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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



9239
Philo Of Alexandria, On The Special Laws, 2.45


nanadmiring, as it were, a life of peace and tranquillity, being the most devoted contemplators of nature and of all the things in it. Investigating earth and sea, and the air, and the heaven, and all the different natures in each of them; dwelling, if one may so say, in their minds, at least, with the moon, and the sun, and the whole company of the rest of the stars, both planets and fixed stars. Having their bodies, indeed, firmly planted on the earth, but having their souls furnished with wings, in order that thus hovering in the air they may closely survey all the powers above, looking upon them as in reality the most excellent of cosmopolites, who consider the whole world as their native city, and all the devotees of wisdom as their fellow citizens, virtue herself having enrolled them as such, to whom it has been entrusted to frame a constitution for their common city.XIII.


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

32 results
1. Hebrew Bible, Exodus, 22.27 (9th cent. BCE - 3rd cent. BCE)

22.27. אֱלֹהִים לֹא תְקַלֵּל וְנָשִׂיא בְעַמְּךָ לֹא תָאֹר׃ 22.27. Thou shalt not revile God, nor curse a ruler of thy people."
2. Hebrew Bible, Genesis, 13.8-13.9 (9th cent. BCE - 3rd cent. BCE)

13.8. וַיֹּאמֶר אַבְרָם אֶל־לוֹט אַל־נָא תְהִי מְרִיבָה בֵּינִי וּבֵינֶיךָ וּבֵין רֹעַי וּבֵין רֹעֶיךָ כִּי־אֲנָשִׁים אַחִים אֲנָחְנוּ׃ 13.9. הֲלֹא כָל־הָאָרֶץ לְפָנֶיךָ הִפָּרֶד נָא מֵעָלָי אִם־הַשְּׂמֹאל וְאֵימִנָה וְאִם־הַיָּמִין וְאַשְׂמְאִילָה׃ 13.8. And Abram said unto Lot: ‘Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we are brethren." 13.9. Is not the whole land before thee? separate thyself, I pray thee, from me; if thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou take the right hand, then I will go to the left.’"
3. Hebrew Bible, Numbers, 28.3 (9th cent. BCE - 3rd cent. BCE)

28.3. וְאָמַרְתָּ לָהֶם זֶה הָאִשֶּׁה אֲשֶׁר תַּקְרִיבוּ לַיהוָה כְּבָשִׂים בְּנֵי־שָׁנָה תְמִימִם שְׁנַיִם לַיּוֹם עֹלָה תָמִיד׃ 28.3. שְׂעִיר עִזִּים אֶחָד לְכַפֵּר עֲלֵיכֶם׃ 28.3. And thou shalt say unto them: This is the offering made by fire which ye shall bring unto the LORD: he-lambs of the first year without blemish, two day by day, for a continual burnt-offering."
4. Plato, Phaedrus, None (5th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)

246c. and fully winged, it mounts upward and governs the whole world; but the soul which has lost its wings is borne along until it gets hold of something solid, when it settles down, taking upon itself an earthly body, which seems to be self-moving, because of the power of the soul within it; and the whole, compounded of soul and body, is called a living being, and is further designated as mortal. It is not immortal by any reasonable supposition, but we, though we have never seen
5. Cicero, On Laws, 1.8.25 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

6. Philo of Alexandria, On The Confusion of Tongues, 106 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

106. For the good disposition being from the very birth of the man planted in virtue, and being spoken as of such, its name being Moses, dwelling in the whole world as his native city and country, becoming, as it were, a cosmopolite, being bound up in the body, smeared over as with "bitumen and Pitch," and appearing to be able to receive and to contain in security all the imaginations of all things which might be subjected to the outward senses, Weeps at being so bound up, being overwhelmed with a desire for an incorporeal nature. And he weeps over the miserable mind of men in general as being wandering and puffed up with pride, inasmuch as, being elated with false opinion, it thinks that it has in itself something firm and safe, and, as a general fact, that there something immutable in some creature or other, though the example of perpetual stability, which is at all times the same, is set up in God alone. XXIII.
7. Philo of Alexandria, On The Preliminary Studies, 35-38, 34 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

34. But these men were husbands of many wives and concubines, not only of such as were citizens, as the sacred scriptures tell us. But Isaac had neither many wives nor any concubine at all, but only his first and wedded wife, who lived with him all his life.
8. Philo of Alexandria, On The Decalogue, 20, 81, 1 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

9. Philo of Alexandria, On Giants, 61 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

61. Lastly, those who are born of God are priests and prophets, who have not thought fit to mix themselves up in the constitutions of this world, and to become cosmopolites, but who having raised themselves above all the objects of the mere outward senses, have departed and fixed their views on that world which is perceptible only by the intellect, and have settled there, being inscribed in the state of incorruptible incorporeal ideas. XIV.
10. Philo of Alexandria, On The Life of Joseph, 30-31, 69, 29 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

29. for this world is a sort of large state, and has one constitution, and one law, and the word of nature enjoins what one ought to do, and forbids what one ought not to do: but the cities themselves in their several situations are unlimited in number, and enjoy different constitutions, and laws which are not all the same; for there are different customs and established regulations found out and established in different nations;
11. Philo of Alexandria, On The Migration of Abraham, 16, 175, 59, 94, 13 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

13. When therefore the mind begins to become acquainted with itself, and to dwell among the speculations which come under the province of the intellect, all the inclinations of the soul for the species which is comprehensible by the intellect will be repelled, which inclination is called by the Hebrews, Lot; for which reason the wise man is represented as distinctly saying, "Depart, and separate yourself from Me;" for it is impossible for a man who is overwhelmed with the love of incorporeal and imperishable objects to dwell with one, whose every inclination is towards the mortal objects of the outward senses.
12. Philo of Alexandria, On The Change of Names, 85-86, 88, 84 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

84. for the man who is improved by instruction, having received a happy and virtuous nature, uses that virtue alone which, by means of memory co-operating with it, implants in him an absence of forgetfulness, so that he comprehends and takes firm hold of all the things which he has once learnt; but he who practices virtue, since he is continually exercising himself, stops to take breath, and relaxes his efforts for a while, collecting himself and recovering the vigour which was a little impaired by his exertions, just as those men do who have oiled their bodies for the contests in the arena. For these men, also, labouring at their training exercises, in order to prevent their powers being utterly broken down, anoint themselves with oil on account of the violent and continued nature of their exercise.
13. Philo of Alexandria, On The Creation of The World, 142, 3, 43, 130 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

130. And we must understand in the case of every thing else which is decided on by the external senses, there were elder forms and motions previously existing, according to which the things which were created were fashioned and measured out. For although Moses did not describe everything collectively, but only a part of what existed, as he was desirous of brevity, beyond all men that ever wrote, still the few things which he has mentioned are examples of the nature of all, for nature perfects none of those which are perceptible to the outward senses without an incorporeal model. XLV.
14. Philo of Alexandria, On Curses, 42, 62, 41 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

41. We must therefore be aware that each of the aforesaid names, being interpreted, has a double signification; for Enoch, being interpreted, means, as I have already said, "thy grace," and Methusaleh means, the sending forth of death. Lamech, again means, humiliation. Now the expression, "Thy grace," is by some persons referred to the mind that is in us; and by more learned and sounder interpreters it is referred to the mind of other persons.
15. Philo of Alexandria, On The Sacrifices of Cain And Abel, 111 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

111. And in another passage it is said, "My gifts, and my offerings, and my sacrifices, ye will take care to offer to me at my festivals:" not taking away form them, nor dividing them, but bringing them forward full, and entire, and perfect; for the feast of the soul is cheerfulness in perfect virtues; and the perfect virtues are all those which the human race exhibits, free from all stain or spot. But the wise man alone can keep such a festival as this, and no other human being; for it is a most rare thing to find a soul which has never tasted of wickedness of passions. XXXIV.
16. Philo of Alexandria, On Dreams, 1.39, 1.159-1.162, 1.164-1.165, 1.167-1.169, 1.191 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

1.39. Perhaps therefore some petty cavilling critics will imagine that all this statement about the digging of the wells is a superfluous piece of prolixity on the part of the lawgiver: but those who deserve a larger classification, being citizens not of some petty state but of the wide world, being men of more perfect wisdom, will know well that the real question is not about the four wells, but about the parts of the universe that the men who are gifted with sight, and are fond of contemplation exercise their powers of investigation; namely, about the earth, the water, the air, and the heaven. 1.159. Therefore he who stands upon the ladder of heaven says to him who is beholding the dream, "I am the Lord God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac; be not Afraid." This oracle and this vision were also the firmest support of the soul devoted to the practice of virtue, inasmuch as it taught it that the Lord and God of the universe is both these things also to his own race, being entitled both the Lord and God of all men, and of his grandfathers and ancestors, and being called by both names in order that the whole world and the man devoted to virtue might have the same inheritance; since it is also said, "The Lord himself is his Inheritance." XXVI. 1.160. But do not fancy that it is an accidental thing here for him to be called in this place the God and Lord of Abraham, but only the God of Isaac; for this latter is the symbol of the knowledge which exists by nature, which hears itself, and teaches itself, and learns of itself; but Abraham is the symbol of that which is derived from the teaching of others; and the one again is an indigenous and native inhabitant of his country, but the other is only a settler and a foreigner; 1.161. for having forsaken the language of those who indulge in sublime conversations about astronomy, a language imitating that of the Chaldaeans, foreign and barbarous, he was brought over to that which was suited to a rational being, namely, to the service of the great Cause of all things. 1.162. Now this disposition stands in need of two powers to take care of it, the power that is of authority, and that of conferring benefits, in order that in accordance with the authority of the governor, it may obey the admonitions which it receives, and also that it may be greatly benefited by his beneficence. But the other disposition stands in need of the power of beneficence only; for it has not derived any improvement from the authority which admonishes it, inasmuch as it naturally claims virtue as its own, but by reason of the bounty which is showered upon it from above, it was good and perfect from the beginning; 1.164. Now is it not fitting that even blind men should become sharpsighted in their minds to these and similar things, being endowed with the power of sight by the most sacred oracles, so as to be able to contemplate the glories of nature, and not to be limited to the mere understanding of the words? But even if we voluntarily close the eye of our soul and take no care to understand such mysteries, or if we are unable to look up to them, the hierophant himself stands by and prompts us. And do not thou ever cease through weariness to anoint thy eyes until you have introduced those who are duly initiated to the secret light of the sacred scriptures, and have displayed to them the hidden things therein contained, and their reality, which is invisible to those who are uninitiated. 1.165. It is becoming then for you to act thus; but as for ye, O souls, who have once tasted of divine love, as if you had even awakened from deep sleep, dissipate the mist that is before you; and hasten forward to that beautiful spectacle, putting aside slow and hesitating fear, in order to comprehend all the beautiful sounds and sights which the president of the games has prepared for your advantage. XXVII. 1.167. is it not then worth while to examine into the cause of this difference? Undoubtedly it is; let us then in a careful manner apply ourselves to the consideration of the cause. Philosophers say that virtue exists among men, either by nature, or by practice, or by learning. On which account the sacred scriptures represent the three founders of the nation of the Israelites as wise men; not indeed originally endowed with the same kind of wisdom, but arriving rapidly at the same end. 1.168. For the eldest of them, Abraham, had instruction for his guide in the road which conducted him to virtue; as we shall show in another treatise to the best of our power. And Isaac, who is the middle one of the three, had a self-taught and self-instructed nature. And Jacob, the third, arrived at this point by industry and practice, in accordance with which were his labours of wrestling and contention. 1.169. Since then there are thus three different manners by which wisdom exists among men, it happens that the two extremes are the most nearly and frequently united. For the virtue which is acquired by practice, is the offspring of that which is derived from learning. But that which is implanted by nature is indeed akin to the others, for it is set below them, as the root for them all. But it has obtained its prize without any rivalry or difficulty. 1.191. consider, however, what comes afterwards. The sacred word enjoins some persons what they ought to do by positive command, like a king; to others it suggests what will be for their advantage, as a preceptor does to his pupils; to others again, it is like a counsellor suggesting the wisest plans; and in this way too, it is of great advantage to those who do not of themselves know what is expedient; to others it is like a friend, in a mild and persuasive manner, bringing forward many secret things which no uninitiated person may lawfully hear.
17. Philo of Alexandria, On The Special Laws, 1.34, 1.53, 1.323, 2.42, 2.44, 2.46-2.48, 2.73, 2.163, 3.5, 4.164, 4.179 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

1.34. He, therefore, who comes into that which is truly the greatest of cities, namely, this world, and who beholds all the land, both the mountain and the champaign district full of animals, and plants, and the streams of rivers, both overflowing and depending on the wintry floods, and the steady flow of the sea, and the admirable temperature of the air, and the varieties and regular revolutions of the seasons of the year; and then too the sun and moon, the rulers of day and night, and the revolutions and regular motions of all the other planets and fixed stars, and of the whole heaven; would he not naturally, or I should rather say, of necessity, conceive a notion of the Father, and creator, and governor of all this system; 1.53. Moreover, he also enjoins his people that, after they have given the proselytes an equal share in all their laws, and privileges, and immunities, on their forsaking the pride of their fathers and forefathers, they must not give a license to their jealous language and unbridled tongues, blaspheming those beings whom the other body looks upon as gods, lest the proselytes should be exasperated at such treatment, and in return utter impious language against the true and holy God; for from ignorance of the difference between them, and by reason of their having from their infancy learnt to look upon what was false as if it had been true, and having been bred up with it, they would be likely to err. 1.323. Would it not have been right, then, for you, following her example and design, to give to those who are worthy of it all things that are necessary for their advantage? But now it very often happens that no good men at all are initiated by them, but that sometimes robbers, and wreckers, and companies of debauched and polluted women are, when they have given money enough to those who initiate them, and who reveal to them the mysteries which they call sacred. But let all such men be driven away and expelled from that city, and denied all share in that constitution, in which honour and truth are reverenced for their own sake. And this is enough to say on this subject.LX. 2.42. The law sets down every day as a festival, adapting itself to an irreproachable life, as if men continually obeyed nature and her injunctions. And if wickedness did not prosper, subduing by their predomit influence all those reasonings about what things might be expedient, which they have driven out of the soul of each individual, but if all the powers of the virtues remained in all respects unsubdued, then the whole time from a man's birth to his death would be one uninterrupted festival, and all houses and every city would pass their time in continual fearlessness and peace, being full of every imaginable blessing, enjoying perfect tranquillity. 2.44. for all those men, whether among the Greeks or among the barbarians, who are practisers of wisdom, living in a blameless and irreproachable manner, determining not to do any injustice, nor even to retaliate it when done to them, shunning all association with busy-bodies, in all the cities which they inhabit, avoid all courts of justice, and council halls, and market-places, and places of assembly, and, in short, every spot where any band or company of precipitate headstrong men is collected 2.46. Being, therefore, full of all kinds of excellence, and being accustomed to disregard all those good things which affect the body and external circumstances, and being inured to look upon things indifferent as really indifferent, and being armed by study against the pleasures and appetites, and, in short, being always labouring to raise themselves above the passions, and being instructed to exert all their power to pull down the fortification which those appetites have built up, and being insensible to any impression which the attacks of fortune might make upon them, because they have previously estimated the power of its attacks in their anticipations (for anticipation makes even those things light which would be most terrible if unexpected 2.47. These men, however, are therefore but a small number, kindling in their different cities a sort of spark of wisdom, in order that virtue may not become utterly extinguished, and so be entirely extirpated from our race. 2.48. But if men everywhere agreed with this small number, and became, as nature originally designed that they should, all blameless and irreproachable, lovers of wisdom, delighting in all that is virtuous and honourable, and thinking that and that alone good, and looking on everything else as subordinate and slaves, as if they themselves were the masters of them, then all the cities would be full of happiness, being wholly free from all the things which are the causes of pain or fear, and full of all those which produce joy and cheerfulness. So that no time would ever cease to be the time of a happy life, but that the whole circle of the year would be one festival.XIV. 2.73. For while it does not permit them to lend on usury to their fellow countrymen, it has allowed them to receive interest from foreigners; calling the former, with great felicity of expression, their brothers, in order to prevent any one's grudging to give of his possessions to those who are as if by nature joint inheritors with themselves; but those who are not their fellow countrymen are called strangers, as is very natural. For the being a stranger shows that a person has no right to a participation in any thing, unless, indeed, any one out of an excess of virtue should treat even those in the conditions of strangers as kindred and related, from having been bred up under a virtuous state of things, and under virtuous laws which look upon what is virtuous alone as good. 2.163. The reason is that a priest has the same relation to a city that the nation of the Jews has to the entire inhabited world. For it serves as a priest--to state the truth--through the use of all purificatory offerings and the guidance both for body and soul of divine laws which have checked the pleasures of the stomach and those under the stomach and [tamed] the mob [of the Senses]{21}{there is a clear problem with the text here, i.e., the noun ochlon lacks a verb.} by having appointed reason as charioteer over the irrational senses; they also have driven back and overturned the undiscriminating and excessive urges of the soul, some by rather gentle instructions and philosophical exhortations, others by rather weighty and forcible rebukes and by fear of punishment, the fear which they brandish threateningly. 3.5. And if at any time unexpectedly there shall arise a brief period of tranquillity, and a short calm and respite from the troubles which arise from state affairs, I then rise aloft and float above the troubled waves, soaring as it were in the air, and being, I may almost say, blown forward by the breezes of knowledge, which often persuades me to flee away, and to pass all my days with her, escaping as it were from my pitiless masters, not men only, but also affairs which pour upon me from all quarters and at all times like a torrent. 4.164. other kings bear sceptres in their hands, and sit upon thrones in royal state, but my sceptre shall be the book of the copy of the law; that shall be my boast and my incontestible glory, the signal of my irreproachable sovereignty, created after the image and model of the archetypal royal power of God. 4.179. And one may almost say that the whole nation of the Jews may be looked upon in the light of orphans, if they are compared with all other nations in other lands; for other nations, as often as they are afflicted by any calamities which are not of divine infliction, are in no want of assistance by reason of their frequent intercourse with other nations, from their habitual dealings in common. But this nation of the Jews has no such allies by reason of the peculiarity of its laws and customs. And their laws are of necessity strict and rigorous, as they are intended to train them to the greatest height of virtue; and what is strict and rigorous is austere. And such laws and customs the generality of men avoid, because of their inclination for and their adoption of pleasure.
18. Philo of Alexandria, On The Virtues, 94, 182 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

182. for those who come over to this worship become at once prudent, and temperate, and modest, and gentle, and merciful, and humane, and venerable, and just, and magimous, and lovers of truth, and superior to all considerations of money or pleasure; just as, on the contrary, one may see that those who forsake the holy laws of God are intemperate, shameless, unjust, disreputable, weak-minded, quarrelsome, companions of falsehood and perjury, willing to sell their liberty for luxurious eating, for strong wine, for sweetmeats, and for beauty, for pleasures of the belly and of the parts below the belly; the miserable end of all which enjoyment is ruin to both body and soul.
19. Philo of Alexandria, On The Life of Moses, 1.26, 1.157, 2.4, 2.11-2.14, 2.17, 2.26-2.27, 2.34, 2.39, 2.43-2.44, 2.48, 2.51-2.52, 2.205, 2.211 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

1.26. And he tamed, and appeased, and brought under due command every one of the other passions which are naturally and as far as they are themselves concerned frantic, and violent, and unmanageable. And if any one of them at all excited itself and endeavoured to get free from restraint he administered severe punishment to it, reproving it with severity of language; and, in short, he repressed all the principal impulses and most violent affections of the soul, and kept guard over them as over a restive horse, fearing lest they might break all bounds and get beyond the power of reason which ought to be their guide to restrain them, and so throw everything everywhere into confusion. For these passions are the causes of all good and of all evil; of good when they submit to the authority of domit reason, and of evil when they break out of bounds and scorn all government and restraint. 1.157. for God possesses everything and is in need of nothing; but the good man has nothing which is properly his own, no, not even himself, but he has a share granted to him of the treasures of God as far as he is able to partake of them. And this is natural enough; for he is a citizen of the world; on which account he is not spoken of as to be enrolled as a citizen of any particular city in the habitable world, since he very appropriately has for his inheritance not a portion of a district, but the whole world. 2.4. It becomes a king to command what ought to be done, and to forbid what ought not to be done; but the commanding what ought to be done, and the prohibition of what ought not to be done, belongs especially to the law, so that the king is at once a living law, and the law is a just king. 2.11. And those who are well versed in the sacred scriptures know this, for if he had not had these principles innate within him he would never have compiled those scriptures at the promptings of God. And he gave to those who were worthy to use them the most admirable of all possessions, namely, faithful copies and imitations of the original examples which were consecrated and enshrined in the soul, which became the laws which he revealed and established, displaying in the clearest manner the virtues which I have enumerated and described above. 2.12. But that he himself is the most admirable of all the lawgivers who have ever lived in any country either among the Greeks or among the barbarians, and that his are the most admirable of all laws, and truly divine, omitting no one particular which they ought to comprehend, there is the clearest proof possible in this fact, the laws of other lawgivers 2.13. if any one examines them by his reason, he will find to be put in motion in an innumerable multitude of pretexts, either because of wars, or of tyrannies, or of some other unexpected events which come upon nations through the various alterations and innovations of fortune; and very often luxury, abounding in all kind of superfluity and unbounded extravagance, has overturned laws, from the multitude not being able to bear unlimited prosperity, but having a tendency to become insolent through satiety, and insolence is in opposition to law. 2.14. But the enactments of this lawgiver are firm, not shaken by commotions, not liable to alteration, but stamped as it were with the seal of nature herself, and they remain firm and lasting from the day on which they were first promulgated to the present one, and there may well be a hope that they will remain to all future time, as being immortal, as long as the sun and the moon, and the whole heaven and the whole world shall endure. 2.17. But this is not so entirely wonderful, although it may fairly by itself be considered a thing of great intrinsic importance, that his laws were kept securely and immutably from all time; but this is more wonderful by far, as it seems, that not only the Jews, but that also almost every other nation, and especially those who make the greatest account of virtue, have dedicated themselves to embrace and honour them, for they have received this especial honour above all other codes of laws, which is not given to any other code. 2.26. In olden time the laws were written in the Chaldaean language, and for a long time they remained in the same condition as at first, not changing their language as long as their beauty had not made them known to other nations; 2.27. but when, from the daily and uninterrupted respect shown to them by those to whom they had been given, and from their ceaseless observance of their ordices, other nations also obtained an understanding of them, their reputation spread over all lands; for what was really good, even though it may through envy be overshadowed for a short time, still in time shines again through the intrinsic excellence of its nature. Some persons, thinking it a scandalous thing that these laws should only be known among one half portion of the human race, namely, among the barbarians, and that the Greek nation should be wholly and entirely ignorant of them, turned their attention to their translation. 2.34. So when they had won his approval, they immediately began to fulfil the objects for which that honourable embassy had been sent; and considering among themselves how important the affair was, to translate laws which had been divinely given by direct inspiration, since they were not able either to take away anything, or to add anything, or to alter anything, but were bound to preserve the original form and character of the whole composition, they looked out for the most completely purified place of all the spots on the outside of the city. For the places within the walls, as being filled with all kinds of animals, were held in suspicion by them by reason of the diseases and deaths of some, and the accursed actions of those who were in health. 2.39. for just as I suppose the things which are proved in geometry and logic do not admit any variety of explanation, but the proposition which was set forth from the beginning remains unaltered, in like manner I conceive did these men find words precisely and literally corresponding to the things, which words were alone, or in the greatest possible degree, destined to explain with clearness and force the matters which it was desired to reveal. 2.43. In this way those admirable, and incomparable, and most desirable laws were made known to all people, whether private individuals or kings, and this too at a period when the nation had not been prosperous for a long time. And it is generally the case that a cloud is thrown over the affairs of those who are not flourishing, so that but little is known of them; 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. 2.48. for he was not like any ordinary compiler of history, studying to leave behind him records of ancient transactions as memorials to future ages for the mere sake of affording pleasure without any advantage; but he traced back the most ancient events from the beginning of the world, commencing with the creation of the universe, in order to make known two most necessary principles. First, that the same being was the father and creator of the world, and likewise the lawgiver of truth; secondly, that the man who adhered to these laws, and clung closely to a connection with and obedience to nature, would live in a manner corresponding to the arrangement of the universe with a perfect harmony and union, between his words and his actions and between his actions and his words. 2.51. For both in his commandments and also in his prohibitions he suggests and recommends rather than commands, endeavouring with many prefaces and perorations to suggest the greater part of the precepts that he desires to enforce, desiring rather to allure men to virtue than to drive them to it, and looking upon the foundation and beginning of a city made with hands, which he has made the commencement of his work a commencement beneath the dignity of his laws, looking rather with the most accurate eye of his mind at the importance and beauty of his whole legislative system, and thinking it too excellent and too divine to be limited as it were by any circle of things on earth; and therefore he has related the creation of that great metropolis, the world, thinking his laws the most fruitful image and likeness of the constitution of the whole world. 2.52. At all events if any one were inclined to examine with accuracy the powers of each individual and particular law, he will find them all aiming at the harmony of the universe, and corresponding to the law of eternal nature: 2.205. But, as it seems, he is not now speaking of that God who was the first being who had any existence, and the Father of the universe, but of those who are accounted gods in the different cities; and they are falsely called gods, being only made by the arts of painters and sculptors, for the whole inhabited world is full of statues and images, and erections of that kind, of whom it is necessary however to abstain from speaking ill, in order that no one of the disciples of Moses may ever become accustomed at all to treat the appellation of God with disrespect; for that name is always most deserving to obtain the victory, and is especially worthy of love. 2.211. For this reason the all-great Moses thought fit that all who were enrolled in his sacred polity should follow the laws of nature and meet in a solemn assembly, passing the time in cheerful joy and relaxation, abstaining from all work, and from all arts which have a tendency to the production of anything; and from all business which is connected with the seeking of the means of living, and that they should keep a complete truce, abstaining from all laborious and fatiguing thought and care, and devoting their leisure, not as some persons scoffingly assert, to sports, or exhibitions of actors and dancers, for the sake of which those who run madly after theatrical amusements suffer disasters and even encounter miserable deaths, and for the sake of these the most domit and influential of the outward senses, sight and hearing, make the soul, which should be the heavenly nature, the slave of these senses.
20. Philo of Alexandria, Allegorical Interpretation, 1.94, 3.144 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

1.94. Therefore there is no need of addressing either command, or prohibition, or recommendation to the man who is perfect, and made according to the image of God; For the perfect man requires none of these things; but there is a necessity of addressing both command and prohibition to the wicked man, and recommendation and instruction to the ignorant man. Just as the perfect grammarian or perfect musician has need of no instruction in the matters which belong to his art, but the man whose theories on such subjects are imperfect stands in need of certain rules, as it were, which contain in themselves commands and prohibitions, and he who is only learning the art requires instruction.
21. Philo of Alexandria, Questions On Exodus, 2.42 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

22. Philo of Alexandria, That The Worse Attacks The Better, 68 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

68. Therefore, he here clearly asserts that the good man is the guardian of the words and of the covet of God. And, indeed, in another place he has shown that he is the best interpreter and declarer of his justifications and laws; the faculty of interpretation being displayed through its kindred organ--the voice, and guardianship being exerted through the mind, which having been made by nature as a great storehouse, easily contains the conceptions of all things, whether bodies or things. It would therefore have been worth the while of this self-loving Cain to have been the keeper of Abel; for if he had kept him he would have attained to a compounded and moderate kind of life, and would not have been filled with unmodified and absolute wickedness. XX.
23. Philo of Alexandria, That God Is Unchangeable, 151 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

151. These are mighty deeds of boldness for a heavenly and celestial soul, which has utterly forsaken the regions of earth, and which has been drawn up on high, and has its abode among the divine natures. For being filled with the sight of the genuine and incorruptible good things, it very naturally repudiates those which only last a day and are spurious. XXXIII.
24. Philo of Alexandria, Plant., 132 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

132. Since therefore all the fruit of the soul is consecrated in the fourth year and the fourth number; in the fifth year we ourselves shall be allowed the use and enjoyment of it for ourselves; for the scripture says, "In the fifth year ye shall eat the fruit thereof;" since it has been established by a perpetual law of nature, that account shall be taken of the creation after the Creator in every thing; so that even if we are thought worthy of the second place, it must be considered a marvellous thing;
25. Josephus Flavius, Jewish Antiquities, 4.207 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

4.207. 10. Let no one blaspheme those gods which other cities esteem such; nor may any one steal what belongs to strange temples, nor take away the gifts that are dedicated to any god.
26. Josephus Flavius, Against Apion, 2.237 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

2.237. Now I have no mind to make an inquiry into the laws of other nations; for the custom of our country is to keep our own laws, but not to bring accusations against the laws of others. And indeed, our legislator hath expressly forbidden us to laugh at and revile those that are esteemed gods by other people, on account of the very name of God ascribed to them.
27. Josephus Flavius, Life, 113 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

28. Plutarch, On Tranquility of Mind, 20 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

20. And I am delighted with Diogenes, who, when he saw his host in Sparta preparing which much ado for a certain festival, said, "Does not a good man consider every day a festival?" and a very splendid one, to be sure, if we are sound of mind. For the universe is a most holy temple and most worthy of a god; into it man is introduced through birth as a spectator, not of hand-made or immovable images, but of those sensible representations of knowable things that the divine mind, says Plato, has revealed, representations which have innate within themselves the beginnings of life and motion, sun and moon and stars, rivers which ever discharge fresh water, and earth which sends forth nourishment for plants and animals. Since life is a most perfect initiation into these things and a ritual celebration of them, it should be full of tranquillity and joy, and not in the manner of the vulgar, who wait for the festivals of Cronus and of Zeus and the Panathenaea and other days of the kind, at which to enjoy and refresh themselves, paying the wages of hired laughter to mimes and dancers. It is true that we sit there on those occasions decorously in reverent silence, for no one wails while he is being initiated or laments as he watches the Pythian games or as he drinks at the festival of Cronus; but by spending the greater part of life in lamentation and heaviness of heart and carking cares men shame the festivals with which the god supply us and in which he initiates us. And though men delight in sweetly sounding instruments and singing birds, and take pleasure in seeing animals romping and frisking, and, on the contrary, are displeased when they howl and bellow and look fierce; yet though they see that their own life is unsmiling and dejected and ever oppressed and afflicted by the most unpleasant experiences and troubles and unending cares, they not only do not provide themselves with some alleviation or ease — from what source could they do so? — but even when others urge them, they do not accept a word of admonition by following which they would acquiesce in the present without fault-finding, remember the past with thankfulness, and meet the future without fear or suspicion, with their hopes cheerful and bright.
29. Lucian, Philosophies For Sale, 8 (2nd cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

30. Diogenes Laertius, Lives of The Philosophers, 6.37, 6.39, 6.63 (3rd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

6.37. One day, observing a child drinking out of his hands, he cast away the cup from his wallet with the words, A child has beaten me in plainness of living. He also threw away his bowl when in like manner he saw a child who had broken his plate taking up his lentils with the hollow part of a morsel of bread. He used also to reason thus: All things belong to the gods. The wise are friends of the gods, and friends hold things in common. Therefore all things belong to the wise. One day he saw a woman kneeling before the gods in an ungraceful attitude, and wishing to free her of superstition, according to Zoilus of Perga, he came forward and said, Are you not afraid, my good woman, that a god may be standing behind you? – for all things are full of his presence – and you may be put to shame? 6.39. To one who by argument had proved conclusively that he had horns, he said, touching his forehead, Well, I for my part don't see any. In like manner, when somebody declared that there is no such thing as motion, he got up and walked about. When some one was discoursing on celestial phenomena, How many days, asked Diogenes, were you in coming from the sky? A eunuch of bad character had inscribed on his door the words, Let nothing evil enter. How then, he asked, is the master of the house to get in? When he had anointed his feet with unguent, he declared that from his head the unguent passed into the air, but from his feet into his nostrils. The Athenians urged him to become initiated, and told him that in Hades those who have been initiated take precedence. It would be ludicrous, quoth he, if Agesilaus and Epaminondas are to dwell in the mire, while certain folk of no account will live in the Isles of the Blest because they have been initiated. 6.63. On being asked what he had gained from philosophy, he replied, This at least, if nothing else – to be prepared for every fortune. Asked where he came from, he said, I am a citizen of the world. Certain parents were sacrificing to the gods, that a son might be born to them. But, said he, do you not sacrifice to ensure what manner of man he shall turn out to be? When asked for a subscription towards a club, he said to the president:Despoil the rest; off Hector keep thy hands.The mistresses of kings he designated queens; for, said he, they make the kings do their bidding. When the Athenians gave Alexander the title of Dionysus, he said, Me too you might make Sarapis. Some one having reproached him for going into dirty places, his reply was that the sun too visits cesspools without being defiled.
31. Eusebius of Caesarea, Preparation For The Gospel, 9.27.4 (3rd cent. CE - 4th cent. CE)

32. Anon., Letter of Aristeas, 189, 16

16. Dis. This name was very appropriately bestowed upon him by our first ancestors, in order to signify that He through whom all things are endowed with life and come into being, is necessarily the ruler and lord of the Universe. Set all mankind an example of magimity by releasing those who are held in bondage.'


Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
abraham, humanity of Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 346
alexandria Sigal, The Halakhah of Jesus of Nazareth According to the Gospel of Matthew (2007) 178
alexandrian Sigal, The Halakhah of Jesus of Nazareth According to the Gospel of Matthew (2007) 178
ananias Goodman, Judaism in the Roman World: Collected Essays (2006) 112
animals, passions and Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 180
antiochus of ascalon Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 210
apocrypha Sigal, The Halakhah of Jesus of Nazareth According to the Gospel of Matthew (2007) 146
artapanus Goodman, Judaism in the Roman World: Collected Essays (2006) 112
athens Petersen and van Kooten, Religio-Philosophical Discourses in the Mediterranean World: From Plato, through Jesus, to Late Antiquity (2017) 215
barbarians Martens, One God, One Law: Philo of Alexandria on the Mosaic and Greco-Roman Law (2003) 115
charax spasinou Goodman, Judaism in the Roman World: Collected Essays (2006) 112
charity Goodman, Judaism in the Roman World: Collected Essays (2006) 112
citizens, of the world Petersen and van Kooten, Religio-Philosophical Discourses in the Mediterranean World: From Plato, through Jesus, to Late Antiquity (2017) 215
citizens Petersen and van Kooten, Religio-Philosophical Discourses in the Mediterranean World: From Plato, through Jesus, to Late Antiquity (2017) 215
collocutions Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 210, 346
corinth Petersen and van Kooten, Religio-Philosophical Discourses in the Mediterranean World: From Plato, through Jesus, to Late Antiquity (2017) 215
cosmopolitanism Petersen and van Kooten, Religio-Philosophical Discourses in the Mediterranean World: From Plato, through Jesus, to Late Antiquity (2017) 215
crates Petersen and van Kooten, Religio-Philosophical Discourses in the Mediterranean World: From Plato, through Jesus, to Late Antiquity (2017) 215
cynics, philosophers / movement / philosophy Petersen and van Kooten, Religio-Philosophical Discourses in the Mediterranean World: From Plato, through Jesus, to Late Antiquity (2017) 215
cynics, themes Petersen and van Kooten, Religio-Philosophical Discourses in the Mediterranean World: From Plato, through Jesus, to Late Antiquity (2017) 215
cynics Petersen and van Kooten, Religio-Philosophical Discourses in the Mediterranean World: From Plato, through Jesus, to Late Antiquity (2017) 215
de abrahamo, inconsistencies in Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 210
diatribe, on external goods Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 346
diatribe Petersen and van Kooten, Religio-Philosophical Discourses in the Mediterranean World: From Plato, through Jesus, to Late Antiquity (2017) 215
dietary laws Goodman, Judaism in the Roman World: Collected Essays (2006) 112
diogenes laertius Petersen and van Kooten, Religio-Philosophical Discourses in the Mediterranean World: From Plato, through Jesus, to Late Antiquity (2017) 215
dispute between abraham and lot, allegorical interpretation of Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 346
dispute between abraham and lot Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 346
egyptian jews Goodman, Judaism in the Roman World: Collected Essays (2006) 112
external goods, diatribe on Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 346
external goods, virtue vs. Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 346
feast of every day Martens, One God, One Law: Philo of Alexandria on the Mosaic and Greco-Roman Law (2003) 115, 116
genealogy of virtues Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 180
gentiles, and law of nature Martens, One God, One Law: Philo of Alexandria on the Mosaic and Greco-Roman Law (2003) 115, 116
gomorrah, false and true Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 346
gomorrah, the soul and Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 346
greeks (ancient) Petersen and van Kooten, Religio-Philosophical Discourses in the Mediterranean World: From Plato, through Jesus, to Late Antiquity (2017) 215
homosexuality Goodman, Judaism in the Roman World: Collected Essays (2006) 112
humanity, justice defining Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 180
humanity, rational vs. irrational Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 180
humanity of abraham Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 346
jewish, festivals Petersen and van Kooten, Religio-Philosophical Discourses in the Mediterranean World: From Plato, through Jesus, to Late Antiquity (2017) 215
jewish, law Petersen and van Kooten, Religio-Philosophical Discourses in the Mediterranean World: From Plato, through Jesus, to Late Antiquity (2017) 215
joseph Petersen and van Kooten, Religio-Philosophical Discourses in the Mediterranean World: From Plato, through Jesus, to Late Antiquity (2017) 215
justice, of noah Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 180
kinship Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 180
law of nature, and gentiles Martens, One God, One Law: Philo of Alexandria on the Mosaic and Greco-Roman Law (2003) 115, 116
law of nature, in philo Martens, One God, One Law: Philo of Alexandria on the Mosaic and Greco-Roman Law (2003) 103, 115, 116
law of nature, mosaic laws consonant with Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 210
law of nature Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 210
learning and teaching, abraham associated with Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 210
lot, as the progressive man Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 346
migrations of abraham, literal and ethical interpretations of Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 210
migrations of abraham Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 210
mosaic law, law of nature and Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 210
nature, gods commands evident in Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 210
nature, living in accordance with Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 210
noah, generations of, as virtues Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 180
noah Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 180
noahs ark Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 180
passions, animal imagery and Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 180
philo of alexandria Petersen and van Kooten, Religio-Philosophical Discourses in the Mediterranean World: From Plato, through Jesus, to Late Antiquity (2017) 215
piety of abraham, proofs of Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 210
plutarch Petersen and van Kooten, Religio-Philosophical Discourses in the Mediterranean World: From Plato, through Jesus, to Late Antiquity (2017) 215
polis / polis religion Petersen and van Kooten, Religio-Philosophical Discourses in the Mediterranean World: From Plato, through Jesus, to Late Antiquity (2017) 215
pre-eminence, argument from Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 180
proofs Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 210
septuagint' Goodman, Judaism in the Roman World: Collected Essays (2006) 112
sight, god as object of Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 210
soul Petersen and van Kooten, Religio-Philosophical Discourses in the Mediterranean World: From Plato, through Jesus, to Late Antiquity (2017) 215
sparta Petersen and van Kooten, Religio-Philosophical Discourses in the Mediterranean World: From Plato, through Jesus, to Late Antiquity (2017) 215
speeches, inserted or expanded Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 346
the cosmos, and the law Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 210
the cosmos Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 210
the sage, as related to other sages Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 180
the sage, as stoic ideal Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 180
the sage, passions and Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 346
triads, first Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 180
unity of law, in philo Martens, One God, One Law: Philo of Alexandria on the Mosaic and Greco-Roman Law (2003) 103, 115, 116
virtue, incomplete, of lot Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 346
virtue, vs. wealth or external goods Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 346
wings Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 346
wisdom, kinship in Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 180
κατ᾿ ἐξοχήν Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 180
προσωποποιία Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 346
ἀναδιδάσκω Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 210