Philo of Alexandria

(25 BC - 50)

A Hellenized Jew born in Alexandria around 15 bc, Philo was strongly influenced by both Platonic philosophy and Jewish ethics. He became head of the Jewish delegation to Caligula in Rome after a violent pogrom broke out in the summer of 38. The emperor was unsympathetic to the request to reaffirm Jewish rights—which had previously been confirmed by Augustus—but Philo told his fellow delegates not to worry: Caligula would be punished. The emperor was assassinated shortly thereafter.

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