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Philo Seminar, The SBL Annual Meeting 2017

The papers to be discussed at The SBL Annual Meeting 2017 Philo Seminar, that is S 19-138: Philo of Alexandria (at 11/19/2017 9:00 AM to 11:45 AM Room: 103 (Plaza Level) – Hynes Convention Center (HCC)) on the Philo’s De Cherubim, with Ronald Cox, Pepperdine University, Presiding, is about to be available at my website here:

The rest of the papers will be made available as soon as I receive them from the writers.


The App for the SBL Meeting

The App for the SBL & AAR Annual Meeting 2017 is now available. Make it easier to find your way through all the sessions, download the app here: SBL APP, or go directly to your IOS Apple store or your android store.


What is Orbis+?
Have you ever used a word processor + a database that let you index NB, PDF, DOCX, DOC, RTF, and HTML files and make them searchable in one and the same database; if not, have a look at the new Orbis+ here.
Love it!

Runesson on

By way of a post on Facebook, I became aware of the page of prof. Anders Runesson (University of Oslo). Anders has uploaded a lot of his articles. Some of the pdf copies are somewhat blurry, a little hard to read and difficult to index (at least for my NotaBene Orbis indexer), but most of them are good, both in visibility and content.

To my surprise, I find that his Ph.D. dissertation (from Lund, Sweeden) is also available on this site, in pdf format. Only that volume alone makes this site worthy of a visit. It is one of the really great dissertations published in Sweeden in the last decades (and by great, I do not just mean the number of pages…).

Have a look. Enjoy.

ERC project “Judaism and Rome”

Due to a brief note on Larry Hurtado’s blog I became aware of an interesting project on Judaism and Rome, which I would like to point to here too.

The project has its own website here: Judaism and Rome. Re-thinking Judaism’s Encounter with Roan Empire, and is led by professor Katell Berthelot. She has an impressive lot of publications, which also include some dealing with Philo of Alexandria. I think this project should be of interest also to Philonic scholars.

I present here a section from the presentation on the web page: ” In the last decade, scholarship (on the history of the relationship between Rome and the Jewish people in Antiquity) has turned to a new research agenda less focused on conflict, along two intertwined lines of enquiry: 1) the Romanness of the Jews who lived in the Roman empire, and, in particular, that of the Palestinian Rabbis; 2) the impact of Roman values, norms, and institutions upon Judaism, mainly through the study of Jewish literary texts.

The ERC project “Judaism and Rome” builds upon this new trend of scholarship. Its starting point or fundamental hypothesis is that Roman imperialism—and, more specifically, Roman imperial ideology—represented a particular challenge for the Jews, even if the history of Israel was already rich in episodes of imperial domination, from the Assyrian empire to the Hellenistic kingdoms, via the Neo-Babylonian and Persian empires. What made the encounter with Rome special was the paradoxical similarity between Roman and Jewish self-perceptions, which from a Jewish perspective resulted in a sense of rivalry between Israel and Rome, which the rabbis adequately expressed through the identification of Rome with Esau, Israel’s twin brother. This identification can be traced back to a period during which Rome was still a “pagan” empire, and is thus not to be interpreted, originally, as a response to Christianity.

The ERC project “Judaism and Rome” examines how, because of this paradoxical similarity, Roman imperialism challenged Judaism —both rabbinic and non-rabbinic—on a political-religious level, and tries to assess how the Jewish encounter with (the pre-Christian) Rome contributed to shaping Judaism itself.”

The website provides, furthermore, a presentation of the project, links to pages containing lists of ‘Resources,’ ‘Events’, the ‘ERC Team’, ‘Collaborations’, a ‘Search’ function and a form for ‘Contact’.

All in all, a very nice and informative website presenting an interesting project.

Philo papers

Papers for the Philo seminars at the coming SBL Annual Meeting in San Antonio, Tx are now coming in, and are posted on my website.

The papers are for the following seminars:
S20-220 Philo of Alexandria: The Knowledge of God in Philo of Alexandria
S20-345 Philo of Alexandria: Reincarnation and Afterlife in Philo and His World
S21-144b Philo of Alexandria: Philo’s de Mutatione Nominum

Papers will be available as they come in, at



Impressive new Dragon Professional

During the years, in several blog postings, (for the last one, see here), I have mentioned my experiences with a program called Dragon NaturallySpeaking which claims to be able to transfer my speech into text.
Now it’s company, Nuance, has produced a new version, named Dragon Professional  Individual,  version 15.

This is an impressive new and improved version. It is faster, and it understands my speaking much better than ever before. Even with my Norwegian accent, I am able to speak for much longer sections and using a much more elaborate terminology than ever before. In order to enhance the use of the program, I can make it read some of my papers, and it accepts and incorporates the  vocabulary I use in my papers. Most of these papers are about Philo of Alexandria, and in this way, the program incorporates the vocabulary relevant for such papers.

I am just impressed and I do think, with this new version, I will use this program much more than before just because it understands my pronunciation, it learns my way of speaking much better than ever before.

If you are a little bit interested, have a look at their web page. The program is quite new, and you might find some very interesting discount offers.

” With an all-new, next-generation speech engine leveraging Deep Learning technology, dictate and transcribe faster and more accurately than ever before, and spend less time on documentation and more time on activities that boost the bottom line.” (from Nuance’s web page.)