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Extended Notes

1. Hecataeus As a Source of Diodorus's Egyptian Ethnography (p. 15 n. 23)

Burton ([1972] 1-34) lists a fair number of sources from which, she thinks, Diodorus drew the information for his Egyptian ethnography. In addition to the objections of Murray and others, it is worth stressing the following basic point: as has been decisively demonstrated and unanimously accepted, in his historical reports on the Greek, Hellenistic, and Roman world, Diodorus adhered to a single source in describing rather long periods of time, and only rarely inserted information taken from other sources. Having done this with periods and countries for which he had abundant source material, and in which he had much more personal interest, why would he have bothered so much with regard to the partly mythological Egyptian ethnography?

Three points raised by Burton have not yet been answered. (a) That Hecataeus is mentioned only once by Diodorus (I.46.8; see Burton [1972] 7, 9) is not surprising: Diodorus, like other Hellenistic historians, rarely mentions his sources. (b) Burton argues that the reference to the placing of Maron, the follower of Osiris-Dionysus, in charge of viticulture in Thrace (Diod. I.20.2; cf. 18.2) reflects the occupation of Maroneia by the Ptolemies, which took place only after the time of Hecataeus (Burton [1972] 17). This is far-fetched. The parallel reference to Triptolemus, Osiris's second follower, as introducing agriculture in Attica (Diod. I.20.2) surely cannot be connected with any Ptolemaic occupation. Moreover, both traditions are well known from pre-Hellenistic sources. (c) The absence of the Persian period in


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Diodorus's historical account of Egypt does not prove that it was not taken from Hecataeus (in contrast to Burton [1972] 32). The omission was caused by the ethnographical character of Hecataeus's book. As we shall see later, in the discussion about the structure of the book, its historical section, like that of other ethnographies, is not a consistent history of Egypt, but rather a collection of stories about the major achievements of prominent kings (especially military expeditions and building projects). The rebellious Egyptian kings of the fourth century did not leave behind impressive monuments or other remarkable achievements.

The question of Diodorus's sources and his adaptation of the material was recently raised again by Sacks (1990). The author tries to prove that Diodorus was not a mindless compiler, as is usually believed, but a historian of some intellectual ability who knew how to write interesting prefaces and introduce comments that express his own attitudes and values (though they are not original). (Cf. Sartori [1984].) These claims, however, do not detract from the accepted view about the main source of Book I, since they refer only to the introductions (prooimia ) and some general historiographical and political-moral comments of the sort common in Hellenistic literature, and not to the narrative material. At the same time, in a few lines in the epilogue to his book, Sacks ([1990] 206) raises the conjecture that Diodorus, who himself made a tour of Egypt, contributed much information of his own to the Egyptian ethnography. Sacks further argues that Book I of Diodorus often presents Egyptian customs as superior to Greek ones, which would hardly be expected of a Greek "court historian." However, Diodorus drew even the information on his native island in a period not far from his own (Books XXXII-XXXVII) solely from Posidonius of Apamea (apart from a number of general notes). Diodorus's own contribution can be fairly easily traced by simple methods of source criticism (already done by past scholars), and it seems to be rather meager and insignificant. Sacks's second argument does not take into account the didactic and political purposes of the Egyptian ethnography (see pp. 16-18 above). Besides, the cases in which criticism of Greek practices is voiced or implied are not many (e.g., 1.74.6-7, 76). The fusion of Greek and Egyptian traditions was, after all, one of the main features of the Ptolemaic kingdom (and court) from its very beginning.


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2. Stages in the Jewish Occupation of the Coastal Plain at the Time of John Hyrcanus (p. 127 n. 13)

Years 135-132 . According to the Roman document in Ant . XIII.261, the Jews claimed back Jaffa and Pegae (the later Antipatris) as well as "ports" and "cities" taken from them by Antiochus VII. The document has rightly been dated after the death of Antiochus VII Sidetes in 129 (see M. Stern [1961] 7ff., [1965] 148ff.; and see further below. The dating of the document to the time of the siege of Jerusalem itself by Rajak [1981] falls on several counts; see Bar-Kochva, Anti-Semitism , Appendix 2). Only the occupation of Jaffa and Gezer is recorded in the comprehensive account in I Maccabees of the days of Simeon. It appears, therefore, that Pegae and the other "cities" and "ports" were occupied by John Hyrcanus, and before the invasion of Antiochus VII. Josephus provides two different dates for the invasion taken from Strabo and Nicolaus, his two sources for the event (ibid., chap. V.1). According to Strabo, whose account is rather detailed and informative (whereas Nicolaus's is very brief), the invasion took place sometime in the years 132-131 (see the Olympiad date in Ant . XIII.236; on the use of this system by Strabo, see Hö1scher [1904] 41). In 130, as is universally accepted, Antiochus launched his eastern expedition. If Strabo's chronology is accepted, this allows the first three years of Hyrcanus's reign for conquests on the coastal plain. Antiochus's demand for the payment of the phoros for Jaffa "and the other cities outside Judea" (Ant . XIII.246) is thus put into context. The suggestion that the document refers to possible tiny ports near Jaffa (Kasher [1990] 118) lacks relevant archaeological support. (The article referred to by Kasher's n. 8 does not mention such ports.)

Years 127-125. Ant . XIII.273 indicates a period of expansion "in the time of Alexander Zabinas" (the years 128-123), who is reported to have "made friends" with Hyrcanus (XIII.269). Occupations on the coastal plain before the year 113 can be deduced from the Roman document in Ant . XIV. 249 (see below). The reconquest and expansion could not have taken place before 127: in 128, Demetrius II tried to invade Egypt (Justin XXXIX.1.2; the date according to the sequence in Eus. Chron . 1.257-58), which shows that the Seleucids were still in control of the southern coast. After his humiliating retreat, however, the circumstances were ideal for Jewish expansion, and Hyrcanus seems to have seized the


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opportunity: Alexander Zabinas rose to power in Antioch, and the two contenders to the throne exhausted themselves in an internal war. The Ptolemaic court was concurrently occupied with the amixia , the ruthless struggle, between Ptolemy Physcon and his sister-wife, Cleopatra II. It is less likely that the expansion took place after 125: with the appearance of Antiochus VIII Gryphus, who was actively supported by the Ptolemaic court, and the gradual reconciliation in Alexandria between the king and his sister, the situation had considerably changed, and Hyrcanus must have been much more careful. It stands to reason that at that time he also terminated his alliance with Alexander Zabinas. Notably, the days of the sole reign of Antiochus VIII Gryphus (123-113) are described by Josephus as a time of peace for Judea (Ant . XIII.273; on the background see Cohen in van't Dack et al. [1989] 15-16). All these considerations point to dating the Jewish delegation to Rome and the senatus consultum in Ant . XIII.259-66 to the year 128. Whatever the date of the reconquest, after 128 the Jews could well fend for themselves. The document was dated, on the basis of the Roman names, between 128 and 125 (see Stern, locc. citt .).

Year 112 . The document in Ant . XIV. 249, dated to the year 113/12 (see M. Stern [1961] 12-22, [1965] 151ff.), demands the return of the "ports" taken from the Jews by Antiochus IX Cyzicenus in the same year (see Stern, locc. citt . on the date of that occupation; his arguments have recently been supported by the Cyzicenus coins of the years 113/12 and 112/11 found in Marisa and Mount Gerizim respectively—see p. 131 nn. 28, 29). A few "ports" were thus in Jewish hands by the time of Cyzicenus's invasion. The region must have returned to complete Jewish control after the withdrawal of Cyzicenus from the country, shortly before Hyrcanus returned to embark on the campaigns against the Idumeans and the Samaritans (112/11). A campaign against these cities after 112/11 is less likely also because, unlike the time of the first conquests (135-132), the events in the years 112/11-107 are recorded by Josephus in relatively great detail. Although he draws on two sources, Josephus refers only to campaigns against Samaria and Scythopolis.


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3. The Date of the Destruction of Gaza By Alexander Jannaeus (p. 127 n. 15 and p. 285 n. 47)

The destruction of Gaza (Ant . XIII.364) has been dated by scholars to the year 96 (e.g., Schürer [1901-9] 1.279; M. Stern [1981] 40 n. 88) on the basis of the subsequent statement that Antiochus VIII Gryphus was murdered "at about the same time" (XIII.365). The murder is known to have taken place in the year 96 (Schürer [1901-9] I.176-77; Bellinger [1949] 72; Schürer et al. [1973-86] 1.134). However, Marcus ([1943] 408 n. a) rightly argued that the phrase "at about the same time," often used by Josephus, plays an obvious literary role and is sometimes incorrect (see also D.R. Schwartz [1982], esp. 252-54). Thus the destruction of Gaza need not necessarily be linked to the date of the murder of Antiochus VIII Gryphus. According to another reference (XIII.358) it occurred close in time to the withdrawals of Cleopatra Ill to Egypt and Ptolemy Lathyrus to Cyprus. Marcus therefore suggested dating the destruction of Gaza to the year 100 (repeated by Fuks [1982] 136; Kasher [1990] 145). This dating is still not accurate enough, and more data must to be taken into account.

Josephus combined two sources: according to one passage (Ant . XIII.352, 356-57 = Bell . I.87) taken from Nicolaus (see Hölscher [1904] 15-16), the first expedition to Trans-Jordan (the occupation of Gadara and Amathos) was followed by the campaign against the southern coastal cities and Gaza (for Gaza, see the parallel in Bell .). According to the second (Ant . XIII.358-64), drawing on Strabo (Hölscher, loc. cit .), the siege of Gaza is explicitly linked to the returns of Cleopatra III to Egypt and Ptolemy Lathyrus from Gaza to Cyprus (XIII.358). The linkage dearly seems to have been indicated in the original and not to have been an addition by Josephus (see the reference to Lathyrus in XIII.359). The exact date of these events is not known, but an approximate chronology can be constructed. According to an inscription from the Memphis Serapeum, an attack by Ptolemy Lathyrus was expected at Pelusium on 20 February 102 (see van't Dack [1981] 309-10; Clarysse in van't Dack et al. [1989] 83-84; cf. Otto and Bengtson [1938] 186-87), and Cleopatra died in Egypt in October 101 (Samuel [1967] 152). The statement in Ant . XIII.352 that Lathyrus stayed in Gaza in the winter after retreating from Egypt is obviously mistaken and must refer to the period preceding the abortive invasion.


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The numismatic material is also instructive: the latest known autonomous coins of Gaza before its revival by Pompey are dated in the year 210 of the Seleucid era, i.e., 103/2 B.C. (BMC Palestine , p. LXX). As the siege lasted a year (Ant . XIII.364), its beginning must be dated between March and October 102 (102 is suggested by Clarysse and van't Dack, in van't Dack et al. [1989] 109, referring only to Lathyrus's movements). Gaza was thus destroyed sometime between March and October 101. These data also indicate that Nicolaus's sequence for Jannaeus's campaign is wrong, and the siege of Gaza preceded the ten-month siege of Gadara. Nicolaus's failure to preserve the proper sequence of events in this case is not exceptional. Cf., e.g., Ant . XIII.213-19, 254-57, 275-79 (see Bar-Kochva [1989] 452-54; and p. 125 n. 8, p. 131 n. 29 above). The siege of Gadara could thus have taken place only at a later stage, concurrently with the expedition to Moabitis and Gaulanitis.

4. The Hasmonean Rulers and the Hellenistic Cities (p. 128 n. 21)

The impassioned and apologetic arguments of Kasher ([1990] 122-23, 160-69, 172-73, and passim ) against the information provided by Josephus about the harsh treatment of the Hellenistic cities do not stand up to criticism. Apart from the obvious contradictions in the argumentation (see, e.g., pp. 123, 128-29, 157, as compared with pp. 165-66 and the justification of the Hasmonean mistreatment of the local population on p. 119), he ignores the explicit and relatively detailed information of Syncellus about the total massacre by Jannaeus (I.558), which together with the list of cities was not taken from Josephus or Nicolaus (see p. 125 n. 11 above), as well as information in the Scroll of Fasting, a reliable early Pharisaic document (despite the reference on Kasher's p. 128). Similarly, he does not take notice of the recent excavations in the cities of Marisa, Mount Gerizim, and Shechem, which show total destruction of their large public and residental areas in 112/11, from which they did not recover (see p. 131 nn. 28, 29). The findings at these three sites, being the only ones in which the Hellenistic strata were thoroughly and properly excavated, are indicative of at least a few other places listed by Josephus. I would add that Kasher's argument ([1990] 162-63) from the use of the verb  image (Bell . I.166)


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is quite odd, to say the least, and the same applies to the justification for the destruction of Pella (pp. 156-59).

At the same time the argument of Shatzman ([1992] 54-63) against Kasher, that the information of Josephus about the treatment of the gentile population by the Hasmonean rulers was taken from Jewish sources, must be rejected. There can be little doubt that the excellent analysis of the sources by Hö1scher (1904), which showed that the information was taken from Nicolaus and Strabo, is still basically valid. However, the exact determination of the sources of certain passages in Josephus refutes the recurring arguments of Kasher that the accounts of Hasmonean brutality toward the gentile population were taken from anti-Jewish sources "permeated with Gentile animosity toward the Jews." As a matter of fact, at least two of the most relevant passages in Josephus, recounting the destruction of Pella and Gaza, were drawn from Strabo (Ant . XIII.395-97, 358-64; cf. XIII.240, on Hyrcanus I), who also left us the most enthusiastic report on ancient Judaism written by a gentile (XVI.2.35-36).

Surely not all the cities suffered the same amount of destruction, especially not ports and strategic sites, which could be useful for the Jewish state and settlers. This still does not mean that the local population was spared the fate of other cities. It certainly does not make the accounts of the treatment of the cities by the Hasmonean rulers into "anti-Hasmonean propaganda" or "narrow, one-sided," as argued by Kasher. And how could this characterization apply to the reports in I Maccabees about the massacres in Azotos (10.84, 11.4) and in Trans-Jordan (5.5, 28, 50-51) and the statement celebrating the banishment of the population of Beth Shean (Scythopolis) and "its valley" in the Scroll of Fasting (15-16 Sivan)? Characteristically enough, Kasher, who discredits the information about the maltreatment of the Hellenistic cities by the Hasmoneans, does not deny the accounts of the destruction of temples and cults and even tries to find more evidence for such operations, enthusiastically speaking of all-out "purification" of the Holy Land (e.g., Kasher [1990] 123, 131, 150-51, 163-64; cf. Efron in Kasher, pp. 318-41: the zealously enthusiastic language is even more conspicuous in the Hebrew original of that book).


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5. The Beginning of the First Section in Hecataeus's Egyptian Ethnography (p. 195 n. 51)

This section begins in Diodorus I.10 according to Diodorus himself (9.6, "We shall begin our history with Egypt"). However, a number of scholars since Reinhardt have argued that chaps. 7 and 8, which describe the cosmogony and zoogony of mankind, also originated in Hecataeus's Egyptian ethnography, and some even say that they headed it. See Norden (1913) 379ff.; Reinhardt (1921) 495-98; Vlastos (1946) 51-60; Gigon (1961) 771-76; Cole (1967) 16, 174-95; Murray (1970) 169-70. This opinion has been contested on several counts: see Dahlmann (1928) 23ff.; Jacoby (1943) 39, 85-86; Spoerri (1959) 164-211, (1961) 63ff.; Pfligersdorffer (1959) 143-44; Nock (1962) 50-51; Burton (1972) 15-16, 47-51; Sacks (1990) 56-60. Without entering into detail, it should be made clear that even if the zoogony in Diodorus 1.7.4-8 had its origin, in one way or another, in Hecataeus, the latter's Egyptian ethnography opened with the account abbreviated by Diodorus in chap. 10, and not that of chaps. 7 and 8. There is an evident difference between the zoogony in chaps. 7 and 8 and that of chap. 10: the first explicitly describes the creation of life and societies, languages, and nations in different parts of the inhabited world (8.4), and even the hardships that the first human beings experienced in the cold winters (8.7), while chap. 10 states that life and human society originated in Egypt alone. There is no room for assuming that Hecataeus wrote a general preface on the creation of life in more than one country and supplemented it with a local Egyptian version on its sole origin in that land. In line with his intention of glorifying the Egyptian past, it was only natural for Hecataeus to present Egypt as the cradle of human life and civilization. This also appears from the great elaboration at the end of the origo section on the creation of nations by migration from Egypt (chaps. 28-29). Among them are included even the Athenians, who regarded themselves as autochthonous (see Isocrates, Paneg . 23ff.; Plato, Menex . 245d; Cicero, Flac . 62; Justin II.6.1ff.).

At the same time it seems that Diodorus's explanation of the genesis of life in I.7.4-8 indeed originates with Hecataeus but was taken out of its local Egyptian context and adapted by Diodorus to the whole inhabited world, as one would expect of a general preface to a comprehensive historical "library." Scholars have already noted that in his general preface Diodorus demonstrates more original thinking than in


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the later parts of his work. This is understandable for a preface that he actually wrote last, when he was able to recall and properly to adapt ideas and opinions from the various sources he had used for writing his universal history. See Kunz (1935) 101; Palm (1955) 140; Murray (1970) 170; Sacks (1990) 10-11. Cf., e.g., Diodorus's explanation of the development of material culture as a whole (I.8.9), which is also found in his Indian ethnography (II.38.2), drawing on Megasthenes.

As for the cosmogony in Diodorus I.7.1-3, its attribution to Hecataeus faces a stumbling block that has so far not been removed. The absence of any trace of atomistic theory, which would be expected of a "Democritean" scholar like Hecataeus (see p. 9 above), cannot be explained by suggesting that Hecataeus had adopted the Egyptian point of view. This cannot be the case in an idealizing work. Diodorus I.42.1, which has been quoted as evidence, is in fact an interpolation, not written by Diodorus. I tend therefore to accept the view that Diodorus took his cosmogony from another source. For Hecataeus's dependence on Democritus of Abdera, see, e.g., Reinhardt (1921) 492ff.; Diels (1922) pp. xi ff.

6. The Position of the High Priest in the Period of the Successors (p. 256 n. 8)

Tcherikover ([1961] 58-59) quotes Hecataeus's statement that the Jews never had a king and that  image ("the leadership of the multitude") was in the hands of the High Priest (Diod. XL.3.5). Tcherikover interprets prostasia , according to one of the secondary meanings of prostates in the Hellenistic period, as referring to the representative of the nation to the ruling empire, and thinks that the statement reflects the political arrangements in Hecataeus's day. However, there is no reason not to understand the word in its primary meaning in Greek (and Hellenistic) literature: leadership of the people. The use of plethos ("multitude") in the phrase (instead of, for instance, "Jews") somewhat weakens Tcherikover's point. For its sources in classical Greek political terminology, see p. 34 n. 81 above.

Significantly enough, according to Hecataeus, the authority of the High Priest included performing sacrifices, judging major cases, supervising the observance of the divine laws, and delivering God's precepts to the nation (Diod. XL.3.4-6). There is no reference to secular duties typical of a governor, such as those related to economic and military


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matters. The omission does not seem to be accidental; Moses, on the other hand, who is not described as High Priest, leads the nation to war (XL.3.7). In any event, Hecataeus's excursus does not preclude the possibility that under the Successors the office of governor was held by a Jew who was not the High Priest, and was not actually the leader of the nation, as had previously been the case. Of the various Jewish governors in the Persian period (see p. 87 and n. 103), only Sheshbazzar, Zerubabel, and Nehemiah were the leading figures of the community—the first two, owing to their descent; the third, to his personality. Hecataeus does not offer more indications about the governorship of his time, because the pehah was, after all, the representative of the foreign rule, and he (like his Jewish Egyptian informants) is interested in describing Jewish traditional leadership.

7. The Sequence and Dating of the Berenice Coins From Cos (p. 269 n. 56)

The chronology of the Coan coins of the fourth and third centuries that bear female portraits has not so far been clarified. In view of the link between the various types, the number of eponymic magistrates, the relations of Cos with the empires, and events on the island, the following sequence for the various types may be suggested:

1. Obverse, a bearded Heracles (actually Mausolus; see Hill [1923] 208); reverse, a female with curly hair and a veil at the back of the head (BMC Caria , pl. XXX no. 11, pl. XLV no. 5; Hill [1901] pl. XVII no. 703). The woman should be identified with Artemisia (Hill [1923] 208-9), and the coins should be dated to the period of Hecatomnid control in Cos, which lasted, in one way or another, until the conquests of Alexander. (On the duration of Hecatomnid rule, see Sherwin-White [1978] 75-77; S. Hornblower [1982] 133-35.) For numismatic evidence for a dating shortly before 330, see Paton and Hicks (1891) 303, 306 (no. 15b).

2. Obverse, the same as in type no. 1; reverse, a portrait of a female in an Egyptian style, with straight hair over the forehead and a veil falling straight down (BMC Caria , pl. XXX no. 10 = Hill [1923] pl. IX no. 3; Svoronos [1904] vol. III pl. XVIII nos. 23-25). The woman has been identified with Berenice (Svoronos [1904] IV.30-32; Hill [1923] 209). The identity of the obverse with the Artemisia coins requires the dating of this type as close as possible to the latter. The only event


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that could have introduced Berenice's portrait onto Coan coins of the fourth century was her stay in Cos in 308 and the birth there of her son, later Ptolemy II. This would not have occurred after 306, when the island passed over to the realm of Antigonus and remained loyal to the Antigonids even after the battle of Ipsus, up to 286 or 280, when it returned to the Ptolemaic sphere of influence. (On the relations of Cos with the Hellenistic empires, see Sherwin-White [1978] 82-108.) The specimens of the two variations of this type have indeed just two eponymic monarchoi , which indicates a short period of production. (On the monarchoi , the Coan magistrates, see Sherwin-White [1978] 187-99.)

3. Obverse, the same as in types 1 and 2; reverse, a female whose hair is entirely covered by a veil running diagonally to the back of the neck (BMC Caria , pl. XXX no. 12). The direction of the veil suggests that the coiffure hidden by the veil is similar to that of Berenice in the Magas coins (BMC Cyrenaica , pl. XXIX nos. 11-18, pl. XXX no. 11; Svoronos [1904] vol. III pl. III nos. 40-45). The single (unclear) name of the magistrate on specimens of this type suggests a short period of production, probably concurrently with type no. 2.

4. Obverse, a female similar to that on the reverse of type no. 3; reverse, a crab, the traditional emblem of the island (BMC Caria , pl. XXX nos. 13-15; Svoronos [1940] vol. III pl. XVIII nos. 24, 25). As the legends include the names of about a dozen eponymic magistrates, this type should be dated to a long period. They could only be from 286 or 280, in the days of Ptolemy II. These coins are certainly connected with the celebration of Cos in Ptolemy II's day as his birthplace, which is well known from contemporary Alexandrian literature.

8. The Rule and Personality of Ptolemy Physcon (p. 285 n. 48)

For the turbulent times of Ptolemy Physcon, see the reconstruction of events by Otto and Bengtson (1938) 23-112; and the summaries of Bevan (1927) 306-25; Mitford (1959); Fraser (1972) I.121-23 (with several important chronological contributions); Will (1967) II.356-60.

The sources: Polybius XXXIV.14.6-8; Diodorus XXXIII.6-6a, 12-13, 20, 22-23; XXXIV/XXXV. 14.20; Pompeius Trogus, Prol . XXXVIII; Livy, Per . LIX; Justin XXXVIII.8; Athenaeus IV. 184, XII.549d-550a; Valerius Maximus IX.2.5. The sources are unanimous with regard to


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the monstrous appearance and personality of Ptolemy Physcon. This has been accepted by almost all modern historians. Mahaffy's attempted rehabilitation of Ptolemy Physcon ([1895] 383, 388; id . [1898] 204-5; cf. Tarn [1939] 323; Tarn and Griffith [1952] 35-36) was rightly rejected by Bevan ([1927] 318-24). Another approach is advocated by Rostovtzeff ([1940] II.872-73). He does not deny the historicity of the reports about Physcon's crimes, but tries to explain them as a reaction to the enormous pressures of that generation and disregards Physcon's degenerate features: "The fact that he succeeded in maintaining his power for about thirty years and the methods by which he did this show that he was a clever politician, resourceful, courageous, and energetic, though utterly devoid of scruple and moral sense, and unusually cruel and cynical" (ibid.). However, the special circumstances and conflicting interests in Egypt in the second half of the second century B.C. may have enabled the survival of a degenerate ruler for many years, which is not unparalleled in history. Rostovtzeff's monumental work was written before the forties of our century.

The accounts about Physcon are plentiful and unequivocal, and given their variety and sources of information, they can be accepted as trustworthy (except for some sensational motifs in Justin's account; see, e.g., Macurdy [1932] 156): Polybius visited Alexandria in the early days of Physcon's reign (XXXIV. 14.1; see Walbank [1957-79] 1.5 n. 10) and seems to have witnessed the bloody events in the city (14.6-8). Diodorus's account was taken from Posidonius of Apamea, who drew on an account of the visit to Alexandria by his teacher Panaetius (Athen. XII.549d-e; the present reading, "Posidonius," is certainly wrong) when describing Physcon's physical degeneracy (ibid. e-f). Athenaeus IV.184 (on the banishment of the intellectuals) quotes the contemporary Menecles of Barca or Andron of Alexandria (see FGrH IIIA, pp. 222-23). And finally: Justin's epitome of Pompeius Trogus goes back to Timagenes of Alexandria, who must have been well informed about occurrences in his native city two generations earlier.

9. The Persecution of the Jews by Ptolemy Physcon (p. 237 n. 16 and p. 285 n. 50)

Tcherikover ([1957] 21-23, [1961] 281-82; followed by Kasher [1985] 8-10) conjectures that the persecutions recorded by Josephus lasted just one year, and that the relations between the king and the Jews became


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normal after Physcon married Cleopatra II in 144. The only real argument is the discovery of two synagogue dedications to Ptolemy Physcon and the two reigning queens (CIJ II nos. 1441-42). Fraser rightly responded that the dedications need not necessarily reflect admiration for the contemporary king, but rather "the general attitude of the Jews to the Crown" ([1972] II.215 n. 232, and see I.282-84 on this practice in synagogues of Ptolemaic Egypt). Moreover, they may well have been the Jewish substitute for the ruler worship demanded by Physcon, and need not reflect good will on the part of the community. (For this meaning of synagogue dedications of Ptolemaic kings, see Bevan [1927] 26; cf. Fraser [1972] I.226.) Be that as it may, the dedications could have been made after the final reconciliation in the year 121 or the generous amnesty in 118 (see p. 285 and nn. 51, 52 above).

More significant is the first epistle to the Jews of Egypt in II Maccabees, calling for the celebration of Channuka (1.1-10a). The authenticity of the document was decisively proven by Bickerman ([1933] 233-54, and there also on its two components), and has been widely accepted. It is dated to the year 188 of the Seleucid era (verse 9: end of 124 B.C. ; see Bickerman [1933] 144-45) and clearly indicates that the Jews in Egypt were then in great trouble (vv. 5-6, esp. verse 6; cf. Bickerman [1933] 155-56; Tcherikover [1957] 24 n. 58 cannot be accepted: the verse clearly refers to a specific situation). Furthermore, the reference is followed by a fragment of an earlier document (vv. 7-8), dated to the year 169 S.E. (verse 7:143/2 B.C. ), which was integrated into the epistle. It is only natural to assume that the fragment was misplaced because the original document from which it was taken mentioned a similar situation to that referred to in vv. 5-6. The purpose of both epistles was therefore to encourage (or comfort) the Jews of Egypt in their plight by recalling the rescue of the Jews and Judaism from the persecutions of Antiochus Epiphanes. This means that in 143/2, two years after the great confrontation between the Jewish soldiers and Ptolemy Physcon, there was a new outburst against the Jews. The information about events in Egypt in 144-142 supports this assumption: the first reconciliation of Ptolemy with Cleopatra II, early in 144 (for the date, see Otto and Bengtson [1938] 28), marks only a lull in the internal war. As is stated by a number of sources, the struggle was renewed with the rape of Cleopatra III, the daughter of the queen, dated in late 144 or early 143 (see Otto and Bengtson [1938] 30), which was followed by the marriage of Cleopatra III and Physcon sometime between February and


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September 142 (the date in Otto [1934] 12 n. 4). The first event had preceded the epistle of 143/2.

We can conclude that in addition to the persecutions of the year 145/4, there is evidence that the Jews in Egypt suffered greatly in the year 124 and probably also in the year 143/2. Indeed, Tcherikover's hypothesis raises a considerable difficulty: the struggle between Physcon and Cleopatra II, as has been said, did not end in 145/4. It continued to seesaw inconclusively for a generation. There was a dramatic turn of events in 131 in Cleopatra's favor when Physcon fled from Alexandria, to which he was to return only in 127/6. We know that the intellectuals who had supported Cleopatra II at the beginning of her campaign continued to lend her assistance during the long years of the struggle. They were consistently opposed by the Egyptian populace and chance mercenaries who supported Physcon. The Jews of Alexandria identified from the outset with the enlightened Greek community. Why should they suddenly have changed their mind, abandoned their benefactor, Cleopatra II, and joined Physcon and the Egyptian populace which for centuries had-manifested toward them nothing but hostility? In view of all these considerations and data, there is no justification for the suggestion that a substantial and durable change in the basic policies and sympathies of Ptolemy and the Jews took place after 145/4. For a cautious reconstruction of the relationship between Physcon and the Jews, see M. Stern (1985) 93-95, (1991) 112-13.

Whatever the case may be, even were Physcon to have changed his attitude toward the Jews for any length of time during the 30's of the second century, this would not affect the issue of the dating of the Letter of Aristeas : the geographical information in the Letter points to about 125 as the first possible date for its composition. From the reconquest of Alexandria in 127/6 and up until 118, the political situation in Egypt and the situation of the Jews differed little from that which had prevailed at the beginning of Physcon's reign. This appears from the accounts of the acts of cruelty he perpetrated during the reconquest of Egypt in 127/6, from the rebellions throughout Egypt in the years 124-121, and especially from the explicit testimony of II Maccabees concerning the suffering of the Jews in 124.


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