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Studia Philonica 2018

The 2018 issue of The Studia Philonica Annual XXX 2018 arrived in my snail mailbox just as the SBL Annual Meeting was going on in Denver.

As usual – it contains a lot of relevant material for those interested in Philo of Alexandria and Hellenistic Judaism.

In this volume, you will find the following articles:

  • Royse, James R.  “Fragments of Philo of Alexandria Preserved in Pseudo-Eustathius.” pp.   1–14.
  • Cover, Michael B.  “A New Fragment of Philo’s Quaestiones in Exodum in Origen’s Newly Discovered Homilies on the Psalms? A Preliminary Note.” pp. 15–29.
  • Sterling, Gregory E.  “Philo of Alexandria’s Life of Moses: An Introduction to the Exposition of the Law.” pp. 31–45.
  • Adams, Sean A. “Movement and Travel in Pilo’s Migration of Abraham: The Adaptation of Genesis and the Introduction of Metaphor.” pp. 47–70.
  • Hartog, P.B. “Space and Travel in Philo’s Legatio Ad Gaium.” pp. 71–92.
  • Appelbaum, Alan.  “A Fresh Look at Philo’s Family.” pp. 93–113.

In addition, of course, there also is the usual Bibliographic Section, pp. 115-181, and the Book Review Section, pp. 183-217. And finally some News and Notes, and Notes on contributors.

This issue represents the 18th time I have contributed to the Bibliographic Section, and I have asked the editors to find some successor. I am always looking forward to the publication of this annual, and I will continue to do so. No scholar interested in Philo should go without this.

Philo seminars

UPDATE: All the papers for the Philo Seminars have now been posted, and are uploaded on the server: go to

Greek Writers and Philosophers

A new book is about to be published, written by Erkki Koskenniemi:

Greek Writers and Philosophers in Philo and Josephus
A Study of Their Secular Education and Educational Ideals
Series: Studies in Philo of Alexandria, Volume: 9
Leiden; Brill, 2018.

The advertisement has just ‘popped up’ on the Brill site, and it runs thus:
“In Greek Writers and Philosophers in Philo and Josephus Erkki Koskenniemi investigates how two Jewish writers, Philo and Josephus, quoted, mentioned and referred to Greek writers and philosophers. He asks what this tells us about their Greek education, their contacts with Classical culture in general, and about the societies in which Philo and Josephus lived. Although Philo in Alexandria and Josephus in Jerusalem both had the possibility to acquire a thorough knowledge of Greek language and culture, they show very different attitudes. Philo, who was probably educated in the gymnasium, often and enthusiastically refers to Greek poets and philosophers. Josephus on the other hand rarely quotes from their works, giving evidence of a more traditionalistic tendencies among Jewish nobility in Jerusalem.”

Price; as expected; (too) expensive: EUR €138.00USD $166.00, but tell your institution’s library to get it!

Philo and Josephus on Sarah

Two Finnish(?) scholars have recently published an article on how Philo and Josephus deal with the figure of Sarah:

Hanna Tervanotko & Elisa Uusimäki, “Sarah the Princess: Tracing the Hellenistic Afterlife of a Pentateuchal Female Figure,” Scandinavian Journal of the Old Testament 32/2 (2018): 271–290.

The Abstract runs like this:

This article analyses Philo of Alexandria’s and Josephus Flavius’s interpretations of Sarah from the viewpoint of social and political power attached to her. Both ascribe the figure royal attributes (i.e., she is depicted as a princess or queen) and other features that promote her as a virtuous model and an individual of public standing. A variety of emphases, philological and philosophical interpretations alike, jointly serve to construct Sarah’s exemplarity. The aim of this article is to demonstrate that different dimensions of biblical female figures may be revealed when their role as spouses and mothers is not taken as the starting point of analyses in studies concerning the reception history of biblical women.


Philo at SBL Annual Meeting, II

In addition to the Philo Seminar sessions mentioned below, there are some other sessions too that should be interesting for a Philo reader. I list them here as they are given in the SBL Program book (Philo lectures in blue):

S19-221 Hellenistic Judaism; Cultic Personnel in the Biblical World; Greco-Roman Religions. Joint Session With: Hellenistic Judaism, Cultic Personnel in the Biblical World, Greco-Roman Religions.
11/19/2018. 1:00 PM to 3:30 PM
Room: Capitol Ballroom 6 (Fourth Level) – Hyatt Regency (HR)

Theme: Making Priests: Intersections of Discourse and Practice in the Hellenistic and Greco-Roman Eastern Mediterranean

Lutz Doering, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, Presiding

Jared W. Saltz, Florida College
“Moses Made Arrangements for the Sacrifices That Were Utterly Different from Those of Other Races…” Hecataeus of Abdera’s Portrayal of the Jewish Priesthood in Ptolemaic Egypt (25 min)
Jonathan Trotter, Lewis University
Alexandrian Jews’ Vicarious Participation in the Jerusalem Temple: Philo of Alexandria’s Hieropompoi as Community Representatives and Priests (25 min)
Mary Julia Jett, Saint Francis College
Throw Water at It: Water Purification Entrance Rites during the Greco-Roman Period (25 min)
Wally V. Cirafesi, University of Oslo
The Place of Priests in the Ancient Synagogue (25 min)
Sung Soo Hong, University of Texas at Austin
A Religiopolitical Reconfiguration of the Urban Space: The Functions of the Salutaris Foundation as an Imperial Cult (25 min)

Discussion (25 min)

S19-311 Corpus Hellenisticum Novi Testamenti
11/19/2018 4:00 PM to 6:30 PM
Room: Capitol Ballroom 2 (Fourth Level) – Hyatt Regency

Theme: Atheism in Antiquity

Trevor Thompson, University of Chicago, Presiding

Tim Whitmarsh, University of Cambridge
The Invention of Atheism and the Invention of Religion (30 min)
Paula F. Fredriksen, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
“The Gods of My Unbelief are Magnificent”: Jews, Gods, and Israel’s God in the Early Roman Period (30 min)
J. Albert Harrill, Ohio State University
Atheist Lists as an Organizing Technique in Classical Literary Culture (30 min)
Richard A. Wright, Abilene Christian University
“Out with the Christians, . . . Out with the Epicureans!” Atheism and Constructing the Other in Antiquity (30 min)

Discussion (30 min)

S20-135 Slavery, Resistance, and Freedom
11/20/2018. 9:00 AM to 11:30 AM

Room: 705 (Street Level) – Convention Center (CC)

Kathy Gaca, Vanderbilt University, Presiding (5 min)

David Bosworth, The Catholic University of America
Slavery and Infanticide: The Abandonment of Moses and Ishmael (25 min)
Kenneth Fox, University of Calgary
Philo of Alexandria and Sex with Pretty Little Slave Girls (25 min)
Joseph E. Brito, Concordia University – Université Concordia
Appropriating the Title of “Servant of God” in the Second Century CE: Slavery and Identity in the Acts of Paul and Thecla (25 min)
Chris de Wet, University of South Africa
Slavery in the Life of Euphemia and the Goth (25 min)

Discussion (15 min)


Philo at SBL Annual Meeting I

Here is a list over the most important sessions in which there will be presented papers on Philo of Alexandria. In addition to the sessions of the Philo Seminar, there will be presented one or more papers on Philo in several other sessions, some other papers will also deal with him to some extent. It is, however, somewhat difficult to get an overview of all these latter papers, as Philo is often not mentioned in the main headline, or in the abstracts. However, there is still a lot on Philo:

S18-339  Philo of Alexandria
11/18/2018 4:00 PM to 6:45 PM
Room: Mile High Ballroom 4D (Lower Level) – Convention Center (CC)

Theme: Studies on Philo of Alexandria
Seminar papers will be available online later at

Ronald Cox, Pepperdine University, Presiding

Courtney Friesen, University of Arizona
Philo of Alexandria and the Masks of Heracles (25 min)
Tyler A. Stewart, Lincoln Christian University
The Origin of Evil and Subordinate Creators: Philo’s Exegesis of Gen 1:26 in Context(25 min)
Luiz Felipe Ribeiro, University of Toronto
Pederast Playthings and Androgynous Souls: Philo Judaeus’ Polemic against Socratic Pedagogic Pederasty in the Symposium (Vit. Cont. 57–64) (25 min)
Break (10 min)
Richard A Zaleski, University of Chicago
Philo’s Double Paraphrase of the Parting of the Red Sea in Mos. 1.175–79 and 2.250–55 (25 min)
John Sehorn, Augustine Institute
Philo and Origen on Moses as Prophet (25 min)
Discussion (30 min)

S19-136 Philo of Alexandria
11/19/2018 9:00 AM to 11:30 AM
Room: Mile High Ballroom 1E (Lower Level) – Convention Center (CC)

Theme: Reflections on Writing a Commentary

Gregory Sterling, Yale Divinity School, Presiding (5 min)

Ellen Birnbaum, Cambridge, MA
Some Things I Learned from Cowriting a Commentary on Philo’s De Abrahamo (25 min)
David Runia, University of Melbourne
Writing Commentaries on Philo’s Allegorical Treatises (25 min)
Break (10 min)
Joan Taylor, King’s College – London
Writing a Commentary on De Vita Contemplativa (25 min)
Presenter Withdrew (25 min)
Discussion (35 min)


S19-329 Philo of Alexandria
11/19/2018. 4:00 PM to 6:30 PM
Room: Mile High Ballroom 4F (Lower Level) – Convention Center (CC)

Theme: Philo’s “On the Sacrifices of Cain and Abel”
Seminar papers will be available online at

Justin Rogers, Freed-Hardeman University
Commentary on the Sacrifices of Cain and Abel (25 min)
James Royse, Claremont, CA
New and Neglected Readings from De sacrificiis and Other Works of Philo (25 min)

Break (10 min)

Scott Mackie, Independent Scholar
“God Has Had Mercy on Me”: Theology and Soteriology in De sacrificiis Abelis et Caini (25 min)
Ronald Cox, Pepperdine University
Philo’s Allegorical Interpretation of Sacrifice in “On the Sacrifices of Cain and Abel” (25 min)
Discussion (25 min)
Business Meeting (15 min)

Les Receptions d’Philon

A great conference on the receptions of Philo in modern Europe is to be held in Lyon, France, upcoming Nov7-9th.  A total of 25 lectures will be presented. See also more here.

“Ce colloque international, réunissant des universitaires et des chercheur(e)s
européens, américains et australiens, est consacré à la réception de l’œuvre de
Philon d’Alexandrie à l’époque moderne, étape essentielle, et pourtant très peu
étudiée, dans une longue chaîne qui se déploie de l’époque patristique jusqu’au
nouvel essor des études philoniennes des cinquante dernières années. Deux axes
de recherche ont été choisis : 1) une première approche concerne la philologie
et l’histoire du livre ; 2) une seconde souhaite préciser les usages diversifiés de Philon dans les commentaires exégétiques, les traités théologiques, l’érudition historique, et plus largement les controverses.” (from the brochure).

I give the comprehensive program below, hoping the lectures will be published in the near future (alas, too many conference papers are published much too long after the actual conference).

Matinée : ENS de Lyon, bâtiment Buisson, salle D8001
9h : Accueil et ouverture du colloque par Olivier Bara et Marina Mestre Zaragoza (direction de l’IHRIM) et Smaranda Marculescu (IHRIM, ENS de Lyon)
9h15 : Frédéric Gabriel (CNRS – IHRIM, ENS de Lyon), «La redécouverte de Philon à
l’époque moderne : un tournant philologique et herméneutique »
Président de séance : David T. Runia
9h30 : Gregory E. Sterling (Yale University), « Adrianus Turnebus and the Editio Princeps of Philo (1552) »
10h30 : pause café
10h50 : Michael Cover (Marquette University), «Paris and Augsburg revisited: David Hoeschel, Bürgerhumanismus, and the ecumenical completion of Turnèbe’s Philo »
Après-midi : auditorium de la Bibliothèque municipale de Lyon, Part-Dieu
Président de séance : Claudio Moreschini
14h : Marie-Luce Demonet (Université de Tours, CESR), «L’ordre du monde dans la première traduction française du De Mundo (1539) par Louis Meigret»
15h : Luigi-Alberto Sanchi (CNRS – IHD, Paris), «Alexandrie, modèle d’un hellénisme
inclusif : Guillaume Budé, lecteur de Philon»
16h : pause café
16h15 : Smaranda Marculescu (IHRIM, ENS de Lyon), «Philo latinus : autour de la traduction de Gelenius»
17h-18h45 : présentation de livres à la Réserve de la Bibliothèque municipale par Jérôme Sirdey (Conservateur du fonds ancien)
Matinée : ENS de Lyon, bâtiment Buisson, salle D8001
Présidente de séance : Marie-Luce Demonet
8h30 : Lucia Maddalena Tissi (Labex HaStec, LEM, Paris), «Genere Iudaeo, professione
Platonico. Philon dans le De perenni philosophia d’Agostino Steuco»
9h15 : Claudio Moreschini (Università di Pisa, Istitutum Patristicum Augustinianum), «La
panaugia secondo Patrizi e la tradizione di Filone nel XVI secolo italiano»
10h : pause café
10h30 : François Roudaut (Université de Montpellier, IRCL), «L’influence de Philon dans
l’oeuvre théologique et philosophique de Pontus de Tyard (1522-1605) »
11h15 : Thomas Leinkauf (Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität, Münster), «Philo – Graecus, Hebraicus, Proto-Christianus. The presence of Philo Alexandrinus or Judaeus in non-scolastic texts of the 16th century »
Après-midi : salle de séminaire de l’Institut des Sources chrétiennes (22 rue Sala, 2e
Président de séance : Gregory E. Sterling
14h15 : Nicholas Hardy (University of Birmingham), «Philo, theological controversy, and the construction of hellenistic Judaism in the post-Reformation era »
15h : Scott Mandelbrote (University of Cambridge – Peterhouse), «Philo and early modern biblical criticism»
15h45 : pause café
16h15 : Brigitte Tambrun (CNRS – LEM, Paris), «Philon dans les querelles sur la Trinité
(XVIIe s.-début XVIIIe s.) »
17h : Gianni Paganini (Università del Piemonte Orientale, Vercelli – Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei), «Moïse législateur. Un thème philonien aux origines du théologico-politique
17h45 : Matthieu Somon (Université catholique de Louvain, Fondation Sedes sapientiae),
«Moïse réinventé à l’aune de Philon »
18h40 : présentation des Sources chrétiennes par Guillaume Bady (CNRS – HISOMA)
ENS de Lyon, bâtiment Buisson, salle D8001
Président de séance : Gianni Paganini
8h30 : Joanna Weinberg (University of Oxford), «Rabbi or Sectarian: the debate over Philo of Alexandria among Jews in early modern Italy »
9h15 : Myriam Silvera (Università di Roma « Tor Vergata »), « L’œuvre de Philon à l’attention du rabbin Menasseh ben Israel »
10h : pause café
10h30 : Pierre-François Moreau (ENS de Lyon, IHRIM), « Spinoza, Philon et le pseudoPhilon»
11h15 : Giovanni Benedetto (Università degli Studi di Milano), « Philo Platonicus : a seventeenth century controversy »
12h : David T. Runia (Australian Catholic University, University of Melbourne), « How in
scholarship an end and a beginning can overlap: Joh. Alb. Fabricius (1668-1736) and the 1729 edition of Philo’s Opera omnia »
Présidente de séance : Myriam Silvera
14h15 : Martine Pécharman (CNRS – CRAL, EHESS), « Le néoplatonisme de Cambridge et
l’autorité de Philon »
15h : Marco Rizzi (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore), « Philon dans l’œuvre de John Selden : entre droit et érudition dans l’Angleterre du XVIIe siècle »
15h45 : pause café
16h : Jérémy Delmulle (IRHT, Paris), « Sur la religion des Thérapeutes. La controverse entre Bernard de Montfaucon et Jean IV Bouhier (1709-1713) »
17h : Remerciements et fin du colloque

For those able to attend: Colloque ouvert au public, aucune inscription nécessaire.