Philo Carpathius (from Carpathus, an island north-east of Crete), or, rather, CARPASIUS (from Carpasia, a town in the north of Cyprus), an Eastern ecclesiastic, flourished about the opening of the 5th century. His birthplace is unknown, but he derived this cognomen from his having been ordained bishop of Carpasia by Epiphanius, the well-known bishop of Constantia. According to the statements of Joannes and Polybius, bishop of Rhinoscuri, in their life of Epiphanius (Vita Epiphan. chapter 49), Philo, at that time a deacon, was sent, along with some others, by the sister of the emperors Arcadius and Honorius, to bring Epiphanius to Rome, that through his prayers and the laying on of hands she might be saved from a dangerous disease under which she was laboring. Pleased with Philo, Epiphanius not only ordained him bishop of Carpasia, but gave him charge of his own diocese during his absence. This was about the beginning of the 5th century (Cave, Hist. Litt. page 240, ed. Genev.). Philo Carpasius is principally known from his commentary on the Canticles, which he treats allegorically. A Latin translation, or, rather, paraphrase of this commentary, with ill-assorted interpolations from the commentary of Gregorius I, by Salutatus, was published (Paris, 1537, and reprinted in the Biblioth. Pat. Lugdun. volume 5). Fragments of Philo's commentary are inserted in that on the Canticles, which is falsely ascribed to Eusebius, edited by Meursius (Lugd. Batav. 1617). In these he is simply named Philo, without the surname. Bandurius, a Benedictine monk, promised in 1705 a genuine edition, which he never fulfilled. Al edition, however, was published from a Vatican MS. in 1750, under the name of Epiphanius, and edited by Fogginius. The most important edition, however, is that of Giacomellus (Rome, 1772), from two MSS. This has the original Greek, a Latin translation, with notes, and is accompanied by the entire Greek text of the Canticles, principally from the Alexandrian recension. This is reprinted in Galland, N. Bibl. PP. 9:713:
Ernesti (Neueste Theolog. Bibl. volume 3, part 6), in a review of this edition, of which he thinks highly, is of opinion that the commentary, as we now have it, is but an abridgment of the original. Besides this commentary, Philo wrote on various parts both of the Old and New Test., fragments of which are contained in the various Catence. See Suidas, s.v.; Cave, l.c.; Fabricius, Bibl. Graec. 7:398, 611; 8:645; 10:479; Smith, Dict. of Gr. and Rom. Biog. s.v.; Herzog, Real-Encyklopadie, s.v.