“Horse and Rider He Threw into the Sea” (Exod 15:1)

The Horse as an Image of the Body and of Passion in the Alexandrian Tradition

In: Vigiliae Christianae
Albert C. Geljon Christelijk Gymnasium Utrecht Utrecht The Netherlands

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This article examines the use of the horse as an image of the body and of passion in the Alexandrian theological tradition. It started with Philo, who regarded the horse as a symbol of passion. Clement and Origen adopted the Philonic interpretation. Origen, who exploited the image most, saw the horse as representing the body, bodily things, irrational passions and desires of the flesh. Finally, following in Origen’s footsteps, Didymus also interpreted the horse as a figure of the body. In addition, both Origen and Didymus distinguished between the image of the horseman and that of the rider, following the example of a predecessor, whom they did not mention by name: Philo.

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