Aristotelian reminiscences in philo

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The first part of this article deals with two cases of what seems to be Aristotelian reminiscences in the works of Philo of Alexandria. A passage in Ouod detenus and a passage in De agricultura show close verbal reminiscences to two passages in Book I of Nicomachean Ethics; and a passage in De migratione Abrahami shows verbal reminiscences to two passages in Book II. Since it appears from Book v of De finibus that Antiochus of Ascalon had already read at least parts of Nicomachean Ethics; and the first commentator on the Ethics, Aspasius, has clear references to some predecessors who had already read and discussed this work, I argue for the possibility that Philo also read the Nicomachean Ethics. The second part deals with an almost forgotten book review by Jacob Freu- denthal, published in 1875, which argues that Philo was familiar with various parts of the Aristotelian corpus as we have it. I examine his detailed arguments and conclude that, with all due respect to a great scholar, they do not seem to prove his point.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)189-200
Number of pages12
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2013


  • Aristotle
  • Aspasius
  • Jacob freudenthal
  • Nicomachean ethics
  • Philo of alexandria


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