daughter of Cypselus. The posterity of {Cypselus} Cresphontes & Cypselus reigned long in Messene & Arcadia & Aristodemus by his two sons propagated two races of kings at Sparta. Their names down to the times of the first Messenian war are as in the following Tables.

Aristodemus Crespontes Cypselus
Euris{t}henes Procles Æpytus Olœas
Hegesis or Agis Sous Glaucus Bucolion
Echestratus Euripon Istmius Phialus
Leobotis or Labotas Prytanis
Doriagus or Dorissus Eunomus Dotadas Simus
Agesilaus Polydectis Sybotas Pompus
Archelaus Charilus Phintas Ægineta
Teleclus Nicander Antiochus Polymnestor
Alcamines Theopompus Euphaes Æchmis
Polydorus Aristodemus

Polydorus was slain in the end of that war & Aristodemus was slain five months before, & Theopompus was then a decret|p|id old man & died soon after \that war/ & Æchmis reigned in the time of that war. So then from the return of the Heraclides to the end of that war there were eleven Kings of Sparta by one race & ten by another & ten of Messenes & nine of Arcadia. Now their reign according to chronologers took up 379 years, that is the eleven kings one wth another reigned 3412 years the ten 38 years & the nine 42 years a piece, wch is much too long for the course of nature. Pausanias tells us out of Tyrtæus a very old Poet who flourished in the time of the second Messenian war, that the first Messenian war lasted twenty years. Euphaes reigned in Messene 13 years & Aristodemus six years & some months & it lasted all their two reigns & f{illeg}|iv|e months more. Deduct the 20 years of this war from the 379 & there will be 359 years from the return of the Heraclides to the beginning of this war wch interval of time being taken up by the reign of the eight first kings of Messene makes 45 years a piece to a reign one reign wth another wch is very much too long for the course of nature.

Euryleon the son of Ægeus commanded the main body of the Messenians in the fift year of the first Messenian war, & was in the fift generation from {illeg} Oiolycus the son of Theras the brother in law of Aristodemus & Tutor of his sons Eurysthenes & Procles as Pausanias relates & by consequence from the return of the <2r> Heraclides wch was in the days of Theras to the battel in the fift year of the Messenian war there were six generations. Now this interval of time according to the vulgar chronology, took up 364 years wch making about 60 years to a generation one generation with another is very much too long for the course of nature.

By all these instances Chronologers in collecting times past from the number of reigns \successive kings{illeg}/ have made the time between the return of the Heraclides & the first Messenian war very much too long, & it ought to be corrected & reduced to such a length as suits best wth the course of nature wch will be done by recconing the reigns of the kings at about 18 or 20 years a piece one with another. Let us reccon therefore the eleven kings of Sparta by one race at 18 years a piece & the ten by another race at 20 years a piece & the ten of Messene also at 20 years a piece one wth another & the interval between the return of the Heraclides & the end of the first Messenian war will amount to about 200 years, wch is full long enough. For thus the nine kings of Arcadia will reign 2214 years a piece one wth another & the eight first kings of Messene will reign 180 years, that is 2212 years a piece one wth another & the six generations from Theras to Euryleon will take up {illeg} 185 years wch is 31 years to a generation one wth another. Thus is this period of time confirmed by six several ways of recconing.

In the race of the Spartan kings descended from Eurysthenes after Polydorus reigned these kings, Eurycrates I, Anaxander, Eurycrates II, Leon, Anaxandrides, Cleomenes, Leonidas, &c. and in the other race after Theopompus reigned Zeuxidamus, Anaxidamus, Archidamus, Agasicles, Ariston, Demaratus, Leotychides &c, according to Pausanias, or Anaxandridas, Archidemus, Anaxileus, Leutychides, Hippocratides, Ariston, Demaratus Leutychy|i|des II according to Herodotus. Leonidas was slain at Thermopylæ in the sixt year of Xerxes & Leutychides the successor of Demaratus was then alive, so that in one race there were seven kings between the end of the first Messenian war & the sixt year of Xerxes & in the other race there were between six & <3r> seven \kings/ according to Pausanias or between seven & eight according to Herodotus. Which reigns according to Chronologers took up the space of 244 years wch is much too long for the course of nature. For seven years at reigns at 20 years a piece amounts to no more then 140 years, that is 89 years to the death of Cyrus & 51 years more to the invasion of Greece by Xerxes; & if we should ad half a reign more it will make but 99 years {mor} to the death of Cyrus. So then the return of the Heraclides was about \289 or/ 299 years (or in round numbers 300) ancienter then the death of Cyrus. |For [1] Anaxandrides & Ariston kings of Sparta were contemporary to Crœsus|

Polydectes king of Sparta being slain before the birth of his son Charillus or Charilaus left the kingdom to his brother Lycurgus the Legislator & Lycurgus upon the birth of Charillus became Tutor to the child, & published his laws in the reign of Agesilaus the successor of Dorissus in the other race of the kings of Sparta. Now the name of Lycurgus being on the Olympic Disk, Aristotel concluded thence that Lycurgus was the companion of Iphitus in restoring the Olympic games. But Iphitus did not restore all those games. [2]He restored the racing in the first Olympiad Choræbus being victor. In the 14th Olympiad the double stadium was added Hypænus being Victor & in the 18th Olympiad the Quinquertium & Wrastll|i|ng were restored Lampis & Eurybatus (two Spartans) being Victors. Now the Disk was one of the games of the Quinquertium & Pausanias[3] tells us that there were three Disks kept in the Olympic treasury at Altis & produced in those games. Doubtless these were they wch had the name of Lycurgus on them being dedicated by him. So then the game of the Disk was restored in the 18th Olympiad & at that time Lycurgus & Char Agesilaus flourished & Charillus was a child From the return of the Heraclides to the beginning of the reign of Agesilaus there were six reigns & from the same return to the beginning of the reign of Polydectes in the other race of the Spartan kings there were also six reigns, & these reigns at 19 years a piece (the medium between 18 & 20) amount to 114 years, & if we may reccon about seven years more to the childhood of Charillus & restoration of the Quinquertium in the 18th Olympiad, the return of the Heraclides will be about 300 years ancienter then the death of Cyrus as above. Chronologers therefore have been much mistaken in making Lycurgus Charillus & Agesilaus as old as Iphitus & all of them almost 200 years older then the 18th Olympiad. [4] |Thucydides who wrote long before the chronology of the Greeks was invented, tells us that the Lacedemonians had from ancient times used good laws & been free from tyranny, & that from the time that they had used \one &/ the same administration of their common wel|a|lth to ye end of the Peloponnesian war there were 300 years & a few more. From then {sic} end of that war count backwards 300 years & the recconing will end at ye 19th Olympiad And therefore the laws of Lycurgus were made about the time of that Olympiad or \but/ a little before.|

|Athenæus tells us out of ancient authors \(Hellanicus, Sosimus & Hieronymus)/ that Lycurgus the Legislator was contemporary ✝ to| < insertion from f 3v > ✝ to Terpander the Musician & that Terpander was the first man who got the victory in the Carnea in a solemnity \of musick/ instituted in \those festivalls in/ the 26th Olympiad. Terpander therefore was victor in ye 26th Olympiad, & Lycurgus \flourished in the same age./ was a young man in ye {illeg} 18th Olympiad when he gave the Discus Terpander was a Lyric Poet \& imitated Orpheus & Homer/ & sung his own verses & Homers \ and instituted Homer {illeg} /& wrote the Laws\ of the Lacedemonians in verse/ & therefore flourished after Lycurgus had published \brought/ the Poesy of Homer out of Asia & published it in Greece \& was in credit when Lycurgus made his Laws or soon after/.[5] He overcame four times in the Pythic games & was the first who distinguished the modes of Lyric music by several names. And after his example \Ardalus &/ Clonas soon after did the like for wind music. And from henceforward several eminent Musicians & Poets flourished in Greece as Archilochus. Polymnestus, Thaletas, Xenodamus, Xenocritus, Sacadas, Tyrtæus, Telesilla, Aleman, Arion, Stesichorus, Mimnermus, Alcæus, Sappho, Theognis, Anacreon, Pindar, by whom the Music & Poetry of the Greeks was brought to its perfection

< text from f 3r resumes >

The Amphictyons by the advice of Solon made Alcmæon the son <4r> of Megacles an Athenian & Clisthenes king of Sicyon & Eurolyous king of Thessaly commanders of their army in their war against Cyrrha & the Cyrrhæans were conquered an 2 Olymp. 47 according to the Marbles. This Alcmæon enterteined & conducted the Messengers wch Crœsus sent to consult the Oracle at Delphos & for so doing was sent for by Crœsus & rewarded with much riches. Clisthenes proclaiming that he would marry his daughter Agarista within a year to the most deserving there came to court her Megacles the son of this Alcmæon & Leocides the son of Phidon the Argive & several others & Clisthenes gave his daughter to Megacles. This was that Phidon king of Argos who appointed weights & measures & coyned silver money in Ægina & invading Elis presided in the Olympiads as Herodotus sufficiently describes. Phidon therefore was contemporary to Alcmæon & both of them to Clisthenes & Solon, & their sons Megacles & Leocides were contemporary to one another & to Pisistratus. For Megacles Pisistratus & Lycurgus commanded the three factions into which the Athenians were divided a little before the tyranny of Pisistratus, & when Pisistratus obteined the tyranny he married the daughter of Megacles, & he & Megacles ejected one another by turns & at length Clisthenes the son of Megacles & Agarista expelled the sons of Pisistratus an 1 Olymp 67 according to the Marble. So then Phidon flourished in the 47th Olympiad, that is about 60 years before the death of Cyrus or 240 years after the return of the Heraclides. \/ < insertion from f 3v > [6] Iphitus who restored the Olympiads presided in them as judge & so did his successors, but the Pisæans sometimes contended wth the Eleans about presiding, & in the 48th Olympiad the Eleans entered the country of the Pisæans wth an army suspecting their designes, but were prevailed with to return home quietly, & soon after the Pisæans confederated with several other Greek nations & made war upon the Eleans, & in the end were beaten. In this war I conceive it was that Phidon presided, suppose in the 49th Olympiad: for in the 50th Olympiad, for putting an end to contentions between kings about presiding, [7] two men were chosen by lot out of the city of Elis, to preside & their number in the 65t Olympiad was increased to nine & afterwards to ten, & these judges were called Hellenodicæ, judges for or in the name of Greece. When Phidon had introduced {illeg} coynage, Solon after his example regulated the weights & money of the Athenians. Pausanias tells us that the Eleans called in Phidon & together with him celebrated ye 8th Olympiad, but Herodotus that Phidon removed the Eleans. And if Phidon was their enemy, its most likely that he assisted the Pisæans & celebrated the 49th Olympiad, that being the time where Herodotus places him. When Phidon had introduced coynage, Solon after his example regulated the weights & money of the Athenians. < text from f 4r resumes > After his example Solon regulated the moneyweights & money of the Athenians. For the pound weight wch before conteined 73 drachms Solon appointed to consist of 100 drachms. And whereas the mulcts in Dracos laws (wch were made about \60 or/ 80 years before the reign of Darius death of Cyrus) were called Oxen, Solon appointed mulcts in drachms of silver. For the Greeks at first used only rude masses of metal \stamped with an Ox or a Sheep or a hogg/ of the value of Oxen for the convenience of buying & selling Oxen & sheep, recconing about ten sheep to an Ox, \cattel/ & thence these masses of metal were called Oxen & Pecunia, & \some of them/ from their shape, Oboli, they being usually in the form of long barrs. Such money Homer & Draco call oxen, & such was the iron money of Lycurgus befor & the money of all Greece before Phidon & Solon regulated it by weight. Herodotus tells us[8] that |ye| coynage \of gold & silver & the buying & selling of victuals & drink for money/ began in Asia minor. Phidon brought {illeg} \coynage thence/ into Greece for the use of the merchants of Ægina. The Romans coyned no being poorer coyned no copper money before the reign of Ancus Martius, no silver money till about three years before the first Punic war, An. 1 Olymp. 128, no gold money till about 62 years after that. |Solon might coin in ye 50 \Olymp/ Ancus Martius for want of Gold & Silver might follow the example of Phidon \& Solon/ in copper money some years later| When the Heraclides returned into Peloponnesus under the conduct of Temenus Cresphontes & Aristodemus, Temenus became king of Argos & was succeeded by his son Cisus & then the kingdom ceased \& became divided among the posterity of Temenus/ until Phidon recovered it, & Strabo tells us that Phidon <5r> was not older then Sesostris. Its impossible that any thing done in Greece could be remembred above three generations before the use of Letters, & therefore the kingdoms of Athens, Sicyon & Argos could not be above three generations older then the coming of Cadmus into Greece.

It seems to me therefore that Cecrops, Cranaus, \{Pandion}/ Erechtheus, Cecrops II, Pandion the brother of Cecrops, Ægeus the adopted son of Pandion, & Theseus the son of Ægeus &c reigned successively at Athens; Ægialeus, Europs, Telchin, Apis or Epopeus, Lamedon, Sicyon &c at Sicyon: & Phoroneus, Apis, Argus, Criasus &c at Argos. Abas was contemporary \to Lacedæmon & Sparta &/ to Apis the Argive, & his sons Acrisius & Prætus reigned in several parts of Argos. And if Acrisius at length inherited Argos he must have been the same man with Criasus the successor of Argus: for the ancient names have been very liable to corruption. Acrisius left Argos to his grandson Perseus, but Perseus changed kingdoms with Megapenthe the son of Prætus & built Mycene, & was succeeded by his son Sthenelus & Sthenelus left his kingdom between his sons Eurystheus & Gelanor. Eurystheus reigned in Mycene, but Gelanor was ejected by Danaus the Egyptian about 10 or 20 years before the Argonautic Expedition. By this recconing the oldest kingdoms in Greece will not be {illeg} above two or three generations older then the coming of Cadmus; but its difficult to set right the genealogies, reigns, & chronology of the fabulous ages & I leave these things to be further examined. In this Expedition Castor & Pollux were beardless youths \young men/ & their sister Helena was then a child. These were the children of Tyndareus & Leda, & Tyndareus was the son of Perieres & Gorgophone, & Perieres was the son of Cynortes the son of Amyclas, the son of Lacedæmon & Sparta, & Sparta was the daughter of Eurotas the son of Lelex, & Lacedæmon was the son of Taygeta. And Gorgophone was the daughter of Perseus the son of Danae the daughter of Acrisius & Eurydice. And Eurydice was the sister of Amyclas & daughter of Lacedæmon & Sparta. And Hercules was the son of Alcmena the daughter of Electryo \& Eurydice & Electrio was/ the son of Perseus & Andromeda. \& Eurydice the {daughter} of Pelops/ And Mestor the brother of Electrio \& son of Perseus/ married Lysidice the daughter of Pelops. And therefore \Eurotas &/ Taygeta were one, Lacedæmon \& Sparta/ two, Acrisius \& Amyclas/ three, \Pelops/ Perseus & Andromeda five, Perieres Gorgophone & Electryo six \Tyndareus seven/ & Castor Pollux Helena & Hercules eight generations younger then Lelex. And by all these recconings the oldest kingdoms in Greece will not \could scarce/ be above three generations older then the coming of Cadmus into Greece. |For Cadmus was five generations older than Eteocles & Polyni{ces} who slew {illeg} \one another in their youth/ in the first Theban war, about seven years after the Argonautic Expedition.| But its difficult to set right the genealogies reigns & chronology of the fabulous ages & I leave these things to be further examined.

Herodotus tells us that the Phenicians who came with Cadmus, brought many doctrines into Greece. For amongst those Phenicians were a sort of men called Curetes, who were skilled in arts & sciences above other men, & setled, some in Phrygia where they were called Corybantes, some in Crete {illeg} where they were called Idæi Dactyli, some in Samothrace where they were called Corybantes Cabyri, some in Rhodes where they were called Telchines – – – – – of an Egyptian original.

Hesiod[9] describing the four ages of the Gods & Demigods <6r> represents them to be four generations of men each of which ended when the men then living grew old & dropt into the grave & tells us that the fourth ended when the men of that age grew old & dropt with the wars of Thebes & Troy. And Apollonius Rhodius[10] saith that when the Argonauts came to Crete they slew Talus a brazen man who remained of those that were of the brazen age & guarded that Island. Talus was the son of Minos & therefore the sons of Minos lived in the brazen age, & the reign of Minos falls in with the silver age. For \/ < insertion from f 5v > For the Greeks began to plow & sow in the silver age, & the Ceres who taught them to do it flourished in the reign of Celeus, & Min Erechtheus & Minos. And < text from f 6r resumes > the Mythologists say that Niobe was the daughter of Phoroneus was the first \last/ woman with whom Iupiter lay & \was/ Alcmena the mother of Hercules, {illeg} & this interval of time comprehends the reign of their Iupiter among mortals. |& the birth of Hercules was about the same time with the death of Minos.| And Apollonius Rhodius tells us that Saturn deceived Rhea & begot Chiron of Philyra when he reigned over the Titans in Olympus & Iupiter was educated by the Idæan Curetes in the Cretan Cave, that is, in the golden age. Now Cheron {sic} lived till the end of the Argonautic Expedition & two of his grandchildren were in that Expedition & therefore he might then be about 80 or 85 years old & so be born in the reign of Asterius & Europa the parets {sic} of the Cretan Iupiter, & not before. And since this Iupiter was bred up in the Cretan cave by the Curetes{illeg} in the golden age & expelled his when grown up expelled his father, & his father fleing into Italy became the Saturn of the Latines; his mother Europa must have been the Rhea & Cyoete & magna mater of the Curetes. Its probable that this fable of the four ages was Hesiod tells us further that he lived in the fift age, wch should \end/ when the men then living should grow hoary. And therefore he flourished within 40 or 50 years after the end of the Trojan was {sic} invented by the Curetes in memory of the first four kings of Crete, Asterius, & his son Minos, & grandson Deucalion who was an Argonaut, & great grandson Deucali Idomoneus who upon returning home from the Trojan war sacrificed his son & for that fact was expelled the kingdom of Crete.

The reign of Asterius might begin some years before the coming of Europa into Crete, & the flood of Deucalion might be a very little earlier. For it happened in the reign of Nyctimus the son of Lycaon & in the reign of Cranaus the successor of Cecrops. And a few years before was the flood of Ogyges. And if these floods may be ⊡ < insertion from f 5v > ⊡ understood in the language of the fabulous ages, they may signify two inundations of Greece by forreigners, suppose the first upon the expulsion of the shepherds out of all Egypt except Abaris by Misphramuthasis, & then up the other upon their expulsion out of Abaris & Phenicia by Amosis Saul & David. The Marbles make Deucalions flood but ten years older then the coming of Cadmus; & a difference of ten years in those fabulous ages is not to be regarded.

< text from f 6r resumes >

Hesiod enumerating the four ages tells us that he lived in the fift age & that this age should end when the men then living should grow hoary. And therefore he might flourish within 40 or 50 years after the end of the Trojan war, & not much later. But Homer might be 80 or 100 years later \than that war/ or above one or two generations later then Hesiod


Pausanias [11] tells us that those among the Eleans who commemorated the originals of that country related that Saturn was the first who reigned in the kingdom of heaven, & that the men who were called the golden age built a Temple to him in the city Olympia; & that afterwards Rhea committed her new born son Iupiter to the Idæi Dactyli called also the Curetes, & that some of the Curetes came afterwards from Ida a mountain of Crete into Elis, being five brothers whose names were Hercules, Pæoneus, Epimedes, Iasius, & Idas; & that fifty years after the flood of Deucalion, Clymenus the son of Cardys of the posterity of the Idæan Hercules, coming from Crete, restored those games, but was expelled the kingdom by Endymion the son of Aëthlius. And then Pelops one generation younger then Endymion coming into Elis celebrated those games more sumptuously. And the{illeg} sons of Pelops being expelled Elis, Amythaon the brother of Æson & son of Cretheus restored them. And after the reign of Oxylus they were intermitt{t}ed till the reign of Iphitus. These games therefore were first instituted in the golden age by the Idæan Hercules presently after Deucalions flood, & the Saturn & Iupiter who reigned in the golden & silver ages were kings of Crete.

[1] ✝ Herod. l. 1

[2] Pausanias. l. 5. c. 8

[3] Pausan. l. 6. c. 19

[4] Athæn. l. 14. p. 625.

[5] Plutarch. de Musica. Clement Strom. l. 1 p. 308.

[6] Pausan. l. 6. c. 22.

[7] Pausan. l. 5. c. 9.

[8] Herod. l. 1.

[9] Hesiod Oper{a} v. 108.

[10] Argonaut. l. 4 v. 1638, & Scholia in eundem.

[11] Pausan. l. 5, c. 7, 8

© 2017 The Newton Project

Professor Rob Iliffe
Director, AHRC Newton Papers Project

Scott Mandelbrote,
Fellow & Perne librarian, Peterhouse, Cambridge

Faculty of History, George Street, Oxford, OX1 2RL - newtonproject@history.ox.ac.uk

Privacy Statement

  • University of Oxford
  • Arts and Humanities Research Council
  • JISC