HERODOTUS° (fifth century B.C.E.), Greek historian. He notes that the Phoenicians and the "Syrians of Palestine," have, on their own testimony, learned the practice of circumcision from the Egyptians (Historiae, 2:104; cf. Jos., Ant., 8:262; Apion, 1:169). Herodotus mentions that these Syrians and Phoenicians furnished and manned 300 warships for the Persian navy (7:89). As Herodotus does not use the name Ioudaioi ("Judeans"), it is uncertain if the "Syrians of Palestine" are Jews or possibly Philistines who, although originally uncircumcised (Judg. 14:3), later adopted that rite from the Egyptians.

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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