The third or the fourth? Which of the two ptolemaic kings visited Jerusalem?

Matan Orian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Scholars are divided on the reliability of the report by Josephus, in Against Apion, of a visit by King Ptolemy III to Jerusalem. This paper suggests, firstly, that in all likelihood Ptolemy III did not visit Jerusalem during the Third Syrian War, and secondly, that Josephus' report echoes King Ptolemy IV's visit to Jerusalem following the battle of Raphia, as paralleled in III Maccabees. This would make Josephus' Against Apion parallel the two acmes of III Maccabees, namely, this visit and the elephant story.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-97
Number of pages5
JournalScripta Classica Israelica
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Against Apion
  • Battle of Raphia
  • Fourth Syrian war
  • III Maccabees
  • Jerusalem Temple
  • Josephus
  • Ptolemy III
  • Ptolemy IV
  • Second temple period
  • Third Syrian War

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Classics
  • History
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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