16 The “slanders” are attributed to a third party (“some”), to whom “a considerable number of people” attend; placing this source at one remove frees Josephus to use as strong invective as he wishes. Of the two terms here used, the first in particular attaches itself to the “Egyptian” material (narratives about Moses; charges by Apion). βλασφημίαι (“slanders”) and its cognates recur in 1.4, 59, but then not again (apart from a neutral use in 1.164) until 1.221, 223, 279 and the segment on Apion (2.5, 32, 143; cf. Latin in 2.79, 88); it is one of Josephus’ favorite labels for the stories he attacks. For δυσμένεια (“malice”), repeated in 1.3, cf. 1.70, 212, 220; 2.145. As far as we can tell, such “slanders” rarely if ever induced doubt on the antiquity of the Judean people (see note to “us” at 2.156), but it suits Josephus’ rhetoric to associate the first topic of this treatise (the proof of Judean antiquity) with the other topics, wrapping them all in the same mantle, as responses to hostility. The doubt itself is hardly a “slander” and Josephus’ following remarks might suggest that its origin lay in ignorance rather than malice (1.3, 5). But he later redescribes it as a “charge” (2.288) and as a “case against us” ( ἡ πρὸς ἡμᾶς ἀντιλογία) advanced by “detractors” ( οἱ βασκαίνοντες, 1.72), thus again associating it with the “charges” and “slanders” that occupy the rest of the work.