< 1 of 1 > Back
Postcard of Rules.
© National Museums Scotland


These two rules were made around 1870, probably under instruction of Charles Piazzi Smyth. The upper rule is inscribed 'THE SACRED CUBIT OF NOAH, THE GREAT PYRAMID, MOSES AND SOLOMON', the lower 'Cubit of the Nilometer, or the 'Profane Egyptian Cubit' '.

These two rules demonstrate two different units of measurement believed by Smyth to have been used by the Israelites in Biblical times, and may have been produced as illustrations for lecturing purposes..

The argument surrounding the adoption of an international standard grew very heated. Charles Piazzi Smyth's contribution to it became more muddied as he came to believe that the proportions of the Great Pyramid had been made through Divine intervention. He resigned from the Royal Society of London in 1874 over a controversial paper concerning this which it refused to publish.

Record details

To search on related items, click any linked text below.

Online ID: 000-190-004-750-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  T.1986.L.2.31 B
Date: Around 1870
c. 1870
c. 1870
Material: Wood
Wood. Inscription: Sacred Cubit of Noah
What: Rule, pyramid inch
Ruler scale, cubit
Who: C.P. Smyth (Maker)
C.P. Smyth (Maker)
Description: Two ruler scales of the 'Sacred Cubit of Noah' (25 pyramid inches), with manuscript and printed labels, by C.P. Smyth, c. 1870
Two cylindrical wooden rules of ten and twenty-five pyramid inches, by C.P. Smyth, c. 1870
  • C. Piazzi Smyth, Life and Work at the Great Pyramid, 3 vols., Edinburgh, 1867. 
  • C. Piazzi Smyth, Our Inheritance in the Great Pyramid, 4th edition London, 1880, esp. Part IV More than Science at the Great Pyramid, ch. 16, The Sacred Cubit, pp 331-358. 
  • H.A. Bruck and M.T. Bruck, The Peripatetic Astronomer: the Life of Charles Piazzi Smyth. Bristol, Adam Hilger, 1988, esp. chs. 6 and 7, pp 95-134; resignation from the Royal Society, pp 174-80. 
Related Records:
< 1 of 1 > Back
Powered by Scran