While I Am Away-2

25 Feb

Just some quotes from Manetho. He is the person so many Egyptologists base their Egyptian and biblical chronology upon even though his work only survives via quotes from other ancient authors. All quotes will be from the same book, whose information will be given after the first quote.

#1. Tutimaeus.3 In his reign, for what cause I know not, a blast of God smote us; and unexpectedly, from the regions of the East, invaders of obscure race marched in confidence of victory against our land. By main force they easily seized it without striking a blow;4 and having overpowered the rulers of the land, they then burned our cities ruthlessly, razed to the ground the temples of the gods, and treated all the natives with a cruel hostility, massacring some and leading into slavery the wives and children of others. Finally, they appointed as king one of their number whose name was Salitis.1 He had his seat at Memphis, levying tribute from Upper and Lower Egypt, and always leaving garrisons behind in the most advantageous positions. Above all, he fortified the district to the east, foreseeing that the Assyrians,2 as they grew stronger, would one day covet and attack his kingdom.

Manetho. (1964). History of Egypt and Other Works. (W. G. Waddell, Trans., T. E. Page, E. Capps, L. A. Post, W. H. D. Rouse, & E. H. Warmington, Eds.) (pp. 79–81). Cambridge, MA; London: Harvard University Press; William Heinemann Ltd.


#2. Sesôstris, for 48 years: he is said to have been 4 cubits 3 palms 2 fingers’ breadths in stature. In nine years he subdued the whole of Asia, and Europe as far as Thrace, everywhere erecting memorials of his conquest of the tribes. Upon stelae [pillars] he engraved for a valiant race the secret parts of a man. for an ignoble race those of a woman. Accordingly he was esteemed by the Egyptians as the next in rank to Osiris.


#3. Thereafter, he says, there came a revolt of the kings of the Thebaïd and the rest of Egypt against the Shepherds, and a fierce and prolonged war broke out between them. By a king whose name was Misphragmuthôsis,2 the Shepherds, he says, were defeated, driven out of all the rest of Egypt, and confined in a region measuring within its circumference 10,000 arûrae,3 by name Auaris. According to Manetho, the Shepherds enclosed this whole area with a high, strong wall, in order to safeguard all their possessions and spoils. Thummôsis, the son of Misphragmuthôsis (he continues), attempted by siege to force them to surrender, blockading the fortress with an army of 480,000 men. Finally, giving up the siege in despair, he concluded a treaty by which they should all depart from Egypt and go unmolested where they pleased. On these terms the Shepherds, with their possessions and households complete, no fewer than 240,000 persons,1 left Egypt and journeyed over the desert into Syria. There, dreading the power of the Assyrians who were at that time masters of Asia, they built in the land now called Judaea a city large enough to hold all those thousands of people, and gave it the name of Jerusalem


#4. In another book3 of his History of Egypt Manetho says that this race of so-called Shepherds is, in the sacred books of Egypt, described as “captives”; and his statement is correct. With our remotest ancestors, indeed, it was a hereditary custom to feed sheep; and as they lived a nomadic life, they were called Shepherds.4 On the other hand, in the Egyptian records they were not unreasonably styled Captives, since our ancestor Joseph told the king of Egypt5 that he was a captive, and later, with the king’s consent, summoned his brethren to Egypt. But I shall investigate this subject more fully in another place.1


#5. The Fifteenth Dynasty consisted of Shepherd Kings. There were six foreign kings from Phoenicia,3 who seized Memphis: in the Sethroïte nome they founded a town, from which as a base they subdued Egypt.


#6. The Seventeenth Dynasty were Shepherds and brothers:3 they were foreign kings from Phoenicia, who seized Memphis.
The first of these kings, Saïtês, reigned for 19 years: the Saïte nome4 is called after him. These kings founded in the Sethroïte nome a town, from which as a base they subdued Egypt.
2. Bnôn, for 40 years.
3. Aphôphis, for 14 years.
After him Archlês reigned for 30 years.
Total, 103 years.
It was in their time that Joseph was appointed king of Egypt.


#7. The Seventeenth Dynasty consisted of Shepherds, who were brothers1 from Phoenicia and foreign kings: they seized Memphis. The first of these kings, Saïtes, reigned for 19 years: from him, too, the Saïte nome2 derived its name. These kings founded in the Sethroïte nome a town from which they made a raid and subdued Egypt.
The second king was Bnon, for 40 years.
Next, Archles, for 30 years.
Aphophis, for 14 years.
Total, 103 years.
It was in their time that Joseph appears to have ruled in Egypt.3


#8. Thus Manetho has given us evidence from Egyptian records upon two very important points: first, upon our coming to Egypt from elsewhere; and secondly, upon our departure from Egypt at a date so remote that it preceded the Trojan war3 by wellnigh a thousand years.4 As for the additions which Manetho has made, not from the Egyptian records, but, as he has himself admitted, from anonymous legendary tales,5 I shall later refute them in detail, and show the improbability of his lying stories.


#9. Moses was the leader of the Jews, as I have already said, when they had been expelled from Egypt by King Pharaôh whose name was Tethmosis. After the expulsion of the people, this king, it is said, reigned for 25 years 4 months, according to Manetho’s reckoning.


#10. About this time Moses led the Jews in their march out of Egypt. (Syncellus adds: Eusebius alone places in this reign the exodus of Israel under Moses, although no argument supports him, but all his predecessors hold a contrary view, as he testifies.)


#11. The first writer upon whom I shall dwell is one whom I used a little earlier as a witness to our antiquity. I refer to Manetho. This writer, who had undertaken to translate the history of Egypt from the sacred books, began by stating that our ancestors came against Egypt with many tens of thousands and gained the mastery over the inhabitants; and then he himself admitted that at a later date again they were driven out of the country, occupied what is now Judaea, founded Jerusalem, and built the temple.1 Up to this point he followed the chronicles: thereafter, by offering to record the legends and current talk about the Jews, he took the liberty of interpolating improbable tales in his desire to confuse with us a crowd of Egyptians, who for leprosy and other maladies1 had been condemned, he says, to banishment from Egypt. After citing a king Amenôphis, a fictitious person,—for which reason he did not venture to define the length of his reign, although in the case of the other kings he adds their years precisely,—Manetho attaches to him certain legends, having doubtless forgotten that according to his own chronicle the exodus of the Shepherds to Jerusalem took place 518 years2 earlier.


#12. Manetho has made one concession to us. He has admitted that our race was not Egyptian in origin, but came into Egypt from elsewhere, took possession of the land, and afterwards left it. But that we were not, at a later time, mixed up with disease-ravaged Egyptians, and that, so far from being one of these, Moses, the leader of our people, lived many generations earlier, I shall endeavour to prove from Manetho’s own statements.


#13. It remains for me to reply to Manetho’s statements about Moses. The Egyptians regard him as a wonderful, even a divine being, but wish to claim him as their own by an incredible calumny, alleging that he belonged to Hêliopolis and was dismissed from his priesthood there owing to leprosy. The records, however, show that he lived 518 years1 earlier, and led our forefathers up out of Egypt to the land which we inhabit at the present time.


#14. According to Manetho, Moses was called Osarsêph. These names, however, are not interchangeable: the true name means “one saved out of the water,” for water is called “mō-y” by the Egyptians.1
It is now, therefore, sufficiently obvious, I think, that, so long as Manetho followed the ancient records, he did not stray far from the truth; but when he turned to unauthorized legends, he either combined them in an improbable form or else gave credence to certain prejudiced informants.


#15. Now, among the Egyptians there is current an old chronography,1 by which indeed. I believe, Manetho2 has been led into error.


#16. The illustrious Egyptian Manetho, writing of these same 30 Dynasties, and obviously taking this as his starting-point, is widely divergent thereafter in the dates he gives, as one may learn both from what I have already said above, and from the remarks that will follow immediately. For in his three books, 113 generations are recorded in 30 Dynasties, and the time which he assigns amounts in all to 3555 years, beginning with Anno mundi 1586 and ending with 5147 [5141], or some 15 years before the conquest of the world by Alexander of Macedon.


These are just food for thought as I concentrate on the other project at this time.


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Posted by on February 25, 2015 in academics, archaeology, history


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