Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2013

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Noel Lenski

Second Advisor

Andy Cain

Third Advisor

Peter Hunt

Fourth Advisor

Andrew Cain


This study argues that a long history of colonialism between the Jews and Romans, and the violence contained therein is reflected in Philo of Alexandria's rhetoric. One goal of this study is to highlight mechanisms of Roman imperialism and colonialism. The other is to investigate Philo's subtle threats in three texts within the context of the Jewish-Roman colonial relationship and violence in the first century and early second centuries AD. I approach my analysis with a close reading of Philo's Greek and a chronological history of the major events between Jews and Romans around Philo's time period, but with an emphasis on acts of violence and mechanisms of imperialism. I analyze the types of violence committed both against and by the Jews under Roman rule as types of violence associated with colonialism. I conclude that Philo Judaeus' writings should be considered a voice of a colonized nation living under Roman rule.

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