IN the former book, most honored Epaphroditus, I have demonstrated our antiquity, and confirmed the truth of what I have said, from the writings of the Phoenicians, and Chaldeans, and Egyptians. I have, moreover, produced many of the Grecian writers as witnesses thereto. I have also made a refutation of Manetho and Cheremon, and of certain others of our enemies. I shall now (1) therefore begin a confutation of the remaining authors who have written any thing against us; although I confess I have had a doubt upon me about Apion (2) the grammarian, whether I ought to take the trouble of confuting him or not; for some of his writings contain much the same accusations which the others have laid against us, some things that he hath added are very frigid and contemptible, and for the greatest part of what he says, it is very scurrilous, and, to speak no more than the plain truth, it shows him to be a very unlearned person, and what he lays together looks like the work of a man of very bad morals, and of one no better in his whole life than a mountebank. Yet, because there are a great many men so very foolish, that they are rather caught by such orations than by what is written with care, and take pleasure in reproaching other men, and cannot abide to hear them commended, I thought it to be necessary not to let this man go off without examination, who had written such an accusation against us, as if he would bring us to make an answer in open court. For I also have observed, that many men are very much delighted when they see a man who first began to reproach another, to be himself exposed to contempt on account of the vices he hath himself been guilty of. However, it is not a very easy thing to go over this man's discourse, nor to know plainly what he means; yet does he seem, amidst a great confusion and disorder in his falsehoods, to produce, in the first place, such things as resemble what we have examined already, and relate to the departure of our forefathers out of Egypt; and, in the second place, he accuses those Jews that are inhabitants of Alexandria; as, in the third place, he mixes with those things such accusations as concern the sacred purifications, with the other legal rites used in the temple.
(1) The former part of this second book is written against the calumnies of Apion, and then, more briefly, against the like calumnies of Apollonius Molo. But after that, Josephus leaves off any more particular reply to those adversaries of the Jews, and gives us a large and excellent description and vindication of that theocracy which was settled for the Jewish nation by Moses, their great legislator.
(2) Called by Tiberius Cymbalum Mundi, The drum of the world.