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THALLUS ° (Gr. θαλλος), a first century c.e. author (probably heathen) of a lost Greek universal chronicle in three books of which eight fragments survive. Thallus' main theme was Hellenic rather than biblical history. Freudenthal suggested that Thallus was a Samaritan, because his Euhemeristic tendencies resembled those of the Samaritan Pseudo-*Eupolemus and because according to an emended text on Thallus, a Samaritan imperial freedman is said by Josephus to have loaned a million drachmae to King Agrippa i (Ant., 18:167). There is no reason to assume, however, that Euhemeristic tendencies as such indicate Samaritan origin, while the reading "Thallus" in Josephus is an uncertain emendation. The fact that Thallus recorded the eclipse of the year 29 – the year of Crucifixion – does not prove a link with the Christians. It is even probable that Thallus did not mention Moses in his history, though he may have known him from the Oriental chronicles.


F. Jacoby (ed.), Fragmente der griechischen Historiker, 2 d (Text) (1929), 1156–58, no. 256; 2 d (Komm.) (1930), 835–7, no. 256; Wacholder, in: htr 61 (1968).

[Ben Zion Wacholder]