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When we consider the daily, and almost in-
Reader, it is therefore presumed that this Epi-
The original Work; having been adapted for
ready reference may be made to any particular, and there is ample information afforded, whereby the days, on which moveable Feasts, &c. are held, may be known for the present, and for all future years.
Lower Kennington Green, Surrey,
14th March, 1814.
Is a certain measure or portion of eternity, distinguished by the motion of the sun, or heavenly luminaries, by which the distances and duration of sublunary affairs are measured. It has also been defined “ a succession of phenomena in the universe" better to be conceived than de scribed ; and of which, as Mr. Locke observes, we can only form an idea, " by considering any part of infinite duration, as set out by periodical measures.” Other philosophers describe the nature of Time differently, though in meaning precisely the same.
The measure" of such " part of infinite duration” depending upon motion, the heavenly bodies have, in every age, been selected for that purpose: and the ancients distinguished their different seasons, by the appearance of particular constellations. The cosmical rising of the Pleiades, denoted the commencement of sum.
that of the Dog-Star its declination ; and by the motions of the heavenly luminaries alone, ARISTOTLE marked the periods of the gestation and migration of animals. Mankind subsequently attained a more accurate method of tracing the course of Time: of which, different periods or divisions, have been distinguished by epochs, milleniums, cycles, centuries, years, months, weeks, days, hours, minutes, and moments seconds or instants.
Of the mechanical means that liave been gradually discovered, for measuring and computing Time, the following concise account has been selected from various sources.
Sun Dial. The motion of a shadow presents so obvious a method of ascertaining the hour of the day, that mankind cannot be reasonably supposed to have long remained practically unacquainted with the means, by which the daily progress of Time might be accurately marked.
Yet there is no mention of any instrument formed upon even this simple principle, until the reign of king Ahaz, who died about the year of the world 3278, or 726 years before the Christian æra. In the book of Hezekiah, king of Judah, there is direct reference to the DIAL of Ahaz,” his father, or as it is now termed, the SUN-DIAL.
The dial of AHAZ was described upon the steps of his palace, and the shade of a pillar, which served as a Gnomon, marked the progress of the hour. There is no account of any dial with a fixed gnomon, until the invention of MAXIMENES. MILESIUS, about 160 years after the reign of HeZEKIAH.
It was not until 295 B. C, that the sundial of the East became known at Rome, where PAPIRIUS CURSOR first erected one in the court of the Temple of QUIRINUS. Previous to that time, the only means of ascertaining the hour in Rome, was by tiie appearance of the sun between the Rostrum, and what was called the Station of the Greeks. When the sun had reached