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Philo of Alexandria cover

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Philo of Alexandria

Roman philosopher

  -   2045

movement: Middle Platonism
country of citizenship: ancient Rome
occupation: philosopher, historian
influenced by: Platonism, stoicism

Ebooks: on Wikisource

Philo of Alexandria (; Ancient Greek: Φίλων, romanized: Phílōn; Hebrew: יְדִידְיָה הַכֹּהֵן‎, romanized: Yedidia (Jedediah) HaCohen; c. 20 BCE – c. 50 CE), also called Philo Judaeus, was a Hellenistic Jewish philosopher who lived in Alexandria, in the Roman province of Egypt. Philo used philosophical allegory to harmonize Jewish scripture, mainly the Torah, with Greek philosophy. His method followed the practices of both Jewish exegesis and Stoic philosophy. His allegorical exegesis was important for some Christian Church Fathers, but he had very little reception history within the Rabbinic Judaism. He adopted allegorical instead of literal interpretations of the Hebrew Bible. Some scholars hold that his concept of the Logos as God's creative principle influenced early Christology. Other scholars deny direct influence but say that Philo and Early Christianity borrow from a common source.The only event in Philo's life that can be decisively dated is his participation in the embassy to Rome in 40 CE. He represented the Alexandrian Jews in a delegation to the Roman Emperor Gaius (Caligula) following civil strife between the Alexandrian Jewish and Greek communities. The story of this event, and a few other biographical details, are found in Josephus and in Philo's own works, especially in Legatio ad Gaium (Embassy to Gaius) of which only two of the original five volumes survive.The thought of Philo was largely inspired by Aristobulus of Paneas and the Alexandrian School, concerning his work "Wisdom of Solomon" and the occupations of the Therapeutæ and the Essenes. Philo has never been claimed as a saint nor Doctor of the Church.
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