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16-Nov-2015 22:54

Among the ancient Greek and Roman philosophers there were different opinions and traditions pertaining to the date of the creation.Some philosophers believed the Universe was eternal, and actually had no date of creation. Thereafter, the kingship passed from one to another in unbroken succession ... After the Gods, Demigods reigned for 1,255 years; and again another line of kings held sway for 1,817 years; then came thirty more kings, reigning for 1,790 years; and then again ten kings ruling for 350 years.

Dating creation is the attempt to provide an estimate of the age of the Earth or the age of the universe as understood by various religious traditions.Various traditional beliefs held that the Earth, or the entire Universe, was brought into being in a grand creation event by one or more gods.Once these cultures developed calendars, many began to ponder the question of precisely how long ago this event happened.Most ancient Greek and Roman chroniclers, poets, grammarians, and scholars (Eratosthenes, Varro, Apollodorus of Athens, Ovid, Censorinus, Catullus, and Castor of Rhodes) believed in a threefold division of history: ádelon (obscure), mythikón (mythical) and historikón (historical) periods.Very few ancient Greeks or Romans attempted to date the creation, or beginning of the ádelon (obscure) period.While all ancient sources (excluding Ovid) dated the end of this period and start of the mythical (mythikón) period to 2376–2050 BC, most did not claim to know when the creation (ádelon period) exactly began.

As Censorinus admitted: Varro and Castor of Rhodes also wrote something very similar; however, some ancient Greek and Romans attempted to calculate the date for the creation by using ancient sources or records of mythological figures.

Most ancient Greeks, however, did not subscribe to such a literalist view of using mythology to attempt to date the creation; Hecataeus of Miletus was an early ancient Greek logographer who strongly criticised this method, while Ptolemy wrote of such an "immense period" of time before the historical period (776 BC), and thus believed in a much greater age for the creation.

According to Censorinus (quoting Varro), the second period (mythikón) lasted from 2137 to 776 BC, or if Censorinus' own dates are used: 2376 BC to 776 BC, or finally if Castor's: 2123 BC to 776 BC.

Ovid, however, dated the start of the (mythikón) period to the reign of Inachus, who he dated 400 or so years after the flood of Ogyges, meaning around 1900–1700 BC, but agreed with Varro that the mythikón ended during the first Olympiad (776 BC).

See Ages of Man for more details about Ovid's chronology.

Another ancient date for the start of the mythikón (mythical) period is found preserved in Augustine's City of God xviii.3, which dates it to 2050 BC.