Cory’s Ancient Fragments – Isaac Preston Cory


Cory’s Ancient Fragments
of the Phoenician, Carthaginian, Babylonian, Egyptian, and Other Authors


Cory’s Ancient Fragments is compendium of fragments from ancient writers collected and published by the antiquarian and miscellaneous writer Isaac Preston Cory. The first edition was published in 1826, further followed by a revised edition containing various ancient King List’s (e.g. Manetho). A further enlarged edition appeared in 1876, edited by historian E. Richmond Hodges which added many more ancient fragments.

This book contains the fragments of writings and literature from the Ancient Near East, including Assyria, Babylon, Persia and Carthage. The writings are those of Sanchoniatho, Berossus, Abydenus, Megasthenes and Manetho as well as The Hermetic Creed, The Old Chronicle, The Laterculus of Eratosthenes, The Tyrian Annals, The Oracles of Zoroaster and The Periplus of Hanno.

Cory’s Ancient Fragments book was published was before the great discoveries in the interpretation of hieroglyphics and cuneiform, so these documents were still thought to be the only reliable written evidence for the period outside of the Bible and the Greek historians. While all of the fragments are unquestionably ancient, some are more ancient than others, and some may not actually be what they purport to be (notably the oracles of Zoroaster). This does not necessarily reduce their value as source material, although it does change the focus.


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