Philo of Alexandria On Virtues: Introduction, Translation, by Walter Wilson

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By Walter Wilson

Within the treatise On Virtues (part of his so-called Exposition of the Law), Philo of Alexandria demonstrates how Moses, his legislation, and the state constituted by means of those legislation each one include yes widely-discussed ethical values, particularly, braveness (andreia), humanity (philanthropia), repentance (metanoia), and the Aristocracy (eugeneia). even though it makes broad use of fabric drawn from the Pentateuch, what the treatise presents is way greater than a statement on scripture. really, it contributes to a cosmopolitan apologetic reconstruction of Jewish origins, idealized in line with the rules of either Greek philosophy and Roman political tradition. Guided via such ideas, Philo endeavors to set up the ethical, criminal, and social prestige of Judaism in the Greco-Roman global.

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Ap. , , , with Barclay , –, –, –. 74 Konstan , . , van Veldhuizen ; Dautzenberg ; Borgen a.  introduction and most recent treatment of De humanitate, are typical: “The presentation of the humanity of the Mosaic law represents the heart of the philonian refutation of certain accusations made by pagan authors. ”76 Above all, Philo intends to refute the sorts of charges expressed, for example, in Diodorus Siculus, Bibl. hist. –, according to which “the Jews .

C) Monacensis gr.  (A) and three other mss Petropolitanus XX A a (P) Laurentianus plut.  (F) Vaticano-Palatinus gr.  (G) Cantabrigiensis Coll. S. Trin. B, Venetus gr.  (H) and nine other mss Leeuwardensis gr.  Escurialensis Y,I, Oxoniensis Coll. Novi  Contents abcd bcd a/bc* b/a/d abc/bc*/d* bc*/abd bc/a/d bc*/a/d bc*/abc/abc bc*/a b/b/d/a Evidently, there was a proclivity with the scribes to treat the four sections as self-standing, detachable units. Hence the confusing results.

R. 92 Among other things, this meant that relatively little attention was paid to the theme of philanthr¯opia (the term does not even appear in the index to his book on Philo’s politics). Another consequence was that relatively little attention was paid to how the sorts of virtues extolled in the kingship literature figured in other forms of political discourse. In fact, however, there are any number of different generic possibilities that might repay consideration in this regard. ”93 Much like the Exposition, examples of this kind of discourse draw extensively on the language of virtue, applying it both to the state’s rulers and to the laws that they establish.

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