Review: DILLERY, J. – Clio’s Other Sons. Berossus and Manetho. A Discussion of the First Written Histories of Babylon and Egypt. The University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor, 2015 (XXXVIII, 494). ISBN 978-0-472-07227-9.
The review gives a critical analysis of a recent book by the American Classicist John Dillery (University of Virginia) on the fragment of the Greek works by Ancient Oriental historians Manetho and Berossus
The Tomb of Petosiris at Tuna el-Gebel and its ‘World of Doubles’: An Interpretation of the Monument in the Light of the Egyptian Elite’s Mood of the Early Hellenistic Time.
The article shows that the traditional scenes of defunct’s confronting deities in the chapel of the tomb of the priest Petosiris at Tuna el-Gebel near Hermopolis (late 4th century B.C.) are connected exclusively with the posthumous destiny of Petosiris’ relatives that died before him; the decoration of the pronaos that was dedicated to himself was marked with considerable Hellenization and reproduced the archaic model of the “World of Doubles” typical for private tombs of the Third Millennium B.C. Probably Petosiris urged to achieve the posthumous existence according to this model, independently of gods, as he thought it impossible to contact gods effectively in the early Macedonian time, when, in his ideas, there was no ritual sacral ruler in Egypt.
The article deals with the description of a ancient Egyptian magic and healing statue in the Statue in Medieval Arab Anonymous Akhbār al-zamān (Pseudomasudi / Ibn Wasif Shah, 10th‑12th cent.). Though the whole story is greatly influenced by folklore motifs, it is clear that the description refers to Isis lactans, popular iconographic type of late Greco-Roman time. On one hand, this demonstrates survivability and importance of Isis’ cult in the Coptic period (the Arab tradition reflects corresponding Coptic tradition), even in a depersonalized manner (the statue is not denoted by any name). On the other hand, this statue should be considered together with many others mentioned in the text; in one words, this can be regarded not only as the hellenization of Isis’ image in the Graeco-Roman period but also as its subsequent later arabisation.