Phoenix Period

or Cycle, generally supposed to be 500 years; Tacitus tells us it was 250 years; R. Stuart Poole that it was 1,460 Julian years, like the Sothic Cycle; and Lipsius that it was 1,500 years. Now, the phoenix is said to have appeared in Egypt five times: (1) in the reign of Sesostris; (2) in the reign of Am-asis;

(3) in the reign of Ptolemy Philadelphos; (4) a year or two prior to the death of Tiberius; and (5) in A.D. 334, during the reign of Constantine. These dates being accepted, a Phoenix Cycle consists of 300 years: thus, Sesostris, B.C. 866; Am-asis, B.C. 566; Ptolemy, B.C. 266; Tiberius, A.D. 34; Constantine, A.D. 334. In corroboration of this suggestion it must be borne in mind that Jesus Christ, who died A.D. 34, is termed the Phoenix by monastic writers.Tacitus mentions the first three of these appearances. (Annales, vi. 28.)

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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