On the Arab invasion this work was in great danger of perishing at the hands of the iconclastic caliph Omar and his generals, but it was fortunately preserved; and we find it in the 2nd century of the Hegira being paraphrased in Arabic by Abdallah ibn el Mokaffa, a learned Persian who had embraced Islam.
But Kemal-ud-din's History of Aleppo (composed in the 13th century) contains some details on the history of the First Crusade; and the Vie d'Ousama (the autobiography of a sheik at Caesarea in northern Syria, edited and paraphrased by Derenbourg in the Publications de l'Ecole des langues orientales vivantes) presents the point of view of an Arab whose life covered the first century of the Crusades (1095-1188).
Mention may also be made of the following: Hecataeus of Miletus (550-476); Acusilaus of Argos, 2 who paraphrased in prose (correcting the tradition where it seemed necessary) the genealogical works of Hesiod in the Ionic dialect; he confined his attention to the prehistoric period, and made no attempt at a real history; Charon of Lampsacus (c. 450), author of histories of Persia, Libya, and Ethiopia, of annals (a)pot) of his native town with lists of the prytaneis and archons, and of the chronicles of Lacedaemonian kings; Xanthus of Sardis in Lydia (c. 450), author of a history of Lydia, one of the chief authorities used by Nicolaus of Damascus (II.
Besides translating and editing the New Testament, Erasmus paraphrased the whole, except the Apocalypse, between 1517 and 1524.
Nicolaus also wrote comedies and tragedies, paraphrased and wrote commentaries on parts of Aristotle, and was himself the author of philosophical treatises.
They were excessively admired by his own and the next generation, praised by Dryden, paraphrased by Pope, and then entirely neglected for a whole century.
Even before the Christian era the book existed in two recensions, for we cannot doubt, after reading the Greek translator's preface, that the translator amplified and paraphrased the text before him.