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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V.] Note on Kalendar of Ancient China. 187

been either too soon or too late, their heads went off
accordingly. No wonder the Chinese men of science
lamented the loss of the Equalizing Quarter.

In these cases however, the suggestion of an Egyptian
origin is only indirect, through that country supplying
the clue which the later nation apparently lost. But
there is another problem to which Professor Legge
invites particular attention, observing that he looks
forward to its solution with no slight interest; and that
is the origin of certain "dissyllables and trissyllables,"
introduced in the place of the days of the month by the
illustrious archaeologist and reviser of the Chinese
Kalendar, Szema Ch'ien, descended of a long line of
imperial historiographers, who wrote towards the close
of the second century B.C. Although all the terms which
Ch'ien uses appear in a rudimentary dictionary of the
time of the Han Dynasty, Professor Legge is strongly of
opinion, or rather entertains no manner of doubt, that
they are of foreign extraction; and he states that a
famous Taoistic scholar, Kwo P'o, who died a.d. 324, put
the terms on one side as incapable of explanation. " A
discovery," the eminent scholar goes on to say, " may be
in store for the explorers in Sanskrit or Assyriology, or
some other Eastern mine. But let it be borne in mind
that the use of the cycle of sixty for the measurement of
days, and possibly for other periods, was long—very
long—anterior to Szema Ch'ien." Now it is a most
singular circumstance, and one which testifies strongly
to the penetration of that eminent scholar, that these
same names when referred to the Coptic or vulgar tongue
of Egypt, not only possess an intelligible meaning, but
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