Re: geographic names of places in Israel in Herodotos

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Posted by Eliyahu Green on November 04, 2003 at 10:33:57:

In Reply to: geographic names of places in Israel in Herodotos posted by Eliyahu Green on November 03, 2003 at 10:48:26:

: There has long been a question of the identity of the Israeli place names Cadytis and Azotos in Herodotos
I'd like to correct and supplement my previous message on this matter. Cadytis appears in Herodotos, Inquiries, Book II:159 and Book III:5. Azotos appears in II:157. The Selincourt [Penguin] translation has Cadytis on p. 166 and "Gaza" replacing Cadytis on p. 176.
Herodotos' account of Pharaoh Necos in II:159
fits in with the Biblical account of Pharaoh Necoh [2 Kings 23:28-29, and elsewhere]. Necos defeats the "Syrians" at "Magdolos," whereas Necoh defeats the Jews/Judahites led by King Josiah of the Kingdom of Judah at Megiddo. Hence, Magdolos in II:159 appears to be a corruption of Megiddo, although there was another place called Magdolos. In II:159, the victory gives Necos control of "Cadytis," whereas Jerusalem was the capital of Judah and Josiah's body is brought there after his death. Subsequently, Necoh comes to Jerusalem and appoints a king to his own taste over Judah [2 Kings 23:33-34].
In both II:159 and III:5 the Jews are called "Syrians." Various ancient Greek writers, besides Herodotos, explicitly call Jews "Syrians" or their country part of Syria. See Megasthenes, Theophrastos, and Clearchos of Soli [quoting Aristotle], for writers around the time of Alexander and belonging to Aristotle's Peripatetic school. Syria was a broad term, probably originally referring to area around Tyre, with Syr and Tyr as alternate forms of the same name. See Guy LeStrange and Victor Berard. This is confirmed by Saenz-Badillos who wrote a linguistic history of the Hebrew language.
What is most significant here is that the fit between the Biblical and the Herodotos accounts of Pharaoh Necoh challenges the so-called Biblical Minimalist school, which tries to deny Biblical historicity before the Exile.
If you're going to add any notes to this welcome new translation, I suggest pointing out that some have identified Cadytis with Jerusalem, Azotos with Gaza, and Magdolos [in one place] with Megiddo.

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