It was at first proposed to give a title-page to this work which would present a general view of its contents. That could be done, it was thought, somewhat after this manner: "Daniel, Darius the Median, and Cyrus the Great; an authentication of Daniel's book, an identification of the Median, an elucidation, in part, of the story of the Great King, and parts of the books of Jeremiah and Ezra; aiming, by information derived from recent researches, and from sources Hebrew Greek, Cuneiform, etc., to bring more clearly into view the general and singular accuracy of the Biblical historical notes, for the period from the fall of Nineveh, B. C. 607, to the reign of Darius the Persian, son of Hystaspes, B. C. 521; with tabulated chronology and related suggestions, geographical, exegetical, etc.; the whole intended as an effort, in its sphere, corrective of some of the errors, oversights, misinterpretations, etc., of former writers, and of the later destructive criticism." The references to authorities need only the statement that R. P. refers to the first series of Records of the Past, and R. P. N. S. to the new or second series, both edited by Professor Sayce.
What was begun simply as a magazine or review article largely outgrew the space usually allotted in such publications.