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2676Berossus and Genesis items of interest

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  • RUSSELLGMIRKIN@aol.com
    Oct 5, 2006
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      Now that Berossus and Genesis, Manetho and Exodus: Hellenistic Histories
      and the Date of the Pentateuch (New York-London: T & T Hastings, 2006) is
      readily available at libraries and the internet, I would like to highlight a few
      side topics discussed that may be of particular interest to ANE-2 participants.

      * The Elephantine Papyri are discussed at pp. 28-33 in conjunction with
      archaeological/inscriptional evidence weighing against the Documentary Hypothesis.
      * Cuneiform sources translated / paraphrased in Berossus are discussed in
      pp. 98-139 passim. The likely use of the Poem of Erra (based on indirect
      evidence from Pseudo-Eupolemus) may interest some.
      * Arguments for dating the Poem of Erra to c. 670 BCE are briefly discussed
      at p. 133 and note 312.
      * Manetho's stories (as found in Josephus) regarding the expulsion of
      foreigners into Syria are subjected to source criticism and found to rely wholly on
      native Egyptian traditions and Hecataeus of Abdera's Aegyptiaca. Of
      particular interest is the demonstration at pp. 194-213 that the story of Osarseph
      and the polluted Egyptians polemicized against the Ramesside revival of the
      cult of Seth-Typhon at Avaris (not against the Jewish Exodus story as commonly
      supposed).
      * The two stage construction of the Nile-to-Red-Sea canal under Ptolemy II
      Philadelphus in 280/279 BCE (from Pithom to the sea) and 274-269 BCE (from the
      Nile to Pithom) will be of interest to students of the Pithom Stele and/or
      the First Syrian War (pp 236-237).
      * Appendix E (pp. 271-276) argues that the Nora Inscription, an important
      early Phoenician text from the west Mediterranean island of Nora, was written in
      c. 833 BCE after the fall of Tarsus ("Tarshish") to Shalmaneser III.
      * Appendix F (pp. 277-296) discusses the history of anti-Semitic slanders
      equating Yahweh with the Egyptian anti-god Seth-Typhon. One notable conclusion
      is that the persecution of the Jews by Antiochus IV in 167 BCE was a
      transplant of traditional anti-Typhonian slanders and repressive measures from Egypt
      in the wake of Antiochus IV's brief enthronement as Pharaoh and the posting
      of former Ptolemaic governors and troops in Judea.

      Best regards,
      Russell Gmirkin



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