Philo of Alexandria, On the Creation of the Cosmos according to Moses

Introduction, Translation and Commentary


This study is the first volume in the new Philo of Alexandria Commentary Series. It contains a new English translation of Philo’s famous treatise On the creation of the cosmos (the first for seventy years), and the first ever commentary in English. In this work the Jewish exegete and philosopher gives a selective exegesis of the Mosaic creation account and the events in Paradise as recorded in Genesis 1–3. It is the first preserved example of Hexaemeral literature, and had a profound influence on early Christian thought. The commentary aims to make Philo’s thought accessible to readers such as graduate students who are just beginning to read him, but also contains much material that will be of interest to specialists in Hellenistic Judaism, ancient philosophy and patristic literature.

Biographical Note

David T. Runia, D. Litt. (1983) is Master of Queen's College, Melbourne, Australia. He has published extensively on the writings and thought of Philo of Alexandria, and has been editor of The Studia Philonica Annual since 1989.

Review Quote

"…an excellent introduction to the De Opificio Mundi." – John Dillon, in: Ancient Philosophy, 2004 "An excellent and very helpful first commentary in this series on Philo's major works." – Fred W. Burnett, in: Religious Studies Review, 2004 "... this commentary is undoubtedly the major reference work on this Philonic treatise, and so it will surely remain for a long time." – Claudio Zamagni, in: Review of Biblical Literature, 2005 "This is a masterwork of historical scholarship that, in scope and execution, demonstrates the kind of contribution a commentary of this type can make." – Mark Weedman, in: Review of Biblical Literature, 2006