35 εἰς κατοίκησιν τὸ κάλλιστον. Ἰουδαῖοι δ᾽ εἰ μὲν βιασάμενοι κατέσχον, ὡς μηδ᾽ ὕστερον ἐκπεσεῖν, ἀνδρείας τεκμήριόν ἐστιν αὐτοῖς· εἰς κατοίκησιν δὲ αὐτοῖς ἔδωκεν τόπον Ἀλέξανδρος καὶ ἴσης παρὰ τοῖς Μακεδόσι τιμῆς ἐπέτυχον.
37 εἰ μὲν οὖν ἀναγνοὺς τὰς ἐπιστολὰς Ἀλεξάνδρου τοῦ βασιλέως καὶ τὰς Πτολεμαίου τοῦ Λάγου καὶ τῶν μετ᾽ ἐκεῖνον τῆς Αἰγύπτου βασιλέων ἐντυχὼν τοῖς γράμμασι καὶ τὴν στήλην τὴν ἑστῶσαν ἐν Ἀλεξανδρείᾳ καὶ τὰ δικαιώματα περιέχουσαν, ἃ Καῖσαρ ὁ μέγας τοῖς Ἰουδαίοις ἔδωκεν, εἰ μὲν οὖν ταῦτα, φημί, γιγνώσκων τἀναντία γράφειν ἐτόλμα, πονηρὸς ἦν, εἰ δὲ μηδὲν ἠπίστατο τούτων, ἀπαίδευτος.
38 τὸ δὲ δὴ θαυμάζειν, πῶς Ἰουδαῖοι ὄντες Ἀλεξανδρεῖς ἐκλήθησαν, τῆς ὁμοίας ἀπαιδευσίας· πάντες γὰρ οἱ εἰς ἀποικίαν τινὰ κατακληθέντες, κἂν πλεῖστον ἀλλήλων τοῖς γένεσι διαφέρωσιν, ἀπὸ τῶν οἰκιστῶν τὴν προσηγορίαν λαμβάνουσιν.
39 καὶ τί δεῖ περὶ τῶν ἄλλων λέγειν; αὐτῶν γὰρ ἡμῶν οἱ τὴν Ἀντιόχειαν κατοικοῦντες Ἀντιοχεῖς ὀνομάζονται· τὴν γὰρ πολιτείαν αὐτοῖς ἔδωκεν ὁ κτίστης Σέλευκος. ὁμοίως οἱ ἐν Ἐφέσῳ καὶ κατὰ τὴν ἄλλην Ἰωνίαν τοῖς αὐθιγενέσι πολίταις ὁμωνυμοῦσιν τοῦτο παρασχόντων αὐτοῖς τῶν διαδόχων.
41 καὶ Τυρρηνοὶ καὶ Σαβῖνοι Ῥωμαῖοι καλοῦνται. εἰ δὲ τοῦτον ἀφαιρεῖται τὸν τρόπον τῆς πολιτείας Ἀπίων, παυσάσθω λέγων αὑτὸν Ἀλεξανδρέα· γεννηθεὶς γάρ, ὡς προεῖπον, ἐν τῷ βαθυτάτῳ τῆς Αἰγύπτου πῶς ἂν Ἀλεξανδρεὺς εἴη τῆς κατὰ δόσιν πολιτείας, ὡς αὐτὸς ἐφ᾽ ἡμῶν ἠξίωκεν, ἀναιρουμένης; καίτοι μόνοις Αἰγυπτίοις οἱ κύριοι νῦν Ῥωμαῖοι τῆς οἰκουμένης μεταλαμβάνειν ἡστινοσοῦν πολιτείας ἀπειρήκασιν.
42 ὁ δ᾽ οὕτως ἐστὶ γενναῖος, ὡς μετέχειν ἀξιῶν αὐτὸς ὧν τυχεῖν ἐκωλύετο συκοφαντεῖν ἐπεχείρησε τοὺς δικαίως λαβόντας· οὐ γὰρ ἀπορίᾳ γε τῶν οἰκησόντων τὴν μετὰ σπουδῆς ὑπ᾽ αὐτοῦ πόλιν κτιζομένην Ἀλέξανδρος τῶν ἡμετέρων τινὰς ἐκεῖ συνήθροισεν, ἀλλὰ πάντας δοκιμάζων ἐπιμελῶς ἀρετῆς καὶ
43 πίστεως τοῦτο τοῖς ἡμετέροις τὸ γέρας ἔδωκεν. ἐτίμα γὰρ ἡμῶν τὸ ἔθνος, ὡς καί φησιν Ἑκαταῖος περὶ ἡμῶν, ὅτι διὰ τὴν ἐπιείκειαν καὶ πίστιν, ἣν αὐτῷ παρέσχον Ἰουδαῖοι, τὴν Σαμαρεῖτιν χώραν προσέθηκεν ἔχειν αὐτοῖς ἀφορολόγητον.
44 ὅμοια δὲ Ἀλεξάνδρῳ καὶ Πτολεμαῖος ὁ Λάγου περὶ τῶν ἐν Ἀλεξανδρείᾳ κατοικούντων ἐφρόνησεν· καὶ γὰρ τὰ κατὰ τὴν Αἴγυπτον αὐτοῖς ἐνεχείρισε φρούρια πιστῶς ἅμα καὶ γενναίως φυλάξειν ὑπολαμβάνων, καὶ Κυρήνης ἐγκρατῶς ἄρχειν βουλόμενος καὶ τῶν ἄλλων τῶν ἐν τῇ Λιβύῃ πόλεων
45 εἰς αὐτὰς μέρος Ἰουδαίων ἔπεμψε κατοικῆσον. ὁ δὲ μετ᾽ αὐτὸν Πτολεμαῖος ὁ Φιλάδελφος ἐπικληθεὶς οὐ μόνον εἴ τινες ἦσαν αἰχμάλωτοι παρ᾽ αὐτῷ τῶν ἡμετέρων πάντας ἀπέδωκεν, ἀλλὰ καὶ χρήματα πολλάκις ἐδωρήσατο καὶ τὸ μέγιστον ἐπιθυμητὴς ἐγένετο τοῦ γνῶναι τοὺς ἡμετέρους νόμους καὶ ταῖς τῶν ἱερῶν γραφῶν βίβλοις ἐντυχεῖν.
46 ἔπεμψε γοῦν ἀξιῶν ἄνδρας ἀποσταλῆναι τοὺς ἑρμηνεύσοντας αὐτῷ τὸν νόμον καὶ τοῦ γραφῆναι ταῦτα καλῶς τὴν ἐπιμέλειαν ἐπέταξεν οὐ τοῖς τυχοῦσιν, ἀλλὰ Δημήτριον τὸν Φαληρέα καὶ Ἀνδρέαν καὶ Ἀριστέα, τὸν μὲν παιδείᾳ τῶν καθ᾽
47 ἑαυτὸν διαφέροντα Δημήτριον, τοὺς δὲ τὴν τοῦ σώματος αὐτοῦ φυλακὴν ἐγκεχειρισμένους, ἐπὶ τῆς ἐπιμελείας ταύτης ἔταξεν, οὐκ ἂν δήπου τοὺς νόμους καὶ τὴν πάτριον ἡμῶν φιλοσοφίαν ἐπιθυμήσας ἐκμαθεῖν, εἰ τῶν χρωμένων αὐτοῖς ἀνδρῶν κατεφρόνει καὶ μὴ λίαν ἐθαύμαζεν.
33Let us examine, then, the terrible and shocking things108 of which Apion has accused the Judeans who live in Alexandria.109 When they came from Syria, he says,110 they took up residence on a harborless shore, neighbors to the flotsam thrown up by the waves.111
34Well, if the location is a matter of insult, he is insulting – not his own home city, but the one he professes to be such – Alexandria:112 for the sea-bord is a part of that city and is, as all acknowledge, the finest residential quarter!113
35And if the Judeans gained possession of this spot by use of force, so as later not to be ejected, that is testimony to their courage.114 Alexander gave them a place for their residence115 and they obtained privileges equal to those of the Macedonians116
36(I don’t know what Apion would have said if they had taken up residence near the necropolis and were not established near the royal palace!),117 and to the present day their tribe has had the title “the Macedonians.”118
37If Apion had read the letters of Alexander the king,119 and of Ptolemy, son of Lagus;120 if he had read the documents of his successors as kings of Egypt121 and the monument that stands in Alexandria and records the rights that Caesar the Great gave to the Judeans122 – if, I say, he knew all these things but had the effrontery to contradict them, he was malicious; if he knew none of them, he was an ignoramus.123
38To be amazed how those who are Judeans were called “Alexandrians”124 is a symptom of similar ignorance.125 For all who are invited to join a colony, even if they are from widely different peoples, take their name from its founders.126
39What need is there to cite instances from other peoples? Our own people who reside in Antioch are called “Antiochenes”; for the founder, Seleucus, gave them citizenship.127 Similarly, those in Ephesus and throughout the rest of Ionia have the same name as the native citizens, that having been afforded to them by the Successors.128
40Has not the benevolence of the Romans129 ensured that their name has been shared with practically everyone, not only with individuals but with sizeable nations as a whole?130 Thus, those who were once Iberians,131 Tyrrhenians,132 and Sabines133 are called “Romans.”
41And if Apion discounts this type of citizenship, let him cease to call himself an “Alexandrian.”134 For he was born, as I said above, in the deepest depths of Egypt;135 so how could he be an “Alexandrian” if he discounts the grant of citizenship, as he sees fit to do in our case?136 In fact it is only to Egyptians that the Romans, who are now rulers of the world,137 have refused to grant any form of citizenship.138
42But Apion is so noble139 that, considering himself worthy of acquiring privileges from which he was debarred,140 he attempted to bring false charges against those who justly received them.141 For it was not for lack of people to inhabit the city, which he was founding with such care, that Alexander assembled some of our people there;142 rather, having carefully scrutinized all, he accorded this privilege to our people as a reward for their virtue and loyalty.143
43For he held our nation in honor, as Hecataeus also says concerning us:144 because of the kindness and loyalty that the Judeans showed to him,145 he added the Samaritan territory to theirs, free of tribute.146
44And Ptolemy, son of Lagus, had opinions about the Judean residents in Alexandria similar to those of Alexander.147 For he entrusted148 to them the fortresses throughout Egypt, reckoning that they would guard them loyally and nobly;149 and when he wanted to establish firm control over Cyrene and the other cities in Libya, he dispatched a segment of the Judeans to settle there.150
45His successor Ptolemy, surnamed Philadelphus,151 not only set free all of our people who happened to be prisoners of war in his realm,152 but also often donated money,153 and – this is the greatest thing – was enthusiastic to get to know our laws and to read the books of our holy writings.154
46Thus he sent requesting that men be dispatched who would translate the law for him,155 and the commission that these things be well written he assigned to no ordinary figures, but to Demetrius of Phalerum, together with Andreas and Aristaeus156 – Demetrius being was the most learned man of his time,157
47the latter two his chosen bodyguards158 – these were the people to whom he assigned this commission. He would hardly have been eager to learn about the laws and our ancestral philosophy159 if he had despised the people who employed them and had not rather greatly admired them.160