Saturday, March 3, 2012
Abstract: This paper is intended to contribute to the continued effort to understand Philo of Alexandria’s ethnic self-identification. Scholarship has long sought to determine whether Philo would be better understood in terms of Jewish or Greek identity, noting that he displays characteristic features of both groups. This paper examines Philo’s use of the Greek word barbaros, barbarian, in order to highlight the dual nature of Philo’s self-identification, and suggests that his writings would best be understood as deriving from a person who possessed what Philip Esler calls “multiple” identities.
Key Words: Philo, barbarian, ethnicity, identity, Esler, Judaism.