Greek Writers and Philosophers in Philo and Josephus

A Study of Their Secular Education and Educational Ideals


In Greek Writers and Philosophers in Philo and Josephus Erkki Koskenniemi investigates how two Jewish writers, Philo and Josephus, quoted, mentioned and referred to Greek writers and philosophers. He asks what this tells us about their Greek education, their contacts with Classical culture in general, and about the societies in which Philo and Josephus lived. Although Philo in Alexandria and Josephus in Jerusalem both had the possibility to acquire a thorough knowledge of Greek language and culture, they show very different attitudes. Philo, who was probably admitted to the gymnasium, often and enthusiastically refers to Greek poets and philosophers. Josephus on the other hand rarely quotes from their works, giving evidence of a more traditionalistic tendencies among Jewish nobility in Jerusalem.

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Erkki Koskenniemi, PhD. (1992) Åbo Akademi University, is Adjunct Professor in Biblical studies at the University of Helsinki, University of Eastern Finland and Åbo Akademi University. His publications include The Old Testament Miracle-Workers in Early Judaism (Mohr, 2005) and Apollonios von Tyana in der neutestamentlichen Exegese (Mohr, 1994).
1 Introduction  1  The Task of the Study  2  A Brief History of the Research  3  The Outline of Graeco-Roman Education  4  A More Precise Definition of the Task
2 Philo: Offspring from Sarah and Hagar  1  Introduction  2  Philo and Greek Writers  3  Philo’s Educational Ideals and His Own Witness  4  Jews and the Secular Education in Alexandria  5  Conclusion
3 Josephus: It Is Difficult to Transplant an Old Tree  1  Introduction  2  Josephus and Greek Writers  3  Greek Language and Classical Education in Jerusalem  4  Josephus’ Own Witness and the Quality of His Greek  5  Conclusion
4 Philo and Josephus
Bibliography Index
Scholars of Early Judaism, Classical Philology and New Testament exegesis, especially those interested in Hellenistic Philosophy and backgrounds of the New Testament and contacts between Greek and Jewish/Christian worlds.