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Culture Personas Eastern Macedonia and Thrace

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Prefecture of Xanthi Greece: Thrace: Prefecture of Xanthi
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02/12/2007
Ekateos

Bala Katerina
Source: C.E.T.I.
© Eastern Macedonia – Thrace Region
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Ekateos from Avdira lived during the ends of 4th century B.C. and the first half of the 3rd century B.C. (about 340-280 B.C). According to the texts, he was a philosopher, a sightseer, a historiographer and a student of skeptic Pironas.

He wrote a critique on the poems of Homer and Isiodos, a book, “Peri ipervorion” (about a mythic group of people), where he presents the devotion of this mythic group from Egypt he visited and sight saw.

In his work, “Peri Egiption” [On Egyptians], he gives a detailed description of the economic structure of Egypt and the family life of its inhabitants. He idealized culture, politics, social class and Egyptian philosophy on gods and justice in the Egypt of Pharaons. Ekateos, according to Diogenes, taught that gods are born –per magicians- and they have a starting point in time. His work was extremely valuable during his time and was used as a main source for the following writers who wrote about Egypt: Iosipos, Diodoros from Cicely, who refers to Ekateos in his “Histories” etc.


Ekateos was the first man from Greece who was interested in the history of Jewish people. Posterior writers referred to him as the writer of a pseudepigraph titled “Peri Ioudeon” [About Jews]. In fact, Ekateos from Avdira, a consultant of Ptolemy the first, wrote a lengthy history of Jewish people that possibly was a part of greater historical reference on Egypt. Ekateos was influenced by the Egyptian priests regarding his views of the origin of Jewish people. According to this influence, Jewish were migrants. He also thought that the plague in Egypt was caused by the foreigners who had different religions.

Most of his works are lost.