Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Stelae, Elephants, and Irony: The Battle of Raphia and Its Import as Historical Context for 3 Maccabees

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of Journal for the Study of Judaism

The opening verses of 3 Maccabees set the story in the aftermath of the Battle of Raphia (217 BCE); the significance of this historical setting has been overlooked. The Battle of Raphia is intimately related to the narrative at large in at least three ways. First, 3 Maccabees advocates for a counter-tradition to a stele tradition that arises out of Ptolemy’s victory at Raphia. Second, the story reworks the famous incident of Ptolemy’s elephant retreat at Raphia into a tale of praise for the God of the Jews. And finally, the book is invested with the irony already present in the historical realities of Ptolemy’s short-lived victory.

Affiliations: 1: Marquette University Milwaukee, wiUSA


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

1. Adler J."“Governance in Ptolemaic Egypt: From Raphia to Cleopatra VII (217-231 B.C.), Class-Based ‘Colonialism’?”" AkroterionVol 50 2005 27 38
2. Boyd-Taylor Cameron"“3 Makkabees”" A New English Translation of the Septuagint Pietersma Albert, Wright Benjamin C. New York Oxford University Press 2007 521 529
3. Brandt Adam L. , et al"“The Elephants of Gash-Barka, Eritrea: Nuclear and Mitochondrial Genetic Patterns”" Journal of HeredityVol 105 2014 82 90 [Crossref]
4. Carbonaro Paul"“La bataille de Raphia dans le troisième livre des Maccabées”" Revue BibliqueVol 120 2013 511 528
5. Casson Lionel"“Ptolemy II and the Hunting of African Elephants”" Transactions of the American Philological AssociationVol 123 1993 247 260 [Crossref]
6. Charles Michael"“Elephants at Raphia: Reinterpreting Polybius 5.84-5”" The Classical QuarterlyVol 57 2007 306 311 [Crossref]
7. Collins John J. Between Athens and Jerusalem: Jewish Identity in the Hellenistic Diaspora Grand Rapids Eerdmans 2000
8. Croy N. Clayton 3 Maccabees Leiden Brill 2006
9. Gauthier Henri"“Un nouveau décret trilingue ptolémaïque”" Comptes rendus des séances de l’Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-LettresVol 67 1923 376 383
10. Gowers William"“African Elephants and Ancient Authors”" African AffairsVol 47 1948 173 180 [Crossref]
11. Grainger John D. The Syrian Wars Leiden Brill 2010 245 272 [Crossref]
12. Gruen Eric Heritage and Hellenism: The Reinvention of Jewish Tradition Berkeley University of California Press 2002
13. Hadas Moses The Third and Fourth Books of Maccabees New York Ktav 1976
14. Hölbl Günther A History of the Ptolemaic Empire Saavedra T. London Routledge 2001
15. Johnson Sara Raup Historical Fictions and Hellenistic Jewish Identity: Third Maccabees in its Cultural Context Berkeley University of California Press 2004
16. Kistler John M. War Elephants Lincoln Bison 2007
17. Lobban Richard A., de Liedekerke Valerie"“Elephants in Ancient Egypt and Nubia”" AnthrozoosVol 13 2000 232 244 [Crossref]
18. Modrzejewski Joseph The Jews of Egypt: From Rameses II to Emperor Hadrian Cornman R. Philadelphia Jewish Publication Society of America 1995 141 153
19. Modrzejewski Joseph Troisième livre des Maccabées Paris Cerf 2008
20. Paul André"“Le troisième livre des Macchabées”" Aufstieg und Niedergang der römischen WeltVol 20 1987 298 336
21. Sabin Philip A.G., van Wees Hans, Whitby Michael The Cambridge History of Greek and Roman Warfare Cambridge Cambridge University Press 2007Vol 1 333 336
22. Salamé-Sarkis Hassan"“Inscription au nom de Ptolémée IV Philopator trouvée dans le nord de la Béqa”" BerytusVol 34 1986 207 209
23. Schneider Pierre"“De l’Hydaspe à Raphia: rois, éléphants et propagande d’ Alexandre le Grand à Ptolémée IV”" Chronique d’ÉgypteVol 84 2009 310 334 [Crossref]
24. Walbank Frank William The Cambridge Ancient History Cambridge Cambridge University Press 2008Vol 7 118 174 412 445
25. Zielinski Sarah"“After 2,000 Years, Ptolemy’s War Elephants are Revealed”" ScienceNews: The Magazine for Science & the Public’s-war-elephants-are-revealed January 21 2014

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Journal for the Study of Judaism — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation