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On Humanity, Chapters 22-24

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Chapter Summary

This chapter constitutes the third and concluding part of De humanitate. Humanity is seen to characterize the founder of the Jewish politeia, its laws, and now, its ruling classes, those with a special responsibility to follow Moses’ example in leading the people and ensure that the constitution he established is upheld. It was conventional in ancient political thought to locate the origins of social conflict in a class struggle between the haves and the have-nots. At this juncture in the presentation, the Alexandrian's objective is to show how the Mosaic law teaches "the great" to abstain from those vices most apt to cause them to use their power inhumanely, and instead to imitate God by employing their resources to promote the common good. In Philo's mind, this is an important implication of the legislation that he has just finished surveying (§§ 161).

Keywords:humanity; Philo; ruling class



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