Monday, November 27, 2006

James Bruce finds the Lost Book of Enoch

LEFT: Where Bruce wandered: up the Nile to Ethiopia: This wealthy genius of exploration and science - a six feet four inch, red-headed Scotsman - spent seventeen years in Africa and the Middle East, as a young man. He returned to Europe, with three copies of a "lost" section of the Bible, the Book of Enoch, written Ethiopian. (A copy of the Book of Enoch in Aramic was later found among the Dead Sea Scrolls many years later) Ten years after his return from Ethopia - in 1790 - Bruce published, four large quarto volumes, and a volume of drawings, entitled, Travels to Discover the Source of the Nile, in the years 1768-69-70-71-72-73.By James Bruce of Kinnaird, Esq., F.R.S."

40 years later, British Army uses Bruce' maps: "Sir David Baird, while commanding the British troops embarked on the Red Sea, publicly declared that the safety of the army was mainly owing to the accuracy of Mr Bruce's chart of that sea, which some of the critics of the day ventured to insinuate he had never visited. On this subject Bruce is strikingly corroborated by that well-known traveller, Lieutenant Burnes. In a letter written from the Red Sea, so lately as 1835, he says I cannot quit Bruce without mentioning a fact which I have gathered here, and which ought to be known far and wide in justice to the memory of a great and injured man, whose deeds I admired when a boy, and whose book is a true romance. Lord Valentia calls Bruce's voyage to the Red Sea an episodical fiction, because he is wrong in the latitude of an island called 'Macowar,' which Bruce says he had visited. Now this sea has been surveyed for the first time, and there are two islands called 'Macowar;' the one in latitude 23° 50', visited by Bruce, and the other in latitude 20° 45', visited by Valentia! Only think of this vindication of Bruce's memory! Major Head knew it not when he wrote his Life, and it is worth a thousand pages of defence."

A mighty expedition: Bruce was wealthy and took a large team. He took a huge quadrant which required two teams of men to carry it; and he mapped as he went. Bruce also took with him in his travels a telescope, so large, it required six men to carry it. He assigned the following reason to a friend by whom the anecdote was communicated :-" That, exclusive of its utility, it inspired the nations through which he passed with great awe, as they thought he had some immediate connexion with Heaven; and they paid more attention to it than they did to himself."


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