Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote:I'm pretty sure they would have known better than to interpret the Sun's going dark at the crucifixion as an eclipse. A solar eclipse occurs precisely at New Moon, not Full Moon, its exact opposite. ..
The suggestion is in context of the eclipse at the time of the crucifixion being a miraculous, supernatural event, not a natural one.
And then on the day of the passion of our Lord when darkness was upon the universal world, the philosophers that were at Athens could not find in causes natural the cause of that darkness. And it was no natural eclipse, for the moon was then from the sun, and was fifteen days old, and so was in a perfect distance from the sun, and nevertheless an eclipse taketh not away the light in the universal parts of the world, and it may not endure three hours long. And it appeareth that this eclipse took away all the light, by that which S. Luke saith that, our Lord suffered in all his members; and because that the eclipse was in Heliopolis, in Egypt, and Rome and in Greece...
...These be the words of Denis that he wrote in his epistle to Polycarp, and to Apollophanes, saying: We were, we twain, at Heliopolis, and we saw the moon of heaven go disordinately, and the time was not convenable. And yet again from the ninth hour unto evensong time, at the diameter of the sun established above all natural ordinance, that eclipse we saw begin in the east and coming unto the term of the sun. After that returning again, and not purged of that default, but was made contrary after the diameter. Then Denis and Apollophanes went to Heliopolis in Egypt by desire to learn astronomy. And after, Denis returned again. That the said eclipse took away the light from the universal parts of the world, it appeareth that Eusebius witnesseth in his chronicles, which saith that he hath read in the dictes of the Ethnicians that there was in Bithynia, which is a province of Asia the less, a great earth shaking, and also the greatest darkness that might be, and also saith that in Nicene, which is a city of Bithynia, that the earth trembling threw down houses. And it is read in Scholastica Historia that the philosophers were brought to this, that they said that: The God of nature suffered death, or else the ordinance of nature in this world was dissolved, or that the elements lived, or the God of nature suffered, and the elements had pity on him. And it is said in another place, that Denis saith: This night signified that the new very light of the world should come. And they of Athens made unto this God an altar, and set this title thereupon: This is the altar of the God unknown.
end quote: The Golden Legends Vol.5