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doth any one think that we cannot boast ourselves of any thing, if, as Apion says, this queen did not at a time of famine distribute wheat among us? However, she at length met with the punishment she deserved. As for us Jews, we appeal to the great Cæsar what assistance we brought him, and what fidelity we shewed to him against the Egyptians; as also to the senate and its decrees, and the epistles of Augustus Cæsar, whereby our merits [to the Romans] are justified. Apion ought to have looked upon those epistles, and in particular to have examined the testimonies given on our behalf under Alexander and all the Ptolemnies, and the decrees of the senate and of the greatest Roman emperors. And if Germanicus was not able to make a distribution of corn to all the inhabitants of Alexandria, that only shews what a barren time it was, and how great a want there was then of corn, but tends nothing to the accusation of the Jews; for what all the emperors have thought of the Alexandrian Jews is well known, for this distribution of wheat was no otherwise omitted with regard to the Jews, than it was with regard to the other inhabitants of Alexandria. But they still were desirous to preserve what the kings had formerly entrusted to their care, I mean the custody of the river: nor did those kings think them unworthy of having the entire custody thereof upon all occasions.
6. But, besides this, Apion objects to us thus; “if the 6 Jews,” says he, “be citizens Alexandria, why do they spot worship the same gods with the Alexandrians ?" To which I give this answer : Since you are yourselves Egypt. ians, why do you fight it out one against another, and have implacable wars about your religion? At this rate, we must not call you all Egyptians, nor indeed in general men, bei cause you breed up with great care beasts of nature quite
contrary to that of men, although the nature of all men seems to be one and the same. Now, if there be such disferences in opinion among you Egyptians, why are you surprised that those who came to Alexandria from another country, and had original laws of their own before, should persevere in the observance of those laws ? But still he charges us with being the authors of seditions: which accusation, if it be a just one, why is it not laid against us all, since we are known to be all of one mind. Moreover, these that search into such matters will soon discover, that the authors of sedition have been such citizens of Alexandria
as Apion is; for while they were the Grecians and Macedonians who were in possession of his city, there was no sedition raised against us, and we were premitted to observe our ancient solemnities; but when the number of the Egyptians therein came to be considerable, the times grey confused, and then these seditions brake out still more and more, while our people continued uncorrupted. These Egyptians, therefore, were the authors of these troubles, who having not the constancy of Macedonians, nor the prudence of Grecians, indulged all of them the evil manners of Egyptians, and continued their ancient hatred against us; for what is here so presumptuously charged upon us, is owing to the differences that are amongst themselves; while many of them have not obtained the privileges of citizens in proper times, but style those who are well known to have had that privilege extended to them all no other than foreigners; for it does not appear, that any of the kings have ever formerly bestowed those privileges of citizens upon Egyptians, no more than have the emperors done it more lately, while it was Alexander who introduced us into this city at first, the kings augmented our privileges therein, and the Romans have been pleased to preserve them always inviolable. Moreover Apion would lay a blot upon us hecause we do not erect images for our emperors; as if those emperors did not know this before, or stood in need of Apion as their defender; whereas he ought rather to have admired the magnanimity and modesty of the Romans, whereby they do not compel those that are subject to them to transgress the laws of their countries, but are willing to receive the honours due to them after such a manner as those who are to pay them esteem consistent with piety and with their own laws : for they do not thank people for conferring honours upon them, when they are compelled by violence so to do. Accordingly, since the Grecians and some other nations think it a right thing to make images ; nay, when they have painted the pictures of their parents, and wives, and children, they exult for joy; and some there are who take pictures for themselves of such persons as were no way related to them; nay, some take the pictures of such servents as they were fond of. What wonder is it then, if such as these appear willing to pay the same respect to their princes and lords ? But then, oor legislator hath for· bidden us to make images, not by way of denunciation béforehand, that the Roman authority was not to be honoured, but as despising a thing that was neither necessary or useful for either God or man, and he forbade them, as we shall prove hereafter to make these images for any part of the animal creation, and much less for God himself, who is no part of such animal creation. Yet bath our legislator no where forbidden us to pay honours to worthy men, provided they be of another kind and inferior to those we pay to God; with which honours we willingly testify our rcspect to our emperors and to the people of Rome : we also offer perpetual sacrifices for them ; nor do we only offer them every day at the common expenses of all the Jews, but although we offer no other such sacrifices out of our common expenses, do not for our own children, yet do we this as a peculiar honour to the emperors, and to them alone, while we do the same to no other person whomsoever. And let this suffice for an answer in general to Apion, as to what he says with relation to the Alexandrian Jews.
7. However, I canuot but admire those other authors who furnished this man with such his materials ; I mean Possidonius and Apollonius (the son of] Molo,* who while they accuse us for not worshipping the same gods whom others worship, they think themselves not guilty of impiety when they tell lies of us, and frame absurd and reproachful stories about our temple ; whereas it is a most shameful thing for free men to forge lies on any occasion, and much more so to forge them about our temple, which was so famous over all the world, and was preserved so sacred by us ; for Apion hath the impudence to pretend, “ That the “ Jews placed an ass's head in their holy place," and he af. firms, 6 That this was discovered when Antiochus Epip“ hanes spoiled our temple, and found that ass's head there “ made of gold, and worth a great deal of money.” To this my first answer shall be this: that had there been any such thing among us, an Egyptian ought by no means to have thrown it in our teeth, since an ass is not a more contemptible animal than *** † and goats, and other such creatures which among them are gods. But besides this answer, I say farther, how comes it about that Apion does
* Called more properly Molo or Apollonius Molo, as hereaster; for Apollovius, the son of Molo, was another person, as Straho informs us, lib. xiv.
+ Furones in the Latin, which what animal it denotes does not now anpeal.
not understand this to be no other than a palpable lie, and to be confuted by the thing itself as utterly incredible ? For we Jews are always governed by the same laws, in which we constantly persevere ; and although many misfortunes have befallen our city, as the like have befallen others and although Theos [Epiphanes) and Pompey the Great, and Licinius Crassus, and last of all Titus Cæsar, have conquered us in war, and gotten possession of our temple ; yet have they none of them found any such thing there, nor indeed any thing but what was agreeable to the strictest piety ; although what they found we are not at liberty to reveal to other nations. But for Antiochus [Epiphanes,] he had no just cause for that ravage in our temple that he made; he only came to it when he wanted money, without declaring himself our enemy, and attacked us while we were his associates and his friends: nor did he find any thing there that was ridiculous. This is attested by many worthy writers; Polybius of Megalopolis, Strabo of Cappadocia, Nicolaus of Damascus, Timagenes, Castor the chronologer, and Apolodorus,* who all say, that it was out of Antiochus's want of money that he broke his league with the Jews, and despoiled their temple when it was full of gold and silver. Apion ought to have had a regard to these facts, unless he had himself had either an ass's heart, or a dog's impudence ; of such a dog I mean as they worship; for he had no other external reason for the lies he tells of us. As for us Jews, we ascribe no honour or power to asses, as do the Egyptians to crocodiles and asps, when they esteem such as are seized upon by the former, or bitten by the latter, to be happy persons, and persons worthy of God. Asses are the same with us which they are with other wise men, viz. creatures that bear the burdens that we lay upon them; but if they come to our threshing. floors, and eat our corn, or do not perform what we impose upon them, we beat them with a great many stripes, because it is their business to minister to us in our husbandry affairs. But this Apion of ours was either perfectly unskilful in the composition of such fallacious discourses, or
* It is a great pity that these six Pagan authors, here mentioned to have described the famous profanation of the Jewish temple by Antiochus Epiphanes, should be all lost; I mean so far of their writings as contained that description; though it is plain Josephus perused them all, as extant in his time.
however, when he began [somewhat better,] he was not able to persevere in what he had undertaken, since he hath no manner of success in those reproaches he casts upon us.
8 He adds another Grecian fable, in order to reproach us. In reply to which it would be enough to say, that they who presume to speak about divine worship, ought not to be ignorant of this plain truth, that it is a degree of less impurity to pass through temples, than to forge wicked calumnies of its priests. Now, such men as he are more zealous to justify a sacrilegious king, than to write what is just, and what is true about us, and about our teniple : for when they are desirous of gratifying Antiochus, and of concealing that perfidiousness and sacrilege which he was guilty of, with regard to our nation, when he wanted money, they endeavour to disgrace us, and tell lies even relating to futurities. Apion becomes other men's prophet upon this occasion, and says, " That Antiochus found in our temple 6 a bed, and a man lying upon it, with a small table before “ him, full of dainties, from the (fishes of the] sea, and " the fowls of the dry land ; that this man was amazed at " these dainties thus set before him, that he immediately " adored the king, upon his coming in, as hoping that he 66 would afford him all possible assistance ; that he fell “ down upon his knees and stretched out to him his right “ hand, and begged to be released : and that when the 6 king bid him sit down, and tell him who he was, and why " he dwelt there, and what was the meaning of those vari"ous sorts of food that were set before him, the man made - lamentable complaint and with sighs, and tears in his eyes, “ gave him this account of the distress he was in, and said, “ That he was a Greek, and that, as he went over this pro“ vince in order to get his living, he was seized upon by “ foreigners, on a sudden, and brought to this temple and “shut up therein, and was seen by nobody, but was fatten“ed by these curious provisions thus set before him: and “ that truly at the first such unexpected advantages seemed “to him matter of great joy ; that, after a while, they “ brought a suspicion upon him, and at length astonishment, “ what their meaning should be ; that at last he inquired of “ the servants that came to him, and was by them informed, « that it was in order to the fulfilling a law of the Jews, có which they must not tell him, that he was thus fed ; as and that they did the same at a set time every year ; that