Philo of Alexandria and Greek Myth

Narratives, Allegories, and Arguments


Volume Editors: and
In Philo of Alexandria and Greek Myth: Narratives, Allegories, and Arguments, a fresh and more complete image of Philo of Alexandria as a careful reader, interpreter, and critic of Greek literature is offered. Greek mythology plays a significant role in Philo of Alexandria’s exegetical oeuvre. Philo explicitly adopts or subtly evokes narratives, episodes and figures from Greek mythology as symbols whose didactic function we need to unravel, exactly as the hidden teaching of Moses’ narration has to be revealed by interpreters of Bible. By analyzing specific mythologems and narrative cycles, the contributions to this volume pave the way to a better understanding of Philo’s different attitudes towards literary and philosophical mythology.

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Francesca Alesse is Senior researcher at the Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (Italy). She has published monographies on Aristotelian and Stoic ethics, and on Socratic tradition. She has edited a collective volume on Philo of Alexandria and Hellenistic philosophy (Brill 2008).
Ludovica De Luca, PhD 2017, carries out her research activity at the Università degli Studi Roma Tre and Università degli Studi dell’Aquila. She has published articles on Philonic philosophical exegesis and prepared a monograph on Philo’s De Opificio Mundi.
Francesca Alesse

Part 1: Philo of Alexandria and Myth-Telling

1 Philo’s Refashioning of Greek Myth
Erich S. Gruen

2 Philo’s Reception of Greek Mythology
Geert Roskam

3 Histoires grecques, récits bibliques. la lecture des mythes chez Philon d’Alexandrie
Francesca Calabi

4 Polytheos doxa and Mythologein: Philo of Alexandria as a “Historian of Religions”
Giulia Sfameni Gasparro

5 Philo’s Struggle with Jewish Myth
René Bloch

Part 2: Gods, Heroes, and some Monsters

6 The God of the Philosophers, and the God of Israel
Erkki Koskenniemi

7 Philo of Alexandria on Greek Heroes
Pura Nieto Hernández

8 Heracles and Philo of Alexandria: The Son of Zeus between Torah and Philosophy, Empire and Stage
Courtney J. P. Friesen

9 The Greek Character of Philo’s Biblical Giants: A Reading of QG 2.82
Benjamin Garstad

10 Homer in Philo: Scylla’s Myth in Philonic Philosophical Context
Marta Alesso

11 Les « plaies » d’Empédocle et la mythologie infernale chez Philon d’Alexandrie
Lucia Saudelli

All interested in the reception of Greek mythological literature into Hellenistic age and, more specifically, Hellenistic Judaism, and to all concerned with the topic of allegorization of Biblical narratives.
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