1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Achiacharus
|←Acheron||1911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 1
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ACHIACHARUS, a name occurring in the book of Tobit (i. 21 f.) as that of a nephew of Tobit and an official at the court of Esarhaddon at Nineveh. There are references in Rumanian, Slavonic, Armenian, Arabic and Syriac literature to a legend, of which the hero is Ahikar (for Armenian, Arabic and Syriac, see The Story of Ahikar, F. C. Conybeare, Rondel Harris and Agnes Lewis, Camb. 1898), and it was pointed out by George Hoffmann in 1880 that this Ahikar and the Achiacharus of Tobit are identical. It has been contended that there are traces of the legend even in the New Testament, and there is a striking similarity between it and the Life of Aesop by Maximus Planudes (ch. xxiii.-xxxii.). An eastern sage Achaïcarus is mentioned by Strabo. It would seem, therefore, that the legend was undoubtedly oriental in origin, though the relationship of the various versions can scarcely be recovered.
See the Jewish Encyclopaedia and the Encyclopaedia Biblica; also M. R. James in The Guardian, Feb. 2, 1898, p. 163 f.