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Abraham Terian on Philo

August 2009
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A-Terian
Prof. Abraham Terian, who has written extensively on Philo of Alexandria, and who is the leading expert on the Armenian textversions of Philo’s works, has kindly pointed out to me some of his relevant articles on Philo. These I find especially valuable as the i.a., discuss aspects of chronology of Philo’s works, and have set forth viewpoints that have found a wide readership and acceptance. I would be very happy if some of these could be published electronically on the web, and thus be even more accessible.

Students of Philo should be aware of esp. the following studies by prof. Terian (a fuller bibliography can be found here):

“A Critical Introduction to Philo’s Dialogues.” In W. Haase, ed., Hellenistisches Judentum in römischer Zeit: Philon und Josephus, Aufstieg und Niedergang der römischen Welt, II Principat vol. 21.1-2. Berlin and New York: Walter de Gruyter, 1984, 1:272-294.

This is the first of three articles devoted to the chronology of Philo’s works, demonstrating that Philo’s “Philosophical Works” or “Dialogues” belong to the closing years of his life, not to his school-days as previously thought.

“The Priority of the Quaestiones among Philo’s Exegetical Commentaries.” In David M. Hay, ed., Both Literal and Allegorical: Studies in Philo of Alexandria’s Questions and Answers on Genesis and Exodus. Brown Judaic Studies 232. Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1991, pp. 29-46.

This second article on the chronology of the works of the voluminous author, demonstrates that the Quaestiones are the first of Philo’s three grand commentaries, not the last as previously thought.

“Back to Creation: The Beginning of Philo’s Third Grand Commentary.” In David T. Runia and Gregory E. Sterling, eds., Wisdom and Logos: Studies in Jewish Thought in Honor of David Winston. Brown Judaic Studies 312. Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1991 [=The Studia Philonica Annual 9 (1997)] 19-36.

This third article on the chronology shows the blunders that creep in when De Opificio is placed at the beginning of Philo’s collected works, when in reality it marks the beginning of his third grand commentary or the Exposition of the Law.

I would like to suggest that some of these should be published electronically on the web, and thus be even more accessible, like for instance the introductory studies that are available on my Philo page.


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