Lampon and Isidoros°

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LAMPON AND ISIDOROS °, leaders of the Alexandrian anti-Jewish movement during the reigns of the Roman emperors Gaius Caligula (37–41 c.e.) and Claudius (41–54 c.e.). According to Philo both men were gymnasiarchoi, i.e., leaders of the Greek educational institute of Alexandria. Whereas, of the two, Isidoros alone appears before the governor of Egypt, Flaccus, both leaders are prominent at the head of a Greek embassy to Caligula in the Acta Isidori et Lamponis, fragments of the antisemitic papyrus literature known as the "Acts of the Alexandrine Martyrs." The subject of the Acta Isidori is a vicious attack launched against the Jewish king Agrippa before the court of Claudius. The trial probably took place in 41 c.e. for in that year a series of debates on Jewish civic rights came before Claudius, although certain scholars favor the year 53. The dialogue between the emperor and the Alexandrians was extremely heated and at one point, after being rebuked by Claudius, Isidoros replied: "I am neither a slave nor the son of a girl musician, but gymnasiarch of the glorious city of Alexandria. But you are the cast-off son of the Jewess Salome." It is evident that the author's main purpose in the Acta is to ridicule the Roman emperor. In any event, Lampon and Isidoros were immediately sentenced to death.


Schuerer, Gesch, 1 (19014), 68f., 503; Klausner, Bayit Sheni, 4 (19502), 274, 276, 278; Tcherikover, Corpus, 2 (1960), 66–81, no. 156 (contains bibliography).

[Isaiah Gafni]