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3. CARPATHIUS (from Carpathus, an island north-east of Crete), or rather CARPASIUS (from Carpasia, a town in the north of Cyprus).

His birth-place is unknown; but he derived this cognomen from his having been ordained bishop of Carpasia, by Epiphanius, the well-known bishop of Constantia. According to the statement of Joannes and Polybius, bishop of Rhinoscuri, in their life of Epiphanius, Philon, at that time a deacon, was sent, along with some others, by the sister of the emperors Arcadius and Honorius, to bring Epiphanius to Rome, that, through his prayers and the laying on of hands, she might be saved from a dangerous disease under which she was labouring. Pleased with Philon, Epiphanius not only ordained him bishop of Carpasia, but gave him charge of his own diocese during his absence. This was about the beginning of the fifth century (Cave, Hist. Litt. p. 240, ed. Genev.).


Commentary on the Canticles

Philo Carpasius is principally known from his Commentary on the Canticles, which he treats allegorically.


A Latin translation, or rather paraphrase of this commentary, with ill-assorted interpolations, from the commentary of Gregorius I., by Salutatus, was published, Paris, 1537, and reprinted in the Biblioth. Pat. Lugdun. vol. v.

Fragments of Philon's Commentary are inserted in that on the Canticles, which is falsely ascribed to Eusebius, edited by Meursius, Lugd. Batav. 1617. In these, he is simply named Philon, without the surname. Bandurius, a Benedictine monk, promised in 1705 a genuine edition, which he never fulfilled. It was published from a Vatican MS. in 1750, under the name of Epiphanius, and edited by Fogginius. The most important edition, however, is that of Giacomellus, Rome, 1772, from two MSS. This has the original Greek, a Latin translation, with notes, and is accompanied by the entire Greek text of the Canticles, principally from the Alexandrian recension. This is reprinted in Galland, N. Bibl. PP. vol. ix. p. 713: Ernesti (Neuesten Theolog. Bibl vol. iii. part 6), in a review of this edition, of which he thinks highly, is of opinion that the commentary, as we now have it, is but an abridgement of the original.

Other Commentaries

Besides this commentary, Philon wrote on various parts both of the Old and New Testament, fragments of which are contained in the various Catenae.

Further Information

Suidas, s. v.; Cave, l.c. ; Fabric. Bibl. Graec. vol. vii. pp. 398, 611, viii. p. 645, x. p. 479.

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