ca 232-290 __ « Kestoi »
‣ Comment : Sextus Julius Africanus, an eminent Christian historical writer, author of a chronicle extending from the date of the creation to A.D. 221, as well as an extensive work entitled “Kestoi”, states that the Roman generals perfected a system for readily communicating intelligence by means of fires made of different substances. (Paul Fleury Mottelay) — He wrote a history of the world (“Chronographiai”, in five books) from Creation to the year AD 221, covering, according to his computation, 5723 years. He calculated the period between Creation and Jesus as 5500 years, placing the Incarnation on the first day of AM 5501 (our modern March 25, 1 BC), according to Venance Grumel, “La Chronologie” (1958). This method of reckoning led to several Creation eras being used in the Greek Eastern Mediterranean, which all placed Creation within one decade of 5500 BC. The ascription to Africanus of an encyclopaedic work entitled Kestoi (Κεστοί "embroidered"), treating of agriculture, natural history, military science, etc., has been disputed on account of its secular and often credulous character. August Neander suggested that it was written by Africanus before he had devoted himself to religious subjects. A fragment of the Kestoi was found in the Oxyrhynchus papyri. According to the New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, the Kestoi "appears to have been intended as a sort of encyclopedia of the material sciences with the cognate mathematical and technical branches, but to have contained a large proportion of merely curious, trifling, or miraculous matters, on which account the authorship of Julius has been questioned. Among the parts published are sections on agriculture, liturgiology, tactics, and medicine (including veterinary practise). (Compiled from various sources)
‣ Source : Fleury Mottelay, Paul (1922), “Bibliographical History of Electricity and Magnetism, Chronologically Arranged”, Read Books (2008), p. 22.
‣ Source : Vieillefond J.-R. (1970), “Les “Cestes” de Julius Africanus. Étude sur l’ensemble des fragments avec édition, traduction et commentaires”, Publications de l’institut français de Florence, coll. « Collection d’études d’histoire, de critique et de philologie 20 / Ire série », Florence – Paris, 1970.
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