CHÆREMON (Xαιρήμωη):

Stoic philosopher and anti-Jewish writer (Origen, "Contra Celsum," i. 59; Eusebius, "Hist. Eccl." vi. 19), Egyptian priest (Porphyry, "De Abstinentia," iv. 6-8; Jerome, "Adversus Jovinianum Libri II.," ii. 13), teacher of Nero (Suidas, s.v. 'Aλέεαδρος Aἰγαῖος), and of Dionysius of Alexandria, and predecessor of the latter as librarian of Alexandria (Suidas, s.v. Διοηύυςιος Aληεανδρύς). Hence he flourished about the year 50. He was a younger contemporary of Josephus, who refutes in detail his anti-Jewish writings. Josephus quotes an extensive fragment from ChÆremon's Egyptian history (Α༰γυπτιακὴ ἱστορία), in which he scornfully recounts and ridicules, in a manner similar to that of Manetho, the departure of the Jews from Egypt. Josephus points out his errors and untruths ("Contra Ap." i. 32, 33), and boasts of having refuted him as well as Manetho and others (ib. ii. 1). Chæremon's history is mentioned by Porphyry (Eusebius, "Præ-paratio Evangelica," iii. 4, v. 10; Porphyry, "De Abstinentia," iv. 6-8), who regards the author as a truthful and reliable writer. In this case hatred of the Jews must have induced an otherwise honest man to make false statements. Chæremon's description of Egypt recalls the ideas which Philo, Clement, Origen, and others introduced into the Old and the New Testament. The asceticism especially, whichhe ascribes to the ancient Egyptian priests, is analogous to the description in Philo's work, "De Vita Contemplativa"; still there is no literary connection between the two authors.

Fragments of the "History of Egypt" may still exist in a treatise of Psellus published in 1877 (Sathas, in "Bulletin de Correspondance Hellénique," vol. i.). According to Suidas (s. v. Xαιρήμωυ), another work of Chæremon was entitled "Hieroglyphica," and probably contained interpretations of the hieroglyphics (collected from the works of the Byzantian Tzetzes, in Müller's "Fragmenta Historicorum Grœcorum," iii. 499); while a third work may be the book "On the Comets" mentioned by Origen ("Contra Celsum," i. 59). Origen also made use of other writings of Chæremon that are now lost (Suidas, s.v. 'Ωριγένης).

  • Birch, On the Lost Book of Chœremon on Hieroglyphics (Tr. Royal Soc. Lit. 2d series, iii. 385-396);
  • Zeller, Die Hieroglyphiker Chœremon und Horapollo, in Hermes, xi. 430-433;
  • idem, Die Philosophie der Griechen, 3d ed., III. i. 688;
  • Grätz, Gesch. der Juden, iii. 326;
  • Schürer, Gesch. 3d ed., iii. 404;
  • Wendland, in Jahrb. für Philologie, Supplement, xxii. 755;
  • Schwartz, in Pauly-Wissowa, Real-Encyc. iv. 2027.
G.S. Kr.
Images of pages