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The Biblical Antiquities of Philo, 4. TITLE, AND ATTRIBUTION TO PHILO

THE BIBLICAL ANTIQUITIES OF PHILO

TRANSLATED FROM THE OLD LATIN VERSION
BY

M. R. JAMES, LITT.D., F.B.A.


4. TITLE, AND ATTRIBUTION TO PHILO.

4. The TITLE of the book is somewhat of a puzzle. Sichardus calls it Philonis Judaei antiquitatum Biblicarum liber, the Fulda catalogue (and the label on the Fulda MS.) Philonis antiquitatum liber; a late title in the same MS. is: libri Philonis iudei de initio mundi; P has a title of cent. XV.: Philo iudeus de successione generationum veteris testamenti; R, in the colophon: "ystoria Philonis ab initio mundi usque ad David regem" (so also two at least of the Munich M SS.); Trithemius has De generationis successu. Sixtus Senensis has two notices of the book: in the first, which is drawn from Sichardus., he calls it Biblicarum antiquitatum liber; in the second, which depends on some MS., his words are: "In Gen. Cap. 5 de successione generis humani liber unus, continens enarrationem genealogiae seu posteritatis Adae. Liber incipit: Ἀδὰμ ἐγέννησε Adam genuittres filios." The two Greek words I take to be no more than a re-translation from Latin. The MS. V has no title at all.

Thus we have authority for three names. The first, Biblicarum antiquitatum, I think, must be in part due to Sichardus; the epithet "Biblicarum" savours to my mind of the Renaissance, and has no certain MS. attestation. "Antiquitatum" (which is as old as cent. XIV.) is probably due to a recollection of Josephus's great work, the Jewish Antiquities. The other name, de successione generationum or the like, has rather better attestation, and: Historia ab initio mundi, etc. (if original in the Munich MSS.) the oldest of all. I can hardly believe, however, that any of them are original; it seems more probable that some Biblical name was prefixed to the book when it was first issued. Rather out of respect to the first editor than for any better reason I have retained the title Biblical Antiquities, under which the text was introduced to the modern world.

The ATTRIBUTION TO PHILO I regard as due to the accident that the text was transmitted in company with genuine Philonic writings.Certainly, if the Antiquities had come down to us by themselves, no one in his senses could have thought of connecting them with Philo; unless, indeed, knowing of but two Jewish authors, Philo and Josephus, he assumed that, since one had written a history of the Jews, the other must needs have followed suit.

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