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It's time for the Observer Awards for 2001. The best and worst of one of wrestling's most turbulent years, voted on by the Observer readers. Here we go!
WRESTLER OF THE YEAR: Keiji Muto
MOST OUTSTANDING WRESTLER: Kurt Angle (just edging out Yuji Nagata)
BEST BOX OFFICE DRAW: Kazushi Sakuraba
FEUD OF THE YEAR: Kazushi Sakuraba vs. Vanderlei Silva
TAG TEAM OF THE YEAR: Tenzan and Kojima
MOST IMPROVED: Keiji Muto
BEST INTERVIEWS: Steve Austin
MOST CHARISMATIC: The Rock
BEST TECHNICAL WRESTLER: Minoru Tanaka
BEST BRAWLER: Steve Austin (Mick Foley's 10 year winning streak comes to an end since, yanno, retired)
BEST HIGH FLYER: Dragon Kid
MOST OVERRATED: The Undertaker (by a huge margin)
MOST UNDERRATED: Lance Storm
PROMOTION OF THE YEAR: PRIDE (WWF came in 2nd)
BEST WEEKLY TV SHOW: New Japan
MATCH OF THE YEAR: Keiji Muto vs. Genichiro Tenryu
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: El Hombre Sin Nombre
BEST NON-WRESTLER: Paul Heyman
BEST TELEVISION ANNOUNCER: Jim Ross
WORST TELEVISION ANNOUNCER: Michael Cole
BEST MAJOR WRESTLING SHOW: Wrestlemania X-7 (by a landslide)
WORST MAJOR WRESTLING SHOW: Women of Wrestling: Unleashed
BEST WRESTLING MOVE: Keiji Muto's shining wizard
MOST DISGUSTING PROMOTIONAL TACTIC: Stephanie McMahon comparing 9/11 to her dad's steroid trial
READER'S PERSONAL FAVORITE WRESTLER: Keiji Muto
READER'S LEAST FAVORITE WRESTLER: The Undertaker
WORST WRESTLER: Big Show
WORST TAG TEAM: Kronik
WORST TV SHOW: WWF Excess
WORST NON-WRESTLER: Stephanie McMahon
WORST MATCH OF THE YEAR: Undertaker & Kane vs. Kronik
WORST FEUD OF THE YEAR: WWF vs. The Alliance (and it wasn't even close)
WORST INTERVIEWS: Stephanie McMahon (in a landslide. Folks were sick to death of Stephanie by this point)
WORST PROMOTION: WCW
BEST BOOKER: Jim Cornette (OVW)
PROMOTER OF THE YEAR: Antonio Inoki (just beat out Vince McMahon)
SHOOT FIGHTER OF THE YEAR: Vanderlei Silva
SHOOT MATCH OF THE YEAR: Randy Couture vs. Pedro Rizzo (5/4/01)
BEST GIMMICK: Hurricane (2nd place went to Steve Austin for the "what?" gimmick. Fuck you, 2001 fans.)
WORST GIMMICK: DDP's motivational speaker gimmick (2nd place was DDP's stalker gimmick. Not a banner year for DDP.)
MOST EMBARRASSING WRESTLER: Buff Bagwell (beat out Undertaker by 5 votes)
Triple H made his long-awaited return to the WWF this week. He actually worked 3 house shows first, before making his TV return on Raw at Madison Square Garden to an enormous pop. Triple H tore his quad back in May and has been out ever since and the ovation for his return blew the roof off MSG. And of course, he beat up Kurt Angle and that was that. Triple H was MUCH bigger than when he left and Dave says, given the seriousness of his quad injury, bulking up that huge may make him more injury prone, not less, and may hamper his in-ring ability (yeah, for about 2-3 years after he returned, Triple H was a mess of injuries, steroid bloat, and bad matches. He didn't really get good again until 2005 or so).
NJPW's Jan. 4th Tokyo Dome show is in the books and there's a lot of questions about the company right now. It was a good show overall, but the TV ratings were a disaster. The crowd of over 50,000 was strong, but it wasn't a sell-out. And in fact, it's the first non-Jan. 4th sellout NJPW has had since 1994 (gonna be a LOT more of those in the coming years). Yuji Nagata, just days after getting humiliated in 21 seconds by Cro Cop at Inoki's MMA show, headlined the card against NOAH's Jun Akiyama for the NOAH GHC title. Nagata was still popular, despite the recent loss, and the match was good but it clearly wasn't a TV draw. Akiyama retained the title, so....tough week for Yuji.
The highest rated match of the show was the Naoya Ogawa vs. Kensuke Sasaki shoot-style match, which is only going to encourage Inoki's MMA fetish even more. It was also a total shit-show. Ogawa refused to do the job, so NJPW booked a screwy no-contest interference finish that the crowd hated so much that they started pelting the ring with garbage. Ogawa is deeply unpopular in NJPW because he flat out refuses to ever do jobs, but the TV network loves him because he's a big ratings draw and he has Inoki's backing, so they keep booking him.
Other notes from the NJPW show: Hiroshi Tanahashi did the job in a tag team undercard match (oh how his fortunes would eventually change). Kazuyuji Fujita came out with Antonio Inoki and spoke about his torn Achilles injury and vacated the IWGP title. Keiji Muto got the biggest crowd pop of the entire show. And they set up an angle for a future program between Giant Silva and Giant Singh (Great KhalI). And that's pretty much it.
Long obituary for 60s and 70s wrestler Mighty Igor Vodik who died from some heart issues. Big Polish strongman, basically the predecessor to Ivan Pustki. Never really a top guy, just a gimmick attraction more than anything due to feats of strength. Worked all the territories, yada yada.
At the latest WWC show in Puerto Rico, Rey Mysterio won the junior heavyweight title beating Eddie Colon (better known as Primo) in a great match. Eddie is said to be the best worker in the company and has more charisma, even though his older brother Carly (Carlito) gets the bigger push.
AJPW is planning to run 3 straight nights at Budokan Hall later this year for the 30th anniversary of the company, which is pretty ambitious given this company is still just barely clinging to life these days. The idea is the first night would be based around 1972-1982 and bring back legends from that era. The second night would be 82-92 and the last would be 92-02. Dave isn't optimistic. (Turns out they have an ace up their sleeve we'll find out very soon.)
Pro Wrestling NOAH notes: there's been talk of bringing in Naoya Ogawa but the politics of that are difficult plus, as mentioned, he doesn't do jobs. KENTA is out with torn ligaments in his right knee. Knee issues are apparently a problem for guys named Kenta in this company.
The vacant IWGP title will be decided in a 7-man tournament in February, with Masahiro Chono somehow getting a first round bye for whatever reason.
Ultimo Dragon officially announced his plans to return to the ring later this year, after missing more than 3 years due to a botched elbow surgery in WCW. The surgery he had last month to repair it was apparently successful, though it's too soon to know how much use of his arm he'll actually have.
Bobby Heenan is suffering from throat cancer. Many people within the business have known about it for weeks but it's kind've been a secret nobody wanted to officially confirm, but Heenan's friend and former wrestler Angelo Mosca revealed it on a Canadian radio show this week. Heenan has been undergoing chemo and radiation therapy for the last several weeks.
Superstar Billy Graham was released from the hospital this week but ended up right back in after severe coughing led to bleeding in his lungs and pneumonia. He still needs a liver transplant, but because of his size, he needs one suited for his body and doctors won't accept a donor less than 225 pounds.
Sting did an interview on Ted DiBiase's religious website. When asked about returning to wrestling, he said he's had talks with XWF but they didn't go anywhere and said he's retired and it would take an awful lot to get him out of retirement, but did leave the door open with the usual "never say never." Said he and his wife are opening up a real estate office and he would like to do more acting. Said that the final match on Nitro with Flair was both an honor and a slap in the face because Vince McMahon only gave them 7-and-a-half minutes for the whole thing. Introductions, entrances, and match, etc. (this isn't true by the way. The match itself is just over 7 minutes, not counting entrances). He did say that even if he comes back to wrestling, the WWF product is too raunchy for his tastes and he doesn't see how he could ever be involved with them unless their product changes.
Martha Hart announced she will be releasing a book about her life with Owen Hart. She has said it will be an uplifting book, not a negative hit-piece. Dave says there's not a whole lot she'll be able to say about the WWF lawsuit anyway, since virtually all the documents were sealed once the case was settled. (The book came out in 2004 and I believe all the profits went to the Owen Hart Foundation charity).
Chyna replaced Mick Foley as the host of TNN Robot Wars, temporarily. Foley missed a recent taping and they tape multiple episodes at the same time, so they had Chyna fill in and she'll be the host for those episodes. For what it's worth, he calls her Joanie Laurer since she's not in WWF anymore, but I'm gonna keep calling her Chyna, just for future reference.
Last year, WWA held its big debut PPV in Australia. Well, several months later, it has aired on PPV in the U.S. and Dave is here to review it. And whew lawd. He heard it was bad, but he wasn't prepared for this. He says it wasn't the worst PPV in history (Heroes of Wrestling holds that crown) but it was up there. Bad production value, bad camerawork and audio, nobody fans care about in 2002, and booking that channeled the worst of Vince Russo. Dave reviews the whole show and has pretty much written off this company as doomed based on this first impression (yup).
Tentative plan for the WWF brand split is now the Jan 21st Raw, but Dave has already heard rumors that the date may be changed again, which will be the 1000th time they've delayed this idea (yup, doesn't happen until March).
WWA reportedly offered Kevin Nash a 2-year deal for enough money that he was willing to take the deal rather than go to WWF. But then he asked that the money be put in escrow to prove that they have that much money. That wasn't done. At that point, Nash decided it was too risky (not a lot of people have faith in WWA) so he re-opened talks with WWF. The WWF deal is rumored to be in the $600,000-$700,000-per-year range, which is significantly higher than the first offer they made to him a few months back (although still about a million less-per-year than he was making in WCW).
Notes from Raw: Vince came out with his eye black and stitches in his face from the stiff Ric Flair punch last week, and Dave says it's not the first time Vince has pushed angles in the past where he takes a hardway punch, and Flair definitely gave it to him. Billy Gunn and Chuck Palumbo no longer have last names, they're just Billy and Chuck and are doing a gay gimmick. Trish vs. Terri in a wet t-shirt contest ended with Jazz attacking Trish before she could get sprayed, but the crowd sure liked Terri in her wet t-shirt and thong. And of course, the big Triple H return to end it.
Triple H was on Howard Stern this past week and wanted to avoid talking about his personal life, but that's not an option on Stern. They made a million jokes about him dating Chyna, all the usual "she's a man" jokes. Triple H admitted to having done anal with Chyna, which they joked about and called him gay because lololol get it she's a man ha-ha isn't that so goddamn funny? Ugh. Triple H admitted to dating Stephanie before breaking up with Chyna but justified it by saying their relationship was falling apart at the time and he didn't feel he did anything wrong. Triple H said both women were good in bed and he wouldn't have been with Chyna for 4 years and Stephanie for 1 year so far if they weren't. Said he had nothing to do with Chyna being released, it was a contract issue. Admitted he upgraded to the boss's daughter who has a lot of money but said he's got plenty of his own money, but he would be willing to sign a pre-nup if she asked. He also said he won't benefit from it because Vince McMahon would never compromise the integrity of the WWF by pushing someone who didn't deserve the spot (oh man, that's rich). Stern asked if he and Chyna were ever engaged, which Triple H said no. Chyna has said otherwise.
Also on Stern, they played a clip of Stuttering John interviewing Booker T and asking him a bunch of elementary questions and making fun of Booker for getting them wrong, at which point Booker got annoyed and said he didn't come to answer stupid questions. When asked if he was a fan of Howard Stern, Booker said no because he doesn't like how women are degraded on that show, which they later had a field day with by pointing out all the ways WWF does the same.
Hulk Hogan is interested in returning to WWF, of course. He and Vince had talks last year but they were far apart on money. Who knows how that may have changed since.
Indie wrestler Low-Ki, one of the hottest indie stars in the business, worked the Metal and Jakked TV tapings at MSG this week, putting over Christian. Brock Lesnar and Randy Orton both worked dark matches as well, with Lesnar getting over big. But the crowd turned on Orton's match pretty hard.
Various Notes: William Regal had 3 nose surgeries in the past few weeks to fix the constant nosebleeds he's been having. John Cena, Dave Batista, and Shelton Benjamin will be working house shows and dark matches on the road soon. Dave says Batista in particular isn't ready for that yet and feels they're rushing him. Kurt Angle is doing an AT&T commercial. The Rock is doing re-shoots on Scorpion King so he'll be off the road for most of the next 6 weeks. Dean Malenko is now officially retired and started working backstage as an agent this week.
FRIDAY:Hogan, Nash, and Hall expected to return to WWF, Wrestlemania 18 details, Martha Hart wins lawsuit against Diana Hart's book, and more...
Flamenco: genre of music rooted in Andalucía, Spain. Commonly associated to gypsies, it is characterized by the blend of image (dance) with sound (music) and its three bare instruments: acoustic guitar, piano and human voice. It is considered Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by the UNESCO. To understand flamenco is to go back in time. To understand history, the history of Spain. It is to learn the history of Al-Andalus, the legendary kingdom that lasted for 8 centuries, from a humble emirate to the Caliphate of Córdoba, to the 39 Ta’ifas States, to the Nasrid Kingdom of Granada. To learn about Isabel and Fernando, the Catholic Kings, who converted every Muslim to Christian in 1502. Those people, who were Mudéjares (Mudéjares comes from the Arabic word مُدَجَّن or mudajjan, in English tributaries), Muslims who practiced their religion openly, then turned into Moriscos, who were stuck in a state of semi-slavery in several territories of Spain, working everyday in the country, since they were specialized in agriculture. In 1609, and with the Austrian kings of Spain now in full force, it was decided to exile all Moriscos over the course of 7 years. 272000 Moriscos were going to be moved from Spain; however, it was only a success in Granada in Valencia (which lost one third of its population), since Moriscos were considered citizens just as much as Christians in most villages and towns. After all, Moriscos stayed, but they were just considered new Christians. The cultural mixture of Andalucía was favourable for everyone; Christians, new Christians, Jews and gypsies lived together, shared cultures. But the latter two were still prosecuted by the authorities, and badly treated. In 1783, Carlos III regulated the situation of gypsies, considerably improving their standard of living. The Independence War of 1808 was essential to understand how gypsies were treated then: they were the archetype of the ‘new Spain’, proud of their heritage, of their race, the one who opposed the afrancesados, the Francophile intellectuals who wanted to take away their land with Napoleon. They were beloved, they were artists, they were not the outliers anymore. It was a dream for them. Flamenco was then considered a music genre. It evolved over the decades, the centuries, from being played in the streets and homes to having cafés and operas. Of course they had their detractors, such as la generación del 98, a group of Spanish writes and poets marked by the loss of the Spanish territories in America in 1898 who considered flamenco to be retrograde; Eugenio Noel said of it that, “with bullfighting, it is the greatest evil of Spain … the lack of it in other European countries translates in a better economic and social development”. For a decade, there was an unbridgeable rift between flamenco and intellectualism. But people still loved it. Those were the times of the Second Republic, a political pressure cooker about to explode. Then, the nationalist uprising happened. Flamenco nuevo (New flamenco): flamenco subgenre that spread in the 80s, with a new generation of musicians influences by urban music, such as blues, rock, pop or cuban. To understand new flamenco is to go back in time, to the times of the democratic transition in Spain. After the civil war, the nationalist faction established a dictatorship, whose dictator was Francisco Franco. During the 50s there was a period of economic growth; there was still a fascist regime, but at least the US backed it up, and ended a decade of international isolation. It was the Cold War. The next few decades were better; during the 60s a middle class was timidly growing, and culturally the influences of Europe and the US started to set, with rock and roll and pop taking the crown. New music started to get played on the radio. These were the times of ‘the second Francoism’: an economic miracle, the end of the isolation, social changes, but no political changes. Flamenco had not evolved during the dictatorship. There were operas, it was used in many theatrical plays, but it did not evolve. Why? This isn’t easy to answer: maybe the rift previously made between intellectualism and flamenco was still unbridgeable, maybe flamenco was doomed to become stagnant, maybe nobody cared about flamenco anymore. But none of these are the actual answers: with Franco and the fascist dictatorship, gypsies were degraded once again. For a long time, the right wing and the nationalists spoke loudly: they were superiors, and those who were not of their race, inferiors. Socialists, Jews, Latinos, gypsies… had to keep their mouth shut, otherwise they could get shot, or their house could be burnt. But with the second Francoism, this changed. There was still a feeling of resentment, but no violence. Not generalized violence, at least. It was a change. And with said change, there was now respect. Rocío Jurado internationalized flamenco in the early 70s, and there were changed in the underground; this was flamenco fusión, flamenco with influences of rock, pop, and with more politized lyrics. In 1969 Franco, then 77, told Juan Carlos (the grandson of Alfonso, the last Spanish king before the Second Republic and dictatorship) he’d be the future king of Spain, and asked him to keep the dictatorship; with that, ‘late Francoism’ starts. There was a movement of resistance, such as ETA, a ‘national liberation movement’ party that later turned into terrorism; however, the parties from the Second Republic such PCE, the communist party, or PSOE, the socialist party, were the one that succeeded. Francoism was weak, and Spain in a total chaos. In the morning of November 20th of 1975, Franco died. It was time for the democratic transition. It only took 2 years for the first elections in almost half a century, with UCD (Democratic Center Union) winning, a party formed by leaders of several other parties; there were internal conflicts inside the party, which lead to PSOE winning the next elections in 1982, with 202 out of 305 seats in the parliament. It was a time of change, a needed change. And with it, flamenco nuevo or new flamenco appeared. Influenced by many other genres, it was closer to pop-rock than to flamenco; however, it kept the contrast of image with sound, and the bare structure of songs. The new flamenco artists turned into popstars: El Cigala, Malú, Rosario Flores… however, new flamenco wasn’t just a generation of artists; it turned into a subgenre that lasted over time, such as ‘indie pop’ or ‘alt-rock’; every generation had their new flamenco artists, that incorporated the contemporary sounds to flamenco. And that bring us to the 2010s, and Rosalía. Rosalía (born Rosalía Vila Tobella, Barcelona, 1993) was born in a middle-class home, in Llobregat, next to Barcelona. Hers was a family of artists: her grandmother had been a designer, and her parents were plastic artists; in her house, what was played was Bruce Springsteen, Queen, Bob Dylan, but that didn’t quite catch her ear. She was taught music theory and violoncello in a conservatory, but she left it after a few years. When she was 13, she got in a car playing Camarón, widely considered as one of the greatest flamenco singers of all time. His voice is the one of a dog howling, but she felt bewitched by it; she asked her parents to buy her more Camarón albums, and later asked to join a flamenco class, which was also joined by her little sister Pili. She quickly progressed in her class, and decided to make it on her own, becoming a contestant in the national talent show Tú Sí Que Vales in 2008; she made it to the semi-finals, but was shut down by one of the judges because he considered her too young to be exposed to the music world; at only 15, she had already had her own moment of fame. However, it all changed when she was 16, after meeting Miguel Vizcaya, ‘Chiqui de la Línea’, one of the renowned flamenco professors alive. He was impressed by her voice, and how she used it, and decided to turn her into her protégé. It was only a matter of time before the world of flamenco knew of her; Pepe Habichuela said of her that ‘she sang like an old woman, but had the voice of a child’. Finally, after being 21, she was accepted in the ESMUC (Escuela Superior de Música de Cataluña, or University of Music of Cataluña), and was taught by Chiqui himself. Then she met the person who would finally change the way she saw flamenco: Raül Fernández Miró, or Raül Refree, who wished to shape her voice into the one of an indie singer, taking the highest pitches to the loudest places. With him, she’d make Los Ángeles, her debut album, which I already wrote about here. To sum it up, it’s a masterpiece: a collection of classic flamenco songs looked from two perspectives. On one side, Raül’s, an indie producer interested in experimenting with art-pop arrangements, such as the final string section of Si Tú Supieras Compañero, the loud and maximalist production of De Plata or the barebones, skeletal structure of most songs in the album. On the other side, Rosalía’s, a flamenco singer interested in experimenting with her voice and letting out a cry about death. Because Los Ángeles is about death, about where it comes from (desperation, hopelessness, jealousy) and where it leads to (grief, anger, satisfaction); it’s impressive to see such a young woman talk about this with so much complexity. Simultaneously, the rise of urban music in Spain was beginning; the turning point came with C. Tangana, who positioned himself as the new prince of hip-pop, a charismatic face who talked about his exes and his future lovers, a Spanish Drake. And if there was a song that made C. Tangana break through, that was 2016’s Antes de morirme, which features Rosalía. It’s important to slow down here, since Antes de morirme was Rosalía’s first step into mainstream status. It quickly became a viral hit, and over the summer of 2016 until summer 2017, it grew into a generational song. You couldn’t escape a party without it, or go a week without hearing it somewhere. The song had it all; Alizz’s production, a bridge between hip-hop and pop, was a perfect match for C. Tangana’s monotone voice and Rosalía’s r&b-ish melodies, and most importantly, there was chemistry. Saving distances, you could compare them to Drake and Rihanna. They were young, they were pretty, they wanted to be the voice of their generation, and they succeeded at it. She had become a critic’s darling, the new indie princess, the flamenco revolution, but also a pseudo-popstar, stuck in the limbo between being a streaming success and not having the general public support. It was interesting to theorize; what would be her next step? A pop album that would showcase her talent for melodies? Another indie project, once again produced by Raül Refree, to delve even deeper into experimental flamenco now with heavier orchestration? Or squeezing her voice, with an acapella album that relied on vocoder and beatboxing like Björk’s Medúlla? Maybe an r&b album in the vein of Antes de morirme? There was only one logical movement: to do them all, in an album that sounded like none of them.
El Mal Querer
El Mal Querer ([el 'mal ke 'rer], or, in English, The Bad Love) is a concept album, loosely based in the 13th-century romance Flamenca, by an anonymous author, kept in the municipal library of Carcassonne, in the south of France. The novel takes action from 1223 to 1227, in Bourbon; the main character, Flamenca, daughter of the count Guido de Nemours, is married with Archambalut d'Auvergne, seigneur of Bourbon-l'Archambault, who locks her in a tower due to his jealousy. Guillermo de Nevers then frees Flamenca and has an affair with her for months, until he heads to Flanders to acquire the status of knight. He then comes back to Bourbon, for the Easter’s Tourney of 1227. However, the ending of the novel is unknown; Rosalía, who read the novel in her teenage years, planned to reimagine the novel and finally put an ending to it. El Mal Querer is, therefore, a concept album; that means, the songs hold a larger meaning collectively than individually. As Dorian Lynskey notes in GQ, the rise of concept albums in the last few years is due “not in spite of the rise of streaming and playlists, but because of it […] albums have fought back by becoming more album-like”. It’s easy to name a bunch of concept albums from this decade: Kendrick Lamar’s good kid, m.A.A.d city, To Pimp a Butterfly and DAMN. (who she names as one of her biggest influences), Sufjan Stevens’ Carrie & Lowell, Beyoncé’s LEMONADE or Björk’s Vulnicura, just to name a few. In contrast to the new cash-grabbing, record-breaking long albums (see: Migos’ Culture II or Drake’s last three projects), which act more as playlists rather than albums, some artists prefer to keep it shorter and straight to the point, a revival of the albums that these artists grew up with long before streaming numbers mattered more than albums. But you can’t really tell that El Mal Querer is conceptual from the very beginning: it unravels itself, showing more and more in each listen. When Malamente was released in late May, I found myself more amazed by the form of the song and the video but for its meaning. Malamente was something never done before in Spain: a song that blended pop, trap and r&b with flamenco, accompanied of a high-quality video by the producer CANADA, all by an artist who barely a few months ago was in indie festivals, singing centuries-old songs but reshaping them. The catchy ad-libs (illo, tra tra!), the teenage bullfighters, the use of a decadent word (malamente), a Nazarene skating, Rosalía rising over a truck… It was impressive, and found just as much success in Spain as outside it. Kourtney Kardashian recorded herself listening to Malamente, and not soon after popstars like Khalid, Normani or Billie Eilish were commenting on her Instagram pictures. When she flew to Los Ángeles, she had dinner with Diplo and Pharrell, who would produce two songs with her, Esto está encendío and De madrugá. These songs were played at her shows; because now she had her own shows, which could sell out in barely minutes; these shows featured several unreleased songs, Malamente, and barely any songs from Los Ángeles. She headlined Sónar, arguably the biggest music festival in Spain behind Primavera Sound. It was the dream of a popstar, who went from unknown to internet-famous in barely 2 months. But behind all the glitter and success, Malamente hid something behind it. Its lyrics referenced ‘an old gypsy woman’, dreams, and an adventure: Rosalía going out at night for ‘a duty’ and wearing charms to protect herself. It was confusing: it seemed like there was something before it, and that there was going to happen something after it. Those suspicions were confirmed when Malamente’s single title had ‘Cap.1: Augurio’ (‘Chapter 1: Augury’) added to it in early July; it was the first chapter, an omen of what was bound to happen next. After months of waiting, the second single came out in late July: Pienso en tu mirá was named ‘Cap.3: Celos’ (‘Chapter 3: Jealousy’), and was a turn to alt-r&b. The video was yet another CANADA-produced masterpiece, a flip on the interior Spain’s culture with truck drivers bleeding through their chest, Rosalía dancing inside a mid-20th-century house with women wearing black hoods, a man dancing flamenco over flames, a bull wandering around said house whose eye turns into a bullet, a group of men aiming their guns to Rosalía’s head, and finally what’s probably the most powerful image: a talking ceramic statue destroyed by a man holding a baseball bat. The song itself wasn’t as explosive as Malamente: it was more subdued, it ran through your skin and required more attention. This time, Rosalía sings about feeling threatened because the person she loves can be taken away from her by anything, from the gold on their neck to the water on their lips to the moon and the stars. She makes it clear in the last verse:
”When you walk through the door I think you will never come back And if I don’t hold you I feel it will be my fault”
But there was still something missing between Malamente and Pienso en tu mirá: what had happened for Rosalía to feel so jealous for her lover, to fear them walking through the street?
It wasn’t until the release of the album that there was a bridge between the first two singles: that was Que no salga la luna, subtitled ’Boda’ (’Wedding’), the second song in El Mal Querer. It’s the most traditional song in the album, a bulería, a subgenre of flamenco defined by being loud, bustling and cheerful. The word itself comes from ’bulla’, in English, fuss. The lyrics vividly describe the day of a wedding, but this time around it’s not Rosalía who is singing, as the lyrics refer to a woman and a man’s obsession with her; this can be taken as a change of POV, the man being Rosalía’s husband. He meets her, and proposes to her:
”Pointed by the knife Woman, against the wall” ”Like the blades of a knife Her eyes glowed when I gave her the ring”
Later on, he marries her and hosts a big wedding; the last 2 verses are where the story finally starts to be explained, crowning the woman with ”jewels and pearls and gold” and “thorning her by silver”. The only point where the woman speaks here is in the spoken-word interlude, where she is hypnotized by jewels and diamonds and doesn’t realize what she has gotten herself in. Finally, the turning point is a verse sung by the quartet of Las Negris that stands out for its length and metric:
”No matter if she likes it, even if she doesn’t, she will be with me until her death comes”
And this is where the album finally unwraps itself: El Mal Querer is all about abuse, the abuse from a man towards a woman. Malamente was, as the song said, an omen of what would happen; Pienso en tu mirá, which after all was sung by the man, is where the jealousy first comes to light, changing the context of the whole song: ”her gaze is a bullet on [his] chest” is her look when he hits her, the ”little dimples” are bruises, “when [she] hushes, [she] scares [him]” is him fearing she speaks. The man is regretful of what he does, but it’s necessary to keep her with him. The woman can’t still see what is happening. Just a few words here – as Jaime Altozano said here, Que no salga la luna’s guitar (a loop that sounds closer to a synth than to a Spanish guitar) is reminiscent of Chopin’s Funeral March; as he puts it, ”a cursed procession, that everyone know about – but her”. De aquí no sales is the first time he purposefully abuses her. The song is a seguiriya; arguably one of the oldest flamenco subgenres, it originated in funerals where a man and a woman slowly danced to the rhythm, and it’s marked by its tragic and somber lyrics, often describing the pain of human relationships, death and more importantly, love. De aquí no sales discusses the theme of love over the beat of a motorbike throttle and a quejío that appears later in the song, almost as if it was a voice chopped, joined by another quejío that acts as a reply to the first one. All accompanied by the lyrics, the song draws a gloomy picture over barely 3 verses:
”I love you so much And you lead me To make you not get out of here” ”It hurts me more Than what is hurting you Don’t ever get me wrong” ”With the back of my hand I’ll make it clear for you Bitter sorrows I sell But I also carry sweets”
A man in a position of power, who firmly believes his wife deserves a punishment. It’s a direct consequence of the jealousy of Pienso en tu mirá, she must submit to him. With each throttle, a punch on her face. Even the title itself is a threat: De aquí no sales, or, ’You won’t make it out of here’; if she doesn’t stop, he’ll have to kill her. Rosalía considers this the most visceral song in the album: ”… it’s the most aggressive part of the record…and one of the most risky. I wanted to use the motorcycles in this song with this crazy rhythm that combines chapters three and four”; this is where El Mal Querer finally comes to form as a concept album on violence, jealousy and abuse. And it’s only the beginning.
Reniego changes once again the POV, this time to the woman, who has been locked by the man. It’s, perhaps, one of the most abstract songs in the album, a total slow-burner reminiscent of Los Ángeles. If Archambalut locked Flamenca in a tower in the novel, here the woman is only locked in her house, and has to live with the man. If De aquí no sales was gloomy, Reniego is dark and lonely:
”Of my sorrow Ay, I don’t find it I laugh on the outside And cry inside”
There is a saying in Spain: ‘better alone than in bad company’. If there is something worse than being alone, that is to be with the person you fear the most. As in the novel, months pass and pass, the woman feeling more and more oppressed and alone. But she renounces. Just as he renounces to being a loving husband, she renounces to her fate. And changes the course of her life. This time she doesn’t need a knight to be saved, she can do it by herself. And she escapes. Rossy de Palma (born Rosa Elena García Echave, Palma de Mallorca, 1964) is a Spanish actress, who started her career as an ‘Almodóvar girl’, that is, a recurring actress on the Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar’s movies. These Almodóvar girls can be taken to two contexts: on one hand, the real actresses, such as Penélope Cruz, Carmen Maura or, more recently, Rosalía; on the other hand, the characters that these women star as. They are, as Elvira Lindo says in El País, ”urban women, whose homes are bars and the streets […] pop, retro or punky, not especially pretty, distinguished or elegant. […] Their trademark is their originality, their sincerity, the extreme liberty, with a lack of prejudices. […] They’re colourful, provocative, carefree, […] wild, passionate, impetuous, stubborn. […] They adapt their creed to whatever they need to do, no matter if it’s finding a husband or killing him”. As she says, ”you could write a thesis on them, and on Almodóvar himself”. They appeared in the early 80s, women who just couldn’t have existed during the dictatorship; they were a sign of change. And Rossy de Palma was one of them. She got herself in an affair in the late 90s with a man who she has refused to reveal for decades, who got her pregnant of her two children, Gabriel and Mary de Palma. And that is what Preso, the sixth track and only interlude in El Mal Querer, is about. Barely 40 seconds long, it’s spoken word, with Rosalía singing in the background:
”Well, for love, uff, well, I even went down to hell But, I came back with two angels (Hurts, hurts, hurts, hurts) But, I don’t regret going down there But I went down, eh! I went down (Hurts, hurts, hurts, hurts) It traps you, and you don’t realize You only realize when you get out You think, how did I get here?”
One could think that it’s a pointless interlude: barely 40 seconds long, with a famous actress talking about a past relationship of hers. But it’s not. Next to Bagdad and Pienso en tu mirá, it’s the most important song in the album. Maybe not the best, but the one with the most significance. It’s necessary to picture it: an old woman talking to a young woman. Maybe they’re friends, co-workers, or family. In a café, in a bar, in the middle of the street. The latter is obviously hurt, and refuses to show her body as she has learnt she mustn’t, because it already belongs to a man, a man whom she has escaped from – but also because of the little dimples all over it. The old woman knows what’s happening, and finally tells her; she went through the same thing, and found the strength to get out of it, and recover. And if she could, then the young woman also can. And she will. Bagdad is perhaps my favourite song in the album. It samples Justin Timberlake’s Cry Me A River’s melody in such a masterful way it’s impossible not to love it. The Bagdad that the song talks about is not Baghdad, but a club. It’s not a normal club – on its beginnings, in 1975 (right after Franco’s death), it was a place for escorts to meet rich men, but lately it has turned into a live sex place, while still offering private shows for whoever can afford it. The lyrics in Bagdad describe the woman coming out of the bar, as she has probably started working there. She isn’t happy there, but at least she isn’t with her abuser. This is all sung by Rosalía, who here uses a vocoder that resembles James Blake’s earliest work. People walk by and look at her, but they don’t see her; they don’t see who she is, they don’t see what she has gone through, they only see her as a prostitute. She puts her hands together, and starts to make music (”To the bulerías’ rhythm / it looked like she was praying”), and to it follows what’s probably the most ethereal bridge this year:
”She puts her hands together and separates them”
It’s sublime, airy, celestial. It’s what the album cover should sound like; Rosalía rising about clouds, backed by sunlight and by the Cor de L’Orfeó Catalá, a choir formed by some of the most prodigious Catalan youth. It’s almost spectral, a moment of rest in the midst of hell. And finally, she sees it: ”From the lights / Comes out an angel who fell”. It’s her salvation, an angel sent by God itself to save her.
Di mi nombre is, then, the first chapter of the redemption arc. It’s also one of the strangest songs in El Mal Querer, but also the most definitory, taking influences from both Enriqueta de la Santísima Trinidad de los Reyes Porras, a 20th century flamenco singer from Málaga, and Destiny’s Child (Say My Name is all over this, from the title itself to the structure of the song). From the former, it takes the ”ay ali ali ali” that feel too orthodox for the song, but grow over the time; these jaleos, as they are called in tango, were characteristic of Enriqueta. Di mi nombre is the mix of flamenco and pop that made Malamente, but less explosive, until the climax at the end of the song. It’s also the first sexually explicit song in the album; those jaleos are moans. It’s the act of liberation, the woman finally free from the abuser. And if Di mi nombre is liberation, Nana is the first bit of hope, with Rosalía singing about ”barefoot little angels” and the strength of dreams. The last verse (”After every tear, an angel looks at you”) is revealing: the act of Di mi nombre led to a birth, and said birth led to the parenting of Nana; the title itself, Lullaby, hints at the song being a lullaby sung to a baby. Maldición then acts as closure. It’s a confession, from the very beginning:
”I was told there is no exit For the path I walk I was told there is no exit I must find it out Even if it takes away my life Even if I have to kill”
But then, it takes a turn towards the abstract, making yourself ask questions: what is loving? Do crazy people love? Do they feel the pain of love? Where does the pain of love come from? What is our fate? Is it a curse? Or do we choose our fate, like lighting a path out of multiple ones? Do other people know our fate, but fear to tell us? And why do they not want to tell? And then it goes back to being a confession, right after sampling Arthur Russell’s Answers Me (which was also sampled in Kanye West’s 30 Hours). It’s the final moment of the story, describing a grotesque moment:
”I have left a trail Of blood on the floor I have left a trail That takes me to the first day I told you I loved you To know what you’d say”
It can be taken from both perspectives. Either the woman finally took revenge and killed her abuser, or the man finally found her and murdered her and her child; either she realized the only way to be free and to make her bruises and scars disappear was to end his life, or he discovered a child who wasn’t his and decided to kill her out of spite. It’s a chilling ending, no matter how you see it.
A ningún hombre is a final statement, a scream from the after-life, from some kind of heaven: ”To no man I consent / To deliver judgement / Only God can judge me / Only to him I owe obedience”. Rosalía’s voice, vocoded, sounds almost like pulled from her throat; it’s infernal, like she has been pushed to say this, to escape, to stop anything like what happened to this woman to happen again; that’s the aim of El Mal Querer.
The Bad Desire.
El Mal Querer can also be translated to The Bad Desire. In theory it’s a slight change, but in practice it changes the concept of the album: love is defined as a strong feeling of affection towards someone who is wished all good things, desire is defined as a strong feeling of wanting to have something. The woman’s querer is love, the man’s querer is desire. And that’s where the line is drawn, and the origin of the story: she loves him but he only desires her. It’s a story as old as time, and as common as any other woman’s. At the time of writing this text, December 4th, the far right-wing, fascist party VOX has gotten 10’92% of the votes in Andalucía, one of the most left-leaning, socialist, working-class regions of Spain; 382.076 people have voted for them. And they might be part of the Andalusian government, with the right-wing party Partido Popular and the center-right, liberalist party Ciudadanos. And if they are part of said government, the politics they’ll push will be, in my opinion, horrible: from denying that Francoism was a dictatorship, to banning all illegal immigrants (a core part of Andalucía’s workforce), to revoking all LGBTQ, abortion or gender laws (VOX don’t believe any child should be parented by a same sex couple); it’s fascism. And that means going back to an older domestic/gender violence law, one even less effective than the current one is. It’s sad to see it, as Andalucía has the highest amount of victims by gender violence, 12 in 2018. Their only argument is that, as Santiago Abascal (leader of the party) says, ‘I want a law that protects my sons from any false denounce made by any unscrupulous woman’. The release of El Mal Querer barely one month prior feels almost prophetic: for an album that aims at making you feel uneasy and uncomfortable as you hear a woman talk about being beaten up, locked and birthing a baby from a man who never loved her, at making you think about gender violence and the abused women you will never see, at provoking a change of thought towards feminism, it has had no effect. The whole point of El Mal Querer is to show the indifference of the family, of the friends, of the people, even of the listener, towards gender violence. Que no salga la luna makes it clear:
”If anyone has a reason Don’t speak up (Don’t let the bride hear it)”
If you believe that a woman is in a toxic relationship, don’t speak up. Don’t tell the bride, as she might realize what she has been set in, have doubts or jealousy, and don’t say it to anyone else, in case they also see it and stop the wedding. As I said, El Mal Querer is a story as old as time: the story of abuse, gender violence and oppressed women. An endless cycle of pain, violence and death. And it’s bound to repeat itself, unless we stop it. If there is an achievement that Rosalía has accomplished, that is to take such risks (making an album that blends flamenco with glitch-pop, r&b, electronica, trip-hop and even hip-hop, that recklessly speaks up against an important issue in Spain) and still, make El Mal Querer accessible, while keeping its message crystal clear: the woman sitting on the bus, your high-school teacher, your aunt, your very own friend, could be going through abuse, and you might never know. These women are sometimes ignorant of it, and sometimes they are just voiceless: Rosalía is a voice that intensifies their agonies for everyone to hear them. And maybe, only maybe, their cry will once be loud enough for everyone to hear it, and stop it.
Other choice lyrics:
”Thorned by silver, thorned by silver Without telling me she swore she would die for me”
Que no salga la luna, first bridge.
”To the virgin of Mercy, a prayer The stake was dampened by her kisses”
Que no salga la luna, second bridge.
”I think about your gaze, your gaze, a bullet on my chest”
Pienso en tu mirá, hook.
”Late night, going out of Bagdad Black hair, darkness Pretty but grieving Sitting, crestfallen, clapping along”
Bagdad, first verse.
”From the lights Comes out an angel who fell A scar on his soul But she didn’t see it”
”Say my name Place your body against mine Turn the bad in good, impure into grace Pray over your body And in the corner of your bed And in the last moment say my name to my face”
Di mi nombre, third verse.
”I will tattoo on my skin Your initial, because it’s mine To remember forever And remember all my life What you did to me long ago”
A ningún hombre, fourth verse.
El Mal Querer and many more projects (as I said earlier in this post, To Pimp A Butterfly, LEMONADE or Vulnicura) from the last few years have been concept albums. Do you think this is a trend, or just a coincidence?
Making an album with such diverse sounds is quite risky. Did you think it paid off to throw in so many different genres? (Flamenco, art-pop, trap, alt-r&b, soul, even ambient)
If you are a non-Spanish speaker, how did you feel about the album? Is it a big issue not to understand the lyrics, when the album relies on you to understand what’s going on with the story?
At the release of El Mal Querer, quite a few people were disappointed as the singles didn’t represent what the album actually sounded like. Not discussing their quality, were Malamente, Pienso en tu mirá and Di mi nombre bad single choices?
I started this write-up mentioning how many people wondered what kind of style Rosalía would go for after Los Ángeles. After the genre-bending of El Mal Querer and knowing she is already making her next album, where do you think she’ll go next?
yeah this was long to type up and also long to read so thank you for reading up to this point lol
2017.11.20 14:16 tombstoneshadows28All of the MPAA-rated films which received a release to theaters (sometimes even just A theater) in the United States during calendar year 2017.
Of 13,907 titles released worldwide, the below are all of the MPAA-rated films which received a release to theatres (sometimes even just A theater) in the United States during calendar year 2017. (Note: the dates following each are the years during which the titles were filmed.) G
2015.04.06 20:35 RugglesIVWhat ideas or beliefs did you once hold that you think messed you up the most?
For me, it was the ideas in the book "I Kissed Dating Goodbye" by Joshua Harris. If you don't know it, the author comes from a specific strand of conservative American Protestant Christianity, and his ideas have seeped their way into a lot of communities. I'm still a conservative Christian myself (though not a Protestant) but I'm disgusted by the crap in his book now. The thrust of it is that people should set extreme limits on their interaction with the opposite sex until they get married. He advocates not kissing or even being alone with members of the opposite sex until you get married, and has such wonderful metaphors as "giving away parts of your heart" to each successive person you're emotionally involved with, leaving less for the person you marry. Like I said, I'm still a conservative Christian, and I'm all for chastity before marriage. But this book planted this horrible idea in my head for so many years that our hearts were basically commodities, and you're "using up" yourself by being in love with someone, which gave me plenty of anxiety and fear of intimacy with women. I don't buy his ideas anymore, but it's been difficult for me to move past my first relationship, which ended rather poorly after just a month. She was the first woman I kissed, and it's hard for me to see myself moving on to someone else, and I think this book and the culture surrounding it contributed quite a bit. Old habits and old neuroses die hard, even if you're aware of them. Whatdayagot, hombres? What things did you believe that screwed you up?
2013.10.30 18:04 koine_linguaHow much "fallibility" are you willing to accept - from the evangelists, Paul, or even Jesus himself: and/or exactly how inspired were the earliest Christians?
[Please ignore this post's title; there was originally a lot more material relating to the title itself, but I've now removed it to make room for the stuff focusing purely on ancient interpretations of the age of the earth/humanity.] Jews and Christians from about the 3rd century BCE to the 3rd century CE virtually unanimously thought that the world was only a few thousand years old. Despite the odd outlier like Philo of Alexandria - who conceded that it was not possible to locate the precise date of creation - most extant writings we have from this period that address this issue do put forth an age for the universe/earth.
The earliest writer on this subject, Demetrius the Chronographer, calculates 3,624 years from the creation until Jacob went down to Egypt (at the request of Joseph): εἶναι δὲ ἀπὸ τοῦ Ἀδὰμ ἕως τοῦ εἰσελθεῖν εἰς Αἴγυπτον τοὺς τοῦ Ἰωσὴφ συγγενεῖς... We have no extant fragment of Demetrius on the period immediately after this. In terms of Biblical evidence itself, Gen 41:46 says Joseph was "30 years old when he entered the service of Pharaoh king of Egypt." (He dies at 110: Gen 50:26.)
Exodus 12:41: 430 years in Egypt (cf. Genesis 15:13).
Other chronological reckonings (both inner- and extra-Biblical) give between ~440 years (LXX 1 Kings 6:1; MT: 480) and ~600 years (Josephus, Against Apion 2.19: "Solomon himself built the sanctuary 612 years after the Judeans left Egypt"; cf. AJ 20.230, though 8.61 has 592 years) from the actual exodus itself until the time of Solomon. Africanus has an even higher number (744?). (Clement: "from Isaac to the grant of the promised inheritance, 616 years." Also see below on David.) Demetrius does, however, say that "From the time when the ten tribes were taken as prisoners from Samaria to Ptolemy IV, 573 years nine months." Ptolemy IV was ~220 BCE; but Demetrius was only ~50 years too long here, as the captivity is now dated ~740-730 BCE. After this, "from the time that the captivity from Jerusalem occurred [to Ptolemy IV] there were 338 years and three months." (338 years before Ptolemy IV, however, would give us 558 BCE: still 30 years after the "captivity of Jerusalem.") Since there were a little over 200 years between Solomon and the Assyrian captivity, we can suppose that Demetrius would have calculated something like 5,300-5,500 years (3,600 [until Jacob in Egypt] + ~500 [Jacob in Egypt + Egypt + wilderness] + 400-600 [exodus to Solomon] + 200 [Solomon to first captivity] + 600 [to Ptolemy IV]) from the creation until his time in the late 3rd century BCE. Jubilees:
2,450 years from creation to entry into Canaan (50 jubilees). To Moses in Jub. 50:4: "49 jubilees from the time of Adam until today, and one week and..."
This trajectory presupposes the destruction of the First Temple in 2940 am, which is the same dating of the event as in the Enochic Apocalypse of Weeks (6 ‘weeks’×490 years/‘week’ = 2940 years [1Enoch 93:8]).
. . .
the interval from Enoch’s entrance into the primeval Temple to the destruction of the First Temple (i.e., 7 ‘otot’ cycles) is the same as the time from the destruction of the First Temple to the establishment of the eschatological Temple on Mt. Zion (i.e., another 7 ‘otot’ cycles), thus putting the establishment of the eschatological Temple at 4998 am (2940+2058 years = 4998).
. . .
by the principle of rigorous symmetry, we may expect that the reentry into the Land takes place 490 years after the destruction of the First Temple, that is, in 3430 am (2940+490 = 3430) = 70 jubilees/490 weeks from the creation of the world. The same date marks the beginning of the restoration in the Enochic Apocalypse of Weeks (7 ‘weeks’×490 years/‘week’ = 3430 am [1Enoch 93:9–10]).
. . .
Jubilees’ highly schematic chronology appropriates essential elements from the equally schematic Enochic Apocalypse of Weeks (e.g., the all-important date for the destruction of the First Temple and the periodization in units of 490 years), while adapting the Apocalypse’s overall chronology to conform to a fundamentally different conception of history (e.g., one that is more pointedly ‘Enochic’ and priestly in orientation, more bilaterally symmetrical, and 980 [490×2] years longer [5880–4900 = 980]).
Alphonse Des Vignoles asserted in the preface to his Chronologie de l’Histoire Sainte (Chronology of Sacred History, Berlin 1738), that he collected upwards of two-hundred different calculations, the shortest of which reckons only 3483 years between the creation of the world and the commencement of the vulgar era and the longest 6984. Professor Fr. Arsenius John Baptist Vuibert (S.S.), a 19th-century historian, observed that Biblical Chronologies are uncertain due to discrepancies in the figures in Genesis and other methodological factors, accounting for hundreds of different chronologies being assigned by historians. In the case of the Fathers of the Sixth Ecumenical Council, who assigned 5509 BC. as the date of the creation of man, he writes that it was in response to the emperor's wishes to fix an era or convenient starting point for historical computation. Therefore, it was a decision of mere historical convenience, not respecting either faith or morals, which are what is truly of intrinsic value in the Scriptures. Having made this disclaimer, he settles on the Benedictine Chronology of 4963 BC for the purposes of his history.
Justin Martyr, 1 Apology 31:
προεφητεύθη δέ, πρὶν ἢ φανῆναι αὐτόν, ἔτεσι ποτὲ μὲν πεντακισχιλίοις, ποτὲ δὲ τρισχιλίοις, ποτὲ δὲ δισχιλίοις, καὶ πάλιν χιλίοις καὶ ἄλλοτε ὀκτακοσίοις· κατὰ γὰρ τὰς διαδοχὰς τῶν γενῶν ἕτεροι καὶ ἕτεροι ἐγένοντο προφῆται. And [we found predicted also] that He would send certain persons to every nation to make known these things, and that the former Gentiles rather [than Jews] would believe in Him. He was foretold, in truth, before He actually appeared, first five thousand years before,5 then three thousand, then two thousand, then one thousand, and, finally, eight hundred.
Epistle of Barnabas: "Therefore, my children, in six days, that is in 6000 years, the universe will be brought to its end."
Clement: "From Adam to the death of Commodus, 5784 years two months twelve days." Mosshammer writes that
Clement himself (Stromata 1. 21. 144) counted 5784 years from Adam to the death of Commodus in AD 212
(Yet Commodus died in 192? Clement had prefaced this by saying "The total from Augustus to the death of Commodus, 222." Augustus began to reign in 27 BCE, so 222 years after that would be ~195 CE. We can estimate, then, that for Clement creation was ~5590 BCE.) Clement mentioning Eupolemus:
Again, Eupolemus in a work of similar scope says that the total number of years from Adam to the fifth year of king Demetrius ( = the twelfth year of Ptolemy's reign in Egypt) comes to 5149 years.654
(This is Demetrius I Soter of Syria, who reigned 162-151 BCE. The fifth year is 157 BCE, and thus for Eupolemus, creation = 5,306 BCE.) Following this, Clement says (still quoting Eupolemus) that "From the point when Moses led the Jews out of Egypt to the same point comprises in all 1580 years." "The same point" being 157 BCE, this would place the year of the exodus ~1737 BCE. On a high estimate for Demetrius the Chronographer, there would have been ~1440 years (~40 + 600 + 200 [Solomon to first captivity] + ~600 [to Ptolemy]) from the exodus to the latter part of the 3rd century BCE, placing the former ~1,670 BCE; on a low estimate, ~1250 years, putting the exodus at 1,470 BCE.
Josephus says that according to Moses, there were 2,262 years (δισχιλίων διακοσίων ἑξηκονταδύο) from "the birth of Adam, the first man" until the flood (AJ 1.82). Apparently Eusebius, in the Chronicon, has 2,242. Clement of Alexandria has 2,148; and the Seder Olam (following the Hebrew tradition naturally) calculates a lower number of 1,656 years here, which is replicated in Genesis Rabbah 36. At the beginning of Against Apion, Josephus said that his Antiquities contains the "history of 5,000 years" (πεντακισχιλίων ἐτῶν ἀριθμὸν ἱστορίαν) (until his current time, in the late 1st century CE). Also, Clement:
(2) Flavius Josephus, the Jew, who compiled Researches into Jewish History, says in his chronology that from Moses to David is a period of 585 years, from David to the second year of Vespasian's reign 1179 years.684
(2) From Adam to the Flood comprises 2148 years four days; from Shem to Abraham, 1250 years; from Isaac to the grant of the promised inheritance, 616 years. (3) Then 640 from the Judges to Samuel, 463 years seven months. (4) After the Judges 572 years six months ten days of monarchy. (5) After this period, 235 years of Persian monarchy, and then 312 years eighteen days of Macedonian monarchy up to the ..
4 Ezra: Common Era begin ~AM 5560?
Julian Africanus' influential chronography from the 2nd century gave a somewhat similar number, of about 5,500 years from the creation until the time of Jesus. This is followed by Hippolytus of Rome, who wrote that there were 5,738 years from Adam until the 13th year of the reign of the emperor (Severus) Alexander, in 235 CE. (For Hippolytus Greek text: "Dies aber zusammengerechnet")
(Panodorus of Alexandria and Annianus of Alexandria, both around the early 5th century CE, give ~5,900 years from the creation up until the end of the 4th century: or, more specifically, 5,493 and 5,500 years up to Christ, respectively.) Syncellus goes as far as to pinpoint exactly "5,533 years and 40 days" from Adam to the ascension. (Also, the important Dionysius Exiguus follows suit.)
The 2nd century Patriarch of Antioch, Theophilus, challenges the chronology of the Greeks, who absurdly give the universe/earth a wildly exaggerated age of 150,000 years old – instead settling, as did his predecessors, for a period of approximately 5,700 years (5,698) from the creation until his current time (mid 2nd century). Cf. To Autolycus, 3.16, 26, 29; e.g.
I want to give you a more accurate account of the different historical periods, so that you may see that our teaching is not modern or fictitious (μυθώδης) but older and more true than the uncertain writings of poets and other authors who wrote in uncertainty. οἱ μὲν γὰρ τὸν κόσμον ἀγένητον εἰπόντες εἰς τὸ ἀπέραντον ἐχώρησαν, ἕτεροι δὲ γενητὸν φήσαντες εἶπον ὡς ἤδη μυριάδας ἐτῶν πεντεκαίδεκα ἐληλυθέναι καὶ τρισχίλια ἑβδομήκοντα πέντε ἔτη. ταῦτα μὲν οὖν Ἀπολλώνιος ὁ Αἰγύπτιος ἱστορεῖ. Πλάτων δέ, ὁ δοκῶν Ἑλλήνων σοφώτερος γεγενῆσθαι, εἰς πόσην φλυαρίαν ἐχώρησεν! For some, maintaining that the world was uncreated, went into infinity; and others, asserting that it was created, said that already 153,075 years had passed. This is stated by Apollonius the Egyptian. And Plato, who is esteemed to have been the wisest of the Greeks, into what nonsense did he run?¨
Ὁμοῦ ἀπὸ κτίσεως κόσμου συνάγονται τὰ πάντα ἔτη εχϞε´ καὶ οἱ ἐπιτρέχοντες μῆνες καὶ ἡμέραι All the years from the creation of the world amount to a total of 5698 years, and the odd months and days.
Τῆς μὲν οὖν ἀρχαιότητος τῶν παρ' ἡμῖν πραγμάτων καὶ τῶν χρόνων τὸν πάντα ἀριθμὸν κατὰ τὸ δύνατον οἶμαι τὰ νῦν ἀκριβῶς εἰρῆσθαι. εἰ γὰρ καὶ ἔλαθεν ἡμᾶς χρόνος, εἰ τύχοι εἰπεῖν ἔτη ν´ ἢ ρ´ ἢ καὶ ς´, οὐ μέντοι μυριάδες ἢ χιλιάδες ἐτῶν, καθὼς προειρήκασιν Πλάτων καὶ Ἀπολλώνιος καὶ οἱ λοιποὶ ψευδῶς ἀναγράψαντες. ὅπερ ἡμεῖς τὸ ἀκριβὲς ἴσως ἀγνοοῦμεν, ἁπάντων τῶν ἐτῶν τὸν ἀριθμόν, διὰ τὸ μὴ ἀναγεγράφθαι ἐν ταῖς ἱεραῖς βίβλοις τοὺς ἐπιτρέχοντας μῆνας καὶ ἡμέρας I think I have now, according to my ability, accurately discoursed both of the godlessness of your practices, and of the whole number of the epochs of history. For if even a chronological error has been committed by us, of, e.g., 50 or 100, or even 200 years, yet not of thousands and tens of thousands, as Plato and Apollonius and other mendacious authors have hitherto written. And perhaps our knowledge of the whole number of the years is not quite accurate, because the odd months and days are not set down in the sacred books.
for a recent study of Theophilus' chronography which demonstrates. how readily it conformed to the symmetries of eschatological calculations, see Oliver Nicholson, 'The Source of the Dates in Lactantius' Divine Institutes' Journal of Theological Studies, NS 36:2 (1985), pp.291-310. According to Grumel, Clement placed the Creation in 5600 BCE (Chronographie, p.24f). Martin Werner argues that the earliest Christian era was 6000 BCE (The Formation of Christian Dogma (London 1957) p.38).
Origen, in Contra Celsum (1.19-20), writes
...Celsus, secretly wishing to attack the Mosaic cosmogony which indicates that the world is not yet ten thousand years old but is much less than this (ὁ Κέλσος λεληθότως βουλόμενος διαβαλεῖν τὴν κατὰ Μωϋσέα κοσμοποιΐαν, ἐμφαίνοντα μηδέπω μυρίων ἐτῶν ἀριθμὸν ἔχειν τὸν κόσμον ἀλλὰ πολλῷ τούτου λειπόμενον), agrees with those who say that the world is uncreated, although he hides his real intention . . . Nevertheless unintentionally Celsus fell into proclaiming [as is truly the case] that the world is quite recent, and not even ten thousand years old
Some unverified stuff: Papias, Methodius, Commodianus, Melito?
Origen, A.D. 230 [sic: Tertullian], states that “our Lord descended from Heaven for the salvation of man, 6000 years after the Almighty had formed the first of the human race.” . . . Hesychius, a contemporary of Jerome, says, “the incarnation of the Redeemer took place nearly 6000 years from the foundation of the world.” Ambrose, bishop of Milan, A.D. 375, says, “but now more than 6000 years are counted from the foundation of the world.” Ephrem Syrus, A.D. 378, says, “the Saviour was to appear after 5500 years, [from creation,] to deliver man.” Augustine, A.D. 398, says, “since from the first man, 6000 years are not yet completed.” Chrysostom, his contemporary, says, “after 5000 years and more, Christ came as the substitute of our race.” Sulpicius Severus, A.D. 400, makes the date of the Nativity A.M. 5469, according to Clinton. Annianus A.D. 405, Syncellus A.D. 792, Eutychius A.D. 937, and a host of later writers, adopt the epoch A.M. 5500, following Africanus. . . . the Almighty had formed the first of the human race.” . . . and the meeting of the council, called “Synodus in Trullo,” A.D. 691, reckoned it A.M. 5508
(Elsewhere it's claimed more specifically that Hesychius calculated 5,967 years from Adam to the 42nd year of Augustine.) (For Sulpicius, "His last total is 4303 at the death of Sampson (I, 29, 8).") (Trullo: συνορῶμεν ὥστε τοὺς μὲν δυσί γάμοις περιπαρέντας, καὶ μέχρι τῆς πεντεκαιδεκάτης τοῦ διελθόντος Ἰανουαρίου μηνός, τῆς παρελθούσης τετάρτης Ἰνδικτιῶνος, ἔτους ἐξακισχιλιοστοῦ ἐκατοστοῦ ἐννάτου, δουλωθέντας τῇ ἁμαρτίᾳ, καὶ μὴ ἐκνῆψαι ταύτης προελομένους, καθαιρέσει κανονικῇ ὑποβαλεῖν: "we decree, that those who are involved in a second marriage, and have been slaves to sin up to the fifteenth of the past month of January, in the past fourth Indiction, the 6109th [6199th?] year, and have not resolved to repent of it, be subjected to canonical deposition." 6199 - 691 = 5508.) (See also on the Roman Martyrology below.)
Cyprian (early/mid 3rd century): Sex millia annorum iam paene complentur, ex quo hominem diabolus impugnat: "Almost six thousand years are now being fulfilled since the devil first attacked man." (Epistola ad Fortunatum de Exhortatione Martyrii 2) See more on Cyprian here
The apocryphal Apocalypse of Thomas (probably written somewhere from the 3rd or 4th century) forecasts an oddly specific 450 years between the ascension and the second coming. If the author thought that Jesus was born 5,500 years after the beginning, this would give an even 6,000 years from beginning to end. The gap of 50 years here (5,500 + 450 = 5,950) might be accounted for in light of the early tradition that Jesus lived to be 50. Irenaeus insists on this, "as the Gospel and all the elders who lived with John, the Lord's disciple, in Asia testify that John delivered this tradition to them.")
Eusebius, in his Chronicon, has 4,680 years from the creation until the second year of Darius (which is a chronological marker in Haggai 1.1 and Zechariah 1.1), or 520 BCE. Up unto the beginning of the Common Era, this is 5,200 years. (Syncellus writes that Eusebius erred in "counting only 5,526 years from Adam to the 20th year of Constantine." The first year of Constantine's reign was 306 CE.) Jerome followed suit here (technically 5,199 years), which was also taken up by Victor of Tunnana.
In the early 4th century, Lactantius affirmed that 'those who write about time teach us how many years are completed since the Creation, and although they vary..., all nevertheless expect not more than 200 years [until the completion of the 6000 years]
Plato et multi alii philosophorum, cum ignorarent originem rerum... Plato and many others of the philosophers, since they were ignorant of the origin of all things, and of that primal period at which the world was made, said that many thousands of ages had passed since this beautiful arrangement of the world was completed; and in this they perhaps followed the Chaldeans, who, as Cicero has related in his first book respecting divination, foolishly say that they possess comprised in their memorials four hundred and seventy thousand years; in which matter, because they thought that they could not be convicted, they believed that they were at liberty to speak falsely. But we, whom the Holy Scriptures instruct to the knowledge of the truth, know the beginning and the end of the world, respecting which we will now speak in the end of our work, since we have explained respecting the beginning in the second book. Therefore let the philosophers, who enumerate thousands of ages from the beginning of the world, know that the six thousandth year is not yet completed, and that when this number is completed the consummation must take place, and the condition of human affairs be remodeled for the better, the proof of which must first be related, that the matter itself may be plain. God completed the world and this admirable work of nature in the space of six days, as is contained in the secrets of Holy Scripture, and consecrated the seventh day, on which He had rested from His works. But this is the Sabbath-day, which in the language of the Hebrews received its name from the number, whence the seventh is the legitimate and complete number. For there are seven days, by the revolutions of which in order the circles of years are made up. . . .1
Hilarianus, ~397 CE: Jesus dies AM 5,530.
Augustine, City of God XII 11 (section titled De falsitate eius historiae, quae multa millia annorum praeteritis temporibus ascribit, "On the falseness of the history which ascribes many thousands of years tο times gone by"):
Fallunt eos etiam quaedam mendacissimae litterae, quas perhibent in historia temporum multa annorum milia continere, cum ex litteris sacris ab institutione hominis nondum completa annorum sex milia computemus. Vnde ne multa disputem quem ad modum illarum litterarum, in quibus longe plura annorum milia referuntur, uanitas refellatur et nulla in illis rei huius idonea reperiatur auctoritas
Such men are also misled by certain wholly untruthful writings which purport to contain the history of many thousands of years of time. For we compute from the sacred writings that six thousand years have not yet passed since the creation of man [ab institutione hominis]. Hence, the writings which make reference to far more thousands of years than there have been are vain, and contain no trustworthy authority on the subject.
(Compare Theophilus, "All the years from the creation of the world," also on Apollonius the Egyptian, etc.) 13:
hoc etiam de prima hominis conditione responderim, propter eos, qui similiter mouentur, cur homo per innumerabilia atque infinita retro tempora creatus non sit tamque sero sit creatus, ut minus quam sex milia sint annorum, ex quo esse coepisse in sacris litteris inuenitur. There are some people who complain when we claim that man was created so late. They say that he must have been created countless and infinite ages ago, and not, as is recorded in scripture, less than 6,000 years ago.
(Translations by Dyson) City of God XVIII 40 (section De Aegyptiorum mendacissima uanitate, quae antiquitati scientiae suae centum milia adscribit annorum).
Frustra itaque uanissima praesumtione garriunt quidam dicentes, ex quo Aegyptus rationem siderum conprehendit, amplius quam centum annorum milia numerari... Consequently, how utterly unconvincing is the presumptuous prattling of those who maintain that Egyptian astronomical science has a history of more than 100,000 years!…we know from Holy Writ…6,000 years have not yet elapsed from the days of Adam, the first man, should we not ridicule, rather than bother to refute, those who strive to convince us of a temporal duration so different and so utterly contrary to this established truth?…We, on the other hand, have the support of divine authority in the history of our religion. Accordingly, whatever in secular histories runs counter to it we do not hesitate to brand it as wholly false…. (transl. by Walsh)
XX: "six thousand years stretching from the creation of man" Genealogies in Genesis: "Whoever calls these facts into question undermines all that we believe, and his opinions should be resolutely cast out of the minds of the faithful" (De Gen. ad. Litt. 9.11.19) Elsewhere, Augustine:
if we look carefully into Church history, we find that the Apostle John died long before the completion of 5,500 years from the beginning of the human race
(To Hesychius, "On the End of the World") Mook:
Lest it be argued on the basis of Augustine’s statements that Adam was created less than 6,000 years ago but the rest of creation is much older than that, it should be remembered that Augustine believed that God created everything, at least seminally, in an instant
At the sack of Rome in 410. Augustine tells us that some exclaimed: 'Behold, from Adam all the years have passed, and behold, the 6000 years are completed ... and now comes the Day of Judgment' (Sermo 1 13, 8; PL 38 c.576).
Isidore of Pelusium (late 4th / early 5th): birth of Christ in AM 5,336 (purportedly)
Orosius, in the early 5th century: his Historiae adversus paganos "describes an ever more Christian, and hence improving world, aetate 5724" (Landes). Orosius on Phoroneus? Also
5 sunt autem ab Adam primo homine usque ad Ninum magnum ut dicunt regem, quando natus est Abraham... Now from Adam, the first man, to the King Ninus, so-called the 'Great,' when Abraham was born, 3,184 years passed, which either have been omitted or unknown by all historians. But from Ninus or Abraham to Caesar Augustus, that is, to the birth of Christ, which was in the forty-second year of the Caesar's rule, when the Gates of Janus were closed, for peace had been made with the Parthians and wars had ceased in the whole world, 2015 years have passed...
That AM II dominates every major and most minor 5th century chronologies attests to Augustine's and Jerome's success in changing Latin historiography.
Epiphanius, in the latter 4th century, places Jesus' birth in the 5509th year ("coincidentally with the 5509th year"). This is also reflected later:
The Chronicon Paschale uses a year 1 that began during 5510/9 BC (see Ch. 13). Later Byzantine chroniclers follow a system in which the year 1 corresponded to 5509/8 BC. (Mosshammer)
There's an interesting text in the Talmud: b. Sanhedrin 97b:
רב חנן בר תחליפא לרב יוסף 15 מצאתי אדם אחד ובידו מגילה אחת כתובה אשורית ולשון קדש אמרתי לו 16 זו מניין לך 17 אמר לי 18 לחיילות של רומי נשכרתי ובין גינזי רומי מצאתיה וכתוב בה 19 לאחר ד' אלפים ומאתים ותשעים ואחד שנה לבריאתו של עולם העולם יתום R. Hanan b. Tahlifa sent [word] to R. Joseph: I once met a man who possessed a scroll written in Hebrew in Assyrian characters.7 I said to him: 'Whence has this come to thee?' He replied, 'I hired myself as a mercenary in the Roman army, and found it amongst the Roman archives. In it is stated that four thousand, two hundred and thirty-one years after the creation the world will be orphaned.
[As to the years following,] some of them will be spent in the war of the great sea monsters,10 and some in the war of Gog and Magog, and the remaining [period] will be the Messianic era, whilst the Holy One, blessed be He, will renew his world only after seven thousand years.' R. Abba the son of Raba said: The statement was after five thousand years.
Irshai, “Dating the Eschaton":
We may loosely compare b. Sanh. 97b, where Elijah asserts to Rab Judah, the brother of R. Salia the pious, that a messianic era lasting one jubilee will begin after 84 jubilees (= 4116 or 4200 years, depending on whether a jubilee is reckoned as 49 or 50 years), making a total world age of 85 jubilees (= 4165 or 4250 years).182 Similarly, Eusebius’ Chronicle indicates that 29 ce (the year of Jesus’ death) was the ‘beginning of the 81st jubilee of the world according to the Hebrews’ (principium LXXXI iobelaei secundum Hebraeos),183 which for Eusebius may mark the beginning of the messianic era.184
Fulgentius (late 5th, early 6th c.):
Thus with our letters, if you count by them as far as the last one, z, the total comes to five hundred, whence twelve times five hundred shows the age of the existing world, but if twelve times twelve is taken it must show the span of human life; again, if you reckoned twelve times twenty-three, you would discover the number nine for the months and six for the days, the precise period for man as he comes forth from the womb, as taken from the inception of birth, whence also the span of death may be indicated.
. . .
Thus the first age of the world is to be reckoned from the first man, the unfortunate who scorned the Lord's decree
In the early 7th century, Isidore of Seville suggested creation in AM 5196 (AM 5210 as 56th year Augustus?) (Total 5857 years, up to 10th year of Recceswinth?)
Notes on Isidore: Tower of Babel built in AM 2643?; AM 3344: Jacob born, Argives begin; AM 3434: Joseph born, Phoroneus gives laws; AM 4044: Samson.
Later in the 7th century, Julian of Toledo: 5325 AM
The English saint/historian Bede (early 8th century) rolls things back by having 3,952 from creation to Christ. Of course this would set a certain precedent, leading to the well-known estimates (starting around the early Modern period) of 3,960 years by Luther (Supputatio annorum mundi), followed (more or less) by Kepler, Newton, and Ussher. (Also, as a fun note, in 1609 Thomas Lydiat arrived at Ussher's well known date of 4004 BCE, in his Emendatio temporum -- Ussher's wouldn't be published until ~1650.) Also, Maimonides and al-Biruni place the creation in approximately 3,760 BCE.
Hughes on Bede:
Bede, writing in the early part of the 8th century, calculated from the Vulgate that there were only 3952 years from creation to the birth of Christ. This caused Bede to be accused of heresy, but his chronology was subsequently adopted by the western church, particularly after the expected end of the world failed to materialize, and Bede's date for the creation of the world remained the accepted date for over eight centuries in the west.
Bede's famous involvement in a controversy surrounding the Vulgate chronology, which rejuvenated the world by more than 1200 years, has led ...
Di Segni, "The Use of Chronological Systems in Sixth-Eighth Centuries Palestine" Nicephorus (8th): creation in 5,700 BCE (purportedly). Further,
The Alexandrian Era of 25 March 5493 BC was adopted by church fathers such as Maximus the Confessor and Theophanes the Confessor,
9th-11th: the Annals of Hildesheim: origin of Egyptians in AM 2379? (Nahor?) (Bede: AM 1878: Assyrians; Belus... Nahor) Ekkehard of Aura: Argos Landes:
In the early 11th century CE, the rare historian to mention AM II, Ademar of Chabannes, denounced it as false.
Lambert of Saint-Omer (late 11th, early 12th):
Why did Lambert, upon adding his note from Isidore of Seville to his diagram, ''The Ages of the World until King Godfrey,'' decide to make the first Five Ages of history 41 years longer? Why did he demonstrate in the diagram that the ages had lasted for 5,217 years and then argue in the margins that they had endured for 5,258?
. . .
The number 3,342 is Lambert's own, for Orosius states clearly that 3,184 years passed between the creation of the world and Babylon's foundation.
Michael the Syrian (late 12th):
Quelques-uns fixent 5500 ans' depuis Adam jusqu'à la naissance de NotreSeigneur. Hippolyte, Jean2 et Mar Jacques, adoptent cela. Et de fait nous trouvons qu'Eusèbe l'accepte. Dans un autre endroit il dit qu'il y a eu 5232 ans depuis Adam jusqu'à la Passion de Notre-Seigneur. D'autres disent : 5320; Africanus: 5532; les Hébreux : 4000; les Samaritains : 4365; les Syriens : 4156; et selon le calcul admis par plusieurs : 5519.
Alfonso X of Castile commissioned the Alfonsine tables, composed of astronomical data based on observation, from which the date of the creation has been calculated to be either 6984 BC or 6484 BC
Giles of Lessines (13th):
discusses no less than nine different estimates on the basis of the Hebrew version alone and nine further ones for the [LXX]. See Giles . . . Summa de temporibus... (Nothaft)
Martin of Opava (13th):
quoting Orosius, reckons 4484 years from the Creation to the foundation of Rome, and 715 from the foundation of Rome to the birth of Christ. Both systems amount to 5199 years, “annos bis centum minus uno millia
De parte del rey, don Fernando, y de su hija, doña Juana, reina de Castilla y León, domadores de pueblos bárbaros, nosotros, sus siervos, os notificamos y os hacemos saber, como mejor podemos, que Dios nuestro Señor, uno y eterno, creó el cielo y la tierra, y un hombre y una mujer, de quien nos y vosotros y todos los hombres del mundo fueron y son descendientes y procreados, y todos los que después de nosotros vinieran. Mas por la muchedumbre de la generación que de éstos ha salido desde hace cinco mil y hasta más años que el mundo fue creado, fue necesario que los unos hombres fuesen por una parte y otros por otra, y se dividiesen por muchos reinos y provincias, que en una sola no se podían sostener y conservar. On behalf of the King, Don Fernando, and of Doña Juana I, his daughter, Queen of Castille and León, subduers of the barbarous nations, we their servants notify and make known to you, as best we can, that the Lord our God, Living and Eternal, created the Heaven and the Earth, and one man and one woman, of whom you and we, all the men of the world at the time, were and are descendants, and all those who came after and before us. But, on account of the multitude which has sprung from this man and woman in the five thousand years since the world was created, it was necessary that some men should go one way and some another, and that they should be divided into many kingdoms and provinces, for in one alone they could not be sustained.
Roman Martyrology (Martyrologium Romanum), ~1580-1590, for Christmas Eve:
Anno a creatione mundi, quando in principio Deus creavit caelum et terram, quinquies millesimo centesimo nonagesimo nono... In the 5199th year of the creation of the world, from the time when in the beginning God created heaven and earth; from the flood, the 2957th year; from the birth of Abraham, the 2015th year; from Moses and the going-out of the people of Israel from Egypt, the 1510th year; from the anointing of David as king, the 1032nd year; in the 65th week according to the prophecy of Daniel; in the 194th Olympiad; from the founding of the city of Rome, the 752nd year; in the 42nd year of the rule of Octavian Augustus
(For this date, cf. Eusebius and Jerome.) Mary of Agreda (17th century), from her Mistica Ciudad de Dios (3.138):
Sucedió esto en viernes á 25 de Marzo al romper del alba, ó á los crepúsculos de la luz, á la misma hora que fué formado nuestro primer padre Adán, y en el año de la creación del mundo de 5199, como lo cuenta la Iglesia romana en el Martirologio, gobernada por el Espíritu Santo. Esta cuenta es la verdadera y cierta; y así se me ha declarado, preguntándolo por orden de la obediencia. Y conforme á esto el mundo fué criado por el mes de Marzo, que corresponde á su principio de la creación [Jesus' was conceived] in springtime on the twenty-fifth of March, at break or dawning of the day, in the same hour, in which our first father Adam was made and in the year of the creation of the world 5199, which agrees also with the count of the Roman Church in her Martyrology under the guidance of the Holy Ghost. This reckoning is the true and certain one, as was told me, when I inquired at command of my superiors. Conformable to this the world was created in the month of March, which corresponds to the beginning of creation.
Cregan-Reid on the discovery of Gilgamesh:
Mary Bennett, novelist and reviewer, excitably reported the importance of Smith’s discoveries and wrote two articles for the Dublin University Magazine on their implications for contemporary understandings of history: ‘the dynasty that preceded that event [the deluge] would place the commencement of the historical period about B.C. 5150. The legend of the Flood is much older than that, for it was composed in the mythological period.’
Calvin: "the world, now declining to its ultimate end, has not yet attained six thousand years." (Institutes 1:14:1)
Profane men, I admit in the matter of predestination abruptly seize upon something to carp, rail, bark or scoff at. But if their shamelessness deters us, we shall have to keep secret the chief doctrines of the faith, almost none of which they or their like leave untouched by blasphemy. An obstinate person would be no less insolently puffed up on hearing that within the essence of God there are three Persons than if he were told that God foresaw what would happen to man when he created him. And they will not refrain from guffaws when they are informed that but little more than five thousand years have passed since the creation of the universe, for they ask why God's power was idle or asleep for so long. (Institutes 3:21:4)
During his Leiden years he completed his magnum opus, the Thesaurus temporum (1606). This hefty tome offered a precise date for every major event in Christian history: the Creation, Fall, Flood, Tower of Babel, Joseph’s flight to Egypt, and all the other episodes in the history of God’s chosen people. In itself this was nothing new, as chronologies had been compiled on the basis of the Bible before, but they raised problems on a number of points. The innovative feature of Scaliger’s approach was his use of external resources such as astronomical calculations of solar years and above all non-biblical sources to resolve inconsistencies.
According to one of the non-Christian histories studied by Scaliger, the Tomoi by the Egyptian priest Manetho (third century BC), which he regarded as authentic and very reliable, the dynasties of the pharaohs went back centuries before the date on which Scaliger had determined the completion of the Creation (25 October 3950 BC). Were there people before Adam? Scaliger wisely left the explosive implications of his discovery untouched, but his emphasis on the equiponderance of biblical and non-biblical histories was bound to have far-reaching consequences at points where they contradicted one another.
The Groningen historian Ubbo Emmius (1547–1625) stated that the dynasties of the pharaohs preceded the Flood, though without mentioning Scaliger by name.239
Ted Davis: "nearly all Christians in the 17th century believed the Earth and the universe were created around 4000 BC."
Richard Landes, "Lest the Millennium be Fulfilled: Apocalyptic Expectations and the Pattern of Western Chronography" ("Hippolytus of Rome and Julius Africanus introduced the first well-documented Christian chronology (AM I), which placed the Incarnation 5500 years after the Creation." And "About 303 CE Eusebius argued, on the basis of massive archival work, that Jesus had begun his ministry 5228 years after the creation." Eusebius thereby rejuvenated the world by almost exactly three centuries, and dated his own time to c.5500 AM II.)
McCarthy, “Bede's Primary Source for the Vulgate Chronology in His Chronicles in De Temporibus and De Temporum Ratione"
Hughes, Secrets of the Times: Myth and History in Biblical Chronology (Esp. "From P to Ussher")
Gerhard Larsson, The Secret System: A Study in the Chronology of the Old Testament
Grabbe, "Chronography in Hellenistic Jewish Historiography"
the volume Julius Africanus und die christliche Weltchronik
Adler, Time Immemorial: Archaic History and Its Sources in Christian Chronography from Julius Africanus to George Syncellus
Rest of post continued here (mainly bibliographical stuff)
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