Origin/Historian/Author: Eusebius
Source: Cuneiform Parallels to the Old Testament, Robert William Rogers

Our only source of information concerning these Babylonian myths and legends is Berossus, a Babylonian priest under Antiochus Soter (281-262BCE), fragments of whose work have been preserved by Josephus and Eusebius, the latter having them at second hand from Alexander Polyhistor an Apollodorus. The passage here quoted rests partly upon Georgus Syncellus, is published in Eusebia Chromicorum Liber Prior, edidit Alfred Schone (Berlin, 1875).

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In Babylon there was a great number of men, of dif-
ferent races, who had settled Chaldea. They lived in
an uncivilized manner, like beasts (Syn. 50, 12).

In the first year there appeared from the Red Sea,
at the place where it borders upon Babylonia, an in-
telligent being, by name Oannes, as also Apollodorus
has narrated, having, as to the whole, the body of a
fish, but underneath the head there had grown another
head (underneath the head of the fish) and feet likewise
of a man, had grown from the tail of the fish. He had a
human voice, and a picture of him is even yet preserved.

This being, they say, spent the day with men, taking
no nourishment, and gave men knowledge of letters and
numbers and many arts, and taught them the set-
tlement of cities, the founding of temples, and introduc-
tion of laws and the survey of land, and he explained
seeds and the harvesting of crops, and all things together
which relate to the civilized life he taught men. From
that day nothing else remarkable has been found out
(Syn. 51, 2).

When the sun went down this being, Oannes, went
again into the sea, and spent the nights in the sea, for
he was amphibious. Later there appeared also two
others like him, concerning whom, they say, he (i. e.,

Berossus) gives information in the book of the Kings.
But Oannes wrote concerning the creation and concern-
ing citizenship, and gave the treatise to men (Syn.
51, 16).


The text here cited is the Armenian in Schoene’s Latin version, which differs somewhat from the Greek and is apparently better preserved. Other versions have 8 kings until the flood while this account has 10.


These things has Berossus narrated, that the first
king was Alorus, from Babylon, a Chaldean; he ruled
ten sars (Syncellus 71, 3). When, he says, Alorus was
dead his son Alaparus reigned three sars, and after
Alaparus Almelon, a Chaldean from the state Pautibiblon
reigned thirteen sars. After Almelon Ammenon a Chal-
dean from Parmibiblon reigned twelve sars. In those days
there appeared a certain being from the Red Sea, whom
they call Idotion, whose form was that of a man and of a
fish. And after him Amegalarus of the city of Pautibiblon
reigned eighteen sars. After this was Daonus, a shepherd
of the city of Pautibiblon; he also reigned ten sars.

Under him again from the Red Sea came forth four
Sirens, who, in like manner, appeared having the ap-
pearance of man and of fish. And thereafter Edoranchus
of the state of Pautibiblon held rule eighteen sars. Under
him again from the Red Sea there appeared a certain
other being, like fish and man, whose name was Odakon.
All these he (i. e., Berossus) says were both collectively
and singly sent forth by Oannes. Thereupon Amenph-
sinus, a Chaldean of Lanchara, held rule, and he reigned
ten sars. Then Otiartes, a Chaldean of Lanchara, held
rule; and he also reigned eight sars. When Otiartes was
dead, his son Xisuthros reigned eighteen sars. Under
him occurred the great flood. All these together make
ten kings and one hundred and twenty sars.