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Berosus

(251 words)

Author(s): Hecker, Karl
[German Version] (340–270 bce). The spelling Βηρωσσος is preferable to Βηρῶσος, since the Akkadian form behind the name is Bēl-rēʿ-šu, “Bēl is his shepherd.” Berosus was a priest of Esagila, the temple of Bēl/Marduk in Babylon. Some years before his death, he is reported to have moved to Cos, where he founded a school for astronomers. Around 281, he wrote (in Greek) his Babyloniaca, in which he recorded creation (book 1) and the history of the kings before and after the Flood down to the Persian period…

Mesopotamia

(6,968 words)

Author(s): Hecker, Karl
[German Version] I. Geography – II. History – III. Society – IV. Religion – V. Literature and Art I. Geography The name Mesopotamia, Greek “(land) bewteen the rivers (i.e. Euphrates and Tigris),” originally only denoted the territories between the bend of the Euphrates near Baghdad and the Khabur River, i.e. the area known as Ğazīra (“island”) in Arabic; the meaning of the name was later extended to include the entire land between the Persian fringe mountains in the east (Zagros) and the Syro-Arabian desert in…

Historiography

(5,830 words)

Author(s): Hecker, Karl | Cancik, Hubert | Dietrich, Walter | Plümacher, Eckhard | Brennecke, Hanns Christof | Et al.
[German Version] I. Ancient Near East – II. Greece – III. Rome – IV. The Bible – V. Christianity – VI. Judaism I. Ancient Near East Historiography in the classic sense, with a reflective account of historical linkages, developed rudimentarily at best in the cuneiform cultures of the ancient Near East in Hittite and Neo-Assyrian annals and the introductions to treaties; even these documents were usually written to justify the political actions. Around the middle of the 3rd millennium bce, however, there appeared an immense number of all sorts of texts containing more …