Apion

Apion (Α᾿πίων, lean), a Greek grammarian, against whose attacks upon Jewish history Josephus wrote the treatise Contra Apionem. Some writers call him a son of Pleistonices, while others more correctly state that this was only his surname, and'that he was the son of Poseidonius (Gell. 6:8; Seneca, Epist. 88; Euseb. Prep. Evang. 10, 10). He was a native of Oasis, but used to say that he was born at Alexandria, where he studied under Apollonius and Didymus (Suidas, s.v.; Josephus, Apion, 2, 3, etc.). He afterward settled at Rome, where he taught rhetoric during the reigns ofTiberius and Claudius. In the reign of Caligula he traveled in Greece. About A.D. 38, the inhabitants of Alexandria having, sent complaints to the emperor against the Jews residing there, Apion headed the embassy that made the prosecution, the defense by the Jews being made by Philo. According to his enemy Josephus (Ap. 2, 13), he died of the effects of his dissolute mode of life. He appears to have enjoyed an extraordinary reputation for his extensive knowledge and versatility as an orator, but the ancients are unanimous in censuring his ostentatious vanity (Gell. 5,14; Pliny, Hist. Nat. praef. and 30, 6; Josephus, Ap. 2, 12). Besides the treatise named above, of which we only know what Josephus relates, he wrote commentaries upon Homer, a history of Egypt, a eulogy of Alexander the Great, and several historical sketches, of all of which there remain only the fragmental stories about Androclus and the lion, and about the dolphin near Dicaearchia, preserved by Gellius.

 
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