Adams, Walter M.
The house of the hidden places: a clue to the creed of early Egypt from Egyptian sources — London, 1895

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VJ Note on Kalendar of Ancient China. 183


such a course itself would be a natural continuation of the
course pursued by the ancestors of the Egyptians in their
emigration from Poont in the South.

Far to the Eastward again, a problem, or rather a
whole set of problems, given up for many centuries by
the native archaeologists, receive simple solution when we
apply the same principle to the ancient Kalendar of
China. From a highly interesting paper read in the
Victoria Institute by the Rev. Dr. Legge, University
Professor of Chinese at Oxford, and prince of Sinologists,
we find that after the ninth century before the Christian
era, the Chinese year was divided into periods of sixty
days. These days were expressed in writing by means of
two classes of characters, called respectively the ten
heavenly stems and the twelve earthly branches, which
were taken together in pairs, each branch being taken
with each stem, but the stem always preceding, never
following, the branch; whereby each day of the cycle
was represented by a different pair. And he observes
that the sexagesimal cycle was of extreme antiquity, and
that " how it arose is a mystery ; but that he would
make little account of that if he could tell from whence
the inventors got the component parts, the ten stems and
the twelve branches." But a reference to the far more
ancient Egyptian Kalendar naturally suggests the sexa-
gesimal measure ; while the sixty alternations of light
and darkness which constituted the Egyptian month
easily resolve themselves in foreign hands into a period
of sixty days. Again, the two hieroglyphs which express
the year, the stem ("Se") for its totality, and the
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