Philo was born into a rich family in Alexandria in 30 BC. The uncle of Tiberius Julius Alexander, he went to Rome in AD 39 to plead for an end to the persecution of the Jews by Aulus Avilius Flaccus, the prefect of Egypt.

Philo wrote books on history, philosophy and Judaism. As Diana Bowder has pointed out: "He was of exceptional importance both as a philosophical expositor of Judaism to the Hellenistic world, and as a model of discussions on loyalty and persecution for Christian apologists." He died in about AD 45.

Primary Sources

(1) Philo, Embassy to Gaius Caligula (c. A.D. 35)

This is he (Augustus) who cleared the sea of pirate-ships and filled it with merchant-ships. This is he who civilised all the unfriendly savage tribes and brought them into harmony with each other.