161 Δεῖ δ᾽ ἄρα καὶ τῶν ἀπιστούντων μὲν τοῖς βαρβάροις ἀναγραφαῖς μόνοις δὲ τοῖς Ἕλλησι πιστεύειν ἀξιούντων ἀποπληρῶσαι τὴν ἐπιζήτησιν καὶ παρασχεῖν πολλοὺς καὶ τούτων ἐπισταμένους τὸ ἔθνος ἡμῶν καὶ καθ᾽ ὃ καιρὸς ἦν αὐτοῖς μνημονεύοντας παραθέσθαι ἐν ἰδίοις αὐτῶν συγγράμμασι.
162 Πυθαγόρας τοίνυν ὁ Σάμιος ἀρχαῖος ὤν, σοφίᾳ δὲ καὶ τῇ περὶ τὸ θεῖον εὐσεβείᾳ πάντων ὑπειλημμένος διενεγκεῖν τῶν φιλοσοφησάντων, οὐ μόνον ἐγνωκὼς τὰ παρ᾽ ἡμῖν δῆλός ἐστιν, ἀλλὰ καὶ ζηλωτὴς αὐτῶν ἐκ πλείστου γεγενημένος.
164 ἐστιν Ἕρμιππος ἀνὴρ περὶ πᾶσαν ἱστορίαν ἐπιμελής. λέγει τοίνυν ἐν τῷ πρώτῳ τῶν περὶ Πυθαγόρου βιβλίων, ὅτι Πυθαγόρας ἑνὸς αὐτοῦ τῶν συνουσιαστῶν τελευτήσαντος τοὔνομα Καλλιφῶντος τὸ γένος Κροτωνιάτου τὴν ἐκείνου ψυχὴν ἔλεγε συνδιατρίβειν αὐτῷ καὶ νύκτωρ καὶ μεθ᾽ ἡμέραν· καὶ ὅτι παρεκελεύετο μὴ διέρχεσθαι τόπον, ἐφ᾽ ὃν ὄνος ὀκλάσῃ, καὶ τῶν διψίων ὑδάτων ἀπέχεσθαι
165 καὶ πάσης ἀπέχειν βλασφημίας. εἶτα προστίθησι μετὰ ταῦτα καὶ τάδε· “ταῦτα δὲ ἔπραττεν καὶ ἔλεγε τὰς Ἰουδαίων καὶ Θρᾳκῶν δόξας μιμούμενος καὶ μεταφέρων εἰς ἑαυτόν. λέγεται γὰρ ὡς ἀληθῶς ὁ ἀνὴρ ἐκεῖνος πολλὰ τῶν παρὰ Ἰουδαίοις νομίμων εἰς τὴν
167 ἐν τοῖς περὶ νόμων· λέγει γάρ, ὅτι κωλύουσιν οἱ Τυρίων νόμοι ξενικοὺς ὅρκους ὀμνύειν, ἐν οἷς μετά τινων ἄλλων καὶ τὸν καλούμενον ὅρκον κορβὰν καταριθμεῖ. παρ᾽ οὐδενὶ δ᾽ ἂν οὗτος εὑρεθείη πλὴν μόνοις Ἰουδαίοις, δηλοῖ δ᾽ ὡς ἂν εἴποι τις ἐκ τῆς Ἑβραίων μεθερμηνευόμενος διαλέκτου δῶρον θεοῦ.
169 βίβλῳ φησὶν οὕτως· “μοῦνοι δὲ πάντων, φησί, Κόλχοι καὶ Αἰγύπτιοι καὶ Αἰθίοπες περιτέμνονται ἀπ᾽ ἀρχῆς τὰ αἰδοῖα. Φοίνικες δὲ καὶ Σύριοι οἱ ἐν τῇ Παλαιστίνῃ καὶ οὗτοι ὁμολογοῦσι παρ᾽ Αἰγυπτίων μεμαθηκέναι.
170 Σύριοι δὲ οἱ περὶ Θερμώδοντα καὶ Παρθένιον ποταμὸν καὶ Μάκρωνες οἱ τούτοισιν ἀστυγείτονες ὄντες ἀπὸ Κόλχων φασὶ νεωστὶ μεμαθηκέναι· οὗτοι γάρ εἰσιν οἱ περιτεμνόμενοι ἀνθρώπων μοῦνοι καὶ οὗτοι Αἰγυπτίοισι φαίνονται ποιοῦντες κατὰ ταὐτά. αὐτῶν δὲ Αἰγυπτίων καὶ Αἰθιόπων οὐκ
172 γιγνώσκων εἴρηκεν περὶ αὐτῶν. καὶ Χοιρίλος δὲ ἀρχαιότερος γενόμενος ποιητὴς μέμνηται τοῦ ἔθνους ἡμῶν, ὅτι συνεστράτευται Ξέρξῃ τῷ Περσῶν βασιλεῖ ἐπὶ τὴν Ἑλλάδα· καταριθμησάμενος γὰρ πάντα τὰ ἔθνη τελευταῖον καὶ τὸ ἡμέτερον ἐνέταξε λέγων·
174 τῶν δ᾽ ὄπιθεν διέβαινε γένος θαυμαστὸν ἰδέσθαι, γλῶσσαν μὲν Φοίνισσαν ἀπὸ στομάτων ἀφιέντες, ᾤκεον δ᾽ ἐν Σολύμοις ὄρεσι πλατέῃ παρὰ λίμνῃ αὐχμαλέοι κορυφὰς τροχοκουράδες, αὐτὰρ ὕπερθεν ἵππων δαρτὰ πρόσωπ᾽ ἐφόρουν ἐσκληκότα καπνῷ. δῆλον οὖν ἐστιν, ὡς οἶμαι, πᾶσιν ἡμῶν αὐτὸν μεμνῆσθαι τῷ καὶ τὰ Σόλυμα ὄρη ἐν τῇ ἡμετέρᾳ εἶναι χώρᾳ, ἃ κατοικοῦμεν, καὶ τὴν Ἀσφαλτῖτιν λεγομένην λίμνην· αὕτη γὰρ πασῶν τῶν ἐν τῇ Συρίᾳ
175[ λίμνη] πλατυτέρα καὶ μείζων καθέστηκεν. καὶ Χοιρίλος μὲν οὖν οὕτω μέμνηται ἡμῶν. ὅτι δὲ οὐ μόνον ἠπίσταντο τοὺς Ἰουδαίους, ἀλλὰ καὶ ἐθαύμαζον ὅσοις αὐτῶν ἐντύχοιεν οὐχ οἱ φαυλότατοι τῶν Ἑλλήνων, ἀλλ᾽ οἱ ἐπὶ σοφίᾳ μάλιστα τεθαυμασμένοι, ῥᾴδιον γνῶναι·
176 Κλέαρχος γὰρ ὁ Ἀριστοτέλους ὢν μαθητὴς καὶ τῶν ἐκ τοῦ περιπάτου φιλοσόφων οὐδενὸς δεύτερος ἐν τῷ πρώτῳ περὶ ὕπνου βιβλίῳ φησὶν Ἀριστοτέλην τὸν διδάσκαλον αὐτοῦ περί τινος ἀνδρὸς Ἰουδαίου ταῦτα ἱστορεῖν, αὐτῷ τε τὸν λόγον Ἀριστοτέλει
177 παρατιθείς· ἔστι δὲ οὕτω γεγραμμένον· “ἀλλὰ τὰ μὲν πολλὰ μακρὸν ἂν εἴη λέγειν, ὅσα δ᾽ ἔχει τῶν ἐκείνου θαυμασιότητά τινα καὶ φιλοσοφίαν ὁμοίως διελθεῖν οὐ χεῖρον. σαφῶς δ᾽ ἴσθι, εἶπεν, Ὑπεροχίδη, θαυμαστὸν ὀνείροις ἴσα σοι δόξω λέγειν. καὶ ὁ Ὑπεροχίδης εὐλαβούμενος, δι᾽ αὐτὸ γάρ, ἔφη, τοῦτο καὶ ζητοῦμεν ἀκοῦσαι πάντες.
179 κἀκεῖνος τοίνυν τὸ μὲν γένος ἦν Ἰουδαῖος ἐκ τῆς κοίλης Συρίας. οὗτοι δέ εἰσιν ἀπόγονοι τῶν ἐν Ἰνδοῖς φιλοσόφων, καλοῦνται δέ, ὥς φασιν, οἱ φιλόσοφοι παρὰ μὲν Ἰνδοῖς Καλανοί, παρὰ δὲ Σύροις Ἰουδαῖοι τοὔνομα λαβόντες ἀπὸ τοῦ τόπου· προσαγορεύεται γὰρ ὃν κατοικοῦσι τόπον Ἰουδαία. τὸ δὲ τῆς πόλεως αὐτῶν ὄνομα πάνυ σκολιόν ἐστιν· Ἱερουσαλήμην γὰρ αὐτὴν καλοῦσιν.
181 οὐ τῇ διαλέκτῳ μόνον, ἀλλὰ καὶ τῇ ψυχῇ. καὶ τότε διατριβόντων ἡμῶν περὶ τὴν Ἀσίαν παραβαλὼν εἰς τοὺς αὐτοὺς τόπους ἄνθρωπος ἐντυγχάνει ἡμῖν τε καί τισιν ἑτέροις τῶν σχολαστικῶν πειρώμενος αὐτῶν τῆς σοφίας. ὡς δὲ πολλοῖς τῶν ἐν παιδείᾳ συνῳκείωτο,
182 παρεδίδου τι μᾶλλον ὧν εἶχεν”. ταῦτ᾽ εἴρηκεν ὁ Ἀριστοτέλης παρὰ τῷ Κλεάρχῳ καὶ προσέτι πολλὴν καὶ θαυμάσιον καρτερίαν τοῦ Ἰουδαίου ἀνδρὸς ἐν τῇ διαίτῃ καὶ σωφροσύνην διεξιών. ἔνεστι δὲ τοῖς βουλομένοις ἐξ αὐτοῦ τὸ πλέον γνῶναι τοῦ βιβλίου· φυλάττομαι
183 γὰρ ἐγὼ [ τὰ] πλείω τῶν ἱκανῶν παρατίθεσθαι. Κλέαρχος μὲν οὖν ἐν παρεκβάσει ταῦτ᾽ εἴρηκεν, τὸ γὰρ προκείμενον ἦν αὐτῷ καθ᾽ ἕτερον, οὕτως ἡμῶν μνημονεῦσαι. Ἑκαταῖος δὲ ὁ Ἀβδηρίτης, ἀνὴρ φιλόσοφος ἅμα καὶ περὶ τὰς πράξεις ἱκανώτατος, Ἀλεξάνδρῳ τῷ βασιλεῖ συνακμάσας καὶ Πτολεμαίῳ τῷ Λάγου συγγενόμενος, οὐ παρέργως ἀλλὰ περὶ αὐτῶν Ἰουδαίων συγγέγραφε βιβλίον, ἐξ οὗ βούλομαι κεφαλαιωδῶς ἐπιδραμεῖν ἔνια τῶν εἰρημένων.
185 καὶ ἑκατοστῆς, ὡς ἱστορεῖ Κάστωρ. προσθεὶς γὰρ ταύτην τὴν ὀλυμπιάδα φησίν· “ἐπὶ ταύτης Πτολεμαῖος ὁ Λάγου ἐνίκα κατὰ Γάζαν μάχῃ Δημήτριον τὸν Ἀντιγόνου τὸν ἐπικληθέντα Πολιορκητήν”. Ἀλέξανδρον δὲ τεθνάναι πάντες ὁμολογοῦσιν ἐπὶ τῆς ἑκατοστῆς τεσσαρεσκαιδεκάτης ὀλυμπιάδος. δῆλον οὖν, ὅτι καὶ κατ᾽
186 ἐκεῖνον καὶ κατὰ Ἀλέξανδρον ἤκμαζεν ἡμῶν τὸ ἔθνος. λέγει τοίνυν ὁ Ἑκαταῖος πάλιν τάδε, ὅτι μετὰ τὴν ἐν Γάζῃ μάχην ὁ Πτολεμαῖος ἐγένετο τῶν περὶ Συρίαν τόπων ἐγκρατής, καὶ πολλοὶ τῶν ἀνθρώπων πυνθανόμενοι τὴν ἠπιότητα καὶ φιλανθρωπίαν τοῦ Πτολεμαίου συναπαίρειν εἰς Αἴγυπτον αὐτῷ καὶ κοινωνεῖν τῶν πραγμάτων ἠβουλήθησαν.
187 ὧν εἷς ἦν, φησίν, Ἐζεκίας ἀρχιερεὺς τῶν Ἰουδαίων, ἄνθρωπος τὴν μὲν ἡλικίαν ὡς ἑξηκονταὲξ ἐτῶν, τῷ δ᾽ ἀξιώματι τῷ παρὰ τοῖς ὁμοέθνοις μέγας καὶ τὴν ψυχὴν οὐκ ἀνόητος, ἔτι δὲ καὶ λέγειν δυνατὸς καὶ τοῖς περὶ τῶν πραγμάτων, εἴπερ τις ἄλλος, ἔμπειρος.
189 περὶ χιλίους μάλιστα καὶ πεντακοσίους εἰσίν”. πάλιν δὲ τοῦ προειρημένου μνημονεύων ἀνδρός “οὗτος, φησίν, ὁ ἄνθρωπος τετευχὼς τῆς τιμῆς ταύτης καὶ συνήθης ἡμῖν γενόμενος, παραλαβών τινας τῶν μεθ᾽ ἑαυτοῦ τήν τε διαφορὰν ἀνέγνω πᾶσαν αὐτοῖς· εἶχεν γὰρ
190 τὴν κατοίκησιν αὐτῶν καὶ τὴν πολιτείαν γεγραμμένην”. εἶτα Ἑκαταῖος δηλοῖ πάλιν, πῶς ἔχομεν πρὸς τοὺς νόμους, ὅτι πάντα πάσχειν ὑπὲρ τοῦ μὴ παραβῆναι τούτους προαιρούμεθα καὶ καλὸν εἶναι νομίζομεν.
191 τοιγαροῦν, φησί, καὶ κακῶς ἀκούοντες ὑπὸ τῶν ἀστυγειτόνων καὶ τῶν εἰσαφικνουμένων πάντες καὶ προπηλακιζόμενοι πολλάκις ὑπὸ τῶν Περσικῶν βασιλέων καὶ σατραπῶν οὐ δύνανται μεταπεισθῆναι τῇ διανοίᾳ, ἀλλὰ γεγυμνωμένως περὶ τούτων καὶ αἰκίαις καὶ θανάτοις δεινοτάτοις μάλιστα πάντων ἀπαντῶσι μὴ ἀρνούμενοι
192 τὰ πάτρια”. παρέχεται δὲ καὶ τεκμήρια τῆς ἰσχυρογνωμοσύνης τῆς περὶ τῶν νόμων οὐκ ὀλίγα· φησὶ γάρ, Ἀλεξάνδρου ποτὲ ἐν Βαβυλῶνι γενομένου καὶ προελομένου τὸ τοῦ Βήλου πεπτωκὸς ἱερὸν ἀνακαθᾶραι καὶ πᾶσιν αὐτοῦ τοῖς στρατιώταις ὁμοίως φέρειν τὸν χοῦν προστάξαντος, μόνους τοὺς Ἰουδαίους οὐ προσσχεῖν, ἀλλὰ καὶ πολλὰς ὑπομεῖναι πληγὰς καὶ ζημίας ἀποτῖσαι μεγάλας, ἕως αὐτοῖς
193 συγγνόντα τὸν βασιλέα δοῦναι τὴν ἄδειαν. ἔτι γε μὴν τῶν εἰς τὴν χώραν, φησί, πρὸς αὐτοὺς ἀφικνουμένων νεὼς καὶ βωμοὺς κατασκευασάντων ἅπαντα ταῦτα κατέσκαπτον, καὶ τῶν μὲν ζημίαν τοῖς σατράπαις ἐξέτινον, περί τινων δὲ καὶ συγγνώμης μετελάμβανον. καὶ προσεπιτίθησιν, ὅτι δίκαιον ἐπὶ τούτοις αὐτούς ἐστι θαυμάζειν.
194 λέγει δὲ καὶ περὶ τοῦ πολυανθρωπότατον γεγονέναι ἡμῶν τὸ ἔθνος· πολλὰς μὲν γὰρ ἡμῶν, φησίν, ἀνασπάστους εἰς Βαβυλῶνα Πέρσαι πρότερον αὐτῶν ἐποίησαν μυριάδας, οὐκ ὀλίγαι δὲ καὶ μετὰ τὸν Ἀλεξάνδρου θάνατον εἰς Αἴγυπτον καὶ Φοινίκην
195 μετέστησαν διὰ τὴν ἐν Συρίᾳ στάσιν”. ὁ δὲ αὐτὸς οὗτος ἀνὴρ καὶ τὸ μέγεθος τῆς χώρας ἣν κατοικοῦμεν καὶ τὸ κάλλος ἱστόρηκεν· τριακοσίας γὰρ μυριάδας ἀρουρῶν σχεδὸν τῆς ἀρίστης καὶ παμφορωτάτης χώρας νέμονται, φησίν· ἡ γὰρ Ἰουδαία τοσαύτη πλῆθός
198 μυριάδες, καλοῦσι δ᾽ αὐτὴν Ἱεροσόλυμα. ἐνταῦθα δ᾽ ἐστὶ κατὰ μέσον μάλιστα τῆς πόλεως περίβολος λίθινος μῆκος ὡς πεντάπλεθρος, εὖρος δὲ πηχῶν ρ , ἔχων διπλᾶς πύλας, ἐν ᾧ βωμός ἐστι τετράγωνος ἀτμήτων συλλέκτων ἀργῶν λίθων οὕτως συγκείμενος, πλευρὰν μὲν ἑκάστην εἴκοσι πηχῶν, ὕψος δὲ δεκάπηχυ. καὶ παρ᾽ αὐτὸν οἴκημα μέγα, οὗ βωμός ἐστι καὶ λυχνίον ἀμφότερα χρυσᾶ
199 δύο τάλαντα τὴν ὁλκήν. ἐπὶ τούτων φῶς ἐστιν ἀναπόσβεστον καὶ τὰς νύκτας καὶ τὰς ἡμέρας. ἄγαλμα δὲ οὐκ ἔστιν οὐδὲ ἀνάθημα τὸ παράπαν οὐδὲ φύτευμα παντελῶς οὐδὲν οἷον ἀλσῶδες ἤ τι τοιοῦτον. διατρίβουσι δ᾽ ἐν αὐτῷ καὶ τὰς νύκτας καὶ τὰς ἡμέρας ἱερεῖς ἁγνείας τινὰς ἁγνεύοντες καὶ τὸ παράπαν οἶνον οὐ πίνοντες ἐν
200 τῷ ἱερῷ”. ἔτι γε μὴν ὅτι καὶ Ἀλεξάνδρῳ τῷ βασιλεῖ συνεστρατεύσαντο καὶ μετὰ ταῦτα τοῖς διαδόχοις αὐτοῦ μεμαρτύρηκεν. οἷς δ᾽ αὐτὸς παρατυχεῖν φησιν ὑπ᾽ ἀνδρὸς Ἰουδαίου κατὰ τὴν στρατείαν γενομένοις, τοῦτο παραθήσομαι.
201 λέγει δ᾽ οὕτως· “ἐμοῦ γοῦν ἐπὶ τὴν Ἐρυθρὰν θάλασσαν βαδίζοντος συνηκολούθει τις μετὰ τῶν ἄλλων τῶν παραπεμπόντων ἡμᾶς ἱππέων Ἰουδαίων ὄνομα Μοσόλλαμος, ἄνθρωπος ἱκανῶς κατὰ ψυχὴν εὔρωστος καὶ τοξότης δὴ πάντων ὁμολογουμένως καὶ τῶν Ἑλλήνων καὶ τῶν βαρβάρων ἄριστος.
203 ἠρώτησε, διὰ τί προσμένουσι. δείξαντος δὲ τοῦ μάντεως αὐτῷ τὸν ὄρνιθα καὶ φήσαντος, ἐὰν μὲν αὐτοῦ μένῃ προσμένειν συμφέρειν πᾶσιν, ἂν δ᾽ ἀναστὰς εἰς τοὔμπροσθεν πέτηται προάγειν, ἐὰν δὲ εἰς τοὔπισθεν ἀναχωρεῖν αὖθις, σιωπήσας καὶ παρελκύσας
204 τὸ τόξον ἔβαλε καὶ τὸν ὄρνιθα πατάξας ἀπέκτεινεν. ἀγανακτούντων δὲ τοῦ μάντεως καί τινων ἄλλων καὶ καταρωμένων αὐτῷ, “τί μαίνεσθε, ἔφη, κακοδαίμονες;” εἶτα τὸν ὄρνιθα λαβὼν εἰς τὰς χεῖρας, “πῶς γάρ, ἔφη, οὗτος τὴν αὐτοῦ σωτηρίαν οὐ προϊδὼν περὶ τῆς ἡμετέρας πορείας ἡμῖν ἄν τι ὑγιὲς ἀπήγγελλεν; εἰ γὰρ ἠδύνατο προγιγνώσκειν τὸ μέλλον, εἰς τὸν τόπον τοῦτον οὐκ ἂν ἦλθε φοβούμενος,
205 μὴ τοξεύσας αὐτὸν ἀποκτείνῃ Μοσόλλαμος ὁ Ἰουδαῖος”. ἀλλὰ τῶν μὲν Ἑκαταίου μαρτυριῶν ἅλις· τοῖς γὰρ βουλομένοις πλείω μαθεῖν τῷ βιβλίῳ ῥᾴδιόν ἐστιν ἐντυχεῖν. οὐκ ὀκνήσω δὲ καὶ τὸν ἐπ᾽ εὐηθείας διασυρμῷ, καθάπερ αὐτὸς οἴεται, μνήμην πεποιημένον
206 ἡμῶν Ἀγαθαρχίδην ὀνομάσαι· διηγούμενος γὰρ τὰ περὶ Στρατονίκην, ὃν τρόπον ἦλθεν μὲν εἰς Συρίαν ἐκ Μακεδονίας καταλιποῦσα τὸν ἑαυτῆς ἄνδρα Δημήτριον, Σελεύκου δὲ γαμεῖν αὐτὴν οὐ θελήσαντος, ὅπερ ἐκείνη προσεδόκησεν, ποιουμένου [ δὲ] τὴν ἀπὸ Βαβυλῶνος στρατείαν αὐτοῦ τὰ περὶ τὴν Ἀντιόχειαν ἐνεωτέρισεν.
209 “οἱ καλούμενοι Ἰουδαῖοι πόλιν οἰκοῦντες ὀχυρωτάτην πασῶν, ἣν καλεῖν Ἱεροσόλυμα συμβαίνει τοὺς ἐγχωρίους, ἀργεῖν εἰθισμένοι δι᾽ ἑβδόμης ἡμέρας καὶ μήτε τὰ ὅπλα βαστάζειν ἐν τοῖς εἰρημένοις χρόνοις μήτε γεωργίας ἅπτεσθαι μήτε ἄλλης ἐπιμελεῖσθαι λειτουργίας μηδεμιᾶς, ἀλλ᾽ ἐν τοῖς ἱεροῖς ἐκτετακότες τὰς χεῖρας
210 εὔχεσθαι μέχρι τῆς ἑσπέρας, εἰσιόντος εἰς τὴν πόλιν Πτολεμαίου τοῦ Λάγου μετὰ τῆς δυνάμεως καὶ τῶν ἀνθρώπων ἀντὶ τοῦ φυλάττειν τὴν πόλιν διατηρούντων τὴν ἄνοιαν, ἡ μὲν πατρὶς εἰλήφει δεσπότην πικρόν, ὁ δὲ νόμος ἐξηλέγχθη φαῦλον ἔχων ἐθισμόν.
212 τῶν διαπορουμένων ἐξασθενήσωσιν”. τοῦτο μὲν Ἀγαθαρχίδῃ καταγέλωτος ἄξιον δοκεῖ, τοῖς δὲ μὴ μετὰ δυσμενείας ἐξετάζουσι φαίνεται μέγα καὶ πολλῶν ἄξιον ἐγκωμίων, εἰ καὶ σωτηρίας καὶ πατρίδος ἄνθρωποί τινες νόμων φυλακὴν καὶ τὴν πρὸς θεὸν εὐσέβειαν ἀεὶ προτιμῶσιν.
161However, it is necessary to satisfy also the inquiry of those who disbelieve the records among the barbarians526 and see fit to believe only Greeks,527 and to supply many examples also of these who knew about our nation, and to present them528 where they made reference to it, as they had occasion to do, in their own compositions.529
162Pythagoras the Samian,530 then – an ancient figure531 and one reckoned to surpass all those who philosophized in wisdom and in piety with regard to the deity532 – clearly not only knew about our customs533 but was also especially keen in his emulation of them.534
163There is no composition acknowledged as authentically his,535 but many people have written historical accounts of him, and the most distinguished of these is Hermippus,536 a man scrupulous in all his historical work.537
164In the first book On Pythagoras 538 he states that Pythagoras often said, when one of his companions had died (a man called Kalliphon, a Krotonian by descent),539 that this man’s soul accompanied him night and day;540 and that Pythagoras used to give instructions541 not to walk over a spot where a donkey sank to its knees,542 to refrain from waters that make one thirsty543 and from all slander.544
165Then, after this, he adds the following:545 “He used to practice and say these things, imitating the beliefs of Judeans and Thracians, and adopting them for himself.”546 For that man is correctly said to have adopted many of the Judeans’ rules for his philosophy.547
166548 Also among the city-states our nation was not unknown long ago,549 and many of our customs have by now permeated some and been deemed worthy of emulation by some people.550 Theophrastus makes this clear in the work On Laws:551
167he says that the laws of the Tyrians forbid the swearing of foreign oaths, among which he numbers, alongside some others, the oath called “Korban.”552 This is to be found nowhere except among Judeans alone and signifies, as one might translate from the Hebrews’ language, “gift for God.”553
168Besides, not even Herodotus the Halicarnassian was ignorant about our nation,554 but evidently refers to it in a certain way.555 For, while recounting the history of the Colchians in the second book, he says as follows:556
169The Colchians, Egyptians and Ethiopians – he says – are the only people who, from the beginning, circumcise the genitals.557 The Phoenicians and the Syrians in Palestine themselves acknowledge that they learned it from the Egyptians.558
170The Syrians who live beside Thermodon and the river Parthenios, and the Macronians, their neighbors, say that they learned it recently from the Colchians.559 These are the only people who are circumcised and they evidently take their lead from the Egyptians.560 As for the Egyptians and Ethiopians, I am unable to say which learned it from the other.561
172Also Choerilus, an older poet,565 refers to our nation, as joining the expedition of Xerxes, king of the Persians, against Greece.566 After listing all the nations, at the end he included ours as well, in these words:567
174It is clear to everyone, I think, that he is referring to us,573 since the Solyman hills are in our country, and we inhabit them,574 and there is the so-called Bituminous Lake; for this is broader and bigger than all the lakes in Syria.575
175So Choerilus makes reference to us in this way.576 That they not only knew about the Judeans but also admired any they encountered577 – I am not talking about the most worthless Greeks but those who are especially admired for their wisdom578 – is easy to determine.579
176For Clearchus, a pupil of Aristotle and second to none among peripatetic philosophers,580 says in the first book On Sleep 581 that his teacher Aristotle recounted the following about a certain Judean man582 (he attributes the words to Aristotle himself).583 The text goes like this:
177“Yet, it would take a long time to recount the full details,584 but it would not be amiss to describe those aspects of the man which indicate something extraordinary, and likewise philosophical.585 Be fully aware, Hyperochides,” he said, “that I will give you the impression of saying something equivalent to dreams.”586 Hyperochides587 replied modestly, “It is for this very reason that we all want to hear it.”
178“Well then,” said Aristotle, “in accordance with the rules of rhetoric, let us first describe his ancestry,588 so we don’t disobey the teachers of narrative-technique.”589 “Tell us,” said Hyperochides, “if you wish.”590
179“This man, then,591 was a Judean by descent from Coele-Syria.592 These people are descendants of the philosophers in India.593 Among the Indians, they say, the philosophers are called Calanoi,594 and among the Syrians, Judeans, taking their name from the place; for the place they inhabit is called Judea.595 The name of their city is extremely contorted:596 they call it Hierousaleme.597
180Now this man, both because he was welcomed as a guest by many598 and because he was in the habit of coming down from the highlands to the coast,599 was Greek600 not only in his speech but also in his soul.601
181At that time we were staying in Asia,602 and this man visited the same places and encountered us and some other scholars, testing our wisdom;603 but as he had been in the company of many educated people,604 it was he, rather, who conveyed some of what he had.”605
182Such were Aristotle’s words, as found in Clearchus,606 and he further relates in detail the immense and extraordinary endurance607 of the Judean man in his mode of life,608 and his moderation.609 Those who wish may find out more from the book itself; I am guarding myself against citing more than is sufficient.610
183Clearchus, saying these things in passing – he was dealing with a different subject – made reference to us in this way.611 By contrast, Hecataeus the Abderite,612 a man who was both a philosopher and extremely able in practical affairs,613 who flourished at the same time as Alexander the King and was associated with Ptolemy, son of Lagus,614 did not refer to us in passing but composed a book on the Judeans themselves,615 from which I wish to touch on a few passages, in summary form.616
184First I shall determine the date.617 He makes reference to the battle of Ptolemy against Demetrius near Gaza, and this took place in the eleventh year after the death of Alexander, in the 117th Olympiad,618 as Castor recounts.619
185For, under the heading of620 this Olympiad, he says: “In this period Ptolemy son of Lagus defeated Demetrius son of Antigonus, called Poliorketes, in a battle at Gaza.”621 All agree that Alexander died in the 114th Olympiad.622 It is clear, then, that our nation was flourishing at the time of both Ptolemy and Alexander.623
186Now, Hecataeus further says this,624 that after the battle at Gaza, Ptolemy became master of the territories of Syria625 and many of the people, when they heard about Ptolemy’s kindness and benevolence, wanted to go with him to Egypt626 and to share in the political affairs.627
187One of these, he says, was Ezekias, “a high-priest of the Judeans,628 a man about sixty-six years old, of high standing among his fellow countrymen and no fool intellectually, and moreover an able speaker, and as experienced as anyone in political affairs.”629
189Referring again to the man mentioned above, he says:633 “This man, when he had acquired this honor and had become our acquaintance,634 gathered some of those in his company and read to them the complete difference;635 for he had their settlement and the constitution written.”636
191For this reason, he says,640 though they are verbally abused by their neighbors and by all those who arrive from abroad,641 as well as being insolently treated on a regular basis by the Persian kings and satraps,642 they cannot be shifted from their conviction;643 on the contrary, defenceless644 they face on behalf of these both tortures and the most terrible of all deaths645 rather than deny their ancestral ways.646
192He also provides several proofs of this strong-mindedness in relation to the laws.647 He says that when Alexander was on one occasion in Babylon and had decided to clear the temple of Bel which had collapsed,648 he ordered all his soldiers alike to transport the soil; only the Judeans did not comply,649 but endured severe beating and paid heavy fines, until the king pardoned them and granted them an amnesty.650
193Again, he says,651 when others arrived in their country and built temples and altars, they knocked them all down;652 in some cases they paid a fine to the satraps, in others they obtained pardon. He adds that it is right to admire them in such matters.653
194He also speaks about how extremely populous our nation has become.654 For of us he says, “the Persians earlier deported many tens of thousands of them to Babylon,655 and equally large numbers moved to Egypt and Phoenicia also after the death of Alexander because of the conflict in Syria.”656
195The same person has recounted both the size of the country we inhabit and its beauty:657 “they occupy nearly 3,000,000 arourae of the best and most comprehensively fertile land,” he says.658 “This is how extensive Judea is.”659
196Indeed, that we inhabit from the remote past the city itself – Hierosolyma, which is both very beautiful and very large660 – and concerning its abundance of men and the design of the temple, the same author661 discourses as follows:
197For although there are many fortresses and villages of the Judeans around the country, there is one fortified city,662 with a circumference of roughly 50 stadia;663 about 120,000 people inhabit this city,664 and they call it Hierosolyma.
198There, roughly in the middle of the city,665 is a stone enclosure, about 5 plethra in length and 100 cubits in breadth, with double gates,666 within which stands a square altar, constructed of uncut stones, heaped up and undressed, 20 cubits long on each side and 10 cubits high.667 Beside it there is a large building,668 where there is an altar and a lampstand, both made of gold, two talents in weight;669
199on these is a light that is never extinguished, night or day.670 There is no statue and no votive offering whatsoever,671 nor any trace of a plant, whether some kind of grove, or anything else of that sort.672 The priests spend their time in it night and day,673 performing certain purification rites; and they drink no wine whatsoever in the temple.674
200Further, he has testified675 that they campaigned with Alexander the King and later with his Successors.676 He says that he himself was present at an incident during the campaign involving a Judean man, which I shall cite.677
201He says as follows:678 Anyway, while I was marching towards the Red Sea,679 there accompanied us, among the cavalry who were our escort, a Judean man680 called Mosollamos,681 a person of considerable intellectual strength682 and, by common consent, the best archer of all, both Greeks and barbarians.683
203The diviner pointed out the bird to him and said that, if it stayed there, it was expedient for everyone to wait; if it flew off and went forwards, to march on; and if it went backwards, to retreat.687 Mosollamos said nothing but drew his bow, fired, hit the bird, and killed it.688
204When the diviner and some others got angry and cursed him, he replied, “Why are you losing your wits, you poor devils?”689 Then, taking the bird in his hands, he said, “How could this thing give us any sound information about our journey, when it couldn’t foresee its own safety?690 For if it had been able to know the future, it would not have come to this spot for fear that it be shot and killed by Mosollamos the Judean.”691
205That is ample evidence from Hecataeus;692 those who want to learn more can easily read his book.693 I shall not hesitate694 to name also – though he makes reference to us in ridiculing our naïvety, as he regards it695 – Agatharchides.696
206He is telling the story of Stratonice,697 how she came to Syria from Macedonia having deserted her husband Demetrius, and when Seleucus did not want to marry her, as she had expected, while he was launching the campaign698 from Babylon, she staged a revolution in Antioch.699
207Then, when the king returned, and while Antioch was being captured, she fled to Seleucia700 and, although she could have sailed swiftly away, she paid heed to a dream which stopped her from going, was captured and died.701
209Those called Judeans inhabit the best fortified city of all,705 which, it happens, the natives call Hierosolyma,706 and it is their custom to do no work every seventh day707 – neither to carry no weapons on the occasions mentioned, nor to put their hands to any agriculture, nor to attend to any public service708 – but to pray in the temples until evening, with hands outstretched.709
210When Ptolemy, son of Lagus, entered the city710 with his army, the people, instead of defending the city, continued in their stupidity;711 so their homeland acquired a cruel master,712 and the law was convicted of containing a despicable custom.713
211The event has taught everyone, except them,714 against running away to dreams715 and the traditional fancy about the law,716 on occasions when they are impotent in human reasoning concerning matters in which they are at a loss.717
212To Agatharchides this appears worthy of ridicule, but to those who investigate it without malice718 it is evidently significant and worthy of much praise719 if some people consistently place a higher value on law-observance and piety to God than on their safety and their homeland.720