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I was reading Josephus' account of Adam's children in "The Antiquities of the Jews" (located in Book 1, Chapter 2) and noticed that the total number of children that Adam had was not in the text itself, but in the endnotes of the text. Where do these endnotes find their origins?

I specifically am interesting in the origins of this endnote:

"The number of Adam's children, as says the old tradition was thirty-three sons, and twenty-three daughters."

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    Whoever wrote that entry on sacred-texts.com wrote those footnotes then. You'd have to go ask them what their sources are. It does mention some "old tradition" though, so it would be a good question what that is and what its logic was. Well, I'm curious at least.
    – T.E.D.
    Jan 2, 2018 at 17:24
  • @T.E.D. Seems they're from an earlier translation by William Whiston. He refers to another of his translations of biblical sources (see my answer below). Jan 2, 2018 at 18:24
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    Is this really a question about history?
    – Alex
    Jan 2, 2018 at 21:07
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    @Alex it is a question about a historical document. Do you know of a better site this should be on? One could say that this document is part of history. Jan 2, 2018 at 21:30
  • A related question.
    – Lucian
    Aug 20, 2018 at 1:13

1 Answer 1

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The footnotes on this (and other editions of Josephus) seem to be referring to pages in A Collection of Authentick Records Belonging to the Old and New Testament by William Whiston.

In this case, another online version offers this particular footnote with the reference thus:

(11) The number of Adam’s children, as says the old tradition, was thirty three sons, and twenty three daughters, in Authent. Rec. Part I. pag. 454, 457, 469.


On page 454 of Authentick Sources, we read that:

page 454

and on page 457 we see:

page 457


William Whiston, M.A. produced one of the earliest (possibly the earliest) translations of Josephus into English. The references in the footnotes thus link into another of his translations of "biblical" records.

Copies of the works by the Byzantine scholars Syncellus and Cedrenus mentioned by Whiston are available on archive.org (although the only copies that I found are in Greek), if you are interested in taking your research further.

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