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Manetho: History of Egypt and Other Works (Loeb Classical Library No. 350)

8 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0674993853
ISBN-10: 0674993853
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Manetho: History of Egypt and Other Works (Loeb Classical Library No. 350) + Berossos and Manetho, Introduced and Translated: Native Traditions in Ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press (January 1, 1940)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0674993853
  • ISBN-13: 978-0674993853
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 4.5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #460,369 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 34 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 23, 1999
Because it is not immediately evident from the information posted on this selection, prospective purchasers should know that this book is a part of the "standard" bilingual (Greek/English) Loeb Classical Library. As such, it is a fine academic work, and a decent addition to any classical library. However, potential buyers should also know that the writings of Manetho contained in this volume are only "as quoted by other writers" (e.g. Eusebius and Josephus). As such, the work reflects (often infuriatingly so) as much the opinions and biases of these ancient "reviewers" as it does of Manetho's actual words. Apart from this "caveat emptor," anyone interested in Egyptian history and religion as viewed by an Egyptian of the third century BC -- albeit re-viewed by sometimes antipathetical critics -- is advised to add this small volume to his or her collection.
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19 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 25, 1999
This is probably better for scholars than for the general reader. Manetho lived during the third century BC and wrote of ancient Egyptian history spanning 30 dynasties to the age of Alexander. But since the original has not survived, this attempts to reconstruct what Manetho may have been, but does so with three variants of his "History of Egypt", two are quoted from Syncellus who quotes from Ersebius and Africanus who quote from Manetho. These amount to lists of dynastic ages, showing - one after the other - how the sources record each (which are not identical). Also interspersed with probably corrupt versions of Manetho quoted by Josephus. Including confusing footnotes throughout. Also attempts to reconstruct "The Sacred Book", "An Epitome of Physical Doctrines", "On Festivals", "On Ancient Ritual and Religion", and "On the Making of Kyphi", in addition to a further appendix. Overall, the results are unimpressive and lack any attraction as literature. Of its 250 pages every other is in Greek. Includes one map of the Nile valley.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By J. Buford on June 11, 2004
In history, Manetho was a 3rd century B.C.E. priest of Heliopolis commissioned to write a definitive work on the story of Egypt from its inception to the time of Alexander the Great. Disappointingly, Manetho's orignal work is lost. Tantalizingly, all we have are his various quotations from the likes of later writers including Josephus and Church historian Eusebius, Bishop of Caesaria. This work collects these various quotes in a few pages of its text and gives us a partial glimpse at that which was originally nothing less than the Egyptian version of the Exodus. This is critical because contemporary students of biblical history usually only find these quotes further removed from their source in other more contemporary works that themselves quote the earlier writers like Josephus or Eusebius (who themselves, of course, are only quoting). What this book reveals is that we only have a very bare bones and sketchy picture of the Exodus as Manetho saw it. From his perspective, the Hebrews did not bravely obtain their freedom but were forced from the land of Egypt. Proto historical spin doctoring aside, the account significantly does not deny the Exodus but rather attempts to caste it in a different light. As biblical archeology sifts the detritus of the Sinai for hard evidence of the Exodus, this book perhaps offers hope that the search is not in vain.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Steve Reina VINE VOICE on May 28, 2007
Who was Moses?

Did the Exdous really occur?

These are among some of the questions addressed in this short work. It was written at the behest of Ptolemy II second in the Ptolemic and last of the Egyptian dynasties (of which Cleopatra would later so immortalize). At the time of its commission, Ptolemy II wanted a complete history of Egypt from its inception to the time of Alexander the Great.

Regrettably the work now exists only in fragments as they were preserved by later writers. Nonetheless what does exist provides interesting glimpses into the Egyptian view of the Exodus.

Instead of denying the Exodus, Manetho put an Egyptian spin on it, saying that Moses' true name was Osarseph and that he was essentially a renegade priest during the time of Akenaten. Far from casting the Israelites as couregous freedom fighters, Manetho paints them as forced expatriots, forceably kicked out of their country.

This Egyptian view of the matter later came to serve as a centerpiece to Gary Greenberg in his Moses Mystery wherein he speculated that the Exodus did indeed occur around the time of the reign of Akenaten and really did involve support from the then then disopossessed Egyptian priesthood. As is known generally to historians, Akenaten proclaimed the sole worship of the Aten or sun disk at the expense of all other then existent Egyptian religions.

While it is certainly logically plausible that the priests dispossed by Akenaten's reforms would have rebelled, the link between any antipathy they experienced and a genuine Israelite Exodus has now come to be disregarded on other grounds. For one thing, as shown in his book Who were the Israelites and Where did they come from?
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Manetho: History of Egypt and Other Works (Loeb Classical Library No. 350)
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