Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 6, Slice 3 - "Chitral" to "Cincinnati"
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In the early form of chronoscope invented by Sir C. Wheatstone in 1840 the period of time was measured by means of a species of clock, driven by a weight; the dial pointer was started and stopped by the action of an electromagnet which moved a pawl engaging with a toothed wheel fixed on the axle to which the dial pointer was attached. The instrument applied to the determination of the velocity of shot is described thus by Wheatstone:—"A wooden ring embraced the mouth of the gun, and a wire connected the opposite sides of the ring. At a proper distance the target was erected, and so arranged that the least motion given to it would establish a permanent contact between two metal points. One of the extremities of the wire of the electromagnet (before mentioned) was attached to one pole of a small battery; to the other extremity of the electromagnet were attached two wires, one of which communicated with the contact piece of the target, and the other with one of the ends of the wire stretched across the mouth of the gun; from the other extremity of the voltaic battery two wires were taken, one of which came to the contact piece of the target, and the other to the opposite extremity of the wire across the mouth of the gun. Before the firing of the gun a continuous circuit existed, including the gun wire; when the target was struck the second circuit was completed; but during the passage of the projectile both circuits were interrupted, and the duration of this interruption was indicated by the chronoscope."


Professor Joseph Henry (Journal Franklin Inst., 1886) employed a cylinder driven by clockwork, making ten revolutions per second. The surface was divided into 100 equal parts, each equal to 1/1000 second. The time marks were made by two galvanometer needles, when successive screens were broken by a shot. Henry also used an induction-coil spark to make the cylinder, the primary of the coil being in circuit with a battery and screen. This form of chronograph is in many respects similar to the instrument of Konstantinoff, which was constructed by L.F.C. Breguet and has been sometimes attributed to him (Comptes rendus, 1845). This chronograph consisted of a cylinder 1 metre in circumference and 0.36 metre long, driven by clockwork, the rotation being regulated by a governor provided with wings. A small carriage geared to the wheelwork traversed its length, carrying electromagnetic signals. The electric chronograph signal usually consists of a small armature (furnished with a style which marks a moving surface) moving in front of an electromagnet, the armature being suddenly pulled off the poles of the electromagnet by a spring when the circuit is broken (Journal of Physiology, ix. 408). The signals in Breguet's instrument were in a circuit, including the screens and batteries of a gun range. The measurement of time depended on the regularity of rotation of the cylinder, on which each mm. represented 1/1000 second.


In the chronograph of A.J.A. Navez (1848) the time period is found by means of a pendulum held at a large angle from the vertical by an electromagnet, which is in circuit with a screen on the gun range. When the shot cuts this screen the circuit is broken and the pendulum liberated and set swinging. When the next screen on the range is broken by the shot, the position of the pendulum is recorded and the distance it has passed through measured on a divided arc. From this the time of traversing the space between the screens is deduced. By means of an instrument known as a disjunctor the instrumental time-loss or latency of the chronograph is determined. [Sidenote: Benton.] In Benton's chronograph (1859) two pendulums are liberated, in the same manner as in the instrument of Navez, one on the cutting of the first screen, the other on the cutting of the second. The difference between the swings of the two pendulums gives the time period sought for. The disjunctor is also used in connexion with this instrument. In Vignotti's chronograph (1857) again a pendulum is employed, furnished with a metal point, which moves close to paper impregnated with ferro-cyanide of potassium. The gun-range screens are included in the primary circuits of induction coils; when these circuits are broken a spark from the pointer marks the paper. From these marks the time of traverse of the shot between the screens is determined.


In the Bashforth chronograph a platform, arranged to descend slowly alongside of a vertical rotating cylinder, carries two markers, controlled by electromagnets, which describe a double spiral on the prepared surface of the cylinder. One electromagnet is in circuit with a clock, and the marker actuated by it marks seconds on the cylinder; the circuit of the other is completed through a series of contact pieces attached to the screens through which the shot passes in succession. On the gun range, when the shot reaches the first screen, it breaks a weighted cotton thread, which keeps a flexible wire in contact with a conductor. When the thread is broken by a shot, the wire leaves the conductor and almost immediately establishes the circuit through the next screen, by engaging with a second contact, the time of the rupture being recorded on the cylinder by the second marker. The velocity with which the cylinder rotates is such that the distance between successive clock marks indicating seconds is about 18 in.; hence the marks corresponding with the severance of a thread can be allotted their value in fractions of seconds with great accuracy. The times when the shot passes successive screens being thus recorded on the spiral described by the second marker, and the distance between each screen being known, the velocity of the shot can be calculated.


The chronoscope invented by Sir Andrew Noble is so well adapted to the measurement of very small intervals of time that it is usually employed to ascertain the velocity acquired by a shot at different parts of the bore in moving from a state of rest inside the gun. A series of "cutting plugs" is screwed into the sides of the gun at measured intervals, and in each is inserted a loop of wire which forms part of the primary circuit of an induction coil. On the passage of a shot this wire is severed by means of a small knife which projects into the bore and is actuated by the shot as it passes; the circuit being thus broken, a spark passes between the terminals of the secondary of the coil. There is a separate coil and circuit for each plug. The recording arrangement consists of a series of disks, one for each plug, mounted on one axle and rotating at a high angular velocity. The edges of these disks are covered with a coating of lamp-black, and the secondaries of the coils are caused to discharge against them, so that a minute spot burnt in the lamp-black of each disk indicates the moment of the cutting of the wire in the corresponding plug. Hence measurement of the distance between two successive spots gives the time occupied by the shot in moving over the portion of the bore between two successive plugs. By the aid of a vernier, readings are made to thousandths of an inch, and the peripheral velocity of the disks being 1100 in. a second, the machine indicates portions of time rather less than one-millionth of a second; it is, in fact, practically correct to hundred-thousandths of a second (Phil. Trans., 1875, pt. i.).

Le Boulenge.

In the Le Boulenge chronograph ("Chronograph le Boulenge," par M. Breger, Commission de Gavre, Sept. 1880) two screens are used. The wire of the first forms part of the circuit of an electromagnet which, so long as it is energized, supports a vertical rod called the "chronometer." Hence when the circuit is broken by the passage of a shot through the screen this rod drops. The wire of the second screen conveys a current through another electromagnet which supports a much shorter rod. This "registrar," as it is called, when released by the shot severing the wire of the second screen, falls on a disk which sets free a spring, and causes a horizontal knife to fly forward and nick a zinc tube with which the chronometer rod is sheathed. Hence the long rod will be falling for a certain time, while the shot is travelling between the two screens, before the short rod is released; and the longer the shot takes to travel this distance, the farther the long rod falls, and the higher up on it will be the nick made by the knife. A simple calculation connects the distance through which the rod falls with the time occupied by the shot in travelling over the distance between the screens, and thus its velocity ascertained. The nick made by the knife, if released while the chronometer rod is still suspended, is the zero point. If both rods are released simultaneously, as is done by breaking both circuits at once by means of a "disjunctor," a certain time is consumed by the short rod in reaching the disk, setting free the spring and cutting a nick in the zinc; and during this time the long rod is falling into a recess in the stand deep enough to receive its full length. The instrument is so adjusted that the nick thus made is 4.435 in. above the zero point, corresponding to 0.15 sec. This is the disjunctor reading, and requires to be frequently corrected during experiments. The instrument was modified and improved by Colonel H.C. Holden, F.R.S. For further information respecting formulae relating to it see Text Book of Gunnery (1857).


The electric chronograph of the late H.S.S. Watkin consists of two long cylinders rotating on vertical axes, and between them a cylindrical weight, having a pointed head, is free to fall. The weight is furnished with an insulated wire which passes through it at right angles to its longest axis. When the weight falls the ends of the insulated wire move very close to the surfaces of the cylinders which form part of a secondary circuit of an induction coil, the primary circuit of which is opened when a screen is ruptured by a shot. A minute mark is made by the induced spark on the smoked paper with which the cylinders are covered. The time period between events is deduced from the space fallen through by the weight, and by means of a scale, graduated for a given distance between the screens, the velocity of a shot is at once found. It may be noted that the method of release is such that the falling weight is not subjected, after it has begun to fall, to a diminishing magnetic field, which would be the case if it were directly supported by an electromagnet. An iron rod when falling from an electromagnet, during a minute portion of its fall, is subject to a diminishing force acting in the opposite sense to that of gravity, whereby its time of fall is slightly changed.

Colonel Sebert (Extraits du memorial de l'artillerie de la marine) devised a chronograph to indicate graphically the motion of recoil of a cannon when fired. A pillar fixed to the ground at the side of the gun-carriage supported a tuning-fork, the vibration of which was maintained electrically. The fork was provided with a tracing point attached to one of the prongs, and so adjusted that it drew its path on a polished sheet of smoke-blackened metal attached to the gun-carriage, which traversed past the tracing point when the gun ran back. The fork used made 500 complete vibrations per second. A central line was drawn through the curved path of the tracing point, and every entire vibration cut the straight line twice, the interval between each intersection equalling 1/1000 second. The diagram so produced gave ihe total time of the accelerated motion of recoil of the gun, the maximum velocity of recoil, and the rate of acceleration of recoil from the beginning to the end of the motion. By means of an instrument furnished with a microscope and micrometers, the length and amplitude, and the angle at which the curved line cut the central line, were measured. At each intersection (according to the inventor) the velocity could be deduced. The motion at any intersection being compounded of the greatest velocity of the fork, while passing through the midpoint of the vibration and the velocity of recoil, the tangent made by the curve with the straight line represents the ratio of the velocity of the fork to the velocity of recoil. If a be the amplitude of vibration, considered constant, v the velocity of the fork at the midpoint of its path, r the velocity of recoil, [alpha] the angle made by the tangent to the curve with the straight line at the point of intersection, and t the line of a complete vibration; then, v = 2[pi]a/t; r = v/tan [alpha].


F. Jervis-Smith's tram chronograph (Patents, 1894, 1897, 1903) was devised for measuring periods of time varying from about one-fourth to one twenty-thousandth part of a second (Proc. Roy. Soc., 1889, 45, p. 452; The Tram Chronograph, by F. Jervis-Smith, F.R.S.). It consists of a metal girder having a T-shaped end. This carries two parallel steel rails, the edges of which lie in the same vertical plane. The girder, which is slightly inclined to the horizontal plane, is geometrically supported, being carried at its end, and at the extremities of the T-piece, on a V-groove, trihedral hole and plane. A carriage or tram furnished with three grooved wheels runs on the rails, and a slightly smoked glass plate is attached to its vertical side. The tram in the original instrument was propelled by a falling weight, but in an improved form one or more spiral springs are employed. All time traces are made immediately after the propelling force has ceased to act. The tram is brought to rest by a gradually applied brake, consisting of two crossed leather bands stretched by two springs; a projection from the tram runs between the bands, and brings it to rest with but little lateral pressure. When, for certain physiological experiments, a low velocity of traverse is required, a heavy fly-wheel is mounted on the tram and geared to its wheels. A pillar also mounted geometrically, placed vertically in front of the carriage, carries the electromagnet style or signals and tuning-fork which can be brought into contact with the glass by means of a lever. Also styli are used which depend for their action on the displacement of one or more wires under tension or torsion carrying a current in a magnetic field, the condition being such that no magnetic lag due to iron armatures and cores exists. Two motions of a slide on the pillar, viz. of rotation and translation, allow a number of observations to be made. The traces are counted out on a sloping glass desk, and the time of flight of a projectile between two or more screens is found. When very close readings are required, they are made by means of a traversing geometric micrometer microscope. When the distance between the screens is known, and also the time of flight, the midpoint velocity is found by applying Bashforth's formula. When the velocity of shot from a shot-gun has to be found, a thin wire stretched across the muzzle takes the place of the first screen, and a thin sheet of metal or cardboard carrying an electric contact, or a Branly coherer, the conductivity of which is restored by means of an induced current, takes the place of the second screen. The electric firing circuit is provided with a safety key attached by a cord to the man who loads the gun and prepares the electric fuse. The firing circuit is closed by inserting the key in a switch at the rear of the gun, thus preventing him from getting into the line of fire when the gun is fired by the chronograph. The tram, when the instrument is adjusted, has a practically constant velocity of traverse.


The polarizing photo-chronograph, designed and used by A.C. Crehore and G.O. Squier at the United States Artillery School (Trans. Amer. Inst. Elect. Eng. vol. 14, and Journal United States Artillery, 1895, 6, p. 271), depends for its indications upon the rotation of a beam of light by a magnetic field, produced by a solenoidal current which is opened and closed by the passage of the projectile. The general arrangement is as follows:—A beam of light from an electric lamp traverses a lens, then a Nicol prism, next a glass cylinder furnished with plane glass ends and coiled with insulated wire, then an analyser and two lenses, finally impinging on a photographic plate to which rotation is given by an electric motor, the plane of rotation being perpendicular to the direction of the beam of light. The same plate also records the shadow of a pierced projection attached to a tuning-fork, light from the electric lamp being diverted by a mirror for this purpose. The solenoid used to produce a magnetic field across the glass cylinder, which is filled with carbon bisulphide, is in circuit with a dynamo, resistances, and the screens on the gun range. It is a well-known phenomenon in physics that when, with the above-mentioned combination of polarizing Nicol prism and analyser, the light is shut off by rotating the analyser, it is instantly restored when the carbon bisulphide is placed in a magnetic field. This phenomenon is utilized in this instrument. The projectile, by cutting the wire screens, causes the magnetic field to cease and light to pass. By means of an automatic switch the projectile, after cutting a screen, restores the electric circuit, so that successive records are registered. After a record has been made it is read by means of a micrometer microscope, the angle moved through by the photographic disk is found, and hence the time period between two events. In the photo-chronograph described in Untersuchungen ueber die Vibration des Gewehrlaufs, by C. Cranz and K.R. Koch (Munich, 1899), also note on the same, Nature, 61, p. 58, a sensitive plate moving in a straight line receives the record of the movement of the barrels of firearms when discharged. It was mainly used to determine the "angle or error of departure" in ballistics.


In a second chronograph by Watkin ("Chronographs and their Application to Gun Ballistics," Proc. Roy. Inst., 1896), a metal drum, divided on its edge so that when a vernier is used a minute of angle may be read, is rotated rapidly by a motor at a practically uniform speed. The points of a row of steel-pointed pins, screwed into a frame of ebonite, can be brought within 1/200 in. of the surface of the drum. Each pin is a part of the secondary circuit of an induction coil, the space between the pins and the drum forming spark-gaps. The drum is rubbed over with a weak solution of paraffin wax in benzol, which causes the markings produced by the sparks to be well defined. The records are read by means of a fine hair stretched along the drum and just clear of it, the dots being located under the hair by means of a lens. The velocity of rotation is found by obtaining spark marks, due to the primary circuits of two induction coils being successively broken by a weight falling and breaking the two electric circuits of the coils in succession at a known distance apart. This chronograph has been used for finding the velocity of projectiles after leaving the gun, and also for finding the rate at which a shot traverses the bore. For the latter purpose the shot successively cuts insulated wires fixed in plugs screwed into the gun at known intervals; each wire forms a part of the primary of an induction coil, and as each is cut a dot is made on the rotating drum by the induced spark.


In the chronograph of Marcel Deprez, a cylinder for receiving records is driven at a high velocity, 4 to 5 metres per second surface velocity. The velocity is determined by means of an electrically-driven tuning-fork, the traces being read by means of a vernier gauge. A mercury speed indicator of the Ramsbottom type enables the rotation to be continuously controlled (A. Favarger, L'Electricite et ses applications a la chronometrie).


Astronomical Chronographs.—The astronomical chronograph is an instrument whereby an observer is enabled to register the time of transit of a star on a sheet of paper attached to a revolving cylinder. A metal cylinder covered with a sheet of paper is rotated by clockwork controlled by a conical pendulum, or by a centrifugal clock governor such as is used for driving a telescope. By means of a screw longer than the cylinder, mounted parallel with the axis of the cylinder and rotated by the clockwork, a carriage is made to traverse close to the paper. In some instruments this carriage is furnished with a metal point, and in others with a stylographic ink pen. The point or pen is made to touch the paper by an electromagnet, the electric current of which is closed by the observer at the transit instrument, and a mark is recorded on the revolving cylinder. The movement of the same point or pen is also controlled by a standard clock, so that at the end of each second a mark is made. The cylinder makes one revolution per minute, and the minute is indicated by the omission of the mark. In E.J. Dent's form (Nature, 23, p. 59) continuous observations can be recorded for 6-2/3 hours. The conical pendulum used to govern the rotation of the cylinder was the invention of Sir G.B. Airy. The lower end is geared to a metal plate which sweeps through an annular trough filled with glycerin and water. When the path of the pendulum exceeds a certain diameter it causes the plate to enter the liquid more deeply, its motion being thereby checked; also, when the pendulum moves in a smaller circle the plate is lifted out of the liquid and the resistance is diminished in the same proportion as the force. The compensatory action is considerable; doubling the driving power produces no perceptible difference in the time. To prevent the injury of the conical pendulum and the wheel work by any sudden check of the cylinder, a ratch-wheel connexion is placed between the cylinder and the train of wheel work; this enables the pendulum to run on until it gradually comes to rest. The pendulum, which weighs about 18 lb, is compensated, and makes one revolution in two seconds; it is suspended from a bracket by means of two flexible steel springs placed at right angles to one another.

The observatory of Washburn, University of Wisconsin, is furnished with a chronograph of the same type as that of Dent (Annals Harvard Coll. Obs. vol. i. pt. ii. p. 34), but in this instrument the rotation of the cylinder is controlled by a double conical pendulum governor of peculiar construction. When the balls fly out beyond a certain point, one of them engages with a hook attached to a brass cylinder which embraces the vertical axle loosely. When this mass is pulled aside the work done on it diminishes the speed of the governor. The pendulum ball usually strikes the hook from 60 to 70 times per minute. Governors on this principle were adopted by Alvan Clark for driving heliostats in the United States Transit of Venus Expedition, 1874.


In the astronomical chronograph designed by Sir Howard Grubb (Proc. Inst. Mech. Eng., July 1888), the recording cylinders—two in number—are driven by a weight acting on a train of wheel work controlled by an astronomical telescope governor. The peculiar feature of this instrument is that the axle is geared to a shaft which communicates motion to the cylinders through a mechanism whereby the speed of rotation is constantly corrected by a standard clock. Should the rotation fall below the correct speed it is automatically accelerated, and if its speed of rotation rises above the correct one it is retarded. The accelerator and retarder are thrown into action by electromagnets, controlled by a "detector" mounted on the same shaft. The rather complicated mechanism employed to effect the correction is described and fully illustrated in the reference given. The cylinders are covered with paper, but all the markings are made with a stylographic pen. The marks indicating seconds are dots, but those made by the observer are short lines. When an observation is about to be made the observer first notes the hour and minute, and, by pressing a contact key attached to a flexible cord at the transit instrument, marks the paper with a letter in Morse telegraph characters, indicating the hour and minute; he then waits till a micrometer wire cuts a star and at the instant closes the circuit, so that the second and fraction of a second are registered on the chronograph paper. When a set of observations have been taken, the paper is removed from the cylinder, and the same results are obtained by applying a suitably divided rule to the marked paper, fractions of a second being estimated by applying a piece of glass ruled with eleven straight lines converging to a point. The ends of these lines on the base of the triangle so formed are equidistant on one edge of the glass, so that when the first and last lines are so placed as to coincide with the beginning and end of the markings of a second, that second is divided into ten equal parts. The base of the triangle is always kept parallel with the line of dots. The papers, after they have been examined and the results registered, are kept for reference.


In the astronomical chronograph of Hipp, used in determining longitudes, the movement of a recording cylinder is regulated by means of a toothed wheel, the last of a clockwork train, controlled by a vibrating metal tongue; this important feature is described in detail in Favarger's work cited above.


Acoustic Chronographs.—In the chronograph devised by H.V. Regnault (Acad. des Sc., 1868) to determine the velocity of sound propagated through a great length of pipe, a band of paper 27 mm. wide was continuously unrolled from a bobbin by means of an electromagnetic engine. In its passage over a pulley it passed over a smoky lamp flame, which covered it with a thin deposit of carbon. It next passed over a cylinder in contact with the style of a tuning-fork kept in vibration by electromagnets placed on either side of its prongs, the current being interrupted by the fork; it was also in contact with an electric signal controlled by a standard clock. Also an electromagnetic signal marked the beginning and end of a time period. Thus three markings were registered on the band, viz. the time of the pendulum, the vibrations of the fork, and the marking of the signal due to the opening and closing of the current by electrical contacts attached to diaphragms on which the sound wave acted. The contacts consisted of minute hammers resting on metal points fixed to the centre of diaphragms which closed the end of the experimental pipes. The signal marked the instant at which a sound wave impinged on a diaphragm. The markings on the paper band gave the period of time between two events, and the number of vibrations of the tuning-fork per second was estimated by means of markings due to the clock. The sound wave was usually originated by firing a pistol into the pipe furnished with diaphragms and contact pieces.

Ayrton and Perry.

In the chronographic use of the Morse telegraph instrument (Stewart and Gee, Elementary Practical Phys. p. 234) a circuit is arranged which includes a seconds' pendulum furnished with a fine platinum wire below the bob, which sweeps through a small mass of mercury forming a part of the circuit. There is a Morse key for closing the circuit. A fast-running Morse instrument and a battery are placed across this circuit as a shunt. A succession of dots is made on the paper ribbon by the circuit being closed by the pendulum, and the space between each adjacent dot indicates a period of one second's duration. Also, when the key is depressed, a mark is made on the paper. To measure a period of time, the key is depressed at the beginning and end of the period, causing two dots to be made on the ribbon; the interval between these, when measured by the intervals due to the pendulum, gives the length of the period in seconds, and also in fractions of a second, when the seconds' interval is subdivided into convenient equal parts. This apparatus has been used in determination of the velocity of sound. In the break circuit arrangement of pendulum key and Morse instrument the markings appear as breaks in a line which would otherwise be continuous. This combination was employed by Professors W.E. Ayrton and J. Perry in their determination of the acceleration of gravity at Tokio, 1877-1878 (Proc. Phys. Soc. Lond. 3, p. 268).



In the tuning-fork electro-chronograph attributed to Hipp a metal cylinder covered with smoked glazed paper is rotated uniformly by clockwork, a tuning-fork armed with a metallic style being so adjusted that it makes a clear fine line on the smoked paper. The tuning-fork is placed in the secondary circuit of an induction coil, so that when the primary circuit is broken an induced spark removes a speck of black from the paper and leaves a mark. The time period is deduced by counting the number of vibrations and fractions of vibration of the tuning-fork as recorded by a sinuous line on the cylinder. In later forms of this instrument the cylinder advances as it rotates, and a spiral line is traced. To obtain good results the spark must be very small, for when large it often leaps laterally from the end of the style, and does not give the true position of the style when the circuit is broken. The same arrangement of tuning-fork and revolving cylinder, with the addition of a standard clock, has been used by A.M. Mayer (Trans. Nat. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. vol. iii.) and others for calibrating tuning-forks, and comparing their vibrations directly with the beats of the pendulum of a standard clock the rate of which is known. The pendulum marks and breaks the primary circuit by carrying a small platinum wire through a small mercury meniscus. Better and apparently certain contacts can be obtained from platinum contact-pieces, brought together above the pendulum by means of a toothed wheel on the scape-wheel arbor. Sparking at the contact points is greatly reduced by placing a couple of lead plates in dilute sulphuric acid as a shunt across the battery circuit.


For Physiological Purposes.—A. Fick's pendulum myograph or muscle-trace recorder is described in Vierteljahrsschr. der naturforsch. Ges. in Zuerich, 1862, S. 307, and in Text-book of Physiology, M. Foster, pp. 42, 45. It was used to obtain a record of the contraction of a muscle when stimulated. In many respects the instrument is similar to the electro-ballistic chronograph of Navez. A long pendulum, consisting of a braced metal frame, carries at its lower end a sheet of smoked glass. The pendulum swings about an axis supported by a wall bracket. Previous to an experiment, the pendulum is held on one side of its lowest position by a spring catch; when this is depressed it is free to swing. At the end of its swing it engages with another spring catch. In front of the moving glass plate a tuning-fork is fixed, also a lever actuated by the muscle to be electrically stimulated. When the pendulum swings through its arc, it knocks over the contact key in the primary circuit of an induction coil, the secondary of which is in connexion with the muscle. The smoked plate receives the traces of the style of the tuning-fork and of the lever attached to the muscle, and also the trace of an electromagnetic signal which marks the instant at which the primary circuit is broken. After the traces are made, they are ruled through with radial lines, cutting the three traces, and the time intervals between different parts of the muscle curve are measured in terms of the period of vibration of the tuning-fork, as in other chronographs in which the tuning-fork is employed.

Du Bois Reymond.

In the spring myograph of E. Du Bois Reymond (Munk's Physiologie des Menschen, p. 398) a smoked glass plate attached to a metal rod is shot by a spiral spring along two guides with a velocity which is not uniform. The traces of a style moved by the muscle under examination, and of a tuning-fork, are recorded on the glass plate, the shooter during its traverse knocking over one or more electric keys, which break the primary circuit of an induction coil, the induced current stimulating the muscle.


In the photo-electric chronograph devised by G.J. Burch, F.R.S. (Journ. of Physiology, 18, p. 125; Electrician, 37, p.436), the rapid movements of the column of mercury in a capillary electrometer used in physiological research are recorded on a sensitive plate moving at a uniform angular velocity. The trace of the vibrating prongs of a tuning-fork of known period is also recorded on the plate, the light used being that of the electric arc. The images of the meniscus of the mercury column and of the moving fork are focused on the plate by a lens. Excellent results have been obtained with this instrument.


An important development of a branch of chronography is due to E.J. Marey (Comptes rendus, 7. aout 1882, and Le Mouvement, par E.J. Marey, Paris, 1894), who employed a photographic plate for receiving successive pictures of moving objects, at definite times, when investigating the movements of animals, birds, fishes, insects, and also microscopic objects such as vorticellae. The instrument in one of its forms consisted of a camera and lens. In front of the sensitive plate and close to it a disk, pierced with radial slits, revolved at a given angular velocity, and each time a slit passed by the plate was exposed. But since, in the time of passage of the space between the slits, the object had moved by a certain amount across the field of view, a fresh impression was produced at each exposure. The object, well illuminated by sunlight, moved in front of a black background. Since the angular velocity of the disk was known, and the number of slits, the time between the successive positions of the object was also known.

Marey (La Methode graphique, pp. 133, 142, 456), by means of pneumatic signals and a rotating cylinder covered with smoked glazed paper, measured the time of the movements of the limbs of animals. The instrument consists of a recording cylinder rotated at a uniform angular velocity by clockwork controlled by a fan governor, and pneumatic signal, constructed thus. One end of a closed shallow cylinder, about 4 cm. dia., is furnished with a stretched rubber membrane. A light lever, moving about an axis near the edge of the cylinder, is attached to the centre of the membrane by a short rod, its free end moving as the membrane is distended. The cylinder is connected by a flexible tube with a similar cylinder and membrane, but without a lever, which is attached to that part of the body of the animal the movement of which is under investigation. The system is full of air, so that when the membrane attached to the animal is compressed, the membrane which moves the lever is distended and the lever moved. Its end, which carries a scribing point, marks the smoked paper on the rotating cylinder. The pneumatic signal is called by Marey "tambour a levier."

References to Chronographic Methods:—(1) Chronographs used in Physiology: Helmholtz, "On Methods of measuring very small Portions of Time," Phil. Mag. (1853), 6; Id., Verhandlungen der physikalisch-medicinischen Gesellschaft in Wuerzburg (1872); Harless, "Das Attwood'sche Myographion," Abhandlungen der k. bayerischen Akademie der Wissenschaften (1862); Id., Fall-Myographion aufgestellt in der Wiener Weltausstellung in der Abteilung fuer das Unterrichtswesen von Ungarn (Budapest, 1873); Hensen, "Myographion mit vibratorischer Bewegung," Arbeiten aus dem Kieler physiol. Instit. (1868); Bruecke, Sitzungsber. d Wien. Acad. (1877); Pflueger, "Myographion ohne Bewegung," Untersuchungen ueber die Physiologie des Electrotonus (1859); Pouillet, Compt. rend. (1844); I. Munk, Physiologie des Menschen (for Pflueger's cylinder governed by conical pendulum); J.G. M'Kendrick, Life in Motion (1892) (for early form of cylinder chronograph by Thomas Young); Stirling, Outlines of Practical Physiology (for reaction-time chronographs of F. Galton and Exner). (2) Chronographs used in gun work and for other purposes: Sabine, Phil. Mag. (1876); Moisson, Notice sur la chronographie systeme Schultz (Paris, 1875); Paul la Cour, La Roue phonique (Copenhagen, 1878); Mach, "Collected Papers on Chronographs," Nature, 42, p. 250; C.V. Boys, "Bullets photographed in Flight," Nature, 47, p. 415; Pneumatic Tube Co., Paris, "Chronograph," Nature, 9, p. 105; G.C. Foster, "Laboratory Chronograph," Nature, 13, p. 139; E.S. Holden, "Astronomical Chronograph," Nature, 26, p. 368; D'Arsonval, La Lumiere electrique (1887); Dunn, "The Photo-retardograph," Journal United States Artillery, 8, p. 29; E.J. Marey, La Methode graphique (for Deprez accelerographe); Werner Siemens, "Electric Spark Chronograph," Wied. Ann. (1845), 66. (F. J. J. -S.)


[1] The velocity of the projectile is found thus. Let V be the velocity of the bob, due to the impact of the projectile, v the velocity of the projectile, h the height through which the bob is raised vertically, then

V squared _ h = —, and V = /2gh. 2g

If W be the weight of the bob, and w the weight of the projectile, then

/ W _ wv = (W + w)V, and v = ( —- + 1 ) /2gh. w /

If l be the true length of suspension, and C the length of the chord of the arc of displacement of the bob after being struck, then

_ / W / g C squared = 2hl, and v = ( —- + 1 ) / —- . C. w / / l

Also if T be the time of a complete small oscillation of the pendulum,

_ 2[pi] / g ——- = / —-, T / l

/ W 2[pi]C so that v = ( —- + 1 ) ———. w / T

CHRONOLOGY (Gr. [Greek: chronologia], computation of time, [Greek: chronos]), the science which treats of time, its object being to arrange and exhibit the various events which have occurred in the history of the world in the order of their succession, and to ascertain the intervals of time between them. The term "chronology" is also used of the order in time itself, as adopted, and of the system by which the order is fixed.

The preservation of any record, however rude, of the lapse of time implies some knowledge of the celestial motions, by which alone time can be accurately measured, and some advancement in the arts of civilized life, which could be attained only by the accumulated experience of many generations (see TIME). Before the invention of letters the memory of past transactions could not be preserved beyond a few years with any tolerable degree of accuracy. Events which greatly affected the physical condition of the human race, or were of a nature to make a deep impression on the minds of the rude inhabitants of the earth, might be vaguely transmitted through several ages by traditional narrative; but intervals of time, expressed by abstract numbers, and these constantly varying besides, would soon escape the memory. The invention of the art of writing afforded the means of substituting precise and permanent records for vague and evanescent tradition; but in the infancy of the world, mankind had learned neither to estimate accurately the duration of time, nor to refer passing events to any fixed epoch.

For these reasons the attempt at an accurate chronology of the early ages of the world is only of recent origin. After political relations began to be established, the necessity of preserving a register of passing seasons and years would soon be felt, and the practice of recording important transactions must have grown up as a necessary consequence of social life. But of these deliberate early records a very small portion only has escaped the ravages of time and barbarism.

The earliest written annals of the Greeks, Etruscans and Romans are irretrievably lost. The traditions of the Druids perished with them. A Chinese emperor has the credit of burning "the books" extant in his day (about 220 B.C.), and of burying alive the scholars who were acquainted with them. And a Spanish adventurer destroyed the picture records which were found in the pueblo of Montezuma.

Of the more formal historical writings in which the first ineffectual attempts were made in the direction of systematic chronology we have no knowledge at first-hand. Of Hellanicus, the Greek logographer, who appears to have lived through the greater part of the 5th century B.C., and who drew up a chronological list of the priestesses of Here at Argos; of Ephorus, who lived in the 4th century B.C., and is distinguished as the first Greek who attempted the composition of a universal history; and of Timaeus, who in the following century wrote an elaborate history of Sicily, in which he set the example of using the Olympiads as the basis of chronology, the works have perished and our meagre knowledge of their contents is derived only from fragmentary citations in later writers. The same fate has befallen the works of Berossus and Manetho, Eratosthenes and Apollodorus. Berossus, a priest of Belus living at Babylon in the 3rd century B.C., added to his historical account of Babylonia a chronological list of its kings, which he claimed to have compiled from genuine archives preserved in the temple. Manetho, likewise a priest, living at Sebennytus in Lower Egypt in the 3rd century B.C., wrote in Greek a history of Egypt, with an account of its thirty dynasties of sovereigns, which he professed to have drawn from genuine archives in the keeping of the priests. Of these works fragments only, more or less copious and accurate, have been preserved. Eratosthenes, who in the latter half of the 2nd century B.C. was keeper of the famous Alexandrian library, not only made himself a great name by his important work on geography, but by his treatise entitled Chronographia, one of the first attempts to establish an exact scheme of general chronology, earned for himself the title of "father of chronology." His method of procedure, however, was usually conjectural; and guess-work, however careful, acute and plausible, is still guess-work and not testimony. Apollodorus, an Athenian who flourished in the middle of the 2nd century B.C., wrote a metrical chronicle of events, ranging from the supposed period of the fall of Troy to his own day. These writers were followed by other investigators and systematizers in the same field, but their works are lost. Of the principal later writers whose works are extant, and to whom we owe what little knowledge we possess of the labours of their predecessors, mention will be made hereafter.

The absence or incompleteness of authentic records, however, is not the only source of obscurity and confusion in the chronology of remote ages. There can be no exact computation of time or placing of events without a fixed point or epoch from which the reckoning takes its start. It was long before this was apprehended. When it began to be seen, various epochs were selected by various writers; and at first each small separate community had its own epoch and method of time-reckoning. Thus in one city the reckoning was by succession of kings, in another by archons or annual magistrates, in a third by succession of priests. It seems now surprising that vague counting by generations should so long have prevailed and satisfied the wants of inquiring men, and that so simple, precise and seemingly obvious a plan as counting by years, the largest natural division of time, did not occur to any investigator before Eratosthenes.

Precision, which was at first unattainable for want of an epoch, was afterwards no less unattainable from the multiplicity, and sometimes the variation, of epochs. But by a natural process the mischief was gradually and partially remedied. The extension of intercourse between the various small groups or societies of men, and still more their union in larger groups, made a common epoch necessary, and led to the adoption of such a starting point by each larger group. These leading epochs continued in use for many centuries. The task of the chronologer was thus simplified and reduced to a study and comparison of dates in a few leading systems.

The most important of these systems in what we call ancient times were the Babylonian, the Greek and the Roman. The Jews had no general era, properly so called. In the history of Babylonia, the fixed point from which time was reckoned was the era of Nabonassar, 747 B.C. Among the Greeks the reckoning was by Olympiads, the point of departure being the year in which Coroebus was victor in the Olympic Games, 776 B.C. The Roman chronology started from the foundation of the city, the year of which, however, was variously given by different authors. The most generally adopted was that assigned by Varro, 753 B.C. It is noteworthy how nearly these three great epochs approach each other,—all lying near the middle of the 8th century B.C. But it is to be remembered that the beginning of an era and its adoption and use as such are not the same thing, nor are they necessarily synchronous. Of the three ancient eras above spoken of, the earliest is that of the Olympiads, next that of the foundation of Rome, and the latest the era of Nabonassar. But in order of adoption and actual usage the last is first. It is believed to have been in use from the year of its origin. It is not known when the Romans began to use their era. The Olympiads were not in current use till about the middle of the 3rd century B.C., when Timaeus, as already mentioned, set the example of reckoning by them.

Even after the adoption in Europe of the Christian era, a great variety of methods of dating—national, provincial and ecclesiastical—grew up and prevailed for a long time in different countries, thus renewing in modern times the difficulties experienced in ancient times from diversities of reckoning. An acquaintance with these various methods is indispensable to the student of the charters, chronicles and legal instruments of the middle ages.

In reckoning years from any fixed epoch in constant succession, the number denoting the years is necessarily always on the increase. But rude nations and illiterate people seldom attach any definite idea to large numbers. Hence it has been a practice, very extensively followed, to employ cycles or periods, consisting of a moderate number of years, and to distinguish and reckon the years by their number in the cycle. The Chinese and other nations of Asia reckon, not only the years, but also the months and days, by cycles of sixty. The Saros of the Chaldaeans, the Olympiad of the Greeks, and the Roman Indiction are instances of this mode of reckoning time. Several cycles were formerly known in Europe; but most of them were invented for the purpose of adjusting the solar and lunar divisions of time, and were rather employed in the regulation of the calendar than as chronological eras. They are frequently, however, of very great use in fixing dates that have been otherwise imperfectly expressed, and consequently form important elements of chronology. (W. L. R. C.)

Modern Results of Archaeological Research.

When Queen Victoria came to the English throne, 4004 B.C. was still accepted, in all sobriety, as the date of the creation of the world. Perhaps no single statement could more vividly emphasize the change in the point of view from which scholars regard the chronology of ancient history than the citation of this indisputable fact. To-day, though Bibles are still printed with the year 4004 B.C. in the margin of the first chapter of Genesis, no scholar would pretend to regard this reference seriously. On the contrary, the scholarship of to-day regards the fifth millennium B.C. as well within the historical period for such nations as the Egyptians and the Babylonians. It has come to be fully accepted that when we use such a phrase as "the age of the world" we are dealing with a period that must be measured not in thousands but in millions of years; and that to the age of man must be allotted a period some hundreds of times as great as the five thousand and odd years allowed by the old chronologists. This changed point of view, needless to say, has not been reached without ardent and even bitter controversy. Yet the transformation is unequivocal; and the revised conception no longer seems to connote the theological implications that were at first ascribed to it. It has now become obvious that the data afforded by the Hebrew writings should never have been regarded as sufficiently accurate for the purpose of exact historical computations: that, in short, no historian working along modern scientific lines could well have made the mistake of supposing that the genealogical lists of the Pentateuch afforded an adequate chronology of world-history. But it should not be forgotten that to many generations of close scholarship these genealogical lists seemed to convey such knowledge in the most precise terms, and that at so recent a date as, for example, the year in which Queen Victoria came to the throne, it was nothing less than a rank heresy to question the historical accuracy and finality of chronologies which had no other source or foundation.

This changed point of view regarding the chronology of history may without hesitation be ascribed to the influence of evidence obtained in a single field of inquiry, the field, namely, of archaeology. No doubt the evidence as to the age of the earth and as to the antiquity of man was gathered by a class of workers not formally included in the ranks of the archaeologist: workers commonly spoken of as palaeontologists, anthropologists, ethnologists and the like. But the distinction scarcely covers a real difference. The scope of the archaeologist's studies must include every department of the ancient history of man as preserved in antiquities of whatever character, be they tumuli along the Baltic, fossil skulls and graven bones from the caves of France, the flint implements, pottery, and mummies of Egypt, tablets and bas-reliefs from Mesopotamia, coins and sculptures of Greece and Rome, or inscriptions, waxen tablets, parchment rolls, and papyri of a relatively late period of classical antiquity. If at one time the monuments of Greece and Rome claimed the almost undisputed attention of the archaeologist, that time has long since passed. For the most important historical records that have come to us in recent decades we have to thank the Orientalist, though the classical explorer has been by no means idle. It will be sufficient here to point out in general terms the import of the message of archaeological discovery in the Victorian Era in its bearings upon the great problems of world-history.

Chronology of ancient history.

A start was made through the efforts of the palaeontologists and geologists, with only indirect or incidental aid from the archaeologists. The new movement began actively with James Hutton in the later years of the 18th century, and was forwarded by the studies of William Smith in England and of Cuvier in France; but the really efficient champion of the conception that the earth is very old was Sir Charles Lyell, who published the first edition of his epoch-making Principles of Geology only a few years before Queen Victoria came to the throne. Lyell demonstrated to the satisfaction, or—perhaps it should rather be said—to the dissatisfaction, of his contemporaries that the story of the geological ages as recorded in the strata of the earth becomes intelligible only when vast stretches of time are presupposed. Of course the demonstration was not accepted at once. On the contrary, the champions of the tradition that the earth was less than six thousand years old held their ground most tenaciously, and the earlier years of the Victorian era were years of bitter controversy. The result of the contest was never in doubt, however, for the geological evidence, once it had been gathered, was unequivocal; and by about the middle of the century it was pretty generally admitted that the age of the earth must be measured by an utterly different standard from that hitherto in vogue. This concession, however, by no means implied a like change of view regarding the age of man. A fresh volume of evidence required to be gathered, and a new controversy to be waged, before the old data for the creation of man could be abandoned. Lyell again was in the forefront of the progressive movement, and his work on The Antiquity of Man, published in 1863, gave currency for the first time to the new opinions. The evidence upon which these opinions were based had been gathered by such anthropologists as Schmerling, Boucher de Perthes and others, and it had to do chiefly with the finding of implements of human construction associated with the remains of extinct animals in the beds of caves, and with the recovery of similar antiquities from alluvial deposits the great age of which was demonstrated by their depth. Every item of the evidence was naturally subjected to the closest scrutiny, but at last the conservatives were forced reluctantly to confess themselves beaten. Their traditional arguments were powerless before the array of data marshalled by the new science of prehistoric archaeology. Looking back even at the short remove of a single generation, it is difficult to appreciate how revolutionary was the conception of the antiquity of man thus inculcated. It rudely shocked the traditional attitude of scholarship towards the history of our race. It disturbed the most cherished traditions and the most sacred themes. It seemed to threaten the very foundations of religion itself. Yet the present generation accepts the antiquity of man as a mere matter of fact. Here, as so often elsewhere, the heresy of an elder day has come to seem almost an axiomatic truth.

If we go back in imagination to the beginning of the Victorian era and ask what was then known of the history of Ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia and Asia Minor, we find ourselves confronted with a startling paucity of knowledge. The key to the mysteries of Egyptian history had indeed been found, thanks to the recent efforts of Thomas Young and Champollion, but the deciphering of inscriptions had not yet progressed far enough to give more than a vague inkling of what was to follow. It remained, then, virtually true, as it had been for two thousand years, that for all that we could learn of the history of the Old Orient in pre-classical days, we must go solely to the pages of the Bible and to a few classical authors, notably Herodotus and Diodorus. A comparatively few pages summed up, in language often vague and mystical, all that the modern world had been permitted to remember of the history of the greatest nations of antiquity. To these nations the classical writers had ascribed a traditional importance, the glamour of which still lighted their names, albeit revealing them in the vague twilight of tradition rather than in the clear light of history. It would have been a bold, not to say a reckless, dreamer who dared predict that any future researches could restore to us the lost knowledge that had been forgotten for more than two millenniums. Yet the Victorian era was scarcely ushered in before the work of rehabilitation began, which was to lead to the most astounding discoveries and to an altogether unprecedented extension of historical knowledge. Early in the 'forties the Frenchman Botta, quickly followed by Sir Henry Layard, began making excavations on the site of ancient Nineveh, the name and fame of which were a tradition having scarcely more than mythical status. The spade of the discoverer soon showed that all the fabled glories of the ancient Assyrian capital were founded on realities, and evidence was afforded of a state of civilization and culture such as few men supposed to have existed on the earth before the Golden Age of Greece. Not merely were artistic sculptures and bas-reliefs found that demonstrated a high development of artistic genius, but great libraries were soon revealed,—books consisting of bricks of various sizes, or of cylinders of the same material, inscribed while in the state of clay with curious characters which became indelible when baking transformed the clay into brick. No one was able to guess, even in the vaguest way, the exact interpretation of these odd characters; but, on the other hand, no one could doubt that they constituted a system of writing, and that the piles of inscribed tablets were veritable books. There were numerous sceptics, however, who did not hesitate to assert that the import of the message so obviously locked in these curious inscriptions must for ever remain an absolute mystery. Here, it was said, were inscriptions written in an unknown character and in a language that for at least two thousand years had been absolutely forgotten. In such circumstances nothing less than a miracle could enable human ingenuity to fathom the secret. Yet the feat pronounced impossible by mid-century scepticism was accomplished by contemporary scholarship, amidst the clamour of opposition and incredulity. Its success contains at once a warning to those doubters who are always crying out that we have reached the limitations of knowledge, and an encouragement and stimulus to would-be explorers of new intellectual realms.

In a few words the manner of the discovery was this. It appears at a glance that the Assyrian written character consists of groups of horizontal, vertical or oblique strokes. The characters thus composed, though so simple as to their basal unit, are appallingly complex in their elaboration. The Assyrians with all their culture, never attained the stage of analysis which demonstrates that only a few fundamental sounds are involved in human speech, and hence that it is possible to express all the niceties of utterance with an alphabet of little more than a score of letters. Halting just short of this analysis, the Assyrian ascribed syllabic values to the characters of his script, and hence, instead of finding twenty odd characters sufficient, he required about five hundred. There was a further complication in that each one of these characters had at least two different phonetic values; and there were other intricacies of usage which, had they been foreknown by inquirers in the middle of the 19th century, might well have made the problem of decipherment seem an utterly hopeless one. Fortunately it chanced that another people, the Persians, had adopted the Assyrian wedge-shaped stroke as the foundation of a written character, but making that analysis of which the Assyrians had fallen short, had borrowed only so many characters as were necessary to represent the alphabetical sounds. This made the problem of deciphering Persian inscriptions a relatively easy one. In point of fact this problem had been partially solved in the early days of the 19th century, thanks to the sagacious guesses of the German philologist Grotefend. Working with some inscriptions from Persepolis which were found to contain references to Darius and Xerxes, Grotefend had established the phonetic values of certain of the Persian characters, and his successors were perfecting the discovery just about the time when the new Assyrian finds were made. It chanced that there existed on the polished surface of a cliff at Behistun in western Persia a tri-lingual inscription which, according to Diodorus, had been made by Queen Semiramis of Nineveh, but which, as is now known, was really the work of King Darius. One of the languages of this inscription was Persian; another, as it now appeared, was Assyrian, the language of the newly discovered books from the libraries of Nineveh. There was reason to suppose that the inscriptions were identical in meaning; and fortunately it proved, when the inscriptions were made accessible to investigation through the efforts of Sir Henry Rawlinson, that the Persian inscription contained a large number of proper names. It was well known that proper names are usually transcribed from one language into another with a tolerably close retention of their original sounds. For example, the Greek names Ptolemaios and Kleopatra became a part of the Egyptian language and appeared regularly in Egyptian inscriptions after Alexander's general became king of Egypt. Similarly, the Greek names Kyros, Dareios and Xerxes were as close an imitation as practicable of the native names of these Persian monarchs. Assuming, then, that the proper names found in the Persian portion of the Behistun inscription occurred also in the Assyrian portion, retaining virtually the same sound in each, a clue to the phonetic values of a large number of the Assyrian characters was obviously at hand. Phonetic values known, Assyrian was found to be a Semitic language cognate to Hebrew.

These clues were followed up by a considerable number of investigators, with Sir Henry Rawlinson in the van. Thanks to their efforts, the new science of Assyriology came into being, and before long the message of the Assyrian books had ceased to be an enigma. Of course this work was not accomplished in a day or in a year, but, considering the difficulties to be overcome, it was carried forward with marvellous expedition. In 1857 the new scholarship was put to a famous test, in which the challenge thrown down by Sir George Cornewall Lewis and Ernest Renan was met by Rawlinson, Hincks, Oppert and Fox Talbot in a conclusive manner. The sceptics had declared that the new science of Assyriology was itself a myth: that the investigators, self-deceived, had in reality only invented a language and read into the Assyrian inscriptions something utterly alien to the minds of the Assyrians themselves. But when a committee of the Royal Asiatic Society, with George Grote at its head, decided that the translations of an Assyrian text made independently by the scholars just named were at once perfectly intelligible and closely in accord with one another, scepticism was silenced, and the new science was admitted to have made good its claims.

Naturally the early investigators did not fathom all the niceties of the language, and the work of grammatical investigation has gone on continuously under the auspices of a constantly growing band of workers. Doubtless much still remains to be done; but the essential thing, from the present standpoint, is that a sufficient knowledge of the Assyrian language has been acquired to ensure trustworthy translations of the cuneiform texts. Meanwhile, the material found by Botta and Layard, and other successors, in the ruins of Nineveh, has been constantly augmented through the efforts of companies of other investigators, and not merely Assyrian, but much earlier Babylonian and Chaldaean texts in the greatest profusion have been brought to the various museums of Europe and America. The study of these different inscriptions has utterly revolutionized our knowledge of Oriental history. Many of the documents are strictly historical in their character, giving full and accurate contemporary accounts of events that occurred some thousands of years ago. Exact dates are fixed for long series of events that previously were quite unknown. Monarchs whose very names had been forgotten are restored to history, and the records of their deeds inscribed under their very eyes are before us,—contemporary documents such as neither Greece nor Rome could boast, nor any other nation, with the single exception of Egypt, until strictly modern times. There are, no doubt, gaps in the record; there are long periods for which the chronology is still uncertain. Naturally there is an increasing vagueness as one recedes farther into the past, and for the earlier history of Chaldaea there is great uncertainty. Nevertheless, the Assyriologist speaks with a good deal of confidence of dates as remote as 3800 B.C., the time ascribed to King Sargon, who was once regarded as a mythical person, but is now known to have been an actual monarch. Indeed, there are tablets in the British Museum labelled 4500 B.C.; and later researches, particularly those of the expedition of the University of Pennsylvania at Nippur, have brought us evidence which, interpreted with the aid of estimates as to the average rate of accumulation of dust deposits, leads to the inference that a high state of civilization had been attained in Mesopotamia at least 9000 years ago.

While the Assyriologists have been making these astonishing revelations, the Egyptologists have not been behindhand. Such scholars as Lepsius, Brugsch, de Rouge, Lenormant, Birch, Mariette, Maspero and Erman have perfected the studies of Young and Champollion; while at the same time these and a considerable company of other explorers, most notable of whom are Gardner Wilkinson and Professor Flinders Petrie, have brought to light a vast accumulation of new material, much of which has the highest importance from the standpoint of the historian. Lists of kings found on the temple wall at Abydos, in the fragments of the Turin papyrus and elsewhere, have cleared up many doubtful points in the lists of Manetho, and at the same time, as Professor Petrie has pointed out, have proved to us how true a historian that much-discussed writer was. Manetho, it will be recalled, was the Egyptian who wrote the history of Egypt in Greek in the time of the Ptolemies. His work in the original unfortunately perished, and all that we know of it we learn through excerpts made by a few later classical writers. These fragments have until recently, however, given us our only clue to the earlier periods of Egyptian history. Until corroboration was found in the Egyptian inscriptions themselves, not only were Manetho's lists in doubt, but scepticism had been carried to the point of denying that Manetho himself had ever existed. This is only one of many cases where the investigations of the archaeologist have proved not iconoclastic but reconstructive, tending to restore confidence in classical traditions which the scientific historians of the age of Niebuhr and George Cornewall Lewis regarded with scepticism.

As to the exact dates of early Egyptian history there is rather more of vagueness than for the corresponding periods of Mesopotamia. Indeed, approximate accuracy is not attained until we are within sixteen hundred years of our own era; but the sequence of events of a period preceding this by two thousand years is well established, and the recent discoveries of Professor Petrie carry back the record to a period which cannot well be less than five thousand, perhaps not less than six thousand years B.C. Both from Egypt and Mesopotamia, then, the records of the archaeologist have brought us evidence of the existence of a highly developed civilization for a period exceeding by hundreds, perhaps by thousands, of years the term which had hitherto been considered the full period of man's existence.

We may note at once how these new figures disturb the historical balance. If our forerunners of eight or nine thousand years ago were in a noonday glare of civilization, where shall we look for the much-talked-of "dawnings of history"? By this new standard the Romans seem our contemporaries in latter-day civilization; the "Golden Age" of Greece is but of yesterday; the pyramid-builders are only relatively remote. The men who built the temple of Bel at Nippur, in the year (say) 5000 B.C., must have felt themselves at a pinnacle of civilization and culture. As Professor Mahaffy has suggested, the era of the Pyramids may have been the veritable autumn of civilization. Where, then, must we look for its springtime? The answer to that question must come, if it come at all, from what we now speak of as prehistoric archaeology; the monuments from Memphis and Nippur and Nineveh, covering a mere ten thousand years or so, are the records of recent history.

Archaeology and Bible history.

The efforts of the students of Oriental archaeology have been constantly stimulated by the fact that their studies brought them more or less within the field of Bible history. A fair proportion of the workers who have delved so enthusiastically in the fields of Egyptian and Assyrian exploration would never have taken up the work at all but for the hope that their investigations might substantiate the Hebrew records. For a long time this hope proved illusory, and in the case of Egyptian archaeology the results have proved disappointing even up to the very present. Considering the important part played by the Egyptian sojourn of the Hebrews, as narrated in the Scriptures, it was certainly not an over-enthusiastic prediction that the Egyptian monuments when fully investigated would divulge important references to Joseph, to Moses, and to the all-important incidents of the Exodus; but half a century of expectant attention in this direction has led only to disappointment. It would be rash, considering the buried treasures that may yet await the future explorer, to assert that such records as those in question can never come to light. But, considering the fulness of the contemporary Egyptian records of the XIXth dynasty that are already known, it becomes increasingly doubtful whether the Hebrews in Egypt played so important a part in history, when viewed from the Egyptian standpoint, as their own records had seemed to imply. As the forgotten history of Oriental antiquity has been restored to us, it has come to be understood that, politically speaking, the Hebrews were a relatively insignificant people, whose chief importance from the standpoint of material history was derived from the geographical accident that made them a sort of buffer between the greater nations about them. Only once, and for a brief period, in the reigns of David and Solomon did the Hebrews rise to anything like an equal plane of political importance with their immediate neighbours. What gave them a seeming importance in the eyes of posterity was the fact that the true history of the Egyptians, Mesopotamians, Arabians and Hittites had been well-nigh forgotten. The various literatures of these nations were locked from view for more than two thousand years, while the literature of Israel had not merely been preserved, but had come to be regarded as inspired and sacred among all the cultured nations of the Western world. Now that the lost literatures have been restored to us, the status of the Hebrew writings could not fail to be disturbed. Their very isolation had in some measure accounted for their seeming importance.

All true historical perspective is based upon comparison, and where only a single account has been preserved of any event or of any period of history, it is extremely difficult to judge that account with historical accuracy. An illustration of this truth is furnished in profane history by the account which Thucydides has given us of the Peloponnesian War. For most of the period in question Thucydides is the only source; and despite the inherent merits of a great writer, it can hardly be doubted that the tribute of almost unqualified praise that successive generations of scholars have paid to Thucydides must have been in some measure qualified if, for example, a Spartan account of the Peloponnesian War had been preserved to us. Professor Mahaffy has pointed out that many other events in Greek history are viewed by us in somewhat perverted perspective because the great writers of Greece were Athenians rather than Spartans or Thebans. Even in so important a matter as the great conflict between Persia and Greece it has been suggested more than once that we should be able to gain a much truer view were Persian as well as Greek accounts accessible.

Not many years ago it would have been accounted a heresy to suggest that the historical books of the Old Testament had conveyed to our minds estimates of Oriental history that suffered from this same defect; but to-day no one who is competent to speak with authority pretends to doubt that such is really the fact. Even conservative students of the Bible urge that its historical passages must be viewed precisely in the light of any other historical writings of antiquity; and the fact that the oldest Hebrew manuscript dates only from the 8th century A.D., and therefore of necessity brings to us the message of antiquity through the fallible medium of many generations of copyists, is far more clearly kept in mind than it formerly was. Every belief of mankind is in the last analysis amenable to reason, and finds its origin in evidence that can appeal to the arbitrament of common sense. This evidence may in certain cases consist chiefly of the fact that generations of our predecessors have taken a certain view regarding a certain question; indeed most of our cherished beliefs have this foundation. But when such is the case, mankind has never failed in the long run to vindicate its claim to rationality by showing a readiness to give up the old belief whenever tangible evidence of its fallaciousness was forthcoming. The case of the historical books of the Old Testament furnishes no exception. These had been sacred to almost a hundred generations of men, and it was difficult for the eye of faith to see them as other than absolutely infallible documents. Yet the very eagerness with which the champions of the Hebrew records searched for archaeological proofs of their validity was a tacit confession that even the most unwavering faith was not beyond the reach of external evidence. True, the believer sought corroboration with full faith that he would find it; but the very fact that he could think such external corroboration valuable implied, however little he may have realized it, the subconscious concession that he must accept external evidence at its full value, even should it prove contradictory. If, then, an Egyptian inscription of the XIXth dynasty had come to hand in which the names of Joseph and Moses, and the deeds of the Israelites as a subject people who finally escaped from bondage by crossing the Red Sea, were recorded in hieroglyphic characters, such a monument would have been hailed with enthusiastic delight by every champion of the Pentateuch, and a wave of supreme satisfaction would have passed over all Christendom. It is not too much, then, to say that failure to find such a monument has caused deep disappointment to Bible scholars everywhere. It does not follow that faith in the Bible record is shaken, although in some quarters there has been a pronounced tendency to regard the history of the Egyptian sojourn as mythical; yet it cannot be denied that Egyptian records, corroborating at least some phases of the Bible story, would have been a most welcome addition to our knowledge. Some recent finds have, indeed, seemed to make inferential reference to the Hebrews, and the marvellous collection of letters of the XVIIIth dynasty found at Tel el-Amarna—letters to which we shall refer later—have the utmost importance as proving a possible early date for the Mosaic accounts. But such inferences as these are but a vague return for the labour expended, and an almost cruelly inadequate response to seemingly well-founded expectations.

When we turn to the field of Babylonian and Assyrian archaeology, however, the case is very different. Here we have documents in abundance that deal specifically with events more or less referred to in the Bible. The records of kings whose names hitherto were known to us only through Bible references have been found in the ruins of Nineveh and Babylon, and personages hitherto but shadowy now step forth as clearly into the light of history as an Alexander or a Caesar. Moreover, the newly discovered treasures deal with the beliefs of the people as well as with their history proper. The story of the books now spoken of as the "Creation" and "Deluge" tablets of the Assyrians, in the British Museum, which were discovered in the ruins of Nineveh by Layard and by George Smith, has been familiar to every one for a good many years. The acute interest which they excited when George Smith deciphered their contents in 1872 has to some extent abated, but this is only because scholars are now pretty generally agreed as to their bearing on the corresponding parts of Genesis. The particular tablets in question date only from about the 7th century B.C., but it is agreed among Assyriologists that they are copies of older texts current in Babylonia for many centuries before, and it is obvious that the compilers of Genesis had access to the Babylonian stories. In a word, the Hebrew Genesis shows unequivocal evidence of Babylonian origin, but, in the words of Professor Sayce, it is but "a paraphrase and not a translation." However disconcerting such a revelation as this would have been to the theologians of an elder day, the Bible scholars of our own generation are able to regard it with entire composure.

From the standpoint of the historian even greater interest attaches to the records of the Assyrian and Babylonian kings when compared with the historical books of the Old Testament. For some centuries the inhabitants of Palestine were subject to periodical attacks from the warlike inhabitants of Mesopotamia, as even the most casual reader of the Bible is aware. When it became known that the accounts of these invasions formed a part of the records preserved in the Assyrian libraries, historian and theologian alike waited with breathless interest for the exact revelations in store; and this time expectation was not disappointed. As, one after another, the various tablets and cylinders and annalistic tablets have been translated, it has become increasingly clear that here are almost inexhaustible fountains of knowledge, and that sooner or later it may be possible to check the Hebrew accounts of the most important periods of their history with contemporaneous accounts written from another point of view. It is true that the cases are not very numerous where precisely the same event is described from opposite points of view, but, speaking in general terms rather than of specific incidents, we are already able to subject considerable portions of history to this test. The records of Shalmaneser II., Tiglath-Pileser III. and Sennacherib, kings of Assyria, of Nebuchadrezzar, king of Babylon, and of Cyrus, king of Persia, all contain direct references to Hebrew history. An obelisk of Shalmaneser II. contains explicit reference to the tribute of Jehu of Samaria, and graphically depicts the Hebrew captives. Tiglath-Pileser III., a usurper who came to the throne of Assyria in 745 B.C., and whose earlier name of Pul proved a source of confusion to the later Hebrew writers, left records that have served to clear up the puzzling chronology of a considerable period of the history of Samaria. Most interesting of all, perhaps, are the annals of Sennacherib, the destruction of whose hosts by the angel of God is so strikingly depicted in the Book of Kings. The court historian of Sennacherib naturally does not dwell upon this event, but he does tell of an invasion and conquest of Palestine. The Hebrew account of the death of Sennacherib is corroborated by a Babylonian inscription. Here, however, there is an interesting qualification. The account in the Book of Kings is so phrased that one might naturally infer from it that Sennacherib was assassinated by his sons immediately after his return from the disastrous campaign in Palestine; but in point of fact, as it now appears, the Assyrian king survived that campaign by twenty years. One cannot avoid the suspicion that in this instance the Hebrew chronicler purposely phrased his account to convey the impression that Sennacherib's tragic end was but the slightly delayed culmination of the punishment inflicted for his attack upon the "chosen people." On the other hand, the ambiguity may be quite unintentional, for the Hebrew writers were notoriously lacking in the true historical sense, which shows itself in a full appreciation of the value of chronology.

One of the most striking instances of the way in which mistakes of chronology may lead to the perversion of historical records is shown in the Book of Daniel in connexion with the familiar account of the capture of Babylon by Cyrus. Within the past generation records of Cyrus have been brought to light, as well as records of the conquered Babylonian king himself, which show that the Hebrew writers of the later day had a peculiarly befogged impression of a great historical event—their misconception being shared, it may be added, by the Greek historian Herodotus. When the annalistic tablet of Cyrus was translated, it was made to appear, to the consternation of Bible scholars, that the city of Babylon had capitulated to the Persian—or more properly to the Elamite—conqueror without a struggle. It appeared, further, that the king ruling in Babylon at the time of the capitulation was named not Belshazzar, but Nabonidos. This king, as appears from his own records, had a son named Belshazzar, who commanded Babylonian armies in outlying provinces, but who never came to the throne. Nothing could well be more disconcerting than such a revelation as this. It is held, however, that the startling discrepancies are not so difficult to explain as may appear at first sight. The explanation is found, so the Assyriologist assures us, in the fact that both Hebrew and Greek historians, writing at a considerable interval after the events, and apparently lacking authentic sources, confused the peaceful occupation of Babylon by Cyrus with its siege and capture by a successor to that monarch, Darius Hystaspes. As to the confusion of Babylonian names—in which, by the way, the Hebrew and Greek authors do not agree—it is explained that the general, Belshazzar, was perhaps more directly known in Palestine than his father the king. But the vagueness of the Hebrew knowledge is further shown by the fact that Belshazzar, alleged king, is announced as the son of Nebuchadrezzar (misspelled Nebuchadnezzar in the Hebrew writings), while the three kings that reigned after Nebuchadrezzar, and before Nabonidos usurped the throne, are quite overlooked.

Our present concern with the archaeological evidence thus briefly outlined, and with much more of the kind, may be summed up in the question: What in general terms is the inference to be drawn by the world-historian from the Assyrian records in their bearings upon the Hebrew writings? At first sight this might seem an extremely difficult question to answer. Indeed, to answer it to the satisfaction of all concerned might well be pronounced impossible. Yet it would seem as if a candid and impartial historian could not well be greatly in doubt in the matter. On the one hand, the general agreement everywhere between the Hebrew accounts and contemporaneous records from Mesopotamia proves beyond cavil that, broadly speaking, the Bible accounts are historically true, and were written by persons who in the main had access to contemporaneous documents. On the other hand, the discrepancies as to details, the confusion as to exact chronology, the manifest prejudice and partizanship, and the obvious limitations of knowledge make it clear that the writers partook in full measure of the shortcomings of other historians, and that their work must be adjudged by ordinary historical standards. As much as this is perhaps conceded by most, if not all, schools of Bible criticism of to-day. Professor Sayce, one of the most distinguished of modern Assyriologists, writing as an opponent of the purely destructive "Higher Criticism," demands no more than that the Book of Genesis "shall take rank by the side of the other monuments of the past as the record of events which have actually happened and been handed on by credible men"; that it shall, in short, be admitted to be "a collection of ancient documents which have all the value of contemporaneous testimony," but which being in themselves "wrecks of vast literatures which extended over the Oriental world from a remote epoch," cannot be understood aright "except in the light of the contemporaneous literature of which they form a portion." From the point of view implied by such words as these, it is only necessary to recall the mental attitude of our grandfathers to appreciate in some measure the revolution in thought that has been wrought in this field within the last half-century, largely through the instrumentality of Oriental archaeology.

Archaeology and classical history.

We have seen that the general trend of Oriental archaeology has been reconstructive rather than iconoclastic. Equally true is this of recent classical archaeology. Here no such revolution has been effected as that which virtually created anew the history of Oriental antiquity; yet the bearings of the new knowledge are similar in kind if different in degree. The world had never quite forgotten the history of the primitive Greeks as it had forgotten the Mesopotamians, the Himyaritic nations and the Hittites; but it remembered their deeds only in the form of poetical myths and traditions. These traditions, finding their clearest delineation in the lines of Homer, had been subjected to the analysis of the critical historians of the early decades of the 19th century, and their authenticity had come to be more than doubted. The philological analysis of Wolf and his successors had raised doubts as to the very existence of Homer, and at one time the main current of scholarly opinion had set strongly in the direction of the belief that the Iliad and the Odyssey were in reality but latter-day collections of divers recitals that had been handed down by word of mouth from one generation to another of bards through ages of illiteracy. It was strenuously contended that the case could not well be otherwise, inasmuch as the art of writing must have been quite unknown in Greece until after the alleged age of the traditional Homer, whose date had been variously estimated at from 1000 to 800 B.C. by less sceptical generations. It had come to be a current belief that the Iliad was first committed to writing in the age of Peisistratus. A prominent controversialist, F.A. Paley, even went so far as to doubt whether a single written copy of the Iliad existed in Greece at the time of the Peloponnesian War. The doubts thus cast upon the age when the Homeric poems first assumed the fixed form of writing were closely associated with the universal scepticism as to the historical accuracy of any traditions whatever regarding the early history of Greece. Cautious historians had come to regard the so-called "Heroic Age" as a prehistoric period regarding which nothing definite was known, or in all probability could be known. It was ably argued by Sir George Cornewall Lewis, in connexion with his inquiries into early Roman history, that a verbal tradition is not transmitted from one generation to another in anything like an authentic form for a longer period than about a century. If, then, the art of writing was unknown in Greece before, let us say, the 6th century B.C., it would be useless to expect that any events of Grecian history prior to about the 7th century B.C. could have been transmitted to posterity with any degree of historical accuracy.

Notwithstanding the allurements of the subject, such conservative historians as Grote were disposed to regard the problems of early Grecian history as inscrutable, and to content themselves with the recital of traditions without attempting to establish their relationship with actual facts. It remained for the more robust faith of a Schliemann to show that such scepticism was all too faint-hearted, by proving that at such sites as Tiryns, Mycenae and Hissarlik evidences of a very early period of Greek civilization awaited the spade of the excavator. Thanks to the enthusiasm of Schliemann and his successors, we can now substitute for the mythical "Age of Heroes" a historical "Mycenaean Age" of Greece, and give tangible proof of its relatively high state of civilization. Schliemann may or may not have been correct in identifying one of the seven cities that he unearthed at Hissarlik as the fabled Troy itself, but at least his efforts sufficed to give verisimilitude to the Homeric story. With the lessons of recent Oriental archaeology in mind, few will be sceptical enough to doubt that some such contest as that described in the Iliad actually occurred. And now, thanks to the efforts of a large company of workers, notably Dr Arthur Evans and his associates in Cretan exploration, we are coming to speak with some confidence not merely of a Mycenaean but of a pre-Mycenaean Age.

As yet we see these periods somewhat darkly. The illuminative witness of written records is in the main denied us here. Some most archaic inscriptions have been indeed found by the explorers in Crete, but these for the present serve scarcely any other purpose than to prove the antiquity of the art of writing among a people who were closely in touch with the inhabitants of Hellas proper. Most unfortunately for posterity, the Greeks wrote mainly on perishable materials, and hence the chief records even of their later civilization have vanished. The only fragments of Greek manuscripts antedating the Christian era that have been preserved to us have been found in Egypt, where a hospitable climate granted them a term of existence not to be hoped for elsewhere. No fragment of these papyri, indeed, carries us further back than the age of the Ptolemies; but the Greek inscriptions on the statues of Rameses II at Abu-Simbel, in Nubia, give conclusive proof that the art of writing was widely disseminated among the Greeks at least three centuries before the age of Alexander. This carries us back towards the traditional age of Homer.

The Cretan inscriptions belong to a far older epoch, and are written in two non-Grecian scripts of undetermined affinities. Here, then, is direct evidence that the Aegean peoples of the Mycenaean Age knew how to write, and it is no longer necessary to assume that the verses of the Iliad were dependent on mere verbal transmission for any such period as has been supposed.

But even were direct evidence of the knowledge of the art of writing in Greece of the early day altogether lacking, none but the hardiest sceptic could doubt, in the light of recent archaeological discoveries elsewhere, that the inhabitants of ancient Hellas of the "Homeric Age" must have shared with their contemporaries the capacity to record their thought in written words. We have seen that Oriental archaeology has in recent generations revolutionized our conceptions of the antiquity of civilization. We have seen that written documents have been preserved in Mesopotamia to which such a date as 4500 B.C. may be ascribed with a good deal of confidence; and that from the third millennium B.C. a flood of contemporary literary records comes to us both from Egypt and Mesopotamia. But until recently it had been supposed that Hellas was shut out entirely from this Oriental culture. Historians have found it hard to dispel the idea that civilization in Greece was a very late development, and that the culture of the age of Solon sprang, in fact, suddenly into existence, as it seems to do in the records of the historian. But the excavations that have given us a knowledge of the Mycenaean Age have proved conclusively, not alone that civilization existed in Greece in an early day, but that this civilization was closely linked with the civilization of Egypt. Not only have antiquities been found in Crete that point to Egyptian inspiration, but quite recently Professor Petrie has found at Tel el-Amarna Mycenaean pottery. The latter find has a peculiar significance, since the date of the Tel el-Amarna collection is definitely fixed between the years 1400 and 1370 B.C.

It is demonstrated, then, that as early as the beginning of the 14th century B.C. the Mycenaean civilization was in touch with the ancient civilization of Egypt. One must not infer from this, however, that the two civilizations met on anything like an equality. Indeed, in the wonderful Tel-el-Amarna collection there is a suggestive absence of literary documents from the Aegean that demands a word of notice. The Tel el-Amarna collection, it will be recalled, consists of the royal archives of King Amenophis IV. of the XVIIIth Egyptian dynasty, who in the latter years of his reign chose to be known as Akhenaton, "the glory of the solar disk." This monarch had retired from Thebes and established his court on the site now known as Tel el-Amarna, where he founded the city which existed only during the brief period of thirty years ending with the death of the monarch about 1370 B.C. The date of the documents found in the royal library is, therefore, fixed within very narrow limits. The documents in question consist chiefly of letters, and constitute one of the most important of archaeological finds. These letters came to the king from almost every part of western Asia, including Palestine and Phoenicia, Babylonia and Asia Minor. Strangely enough, all the letters are written in the Babylonian character, and most of them are in the Babylonian language. They afford, therefore, most striking evidence of a widespread diffusion of Babylonian culture. Incidentally they prove, to the utter confusion of a certain school of Bible critics, that the art of writing was familiarly known in Canaan, and that Egypt and western Asia were in full literary connexion with one another, long before the time of the Exodus. Hence all the elaborate arguments based on the supposition that Moses probably could not write fall to the ground. On the other hand, the absence of letters from Mycenae among the tablets of Tel el-Amarna must be regarded as at least suggestive. Seemingly the widespread Babylonian culture had not reached the Aegean peoples; yet these peoples cannot have been wholly ignorant of things with which commercial intercourse brought them in contact. The point is of no very great significance, however, since no one has pretended that the Western civilization compared with the Eastern in point of antiquity; and in any event, no amount of negative evidence weighs a grain in the balance against the positive evidence of the Cretan inscriptions.

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