POLYBIUS OF MEGALOPOLIS° (c. 210–128 B.C.E.), the most notable of the Hellenistic historians. Polybius did not devote much space to the Jews or Judaism in his universal history. His detailed description of the fourth Syrian war (book 5) makes no mention of Jerusalem or Judea, although it gives a comparatively lengthy account of the conquest of Palestine. He does, however, discuss the Jews in the context of the fifth Syrian war, as attested in the fragment from book 16 of his history, preserved in Josephus (Ant., 12:3, 135–6). Here Polybius records among other achievements of Antiochus III that those Jews who lived near the Temple of Jerusalem allied themselves with him. From another passage (Jos., Apion, 2:53–54) it can be seen that a section of Polybius' work, now lost, also gave *Antiochus Epiphanes' impecunious state as his motive for plundering the Temple.
Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.