Philo, On Providence

LCL 363: 458-459

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De Providentia

(EUS. PRAEP. EV ANG. viii. 14, 386—399)

[634] 1Κατασκευάζει δὲ τὸν λόγον τοῦτον τὸν τρόπον·

Πρόνοιαν εἶναι λέγεις ἐν τοσαύτῃ τῶν πραγμάτων ταραχῇ καὶ συγχύσει; τί γὰρ τῶν κατὰ τὸν ἀνθρώπινον βίον διατέτακται; τί μὲν οὖν οὐκ ἀταξίας γέμει καὶ φθορᾶς; ἢ μόνος ἀγνοεῖς, ὅτι τοῖς μὲν κακίστοις καὶ πονηροτάτοις ἄφθονα ἐπικωμάζει τὰ ἀγαθά, πλοῦτος, εὐδοξία, τιμαὶ παρὰ τοῖς πλήθεσιν· ἡγεμονία πάλιν, ὑγεία, εὐαισθησία, κάλλος, ἰσχύς, ἀπόλαυσις ἡδονῶν ἀκώλυτος, διά τε παρασκευῶν περιουσίαν καὶ διὰ τὴν εἰρηνικωτάτην σώματος εὐμοιρίαν; οἱ δὲ φρονήσεως καὶ ἀρετῆς ἁπάσης ἐρασταί τε καὶ ἀσκηταὶ πάντες εἰσίν, ὀλίγου δέω φάναι, πένητες, ἀφανεῖς, ἄδοξοι, ταπεινοί;

2 Ταῦτα εἰς ἀνασκευὴν καὶ μυρία ἄλλα πλείω τούτων εἰπών,


On Providence, 2

On Providence

(fragment 2)

This is the method in which he conducts this discussion.1 Alexander saysa:

“Do you maintain the existence of providence amid this vast welter and confusion of things? For what part of human life is subject to order, nay, what is not brimful of disorder and corruption? Or are you alone ignorant that to the worst and vilest of men good things in abundance come crowding in, wealth, high repute, honours paid to them by the masses, again authority, health with efficiency of the senses, beauty, strength, unimpeded enjoyment of pleasures through the abundance of their resources and the bodily well-being free from all disturbance which they possess, while the lovers and practisers of wisdom and every virtue are almost universally poor, obscure, of little repute and in a humble position?”

After stating these and a host of othersb on the negative2

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.philo_judaeus-providence.1941