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Newton and the Origin of Civilization$
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Jed Z. Buchwald and Mordechai Feingold

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691154787

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691154787.001.0001

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Publication and Reaction

Publication and Reaction

(p.307) 9 Publication and Reaction
Newton and the Origin of Civilization

Jed Z. Buchwald

Mordechai Feingold

Princeton University Press

This chapter considers the events surrounding the publication of Isaac Newton’s The Chronology of Ancient Kingdoms after his death in 1727. Newton’s indictment of Antonio Conti as the false friend, who had betrayed his trust by first allowing his copy of the “Short Chronology” to circulate freely and then by becoming party to its publication, has been generally accepted as accurate. In fact, Newton was not averse to publishing his chronology, nor was he concerned to keep the nature and content of his researches private. Long before Conti’s arrival in England, Newton routinely communicated to friends and acquaintances his evolving opinions regarding ancient history and theology, and no evidence exists to suggest that he imposed the condition of secrecy.

Keywords:   Isaac Newton, The Chronology of Ancient Kingdoms, astronomical chronology, Antonio Conti, ancient history, theology

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