Berossos and Manetho, Introduced and Translated

Native Traditions in Ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt
Gerald P. Verbrugghe and John M. Wickersham
An accessible introduction to the world of the pharaohs and Alexander the Great


Berossos and Manetho begins with a general introduction to the cultural history of ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt. It then presents a translation of the only known native narratives, written in Greek, of the histories of these two civilizations. The priest Berossos chronicled the past of ancient Babylon from the mythical creation of the world down to Alexander the Great's conquest in the fourth century b.c.e. For Egypt, the scribe Manetho's list of rulers from the reigns of the gods down to Alexander's conquest remains the basis for the dynastic arrangement of the pharaohs that is still used today.

Berossos and Manetho offers particular emphasis on and discussion of the languages and scripts used to preserve the glorious past of these lands. Each author receives his own special introduction, which describes his life, the sources of his History, the nature and content of his writings, and his goals and accomplishments. There follows a translation of all the surviving ancient information about each author, and of all that can be recovered of his writings. For the first time, Berossos and Manetho—priests and contemporaries who write just when their lands had been pushed into Hellenization—have been translated in one volume.

This volume will appeal to all people interested in ancient Israel, Greek history, and ancient history in general.

Gerald P. Verbrugghe is Associate Professor of History, Rutgers University.

John M. Wickersham is Professor of Classics and Classics Department Chairperson, Ursinus College.

Praise / Awards

  • ". . . an excellent and very useful book, which will give good service to everyone interested in the effects of Hellenization on the ancient Near Eastern cultures, and in the materials available to the Hellenistic Greeks, the Romans, and the western world until the nineteenth century for knowledge of Near Eastern history. . . . [Verbrugghe and Wickersham] deserve praise for making these important, even if frustrating documents accessible to monoglot Anglophones, and for providing introductions from which both students and scholars will benefit."
    Bryn Mawr Classical Review

Product Details

  • 6 x 9.
  • 256pp.
  • 35 tables, 3 maps.
Available for sale worldwide

  • Paper
  • 2001
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-08687-0

Add to Cart
  • $29.95 U.S.