Hecataeus of Abdera

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Hecataeus of Abdera


Lived in the fourth and third centuries B.C. Ancient Greek historian who lived in Egypt during the reign of Ptolemy I.

Hecataeus of Abdera was the author of several works, including On the Hyperboreans, fragments of which have been preserved; On the Poetry of Homer and Hesiod, which has not been preserved; and History of Egypt, fragments of which remain. Hecataeus’ History of Egypt is an original philosophical Utopia, in which he describes a harmonious state headed by a benevolent king and priests who are guardians of wise laws. Hecataeus extolled the significance of Egyptian culture and declared that all ancient culture had its source in Egypt.


Müller, C. Fragmenta historicorum graecorum, vol. 2. Paris, 1848. Pages 386-88.
In Russian translation:
In the collection A. O. Makovel’skii, “Gekatei iz Abdery.” Izv. Azerbaidzhanskogo un-ta, 1927, vols. 8-10, pp. 51-55.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Chapter 9 makes use of Manetho and Hecataeus of Abdera to date the story of the exodus from Egypt in the Hellenistic period.
Grabbe thinks that the account of Hecataeus of Abdera, (c.300 BCE) describes a too idealistic view of the Jewish assemblies.
features in descriptions of Egypt (e.g., Hecataeus of Abdera, frag.
Philo promoted his own work as that of Sanchuniathon but could also denounce Hecataeus of Abdera on the Jews as a Jewish forgery.
(17) Hecataeus of Abdera centralized the story of Io and her descendants in his account, likewise reasserting the chronological priority of Egypt and emphasizing the cultural contributions that Egypt had made to world history.
Thanks to (**)Pseudo-Hecataeus, On the Jews(29) I now know that the ethnographer Hecataeus of Abdera was not the author of the sparse fragments and testimonia we owe to Josephus' attack on the anti-Jewish writers of the Roman period.
179 Wehrli VII), entitled, [Unknown Words Omitted] or the [Unknown Words Omitted] of Duris of Samos (FGrHist 76 F 29), as well as the [Unknown Words Omitted] Hecataeus of Abdera (FGrHist 264 T 1).
100 B.C.E.) to Josephus's Jewish War (c.80 C.E.), and is reflected also in works of pagan writers, from Hecataeus of Abdera (fl.
The texts chosen include the writings of Hecataeus of Abdera, Aristeas, both the Hebrew and Greek versions of Ben Sira, Jubilees, Philo of Alexandria, Josephus, and Pseudo-Philo.
The title "Historical Library" sheds light on the nature of this "syntax," which relies immensely on the reading and compilation of earlier authors: Ephorus of Cyme (middle of the fourth century), Posidonius, Polybius, Agatharchides of Cnidus, Megasthenes for India, Hecataeus of Abdera on Egypt.
Hecataeus of Abdera, for instance, described the uniqueness of Jerusalem, its Temple, and people, as well as the success of Jewish society in preserving its ancestral traditions.