12. SENIOR. Josephus (Apion.
1.23), when enumerating the heathen writers who had treated of Jewish history, mentions together Demetrius Phalereus, Philon,
and Eupolemon. Philon he calls the elder
), probably to distinguish him from Philon Judaeus, and he cannot mean Herennius Philon, who lived after his time. Clemens Alexandrinus (Stromat.
i. p. 146) also couples together the names of Philon the elder and Demetrius, stating that their lists of Jewish kings differed. Hence Vossius thinks that both authors refer to the same person. (De Hist. Grae.
p. 486, ed. Westermann.) And in this Jonsius agrees with him, while he notices the error of Josephus, in giving Demetrius the surname of Phalerens. (De Script. Hist. Phil.
3.4. p. 17.) As Huetius (Demonstrat. Evangel.
p. 62) was of opinion that the apocryphal Book of Wisdom was written by this Philon, he was necessitated to consider him as an Hellenistic Jew, who, unskilled in the original Hebrew, had it translated, and then expanded it, in language peculiar to his class. (Ibid.
pp. 62, 246, &c.) Fabricius thinks that the Philon mentioned by Josephus, may have been a Gentile, and that a Philon different from either Philon Judaeus, or senior, was the author of the Book of Wisdom. Eusebius (Praep. Evangel.
9.20, 24) quotes fifteen obscure hexameters from Philon, without giving hint of who he is, and merely citing them as from Alexander Polyhistor.
These evidently form part of a history of the Jews in verse, and were written either by a Jew, in the character of a heathen, as Fabricius hints is possible, or by a heathen acquainted with the Jewish Scriptures.
This is, in all probability, the author, and the work referred to by Josephus and Clemens Alexandrinus. Of course the author must have lived before the time of Alexander Polyhistor, who came to Rome, B. C. 83.
It is doubtful whether he is the same writer with the geographer of the same name, mentioned above.