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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



9251
Philo Of Alexandria, That The Worse Attacks The Better, 175


nanOn which account it appears to me that all men who are not utterly uneducated would choose to be mutilated and to be come blind, rather than to see what is not fitting to be seen, to become deaf rather than to hear pernicious discourses, and to have their tongues cut out if that were the only way to prevent their speaking things, which ought not to be spoken.


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

17 results
1. Hebrew Bible, Genesis, 2.7 (9th cent. BCE - 3rd cent. BCE)

2.7. וַיִּיצֶר יְהוָה אֱלֹהִים אֶת־הָאָדָם עָפָר מִן־הָאֲדָמָה וַיִּפַּח בְּאַפָּיו נִשְׁמַת חַיִּים וַיְהִי הָאָדָם לְנֶפֶשׁ חַיָּה׃ 2.7. Then the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul."
2. Hebrew Bible, Leviticus, 19.24 (9th cent. BCE - 3rd cent. BCE)

19.24. וּבַשָּׁנָה הָרְבִיעִת יִהְיֶה כָּל־פִּרְיוֹ קֹדֶשׁ הִלּוּלִים לַיהוָה׃ 19.24. And in the fourth year all the fruit thereof shall be holy, for giving praise unto the LORD."
3. Philo of Alexandria, On The Life of Abraham, 20 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

20. And besides, the bad man runs about through the market-place, and theatres, and courts of justice, and council halls, and assemblies, and every meeting and collection of men whatever, like one who lives with and for curiosity, letting loose his tongue in immoderate, and interminable, and indiscriminate conversation, confusing and disturbing every thing, mixing up what is true and what is false, what is unspeakable with what is public, private with public things, things profane with things sacred, what is ridiculous with what is excellent, from never having been instructed in what is the most excellent thing in season, namely silence.
4. Philo of Alexandria, On The Cherubim, 97 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

97. For the eye of the living God does not need any other light to enable him to perceive things, but being himself archetypal light he pours forth innumerable rays, not one of which is capable of being comprehended by the outward sense, but they are all only intelligible to the intellect; in consequence of which God alone uses them who is only comprehensible to the intellect, and nothing that has any portion in creation uses them at all; for that which has been created is perceptible to the outward senses, but that nature which is only perceptible to the intellect cannot be comprehended by the outward sense. XXIX. 97. and there is an account of events recorded in the history of the creation of the world, comprising a sufficient relation of the cause of this ordice; for the sacred historian says, that the world was created in six days, and that on the seventh day God desisted from his works, and began to contemplate what he had so beautifully created;
5. Philo of Alexandria, On The Decalogue, 26 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

6. Philo of Alexandria, On Drunkenness, 187 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

187. what is advantageous is recognised by a comparison with what is injurious, what is beautiful by a comparison with what is unseemly, what is just and generally good, by placing it in juxta-position with what is unjust and bad. And, indeed, if any one considers everything that there is in the world, he will be able to arrive at a proper estimate of its character, by taking it in the same manner; for each separate thing is by itself incomprehensible, but by a comparison with another thing, is easy to understand it.
7. Philo of Alexandria, On The Change of Names, 14-15, 10 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

10. And what wonder is there if the living God is beyond the reach of the comprehension of man, when even the mind that is in each of us is unintelligible and unknown to us? Who has ever beheld the essence of the soul? the obscure nature of which has given rise to an infinite number of contests among the sophists who have brought forward opposite opinions, some of which are inconsistent with any kind of nature.
8. Philo of Alexandria, On The Creation of The World, 47, 51, 126 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

126. And the power of this number does not exist only in the instances already mentioned, but it also pervades the most excellent of the sciences, the knowledge of grammar and music. For the lyre with seven strings, bearing a proportion to the assemblage of the seven planets, perfects its admirable harmonies, being almost the chief of all instruments which are conversant about music. And of the elements of grammar, those which are properly called vowels are, correctly speaking, seven in number, since they can be sounded by themselves, and when they are combined with other letters, they make complete sounds; for they fill up the deficiency existing in semi-vowels, making the sounds whole; and they change and alter the natures of the mutes inspiring them with their own power, in order that what has no sound may become endowed with sound.
9. Philo of Alexandria, On The Posterity of Cain, 169, 15 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

15. When, therefore, the soul that loves God seeks to know what the one living God is according to his essence, it is entertaining upon an obscure and dark subject of investigation, from which the greatest benefit that arises to it is to comprehend that God, as to his essence, is utterly incomprehensible to any being, and also to be aware that he is invisible.
10. Philo of Alexandria, On Dreams, 1.15, 1.21, 1.23, 1.25, 1.33, 1.67, 1.191 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

1.15. May it not be that sacred historian here desires to represent, in a figurative manner, that as in the universe there are four elements of which this world is composed, and as there are an equal number in ourselves, of which we have been fashioned before we were moulded into our human shape, three of them are capable of being comprehended somehow or other, but the fourth is unintelligible to all who come forward as judges of it. 1.23. What, again, are we to say of the moon? Does she show us a light of her own, or a borrowed and illegitimate one, only reflected from the rays of the sun? or is neither of these things true, but has she something mixed, as it were, so as to be a sort of combination of her own light and of that which belongs to some other body? For all these things, and others like them, belonging to the fourth and most excellent of the bodies in the world, namely, the heaven, are uncertain and incomprehensible, and are spoken of in accordance with conjectures and guesses, and not with the solid, certain reasoning of truth 1.25. There are, then, four principal elements in us, the body, the external sense, the speech, and the mind. Now of these, three are not uncertain or unintelligible in every respect, but they contain some indication in themselves by which they are comprehended. 1.33. Therefore now the fourth element is incomprehensible, in the world of heaven, in comparison of the nature of the earth, of the water, and of the air; and the mind in man, in comparison of the body and the outward sense, and the speech, which is the interpreter of the mind; may it not be the case also, that for this reason the fourth year is described as holy and praiseworthy in the sacred scriptures? 1.67. Perhaps, however, the historian, by this allegorical form of expression, does not here mean by his expression, "place," the Cause of all things; but the idea which he intends to convey may be something of this sort; --he came to the place, and looking up with his eyes he saw the very place to which he had come, which was a very long way from the God who may not be named nor spoken of, and who is in every way incomprehensible. XII. 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.
11. Philo of Alexandria, On The Special Laws, 1.41-1.50, 3.178 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

1.41. Which that interpreter of the divine word, Moses, the man most beloved by God, having a regard to, besought God and said, "Show me thyself"--all but urging him, and crying out in loud and distinct words--"that thou hast a real being and existence the whole world is my teacher, assuring me of the fact and instructing me as a son might of the existence of his father, or the work of the existence of the workman. But, though I am very desirous to know what thou art as to thy essence, I can find no one who is able to explain to me anything relating to this branch of learning in any part of the universe whatever. 1.42. On which account, I beg and entreat of thee to receive the supplication of a man who is thy suppliant and devoted to God's service, and desirous to serve thee alone; for as the light is not known by the agency of anything else, but is itself its own manifestation, so also thou must alone be able to manifest thyself. For which reason I hope to receive pardon, if, from want of any one to teach me, I am so bold as to flee to thee, desiring to receive instruction from thyself. 1.43. But God replied, "I receive, indeed, your eagerness, inasmuch as it is praiseworthy; but the request which you make is not fitting to be granted to any created being. And I only bestow such gifts as are appropriate to him who receives them; for it is not possible for a man to receive all that it is easy for me to give. On which account I give to him who is deserving of my favour all the gifts which he is able to receive. 1.44. But not only is the nature of mankind, but even the whole heaven and the whole world is unable to attain to an adequate comprehension of me. So know yourself, and be not carried away with impulses and desires beyond your power; and let not a desire of unattainable objects carry you away and keep you in suspense. For you shall not lack anything which may be possessed by you. 1.45. When Moses heard this he betook himself to a second supplication, and said, "I am persuaded by thy explanations that I should not have been able to receive the visible appearance of thy form. But I beseech thee that I may, at all events, behold the glory that is around thee. And I look upon thy glory to be the powers which attend thee as thy guards, the comprehension of which having escaped me up to the present time, worketh in me no slight desire of a thorough understanding of it. 1.46. But God replied and said, "The powers which you seek to behold are altogether invisible, and appreciable only by the intellect; since I myself am invisible and only appreciable by the intellect. And what I call appreciable only by the intellect are not those which are already comprehended by the mind, but those which, even if they could be so comprehended, are still such that the outward senses could not at all attain to them, but only the very purest intellect. 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. 1.48. And some of your race, speaking with sufficient correctness, call them ideas (ideai 1.49. Do not, then, ever expect to be able to comprehend me nor any one of my powers, in respect of our essence. But, as I have said, I willingly and cheerfully grant unto you such things as you may receive. And this gift is to call you to the beholding of the world and all the things that are in it, which must be comprehended, not indeed by the eyes of the body, but by the sleepless vision of the soul. 1.50. The desire of wisdom alone is continual and incessant, and it fills all its pupils and disciples with famous and most beautiful doctrines." When Moses heard this he did not cease from his desire, but he still burned with a longing for the understanding of invisible things. [...]{7}{mangey thinks that there is a considerable hiatus here. What follows relates to the regulations respecting proselytes, which as the text stands is in no way connected with what has gone before about the worship of God.}IX. 3.178. And this is the cause which is often mentioned by many people. But I have heard another also, alleged by persons of high character, who look upon the greater part of the injunctions contained in the law as plain symbols of obscure meanings, and expressed intimations of what may not be expressed. And this other reason alleged is as follows. There are two kinds of soul, much as there are two sexes among human relations; the one a masculine soul, belonging to men; the other a female soul, as found in women. The masculine soul is that which devotes itself to God alone, as the Father and Creator of the universe and the cause of all things that exist; but the female soul is that which depends upon all the things which are created, and as such are liable to destruction, and which puts forth, as it were, the hand of its power in order that in a blind sort of way it may lay hold of whatever comes across it, clinging to a generation which admits of an innumerable quantity of changes and variations, when it ought rather to cleave to the unchangeable, blessed, and thrice happy divine nature.
12. Philo of Alexandria, Allegorical Interpretation, 1.20, 1.38 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

1.20. But, lest you should imagine that the Deity does anything according to definite periods of time, while you should rather think that everything done by him is inscrutable in its nature, uncertain, unknown to, and incomprehensible by the race of mortal men. Moses adds the words, "when they were created," not defining the time when by any exact limitation, for what has been made by the Author of all things has no limitation. And in this way the idea is excluded, that the universe was created in six days. IX. 1.38. Since how could the soul have perceived God if he had not inspired it, and touched it according to his power? For human intellect would not have dared to mount up to such a height as to lay claim to the nature of God, if God himself had not drawn it up to himself, as far as it was possible for the mind of man to be drawn up, and if he had not formed it according to those powers which can be comprehended.
13. Philo of Alexandria, Who Is The Heir, 209, 246, 170 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

170. The third law is one about the name of the Lord, not about that name which has not yet reached his creatures; for that name is unspeakable, but about the name which is constantly applied to him as displayed in his powers; for it is commanded that we shall not take his name in vain. The fourth commandment is concerning the seventh day, always virgin, and without any mother, in order that creation, taking care that it may be always free from labour, may in this way come to a recollection of him who does everything without being seen.
14. Philo of Alexandria, That The Worse Attacks The Better, 146-148, 156-161, 170-171, 176, 181, 89, 141 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

141. However, we have now said enough on this subject, and let us proceed to investigate what comes afterwards. He continues thus: "And Cain said unto the Lord, My crime is too great to be Forgiven." Now what is meant by this will be shown by a consideration of simple passages. If a pilot were to desert his ship when tossed about by the sea, would it not follow of necessity that the ship would wander out of her course in the voyage? Shall I say more? If a charioteer in the contest of the horse-race were to quit his chariot, is it not inevitable that the course of the free horses would be disorderly and irregular? Again, when a city is left destitute of rulers or of laws, and laws, undoubtedly, are entitled to be classed on an equality with magistrates, must not that city be destroyed by those greatest of evils, anarchy and lawlessness?
15. Philo of Alexandria, That Every Good Person Is Free, 108 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

108. Therefore, the one being hung up and violently stretched for the sake of making him divulge some secret, showed himself mightier than fire or iron, though they are the strongest things in nature, and biting off his tongue with his teeth, spit it at his torturer, that he might not involuntarily utter what he ought to bury in silence, under the influence of agony;
16. Alexander of Aphrodisias, Commentaries On Metaphysics, 38.12, 38.14-38.16 (2nd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

17. Stoic School, Stoicor. Veter. Fragm., 3.262



Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
abraham Geljon and Runia, Philo of Alexandria: On Cultivation: Introduction, Translation and Commentary (2013) 218
alexander of aphrodisias Geljon and Runia, Philo of Alexandria: On Planting: Introduction, Translation and Commentary (2019) 238
anatolius Geljon and Runia, Philo of Alexandria: On Planting: Introduction, Translation and Commentary (2019) 238
camel, symbol of memory Geljon and Runia, Philo of Alexandria: On Cultivation: Introduction, Translation and Commentary (2013) 218
celsus Gunderson, The Social Worlds of Ancient Jews and Christians: Essays in Honor of L. Michael White (2022) 197
cosmos Albrecht, The Divine Father: Religious and Philosophical Concepts of Divine Parenthood in Antiquity (2014) 176
creation of the Geljon and Runia, Philo of Alexandria: On Cultivation: Introduction, Translation and Commentary (2013) 218
cultivator Geljon and Runia, Philo of Alexandria: On Cultivation: Introduction, Translation and Commentary (2013) 218
desire (epithumia) Gunderson, The Social Worlds of Ancient Jews and Christians: Essays in Honor of L. Michael White (2022) 197
distinction Geljon and Runia, Philo of Alexandria: On Cultivation: Introduction, Translation and Commentary (2013) 218
division Geljon and Runia, Philo of Alexandria: On Cultivation: Introduction, Translation and Commentary (2013) 218
elements Geljon and Runia, Philo of Alexandria: On Cultivation: Introduction, Translation and Commentary (2013) 218
equality Geljon and Runia, Philo of Alexandria: On Planting: Introduction, Translation and Commentary (2019) 238
father, fatherhood Albrecht, The Divine Father: Religious and Philosophical Concepts of Divine Parenthood in Antiquity (2014) 176
figures of speech, rhetorical question Geljon and Runia, Philo of Alexandria: On Cultivation: Introduction, Translation and Commentary (2013) 218
gentiles (ethnē) Gunderson, The Social Worlds of Ancient Jews and Christians: Essays in Honor of L. Michael White (2022) 197
god, yhwh Albrecht, The Divine Father: Religious and Philosophical Concepts of Divine Parenthood in Antiquity (2014) 176
image of god Gunderson, The Social Worlds of Ancient Jews and Christians: Essays in Honor of L. Michael White (2022) 197
imagery, fountain Geljon and Runia, Philo of Alexandria: On Planting: Introduction, Translation and Commentary (2019) 238
justice Geljon and Runia, Philo of Alexandria: On Planting: Introduction, Translation and Commentary (2019) 238
logos, tomeus Geljon and Runia, Philo of Alexandria: On Cultivation: Introduction, Translation and Commentary (2013) 218
lydus, john Geljon and Runia, Philo of Alexandria: On Planting: Introduction, Translation and Commentary (2019) 238
metaphorical language/use Geljon and Runia, Philo of Alexandria: On Cultivation: Introduction, Translation and Commentary (2013) 218
middle platonism Gunderson, The Social Worlds of Ancient Jews and Christians: Essays in Honor of L. Michael White (2022) 197
moses Gunderson, The Social Worlds of Ancient Jews and Christians: Essays in Honor of L. Michael White (2022) 197
mother, motherhood Albrecht, The Divine Father: Religious and Philosophical Concepts of Divine Parenthood in Antiquity (2014) 176
mystery cults Keener, First-Second Corinthians (2005) 239
myth, of isis Albrecht, The Divine Father: Religious and Philosophical Concepts of Divine Parenthood in Antiquity (2014) 176
numbers, four Geljon and Runia, Philo of Alexandria: On Planting: Introduction, Translation and Commentary (2019) 238
numbers, theory of Geljon and Runia, Philo of Alexandria: On Planting: Introduction, Translation and Commentary (2019) 238
origen Gunderson, The Social Worlds of Ancient Jews and Christians: Essays in Honor of L. Michael White (2022) 197
paradise traditions Keener, First-Second Corinthians (2005) 239
passions Geljon and Runia, Philo of Alexandria: On Cultivation: Introduction, Translation and Commentary (2013) 218
philo of alexandria, on scriptural interpretations Gunderson, The Social Worlds of Ancient Jews and Christians: Essays in Honor of L. Michael White (2022) 197
philo of alexandria Gunderson, The Social Worlds of Ancient Jews and Christians: Essays in Honor of L. Michael White (2022) 197
ps.iamblichus Geljon and Runia, Philo of Alexandria: On Planting: Introduction, Translation and Commentary (2019) 238
pythagoreanism/pythagoreans/pythagorean Geljon and Runia, Philo of Alexandria: On Planting: Introduction, Translation and Commentary (2019) 238
sophism, sophists' Albrecht, The Divine Father: Religious and Philosophical Concepts of Divine Parenthood in Antiquity (2014) 176
soul Geljon and Runia, Philo of Alexandria: On Cultivation: Introduction, Translation and Commentary (2013) 218
stoa/stoic/stoicism Geljon and Runia, Philo of Alexandria: On Planting: Introduction, Translation and Commentary (2019) 238
stobaeus Geljon and Runia, Philo of Alexandria: On Planting: Introduction, Translation and Commentary (2019) 238
theon of smyrna Geljon and Runia, Philo of Alexandria: On Planting: Introduction, Translation and Commentary (2019) 238
virtues, cardinal Geljon and Runia, Philo of Alexandria: On Planting: Introduction, Translation and Commentary (2019) 238
worker of the earth Geljon and Runia, Philo of Alexandria: On Cultivation: Introduction, Translation and Commentary (2013) 218