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The Immanuel Velikovsky Archive
[Quoted by Immanuel Velikovsky in Worlds in Collision, 1950].

56. The day on which the shortest shadow is cast at noon is the day of the summer solstice; the longest shadow at noon is cast on the day of the winter solstice. The method of determining the seasons by measuring the length of the shadows was applied in ancient china, as well as in other countries." "We possess the Chinese records of the longest and shortest shadows at noontime. These records are attributed to -1100. 'But the shortest and longest shadows recorded do not really represent the true lengths at present.' The old Chinese charts record the longest day with a duration which does not represent the various geographical latitudes of their observatories,' and therefore the figures are supposed to have been those of Babylonia, borrowed by ancient Chinese, a rather unusual conjecture. [Worlds in Collision, p.318]

57. {Kugler, SSB,I,226-227}. "The length of the longest day in a year depends on the latitude, or the distance from the pole, and is different at different places. Gnomons or sundials can be built with great precision. The Babylonian astronomical tablets of the eighth century provide exact data, according to which the longest day at Babylon was equal to 14 hours, 24 minutes, whereas the modern determination is 14 hours 10 minutes and 54 seconds." 'the difference between the two figures is too great to be attributable to refraction, which makes the sun still visible over the horizon after it has set. Thus, the greater length of the day corresponds to latitude 34 degrees 57 minutes, and points to a place 2 1/2 degrees further to the north; we stand therefore before a strange riddle [vor einem merkwurdgien Ratsel.]. One tries to decide: either the tablets of System II do not originate from Babylon [though referring to Babylon] or this city actually was situated far [farther] to the north, about 35away from the equator." [Kugler, Die babylonische Mondrechnung: Zwei Systeme der Chaldäer über den Lauf des Mondes und der Sonne (1900), p.80]

58. Claudius Ptolemy, who in his Almagest, made computations for contemporaneous and ancient Babylon, arrived at two different estimates of the longest day at that city, and consequently of the latitude at which it was located. One of his estimates being practically of the present-day value, the other coinciding with the figure of the ancient Babylonian tables, 14 hours, 24 minutes." [Worlds in Collision, p.319] The Arabian medieval scholar Arzachel computed from ancient codices that in more ancient times Babylon was situated at a latitude of 35 degrees 0 minutes from the equator, while in later times it was situated more to the south. Johannes Kepler drew attention to this calculation of Arzachel and to the fact that between ancient and modern Babylon there was thus a difference in latitude."

59. "Thus Ptolemy and likewise Arzachel, computed that in historical times Babylon was situated at latitude 35. Modern scholars arrived at identical results on the basis of ancient Babylonian computations. 'This much, therefore, is certain: our tables [System II, and I also], and the astronomers mentioned as well, point to a place about 35 north latitude. Is it possible that they were mistaken by 2 to 21/2 degrees ? This is scarcely possible.'" {Kugler, ibid., p.81.}

60. Some of the classic authors knew that the earth had changed its position and had turned towards the south; not all of them, however, were aware of the real cause of this perturbation. Diogenes Laertius repeated the teaching of Leucippus: 'The earth bent or inclined towards the south because the northern regions grew rigid and inflexible by the snowy and cold weather which ensued thereon.' The same idea is found in Plutarch, who quoted the teaching of Democritus: 'The northern regions were ill temperate, but the southern were well; whereby the latter becoming fruitful, waxed greater, and by an overweight preponderated and inclined to the whole that way.' Empedocles, quoted by Plutarch, taught that the north was bent from its former position, whereupon the northern regions were elevated and the southern depressed. Anaxagoras taught that the pole received a turn and that the world became inclined toward the south." [Worlds in Collision, p.320]