Catalogue Entry: THEM00068

Draft passages on chronology and biblical history

Author: Isaac Newton

Source: Yahuda Ms. 25, National Library of Israel, Jerusalem, Israel

Custodial History

Bought at the Sotheby sale by Gabriel Wells for £90 and presumably acquired by Yahuda not long afterwards.

Sotheby Lot



Some at least of these fragments are drafts for The Chronology of Ancient Kingdoms Amended. The pages are described in the Sotheby catalogue as 'very confused and mostly unnumbered': they have since been re-arranged by someone (possibly Yahuda), and, subsequently to this, coherently foliated by the curators of the National Library of Israel. Since the creation of the Chadwyck-Healey microfilm, section 25.1a has been further subdivided into ten more or less self-contained subsections. Sections 25.1a and 25.1b show signs of two previous foliations, neither of which bears any relation to the current sequence of pages. The sections range from very rough drafts to fair copies.

Ms. 25.1

a) Draft sections (in no discernible order) of The Chronology of Ancient Kingdoms Amended and of a treatise on Daniel: a later (18th-century) hand has collated each section with the corresponding page numbers in Opera quæ exstant omnia vol. V. All the sections are untitled and many begin and/or end in mid-sentence.

section I: 6 ff.

section II: 36 ff.

section III: 12 ff.

section IV: 8 ff.

section V: 6 ff.

section VI: 7 ff.

section VII: 10 ff.

section VIII: 10 ff.

section IX: 4 ff.

section X: 1 p.

b) '' (4 ff.)

c) f. 1r 'Chronological Observations upon ye foregoing Interpretation' (8ff.)

f. 3r 'Chap / Of the sacred History of the Persian Empire'

f. 6r ''

d) Beginning missing: f. 1r begins in mid-sentence.

f. 3r 'Chap. / The history & Chronology of the Babylonian monarchy with respect to ye 70 years captivity of the[sic] Iews.' (3 drafts)

f. 17r 'Chap. 2./ The Chronology of the Books of Ezra & Nehemiah wth respect to ye Persian Monarchy'

f. 19r '/ '

ff. 20r-25v 'The Chronology of the Gospel'

e) 'Chap. II/ Of the Kingdome of Egypt' (2 drafts, 12 ff.)

f) 'Chap. VIII [altered from IV]/ The Monarchy of Egypt at Memphys' (34 ff.)

Ms. 25.2

Further drafts on chronology; some sections relate to 'Theologiæ Gentilis Origines Philosophicæ'.

a) ff. 1-34 'Chap. VII/ The Monarchy of Egypt at Thebes'

b) ff. 1-39 'Chap. III/ The Monarchy of Egypt at Thebes' [followed by different text]

c) ff. 1-8 'Chap. VI./ Of the Colonies of Ægyptians & Phœnecians who civilized the Greeks'

d) ff. 1-7 (plus one blank folio) 'Chap. III./ The time of the Argonautick expedition stated by Astronomy.'

e) ff. 1-69 'Chap. IV./ The time of the Argonautic Expedition & Trojan war stated by the records of the Tyrians & Carthaginians, & by the reign of Sesostris.'

f) f. 1 An untitled section beginning 'Herod according to Iosephus'.

f. 5 'Emendanda & addenda in Cap. 1'

f. 7 Beginning missing: a series of fragments in no discernible sequence.

f. 34 Part of a fair copy of a chronological text in a clerical hand, incomplete at both ends.

ff. 44-58 More disordered fragments.

f. 59r: two draft chapter headings without text: 'Chap. 1. The Chronology of the ancient Greeks from the time of the Trojan war. Chap. 2. The Chronology of the Greeks before the Trojan war': these are at the bottom of a draft memorandum approving a bill from the Mint engraver James Girard (cf. Mint catalogue MINT00771 (Mint 19/3/470)).


One section (Ms. 25.2f, ff. 34-43) is in an unidentified clerical hand.

© 2024 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 -

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