A TIMELINE OF MATTER

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The basic consciousness of matter begins in the western world with the pre-historic recognition of the four states of matter: Fire, Air, Water, and Earth.

In the Enuma Elish, the Sumerian creation epic, "Khubur" is the ocean (Water) encircling the known world, upon which the Earth floats, and beyond which the Sun-God (Fire) pastures his cattle. Heaven (Air) is a solid vault which also rests upon the ocean -- "Ti’amat" (chaos) -- which surrounds and supports it.

Metallurgy : from previous to 6000 BCE copper is smelted from malachite which is found in surface deposits and later mined; copper is molded into many types of household items, cooking vessels and utensils, and tools, but is too soft to hold an edge, and therefore of limited use in the production of weapons. Around 3500 BCE however, a method of strengthening copper is finally discovered: by mixing the molten metal with around 15% molten tin, the alloy called bronze is produced.

"The Bronze Age" begins, which produces not only new household articles and tools, but also the reliable sword blade, so that the technology is founded upon which new military politics and the State are based.

 

The "Precession of the Equinox": During the time of the Roman Republic it was discovered from a review of the earliest Babylonian records that the time of the vernal equinox had shifted earlier in the sideral year from the constellation of Taurus into the sector of Aries. (In modern times it has further shifted into the break between Aries and Pisces.) Higher into the zenith above Aries stands Perseus, depicted in ancient charts of the heavens in the act of slaying Taurus. This is the basis of the Cult of Mithra, the Babylonian name of Perseus, popular among the Roman Legions, as representing a force powerful enough to twist the entire Firmament of the heavens from above the northern axis of the universe.

Lucretius (99-55BC). In Book 2 of his De Rerum Natura, Lucretius discusses the Movements and Shapes of Atoms on the level of the motion of dust observed in a beam of sunlight: "their dancing is an actual indication of the underlying movements of matter that are hidden from our sight; you see many particles under the impact of invisible blows changing their course this way and that in all directions. This movement mounts up from the atoms and gradually emerges to the level of our senses." [cf. Chaos Theory concerning the motions of fluids in closed pipes.]

 

Resources

Henry A. Boorse, Lloyd Motz, Jefferson Hane Weaver, The Atomic Scientists, (John Wiley & Sons, New York, 1989).

J.L.E. Dreyer, A History of Astronomy from Thales to Kepler, (Dover Publications, New York, 1953).

The Oxford Classical Dictionary; Second Edition; Edited by N.G.L. Hammond and H.H. Scullard;(Oxford at the Clarendon Press; Oxford, England; 1970).

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