« Aphthartodocetae Apion Apocalypse, the »

Apion

APION, ê´pe-on: Alexandrian grammarian of the first century. He was born in the Great Oasis of Egypt, was educated in Alexandria, and gained repute there as teacher and lecturer; during the reigns of Tiberius and Claudius he lectured on rhetoric and grammar in Rome; under Caligula he traveled through Greece and Italy lecturing on Homer. He seems to have been vain and superficial, with a touch of the charlatan in his character. Among other works, he wrote a glossary on Homer, a eulogy of Alexander the Great, and a history of Egypt. But it is as an early anti-Semite that Apion is remembered; his hatred of the Jews was bitter and extreme and led him to record slanders in his history of Egypt which are refuted by Josephus in his work known as Contra Apionem, although but a part of it is directed against Apion. In the year 40 A.D. Apion headed a delegation sent from Alexandria to Caligula at Rome to make charges against the Jews; the counterdelegation, sent by the Jews for their defense, was led by Philo. The extant fragments of Apion’s historical works are collected in C. O. Müller’s Fragmenta historicorum Grœcorum, iii. (Paris, 1849), pp. 506-516.

Bibliography: DCB i. 128-130; Schürer, Geschichte, iii. 406-411, Leipsic, 1898, Eng. transl., II. iii. 257-261 (contains full references to literature); JE, i. 666-868.

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