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The chonology of ancient kingdoms amended
J. Tonson London: J. Tonson, 1728. Newton, Isaac (1642-1727). The chronology of ancient kingdoms amended. 4to. xiv, [2], 376pp. Engraved vignette and initial on p. iii, 3 folding engraved plates. London: J. Tonson . . . J. Osborn and T. Longman, 1728. 226 x 172 mm. Paneled calf c. 1728, gilt edges, rebacked, corners a little worn. Minor foxing and toning but very good. Owner?s inscription dated 1768 on p. iii.First Edition, Thick Paper Issue. Newton?s last work, published posthumously the year after his death. In his final years Newton devoted himself primarily to theological questions, particularly to the reconciliation of biblical chronology with classical history. The Chronology of Ancient Kingdoms Amended, which Newton had worked on since the 1690s, had as its purpose ?the establishment of a relationship between the observed movement of the earth with respect to the fixed stars and ancient political events, so that the past might be ?predicted??backwards, so to speak? (Manuel, Newton as Historian, p. 68). ?In order to square the chronology of ancient kingdoms with his account of the development and diffusion of arts and of idolatry among the descendants of Noah, [Newton] had found it necessary to lop off the antiquity to which most ancient societies had pretended, and among other things he had cut about four hundred years out of the accepted chronology of Greek history? (Westfall, Never at Rest, p. 805). Newton was thus able to ?prove? that the Jews were more ancient than the Greeks, as indicated in biblical chronology. Babson 214.
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