About this blog

I plan to collect historical documents and articles by various authors in this blog, usually without comments. Opinions expressed within the articles belong to the authors and do not always coincide with those of mine.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Why did the Greeks Hate the Jewish People?

Source: Philip P. Argenti (Corresponding Member and Silver Medallist of the Academy of Athens, Former Cultural Counsellor to Royal Greek Embassy in London), The Religious Minorities of Chios: Jews and Roman Catholics, Cambridge University Press, London, (1970).

Page 29:

"Another common calumny was to the effect that the Jews regularly took and murdered a Gentile for ritual purposes. The earliest known writer to make this charge was Damocritos, a Greek historian of the first century..; according to him the Jews captured a Gentile every seven years and immolated him in their temple, cutting his flesh into small pieces. The Greek-Egyptian writer, Apion, provided a more detailed version; according to him, when Antiochus Epiphanes entered the Temple at Jerusalem he found a Greek lying on a bed surrounded by good food; the Greek had learnt that every year at a particular time the Jews captured a Greek traveller, imprisoned him for a year, and then murdered him ceremonially in a wood, tasting the blood of his entrails and swearing hatred of all Greeks. This particular superstition, better known as the accusation of ritual murder, has persisted, in many forms, with undiminished insistence, through the centuries, down to modern times; it has been particularly effective in arousing unbridled and irrational passion among fanatical Gentile populations, and has consequently been the cause of numberless violent persecutions.

Perhaps the best known of the Greek antisemitic writers is Apion, who was unrivalled in his rigid hostility to the Jews. In addition to making the charges already mentioned, he repeated the old accusation that the Jews were not a historic people, but were descended from a heretical and plague-ridden sect that had been expelled from Egypt by force, rather than led out by divine guidance. He alleged, furthermore, that the Jews were inferior to Gentiles, and that their continual state of subjection and lack of outstanding individuals was proof of their inherent inferiority; finally he poured scorn and ridicule on Jewish religious practices."

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