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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



4471
Diodorus Siculus, Historical Library, 1.28.2


nan They say also that those who set forth with Danaus, likewise from Egypt, settled what is practically the oldest city in Greece, Argos, and that the nation of the Colchi in Pontus and that of the Jews, which lies between Arabia and Syria, were founded as colonies by certain emigrants from their country;


Intertexts (texts cited often on the same page as the searched text):

6 results
1. Herodotus, Histories, 2.104 (5th cent. BCE - 5th cent. BCE)

2.104. For it is plain to see that the Colchians are Egyptians; and what I say, I myself noted before I heard it from others. When it occurred to me, I inquired of both peoples; and the Colchians remembered the Egyptians better than the Egyptians remembered the Colchians; ,the Egyptians said that they considered the Colchians part of Sesostris' army. I myself guessed it, partly because they are dark-skinned and woolly-haired; though that indeed counts for nothing, since other peoples are, too; but my better proof was that the Colchians and Egyptians and Ethiopians are the only nations that have from the first practised circumcision. ,The Phoenicians and the Syrians of Palestine acknowledge that they learned the custom from the Egyptians, and the Syrians of the valleys of the Thermodon and the Parthenius, as well as their neighbors the Macrones, say that they learned it lately from the Colchians. These are the only nations that circumcise, and it is seen that they do just as the Egyptians. ,But as to the Egyptians and Ethiopians themselves, I cannot say which nation learned it from the other; for it is evidently a very ancient custom. That the others learned it through traffic with Egypt, I consider clearly proved by this: that Phoenicians who traffic with Hellas cease to imitate the Egyptians in this matter and do not circumcise their children.
2. Diodorus Siculus, Historical Library, 1.28.1, 1.28.3, 1.29.5, 1.55.5, 40.3, 40.3.1-40.3.5, 40.3.8 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

1.28.1.  Now the Egyptians say that also after these events a great number of colonies were spread from Egypt over all the inhabited world. To Babylon, for instance, colonists were led by Belus, who was held to be the son of Poseidon and Libya; and after establishing himself on the Euphrates river he appointed priests, called Chaldaeans by the Babylonians, who were exempt from taxation and free from every kind of service to the state, as are the priests of Egypt; and they also make observations of the stars, following the example of the Egyptian priests, physicists, and astrologers. 1.28.3.  and this is the reason why it is a long-established institution among these two peoples to circumcise their male children, the custom having been brought over from Egypt. 1.29.5.  By many other statements like these, spoken more out of a love for glory than with regard for the truth, as I see the matter, they claim Athens as a colony of theirs because of the fame of that city. In general, the Egyptians say that their ancestors sent forth numerous colonies to many parts of the inhabited world, the pre-eminence of their former kings and their excessive population; 1.55.5.  And the proof which they offer of the Egyptian origin of this nation is the fact that the Colchi practise circumcision even as the Egyptians do, the custom continuing among the colonists sent out from Egypt as it also did in the case of the Jews.
3. Josephus Flavius, Jewish Antiquities, 1.159, 12.38 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

1.159. But Hecatseus does more than barely mention him; for he composed, and left behind him, a book concerning him. And Nicolaus of Damascus, in the fourth book of his History, says thus: “Abram reigned at Damascus, being a foreigner, who came with an army out of the land above Babylon, called the land of the Chaldeans: 12.38. for which cause it is, as Hecateus of Abdera says, that the poets and historians make no mention of it, nor of those men who lead their lives according to it, since it is a holy law, and ought not to be published by profane mouths. 12.38. but the king commanded Lysias to speak openly to the soldiers and the officers, without saying a word about the business of Philip; and to intimate to them that the siege would be very long; that the place was very strong; that they were already in want of provisions; that many affairs of the kingdom wanted regulation;
4. Josephus Flavius, Against Apion, 1.183-1.205, 1.229, 1.239-1.240, 1.248-1.250, 1.305-1.309, 2.43 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

1.183. Now Clearchus said this by way of digression, for his main design was of another nature; but for Hecateus of Abdera, who was both a philosopher and one very useful in an active life, he was contemporary with king Alexander in his youth, and afterward was with Ptolemy, the son of Lagus: he did not write about the Jewish affairs by the by only, but composed an entire book concerning the Jews themselves; out of which book I am willing to run over a few things, of which I have been treating, by way of epitome. 1.184. And, in the first place, I will demonstrate the time when this Hecateus lived; for he mentions the fight that was between Ptolemy and Demetrius about Gaza, which was fought in the eleventh year after the death of Alexander, and in the hundred and seventeenth olympiad, as Castor says in his history: 1.185. for when he had set down this olympiad, he says farther, that “on this olympiad Ptolemy, the son of Lagus, beat in battle Demetrius, the son of Antigonus, who was named Poliorcetes, at Gaza.” Now it is agreed by all that Alexander died in the hundred and fourteenth olympiad; it is therefore evident that our nation flourished in his time, and in the time of Alexander. 1.186. Again, Hecateus says to the same purpose, as follows:—“Ptolemy got possession of the places in Syria after the battle at Gaza; and many, when they heard of Ptolemy’s moderation and humanity, went along with him to Egypt, and were willing to assist him in his affairs; 1.187. one of whom (Hecateus says) was Hezekiah, the high priest of the Jews; a man of about sixty-six years of age, and in great dignity among his own people. He was a very sensible man, and could speak very movingly, and was very skilful in the management of affairs, if any other man ever were so; 1.188. although, as he says, all the priests of the Jews took tithes of the products of the earth, and managed public affairs, and were in number not above fifteen hundred at the most.” 1.189. Hecateus mentions this Hezekiah a second time, and says, that “as he was possessed of so great a dignity, and was become familiar with us, so did he take certain of those that were with him, and explained to them all the circumstances of their people: for he had all their habitations and polity down in writing.” 1.191. Whereupon he adds, that “although they are in a bad reputation among their neighbors, and among all those that come to them, and have been often treated injuriously by the kings and governors of Persia, yet can they not be dissuaded from acting what they think best; but that, when they are stripped on this account, and have torments inflicted upon them, and they are brought to the most terrible kinds of death, they meet them after a most extraordinary manner, beyond all other people, and will not renounce the religion of their forefathers.” 1.192. Hecateus also produces demonstrations not a few of this their resolute tenaciousness of their laws when he speaks thus:—“Alexander was once at Babylon, and had an intention to rebuild the temple of Belus that was fallen to decay: and in order thereto, he commanded all his soldiers in general to bring earth thither. But the Jews, and they only, would not comply with that command; nay, they underwent stripes and great losses of what they had on this account, till the king forgave them, and permitted them to live in quiet.” 1.193. He adds farther, that “when the Macedonians came to them into that country, and demolished the [old] temples and the altars, they assisted them in demolishing them all; but [for not assisting them in rebuilding them] they either underwent losses, or sometimes obtained forgiveness.” He adds, farther, that “these men deserve to be admired on that account.” 1.194. He also speaks of the mighty populousness of our nation, and says that “the Persians formerly carried away many ten thousands of our people to Babylon; as also that not a few ten thousands were removed after Alexander’s death into Egypt and Phoenicia, by reason of the sedition that was arisen in Syria.” 1.195. The same person takes notice in his history, how large the country is which we inhabit, as well as of its excellent character; and says that “the land in which the Jews inhabit contains three millions of arourae, and is generally of a most excellent and most fruitful soil: nor is Judea of lesser dimensions.” 1.196. The same man describes our city Jerusalem also itself as of a most excellent structure, and very large, and inhabited from the most ancient times. He also discourses of the multitude of men in it, and of the construction of our temple, after the following manner:— 1.197. “There are many strong places and villages (says he) in the country of Judea: but one strong city there is, about fifty furlongs in circumference, which is inhabited by a hundred and twenty thousand men, or thereabouts: they call it Jerusalem. 1.198. There is about the middle of the city, a wall of stone, the length of which is five hundred feet, and the breadth a hundred cubits, with double cloisters; wherein there is a square altar, not made of hewn stone, but composed of white stones gathered together, having each side twenty cubits long, and its altitude ten cubits. Hard by it is a large edifice, wherein there is an altar and a candlestick, both of gold, and in weight two talents; 1.199. upon these there is a light that is never extinguished, neither by night nor by day. There is no image, nor any thing, nor any donations therein; nothing at all is there planted, neither grove, nor any thing of that sort. The priests abide therein both nights and days, performing certain purifications, and drinking not the least drop of wine while they are in the temple.” 1.201. “As I was myself going to the Red Sea, there followed us a man, whose name was Mosollam; he was one of the Jewish horsemen who conducted us; he was a person of great courage, of a strong body, and by all allowed to be the most skilful archer that was either among the Greeks or barbarians. 1.202. Now this man, as people were in great numbers passing along the road, and a certain augur was observing an augury by a bird, and requiring them all to stand still, inquired what they staid for. 1.203. Hereupon the augur showed him the bird from whence he took his augury, and told him that if the bird staid where he was, they ought all to stand still; but that if he got up, and flew onward, they must go forward; but that if he flew backward, they must retire again. Mosollam made no reply, but drew his bow, and shot at the bird, and hit him, and killed him; 1.204. and as the augur and some others were very angry, and wished imprecations upon him, he answered them thus:—Why are you so mad as to take this most unhappy bird into your hands? for how can this bird give us any true information concerning our march, which could not foresee how to save himself? for had he been able to foreknow what was future, he would not have come to this place, but would have been afraid lest Mosollam the Jew would shoot at him, and kill him.” 1.205. But of Hecateus’s testimonies we have said enough; for as to such as desire to know more of them, they may easily obtain them from his book itself. However, I shall not think it too much for me to name Agatharchides, as having made mention of us Jews, though in way of derision at our simplicity, as he supposes it to be; 1.229. but after this he permits himself, in order to appear to have written what rumors and reports passed abroad about the Jews, and introduces incredible narrations, as if he would have the Egyptian multitude, that had the leprosy and other distempers, to have been mixed with us, as he says they were, and that they were condemned to fly out of Egypt together; 1.239. He then, in the first place, made this law for them, that they should neither worship Egyptian gods, nor should abstain from any one of those sacred animals, which they have in the highest esteem, but kill and destroy them all; that they should join themselves to nobody but to those that were of this confederacy.— 1.248. And this was the state of things in Ethiopia. But for the people of Jerusalem, when they came down together with the polluted Egyptians, they treated the men in such a barbarous manner, that those who saw how they subdued the forementioned country, and the horrid wickedness they were guilty of, thought it a most dreadful thing; 1.249. for they did not only set the cities and villages on fire, but were not satisfied till they had been guilty of sacrilege, and destroyed the images of the gods, and used them in roasting those sacred animals that used to be worshipped, and forced the priests and prophets to be the executioners and murderers of those animals, and then ejected them naked out of the country. 1.305. His words are these:—“The people of the Jews being leprous and scabby, and subject to certain other kinds of distempers, in the days of Bocchoris, king of Egypt, they fled to the temples, and got their food there by begging; and as the numbers were very great that were fallen under these diseases, there arose a scarcity in Egypt. 1.306. Hereupon Bocchoris, the king of Egypt, sent some to consult the oracle of [Jupiter] Hammon about this scarcity. The god’s answer was this, that he must purge his temples of impure and impious men, by expelling them out of those temples into desert places; but as to the scabby and leprous people, he must drown them, and purge his temples, the sun having an indignation at these men being suffered to live; and by this means the land will bring forth its fruits. 1.307. Upon Bocchoris’s having received these oracles, he called for their priests, and the attendants upon their altars, and ordered them to make a collection of the impure people, and to deliver them to the soldiers, to carry them away into the desert; but to take the leprous people, and wrap them in sheets of lead, and let them down into the sea. 1.308. Hereupon the scabby and leprous people were drowned, and the rest were gotten together, and sent into desert places, in order to be exposed to destruction. In this case they assembled themselves together, and took counsel what they should do; and determined, that, as the night was coming on, they should kindle fires and lamps, and keep watch; that they also should fast the next night, and propitiate the gods, in order to obtain deliverance from them. 1.309. That on the next day, there was one Moses, who advised them that they should venture upon a journey, and go along one road till they should come to places fit for habitation: that he charged them to have no kind regards for any man, nor give good counsel to any, but always to advise them for the worst; and to overturn all those temples and altars of the gods they should meet with: 2.43. for, as Hecateus says concerning us, “Alexander honored our nation to such a degree that, for the equity and the fidelity which the Jews exhibited to him, he permitted them to hold the country of Samaria free from tribute.
5. Eusebius of Caesarea, Preparation For The Gospel, 13.13.40 (3rd cent. CE - 4th cent. CE)

6. Anon., Letter of Aristeas, 31

31. informed by those who know; for they have never had a king's care to protect them. It is necessary that these should be made accurate for your library since the law which they contain, in as much as it is of divine origin, is full of wisdom and free from all blemish. For this reason literary men and poets and the mass of historical writers have held aloof from referring to these books and the men who have lived and are living in accordance with them, because their


Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
argives Bar Kochba, Pseudo-Hecataeus on the Jews: Legitimizing the Jewish Diaspora (1997) 209
belus Bar Kochba, Pseudo-Hecataeus on the Jews: Legitimizing the Jewish Diaspora (1997) 209
cadmus Bar Kochba, Pseudo-Hecataeus on the Jews: Legitimizing the Jewish Diaspora (1997) 29, 209
circumcision Bar Kochba, Pseudo-Hecataeus on the Jews: Legitimizing the Jewish Diaspora (1997) 23, 210
colchi Bar Kochba, Pseudo-Hecataeus on the Jews: Legitimizing the Jewish Diaspora (1997) 209, 210
culture/cultural Piotrkowski, Priests in Exile: The History of the Temple of Onias and Its Community in the Hellenistic Period (2019) 261
danaus Bar Kochba, Pseudo-Hecataeus on the Jews: Legitimizing the Jewish Diaspora (1997) 29, 209, 210
diodorus, abbreviates hecataeus Bar Kochba, Pseudo-Hecataeus on the Jews: Legitimizing the Jewish Diaspora (1997) 209, 210, 211
diodorus, use of hecataeus Bar Kochba, Pseudo-Hecataeus on the Jews: Legitimizing the Jewish Diaspora (1997) 209, 210, 211
egypt, ethnographies of Bar Kochba, Pseudo-Hecataeus on the Jews: Legitimizing the Jewish Diaspora (1997) 209
egypt, jews expelled from Bar Kochba, Pseudo-Hecataeus on the Jews: Legitimizing the Jewish Diaspora (1997) 29
egyptian, (native) Piotrkowski, Priests in Exile: The History of the Temple of Onias and Its Community in the Hellenistic Period (2019) 261
egyptian Piotrkowski, Priests in Exile: The History of the Temple of Onias and Its Community in the Hellenistic Period (2019) 261
ethnography, hellenistic Bar Kochba, Pseudo-Hecataeus on the Jews: Legitimizing the Jewish Diaspora (1997) 23
ethnography, structure of Bar Kochba, Pseudo-Hecataeus on the Jews: Legitimizing the Jewish Diaspora (1997) 209, 210, 211
hasmonean Piotrkowski, Priests in Exile: The History of the Temple of Onias and Its Community in the Hellenistic Period (2019) 261
hecataeus of abdera, jewish excursus in appendix of the origo section Bar Kochba, Pseudo-Hecataeus on the Jews: Legitimizing the Jewish Diaspora (1997) 23, 29, 209, 210, 211
hecataeus of abdera, on high priests Bar Kochba, Pseudo-Hecataeus on the Jews: Legitimizing the Jewish Diaspora (1997) 29
hecataeus of abdera, on the egyptians Bar Kochba, Pseudo-Hecataeus on the Jews: Legitimizing the Jewish Diaspora (1997) 29
hellenistic Piotrkowski, Priests in Exile: The History of the Temple of Onias and Its Community in the Hellenistic Period (2019) 261
high priests, hecataeus on Bar Kochba, Pseudo-Hecataeus on the Jews: Legitimizing the Jewish Diaspora (1997) 29
jacoby, felix Bar Kochba, Pseudo-Hecataeus on the Jews: Legitimizing the Jewish Diaspora (1997) 210, 211
jews, ethnographies on Bar Kochba, Pseudo-Hecataeus on the Jews: Legitimizing the Jewish Diaspora (1997) 209, 210, 211
jews, expelled from egypt Bar Kochba, Pseudo-Hecataeus on the Jews: Legitimizing the Jewish Diaspora (1997) 29
jews, hostile toward strangers Bar Kochba, Pseudo-Hecataeus on the Jews: Legitimizing the Jewish Diaspora (1997) 23, 29
judaism Piotrkowski, Priests in Exile: The History of the Temple of Onias and Its Community in the Hellenistic Period (2019) 261
kingship/kingdom Piotrkowski, Priests in Exile: The History of the Temple of Onias and Its Community in the Hellenistic Period (2019) 261
letter of aristeas Piotrkowski, Priests in Exile: The History of the Temple of Onias and Its Community in the Hellenistic Period (2019) 261, 292
maccabees/maccabean Piotrkowski, Priests in Exile: The History of the Temple of Onias and Its Community in the Hellenistic Period (2019) 261, 292
macedonian Piotrkowski, Priests in Exile: The History of the Temple of Onias and Its Community in the Hellenistic Period (2019) 261
marriage and burial customs Bar Kochba, Pseudo-Hecataeus on the Jews: Legitimizing the Jewish Diaspora (1997) 23
military Piotrkowski, Priests in Exile: The History of the Temple of Onias and Its Community in the Hellenistic Period (2019) 292
moses, hecataeus on Bar Kochba, Pseudo-Hecataeus on the Jews: Legitimizing the Jewish Diaspora (1997) 23, 29
name/named/unnamed Piotrkowski, Priests in Exile: The History of the Temple of Onias and Its Community in the Hellenistic Period (2019) 261
nomina (customs), in hecataeus Bar Kochba, Pseudo-Hecataeus on the Jews: Legitimizing the Jewish Diaspora (1997) 23, 209, 210, 211
onias community, settlement Piotrkowski, Priests in Exile: The History of the Temple of Onias and Its Community in the Hellenistic Period (2019) 292
origo or origo-archaeologia, in hecataeus Bar Kochba, Pseudo-Hecataeus on the Jews: Legitimizing the Jewish Diaspora (1997) 23, 209, 210, 211
pagan Piotrkowski, Priests in Exile: The History of the Temple of Onias and Its Community in the Hellenistic Period (2019) 261
pompey Bar Kochba, Pseudo-Hecataeus on the Jews: Legitimizing the Jewish Diaspora (1997) 23
pseudo-hecataeus Piotrkowski, Priests in Exile: The History of the Temple of Onias and Its Community in the Hellenistic Period (2019) 261, 292
ptolemaic Piotrkowski, Priests in Exile: The History of the Temple of Onias and Its Community in the Hellenistic Period (2019) 261
religion/religious' Piotrkowski, Priests in Exile: The History of the Temple of Onias and Its Community in the Hellenistic Period (2019) 292
sacrifice Bar Kochba, Pseudo-Hecataeus on the Jews: Legitimizing the Jewish Diaspora (1997) 23