The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Sanchuniathon

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Edition of 1920. See also Sanchuniathon on Wikipedia, and the disclaimer.

SANCHUNIATHON, săn-kū-nī′ạ-thȯn, or SANCHONIATHON, alleged author of a history of Phœnicia and Egypt, entitled ‘Phoinikika,’ and published by Philo (q.v.) of Byblus, a grammarian of the 2d century, as a Greek translation from the Phœnician. According to Philo, Sanchuniathon was a native of Berytus, a Phœnician town near his own native place, and flourished during the reign of the Assyrian queen Semiramis. Others speak of him as a Phœnician living before the Trojan War. Some critics maintain that no such person ever existed, and that the work attributed to him was the composition of Philo himself, or, as others think, of Eusebius. A fragment of the work is preserved in Eusebius, who quoted Sanchuniathon as evidence in corroboration of certain biblical statements which Porphyry had assailed. The Greek fragments still extant were published by Orelli (1826) and by C. Müller (1849), and were the occasion of much keen controversy. The conclusion arrived at by Renan is that a Phœnician of the time of the Seleucides, whose real or feigned name was Sanchionathon, wrote in Phœnician, a work on history and mythology, and that a free translation of this was afterward made by Philo of Byblus.