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when he affirms them to be of Egyptian original, when he lies also about himself? for although he was born at Oasis in Egypt, he pretends to be, as a man may say, the top man of all the Egyptians ; yet does he forswear his real country and progenitors, and by falsely pretending to be born at Alexandria, cannot deny the pravity of his family; for you see how justly he calls those Egyptians whom he hates, and endeavours to reproach ; for had he not deemed Egyptians to be a name of great reproach; he would not have avoided the name of an Egyptian himself; as we know that those who brag of their own countries value themselves upon the denomination they acquire thereby, and reprove such as unjustly lay claim thereto. As for the Egyptians claim to be of our kindred, they do it on one of the following accounts ; I mean either as they value themselves upon it, and pretend to bear that relation to us; or else as they would draw us in to be partakers of their own infamy. But this fine fellow Apion seems to broach this reproachful appellation against us, (that we were originally Egyptians,] in order to bestow it on the Alexandriars as a reward for the privelege they had given him of being a fellow-citizen with them : he also is apprized' of the ill-will the Alexandrians bear to those Jews who are their fellow-citizens, and so proposes to himself to reproach them, although he must thereby include all the other Egyptians also ; while in both cases he is no better than an impudent liar.
4. But let us now see what those heavy and wicked crimes are, which Apion charges upon the Alexandrian Jews. “They came,” says he, “out of Syria, and inhab“ited near the tempestuous sea, and were in the neighbour“ hood of the dashing of the waves.” Now, if the place of liabitation includes any thing that is reproachful, this man reproaches not his own real country, [Egypt,) but what he pretends to be his own country, Alexandria ; for all are agreed in this, that the part of that city which is near the sea, is the best part of all for habitation. Now if the Jews gained that part of the city by force, and have kept it hitherto without impeachment, this is a mark of their valour : · but in reality it was Alexander himself that gave them that place for their habitation, when they obtained equal privileges there with the Macedonians. Nor can I devise what Apion
would have said, had there habitation been at Necropolis. * and not been fixed hard by the royal palace, (as it is;] nor had their nation had the denomination of Macedonians given them till this very day, [as they have.] Had this man now read the episties of king Alexander, or those of Ptolemy, the son of Lagus, or met with the writings of the succeeding kings, or that pillar which is still standing at Alexandria, and contains the privileges which the great (Julius] Cæsar bestowed upon the Jews ; had this man, I say, known these records, and yet hath the impudence to write in contradiction to them, he hath shewn himself to be a wicked man: but if he knew nothing of these records, he hath shewn himself to be a man very ignorant: nay, when he appears to wonder how Jews could be called Alexandrians, this is another like instance of his ignorance : for all such as are called out to be colonies, although they be ever so far remote from ane another in their original, receive their names from those that bring them to their new habitation. And what occasion is there to speak of others, when those of us Jews that dwell at Antioch are named Antiochians, because Seleucus the founder of that city gave them the privileges belonging thereto ? After the like manner, do those Jews that inhabit Ephesus and the other cities of Ionia, enjoy the same name with those that were originally born there, by the grant of the succeeding princes : nay, the kindness and humanity of the Romans hath been so great, that it hath granted leave to almost all others to take the same name of Romans upon them : I mean not particu• lar men only, but entire and large nations themselves also? for those anciently named Iberi, and Tyrcheni, and Sabini, are now called Romani. And if A pion reject this way of obtaining the privilege of a citizen of Alexandria, let him abstain from calling himself an Alexandrian, hereafter ; or otherwise how can he who was born in the very heart of Egypt be an Alexandrian, if this way of accepting such a privilege, of what he would have us deprived, be once abrogated ? although indeed these Romans, who are now the lords of the habitable earth, have forbidden the Egyptians to have the privileges of any city whatsoever ; while this fine fellow, who is willing to partake of such a privilege himself as he is forbidden to make use of endeavours
* The burial-place for dead bodies, as I suppose.
by calumpies to deprive those of it who have justly received it: for Alexander did not therefore get some of our na-, tion to Alexandria, because he wanted inhabitants for this his city, on whose building he bad bestowed so much pains ; but this was given to our people as a reward, be cause he had, upon a careful trial, found them all to have been men of virtue and fidelity to him: For, as Hecateus says concerning us, “ Alexander honoured our nation to “ such a degree, that, for the equity and the fidelity which " the Jews had exhibited to him, he permitted them to hold "s the country of Samaria free from tribute. Of the same 's mind also was Ptolemy, the son of Lagus, as to those “ Jews who dwelt in Alexandria :" for he entrusted the fortresses of Egypt into their hands as believing they would keep them faithfully and valiantly for him ; and when lle was desirous to secure the government of Cyrene and the other cities of Libya to himself, he sent a party of Jews to inhabit them. And for his successor Ptolemy, who was called Philadelphus, he did not only set all those of our nation free who were captives under him, but did frequent. ly * give money [for their ransom ;] and, what was his greatest work of all, he had a great desire of knowing our laws, and of obtaining the books of our sacred scriptures; accordingly he desired that such men might be sent him as might interpret our law to him; and in order to have them well compiled, he committed that care to no ordinary persons, but ordained that Demetrius Phalereus, and Andreas, and Aristeas; the first, Demetrius, the most learned person of his age, and the others such as were entrusted with the guard of his body, should take the care of this matter: nor would he certainly have been so desirous of learning our law and the philosoplıy of our nation, had he despised the men that made use of it, or had he not indeed had them in great admiration.
5. Now, this Apion was unacquainted with almost all the kings of those Macedonians whom he pretends to have been his progenitors; who were yet very well affected towards us : for the third of those Ptolemies, who was called
* For monnaxis, or frequently, I would here read around, a great deal of money; for we indeed read both in Aristeas and Josephus, that this Ptolemy Philadelphus once gave a very great sum of money to redeem above 100,000 Jewish captives, but not of any sums of money which he disbursed on their account at other times, that I know of,
Euergetes, when he had gotten possession of all Syria by force, did not offer his thank-offerings to the Egyptian gods for his victory, but came to Jerusalem, and accor, ding to our own laws, offered many sacrifices to God, aud dedicated to him such gists as were suitable to such a victory: and, as for Ptolemy Philometor and his wife Cleopatra, they committed their whole kingdom to Jews, when Onias and Dositheus, both Jews, whose names are laughed at by Apion, were the generals of their whole army. But certainly, instead of reproaching them, he ought to admire their actions, and return them thanks for saving Alexandria, whose citizen he pretends to be: for when the Alexandrians were making war with Cleopatra the queen, and were in danger of being utterly ruined, these Jews brought them to terms of agreement, and freed them from the miseries of a civil war. “But then," says Apion, “ Onias brought a small army afterward upon the “ city at the time when Thermus the Roman ambassador “ was there present.” Yes, do I venture to say, and that he did rightly and very justly in so doing; for that Ptolemy who was called Physco, upon the death of his brother Philometor, came from Cyrene, and would have ejected Cleopatra as well as her sons out of their kingdom, that he inight obtain it for himself unjustly.* For this cause then it was, that Onias undertook a war against him on Cleopatra's account ; nor would he desert that trust the royal family had reposed in him in their distress. Accordingly, God gave a remarkable attestation to his righteons procedure; for when Ptoleny Physco † had the presumption to fight against Onias's army, and had caught all the Jews that were in the city (Alexandria,] with their children and wives, and exposed them naked and in bonds to his elephants, that they might be trodden upon and destroyed, and when he had made those elephants drunk for that purpose, the event proved contrary to his preparations ; for these elephants left the Jews who were exposed to them,
* Here begins a great defect in the Greek copy ; but the old Latin version fully supplies that defect.
† What error is here generally believed to have been committed by our , Josephus in ascribing a deliverance of the Jews to the reign of Ptolemy Phys co, the seventh of those Ptolemies, which has been universally supposed to have happened under Ptolemy Pbilopator, the fourth of them, is no better than a gross error of the moderns, and not of Josephus, as I have fully proved in the Authent. Rec. part i. p. 200—404, whither' I refer the inquisitive
and fell violently upon Physco's friends, and slew a great number of them : nay, after this, Ptolemy saw a terrible ghost, which prohibited his hurting those men ; his very concubine whom he loved so well, some call her Ithaoa, and others Irene, making supplication to him, that he would not perpetrate so great a wickedness. So he complied with her request, and repented of what he either had already done, or was about to do: whence it is well known, that the Alexandrian Jews do with good reason celebrate this day, on the account that they had thereon been vouchsafed such an evident deliverance from God. However, Apion, the common calumniator of men, hath the presumption to accuse the Jews for making this war against Physco, when he ought to have commended them for the same. This man also makes mention of Cleopatra the last queen of Alexandria, and abuses us, because she was ungrateful to us; whereas he ought to have reproved her, who indulged herself in all kinds of injustice and wicked practices, both with regard to her nearest relations and husbands who had loved her, and indeed in general with regard to all the Romans, and those emperors that were her benefactors : who also had her sister Arsinoe slain in a temple, when slie had done her no harm; moreover, she had her brother slain by private treachery, and she destroyed the gods of her country and the sepulchres of her progenitors; and while she had received her kingdon from the first Cæsar, she had the impudence to rebel against his son * and successor : nay, she corrupted Antony with her love-tricks, and rendered him an enemy to his country, and made him trea. cherous to his friends and by his means] despoiled some of their royal authority, and forced others in her madness to act wickedly. But what need I enlarge upon this head any farther, when she left Antony in his fight at sea, though he were her husband, and the father of their common children and compelled him to resign up his government, with the army; and to follow her [into Egypt:] nay, when last of all Cæsar had taken Alexandria, she came to that pitch of cruelty, that she declared she had some hope of preserving her affairs still, in case she could kill the Jews, though it were with her own hand; to such a degree of barbarity and perfidiousness had she arrived. And
* Sister's son, and adopted son.