Manetho was an Egyptian historian and priest from Sebennytos, in the Nile Delta, who lived during the reign of Ptolemy I.
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Wednesday, 17 July 2019

Manetho

Manetho

Manethon of Sebennytos

Manetho was an Egyptian historian and priest from Sebennytos, in the Nile Delta, who lived during the reign of Ptolemy I (Governor and Satrap of Egypt from 323-305BC and king from 305-282BC). Plutarch tells us that Manetho was one of the two priestly advisors for the King. It was probably on the recommendation of Ptolemy I that he started to comple a history of Egypt. The work entitled Aegyptiaca (History of Egypt or Notes About Egypt, was written in Greek and completed around circa 271BC.

In his manuscript Manetho attempted to describe Egyptian history from mythical times until the death of Alexander the Great. In Aegyptiaca, he coined the term "dynasty" to represent groups of rulers with a common origin. According to Manetho there were 30 dynasties ruling Egypt, Manetho's division of dynasties is still used as a basis for all Egyptian chronology.

While great reliance is placed on the work of Manetho, no full text of his work survives and all we know comes from surviving works of writers who quoted extensively from it as short transcripts and summaries of later Christian hisitorians. Also, Manetho's Aegyptiaca was quoted by various advocates of Egyptian, Jewish, and Greek histories in the form of supporting polemics.

Transmission of Manetho

Josephus Flavius - 1st century AD - Jewish Antiquities and Contra Apionem
Sextus Julius - Africanus (200 AD) - Chronicle
Eusebius Of Cesarea - 3rd/4th century AD
Syncellus (George the Monk), who was the secretary to the Byzantine Patriarch Tarasius (784-806AD) - Ecloga Chronographica

Snippets

Per-WerPer-wer

The Shrine of Upper Egypt, associated with the vulture Goddess Nekhbet. Symbolically the Per-wer shrines represents the whole of Upper Egypt. Per-wer is associated with heaven and divinity. The image is of a portable shrine that housed the image of the god in temples throughout Egypt.

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