Ancient Mesopotamia 3300-331 B.C.E.: Arts Research Article from World Eras

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Early Third Century B.C.E.
Historian

Royal Historian. Berossus (perhaps Bel-reushunu in Akkadian) was a Babylonian priest, who wrote the socalled Babylonian History or Babyloniaka in Greek about 281 B.C.E. Dedicated to the Seleucid king Antiochus I (281-261 B.C.E.), these three books covered the history of Babylonia. Unfortunately, they are known incompletely, only from quotations by later authors. Berossus began by telling how Oannes (a half-fish, half-man creature) came from the sea and taught humans the arts of civilization. He then described how Marduk became the supreme god. In the second book, Berossus described ten legendary kings who ruled before the Flood and included a version of the Flood story. The final book, which is "historical" in the modern sense of the word, describes several Assyrian, Babylonian, and Persian rulers. The last event mentioned appears to have been the...

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