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Mochus (Greek: Μωχός) the Phoenician is listed, along with Zalmoxis the Thracian and Atlas the Libyan, by Diogenes Laërtius as a proto-philosopher.[1] Athenaeus claimed that he authored a work on the history of Phoenicia.[2] Strabo, on the authority of Posidonius, speaks of one Mochus or Moschus of Sidon as the author of the atomic theory and says that he was more ancient than the Trojan war.[3] He is also referred to by Josephus,[4] Tatian,[5] and Eusebius.[6]

Isaac Causabon, John Selden, Johannes Arcerius, Henry More, Ralph Cudworth, Robert Boyle, and Isaac Newton identified Mochus with Moses the Israelite lawbringer.[7]


  1. ^ Diogenes Laërtius, i. 1; cf. the Suda, ω 283, which calls him Ochus
  2. ^ Athenaeus, iii. 126
  3. ^ Strabo, Geographica, xvi.
  4. ^ Josephus, Ant. Jud. i. 107
  5. ^ Tatian, adv. Gent.
  6. ^ Eusebius, Praeparatio Evangelica, x.
  7. ^ [1] Archived June 14, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.