Home About Network of subjects Linked subjects heatmap Book indices included Search by subject Search by reference Browse subjects Browse texts

Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



9251
Philo Of Alexandria, That The Worse Attacks The Better, 52-53


nanBut as he who injures a good man is proved to be doing injury to himself, so also does he who thinks his betters worthy of privileges, in word indeed claim advantage for them, but in fact he is procuring it for himself. And nature here bears testimony in support of my argument, and so do all the laws which have been established in consistency with her; for there is a positive and express and intelligible command laid down in these words: "Honour thy father and thy mother, that it may be well with Thee;" not well with those who receive the honour, says the Scripture, but with thee; for if we look upon the intellect as the father of this concrete animal, and if we honour the outward senses as its mother, we ourselves shall be well treated by them.


nanBut the proper honour to be paid to the mind is first to be honoured on account of what us useful, and not on account of what is pleasant; but all things proceeding from virtue are useful. And the honour proper to be paid to the outward sense is when we do not allow ourselves to be carried away by its impetuosity towards the external objects of the outward senses, but compel it to be curved by the mind, which knows how to govern and guide the irrational powers in us.


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

9 results
1. Philo of Alexandria, On The Life of Abraham, 6, 5 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

5. for these men have been living and rational laws; and the lawgiver has magnified them for two reasons; first, because he was desirous to show that the injunctions which are thus given are not inconsistent with nature; and, secondly, that he might prove that it is not very difficult or laborious for those who wish to live according to the laws established in these books, since the earliest men easily and spontaneously obeyed the unwritten principle of legislation before any one of the particular laws were written down at all. So that a man may very properly say, that the written laws are nothing more than a memorial of the life of the ancients, tracing back in an antiquarian spirit, the actions and reasonings which they adopted;
2. Philo of Alexandria, On The Decalogue, 107-120, 106 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

3. Philo of Alexandria, On Giants, 63-64, 62 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

62. Accordingly, Abraham, as long as he was abiding in the land of the Chaldaeans, that is to say, in opinion, before he received his new name, and while he was still called Abram, was a man born of heaven, investigating the sublime nature of things on high, and all that took place in these regions, and the causes of them, and studying everything of that kind in the true spirit of philosophy; on which account he received an appellation corresponding to the pursuits to which he devoted himself: for the name Abram, being interpreted, signifies the sublime father, and is a name very fitting for the paternal mind, which in every direction contemplates sublime and heavenly things: for the mind is the father of our composite being, reaching as high as the sky and even farther.
4. 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;
5. Philo of Alexandria, On The Change of Names, 3-10 (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.
6. Philo of Alexandria, On Dreams, 2.9 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

2.9. Those then who have called only what is honourable good, have preserved this nature free from alloy, and have attributed it only to what is most excellent, namely to the reason that is in us; but those who have mixed it have combined it with three things, the soul, the body, and external circumstances. And they who act thus are persons of a somewhat effeminate and luxurious way of life, being bred up the greater part of their time, from their earliest infancy, in the women's apartments and among the effeminate race which is found in the women's apartments. But those who argue differently are men inclined to a harder regimen, being bred up from their boyhood among men, and being themselves men in their minds, embracing what is right in preference to what is pleasant, and devoting themselves to nourishment fit for athletes for the sake of strength and vigour, not of pleasure.
7. Philo of Alexandria, On The Special Laws, 1.41-1.50, 2.1, 2.48, 2.240-2.241 (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. 2.1. In the treatise preceding this one we have discussed with accuracy two articles of the ten commandments, that which relates to not thinking that any other beings are absolute gods, except God himself; and the other which enjoins us not to worship as God any object made with hands. And we also spoke of the laws which relate specially to each of these points. But we will now proceed to discuss the three which come next in the regular order, again adapting suitable special laws to each. 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. 2.240. But the law has enjoined fear, because children are accustomed to feel an easy indifference. For though parents attend to their children with an exceeding violence of affection, providing them with necessary things from all quarters, and bestowing all good things upon them, and shrinking from no labour and from no danger, being bound to them by love stronger than any oaths, still some persons do not receive their affection as if it aimed solely at their good, being full of luxury and arrogance; and coveting a luxurious life, and becoming effeminate both in body and soul, permitting them in no respect to entertain proper dispositions as through the native powers of their minds, which they are not ashamed to overthrow, and to enervate, and to deprive of each separate energy, and so they come not to fear their natural correctors, their fathers and mothers yielding to and indulging their own private passions and desires. 2.241. But we must also urge on the parents of such persons that they employ more weighty and severe admonitions in order to cure this impetuous obstinacy of their children, and we must warn the children to reverence their parents, fearing them as their rulers and natural masters; for it is with difficulty even by these considerations that they will be brought to hesitate to act unjustly.XLIV.
8. Philo of Alexandria, Who Is The Heir, 172, 71, 95, 171 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

171. The fifth commandment is about the honour due to parents. For this also is a sacred command; having reference not to men, but to him who is the cause of birth and existence of the universe, in accordance with whom it is that fathers and mothers appear to generate children; not generating them themselves, but only being the instruments of generation in his hands.
9. Philo of Alexandria, That The Worse Attacks The Better, 53 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

53. But the proper honour to be paid to the mind is first to be honoured on account of what us useful, and not on account of what is pleasant; but all things proceeding from virtue are useful. And the honour proper to be paid to the outward sense is when we do not allow ourselves to be carried away by its impetuosity towards the external objects of the outward senses, but compel it to be curved by the mind, which knows how to govern and guide the irrational powers in us.


Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
allegorical commentary Cover, Philo of Alexandria: On the Change of Names (2023) 205
arithmology, five Cover, Philo of Alexandria: On the Change of Names (2023) 205
creation Martens, One God, One Law: Philo of Alexandria on the Mosaic and Greco-Roman Law (2003) 75
exposition of the law Cover, Philo of Alexandria: On the Change of Names (2023) 205
law of nature, and stoicism Martens, One God, One Law: Philo of Alexandria on the Mosaic and Greco-Roman Law (2003) 75
law of nature, in philo Martens, One God, One Law: Philo of Alexandria on the Mosaic and Greco-Roman Law (2003) 75
letters/epistles Allison, 4 Baruch (2018) 335
mosaic law, for ordinary people Martens, One God, One Law: Philo of Alexandria on the Mosaic and Greco-Roman Law (2003) 75
motherhood Sly, Philo's Perception of Women (1990) 187
nature, philos and stoics views of Martens, One God, One Law: Philo of Alexandria on the Mosaic and Greco-Roman Law (2003) 75
obedience and disobedience Allison, 4 Baruch (2018) 335
papyrus Allison, 4 Baruch (2018) 335
physis, as ordering nature Martens, One God, One Law: Philo of Alexandria on the Mosaic and Greco-Roman Law (2003) 75
piety Cover, Philo of Alexandria: On the Change of Names (2023) 205
reason, in philos view of nature' Martens, One God, One Law: Philo of Alexandria on the Mosaic and Greco-Roman Law (2003) 75
soul, eye of the Cover, Philo of Alexandria: On the Change of Names (2023) 205
soul Cover, Philo of Alexandria: On the Change of Names (2023) 205
stoics/stoicism, natural law Martens, One God, One Law: Philo of Alexandria on the Mosaic and Greco-Roman Law (2003) 75
virtue Cover, Philo of Alexandria: On the Change of Names (2023) 205
wisdom Cover, Philo of Alexandria: On the Change of Names (2023) 205