Berossos and Manetho begins with a general introduction to the cultural history of ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt. It then presents a translation of the only known native narratives, written in Greek, of the histories of these two civilizations. The priest Berossos chronicled the past of ancient Babylon from the mythical creation of the world down to Alexander the Great's conquest in the fourth century b.c.e. For Egypt, the scribe Manetho's list of rulers from the reigns of the gods down to Alexander's conquest remains the basis for the dynastic arrangement of the pharaohs that is still used today.
Berossos and Manetho offers particular emphasis on and discussion of the languages and scripts used to preserve the glorious past of these lands. Each author receives his own special introduction, which describes his life, the sources of his History, the nature and content of his writings, and his goals and accomplishments. There follows a translation of all the surviving ancient information about each author, and of all that can be recovered of his writings. For the first time, Berossos and Manetho--priests and contemporaries who write just when their lands had been pushed into Hellenization--have been translated in one volume.
This volume will appeal to all people interested in ancient Israel, Greek history, and ancient history in general.
Gerald P. Verbrugghe is Associate Professor of History, Rutgers University. John M. Wickersham is Professor of Classics and Classics Department Chairperson, Ursinus College.
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