I have given you a lot of detail over the last two Nuggets as I have focused on the instrument called the Antikythera Mechanism. A number of my readers have asked what does the word Kythera mean and is it spelt Kythera or Cythera? Well the truth is there are variations on the way the name is spelt. Take your pick between Cythera, Kithira, Kythera or Kythira. All spellings it seems have been used at one time or another. Yes, I know having the prefix anti- attached to the word makes us think that something can be kythera, if it can also be antikythera. As a result of me often giving the meaning of words in Greek or Hebrew in these Gems and Nuggets, you want to know the meaning of the word. The word refers to a place; the name of a place. There is no meaning to the word Kythera that I can find. I did check. But what I did find was that both Kythera and Antikythera are islands off the coast of Southern Greece. I have told you already that the Antikythera Mechanism was so named because it was found in a shipwreck off the coast of Antikythera. I have known about Antikythera for a number of years but I did not know until researching this Mechanism and fielding your questions, that there is also a Greek island called Kythera. In reality it is the other way around. Kythera is 278 sq kms with a population of 3.354; Antikythera is insignificant by comparison at only 20 sq kms with a population of 2,011. The prefix Anti-kythera means in this context:- ‘opposite‘, ‘from‘ or ‘away from‘ the island of Kythera.
Someone asked, so I found out. Now I can get on with what I wanted to tell you. However, all of the above adds to the story. The Antikythera Mechanism was found off the coast of Antikythera Island, a small insignificant island in the Sea of Crete. But this find has led to discoveries of great significance which has shed light on places far beyond Antikythera. One aspect of this whole story that has astounded me more that anything else is the attention and skill of the Ancients applied to their world. I told you in the previous Nugget that those early Greeks in 120 BC made an instrument which gave them the ability to calculate or predict lunar phases, the phases of the constellations in the Zodiac and the timing of the PanHellenic Games, among other things.
- the Saros cycle every 18 years, 11 days and 8 hours
- the Exeligmos cycle every 54 years and 33 days
- the phases of the constellations (Zodiac cycle)
That one fact has set me to pondering. How on earth did these Ancient Greeks, Babylonians and Jews know these things? Look at the information I have included once again above. The Saros cycle was known to the ancient Greeks and Babylonians and possibly used by Thales around 585 BC. Eclipses of the sun and moon can only occur at the time of New or Full Moon respectively and these have to occur close to the nodes of the Moon’s orbit (the apogee and perigee). From that they could work out that the movement of the sun and moon happened in cycles which occurred every 18 years, 11 days and 8 hours. Ponder that first fact as I have been doing. Now add to it the second fact I gave you in the detail above related to the Exeligmos cycle. The Exeligmos cycle is the triple of the Saros Cycle and a more accurate adjustment. Three times 18 years and 11 days is 54 years and 33 days. i.e. the 8 hours are lost. From this observation the Ancients could work out in more detail what was going on around them in the heavens. That is rather mind blowing; it puts us to shame, some of us at least. Those ancient people were intent on finding out about the cycles and the workings of the world around them. I paused to ponder how on earth they did that with limited powers of observation compared with what we have today. How did they observe such repeated patterns spread over 50 years when in period we are talking about, life spans were not as long as they are today?
Their skill of interpreting what they saw amazes me. Yet they got it wrong. For the duration of that time they figured everything moved around the earth. Their perspective was Geocentric; earth was the centre of the universe. Gē is the ancient Greek word for the earth. Gē-ography is the study of the earth. Everything revolves around the earth. That is what the Ancients thought and that is what us Moderns think! Oh not in exactly the same ways, but just as they had their perspective of how things work skewed; so too do we.
Let me now add something else for you to ponder which comes from the above facts I have been thinking about over the last weeks while putting all this together in my mind. Hang on a moment, maybe we have got our perspective skewed yet again! We are told by our wise ones that the earth is not at the centre, but it is perfectly placed to observe the universe. I shared that fact in my Nugget series on The Milky Way: Our Home. We are also told by the THEORY of evolution that it all started with a big bang and our universe is rapidly expanding, exploding outwards. Have you ever stopped to think: how then is it possible for NASA or any other programmes of space exploration to calculate the movements of the planets to even fathom the intricate detail needed to calculate where the moon will be at the end of the flight? How is it possible that the movement of the astronomical bodies in our immediate neighbourhood move in fixed patterns which stay constant? This fact enabled the Ancients to work out the cycles of time and space around them to observe what they saw from an Earth (Gē) perspective.
But if this universe started from a huge explosion and is rapidly dispersing outwards how is all of the above possible? The planetary distances and movements should be increasing accordingly resulting in less predictability. We should not be able to observe cycles much less be able to calculate the cyclic movement of the planets and constellations of stars around us which stay in fixed groupings which stay in fixed cycles – bound constellations and free constellations. Investigate my series of 20 Nuggets on The Message in the Stars. Perhaps the evolutionists are looking with the wrong eyes and not seeing the world around us from the right perspective. This world is not arranged with earth in the centre, nor actually with the sun in the centre but rather with the Son in the centre.
Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation, for through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see—such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through him and for him. He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together.Colossians 1:15-17
Do you see now why everything holds together? Why our part of the universe doesn’t follow the rapid movement outward into chaos? The centre holds because Christ is at the centre. You need a Christo-centric view of the world and the universe.
All that gained from an insignificant little island, 20 square kilometres in size, located in the midst of the Sea of Crete. The very place where all of these phenomena at one time in history were of great significance. How like God to use the insignificant things, places and people.
- Pan Hellenic Games
- The movements in the heavens
- The repeating cycles of the stars and planets
- The Message in the Stars
Let’s gain the right perspective! We are not the centre of it all. Jesus Christ is!