Talk:Flavius Josephus

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The quotation is supposedly sourced, but which book by Josephus does it come from?--Poetlister 13:24, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

All the Josephus should be under the author, and if and when the page gets too large then use "out pages", which originate from the author.--Oracleofottawa 04:08, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

Josephus quoting Aristotle's origins theory for Jews[edit]

There seem to be quite a number of writers, scattered in different places, who quote Josephus as stating that Aristotle claimed that Jews originated as Brahmin priests in India. Searches online suggest the source may be Contra Apionem (1.179). More specifically, Herman Siemens and Vasti Roodt's (2008, ISBN 9783110217339) Nietzsche, Power and Politics: Rethinking Nietzsche's Legacy for Political Thought states that

In his plea Contra Apionem (1.179) the Jewish-Roman historian Flavius Josephus quotes Aristotle's pupil Clearchos of Soli as having claimed that Aristotle had been very impressed once with the discourses of a Jewish visitor, and more so with the steadfastness of his dietary discipline and had concluded that in origin the Jews had been Indian philosophers. (p. 564)

Perhaps a reliable translation of the original in Contra Apionem can be tracked down and confirmed and put on this Josephus page? --Presearch (talk) 16:18, 2 April 2013 (UTC)

OK, here's a JSTOR-accessible scholarly journal article: E. Silberschlag (1933). "The earliest record of Jews in Asia Minor". Journal of Biblical Literature 52 (1): 66-77. ISSN 00219231. On pages 67-68, it quotes Josephus in Contra Apionem (1.176-183), quoting from "Thackeray's translation made for the Loeb Classical Library" (p. 67, footnote 5) as stating that:
"It would take too long to repeat the whole story, but there were features in that man's character, at once strangely marvellous and philosophical, which merit description. 'I warn you, Hyperochides,' he said, 'that what I am about to say will seem to you as wonderful as a dream.' Hyperochides respectfully replied, 'that is the very reason why we are all anxious to hear it'. 'Well,' said Aristotle, 'in accordance with the precepts of rhetoric, let us begin by describing his race, in order to keep to the rules of our masters in the art of narration.' 'Tell the story as you please,' said Hyperochides. 'Well,' he replied, 'the man was a Jew of Coele-Syria. These people are descended from the Indian philosophers. The philosophers, they say, are in India called Calani;[FOOTNOTE 6] in Syria by the territorial name of Jews; for the district which they inhabit is known as Judaea. Their city has a remarkably odd name: they call it Hierusaleme. Now this man, who was entertained by a large circle of friends and was on his way down from the interior to the coast, not only spoke Greek, but had the soul of a Greek. During my stay in Asia, he visited the same places as I did, and came to converse with me and some other scholars, to test our learning. But as one who had been intimate with many cultivated persons, it was rather he who imparted to us something of his own."
Footnote 6 (p. 68) reads: "Calanus is a proper name of an Indian ascetic who burned himself to death in the presence of Alexander the Great. He is mentioned by Strabo, Diodorus, Philo, Plutarch, Arrian, Lucian and Aelian." I guess the next step would be to find the Thackary translation. Or is this journal article reliable enough that we could use it? -- Presearch (talk) 17:45, 2 April 2013 (UTC)
Looks like the Thackeray translation (1925, OCLC 27821300) is snippet-viewable on Google: [1] and that the passage about Indian descent ("These people are descended from the Indian philosophers") appears on p. 235. The passage quoted above begins on p. 235 and ends on p. 237). -- Presearch (talk) 18:17, 2 April 2013 (UTC)