Philo the Rhetorician and Philosopher

Philo The Rhetorician And Philosopher Cave, Giacomellus, and Ernesti are of opinion that this is no other than Philo Carpathius (q.v.). His aera agrees with this, for the philosopher is quoted by Athanasius Sinaita, who flourished about A.D. 561. We need not be startled at the term philosopher as applied to an ecclesiastic. This was not uncommon. Michael Psellus was termed the prince of philosophers, and Nicetas was surnamed, in the same way as Philo, ῥήτωρ καὶ φιλόσοφος. Besides, Polybius, in the life of Epiphanius, expressly calls Philo of Carpathia κληρικόν ἀπὸ ῥητόρων, which Tillemont and others erroneously understand to mean a man who has changed from the profession of the law to that of the Church. Cave shows that the ῥήτωρ held an office in the Church itself, somewhat analogous to our professorship of ecclesiastical history. Our only knowledge of Philo, under this name, whether it be Philo Carpathius or not, is from an inedited work of Anastasius Sinaita, preserved in the library of Vienna and the Bodleian. Glycas (Annal. page 283, etc.), it is true, quotes as if from Philo, but he has only borrowed verbatim, and without acknowledgment, from Anastasius. The work of Anastasius referred to is entitled by Cave Demonstratio Historica de Magna et Angelica summi Sacerdotis Dignitate. Philo's work therein quoted is styled a Church history, but, if we may judge from the only specimen of it we have, we need, hardly regret its loss. It consists of a tale regarding a monk, that, being excommunicated by his bishop, and having afterwards suffered martyrdom, he was brought in his coffin to the church, but could not rest till the bishop, warned in a dream, had formally absolved him. See Cave, Hist. Litt. page 176 (ed. Geneva, 1720); Fabricius, Bibl. Graec. 7:420.

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