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John Dillery, Clio’s Other Sons: Berossus and Manetho, with an afterword on Demetrius. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, , Pp. Book review of Dillery (J.) Clio’s other sons: Berossus and Manetho, with an afterword on Demetrius. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. An Opportunity: Hellenization and World History. Something obviously very big happened in the history of the world in the Hellenistic period.

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Christian writers after Eusebius are probably reliant on him, but include Pseudo-Justinus 3rd—5th centuryHesychius of Alexandria 5th centuryAgathias —Moses of Chorene 8th centuryan unknown geographer of unknown date, and the Suda Byzantine dictionary from the 10th century. Nothing like these histories had been produced before in these cultures. I want to go back and work on the Greek historian Herodotus, and especially his working methods and assumptions.

Bedossus Pentateuch was written in the third century BCE circa — by the same Jewish scholars who translated the Hebrew text into Greek pp.

Most of the names in his king-lists and most of the potential narrative content have been lost or completely mangled as a result. According to him, all knowledge was revealed to humans by the sea monster Oannes after the Creation, and so Verbrugghe and Wickersham Secondly, he constructed a narrative from Creation to his present, again similar to Herodotus or the Hebrew Bible.

Berossus and Manetho, with an afterword on Demetrius.

An interview with John Dillery, author of Clio’s Other Sons: Berossus and Manetho – Runciman Award

What is left of Berossus’ writings is useless for the reconstruction of Mesopotamian history. From Berossus’ genealogy, it is clear he had access to king-lists in compiling this section of History beroossus, particularly in the kings before the Flood, and from the 7th century BC with Senakheirimos Sennacheribwho ruled both Assyria and Babylon.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Within this construction, the sacred myths blended with history. Berossus’ achievement may be seen in terms of how he combined the Hellenistic methods of historiography and Mesopotamian accounts to form a unique composite. Missing elements beroxsus brackets: But the other forms are also influential and will continue to be so and so they should be.

Berossus’ work was not popular during the Hellenistic period. The primary literary evidence manetoh this late dating comes from two Hellenistic historians, Berossus and Manetho, whom Gmirkin identifies as major figures of influence in the production of the Pentateuch.

University of Michigan Press The Greek text of the Chronicon is also now lost to us but there is an ancient Armenian translation — AD of it, [10] and portions are quoted in Georgius Syncellus ‘s Ecloga Chronographica c. Anr their works are also lost, possibly considered too long, but Eusebius Bishop of Caesaria c.

An excerpt from Clio’s Other Sons: Berossus and Manetho, by John Dillery

This early approach to historiography, amnetho preceded by Hesiod, Herodotus, and the Hebrew Bible, demonstrates its own unique approach. In this volume John Dillery charts the interactions of all these features of these historians. If this, indeed, is what Berossos presumed, he made a mistake that would cost him interested Greek readers who were accustomed to a much more varied and lively historical narrative where there could be no doubt who was an evil ruler and who was not.

Secondly, his material did not include as much narrative, especially of periods with which he was not familiar, even when potential sources for stories were available. The naturalistic attitude found in Syncellus’ transmission is probably more representative of the later Greek authors who transmitted the work than of Berossus himself. The maxims and accompanying epigram were put up in the sanctuary of the city founder, Cineas.

It is suggested that it was commissioned by Antiochus I, perhaps desiring a history of one of his newly acquired lands, or by the Great Temple priests, seeking justification for the worship of Marduk in Seleucid lands. Thus, what little of Berossus remains is very fragmentary and indirect. Gmirkin supposes that Berossus exclusively based his story of creation on Enuma Elish pp. Is this view of history more or less influential today than it was in the Ancient world?


The Church fathers suggested dependence of Berossus on Genesis 1—11, but Hellenistic scholars e. A philosopher brings with him the sacred words of Hellenic wisdom from the very heart of old Greece indeed, its navel: Kraeling agrees with Dillery, however, that Kronos was the only god sending the Flood in Berossus.

New methods, and old ones too, have challenged this view: What we have of ancient Mesopotamian myth is somewhat comparable with Berossus, though the exact integrity with which he transmitted his sources is unknown because much of the literature of Mesopotamia has not survived.

Clio’s Other Sons

Our study of Ancient history is complicated by the lack of written contemporary sources. While Poseidonius’s accounts have not survived, the writings of these tertiary sources do: Vitruvius credits him with the invention of the semi-circular sundial hollowed out of a cubical block. Your book is partly about Hellenisation, the process of diffusion of Greek culture.

Gmirkin rightly stresses the indebtedness of Genesis 1—11 to Mesopotamian sources p. Dillery rightly stresses the Mesopotamian pedigree of such a fish-man sage known as apkallu in Akkadian. Perhaps that works if we see the city at Ai Khanum as an outpost — a sealed off enclave whose Greek inhabitants and visitors merchants? Elsewhere, he included a geographical description of Babylonia, similar to that found in Herodotus on Egyptand used Greek classifications.