DAMOCRITUS°


DAMOCRITUS° (possibly first century B.C.E.), Greek historian who, according to Suda, wrote a work "On the Jews," in which he claimed that the Jews worshiped a golden ass' head, and that every seven years they captured a foreigner whom they sacrificed to their god – the first occurrence in literature of the *blood libel. *Apion has a similar account. Since the Romans of that time prohibited human sacrifice, the inference made by Damocritus is that Judaism condoned superstition and misanthropy.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

M. Stern, Greek and Latin Authors on Jews and Judaism., vol. 1 (1974), 530–31.

[Shimon Gibson (2nd ed.)]


Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.