Friday, 23 October 2020

anno mundi

On this day, sharing its anniversary with many events great and good, as our faithful chronicler reminds, according to astute if not somewhat creative calculations and biblical scholarship (see also from the day before) by Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland James Ussher (*1581 – †1656) the creation occurred either nightfall on the twenty-second (and by reckoning with that initial rhythm until the next sundown was counted as that, the first day) or more specifically according to some at nine o’clock in the a.m., the twenty-third of October, 4004 BC.

Though hardly unique and there were competing chronologies being put forward all the time in the seventeenth century as a counterbalance to the Enlightenment and the slowly mounting and unimpeachable evidence that the Earth and the Cosmos were far more ancient and interesting than the Young Earth of Creationism but none the less represented rigorous scholarship and textual analysis and is in a class by itself among these many attempts to pin down a date and time—which is easily but perhaps not for nought dismissed as small-minded, and did not stop in any case.