Philo of Alexandria AKA Philo Judaeus, Philo Judaeus of Alexandria AKA Rabbi Yedidia AKA "Philon", AKA Philo the Jew
Egypt /Greece (Alexandra) 20 B.C.E. –50 C.E.
Comments: VERY IMPORTANT bridge between Hebrew and Greek Wisdom; the Ancients; reported by Josephus In Antiquities of the Jews ; Rabbi and head of Alexandrian Jewry; Neo-Pythagorism; Neoplatonism; Stoic (in the Greek sense); Jewish philosopher who read the Greek translation of the Old Testament, the Septuagint, and lived at the time of Jesus of Nazareth and the original Apostles; went to Rome to fight Emperor Caligula's plan to erect a statue of himself in the Temple of Jerusalem. REPEAT - HE STOOD UP TO CALIGULA AND WON; Living in exile, his idea of G-d was universal tolerance towards all of HIS children, Nations, and even "be kind to their Gods, after all, they are just unenlightened, not evil", a very different take from Josiah and 2nd Ezra; an important "link" in the chain of the evolution of the Western concept of God, as he moves from Monolatry (worship of one God among many, usually the Best God, of course) to Monotheism, there is one God, he is the God of "foreigners" too, but Dad always liked us best; The Greeks find the same LOGOS (Yod Heh Vah Heh, the Universal Process of the Godhead)in Nature as Jews find in the Torah and Christians in the word of the Nazarene; WISDOM as the Female Sophia, to be wooed and wed, protected and cherished as a Bride;lots of similarities to a Pagan Hermes Trismegistus's philosophy expressed as monotheism; "proclaims the law of nature, holds that the institution of human slavery is absolutely contrary to it, and writes "a treatise to prove that every virtuous man is free" and that to be virtuous is to live in conformity to nature....& attributed evil to matter or to "the natural changes of the elements",(not God)*; describes an Egyptian Essene sect called the "Therapeutes" praying at sunrise and sunset;
Students: Maimonides; Jacob Anatoli; Solomon ibn Gabirol; Rabbi Isaac Meyer; Tiberius Julius Alexander and Marcus Julius Alexander, nephews; Herodian Princess Berenice, niece; Alexander the Alabarch, brother; Eusebius; Chuck Furnace; Philovite Cosmocole (psud) aka Philo Lover of the Universe, author of LA VERITE SORTANT DU PUITS HERMETIQUE aka The Truth Coming Out Of The Well Sealed aka Truth from the Hidden Well; - Cornelius a Lapide, author of Commentaria Chuonradi Pellicani, 1532; Johannes Pistorius of Nidde, author of Atres cabalisticae, 1597; Egidio da Viterbo aka Gilled de Viterbe; Joseph de Voysin, author of Disputatio Cabalisticae, 1635 & De vera Curandae Pestis Ratione aka True Rational Cure for the Plague, 1568; Dr. Antonio Cocchi; Raphael Patai; Naomi G. Cohen; Isaac Heinemann; EdmundStein; H. A. Wolfson; Samuel Belkin;
Enemies: Emperor Caligula ;
Author: Legatio ad Gaium ("embassy to Gaius"); Flaccus; "De Specialibus Legibus; "De Præmiis et Pœnis"; "Quis Rerum Divinarum Heres Sit"' "Quod Omnis Probus Liber"; "De cherubim" (The Little Angels); "De sacrificiis Abelis et Caini; "De Agricultura Noe"; "De Confusione Linguarum" (okay, this one just makes stuff up, but he didn't have modern references, good try); "De Migratione Abrahami"; "De Profugis"; "De Somniis", on the Dreams of Joseph and what dreams really are made of; De Vita Contemplativa;
Resources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philo ; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philo%27s_Works ; The Evolution of God by Robert Wright ; http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-23455774; my own essay Jews and Muslims reconcile the Gnostic Neoplatonism of the Ancients aka Gnostic Qabalah; http://www.bl.uk/manuscripts/FullDisplay.aspx?index=2&ref=Harley_MS_3429
- paraphrased from Lynn Thrndike