“It is simply worthy of admiration to follow in various modern works the cautious attempts of both pious Christians and skeptical, albeit very learned men, to draw a line of demarcation between what we are and what we are not to believe, in ancient authors. No credit is ever allowed them without being followed by a qualifying caution.
If Strabo tells us that ancient Nineveh was forty-seven miles in circumference, and his testimony is accepted, why should it be otherwise the moment he testifies to the accomplishment of Sibylline prophecies? Where is the common sense in calling Herodotus the “Father of History”, and then accusing him, in the same breath, of silly gibberish, whenever he recounts marvelous manifestations, of which he was an eye-witness?
Perhaps, after all, such a caution is more than ever necessary, now that our epoch has been christened the Century of Discovery. The disenchantment may prove too cruel for Europe. Gunpowder, which has long been thought an invention of Bacon and Schwartz, is now shown in the school-books to have been used by the Chinese for leveling hills and blasting rocks, centuries before our era.
“In the Museum of Alexandria”, says Draper, “there was a machine invented by Hero, the mathematician, a little more than 100 years B.C. It revolved by the agency of steam, and was of the form that we should now call a reaction-engine….Chance had nothing to do with invention of the modern steam-engine.”
Europe prides herself upon the discoveries of Copernicus and Galileo, and now we are told that the astronomical observations of the Chaldeans extend back to within a hundred years of the flood; and Bunsen fixes the flood at not less than 10,000 years before our era.
Moreover, a Chinese emperor, more than 2,000 years before the birth of Christ (i.e., before Moses) put to death his two chief astronomers for not predicting an eclipse of the sun.”
H. P. Blavatsky