The Egyptian current of Greek anti-Semitic literature
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The Jewish people came into view of the Greek world in the time of Alexander the Great. The Greeks fitted the newly discovered people into the notion of 'barbarian philosophy'. In Ptolemaic Egypt, Jews and Greeks could live side by side without serious problems. Neither can anti-Semitism be discovered in the literature of the age, aside from a few commonplaces. The beginnings of 'Greek anti-Semitic literature' are mostly connected to Egyptian priestly circles. In the works of Hellenized authors coming from these circles, there appear some motifs of a tradition of ancient religious conflicts between Egyptians and Jews. Apion is the author in whose work the threads of Greek discourse of barbarism, of the Egyptian inversion of the Exodus narrative, and of daily political tensions between Jews and Greeks can be traced.
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