Art of Praise: Philo and Philodemus on Music

TitleArt of Praise: Philo and Philodemus on Music
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2003
AuthorsFerguson, E
EditorFitzgerald, JT, Olbricht, TH, White, LM
Ancient AuthorsPhilo Judaeus Phil. (TLG 0018), Philodemus Phil. (TLG 1595)
Book TitleEarly Christianity and classical culture : comparative studies in honor of Abraham J. Malherbe
ISBN9789004130227 (hbk); 9789047402190 (ebook)
KeywordsChristian music, De musica, New Testament (NT), Philo, Philodemus, Plato

Philo has an illustration for nearly everything, and a large share of his references to music occur in illustrations: the perfect man like the master of music or of grammar requires no instruction. Philodemus' opponent in the De musica affirms that music "somehow affects the disposition not only of the body but also of the soul". Philodemus corrects the appeal to Plato as saying music is of service to justice. Rather Plato said that justice is analogous to music, not that music is just or the just is music, nor does either contribute to the special knowledge of the other. Philo and Philodemus provide the philosophical thought in regard to music that sets the context in which to see the references to music in the New Testament (NT) and the development of Christian music in the church. []


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