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Philo Of Alexandria, That The Worse Attacks The Better, 44


nanIt is therefore nothing extraordinary, that these men being in the habit of indulging an unbridled tongue, should be full of self-sufficiency and boldness, displaying all the folly which they have from the first beginning cherished. But it is better to trust to those who, like skilful physicians, have a knowledge of the means of healing the diseases and evil affections of the soul, until God provides an excellent interpreter, and displays to and pours upon him the fountains of his eloquence. XIV.


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

21 results
1. Hebrew Bible, Genesis, 4.8, 4.14, 15.16 (9th cent. BCE - 3rd cent. BCE)

4.8. וַיֹּאמֶר קַיִן אֶל־הֶבֶל אָחִיו וַיְהִי בִּהְיוֹתָם בַּשָּׂדֶה וַיָּקָם קַיִן אֶל־הֶבֶל אָחִיו וַיַּהַרְגֵהוּ׃ 4.14. הֵן גֵּרַשְׁתָּ אֹתִי הַיּוֹם מֵעַל פְּנֵי הָאֲדָמָה וּמִפָּנֶיךָ אֶסָּתֵר וְהָיִיתִי נָע וָנָד בָּאָרֶץ וְהָיָה כָל־מֹצְאִי יַהַרְגֵנִי׃ 15.16. וְדוֹר רְבִיעִי יָשׁוּבוּ הֵנָּה כִּי לֹא־שָׁלֵם עֲוֺן הָאֱמֹרִי עַד־הֵנָּה׃ 4.8. And Cain spoke unto Abel his brother. And it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him." 4.14. Behold, Thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the land; and from Thy face shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and a wanderer in the earth; and it will come to pass, that whosoever findeth me will slay me.’" 15.16. And in the fourth generation they shall come back hither; for the iniquity of the Amorite is not yet full.’"
2. Philo of Alexandria, On The Life of Abraham, 217-223, 60, 121 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

121. Since this is not the actual truth, but in order that one may when speaking keep as close to the truth as possible, the one in the middle is the Father of the universe, who in the sacred scriptures is called by his proper name, I am that I am; and the beings on each side are those most ancient powers which are always close to the living God, one of which is called his creative power, and the other his royal power. And the creative power is God, for it is by this that he made and arranged the universe; and the royal power is the Lord, for it is fitting that the Creator should lord it over and govern the creature.
3. Philo of Alexandria, On Husbandry, 123 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

123. for it is always good to be beforehand in doing what is good, but to be slack in doing what is disgraceful: and, on the other hand, it is good to come close to the one, but to stand aloof from and to be as far as possible removed from the other. And that man is free from all disorder, to whom it happens to be removed at a distance from the errors of passion. Accordingly, Moses says that he is "awaiting the salvation which comes from God," in order that, as far as he is removed from committing iniquity, so far he may also advance in well-doing. XXVIII.
4. Philo of Alexandria, On The Decalogue, 150, 132 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

5. Philo of Alexandria, On Drunkenness, 71 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

71. Why, then, are we not also to repel this being, too, who is a sophist and a polluted person, condemning him to the death which is suited to him, namely, silence (for silence is the death of speech), in order that the mind may be no longer led away by its sophisms, but being completely emancipated from all the pleasures which are according to the body, "the brother," and being alienated from, and having shaken off the yoke of, all the trickeries according to "the neighbour," and the neighbouring outward senses, and from the sophistries in accordance with the "nearest" speech, may be able, in all purity, to apply itself to all the proper objects of the intellect.
6. Philo of Alexandria, On The Life of Joseph, 29-31, 28 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

28. It is worth while, however, after having thus explained the literal account given to us of these events, to proceed to explain also the figurative meaning concealed under that account; for we say that nearly all, or that at all events, the greater part of the history of the giving of the law is full of allegories; now the disposition which we have at present under consideration, is called by the Hebrews Joseph; but the name being interpreted in the Greek language means, "the addition of the Lord," a name most felicitously given, and most appropriate to the account given of the person so called; for the democratic constitution in vogue among states is an addition of nature which has sovereign authority over everything;
7. Philo of Alexandria, On The Migration of Abraham, 155, 67, 82, 85, 124 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

124. Let us therefore pray that the mind may be in the soul like a pillar in a house, and, in like manner, that the just man may be firmly established in the human race for the relief of all diseases; for while he is in vigorous health, one must not abandon all hope of complete safety, as through the medium of him, I imagine God the Saviour extending his all-healing medicine, that is to say, his propitious and merciful power to his suppliants and worshippers, bids them employ it for the salvation of those who are sick; spreading it like a salve over the wounds of the soul, which folly, and injustice, and all the other multitude of vices, being sharpened up, have grievously inflicted upon it.
8. Philo of Alexandria, On The Change of Names, 240 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

240. Therefore the most excellent, and most perfect kind of purification is this, not to admit into one's mind any improper notions, but to regulate it in peace and obedience to law, the ruler of which principles is justice. The next kind is, not to offend in one's language either by speaking falsely, or by swearing falsely, or by deceiving, or by practicing sophistry, or by laying false informations; or, in short, by letting loose one's mouth and tongue to the injury of any one, as it is better to put a bridle and an insuperable chain on those members. XLII.
9. Philo of Alexandria, On The Creation of The World, 3 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

3. And his exordium, as I have already said, is most admirable; embracing the creation of the world, under the idea that the law corresponds to the world and the world to the law, and that a man who is obedient to the law, being, by so doing, a citizen of the world, arranges his actions with reference to the intention of nature, in harmony with which the whole universal world is regulated.
10. Philo of Alexandria, On The Posterity of Cain, 47, 49, 53, 46 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

46. And again, the name Lamech, which means humiliation, is a name of ambiguous meaning; for we are humiliated either when the vigour of our soul is relaxed, according to the diseases and infirmities which arise from the irrational passions, or in respect of our love for virtue, when we seek to restrain ourselves from swelling selfopinions.
11. Philo of Alexandria, On Curses, 145 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

145. On this account it is, that God always judiciously limits and brings out with wise moderation his first benefits, stopping them before those who partake of them become wanton through satiety; and then he bestows others in their stead; and again a third class of advantages instead of the second set, and so on, continually substituting new blessings for those of older date, at one time giving such as are different from those which went before, and at another time such as are almost identical with them; for the creature is never wholly destitute of the blessings bestowed by God, since if he were he would be utterly destroyed; but he is unable to endure an unlimited and measureless abundance of them. On which account, as he is desirous that we should derive advantage from the benefits which he bestows upon us, he weighs out what he gives so as to proportion it to the strength of those who receive it. XLIV.
12. Philo of Alexandria, On The Sacrifices of Cain And Abel, 32 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

32. Know, then, my good friend, that if you become a votary of pleasure you will be all these things: a bold, cunning, audacious, unsociable, uncourteous, inhuman, lawless, savage, illtempered, unrestrainable, worthless man; deaf to advice, foolish, full of evil acts, unteachable, unjust, unfair, one who has no participation with others, one who cannot be trusted in his agreements, one with whom there is no peace, covetous, most lawless, unfriendly, homeless, cityless, seditious, faithless, disorderly, impious, unholy, unsettled, unstable, uninitiated, profane, polluted, indecent, destructive, murderous, illiberal, abrupt, brutal, slavish, cowardly, intemperate, irregular, disgraceful, shameful, doing and suffering all infamy, colourless, immoderate, unsatiable, insolent, conceited, self-willed, mean, envious, calumnious, quarrelsome, slanderous, greedy, deceitful, cheating, rash, ignorant, stupid, inharmonious, dishonest, disobedient, obstinate, tricky, swindling, insincere, suspicious, hated, absurd, difficult to detect, difficult to avoid, destructive, evil-minded, disproportionate, an unreasonable chatterer, a proser, a gossip, a vain babbler, a flatterer, a fool, full of heavy sorrow, weak in bearing grief, trembling at every sound, inclined to delay, inconsiderate, improvident, impudent, neglectful of good, unprepared, ignorant of virtue, always in the wrong, erring, stumbling, ill-managed, ill-governed, a glutton, a captive, a spendthrift, easily yielding, most crafty, double-minded, double-tongued, perfidious, treacherous, unscrupulous, always unsuccessful, always in want, infirm of purpose, fickle, a wanderer, a follower of others, yielding to impulses, open to the attacks of enemies, mad, easily satisfied, fond of life, fond of vain glory, passionate, ill-tempered, lazy, a procrastinator, suspected, incurable, full of evil jealousies, despairing, full of tears, rejoicing in evil, frantic, beside yourself, without any steady character, contriving evil, eager for disgraceful gain, selfish, a willing slave, an eager enemy, a demagogue, a bad steward, stiffnecked, effeminate, outcast, confused, discarded, mocking, injurious, vain, full of unmitigated unalloyed misery.
13. Philo of Alexandria, On Dreams, 2.40 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

2.40. he who, in something of a piratical fashion, lays ambuscades against those who counterplot against him, takes up deceit, cajolery, trickery, sophistry, pretence, and hypocrisy, which being in their own nature blamable, are nevertheless praised when employed against the enemy; he who studies to be rich in the riches of nature takes up temperance and frugality; he who loves peace takes up obedience to law, a good reputation, freedom from pride, and equality. VI.
14. Philo of Alexandria, On The Special Laws, 1.257, 4.80-4.82, 4.91 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

1.257. The law chooses that a person who brings a sacrifice shall be pure, both in body and soul; --pure in soul from all passions, and diseases, and vices, which can be displayed either in word or deed; and pure in body from all such things as a body is usually defiled by. 4.80. But of all the passions there is not one so grievous as a covetous desire of what one has not got, of things which are in appearance good, but not in reality; a desire which produces grievous anxieties which are hard to satisfy; for such a passion puts the reason to flight, and banishes it to a great distance, involving the soul in great difficulties, while the object which is desired flies away contemptuously, retreating not with its back but with its face to one; 4.81. for when a person perceives this passion of covetousness after having started up rapidly, then resting for a short time, either with a view to spread out its alluring toils, or because it has learnt to entertain a hope of succeeding in its object, he then retires to a longer distance uttering reproaches against it; but the passion itself, being left behind and coming too late to succeed, struggles, bearing a Tantalus-like punishment in its miserable future; for it is said that Tantalus, when he desired to obtain any liquor to drink, was not able to do so, as the water retreated from his lips, {14}{the story of Tantalus is told in Homer, Od. 11.581 (as it is translated by Pope 4.82. for as those implacable and inexorable mistresses of the body, thirst and hunger, do very often strain it more, or at all events not less, than those unhappy persons are strained who are racked by the torture even to death, unless when they have become violent some one appeases them with meat and drink; in like manner, covetous desire, having first rendered the soul empty through its forgetfulness of what is present and its recollection of what is removed to a great distance, fills it with impetuosity and madness, and introduces into it masters worse than even its former tyrants, but having the same names with them, namely, hunger and thirst, not, however, now of those things which conduce to the enjoyment of the belly, but of money, and glory, and authority, and beauty, and of innumerable other things which appear to be objects of desire and contention in human life. 4.91. When it affects the parts about the belly it makes men gluttonous, insatiable, intemperate, debauched, admirers of a profligate life, delighting in drunkenness, and epicurism, slaves to strong wine, and fish, and meat, pursuers of feasts and tables, wallowing like greedy dogs; owing to all which things their lives are rendered miserable and accursed, and they are reduced to an existence more grievous than any death.
15. Philo of Alexandria, On The Life of Moses, 2.51, 2.139, 2.181, 2.211 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

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. 2.139. Let him remember, says he, let him who is about to be sprinkled with the water of purification from this laver, remember that the materials of which this vessel was composed were mirrors, that he himself may look into his own mind as into a mirror; and if there is perceptible in it any deformity arising from some agitation unconnected with reason or from any pleasure which would excite us, and raise us up in hostility to reason, or from any pain which might mislead us and turn us from our purpose of proceeding by the straight road, or from any desire alluring us and even dragging us by force to the pursuit of present pleasures, he seeks to relieve and cure that, desiring only that beauty which is genuine and unadulterated. 2.181. by which perfect virtue is figuratively indicated. For as in the almond the beginning and the end are the same, the beginning as far as it is seed, and the end as far as it is fruit; so also is it the case with the virtues; for each one of them is at the same time both beginning and end, a beginning, because it proceeds not from any other power, but from itself; and an end, because the life in accordance with nature hastens towards it. 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.
16. Philo of Alexandria, Allegorical Interpretation, 2.50-2.52, 2.99, 3.131, 3.140, 3.232-3.233 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

17. Philo of Alexandria, Who Is The Heir, 85 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

85. Very correctly, therefore, it is said, he led him out (exeµgagen exoµ) of the prison according to the body, of the caves existing in the external senses, of the sophistries displayed in deceitful speech; and beyond all this, out of himself and out of the idea that by his own self-exerted, selfimplanted, and independent power he was able to conceive and comprehend. XVII.
18. Philo of Alexandria, That The Worse Attacks The Better, 38, 41, 1 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

1. And Cain said to Abel his brother, "Let us go to the field. And it came to pass, that while they were in the field, Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew Him." What Cain proposes to do is this: having by invitation led Abel on to a dispute, to convince him by main force, using plausible and probable sophisms; for the field to which he invites him to come, we may call a symbol of rivalry and contention, forming our conjectures of things that are uncertain from our perception of those which are manifest.
19. Irenaeus, Refutation of All Heresies, 1.11.5, 2.14.5 (2nd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

20. Eusebius of Caesarea, Preparation For The Gospel, 14.5.12, 14.6.4-14.6.6, 14.6.9, 14.6.12-14.6.13, 14.7-14.9 (3rd cent. CE - 4th cent. CE)

21. Porphyry, On Abstinence, 4.6 (3rd cent. CE - 4th cent. CE)

4.6. 6.Chaeremon the Stoic, therefore, in his narration of the Egyptian priests, who, he says, were considered by the Egyptians as philosophers, informs us, that they chose temples, as the places in which they might philosophize. For to dwell with the statues of the Gods is a thing allied to the whole desire, by which the soul tends to the contemplation of their divinities. And from the divine veneration indeed, which was paid to them through dwelling in temples, they obtained security, all men honouring these philosophers, as if they were certain sacred animals. They also led a solitary life, as they only mingled with other men in solemn sacrifices and festivals. But at other times the priests were almost inaccessible to any one who wished to converse with them. For it was requisite that he who approached to them should be first purified, and abstain from many things; and this is as it were a common sacred law respecting the Egyptian priests. But these [philosophic priests], |116 having relinquished every other employment, and human labours,7 gave up the whole of their life to the contemplation and worship of divine natures and to divine inspiration; through the latter, indeed, procuring for themselves, honour, security, and piety; but through contemplation, science; and through both, a certain occult exercise of manners, worthy of antiquity8. For to be always conversant with divine knowledge and inspiration, removes those who are so from all avarice, suppresses the passions, and excites to an intellectual life. But they were studious of frugality in their diet and apparel, and also of continence and endurance, and in all things were attentive to justice and equity. They likewise were rendered venerable, through rarely mingling with other men. For during the time of what are called purifications, they scarcely mingled with their nearest kindred, and those of their own order, nor were they to be seen by anyone, unless it was requisite for the necessary purposes of purification. For the sanctuary was inaccessible to those who were not purified, and they dwelt in holy places for the purpose of performing divine works; but at all other times they associated more freely with those who lived like themselves. They did not, however, associate with any one who was not a religious character. But they were always seen near to the Gods, or the statues of the Gods, the latter of which they were beheld either carrying, or preceding in a sacred procession, or disposing in an orderly manner, with modesty and gravity; each of which operations was not the effect of pride, but an indication of some physical reason. Their venerable gravity also was apparent from their manners. For their walking was orderly, and their aspect sedate; and they were so studious of preserving this gravity of countece, that they did not even wink, when at any time they were unwilling to do so; and they seldom laughed, and when they did, their laughter proceeded no farther than to a smile. But they always kept their hands within their garments. Each likewise bore about him a symbol indicative of the order which he was allotted in sacred concerns; for there were many orders of priests. Their diet also was slender and simple. For, with respect to wine, some of them did not at all drink it, but others drank very little of it, on account of its being injurious to the |117 nerves, oppressive to the head, an impediment to invention, and an incentive to venereal desires. In many other things also they conducted themselves with caution; neither using bread at all in purifications, and at those times in which they were not employed in purifying themselves, they were accustomed to eat bread with hyssop, cut into small pieces. For it is said, that hyssop very much purifies the power of bread. But they, for the most part, abstained from oil, the greater number of them entirely; and if at any time they used it with pot-herbs, they took very little of it, and only as much as was sufficient to mitigate the taste of the herbs. SPAN


Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
chaeremon the stoic, on the egyptian priests Taylor and Hay, Philo of Alexandria: On the Contemplative Life: Introduction, Translation and Commentary (2020) 114
chaeremon the stoic Taylor and Hay, Philo of Alexandria: On the Contemplative Life: Introduction, Translation and Commentary (2020) 114
dialectic, criticism of Boulluec, The Notion of Heresy in Greek Literature in the Second and Third Centuries (2022) 143
eristic, connection with heresy Boulluec, The Notion of Heresy in Greek Literature in the Second and Third Centuries (2022) 143
exegesis, allegorical Boulluec, The Notion of Heresy in Greek Literature in the Second and Third Centuries (2022) 143
gnosticism, as sophistical Boulluec, The Notion of Heresy in Greek Literature in the Second and Third Centuries (2022) 143
irenaeus, on heresy and sophism Boulluec, The Notion of Heresy in Greek Literature in the Second and Third Centuries (2022) 143
jewish succession, orthodox borrowings from jewish heresiology Boulluec, The Notion of Heresy in Greek Literature in the Second and Third Centuries (2022) 143
philo of alexandria Boulluec, The Notion of Heresy in Greek Literature in the Second and Third Centuries (2022) 143
philosophy, criticized as divided Boulluec, The Notion of Heresy in Greek Literature in the Second and Third Centuries (2022) 143
philosophy, positive invocation and use of Boulluec, The Notion of Heresy in Greek Literature in the Second and Third Centuries (2022) 143
sophistry, heresy connected to Boulluec, The Notion of Heresy in Greek Literature in the Second and Third Centuries (2022) 143
stoicism, pejorative comparison in heresiology Boulluec, The Notion of Heresy in Greek Literature in the Second and Third Centuries (2022) 143
μικρολογία Boulluec, The Notion of Heresy in Greek Literature in the Second and Third Centuries (2022) 143
πολυπραγμοσύνη Boulluec, The Notion of Heresy in Greek Literature in the Second and Third Centuries (2022) 143
ἀσάφεια' Boulluec, The Notion of Heresy in Greek Literature in the Second and Third Centuries (2022) 143