From my diary

I’ve just got back from a rather ridiculous business trip, where the company made no concessions to human nature in its demands for long hours and travel.  Silly people.

I’ve finished reading Aulus Gellius, and have moved onto Josephus Contra Apionem in the Loeb, which I found in my pile of books to be disposed of.  It’s not very interesting, but it has quite a bit of chronology stuff in it.  He quotes Manetho, for instance.

But you find yourself wondering, after a while.  Did Josephus really have access to the history of Castor, from the 2nd century BC?  It seems unlikely.  More probably, he is quoting “Castor” at second hand, from some later writer. 

Anyone who writes a chronicle is liable to find his work incorporated in a later, more comprehensive, work.  This is because a chronicle should run up to the present day, and so is inevitably superseded by later works, in a way that is not true for other forms of literature.  Thus we get authors such as Alexander Polyhistor, quoting people like Berossus, and then people like Eusebius quoting both while, perhaps, only having read the former.  It is natural and inevitable.

The other interesting thing I have seen so far in Contra Apionem is a statement that the Jewish War was written with the aid of secretaries, for the sake of the Greek.

The proof of the Eusebius book has been ordered, and should arrive soon.

Work on the Origen book has resumed!  But I am too cross-eyed tonight to look at the new files.


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