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Philo’s Perception of the Roman Empire

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Philo’s perception of Rome is less positive than has generally been argued. Although Philo appreciated the pax romana and the religious freedom generally enjoyed by Jews in the Roman Empire, he was nevertheless critical of Rome. In particular, he rejected the idea that the Roman empire was the outcome of divine providence and would last forever. He opposed the spiritual kingship of Israel to the worldly and transitory dominion of Rome. Moreover, he expected Roman rule to fade away in the end, and Israel to blossom as no other nation ever had in the past.

Affiliations: 1: Centre de Recherche Français à Jérusalem (CRFJ) BP 547, 3 Shimshon St.91004 Jerusalem Israel, Email:


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