Mss of Sir Is. Newton.

A parcel of papers regularly number'd from No 1 to No 37. It consists of 70 Folio pages, & - If printed into the same manner as the Chronology, wou'd probably fill about 113. pages.

On the first Folio page of this Ms, is written

Chapter II.
The Original
Of the Kingdom of Egypt

It is to be observed that a line is drawn thro' the last six words: as here. It is also observable that the words 'The Original' seem to be inserted after the rest of the title was written.

By the words Chapter II, it is plain that this Ms was designed to make part of a larger work: probably of the viz. pas. 4.l.8. work, entitled the Original of Monarchies to which there are among the loose papers, two that relate.

One of a sheet, being a kind of plan of the three first Chapters. Chapter 1st the Original of Monarchies (suppos'd in general). Chapter 2. Phœnicians & their Colonies: Chapter 3. Of the Monarchy of Egypt.

The other of a sheet & an half being the first Chapter more at length: but imperfect the Ms breaking off in the middle of a sentence at the words - for Bochethes.

N.B. In relation to the second or Phœnician Chapter; it seems to be totally wanting; except some two imperfect & confused notes among the loose papers.

Sir Isaac seems perhaps in the prosecution of this work to have dropt the design of the 2d or Phœnician Chapter; & to have placed in its stead, the Original of the Kingdome of Egypt, which accordingly we find in the Ms mark'd Chapter 2: tho' in the plan-sheet it is laid down as Chapter 3.

Notwithstanding this, this Chapter may in itself be consider'd as a complete work: as it seems to comprise the history of Egypt from the remotest antiquity down to the final overthrow of that kingdom by the conquest of the Persians.


{illeg} the following manner.

Eygpt called in scripture Misor Misraim & the land of Ham is a long & broad valley or meadow on both sides the Nile between Mountains & deserts, running North & South from Syene to the Mediterranean. It consisted of two regions &c

The three first folio pages contain something of a Geographical account of Egypt & Ethiopia the Course of the Nile

The fourth folio page contains a description of the kingdom of Pharaoh in the times of Iacob and Moses.

The fifth (marked No 3.) contains reflexions on the 17 first Dynasties of Manetho

In the sixth is a paragraph relative to the Canon of Eratosthenes.

The seventh (marked No 4) tends to prove from the Contents of the two preceding pages that the Reigns of the Shepherd Kings were after Israel's going out of Egypt.

The eighth gives some short account of some part of the history & some customs of these Shepherds.

The ninth (mark'd 5) tends to prove that these Shepherds were Phœnicians or Canaanites.

The tenth Continues the same argument.

The eleventh (mark'd 6) tends to prove that the Expulsion of the Shepherds was before the reign of Solomon in the times of Eli, x Samuel, — N.B. — some very curious observations in the bottom of this page relative to the planters of the Greek Colonies

The twelfth relates to the history of the Philistines during these times

The thirteenth (mark'd 7) tends to prove that the Shepherds returned out of Eygpt into Phœnicia Chiefly in the reign of Saul, & assisted the Philistines in their wars against the Israelites.

The fourteenth enforces the same from some observations on the Tyrian history.

The fifteenth (mark'd 8) the sixteenth, & most part of the 17th (mark'd 9) relate to the conquest of Edom by David, & the junction of the fugitive Edomites with 16th word disscationsviz the beginnings of Hesiod the Phœnicians.

The remainder of the 17th & most part of the 18th seems to enforce the truth (of the Shepherds coming out of Eygpt in the reign of Saul) from some arguments drawn from the history of Argos.


{71} Reign of B{illeg} these times {illeg} & also the 20, the 21st (marked 11) & most of the {illeg} The remainder of the 18th Folio page, the 19th (mark'd 10) enforce the same by long deduction from the Athenian history; particularly from the history of Cecrops, who seem'd to Sir Isaac to be one of those Shepherds; several parallel arguments also are introduced to confirm the same from the Achaiæa, & Laconian the histories

Towards the bottom of the twenty second Folio page, Sir Isaac settles his deduction relative to the Shepherds of Eygpt from the above arguments drawn from the Athenian, Phœnician, & Edomite histories.

The 23rd (mark'd 12) seems to tend to prove that Cadmus also was one of these Shepherds from Eygpt.

The 24th relates to the history of Boœtia from Cadmus down to the times of Etrocles & Polynias

The 25th (mark'd 13) mostly related to the Kingdom of Sicyon.

The upper part of the 26th relates to the Kings of Argos. — The lower part tends to shew that Caphus was also one of the Egyptian shepherds residing at Ioppa.

The 27 (mark'd 14) begins with the same argument. The remainder of the page is a interpretation proving that Sesostris & Sesac were the same persons.

The 28th takes notice of the destruction of all the Antiquities, records &c of Egypt by the Persians, & from thence & other arguments infers the obscurity &c the obscurity of all the history of Egypt before Sesostris.

The 29th (mark'd 15) gives a catalogue of the Kings of Egypt, beginning with Sesostris

Here the Ms is divided. this first part concludes with these words

These (i:e: the Kings at Thebes) were deified & became the Gods of Eygpt, & next after the Gods reigned Menes. The history of the deified Kings {is} full of obscurity, but seems to be as follows.

The first folio page of the 2d part relates to the conquests of Sesostris in the reignsof Solomon & Rehoboam

The second chiefly relates to the magnificent publick works in Egypt of the same king in the times of Rehoboam.

The third speaks of the Great Improvment of Navigation in the times of Sesostris.

The lower part of the same page & the whole of the 4th relate to the identity of Sesostris Osiris & Bacchus & Mars

The same argument is continued in the fifth, — / Mem. the leaf of these these weomen' comes in here./.

The sixth folio pages tends to

The sheet mark'd 7 confirms the same from the history of Venus, & several other Gods / particularly Thoth or Mercury. Atlas, Neptune


{illeg} the same argument

The 9th tends to prove that Osiris & the other Gods of Egypt were princes of Eygpt in the times of Ammon & Sesostris

The 10th speaks of the death of Sesostris. — N.B. Sesostris brother to Solomon's Queen. & of the consequential civil war in Eygpt, which by the Poets is described as the war of the Titans.

The eleventh speaks of the reign of Orus, son & succesor of Sesostris, in whose reign Isis & Mercury made laws for Eygpt.[1]

The 12th 13th & 14 & 15 contain a dissertation on the Antient length of the year, deducing from thence as a consequence that the beginning of Astronomy is to be placed in the times of Sesostris & Mercury.

In the 16th is an account of the Ethiopian invasion & conquest of Eygpt in the times of Asa.

The 17th speaks of the consequences of the power of Eygpt being now broken viz the flourishing state of Asa & Iehosaphat, & the return of the Philistines from Caphtor near Caucasus — Death of Orus — Amenophis or Osymandaes suceeds him.

The sheet marked 18 proves that Amenophis is the same with Menes — History of that king. — probably the same with Zesah the Ethiopian, or his ally. — (In this chapter is an argument in {favour} of the time of the Shepherds coming into Eygpt) — Great structures of Amenophis in Eygpt.

19. Description of his library several other apartments of the Monument, with the golden ring of 365 Cubits around: that was an Emblem of the Eygptian Year; of which Amenophis was the perfecter.

20. Dissertation on the Egyptian year; tending to further prove that assertion.


22 The same dissertation continued.

23. Begins with some reflections with the story of Atlas & Saturn. The remaining part of this page, the 24th 25th tend to fix the æra of the taking of Troy about Threescore years after the death of Solomon.

26. Parallel between the generations of Hesiod, & those of the Eygptians. The fourth of each ends about the siege of Troy.

27. Tends to prove that Proteus who govern'd lower Eygpt in the time of the Trojan war was Viceroy of Amenophis. — In The lower part of the page begins the reign of Ramesses.

28. Riches & power of Ramesses, & of his succesors Mæris, & Cheops the builder of the Pyramids.

29. Begins with some account of Cheops, & proceeds to the other Pyramid-Builders, his succesor Cephrenus, Mycerinus, Asychis.

30. Begins with a short dissertation on the building of the Pyramids: proceeds to the history of Anysis the successor of Asychis — Conquests of Sabacon; at which time Egypt was divided into several kingdoms; such as of Thebais, Tanis, Sais, Memphis.


31. Reign of Boccharis — Great {razure}. —— The 19th chapter of Isaia relates to these times of confusion & division in Eygpt

32. The Reign of the Ethiopians over Eygpt: contemporary with Hosea & Hezekiah & the Destruction of Sennacheril's army marching against Tirhakah the Ethiopian king of Eygpt — Conquest of Eygpt (during the reign of the sucessor of Tirhakah) by the Assyrians; contemporary with the conquest of the Iews, & captivity of Manassea — Eygpt shakes off the Assyrian yoke — Interregnum — twelve Princes of Eygpt share the government:

33. Psammiticus king of all Eygpt. — Pharao Necho. — Psammis. — Asmis — Amasis. & Psammenitus, who reigned only six months.

The Ms concludes with these words.

— Amasis died in the winter before Cambyses enter'd Eygpt, & Psamminitus was conquer'd & slain by him in the Summer following, & Eygpt has continued almost ever since in servitude.


It does not appear &c

It does not appear, that Sir Isaac ever finish'd this his work on the Origin of Kingdoms: —— But in his Chronology, (which book he prepar'd for the press towards the conclusion of his life) several passages are inserted, copied with but small alterations from this his former work.

Such being the case, it is submitted to the proper judges, whether or no it wou'd be proper that these papers shou'd be published.

Against their publication it may be said;For their publication it may be said
That several passajes of them are already printed, (& perhaps more correctly) in the Chronology.That tho' several passages of them are inserted in the Chronology, yet there are several others, which perhaps have never been published
That these papers, particularly the first sheet, & Sheet & an half, are very imperfectThat however imperfect some of these papers may be, yet certainly they must contain something very valuable to the publick, being the works of Sr Isaac Newton. The whole 2 d Chapter seems complete: which will probably fill above 113 pages in 2to, if printed in the same letter with the Chronology. The Sheet, & Sheet & half, together with Titlepage, proper sheet Preface &c will fill about 6 leaves & 12 pages more.: & thus make it equal to one third part of the volume of the Chronology. {If} the unpublished Paper of Sr Isaac relative to the Ep. of S. Iohn be added, it will perhaps make the volume equal to half of the Chronology.

[1] {ενην}

© 2020 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

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