Greek Chronicles

These chronicles were written at different times, and in different levels of detail, varying from bare lists of rulers to descriptions of the events of each year. The last three are translated here from the text of Jacoby, and reproduce his numbering. See key to translations for an explanation of the format.

The Chronicle of Eusebius has been translated separately.


Astronomical Canon

Ancient astronomers needed to keep an accurate list of reign lengths, so that they could calculate the date of observations which had been made a long time previously. The lists were regularly updated, and the example shown here is derived from the writings of the astronomer Ptolemy, in the second century A.D., as reconstructed by C.Wachsmuth ("Einleitung in das Studium der Alten Geschichte", p.305). The dates are reckoned according to the Egyptian year of 365 days; so that, for instance, the list shows that the accession of Xerxes took place in the year beginning 23 December 486 B.C.

The names of the Babylonian kings are shown in their Greek form. According to Bickerman (p.109), their original Babylonian names were:
Nabonassar;   Nabunadinzri;   Ukinzir & Pulu;   Ululas (Shalmaneser IV);   Mardukbaliddin;   Arkeanos (Sargon II);   ~;   Belibni;   Ashurnadinshum;   Nergalushezib;   Mushezib Marduk;   ~;   Esarhaddon;   Shamashshumkin;   Kandalanu;   Nabopolossar;   Nebuchadrezzar;   Amel-Marduk;   Neriglissar;   Nabonidus.

For an earlier example of a Babylonian king-list, which lists the Seleucid kings instead of the Ptolemies, see the Uruk King List, translated at

[1] Kings [of the Babylonians]   Years   Total Year of accession (first day of Egyptian year)
Nabonassarus 14 14 747 B.C. (27 Feb.)
Nadius 2 16 733 B.C. (23 Feb.)
Chinzerus & Porus 5 21 731 B.C. (22 Feb.)
Ilulaeus 5 26 726 B.C. (21 Feb.)
Mardocempadus 12 38 721 B.C. (20 Feb.)
Arceanus 5 43 709 B.C. (17 Feb.)
no king 2 45 704 B.C. (15 Feb.)
Bilibus 3 48 702 B.C. (15 Feb.)
Aparanadius 6 54 699 B.C. (14 Feb.)
Rhegebelus 1 55 693 B.C. (13 Feb.)
Mesesimordacus 4 59 692 B.C. (12 Feb.)
no king 8 67 688 B.C. (11 Feb.)
Asaradinus 13 80 680 B.C. (9 Feb.)
Saosduchinus 20 100 667 B.C. (6 Feb.)
Cineladanus 22 122 647 B.C. (1 Feb.)
Nabopolassarus 21 143 625 B.C. (27 Jan.)
Nabocolassarus 43 186 604 B.C. (21 Jan.)
Illoarudamus 2 188 561 B.C. (11 Jan.)
Nerigasolassarus 4 192 559 B.C. (10 Jan.)
Nabonadius 17 209 555 B.C. (9 Jan.)
[2] Kings of the Persians
Cyrus 9 218 538 B.C. (5 Jan.)
Cambyses 8 226 529 B.C. (3 Jan.)
Dareius I 36 262 521 B.C. (1 Jan.)
Xerxes 21 283 486 B.C. (23 Dec.)
Artaxerxes I 41 324 465 B.C. (17 Dec.)
Dareius II 19 343 424 B.C. (7 Dec.)
Artaxerxes II 46 389 405 B.C. (2 Dec.)
Ochus 21 410 359 B.C. (21 Nov.)
Aroges 2 412 338 B.C. (16 Nov.)
Dareius III 4 416 336 B.C. (15 Nov.)
Alexander the Macedonian 8 424 332 B.C. (14 Nov.)
[3] Kings of the Macedonians
Philippus, the successor
of Alexander the founder
7 431 7 324 B.C. (12 Nov.)
another Alexander 12 443 19 317 B.C. (10 Nov.)
Ptolemy son of Lagus 20 463 39 305 B.C. (7 Nov.)
[Ptolemy] Philadelphus 38 501 77 285 B.C. (2 Nov.)
[Ptolemy] Euergetes 25 526 102   247 B.C. (24 Oct.)
[Ptolemy] Philopator 17 543 119 222 B.C. (18 Oct.)
[Ptolemy] Epiphanes 24 567 143 205 B.C. (13 Oct.)
[Ptolemy] Philometor 35 602 178 181 B.C. (7 Oct.)
[Ptolemy] Euergetes II 29 631 207 146 B.C. (29 Sep.)
[Ptolemy] Soter 36 667 243 117 B.C. (21 Sep.)
[Ptolemy] new Dionysus 29 696 272 81 B.C. (12 Sep.)
Cleopatra 22 718 294 52 B.C. (5 Sep.)
[4] Kings of the Romans
Augustus 43 761 337 43 30 B.C. (31 Aug.)
Tiberius 22 783 359 65 14 A.D. (20 Aug.)
Gaius 4 787 363 69 36 A.D. (14 Aug.)
Claudius 14 801 377 83 40 A.D. (13 Aug.)
Nero 14 815 391 97 54 A.D. (10 Aug.)
Vespasianus 10 825 401 107   68 A.D. (6 Aug.)
Titus 3 828 404 110 78 A.D. (4 Aug.)
Domitianus 15 843 419 125 81 A.D. (3 Aug.)
Nerva 1 844 420 126 96 A.D. (30 Jul.)
Trajanus 19 863 439 145 97 A.D. (30 Jul.)
Hadrianus 21 884 460 166 116 A.D. (25 Jul.)
Aelius Antoninus 23 907 483 189 137 A.D. (20 Jul.)

239: Marmor Parium

This famous inscription, dating from 264/3 B.C., is preserved in two parts. "A" has been in England since 1627, and is now in the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford; "B" was found on the island of Paros in 1897. The original Greek text, along with an English translation, can be found on the Ashmolean web site. For viewing on the web, it has been split up into sections, as follows:

A'1-10 ( from 1581 to 1505 B.C. )
A'11-20 ( from 1431 to 1259 B.C. )
A'21-30 ( from 1256 to 895 B.C. )
A'31-40 ( from 790? to 561 B.C. )
A'41-50 ( from 556 to 485 B.C. )
A'51-60 ( from 480 to 442 B.C. )
A'61-70 ( from 420 to 377 B.C. )
A'71-80 ( from 373 to 355 B.C. )
B'1-10 ( from 336 to 322 B.C. )
B'11-20 ( from 321 to 308 B.C. )
B'21-27 ( from 307 to 299 B.C. )

Unfortunately the end of the inscription, which would have covered from 298 to 264 B.C., has been lost.

252: "Roman Chronicle"

Preserved in an inscription (IG_14.1297). The dates show that it was written in about 16 A.D.

[A] 1 [From when Sulla] set out for the war [against Mithridates], and Soter, nicknamed Physcon, returned to Egypt and ruled for the second time: 103 years {88/7 B.C.}.
2 From when Marius captured Ostia and forced Octavius to come to terms, but did not keep his pledge and killed Octavius; and in Attica Sulla captured Athens: 102 years {87/6 B.C.}.
3 From when Fimbria defeated Mithridates' army near Cyzicus and captured Ilium, but was restrained by Sulla and committed suicide; and Mithridates came to terms with Sulla; and Philopator returned to Bithynia and ruled there for the second time; and Ariobarzanes was restored to [the throne of] Cappadocia: 100 years {85/4 B.C.}.
4 From when Sulla defeated Norbanus near Capua, and after shutting up the consul Marius in Praeneste, killed him as he tried to escape: 98 years {83/2 B.C.}.
5 From when Sulla became dictator: 97 years {82/1 B.C.}.
6 From when Soter, nicknamed Physcon, died: 96 years {81/0 B.C.}.

[B] 1 From when ...
2 From when [Solon was archon of the Athenians] and [established] laws for them; and Anacharsis the Scythian came to [Athens]: ... years.
3 From when Croesus became king of the Lydians: ... years.
4 From when the [? seven] wise men were identified: ... years.
5 From when Peisistratus became tyrant at Athens; and Aesopus was thrown to his death by the Delphians: 579 years {564/3 B.C.}.
6 From when Croesus [submitted to] Cyrus: ... years.
7 From when Cambyses [conquered] Egypt; and Pythagoras was seized: (?) 540 years {525/4 B.C.}.
8 From when Harmodius and Aristogeiton killed the tyrant Hipparchus; and Dareius crossed over against the Scythians, after bridging the Cimmerian Bosporus: 528 years {513/2 B.C.}.
9 From when Xerxes crossed the Hellespont, after bridging it near Abydus; and Themistocles defeated the barbarians in a naval battle: 49. years.
10 From when Socrates the philosopher, Heracleitus of Ephesus, Anaxagoras, Parmenides and Zenon [were in their prime]: ... years.
11 From when the Peloponnesian war began; and Thucydides [was in his prime]: ... years.
12 From when the Gauls defeated the Romans and captured Rome: 401 years {386/5 B.C.}.

255: "Oxyrhyncus Chronicle"

Preserved in an Egyptian papyrus (POxy_12). The papyrus was written after 250 A.D.

[1] [In the 106th Olympiad ... in the second year] Dion was murdered by the tyrant Dionysius at Syracuse. In the third year the inhabitants of Tibur were defeated by the Romans, and surrendered.

[2] In the 107th Olympiad {352 B.C.} Smicrinas [of Tarentum] won the stadion race, and the archons at Athens were [Aristodemus], Thessalus, [Apollodorus] and Callimachus. In the third year plebeian censors were elected at Rome for the first time.

[3] In the 108th Olympiad {348 B.C.} Polycles of Cyrene won the stadion race, and the archons at Athens were Theophilus, Themistocles, Archias and Eubulus. In the first year the philosopher Plato died and Speusippus succeeded him as head of the school. In the second year Philippus ...

[4] [In the 109th Olympiad] {344 B.C.} Aristolycus [of Athens won the stadion race], and the archons at Athens were [Lyciscus], Pythodotus, Sosigenes and Nicomachus. In the second year Dionysius II, tyrant of Sicily, fell from power and sailed off to Corinth, where he survived as a schoolteacher. In the fourth year the eunuch Bagoas murdered Ochus, the king of the Persians, and set up Arses who was the youngest of Ochus' sons as king, while he himself controlled the whole government.

[5] In the 110th Olympiad {340 B.C.} Anticles of Athens won the stadion race, and the archons at Athens were Theophrastus, Lysimachides, Chaerondas and Phrynichus. In the first year the Samnites fought against the Romans. In the second year the Latins united in an attack on the Romans. In the third year Philippus, the king of the Macedonians, defeated the Athenians and Boeotians in the famous battle at Chaeroneia, with the help of his son Alexander, who distinguished himself by his bravery in the battle. Isocrates the teacher of rhetoric died, [at the age of about] ninety years ... the eunuch [Bagoas] killed Arses the king of the Persians along with his brothers, and set up Dareius the son of Arsames, who belonged to the royal family, as king in Arses' place. At the same time the Romans fought against the Latins. In the fourth year the assembly of the Greeks met and appointed Philippus to be supreme commander in the war against the Persians.

[6] In the 111th Olympiad {336 B.C.} Cleomantis of Cleitor won the stadion race, and the archons at Athens were Pythodelus, Euaenetus, Ctesicles and Nicocrates. In the first year Philippus the king of the Macedonians was murdered by Pausanias, one of his bodyguards, and his son Alexander succeeded him as king. After assuming power, Alexander first defeated the Illyrians, Paeonians and other barbarian tribes who had revolted, and then captured and destroyed Thebes. In Rome, the priestesses of Vesta, who remain virgins for all their life, were accused of having been defiled ... In the second year Alexander the king of the Macedonians crossed over to Asia and defeated the generals of Dareius the king of the Persians in a battle by the river Granicus. In the third year Alexander met Dareius in battle at Issus in Cilicia, and again defeated him. He killed many thousands of the Persians and their allies, and captured many prisoners and a great quantity of booty. At the same time, Alexander the Molossian crossed over to Italy in aid of the Greeks who lived there. In the fourth year the Romans gave [the Campanians] Roman citizenship [without the right to] vote.

[7] In the 112th Olympiad {332 B.C.} Gryllus of Chalcis won the stadion race, and the archons at Athens were Nicetes, Aristophanes, Aristophon and Cephisophon. In the first year Alexander the son of Philippus captured Tyre and took possession of Egypt, where the natives willingly received him because of their hatred of the Persians. Then he ordered [? the foundation of the city of Alexandria] ... He made an expedition to the temple of Ammon, and on his way he founded the city of Paraetonium. In the third year Alexander won another victory over Dareius, in a battle at Arbela. After that Dareius was treacherously killed by his own friends, and the empire of the Persians came to an end; it had lasted 233 years from Cyrus, who established it.

[8] In the 113th Olympiad {328 B.C.} Criton of Macedonia won the stadion race, and the archons at Athens were Euthycritus, Hegemon, Chremes [and Anticles]. Throughout the four years of this Olympiad there occurred the rest of the exploits of Alexander, as he conquered the nations of Asia.

[9] In the 114th Olympiad {324 B.C.} Micinas of Rhodes won the stadion race, and the archons at Athens were Hegesias, Cephisophon, Philocles and Archippus. In the first year Alexander died, in the 13th year of his reign and the 33rd year of his life. In the second year Ptolemy the son of Lagus was sent to govern Egypt. In the ...

[10] In the 115th Olympiad {320 B.C.} Damasias of Amphipolis won the stadion race, and the archons at Athens were Neaechmus, Apollodorus, Archippus and Demogenes. In the first year Antipater, who had taken over as king in Macedonia, met the Greeks in battle at Lamia and defeated them. The Romans were defeated in battle by the Samnites. In the second year Antipater crossed over to Asia against Perdiccas, and made the second partition [of the empire] amongst the successors of Alexander, in which Ptolemy kept [his portion]. In the third year the Romans defeated the Samnites in battle, and recovered their men who had been captured in the first battle.

[11] In the 116th Olympiad {316 B.C.} Demosthenes of Laconia won the stadion race, and the archons at Athens were Democleides, Praxibulus, Nicodorus and Theodorus. In the first year [Antipater] died and [Polyperchon] took over the government ...

Syncellus : List of the High Priests of the Jews

George Syncellus wrote his chronicle in the early 9th century A.D. Although he was a relatively late Byzantine writer, his chronicle is valuable because of the excerpts that he included from earlier writers such as Africanus and Eusebius, whose chronicles have not survived. His list of the Jewish high priests after the return from exile was not presented as one block, but was split up into sections and interspersed with other material. Syncellus provided plentiful information about some of the high priests (most of it ultimately derived from Josephus or the Books of Maccabees), but only a few brief notices are shown here.

There are lists of Jewish high priests in other Byzantine chronicles (for instance, the Chronicon Paschale and Chronicon Syntomon), but there are many disagreements between the different lists. The numbers following "AM" are Anno Mundi dates - years from the Creation. Syncellus dated Creation to 5492 B.C., so in theory this list starts in 541 B.C.; but any attempt to convert the dates to familiar "B.C." dates would be misleading, because the dates are not accurate.

The list is adapted from the translation by W.Adler and P.Tuffin (2002). Some other short excerpts from this translation are available on the website. The numbers in red are the page numbers in the edition of the Greek text by A.A.Mosshammer (1984).


UNIVERSAL YEARS :The high priests beginning from the time of Cyrus

(1) The first high priest was Jesus, son of Josedec   60 years   ( AM 4952 )

The high priest Jesus, son of Josedec, served in that office for thirty-one years, beginning with the thirty-first year of Cyrus - this is the generally held calculation. But the book of Ezra affirms that he was high priest from the first year of Cyrus,- in that year, he, along with Zorobabel, led the people back from captivity to Jerusalem. Thus there is good reason for us to calculate his priesthood as sixty years. For from the first year of Cyrus up to the twentieth year of Dareius, there is a total of sixty years.


(2) Joaceim, the son of Jesus, was the second priest   36 years   ( AM 5012 )

(3) Eliasibus was the third priest   34 years   ( AM 5048 )

From Africanus, concerning Ezra, the seventeenth priest from Aaron, the first priest: With the permission of Artaxerxes, Ezra collected the remnant of the Jewish captivity and with what was left of the temple vessels came to Jerusalem and taught the law . . .


(4) The fourth high priest was Jodae   36 years   ( AM 5082 )

(5) The fifth high priest was Joannes   32 years   ( AM 5118 )

(6) The sixth high priest was Jaddūs   20 years   ( AM 5150 )

Manasses, brother of the high priest Jaddūs, built the temple in Garizim of Samaria.


(7) The seventh high priest of the Jews was Jaddūs' son Oneias   21 years   ( AM 5170 )


(8) The eighth high priest of the Jews was Oneias' son Simon   19 years   ( AM 5191 )

Simon, high priest of the Jews and son of Oneias, was becoming known. Because of his piety to God and his goodwill towards his fellow kinsmen, he was called the Just.

(9) The ninth high priest of the Jews was Simon's brother Eleazar   32 years   ( AM 5210 )

He served in lieu of Simon's son Oneias, who was an infant when Simon died. In his time, the scriptures were translated.

(10) After Eleazar, the tenth high priest of the Jews was Oneias' uncle Manasses   26 years   ( AM 5242 )

(11) The eleventh high priest of the Jews was Oneias, the aforementioned infant son of Simon the Just   14 years   ( AM 5268 )

He defrauded Ptolemy by not paying the customary tribute to him. A little-known Jew named Josephus was sent to Ptolemy and supposedly after having appeased Ptolemy's wrath was appointed by him as governor of all Judaea.


(12) The twelfth high priest of the Jews was Oneias' son Simon   20 years   ( AM 5282 )

(13) The thirteenth high priest of the Jews was Jesus, the son of Sirach   6 years   ( AM 5302 )

He was also the author of the wisdom book called Panareton. Here he also commemorates his predecessor Oneias.


(14) The fourteenth high priest of the Jews was Simon's son Oneias   7 years   ( AM 5308 )

According to Africanus, beginning from the time of Alexander the founder, the Jews, having submitted to Macedonian rule, at one time paid taxes to the Ptolemies, and then to the Antiochids; up to the high priest Oneias, they were peacefully guided for the most part by high priests instead of kings . . .


(15) The fifteenth high priest of the Hebrews was Jason, the brother of Oneias the high priest.     ( AM 5315 )

Through bribery, he impiously seized control of the high priesthood, deposing his own brother Oneias, and being deposed himself by Menelaos after three years, likewise through bribery.


(16) The sixteenth high priest of the Jews was Judas, the first son of Matathias the high priest   3 years - some say 6 years   ( AM 5334 )

Some report three years for Matathias' high priesthood and six for Judas'.

(17) The seventeenth high priest of the Jews was Jonathan, brother of Judas the Maccabee   19 years   ( AM 5340 )

The friends of Judas appointed his brother Jonathan to be their leader

(18) The eighteenth high priest of the Jews was Simon   8 years   ( AM 5359 )


Jonathan's brother Simon ruled the nation after him with great distinction,- he appointed his son John as commander-in-chief of the army and made peace with the Romans. He fell victim to Ptolemy son of Abūbus; Ptolemy was his own son-in-law, and a general in Jericho. The history of the Maccabees extends as far as this point.

(19) The nineteenth high priest of the Jews was John, also known as Hyrcanus   30 years   ( AM 5367 )

After prevailing over the Hyrcanians, the Jewish commander John came to be known as Hyrcanus. He also made a treaty of friendship with the Romans, which was ratified by Senate decree.


(20) The twentieth high priest of the Jews was Jannaeus, also known as Alexander   30 years   ( AM 5397 )


Jannaeus died after a reign of thirty years. He had entrusted rule to his wife Salina, although she had two sons by him, Hyrcanus and Aristobūlus. Thereafter, the affairs of the Jews were thrown into turmoil.

(21) The twenty-first ruler of the Jews was Salina, also known as Alexandra   9 years   ( AM 5427 )

Alexandra, also known as Salina, was entirely lacking in the brutality of her husband Jannaeus, also known as Alexander . . . she died, after managing the government, as was stated above, for nine years and leaving Hyrcanus as her heir. After drawing up in battle against him, Aristobūlus defeated him in an engagement near Jericho. And the greater part of Hyrcanus' contingent deserted to Aristobūlus.

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