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The Snake And The Horseman Pleasure And Sophrosyne In Philo Of Alexandria

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Chapter Summary

The snakes Philo speaks of are of four types: there is the snake that lived with Adam and Eve in Paradise, Moses' bronze snake which cured the bites of the desert snakes, the Dan-snake, which is the symbol of rational judgement, and Moses' other snake, which turned into a rod when the patriarch was ranged against the Egyptian magicians. In all cases, the snake is a cunning and ambivalent creature which, depending on the context, features positive or negative connotations. Intellect, sensation and pleasure are thus essential stages in gaining knowledge and Philo presents them sequentially: however, the order is only a conceptual and potential one, since they are chronologically undifferentiated.

Keywords:horseman; Philo of Alexandria; pleasure; snake; Sophrosyne



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