AGATHARCHIDES OF CNIDUS° (second century B.C.E.), Hellenistic historian and scholar. A native of Cnidus, Agatharchides lived in Egypt (Alexandria) during the reigns of Ptolemy VI Philomater (181–145) and Ptolemy VII Euergetes (145–116). His principal works are a history of Asia in ten books and a history of Europe in 49 books, neither of which is extant. There is no evidence that he referred to Jews very much in his work, except for a passage quoted twice by Josephus (Apion, 1:205–11; Ant. Jud., 12:5–6) referring to the "superstition" of the Jewish defenders of Jerusalem which prevented them from fighting on the Sabbath: "The people known as Jews … have a custom of abstaining from work every seventh day; on those occasions they neither bear arms   nor take any agricultural operations in hand, nor engage in any other form of public service, but pray with outstretched hands in the temples until the evening." -BIBLIOGRAPHY: M. Stern, Greek and Latin Authors on Jews and Judaism. Volume I: From Herodotus to Plutarch (1974), 104–9. (Shimon Gibson (2nd ed.)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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