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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



9239
Philo Of Alexandria, On The Special Laws, 1.9


nanFirst of all, it is a symbol of the excision of the pleasures which delude the mind; for since, of all the delights which pleasure can afford, the association of man with woman is the most exquisite, it seemed good to the lawgivers to mutilate the organ which ministers to such connections; by which rite they signified figuratively the excision of all superfluous and excessive pleasure, not, indeed, of one only, but of all others whatever, though that one which is the most imperious of all.


Intertexts (texts cited often on the same page as the searched text):

17 results
1. Hebrew Bible, Exodus, 22.18 (9th cent. BCE - 3rd cent. BCE)

22.18. כָּל־שֹׁכֵב עִם־בְּהֵמָה מוֹת יוּמָת׃ 22.18. Whosoever lieth with a beast shall surely be put to death."
2. Hebrew Bible, Genesis, 12.3, 17.4, 22.18 (9th cent. BCE - 3rd cent. BCE)

12.3. וַאֲבָרֲכָה מְבָרְכֶיךָ וּמְקַלֶּלְךָ אָאֹר וְנִבְרְכוּ בְךָ כֹּל מִשְׁפְּחֹת הָאֲדָמָה׃ 17.4. אֲנִי הִנֵּה בְרִיתִי אִתָּךְ וְהָיִיתָ לְאַב הֲמוֹן גּוֹיִם׃ 22.18. וְהִתְבָּרֲכוּ בְזַרְעֲךָ כֹּל גּוֹיֵי הָאָרֶץ עֵקֶב אֲשֶׁר שָׁמַעְתָּ בְּקֹלִי׃ 12.3. And I will bless them that bless thee, and him that curseth thee will I curse; and in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed.’" 17.4. ’As for Me, behold, My covet is with thee, and thou shalt be the father of a multitude of nations." 22.18. and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast hearkened to My voice.’"
3. Demosthenes, Orations, 18.296 (4th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)

4. Anon., Jubilees, 21-22, 25, 30, 36, 7, 20 (2nd cent. BCE - 2nd cent. BCE)

5. Philo of Alexandria, On The Eternity of The World, 49 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

49. for how could it be said that he who had suffered no mutilation whatever, namely Theon, was taken off, and that Dion, who had lost a foot, was not injured? Very appropriately, he will reply, for Dion, who had had his foot cut off, falls back upon the original imperfection of Theon, and there cannot be two specific differences in the same subject, therefore it follows of necessity that Dion must remain, and that Theon must be taken off-- "So are we slain by arrows winged With our own Feathers," as the tragic poet says. For any one, copying the form of this argument and adapting it to the entire world, may prove in the clearest manner that providence itself is liable to corruption.
6. Philo of Alexandria, On The Cherubim, 96 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

96. And if any one of the beasts, to be sacrificed, is found to be not perfect and entire, it is driven out of the sacred precincts, and is not allowed to be brought to the altar, even though all these corporeal imperfections are quite involuntary on its part; but though they may themselves be wounded in their souls by sensible diseases, which the invincible power of wickedness has inflicted on them, or though, I might rather say, they are mutilated and curtailed of their fairest proportions, of prudence, and courage, and justice, piety, and of all the other virtues which the human race is naturally formed to possess, and although too they have contracted all this pollution and mutilation of their own free will, they nevertheless dare to perform sacrifices, thinking that the eye of God sees external objects alone, when the sun co-operates and throws light upon them, and that it cannot discern what is invisible in preference to what is visible, using itself as its own light. 96. The fourth commandment has reference to the sacred seventh day, that it may be passed in a sacred and holy manner. Now some states keep the holy festival only once in the month, counting from the new moon, as a day sacred to God; but the nation of the Jews keep every seventh day regularly, after each interval of six days;
7. Philo of Alexandria, On The Decalogue, 50 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

8. Philo of Alexandria, On Drunkenness, 66-76, 95, 65 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

65. But there are some persons who, neglecting the precepts of their mothers, adhere with all their might to the injunctions of their fathers, whom right reason has thought worthy of the greatest honour, namely, of the priesthood; and if we go through their actions, by which they have obtained this honour, we shall perhaps incur the ridicule of many, who are deceived by the first appearances which present themselves to them, and who do not perceive those powers which are invisible and kept in the shade.
9. Philo of Alexandria, On The Posterity of Cain, 165-166, 161 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

161. for what wrestler could be compared in might with the strength of a bull or of an elephant? And what runner could put himself on a level with the speed of a hound or of a hare? And the most sharp-sighted of men is absolutely blind if his sight is compared with that of antelopes of eagles. Again, in hearing and in smell, often other animals are very far beyond man; as, for instance, the ass, which appears to be the stupidest of all animals, would show that our sense of hearing is very obtuse if he were brought into comparison with us. The dog, too, would make the nostrils in man appear a perfectly useless part from the exceeding superiority of the quickness of his own sense of smell; for, in him, that sense is pushed to such a degree that it almost equals the rapidity of the eye-sight. XLVII.
10. Philo of Alexandria, On Dreams, 2.84, 2.95 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

2.84. Therefore, being pricked with goads, and flogged, and mutilated, and suffering all the cruelties which can be inflicted in an inhuman and pitiless manner before death, all together, they are led away to execution and put to death. XIII. 2.95. And, indeed, this is the natural state of the case. For when right reason is powerful in the soul, vain opinion is put down; but when right reason is weak, vain opinion is strong. As long, therefore, as the soul has its own power still safe, and as long as it is not mutilated in any part of it, it may well have confidence to attack and aim its arrows at the pride which resists it, and it may indulge in freedom of speech, saying, "You shall not be a king, you shall not be a lord either over us, or during our lifetime over others;
11. Philo of Alexandria, On The Special Laws, 1.2-1.3, 1.6-1.8, 1.16, 1.47, 1.56, 1.80, 2.150, 2.188-2.192, 2.245, 3.179 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

1.2. The ordice of circumcision of the parts of generation is ridiculed, though it is an act which is practised to no slight degree among other nations also, and most especially by the Egyptians, who appear to me to be the most populous of all nations, and the most abounding in all kinds of wisdom. 1.3. In consequence of which it would be most fitting for men to discard childish ridicule, and to investigate the real causes of the ordice with more prudence and dignity, considering the reasons why the custom has prevailed, and not being precipitate, so as without examination to condemn the folly of mighty nations, recollecting that it is not probable that so many myriads should be circumcised in every generation, mutilating the bodies of themselves and of their nearest relations, in a manner which is accompanied with severe pain, without adequate cause; but that there are many reasons which might encourage men to persevere and continue a custom which has been introduced by previous generations, and that these are from reasons of the greatest weight and importance. 1.6. Thirdly, there is the resemblance of the part that is circumcised to the heart; for both parts are prepared for the sake of generation; for the breath contained within the heart is generative of thoughts, and the generative organ itself is productive of living beings. Therefore, the men of old thought it right to make the evident and visible organ, by which the objects of the outward senses are generated, resemble that invisible and superior part, by means of which ideas are formed. 1.7. The fourth, and most important, is that which relates to the provision thus made for prolificness; for it is said that the seminal fluid proceeds in its path easily, neither being at all scattered, nor flowing on its passage into what may be called the bags of the prepuce. On which account those nations which practise circumcision are the most prolific and the most populous.II. 1.8. These considerations have come to our ears, having been discussed of old among men of divine spirit and wisdom, who have interpreted the writings of Moses in no superficial or careless manner. But, besides what has been already said, I also look upon circumcision to be a symbol of two things of the most indispensable importance. 1.16. for they who see that the different seasons of the year owe their existence to the advances and retreats of the sun, in which periods also the generation of animals, and plants, and fruits, are perfected according to well-defined times, and who see also that the moon is the servant and successor of the sun, taking that care and superintendence of the world by night which the sun takes by day; and also that the other stars, in accordance with their sympathy with things on earth, labour continually and do ten thousand things which contribute to the duration of the existing state of things, have been led into an inextricable error, imagining that these bodies are the only gods. 1.47. And though they are by nature incomprehensible in their essence, still they show a kind of impression or copy of their energy and operation; as seals among you, when any wax or similar kind of material is applied to them, make an innumerable quantity of figures and impressions, without being impaired as to any portion of themselves, but still remaining unaltered and as they were before; so also you must conceive that the powers which are around me invest those things which have no distinctive qualities with such qualities, and those which have no forms with precise forms, and that without having any portion of their own everlasting nature dismembered or weakened. 1.56. There is, in the history of the law, a record of one man who ventured on this exploit of noble daring, for when he saw some men connecting themselves with foreign women, and by reason of their allurements neglecting all their national customs and laws, and practising fabulous ceremonies, he was seized with a sudden enthusiasm in the presence of the whole multitude; and driving away all those on each side who were collected to see the sight, he slew one man who was so daring as to put himself forward as the leader and chief of this transgression of the law (for the impious deed had been already displayed and made a public exhibition of 1.80. Now these are the laws which relate to the priests. It is enjoined that the priest shall be entire and unmutilated, having no blemish on his body, no part being deficient, either naturally or through mutilation; and on the other hand, nothing having been superfluous either from his birth or having grown out subsequently from disease; his skin, also, must never have changed from leprosy, or wild lichen, or scab, or any other eruption or breaking out; all which things appear to me to be designed to be symbols of the purity of his soul. 2.150. And there is another festival combined with the feast of the passover, having a use of food different from the usual one, and not customary; the use, namely, of unleavened bread, from which it derives its name. And there are two accounts given of this festival, the one peculiar to the nation, on account of the migration already described; the other a common one, in accordance with conformity to nature and with the harmony of the whole world. And we must consider how accurate the hypothesis is. This month, being the seventh both in number and order, according to the revolutions of the sun, is the first in power; 2.188. Immediately after comes the festival of the sacred moon; in which it is the custom to play the trumpet in the temple at the same moment that the sacrifices are offered. From which practice this is called the true feast of trumpets, and there are two reasons for it, one peculiar to the nation, and the other common to all mankind. Peculiar to the nation, as being a commemoration of that most marvellous, wonderful, and miraculous event that took place when the holy oracles of the law were given; 2.189. for then the voice of a trumpet sounded from heaven, which it is natural to suppose reached to the very extremities of the universe, so that so wondrous a sound attracted all who were present, making them consider, as it is probable, that such mighty events were signs betokening some great things to be accomplished. 2.190. And what more great or more beneficial thing could come to men than laws affecting the whole race? And what was common to all mankind was this: the trumpet is the instrument of war, sounding both when commanding the charge and the retreat. ... There is also another kind of war, ordained of God, when nature is at variance with itself, its different parts attacking one another. 2.191. And by both these kinds of war the things on earth are injured. They are injured by the enemies, by the cutting down of trees, and by conflagrations; and also by natural injuries, such as droughts, heavy rains, lightning from heaven, snow and cold; the usual harmony of the seasons of the year being transformed into a want of all concord. 2.192. On this account it is that the law has given this festival the name of a warlike instrument, in order to show the proper gratitude to God as the giver of peace, who has abolished all seditions in cities, and in all parts of the universe, and has produced plenty and prosperity, not allowing a single spark that could tend to the destruction of the crops to be kindled into flame.THE NINTH FESTIVALXXXII. 3.179. Very naturally, therefore, the law Commands{17}{#de 25:12.} that the executioner should cut off the hand of the woman which has laid hold of what it should not, speaking figuratively, and intimating not that the body shall be mutilated, being deprived of its most important part, but rather that it is proper to extirpate all the ungodly reasonings of the soul, using all things which are created as a stepping-stone; for the things which the woman is forbidden to take hold of are the symbols of procreation and generation.
12. Philo of Alexandria, On The Contemplative Life, 78, 44 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

44. Therefore those persons who a little while before came safe and sound to the banquet, and in friendship for one another, do presently afterwards depart in hostility and mutilated in their bodies. And some of these men stand in need of advocates and judges, and others require surgeons and physicians, and the help which may be received from them.
13. Philo of Alexandria, On The Life of Moses, 2.44 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

2.44. and then, if they make any fresh start and begin to improve, how great is the increase of their renown and glory? I think that in that case every nation, abandoning all their own individual customs, and utterly disregarding their national laws, would change and come over to the honour of such a people only; for their laws shining in connection with, and simultaneously with, the prosperity of the nation, will obscure all others, just as the rising sun obscures the stars.
14. Philo of Alexandria, Questions On Genesis, 4.154 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

15. Philo of Alexandria, That God Is Unchangeable, 66 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

66. For what man is his senses would say to a patient under his care, "My good man, you shall have the knife applied to you, and cautery, and your limbs shall be amputated," even if such things were absolutely necessary to be endured? No man on earth would say so. For if he did, his patient would sink in his heart before the operations could be performed, and so receiving another disease in his soul, more grievous than that already existing in his body, he would resolutely renounce the cure; but if, on the other hand, through the deceit of the physician he is led to form a contrary expectation, he will submit to everything with a patient spirit, even though the means of his salvation may be most painful.
16. Strabo, Geography, 17.1.27 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

17.1.27. There also are the city Bubastus and the Bubastite Nome, and above it the Heliopolite Nome. There too is Heliopolis, situated upon a large mound. It contains a temple of the sun, and the ox Mneyis, which is kept in a sanctuary, and is regarded by the inhabitants as a god, as Apis is regarded by the people of Memphis. In front of the mound are lakes, into which the neighbouring canal discharges itself. At present the city is entirely deserted. It has an ancient temple constructed after the Egyptian manner, bearing many proofs of the madness and sacrilegious acts of Cambyses, who did very great injury to the temples, partly by fire, partly by violence, mutilating [in some] cases, and applying fire [in others]. In this manner he injured the obelisks, two of which, that were not entirely spoilt, were transported to Rome. There are others both here and at Thebes, the present Diospolis, some of which are standing, much corroded by fire, and others lying on the ground.
17. Mishnah, Nedarim, 3.11 (1st cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

3.11. [If one says,] “Konam that I do not benefit from the Children of Noah,” he may benefit from Israelites, and he is forbidden to benefit from the nations of the world. [If one says, “Konam] that I do not benefit from the seed of Abraham,” he is forbidden [to benefit] from Israelites, but permitted [to benefit] from the nations of the world. [If one says, “Konam] that I do not benefit from Israelites”, he may buy things from them for more [than their worth] and sell them for less. [If he says, “Konam] if Israelites benefit from me, he must buy from them for less and sell for more [than their worth], if they will listen to him. [If he says, “Konam] that I do not benefit from them, nor they from me”, he may benefit only from non-Jews. [If one says,] “Konam that I do not benefit from the uncircumcised”, he may benefit from uncircumcised Israelites but not from circumcised heathens”; [If one says, “Konam] that I do not benefit from the circumcised,” he is forbidden to benefit from uncircumcised Israelites but not from circumcised non-Jews, because “uncircumcised” is a term applicable only to non-Jews, as it says, “For all the nations are uncircumcised and all the house of Israel are uncircumcised in the heart” (Jeremiah 9:25). And it says, “And this uncircumcised Philistine shall be [as one of them]” (I Samuel 17:6). And it says, “Lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice, lest the daughters of the uncircumcised exult” (II Samuel 1:20). Rabbi Eleazar ben Azariah says: The foreskin is loathsome, since it is a term of disgrace for the wicked, as it says, “For all the nations are uncircumcised”. Rabbi Ishmael says: Great is circumcision, since thirteen covets were made upon it. Rabbi Yose says: Great is circumcision, for it overrides the Sabbath. Rabbi Joshua ben Karha says: Great is circumcision for Moses’s punishment for neglecting it was not suspended even for one hour. Rabbi Nehemiah says: Great is circumcision, since it overrides the laws of leprosy. Rabbi says: Great is circumcision, for despite all of the commandments which Abraham fulfilled he was not designated complete until he circumcised himself, as it says, “Walk before me, and be complete” (Genesis 17:1). Another explanation: “Great is circumcision, for were it not for it, the Holy One, Blessed Be He, would not have created the world, as it says, “Were it not for my covet by day and night, I would not have appointed the ordices of heaven and earth” (Jeremiah 33:35)."


Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
abraham Grypeou and Spurling, The Exegetical Encounter between Jews and Christians in Late Antiquity (2009) 177; Sly, Philo's Perception of Women (1990) 108
adam Sly, Philo's Perception of Women (1990) 108
allegorical interpretation Najman, The Significance of Sinai: Traditions about Sinai and Divine Revelation in Judaism and Christianity (2010) 104
allegorical method Grypeou and Spurling, The Exegetical Encounter between Jews and Christians in Late Antiquity (2009) 177
apostasy Sly, Philo's Perception of Women (1990) 193
athenaeus (author), formulae of expression Gorman, Gorman, Corrupting Luxury in Ancient Greek Literature (2014) 237
athenaeus (author), motion, verbs of Gorman, Gorman, Corrupting Luxury in Ancient Greek Literature (2014) 237
athenaeus (author), primacy claimed in Gorman, Gorman, Corrupting Luxury in Ancient Greek Literature (2014) 237
athenaeus (author) Gorman, Gorman, Corrupting Luxury in Ancient Greek Literature (2014) 237
authority, scripture Najman, The Significance of Sinai: Traditions about Sinai and Divine Revelation in Judaism and Christianity (2010) 104
blessing Grypeou and Spurling, The Exegetical Encounter between Jews and Christians in Late Antiquity (2009) 177
castration Gorman, Gorman, Corrupting Luxury in Ancient Greek Literature (2014) 237
christians Grypeou and Spurling, The Exegetical Encounter between Jews and Christians in Late Antiquity (2009) 177
circumcise/circumcision Grypeou and Spurling, The Exegetical Encounter between Jews and Christians in Late Antiquity (2009) 177
circumcision Rogers, God and the Idols: Representations of God in 1 Corinthians 8-10 (2016) 130
clement of alexandria Gorman, Gorman, Corrupting Luxury in Ancient Greek Literature (2014) 237
conversion Grypeou and Spurling, The Exegetical Encounter between Jews and Christians in Late Antiquity (2009) 177
covenant Grypeou and Spurling, The Exegetical Encounter between Jews and Christians in Late Antiquity (2009) 177
depilation/shaving Gorman, Gorman, Corrupting Luxury in Ancient Greek Literature (2014) 237
divine, torah/law Najman, The Significance of Sinai: Traditions about Sinai and Divine Revelation in Judaism and Christianity (2010) 104
enoch Sly, Philo's Perception of Women (1990) 108
eunuchs Gorman, Gorman, Corrupting Luxury in Ancient Greek Literature (2014) 237
eve Sly, Philo's Perception of Women (1990) 108
faith/belief Grypeou and Spurling, The Exegetical Encounter between Jews and Christians in Late Antiquity (2009) 177
galen (medicus) Gorman, Gorman, Corrupting Luxury in Ancient Greek Literature (2014) 237
genealogy Grypeou and Spurling, The Exegetical Encounter between Jews and Christians in Late Antiquity (2009) 177
gentile Grypeou and Spurling, The Exegetical Encounter between Jews and Christians in Late Antiquity (2009) 177
god, representations of, creator Rogers, God and the Idols: Representations of God in 1 Corinthians 8-10 (2016) 130
hebrew (language) Grypeou and Spurling, The Exegetical Encounter between Jews and Christians in Late Antiquity (2009) 177
hellenistic, interpretation Najman, The Significance of Sinai: Traditions about Sinai and Divine Revelation in Judaism and Christianity (2010) 104
idolatry, error Rogers, God and the Idols: Representations of God in 1 Corinthians 8-10 (2016) 130
idolatry, internalization of Rogers, God and the Idols: Representations of God in 1 Corinthians 8-10 (2016) 130
interpretation Najman, The Significance of Sinai: Traditions about Sinai and Divine Revelation in Judaism and Christianity (2010) 104
israel Grypeou and Spurling, The Exegetical Encounter between Jews and Christians in Late Antiquity (2009) 177
jacob Sly, Philo's Perception of Women (1990) 108
jews/jewish Grypeou and Spurling, The Exegetical Encounter between Jews and Christians in Late Antiquity (2009) 177
law, mosaic (law of moses) Najman, The Significance of Sinai: Traditions about Sinai and Divine Revelation in Judaism and Christianity (2010) 104
law, natural Najman, The Significance of Sinai: Traditions about Sinai and Divine Revelation in Judaism and Christianity (2010) 104
law, universal Najman, The Significance of Sinai: Traditions about Sinai and Divine Revelation in Judaism and Christianity (2010) 104
law, unwritten Najman, The Significance of Sinai: Traditions about Sinai and Divine Revelation in Judaism and Christianity (2010) 104
levites Sly, Philo's Perception of Women (1990) 193
loewe, raphael Sly, Philo's Perception of Women (1990) 108
lydians Gorman, Gorman, Corrupting Luxury in Ancient Greek Literature (2014) 237
man Sly, Philo's Perception of Women (1990) 108
masoretic text Grypeou and Spurling, The Exegetical Encounter between Jews and Christians in Late Antiquity (2009) 177
medes Gorman, Gorman, Corrupting Luxury in Ancient Greek Literature (2014) 237
mendelson, alan Sly, Philo's Perception of Women (1990) 108
midianite women Sly, Philo's Perception of Women (1990) 193
mutilation Gorman, Gorman, Corrupting Luxury in Ancient Greek Literature (2014) 237
noah Sly, Philo's Perception of Women (1990) 108
peshittah Grypeou and Spurling, The Exegetical Encounter between Jews and Christians in Late Antiquity (2009) 177
philo of alexandria, law of moses Najman, The Significance of Sinai: Traditions about Sinai and Divine Revelation in Judaism and Christianity (2010) 104
phineas Sly, Philo's Perception of Women (1990) 193
pleasure Sly, Philo's Perception of Women (1990) 193
roman' Grypeou and Spurling, The Exegetical Encounter between Jews and Christians in Late Antiquity (2009) 177
sandmel, samuel Sly, Philo's Perception of Women (1990) 108
scripture Najman, The Significance of Sinai: Traditions about Sinai and Divine Revelation in Judaism and Christianity (2010) 104
scythians Gorman, Gorman, Corrupting Luxury in Ancient Greek Literature (2014) 237
tarentines Gorman, Gorman, Corrupting Luxury in Ancient Greek Literature (2014) 237
virtue Najman, The Significance of Sinai: Traditions about Sinai and Divine Revelation in Judaism and Christianity (2010) 104
woman Sly, Philo's Perception of Women (1990) 108
womanhood Sly, Philo's Perception of Women (1990) 108
women Gorman, Gorman, Corrupting Luxury in Ancient Greek Literature (2014) 237