Philo Senior

Philo Senior Josephus (Apion, 1:23), when enumerating the heathen writers who had treated of Jewish history, mentions together Demetrius Phalerens. Philo, and Eupolemon. Philo he calls the elder (πρεσβύτερος), probably to distinguish him from Philo Judaeus, and he cannot mean Herennius Philo, who lived after his time. Clemens Alexandrinus (Stromat. 1:146) also couples together the names of Philo the elder and Demetrius, stating that their lists of Jewish kings differed. Hence Vossius thinks that both authors refer to the same person (De Hist. Graec. page 486, ed. Westermann). In this Jonsius agrees with him, while he notices the error of Josephus, in giving Demetrius the surname of Phalereus (De Script. Hist. Phil. 3:4, page 17). As Huetius (Demonstrat. Evangel. page 62) was of opinion that the apocryphal Book of Wisdom was written by this Philo, he was necessitated to consider him as a Hellenistic Jew, who, unskilled in the original Hebrew, had it translated, and then expanded it, in language peculiar to his class (ibid. pages 62, 246, etc.). Fabricius thinks that the Philo mentioned by Josephus may have been a Gentile, and that a Philo different from either Philo Judaeus or senior was the author of the Book of Wisdom. Eusebius (Prcep. Evangel. 9:20, 24) quotes fifteen obscure hexameters from Philo, without giving hint of who he is, and merely citing them as from Alexander Polyhistor.These evidently form part of a history of the Jews in verse, and were written either by a Jew, in the character of a heathen, as Fabricius hints is possible, or by a heathen acquainted with the Jewish Scriptures. This is, in all probability, the work referred to by Josephus and Clemens Alexandrinus. Of course the author must have lived before the time of Alexander Polyhistor, who came to Rome B.C. 83. It is doubtful whether he is the same as the geographer of the same name.

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