. There is no way an ancient army on march could
      average 84 miles a day. Fifteen to twenty miles a day would be much more
      reasonable.

      I have read Otto Neugebauer 's "The Exact Sciences in Antiquity" which I
      highly recommend to this group.
      (Available in paperback for about US$10)


      Dave Jones

      SF PUC

      Work: djones@...
      Home: davjones@...
    • David C. Hindley
      ... called ... Around ... measure. As ... day ... could ... more ... Dave J, I do not know whether this is supposed to be a realistic march or not. Personally,
      Message 2 of 11 , Feb 5, 2000
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        weasel <davjone-@...> wrote:

        > At 19:14 02/05/2000 -0500, Dave H. wrote:
        >
        > Snip...
        > >
        > >1) In Mesopotamia, distance was measured by Sumerian distance units
        called
        > >"danna" (= about 7 English miles, known to be used about 2400 BCE).
        Around
        > >1000 BCE this distance measure was also being used as a time
        measure. As
        > >the average distance which could be traversed in a day (by an army, I
        > >presume) was about 12 "danna" distance units (about 84 miles), the
        day
        > >became divided into 12 "danna" time units.
        >
        > Something here seems amiss. There is no way an ancient army on march
        could
        > average 84 miles a day. Fifteen to twenty miles a day would be much
        more
        > reasonable.

        Dave J,

        I do not know whether this is supposed to be a realistic march or not.
        Personally, I'd doubt it.

        The data Neugebauer presented was that the danna equalled approxomately
        7 miles, that it was used as a time measurement, and that 12 danna were
        used to represent a solar cycle.

        I suppose that it represents a hypothetical march, lasting all day,
        averaging 3.5 miles per hour.

        Your example of 20 miles a day, if on the march 5-6 hours a day (the
        practice of Roman legions, I believe), would approach 3.5 MPH.

        Regards,

        Dave Hindley
      • Robert M Schacht
        On Sat, 5 Feb 2000 19:14:58 -0500 David C. Hindley ... David, I am a bit puzzled by the orthography of WRA , which does not seem to follow modern
        Message 3 of 11 , Feb 6, 2000
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          On Sat, 5 Feb 2000 19:14:58 -0500 "David C. Hindley"
          <dhindley@...> writes:
          > Bob (and others):
          >
          > You ask: >>Is this usage (WRA = 2 hours) attested in the NT or other
          > Palestinian literature of that time?<<
          >
          > My sources are _Astronomy and History: Selected Essays_, In which
          > Otto
          > Neugebauer collected 43 of his journal publications through 1979 in
          > memory
          > of A J Sachs (New York: Springer-Verlag, 1983), and _A Dictionary of
          > Classical Antiquities_ (New York: MacMillan Co, 1901), ...

          David,
          I am a bit puzzled by the orthography of "WRA", which does not seem to
          follow modern conventions. You called it Babylonian, I think. I thought I
          could be of some help here, so I went out to the garage to dig out my
          Chicago Assyrian Dictionary (for which I have little use in my current
          profession), but there is no volume for W's. I checked some of my other
          sources, which also lacked W's in word initial position for
          Assyro-Babylonian words. I am a bit out of practice, however, so I may
          not have looked in the right places.

          But in any case, this is too far afield. Most of your catalog from
          Neugebauer, et al. is too early or too far away to be of much use. The
          most relevant data seems to be the Roman innovation of 4 three hour
          watches through the night, instead of the previous practice of 3 four
          hour watches. I am still wondering about Josephus' terminology of time
          subdivisions of a day.

          Bob
        • Rikki E. Watts
          ... Unless of course Mark is contextualizing ... Rikk Watts Dr. R. E. Watts (PhD, Cantab) Phone (604) 224 3245 Regent College,
          Message 4 of 11 , Feb 7, 2000
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            > From: "Mark T. Cameron" <cameronm@...>
            > Reply-To: crosstalk2@egroups.com
            > Date: Mon, 7 Feb 2000 09:44:38 -0500
            > To: <crosstalk2@egroups.com>
            > Subject: [XTalk] Re: time
            >
            >
            > -----Original Message-----
            > From: David C. Hindley <dhindley@...>
            >
            >> As for "watches", I noted in a post to Mark Goodacre (with an invalid
            >> subject heading, unfortunately) that Mt & Mk both assume a Roman style
            >> system in which daytime and nightime each consisted of four watches of
            >> 3 hours each. Yes, this is not the system found in the Jewish
            >> scriptures (where there are 3 watches per half day). The rabbis were
            >> debating whether there should be properly 3 or 4 watches per half-day
            >> in Talmudic times, but I wonder what this really tells us about 1st
            >> century CE Palestinian practice. Even if it did suggest the
            >> continuation of the older Jewish practice in Roman times, would the
            >> authors of the Gospels follow Palestinian conventions anyways?
            >
            > This would fit with the traditional theory that GMark was written at Rome
            > by an author who was not native to Palestine. Martin Hengel comments
            > that the labelling of the woman in Mark 7:26 as "Syrophoenician" reflects
            > a Western, Latin usage. It is also claimed that the "kodrantes" coin
            > mentioned in Mark 12:42 was not found in the Eastern empire. This
            > could be another example of a Markan Latinism.
            >
            Unless of course Mark is contextualizing ...

            Rikk Watts


            Dr. R. E. Watts (PhD, Cantab) Phone (604) 224 3245
            Regent College, Fax (604) 224 3097
            5800 University Boulevard
            Vancouver, BC
            CANADA V6T 2E4
          • David C. Hindley
            ... to follow modern conventions. You called it Babylonian, I think. I thought I could be of some help here, so I went out to the garage to dig out my Chicago
            Message 5 of 11 , Feb 7, 2000
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              robert m schacht <bobschach-@...> wrote:

              >> I am a bit puzzled by the orthography of "WRA", which does not seem
              to follow modern conventions. You called it Babylonian, I think. I
              thought I could be of some help here, so I went out to the garage to
              dig out my Chicago Assyrian Dictionary (for which I have little use in
              my current profession), but there is no volume for W's. I checked some
              of my other sources, which also lacked W's in word initial position for
              Assyro-Babylonian words. I am a bit out of practice, however, so I may
              not have looked in the right places.<<

              Sorry if I was not being clear <I'll blame this on my non-academic
              brain "filled with mush," which some may recall was the crusty old
              professor's opinion of his law students in the old "Paper Chase" series
              on US Public Television in the 70's>.

              I did not mean to imply that Greek WRA was derived from a Babylonian
              term. My only intent was to demonstrate that the Babylonians had the
              practice of dividing the whole solar day into 12 parts. This was mainly
              for astronomical purposes, so common practice may have been different.
              If we can place any credence on Herodatus (History II.109, which is now
              apparently considered an interpolation, per Neugebauer), then the
              Greeks picked up the concept of dividing the "day" into 12 parts from
              the Babylonians (about 4th century BCE). But Greek practice was closere
              to the Egyptian practice in that the daytime and nightime were both
              subdivided into 12 "hours".

              In a way, it is possible to look at the Greek term WRA in a general
              sense (24 "hours" in a solar day) and a technical, astronomical, sense
              (12 "hours" in a solar rotation). The technical sense was well known to
              intellectual Greeks and Romans who had the leisure to study
              astronomy/astrology.

              >> But in any case, this is too far afield. Most of your catalog from
              Neugebauer, et al. is too early or too far away to be of much use. The
              most relevant data seems to be the Roman innovation of 4 three hour
              watches through the night, instead of the previous practice of 3 four
              hour watches. I am still wondering about Josephus' terminology of time
              subdivisions of a day.<<

              All it does is illustrate how well entrenched the concept of two sets
              of 12 "hour" periods per solar day was in Greek and Egyptian minds. The
              gospels all make use of numbered hours, and I accept that these are
              "hours" approxomating out standard "hour" (12 in day, 12 in night).

              As for "watches", I noted in a post to Mark Goodacre (with an invalid
              subject heading, unfortunately) that Mt & Mk both assume a Roman style
              system in which daytime and nightime each consisted of four watches of
              3 hours each. Yes, this is not the system found in the Jewish
              scriptures (where there are 3 watches per half day). The rabbis were
              debating whether there should be properly 3 or 4 watches per half-day
              in Talmudic times, but I wonder what this really tells us about 1st
              century CE Palestinian practice. Even if it did suggest the
              continuation of the older Jewish practice in Roman times, would the
              authors of the Gospels follow Palestinian conventions anyways?

              Possibly not. I think I see where your going with this. To evaluate how
              well the Gospel accounts of the Passion fit with Jewish practice, we
              should have a good idea of what those practices were, or could have
              been (by inference). We already have a good idea what Greek/Roman
              practice was at this time.

              Unfortunately, there are about a half dozen Greek terms that might be
              used to designate a "watch", which would have to be searched in a
              concordance to the Greek editions of Josephus. That I do not posess
              (yet), but it may be possible to do a search like this with one of the
              online Greek Josephus sites.

              Regards,

              Dave Hindley

              PS: Apologies to group for not changing the subject heading of my
              response to Mark Goodacre the other day! <One of the drawbacks to
              replying from digests>
            • Mark T. Cameron
              ... From: David C. Hindley ... This would fit with the traditional theory that GMark was written at Rome by an author who was not
              Message 6 of 11 , Feb 7, 2000
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                -----Original Message-----
                From: David C. Hindley <dhindley@...>

                >As for "watches", I noted in a post to Mark Goodacre (with an invalid
                >subject heading, unfortunately) that Mt & Mk both assume a Roman style
                >system in which daytime and nightime each consisted of four watches of
                >3 hours each. Yes, this is not the system found in the Jewish
                >scriptures (where there are 3 watches per half day). The rabbis were
                >debating whether there should be properly 3 or 4 watches per half-day
                >in Talmudic times, but I wonder what this really tells us about 1st
                >century CE Palestinian practice. Even if it did suggest the
                >continuation of the older Jewish practice in Roman times, would the
                >authors of the Gospels follow Palestinian conventions anyways?

                This would fit with the traditional theory that GMark was written at Rome
                by an author who was not native to Palestine. Martin Hengel comments
                that the labelling of the woman in Mark 7:26 as "Syrophoenician" reflects
                a Western, Latin usage. It is also claimed that the "kodrantes" coin
                mentioned in Mark 12:42 was not found in the Eastern empire. This
                could be another example of a Markan Latinism.

                Mark Cameron
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