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On this page: Sanacharibus – Sanatroces – Sanatruces – Sanchuniathon


or " Hospitum Exceptor," was born at Rome of a rich and noble family in the fifth century after Christ. He studied medicine, not as a profession, but as a means of being useful to the poor, whom lie attended gratuitously and with great success. While still young he removed to Constantinople, where he continued his charitable ministrations by converting his house into a hospital for the sick poor ; and where he was ordained priest at about the age of thirty. Here he became acquainted with the emperor Justinian, whom he cured of a painful and obstinate disease ; and whom he per­ suaded to build a hospital instead of conferring any reward upon himself. Sampson did not live long after this event, but died about the year 530 or 531. Numerous miracles are said to have been wrought by him after his death, on account of which he has been canonized by the Romish and Greek churches. His hospital, which was near the church of St. Sophia, was twice destroyed by fire, but was rebuilt, and existed in full usefulness long after his death. His memory is celebrated on June 27. There is a long and interesting life of St. Sampson by Simeon Metaphrastes, which is inserted in the " Acta Sanctorum" (June, vol. v. p. 261, &c.). See also Menolog. Grace. June 27, vol. iii. p. 144 ; Bzovius, Nomendator Sanctor. Professione Medicor. An account of St. Sampson's hospital may be found in Du Cange's CPolis Christiana^ iv. 9. 9. [W. A. G.]


SANATROCES, a king of Parthia. [AR-


SANATRUCES, a king of Armenia. [An-sacidae, p. 363, a.]

SANCHUNIATHON (2ayxovvidOw\ an an­cient Phoenician writer, whose works were trans­lated into Greek by Philon Byblius, who lived in the latter half of the first century of the Christian aera. A considerable fragment of the translation of Philon is preserved by Eusebius in the first book of his Praeparatio Evangelica. The most opposite opinions have been held by the learned respecting the authenticity and value of the wri­tings of Sanchuniathon. The scholars of the seventeenth century, Scaliger, Grotius, Bochart, Selden, and others, regarded them as genuine re­mains of the most remote antiquity, and expended, or rather wasted, no small amount of learning in attempting to reconcile them with the statements in the old Testament. Their views were carried out to the fullest extent by Richard Cumberland, bishop of Peterborough, who translated into En­glish the extracts in Eusebius (London, 1720), with historical and chronological remarks, in which he asserts that all the antediluvian patriarchs of the Old Testament are to be found in Sanchunia­thon ! Modern scholars, however, take a very different view of Sanchuniathon and his writings ; but before we state their opinions, it will be advisable to see what the ancient writers them­selves say respecting him. The first author who mentions him is Athenaeus, who speaks (iii. p. 126) of Suniaethon (of which variation in the name more will be said presently), and Mochus, as writers on Phoenician matters (&olviklko). The next writer who mentions him is Porphyrius (de Abstin. ii. 56, p. 94, ed. Holsten.), who says that Sanchuniathon wrote a Phoenician history (&owi-KiKri iffropia) in the Phoenician language, which was translated into Greek in eight books by



Philon Byblius. We likewise learn from Euse­bius that Porphyrius had made great use of the writings of Sanchuniathon (of course the transla­tion by Philon) in his work against the Christians, which has not come down to us. In that work he called Sanchuniathon a native of Berytus (Euseb. Praep. Ev. i. 6, x. 11). Next comes Eusebius himself, whose attention seems to have been first drawn to Sanchuniathon by the quotations in Por­phyrius. It is evident from the language of Euse­bius that he had consulted the translation of Philon himself, and that his acquaintance with the writer was not confined to the extracts in Porphy­rius, as some modern scholars have asserted. Eusebius also calls Sanchuniathon a native of Berytus, but he says that his Phoenician history was divided into nine (not eight) books by Philon. This is all the independent testimony we possess respecting Sanchuniathon and the Greek transla­tion by Philon, for it is pretty clear that subse­quent writers who speak of both borrow their accounts either from Porphyrius or Eusebius. The most important later testimonies are those of Theo-doretus and Suidas. The former writer says (de Cur. Graec. Affect. Serm. ii.) : " Sanchuniathon, of Berytus, wrote the Tlieoloyia (®€o\oyia) of the Phoenicians, which was translated into Greek by Philon, not the Hebrew but the Byblian." Theo-doretus calls the work of Sanchuniathon a Theo-logia, on account of the nature of its contents. Suidas (s. v.) describes Sanchuniathon as a Tyrian philosopher, who lived at the time of the Trojan war, and gives the following list of his works: Ilepl tou 'Ep/xou (fjvariohoyias, f/'ris fjierra<f>pd(T6r] (namely, by Philon). Harpia Tvpicav tt? qowikoov 5/aAe/CTOj, A.lyvTrTiaKrji' ®€o\oyiav Kal aAAa rtvd. But such an enumeration of different works is of little value from an inaccurate compiler like Suidas. They are probably only different titles of the same work.

Now it is quite clear from the preceding account that we have no evidence even for the existence of Sanchuniathon except the testimony of Philon Byblius himself. He is not mentioned by any writer before Philon Byblius, not even by Jose-phus or by Philon Judaeus, who might have been expected to have heard at least of his name. This is suspicious at first sight. The discovery of old books written by an author, of whom no one has ever heard, and in a language which few can read, is a kind of imposture known to modern as well as ancient times. The genuineness and authenticity of the work must rest entirely on the nature of its contents ; and even a superficial perusal of the ex­tracts in Eusebius will convince almost every scholar of the present day that the work was a forgery of Philon. Nor is it difficult to see with what object the forgery was executed. Philon was evidently one of the many adherents of the doc­trine of Euhemerus, that all the gods were origin­ally men, who had distinguished themselves in their lives as kings, warriors, or benefactors of man, and became worshipped as divinities after their death. This doctrine Philon applied to the religious system of the Oriental nations, and espe­cially of the Phoenicians ; and in order to gain more credit for his statements, he pretended that they were taken from an ancient Phoenician writer. This writer he says was a native of Bery­tus, lived in the time of Semiramis, and dedicated his work to Abibalus, king of Berytus. Having

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