A long awaited new volume in the Philo of Alexandria Commentary Series is about to be launched. After a several years of no further volumes being published, a third volume is soon available:
Walter T. Wilson,
Philo of Alexandria On Virtues: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary
Philo of Alexandria Commentary Series 3. Brill; Leiden, 2011.
xx, 479 pp. ISBN 978 90 04 18907 2. € 152.00 / US$ 216.00.
The first volume in this serie was published as far back as in 2001 (D.T.Runia, Philo of Alexandria, On the Creation of the Cosmos according to Moses), then the second volume, on Philo’s Flaccus, was published in 2003. Hopefully, several more are in the press soon.
In this volume on the virtues, “Philo of Alexandria demonstrates how Moses, his laws, and the nation constituted by these laws each embody certain widely-discussed moral values, specifically, courage (andreia), humanity (philanthropia), repentance (metanoia), and nobility (eugeneia). Although it makes extensive use of material drawn from the Pentateuch, what the treatise provides is far more than a commentary on scripture. Rather, it contributes to a sophisticated apologetic reconstruction of Jewish origins, idealized according to the principles of both Greek philosophy and Roman political culture. Guided by such principles, Philo endeavors to establish the moral, legal, and social status of Judaism within the Greco-Roman world” (from the publisher’s description).
I am looking forward to its publication; it will be a valuable contribution to an already praised commentary series. But the price of the volume is terrible; how is it possible – in the age of computers 2011- to produce av volume at a price of US$ 216.00? Students of Philo will need this volume, but will the afford to buy it? Hopefully, there will a cheaper paperback issue out soon.