718 On “malice” ( δυσμενεία), cf. 1.2-3. Josephus does not wish to challenge the narrative itself, but the values with which Agatharchides has judged it. He thus hints at an unworthy motivation, an anticipation of the fulsome accusations directed at critics of Judean culture in 1.219-2.144, but not developed here. The phraseology here suggests that anyone who really investigates this matter dispassionately will see things Josephus’ way: Josephus wants to associate himself with careful historiography and a system of evaluation that is not particular to Judeans but universally reasonable.