628 The level of detail, some irrelevant to Josephus, suggests a citation, though I consider the opening words of the section to be Josephus’ own (thus leaving obscure how, in Ps.-Hecataeus’ account, Ezekias related to the Judean migration to
Egypt). The brief and rather cryptic excerpts on Ezekias here and at 1.189 suggest that Josephus’ interest was caught less by this individual (whom he could not harmonize with his other knowledge of the period) than by his dual role as a priestly governor of the Judean constitution (cf. 2.185-87, 193-94) and an eminent figure held in honor by Greeks (cf. 1.175; 2.42ff.). The latter was apparently important for Ps.-Hecataeus as well; cf. the high-priest Eleazar in
Let. Aris. 28-172. Ezekias’ role in the narrative is unclear (given the obscurities of 1.189): was he a source of information on the Judean nation or the leader of the Judean settlement in
Egypt (or both)? The fact that Ezekias is absent from the authoritative lists of high-priests preserved elsewhere by Josephus (
Ant. 10.151-53; 20.224-51; for this period cf.
Ant. 11.297, 302-3, 347) suggests that Ps.-Hecataeus’ depiction of him as “a high-priest” is unhistorical (only much later can this indefinite designation refer to members of a high-priestly family; Bar-Kochva 1996a: 84-85,
contra Stern 1.40). However, the discovery of Hezekiah coins, referring to a governor of Judah in the late Persian and early Hellenistic period, has intrigued scholars (see the full description in Bar-Kochva 1996a: 255-70). This does not prove that this narrative is historically accurate (nor help settle its authorship;
pace Gager 1969: 138-39); indeed it is implausible that the same figure could have been both governor and high-priest (Bar-Kochva 1996a: 85-88). But Ps.-Hecataeus may have used the memory of an important historical figure and transformed his role into that of high-priest.