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Philo

ΦΙΛΩΝΟΣ ΠΕΡΙ ΤΗΣ ΚΑΤΑ ΜΩΥΣΕΑ ΚΟΣΜΟΠΟΙΙΑΣ

[I. 1] 1I. Τῶν ἄλλων νομοθετῶν, οἱ μὲν ἀκαλλώπιστα καὶ γυμνὰ τὰ νομισθέντα παρ᾿ αὐτοῖς εἶναι δίκαια διετάξαντο, οἱ δὲ πολὺν ὄγκον τοῖς νοήμασι προσπεριβαλόντες, ἐξετύφωσαν τὰ πλήθη, μυθικοῖς 2πλάσμασι τὴν ἀλήθειαν ἐπικρύψαντες. Μωυσῆς δ᾿, ἑκάτερον ὑπερβάς, τὸ μὲν ὡς ἄσκεπτον καὶ ἀταλαίπωρον καὶ ἀφιλόσοφον, τὸ δ᾿ ὡς κατεψευσμένον καὶ μεστὸν γοητείας, παγκάλην καὶ σεμνοτάτην ἀρχὴν ἐποιήσατο τῶν νόμων, μήτ᾿ εὐθὺς ἃ χρὴ πράττειν ἢ τοὐναντίον ὑπειπὼν μήτ᾿, ἐπειδὴ προτυπῶσαι τὰς διανοίας τῶν χρησομένων τοῖς νόμοις ἀναγκαῖον ἦν, μύθους πλασάμενος ἢ 3συναινέσας τοῖς ὑφ᾿ ἑτέρων συντεθεῖσιν. ἡ δ᾿ ἀρχή, καθάπερ ἔφην, ἐστὶ θαυμασιωτάτη, κοσμοποιίαν περιέχουσα, ὡς καὶ τοῦ κόσμου τῷ νόμῳ καὶ τοῦ νόμου τῷ κόσμῳ συνᾴδοντος, καὶ τοῦ νομίμου ἀνδρὸς εὐθὺς ὄντος κοσμοπολίτου, πρὸς τὸ βούλημα τῆς φύσεως τὰς πράξεις ἀπευθύνοντος, καθ᾿ ἣν καὶ ὁ σύμπας κόσμος διοικεῖται.

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On the Creation

On the Account of the World’s Creation Given by Moses

I. While among other lawgivers some have nakedly and without embellishment drawn up a code of the things held to be right among their people, and others, dressing up their ideas in much irrelevant and cumbersome matter, have befogged the masses and hidden the truth under their fictions, Moses, disdaining either course, the one as devoid of the philosopher’s painstaking effort to explore his subject thoroughly, the other as full of falsehood and imposture, introduced his laws with an admirable and most impressive exordium. He refrained, on the one hand, from stating abruptly what should be practised or avoided, and on the other hand, in face of the necessity of preparing the minds of those who were to live under the laws for their reception, he refrained from inventing myths himself or acquiescing in those composed by others. His exordium, as I have said, is one that excites our admiration in the highest degree. It consists of an account of the creation of the world, implying that the world is in harmony with the Law, and the Law with the world, and that the man who observes the law is constituted thereby a loyal citizen of the world,a regulating his doings by the purpose and will of Nature, in accordance with which the entire world itself also is administered.

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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.philo_judaeus-account_worlds_creation_given_moses.1929