SANCHUNIATHON [SANCHONIATHO on title, SANKUN-YATON in Phoenician]. Sanchoniatho's Phoenician History, Translated from the First Book Of Eusebius De Praeparatione Evangelica. With a continuation of Sanchoniatho’s History by Eratosthenes Cyrenæus’s Canon, which Dicaearchus connects with the First Olympiad. These Authors are illustrated with many Historical and Chronological Remarks, proving them to contain a Series of Phoenician and Egyptian Chronology, from the first Man to the first Olympiad, agreeable to the Scripture Accounts. By the Rt. Revd. R. Cumberland, D. D. late Bishop of Peterborough. With a preface giving a brief account of the life, Character, and Writings of the author, by S. Payne, A. M. Rector of Barnack, in Northamptonshire, his Lordship’s domestick Chaplain. London: printed by W. B. for R. Wilkin at the King’s Head in St. Paul’s Church-yard,1720.
8vo. Modern full sprinkled calf, retaining the original lettering-piece; pp. xxii [recte xxxviii], , 488, folding genealogical table; very light wear to extremities, internally, apart from browning to margins of title and negligible even toning, a very clean and fresh copy.
First edition in any modern language of the only extant Phoenician historical sources. Three works, originally written in the Phoenician language by Sanchuniathon of Berytus (Beirut) who probably lived in the 13th century BC have come down to us in Hellenistic Greek versions, later translated into Latin. Of Sanchuniaton's works three survived only in partial paraphrase and summary of a Greek translation by Philo of Byblos, according to the Christian bishop Eusebius of Caesarea. These texts comprise the most extended literary source concerning Phoenician religion in either Greek or Latin. Phoenician sources, along with all of Phoenician literature are lost. Ugaritic texts confirm the authenticity of Sanchuniaton's writings about the events and cosmological views of the Phoenicians in the second millenium BC.
Richard Cumberland (1632-1718), the bishop of Peterborough 'produced the manuscript for Sanchoniatho's Phoenician History, the first English translation of this ... fragment of Phoenician ancient history, which is recorded in the work of Eusebius; it appeared together with a detailed commentary that sought to reconcile Sanchoniatho's history with the Bible. Sanchoniatho's account revealed the means by which the Phoenicians had corrupted sacred history to deify their own versions of biblical individuals. Cumberland traced the resulting polytheism and idolatry to its most recent manifestation in the Roman Catholic church. On the eve of the revolution of 1688 Cumberland's publisher thought the work too controversial to publish' ODNB).