Philo's Flaccus

The First Pogrom


This book is the first English commentary on Philo’s In Flaccum since the publication of Box in 1939. The work contains an introduction in which matters of genre, historical background, the textual evidence etc. are discussed. This is followed by a new English translation of the Greek text. The main part of the book is a detailed philological and historical commentary on Philo’s text. Since In Flaccum is our only source for the anti-Jewish pogrom in Alexandria in the year 38 CE, it is of the utmost significance for the study of the origins and early history of antisemitism. The book is of interests for scholars of Judaism, Ancient History, Biblical Studies, Classical Literature, and History of Religions.

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Biographical Note

Pieter W. van der Horst, Ph.D. (1978) in Theology, is Professor of New Testament and the Jewish and Hellenistic world of Early Christianity at Utrecht University. He published hundreds of articles and books on a wide variety of subjects in this field, the most recent of which is Japheth in the Tents of Shem: Studies on Jewish Hellenism in Antiquity (Peeters, 2002).

Review Quotes

' The main part of the book is a detailed philological and historical commentary on Philo’s text. The commentary is very well written and structured and guides the reader paragraph by paragraph and word by word through the 191 paragraphs of the treatise with a clear focus on its structure, its main contents, and the many references to the sequence of events that led to the pogrom as well as to important parallels in contemporary writings. The thoroughness and usefulness of the commentary is also reflected in the extensive indices, not only on passages in Philonic, biblical, early Jewish, and Christian and Greco-Roman works, but also on subjects and names, including Greek terms. Once again, van der Horst has impressively confirmed his expertise in the field of early Judaism.' Gerbern Oegema, Review of Biblical Literature, 2006. ' ...learned and welcome commentary...The commentary admirably brings to life the historical context narrated in the treatise.' Kenneth A. Fox, Novum Testamentum, 2010

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