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Against Apion   By: (38?-100?)

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Against Apion by Flavius Josephus is an enlightening and thought-provoking work that offers readers a detailed critique of historical writings and an eloquent defense of Jewish history. Josephus, a first-century Jewish historian and scholar, skillfully unpacks the unfounded and biased claims made by Apion, a notorious Alexandrian author, against the Jewish people and their ancient heritage.

Throughout the book, Josephus dissects and refutes an array of falsehoods perpetuated by Apion, highlighting his lack of scholarly rigor and his prejudiced views towards the Jewish community. Josephus seamlessly combines his deep knowledge of Jewish history and culture with logical reasoning and meticulous documentation to dismantle each of Apion's assertions. With exceptional clarity, Josephus demonstrates that Apion's writings are marred by ignorance, distortion, and anti-Semitic sentiment.

What makes Against Apion particularly remarkable is Josephus' ability to present his arguments in a compelling and accessible manner. Despite dealing with complex historical debates, the author's prose remains engaging and lucid, making the book accessible to both scholars and general readers alike. Josephus effortlessly guides the reader through various historical events and periods, offering a broader understanding of the complex relationship between the Jewish people and other civilizations.

Moreover, Josephus employs an array of rhetorical strategies to enhance the persuasiveness of his arguments. He skillfully employs irony, sarcasm, and biting wit to expose the absurdity of Apion's contentions. By doing so, Josephus successfully dismantles Apion's credibility while simultaneously bolstering his own position as a meticulous and authoritative historian.

To fully appreciate the depth and significance of Against Apion, it is crucial to consider its historical context. Written during a time when Jews were subjected to continuous oppression and discrimination, Josephus' work serves as an empowering defense of his people's heritage in the face of ongoing hostility. By undermining Apion's claims, Josephus undoubtedly provided hope and inspiration for his contemporaries struggling to preserve their cultural identity.

In conclusion, Against Apion by Flavius Josephus is a compelling defense of Jewish history and a masterclass in historical refutation. Josephus' meticulous scholarship, eloquent prose, and persuasive style make this book an indispensable resource for anyone interested in ancient history, Jewish studies, or the art of effective argumentation. Against Apion emerges as a triumph of intellectual discourse, its enduring relevance a testament to Josephus' exceptional abilities as a historian and defender of his people's legacy.

First Page:



By Flavius Josephus

Translated by William Whiston


1. I Suppose that by my books of the Antiquity of the Jews, most excellent Epaphroditus, [2] have made it evident to those who peruse them, that our Jewish nation is of very great antiquity, and had a distinct subsistence of its own originally; as also, I have therein declared how we came to inhabit this country wherein we now live. Those Antiquities contain the history of five thousand years, and are taken out of our sacred books, but are translated by me into the Greek tongue. However, since I observe a considerable number of people giving ear to the reproaches that are laid against us by those who bear ill will to us, and will not believe what I have written concerning the antiquity of our nation, while they take it for a plain sign that our nation is of a late date, because they are not so much as vouchsafed a bare mention by the most famous historiographers among the Grecians. I therefore have thought myself under an obligation to write somewhat briefly about these subjects, in order to convict those that reproach us of spite and voluntary falsehood, and to correct the ignorance of others, and withal to instruct all those who are desirous of knowing the truth of what great antiquity we really are... Continue reading book >>

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