13 The round figure (as in
Ant. 1.13) is made up of 3,000 years from creation to Moses (
Apion 1.39) and 2,000 years of the Judean constitution (2.226; cf. 1.36;
Ant. 1.16). For more precise, but inconsistent, calculations, see
Ant. 1.82; 8.61-62; 10.147-48; cf. Nodet 1992: 5. In the Greek tradition, where the Trojan War was dated to 1184 BCE (Diodorus 1.5), few historians would attempt a chronological calculation further back (but cf. Diodorus 1.24.2: 10,000 years from the Giants or Olympians). But oriental nations were known to make large claims, which were sometimes taken seriously (Diodorus 1.23.1: some Egyptians say Osiris was 10,000 years before Alexander; others more than 23,000), sometimes not (Diodorus 2.31.9: Babylonians claim to have charted 473,000 years; cf. Cicero,
Div. 1.36-37). Josephus’ figure would not look wholly implausible in his western context.