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Eusebius of Caesarea: Praeparatio Evangelica (Preparation for the Gospel). Tr. E.H. Gifford (1903) -- Book 10



I. How the serious branches of learning passed from Barbarians to Greeks: also concerning the antiquity of the Hebrews  p. 460 a
II. Of the plagiarism of the Greek writers, from Clement  p. 461 d
III. That the Greeks were plagiarists. From Porphyry, The Lecture on Literature, Bk. i p. 464 a
IV. That, not unreasonably, we have preferred the theology of the Hebrews to the Greek philosophy  p. 468 d
V. That in all things the Greeks have profited by the Barbarians  p. 473 d
VI. On the same subject, from Clement  p. 475 b
VII. On the same subject, from Josephus  p. 477 a  
VIII. Diodorus, the author of the Bibliotheca, on the same subject  p. 480 a
IX. On the antiquity of Moses and the Hebrew Prophets  p. 483 b
X. From Africanus  p. 487 d
XI. From Tatian  p. 491 c
XII. From Clement  p. 496 d
XIII. From Josephus  p. 500 c
XIV. That the times of the Greek Philosophers are more recent than the whole history of the Hebrews  p. 502 c


WE have previously explained for what reasons we (Christians) have preferred the philosophy of the Hebrews to that of the Greeks, and on what kind of considerations we accepted the sacred Books current among the former people; and then afterwards we proved that the Greeks themselves were not ignorant of that people, but mentioned them by name, and greatly admired their mode of life, and have given a long account both of their royal capital, and other matters of their history. Now then let us go on to observe how they not only deemed the record of these things worthy to be written, but also became zealous imitators of the like teaching and instruction in some of the doctrines pertaining to the improvement of the soul.

I shall show then almost immediately how, from various sources, one and another of these wonderful Greeks, by going about among the Barbarians, collected the other branches of learning, geometry, arithmetic, music, astronomy, medicine, and the very first elements of grammar, and numberless other artistic and profitable studies.

In the previous part of my discourse I proved that they had received from Barbarians their opinion concerning a multitude of gods, and their mysteries and initiations, and moreover their histories, and their fabulous stories about gods, and their physical explanations of the fables as expressed in allegory, and the rest of their superstitious error. This, I say, was proved at the time when we convicted the Greeks of having wandered over much of the earth, and then set up their own. theology on all points, not indeed without labour and care, but by contributions from the learning current among Barbarians: and soon it shall be proved that from no other source than from Hebrews only could they have procured the knowledge of the worship of the One Supreme God, and of the doctrines most in request for the benefit of the soul, which of course would also be most conclusive of their discussions on philosophy.

Or otherwise, if any one should say that they were moved to the same conclusions by innate conceptions, even this would be in our favour, that we preferred to be zealous followers of the doctrines delivered not only to Hebrews from the earliest ages by prophets who spake of God, but also, if not to all, yet to some, and those certainly the very men who were greatly renowned in Greece, doctrines carefully examined also in the discussions of the philosophers.

Now these men you would find to be few in number, because all excellence is proverbially difficult to attain; but nevertheless they have been honoured with the first place among the philosophers of Greece, so that through their great fame they overshadow the reputation of their fellows.

But you must not be surprised if we say that possibly the doctrines of the Hebrews have been plagiarised by them, since they are not only proved to have stolen the other branches of learning from Egyptians and Chaldees and the rest of the barbarous nations, but even to the present day are detected in robbing one another of the honours gained in their own writings.

At all events one after another they surreptitiously steal the phrases of their neighbours together with the thoughts and whole arrangement of treatises, and pride themselves as if upon their own labours. And do not suppose that this is my statement, for you shall again hear the very wisest of them convicting one another of theft in their writings.

And this very fact, since we have once mentioned it, we must consider as evidence before all else of the character of the said persons. Our Clement then, in his sixth Miscellany, has arranged the proof of this point at full length: so take and read me his words first, such as the following:


[CLEMENT] 1 'Now after having shown, that the significance of Greek thought was illumined on all sides from the truth bestowed on us through the Scripturess according to the sense which we took in proving that the theft of the truth (if it be not offensive to say so) came home to them; let us proceed to bring forward the Greeks as witnesses of the theft against themselves.

'For they who so openly filch their own works one from another establish the fact that they are thieves, and betray, however unwillingly, that they are secretly appropriating to their own countrymen the truth borrowed from us. For if they do not keep their hands off even from one another, it is not likely that they will from our writers.

'Now of their philosophical doctrines I shall say nothing, since the very men who have divided themselves into sects, confess in writing, in order that they may not be convicted of ingratitude, that they have received the most important of their doctrines from Socrates. But after employing a few testimonies of men familiarly known and renowned among the Greeks, and exposing their style of plagiarism, by dealing with various periods, I shall turn to the subjects next in order.'

After these statements by way of preface, he brings forward his proofs in order, using all kinds of evidence, and calls the poets first to account as having stolen the thoughts from other poets, by a comparison of their respective utterances.

Then next he adds the following:

'In order that we may not allow philosophy, nor history, nor even rhetoric to pass free from the same charge, it is reasonable to bring forward a few passages from them also.' 2

Then he successively compares passages of Orpheus, Heracleitus, Plato, Pythagoras, Herodotus, Theopompus, Thucydides, Demosthenes, Aeschines, Lysias, Isocrates, and ten thousand others, of whose sayings it is superfluous for me to make a catalogue, as the author's work is ready at hand, in which, after the evidences concerning the said authors, he again speaks as follows:

'Let then these specimens of Greek plagiarism in thought suffice, being such as they are, for a clear example to one who has any power of discernment. But further they have been detected not only in filching and paraphrasing the thoughts and the expressions, but, as shall be shown, they have stolen the works of others wholesale, and brought them out as their own; as Eugamon of Cyrene stole the entire book Concerning the Thesprotians from Musaeus.' 3

Clement having afterwards added to these very many proofs of his argument, again at the end makes this addition: 

'Life would fail me, should I attempt to go over in particular detail the proof of the selfish plagiarism of the Greeks, and how they claim as their own the discovery of the noblest doctrines current among them, which they have taken from us.4

'But now they are convicted not only of stealing their doctrines from the Barbarians, but also of copying our records of deeds so wonderfully wrought of old by the divine power through men of holy lives for our study, and exhibiting them in the marvellous stories of Greek mythology.

'And so we shall inquire of them whether these stories which they relate are true or false. False they would not say; for they would not willingly convict themselves of the great folly of recording falsehoods; but they would of necessity confess that they are true.

'But how then do the deeds miraculously exhibited by Moses and the other prophets any longer appear incredible to them? For the Almighty God in His care for all men tries to convert them to salvation, some by commandments, some by threatenings, some by miraculous signs, and some by gentle promises.

'Moreover, once when a drought was for a long time ruining Greece, and a dearth of food prevailed, the Greeks, those of them who were left, it is said, because of the famine came as suppliants to Delphi, and asked the Pythoness how they might be delivered from the danger. And she answered them that there was only one way of escape from the calamity, that they should employ the prayer of Aeacus, So Aeacus was persuaded by them, and went up to the Hellenic Mount, and, stretching out his pure hands to heaven, called upon God as the common Father, and prayed Him to have pity upon Hellas in her distress.

'And while he was yet praying there was a portentous sound of thunder, and all the surrounding air grew clouded, and violent and continuous rains burst forth and filled the whole country. Thence an abundant and rich harvest, produced by the husbandry of the prayers of Aeacus, is brought to perfection. 5

'"And Samuel (says the Scripture) called upon the Lord, and the Lord gave thunder and rain in the day of harvest.6 Seest thou that there is One God, who sendeth rain upon the just and unjust 7 by means of the powers subject to Him? "' And the rest. 

To this Clement subjoined countless instances, and convicted the Greeks of having been plagiarists by indisputable proofs. But if you do not think him trustworthy, inasmuch as he, like us, has himself preferred the philosophy of the Barbarians to that of Greece, well then let him be dismissed, although he conducted his argument not in words of his own, but in those of Greeks themselves. But what would you say. if you should learn the like facts even from your noble philosophers themselves? Listen then to their testimonies also.


[PORPHYRY] 8 'WHEN Longinus was entertaining us in Athens at the banquet in memory of Plato, he had invited among many others Nicagoras the Sophist, and Major, and Apollonius the Grammarian, and Demetrius the Geometer, and Prosenes the Peripatetic, and Callietes the Stoic.

'With these reclined the host himself making seven, and while supper was going on, and some question about Ephorus had arisen among the others, he said, Let us hear what is this clamour about Ephorus? Now the disputants were Caystrius and Maximus: for the latter was for preferring him to Theopompus, while Caystrius called him a plagiarist.

'"For what," said he, "belongs properly to Ephorus, who transfers from the writings of Daimachus, and Callisthenes, and Anaximenes word for word sometimes as much as three thousand whole lines?"

'In answer to whom Apollonius the Grammarian said, "Yes, for you are not aware that even Theopompus, whom you prefer, is infected with the same fault, as having in the eleventh book of his History of Philip copied word for word from the Areopagiticus of Isocrates that famous passage, "that nothing good and nothing evil comes to men quite of itself," 9 and the rest.

'And yet he despises Isocrates, and says that his master was defeated by himself in the contest in honour of Mausolus. Then he has committed a theft of facts, by transferring what he found told of some men to others, that in this way he might also be convicted of falsehood.

'For whereas Andron in The Tripod, writing of the philosopher Pythagoras, had narrated the story of his predictions, and said that once at Metapontium having been thirsty, and having drawn up and drunk water from a certain well, he foretold that on the third day there would be an earthquake. And after adding some other remarks to these, he proceeds:

'"So whereas Andron had told this story concerning Pythagoras, Theopompus filched it all. If he had mentioned Pythagoras, perhaps others also would have known about it, and said, The Master also said that. But now the change of the name has made the plagiarism manifest; for he has made use of the same facts, but substituted another name: and he has represented Pherecydes of Syros 10 as uttering this prediction. 

'And not only by this name does he try to conceal the theft, but also by a change of localities: for the prophecy of the earthquake narrated by Andron as spoken in Metapontium, Theopompus says was uttered in Syria. And the incident about the ship was observed, he says, not from Megara in Sicily, but from Samos: and the capture of Sybaris he has transferred to that of Messene.

'But in order that he might seem to say something more than common, he has also added the name of the stranger, saying that he was called Perilaus." "I too," says Nicagoras, "in reading his Hellenics and Xenophon's, have detected him in transferring many things from Xenophon; and the mischief is that he has changed them for the worse.

'"For instance, the account of the conference of Pharnabazus with Agesilaus through the mediation of Apollophanes of Cyzicus, and their conversations with each other under a truce, which Xenophon in his fourth Book recorded very gracefully and in a manner becoming to both, Theopompus has transferred into the eleventh Book of his Hellenics, and deprived of all vigour, and movement, and effect.

'"For while, in order to hide his theft, he strives to throw in and to display forcible and elaborate language, he appears slow, and hesitating, and procrastinating, and destroys the animation and vigour of Xenophon."

'After Nicagoras had thus spoken, Apollonius said, But what wonder that the vice of plagiarism infected Theopompus and Ephorus, who were merely very dull men, when even Menander was full of this infirmity, though in censuring him Aristophanes the Grammarian, because of his excessive friendship for him, dealt gently in his parallel extracts from him and from those whom he plagiarised. But Latinus in six books, which he entitled Of Menander's Appropriations, exposed the multitude of his plagiarisms.

'In the same way Philostratus of Alexandria began a treatise On the Plagiarism of Sophocles. And Caecilius, thinking that he has discovered something of great importance, says that Menander transcribed a whole drama, The Augur of Antiphaues, from beginning to end, into The Superstitious Man.

'But since, says he, it has seemed good to you, I know not how, to bring forward the plagiarists, I myself also inform against the charming Hyperides as having stolen many things from Demosthenes, both in the speech Against Diondas and in the one Concerning the bribes of Eubulus.

'And that one of them has borrowed from the other is manifest: but as they were contemporaries it must be your task, Apollonius, says he, to track the plagiarist from the dates. Now I suspect that the one who has stolen is Hyperides: but as it is uncertain which it was, I admire Demosthenes, if he borrowed from Hyperides and made appropriate corrections; but I blame Hyperides if he borrowed from Demosthenes, and perverted it for the worse.'

And soon after he says:

'"Why need I tell you, how the Barbarian Customs of Hellanicus is a compilation out of the works of Herodotus and Damastes? Or how Herodotus in his second Book has transferred many passages of Hecataeus of Miletus from the Geography, verbally with slight falsifications, as the account of the bird Phoenix, and of the hippopotamus, and of the hunting of crocodiles?

'Or how the statements in Isaeus concerning torture, in his oration Concerning the inheritance of Cylon, are found also in the Trapeziticus of Isocrates, and in the oration of Demosthenes Against Onetor on an action of ejectment are expressed almost in the same words?

'Or how Dinarchus in his first speech Against Cleomedon in an action for assault has transferred many things word for word from the speech of Demosthenes Against Conon for assault?

'Or how this sentiment of Hesiod's,

"Nought can man better than a good wife win, 
Nor find a worse bane than a vicious shrew,"  11

was borrowed by Simonides in his eleventh Book, who took it thus:

"Of all the prizes man can win, a wife 
If good is best, if evil far the worst." 12

'And by Euripides in Melanippe the Captive:

"For than a bad wife nought can e'er be worse, 
Nor aught excel a virtuous woman's worth; 
But of their natures there is difference great."  13

'And whereas Euripides said:

"A race most wretched we poor women are,"  14

Theodectes says in the Alcmaeon:

"Tis a true proverb in the mouths of men, 
Than woman nought more wretched e'er was born."  15

This author has not only taken the suggestion from that passage, but has also employed the very words; and he craftily preferred to give it a proverbial character, and to employ it as a saying used by many, rather than to seem to have taken it from its original author. 

'Antimachus too steals Homer's verse, and blunders in correcting it. For Homer having said:

"Idas was strongest born of men on earth,"  16

Antimachus says:

"Idas was strongest of all men on earth." 17

And Lycophron praises the alteration on the ground that the line is thereby strengthened. 

'As to Homer's

"Τὸν δ' ἀπαμειβόμενος προσέφη κρείων Διομήδης"

I say nothing, since Homer has been ridiculed in comedy by Cratinus because of his frequent repetition of

"Τὸν δ' ἀπαμειβόμενος"

which, though so trite, Antimachus did not hesitate to borrow. 

'The line,

"The tribes he ruled with mild paternal sway,"  18

is Homer's: and again in another place it is written,

                                           "They on either side 
In closer ranks the deep battalions ranged."  19

But Antimachus, by transferring half-lines, has made the verse

                            "Of all the tribes they ruled 
In closer ranks the deep battalions ranged."  20

'But lest while charging others with plagiarism I should be convicted as a plagiarist myself, I will indicate those who have treated this subject. There are two books of Lysimachus Concerning the Plagiarism of Ephorus. Alcaeus also, the poet of the vituperative Iambics and Epigrams, has detected and parodied the plagiarisms of Ephorus: then there is an epistle of Pollio to Soteridas Concerning the Plagiarism of Ctesias, and a book of the same author Concerning the Plagiarism of Herodotus, and in the book entitled The Searchers there are many statements concerning Theopompus, and there is a treatise of Aretades Concerning Coincidence, from which works one may learn many examples of this kind.'

After other passages he adds: 21

'Prosenes also said, The other plagiarists you have detected: but that even this hero Plato himself, after whom the feast which . we are celebrating to-day is named, makes use of many works of his predecessors (for in his case I feel too much respect to use the term "plagiarism"), this you have not proceeded to discover.

'What say you? said Callietes. I not only say, replied Prosenes, but I also offer the proof of my statement. Now the books of Plato's predecessors are rare: else perhaps one might have detected more of the philosopher's plagiarisms. As to one, however, which I myself lighted upon by chance, in reading the discourse of Protagoras Concerning Being against those who represent "Being " as one, I find him employing answers of the following kind; for I was careful to remember wlfat he said in his very words.'

And after this preface he sets out the proofs at large.

But I think that out of numberless examples those which have been mentioned are sufficient to show what was the character of the Greek writers, and that they did not spare even the exposure one of another. Yet in farther preparation for showing the benefit which has overflowed to the Greeks from the Hebrew Scriptures, I think it will be right and necessary for me to prove generally that all the celebrated learning and philosophy of the Greeks, both their elementary studies, and their grand system of logical science, have been collected by them from Barbarians, so that none of them may any longer lay blame upon us, because forsooth we have preferred the religion and philosophy of the Barbarians to their grand doctrines.


You may judge that not without sound reason have we given a secondary place to the doctrines of the Greek philosophy, and preferred the theology of the Hebrews, when you learn that even among the Greeks themselves those who have most of all treated philosophy correctly, and thought out something more and better than the vulgar talk about the gods, have discovered no other true doctrines than those which had received a previous sanction among the Hebrews.

For some of them, being carried away hither and thither by various false opinions, were driven about into an abyss of idle prating; while others, who have in some degree employed candid reasoning, have shown themselves partakers in the teaching of the Hebrews in those points wherein they attained to the conception of the truth.

It is probable at all events that having become very learned, and having curiously investigated both the customs and the learning of the nations, they were not unacquainted with the philosophy of the people just mentioned, being younger in time, so to speak, than all men, not Hebrews only, nor yet Phoenicians and Egyptians only, but also than the ancient Greeks themselves.

For these ancients some doctrines derived from Phoenicia were arranged by Cadmus son of Agenor; and others concerning the gods from Egypt or elsewhere, mysteries and rites, the setting up of statues, and hymns, odes, and epodes, either by the Thracian Orpheus, or some other Greek or Barbarian, who became their leaders in error: for the Greeks themselves would acknowledge that they know no men more ancient than these.

They say at least that Orpheus nourished first of all, then Linus, and afterwards Musaeus about the time of the Trojan war, or a little before. But certainly in their time nothing more than the theology of the Phoenicians and Egyptians, with its manifold errors, had a home among the Greeks.

Moreover, among the other nations, in all countries and cities, these very doctrines and others similar to them were carefully observed in sacrifices and mysteries. At all events, the aforesaid doctrine concerning the gods largely prevailed among all mankind: and very beautiful shrines were everywhere furnished and adorned with all kinds of statues and offerings: moreover, images of all kinds of material were moulded into every form of mortal animals and tastefully finished.

And further, there was among them all a manifold and profuse abundance of oracles. Indeed a certain god especially revered and mighty among the Greeks was at that time most nourishing, the Pythian, Clarian, and Dodonaean god: and then Amphiaraus, and Amphi-lochus, and after these flowed on a countless multitude of soothsayers rather than of poets and rhapsodists.

But at length, long ages after them, philosophy arrived among the Greeks, and found among their forefathers nothing that properly belonged to herself, but discovered that the sanctities and antiquities of the theology which had come to them from their fathers, and even the marvellous and universally famous divinities and oracles, were in reality superfluous and unprofitable.

Wherefore she proceeded to put these back into a secondary place, as they could not be of any use to her for the discovery of things necessary and true: and thenceforth, as one naked and destitute of any reasonings or learning of her own, she went about examining the foreign and barbarous systems, and providing, collecting, and borrowing what was useful to her from all sides, whatever she found among the several nations.

For indeed she began to discover that not only the true theology was lacking to the Greeks, but also the most useful in daily life of all the other arts and sciences. Indeed the Greeks themselves confess that it was after Orpheus, Linus, and Musaeus, the most ancient of all their theologians and the first to introduce among them the error of polytheism, that their seven men whom they surnamed Sages were celebrated for wisdom. And these nourished about the time of Cyrus king of Persia.

Now this was the time in which the very latest of the Hebrew prophets were prophesying, who lived more than six hundred years after the Trojan war, and not less than fifteen hundred years after the age of Moses: and this will be manifest to you when presently going through the records of the chronology.

Born somewhere about this recent period the Seven Sages are remembered for a reform of moral conduct, but nothing more is recorded of them than their celebrated maxims. But somewhat late, and lower down in time, the philosophers of the Greeks are reported to have flourished.

First among these Pythagoras the pupil of Pherecydes, who invented the name 'philosophy,' was a native, as some say, of Samos, but according to others of Tyrrhenia; while some say that he was a Syrian or Tyrian, so that yon must admit that the first of the philosophers, celebrated in the mouth of all Greeks, was not a Greek but a Barbarian.

Pherecydes also is recorded to have been a Syrian, and Pythagoras they say was his disciple. He is not, however, the only teacher with whom, as it is said, Pythagoras was associated, but he spent some time also with the Persian Magi; and became a disciple of the Egyptian prophets, at the time when some of the Hebrews appear to have made their settlement in Egypt, and some in Babylon.

In fact the said Pythagoras, while busily studying the wisdom of each nation, visited Babylon, and Egypt, and all Persia, being instructed by the Magi and the priests: and in addition to these he is related to have studied under the Brahmans (these are Indian philosophers); and from some he gathered astrology, from others geometry, and arithmetic and music from others, and different things from different nations, and only from the wise men of Greece did he get nothing, wedded as they were to a poverty and dearth of wisdom: so on the contrary he himself became the author of instruction to the Greeks in the learning which he had procured from abroad.

Such then was Pythagoras. And first in succession from him the so-called Italian philosophy was formed, which derived its title to the name from its abode in Italy: after this came the Ionic school, so called from Thales, one of the seven Sages: and then the Eleatic, which claimed as its founder Xenophanes of Colophon. '

Even Thales, however, as some relate, was a Phoenician, but as others have supposed, a Milesian: and he too is said to have conferred with the prophets of the Egyptians.

Solon also who was himself one of the Seven Sages, and is said to have legislated for the Athenians, is stated by Plato to have resorted in like manner to the Egyptians, at the time when Hebrews were again dwelling in Egypt. At least he introduces him in the Timaeus as receiving instruction from the Barbarian, in the passage where the Egyptian says to him, 'O Solon, Solon, you Greeks are always children, and there is not one old man among the Greeks, .... nor is there among you any learning grown hoary with time.'   22

This same Plato, too, after having attended the teaching of the Pythagoreans in Italy, was not contented with his studying with them only, but is said to have sailed to Egypt and devoted a very long time to their philosophy. This testimony indeed he himself bears to the Barbarians in many passages of his own discourses, and therein, I think, does well, and candidly confesses that the noblest doctrines are imported into philosophy from the Barbarians. Accordingly in many places, and especially in the Epinomis, you may hear him mentioning both Syrians and Egyptians in the following manner:

[PLATO] 23 'The cause of this is that he who first observed these phenomena was a Barbarian: for it was a very ancient region which bred those who first took notice of these things because of the beauty of the summer season, which both Egypt and Syria fully enjoy. . . . Whence the knowledge has reached to all countries, including our own, after having been tested by thousands of years and time without end.'

And lower down he next adds:

'Let us take it then that, whatever Greeks may have received from Barbarians, they work out and finish it with greater beauty.' 24

So says Plato. But Democritus also, still earlier, is said to have appropriated the ethical doctrines of the Babylonians. And somewhere, boasting about himself, he says:

[DEMOCRITUS] 25 'But of the men of my time I have wandered over the most land, investigating the most distant parts, and have seen the most climates and soils, and listened to the greatest number of learned men, nor did any one ever yet surpass me in the construction of lines accompanied by demonstration, nor yet those Egyptians who are called Arpedonaptae, for all which purposes I passed as much as five years in foreign lands.'

For this man also visited Babylon, and Persia, and Egypt, and was a disciple of the Egyptians and their priests.

What if I were to count up to you Heracleitus and all the other Greeks, by whom civil life among the Greeks is proved to have been left for long ages very poor, and devoid of all learning.

It was embellished indeed with temples of the gods, and images and statues, and prophecies and oracles, and the manifold pomp of the fraudulent daemons, but of true wisdom and of useful science it was utterly destitute.

Nor did their useless oracles contribute aught to the discovery of good counsels: but even their wonderful Pythian god did not help them at all in philosophy, nor did any other deity assist them in the pursuit of any needful good. But wandering hither and thither, and running about all their life they bedecked themselves, according to the fable, with borrowed plumes; so that now their whole philosophy consisted of what they begged.

For by copying different sciences from different nations, they got geometry from the Egyptians, and astrology from the Chaldeans, and other things again from other countries; but nothing among any other nations like the benefit which some of them found from the Hebrews.

For this was the knowledge of the God of the universe, and the condemnation of their own gods, which our argument as it proceeds a little farther will prove.

But thus much at present it indicates to the readers, that the ancient Greeks were destitute not only of true theology, but also of the sciences which are profitable to philosophy; and not of these only, but also of the common habits of civil life.

And I believe that this indication will assist me in the demonstration of the object which I have proposed; inasmuch as my proposal is to uphold the plea, that we have not unreasonably preferred the theology of the Hebrews, and that of the Barbarians, as they would call it, to the philosophy of the Greeks.

If then it should be seen they have themselves gathered it all long before from Barbarians, and have received from their own gods no help at all in philosophy, but have even found fault justly with their gods; and if some of them for these reasons have preferred atheism to the worship of the gods, then what right have they any more to find fault with us, instead of welcoming and commending us, because from having loved the better part, or rather from having found and recovered that which alone is true, we have withdrawn from the falsehood, without either turning round like the wise men of the Greeks to atheistic reasoning, or on the other hand mixing up the error of polytheism with the knowledge of the Supreme God, in a similar way to their admirable philosophers, nor yet have confused the falsehood with the truth?

Let us not, however, discuss these points yet, but first let me ask you to consider those proofs by which, the Greeks are convicted of having stolen everything from Barbarians, not only their philosophical science, but also the common inventions which are useful in daily life.


FIRST therefore he who introduced to the Greeks the common letters, even the very first elements of grammar, namely Cadmus, was a Phoenician by birth, from which circumstance some of the ancients have surnamed the alphabet Phoenician.

But some say that the Syrians were the first who devised letters. Now these Syrians would be Hebrews who inhabited the neighbouring country to Phoenicia, which was itself called Phoenicia in old times, but afterwards Judaea, and in our time, Palestine. And it is evident that the sound of the Greek letters is very closely connected with these.

For example, each letter among the Hebrews has its name from some significant idea, a circumstance which it is not possible to trace among the Greeks: on which account especially it is admitted that the letters are not originally Greek.

Now the Hebrews have in all twenty-two letters: of which the first is 'Alph,' which translated into the Greek language would mean 'learning': and the second 'Beth,' which is interpreted 'of a house': the third is 'Gimel,' which is 'fullness': the fourth 'Delth,' which signifies 'of tablets': the fifth 'He,' which is 'this.' And all these together make up a meaning of this kind, 'Learning of a house, fullness of tablets this.'

Then after these is a sixth letter called among them 'Wau,' which is 'in it': then 'Zai',' which is 'liveth': after which comes 'Heth,' which is 'the living': that the whole may be 'in it liveth the living.'

After these a ninth letter, 'Teth,' which is 'good': then 'Yoth,' which is interpreted 'beginning'; the two together, 'good beginning.' After these 'Chaph,' which is 'nevertheless': then 'Labd,' which is 'learn': the whole being 'nevertheless learn.'

'After these is a thirteenth letter 'Mem,' which is 'from them': then 'Nun,' which is 'eternal.' Then 'Samch,' which is interpreted 'help': that the meaning may be, 'from them eternal help.'

After these is 'Am,' which being translated signifies 'fountain,' or 'eye': then 'Phe,' 'mouth.' Then next 'Sade,' 'righteousness': of which the meaning is 'fountain (or 'eye') and mouth of righteousness.'

After these is a letter 'Koph,' which is interpreted 'calling': then 'Res,' which is 'head': and after these 'Sen,' which is 'teeth': last of all the twenty-second letter is called with them 'Thau,' which means 'signs.' And the sense would be, 'calling of the head, and signs of the teeth.'

Among the Hebrews such is the paraphrase and interpretation of the letters, making up a meaning in words appropriate to the learning and promise of the letters. But the like you cannot find among the Greeks, whence, as I said, it must be acknowledged that they do not belong originally to the Greeks, but have been imitated directly from the language of the Barbarians.

This is also proved from the very name of each letter. For in what does 'Alpha' differ from 'Alph'? Or 'Beta' from 'Beth'? Or 'Gamma' from 'Gimel'? Or: Delta' from 'Delth'? Or 'Epsilon' from 'He'? Or 'Zeta' from 'Zai'? Or 'Theta' from 'Teth'? And all the like cases.

So that it is indisputable that these names belong not originally to the Greeks: therefore they belong to the Hebrews, among whom each of them shows some signification. And having originated with them the letters passed on to other nations, and so to the Greeks. About the letters of the alphabet I have said enough: but you must hear also what Clement says in dealing with the subject before us.


[CLEMENT] 26 'THE healing art is said to have been invented by Apis the Egyptian . . . and afterwards improved by Aesculapius. Atlas the Libyan was the first who built a ship, and sailed the sea. . . .

'Astrology also was first made known among men by the Egyptians and Chaldeans. . . . Some, however, say that prognostication by the stars was devised by the Carians. The Phrygians were the first to observe the flights of birds.

'The inspection of sacrificial victims was accurately practised by the Tuscans who border on Italy. The Isaurians and Arabians perfected augury, and the Telmessians, doubtless, divination by dreams.

'The Tyrrhenians invented the trumpet, and Phrygians the flute; for both Olympus and Marsyas were Phrygians. . . . The Egyptians again first taught men to burn lamps, and divided the year into twelve months, and forbade intercourse with women in temples, and enacted that none should enter temples after intercourse without bathing.

'The same people again were the inventors of geometry. . . . Kelmis and Damnameneus, the Idaean Dactyls, first discovered iron in Cyprus. And the tempering of bronze was invented by Delas, another Idaean, or, as Hesiod says, a Scythian. 'Certainly Thracians were the first who invented the so-called scimitar, which is a curved sword, and they first used targes on horseback: in like manner the. Illyrians invented the so-called targe (πέλτη). Further they say that the Tuscans invented the art of moulding clay: and Itanus, who was a Samnite, fashioned the long shield.

'Cadmus the Phoenician invented stone-cutting, and discovered the gold mines near Mount Pangaeus. Moreover another nation, the Cappadocians, first invented the so-called "nabla," as the Assyrians the lyre of two strings.

'The Carthaginians were the first to fit out a quadrireme, and it was built off hand by Bosporus. Medea of Colchis, the daughter of Aeetes, first devised the dyeing of the hair.

'The Noropes (a Paeonian tribe, now called Noricum) worked copper, and were the first to refine iron. Amyous, the king of the Bebryces, invented boxing-thongs.

'With regard to music, Olympus the Mysian was fond of practising the Lydian harmony: and the so-called Troglodytes invented a musical instrument, the sambuca.

'They say also that the slanting pipe was invented by Satyrus the Phrygian, and in like manner the trichord, and the diatonic harmony by Hyagnis who also was a Phrygian: notes likewise by Olympus the Phrygian; as the Phrygian harmony and the Mixo-Phrygian, and the Mixo-Lydian by Marsyas, fellow countrymen of those just named: and the Dorian was invented by Thamyris the Thracian.

'We have heard too that the Persians were the first who made a carriage, and couch, and footstool, and that the Sidonians first built a trireme. The Sicilians who are close to Italy were the first to invent a lyre, not far inferior to the harp, and devised castanets.

'Robes of fine linen are said to have been invented in the time of Semiramis, queen of the Assyrians: and Atossa who reigned over the Persians is said by Hellanicus to have been the first to use folded letters.

'These things then were related by Scamon of Mitylene, and Theophrastus of Ephesus, and Cydippus of Mantinea, also by Antiphanes, and Aristodemus, and Aristotle, and besides these by Philostephanus, and Straton the Peripatetic in the books Concerning Inventions. And I have quoted a few of them in confirmation of the inventive and practical genius of Barbarians, from whom the Greeks have received the benefit of their institutions.'

These things Clement states in these very words in the Miscellanies. And to what has now been mentioned I think it well to append also the extracts from the writing of Josephus the Hebrew, which he composed in two books, Of the Antiquity of the Jews, on the point that the Greeks are a young nation, and have received help from the Barbarians, and have dissented from each other in their writings. This too will contribute to the accurate and sure confirmation of my statements. Hear therefore what he also writes, word for word.


[JOSEPHUS] 27 'MY first thought then is of utter astonishment at those who think it right to attend to none but Greeks concerning the most ancient facts, and to seek to learn the truth from them, but to disbelieve us and the rest of mankind.

'For I see that the very opposite is the case, if at least we are not to follow vain opinions, but draw the just conclusion from the facts themselves. For you will find all things among the Greeks to be recent, having come into existence, as one might say, yesterday or the day before; I mean the foundation of their cities, and their invention of the arts, and the registration of their laws: and the writing of their histories is almost the latest object of their attention.

'Doubtless, however, they themselves admit that the most ancient and most constant traditional record is that of the events which have occurred among the Egyptians, and Chaldeans, and Phoenicians (for at present I omit to include ourselves with these).

'For they all inhabit regions which are least subject to destruction from the surrounding atmosphere, and have taken much care to leave none of the facts of their history unrecorded, but to have all continually enshrined by their wisest men in public registers.

'But the region about Greece has been invaded by thousands of destructive plagues, which blotted out the memory of past events: and as they were always setting up new modes of life, they each of them supposed that their own was the beginning of all.

'Tardily and painfully they learned the nature of letters. Those at least who assign the greatest antiquity to their use of them boast of having learned it from the Phoenicians and Cadmus.

'Nevertheless no one could show any record that is preserved even from that time either in temples or on public monuments: seeing that there has been great doubt and inquiry, whether even those who so many years later went on the expedition to Troy, made use of writing; and the true opinion is rather that they were ignorant of the use now made of written letters.

'In short, there is no undisputed writing found among the Greeks older than Homer's poetry: and he was evidently later than the Trojan war. They say too that even he did not leave his poetry in writing, but that it was transmitted by memory and afterwards put together from the songs, and that this is the cause of its many discrepancies.

'Those, however, among them who undertook to write histories ----I mean Cadmus of Miletus and Acusilaus of Argos, and any others who are said to have come after him----lived but a short time before the expedition of the Persians against Greece.

'Moreover all with one voice acknowledge, that the first among the Greeks who philosophized about things celestial and divine, as Pherecydes the Syrian, and Pythagoras, and Thales, got their learning from Egyptians and Chaldeans, and wrote but little: and these writings are thought by the Greeks to be the oldest of all, and they do not quite believe that they were written by those authors.

'Is it not then necessarily unreasonable for the Greeks to have been puffed up, as though they alone understood the events of early times, and handed down the truth concerning them correctly? Or who could not easily learn from the same historians, that they had no certain knowledge of anything which they wrote, but gave each their own conjectures about the facts?

'Accordingly in their books they frequently refute one another, and do not hesitate to make the most contrary statements concerning the same events. But it would be superfluous labour for me to teach those who know better than myself on how many points Hellanicus has dissented from Acusilaus in regard to the genealogies, and how often Acusilaus sets Hesiod right; or in what fashion Ephorus exposes Hellanicus as making very many false statements, and Ephorus is exposed by Timaeus, and Timaeus by those who came after him, and Herodotus by them all.

'Nor did Timaeus deign to agree with Antiochus and Philistus or Callias about Sicilian history, nor again have the authors of Athenian histories followed each other's statements about the affairs of Attica, nor the historians of Argos about the affairs of Argolis.

'And why need I speak about the smaller affairs of the several states, seeing that the most celebrated authors have disagreed about the Persian invasion and the events which happened therein? And on many points even Thucydides is accused by some of falsehood, although he is thought to write the history of his own time with the greatest accuracy.

'Now of dissension such as this many other causes might perhaps be brought to light by those who wish to seek for them; but I myself attach the greatest importance to two causes which shall now be set forth.

'And I will mention first that which seems to me to be the more decisive. For the fact that from the beginning there was no zealous care among the Greeks to have public records kept of contemporary events----this most of all was the cause of error, and gave impunity for falsehood to those who afterwards wished to write about ancient history.

'For not only among the other Greeks was the care of the records neglected, but even among the Athenians themselves, who are said to be aborigines and studious of culture, nothing of this kind is found to have been done: but the oldest of their public records they say are the laws about murder written for them by Draco, a man born a little before the tyranny of Peisistratos.

'What need is there to speak of the Arcadians, who boast of antiquity? For they even at a later period were scarcely instructed in the use of letters.

'Inasmuch therefore as no record had been published, which would have taught those who wished to learn, and convicted those who were guilty of falsehood, there ensued the great disagreement of the historians among themselves.

'But besides this there is that other second cause to be assigned. For those who set themselves to write made no serious study of the truth----although they have always this profession ready at hand----but tried to display their power of language; and adapted themselves to any style in which they thought to surpass the rest in reputation on this point; and some of them turned to writing mythical tales, and some, to gain favour, took to eulogizing cities or kings; while others had recourse to censuring men's actions or those who had described them, thinking that they should gain reputation herein.

'In short they are constantly doing what is of all things the most contrary to history. For it is a test of true history, whether all spake and wrote the same accounts of the same events; but these men imagined that if they wrote different accounts from others, they should thus appear to:be themselves;most truthful of all.'

So much, says Josephus. And these statements may be confirmed by the testimony of Diodorus, which I shall quote from the first Book of the Bibliotheca compiled by him, and which is word for word as follows:


[DIODORUS] 28 'AFTER having thoroughly explained these points, I must state how many of those who have been famed among the Greeks for intelligence and culture made a voyage to Egypt in ancient times, in order that they might gain some knowledge of its customs and culture.

'For the priests of the Egyptians report from the records in their sacred books that they were visited by Orpheus, and Musaeus, and Melampus, and Daedalus, and besides these by the poet Homer, and Lycurgus the Spartan; also by Solon the Athenian, and Plato the philosopher; and that there came also Pythagoras of Samos, and Eudoxus the mathematician, Democritus of Abdera also, and Oenopides of Chios.

'And as evidences of all these they point to the images of some, and the names of places or buildings called after others. Also from the branch of learning studied by each the priests bring proofs of the fact that they had brought over from Egypt everything whereby they gained admiration among the Greeks.

'Thus Orpheus, they say, brought away from the Egyptians most of the mystic rites, and the orgiastic celebration of his own wandering, and the fable concerning those in Hades. For the rite of Osiris is the same as that of Dionysus: and that of Isis is very similar to that of Demeter, with only the change of names. And the punishments of the ungodly in Hades, and the meadows of the godly, and the making of moulded images (of the shades) common among the multitude he is said to have introduced in imitation of the Egyptian customs in regard to burial.

'For Hermes the conductor of souls, according to the ancient custom among the Egyptians, having brought up the body Of Apis to a certain place gives it over to him who wears the face of Cerberus. And after Orpheus had made this known among the Greeks, Homer, it is said, following him wrote in his poem:

''Cyllenian Hermes waved his golden wand, 
And summoned forth the souls of heroes slain."'  29

Then again farther on he adds:  30

'They say that Melampus brought from Egypt the customary rites performed in honour of Dionysus among the Greeks, and the mythological tales concerning Kronos, and those concerning the war of the Titans, and the entire history of the sufferings of the gods.

'Daedalus, it is said, imitated the winding of the labyrinth which remains up to the present time, but was built, as some say, by Mendes, or, as others say, by king Marus many years before the reign of Minos: the proportion too of the ancient statues in Egypt is said to be the same with that of the statues made by Daedalus in Greece.

'Daedalus was also said to have been the architect of the very beautiful vestibule of Hephaestus in Memphis, for which he was admired, and received a wooden statue in the said temple, wrought by his own hands. And at last being held in great honour for his genius, and having made many more discoveries, he received divine honours. For in one of the islands near Memphis there is still a temple of Daedalus venerated by the inhabitants.

'Of Homer's visit to Egypt they bring forward among other proofs especially the drugging of Telemachus by Helen in the house of Menelaus, and his oblivion of the evils that had befallen him.31 For it is evident that the poet had carefully examined the soothing drug which he says that Helen had obtained from Egypt, from Polydamna the wife of Thon.

'Even at the present time they still say that the women in this country use the same medicine, and they assert that a remedy for anger and sorrow has been discovered from ancient times among the women of Diospolis only: and that Thebes and Diospolis are the same city: also that among the inhabitants Aphrodite is called the "golden" from an ancient tradition, and that near the city named Momemphis there is a so-called "plain of golden Aphrodite."

'Also the mythical tales concerning Zeus and Hera and their intercourse, and their travelling to Ethiopia, Homer is said to have brought thence. For among the Egyptians, year by year, the shrine of Zeus is carried across the river into Libya, and after some days it returns again, as if the god were come from Ethiopia: and that the intercourse of these deities takes place when at their festivals both their shrines are carried up into a mountain crowned with all kinds of flowers by the priests.

'They say that Lycurgus also, and Plato, and Solon, inserted many of the customs of Egypt in, their codes of law, and that Pythagoras learned from the Egyptians the doctrines of the Sacred Word, and the theories of geometry, and the science of numbers, and besides these the migration of the soul into every kind of animal.

'They suppose also that Democritus spent five years among them, and was taught many of the principles of astrology; and that Oenopides in like manner lived with the priests and astrologers and learned, among other things, that the sun's orbit has an oblique path, and that he is carried in the opposite direction to the other heavenly bodies.

'In like manner also it is said that Eudoxus studied astrology with them, and published much useful information to the Greeks, whereby he acquired a notable reputation.

'And of; all the ancient statuaries those whose names are most widely known had sojourned with them, Telecles and Theodorus the sons of Rhoecus, who had -made the statue of the Pythian Apollo for the Samians.'

Thus far Diodorus. But here I must let this argument, with such proof as has been given, come to an end. Henceforth then we ought not to be charged with unreasonableness, if in our desire for the true religion we have ourselves resorted to the teachers of the wise Greeks and even of their philosophers, I mean the Barbarians, if at least the Hebrews, are Barbarians.

Now it would be well to examine their chronology, I mean the dates at which Moses and the prophets after him nourished: since this would be one of the most conclusive evidences for the argument before us, that before dealing with the learned men among the people we should first decide about their antiquity; in order that, if the Greeks should be found to hold the same doctrines with the prophets and theologians of the Hebrews, you may no longer be in doubt who were likely to have borrowed from the others; whether the elder from the younger, Hebrews from Greeks, and Barbarians from philosophers, whose language even they were not likely to understand; or, what is more likely, that the younger borrowed from, the elder, and that those Greeks who had most busily studied the history of the various nations were not unacquainted with the writings of the Hebrews, which had been long before translated into the Greek language.


WITH regard to Moses and the antiquity of the prophets who came after him, very many others have carefully laid down the evidence in their own writings, from which I shall presently make some few quotations.

But I myself shall take a more novel course than the said authors, and shall adopt the following method. As there is an acknowledged agreement between the times of the Roman emperor Augustus and the birth of our Saviour, and as Christ began to teach the gospel in the fifteenth year of Tiberius Caesar, any one who may choose to count up the number of the years from this point proceeding to the earlier times, until Darius king of the Persians, and the restoration in his time of the temple in Jerusalem, which took place after the return of the Jewish nation from Babylon, will find that from Tiberius to the second year of Darius there are five hundred and forty-eight years.

For the second year of Darius coincides with the first year of the sixty-fifth Olympiad: and the fifteenth of the reign of Tiberius at Rome falls in with the fourth year of the two hundred and first Olympiad,

The Olympiads therefore between Darius the Persian and Tiberius the Roman emperor are a hundred and thirty-seven, which make up a period of five hundred and forty-eight years, four years being counted to the Olympiad.

But since the seventieth year of the desolation of the temple in Jerusalem was in the second year of Darius, as the records of Hebrew history show, if we run back from this point again, from the second year of Darius to the first Olympiad there would be made up two hundred and fifty-six years, sixty-four Olympiads: and the same you would find to be the number of years from the last year of the desolation of the said temple going back to the fiftieth year of Uzziah king of Judah, in whose time prophesied Isaiah and Hosea, and all who were contemporary with them. So that the first Olympiad of the Greeks falls in with the time of the prophet Isaiah and his contemporaries.

Again, going back from the first Olympiad to the previous times as far as the capture of Troy, you will find a sum of four hundred and eight years, as contained in the chronological records of the Greeks.

And according to the Hebrews, from the fiftieth year of Uzziah king of Judah going back to the third year of Labdon as judge of Israel, you will make up the same number of years, four hundred and eight; so that the capture of Troy was in the times of Labdon the judge, seven years before Samson ruled over the Hebrews, who is said to have been irresistible in strength of body, like the famous Hercules among the Greeks.

If from this point also you go back to the earlier generations, and count up to yourself four hundred years, you will find among the Hebrews Moses, and among the Greeks Cecrops the earthborn.

Now the history of the events so celebrated among the Greeks is later than the times of Cecrops. For after Cecrops comes the deluge in the time of Deucalion, and the conflagration in the time of Phaethon, and the birth of Erichthonius, and the rape of Persephone, and the mysteries of Demeter, the establishment of the Eleusinian mysteries, the husbandry of Triptolemus, the abduction of Europa by Zeus, the birth of Apollo, the arrival of Cadmus at Thebes, and, still later than these, Dionysus, Minos, Perseus, Asclepius, the Dioscuri, and Hercules.

Now Moses is proved to have been older than all these, as having been in the prime of life at the time of Cecrops. And going back again from Moses to the first year of the life of Abraham, you will find five hundred and five years. And counting up as many for the earlier time from the aforesaid year of the reign of Cecrops, you will come to Ninus the Assyrian, who is said to have been the first ruler of all Asia except India: after him was named the city Ninus, which among the Hebrews is called Nineve; and in his time Zoroastres the Magian reigned over the Bactrians. And the wife of Ninus and his successor in the kingdom was Semiramis; so Abraham was contemporary with these.

Now in the Canons of Chronology composed by us these events were proved to demonstration to be as I have said. But on the present occasion in addition to what has been stated I shall adduce as witness of the antiquity of Moses the very bitterest and fiercest enemy both of the Hebrews and of us Christians, I mean that philosopher of our time, who having in his excessive hatred published his compilation against us, subjected not us only, but also the Hebrews and Moses himself and the prophets after him, to the like slanders. For I believe that I shall thus confirm my promise beyond controversy by the confession of our enemies.

Well then in the fourth Book of his compilation against us Porphyry writes what follows, word for word:

[PORPHYRY] 32 'The truest history of the Jews, as being that which most perfectly accords with their localities and names, is that of Sanchuniathon of Berytus, who received their records from Hierombalus the priest of the God Jevo; he dedicated his history to Abelbalus king of Berytus, and was approved by him and by his examiners of truth. Now the times of these men fall before the date of the Trojan war, and approach closely to that of Moses, as is shown by the successions of the kings of Phoenicia. And Sanchuniathon, who with careful regard to truth made a collection of all ancient history from the records of each city and the registers of the temples, and wrote it in the language of the Phoenicians, lived in the time of Semiramis queen of Assyria.'

So says Porphyry. We must then calculate the proposed dates as follows. If Sanchuniathon lived in the time of Semiramis, and she is acknowledged to have been, long before the Trojan war, Sanchuniathon also must be older than the Trojan war.

But he is said to have received the records from others older in time than himself: and they being themselves older than he are said to have approached closely to the times of Moses, though not even themselves contemporary with Moses, but approaching closely to his times: so that Sanchuniathon was as much younger than Moses, as he was later than his own predecessors who were acknowledged to approach near to Moses.

It is difficult, however, to say by how many years Moses probably preceded those of whom I speak: for which reason I think it well to pass over this point. But granting that Moses lived in the very time of this Sanchuniathon, and no earlier, I shall follow up the proof in this way.

If Sanchuniathon was becoming well known in the time of Semiramis queen of Assyria, even granted that Moses was no earlier, but nourished in his time, then he too would be contemporary with Semiramis,

But whereas our calculation went to show that Abraham was in her time, our philosopher's calculation proves that even Moses was older. Now Semiramis is shown to have been full eight hundred years before the Trojan war. Therefore Moses also will be as many years earlier than the Trojan war according to the philosopher.

Now the first king of Argos is Inachus, the Athenians at that time having as yet no city and no name. But the first ruler of the Argives is contemporary with the fifth king of Assyria after Semiramis, a hundred and fifty years after her and Moses, in which time nothing remarkable is recorded to have happened among the Greeks. But at this period of time the Judges were ruling among the Hebrews.

Then again more than three hundred years later, when more than four hundred were now completed from the time of Semiramis, the first king of the Athenians is Cecrops their celebrated Autochthon when Triopas was ruler of Argos, who was seventh from Inachus the first Argive king.

And in the interval between these the flood in the time of Ogyges is recorded, and Apis was the first to be called a god in Egypt, and Io the daughter of Inachus, who is worshipped by the. Egyptians under the altered name of Isis, became known, as also Prometheus and Atlas.

From Cecrops to the capture of Troy are reckoned little short of other four hundred years, in which fall the marvellous tales of Greek mythology, the flood in the time of Deucalion, and the conflagration in the time of Phaethon, there having been, probably, many catastrophes on the earth in various places.

Now Cecrops is said to have been the first to call God Zeus, He not having been previously so named among men: and next to have been the first to found an altar at Athens, and again the first to set up an image of Athena, as even these things were not existing of old.

After his time come the genealogies of all the gods among the Greeks. But among the Hebrews at this time the descendants of David were reigning, and the prophets who succeeded Moses were flourishing: so that according to the published testimony of the philosopher there are more than eight hundred years reckoned in all from Moses to the capture of Troy.

But far more recent still than the Trojan war are the traditional times of Homer and Hesiod and the rest. And after these, only yesterday as it were, about the fiftieth Olympiad, Pythagoras and Democritus and the subsequent philosophers gained a name, somewhere about five hundred years after the Trojan war.

Moses therefore and the Hebrew prophets who succeeded him are proved to be fifteen hundred years earlier than the philosophers of the Greeks, according to the confession of the aforesaid author.

Such, then is in brief my statement. But it is time to examine also the arguments upon the same subject of those who have preceded me. There have been then among us men of learning, second to none of the cultivated class, who have also devoted themselves with no little care to sacred literature, and who, after an accurate examination of the present subject, defended the antiquity of the Hebrews by the use of a rich and varied arrangement of proof.

For some of them computed the times from certain well acknowledged histories, and others confirmed their testimony by quotations of an earlier date. And some made use of Greek authors, and others of those who had recorded the history of the Phoenicians and of the Chaldeans and Egyptians. But all of them together, having collected the Greek and the Barbarian records and those of the Hebrews themselves, and having set all their histories side by side, and, as it were, shaken them together one against the other, have made a combined examination of the things done about the same periods in all those nations.

Then, after each had made his arrangement of the events to be proved by methods of his own, they brought forward their proof with common consent and agreement. And for this reason especially I thought it right to give place in the present discussion to their own words, in order that the authors of the arguments might not be deprived of their due rewards, and at the same time the maintenance of the truth might receive indisputable confirmation not by one witness but by many.


[AFRICANUS] 33 'UNTIL the beginning of the Olympiads no accurate history has been written by the Greeks, the earlier accounts being all confused and in no point agreeing among themselves: but the Olympiads have been accurately recorded by many, because the Greeks compared the registers of them at no long interval of time, but every four years.

'For which, reason I shall collect and briefly run over the most celebrated of the mythical histories down to the first Olympiad: but of the later any which are remarkable I shall combine together in chronological order each to each, the Hebrew with the Greek, carefully examining the Hebrew and touching upon the Greek, and shall fit them together in the following manner. By seizing upon one action in Hebrew history contemporary with an action narrated by Greeks, and adhering to it, while either deducting or adding, and indicating what Greek or Persian or any one else synchronized with the Hebrew action, I shall perhaps succeed in my aim.

'Now a most remarkable event is the migration of the Hebrews, when carried captive by Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, which continued seventy years, according to the prophecy of Jeremiah. Now Nebuchadnezzar is mentioned by Berossus the Babylonian.

'After the seventy years of the Captivity Cyrus became king of Persia, in the year in which the fifty-fifth Olympic festival was held, as one may learn from the Bibliotheca of Diodorus, and the histories of Thallus and Castor, also from Polybius and Phlegon, and from others too who were careful about Olympiads: for the time agreed in all of them.

'So then Cyrus in the first year of his reign, which was the first year of the fifty-fifth Olympiad, made the first partial dismissal of the people by the hand of Zerubbabel, contemporary with whom was Jesus the son of Josedek, after the completion of the seventy years, as is related in the Book of Ezra among the Hebrews. 34

'The narratives therefore of the reign of Cyrus and of the end of the Captivity synchronize: and the calculations according to the Olympiads will thus be found to agree down to our time; for by following them we shall fit the other histories also one to another according to the same principle.

'And the Athenian chronology computes the earlier events in the following way; from Ogyges, who was believed among them to be an aboriginal, in whose time that great and first flood occurred in Attica, when Phoroneus was king of Argos, as Acusilaus relates, down to the first Olympiad from which the Greeks considered that they calculated their dates correctly, a thousand and twenty years are computed, which agrees with what has been stated before, and will be shown to agree also with what comes after.

'For both the historians of Athens, Hellanicus and Philochorus who wrote The Attic Histories, and the writers on Syrian history, Castor and Thallus, and the writer on universal history, Diodorus the author of the Bibliotheca, and Alexander Polyhistor, and some of our own historians recorded these events more accurately even than all the Attic writers. If therefore any remarkable narrative occurs in the thousand and twenty years, it shall be extracted as may be expedient.'

And soon after he proceeds: 35

'We assert therefore on the authority of this work that Ogyges, who has given his name to the first deluge, as having been saved when many perished, lived at the time of the Exodus from Egypt of the people with Moses, proving it in. the following way.

'From Ogyges to the first Olympiad aforesaid there will be shown to be a thousand and twenty years: and from the first Olympiad to the first year of the fifty-fifth, that is the first year of the reign of Cyrus, which was the end of the Captivity, two hundred and seventeen years. From Ogyges therefore to Cyrus there were one thousand two hundred and thirty-seven years. And if any one would carry back a calculation of one thousand two hundred and thirty-seven years from the end of the Captivity, there is found by analysis the same distance to the first year of the Exodus of Israel from Egypt by the hand of Moses, as from the fifty-fifth Olympiad to Ogyges who founded Eleusis. Which is the more notable point to take as the commencement of the Athenian chronology.'

Again after an interval: 36

'So much for events prior to Ogygea. Now about his times Moses came out of Egypt: and that there is no reason to disbelieve that these events occurred at that time, we show in the following manner.

'From the Exodus of Moses to Cyrus, who reigned after the Captivity, there were one thousand two hundred and thirty-seven years. For the remaining years of Moses' life were forty: of Joshua, who became the leader after him, twenty-five years: of the elders who were judges after him, thirty years; and of those included in the Book of Judges, four hundred and ninety years. Of the priests Eli and Samuel, ninety years. Of the kings of the Hebrews, who came next, four hundred and ninety years: and seventy of the Captivity, the last year of which was, as we have said before, the first year of the reign of Cyrus.

'From Moses to the first Olympiad there were one thousand and twenty years, since there were one thousand two hundred and thirty-seven years to the first year of the fifty-fifth Olympiad: and the time in the Greek chronology agreed with this.

'But after Ogyges, on account of the great destruction caused by the flood, what is now called Attica remained without a king one hundred and eighty-nine years until the time of Cecrops. For Philochorus asserts that that Actaeon who comes after Ogyges, and the fictitious names, never even existed.'

And again: 37

'From Ogyges therefore to Cyrus there were as many years as from Moses to the same date, namely one thousand two hundred and thirty-seven. And some of the Greeks also relate that Moses lived about those same times; as Polemon in the first book of his Hellenic histories says, that "in the time of Apis son of Phoroneus a part of the Egyptian army was expelled from Egypt, who took up their abode not far from Arabia in the part of Syria called Palestine," being evidently those who went with Moses.

'And Apion the son of Poseidonius, the most inquisitive of grammarians, in his book Against the Jews, and in the fourth Book of his Histories, says that in the time of Inachus king of Argos, when Amosis was reigning in Egypt, the Jews revolted, with Moses as their leader.

'Herodotus also has made mention of this revolt and of Amosis in his second Book;38 and, in a certain way, of the Jews themselves, enumerating them among those who practise circumcision,39 and calling them the Assyrians in Palestine, perhaps on account of Abraham.

'And Ptolemaeus of Mendes, in writing the history of the Egyptians from the beginning, agrees with all these, so that the variation of the dates is not noticeable to any great extent.40

'But it is to be observed that whatever especial event is mentioned in the mythology of the Greeks because of its antiquity, is found to be later than Moses, their floods, and conflagrations, their Prometheus, Io, Europa, Sparti, Rape of Persephone, Mysteries, Legislations, exploits of Dionysus, Perseus, labours of Hercules, Argonauts, Centaurs, Minotaur, tale of Troy, return of the Heracleidae, migration of Ionians, and Olympic Festivals.

'It seemed good then to me, when about to compare the Hellenic histories with the Hebrew, to explain the aforesaid date of the monarchy in Athens: for it will be open to any one who will, by taking his starting-point from me, to calculate the number of years in the same way as I do.

'So then in the first year of the thousand and twenty years set forth from the time of Moses and Ogyges to the first Olympiad there occurs the Passover, and the Exodus of the Hebrews from Egypt, and in Attica the flood in the reign of Ogyges; and very naturally.

'For when the Egyptians were being scourged by the wrath of God with hailstorms and tempests, it was natural that some parts of the earth should suffer with them; and that the Athenians should experience the same fate with the Egyptians was natural, being supposed to be emigrants from them, as is asserted, among others, by Theopompus in the Three-headed.41

'The intermediate time, in which no special event has been recorded by the Greeks, is passed by. But after ninety-four years, as some say, came Prometheus, who was said in the legend to form men; for being a wise man he tried to reform them out of their extreme uncouthness into an educated condition.'

Thus writes Africanus. And now let us pass on to another.


[TATIAN] 42 'BUT now I think it behoves me to prove that our philosophy is older than the institutions of the Greeks. And Moses and Homer shall be set as our limits: for since each of them is very ancient, and the one the oldest of poets and historians, and the other the founder of all Barbaric wisdom, let them now be taken into comparison by us.

'For we shall find that our doctrines are older not only than the learning of the Greeks, but even than the invention of letters. And I shall not adopt our own native witnesses, but rather make use of Greeks as my allies. For the one course would be injudicious, because it would not be accepted by you; but the other, if proved, would be admirable, if at any time by opposing you with your own weapons I should bring against you proofs beyond suspicion.

'For concerning the poetry of Homer, and his parentage, and the time at which he flourished, previous investigations have been made by very ancient writers, as Theagenes of Ehegium who lived in the time of Cambyses, and Stesimbrotus of Thasos, and Antimachus of Colophon, Herodotus also of Halicarnassus, and Dionysius of Olynthus: and after them Ephorus of Cumae, and Philochorus of Athens, and Megacleides and Chamaeleon the Peripatetics: then the grammarians, Zenodotus, Aristophanes, Callimachus, Crates, Eratosthenes, Aristarchus, Apollodorus.

'Now of these Crates says that he flourished before the return of the Heracleidae, within eighty years after the Trojan war; but Eratosthenes says, after the hundredth year from the capture of Troy; while Aristarchus says, at the time of the Ionian migration, which is a hundred and forty years after the Trojan war; and Philochorus says, forty years after the Ionian migration, in the archonship at Athens of Archippus, a hundred and eighty years after the Trojan war; and Apollodorus says, a hundred years after the Ionian migration, which would be two hundred and forty years after the Trojan war: but some said that he lived before the Olympiads, that is four hundred years after the capture of Ilium; while others brought down the time, and said that Homer had been contemporary with Archilochus; now Archilochus flourished about the twenty-third Olympiad, in the time of Gyges king of Lydia, five hundred years after the Trojan war.

'With regard then to the times of the aforesaid poet, I mean Homer, and the dispute and disagreement among those who gave an account of him, let this our summary statement suffice for those who are able to examine the matter carefully. For it is in every man's power to show that their opinions also about the historical statements are false; for with those authors whose record of times is inconsistent, the history cannot possibly be true.'

Again shortly after: 43

'Granted, however, that Homer was not only not later than the Trojan war, but let him be supposed to have lived at that very time of the war, and further even to have shared in the expedition, with Agamemnon, and, if any wish to have it so, to have lived even before the invention of letters had taken place: for the aforesaid Moses will be shown to be very many years older than the actual capture of Troy, much more ancient too than the building of Troy was, and than Tros and Bardanus.

'And for proof of this I will employ the testimony of Chaldeans, Phoenicians, and Egyptians. But why need I say much? For one who professes to persuade ought to make his narration of the facts to his hearers very brief.

'Berossus, a Babylonian, a priest of their god Belus, who lived in the time of Alexander, composed the history of the Chaldaeans in three Books for Antiochus the third successor of Seleucus; and in setting forth the account of the kings he mentions the name of one of them Nabuchodonosor, who made an expedition against the Phoenicians and Jews; events which we know to have been announced by our prophets, and which took place long after the age of Moses, and seventy years before the Persian supremacy.

'Now Berossus is a most competent man, and a proof of this is given by Iobas, who writing Concerning the Assyrians says that he has learned their history from Berossus: he is the author of two books Concerning the Assyrians,

'Next to the Chaldaeans, the case of the Phoenicians is as follows. There have been among them three authors, Theodotus, Hypsicrates, Mochus. Their books were rendered into the Greek language by Laetus, who also wrote an accurate treatise on the lives of the philosophers.

'In the histories then of the aforesaid authors the rape of Europa is shown to have taken place in the time of one of the kings, also the arrival of Menelaus in Phoenicia, and the story of Hiram, who gave his daughter in marriage to Solomon king of the Jews, and presented him with timber of all kinds for the building of the Temple.

'Menander also of Pergamus wrote the record of the same events. Now the date of Hiram approaches somewhat near to the Trojan war; and Solomon the contemporary of Hiram is much later than the age of Moses.

'Then the Egyptians have accurate registers of dates. And Ptolemy, not the king but a priest of Mendes, the translator of their writings, in narrating the actions of their kings says that the journey of the Jews from Egypt to whatever places they chose, under the leadership of Moses, took place in the time of Amosis king of Egypt.

'And this is how he speaks: "Now Amosis lived in the time of king Inachus." After him Apion the grammarian, a man of great reputation, in the fourth Book of his Egyptian History (there are five of his Books) among many other things says that Amosis demolished Avaris, and that he lived in the time of Inachus the Argive, as Ptolemy of Mendes recorded in his Chronology.

'Now the time from Inachus to the capture of Troy makes up twenty generations; and the mode of the proof is as follows:

'The kings of the Argives have been these:----Inachus, Phoroneus, Apis, Argeius, Criasus, Phorbas, Triopas, Crotopus, Sthenelaus, Danaus, Lynceus, Abas, Proetus, Acrisius, Perseus, Eurystheus, Atreus, Thyestes, Agamemnon, in the eighteenth year of whose reign Troy was taken.

'Also the intelligent reader must understand quite distinctly that according to the tradition of the Greeks there was no written record of history among them. For Cadmus, who taught the aforesaid people the alphabet, landed in Boeotia many generations afterwards.

'After Inachus Phoroneus with difficulty put an end to their savage and wandering mode of life, and the people were brought into a state of order. Wherefore if Moses has been shown to have been contemporary with Inachus, he is four hundred years earlier than the Trojan war.

'And this is proved to be so both from the succession of the kings of Athens, and Macedonia, and the Ptolemies, and also those of the dynasty of Antiochus; "whence it is manifest that if the most illustrious deeds among the Greeks were recorded in writing and begin to be known after the time of Inachus, they were also later than the time of Moses.

'For as contemporary with Phoroneus who followed Inachus the Athenians mention Ogyges, in whose time the first flood occurred: and as contemporary with Phorbas Actaeus, from whom Attica was called Actaea: and as contemporary with Triopas Prometheus, and Epimetheus, and Atlas, and Cecrops of double sex, and Io.

'In the time of Crotopus there was Phaethon's conflagration, and Deucalion's flood: in the time of Sthenelaus was the reign of Amphictyon, and the arrival of Danaus in the Peloponnese, and the colonization of Dardania by Dardanus, and the abduction of Europa from Phoenicia to Crete.

'In the time of Lynceus there was the rape of Persephone, and the foundation of the sanctuary at Eleusis, and the husbandry of Triptolemus, and the arrival of Cadmus at Thebes, and the reign of Minos.

'In the reign of Proetus occurred the war of Eumolpus against the Athenians; and in that of Acrisius the crossing of Pelops from Phrygia, and the arrival of Ion at Athens, and the second Cecrops, and the exploits of Perseus. And in the reign of Agamemnon Troy was taken.

'Therefore from what has been said above Moses is shown to be older than all heroes, cities, or daemons: and he who preceded them in age ought rather to be believed, than the Greeks who drew his doctrines from the fountain-head without fully understanding them.

'For there were many sophists among them, who indulged a meddling curiosity, and these attempted to put a false stamp on all that they had learned from Moses and those who agreed, with his philosophy, in order first that they might be thought to say something original; and secondly that, disguising what they did not understand by a kind of rhetorical artifice, they might misrepresent the truth as being a mere fable.

'With regard, however, to our polity, and the history of our laws, and all that the learned among the Greeks have said, and how many and who they are that have mentioned us, proof shall be shown in my "Answer to those who have set forth opinions concerning God."

'But for the present I must endeavour with all accuracy to make it clear that Moses is earlier not only than Homer, but also than the writers before him, Linus, Philammon, Thamyris, Amphion, Orpheus, Musaeus, Demodocus, Phemius, the Sibyl, Epimenides the Cretan, who came to Sparta, Aristaeus of Pro-connesus, who wrote the Arimaspia, and Asbolus the Centaur, and Basis, and Drymon, and Euclus of Cyprus, and Horus of Samos, and Pronapides of Athens.

'For Linus was the teacher of Hercules, and Hercules has been shown to be one generation earlier than the Trojan war; and this is manifest from his son Tlepolemus, who joined the expedition against Troy.

'Orpheus was contemporary with Hercules; moreover, the writings afterwards attributed to him are said to have been composed by Onomacritus of Athens, who lived during the government of the Pisistratidae about the fiftieth Olympiad.

'Musaeus was a disciple of Orpheus. And as Amphion was two generations earlier than the Trojan war, this prevents our collecting more about him for the information of the studious. Demodocus too and Phemius lived at the very time of the Trojan war; for they abode, the one among the suitors, the other with the Phaeacians. Thamyris also and Philammon are not much more ancient than these.

'So then with regard to their work of various kinds and their dates and record, I think I have described them to you with all possible accuracy. But that we may also complete what is as yet deficient, I will further set forth the evidence concerning those who are considered the Sages.

'For Minos, who was considered to be pre-eminent in all wisdom, and sagacity, and legislation, lived in the time of Lynceus who reigned after Danaus, in the eleventh generation after Inachus. And Lycurgus, born long after the capture of Troy, made laws for the Lacedaemonians a hundred years before the commencement of the Olympiads.

'Draco is found to have lived about the thirty-ninth Olympiad, and Solon about the forty-sixth, and Pythagoras about the sixty-second. Now we showed that the Olympiads began four hundred and seven years after the Trojan war.

'So then, after these facts have been thus proved, a few more words will suffice to record the age of the Seven Sages. For as Thales the eldest of them lived about the fiftieth Olympiad, the approximate dates of those who came after him are thus stated concisely.

'This is what I have composed for you, O men of Greece, I, Tatian, a follower of the Barbarians in philosophy, born in the land of the Assyrians, but instructed first in your doctrines, and afterwards in such as I now profess to preach. And knowing henceforward who God is, and what is the doing of His will, I present myself to you in readiness for the examination of my doctrines, while my mode of life according to God's will remains incapable of denial.'

Thus much says Tatian. But let us now pass on to Clement.


[CLEMENT] 44 'THE subject has indeed been carefully discussed by Tatian in his Discourse to the Greeks, and by Cassian in the first book of his Exegetics. But nevertheless my commentary demands that I also should run over what has been said upon the topic.

'Apion then the grammarian, who was surnamed Pleistonices, in the fourth Book of his Egyptian Histories, although being an Egyptian by birth he was so spitefully disposed towards the Hebrews as to have composed a book Against the Jews, when he mentions Amosis the king of Egypt and the transactions of his time, brings forward Ptolemaeus of Mendes as a witness.

'And his language is as follows:

'"But Avaris was demolished by Amosis, who lived in the time of Inachus the Argive, as Ptolemaeus of Mendes recorded in his Chronology."

'Now this Ptolemaeus was a priest, who published The Acts of the Kings of Egypt in three whole books, and says that the departure of the Jews out of Egypt under Moses as their leader took place in the time of Amosis king of Egypt; from which, it is clearly seen that Moses flourished in the time of Inachus.

'Now Dionysius of Halicarnassus teaches us in his Chronology that the history of Argos, I mean the history from Inachus downwards, is mentioned as older than any Hellenic history.

'Forty generations later than this is the Athenian history, beginning from Cecrops the so-called aboriginal of double sex, as Tatian says in so many words: and nine generations later the history of Arcadia from the time of Pelasgus, who also is called an aboriginal.

'More recent than this last by other fifty-two generations is the history of Phthiotis from the time of Deucalion. From Inachus to the time of the Trojan war twenty or twenty-one generations are reckoned, four hundred years, we may say, and more.

'And whether the Assyrian history is many years earlier than the Hellenic, will appear from what Ctesias says. In the four hundred and second year of the Assyrian empire, and in the thirty-second year of the reign of Beluchus the eighth, the movement of Moses out of Egypt took place in the time of Amosis king of Egypt, and of Inachus king of Argos.

'And in Hellas in the time of Phoroneus the successor of Inachus the flood of Ogyges occurred, and the reign in Sicyon, of Aegialeus first, then of Europs, and then of Telchis, and in Crete the reign of Cres.

'For Acusilaus says that Phoroneus was the first man: whence also the author of the poem "Phoronis" says that he was "the father of mortal men."

'Hence Plato in the Timaeus, following Acusilaus, writes: "And once when he wished to lead them on to a discussion about antiquity, he said that he attempted to speak of the most ancient things in this city, about Phoroneus who was called 'the first' man, and about Niobe, and the events that followed the flood." 45

'Contemporary with Phorbas was Actaeus, from whom Attica was called Actaea: and contemporary with Triopas were Prometheus, and Atlas, and Epimetheus, and the biform Cecrops, and Io: in the time of Crotopus there was Phaethon's conflagration, and the flood of Deucalion: and in the time of Sthenelaus was the reign of Amphictyon, and the arrival of Danaus in the Peloponnese, and the colonization of Dardania by Dardanus, whom Homer calls

"The first-born son of cloud-compelling Zeus,"  46

and the abduction of Europa from Crete to Phoenicia.

'In the time of Lynceus was the rape of Core, and the foundation of the sanctuary at Eleusis, and the husbandry of Triptolemus, and the arrival of Cadmus in Thebes, and the reign of Minos. In the time of Proetus there was the war of Eumolpus against the Athenians: and in the time of Acrisius the migration of Pelops from Phrygia, and the arrival of Ion in Athens, and the second Cecrops, and the exploits of Perseus and Dionysus, and also Orpheus and Musaeus.

'And in the eighteenth year of the reign of Agamemnon Troy was taken, in the first year of the reign in Athens of Demophon son of Theseus, on the twelfth day of the month Thargelion, as Dionysius the Argive says.

'But Agius and Dercylus in their third Book say, on the eighth day of the last decade of the month Panemus: Hellanicus says, on the twelfth of Thargelion; and some of the writers of Athenian history say, on the eighth of the last decade, in the last year of the reign of Menestheus, at the full moon. The poet who wrote The Little Iliad says:

"At midnight, when the moon was rising bright."  47

But others say, on the same day of the month Scirophorion.

'Now Theseus, who was a rival of Hercules, is older than the Trojan war by one generation: Homer at least mentions Tlepolemus, who was the son of Hercules, as having joined in the expedition against Troy.

'Moses therefore is shown to be six hundred and four years older than the deification of Dionysus, if at least he was deified in the thirty-second year of the reign of Perseus, as Apollodorus says in his Chronicles.

'And from Dionysus to Hercules and the chiefs who sailed in the Argo with Jason, there are sixty-three years comprised. Asclepius too and the Dioscuri sailed with them, as Apollonius Rhodius testifies in the Argonautica.48

'From the reign of Hercules in Argos to the deification of Hercules himself and of Asclepius there are comprised thirty-eight years, according to Apollodorus the chronicler: and from that point to the deification of Castor and Pollux fifty-three years: and somewhere about this time was the capture of Troy.

'And if we are to believe the poet Hesiod, let us hear what he says:

"Admitted to the sacred couch of Zeus, 
Fairest of Atlas' daughters, Maia bare 
Renowned Hermes, herald of the Gods. 
And linked with Zeus in sweetest bonds of love 
Fair Semele conceived a glorious son, 
Great Dionysus, joy of all mankind." 49

'Cadmus the father of Semele came to Thebes in the reign of Lynceus, and became the inventor of the Greek letters. And Triopas was contemporary with Isis in the seventh generation from Inachus.

'But there are some who say that she was called Io from her going (ἰένα) through all the earth in her wanderings: and Istrus in his book Of the migration of the Egyptians says that she was the daughter of Prometheus: and Prometheus was contemporary with Triopas, in the seventh generation after Moses; so that Moses would be earlier even than the origin of mankind was according to the Greeks.

'Now Leon, who wrote a treatise On the gods of Egypt, says that Isis was called by the Greeks Demeter, who is contemporary with Lynceus in the eleventh generation after Moses.

'Apis also the king of Argos was the founder of Memphis, as Aristippus says in the first Book of the Arcadica.

'Moreover Aristeas of Argos says that this Apis was surnamed Sarapis, and that it is he whom the Egyptians worship.

'But Nymphodorus of Amphipolis, in the third Book of The Customs of Asia, says that when Apis the bull died and was embalmed, he was deposited in a coffin (σορός) in the temple of the daemon who was worshipped there, and thence was called Soroapis and afterwards Sarapis. And Apis is the third from Inachus. 'Moreover Latona is contemporary with Tityus:

"For Leto erst he strove to violate, 
The noble consort of immortal Zeus."  50

'And Tityus was contemporary with Tantalus. With good reason therefore the Boeotian Pindar writes:

"For late in time Apollo too was born."   51

'And no wonder, since he is found in company with Hercules serving Admetus

"A whole long year."  52

'Zethus too and Amphion, the inventors of music, lived about the age of Cadmus. And if any one tell us that Phemonoe was the first who uttered an oracle in verse to Acrisius, yet let him know that twenty-seven years after Phemonoe came Orpheus, and Musaeus, and Linus the teacher of Hercules.

'But Homer and Hesiod were much later than the Trojan war, and after them far later were the lawgivers among the Greeks, Lycurgus and Solon, and the Seven Sages, and Pherecydes of Syros, and the great Pythagoras, who lived some time later about the beginning of the Olympiads, as we proved.

'So then we have demonstrated that Moses was more ancient than most of the gods of the Greeks, and not merely than their so-called Sages and poets.'

So far Clement. But since the question before us was carefully studied before our Christian writers by the Hebrews themselves, it would be well to consider also what they have said: and I shall use the language of Flavius Josephus as representative of them all.


[JOSEPHUS] 53 'I WILL begin then first with the writings of the Egyptians. It is not possible, however, to quote their own actual words; but Manetho an Egyptian by birth, a man who had a knowledge of Hellenic culture, as is evident from his having written the history . of his own country in the Greek language, and translated it, as he says himself, out of the sacred books, who also convicts Herodotus of having from ignorance falsified many things in Egyptian history----this Manetho then, I say, in the second Book of his Egyptian History writes concerning us as follows: and I will quote his words, just as if I brought himself forward as a witness.

'"We had a king whose name was Timaeus. In his time God was angry with us, I know not why, and men from the Eastern parts, of obscure origin, were strangely emboldened to invade the country, and easily took possession of it by force without a battle." '

And soon after he adds:

'"The name of their whole nation was Hycsos, that is 'shepherd-kings.' For 'Hyc' in the sacred language means 'king,' and Sos is 'shepherd,' and 'shepherds' in the common dialect: and thus combined it becomes 'Hycsos.' But some say that they were Arabs."

'But in another copy 54 he says that "kings" are not meant by the name "Hyc," but on the contrary "captive-shepherds" are signified. For Hyc in Egyptian, and Hac, aspirated, expressly means "captives." And this seems to me more probable, and in agreement with ancient history.

'Now these before-named kings, both those of the so-called "Shepherds," and their descendants, ruled over Egypt, he says, five hundred and eleven years.

'But after this, he says, there was a revolt of the kings from the Thebaid and the rest of Egypt against the Shepherds, and a great and long war broke out. But in the time of a king 'whose name was Misphragmuthosis, he says that the Shepherds were defeated, and though, driven out of the rest of Egypt, they were shut up in a place having a circumference of ten thousand arurae: the name of the place was Avaris.

'The whole of this. Manetho says, the Shepherds surrounded with a great and strong wall, that so they might have all their possessions and their booty in a stronghold.

'But Thmouthosis the son of Misphragmouthosis attempted to subdue them by a siege, having sat down against their walls with four hundred and eighty thousand men: but after giving up the siege in despair, he made terms of agreement with them, that they should leave Egypt, and all go away uninjured whithersoever they chose. And upon these conditions they with their whole families and possessions, being not less in number than two hundred and forty thousand, made their way from Egypt across the desert into Syria.

'But being afraid of the power of the Assyrians (for they were at that time the rulers of Asia), they built a city in what is now called Judaea, to suffice for so many thousands of inhabitants, and called it Jerusalem.'

Next to this he recounts the succession of the kings of Egypt, together with the duration of their reigns, and adds: 55

'So says Manetho. And when the time is calculated according to the number of years mentioned, it is evident that the so-called Shepherds, our ancestors, departed from Egypt and colonized this country three hundred and ninety-three years before Danaus arrived in Argos: and yet he is considered by the Argives as very ancient.

'Two things therefore of the greatest importance Manetho has testified in our favour out of the writings of the Egyptians. First their arrival in Egypt from some other country, and afterwards the departure thence at so ancient a date as to be nearly a thousand years before the Trojan war.'

The extracts from Egyptian history have been recorded thus somewhat at large by Josephus. But from Phoenician history, by employing the testimony of those who have written on Phoenician affairs, he proves that the Temple in Jerusalem had been built by King Solomon a hundred and forty-three years and eight months earlier than the foundation of Carthage by the Tyrians: then he passes on, and quotes from the history of the Chaldaeans their testimonies concerning the antiquity of the Hebrews.


BUT why need I heap up proofs upon proofs, when every one who is a lover of truth, and not of spitefulness, is satisfied with what has been stated, as containing varied confirmation of the proposed argument? For our proposal was to prove that Moses and the Prophets were more ancient than Greek history.

Since therefore Moses has been proved to have lived long before the Trojan war, let us look also at all those who came after him. Now that Moses appeared in the world later in time than those former true Hebrews, Heber and Abraham, from whom the derived name has been applied to the people, and than all the other godly men of old, is manifest from his own history.

Next to Moses therefore Jesus ruled the nation of the Jews thirty years, as some say: then, as the Scripture says, foreigners ruled eight years. Then Gothoniel,56 fifty years: after whom Eglom king of Moab eighteen years: after whom Ehud eighty years. After him strangers again twenty years: then Debbora and Barak forty years. Then the Madianites seven years: then Gredeon forty years. Abimelech three years. Tola twenty-three years: Jair twenty-two years: the Ammonites eighteen years: Jephtha six years: Esbon seven years: Aealon ten years:57 Labdon eight years: strangers forty years: Samson twenty years: then Eli the Priest, as the Hebrew says, forty years; about whose time the capture of Troy occurred. And after Eli the Priest Samuel was the ruler of the people.

After him their first king Saul reigned forty years: then David forty years: then Solomon forty years; who also was the first to build the Temple in Jerusalem. After Solomon Soboam reigns seventeen years: Abia three years: Asa forty-one years: Jehoshaphat twenty-five years: Joram eight years: Ahaziah one year: Athaliah seven years: Joash forty years: Amaziah twenty-seven years: Uzziah fifty-two years; in whose reign prophesied Hosea, Amos, Esaias, Jonah: and after Uzziah Jotham reigned sixteen years: after whom Ahaz sixteen years. In his time was held the first Olympic festival, in which Coroebus of Elis won the foot-race.

Hezekiah succeeds Ahaz for twenty-nine years; and in his time Romulus built Home and became king. And after Hezekiah Manasses reigned fifty-five years: then Amon two years: then Josiah thirty-one years; in whose time prophesied Jeremiah, Baruch, Huldah, and other prophets.

Then Jehoahaz three months: after whom Jehoiachim eleven years; and after him last of all Zedekiah twelve years. In his time Jerusalem having been besieged by the Assyrians, and the Temple burned, the whole nation of the Jews is carried away to Babylon, and there Daniel prophesies, and Ezekiel.

And after the number of seventy years Cyrus becomes king of Persia, and he remitted the captivity of the Jews, and allowed those of them who would to return to their own land, and to raise up the Temple again: at which time Jesus the son of Josedek returned, and Zerubbabel the son of Salathiel, and they laid the foundations, when Haggai, and Zechariah, and Malachi prophesied last of all, after whom there has been no more a prophet among them.

In the time of Cyrus Solon of Athens was flourishing, and the so-called Seven Sages among the Greeks, than whom their records mention no more ancient philosopher.

Of these seven then Thales of Miletus, who was the first natural philosopher among the Greeks, discoursed concerning the solar tropics and eclipse, and the phases of the moon, and the equinox. This man became most distinguished among the Greeks.

A pupil of Thales was Anaximander, the son of Praxiades, himself also a Milesian by birth. He was the first designer of gnomons for distinguishing the solar tropics, and times and seasons, and equinox.

And a pupil of Anaximander was Anaximenes son of Eurystratus of Miletus; and his pupil was Anaxagoras, son of Hegesibulus, of Clazomenae. He was the first who clearly defined the subject of first principles. For he not only published his opinions concerning the essence of all things, like his predecessors, but also concerning the moving cause thereof. 'For in the beginning,' he says, 'all things were confused together. But mind entered and brought them out of disorder into order.' 58

Anaxagoras had three pupils, Pericles, Archelaus, and Euripides. Pericles became the first man of Athens, and excelled his contemporaries both in wealth and birth: Euripides turned to poetry, and was called by some 'the philosopher of the stage':59 and Archelaus succeeded to the school of Anaxagoras in Lampsacus, but migrated to Athens and lectured there, and had many Athenians as pupils, and among them especially Socrates.

At the same time with Anaxagoras there flourished the physical philosophers Xenophanes and Pythagoras. Pythagoras was succeeded by his wife Theano, and his sons Telauges and Mnesarchus.

A pupil of Telauges was Empedocles, in whose time Heracleitus 'the obscure' became famous. Xenophanes is said to have been succeeded by Parmenides, and Parmenides by Melissus, and Melissus by Zeno the Eleatic, who, they say, concocted a plot against the tyrant of that time, and was caught, and when tortured by the tyrant that so he might give a list of those who were his accomplices, paid no regard to the tyrant's punishments, but bit through his tongue, and spat it at him, and died in this obstinate endurance of the tortures.

He had for his pupil Leucippus, and Leucippus Democritus, and he Protagoras, in whose time Socrates flourished. One may also find scattered here and there other physical philosophers who lived before Socrates: all, however, beginning with Thales appear to have flourished later than Cyrus king of Persia: and it is manifest that Cyrus lived long after the carrying away of the Jewish nation into captivity at Babylon, when the Hebrew prophets had already ceased, and their holy city had been besieged. So you must admit that Greek philosophy was much later than Moses and the Prophets who came after him; and especially the philosophy of Plato, who having been at first a hearer of Socrates, afterwards associated with the Pythagoreans, and shot far beyond all his predecessors both in eloquence and wisdom and in his philosophical doctrines.

Now Plato lived about the end of the Persian monarchy, a little earlier than Alexander of Macedon, and not much more than four hundred years before the Emperor Augustus.

If therefore it should be shown to you that Plato and his successors have agreed in their philosophy with the Hebrews, it is time to examine the date at which he lived, and to compare the antiquity of the Hebrew theologians and prophets with the age of all the philosophers of Greece.

But since this has been already proved, it is now the proper time to turn back and observe that the wise men of the Greeks have been zealous imitators of the Hebrew doctrines, so that our calumniators can no longer reasonably find fault with us, if we ourselves, admiring the like doctrines with their philosophers, have determined to hold the Hebrew oracles in honour.

[Footnotes numbered and moved to the end]

1.  461 d 4 Clement, Miscellanies, vi. c. 2, § 4

2.  462 c 2 Clement, Miscellanies, vi. c. 2, § 16

3.  d 3 ibid. § 25

4.  d 14 Clement, Miscellanies, vi. c. 2, § 27

5.  463 a 1 ibid. c. 3, § 28

6.  463 d 5 I Sam. xi. 18

7.  d 7 Matt. v. 45

8.  464 a 1 Porphyry, Lecture on Literature, Bk. i, Fragment preserved by Eusebius

9.  c 5 Isocrates, Areopagiticus, p. 140 d

10.  465 a 3 Or 'Pherecydes the Syrian'

11.  466 c 10 Hesiod, Works and Days, 702

12.  d 3 Simonides, Fr. 6 (Bergk), 224 (Gaisf.)

13.  d 6 Euripides, Fr. 29 (511)

14.  d 10 Euripides, Medea, 231 

15.  d 12 Theodectes, Fr. 2 (Wagner)

16.  467 a 7 Hom. Il. i. 558

17.  b 1 Antimachus, Fr. 34 (Dubner)

18.  c 2 Hom. Od. ii. 334

19.  c 4 Hom. Il. xvi. 563

20.  c 7 Antimachus, Fr. 34

21.  d 14 Porphyry, Lecture on Literature, Bk. i

22.  471 c 10 Plato, Timaeus, 22 B; cf. Clement, Miscellanies, i. c. 15.

23.  471 d 12 Pseudo-Plato, Epinomis, 986 E

24.  472 a 6 ibid. 987 E

25.  b 1 Clement, l. c.

26.  475 b 3 Clement, Miscellanies, i. c. 16

27.  477 a 3 Josephus, Against Apion, i. 2

28.  480 a 5 Diodorus Siculus, i. 96

29.  481 a 1 Homer, Od. xxiv. 1

30.  a 4 Diod. Sic. i. 97

31.  c 6 Homer, Od. iv. 220-230

32.  485 b 1 Porphyry, Against the Christians, bk. iv; cf. p. 31 a

33.  487 d 6 Africanus, Chronography, bk. iii. Cf. Routh, Rell. Sacr. ii. p. 269

34.  488 d 1 Ezra 1

35.  489 b 1 Cf. Routh, Rell. Sacr. ii. p. 272

36.  c 10 Cf. ibid. ii. 374

37.  490 a 11 Cf. Routh, l. c., ii. p. 275

38.  c 1 Cf. Herod, ii. c. 162

39.  c 3 ibid. c. 104

40.  490 c 5 Cf. 497 a 6

41.  491 a 10 Cf. Pausanias, vi. c. 18

42.  c 1 Tatian, Address to the Greeks, c. 31

43.  492 d 6 Tatian, l. c., c. 36

44.  496 d 1 Clement of Alexandria, Miscellanies, i. c. 21

45.  497 d 9 Plato, Timaeus, 22 A

46.  498 a 8 Hom. Il. xx. 215

47.  c 7 Little Iliad, Fr. 6

48.  d 12 Cf. Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica, i. 146

49.  499 a 5 Hesiod, Theogony, 938

50.  499 d 6 Hom. Od. xii. 579

51.  d 10 Pind. Fr. 11 (114)

52.  d 13 Cf. Hom. Il. xxi. 443

53.  500 c 1 Josephus, Against Apion, i. 14

54.  501 a 1 Josephus, l. c.

55.  501 d 8 Josephus, Against Apion, c. 15

56.  502 d 8 Cf. Judges iii. 8, ibid. 9 'Othniel'

57.  503 a 5 Judges xii. 10-13

58.  504 b 4 cf. Diogenes, Laortius, ii. 6.

59.  c 1 Cf. Clement of Alexandria, Miscellanies, v. 71

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