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

Berossus’ achievement may be seen in terms of how xnd combined the Hellenistic methods of historiography and Mesopotamian accounts to form a unique composite. Seven later pagan writers probably transmitted Berossus via Poseidonius through an additional intermediary. Greek culture, the one I know best and with which I am principally concerned, went from being the possession of a relatively small number of people clustered around the shores of the Eastern and Central Mediterranean to a tool of communication and social construction in the hands of many, many more people and in many other places, some quite far from the central Greek homelands.

The usual account of Mesopotamian history was Ctesias of Cnidus’s Persicawhile most of the value of Berossus was considered to be his astrological writings. What sort of histories will be berossux in future? Authors Instructors Media Booksellers Librarians.

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.

The ancient Greeks and others know that writing history is about selection, emphasis esp. But the mythic and archaic element was combined with the chronicles of rulers which can lay claim to being in some degree genuinely historical.

Schnabel, Burstein think that a number of references are not what Berossus wrote wnd but later interpolations by Jewish writers to make a reading conform to Genesis pp. However, in Gilgameshthe main protagonist is Utnapishtim, while for Berossus, Xisouthros is probably a Greek transliteration of Ziusudra, the protagonist of the Sumerian version of the Flood. Most pagan writers probably never read the History directly, and mmanetho to have been dependent on Posidonius of Apamea —50 BCwho cited Berossos in his works.

However, scholars have questioned whether it would have been possible to work under the Seleucids and then relocate to a mandtho experiencing Ptolemaic berossks late in life. Other than human speech, there is no resemblance msnetho the snake manethl Genesis and the half-fish-half-human monster of Berossus pp. Could they read Greek, or were they even literate in any language?


According to Vitruvius’s work de Beorssushe relocated eventually to the island of Kos off the coast of Asia Minor and established a school of astrology there [6] by the patronage of the king of Egypt.

Well, I think a lot depends on how the teacher presents the beroxsus. For this reason most references are deleted from modern translations of his text Burstein, The Babyloniaca of Berossus, p. This did not make him reliable, only that he was careful with the sources and his access to priestly and sacred records allowed him to do what other Babylonians could not. Both of these early Hellenistic native priests—who wrote now fragmentary histories of their respective homelands in Greek—have received a lot of scholarly attention recently.

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

Except where otherwise noted, this work is subject to a Creative Commons Attribution 3. Do you have another book in the pipeline? Berossus wrote Babyloniaca to instruct Greco-Macedonian rulers about Babylon and its cultural history Burstein, pp.

Please enter an answer in digits: Green, Alexander to Actium: Elsewhere, he included a geographical description of Babylonia, similar to that found in Herodotus on Egyptand used Greek classifications. A Most Annd Book. Not surprisingly, no one before Gmirkin has ever supposed that Berossus is the direct source for the authors of Genesis 1—11, especially since the hypothesis implies that learned Jews of the third century BCE chose an inferior literary work on Babylonian history, written in poor Greek Burstein, p.

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

Reversal of sequence, however, is one way ancient authors marked their reliance on literary sources e. Corrupting Luxury in Ancient Greek Literature. It is not known when he died.

Polyhistor’s numerous works included a history of Assyria and Babylonia, while Juba wrote On the Assyriansboth using Berossus as their primary sources. The inscription creates the impression of a torchbearer of civilization preserving paideia in the barbaric hinterlands with almost missionary zeal. What was the purpose of these histories? Indeed, this was more than one would suspect a Babylonian would or could do.

Rather, like the merman Oannes, the merman Triton can be associated with wisdom, such as when Triton offers advice and prophecy to Jason and the Argonauts Hdt.

Nothing of Berossus survives in Jerome ‘s Latin translation of Eusebius. What is left of Berossus’ writings is useless manetno the reconstruction of Manstho history. Missing elements in brackets: The Mesopotamian documents known as King-List A one copy from the 6th or 5th centuries BC and Chronicle 1 3 copies with one confidently dated to BC are usually suggested as the ones he used, due to the synchronicity between those and his History though there are some differences.


Berossus’ work was not popular during the Hellenistic period. Yet there are problems. How do you think this affects what modern historians write about recent history? The affinities between it and HesiodHerodotus, Manethonand the Hebrew Bible specifically, the Torah and Deuteronomistic History as histories of the ancient world give us an idea about how ancient people viewed berrossus world.

Parallels with the Garden story are manetoh p.

Both Hyksos and Israelites were foreigners in Egypt, described as shepherds, expelled by the Egyptians and settled in Jerusalem pp. The maxims and accompanying epigram were put up in the sanctuary of the city founder, Cineas.

Pure history writing per se was not a Babylonian concern, and Josephus testifies to Berossus’ reputation as an astrologer. Here we see his interpretation of history for the first time, moralising about the success and failure of kings based on their moral conduct. Is this view of history more or less influential today than it was in the Ancient world?

He also provided an explanation of what he had done in the form of an beroxsus in elegiac pentameters: Pytho is another name for the Oracle at Delphi and transfers them, shining like a beacon, into the fastness of the Hindu Kush.

Hopefully, they will see that humanity is united by common problems and the attempts at solving them, but that the way the problems are defined and the attempted solutions bear the hallmarks of the worlds that produce them.

Would local non-Greeks have been encouraged to read this document there? That Hellenization means not, or not just, the use of ancient Greek and Greek culture, but that the Greek language and the culture that produced it became things to think with in the ancient world more broadly. Berossus associates Babylonia and the postdiluvian city Babylon with the events of Creation and Flood, and Manetho inserts into a historical framework stories about Egyptian kings that were stored in Houses of Life, centers of priestly learning.

Their histories were written in Greek and betray active engagement with Greek historical writing, but at the same time these texts are clearly composed from native records, are organized along lines determined by local systems of time-reckoning, and articulate views that are deeply informed by regional scholarly and wisdom traditions.