Category Archives: ethnicity in the ancient world

Arabians and Judeans: Jubilees, Molon, and Josephos on identifying the Ishmaelites (second century BCE on)

Asian Albanians, Iberians, Mardians and others: Demodamas and Pliny the Elder on peoples in the Caucasus region and further east (third century BCE / first century CE)

Assyrian / Babylonian wisdom: Sibyl of Babylon on the superiority of the Judean people (second century BCE)

Assyrians, Chaldeans, Egyptians, Celts, and others: The Cicero brothers on the nature and effectiveness of divination (mid-first century BCE)

Assyrians, Medes and Persians: Ktesias on Persian Matters via Diodoros and Photios (early fourth century BCE)

Assyrians: Trogus on the achievements of Ninos and Semiramis and on the extreme effeminacy of Sardanapalus (first century BCE)

Babylonian perspectives: Bel-re’ushu / Berossos on the origins of civilization (late fourth century BCE)

Babylonians and Assyrians: Herodotos on legendary queens and outstanding customs (mid-fifth century BCE)

Barbaria’s inhabitants, Arabians, and Indians: Anonymous author on trade and peoples on the Erythraian sea all the way to eastern India (mid-first century CE)

Barbarian and Judean wisdom: Clement of Alexandria [V] on the sources of Plato’s thought (late second century CE)

Barbarian peoples: Caesarius of Nazianzos’ and George the Monk’s collection of extraordinary customs (sixth / ninth centuries CE)

Barbarian peoples: Hellanikos, Nymphodoros, Nikolaos, and others with collections of “barbarian customs” (fifth century BCE on)

Barbarian wisdom: Celsus and Origen of Alexandria (second-third centuries CE)

Barbarian wisdom: Clement of Alexandria [VI] on barbarian and Hebrew philosophy (late second century CE)

Barbarians and Greeks: Thucydides theorizes the shift from barbarian banditry to settled civilization (late fifth century BCE)

Britons and Iernians (Irish): Julius Caesar, Pytheas, and Strabo on customs including eating human flesh (early first century CE)

Britons, Armenians, Bessians, and others: Reliefs of subjugated peoples at Aphrodisias (first century CE)

Celtic, Indian, and Assyrian wisdom: Polyhistor on Pythagoras’ education by wise barbarians (first century BCE)

Celts, Persians, and Amazons: Smaller statues of fighting and dying “barbarians” associated with Attalos of Pergamon (third-second century BCE / second century CE)

Celts: Appian of Alexandria on their character and on ambassadorial relations with Romans (second century CE)

Chaldeans, Greeks, Egyptians, and Judeans: Aristides of Athens (second century CE)

Colchians, Phrygians, and others: Vitruvius theorizes development from primitives to civilized peoples (first century BCE)

Cretans, Spartans, Carthaginians, and Romans: Polybios on superior and inferior societal organization (second century BCE)

Daans, Kadousians, Hyrkanians, and Sakians: Strabo on peoples east of the Caspian Sea (first century CE)

Eastern and northern peoples: Bardaisan of Edessa’s Book of the Laws of Countries and the Pseudo-Clementines on astrology and peoples (second-third centuries CE)

Egyptian / Persian / Judean wisdom: Judean legends of Jannes and Jambres as enchanters or Magians in the Exodus account (third century CE and earlier)

Egyptian diasporas: Manetho, Josephos and others on legends of migration concerning Hyksos and Judeans (third century BCE and on)

Egyptian, Phoenician, and Phrygian wisdom: Ephoros on inventors (mid-fourth century BCE)

Egyptians, Chaldeans, and Phoenicians: Julius Africanus on competitive chronologies (ca. 222 CE)

Egyptians: Diodoros on the origins of civilization and on Egyptian views (mid-first century BCE)

Egyptians: Herodotos on customs and legendary kings (fifth century BCE)

Ethiopians and Thracians: Xenophon of Kolophon theorizes human representations of gods (sixth century BCE)

Ethiopians, Nubians, and Egyptians: Christian authors picturing darker-skinned peoples as “demons” (second century CE on)

Ethiopians: Herodotos on southern peoples at the ends of the earth (mid-fifth century BCE)

Ethnic diversity in Alexandria: Dio of Prusa on the cross-roads of the world (late first century CE)

Ethnic diversity in Egypt: Inscriptional and papyrological evidence

Europeans and Asians: Pseudo-Hippokrates on humoural and environmental theories (fifth century BCE)

Europeans, Asians, and Greeks: Aristotle on hierarchies, slaves, and environmental determinism (fourth century BCE)

Germans, Suebians, Marcomannians, and Kimbrians: Poseidonios and Strabo on customs and rumours about the tides (first century BCE)

Getians, Dacians, and Scythians: Strabo (early first century CE)

Iberians and others: Avienus on a journey along the southern coast of Spain (mid-fourth century CE)

Iberians, Albanians and others of the Caucasus area: Strabo (early first century CE)

Ichthyophagians: Nearchos and Agatharchides on Fish-eaters around the Arabian Sea (fourth-first centuries BCE)

Indian wisdom: Alexander Polyhistor and Clement of Alexandria (VII) on the Brahmans and naked sages (first century BCE / late second century CE)

Indian wisdom: Apuleius on the amazing naked philosophers and Pythagoras’ journeys (mid-second century CE)

Indians, Ethiopians, Celts, and Scythians: Ephoros on a four-fold division of the known world (mid-fourth century BCE)

Indians: Herodotos on eastern peoples at the ends of the earth (mid-fifth century BCE)

Indians: Palladios and George on naked philosophers or Brahmans (fourth / ninth centuries CE)

Judean diasporas: Josephos on conflicts in Babylonia, ca. 40-66 CE (late first century CE)

Judean wisdom: Aristoboulos on Moses and the Judean god as source for Plato and Pythagoras (mid-second century BCE)

Judean wisdom: Eupolemos on contributions by Abraham and Moses (before the mid-first century BCE)

Judean wisdom: Josephos on Abraham’s dissemination of astrological knowledge (late-first century CE)

Judean wisdom: Josephos on Solomon as the ultimate wise man, controller of lower spirits, and healer (late-first century CE)

Judean wisdom: Josephos’ Against Apion in full (late first century CE)

Judean wisdom: Pseudo-Clement on a journey to Peter the Judean sage (third century CE and on)

Judean wisdom: Pseudo-Clementines on Abraham the astrologer and legends of migration (second-fourth centuries CE)

Judean wisdom: Tatian the Assyrian on the priority of Moses’ “barbarian wisdom” (second century CE)

Judean wisdom: Testament of Solomon on Solomon’s superiority in controlling lower spirits and in healing (first-third century CE)

Judean, Persian, and Indian wisdom: Philo on the freedom of Essenes and Kalanos (early first century CE)

Judeans and Celts: Various authors on Claudius’ actions against foreigners in the 40s CE (second / third centuries CE

Judeans, “Asiatics”, and Greeks: Cicero’s ethnic invective aimed at eastern witnesses against Flaccus (mid-first century BCE)

Judeans, Egyptians, and Magians: Various authors on Tiberius’ actions against foreign practices 17-19 CE (first-third centuries CE)

Judeans, Syrians, Celts, Scythians and others: Plutarch on the “barbarian” origins of fearing the gods, or “superstition” (early second century CE)

Judeans, Syrians, Indians, and others: Porphyry of Tyre on abstinence from meat (third century CE)

Judeans: Hekataios, pseudo-Hekataios and Diodoros on Judean origins and migration with the exodus (first century BCE)

Judeans: Mnaseas, Poseidonios, Apollonios Molon, Diodoros, Apion, and Damokritos on the statue of a donkey and on human sacrifice (second century BCE and on)

Judeans: Poseidonios (?) and Strabo on decline after Moses (first century CE)

Kimmerians and Kolchians: Herodotos on other Pontic peoples (mid-fifth century BCE)

Kolchians, Heniochians, Drillians, and others: Arrian on his journey along the Black Sea coast near the Caucasus mountains (ca. 131-132 CE)

Libyans and Ausourianians: Synesios on years of incursions into Cyrenaica (early fifth century CE)

Libyans, Assyrians and Arabians: Kleodemos and Josephos on Abraham and Keturah’s descendants and their many colonies (second or first century BCE on)

Libyans: Dionysios of Mytilene and Diodoros on competing claims about the god Dionysos (third / mid-first century BCE)

Libyans: Herodotos on customs and colonization (fifth century BCE)

Maiotians, Bosporians, Kaukasians, and other Pontic peoples: Strabo on northern Asia (early first century CE)

Medes, Assyrians, Baktrians, and others: Herodotos on the mixed composition of the Persian army under Xerxes (fifth century BCE)

Mediterranean peoples: Artemidoros theorizes foreign elements in dreams (second century CE)

Mediterranean peoples: Claudius Ptolemy on astrological effects on peoples (second century CE)

Mediterranean peoples: Diodoros, Pliny and Plutarch on Pompey’s subjugation of peoples of the world (mid-first century BCE on)

Mediterranean peoples: Maximus of Tyre on images for the gods as ubiquitous among peoples (late second century CE)

Mediterranean peoples: Pliny the Elder on inventors around the world (first century CE)

Mediterranean peoples: Polemon theorizes the meaning of physical features (second / fifth centuries CE)

Mediterranean peoples: Pomponius Mela on peoples of the known world (mid-first century CE)

Mediterranean peoples: Roman coins [part 1] on defeat, capture, and subjugation (first century BCE on)

Mediterranean peoples: Roman coins [part 2] on humiliated captives kneeling or on the ground (first century BCE on)

Mediterranean peoples: Roman coins [part 3] on kneeling in supplication or adoration (first century BCE on)

Mediterranean peoples: Sextus Empiricus engages with ethnographic discourses for philosophical aims (second-third centuries CE)

Midianites and Moabites / Arabians: Josephos and Philo on intermixing and the dangers of acculturation (first century CE)

Northern peoples: Antonios Diogenes’ “Wonders Beyond Thule” and ethnographic fiction (second century CE / ninth century CE)

Northern peoples: Inscriptions on barbarians as bandits (second-third centuries CE)

Panchaians: Euhemeros and Diodoros on a noble people worshipping Zeus on a utopian island (fourth / first century BCE)

Parthians and Scythians: Julius Africanus on barbarian military techniques (early third century CE)

Parthians, Celts and Iberians or Germans: Scenes on the breastplate of the “Augustus of Prima Porta” (early first century CE)

Parthians, Libyans, Egyptians and others: Acts of the Apostles on legends of Judean migration (early second century CE)