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weight. His credulity and uncommon regard for all sorts of oracles, are manifest in the character of his Olympiads given by Photius, and in the fragments of his works, published by Meursius. I would also refer to the article • Tæppezzen, in Stephanus Byzantinus, where Phlegon speaks of a child who was able to converse with others when it had been born not more than nine-andforty days; and to Salmasius's ' character of Phlegon's Olympiads in his notes upon Spartian's Life of Adrian. Fifthly, Origen is the only person that has mentioned this. I do not recollect any other ancient writer who has taken any notice of it. Consequently, I think we must say that upon the whole this citation - is of no great moment.
III. But there is another passage of this author which may be reckoned more material, many learneil men of late times having been of opinion that it relates to the darkness at the time of our Saviour's crucifixion.
The Greek of Eusebius, in his Chronicle, which I must transcribe at large, is to this purpose : • Jesus Christ the Son of God, our Lord, according to the prophecies concerning him, came to • his passion in the nineteenth year of the reign of Tiberius: about which time we find these
things related in other, even Gentile memoirs, in these very words: “ the sun was eclipsed, “ there was an earthquake in Bithynia, and many houses were overturned in Nice.” All which •
things agree with what happened at the time of our Saviour's passion. So writes and says the * author of the Olympiads, in the thirteenth book, in these words: “ In the fourth year of the “two hundred and second olympiad there was an eclipse of the sun, the greatest of any known “ before. And it was night at the sixth hour of the day, so that the stars appeared in the hea"vens. And there was a great earthquake in Bithynia, which overturned many houses in Nice.” So writes the forementioned author.'
I shall also transcribe and translate this article as it appears in Jerom's Latin version of Eusebius's Chronicle.
• Jesus Christ,' according to the prophecies which had before spoken of him, came to his * passion in the eighteenth year of Tiberius; at which time in other, even heathen memoirs, we • find it written to this purpose: “ There was an eclipse of the sun : Bithynia was shaken by an “ earthquake, and in the city of Nice, many houses were overthrown.” All which things agree • with what happened at the time of our Saviour's passion. And so writes Phlegon, an excellent
compiler of the Olympiads, in his thirteenth book, saying: In the fourth year of the two hun. « dred and second olympiad there was a great and extraordinary eclipse of the sun, distinguished
among all that had happened before. At the sixth hour the day was turned into dark night, “ so that the stars in the heavens were seen, and there was an earthquake in Bithynia which “ overthrew many houses in the city of Nice.” So writes the abovenamed author.'
Phlegon is twice quoted, after the same manner, in the Paschal Chronicle 8 composed in the seventh century.
Many learned men have supposed that Eusebius here speaks of another, beside Phlegon, who had borne witness to the darkness at the time of our Saviour's crucifixion. They think that Eusebius refers to Thallus, as well as Phlegon. I think that Eusebius speaks of one only. His
* Και η σερι τας χρησμες ακαιρος φιλοπονια τε και φιλοτιμια, εκλειψις ηλιο μεγιση των εγνωρισμενων προτερον, και νυξ ωρα και εις κορον απαγεσα τον ακροατην-χρησμοις δε παντοιοις ες της ημερας εγενετο, ωσε και αςερας εν ουρανο φανηναι, σεισμος υπερβολην εσι κεχρημενος. Phot. ibid.
τε μεγας κατα Βιθυνιαν γενόμενος τα πολλα Νικαιας κατεΦλεγων ολυμπιαδι εκατοση ογδοηκος η πρωτη: “Οτι παιδιών, σρεψατο. Και ταυτα μεν ο δηλωθεις ανηρ. Euseb. Chr. p. 77. εκ δελης γενομενον, τη εννατη και τεσσαρακοση της γενέσεως Jesus Christus, secundum prophetias, quæ de eo fuerant TOV apocayopeusarta artimposayopeuran. Steph. V. Tappaxorn. prolocutæ, ad passionem venit anno Tiberii xviii
. quo tempore Ex quo loco apparet, quale fuerit argumentum librorum etiam in aliis Ethnicorum commentariis hæc ad verbum scripta Olympiadum Phlegontis. Nam sub quâque Olympiade, quid reperimus. Solis facta defectio; Bithynia terræ motu coritoto orbe gestum esset recensebat, prodigia præcipue et mon
'cussa ; et in urbe Nicæâ ædes plurimæ corruerunt.' Quæ stra, resque alias mirabiles, memorabilesque. Salmas. in
omnia his congruunt, quæ in passione Salvatoris acciderant. Spartian. Hadrian. c. 16, p. 152.
Scribit vero super bis et Phlego, qui Olympiadum egregius supd De Domino etiam mentionem egit, si fides Origeni.
putator est, in tertio decimo libro ita dicens: Quarto autem Basnag. ann. 141, n, vi.
anno ccii. Olympiadis magna et excelleus inter omnes, quæ Ιησες ο Χριςος, ο υιος το Θεό, ο κυριος ημων, κατα τας ante vam acciderant, detectio solis facta : dies horâ sextà in περι αυτο προφητειας, επι το παθος προγει, ετες ιθ' της Τιβερια tenebrosam noctem versus, ut stellæ in cælo visæ sint; terræΚαισαρος βασιλειας καθ' ον καιρον και εν αλλοις μεν Ελληνικους que motus in Bithyniâ Nicææ urbis mullas ædes subverteret. υπομνημασιν ευρομεν ίςορεμενα κατα λεξιν ταυτα: Ο ήλιος εκ
Hæc supradictus vir. Euseb. Chr. p. 158. λελιπεν: Βιθυνια εσεισθης Νικαιας τα πολλα επεσεν. Ο και g Chr. Pasch. p. 219, et 222. συναδει τους περι το παθος τη σωτηρος ημων συμβεβηκοσι. - " J. Scaliger. ut supr. p. 180. et Tillemont, note xxxv. sur Γραφει δε και λεγει ο τας ολυμπιαδας.-περι των αυτων εν τω J. C. ιγόημασιν αυτοις ταδε το δ ετει της CB ολυμπιαδος εγενετο
first expressions are general. He observes that, what is said by prophets and by the evangelists, there are heathen authors who have borne testimony to this darkness. Nevertheless he means one only. And, having given a general account of what was to be found in other memoirs, beside the sacred, he produces distinctly the passage of Phlegon, and concludes, so writes • the forenamed man. I need not enlarge farther. To me it appears exceeding manifest that Eusebius speaks of one writer only, meaning Phlegon the compiler of Olympiads. The two quotations in the Paschal Chronicle, as well as St. Jerom's version, are all to be understood in the like manner.
Before making any remarks upon this passage of Phlegon, I would take notice of some authors more ancient than Eusebius, who have referred to Phlegon, or are supposed to have referred to him.
Of these, undoubtedly, Tertullian is the most ancient. • At : the same time,' says he, * at noonday there was a great darkness. They thought it to be an eclipse, who did not • know that this also was foretold concerning Christ. And some have denied it, not know• ing the cause of such darkness. And yet you have that remarkable event recorded in your • archives.'
I think that Tertullian refers not to Phlegon, or any other author, whose testimony could be no other than a private record, but to some public acts of the Romans, and probably those in which was kept registered the Relation of Pontius Pilate, sent to the emperor Tiberius, concern. ing the crucifixion of our Saviour, and the wonderful circumstances of it.
Hueto understands Tertullian to refer to some public acts: and in like manner. Grotius. And Dr. Clarke, in the first edition of his sermons at Mr. Boyle's lecture, where he quoted Phlegon, and in the eighth edition, where he omitted Phlegon, represents the sense of this place of Tertullian after this manner, and in the same words: • And divers of the most remarkable cir* cumstances attending our Saviour's crucifixion, such as the earthquake, and miraculous dark
ness, were recorded in the public Roman registers, commonly appealed to by the first Christians, • as what could not be denied by the adversaries themselves.
What Tertullian says here has a great resemblance with what is said by the martyr Lucian, in his Apology, as represented by Rufinus in an addition to Eusebius's Ecclesiastical History, where he says: 'Look • into your own annals; there you will find that in the time of Pilate, • when Christ suffered, the sun was obscured, and the light of the day was interrupted with darkness.'
For the present I pass by Africanus. The author therefore that next offers himself to our consideration is Origen, who, in his books against Celsus, says: · But of the eclipse, which hap* pened in the time of Tiberius, in whose reign Jesus was crucified, and of the great earthquakes • which were at that time, Phlegon writes in the thirteenth, or, as I think, the fourteenth, book • of his Chronicle.'
Afterwards in the same work : · But . Celsus thinks both the earthquake and the darkness * to be only fictitious wonders. To which we have already answered according to our ability,' says Origen, alleging Phlegon, who relates that such things happened at the time of our Savi• our's passion.'
In the first of these two passages, Origen refers to the book, but does not quote the words of Phlegon. This second reference is not more distinct nor more accurate.
a Eodem momento dies, medium orbem signante sole, sub- d See the first edition, p. 325; and the eighth edition, ducta est. Deliquium utique putaverunt, qui id quoque super Christo prædicatum non scierunt: ratione non deprehensâ e Solem vobis ipsum horum produco testem; qui cum hoc negaverunt. Et tamen eum mundi casum relatum in arcanis fieri per impios videret in terris, lumen suum meridie abscondit [al. archivis] vestris habetis. Apol. c. 21, p. 22.
in cælo. Requirite in annalibus vestris: invenietis, temporibus Merito itaque Christianorum causam apud Ethnicos agens Pilati, Christo patiente, fugato sole, interruptum tenebris diem. in Apologetico (cap. 21.) Tertullianus miraculi hujus testes Euseb. H. E. I. 9, c. 6. ex versione Rufin. citat tabularia ipsorum, et publica instrumenta, sive quæ a * Περι δε της επι Τιβερια Καισαρος εκλειψεως, ο βασιλευοντος rectoribus provinciarum, sive quæ ex instituto Cæsaris Romæ και ο Ιησες εoικεν εςαυρωσθαι, και περι των μεγάλων τοτε conficiebantur, in quæ diurna referebantur Acta Populi et γενομενων σεισμων της γης, ανέγραψε και Φλεγων εν τω τρισκαιSenatus. Huet. Dem. Evang. Prop. 3, sect. viii. p. 30. δεκατω η τω τεσσαρεσκαιδεκατω, οιμαι, των χρονικων. Contr.
c Exstabant olim et libri, tum privatorum, ut Phlegontis, Cels. 1. 2, p. 80, Cant. al. sect. 33. tum et acta publica, ad quæ Christiani provocabant, quibus 8 Oιεται δε τερατειαν ειναι και τον σεισμον και το σκοτος: constabat de eo sidere, quod post Christum natuin apparuit, περι ων κατα δυνατον, εν τοις ανωτερω απελογησαμεθα, παραde terræ motu, et solis deliquio, contra naturam, plenissimo Oeueros TOY Masyouta, isopno arra, rata TON Zpovoj T8 TahBS TB lunæ orbe, circa tempus, quo Christus crucis supplicio affectus
owTOSOS TOIKUTA ATTYVTYKEY ON. Ib. 1. 2. p. 96. al. sect. 59. est. Grot. de Verit. Rel. Christ. 1. 3, c. xiv.
There is another long passage of Origen in his Commentaries upon St. Matthew's Gospel, which it may be expected I should transcribe here: and I shall do so. But, considering that we have it only in a Latin translation, which is obscure, I suppose I may be excused from attempting to translate it at length. The substance of what Origen says may be reduced to a few observations.
• He proposeth • an objection of unbelievers against the evangelical history. They said that an eclipse of the
sun never happens at full moon, as the darkness mentioned by the evangelists did : and that if • there had been an eclipse, or other darkness, over all the earth, lasting three hours, from six till • nine, it would have been mentioned by many authors, and especially by writers of chronicles. • Origen allows that if the evangelists had mentioned such a thing in all those circumstances, and • had said it was general all over the world, it would be reasonable to expect to find the mention • of it in many writers, both Greeks and barbarians. But he says the evangelists speak only of a • darkness in the land of Judea ; nor do they call it an eclipse. Other extraordinary things,
which are related by the evangelists to have happened at the time of our Saviour's sufferings, • he says, were at Jerusalem, or near it. There " the veil of the temple was rent,” there “ the “ earth quaked and the rocks were rent,” there, or near it, “ the graves were opened.” So like• wise it is to be understood, that at Jerusalem, or near it, or over the whole land of Judea, was “ darkness from the sixth to the ninth hour.” Finally, Origen observes and allows that Phlegon did not say that the eclipse mentioned by him happened at the time of a full moon.'
Tillemont, arguing upon this testimony of Phlegon, observes : Nevertheless, he did not • say that this obscurity, which he took for an eclipse, happened at full moon, when it is impossible • to happen, according to the ordinary course of nature. For which reason Origen says, very • wisely, that we must not too positively maintain against heathen people that Phlegon spoke of " the darkness which happened at the death of Jesus Christ.'
We are now coming to a main point.
I suppose my readers to be well acquainted with the gospels, and to know that it is there related that “ from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour,” Matt. xxvii. 45; or, “when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth “ hour," Mark xv. 33; or, “ and it was about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over all the “ earth (or land] until the ninth hour. And the sun was darkened,” Luke xxiii. 44, 45.
1. In the first place, then, it appears to me very plain that the evangelists, by the earth, or the land, mean Judea. So the original word is sometimes used, as Luke iv. 25; Matt. xxiv. 30. So it was understood in these texts by that great critic Origen, as we have seen. So likewise says that eminent man .G.J. Vossius, and divers other learned moderns of very good judgment. And Beza, for preventing ambiguity, useth the word region, or country, instead of land, or earth; and upon Mark xv. 33, has a good note, o justifying that version. Indeed, it is so pertinent, that I am tempted to write out a good part of it below. This, I think, must be right. The evangelists speak of things that happened in the land of Judea, the place of their residence, and within the extent of their knowledge. How should they know what happened abroad, throughout the whole world? There was darkness at Jerusalem, and near it, and in that whole country where Christ was crucified, and among that people who had been taught by his ministry, who had seen his miracles, and now triumphed in his crucifixion. But there might be the light and brightness of the sun in other countries, as probably there were.
a Matt. xxvii. 45. Ad hunc textum quidam calumniantur sunt super omnem terram usque ad horam nonam, et obscuevangelicam veritatem, dicentes, quomodo secundum textum ratus est sol.' - Arbitror ergo, sicut cætera signa, quæ facta potest esse verum quod dicitur, quia factæ sunt tenebræ super sunt in passionem ipsius, in Jerusalem facta sunt : sic et teneomnem terram a sextâ horâ, usque ad nonam, quod factum bræ tantummodo super omnem terrani Judæam usque ad honulla refert historia ? Et dicunt, quia, sicut solet fieri in solis ram nonam. Quæ autem dico, in Jerusalem tantummodo defectione, sic facta est tunc defectio solis. Defectio autem hæc facta sunt: quod velum templi scissum est, quod terra solis, quae secundum consuetudinem temporum ita currentium contremuit, quod petræ diruptæ sunt, quod monumenta aperta fieri solet, non in alio tempore fit, nisi in conventu solis et sunt. Nec enim extra Judæam petræ diruptæ sunt, aut molunze in tempore autem, quo passus est Christus, manifes- numenta aperta sunt alia, nisi ea tantum, quæ in Jerusalem tum est, quoniam conventus non erat lunæ ad solem, quoniam erant, aut forte in terrâ Judæa. Nec alia terra tremuit tunc, tempus erat paschale, quod consuetudinis est agere, quando nisi terra Jerusalem. Nec enim refertur alicubi, quod omne luna solis plenitudinem habet, et in totâ est nocte. Quomodo elementum terræ tremnerit in tempore illo, ut sentirent, verbi ergo poterat fieri defectio solis, cum luna esset plena, et pleni- gratiâ, et qui in Æthiopiâ erant, et in India, et in Scythia. tudinem solis haberet ? - Pone, quia extra consuetudinem Quod si factum fuisset, sine dubio inveniretur in historiis alifacta est illa defectio solis in tempore non antiquo, sub princi- quibus eorum, qui in Chronicis scripsermt nova aliqua facta. patu Romanorum, ita ut tenebræ fierent super omnem terram Sicut ergo quod dicitur, 'terra contremuit,' refertur ad terram usque ad horam nonam : quomodo hoc factum tam mirabile Jerusalem, aut, si latius voluerit quis extendere, ad terram nemo Græcorum, nemo Barbarorum factum conscripsit in Judæam ; sic et'tenebræ factæ sunt ab horâ sextâ usque ad tempore illo, maxime qui Chronica conscripserunt, et notave- ' nonam super omnem terram,' intellige, quod super omnem runt, sicuti aliquid novum factum est aliquando, sed soli hoc terram Judæam sunt factæ, aut certe super Jerusalem tantum. scripserunt vestri auctores ? Et Phlegon quidem in Chronicis Origen. in Matt. Tr.35, p. 922, 923. Tom. 3. Bened. suis scripsit, in priucipatu Tiberii Cæsaris factum, sed non sig- b Il ne marquoit pas néanmoins que cette obscurité, qu'il nificavit în luna plenā hoc factum. Vide ergo, ne fortis est prenoit pour une eclipse, fût arrivée dans la pleine lune, où il objectio hæc, et potens movere omnem hominem sapientem, est impossible selon l'ordre de la nature qu'il en arrive jamais. qui nec illis dicentibus, nec istis scribentibus consentit, sed C'est pourquoi Origène remarque fort sagement, qu'il ne faut omnino cum ratione et judicio auditDicimus ergo, quod pas s'opiniâtrer à soutenir contre les Payens, que Phlégon a Matthæus et. Marcus non dixerunt, defectionem solis tunc parlé de ce qui est arrivé à la mort de J. C. Note 35. sur factam fuisse, sed neque Lucas, secundum pleraque exempla- N. S. J. C. p. 449. M. E. ria, habentia sic: * Et erat hora fere sexta, et tenebræ factæ
A. Bynæus, after having carefully examined this point, expresseth himself to the same purpose.
2. There are such inaccuracies, and such differences, in the quotations of Phlegon by several authors, as very much diminish the credit and authority of this testimony.
Origen says no more than that Phlegon speaks of an eclipse and earthquakes in the reign of Tiberius, without mentioning what year of his reign. Eusebius, and Jerom, and the Paschal Chronicle, speak of an eclipse of the sun, and an earthquake, in the fourth year of the two hundred and second olympiad, meaning the eighteenth or nineteenth year of Tiberius, and the thirty-second or thirty-third year of our Lord, according to the common computation. But they do not say in what part, or what month of the year, those things happened: which would be very material, and tend to decide a reference to the darkness at our Saviour's passion, if it had been said that the eclipse was in the spring, or such a month of the spring part of the year.
I now add some other quotations to those just mentioned.
J. Philoponus, who lived near the end of the sixth, and the beginning of the seventh, century, writes to this purpose: • Phlegon' also, in his Olympiads, makes mention of this darkness, or ra*ther this night: for he says that in the second year of the one hundred and second olympiad there • was the greatest eclipse of the sun that had been known before, and night came on at the sixth • hour of the day; insomuch that the stars appeared in the sky.'
Afterwards the same Philoponus speaks of Phlegon, as saying that the eclipse happened in the two hundred and second olympiad. Some may think this to be an inconsistency: but, perhaps, there were different ways of computing the olympiads, or the years of each olympiad.
In the Chronicle of George Syncellus, who flourished in the eighth century, Africanus is quoted in this maner: Phlegon · relates that in the reign of the emperor Tiberius, at the * time of the full moon, there was a total eclipse of the sun from the sixth hour to the ninth.
a Putamus autem, per universam terram solam signari Ju- non modo die Paschæ, id est in plenilunio, accidisse hanc solis dæam. Quod et Erasmus arbitratur in cap. xxvii. Matt. G. eclipsin, sed etiam reliquum orbem illustrante sole, atque adeo Voss. Harm. Ev. 1.2, cap. x.
in ipso meridie hunc unum orbis terrarum angulum, in quo 6 Matt, xxvii. 45. “ Now from the sixth hour there was tantum facinus patrabatur, in densissimis tenebris delituisse. darkness over all the land (of Judea] until the ninth hour.” -Et si universale fuisset hoc prodigium, esset proculdubio Whitby.- --sur tout le païs. Le Clerc. Apparemment sur omnium astrologorum monumentis celebratum. Bez. in Mark la Judée, comme Luc. iv. 25; Matt. xxiv. 30. Lenfant. See xv. 33. also Basnage ann. 33, n. cxviii.
€ Profecto credibilius nihil est, quam scriptores sacros ortas super universam regionem.' 2007 TOY you, i. e. hasce tenebras ETV wacay TYY YY;v, super omnem terram,' xwpav. Vulgata, et Erasmus, universam terram, quasi omnes vel em' 67.7,4 Try you, 'super totam terram,' dixisse, ut desiga mundi plagæ fuerint obscuratæ, Bez. ad Matt. xxvii. 45. narent, occupâsse eas non Hierosolymam tantum, locumque,
d Quæritur autem a multis, an de Judæa duntaxat, an vero in quo Jesus suffixus cruci fuit, sed Judæam, vel terram Ispotius de universo orbe terrarum, hæc sint accipienda. Quod raëliticam universam. De orbe toto enim nequit hic cogitari. posterius videtur amplecti Tertulliauus Ap. c. xxi. hoc solis Sed nec orbis intelligi Romanus potest, ad quem Lucas, dum deliquium vocans' mundi casum,' quem Romani in suis ar- res describit in Judæâ gestas, utique non attendit. &c. Ant. chivis habeant. Sed ego iis potius assentior, qui de Hieroso- Bynæus. de morte J. C. 1. 3, c. 8. sect. ii. p. 410. lymis et totâ vicinâ regione hoc dictum accipiunt. Nam in ' Λεγει γαρ, ότι το δευτερω ετει της διακοσιοσης δευτερας Archivis annotari justius etiam prodigium illud potuit, quo- ολυμπιαδος εγενετο ήλιε εκλειψις μεγιση των [ουκ] εγνωσμεναν nian fuit Judes peculiare. Familiare etiam est sacris scrip- προτερον και νυξ ωρα έκτη της ημερας εγενετο ωςε και αςερας toribus, terræ appellatione, etiamsi nihil adjiciatur, intelligere Ev afarw parniai. Philop. de Mundi Creatione. I. 2, cap. 21. terram Chanaan. Et yny pro xwpay, id est, ' terram,' pro και Την δε εκλειψιν γεγονεναι εν τω τεταρτω ετει της διακοσης ' regione,' reperimus alibi : ut Matt. ix. 26, et Luc. iv. 25. CEUTefas oduuniados.' Philop. Ibid. Confert autem hoc ad prodigii novitatem, si intellexeriinus h Vide Pagi ann, 32, n. xii. xiii.
It is obvious to observe here—it is not easy to believe that Africanus said Phlegon had mentioned an eclipse with those circumstances, because Fhlegon is not so quoted by any other writer. And Origen assures us that Phlegon had omitted that circumstance, that the eclipse mentioned by him was in the time of the full moon.'
Maximus, of the seventh century, in his Scholia upon the pretended Dionysius the Areopagite, says: Phlegon the Gentile chronographer, in the thirteenth book of his Chronography, i at the two hundred and third olympiad, mentions this eclipse, saying that it happened in an un• usual manner: but does not say in what manner. And our Africanus in the fifth book of his Chronography, and Eusebius Pamphili likewise in his Chronicle, mention the same eclipse.'
J. Malala, in the sixth or seventh century, in his Chronicle, writes to this purpose: . And the ' sun was darkened, and there was darkness upon the world. Concerning which darkness, Phle. 'gon, that wise Athenian, writes thus: “ In the eighteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Cæsar, • there was a great eclipse of the sun, greater than those that had been known before: and it be* came night at the sixth hour of the day, so that the stars appeared.'
Such are the principal quotations of Phlegon in ancient writers. We may wish they had been more distinct and accurate, and that there had been a nearer agreement between them; but we must take them as they are. Nor do they all place the eclipse, which they speak of, in the same year of the same olympiad. However, I do not chuse to enlarge on tiris particular; it is rather too critical for my present work: I therefore refer to Pagi, who has spoken to the point with great learning and judgment, and must be of use to remove difficulties of this sort. Wherefore I proceed.
3. Phlegon says nothing of Judea. What he says is, that in such an olympiad, there was • an eclipse in Bithynia, and an earthquake at Nice.”
4. Phlegon does not say that the earthquake happened at the same time with the eclipse.
5. Phlegon mentions not any extraordinary circumstances of the darkness at the time of our Saviour's sufferings. We cannot perceive from the quotations that have been made of him, that it is reasonable to believe he said that the eclipse mentioned by him happened at the time of a
full moon,' or that it lasted • three hours. These circumstances could not have been omitted by him if he had known any thing of them.
The acute Mr. Bayle, in his article of Phlegon, has enlarged upon this point, and as it seems to me with good reason. • Never was there a man more intent than Phlegon to collect marvel
lous events, and to observe the supernatural circumstances of them. How then was it possible • that a man of this temper should omit to remark that which was most extraordinary in this eclipse, I mean that it happened at the time of a full moon.'
6. Phlegon speaks of an ordinary eclipse of the sun. Therefore he cannot intend the darkness mentioned by the evangelists, which happened when the moon was full : at which time an eclipse of the sun is impossible. Nor do any of the evangelists use the word eclipse in their history of this darkness. Phlegon speaks of a total, or very near total eclipse of the sun, so that the stars were seen; which is common when there is a total eclipse, and the air is clear; but could not have been if there had been clouds, which would have hid the stars also. G. J. Vossius was clearly of opinion that Phlegon speaks of an ordinary and natural eclipse of the sun: for which and other reasons he concludes that Phlegon did not intend the darkness in Judea at the time of our Saviour's passion.
: $hsywy is opsi, et: Tiberie Kalapos ev TAVOEATUW EXAEX. deri eamdem, quia Evangelistæ dicunt, fuisse eo tempore terræ ήλιο γεγονεναι τελειαν απο ωρας έκτης μεχρις εννατης. Vid. motum: ac Phlego itidem dicat, tempore eclipseos ejus, de quâ G. Syncell. p. 322, 323.
agit, terræ motum fuisse in Bithyniâ, maximeque Nicææ. Scio. © By all means see Tillemont, M. E. Tom. i, note 35. sur Sed scrupulum injicit, quod sileat de terræ motu in Palæstina. Jesus Christ, p. 449, 450.
At, inquias, potuit hoc ignorare: nec levem videri nobis auctoΜεμνηται μεν και Φλεγων και Ελληνικος χρονογραφος, εν ritatem Patrumdebere, qui eamdem faciunt eclipsim illam Evanτρισκαιδεκατω χρονογραφιων εν τη σιγ' ολυμπιαδι, της εκλειψεως gelistis.ac Phlegonti
. memoratam. Movit Ρatres, quod eundem ταυτης, παρα το ειωθος αυτην λεγων γενεσθαι, ου μην τον τροπον in annum utraque incideret : Sed falsos esse, arguit, quod si avsy pave. %. A. Maxim. ap. Dionys. Areop. T. 2, p. 97. miraculosa eclipsis variis conspecta terris foret, non solus ejus • J. Malal...Chronogr. lib. 10. p. 310.
Phlegon meminisset. Quid enim magis in naturâ stupendum, Pagi ann, 32, num. xi.- xiv.
quam solem deficere in plenilunio? Ut jam mistam, quod ante | Phlegon. note D. Diction. Critic.
dicebam, Phlegonti sermonem esse de eclipsi naturali, quæ so& Phlego tamen pro naturali habuit eclipsi Dixeris, vi- lum in novilunio. G. J. Voss. Harmon. Evang. 1. 2, c. X.