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Jewish Women Philosophers of First-Century AlexandriaPhilo's 'Therapeutae' Reconsidered$
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Joan E. Taylor

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199291410

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199291410.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 27 July 2021

Gendered Space

Gendered Space

(p.265) 10 Gendered Space
Jewish Women Philosophers of First-Century Alexandria

Joan E. Taylor (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Philo was concerned to locate his group very carefully on a certain hill between the Mediterranean Sea and Lake Mareotis. He indicates the surrounding villages and buildings, and the little houses in which senior members of the Mareotic group live. He also shows us two meeting places: a semneion where the seventh-day assemblies take place, and a sumposion where the forty-ninth-day dinner is held. In fact, a further dimension of Philo's rhetoric of gender in De Vita Contemplativa concerns space. In creating a vision of what is good, Philo sought at times to create an ideal spatial arrangement which would vouchsafe the virtue of the group members. Along with this, Philo gives details about the personal space of the group members as signified by clothing. Clothing is a primary indicator of gender, and can be the first step towards the gendering of space in general. This chapter examines the spaces Philo constructs — communal, personal, and sacred — within the context of what we know about spatial arrangements in Hellenistic and Roman Egypt.

Keywords:   Philo, personal space, gender, spatial arrangements, Egypt, Mareotic group, De Vita Contemplativa, semneion, sumposion, rhetoric

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