some notes on Philo’s demonology


there are only a couple of places in Philo’s sprawling corpus that he interacts directly with the notion of “demons:” the most important of these being his De Gigantibus, a short commentary on Gen 6:1-4. as a distant second, we have a passing comment in his treatise on dreams (and also prophetic inspiration), De Somniis – which goes only so far as corroborate an equation between the greek “daimons” and biblical angels he makes in the former. in a couple of scattered places, he also makes a couple of very brief allusions to the devil and possession / exorcism, but these are not especially substantial, nor are they sufficiently detailed to draw much from.

fortunately, the De Gig gives us a lot to work with; in fact, a patient reader could use it as a lens to construct a fuller demonology from Philo’s broader corpus, given the points of intersection it gives us with…

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