Josephus


Josephus
Historian c.AD 70.
    Flavius Josephus was a Jewish historian whose writings were much used by Renaissance scholars as a basic source for ancient Egypt; they preserve, in heavily edited extracts, the chronological list of the kings of Egypt originally compiled by *Manetho. Although incomplete, this list forms one of the main sources for the modern reconstruction of Egypt's history. Josephus' account also contains comments on such religious matters as the possible relationship between the *Hyksos, *Joseph, *Moses and the Exodus, and it reproduces other tales accredited to *Manetho, such as the wars of *Sethos I and of *Ramesses II. Josephus claims that he quotes the exact words of *Manetho when he discusses the actions of the *Hyksos, although there is no other evidence the substantiate this. Since source material for the *Hyksos interlude is relatively scanty, his comments must be taken into account.
    He states that the *Hyksos were an obscure race who came from the east and invaded Egypt in the reign of an unidentified Tutimaios, seizing the country without striking a blow. Their subsequent actions were ruthless: they burnt cities and razed temples to the ground, and they massacred or enslaved the native population. A *Hyksos leader, Salitis, was appointed king and he ruled at Memphis and built a new capital at Avaris in the Delta. Josephus also provides the names of Salitis' *Hyksos successors.
    He believed that this account of the *Hyksos invasion represented the events that occur in the Biblical story of the sojourn in Egypt and he interpreted the name
'*Hyksos' as meaning 'Shepherd Kings' or 'captive shepherds', which lent support to this theory. His interpretation of the name '*Hyksos' was inaccurate and subsequently it has been shown that the name was derived from the Egyptian term which meant 'chieftains of foreign lands.'
BIBL. Josephus, The Works of Flavius Josephus. (trans. by William Whiston). New York: 1887.
Biographical Dictionary of Ancient Egypt by Rosalie and Antony E. David

Ancient Egypt. A Reference Guide. . 2011.

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