Douwe Runia, born in Noordoostpolder, the Netherlands, in 1951. Ph.D. from the VU University, Amsterdam. Professor of Ancient and Medieval Philosophy at Leiden University.
Fellow (1 February 1998 – 30 June 1998)
During my stay at NIAS I was able to work solidly on the Commentary that I am preparing on the treatise De opificio mundi (On the creation of the world) by the Jewish Hellenistic thinker Philo of Alexandria. A first version of the Commentary of sections 1-68 was produced. In addition I prepared a number of articles and papers that were connected with my main project. The most challenging aspect of my project was to determine what should and should not be included in the commentary, which has a limit of about 300 pages. After all, a Commentary can be spun out at virtually any length. I was also surprised how influential Philo’s work proved to be in the later tradition of exegesis (mainly in the Church Fathers).
In two papers I also examined what the relation is between the theology that Philo develops in De opificio mundi and contemporary developments in Greek philosophy.