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Medieval and Early Modern Greek Manuscripts : Philo of Alexandria

Medieval and Early Modern Greek Manuscripts

<p style='text-align: justify;'>This manuscript, probably copied in the first two-thirds of the 16th century, contains most of the surviving works of <i>Philo of Alexandria</i>, also known as Philo Judaeus. The author was a Jewish philosopher who worked in Alexandria in the 1st century CE and who sought to synthesise Jewish doctrine with Greek philosophy. The texts found here include writings on the persecution of the Jews in the reign of Caligula, including an account of an embassy from the Jewish community of Alexandria to the emperor in which the author took part, as well as scriptural commentaries and more purely philosophical treatises. Some of these works are presented here divided into sections, which do not always appear consecutively.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>The manuscript also contains a single text by Eusebios of Caesarea, an oration in praise of the Emperor Constantine I.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Peculiarly, a single stray folio, <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(133);return false;'>f. 64</a>, is inserted between another stray folio, <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(131);return false;'>f. 63</a>, which belongs to the text <i>De specialibus legibus</i>, and quires containing the latter part of that text. The inserted folio contains a fragment of another text of Philo, the <i>De sacrificiis Abelis et Caini</i>, which appears in full later in the manuscript (<a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(185);return false;'>ff. 90r-100r</a>). At the end of <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(133);return false;'>f. 64v</a> the text comes to an end, although this is not the usual end of the work. It is followed at the foot of the page by a heading for the <i>De specialibus legibus</i>, whose beginning is missing, as is the end of the work which precedes it, the <i>De vita contemplativa</i>. It is unclear why the text of the <i>De sacrificiis Abelis et Caini</i> should have been terminated early, although if this was an error it could explain why the same text was copied again in full later in the manuscript.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Dr Christopher Wright</p>

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