Emil Schürer.

A history of the Jewish people in the time of Jesus Christ .. (Volume 2 pt.3) online

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Edeodenius. Then follow portions on the history of Jacob
from Demetrius and Theodotus, then others on Joseph from
Artapanus and Philo. That this order is not first derived
from Eusebius, but was followed by Alexander Polyhistor,
is shown by the nature of the text. For the single portions
are joined together by the connecting words of Alexander


This is moreover confirmed by a comparison of the
quotations in Clemens Alexandrinus. For as in Eusebius
so in Clemens Alexandrinus the extracts on the history of
Moses follow each other in direct succession : —

Eupolemus = Euseb. ix. 26 = Clemens, Str. i. 23. 153.
Artapanus = Euseb. ix. 27 = Clemens, Str. i. 23. 154.
Ezekiel = Euseb. ix. 28 = Clemens, Str. i. 23. 155, 156.

Hence Ave see that this is the original order of Alexander
Polyhistor. The genuineness of Alexander's work has of late
been frequently disputed, especially by Eauch and Cruice.
It is thought inconceivable, that a heathen author like
Alexander should have had so special an interest in Jewish
affairs ; it is also thought strange that he should call the Old
Testament Scriptures lepai ^[/SXai (Euseb. ix. 24, 29. 15), and
that he should here give such detailed accounts of Jewish
history, while he elsewhere betrays the strangest ignorance
of it. Its genuineness has been defended against these
objections by Hulleman (p. 156 sq.), Miiller {Fragm. iii. 209),
and especially with convincing proofs by Ereudenthal (pp.
174—184).. The question is moreover one of minor import-
ance, since it is tolerably indifferent whether these extracts
were collected by Alexander or by some one else ; for in
either case the extraordinary differences in form and contents
existing in these fragments is a guarantee, that we have here
to deal with extracts from works then actually existing and
not with the single work of a forger. Only the determination
of the date would be affected, if it could be really proved,
tliat the collection was not the production of Alexander
Polyhistor, inasmuch as the time of Alexander would then
cease to be a limit. Tlie fragments in themselves furnish
no cause for relegating them to a later date. For the most
recent of the authors, from whom the extracts are made, and
whose date can be determined independently of Alexander, is
ApoUonius Molon (Euseb. ix. 19), a Greek orator of probably
about 120-100 e.g. (see No. vi. below).


Eeferences to Jewish affairs are also found in other works
of Alexander Polyhistor. He quotes the Jewish Sibyl in his
Chaldaean ancient history (Euseb. Chron. ed. Schone, i. 23.
Cyrill. adv. Julian, ed. Spanh. p. 9°. Syncell. ed. Diudorf, i. 81.
Comp. Joseph. Antt. i. 4. 3 ; Freudenthal, p. 25 sq.). In his
work on Italy is found the odd assertion, that the Jewish law
was derived from a female named Moso (Suidas, Lex. s.v.
' A.Xs^avdpog. Mliller, Fragm. n. 25) ; and to his work on Syria
belongs probably the information that Judaea received its
name from Juda and Idumaea, the children of Semiramis
(Steph. Byz. s.v. 'loudaia. Mliller, Fragm. n. 98-102). It is
just these strange statements which have given rise to the
denial of Alexander's authorship of the work 'Tnpl 'loudaiuv — but
very incorrectly, for he simply copied what he found in his
authorities. Consequently, according to their nature, his infor-
mation is now correct now incorrect. 'It rests upon only a
somewhat \vanton combination, when the pseudo - Justinian
Cohort, ad Graec. c. 9 ascribes also to Alexander a statement
concerning the date of Moses (see my article on "Julius
Africanus as the source of the pseudo-Justinian Cohortatio ad
Graecos" in Brieger's Zeitschr. fur Kirchengesch. vol. ii. 1878, p.
319 sqq.).

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Online LibraryEmil SchürerA history of the Jewish people in the time of Jesus Christ .. (Volume 2 pt.3) → online text (page 21 of 51)