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DE VITA CONTEMPLATIVA PHILOSOPHER'S DREAM by
ENGBERG-PEDERSEN Universityof Copenhagen
The issue of genre I: the first possibility-a philosophical treatise (pragmateia) What
is the genre of Philo's De hita Contemplativa?1 What kind of writing is it? Though the question may seem to lie behind much scholarship on the work during the last 100 years and more, to my knowledge it has not been addressed head-on. I shall initially sketch two possible answers, then suggest a method for choosing between them and then practise the method in a close reading of the whole work that is intended to bring out its comprehensive and coherent meaning. Finally, I shall indicate why it will be important to keep in mind the qucstion of genre, as I have construed and answered it, in any future scholarship that will address the work more than tangentially. The obvious place to look for an answer would be the title of the work. Unfortunately, it is not at all clear from the manuscript tradition what the title actually was. Nor can we be certain that any form of the title as we have them was Philo's own. Initially, therefore, the best place to look is the first and last paragraphs. The first third of the first paragraph (down to suggests the following, straightforward answer. Contempl. is to be understood as part of a larger work in 1I presuppose without discussion Philonic authorship of the treatise. 2 I am drawing here on the very helpful survey by J. Riaud, "Les Thérapeutes d'Alcxandrie dans la tradition et dans la recherche critique jusqu'aux découvertes de Qumran," ANRW II 20.2 (Berlin/New York 1987) 1189-1295. However, see J.-P. PAPM 29 (Paris Audet, Review of F. Daumas, P. Miquel (eds.), De vita contemplativa, Audet 1963), RB 72 (1965) 155-156. Asking about the "genre litteraire" of Contempl., commented: "Nous sommes ici en pleine description de mirabilia" (Review 156).He was right.
41 which Philo described at least two among the traditional "lives" (bioi) that people might choose between in their ethical reflection. In terms of genrc, Gontempl.would therefore be this: a moral philosophical treatise. This picture may be supported in the following wayk. (a) The theme of the lives was a well-established one in the ancient world, clearly presented, for instance, by Aristotle near the beginning of his Nicomachean Ethics (1.5). There Aristotle lists four lives as possible candidates for the practical life" and (the happy life. The two to which Philo refers-"the also life of) "those who have welcomed contemplation (theoria)"-are the two of foremost importance in Aristotle. Thus at thc end of the Ethics (10.7-8), he discusses precisely whether happiness consists in the life of theoria or a life of practical, moral virtue. With this compare Philo's claim in the conclusion of his work that a life of theoria leads to "the very summit of happiness". (b) Aristotle, furthermore, was the inventor of a distinct literary genre, the pragmateia or "systematic or scientific treatise".: In our text too, Philo presents his own work as part of a pragmateia. (c) In general terms of style, too, Aristotle might very easily himself have written something like the sentence with which Philo I will now proceed starts off "Having discussed the Essenes, who ..., at once in accordance with the sequence of this treatment (pragmateia) to say what is required about those too who have welcomed (the life of) contcmplation." Similarly, the beginning of Philo's last paragraph has a very Aristotelian ring: "So much then for the therapeutae, who...."1 The suggestion here is certainly not that Philo consciously modeled the genre of his work on Aristotle, but only that he presented it as belonging to a genre that had first been sharply configured by Aristotle. That is the straightforward answer.
3 The quotation is from Liddell/Scott/Jones s.v., who refer to Polybius (see The Histories 1.1.1),Dionysiusof Halicarnassus 1.1.4),Diodorus Siculus(see TheLibrary History of 1.74.4) and Lucian (see On How to WriteHistory13) for the (see The RomanAntiquities or historical treatise". That genre ultimatelyderivesfrom Aristotle, meaning "systematic scientific Ethics2.2, 1103b26. cf., e.g., Nicomachean 4 The claim is not that there are exact linguisticreplicas of this in Aristotle, but that 1 the general style is closely comparable. For Contempl. for instance this: backward reference-forward reference plus the idea of the next logical step in a sequence. Cf., e.g., 90 Aristotle'sNicomachean Ethics3.9-10, 1117b20-23,or 7.14, 1154b32-34.For Contempl. this: enough about that. Cf. Aristotle's Ethics 1.10, 1101a21, or 8.14, 1163b27-28.
nor Prob. Still. is introduced by a pEv 8rj ("now then"). that might of course be the case. In short. with something missing at either say end. Just now the aim is not to convince the reader. in Hypoth. After all. In its second third ( 1 b. from usual practice of poets and speechwriters with his own aim of "quite 5 Hypoth.11. is only a fragment of a longer treatise on the lives. we might merely say that something has been lost. is only a fragment. There is no however. There is another followed by a corresponding 8£. Let us note another puzzling feature of Philo's introductory paraotK0gev). Philo contrasts the graph. But neither Hypoth. but only to articulate a comprethe work.42 The issue of genre Ik the second possibility-a fictional story (plasma) Against this I wish to place an altogether different answer. will have followed after the end of thc work as we have it. whereas in fact it neither originated in a larger work nor belonged to the genre ostensibly suggested by Philo. but that is by a 8e ("but"). is itself a could part.5 For one thing. the Esscncs are not really described there as living a life that could properly qualify as practical as distinct from theoretical. if we adopt the straightforward answer to the question of gcnre. is about the lives. But more importantly. immediately to correspond with the introductory Ov That. It is this possibility that we should explore. has Philo given a third description of the Essenes? Apparently. we are forced to that Contempl. . So Con temp l. The arguhensive. what we have in Contempl. to judge from Philo's last paragraph. We may begin from noting two puzzling features of Philo's text. yes. In itself this is hardly puzzling. then. something has been lost at the end too. which should have been followed in the paragraph. not be merely "volume two" of either of them. Thus if we take what Philo says here in its literal sense. Prob. 75-91. which in terms of its content certainly summarizes and concludes the work as we have it. But here another possibility opens up: that Philo only presented his work in the way suggested in the straightforward answer.1-18. the discussion of the Essenes to which Philo refers at the beginning of Contempl. must belong to the very same pragmateia on the lives of which Contempl. (i) His reference to an earlier discussion of the Essenes cannot be taken to refer to either of the two treatments of them that we have from his hand. and in Prob. That paragraph. For all we know. (ii) However. alternative framework for understanding ment will come later.
between improving on one's subject and clinging to the truth alone. a fabricated story or. than the one given in the straightforward answer. this (from Opif. such a genre would fall under that of a plastheis mythos. for short. by Socrates at the beginning of Plato's Apology (17a4-b6).b But there is also a striking difference. Kritias claims. from Solon. Independently of each other they are evidence that there was felt to be a genre of utopian fantasy and that it was seen to be problcmatic in a way that is directly relevant for the manner in which (on the present hypothesis) Philo constructed his own case of precisely that. Philo himself uses it elsewhere. c. who had heard it from certain priests in Egypt when he travelled there. First the Timaeus. true history. as we shall see in a momcnt. that is. fiction ( plasma)-as opposed to an alithinos logos.? Is Philo out to hide something? I suggest that we adopt an altogether different picture of the genre of Contempl. for instance. But for that purpose both Socrates and Kritias simply 6 "neither poet nor speechwriter. I begin from Philo's revered hero Plato and one of his dialogues most highly favoured by Philo." "a venture must be made. also employed. The new genre is one that for want of a better term I shall call "utopian fantasy done for a serious purpose". ." E.) truth itself and in the last third ( 1 c. at the beginning of Op f (4-5).g. (a) Socrates intends to take "yesterday's" (that is.): "nothing from our own store" (I am grateful to David Runia for having drawn my attention to this passage). From there we shall move down to Philo's own time and consider two passages. It derives. from 1tEàç ijv) Philo claims that even so he will not be able to do justice to his wonderful subject. lb obviously makes use of a well-known topos. the first in Josephus and then one in Lucian. Let us try to situate this genre as it may have appeared in Philo's time to a rcflective person like Philo himself. A number of points are relevant here. the Republic's) account of the ideal state and its citizens further by seeing how that state will act in practice (19b-c). It is well known how much time and care Plato spends over the many introductory pages of this dialogue on explaining the specific character of a certain story about prehistorical Athens that Kritias recounts.43 the irjS clinging to (7rEptEX6gEVO. There are rather close verbal correspondences between the two passages. In ancient terms.g. In Opif. Why the difference? Why the emphatic truth-claim in C. there is not the emphatic contrast made in Contempl.ontempl. the Timaeus.
" and 21a4-5: "this unrecorded yet authentic achievement of our city. y and z-but not under v. a plastheis mythos of thc implicitly acknowledged kind that Plato notoriously delighted in creating.for instance. I was rcminded of this story and noticed with astonishment how closely. is part of the reason why it may serve its purpose. Plato goes out of his way to signal to his reader that of coursc Solon's story is not "true history".44 feel the need to "find a suitable story on which to base" what they want to say (X6yov wva 1tpÉ1tov-ca ioi5 [3ov?. And Socrates later confirms that that story will suit their purpose (26el-5). The point is that the best way to discuss abstract questions about the ideal state and its citizens is. just quoted) and when he has Kritias say the following: "when you were describing your society and its inhabitants yesterday." 8 Cf. 26c7-d1 :"we will transfer the imaginary citizens and city which you described yesterday to the real world. Here is Socrates on Solon's story as recalled by Kritias: "it is a great point in its favour that it is not fiction (a plastheis mythos) but true history (an alithinos logos)" (26c4-5). (b) However. In a fascinating passage in Against Apion (2.?jpawv 1m08Écr8at. The proposal I am exploring is ously engaged that Contempl. 20d7-8: "very strange. which we may obtain from Josephus. that is. jj designed for the purpose of describing an ideal state and its citizens as acting. 21 c5-6). Understood as under obvix. by means of a story (a logos. Philo did not intend to provide any implicit acknowledgement that he was himself a main factor behind his account. Josephus argues that the Jewish people has put into practice what Greeks would only 7 Cf. too should be understood as under x. but in all respects true.somemiraculous chance (91C nvoç your account coincided with Solon's" (25e4-5)! What we havc here are the following elements: (x) a story.' And that. so Plato suggests.). by .s a claim with which Socrates again concurs. That is how Kritias introduces it.220-224). In contrast with Plato. 26a5-6). Kritias believes that he has found one in the Solonic story (25c4-5). (z) claimed (falsely) for that purpose to be historically but also as a piece of fiction. (c) In spite of this. Kritias' story is a case of utopian fantasy-though in for serious purposes. as "engaging in some of the activities for which they appear to be formed" ( 19b8-c 1-compare the actual content of Contempl." namely by means of that story. . y and z. That requires some explanation. I suggest. he claims. what makes Solon's story suitable is also the fact that it was actually true. in Socrates' concluding remark (26e4-5.
laws.9 The second genre is that of the "marvellous tale" (paradoxologoumenon). who have treated such a theme in their writings (ypGppara. On Hellenistic "paradoxographies" in general see E.'oIt had its roots far back in the Greek imagination (compare. Gabba. from the Timaeus but of course also from his Republic and elsewhere. Schofield.. have marvelled at it (0avpGaai. I am sure. Another example would be the utopian sketch of an ideal society made by Zeno. suppose instead that someone delivered a lecture (&v(xytv6aKp-tv)to the Greeks which he admitted (stated. reacted Aith incredulity) . including Plato. But as Josephus states. the many fanciful tales in but flourished in the period after Alexander's conquest of Herodotus) the Orient. This passage gives us the following points: ( 1 ) For the purpose of discussing themes like those indicated by Josephus (constitutions.. 1996). M. that is. they would all. The Hellenistic (London 1990) 18-27. As an example one might cite the account given by the enigmatic lambulus (possibly 2nd century BC) of his stay in a far-away Stoa:PoliticalThought Action and analyses of this see A. in his own Republic. and they insist (cpa6xetv) that such people have based their account on impossible premisses (å8úva-cot Other philosophers I pass over. I translate the vital sections. an alternative reading-compositions." yp6yai above)." JRS 71 (1981) 50-62. 6vybut Plato . a people's relationship with God). The StoicIdea of the City (Cambridge 1991) 3-56.. Here belong a number of philosophers. Cities theGods: Communist in of Utopias Greek Thought (New York/Oxford 1992) 160-22. D. Dawson.. to having himself (alr6q) composed indeed kept saying (6vyypayrat)-or insisted) that somewhere outside the known world he had fallen in with certain people who held such sublime ideas about God and had for ages continued steadily faithful to such laws (as ours).R. Other people would tell fanciful stories about their travels to far-away places. cf. Erskine. The first genre we already know from Plato.. 9 For . Morgan on "fantastic literature" in the Oxford Dictionary (3rd ed. the founder of stoicism. "Suppose our people (ethnos) and our voluntary obedience to our laws (nomoi) had not happened to be known to the whole world as a patent fact. Plato was not alone. people accuse those who have attempted to write up (yp6cxV(xt) something similar with a view to a constitution and a code of laws of having invented things that are beyond belief (9av?aaia: they arc just too marvellous !). some people would themselves write a narrative whose fictitious character they would not attempt to conceal. "True History and False History in Classical Antiquity.g. In fact. or-with avyyp6ppara.45 consider distant ideals. 10 Classical Compare the entry by J. e.
Suppose he also wanted to say that that ideal state was one to which only one actual people in the world. y). so Josephus claims. Eine Interpretation der lambul-Exzerpte Diodors. . "Mit dem Südwestmonsunnach by Ceylon." as we should clearly translate 8au?acr-cá here. Both are cases of utopian fantasy done for a scrious purpose. He. x above) for the purpose of describing an ideal state and its citizens in action (cf. the discussion W. utopian state." 84). Ctesias and Megasthenes ("Sudwestmonsun. For people might thcn rcspond with the "impossible premisses" reaction and decline to accept that the ideal picture had anything to do with thc Jewish people in particular. 11 (1985) 73-84. For what relationship would it then have with the Jews? The only choice he would be left with is this: to present his idcal state as a his- 11In Diodorus Siculus.46 1 place (somewhere like Sri-Lanka) and the strange people he met there. (2) Josephus also shows that the reaction to either genre would often be the same. all these problems may be put safely aside in the present case. could be said to be aspiring." Modern interpreters have disagreed on whether such stories should be understood as having a character as ancient utopias with a serious. Ehlers.F. Nor would it make sense for him to locate his ideal state beyond the boundaries of the known world. The way he gets around all the "marvellous" elements in lambulus' account ("Sudwestmonsun. at least. Here it is sheer fact! Now supposc Philo wanted to tell a story (cf. intent. Both might serve for exploring an ideal. For with the Jews it is not a matter of any fictive account (whether acknowledged to be so or not). taking it instead to be just a "literary account of a travel of discovery" comparable with those of Pytheas.-W. 12See. the Jewish onc. The vital point here is that Josephus saw the two genres as being very closely connected in spite of the difference with regard to the truth-claim made in either. The Libraryof History2." (3) However. Peoplc would say that the stories (whether ackowledged to be fictive or claimed to be true) were "beyond belief. it would not be attractive for him to present it as his own creation in the manner of Plato (Josephus' first possibility)."80-81) is not convincing. Altertumswissenschaft." Our passage in Josephus settles this quesquasi-philosophical tion. took them to have that. Ehlers rejects any kind of utopian interpretation of this text. for instance. In that case. People might even become quite technical and say that the stories were based on "impossible prcmisses"with a curious anticipation of modern arguments within the field off "possible world semantics.55-60." Würzburger Jahrbücher die für N.
No covert acknowledgement that the story is not literally true. appears altogether naive. as one might say. Note how writers of far-away miracles and fables are here lumped together with philosophers engagcd in reflection on the ideal state. Lucian does not himself wish to criticize such people for having lied since he claims to have noticed that "this was already a common practice even among men who profess philosophy"-apparHe did wonently. z) without admitting its fictitious character (cf. If Philo was writing in a similar climate. . 13 der. Lucian refers (1. then. That. on the present hypothesis Philo's account would in fact be just as much of a plastheis mythos as the one in the Timaeus that Plato had more or less overtly acknowledged to be just that. on the present hypothesis. 13See the Loeb edition ad loc.4). is what Philo did in Contempl. as the scholiast takes it.3). the straightforward reading of the first paragraph of Contempl. to locate it within the confines of the known world. No genial smile here of the Platonic Socrates.2) to the poets prose-writers (avyand philosophers of old who have written up (cyi)yyp6yp-tv) much that smacks of miracles and fables (icp&6iLa xai One is Ctesias of Cnidus (end of 5th century Bc) and another our well-known Iambulus (1. As in Josephus. the basic issue had now become that of truth (fact) or falsity (fiction) instead of the actual content of the fantasy. Seen in this light. it is entirely reasonable that he should have chosen to make his own case of utopian fantasy appear as close to historical fact as at all possible. A far more devious one is required. An important premiss in this line of reasoning was the claim about a change in the likely reaction to utopian fantasy between Plato and Philo's day. Still. But of course it is not necessarily the task of critical scholarship to let itself be duped by the material it intends to analyse. In his treatise A True Story.47 torical fact (cf. Note also how Lucian distances himself from what he merely sees as entertaining forms of lying and expresses his wonder if these authors (really) thought that they could go undetected when writing up plain untruths. though. What Philo is up to will now be this: to make room for his own exercise of utopian fantasy and preferably without being detected. a slap at Plato's Republic. If he has in fact gone undetected. "if (Ei) they thought they could write untruths (OÙK åÀr¡8fl) and not get caught at it" (1. he has been successful. A passage in Lucian supports this picture.
The thought is that if the text is basically factual it is intrinsically likely that it will be less coherent. fictional. it should be pointed out here that when I set up the choice between the straightforward and the devious answer to the question of genre as one between fact and fiction. then that will itself lend support to seeing the text as.Methodologically. he has also "idealized" his own account fairly extensively.48 For clarity's sake. I shall engage in as much close literary reading of the text as at all possible with the aim of unearthing some basic set of perspectives within which the text will come out as being maximally coherent and to the point. If it turns out that some form of maximal coherence can in fact be achieved. in all essentials. Any particular part or feature of the text that will not immediately fit into the picture that is being developed should be repeatedly turned around to see whether they can after all be seen to fit in. is in all essentials a piece of fiction. I cannot see that there is any possibility of choosing between that hypothesis and the one according to which it is all fiction. As regards the former. maximal coherence is always a valid goal of reading. Can some methodological consideration improve on that situation? Here is the strategy I shall adopt. Of course. But there is a special reason why this is particularly relevant here. whether there were people a little bit like Philo's therapeutai or not does not seem to matter much. less sharply focused on a restricted set of basic points-than if it is fictional. is there any hope that it can at all be answered? Is there any chance of advancing on what has already been said? The only possible way must be via some form of methodological progress. This means that any proposal will to some extent rely on intuitions as to what is more or less likely. After all. if some form of the question of fact or fiction has actually been in the background of most discussions of the work during the last 100 years and more. I include under fiction the position of those relatively many scholars who claim that although there may be some factual element to Philo's description. Nor do I think that we should deplore this. This is notoriously frail ground. should we choose? And does it really matter whether we understand it in one way or the other? The latter question I shall reserve for the end. . Method: an argument from maximal coherence Which understanding of Contempl. Based on the initial hypothesis that Contempl. Let it first be clear that there can of course be no proof in the matter.
For the basic underlying perspective (fact or fiction?) with which a scholar will initially approach the text will also to a very large extent determine how he or she will read the actual material. The reason why it is necessary to adopt this rather elaborate approach is that one cannot merely rely in this case on a scholarly. but only. within the text itself taken as a more or less complete entity. The aim is to convince fellow scholars that the particular programme I advocate is the one most likely to succeed. unselfconscious reading of the text. Philosophical Investigations . We can never know. Structural puzzles There arc a number of puzzling features of structure in the way Philo's story unfolds. that is. (a) The first major part of Contempl. Here there really is the kind of radical shift in perspective that Wittgenstein illustrated with the famous drawing of a figure which may be seen as the head of either a duck or a hare. The notion of maximal coherence provides the handle for settling this question. Can we see some coherent point to the long stretch of text between the initial unspecified mention 14 2. runs as far as § 21. What the present strategy aims to do is basically to set up a research programme for future work on Contempl. the fact that it is possible to achieve maximal coherence when one adopts the hypothesis from which I start will be taken as sufficient ground for issuing a challenge to fellow scholars to go on applying the fiction hypothesis in further work on the treatiseuntil it may turn out to break down. But we can hopefully do enough shared reading to make it clearly more likely that one or the other perspective will constitute the better approach. and externally in relation to the rest of Philo's work. We also wish to maintain the possibility of a genuine conversation about which perspective is the more rational one to apply. tentatively. 14 But we precisely do not wish merely to be left with an unacknowledged initial predilection for either of two such strongly opposed perspectives. but will restrict myself here to internal coherence. where Philo's Mareotic therapeutai are finally introduced.49 One might seek for coherence of two kinds: internally.xi. final truth-claim. I have attempted to do both things. That is why the proposal has the character of a and not of a challenge to engage in a specific research programme. If the operation proves successful. as it were.
both in Greece and in barbarian lands. In the first (3-9). and he now states that this genos (21) is found all over the world. But what. But why is that the proper thing to do if. after all. I I)-with the double meaning he has already given (2) to the title of therapeulai and therapeutrides. who both worship (therapeuein) the true deity and are also able to provide a better cure (therapeuein) of all ills.rynkrisis (14-16) compares thc manner in which the true therapeutai and therapeutrideswill leave their property (13) with the manncr adopted by such venerated Greek sages as Anaxagoras and Dc:mocritus.). But they all fall short of the perfection that is only to be found in Philo's own therapeutai. then." "in each of the so-called nomes--and in particular around Alexandrian. The others are comparable to varying degrees. Philo compares the therapeutai and therapeutrides who in various forms and constitute his theme with other people--Greeks (3 init. than any art of healing in the cities. as Philo immediately goes on to say (16). Philo's real topic is in fact only his own Mareotic therapeutai. possessions are not at all beneficial since they need to be taken care of and that consumes timc? We should also note the peculiar way in which Philo closes in on his own therapeutai in 21. These he ends up "profess piety (eusebeia)" Egyptians-who a nicc pun on declaring to be in fact "incurable" (atherapeutoi. In the light of this strategy. psychic no less than bodily. 3). those who profess piety distinctly less so. sages like Anaxagoras and Democritus perhaps slightly more so. belong under Philo's topic? The second . with religious people and sages from other parts of the civilized world-and also to set them apart from them. a certain general category of people. The latter are criticized because they just left their property behind instead of doing the only proper thing of handing it over to their relatives. the Jewish ones. "but even more so in Egypt." If. He has spoken earlier (1 1) of a therapeutikon genos. why then does he introduce them in such a roundabout way? The best answer appears to be that Philo both wishes to connect his own therapeutai. is the point of this comparison with people who do not. it does not really matter that Philo's criticism of .50 of the therapeutai (1-2) and the moment when Philo closes in on his own therapeutai? What strikes one at first is rather a number of puzzling features. It is noteworthy that §§ 3-20 contains two cases of a phenomenon which plays a major structural role in the work: synkrisis (comparison. as becomes increasingly clear. who with increasing emphasis throughout the treatise turn out to be distinctly Jewish.
Even the slightest acquaintance with literary theory (no matter of which branch) will immediately put a ban on 15Cf. that take up §§ 4063 by way of introducing the account of the great feast held by the therapeutai every fiftieth day. The Greeks had something commaster." SBLSPS 31 (1992) 673-683. What matters is not facts about Greeks and others. inconsistencies that were rhetorically not allowed to surface and even gross misrepresentations of Philo's revered did not really matter. but making Philo's own Jewish therapeutai stand out as masters in a field in which the Greeks too had aspirations. 48). and concluded in § 89. using it among other things as a stepping-board for a violent attack on Greek pederasty. Hay. But first.51 Anaxagoras and Democritus is inconsistent on his own premisses. as he himself says. Relative to such an aim. they contain detailed descriptions of the repulsive symposia of Greeks. Plato. . Once more. This comes out with overwhelming clarity in the very long set of synkriseis. Philo generally reveres Plato and the amount oC implicit Platonism in the work itself is very extensive. which Philo himself also calls contrasts (cf. 678. When Philo here compares the symposia described by Xenophon and Plato with "those of our people who embrace the contemplative life" (58). the point is the obvious one that Philo aimed to take. "two celebrated and highly notable examples of symposia held in Greece" that Xenophon and Plato had even described in order that thcy might "serve to posterity as models of the happily conducted symposium" (57). Romans and barbarians (cf. Taking up almost half of that account. in fact the genuine practice of those ideas. The same pattern may be observed in another synkrisis later in the work (57-63).' And second.and then show that the symposia held by his own therapeutai were in fact far better. antitaxai in 40 and 64). we may as well emphasize here the huge importance of these sections in the flow and structure of the text. cf. who certainly depopulation-would have no sexual lifc whatever. see below). he notoriously grossly misrepresents Plato's Symposium in particular. "Things Philo Said and Did Not Say About the Therapeutae. (b) Since we have already touched on the synkrisis sections of the treatise. e. parable (and they of course had all the ideas that Philo relies on. David M.g. 16-17-and passim. which is itself introduced at § 40 init. but what Philo was able to introduce was something better. esp. the particular criticism of sexual sterility that Philo advances against the pederasts-that their sexual life will lead to also apply to his own therapeutai.
§§ 22-33 and 34-39. 11-40 and 64-90 (though admittedly in an appendix).. with the latter returning and even explicitly referring back to the former (38 to 24). This is the first reference to women among the therapeutai. In this account he has gone back to the six days (stage 1) to describe when the therapeutai take food: if at all. It has two parts.") turns to describing their great fiftieth day feast. but 16I am to referring to G. Vermes. clothing (38). But then comes the second part (34-39). On the seventh the therapeutai "come together as for an assembly" (30) and listen. And the practice of translating only those portions of Contempl. Now Philo's theme is different: the attitude of the therapeutai to ordinary material goods. This life of individual study occupies six days of the week.and of how it is able to accommodatc both men and women (32-33). M. The focus. remains on their study. That attitude is one of enkrateia (self-control). We have now moved from the six days (stage 1 in the life of the therapeutai) to the seventh day (stage 2). carefully and intently.. which directly describe the therapeutai-e.synkrisis sections? purpose (c) Following on § 21. who include only §§ 1-2. and Philo sums up his account here in a principled statement about the simplicity (atyphia) that they practise in all such matters (39).g.52 neglecting the importance of these sections in the structural flow of the treatise. but unmixed study. though it has been prepared for by the reference to therapeutai and therapeutrides in § 2. the next major part. §§ 22-39. 25) where the lonely inhabitants are engaged in various types of solitary study (25-29). A description of the place where they live (22-23) and how their houses arc situated (24) gives rise to a description of the individual houses. The account given in §§ 22-39 is slightly awkward in one respect. Goodman. The first part focuses on the study engaged in by the therapeutai. focusing on the sanctuary (semneion) and holy cubicle (monastirion. in particular food (34-37) and one form of shelter. . This gives rise to a further description of a building. to a further round of study in the form of a lecture given by an expert (31). the shared sanctuary (semneion). For the specific detail of architecture on which Philo focuses (a wall that separates the two sexes) has to do with the possibility of shared.'? But what is the of these extended . 40: "I wish also to . then at least during the night. however. in a comparison with the Essenes and Qumran-should be felt to be taboo. The Essenes According the Classical Sources (Sheffield1989)75-99. describes the life of the therapeutai up to the point when Philo with much emphasis (cf.
we may note one more puzzling feature of a structural kind. with only a few exceptions. they also refresh the body by giving it some form of release from its continuous labour (36). and quite intelligibly. One of these (the dancing) is admittedly a major one. namely material or bodily needs and the handling of the goods that would fulfil those needs. For what we gct is to all intents and purposes an expanded repetition of what took place on the gathering on the seventh day. what they do eat is nothing costly but only the barest necessaries of life (37): water. It is this change of theme and the return to stage 1 that together generate Philo's slightly concomitant awkward reference back to what he has already said some time ago about a second form of shelter: housing (38 and 24). There is an account of the way in which the President lectures to them on the seventh day (31). that they are alone during the six days but together on the seventh? (d) At § 40 Philo turns to describe the "cheerful pastimes" of the 3 in their lives.53 some only after three days of study and others not before they all meet again on the seventh day (34-35). the food that they eat is the same (73-74. Once that has been settled. There is an account of the order in which they recline (67)-compare on the seventh day (30). But otherwise it is basically expanded repetition. Here he brings in the enkrateia of the therapeutai as a sort of "foundation of their soul. if at all. .)." on which they "build the other virtues" (34 init. they both study and eat during daytime. Philo goes out of his way to explain this: having provided for the soul. Still. With regard to therapeutai during their symposia-stage this second half of the treatise. On the six days. they study during the day and eat. The structural awkwardness can teach us something about the aims of the text. 79)-compare the lecture (77. Clearly. We may note for later use that Philo's account of the two sides to the life of the therapeutai (study and handling of material goods) involves an intriguing play between what they do during the day and during the night. And of course. during the night. he aims to focus on what was traditionally. taken to constitute the foremost hindrance to those activities. on which see below. and how they listen to (76-77. is there some rationale to the change from night to day-for instance. bread with salt and for some a bit of hyssop. Finally. There is a reference to the participation of women (68)-compare on the seventh day (32-33). 79)-compare on the seventh day (31). what Philo wishes to emphasize most are the activities that constitute the whole point of the therapeutic form of life: the various forms of study (the6ria). 81-82-with 37). On the seventh.
at stage 1 there is no eating during the day. The long list of specific negative features that Philo mentions in the former section sheds a great deal of light on the details of his account in the latter. . further shared study at stage 2 and even more shared study at stage 3. who having "drunk in the Bacchic rites of the unmixed wine of God's love" (85) conclude their feast with a drunkenness that make them "more alert and wakeful than when they came to the banquet" (89). We have daily study at stage 1. At stage 3 there is also eating. Philo has constructed his negative account of the non-Jewish symposiastic practices with a sharp eye on their positive counterpart at the great feast of the therapeutai. to the cxtcnt that there are in fact also differences between what happens at the three stages. On the negative side there is a long and formidable section on the effects of immoderate drinking of unmixed wine (40-47). At stage 2 there is. we should notice the structural relationship the long section of synkrisis and antitaxis that takes up §§ 40-63 and the account of thc symposia of the therapeutai themselves in §§ 64ff. what light do these differences throw on the form of life of the therapeutai as a whole? For instance. trendy Italian-style symposia (5052). there are very close counterparts here. Clearly. Finally. in principle of the here too there is dancing. Indeed. This is counterbalanced by the moving description of the servants at the great feast of the therapeutai. Or should we rather say the other way round? Has Philo constructed his account of the therapeutai as a utopianstyle comment on the devious practices of his own day? One thing is at least clear: there is a tight literary and structural construction here which no careful rcader can afford to neglect. What does the specific element of expansion in these descriptions add to what might otherwise mercly be the same thing ovcr and over again? Conversely. there is the violent critique that we notcd of Greek pederasty as contrasted with the chastity of the therapeutai that is explicitly mentioned for the women among them (68) and celebrated in a striking manner at the dancing that consummates the sacred vigil ( pannychis.54 The extent of expanded repetition should make us pause. who are not even slaves (since the therapeutai consider the ownership of servants to be entirely against nature) but young free men who of their own free will have accepted to perform this task on their way towards reaching the summit of virtue (70-72). There is also a negative account of the outfit of different types of slaves at the new. What do these same kind as at stage 2-but developments show us about the point of the therapeutic form of life? between (e) Finally. This is counterbalanced by the account of the therapeutai. 83-89) with which the great feast ends.
34 etc. cf. (90). the role of the senses (10-1 1 . 16. habit or exhortation (12). Yes. fellowship (24). equality. God as a technician (4) and a demiurge (5). 31). freedom (19). things necessary for the needs of the body (25.). in the sense that Philo has certainly given his reader a full and comprehensive conceptual framework within which to see the life of the therapeutai.). nature and laws (2). It will be enough to list the most important of these various concepts here in telegraphic style: practice and theory ( etc. philosophers (2 etc. inequality. simplicity (24 etc. citizens of the kosmos (90). injustice. atyphia etc. How then will a life of thed7ia. growth and perfection (26).55 A structuralist solution: Pierre Bourdieu and Philo's basic scheme The literary analysis we have pursued so far has only scratched the surface. kalokagathia (72). but also becn somewhat puzzled by others. the perfect good (21). They constitute a comprehensive framework that give meaning and shape to the therapeutic form of life. knowledge and piety (25). Is it not enough to give full and adequate meaning to the form of life described by Philo in the treatise? Both yes and no. happiness (11). askêsis (28). For what will a life of theoria actually look like in concrete practice? Human beings are what they are. However. Greek philosophical terms with which Philo spiccs his account of the therapeutai throughout the treatise'? There can be no doubt that Philo did see the life of the therapeutai in the light of this more or less coherent set of terms.). sight of the soul (10. anamnists (78. is that really necessary? Would it not suffice to bring in the whole set of abstract. dream-images courage (60). To do that we need another approach. passions and vices (2. virtue. the handling of wealth (14. Anybody who knows this traditional set of concepts from its use within the ancient ethical tradition will immediately know what the life of the therapeutai is basically about.which certainly does not pay an equal and undivided attention to all sides of the human being. self-control (34). the lures of habit (18). they are precisely abstract and so cannot fulfil the need for a more concrete sense of what living the life of theoria . to do something of one's own free will (13). This is all quite explicit and in fact rather overwhelming. 6). justice (1 7). God's friendship etc. by implication). But also in an important sense no. (25). handle them all in concrete practice? The answer cannot be given by merely rehearsing the abstract set of concepts. also 17: nature's wealth). We have got nowhere near to a comprehensive grasp of its overall theme. (39). First. We have noted some more or less striking structural features of the treatise. 27).).
Here Bourdieu gives an exegesis of the cultural symbolism embodied in the domestic space of the traditional house of the Berber (or Kabyle) peasant.56 would actually be like-as it were the feel of it. This resulted in a ological and anthropological stream of publications in the 1960's on various aspects of Algerian culture and society. 18Bourdieu. itself. which clearly shows Bourdieu's structuralist roots: "A vision of the world is a division of the world.19 He also distinguished between two types of opposition: concrete. That."" Reflec. is what Philo set out to do in Contempl. in J. But how were they to be organized? And were they in fact all of the same type? In his analysis of the Kabyle house Bourdieu claimed that there was one fundamental division that provided the sub-text. One particularly famous article is "La maison Kabyle ou le monde renvers6" ("The Kabyle house or the world reversed"). through processes of analogy and homology. PierreBourdieu (London/New York 1992) 30-44. II. Second. 19Bourdieu. To help us here I shall bring in a few ideas derived from the early structuralism of the French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu. for all the other binary classifications of the system: the gender division. their abstract character does not allow the possible complexities to become clear that may arise when they are put into practice. I suggest. Pouillon. Maranda et à Lévi-Straussl'occasion son 60ème à de (eds. P. The Logicof Practice (Cambridge 1990) 210. 17 Let us begin with a quote. To bring order is to bring division. . Instead. also requires a different type of analysis of the treatise than the one that merely recalls the abstract philosophical system underlying it. But that.).ting this principle. "La maison Kabyle ou le monde renversé". Bourdieu did sociresearch in Algeria. Thus there is an important need to try to imagine the life of the6ria in concrete terms. then. to think about what theoria practised in a concrete form of life would actually look like. written in 1963. 17 Inthe next few paragraphs I pick up some sentencesfrom the analysisof Bourdieu's article given in R. Jenkins. in his analysis of the Kabyle house Bourdieu was looking for binary oppositions. but only published in 1970.Échanges communications: Mélanges offerts Claude anniversaire Studies in General AnthropologyV/2 (The Hague/Paris 1970) 739-758. I am very far from aiming to adopt a "structuralist method" proper. to two complementary divide the universe into opposing entities. At the beginning of his career in the late 1950's. material ones and abstract. conceptual ones. based on a fundamental principle of division which distributes all the things of the world into classes. I wish to draw on certain perspectives in Bourdieu that will be helpful in illuminating a number of features in Contempl.
in which culture is rooted in the necessarily physical embodiments of its producers: men and women. philosophical system. 9 Information (1970) 151-70. 20Cf. back and front. possibly even a relationship of the kind Bourdieu envisaged where the Moreover. Douglas (ed. Up and down. for example. Bourdicu clearly aimed to give a basically materialist reading of symbolism and classification. there are oppositions in the account of the practice which may be seen as a sub-text for all the others. to show them being acted out-exactly in the way Plato aimed in the Timaeus to present his ideal state in "acting practice. It might be that there is an interesting relationship between the received philosophical system of terms and the story of a set of practices that Philo is giving in Contempl. abstract terms that together went into a logical. hot and cold. But if.)." 756. practice is always in some way primary.. "La maison. Philo had at his disposal a large number of received. Rulesand Meanings The Logic271-83. or reflect. left and right. Mary esp. We need not take over everything in this general approach of Bourdieu in order to see that it is highly relevant to analysing Contempl."2° But these real (or natural) features also become arbitrary (or cultural) since they mayand in fact invariably do-symbolize and refer to the whole abstract. "bodily dispositions. English language versions in SocialScience (Harmondsworth 1973) 98-110 (abridged). With this emphasis on the concrete. as Bourdieu also suggested. Of course.Bourdieu. material oppositions and the point of view of the embodied participant in the cultural scene under investigation. cultural order of a society's values and interpretive morality. 748." Philo wanted to give a description of a concrete form of life in which those abstract terms were given flesh and blood. are all sensible relations which presuppose the point of view of the embodied person: they are. in Philo's case it looks vcry much as if the form of life was generated (whether historically or in Philo's description of it) by the system of abstract terms as an attempt to put that into practice. as Bourdieu suggests. . As we saw. Bourdieu.57 he argued that the oppositions that provided the basis for drawing the other ones were the concrete and real ones. This clearly prefigures Bourdieu's later concept of habitus. But what he wanted to do was to show these terms being put to use in practice. which is itself also organized in the form of binary oppositions. philosophical system. it is worth looking at Philo's description to scc whether. both the other practical ones and also those abstract distinctions that make up the logical.
In Bourdieu's own case the material to be analysed was the groundplan and layout of the Kabyle housc. He begins by telling about what the therapeutai do during the day and in solitude and only later recounts what they do during the night and when being together. but topographical we may generalize it to be the actual set of practices that go into Philo's description of what the therapeutai were doing when and where and together with whom. There is first a framing set: City Then Outside the city there is the following set. Seen in this light we can make striking sense of the developmentand dynamism represented by the three stages of the life of the therapeutai. can we find either a single basic one or a small set of oppositions that will hold all the others together? I suggcst the following basic sets. To get the basic set of oppositions in the abstract. In Philo the material is partly too (where and how the therapeutai live and meet). With night and life in the city we also have what we may call non-solitude. They occur explicitly . which of course falls under the framing category "outside the city:" Six days of the week The seventh day Study during day/ Study during day/ Study eating at night plus eating during day Solitude Fellowship but division between men and women Every fiftieth day during day/ plus eating during day/ plus dancing at night Fellowship and unification of men and women Looking at this set. we must bring in also the framing contrast.fellowship that unites men and women. we can see that it is made up of the two binary oppositions between day and night and solitude and a . If we apply Bourdieu's structuralist strategy of looking for binary oppositions in this material.58 primary role is allotted to the practices as reflecting embodied dispositions of embodied people. however. The best example of this is contained in Philo's description of what takes place at the customary symposia in the city (40-47). This identification follows Philo's own description fairly closely. Then the basic set becomes a contrast between night connected with life in the city and day connected with life outside the ciry. For we must add one contrast to the two just given.
we move from non-solitude via solitude to a kind of fellowship at stage 3 which is as far as could be from life in the city. they sing and dance together. indeed sublimated.59 during the night (42) and are obviously non-solitude events inasmuch as people will fight with one another in the ways so graphically described by Philo. overcomc. explains a whole range of additional features in Philo's description adding up to twenty in all. dangers that to begin with required that the consumption food be relegated to the night (stage 1) and that fellowship between men and women be regulated by a wall (stage 2). Here the move from the solitude of stage 1 is somehow recapitulated. that at stages 2 and 3 the therapeutai turn to eating during the day. first in two separate choirs. whereas at stage 1 eating took place. but gradually develops (stage 2) into a unified fcllowship (stage 3) in such a way that the solitude is overcome. one for men and one for women (83-84). and via its incipient removal at stage 2 makes altogether possible. Then they come together (stage 2) but are separated by a wall. during the night. if at all. Details in support The picture I have given of the basic. is day and life outside the city which begins in distinct solitude (stage 1). What we have on the other side. however (stage 3). then. And the result is that . inasmuch as each is occupied in his or her own house. What all this seems to be about is overcomingthe dangers connected with food and of gender. Basically. then. which at first appeared as constituting the contrast with nightly life in the city. comprehensive point of Contempl. the unified fellowship of stage 3. Gradually the dangers arc eliminated. and then (85-89) in a single choir-when "having drunk as in the Bacchic rites of the unmixed wine of God's love they mix and become a single choir out of the two" (85). I shall list them consecutively. In spite of their difference in character and importance. (ii) It also explains the fact that the singing at the great feast begins in the form of individual singing with the others listening and merely joining in for the closing lines or refrains (80). (i) The picture explains the step from the separation of men and women on the seventh day to their unification at the great feast. the solitude of stage 1. At the end. Right at the beginning (stage 1) men and women are entirely separated.In other words. (iii) The basic picture also explains a point that puzzled us. is only to be understood as an intermediate step which leads on to.
(viii) There is. their activity during the day is explicitly said to be a form of training (askêsis. This comprehensive picture is supported by a number of details. Howcver. It is the latter event that gives rise to the formation of a single choir that sang hymns of thanksgiving to God their Saviour (87).60 food may now be taken during the day and men and women may even dance together in a single choir. (vii) Here too one may fit in the rather striking and extensive account Philo gives (86-87) of the single choir that was formed at the Red Sea when the Israelites had been saved from the Egyptians. It seems difficult not to connect this with the dangers inherent in sexual discourse. in Philo Egyptians often stand for the passions. They stand with their faces and whole body turned to the east (89). In his account of the event at the Red Sea he stresses first the separation of the waves and next their coming together again. Night and all that it stands for has now been finally conquered. Here all the characteristics of an ordinary Bacchic state as described in §§ 40-47 in the nightly rcvelries of the customary city symposia have been overcome. the placement of their houses: in solitude. Thus victory over the passions is part of what the therapeutai celebrate at the great feast. As we should expect. This again shows that all dangers connected with the body have now been overcome. these details bring out the intermediary character of that stage. The whole body is now ready to receive the first rays of the sun. Indeed. (iv) A central one is that the final unification of men and women takes place at night during the sacred vigil. Philo's symbolism scems somewhat more specific. some more central than others. (v) Note also that Philo specifically refers to the alternative Bacchic drunkenness in the quotation given above. (ix) There is the point that the purpose of their daily study is that their knowledge and piety be enhanced and perfected (25). (x) And there is the striking fact that even the dreams of at least some of them-and dreams of course occur during . We may note some of them very briefly. (vi) One may also notice the specific manner in which the therapeutai end their vigil the next morning. 28). The separation of the waves (and the two sexes) help to eliminate those dangers and the coming together again of the waves (and the two sexes) celebrates that the dangers are overcome in a meeting of the two sexes that has by now been sublimated to take place at an altogether different level. Other details that fit in with the comprehensive picture belong to the description of the therapeutai at stage 1. but also so closely together that they point to some form of fellowship (24). As commentators note.
(xii) The vivid descriptions of the contrast in style between lecturing and listening among the therapeutai and in the cities serves to keep this opposition alive (31. but are carried away by a heaven-sent passion of love" and so remain "rapt and possessed like Bacchic worshippers or corybants until they see the object of their yearning. (xiv) Furthermore. 76-77. (xi) The description of how the therapeutai leave the city and all that it stands for (18-20) of course serves to make this opposition explicit. connected details may be seen to fit in with the comprehensive picture.61 the night-are that they also need to pray for such holy (26)-but dreams (27). probably God. Two more. and consequently also justice rather than injustice (17). the opposition between life in and outside the city. That willingness gives them a freedom (1 9) which explains why they leave the cities altogether instead of merely exchanging one master for another. (xiii) Also. Other details that fit in concern the basic framing set. 79). shared greeting of the sun after the sacred vigil (89). But it contains the special feature that it ends in a vision of the (final) object of their yearning. This explains features that are only developed much later when they come to full fruition during the great feast: (xv) the practical equality of women and men as celebrated during the sacred vigil and (xvi) the abolishment of slavery that Philo also mentions in connection with the great feast (70-72). the willingness of the therapeutai to give up their possessionsthe first practical step that they take-is developed by Philo (16-20) in a manner that contrasts it explicitly with life in the city. This ties together everything in the text between this initial individual experience (12) and their final. neglect of all anxious thought for the means of life and for money-making-activities that precisely belong in the cities-. 1 he developmentalor dynamic feature of Philo's account is very strong. The contrast here with the description of slaves. The idea seems to be that at the beginning of the process that is being initiated." What Philo is describing here is clearly a conversion. as opposed to the inequality of trying to get more material goods for oneself. (xviii) Connected with this is Philo's description of how they move from their conversion to taking . at the dainty city symposia (50-52) could hardly be starker. even various types of slaves. (xvii) There is first the description in § 12 of how the therapeutai come to take the first important step in their exodus.-means that they value equality. they somehow already experience what they will end up experiencingin practice and for good. They do not merely "follow custom or the advice and admonition of others.
they believe they have "already ended their mortal life" (13 init. partly that some Greeks may aftcr all be said to belong on the positive side. which are not directly generated by the basic set.). Thus it is not quite clear in the end where they do belong. barbarian and Roman on the one side and Jewish on the other. then he is of course being far more definite. Jewish group the lines together in such a way that only Philo's own therapeutai come out as really qualifying for the title. the disciples of Moses have been trained from their earliest years to love the truth (eranalêtheias)-in the way Philo himself does this in Contempl.62 the first practical step of giving up their possessions: since they "long for the deathless and blessed life". These too may be fittcd into the basic set. Philo's contrast here between mythôn is plasmataand erosalêtheias a quite clear reference back to the Plato whose use of the same contrast we encountered in the Timaeus. but stand out as independent ones. (xix) It fits well with this that Philo should begin by presenting the therapeutai as a general but then gradually draw genos and not just a specific. But when Philo introduces his comments on Xenophon and Plato as aiming to contrast the symposia described by these writers with those "of our people who have embraced the contemplative life" (58) and concludes his account by stating that "the disciples of Moses" have been trained to look down with disdain upon the mythical stories (ta ton mythôn plasmata)z' that go into Plato's Symposium (63). but without having gone far enough. (xx) In the light of this one can also understand why Philo only gradually discloses that the therapeutai he has in mind are in fact distinctly Jewish. Note then how Philo is out to conceal the element of fiction in his own story whereas Plato employed the same contrast to reveal it (if only implicitly)in his. The therapeutic life as consummated at the feast is thc deathless and blessed life so far as human beings can great attain to this. It is a life that is no longer mortal.). Once more Philo has sketched in a single phrase the gradual. There are also other binary oppositions.?! At the very least. So is the reference to their holy scriptures (28) and the writings of men of old (29) that they study. Till now I have presented a whole range of oppositions that all fit into the basic set of oppositions that we formulated by drawing on Pierre Bourdieu. The initial determination of the God they worship is fairly non-committal (2 fin. practical development that is described in the rest of the trcatise. And the same is true when he states that the therapeutai follow "the truly sacred instructions 21 Instead. Philo says. One example is Philo's handling of the binary opposition between Greek. We already saw how Philo partly uses this contrast to suggest that the Greek (and barbarian and Roman) side belongs on the negative side of the basic contrast he is operating with. .
When the description of the therapeutai reaches its apogee at the end of the account of the great fcast. may be seen to fit in closely with the basic drive that runs through the treatise. but still an important part. which constitutes a theme of its own. This has been the general direction in which scholarship on the therapeutai has been going over the last more than hundred years once 22 I refrain from trying to specify here what these may be. thc meaning will lie wholly in other areas than that of describing and conveying information. Finally. an historical account. if we take him to be writing what is basically a piece of fiction. not "the" therapeutai Then the final question: does it really matter whether we understand the work in one way or the other? Indeed it does. that is. What matters here is not so much Philo's complex attitude to the "Greeks" as the fact that his comments on this particular topic. The text will now have to be taken as if it were conveying information. conveying information about. If we take Philo to be writing what is. fiction (a plastheis mythos)at least with the extent of vindication that makes it reasonable to challenge fellow scholars to pursue this hypothesis instead of the opposite one. And that situates what it does do in other types of speech act. Enough has been said to substantiate the claim that Contempl. we will take the feature of describing. the therapeutai to be one important part of the meaning of the textcertainly not the whole meaning.63 of the prophet Moses" (64). This will then also be cnough to vindicate my proposal that the treatise is. If it is taken to be basically factual. in all essentials. Conversely. has a degree of literary coherence that is so developed that it may reasonably be called maximal. there is a large number of interesting qucstions about the position of the therapeutai within Judaism that one may raise and attempt to answer in the light of our broader historical knowledge of ancient Judaism." Now this will have very important consequences for how interpreters may go about studying the text. Conclusion: Philo and his therapeutai. explicit references to the Red Sea incident (85-89) merely serve to clinch the case. then such themes as the relationship with Greek culture and the specifically Jewish identity of Philo's therapeutai also receive their most explicit treatment. . to some degree at least. the reference to the (Jerusalem) temple (81-82) and the substantial.
the good scholarly questions will be about Philo and "his" therapeutai. As a result of this and away countries by mythographical of my internal analysis of the work itself. He But whatever it may contain of value is no doubt partly due to him.2' But if the text is. On the Fortune the virtueof Alexander. The aim of this essay has been to present this result as a challenge to future scholarship on the work. Hay referred to in note 15. in the direction of Plato's Timaeus. scholars cannot-and tions in just that form. a philosopher's dream. lawful order (eunomia) (the proper) political constitution ( politeia). would probably not agree with everything in the essay in its present form. "Les Thérapeutes." bears this out with overwhelmingforce.. in all essenmust not-go on asking these questials. fictional. I came across certain passages in Josephus and Lucian that revealed their sense of a genre of fiction which included both utopian tracts of philosophers and paradoxical accounts of farhistorians. I began work on Contempl. But the most basic questions to be raised will now be about the relationship between Contempl. Basically. as a "philosopher's dream. it was Alexander who added practice (ergon) the idea (logos). And that supposed fact may be used in a number of ways." the same way. in the ways I have explained here.24 It will remain very important historically that Philo could conceiveof a Jewish community like the one he describes. not about "the" therapeutai. 1115 I gradually became convinced that the question of its genre is a central one. Thinking about this. or Having summarized the content of the famous Republic of Zeno. methodologically. more specifically what particular point or points about the life of a Jew in Philo's own time and place he is trying to express. 24As an example of this approach one might mention the paper David M. viewing it. he first He sowed the seeds of doubt in my mind concerning Contempl. the founder of Stoicism. 26I would like to acknowledgehere my immense debt to Professor JohnnyChristensen of Copenhagen Universityfor a range of insights over the last decades on a large number of topics within the field of classicsand ancient philosophy. with the aim of analysing the treatise in literary terms. . as it were of or sketching a dream (onar) shadowy picture (eidôlon) a philosopher's (conception of) and but good. also graciouslyread an earlier version of this essay. is. pointing me.64 Philo's authorship had been settled . Contempl. I came to the conclusion that we should remove the methodological brackets and affirm that Contempl. among other things. 25The notion of a "philosopher's (utopian) dream" is derived from Plutarch. 16 23 Riaud. They will not ask what more we may learn about lhem. and the rest of Philo's work. It is the aim of this essay to argue that a block should be put on all further scholarly attempts to push on along such historically orientated lines. Plutarch adds (329B):"This Zeno wrote. Long time ago. Philo's to In describes the practices of a philosopher's dream: the life of theôria.
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