The Jewish Ethnographic Excursus by Hecataeus of Abdera

Bezalel Bar-Kochva

in The Image of the Jews in Greek Literature

Published by University of California Press

Published in print February 2010 | ISBN: 9780520253360
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520943636 | DOI:
The Jewish Ethnographic Excursus by Hecataeus of Abdera

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This chapter looks at Hecataeus of Abdera, the first Greek author who left a rather extensive description of the Jewish people—the most detailed surviving accounts on Judaism and Jews in both Greek and Roman literature—and considers several subjects in order to answer the question of Hecataeus's attitude toward the Jews. It identifies the works on the Jews that are credited to Hecataeus and studies several of his works which were used at the court of Ptolemy I, discussing Hecataeus's Jewish excursus, which has been included in the fortieth book of Diodorus, along with its original location and purpose. Finally, the chapter lists the sources of inspiration Hecataeus used in writing the excursus and discusses his innovations in ethnographic writing.

Keywords: Hecataeus of Abdera; Jewish excursus; book of Diodorus; ethnographic writing

Chapter.  24435 words. 

Subjects: Judaism and Jewish Studies

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