Artapanus was a Hellenized or perhaps Hellenizing Jew who lived in Alexandria in the second century B.C. He wrote a history of the Jews.  His writings only survive as quotations in other works notably the church-fathers Eusebius ("Præparatio Evangelica," ix. 18, 23) and Clement of Alexandria ("Stromata," i. 23, 154).  Many believe that Josephus made use of Artapanus' work in construction his History of the Jews.  The Jewish Encyclopedia is not too flattering in its assessment of Artapanus, but this excerpt illustrates the point made by Philio:

Artapanus evidently belonged to that narrowminded circle of Hellenizing Jews that were unable to grasp what was truly great in Judaism, and, therefore, in their mistaken apologetic zeal—for even in those early days Judaism had its opponents among the Hellenes—set about glorifying Judaism to the outer world by inventing all manner of fables concerning the Jews. As an illustration of this method, the following account of Moses will serve. According to Artapanus (Eusebius, Præparatio Evangelica ix. 27), Moses is he whom the Greeks called Musæus; he was, however, not (as in the Greek legend) the pupil, but the teacher, of Orpheus. Wherefore Moses is not only the inventor of many useful appliances and arts, such as navigation, architecture, military strategy, and of philosophy, but is also—this is peculiar to Artapanus—the real founder of the Greek-Egyptian worship. By the Egyptians, whose political system he organized, Moses was called Hermes ("because he expounded the writings of the priests").

Among other embellishments he has Abraham teaching Astrology to Pharaoh.  Further that Egyptian culture, including idolatry and polytheism, was shaped by Abraham, Joseph and Moses.

http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/1826-artapanus 3/10/12

http://www.earlyjewishwritings.com/artapanus.html 3/10/12