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Select Papyri, 1.198B


ASTRONOMICAL CALENDAR

  Greek text:   PHib 27
Date:   c. 150 B.C. 

The translation of this unusual calendar (not included in the original collection) is taken from "The Hibeh papyri" Part 1, pp. 151-153 ( archive.org ). The contents of the calendar are similar to a Greek parapegma ( such as the fragments found at Miletus, SEG_1264bis ) - but set in an Egyptian context.    


. . . at Sais a wise man and a friend of mine, for I have been in the Saite nome for five years. He expounded to me the whole truth, and illustrated it in practice from the stone dial which is called in Greek a "gnomon." He said that the courses of the sun were two, one dividing night and day and one dividing winter and summer. Accordingly, to summarise his information as accurately as I could in the shortest space, in order that the intricacy of the fractions may not appear to you a long and unfamiliar thing to understand (?), I will divide the necessary days. The astronomers and sacred scribes use the lunar days for the settings and risings of the stars. They therefore keep most of the festivals annually on the same day, without alterations owing to the setting or rising of a star ; but some festivals they keep . . .

Choiak 1st: . . . The night is 13 4/45 hours, the day 10 41/45.   16th, Arcturus rises in the evening. The night is 12 34/45 hours, the day 11 11/45.   26th, Corona rises in the evening, and the north winds blow which bring the birds. The night is 12 8/15; hours and the day 11 7/15. Osiris circumnavigates, and the golden boat is brought out.

Tubi 5th, the sun enters Aries. 20th, spring equinox. The night is 12 hours and the day 12 hours. Feast of Phitorois.   27th, Pleiades set in the evening. The night is 11 38/45 hours, the day 12 7/45.

Mecheir 6th, the sun enters Taurus. Hyades set in the evening. The night is 11 29/45 hours, the day 12 16/45; and Hera burns (?), and there are indications, and the south wind blows. If it becomes violent it burns up the fruits of the earth.   19th {16th ?}, Lyra rises in the evening. The night is 11 19/45 hours, the day 12 26/45; and there is an assembly at Sais in honour of Athena, and the south wind blows. If it becomes violent it burns up the fruits of the earth.   2.th, Orion (?) rises {sets ?} in the evening. The night is 11 .. hours, the day 12 .. hours, . . .   27th, Lyra {Canis?} sets in the evening. The night is 11 8/45 hours, the day 12 37/45. Feast of Prometheus whom they call Iphthimis, and the south wind blows. If it becomes violent it burns up the fruits of the earth.

Phamenoth 4th, the sun enters Gemini. Capella rises in the morning. The night is 11 1/45 hours, the day 12 44/45. 5th, Scorpio begins to set in the morning. The night is 11 hours, the day 13. 9th, feast of Edu (?) among the Egyptians.   12th, Scorpio sets completely in the morning. ‘The night is 10 38/45 hours, the day 13 7/45.   13th, Pleiades rise in the morning. [The night is 10 37/45 hours, the day 13 8/45] . . .

Pharmouthi 3rd, the sun enters Cancer. Aquila rises in the evening. The night is 10 17/45 hours, the day 13 28/45.   11th, Delphinus rises in the evening. The night is 10 ⅕ hours, the day 13 ⅘, and there is the . . . of Hera.   17th, Orion rises in the morning. The night is 10 1/15 hours, the day 13 14/15.   20th, the night is 10 hours, the day 14, and the sun rises in the same place for 3 days.   21st, the night is 10 hours, the day 14.   22nd, the night is 10 hours, the day 14.   23rd, the night is 10 hours, the day 14.   24th, summer solstice, and the night gains upon the day by 1/45 of an hour which is 1/12 of an equinoctial day ; and the night is 10 1/45 hours, the day 13 44/45.   25th, the etesian winds begin to blow, and the river begins to rise. The night is 10 2/45 hours, the day 13 43/45.

Pachon 6th, the sun enters Leo. Vindemitor rises (?). The night is 10 13/45 hours, the day 13 32/45.   9th, Orion rises completely in the morning. The night is 10 16/45 hours, the day 13 29/45.   18th, Canis rises in the morning. The night is 10 5/9 hours, the day 13 4/9.

Pauni 4th, the sun enters Virgo. Aquila sets in the morning. The night is 10 41/45 hours, the day 13 4/45.   16th, Corona sets in the morning. The night is 11 8/45 hours, the day 12 37/45. Feast of Bubastis.   2.th, Delphinus sets in the morning. The night is 11 .. hours, the day 12 .. . Feast of . . .   27th, Lyra sets in the morning. The night is 11 19/45 hours, the day 12 26/45. Feast of . . .   30th, great . . ., there are indications. The night is 11 22/45 hours, the day 12 23/45.

Epeiph .., the sun enters the claws of Scorpio.   [13th ?], Arcturus rises in the morning. The night is 11 .. hours, the day 12 ..; and there is an assembly at Sais in honour of Athena, and they burn lamps throughout the country, and the river gives indications of rising.   23rd, autumnal equinox. The night is 12 hours, the day 12 hours. Feast of Anubis, and the river gives indications of rising.   27th, Capella rises in the evening. The night is 12 4/45, the day 11 41/45.

Mesore 2nd, the sun enters Scorpio. Pleiades rise in the evening. The night is 12 ⅕ hours, the day 11 ⅘. Feast of Apollo.   4th, Corona rises in the morning. The night is 12 11/45 hours, the day 11 34/45.   9th, Scorpio begins to set in the evening. The night is 12 16/45 hours, the day 11 29/45.   14th, Scorpio sets completely. The night is 12 21/45 hours, the day 11 24/45.   17th, Hyades rise in the evening. The night is 12 24/45 hours, the day 11 21/45.

In the 5 intercalary days: 4th, Arcturus sets in the evening. The night is 12 41/45 hours, the day 11 4/45; and the birthday festival of Isis takes place.

 

papyrus 199


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