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22. Supplement on Sanchuniathon as Translated by Philo of Byblos in Eusebius of Caesarea (§300)

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22. Supplement on Sanchuniathon as Translated by Philo of Byblos in Eusebius of Caesarea (§300)




300. The following is a citation from the philosopher Porphyrius on Sanchuniathon, as quoted by Eusebius of Caesarea in his Preparation of the Gospel (Praeparatio Evangelica I. ix. 21 and X. ix. 12): “The most accurate account of the Jews, in the sense that it most accords in places and names, is that of Sanchuniathon of Beirut [this refers to Sanchuniathon’s History of the Jews, which is not the work cited infra, though a portion of it had similar content, see §399ff., below, >>], who drew on the records of Hierombalos, the priest of God Ieuo. The latter submitted the history to Abelbalos the king of Beirut. Sanchuniathon acquired his accurate account from the latter and from the compilers of his times. Their era falls before the Trojan War [the most probable date for which, following Eratosthenes, is 1183 BC, but some, like Herodotus, favored a date nearer 1300 BC] and quite close to the period of Moses, as the successors of the kings of Phoenicia have handed down to us. Sanchuniathon himself, who gathered and wrote up with great accuracy in the Phoenician language the whole of the ancient history from the records preserved in the city and the temple annals, lived in the time of Semiramis, the queen of Assyria, [the following added in I. ix. 21:] who, according to the written records, flourished before the Trojan War or around that same period. [The writer, therefore, seems to have in mind the earlier date for the Trojan War, as the traditional date of Moses, to whom this period was “quite close,” as stated above, was before 1300 BC. Also, Semiramis was the daughter of Belochos king of Assyria, who reigned, traditionally c. 1360 BC, and was believed to be contemporary with Gideon.] Philo of Byblos [early Roman Empire] translated the account of Sanchuniathon into the Greek language.”