The Spurious Texts of Philo of Alexandria

A Study of Textual Transmission and Corruption with Indexes to the Major Collections of Greek Fragments


The transmission of Philo of Alexandria's works is very complex, and genuine works are preserved in the original Greek, and in ancient Armenian and Latin translations. There are also many excerpts attributed to him in medieval catenae and florilegia, and in quotations in Church writers. The task undertaken here is to discriminate as far as possible between the genuine and the spurious within the textual history of Philo. An analysis of the sources of the fragments of Philo is followed by a listing of sixty-one texts which are demonstrably spurious, deriving (as is shown here) from various sources, including the Bible, Church writers, classical authors, and Josephus. Also included is a survey of the complete books which have been mistakenly assigned to Philo. An Index locorum provides identifications of the Philonic texts found in all the principal collections of fragments. Many of the identifications of spurious and of genuine fragments are made here for the first time.


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Biographical Note

James R. Royse, Ph.D. (1969) in Philosophy, University of Chicago, is Professor of Philosophy at San Francisco State University, U.S.A. He has also been working as a software consultant since 1983, and has published extensively on Philonic texts and their transmission.

Review Quote

' Royse's splendid edition and analysis of the spurious texts of Philo is a major contribution to the proper evaluation of Philo's work and will be indispensable for all Philonic scholars.' David Winston, The Jewish Quarterly Review, 1995.


scholars concerned with the history of textual transmission during the medieval period, and students and specialists of Philo of Alexandria.