There is another curious pattern in the Book One of Stromata - an obsessive interest in two chronological calculations (1) the tenth year of Antoninus = 147 CE and (2) the death of Commodus =192 CE. It has been assumed that Clement is doing the calculation down to his authorship of the Stromata (= the death of Commodus). But against this understanding is the statement in Eusebius that Clement wrote during the reign of Severus but Severus only took Egypt by February of 194 CE. I find it difficult why Clement would have been calculating things to the end of the reign of Commodus writing from the reign of Severus. One would expect a calculation made to the start of the reign of Severus if - as Eusebius is certain - Clement was writing from the Severan period. As such I have to believe that Clement writing in the age of Severus was using a number of chronicles including one written in 192 CE. Let's take a closer look at the section as a whole.
The first thing that is striking about the section is that Clement seems to be drawing from a source who - like Julius Cassian - had an interest to prove his thesis that "the philosophy of the Hebrews will be demonstrated beyond all contradiction to be the most ancient of all wisdom” [Clem., strom. I 21,101,1] Previously he has spoken of the role of philosophy in general, and after the chronological excursus he draws the consequence and speaks of Plato as a pupil of Moses. Actually, his starting point is the old equation Moses-Inachus which is echoed in Tatian [Clem., strom. I 21,101,3-5 presumably taken from Tat., orat. 38]. However, Christ, Philologische Studien [zu Clemens Alexandrinus, ABAW.PP 21, 1901, 455-528, esp. 497f.505] suggests that Tatian and Clement drew upon the same source possibly Cassian, since Clement’s material is somewhat richer than Tatian.
Clement's first source is the chronicle of Josephus the Jew which concluded with the 10th year of Antoninus Pius, i.e. 147/148. The second chronicle Julius Cassian's goes on to the death of Commodus in 192, a few years before Clement’s own time. So Clement calculates the sum from Moses to the present according to two systems (Clem., strom. I 21,147,3f. [91,17-19 S./F.]). One finishes in “the 10th year of Antoninus”, “others” go on until the death of Commodus. The first source has been analyzed by Schlatter, Der Chronograph (Der Chronograph aus dem zehnten Jahre Antonins, TU 12,1, Leipzig 1894).
In both cases the theoretical claim would be to calculate universal history from the creation to the present mainly on the basis of the numbers provided by the Hebrew tradition, but at least in the form given by Clement the sums are less important than the details. This number can be calculated on the basis of Clem., strom. I 21,144,3 (89,17-19 S./F.): 5784 years from Adam to the death of Commodus, and Clem., strom. I 21,145,5 (90,13- 18 S./F.): 194 years from the birth of Christ to the death of Commodus. However, on the basis of the numbers given in Clem., strom. I 21,140,2-6 (87,2-12 S./F.), a slightly different calculation can be drawn up: 5819 years from Adam to the death of Commodus, hence birth of Christ in AM 5625.
From the birth of Moses to the exodus of the Jews from Egypt, eighty years; and the period down to his death, other forty years. The exodus took place in the time of Inachus, before the wandering of Sothis, Moses having gone forth from Egypt three hundred and forty-five years before. From the rule of Moses, and from Inachus to the flood of Deucalion, I mean the second inundation, and to the conflagration of Phaethon, which events happened in the time of Crotopus, forty generations are enumerated (three generations being reckoned for a century). From the flood to the conflagration of Ida, and the discovery of iron, and the Idæan Dactyls, are seventy-three years, according to Thrasyllus; and from the conflagration of Ida to the rape of Ganymede, sixty-five years. From this to the expedition of Perseus, when Glaucus established the Isthmian games in honour of Melicerta, fifteen years; and from the expedition of Perseus to the building of Troy, thirty-four years. From this to the voyage of the Argo, sixty-four years. From this to Theseus and the Minotaur, thirty-two years; then to the seven at Thebes, ten years. And to the Olympic contest, which Hercules instituted in honour of Pelops, three years; and to the expedition of the Amazons against Athens, and the rape of Helen by Theseus, nine years. From this to the deification of Hercules, eleven years; then to the rape of Helen by Alexander, four years. From the taking of Troy to the descent of Æneas and the founding of Lavinium, ten years; and to the government of Ascanius, eight years; and to the descent of the Heraclidæ;, sixty-one years; and to the Olympiad of Iphitus, three hundred and thirty-eight years. Eratosthenes thus sets down the dates: From the capture of Troy to the descent of the Heraclidæ;, eighty years. From this to the founding of Ionia, sixty years; and the period following to the protectorate of Lycurgus, a hundred and fifty-nine years; and to the first year of the first Olympiad, a hundred and eight years. From which Olympiad to the invasion of Xerxes, two hundred and ninety-seven years; from which to the beginning of the Peloponnesian war, forty-eight years; and to its close, and the defeat of the Athenians, twenty-seven years; and to the battle at Leuctra, thirty-four years; after which to the death of Philip, thirty-five years. And after this to the decease of Alexander, twelve years.
Again, from the first Olympiad, some say, to the building of Rome, are comprehended twenty-four years; and after this to the expulsion of the kings, when consuls were created, about two hundred and forty-three years. And from the taking of Babylon to the death of Alexander, a hundred and eighty-six years. From this to the victory of Augustus, when Antony killed himself at Alexandria, two hundred and ninety-four years, when Augustus was made consul for the fourth time. And from this time to the games which Domitian instituted at Rome, are a hundred and fourteen years; and from the first games to the death of Commodus, a hundred and eleven years.
There are some that from Cecrops to Alexander of Macedon reckon a thousand eight hundred and twenty-eight years; and from Demophon, a thousand two hundred and fifty; and from the taking of Troy to the expedition of the Heraclidæ;, a hundred and twenty or a hundred and eighty years. From this to the archonship of Evænetus at Athens, in whose time Alexander is said to have marched into Asia, according to Phanias, are seven hundred and fifty years; according to Ephorus, seven hundred and thirty-five; according to Timæus and Clitarchus, eight hundred and twenty; according to Eratosthenes, seven hundred and seventy-four. As also Duris, from the taking of Troy to the march of Alexander into Asia, a thousand years; and from that to the archonship of Hegesias, in whose time Alexander died eleven years. From this date to the reign of Germanicus Claudius Cæsar, three hundred and sixty-five years. From which time the years summed up to the death of Commodus are manifest.
After the Grecian period, and in accordance with the dates, as computed by the barbarians, very large intervals are to be assigned.
From Adam to the deluge are comprised two thousand one hundred and forty-eight years, four days. From Shem to Abraham, a thousand two hundred and fifty years. From Isaac to the division of the land, six hundred and sixteen years. Then from the judges to Samuel, four hundred and sixty-three years, seven months. And after the judges there were five hundred and seventy-two years, six months, ten days of kings.
After which periods, there were two hundred and thirty-five years of the Persian monarchy. Then of the Macedonian, till the death of Antony, three hundred and twelve years and eighteen days. After which time, the empire of the Romans, till the death of Commodus, lasted for two hundred and twenty-two years.
Then, from the seventy years' captivity, and the restoration of the people into their own land to the captivity in the time of Vespasian, are comprised four hundred and ten years. Finally, from Vespasian to the death of Commodus, there are ascertained to be one hundred and twenty-one years, six months, and twenty-four days.
Demetrius, in his book, On the Kings in Judæa, says that the tribes of Juda, Benjamin, and Levi were not taken captive by Sennacherim; but that there were from this captivity to the last, which Nabuchodonosor made out of Jerusalem, a hundred and twenty-eight years and six months; and from the time that the ten tribes were carried captive from Samaria till Ptolemy the Fourth, were five hundred and seventy-three years, nine months; and from the time that the captivity from Jerusalem took place, three hundred and thirty-eight years and three months.
Philo himself set down the kings differently from Demetrius.
Besides, Eupolemus, in a similar work, says that all the years from Adam to the fifth year of Ptolemy Demetrius, who reigned twelve years in Egypt, when added, amount to five thousand a hundred and forty-nine; and from the time that Moses brought out the Jews from Egypt to the above-mentioned date, there are, in all, two thousand five hundred and eighty years. And from this time till the consulship in Rome of Caius Domitian and Casian, a hundred and twenty years are computed.
Euphorus and many other historians say that there are seventy-five nations and tongues, in consequence of hearing the statement made by Moses: All the souls that sprang from Jacob, which went down into Egypt, were seventy-five. According to the true reckoning, there appear to be seventy-two generic dialects, as our Scriptures hand down. The rest of the vulgar tongues are formed by the blending of two, or three, or more dialects. A dialect is a mode of speech which exhibits a character peculiar to a locality, or a mode of speech which exhibits a character peculiar or common to a race. The Greeks say, that among them are five dialects— the Attic, Ionic, Doric, Æolic, and the fifth the Common; and that the languages of the barbarians, which are innumerable, are not called dialects, but tongues.
Plato attributes a dialect also to the gods, forming this conjecture mainly from dreams and oracles, and especially from demoniacs, who do not speak their own language or dialect, but that of the demons who have taken possession of them. He thinks also that the irrational creatures have dialects, which those that belong to the same genus understand. Accordingly, when an elephant falls into the mud and bellows out any other one that is at hand, on seeing what has happened, shortly turns, and brings with him a herd of elephants, and saves the one that has fallen in. It is said also in Libya, that a scorpion, if it does not succeed in stinging a man, goes away and returns with several more; and that, hanging on one to the other like a chain they make in this way the attempt to succeed in their cunning design.
The irrational creatures do not make use of an obscure intimation, or hint their meaning by assuming a particular attitude, but, as I think, by a dialect of their own. And some others say, that if a fish which has been taken escape by breaking the line, no fish of the same kind will be caught in the same place that day. But the first and generic barbarous dialects have terms by nature, since also men confess that prayers uttered in a barbarian tongue are more powerful. And Plato, in the Cratylus, when wishing to interpret πῦρ (fire), says that it is a barbaric term. He testifies, accordingly, that the Phrygians use this term with a slight deviation.
And nothing, in my opinion, after these details, need stand in the way of stating the periods of the Roman emperors, in order to the demonstration of the Saviour's birth. Augustus, forty-three years; Tiberius, twenty-two years; Caius, four years; Claudius, fourteen years; Nero, fourteen years; Galba, one year; Vespasian, ten years; Titus, three years; Domitian, fifteen years; Nerva, one year; Trajan, nineteen years; Adrian, twenty-one years; Antoninus, twenty-one years; likewise again, Antoninus and Commodus, thirty-two. In all, from Augustus to Commodus, are two hundred and twenty-two years; and from Adam to the death of Commodus, five thousand seven hundred and eighty-four years, two months, twelve days.
Some set down the dates of the Roman emperors thus:—
Caius Julius Cæsar, three years, four months, five days; after him Augustus reigned forty-six years, four months, one day. Then Tiberius, twenty-six years, six months, nineteen days. He was succeeded by Caius Cæsar, who reigned three years, ten months, eight days; and he by Claudius for thirteen years, eight months, twenty-eight days. Nero reigned thirteen years, eight months, twenty-eight days; Galba, seven months and six days; Otho, five months, one day; Vitellius, seven months, one day; Vespasian, eleven years, eleven months, twenty-two days; Titus, two years, two months; Domitian, fifteen years, eight months, five days; Nerva, one year, four months, ten days; Trajan, nineteen years, seven months, ten days; Adrian, twenty years, ten months, twenty-eight days. Antoninus, twenty-two years, three months, and seven days; Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, nineteen years, eleven days; Commodus, twelve years, nine months, fourteen days.
From Julius Cæsar, therefore, to the death of Commodus, are two hundred and thirty-six years, six months. And the whole from Romulus, who founded Rome, till the death of Commodus, amounts to nine hundred and fifty-three years, six months. And our Lord was born in the twenty-eighth year, when first the census was ordered to be taken in the reign of Augustus. And to prove that this is true, it is written in the Gospel by Luke as follows: And in the fifteenth year, in the reign of Tiberius Cæsar, the word of the Lord came to John, the son of Zacharias. And again in the same book: And Jesus was coming to His baptism, being about thirty years old, and so on. And that it was necessary for Him to preach only a year, this also is written: He has sent Me to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord . This both the prophet spoke, and the Gospel. Accordingly, in fifteen years of Tiberius and fifteen years of Augustus; so were completed the thirty years till the time He suffered. And from the time that He suffered till the destruction of Jerusalem are forty-two years and three months; and from the destruction of Jerusalem to the death of Commodus, a hundred and twenty-eight years, ten months, and three days. From the birth of Christ, therefore, to the death of Commodus are, in all, a hundred and ninety-four years, one month, thirteen days. And there are those who have determined not only the year of our Lord's birth, but also the day; and they say that it took place in the twenty-eighth year of Augustus, and in the twenty-fifth day of Pachon. And the followers of Basilides hold the day of his baptism as a festival, spending the night before in readings.
And they say that it was the fifteenth year of Tiberius Cæsar, the fifteenth day of the month Tubi; and some that it was the eleventh of the same month. And treating of His passion, with very great accuracy, some say that it took place in the sixteenth year of Tiberius, on the twenty-fifth of Phamenoth; and others the twenty-fifth of Pharmuthi and others say that on the nineteenth of Pharmuthi the Saviour suffered. Further, others say that He was born on the twenty-fourth or twenty-fifth of Pharmuthi.
We have still to add to our chronology the following—I mean the days which Daniel indicates from the desolation of Jerusalem, the seven years and seven months of the reign of Vespasian. For the two years are added to the seventeen months and eighteen days of Otho, and Galba, and Vitellius; and the result is three years and six months, which is the half of the week, as Daniel the prophet said. For he said that there were two thousand three hundred days from the time that the abomination of Nero stood in the holy city, till its destruction. For thus the declaration, which is subjoined, shows: How long shall be the vision, the sacrifice taken away, the abomination of desolation, which is given, and the power and the holy place shall be trodden under foot? And he said to him, Till the evening and morning, two thousand three hundred days, and the holy place shall be taken away. Daniel 8:13-14
These two thousand three hundred days, then, make six years four months, during the half of which Nero held sway, and it was half a week; and for a half, Vespasian with Otho, Galba, and Vitellius reigned. And on this account Daniel says, Blessed is he that comes to the thousand three hundred and thirty-five days. Daniel 12:12 For up to these days was war, and after them it ceased. And this number is demonstrated from a subsequent chapter, which is as follows: And from the time of the change of continuation, and of the giving of the abomination of desolation, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days. Blessed is he that waits, and comes to the thousand three hundred and thirty-five days. Daniel 12:11-12
Flavius Josephus the Jew, who composed the history of the Jews, computing the periods, says that from Moses to David were five hundred and eighty-five years; from David to the second year of Vespasian, a thousand one hundred and seventy-nine; then from that to the tenth year of Antoninus, seventy-seven. So that from Moses to the tenth year of Antoninus there are, in all, two thousand one hundred and thirty-three years.
Of others, counting from Inachus and Moses to the death of Commodus, some say there were three thousand one hundred and forty-two years; and others, two thousand eight hundred and thirty-one years.
And in the Gospel according to Matthew, the genealogy which begins with Abraham is continued down to Mary the mother of the Lord. For, it is said, Matthew 1:17 from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David to the carrying away into Babylon are fourteen generations; and from the carrying away into Babylon till Christ are likewise other fourteen generations,— three mystic intervals completed in six weeks.
Chapter 22. On the Greek Translation of the Old Testament
So much for the details respecting dates, as stated variously by many, and as set down by us.
I notice that Clement speaks of 'we' and 'us' as the authors of the chronicle that ends in 192 CE. This 'we' tends to make me suspect that Clement thinks that he and this author belong to the same (Alexandrian) tradition. Indeed how would Clement have gotten a hold of chronology so quickly writing at the start of the reign of Severus? If the experts are right and the second chronicle was written by 'Julius' Cassian how interesting is it to revisit Eusebius's statement that a transition took place around this time at the head of Alexandrian tradition:
Could 'Julian' - a person whom Eusebius tells us absolutely nothing about - be a contraction of '
' a name Eusebius never even so much mentions? Of course obscuring the fact that Julius Cassian - rather than this 'Julian' - was Demetrius's predecessor makes perfect sense. Clement cites Julius Cassian extensively in Book Three of the Stromata without much in the way of introduction. His audience already is well acquainted with who Julius Cassian is. Moreover Julius Cassian's extolling of eunuchs explains why Origen castrated himself in the period before Demetrius took the throne. Eusebius goes to great lengths to avoid tarnishing the reputation of the Alexandrian Church even though other sources like Justin make plain that this church was a center of ritual castration.
But the identification of Julius Cassian as the chronicler also explains Eusebius's evasiveness with respect to the chronicle and the unrest in 202 CE. Clement uses two sources - "Josephus the Jew" and Julius. Could "Judas the Jew" simply be again be another (deliberate) conflation by Eusebius? The idea would certainly be that Julius Cassian was the original Patriarch. The Roman government presumably deposed Julius and put Demetrius in his place (see the History of the Coptic Patriarchs for this intimation). His being deposed might have had something to do with his chronicle. But the unrest that results leads to the persecutions in 202 CE.