The Chronography of George Synkellos by George Synkellos, Paul Tuffin, William Adler

By George Synkellos, Paul Tuffin, William Adler

George Synkellos, a monk of Constantinople who as soon as held a place of authority lower than the patriarch Tarasios, composed (in Greek) a chronicle of common historical past within the early 9th century. starting with the construction of the universe, the chronicle preserves a wealthy choice of historical resources, a lot of them differently unknown. The English translation supplied right here, including advent and notes, grants to make this influential and wide-ranging heritage extra obtainable to Byzantinists, scholars of historic historiography, and experts in biblical chronology, early Judaism, Egypt, and the traditional close to East.

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Africanus' approach to post-biblical chronology was entirely consistent with the method that he had employed for previous periods. A well-known and much-discussed oracle in the book of Daniel (9. 24-7) provided him with a scripturally based chronological under- pinning. In this oracle, the angel Gabriel revealed to Daniel an apocalyptic survey of Jewish history extending a period of '70 weeks' (= 490 years) from the post-exilic restoration of Jerusalem to the coming of an 'anointed one' and the messianic kingdom.

Because the Bible provided no clear chronological information for the dates of Moses' forefathers, Ambram, Kaath, and Levi, this information had to be teased out from other chronological notices. 57 Further to refine his dating of Moses, Synkellos was able to enlist the aid of Egyptian records. Basing himself on the Egyptian historian and grammarian Apion, Africanus concluded that Amosis was pharaoh in Egypt during the time of the Exodus. Synkellos believed he could demonstrate that Africanus had confused two Egyptian pharaohs of the same name.

But even while praising the efforts of earlier authorities to establish Moses' antiquity, the conventional wisdom in no way dissuaded Eusebios from reaching an independent conclusion. Moses lived much later than Inachos: 'Israel, the forefather of the Hebrews was in the time of Inachos.... And it is clear that Abraham and Semiramis were contemporaries.... '24 To the extent that Eusebios' chronicle devoted far more attention than Africanus to the antiquities of the Babylonians, Egyptians, Phoenicians, and Greeks, his chronicle is probably more deserving of the description 'universal'.

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