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By John R. Bartlett

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Additional resources for Jews in the Hellenistic World: Josephus, Aristeas, The Sibylline Oracles, Eupolemus (Cambridge Commentaries on Writings of the Jewish & Christian World 200 BC to AD 200, Vol. 1i)

Example text

2: 3iff; 7: 23f; 11: 2ff. 167. first of all: the author begins his historical sequence of kingdoms with the famous Jewish kingdom of Solomon and his successors. It seems odd that he should ignore David, but the reason may be that Solomon, as builder of the Temple and personification of human wisdom, seemed much the greater figure in hellenistic Egypt. This preference for Solomon is perhaps also witnessed by the Alexandrian origin of the first-century BC Wisdom of Solomon. 168. The author's history here has a Mediterranean rather than a Mesopotamian outlook.

484ff) of the destruction of the shrines of Isis and Sarapis. Book v consists largely of oracles threatening destruction upon Egypt and Rome in particular, but also upon Gaul, Ethiopia, Asia, Thrace, Macedonia, and Babylon. Destruction is not limited to the nations of the earth; the book ends with a dramatic picture of the war of the stars and their final destruction, which leaves the heaven empty: 'the sky stood starless'. The last days will be marked by the return of the Emperor Nero as the final adversary (93fF, I37ff, 2i4fF, 36iff).

1: 54; Dan. 11: 31), this attack may be all the more relevant, but Aristeas does not seem to have that particular act of desecration in mind, and may be thinking of the danger of idolatry ever present to the Jew in a city like Alexandria. I36f. Aristeas refers to the belief propounded by the philosopher Euhemerus, who wrote a novel at the end of the third century BC describing life on an imaginary island in the Indian Ocean. A monument on the island revealed that the senior Greek gods, Uranus, Kronos, and Zeus, had originally been kings and benefactors and had been given divine honours by their grateful subjects.

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