Analysis of Philo on Therapeutae

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DCHindley
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Analysis of Philo on Therapeutae

Post by DCHindley »

billd89,

Since I think you might appreciate this, I once applied the same method I use for the Pauline letters to Philo's section of De vita contemplativa 1.1-90 ("About the Contemplative Life," C D Yonge, vol 1, 1854) on the Therapeutae.

The sections I colored Red seems to be from an original treatise, probably Philo.

The sections colored Blue seems to be his own editorial notes as he prepared the manuscript for publication (just my guess).

The sections colored Black are from a completely different author, adding his opinion about a large number of subjects, although they do all seem to relate to the original (red) discussions at hand. Perhaps this was the hand of a second editor, maybe even his thoroughly Romanized relative Tiberius Alexander, who may have formally published Philo's treatises posthumously (again, just a guess)

Maybe they are all three from the same Philo, at different stages of his life. Unlike Paul's letters, though, these layers are not at odds with one another.

The technique is to follow a train of thought to a digression or literary aporia, then look for the next place the subject picks up again. The intervening text is then subjected to the same sort of analysis, until it yields something sensible and apparent contradictions seem to disappear. The trick is looking for the next *simple and easy* place where the argument picks up again, and not try to get all psychological on Philo (or Paul) or insert one's own POVs into the narrative.


Let me know what you think.

This is intended to be food for thought.

DCH

PS, I have another file around that does something similar with Origen's book Against Celsus, trying to recover what of it were the words (or paraphrases) of Celsus as opposed to Origen's commentary on how horribly wrong Celsus was. I've also done this with sections of Epiphanius' Panarion on Marcionites to separate between his descriptions of them and his often loooooooooong and free-associations that serve up his exegesis explaining how horribly wrong Marcion was.
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billd89
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Re: Analysis of Philo on Therapeutae

Post by billd89 »

DCHindley wrote: Mon Sep 06, 2021 5:37 am billd89,

Since I think you might appreciate this
Thank you for this. I'm confused, though. Is your analysis based on the original Greek or another language? I cannot read Greek, but in making my own (21st C. American English) translations I quickly found some very troubling discrepancies in Yonge's work.
The sections I colored Red seems to be from an original treatise, probably Philo.
I've suspected the 3rd C AD librarian who held/maintained the corpus and (re)copied most of Philo's work perhaps compiled several things for DVC. I'm not proficient to discern that from the orig Greek, however.
The technique is to follow a train of thought to a digression or literary aporia, then look for the next place the subject picks up again. The intervening text is then subjected to the same sort of analysis, until it yields something sensible and apparent contradictions seem to disappear. The trick is looking for the next *simple and easy* place where the argument picks up again
Again, from the 'original Greek', how does DVC compare to 3-4 other 'same period' works by Philo Judaeus? Or is it a weird outlier? I'm curious why so many Greek readers have doubted the authorship of this particular work.

20 years into the age of 'Big Data', I'm surprised no one has yet created an algorithm to parse all of 'Philo Judaeus' (or any one author) for emendations, likely recensions, etc. at least on some probability-basis. I suspect (but cannot prove) that "Philo" was actually a publishing house - so several writers and multiple scribes were employed, churning out 'his' works,and perhaps in a relatively short time-period. Just my hunch, tho.
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DCHindley
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Re: Analysis of Philo on Therapeutae

Post by DCHindley »

billd89 wrote: Mon Sep 06, 2021 3:46 pm
DCHindley wrote: Mon Sep 06, 2021 5:37 am billd89,

Since I think you might appreciate this
Thank you for this. I'm confused, though. Is your analysis based on the original Greek or another language? I cannot read Greek, but in making my own (21st C. American English) translations I quickly found some very troubling discrepancies in Yonge's work.
Goodness, don't start thinking that I know much of anything about Greek. Until recently, Ben C Smith was our classic trained language expert. But he is an amateur like me, only better. There are also OCR'd versions of most of Philo's books that have the Greek in Unicode (see here: viewtopic.php?p=67117#p67117).

Personally. I have a very basic Greek education and don't want to pretend I have any sort of special knowledge. But I know enough to be dangerous. Can tell where passages start and end and can usually correctly identify key words. I used to have a nice language study program (BibleWorks 8) before I lost it by accident. However, I used to also run a lot of the Greek and even Latin words through the Perseus Morphology Tool. I don't have access to TLG. I'll eventually rebuild my resources again, maybe even recover some of the files I had saved up, but thankfully I had saved my personal subdirectories dedicated to this sort of stuff, so I have that at least.

While I did not base my divisions on the Greek exclusively, I could read the critical notes of the LCL editor/translators, and figure out where generally things were in the lines of text. Most Greek editions have punctuation (from the later minuscules) but while different editors prefer one punctuation mark over another, the clauses are identifiable enough.
The sections I colored Red seems to be from an original treatise, probably Philo.
I've suspected the 3rd C AD librarian who held/maintained the corpus and (re)copied most of Philo's work perhaps compiled several things for DVC. I'm not proficient to discern that from the orig Greek, however.
The technique is to follow a train of thought to a digression or literary aporia, then look for the next place the subject picks up again. The intervening text is then subjected to the same sort of analysis, until it yields something sensible and apparent contradictions seem to disappear. The trick is looking for the next *simple and easy* place where the argument picks up again
Again, from the 'original Greek', how does DVC compare to 3-4 other 'same period' works by Philo Judaeus? Or is it a weird outlier? I'm curious why so many Greek readers have doubted the authorship of this particular work.
Somewhere I believe I had summarized this somewhere on the board in the past. I'll have to do a search ... only later.
20 years into the age of 'Big Data', I'm surprised no one has yet created an algorithm to parse all of 'Philo Judaeus' (or any one author) for emendations, likely recensions, etc. at least on some probability-basis. I suspect (but cannot prove) that "Philo" was actually a publishing house - so several writers and multiple scribes were employed, churning out 'his' works,and perhaps in a relatively short time-period. Just my hunch, tho.
I was looking at it the other day, trying to remember what the colors I had chosen signified, and the idea came to me that the one whose input I had left basic black could have been Tiberius Alexander. They were both related to the same Jewish Alabarch of the early 1st century, although Philo retained his love for his ethnic heritage and traditions, while Tiberius rose through the ranks of the Roman knighthood, eventually becoming the Roman governor of Judea.

I will take a look at Wolfson.

DCH
mbuckley3
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Re: Analysis of Philo on Therapeutae

Post by mbuckley3 »

While Conybeare's massive edition of 1895 has held sway in the English-speaking world, implying that the description of the Therapeutae is a (somewhat idealised) factual account by Philo, pesky foreigners have detected something not quite right with the DVC. Lucius (1880) argued it was a C3 Christian forgery, convincing Harnack, Lipsius, Schürer et al. Engberg-Pedersen (1999) sees it as a utopian fantasy presented realistically, a mode of philosophic discourse familiar since Plato's description of Atlantis.
So the DCH analysis, using a 'per argumentum' method to detect stratification, acknowledges the 'not quite right' element of the DVC, without passing verdict on the existence or otherwise of the Therapeutae. I'm intrigued enough to attempt a vocabulary analysis of the red/blue/black sections to see if there's supporting evidence...
Pending that, a recent paper ('Marckalada') by Paolo Chiesa offered a timely reminder of why stratification should be looked for : copyists were not simply transcribers, but given the nature of what they had to work with, often had to be editors, even publishers.
Galvaneus de la Flamma's unfinished 'Cronica Universalis' exists in a single late C14 copy, made by a known, named copyist. Chiesa's verdict : "There is evidence that he used some work-in-progress manuscripts by Galvaneus himself, never finished, sometimes not easy to read, enriched by marginal notes and fly-leaves. In this situation, Ghioldi made many mistakes in transcribing uncommon words..and left open several problems in the general structure of the book (duplications of sentences,lack of chapter numbers, incongruous internal cross-references, etc.); however he was a professional copyist, hence quite correct where Latin wording was more easily understandable, or when the direct model was unambiguously readable. " "While copying another work of Galvaneus..Ghioldi declared that his model presents some marginal glosses, and that he is going to warn the reader whenever he transcribed one." By implication, such scrupulosity was not the norm.
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billd89
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Re: Something is Not Quite Right w/DVC

Post by billd89 »

mbuckley3 wrote: Sun Oct 03, 2021 12:35 pmWhile Conybeare's massive edition of 1895 has held sway in the English-speaking world, implying that the description of the Therapeutae is a (somewhat idealised) factual account by Philo, pesky foreigners have detected something not quite right with the DVC. Lucius (1880) argued it was a C3 Christian forgery, convincing Harnack, Lipsius, Schürer et al. Engberg-Pedersen (1999) sees it as a utopian fantasy presented realistically, a mode of philosophic discourse familiar since Plato's description of Atlantis.
So the DCH analysis, using a 'per argumentum' method to detect stratification, acknowledges the 'not quite right' element of the DVC, without passing verdict on the existence or otherwise of the Therapeutae. I'm intrigued enough to attempt a vocabulary analysis of the red/blue/black sections to see if there's supporting evidence...
I doubt whether Philo wrote it; I suspect one or more of his scribes had assembled & combined compositions, OR the 3rd C. AD Xian librarians who recopied Origen's library in Caesarea 'put it together' somehow, from dodgy scraps of Philo's library. I think Philo is better thought a publishing house than one solitary writer. His works emanated from a propaganda outfit, not 'one pen'.

I suppose it is less a somewhat idealised, factual account than an obscure defense of heretics, which tells us very little -on the face of it- and a great deal (by inference.) Because we have no immediate context that the original audience possessed, our secondary or tertiary inference is guesswork, intuition. In that, there may be error!

Unorthodox/radical and competing Jewish sects came together in a writers' colony; how did that work?!

Their prayer-drill was NeoPythagorean. Philosophically-inclined (Hellenistic) Jewish spiritualists syncretized many variable local customs, where they lived, worked, preached. Judaism and Pythagoreanism were the constants? So it was a teachers' collegia. But Philo never describes the healing processes, just the content-production.

The utopian fantasy was that they all got along, lol. Just imagine.


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Re: Analysis of Philo on Therapeutae

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Communes and kibbutz's have existed and continue to exist. Many utopian communities have been attempted in the history of humanity. I don't see that any of this is a stretch. If you told someone 1000 years from now that nudist colonies existed everywhere they'd probably say the same thing.

I actually knew someone who had to visit his mother after she remarried and joined a nudist colony. He went to visit her. There she was naked. He was uncomfortable. She said 'you look uncomfortable why don't you take of your clothes.' So he did.
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