Eusebius'
Chronicle

The Greek Chronicle


[62] How the Greeks Calculate Their Ancient History.

[We shall list:]

The kings of the Athenians.
The kings of the Argives.
The kings of the Sicyonians.
The kings of the Lacedaemonians.
The kings of the Corinthians.
Who ruled the sea, and for how long.
How the Greeks reckon each of the Olympiads.
The first Macedonian kings.
The Thessalian, Syrian and Asian kings after Alexander of Macedon.


Greek Chronology.

The Greeks regard the Sicyonians as the most ancient [Greeks]. Their kings [g253] resided at Sicyon. The first king to rule Sicyon was Aegialeus, at the same time as Ninus and Belus, who are the first remembered kings of the Assyrians and of Asia. The Peloponnese was originally called Aegialeia, after this Aegialeus.

Inachus is said to have been the first king of the Argives, 235 years after the start of the Sicyonian kingdom.

Cecrops, called Diphyes, was the first king of the Athenians, [ruling] about 300 years after the start of the Argive kingdom, and 533 years after the start of the Sicyonian kingdom.

This chronicle will start with the earliest rulers, and will begin with a list of the kings of the Sicyonians [g254]. There is considerable disagreement among the ancients who composed chronicles of Greek history. As far as possible, we will select [material] on which there is consensus. The chronographer Castor lists the dates of the Sicyonian kings in his chronicle and then provides a summary of them, as follows:

"We will provide a list of the kings of Sicyon, starting with Aegialeus, the first king, and ending with Zeuxippus. These kings reigned for a total of 959 years. After the kings, [g255] six priests of [Apollo] Carneius were appointed; this priesthood lasted for 33 years. Then Charidemus was appointed priest; but he could not bear the expense, and went into exile." This according to Castor. Below we present the full list of the Sicyonian kings.


[63] The Kings of the Sicyonians.

  1. Aegialeus, 52 years. The Peloponnese was originally called Aegialeia, after this Aegialeus. He is said to have started to rule Sicyon in the 15th year of Belus, the first king of the Assyrians. According to legend, [Belus] was the son of Poseidon and Libya [g256].

  2. Europs, 45 years. He reigned at the same time as Ninus, the son of Belus.
  3. Telchin, 20 years. He reigned at the same time as Semiramis.
  4. Apis, 25 years. The Peloponnese was then called Apia, after this Apis.
  5. Thelxion, 52 years.
  6. Aegydrus, 34 years.
  7. Thurimachus, 45 years. During his reign, Inachus became the first king of the Argives.
  8. Leucippus, 53 years.
  9. Messapus, 47 years. During his reign Egypt was ruled by Joseph, as the Hebrews record [g257].
10. Eratus, 46 years.
11. Plemnaeus, 48 years.
12. Orthopolis, 63 years.
13. Marathonius, 30 years. During his reign, Cecrops Diphyes became the first king of Attica.

14. Marathus, 20 years. During his reign, Moses led the Hebrews out of Egypt, as will be shown in due course.

15. Echyreus, 55 years. During his reign, Danaus became king of the Argives [g258].
16. Corax, 30 years.
17. Epopeus, 35 years.
18. Laomedon, 40 years.

19. Sicyon, 45 years. During his reign, the kingdom of the Argives came to an end, after lasting for 540 years.

20. Polybus, 40 years.
21. Inachus, 40 years.
22. Phaestus, 8 years.
23. Adrastus, 4 years.
24. Polypheides, 31 years. During his reign, Troy was captured [g259].
25. Pelasgus, 20 years. During his reign, Aeneias was king of the Latins.
26. Zeuxippus, 31 years.

There were a total of 26 kings of Sicyon, who reigned for 959 years. After [Zeuxippus], there were no more kings. Instead the priests of [Apollo] Carneius [ruled].


1. The first [of these] priest[s] was Archelaus [who ruled] one year.
2. Automedon, one year.
3. Theoclytus, four years.
4. Euneus, six years.
5. Theonomus, nine years [g260].
6. Amphigyes, twelve years.
7. Finally, Charidemus one year. He could not bear the expense, and went into exile. He was priest 352 years before the first Olympiad [i.e. 1128 B.C.].

The total for the Sicyonian kings and priests is 998 years.

Following this list of the Sicyonian rulers it is appropriate to list the kings of the Argives as they are accurately recorded in ancient histories. Here is how Castor desribed them [g261].


[64] Castor on the Kings of the Argives.

Now we will list the kings of the Argives, begining with Inachus and ending with Sthenelus the son of Crotopus. These kings reigned for a total of 382 years, until Sthenelus was expelled by Danaus, who seized control of Argos. The descendants of Danaus ruled Argos, ending with Eurysthenes, the son of Sthenelus, the son of Perseus. After Eurysthenes, the descendants of Pelops ruled Argos. The duration of the reign of the kings of the Danaidae was 162 years. The duration of the reign of the Pelopidae was 105 years, starting with Atreus, and ending with Penthilus, Tisamenus and Cometes the son of Orestes, in whose time the invasion of the Heracleidae occurred.
The dates of each of the Argive kings are as follows.

The Kings of the Argives.

  1. Inachus, 50 years. The country was called Inachia, after this Inachus. He began to rule [g262] the Argives at the time of Thurimachus, who was the seventh king of the Sicyonians.

  2. Phoroneus, 60 years. In his reign, Ogygus founded Eleusis.

  3. Apis, 35 years. The country was then called Apia, after this Apis. During his reign, Joseph governed the Egyptians, as recorded by the Hebrews.

  4. Argus, the son of Zeus and Niobe, for 70 years. The name of the country was changed to Argeia, after this Argus.

  5. Criasus, 54 years.
  6. Phorbas, 35 years. During his reign, Cecrops Diphyes became king of the Athenians.
  7. Triopas, 46 years. During his reign, Moses led the Hebrews out of Egypt.
  8. Crotopus, 21 years.

  9. Sthenelus, 11 years.

Altogether these kings reigned for 382 years [g263].

Danaus expelled Sthenelus, and ruled Argos, as did his descendants. The succession of kings, and their dates, are as follows.

10. Danaus, 50 years.
11. Lynceus, 41 years.
12. Abas, 23 years.
13. Proetus, 17 years.
14. Acrisius, 31 years.

Altogether they ruled Argos for 545 years, until the end of the Danaidae.

After Acrisius, rule of the Argives passed to Mycenaae, when the descendants of Pelops took power, in the time of Eurysthenes the son of Sthenelus [g264]. Pelops was the first ruler of the Peloponnese, and he encouraged the Olympic games.

After Acrisius, when the Argives were ruled from Mycenae:

Eurysthenes ruled as king for 45 years.
Then the Pelopidae, Atreus and Thyestes, 65 years.
Then Agamemnon, 30 years. In the 18th year of his reign, Troy was captured.
Aegisthus, 17 years.

Orestes, Tisamenus, Penthilus and Cometes 58 years, until the invasion of the Heracleidae, who then conquered the Peloponnese. From the return of the Heracleidae until the migration of the Ionians [g265], 60 years elapsed. From the migration of the Ionians until the first Olympiad [776 B.C.], 267 years elapsed.

It is appropriate to follow this with a list of the kings of the Athenians, summarizing accurate accounts from ancient writers.

Ogygus is said to have been the first [king] of the Athenians. The Greeks relate that their great ancient flood took place during his reign. Phoroneus the son of Inachus, king of the Argives, is considered to have lived at this time. Plato mentions this in the Timaeus [22], as follows: "When he wished to acquaint [g266] them with ancient history, so they could discuss the antiquity of this city, he began his account with the old stories about Phoroneus and Niobe, and then what happened after the flood." Ogygus lived in the time of Messapus, the ninth king of Sicyon, and Belochus, the eighth king of the Assyrians.

After Ogygus and until the time of Cecrops, it is said that there was no king in Attica for 190 years, because of the great destruction caused by the flood. The number of years is calculated from the kings of the Argives, who reigned before Ogygus. From the end of the reign of Phoroneus, king of the Argives, in whose time Ogygus' flood is said to have occurred, until Phorbas, in whose time Cecrops became king of Attica, 190 years elapsed. From Cecrops until the first Olympiad [g267], seventeen kings, and twelve archons for life are listed; in this period too, the amazing fables of the Greeks are said to have unfolded. The Greeks count the kings of Attica from [Cecrops], because they do not know for certain the dates of any earlier kings. Castor explained this briefly in his history, as follows.


[65] Castor on The Kings of the Athenians.

Now we will list the kings of the Athenians, beginning with Cecrops, called Diphyes, and ending with Thymoetes. The total duration of the reigns of all these kings, called Erechtheidae, was 450 years. After them, Melanthus of Pylus, son of Andropompus, took over the kingdom, followed by his son Codrus. The total duration of their two reigns was 52 (or 58) years. [lacuna]... [archons] starting with Medon (?) son of Codrus, and ending with Alcmaeon son of Aeschylus. The total duration of the rule of the archons for life was 209 years. The next archons held power for 10 years each; there were seven such archons, who ruled for 70 years [g268]. Then the archons started to hold power for one year each, starting with Creon and ending with Theophemus, in whose time the valorous deeds of our land ceased.
This is how Castor put it. Let us now provide a list of all these kings.

[66] The Kings of the Athenians.


  1. Cecrops Diphyes, 50 years. In his reign Prometheus, Epimetheus and Atlas lived. He began ruling the Athenians in the time of Triopas, the seventh king of the Argives, and Marathonius, the thirteenth king of Sicyon. At this time, Moses had become recognized amongst the Hebrews, as we will show in due course. Also at this time, the flood of Deucalion is said to have occurred in Thessaly [g269], and fire devastated the land of Ethiopia in the time of Phaethon.

  2. Cranaus, a native, 9 years.

  3. Amphictyon, the son of Deucalion and son-in-law of Cranaus, 10 years. The deeds narrated about the Danaidae are said to have occurred in his reign.

  4. Erichthonius, the son of Hephaestus, who is called Erechtheus by Homer, 50 years. The Idaean Dactyls lived in his reign.

  5. Pandion, the son of Erichthonius, 40 years. The kidnaping of the girl [Persephone], and what is narrated about Triptolemus, occurred in his reign.

  6. Erechtheus the son of Pandion, 50 years. The deeds narrated about Perseus occurred in his reign.

  7. Cecrops, the brother of Erechtheus, 40 years. The deeds narrated about Dionysus occurred in his reign [g270].

  8. Pandion, the son of Erechtheus, 25 years. Afterwards Pandion went into exile, and became king of Megara. The deeds narrated about Europa, Cadmus and the Sparti occurred in his reign.

  9. Aegeus, the son of Pandion, 48 years. The deeds narrated about the Argonauts and the Centaurs occurred in his reign; and Heracles held the wrestling competitions.

10. Theseus, the son of Aegeus, 30 years. In his reign, Minos became recognized as a legislator.

11. Menestheus, the son of Peteus, son of Orneus son of Erechtheus, 23 years. In his reign, Troy was captured.

12. Demophon, the son of Theseus, 33 years. The deeds narrated about Odysseus and Orestes occurred in his reign; and Aeneias was king of Lavinium.

13. Oxyntes [g271], the son of Demophon, 12 years. In his reign, the Amazons burned down the temple at Ephesus.

14. Apheidas, the son of Oxyntes, one year.

15. Thymoetes, the brother of Apheidas, 8 years.

16. Melanthus of Pylus, the son of Andropompus, 37 years. In his reign the Heracleidae returned and occupied the Peloponnese.

17. Codrus, the son of Melanthus, 21 years. In his reign, the Ionians were expelled from Achaea, and took refuge in Athens.


[67] The Athenian Princes [Archons] Who Ruled for Life.


18. Medon, the son of Codrus, 20 years.

19. Acastus, the son of Medon [g272], 36 years. In his reign occurred the migration of the Ionians, including Homer, so they say. At the same time, Solomon built the temple at Jerusalem, as we will show at the appropriate time..

20. Archippus, the son of Acastus, 19 years.
21. Thersippus, the son of Archippus, 41 years.
22. Phorbas, the son of Thersippus, 30 years.
23. Megacles, the son of Phorbas, 30 years.
24. Diognetus, the son of Megacles, 28 years. At this time, Lycurgus had become prominent.
25. Pherecles, the son of Diognetus, 19 years.

26. Ariphron, the son of Pherecles, 20 years. At this time, the kingdom of the Assyrians came to an end, and Sardanapalus was killed [g273].

27. Thespieus, the son of Ariphron, 27 years. At this time, Lycurgus created laws for the Spartans.
28. Agamestor, the son of Thespieus, 17 years.
29. Aeschylus, the son of Agamestor, 23 years. In his twelfth year, the first Olympiad was held, in which Coroebus won the stadion contest.

Adding together the reigns of all the Athenian kings, from the time of Cecrops to the first Olympiad [776 B.C.] the total is 780 years. And 970 years elapsed from Ogygus until the first Olympiad.

Henceforth it is appropriate to provide dating according to the Olympiads [g274].

After Aeschylus, Alcmaeon ruled the Athenians, for 2 years.

After him it was decided to appoint archons for ten years each:

Charops, for ten years.
Aesimides, for ten years.
Cleidicus, for ten years.
Hippomenes, for ten years.
Leocrates, for ten years.
Apsander, for ten years.
Eryxias, for ten years.

During [Eryxias' reign], it was decided to appoint archons for one year each. The first yearly archon was Creon, in the 24th Olympiad [684-681 B.C.]. Thereafter an archon was appointed each year. There is no need to list their names.

We have provided the dates of the ancient rulers of the Athenians [g275], as related by old and especially reliable historians. We have set down the dates and events before the capture of Troy--which are not regarded as particularly accurate--as well as we could from the many accounts. Similarly, events from the capture of Troy until the first Olympiad are not accurately recorded. However Porphyrius, in the first book of his Philosophical History, gives the following summary:


[68] Porphyrius from the first book of his Philosophical History [g276].

Apollodorus says that there are 80 years from the capture of Troy [1183 B.C.] until the Heracleidae invasion of the Peloponnese [1103 B.C.]; 60 years from the return of the Heracleidae until the settling of Ionia [1043 B.C.]; 159 years from that point until Lycurgus [884 B.C.]; ... and there are 108 years from Lycurgus until the first Olympiad [776 B.C.]. Altogether, 407 years elapsed from the capture of Troy to the first Olympiad.
I believe that it would be appropriate next to discuss the Greek Olympiads [g277].

Continue


Return to Chronicle's Table of Contents
Return to Historical Sources Menu
Return to History Workshop Menu

--   This is a mirror of one of Robert Bedrosian's web pages   --