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Manetho(măn`ĭthō), fl. 300 B.C., Egyptian historian, a priest at Heliopolis, under Ptolemy I and Ptolemy II. His work, covering the history of Egypt from legendary times to 323 B.C., is written in Greek and is known to us only through the later works of Josephus, Sextus Julius Africanus, and Eusebius. Manetho's arrangement of 30 dynasties, in spite of limitations—some dynastic changes are not recorded; some dynasties continued through two or three of Manetho's—has proved to be a convenient device and is still in use.
Born in the second half of the fourth century B.C.; died at the beginning of the third century B.C. Ancient Egyptian historian; head priest in Heliopolis; a native of the city of Sebennytos.
Manetho wrote the History of Egypt in Greek; it has survived only as excerpts quoted by Flavius Josephus and the church historians Africanus and Eusebius. The division of Egyptian history into 30 dynasties and three periods—the Old Kingdom, Middle Kingdom, and New Kingdom—was made by Manetho (and is accepted by modern scholarship, with certain refinements, to the present day). The Soviet academician V. V. Struve has proved that Manetho used reliable sources: most of the information he presents is accurate.
PUBLICATION[Works]. With an English translation by W. G. Waddell. Loeb Classical Library, London, 1948.
REFERENCESStruve, V. V. “Manefon i ego vremia.” Zapiski kollegii vostokovedov. Vol. 3, issue 1, Leningrad, 1928. Vol. 4, Leningrad, 1930.
Struve, V. V. “Podlinnyi Manefonovskii spisok tsarei Egipta i khronologiia Novogo tsarstva.” Vestnik drevnei istorii, no. 4, 1946.