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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database

Philo Of Alexandria, On The Embassy To Gaius, 214

nanHe also gave a thought to the circumstances of the nation itself, to its exceeding populousness, so that it was not contained as every other nation was by the circuit of the one region which was allotted to it for itself, but so that, I may almost say, it had spread over the whole face of the earth; for it is diffused throughout every continent, and over every island, so that everywhere it appears but little inferior in number to the original native population of the country.

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11 results
1. Philo of Alexandria, On The Life of Abraham, 128 (1st cent. BCE - missingth cent. CE)

128. the second best to those who hope by their own efforts to be able to attain to good, or to find a means of escape from punishments. For even if the service of this latter class is mercenary and not wholly incorrupt, still it nevertheless revolves within the divine circumference, and does not stray beyond it.
2. Philo of Alexandria, On The Creation of The World, 143 (1st cent. BCE - missingth cent. CE)

143. But since every city in which laws are properly established, has a regular constitution, it became necessary for this citizen of the world to adopt the same constitution as that which prevailed in the universal world. And this constitution is the right reason of nature, which in more appropriate language is denominated law, being a divine arrangement in accordance with which everything suitable and appropriate is assigned to every individual. But of this city and constitution there must have been some citizens before man, who might be justly called citizens of a mighty city, having received the greatest imaginable circumference to dwell in; and having been enrolled in the largest and most perfect commonwealth.
3. Philo of Alexandria, On The Special Laws, 1.71, 1.74, 1.261 (1st cent. BCE - missingth cent. CE)

1.71. of this temple the outer circuit, being the most extensive both in length and width, was fortified by fortifications adorned in a most costly manner. And each of them is a double portico, built and adorned with the finest materials of wood and stone, and with abundant supplies of all kinds, and with the greatest skill of the workmen, and the most diligent care on the part of the superintendants. But the inner circuits were less extensive, and the fashion of their building and adorning was more simple. 1.74. But there is no grove of plantation in the space which surrounds it, in accordance with the prohibitions of the law, which for many reasons forbid this. In the first place, because a building which is truly a temple does not aim at pleasure and seductive allurements, but at a rigid and austere sanctity. Secondly, because it is not proper that those things which conduce to the verdure of trees should be introduced, such as the dung of irrational animals and of men. Thirdly, because those trees which do not admit of cultivation are of no use, but are as the poets say, the burden of the earth; while those which do admit of cultivation, and which are productive of wholesome fruit, draw off the attention of the fickle-minded from the thoughts of the respect due to the holy place itself, and to the ceremonies in which they are engaged. 1.261. The body then, as I have already said, he purifies with ablutions and bespringklings, and does not allow a person after he has once washed and sprinkled himself, at once to enter within the sacred precincts, but bids him wait outside for seven days, and to be besprinkled twice, on the third day and on the seventh day; and after this it commands him to wash himself once more, and then it admits him to enter the sacred precincts and to share in the sacred ministrations.XLIX.
4. Philo of Alexandria, On The Contemplative Life, 21, 25, 30, 33, 63-64, 11 (1st cent. BCE - missingth cent. CE)

11. But the therapeutic sect of mankind, being continually taught to see without interruption, may well aim at obtaining a sight of the living God, and may pass by the sun, which is visible to the outward sense, and never leave this order which conducts to perfect happiness.
5. Philo of Alexandria, On The Life of Moses, 2.31, 2.92, 2.232, 2.241 (1st cent. BCE - missingth cent. CE)

2.31. He, then, being a sovereign of this character, and having conceived a great admiration for and love of the legislation of Moses, conceived the idea of having our laws translated into the Greek language; and immediately he sent out ambassadors to the high-priest and king of Judea, for they were the same person. 2.92. for the outer vestibule of the tabernacle was placed as a sort of boundary in the middle of the two fifties, the one, I mean, towards the east where the entrance was, and the other being on the west, in which direction the length of the tabernacle and the surrounding wall behind was. 2.232. Also, let the same regulations be observed with respect to those who are hindered, not by mourning, but by a distant journey, from offering up their sacrifice in common with and at the same time with the whole nation. "For those who are travelling in a foreign land, or dwelling in some other country, do no wrong, so as to deserve to be deprived of equal honour with the rest, especially since one country will not contain the entire nation by reason of its great numbers, but has sent out colonies in every direction. 2.241. So now, seeing that those who appeared in such a low and unfortunate condition were not marked by God among the neglected and obscure, though all the kingdoms of the whole habitable world are the most insignificant portion of his dominion, because the whole circumference and space of the world is but the extremity of his works, learn a necessary lesson from this fact.
6. Philo of Alexandria, Against Flaccus, 43-48, 7, 123 (1st cent. BCE - missingth cent. CE)

123. O most mighty King of all mortal and immortal beings, we have come to offer thanks unto thee, to invoke earth and sea, and the air and the heaven, and all the parts of the universe, and the whole world in which alone we dwell, being driven out by men and robbed of everything else in the world, and being deprived of our city, and of all the buildings both private and public within the city, and being made houseless and homeless by the treachery of our governor, the only men in the world who are so treated.
7. Philo of Alexandria, On The Embassy To Gaius, 182-186, 201-203, 207, 210-212, 215-217, 225, 228-230, 235-237, 239-253, 256, 259-260, 265-330, 334, 338, 341, 346-347, 349-367, 181 (1st cent. BCE - missingth cent. CE)

181. for, receiving us favourably at first, in the plains on the banks of the Tiber (for he happened to be walking about in his mother's garden), he conversed with us formally, and waved his right hand to us in a protecting manner, giving us significant tokens of his good will, and having sent to us the secretary, whose duty it was to attend to the embassies that arrived, Obulus by name, he said, "I myself will listen to what you have to say at the first favourable opportunity." So that all those who stood around congratulated us as if we had already carried our point, and so did all those of our own people, who are influenced by superficial appearances.
8. Josephus Flavius, Jewish Antiquities, 4.115-4.116, 12.11-12.33, 14.115, 14.235, 14.260 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

4.115. You shall retain that land to which he hath sent you, and it shall ever be under the command of your children; and both all the earth, as well as the seas, shall be filled with your glory: and you shall be sufficiently numerous to supply the world in general, and every region of it in particular, with inhabitants out of your stock. 4.116. However, O blessed army! wonder that you are become so many from one father: and truly, the land of Canaan can now hold you, as being yet comparatively few; but know ye that the whole world is proposed to be your place of habitation for ever. The multitude of your posterity also shall live as well in the islands as on the continent, and that more in number than are the stars of heaven. And when you are become so many, God will not relinquish the care of you, but will afford you an abundance of all good things in times of peace, with victory and dominion in times of war. 12.11. 1. When Alexander had reigned twelve years, and after him Ptolemy Soter forty years, Philadelphus then took the kingdom of Egypt, and held it forty years within one. He procured the law to be interpreted, and set free those that were come from Jerusalem into Egypt, and were in slavery there, who were a hundred and twenty thousand. The occasion was this: 12.11. 14. So the king rejoiced when he saw that his design of this nature was brought to perfection, to so great advantage; and he was chiefly delighted with hearing the Laws read to him; and was astonished at the deep meaning and wisdom of the legislator. And he began to discourse with Demetrius, “How it came to pass, that when this legislation was so wonderful, no one, either of the poets or of the historians, had made mention of it.” 12.12. Demetrius Phalerius, who was library keeper to the king, was now endeavoring, if it were possible, to gather together all the books that were in the habitable earth, and buying whatsoever was any where valuable, or agreeable to the king’s inclination, (who was very earnestly set upon collecting of books,) to which inclination of his Demetrius was zealously subservient. 12.12. an argument for which you have in this, that whereas the Jews do not make use of oil prepared by foreigners, they receive a certain sum of money from the proper officers belonging to their exercises as the value of that oil; which money, when the people of Antioch would have deprived them of, in the last war, Mucianus, who was then president of Syria, preserved it to them. 12.13. And when once Ptolemy asked him how many ten thousands of books he had collected, he replied, that he had already about twenty times ten thousand; but that, in a little time, he should have fifty times ten thousand. 12.13. for while he was at war with Ptolemy Philopater, and with his son, who was called Epiphanes, it fell out that these nations were equally sufferers, both when he was beaten, and when he beat the others: so that they were very like to a ship in a storm, which is tossed by the waves on both sides; and just thus were they in their situation in the middle between Antiochus’s prosperity and its change to adversity. 12.14. But he said he had been informed that there were many books of laws among the Jews worthy of inquiring after, and worthy of the king’s library, but which, being written in characters and in a dialect of their own, will cause no small pains in getting them translated into the Greek tongue; 12.14. And, in the first place, we have determined, on account of their piety towards God, to bestow on them, as a pension, for their sacrifices of animals that are fit for sacrifice, for wine, and oil, and frankincense, the value of twenty thousand pieces of silver, and [six] sacred artabrae of fine flour, with one thousand four hundred and sixty medimni of wheat, and three hundred and seventy-five medimni of salt. 12.15. that the character in which they are written seems to be like to that which is the proper character of the Syrians, and that its sound, when pronounced, is like theirs also; and that this sound appears to be peculiar to themselves. Wherefore he said that nothing hindered why they might not get those books to be translated also; for while nothing is wanting that is necessary for that purpose, we may have their books also in this library. 12.15. for I am persuaded that they will be well-disposed guardians of our possessions, because of their piety towards God, and because I know that my predecessors have borne witness to them, that they are faithful, and with alacrity do what they are desired to do. I will, therefore, though it be a laborious work, that thou remove these Jews, under a promise, that they shall be permitted to use their own laws. 12.16. So the king thought that Demetrius was very zealous to procure him abundance of books, and that he suggested what was exceeding proper for him to do; and therefore he wrote to the Jewish high priest, that he should act accordingly. 12.16. 2. There was now one Joseph, young in age, but of great reputation among the people of Jerusalem, for gravity, prudence, and justice. His father’s name was Tobias; and his mother was the sister of Onias the high priest, who informed him of the coming of the ambassador; for he was then sojourning at a village named Phicol, where he was born. 12.17. 2. Now there was one Aristeus, who was among the king’s most intimate friends, and on account of his modesty very acceptable to him. This Aristeus resolved frequently, and that before now, to petition the king that he would set all the captive Jews in his kingdom free; 12.17. So these men saw Joseph journeying on the way, and laughed at him for his poverty and meanness. But when he came to Alexandria, and heard that king Ptolemy was at Memphis, he went up thither to meet with him; 12.18. and he thought this to be a convenient opportunity for the making that petition. So he discoursed, in the first place, with the captains of the king’s guards, Sosibius of Tarentum, and Andreas, and persuaded them to assist him in what he was going to intercede with the king for. 12.18. 5. But Joseph took with him two thousand foot soldiers from the king, for he desired he might have some assistance, in order to force such as were refractory in the cities to pay. And borrowing of the king’s friends at Alexandria five hundred talents, he made haste back into Syria. 12.19. Accordingly Aristeus embraced the same opinion with those that have been before mentioned, and went to the king, and made the following speech to him: 12.19. And when this his youngest son showed, at thirteen years old, a mind that was both courageous and wise, and was greatly envied by his brethren, as being of a genius much above them, and such a one as they might well envy 12.21. Do thou then what will be agreeable to thy magimity, and to thy good nature: free them from the miserable condition they are in, because that God, who supporteth thy kingdom, was the author of their law 12.21. And when he was invited to feast with the king among the principal men in the country, he sat down the lowest of them all, because he was little regarded, as a child in age still; and this by those who placed every one according to their dignity. 12.22. as I have learned by particular inquiry; for both these people, and we also, worship the same God the framer of all things. We call him, and that truly, by the name of Ζηνα, [or life, or Jupiter,] because he breathes life into all men. Wherefore do thou restore these men to their own country, and this do to the honor of God, because these men pay a peculiarly excellent worship to him. 12.22. So when the king had paid him very great respects, and had given him very large gifts, and had written to his father and his brethren, and all his commanders and officers, about him, he sent him away. 12.23. And know this further, that though I be not of kin to them by birth, nor one of the same country with them, yet do I desire these favors to be done them, since all men are the workmanship of God; and I am sensible that he is well-pleased with those that do good. I do therefore put up this petition to thee, to do good to them.” 12.23. He also erected a strong castle, and built it entirely of white stone to the very roof, and had animals of a prodigious magnitude engraven upon it. He also drew round it a great and deep canal of water. 12.24. 3. When Aristeus was saying thus, the king looked upon him with a cheerful and joyful countece, and said, “How many ten thousands dost thou suppose there are of such as want to be made free?” To which Andreas replied, as he stood by, and said, “A few more than ten times ten thousand.” The king made answer, “And is this a small gift that thou askest, Aristeus?” 12.24. but the greater part of the people assisted Jason; and by that means Menelaus and the sons of Tobias were distressed, and retired to Antiochus, and informed him that they were desirous to leave the laws of their country, and the Jewish way of living according to them, and to follow the king’s laws, and the Grecian way of living. 12.25. But Sosibius, and the rest that stood by, said that he ought to offer such a thank-offering as was worthy of his greatness of soul, to that God who had given him his kingdom. With this answer he was much pleased; and gave order, that when they paid the soldiers their wages, they should lay down [a hundred and] twenty drachmas for every one of the slaves? 12.25. So he left the temple bare, and took away the golden candlesticks, and the golden altar [of incense], and table [of shew-bread], and the altar [of burnt-offering]; and did not abstain from even the veils, which were made of fine linen and scarlet. He also emptied it of its secret treasures, and left nothing at all remaining; and by this means cast the Jews into great lamentation 12.26. And he promised to publish a magnificent decree, about what they requested, which should confirm what Aristeus had proposed, and especially what God willed should be done; whereby he said he would not only set those free who had been led away captive by his father and his army, but those who were in this kingdom before, and those also, if any such there were, who had been brought away since. 12.26. Now, upon the just treatment of these wicked Jews, those that manage their affairs, supposing that we were of kin to them, and practiced as they do, make us liable to the same accusations, although we be originally Sidonians, as is evident from the public records. 12.27. And when they said that their redemption money would amount to above four hundred talents, he granted it. A copy of which decree I have determined to preserve, that the magimity of this king may be made known. 12.27. But as soon as he had ended his speech, there came one of the Jews into the midst of them, and sacrificed, as Antiochus had commanded. At which Mattathias had great indignation, and ran upon him violently, with his sons, who had swords with them, and slew both the man himself that sacrificed, and Apelles the king’s general, who compelled them to sacrifice, with a few of his soldiers. He also overthrew the idol altar, and cried out 12.28. Its contents were as follows: “Let all those who were soldiers under our father, and who, when they overran Syria and Phoenicia, and laid waste Judea, took the Jews captives, and made them slaves, and brought them into our cities, and into this country, and then sold them; as also all those that were in my kingdom before them, and if there be any that have been lately brought thither,—be made free by those that possess them; and let them accept of [a hundred and] twenty drachmas for every slave. And let the soldiers receive this redemption money with their pay, but the rest out of the king’s treasury: 12.28. but to be mindful of the desires of him who begat you, and brought you up, and to preserve the customs of your country, and to recover your ancient form of government, which is in danger of being overturned, and not to be carried away with those that, either by their own inclination, or out of necessity, betray it 12.29. for I suppose that they were made captives without our father’s consent, and against equity; and that their country was harassed by the insolence of the soldiers, and that, by removing them into Egypt, the soldiers have made a great profit by them. 12.29. upon which Judas met him; and when he intended to give him battle, he saw that his soldiers were backward to fight, because their number was small, and because they wanted food, for they were fasting, he encouraged them, and said to them, that victory and conquest of enemies are not derived from the multitude in armies, but in the exercise of piety towards God; 12.31. And I will that they give in their names within three days after the publication of this edict, to such as are appointed to execute the same, and to produce the slaves before them also, for I think it will be for the advantage of my affairs. And let every one that will inform against those that do not obey this decree, and I will that their estates be confiscated into the king’s treasury.” 12.31. And just as he was speaking to his soldiers, Gorgias’s men looked down into that army which they left in their camp, and saw that it was overthrown, and the camp burnt; for the smoke that arose from it showed them, even when they were a great way off, what had happened. 12.32. When this decree was read to the king, it at first contained the rest that is here inserted, and omitted only those Jews that had formerly been brought, and those brought afterwards, which had not been distinctly mentioned; so he added these clauses out of his humanity, and with great generosity. He also gave order that the payment, which was likely to be done in a hurry, should be divided among the king’s ministers, and among the officers of his treasury. 12.32. Now it so fell out, that these things were done on the very same day on which their divine worship had fallen off, and was reduced to a profane and common use, after three years’ time; for so it was, that the temple was made desolate by Antiochus, and so continued for three years. 12.33. When this was over, what the king had decreed was quickly brought to a conclusion; and this in no more than seven days’ time, the number of the talents paid for the captives being above four hundred and sixty, and this, because their masters required the [hundred and] twenty drachmas for the children also, the king having, in effect, commanded that these should be paid for, when he said in his decree, that they should receive the forementioned sum for every slave. 12.33. But when the neighboring nations understood that he was returned, they got together in great numbers in the land of Gilead, and came against those Jews that were at their borders, who then fled to the garrison of Dathema; and sent to Judas, to inform him that Timotheus was endeavoring to take the place whither they were fled. 14.115. “There were four classes of men among those of Cyrene; that of citizens, that of husbandmen, the third of strangers, and the fourth of Jews. Now these Jews are already gotten into all cities; and it is hard to find a place in the habitable earth that hath not admitted this tribe of men, and is not possessed by them; 14.235. 17. “Lucius Antonius, the son of Marcus, vice-quaestor, and vice-praetor, to the magistrates, senate, and people of the Sardians, sendeth greeting. Those Jews that are our fellowcitizens of Rome came to me, and demonstrated that they had an assembly of their own, according to the laws of their forefathers, and this from the beginning, as also a place of their own, wherein they determined their suits and controversies with one another. Upon their petition therefore to me, that these might be lawful for them, I gave order that these their privileges be preserved, and they be permitted to do accordingly.”
9. Josephus Flavius, Against Apion, 1.186-1.189 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

1.186. Again, Hecateus says to the same purpose, as follows:—“Ptolemy got possession of the places in Syria after the battle at Gaza; and many, when they heard of Ptolemy’s moderation and humanity, went along with him to Egypt, and were willing to assist him in his affairs; 1.187. one of whom (Hecateus says) was Hezekiah, the high priest of the Jews; a man of about sixty-six years of age, and in great dignity among his own people. He was a very sensible man, and could speak very movingly, and was very skilful in the management of affairs, if any other man ever were so; 1.188. although, as he says, all the priests of the Jews took tithes of the products of the earth, and managed public affairs, and were in number not above fifteen hundred at the most.” 1.189. Hecateus mentions this Hezekiah a second time, and says, that “as he was possessed of so great a dignity, and was become familiar with us, so did he take certain of those that were with him, and explained to them all the circumstances of their people: for he had all their habitations and polity down in writing.”
10. New Testament, Acts, 2.9-2.11 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

2.9. Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and people from Mesopotamia, Judea, Cappadocia, Pontus, Asia 2.10. Phrygia, Pamphylia, Egypt, the parts of Libya around Cyrene, visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes 2.11. Cretans and Arabians: we hear them speaking in our languages the mighty works of God!
11. Anon., Letter of Aristeas, 13-14, 12

12. Thinking that the time had come to press the demand, which I had often laid before Sosibius of Tarentum and Andreas, the chief of the bodyguard, for the emancipation of the Jews who had been transported from Judea by the king's father -

Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
acts,synagogues,synagogues,asia minor Levine (2005), The Ancient Synagogue, The First Thousand Years, 82
agrippa i (jewish king),in legatio Edwards (2023), In the Court of the Gentiles: Narrative, Exemplarity, and Scriptural Adaptation in the Court-Tales of Flavius Josephus, 148
alexandria Taylor and Hay (2020), Philo of Alexandria: On the Contemplative Life: Introduction, Translation and Commentary, 166, 197
apion,in antiquities and jewish war compared Edwards (2023), In the Court of the Gentiles: Narrative, Exemplarity, and Scriptural Adaptation in the Court-Tales of Flavius Josephus, 148
apion,in antiquities and legatio compared Edwards (2023), In the Court of the Gentiles: Narrative, Exemplarity, and Scriptural Adaptation in the Court-Tales of Flavius Josephus, 148
apion,literary connections to haman Edwards (2023), In the Court of the Gentiles: Narrative, Exemplarity, and Scriptural Adaptation in the Court-Tales of Flavius Josephus, 148
apion,of antiquities account of agrippa i Edwards (2023), In the Court of the Gentiles: Narrative, Exemplarity, and Scriptural Adaptation in the Court-Tales of Flavius Josephus, 148
aramaic,in rabbinic literature Noam (2018), Shifting Images of the Hasmoneans: Second Temple Legends and Their Reception in Josephus and Rabbinic Literature, 70
asia minor,synagogues Levine (2005), The Ancient Synagogue, The First Thousand Years, 82
gaius (roman emperor),depiction in josephus Edwards (2023), In the Court of the Gentiles: Narrative, Exemplarity, and Scriptural Adaptation in the Court-Tales of Flavius Josephus, 148
hyrcanus i Noam (2018), Shifting Images of the Hasmoneans: Second Temple Legends and Their Reception in Josephus and Rabbinic Literature, 70
isidorus Edwards (2023), In the Court of the Gentiles: Narrative, Exemplarity, and Scriptural Adaptation in the Court-Tales of Flavius Josephus, 148
north africa,synagogues Levine (2005), The Ancient Synagogue, The First Thousand Years, 82
philo of alexandria,as source for josephus Edwards (2023), In the Court of the Gentiles: Narrative, Exemplarity, and Scriptural Adaptation in the Court-Tales of Flavius Josephus, 148
philo of alexandria,on the alexandrian crisis and agrippa i Edwards (2023), In the Court of the Gentiles: Narrative, Exemplarity, and Scriptural Adaptation in the Court-Tales of Flavius Josephus, 148
pompey Brodd and Reed (2011), Rome and Religion: A Cross-Disciplinary Dialogue on the Imperial Cult, 128
reading,and sermon Levine (2005), The Ancient Synagogue, The First Thousand Years, 82
sermon (derashah),homily,and torah reading Levine (2005), The Ancient Synagogue, The First Thousand Years, 82
simeon the righteous of the alexander legend,simeon the righteous mentioned in abot Noam (2018), Shifting Images of the Hasmoneans: Second Temple Legends and Their Reception in Josephus and Rabbinic Literature, 70
simeon the righteous of the alexander legend,simeon the righteous of the caligula legend Noam (2018), Shifting Images of the Hasmoneans: Second Temple Legends and Their Reception in Josephus and Rabbinic Literature, 70
solomons temple Brodd and Reed (2011), Rome and Religion: A Cross-Disciplinary Dialogue on the Imperial Cult, 128
syria,jewish community Levine (2005), The Ancient Synagogue, The First Thousand Years, 82
temple of jerusalem Brodd and Reed (2011), Rome and Religion: A Cross-Disciplinary Dialogue on the Imperial Cult, 128
urim and thummim' Noam (2018), Shifting Images of the Hasmoneans: Second Temple Legends and Their Reception in Josephus and Rabbinic Literature, 70