Philo, On Joseph

LCL 289: 140-141

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Philo

ΒΙΟΣ ΠΟΛΙΤΙΚΟΥ ΟΠΕΡ ΕΣΤΙ ΠΕΡΙ ΙΩΣΗΦ

[41] 1I. Τρεῖς μέν εἰσιν ἰδέαι, δι᾿ ὧν τὸ ἄριστον τέλος, μάθησις, φύσις, ἄσκησις, τρεῖς δὲ καὶ σοφῶν οἱ πρεσβύτατοι κατὰ Μωυσῆν ἐπώνυμοι τούτων· ὧν τοὺς βίους ἀναγεγραφώς, τόν τε ἐκ διδασκαλίας καὶ τὸν αὐτομαθῆ καὶ τὸν ἀσκητικόν, τέταρτον κατὰ τὸ ἑξῆς ἀναγράψω τὸν πολιτικόν, οὗ πάλιν ἐπώνυμον ἕνα τῶν φυλάρχων διασυνίστησιν ἐκ πρώτης ἡλικίας 2συγκροτηθέντα. ἤρξατο μέντοι συγκροτεῖσθαι περὶ ἔτη γεγονὼς ἑπτακαίδεκα τοῖς κατὰ ποιμενικὴν θεωρήμασιν, ἃ συνᾴδει τοῖς περὶ πόλιν· ὅθεν οἶμαι καὶ τὸ ποιητικὸν γένος “ποιμένας λαῶν” τοὺς βασιλεῖς εἴωθεν ὀνομάζειν· ὁ γὰρ τὴν ποιμενικὴν κατωρθωκὼς ἄριστος ἂν εἴη καὶ βασιλεύς, τῆς καλλίστης ζῴων ἀγέλης, ἀνθρώπων, τὴν ἐπιμέλειαν 123ἐν ταῖς ἐλάττονος σπουδῆς ἀξίαις ἀναδιδαχθείς· καὶ καθάπερ τῷ μέλλοντι πολεμαρχεῖν καὶ στρατηγεῖν ἀναγκαιότατον αἱ περὶ τὰ κυνηγέσια μελέται, τὸν | [42]αὐτὸν τρόπον καὶ οἷς ἐλπὶς ἐπιτροπεῦσαι πόλεως οἰκειότατον ποιμενικὴ προάγων τις οὖσα ἐπιστασίας

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On Joseph

On Joseph

that is, the Life of the statesman

I. The factors which produce consummate excellence1 are three in number: learning, nature, practice. And these names are represented in three of the wise men to whom Moses gives the senior place. Since I have described the lives of these three, the life which results from teaching, the life of the self-taught and the life of practice, I will carry on the series by describing a fourth life, that of the statesman. This name again has its representation in one of the patriarchs who, as Moses shews, was trained to his calling from his earliest youth. This training was first given to him at about the age2 of seventeen by the lore of the shepherd’s craft,a which corresponds closely to the lore of statesmanship. And therefore I think the order of poets often speaks of kings as shepherds of peoples,b for success in shepherding will produce the best king, since through the charge of flocks which deserve less thought and care he has been taught the charge of the noblest flock of living creatures—mankind. And, just as to the future leaders in wars, or in commanding3 armies, practice in the hunting-field is most necessary, so to those who hope to superintend a state nothing is so suitable as shepherding, which gives practice in the exercise of authority and

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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.philo_judaeus-joseph.1935