Philo, On the Virtues

LCL 341: 208-209

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Philo

καιρὸν νουθεσίαι καὶ σωφρονισμοί, παραινέσεις αἱ πρὸς τὰ μέλλοντα διὰ χρηστῶν ἐλπίδων, αἷς ἐπακολουθεῖν ἀναγκαῖον αἴσια τέλη.

76XII. Ὡς δ᾿ ἐτέλεσε τὰς χορείας ὁσιότητι καὶ φιλανθρωπίᾳ τρόπον τινὰ συνυφασμένας, ἤρξατο μεταβάλλειν ἐκ θνητῆς ζωῆς εἰς ἀθάνατον βίον κἀκ τοῦ κατ᾿ ὀλίγον συνῃσθάνετο τῆς τῶν1 ἐξ ὧν συνεκέκρατο διαζεύξεως, τοῦ μὲν σώματος ὀστρέου [388] δίκην <περιπεφυκότος>2 περιαιρουμένου, τῆς δὲ ψυχῆς ἀπογυμνουμένης καὶ τὴν κατὰ φύσιν ἐνθένδε 77ποθούσης μετανάστασιν. εἶθ᾿ ἑτοιμασάμενος τὰ πρὸς ἔξοδον οὐ πρότερον ἐστείλατο τὴν ἀποικίαν ἢ τὰς τοῦ ἔθνους φυλὰς ἁπάσας εὐχαῖς ἐναρμονίοις [ἀριθμῷ δώδεκα] γερᾶραι διὰ τῆς τῶν φυλαρχῶν κατακλήσεως· ἃς ὅτι τελεσφορηθήσονται πιστευτέον· ὅ τε γὰρ εὐξάμενος θεοφιλὴς ὅ τε θεὸς φιλάνθρωπος ὑπὲρ ὧν τε αἱ αἰτήσεις εὐπατρίδαι καὶ εὐγενεῖς τὴν ἀνωτάτω τεταγμένοι τάξιν, ὑπὸ 78στρατάρχῃ τῷ ποιητῇ πάντων καὶ πατρί. [αἰτήσεις δ᾿ ἦσαν αἱ τῶν ἀληθινῶν ἀγαθῶν, οὐ μόνον ἐν τῷ θνητῷ ὅπως ὑπάρχωσιν αὐτοῖς βίῳ, ἀλλὰ πολὺ μᾶλλον ἐπὰν ἄνετος τοῦ τῆς σαρκὸς δεσμοῦ 79γένηται ἡ ψυχή.]3 μόνος γὰρ Μωυσῆς τὴν πρὸς τὰ θεῖα, ὡς ἔοικεν, ἐξ ἀρχῆς τὸ σύμπαν ἔθνος

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On the Virtues

and calls to a sounder mind, and his exhortations for the future expressed in hopeful words of comfort which needs must be followed by their happy fulfilment.a

XII. When he had ended his anthems, a blend we76 may call them of religion and humanity, he began to pass over from mortal existence to life immortal and gradually became conscious of the disuniting of the elements of which he was composed. The body, the shell-like growth which encased him, was being stripped away and the soul laid bare and yearning for its natural removal hence. Then after accomplishing77 the preparations for his departure he did not set out for his new home until he had honoured all the tribes of his nation with the concent of his benedictions, mentioning the founders of the tribes by name.b That these benedictions will be fulfilled we must believe, for he who gave them was beloved of God the lover of men and they for whom he asked were of noble lineage and held the highest rank in the army led by the Maker and Father of all. [The prayers were requests78 for true goods, not only that they should have them in this mortal life but much more when the soul is set free from the bonds of the flesh.] For Moses79 alone, it is plain, had grasped the thought that the

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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.philo_judaeus-virtues.1939