Bulletin du Centre de recherche français à Jérusalem

19  (2008) Varia

Katell Berthelot

Hecataeus of Abdera and Jewish ‘misanthropy’

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Référence électronique Katell Berthelot, « Hecataeus of Abdera and Jewish ‘misanthropy’ », Bulletin du Centre de recherche français à Jérusalem [En ligne], 19 | 2008, mis en ligne le 03 mars 2009, Consulté le 17 octobre 2012. URL : http:// bcrfj.revues.org/5968 Éditeur : Centre de recherche français à Jérusalem http://bcrfj.revues.org http://www.revues.org Document accessible en ligne sur : http://bcrfj.revues.org/5968 Ce document PDF a été généré par la revue. © Bulletin du Centre de recherche français à Jérusalem

revues. J. particularly theatre. Cowley. p. Isaac. 1912. 125). PUF-Quadrige. p. See also B. “Hekataios”. R. 2003. Mélèze-Modrzejewski. 27-43. numéro 19. “Hecataeus of Abdera and Pharaonic Kingship”.C. 1968. at least originally. I would like to argue that the very idea of misanthrôpia is a Greek notion. as known to us through Josephus’ Against Apion –. 3 vol. Isaac. Porten. Suppl. Clarendon Press. The Invention of Racism in Classical Antiquity. 1991. Errance. Renan. Judaism. who nuances this view. Hellenistic period. Philadelphia – Jerusalem. Brill. Abstract This article shows that the first text accusing the Jews of misanthropy (Hecataeus of Abdera. Princeton University Press. RAC 14.1. J. W. O. p. 1992. 53-79).4 who wrote at the end of the 4th century BCE and was the first writer to describe the Jewish way of life as misanthropic. Spoerri. 1923 . most serious and most recurrent charge by intellectuals against Jews is that they hate Gentiles” (Jew and Gentile in the Ancient World: Attitudes and Interactions from Alexander to Justinian. Les Juifs d’Egypte de Ramsès II à Hadrien. . Bohak. Schäfer. as in the case of Hecataeus of Abdera. 4 On Hecataeus. anti-Jewish stereotypes. “Hekataios von Abdera”. Murray. since he writes that: “(…) one must reckon with the possibility that the xenophobia motif indeed belongs more to the Greek adaptation of the expulsion story than to its original Egyptian background” (p. Luke-Acts and Apologetic Historiography. and more recently G.2. the Mishnah and the Talmud. Princeton University Press.. (see vol. VII. Mor (et al. B. 1997 (first edition Paris. On ethnic stereotypes in the Greco-Roman world. p. english translation The Jews of Egypt: From Ramses II to Emperor Hadrian. ed. Sterling. Harvard University Press.278-279. Paris.E. as well as its meaning in Greek literature. 168). L. Princeton. Egypt. Leiden. Bulletin de la société E. 1993. Textbook of Aramaic Documents from Ancient Egypt.3 and above all of Manetho’s slanderous account of Jewish origins. 2 See for example J. 1988.org/ Hecataeus of Abdera and Jewish ‘misanthropy’ Katell Berthelot Keywords Hecataeus of Abdera. ❖❖❖ The accusation of misanthropy directed against the Jews in Antiquity is probably the only specific antiJewish bias to be found in the Greco-Roman world. Jerusalem. in Jews and Gentiles in the Holy Land in the Days of the Second Temple. G. 133-143. and that the accusation of misanthropy levelled against the Jews can only be understood in a Greek cultural context. 167-169. misanthropy. Paris. The Life of an Ancient Military Colony. RHR 163. Attitudes towards the Jews in the Ancient World. University of California Press. quoted by Diodorus) can only be properly understood if one keeps in mind the Greek origin of this notion. Yad Ben-Zvi Press. of the events that took place in the military colony at Elephantine at the end of the 5th century BCE. Judeophobia. 56-67. 1986-1993. Feldman writes: “The main. Porten and A. Eisenbrauns. 1970. “The Ibis and the Jewish Question: Ancient ‘Anti-Semitism’ in Historical Perspective”. Calmann-Lévy. col. Aramaic Papyri of the Fifth Century B. R. Winona Lake. Berkeley. 144-145. col. H. p. E. p. Historiography and Self-Definition – Josephus. col. p. by A. Genèse de l'antisémitisme.Bulletin du CRFJ. together with the accusation of atheism. V. 2750-2751.5 1 See already I. “L’Egypte ancienne et les origines de l’antijudaïsme”. and more recently P. p. 1931. Oxford. Heinemann. see F. Yardeni. Princeton. 3-43. 3 See the standard edition of the papyri pertaining to this crisis. 1956. 2004. 75. Jewish Publication Society. JEA 56. “Antisemitismus”. Cambridge – London. Jacoby. 1995).). 1997. by M. année 2008 http://bcrfj. 1963. Yoyotte. Other charges may be considered stereotypes that were applied to other peoples as well. see now B.1 While many scholars have thought that the accusation of misanthrôpia first came from Egyptian writers who were hostile to Jews2 – because of the association of Jews with the Persian and Greek conquerors of Egypt. Archives from Elephantine.E.

in Heritage and Hellenism. not a later Egyptian writer (generally called pseudo-Manetho). p. 6 Translation by F. Berkeley. JEA 59. Assmann. He also divided them into twelve tribes. 11 According to Schäfer (as well as other scholars). The colony was headed by a man called Moses. as some say. G. Will and Cl. “L’Egypte ancienne et les origines de l’antijudaïsme” (quoted n. 22-26. who suggests a date after 305 (“The Chronological Sequence of the First References to Jews in Greek Literature”. 281-283.3) The first part of the text deserves to be quoted in its entirety: “1. Yad Izhak BenZvi – The Israel Exploration Society. ethnocentric vision of the world. see below.10 The question of when exactly it was applied to Jews is still debated. p. Jerusalem. The passage on the Jews is itself a short but typical ethnographical excursus. 28. Bibliotheca Historica 40. 9 On the date of Hecataeus’ work. Collected Essays. the excursus praises Moses and is a rather positive account of Jewish history and laws. were cast ashore in Greece and certain other regions. 1973. The text displays a clearly Greek. by A. 1998. the idea that the customs of the Jews differ from those of other nations. Nancy. 30-35. 51-53. that they somehow carried a disease and had to be expelled is a well-known literary motif in Egyptian literature. p. and the most outstanding and active among them banded together and.9 The idea that invaders or intruders from an Asian background poluted the country. the Aigyptiaka. p. University of California Press. their own traditional observances in honour of the gods had fallen into disuse. Orrieux. 5 For a comprehensive study of the accusation of misanthropy. Bar-Kokhva also favors a date between 306 and 301 BCE (see Pseudo-Hecataeus On the Jews. Stern. 1997. 4. The Memory of Egypt in Western Monotheism. 25-34. Bar-Kochva. therefore. I would like to argue that p. 1986. Berkeley. 74. Pseudo-Hecataeus. 2003. one that is now the most renowned of all. Mélèze-Modrzejewski in “L’image du Juif dans la pensée grecque vers 300 avant notre ère”.7 On the whole. since this is regarded as the most perfect number and corresponds to the number of months that make up a year. as does their way of living. in Moses the Egyptian. 1938. LCL. Gruen. On taking possession of the land he founded. p. p. 3. S. “Greeks and Jews”. Brill. 7-43. Presses Universitaires de Nancy.2). the Reinvention of Jewish Tradition. Murray. Cambridge – London. p. Le débat autour de la ‘misanthropie’ des lois juives dans l’Antiquité (Leiden. IoudaïsmosHellènismos. being of the opinion that God is not in human form. Harvard University Press. 15-16). Rappaport and G. See also Schäfer. their leaders were notable men.Hecataeus’ excursus (apud Diodorus Siculus. But the greater number were driven into what is now called Judaea. who proposes a date before 315 BCE. E. 1990. Pseudo-Hecataeus. But he had no images whatsoever of the gods made for them. 159-163. Fuks. ed. chief among them being Danaus and Cadmus. drew up their laws and ordered their political institutions. 7 See W. 2. see O. called Jerusalem. slightly modified. R. At once. 8-9). see my book Philanthrôpia judaica. Judeophobia. E. for as a result of their own expulsion from Egypt he introduced a kind of misanthropic and inhospitable way of life (ajpavnqrwpovn tina kai. 59-61. p. and so on. the aliens were driven from the country.8 Most scholars consider Hecataeus to depend on an Egyptian story that presents the Jews as a band of impious lepers who defiled the country and were finally expelled from Egypt – a story that would be found slightly later on in Manetho –. 105-118. the common people ascribed their troubles to the workings of a divine agency. in Greece and Rome in Eretz Israel. outstanding both for his wisdom and for his courage. Hence the natives of the land surmised that unless they removed the foreigners. p. SJSJ 76). Bar-Kochva.11 In any case. GLAJJ 1. as a consequence. this text may have belonged to Hecataeus’ ethnographical treatise on Egypt. p. 83-93. Journal of Religion 18/2. rather the Heaven that surrounds the earth is alone divine. it is Manetho himself who wrote about the expulsion of Jews from Egypt. In addition he established the temple that they hold in chief veneration. the notion of ajpoikiva (“colony”) and the description of Moses as a ktivsth" (“founder”). their troubles would never be resolved. Jaeger. Walton. 1996. p. p. “On the Jews”. Josephus’ account is reliable. Sterling considers that Hecataeus’ excursus belongs both to ethnography and apologetic historiography (see Historiography and Self-Definition. 1967. and rules the universe. which is not far distant from Egypt and was at that time utterly uninhabited. 74-75). 163-168. “The Date of Hecataeus’ work on Egypt”. When in ancient times a pestilence arose in Egypt. 127-143. B. beside other cities.”6 Originally. instituted their forms of worship and ritual. U. Legitimizing the Jewish Diaspora. 1973. for indeed with many strangers of all sorts dwelling in their midst and practising different rites of religion and sacrifice. although it should be underlined that “the most outstanding and active men” among the foreigners are those who settle in Greece. The sacrifices that he established differ from those of other nations. misovxenon bivon) (…). 10 See Yoyotte. On the relationship between Hecataeus’ work and Manetho’s. See also the different opinion of M. 16 . that includes a lot of well-known topoi such as the expulsion of foreigners who are defiling the country because of their foreign religious practices. see also the analysis by J. “On the Jews”. E. “The Use and Abuse of the Exodus Story”. Kasher. 8 As already underlined by J. University of California Press. p. B. JEA 59. p. Essai sur le judaïsme judéen à l'époque hellénistique. the merging .

4. 1988. First. . likewise from Egypt. 1989. Verlag der Königl. p. History and Romance in Graeco-Oriental Literature. §§2. FGH III a. 4. his excursus inspires itself mainly from Greek sources. Diodorus Siculus. the Greek ethnographic discourse on Egypt. Book I.18 If we accept the hypothesis that Hecataeus is of the expulsion story and the hostility towards the Jews would date at least from the beginning of the third century BCE. C. 80-81.28. Cambridge. Schwartz.. are colonists from Saïs in Egypt. Wacholder. Cambridge – London. p. E. as well as 1. Leiden. 89. 137. W.3. “Greeks and Jews”. the emigration of the foreigners is called ajpoikiva (40. frequently referred to by Herodotus. Cambridge University Press. Brill.15 although he is not mentioned by name in this context. 75-87.46. above all p. “Hecataeus of Abdera and Pharaonic Kingship”. E. M. B. But the reliability of Josephus’ account is still a debated issue. Schwartz. Kommentar. Yad Ben-Zvi. “Diodorus Siculus 40. And this is the reason why it is a long-established institution among these two peoples to circumcise their male children. translation by C. “The Growth of Anti-Judaism or the Greek Attitude Towards the Jews”.Hecataeus is in no way dependent on this Egyptian tradition. 1960. 54-58. 633. p. 145 and 152 . and they undertake to offer proofs of such a relationship (…). it is the Egyptians who did not keep the ancestral religious rites. 91. 1975. Mor et al. 15 See Jacoby. ajlloeqnei'" . 12 Successively named katoikouvntoi xevnoi. Untersuchungen zu Josephus. and the remarks below. K. by M. and they are the ones who are punished by the gods and who become sick. the people expelled are clearly described as foreigners." oJrmhqevnta" par∆ eJautw'n). p. H. Hecataeus’ account is still influenced by the story told by “the Egyptians. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht. Murray. These discrepancies are not simply variants. 82.12 not as Egyptian lepers. but also reveals some differences. The Jews in the Greek Age. 71-79. p. 2003. whereas in book 40. by O. The first book of Diodorus’ Bibliotheca Historica. 13 On this issue.5. The main discrepancy is that Danaos and the Jews are presented in book 1 as Egyptian settlers. Spoerri. Eupolemus.1-4. 1972. Burton.104. Meyer. the Jews are not accused of impiety at all. H. B. Jaeger. a wellknown Egyptian claim. LCL. Lebram. 177 etc. who was held to be the son of Poseidon and Libya (…) 2. p. one should note that according to §1. Thus. In my opinion. Pseudo-Hecataeus. which deals with Egypt. p. Hengel. 1938. Betz. in Cambridge History of Judaism. “On the Jews”.” The whole idea of Egyptians settling all over the world and being the very root of all civilizations is. Oldfather. see A. in fact.28. 181-197. “Intorno al Contra Apione”. Even the Athenians. colonists were led by Belus. Momigliano. for instance. Edizioni di storia e letteratura. Third. in Quinto contributo alla storia degli studi classici e del mondo antico.”14 This passage. It has led Daniel Schwartz to consider that Diodorus’ account in book 40 actually depends on a Jewish work. 17 See D. in Josephus-Studien. but also on Hecataeus’ Aigyptiaka. which is a classical term in Greek to designate a colony. were founded as colonies by certain emigrants from their country (oijkivsai tina. O. they are to be explained by the influence of a different literary tradition. Griechische Geschichtschreiber. 1957. Oxford. ed. 51. Bickerman. p. It normally implies that those who depart in order to settle in a new place belong to the city which they are leaving.20. 208-210.1-4. RAC 14. “Hekataios von Abdera”. 56-59.16 It shares many common features with the story in book 40. 765-784. 1987.13 A comparison between the excursus in book 40 and what is written about Jews and Egypt in book 1 may thus be illuminating. Haacker and M. it seems that even in book 40. Z.2. Second. 16 See Herodotus 2. ajllofuvl oi. “The Use and Abuse of the Exodus Story”. 224. Blackwell. they say (fasin). where the Egyptian origin of many customs and inventions is stated. Diodorus even mentions Hecataeus by name in 1. p. 233-253. 1988. settled what is practically the oldest city of Greece. Aegyptische Chronologie. whereas this is the most prominent feature in Manetho’s account. A. another “Pseudo-Hecataeus”. 18 See Book 2. Gabba. which also deals with the Egyptian origin of Jews and Colchi. They say (levgousi) also that those who set forth with Danaus. A clear Herodotean influence is discernible too. 1974. Davies et al. A Study of Judaeo-Greek Literature. which lies between Arabia and Syria. D. C. vol. E. dem antiken Judentum und dem Neuen Testament. In 1.1. Harvard University Press. is generally attributed to Hecataeus. “L’utilisation polémique du récit de l’Exode chez les écrivains alexandrins”. is said to depend heavily on Herodotus. Jerusalem. col. 1904. Hebrew Union College & Jewish Institute of Religion. Rome. p. p. ed.55. ed. p. Argos. The idea was already formulated by J. Aziza. Berlin. in Jews and Gentiles in the Holy Land in the Days of the Second Temple.. E.3 – Hecataeus or Pseudo-Hecataeus?”. 3. 27. Leipzig. “Der Idealstaat der Juden”. 1974. Cincinatti – New York. p. 47. 50. they are foreigners expelled from Egypt. Akademie. Bar-Kochva. p. the custom having been brought over from Egypt. See E. A Commentary.. p.3). by W. Göttingen.8. To Babylon. and that the nation of the Colchi in Pontus and that of the Jews. W. one reads: “Now the Egyptians say (fasi) that also after these events a great number of colonies (ajpoikiva") were spread from Egypt over all the inhabited world. Braun. 279-280. 14 1.17 But even in book 40. the Mishnah and the Talmud. ANRW II. 109. Koehler & Amelang. as the later anti-Jewish story would have it. Gruen. p.

See for example the introduction to the French edition of Diodorus’ Book 1 in C. 1901. 238 d).28). xenhlatevw) is used in Greek literature mainly concerning Spartians.2 and 2. according to whom xenhlasiva is a barbarian practice (see Strabo 17.20. the use of the term shows that the reaction of the Egyptians to the corruption of their ancestral laws is understood by Hecataeus as something analogical to the Spartan way of dealing with foreigners. 19 Cautiousness is required. son of Io and Zeus. and the divine anger against the Egyptians arose because of them. who were presented as stemming from an Egyptian background. by Escher. 1986.22 he may have been more critical than Herodotus of the Egyptian sayings. Cf. the apparent contradictions between the two passages in Diodorus (1. Laws 950 b and 953 e). Although he is influenced by the Herodotean description of Egypt. 30-36. Apart from an opinion ascribed to Eratosthenes. Chronique d’Égypte 49. just as Herodotus did. “Les Grecs Egyptologues”.1. One exception is Polybius 9. 1950. 850-856. In so far as it implied Greeks too. 277-323. The very expulsion of foreigners whose rites have influenced the natives and disturbed the legal order and the traditional cult – in other words. Phoenician Maidens 676-682 (concerning Cadmos). Euripides.144. in RE 5. Diodorus used several sources. Aristotle (Politics 1272 b). a Jewish influence on Hecataeus’ excursus is not to be completely excluded. so that an Herodotean influence on Hecataeus is probable as well. and that Diodorus is himself responsible for others.1-4.1-4 and 40. He probably met Jews in Alexandria. it could also be an Herodotean influence on Diodorus. B. xenhlasiva (or the corresponding verb. 24 On the Greek perceptions of Egypt. Diodorus.69. Thucydides (1. 34). Epistulae et dialexeis 1. 2094-2098. even if somehow fascinated by Egypt. Lloyd. Anne Burton writes: “It is too easy to attribute to an author.4). which contradicted each other. Préaux.20 Several centuries later. Hartog.28. remained critical to a certain extent (see for example 2. and also 3. Life of Agis 10.11.1-3) are perfectly understandable when the difference between the Egyptian sayings and the Greek point of view about them is properly taken into account.25 Thus. another Greek topos seems to play a role in Hecataeus’ excursus. But these verbs simultaneously indicate that Hecataeus distances himself from the Egyptian assertions. and shows the pervasiveness of the references to Greek models and narratives in Hecataeus’ text. p. Fr. at the same time incorporating material from other widely different authors into the framework of his own construction” (Diodorus Siculus. 329-331. while dealing with the Jews. col. in RE 4. and the Suda. Menexenus 245 d.Diodorus’ main source in 1. Apophthegmata Laconica 226 d.1-3. since contemporary commentators of Diodorus’ work tend to consider him less dependent on his sources than was previously thought. Plutarch (Life of Lycurgus 9.1-2). Helen 67-68). 22 Compare with Herodotus 2. where he mentions the Egyptian priests with whom he talked during his visit in Egypt).21 When Hecataeus (according to Diodorus 40.3. by François Chamoux. Obviously.U. where. 2. Entretiens Fondation Hardt XXXV.3) modifies the Egyptian account of the origins of Danaos and his companions (and secondarily of the Jews). XXV-XXXII.19 it means that Hecataeus quoted this typical Egyptian discourse at some point in his work.24 Moreover. at x. according to them. by Waser. 215-253.39.1). 953-967. for instance. which is explained exclusively by reference to the Spartan practice. 21 See On the Malice of Herodotus 857 e. whose foreign customs have interferred with the ancestral laws of the natives –. he had chosen to present his own version of the connection between Egypt and the Jews. “Herodotus on Egyptians and Libyans”. p.2.F. Jews were indeed foreigners in Egypt. Moreover. Concerning his use of Hecataeus’ work. 23 But Herodotus himself.3. the major part of whose work has been lost. A. and “Danaos”.23 and have sided with Aeschylus (at least to a certain extent). see Cl.104). Dionysos of Halicarnassus (Ant. “La singularité de l’Égypte dans le monde gréco-romain”. Rom. 2708-2709 (that deal with his genealogy). Prometheus Bound 567. In the Suppliant Maidens.19). it hurted Greek “national” pride. 110-123. There were different traditions on Epaphos. p. 20 See Aeschylus. not just one. A Commentary. Thus. and forgotten Epaphos and Io. where he criticizes Herodotus. was sometimes critical of what other Greek writers reported about this land (see for example 1. 37-41 and possibly for part of chs. where the verb is used in a non-Spartan (but Greek) context. Still. 590. passages for which an alternative source is not immediately apparent. he simply echoes the more widespread Greek understanding of the link between Danaos and Egypt. Xenophon (Constitution of Lacedaemon 14. col. that. and certainly mingled them. Some Athenian writers accepted the idea of a mixed or a fully barbarian origin for Danaos and Cadmos. p.4.2. who is himself a descendant of Epaphos. found it offensive.17. with a quotation from Aristophanes’ Birds (1012). The fact that we are dealing with a quotation is clearly shown by the verbs levgousin and fasin.7. and Isocrates. he has the daughters of Danaos – who have fled from Egypt to Argos – claim to be of Greek ancestry through their father. Danaos and Cadmos. an expulsion characterized as xenhlasiva (xenèlasia). one finds xenhlatei'n.104. Philostratus (Life of Apollonius of Tyana 6.29. 237 a. and may have heard of the Biblical story of the Exodus. and also the way he expresses himself on his work in 2. In sum. there would be nothing surprising if. Moreover.4. Moreover. contrasted with the purely Greek origin of the Athenians (see for example Plato. 1905. as the remarks about the Colchi make clear. It is safer then to conclude that in Book I Diodorus drew upon Agatharchides or Artemidorus for chs. Annales 5. while for the rest of the book he undoubtedly made some use of Hecataeus of Abdera. 25 See Plato (Protagoras 342 c.. Aeschylus. According to the Biblical account.28. Suppliants 40-48. who travelled himself to Egypt. it cannot be ignored that certain passages may well have had their origins in authors considerably later than Hecataeus. Book I. Plutarch still blames Herodotus for having presented Danaos and his descendants as Egyptians. “Epaphos”. The reasons for modifying the Egyptian account were numerous. . p. 1990.2. But it is obvious that Hecataeus had read Herodotus too. may be explained by the reference to Sparta that pervades the text.

54. where does the accusation of Jewish misanthropy come from? A different kind of explanation is required. 1952. vol. 44 and 47-52. in both cases in Diodorus’ work (34/35. cf.31 one finds it only twice in Greek literature. whose use was more limited. Hecataeus simply combined Greek traditions about Egypt. Thus..3. not the Egyptian divinities. 42. but his account is understandable without presupposing a strong Jewish influence of the kind advocated (in different ways) by Schwartz.32 Several scholars have underlined that Hecataeus tends to describe the Jews in a “Spartan light”. a slightly more negative tone is to be noticed at the end of §4 (which is not the end of the excursus itself): “(…) as a result of their own expulsion from Egypt. Jaeger. p. Smith. Of course. 401-417). as “inhospitable” (versus the stronger translation “hostile to foreigners”). IoudaïsmosHellènismos. but his version of the departure from Egypt can also be understood without presupposing a reference to the Biblical account. 96-110). 65-81 (republished in Religions and Politics in the Hellenistic and Roman Periods.33-38. . Berthelot. ed. and apart from two late Jewish texts. n. Stern. not by the disruption of the Egyptian religious rites. and the connection between Danaos and Egypt.”28 Apanthrôpos literally means “one who turns away from men / from the society of human beings.20). Gruen and Mendels.7 and 28) (whereas misanthrôpos appears a little later). Dyskolos 6. there are also many discrepancies between the Biblical story and the account in Diodorus 40. let us now analyze Hecataeus’ sentence in §4 more closely. Paris.34 As mentioned above. Chantraine. “L’image du Juif”. 28 The word tis. he heard about Moses!).4).1. Klincksieck. I am led to conclude that there is no connection at all between Hecataeus’ account and the Egyptian traditions later to be found in Manetho.just as in Hecataeus’ account.3.1. 72-77. And a careful study of these terms shows that from the 5th to the 3d century BCE at least the term apanthrôpos functioned as the opposite of philanthrôpos much more than misanthrôpos. 158 . Berthelot. p.. GLAJJ 1. “Hekataios”. Philanthrôpia judaica. Mélèze-Modrzejewski. “Origines Gentium”.33 and this may be a first clue to explain why the Jewish way of life is described as misanthropic. 26 27 As already suggested by I. he might have realized that it shared common features with his “graecocentric” scenario. ZAW 95/1. and he may even have ignored them completely. Judentum und Hellenismus. 32 See for example Diodorus 5. W. 87. such as Herodotus’ Histories – who already echo the Egyptian claim to be the origin of humankind and of all other cultures –. I think that it should be understood as the contrary of philoxenos. where one also finds for the first time the term philanthrôpos (vv. Jewish Antiquities 1. the term apanthrôpos appears for the first time in Greek literature in Aeschylus’ Prometheus (v.1-3: in the Bible. “Hecataeus of Abdera and Pharaonic Kingship”. Classical Philology 47. Gabba and M.29 Moreover.26 To sum up. p. the Jews were spared the plagues that afflicted the Egyptians. and so on. p. Gruen.” This discourse is characterized by a tendency to integrate all barbarian peoples into a Greek system of archaiologia. his anger was motivated by Pharaoh’s refusal to let the Hebrews leave Egypt. Heinemann. the god who became angry was the God of Israel. I am not convinced either by the explanation put forward by D. Mendels (“Hecataeus of Abdera and a Jewish Patrios Politeia of the Persian Period (Diodorus Siculus 40.25. The accusation of misanthropy formulated in §4 Although the perception of the Jews in the excursus is generally positive. Gruen. 465 (Judaism and Hellenism vol. p.1. As a first step. “The Purported Jewish-Spartan Affiliation”. p. 40. E. more probably refers to bios. Philanthrôpia judaica. 29 Cf. see the remarks by E. 33 Cf. p. he (Moses) introduced a kind of misanthropic (apanthrôpos) and inhospitable (misoxenos) way of life. “Greeks and Jews”. col. 360-146 B. it seems to have been coined here for the first time. or at least not influenced by the Egyptian stories concerning the lepers and the foreign invaders. ed. which most translators link to apanthrôpos. K. especially 5. I disagree with both D. “way of life”. 1968. Murray. according to whom Hecataeus’ information came from Jewish priestly circles in the late 4th century BCE.C. in Transitions to Empire. Will and Orrieux.3.30 As for the term misoxenos. P. it is probable that Hecataeus nowhere referred to these stories. 90. It seems quite obvious that Hecataeus had contacts with Egyptian Jews. 1983. who attribute the originality of Hecataeus’ account to a Jewish author or to a Jewish reshaping of the Exodus story (even if I agree with Gruen that Jews occasionally refashioned their own past in the most creative way). 30 See for example Menander. Hengel. p. in Honor of E. p. p. p. K. Gruen in ibid. 31 Wisdom 19:13 (where it is applied to the Egyptians) and Josephus. This conclusion reflects what Elias Bickerman showed in an important article on the Greek discourse about “the origins of peoples. Edizioni New Press.46.3)”.194 (in connection with the Sodomites). by R.34. p. see also Troiani. Cf. Schwartz and E. But if Hecataeus heard about the Biblical story. the Greek image of Egypt as an inhospitable country. E. One of the reasons for translating it in such a way is that philanthrôpia itself has to do with hospitality. Commento storico.” and in many cases it is the equivalent of misanthrôpos.1 (one of the very few examples of a barbarian people described as philanthropôs). He might have heard of the Biblical story of the Exodus (after all. Dictionnaire étymologique de la langue grecque. Bickerman. Essays in Greco-Roman History. 256). As far as the narrative in book 40 is concerned. Cf. where the discourse of the autochthons on their own origins is disqualified and replaced by the interpretatio graeca. Como. p. by E. p. p. and in connection to the Jews. 142. Badian. 1985. 32.27 But if Hecataeus was not aware of. a close reading of the first book of Diodorus’ Bibliotheca Historica shows that it contains no hints of the Egyptian traditions that deal with impure lepers who join foreign invaders and desecrate Egypt. 108-109.

Sure enough. n°74. 206. and the Law of God not forsaken.6-7. Hesperia 11/4. called Timon. In the Dyskolos the misanthrope is called Knemon.258-261. From this text one learns that at the time of Plato. as was obvious to Josephus himself. the law of the city is being rehabilitated. The same reasoning is at work in the Hebrew Bible.35 According to Deuteronomy. RhM N.S. that could have been altered if too many foreigners were to stay in the city of Sparta and the surrounding territory. to talk with them or to help those who are lost or need something for the sacrifice. when the sophist wants to defend the idea that virtue can be taught through education. and would bewail yourself with longing for the wickedness of the people here”. if he had to stand comparison with people who lacked education and law courts and laws and any constant compulsion to the pursuit of virtue. . and that they were seen as people who mistrusted their fellow human beings (probably considered perverted and thus intrinsically bad) but also the laws of the city (considered artificial. who. 1959.40 We have evidence for the existence of this character in the theater as early as Aristophanes. 40 See W. LCL. The Jews are actually the only people or nation ever accused of being misanthropic (misanthrôpos. p. an alternative title of which was The Misanthrope (Misanthrôpos). 39 Dyskolos vv. 102. 1997. especially comedy. p. he says: “(…) you must regard any man who appears to you the most unjust person ever reared among human laws and society as a just man and a craftsman of justice. 133-134. 158. misanthropes were already comedy characters. p. in a book intitled La douceur dans la pensée grecque. 149. you would be very glad to meet with Eurybatus and Phrynondas. 325-328. through the comedy. he refuses to greet people who pass by. 157-182. But instead of finding men who live a philosophical life by following the law of nature. on Diphilos’ play. Kinship Diplomacy in the Ancient World. whose texts are now lost. The reason why they expelled foreigners was their concern for the respect of their ancestral laws.38 Before this one. “Misanthropoi or Philanthropoi”. He lives completely alone except for the company of his daughter and an old servant. “Menanders Dyskolos und die Timonlegende”. The apologetic character of the argument is obvious. Hengel. as a consequence. on the contrary. The books from Judges to 2 Kings. p. Harris. the parallel between Jews and Spartans could make sense. Schmid. 185. University of Oklahoma Press. justifies Jewish “separatism” by invoking the Spartan example. Lamb. Jones. where the Israelites are forbidden to intermarry with the Canaanites because they could be driven to idolatry. the Hebrews are even commanded to exterminate the seven nations of Canaan. Robert. p. illustrate the disasters brought by the corruption of the Israelites and their kings. From this point of view. “Hecataeus of Abdera and Pharaonic Kingship”. Misanthropy in Greek culture One should first underline the connection between misanthropy and theater. as did the misanthropes (misavnqrwpoi) among his chorus. 35 See for example Deuteronomy 7:1-6. M. apanthrôpos) and inhospitable (misoxenos) in the whole corpus of Greek literature. loathing crowds. Bulletin Epigraphique 1938.”39 Some scholars think that Menander may have been inspired by a well-known misanthropic character in Antiquity. Capps. 34 Cf. 1999. P. but the comparison with Sparta remains significant. if you found yourself among such people. Les Belles Lettres. Cambridge – London. tended to set themselves apart from the life of the city. The Jews in the Greek Age. p. dated around 256 BCE. 260. 1979. they meet frightening savage people. Bickerman. Paris. and. M. translation by W. G. Arnott. one finds the Dyskolos. 73-79. one needs to understand what misanthropy meant in Greek culture. p. Thus. who did not remain faithful to the Mosaic Law. 1942. One of them is a play by Diphilos intitled The Misanthropes. p.37 The misanthropes are those who have run away from the life in the polis. Norman – London. gives other examples of comedies involving one or several misanthropic characters. and opposed to the law of nature). 36 See Against Apion 2. one of Menander’s fairly well-preserved plays. Why is that so? In order to answer this question. R. p. In Plato’s Protagoras. As Menander writes. and although he lives in the proximity of a shrine dedicated to Pan and the Nymphs. but were a kind of wild folk (a[grioiv) such as Pherecrates the poet brought on the scene at last year’s Lenaeum.” But the Spartans are never accused of being a misanthropic people. C.Spartans were renowned for their practice of expelling foreigners. and L. 37 Protagoras 327 d. Aristophanes clearly presents Wallace & E. 18. Knemon is “a hermit of a man (ajpavnqrwpov" ti" a[nqrwpo" sfovdra).36 Thus. LCL." a{p anta"). n°54 et 1944. 38 See La douceur dans la pensée grecque. Jacqueline de Romilly. translation by W. Judentum und Hellenismus. the implicit comparison between Jews and Spartans that pervades the text helps us to understand what Hecataeus means by “a kind of misanthropic and inhospitable way of life. Although he does not use the word apanthrôpos or misanthrôpos. Harvard University Press. Murray. p. and thus for their inhospitable mentality and customs. so that the danger be eradicated. however. see also E. peevish to everybody (duvs kolo" pro. in the Against Apion.

42 So at the time of Hecataeus. 451-453. LCL. as scene 5 in act 4 makes clear. Bulletin de l’Association Guillaume Budé 1979. and afterwards you find him base and false. LCL. Even when travelling abroad one can observe that a natural affinity and friendship exist between man and man universally (wJ" oijkei'on a{pa" a[nqrwpo" ajnqrwvp w/ kai. 43 Nicomachean Ethics 8. fivl on). See Cicero. for which reason we praise those who love their fellow men (tou. P. .175-187. 48 See in particular vv. many scholars have gone so far as to consider that Menander was influenced by Theophrastus.718-721. Actually. “Il Dyscolos di Menandro o la commedia della solidarietà umana”. translation by H.25 and 4. Mair. Then you have the same experience with another person. as several epigrams show. p. M. Harmon. In literature in general. 1959. “Térence et Aristote à propos de l’«Héautontimorouménos»”.23-11. further elaborated the notion of oijkeiovth" (oikeiotès) or kinship between human beings. LCL. Epigrams 5. LCL. coincides in a way with the creation of the Peripatetic school.1-4.45 Why people are misanthropic Now we need to ask ourselves the question: were people born misanthropes? If not. his experiences had been like Timon’s. Rackham.22. 309-311. Perrin. 47 See Letters 1. 297.44 and we know from his Characters that he condemned surliness (XV.53. Stobaeus. LCL.48 Plutarch writes in his Life of Antony that Antony “was contentedly imitating the life of Timon. in his work on Timon. ajpistiva).25. just because they belong to the same specie: “And the affection of parents for offspring and of offspring for parents seems to be a natural instinct. Tusculan Disputations 4. By the time this has happened to a man a good many times. indeed. which is hateful to thee – Darkness or Light? The Darkness. North Fowler. not only in man but also in birds and in most animals. and when this bad experience reproduces itself. the Misanthrope. between human beings. Plutarch. Lucian. translation by H. p. for he himself also had been wronged and treated with ingratitude by his friends. translation by A. Wehrli. p. F. Entretiens Fondation Hardt 16. 49 Life of Antony 69. by A. p. he or she becomes a misanthrope. “Menander und die Philosophie”.184-195. somebody who avoids the company of others and tends to abhor his or her fellow human beings. p.326-393. Plato gives a nice psychological explanation of misanthropy: “(…) misanthropy (misanqrwpiva) arises from trusting someone implicitly without sufficient knowledge. with the parallel development of the adequate terminology (apanthrôpos. Timon speaks about himself in the following way: “His favourite name shall be ‘the Misanthrope. Callimacus for example writes: “Timon (for you are no more).9. Theophrastus. but also – and he seems to be the first philosopher to formulate this idea explicitly – that there is a natural friendship.2. which may have been influenced to a certain extent by Peripatetic philosophy. Life of Alcibiades 16. Knemon is not born a misanthrope. the misanthrope was a well-known comedy character. 19686.808ss). the increasing attention given to this character from the fourth century onwards.”49 Lucian too. Now Aristotle did not only write that humans were political animals. since.”43 Aristotle’s disciple. then how and why did they become misanthropes? In the Phaedo. and therefore hated and distrusted all mankind. Anthology 3. 309 b. 1970. Life of Antony 69.”41 The association of Timon with misanthropy can also be found later on in Cicero.10. penuriousness (X. vol. p. Grimal. aujq avdeia). Nearly all these traits characterize the misanthrope to a certain extent. 46 Phaedo 89 d. having been very disappointed by Dionysus the tyrant. Plato himself. translation B. querulousness (XVII. W. 1155 a." filanqrwvp ou").”46 When somebody who strongly trusted another person has been deceived by that person.27. Interestingly enough. ed. Barigazzi.Timon as a misanthrope. as also is friendship between members of the same species. explains that Timon became a misanthrope because he was betrayed by friends to whom he had lent money.2. Life of Antony 70. Plutarch. 141.8. philia. mikrologiva).10.1549) or in the Lysistrata (vv.1-3 and 3. memyimoiriva) and distrustfulness (XVIII. But one should rather speak of a common intellectual background. You think the man is perfectly true and sound and trustworthy.1. especially if it happens among those whom he might regard as his nearest and dearest friends. and so on. After having become rich again thanks to Zeus’ intervention.11. Lucian. he ends by being in continual quarrels and by hating everybody and thinking there is nothing sound in anyone at all. Alexandrian poets were very fond of this character. p. and who did not return it to him. he has become such because he has been disappointed by human beings. Timon. Timon is always referred to as a misanthrope. and this is especially strong in the human race.4.’ and his characteristic 41 42 Callimacus. for there are more of you in Hades. De Abstinentia 2. In Menander’s Dyskolos. from the 5th century BCE until late Antiquity. misanthrôpos and so on). Athenaeum 37.147-152. be it in the Birds (v. p. 44 See Porphyry.7 and 70. 45 See A. writes that he is going to become slightly misanthropic!47 This etiology of misanthropy can be found again and again in Greek literature.

p. Münster. Diaspora. the Mosaic laws did not allow Jews to eat the food of the non-Jews. see P. or if you prefer. Alexander. JSJ 27/4. Harmon. see for example J. c’est à cause de la rigoureuse minutie des préceptes de la Loi. §44. misanthropy always characterizes individuals. B. On Jewish observance of the dietary laws. he is even probably a citizen (Knemon for example is a citizen). So the problem remains. .”52 But on the other hand. or the Misanthrope. Siegert and J. On Jews and banquets. Orrieux. rudeness. p. de Boccard). Dositheos son of Drimilos. 20-34. 1999. “Le statut des Hellènes dans l’Egypte Lagide : bilan et perspectives de recherches”. p. Hecataeus’ explanation of Jewish misanthropy reminds us of what Plato and others wrote on that subject. wrathfulness and inhumanity (ajp anqrwpiva). Shimoff. not a people as a whole. Diaspora. very Greek indeed. 434-437. p. and even took upon themselves political responsibilities (cf. T. Rome. Schmitt-Pantel. What we do not know is whether they managed to keep observing the commandments faithfully. 440-452. This explanation corresponds to the traditional Greek etiology of misanthropy (as shown in §4). 68-70.). Gruen.traits shall be testiness. Lit. “The Wisdom of the Jew and the Wisdom of Aristotle”. such as Megasthenes or Clearchus of Soli. Jews in the Mediterranean Diaspora from Alexander to Trajan (323 BCE – 117 CCE). Cambridge. considered the Jews a philosophical group. the Jews (following Moses) decided to avoid intercourse with other peoples. since that life was based on civic religious acts such as sacrifices and ritual meals. 1992. Barclay. as underlined by E. This meant that they had to stay away from the political life of the Greek polis. E. Mélèze-Modrzejewski. were a very central feature of social life in a polis. It is the very fact that he has a place in the city. p. 1983. Les Juifs d’Egypte. Clark. ed. Gruen.&T. a parallel can be drawn: because they served in Alexander’s armies and the Ptolemies’ armies in general. 1996.54 In the eyes of a Greek. whom Aristotle describes as having “the soul of a Greek. M. p. because they suffered at the hand of their fellow human beings in whose country they were hosts. des gens qui ‘se détournent du genre humain’. Now if we think about Jews in Alexandria or even in Egypt in general (where Hecataeus might have met them. Jews in the Mediterranean Diaspora. p. they somehow behaved like the misanthropes. which meant that they shared in (at least some of) the privileges of the Hellenes. at least to a certain extent. Banquets. Jews excluded themselves from the social and political life of the polis. Cerf. LCL. 241250. who is mentioned in the Zeno papyri as secretary to the king. pourrait-on dire. translation by A. p. Back to Hecataeus’ text What are the implications of all this for the understanding of Hecataeus’ text? First. and that he is supposed to be involved in its social and political life. Les Juifs d’Egypte. p. Clearchus for example reports an imaginary conversation between Aristotle and a Jew. Greek writers who were contemporaries of Hecataeus. 2002.51 They certainly spoke Greek. 54 See the comment by E.. acerbity. and magister militum under Titus during the siege of Jerusalem. Actually.53 So by remaining faithful to their laws. etc. who became prefect of Egypt. 1996. was probably considered an “apostate” (see Mélèze-Modrzejewski. one should pay attention to the fact that Hecataeus describes the Jewish way of life as “a kind of misanthropic and inhospitable way of life” (because of the Greek word tiv" used in this sentence).180. cf. La cité au banquet. à cause. 1988. Paris. The misanthrope is not a foreigner. 241-268. concerning Hecataeus’remark in §4: “(…) il est bien évident que si les Juifs évitent le contact des goyim au point qu’un Grec du début du IIIe s. to intermarry or to partake in pagan religious ceremonies. which makes his attitude so strange and reprehensible.” In other words. does not seem to have been an observant Jew (A. 68-70. Hecataeus writes: “(…) as a result of their own expulsion from Egypt (Moses) introduced a way of life which was somewhat misanthropic and inhospitable. Bar-Kochva. 50 51 Timon. Terian even calls him an apostate. in Internationales Josephus-Kolloquium Brüssel 1998 (MJSt 4). the Jews were considered Hellenes. Edinburgh. This shows that Hecataeus himself was somehow surprised by the Jewish behaviour and aware of how strange it was to speak of a whole people as behaving in a misanthropic way. 52 See Josephus. Tiberius Julius Alexander (Philo’s nephew). Jews amidst Greeks and Romans. 92). REG 96. Barclay. See J. Kalms. 82-90). du rempart de tabous que cette Loi avait dressé autour d’eux et que le contact avec les goyim risquait de les contraindre à enfreindre” (Ioudaïsmos-Hellènismos. p. U. voit en eux des apanthrôpoi. So what we have here is an image. Against Apion 1. Will and Cl. 40). J. p. As I have said and as the above-mentioned texts should have made clear. not Egyptians. 53 On the importance of banquets in Greek public life. 107-120.”50 This etiology seems to belong to the very significance of misanthropy in the Greek world. or where at least he heard about them). R. we have several testimonies concerning Jews who took part in the socio-political life of the polis in which they lived. an analogy. id. 105-132. and it must have been crucial in social relationships too. Ecole Française de Rome (diffusion E. see S. by F. and even became a priest of the cult of Alexander and the Ptolemies under Ptolemy III (in 223/222 BCE). be they public or private. “Banquets: The Limits of Hellenization”. Look at these people who behave like the misanthrope of the comedies! The reasons why Hecataeus saw the Jews as behaving like misanthropes can be guessed from what we know of Jews in Alexandria at the beginning of the 3d century BCE and what we have understood about misanthropy through the texts mentioned above. However. Harvard University Press.

because they were already considered part of the community of the Hellenes. Because the Jews. they were perceived by Hecataeus as behaving like misanthropes. when they had the opportunity to do so. She is a permanent researcher at the CNRS / CRFJ. they would not have been perceived the way the Jews were.3.In conclusion. we read about the Egyptian practice of expelling foreigners.55 In a very different way. Although they had peculiar customs. refused to enter into this religious and political koinônia. .67. Although their attitude was considered strange and not very nice. has published Philanthrôpia judaica. in a completely different political context. 2004).9-11. 55 See Diodorus 1. for religious reasons. and works on the history of Judaism in the Hellenistic and Roman period. eventually engaging in such practices as killing or sacrificing strangers. Jewish separatism was understood as an expression of deep hatred against all non-Jews. when. in the eyes of a fourth/third century Greek writer like Hecataeus it was not yet as reprehensible as it happened to be at the end of the 2nd century BCE. Many barbarian peoples were considered hostile to foreigners. As a consequence. 2003). an attitude described as axenia. 2006). and were expected to take part in at least some aspects of its cultic and social life. one must insist on the fact that misanthropy differs from savagery. Finally. A misanthrope is not a barbarian or a non-civilized person. L’« humanité de l’autre homme » dans la pensée juive ancienne (Leiden – Boston: Brill. these customs did not prevent them from participating in the life of the Greek community. I wish to underline that this interpretation of the accusation of misanthropy in Hecataeus’ text allows us to understand why other peoples who had strange dietary laws or practiced circumcision (such as the Egyptians themselves. or at least expelling them.Sorbonne (2001). Le débat autour de la “misanthropie” des lois juives dans l’Antiquité (Leiden – Boston: Brill. In the first book of Diodorus’ Bibliotheca Historica. to a certain extent) were not accused of being misanthropic peoples. and Le monothéisme peut-il être humaniste ? (Paris: Fayard. Jews are said to have misanthropic customs. as well as in 40. ❖❖❖ Katell Berthelot. doctor in History of Religions from the University of Paris 4 .

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