I have perused diverse histories of the past which the Chaldeans and Assyrians have recorded, which the Egyptians [g1] have written in detail, and which the Greeks have narrated as accurately as possible. [These works] contain [information about] the times of kings and Olympiads (which translates "athletes"), about the brave deeds which were performed by barbarians and Greeks, by Aryans and non-Aryans [i.e., by peoples inside and outside the Iranian cultural world], and about the marvelous accomplishments of their generals, sages, braves, poets, storytellers, and philosophers. I thought it would be appropriate to write down everything in brief, especially the beneficial and important things, and further to put adjacent to [these accounts] the history of the Hebrew patriarchs as revealed in the Bible. And thus we might establish how long [g2] before the life-giving revelation [of Christ] Moses and the Hebrew prophets who succeeded him lived and what they, filled with the divine spirit, said before [the time of Christ]. In this fashion it might be possible to recognize easily when the braves of each nation appeared [compared with] when the celebrated Hebrew prophets lived and, one by one, who all their leaders were [g3].
Permit me, right at the outset, to caution everyone against [believing that] there can be complete accuracy with respect to chronology. Indeed, we would benefit by contemplating what that wise Teacher told his acquaintances: "It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has fixed by his own authority" [Acts 1:7]. It seems to me that [Jesus], as God and Lord, delivered this succinct verdict not solely regarding the end of the world but about all times, in order to discourage those who would dare attempt such a futile undertaking [g4].
Let us also, in our own words, confirm the accuracy of the Teacher's dictum, for it is not possible to know unerringly the chronology of the entire world, not from the Greeks, not from the barbarians, not from other [peoples], not even the from the Hebrews. We would be pleased if just two points were taken from our words. First, do not be deceived into believing, as others do, that chronology [always] can be precisely determined. Second, despite this, to the extent that it is possible, use clarity to recognize the nature of the investigation which confronts you, and then proceed resolutely.
It should come as no surprise that the Greeks are absent [from recording information about events in antiquity] for a long period, since [during that time] they corrupted themselves with diverse forms of iniquities; moreover, for a long period, until Cadmus' generation, they were entirely unlettered since, they say, it was Cadmus who first brought them an alphabet from the land of the Phoenicians. Quite justly did that Egyptian reproach Solon in Plato's book [Timaeus 22b] when he remarked: "Oh, Solon, you Greeks are always [like] children [g5]. Nothing resembling an old man may be found amongst you. [And thus] it is impossible to study ancient history from you." On the other hand, the Egyptians relate many fabulous accounts [about ancient times], as do the Chaldeans, since they reckon their literacy embraces more than 400,000 years. The Egyptians have written extensively about [false] gods and their offspring, about ghosts and spirits of the dead, and of other [mortal] kings, in fable-like, delirious ravings [g6].
 Why should I, who reveres truth above all, pore over this type of material in such detail? [And why should I] who so loves the Hebrews point out, in the appropriate places, where I have found inconsistencies [in their accounts]? [I have done it] to reprove the boasting of vainglorious chronographers.
I shall approach the task before me with writings which have come down from the past. First I shall present a chronology of the Chaldeans, then [I shall present a list of] the kings of the Assyrians, then the Medes, then the Lydians, followed by the Persians. In the next section [I shall present] the entire chronology of the Hebrews in order. [This will be followed by] a third section [describing] the period of the Egyptian dynasties [g7] including the Ptolemids who reigned after Alexander of Macedon in Egypt and Alexandria. Next, one by one, I will introduce the beginnings of other [nations], how the Greeks tell their own history. First, [I will tell] about those ruling in Sicyon then in the land of the Argives, then in the city of Athens itself, from first to last, those in Lacadaemon, those in Corinth, and whoever else ruled over any other part of the sea.
I shall add to this a description of the Olympiads, which the Greeks wrote. Once all these [parts] have been set forth, I shall record, one by one, the first kings of the Macedonians, and the Thessalonians, followed by the those of the Assyrians and Asiatics who ruled after Alexander [g8]. Next, each topic in a separate segment, I will describe those descendants of Aeneas who, after the capture of Ilium, ruled over the Latins later called Romans; then the descendants of Romulus who built the city of Rome; then the successors of Julius Caesar and Augustus who became emperors and the consuls who ruled in the intervening years.
I will convert all the material collected about all these folk into chronological tables. Including, from the beginning, who from each nation ruled as king and for how long, I will put these [facts] into separate [chronological tables] together with the number of years involved. In this way, if we need to know who ruled and for how long [that information] will be easily and quickly accessible. Furthermore, the valiant deeds of each kingdom, which all nations have transmitted, I will place in summary form within [my account] of [these] kingdoms.
However, that [material] will be in the second part of this work. But at present, in the next section, let us examine what the Chaldeans' ancestors have related about [their own] chronology [g9].
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