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Diogenes Laertius recorded that the ancient Egyptians dated their creation to their first god Hephaestus, who by interpretatio graeca was Ptah. Thus far went the record given by the Egyptians and their priests; and they showed me that the time from the first king to that priest of Hephaestus, who was the last, covered three hundred and forty-one generations, and that in this time this also had been the number of their kings, and of their high priests.

Now three hundred generations are ten thousand years, three generations being equal to a hundred.

Most ancient Greek and Roman chroniclers, poets, grammarians, and scholars (Eratosthenes, Varro, Apollodorus of Athens, Ovid, Censorinus, Catullus, and Castor of Rhodes) believed in a threefold division of history: ádelon (obscure), mythikón (mythical) and historikón (historical) periods.

According to Censorinus (quoting Varro), the second period (mythikón) lasted from 2137 to 776 BC, or if Censorinus' own dates are used: 2376 BC to 776 BC, or finally if Castor's: 2123 BC to 776 BC.

These figures were discussed by Isaac Newton in his The Chronology of Ancient Kingdoms Amended (1728) but were dismissed as fabrications. The ancient Greek writer Diodorus Siculus wrote that the ancient Egyptians dated their creation (or start of their reign of Gods) "a little less than eighteen thousand years" from Ptolemy XII Auletes (117–51 BC).

The Book of Sothis also provides another similar figure for the creation.

The ancient Greeks reported similar figures on ancient Egyptian chronology.

Another ancient date for the start of the mythikón (mythical) period is found preserved in Augustine's City of God xviii.3, which dates it to 2050 BC.

Very few ancient Greeks or Romans attempted to date the creation, or beginning of the ádelon (obscure) period.

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