720 This riposte constitutes one of the clearest examples in this treatise of the clash of cultural values. Agatharchides’ notion of “reason” considered excessive and stupid whatever beliefs or traditions caused harm to oneself or to one’s country, not, probably, in wholescale opposition to “religion,” but on the assumption that the Gods could hardly wish such evils on humankind. For Josephus, on the other hand, the observance of the law and piety towards God overrule considerations of “safety” (cf. 1.42-43, 218-35). Law-observance is a motif already emphasized (cf. 1.60, 190-93) and set to emerge as a central feature of the constitution (2.145-286). Piety, whose association with the law is unspecific but crucial for this argument, is the defining characteristic of that constitution (2.146, 160-67, etc.). The sacrifice of one’s country is perhaps the liminal case (cf. Josephus’ sensitivity on this matter in Ant. 14.65-68), and Roman readers would surely be surprised by the notion of a choice between piety and patriotism. But for Josephus it is crucial to rename “superstition” ( δεισιδαιμονία) as “piety” ( εὐσέβεια), and to suggest that any unbiased observer would sympathise with Judeans in this matter. At the same time, he subtly qualifies his point by claiming only that it is praiseworthy if “some people” ( ἄνθρωποί τινες) operate this prioritization: that validates Judean peculiarity without requiring that everyone is required to follow suit. Rather than victims of their own stupidity, Judeans emerge as moral heroes, setting a standard of piety unattainable by most.