ΠΕΡΙ ΤΩΝ ΕΝ ΜΕΡΕΙ ΔΙΑΤΑΓΜΑΤΩΝ
ΠΕΡΙ ΤΩΝ ΑΝΑΦΕΡΟΜΕΝΩΝ ΕΝ ΕΙΔΕΙ ΝΟΜΩΝ ΕΙΣ ΔΥΟ ΚΕΦΑΛΑΙΑ ΤΩΝ ΔΕΚΑ ΛΟΓΙΩΝ, ΤΟ ΤΕ ΜΗ ΝΟΜΙΖΕΙΝ ΕΞΩ ΤΟΥ ΕΝΟΣ ΘΕΟΥΣ ΕΤΕΡΟΥΣ ΑΥΤΟΚΡΑΤΕΙΣ ΚΑΙ ΤΟ ΜΗ ΧΕΙΡΟΚΜΗΤΑ ΘΕΟΠΛΑΣΤΕΙΝ
 1I. Τὰ μὲν γένη τῶν ἐν εἴδει νόμων, οἱ προσαγορευόμενοι δέκα λόγοι, διὰ τῆς προτέρας ἠκρίβωνται συντάξεως, τὰ δ᾿ ἐν μέρει διατάγματα κατὰ τὴν τῆς γραφῆς ἀκολουθίαν νῦν ἐπισκεπτέον. ἄρξομαι δ᾿ 2ἀπὸ τοῦ γελωμένου παρὰ τοῖς πολλοῖς. γελᾶται δὲ ἡ τῶν γεννητικῶν περιτομή. πρᾶγμα σπουδαζόμενον οὐ μετρίως καὶ παρ᾿ ἑτέροις ἔθνεσι καὶ μάλιστα τῷ Αἰγυπτιακῷ, ὃ καὶ πολυανθρωπότατον καὶ ἀρχαιότατον καὶ φιλοσοφώτατον εἶναι δοκεῖ. 3παρὸ καὶ προσῆκον ἦν παιδικὴν χλεύην μεθεμένους φρονιμώτερον καὶ σεμνότερον ἀναζητῆσαι τὰς αἰτίας,
The Special Laws
On the Special. Laws Which Fall Under the Two Heads of the Ten Commandments, One of Which is Directed Against the Acknowledgement of Other Sovereign Godsa Save the One, And the Other Against Giving Honours to the Works of Men’s Hands
I. bThe Ten Words, as they are called, the main1 heads under which are summarized the Special Laws, have been explained in detail in the preceding treatise. We have now, as the sequence of our dissertationc requires, to examine the particular ordinances. I will begin with that which is an object of ridicule among many people. Now the practice2 which is thus ridiculed, namely the circumcision of the genital organs, is very zealously observed by many other nations, particularly by the Egyptians, a race regarded as pre-eminent for its populousness, its antiquity and its attachment to philosophy.d And3 therefore it would be well for the detractors to desist from childish mockery and to inquire in a wiser and more serious spirit into the causes to which the
- aOr “gods with absolute powers,” see § 13.
- bIn the mss. this chapter is headed Περὶ περιτομῆς.
- cOr (as Mangey and Heinemann) “in the order indicated in the scriptures,” i.e. though the laws are not actually grouped in the Pentateuch under the Ten Commandments, such an order is suggested by the Decalogue. γραφή, however, in this sense seems to be regularly coupled with ἱερά. For the meaning given in the translation cf. De Ebr, 1, De Som. i. 1.
- dFor circumcision in Egypt see App. p. 615.