Apollonius Molon°

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APOLLONIUS MOLON ° (first century b.c.e.), Greek rhetorician and anti-Jewish writer. According to Plutarch (Caesar 3; Cicero 4; cf. Josephus, Apion 2:79) Apollonius settled on the island of Rhodes where he became head of the school of rhetoric. Apollonius criticized the Jews in a pamphlet quoted by Eusebius ("Praeparatio Evangelica") and mentioned by Josephus (Josephus, Apion, 2). He claimed that the Jews were "the worst among the barbarians," lacked any creative talent, did nothing for the welfare of mankind, believed in no divinity, and were commanded by their religion to hate the human race. According to Apollonius, Moses was "an imposter and deceiver." From *Manetho, he borrowed the myth that the children of Israel were banished from Egypt because they were lepers. Apparently, the majority of Apollonius' accusations were not original, but repeated from the writings of antisemites who preceded him.


Jos., Apion, 2, passim; Eusebius, "Preparatio Evangelica," 9:19; Reinach, Textes, 60–64; Heinemann, in: Pauly-Wissowa, Suppl. (1931) s.v.anti-Semitismus; Schuerer, Gesch, 3 (19094), 532 ff.; F. Susemihl, Geschichte der griechischen Litteratur in der Alex-andrinerzeit, 2 (1892), 489 ff.; Christ-Schmid, Geschichte der griechischen Literatur, 2 pt. 1 (19206), 457 ff.

[Abraham Schalit]