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struction of their religious monuments.
So the Babylonian or
Sabæan standard may be said to have been universal.
"The measurement of the earth's circumference made at a very remote period by an unknown race, who constructed the great teocalli of Xochicalco, accords with the measurement lately made by the French, if the circumference of the fort equals four thousand metres." 1
"The wandering Masons, who have left traces of their monuments in the four quarters of the world, will be found to have traversed the great Pacific Ocean, made the circuit of the globe, and measured its circumference."?
"The Burmese hyperbolic temples, like the Egyptian and Mexican pyramidal temples, were most probably originally dedicated to the worship of the heavenly bodies.
The Sabæans regarded the pyramidal and hyperbolic temples and the obelisks as the symbols of divinity."
"Religious zeal, so strongly characteristic of the doctrines promulgated in the systems of India and Egypt, was the means of furthering in those regions the extension of geographical knowledge at an epoch long anterior to the date of Christianity. This is evident from the still existing monumental records left by these early missionaries of religion and civilization, the founders of settlements in both hemispheres.
"The ancient missionaries of religion and civilization planted the Babylonian standard with their pyramids and temples in all parts of the globe. It is only by these silent monuments that the ancient missions have been traced, after the
1 John Wilson, The Lost Solar System of the Ancients Discovered, vol. i., p. 381.
lapse of ages, when all other records of their science and history had perished." 1
"The Babylonian standard of these missions has been traced through Asia, Egypt, Phoenicia, and along the Mediterranean coasts." 2
Will the learned Piazzi Smyth be also accused of oddity by the hypercritical Dr. Brinton because he asserts that the builders of the great Egyptian pyramid used as a standard of measures, at least in the king's chamber-the most recondite, mysterious, and, no doubt, sacred spot of the stupendous edifice-the one ten-millionth part of the earth's axis of rotation, instead of the one ten-millionth part of the quadrant of a great circle passing through the poles, as did the Chaldeans and the Mayas?
This selection of the one ten-millionth part of the diameter. on the one hand, and the one ten-millionth part of the arc comprised between the pole and the equator on the other, as standard of lineal measures, proves not only an identity of canons in the astronomical computations of the Egyptians and the Chaldees, but that they had ascertained the size of the earth; and that, if they did not borrow this knowledge one from the other, they had learned it from the same masters, as Mr. John Wilson asserts. Were those masters the Mayas?
Let us hear what Piazzi Smyth says on the subject: "Hence all that we can declare as to the fact is that near the interior of
1 John Wilson, The Lost Solar System of the Ancients Discovered, vol. ii., p. 312.
Their language has also remained. It has been our guide through the present volume. (The author.)
2 John Wilson, The Lost Solar System of the Ancients Discovered, vol ii., p. 239.
a building whose ancient name, it is said, was a division into ten,' there is one typifying, or rather positively illustrating, a division into five.
"The coffer, according to the metrological theory, is founded in part on the one ten-millionth of the earth's axis of rotation.
"This is something suspicious of a connection, especially if divided by the pyramidal ten, but not enough; and on looking round the room, an attentive observer may soon perceive a more striking illustration of the division into five, in that the four walls of the room have each four horizontal joint lines, actually dividing the wall's whole surface into five horizontal stripes or courses.
"Hence the chamber is constructed commensurably to the coffer, and the coffer to the chamber, with fifty and five as the ruling numbers. But there exists even more testimony of this sort, identifying the whole pyramid also with the coffer and its chamber, in a quarter, too, where I had certainly never expected to find anything of the kind; viz., the component course of masonry of the entire building."2
From the foregoing observations by Mr. Piazzi Smyth, it is evident that the Egyptians made use of a decimal system derived from their knowledge of the length of the earth's diameter, just as the Mayas did.
Landa tells us that, in archaic ages, before the occurrence of the event which induced them to alter the basis of their chronological computations and adopt as such the number
1C. Piazzi Smyth, Life and Work at the Great Pyramid, vol. iii., pp.
s Pio Perez, Cronologia Antigua de Yucatan. Apud Landa, Las Cosas de Yucatan, p. 404. Brasseur's publication.
thirteen, they also made use of the decimal system. counted in fives and twenties up to one hundred." Que su cuenta es de Ven V hasta XX, y de XX en XX hasta C."1
Cogolludo, Lizana, Torquemada, in fact, the majority of the chroniclers who have written on the manners and customs of the ancient Mayas, mention this mode of computation by them until that by thirteenths was adopted. Of all these writers Landa alone hints at the cause of this change.
Many a long and senseless discussion, full of profound learning, has been indulged in; many an eloquently written dissertation, replete with more or less specious reasons to show why the wise men of Mayach adopted the number thirteen as a basis for their computations, has been published by erudite professors, each advocating his private opinion with as much ardor as uselessness. And the conclusion? The same, of course, as that reached by that "scientific society on the Stanislaus," whose debate on a certain jaw-bone, whether it was that of a mule or that of an ass, Bret Harte has recounted. All because they never read the book of Landa, or they disdain to believe the relation of a man who was in an exceptional position to learn much concerning the native traditions.
We need not rely altogether on Landa's testimony regarding the use of a decimal system by the Mayas. We find abundant proofs in the ruins of their temples and palaces.
Had the learned Professor of American Archæology of the Pennsylvania University been less grossly ignorant of all things relating to the Mayas, their religious and cosmogonic notions, their scientific attainments, the meaning of their architecture, and their language, he certainly would not have indited such a paper as his "Maya Measures," nor attributed to eccentriLanda, Las Cosas de Yucatan, chap. xxxiv., p. 206.
city my statement that they made use of the metre as a standard of lineal measures.
As to his emphatic assertion that he "does not see from my own measurements that the metre is in any sense a common divisor for them," this is not in the least surprising. He has never personally measured the Maya constructions; he has
never had access to my field notes, or any of the restorations of the buildings made by me from said notes and from the photographs of said edifices made by me in situ. He has only looked superficially at the few plans in my possession when he honored me with his visit; these did not seem to interest him.
The only example of the use of the metre by Maya astron