Philo of Alexandria - Runia

David T. Runia

Present positions

Professorial Fellow, School of Historical and Philosophical Studies, University of Melbourne 

Honorary Professor, Institute of Religion and Critical Inquiry, Australian Catholic University

He can be contacted at

telephone: +61 419 419 766

postal address: 4 Woodlands Drive, Ocean Grove VIC 3226, Australia

Curriculum vitae
David Runia was born in the Noord Oost Polder, The Netherlands in 1951. At the age of 4 he emigrated to Australia , where he studied Classics at the University of Melbourne , receiving his B.A. (hons) in 1974 and his M.A. in 1976. In 1977 he returned to the Netherlands , where he pursued doctoral studies at the Free University, Amsterdam . In 1983 he gained his D. Litt. degree with the thesis Philo of Alexandria and the Timaeus of Plato. From 1985-90 he was Huygens Senior Research Fellow at the Netherlands Organization for the Advancement of Pure Research (NWO). During this time he was a Member of the School of Historical Studies at The Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton (1986-87) and a Visiting Fellow at the Humanities Research Centre, Australian National University , Canberra (1987). In 1990 he was Von Humboldt Stipendiary at the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität, Münster , Germany . In 1991 he was appointed Professor Extraordinarius in Ancient Philosophy at Utrecht University . He was appointed to the Chair of Ancient and Medieval Philosophy at Leiden University in 1992. From 1995 to 1999 he was Dean of the Faculty of Philosophy.

In 2002 he was appointed Master of Queen’s College at the University of Melbourne, a position from which he retired in 2016. In 2017–2018, he was Director of the Institute for Religion and Critical Inquiry at the Australian Catholic University, of which he remains an Honorary Professor. He is also a Professorial Fellow of the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies, The University of Melbourne. He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities and a Correspondent of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences.

David Runia has been Editor-in-chief of The Studia Philonica Annual since its beginning in 1989. He is also co-editor of the journal Vigiliae Christianae and of the series Philosophia Antiqua (both published by Brill, Leiden). In 2016 Volume 28 of The Studia Philonica Annual ​was a Festschrift in his honour, edited by Gregory E. Sterling (here).

Research Interests
David Runia’s research interests lie in (1) the area of Philo of Alexandria and Hellenistic Jewish thought, (2) the tradition of Platonism, (3) the Platonism of the Church Fathers, and (4) the study of ancient philosophical doxography.

His current research projects are:

  • The preparation of a text and translation of the Placita of the doxographical author Aëtius in the Loeb Classical Library (together with Prof. J. Mansfeld, Utrecht University), based on their recently published edition of and commentary on the work (Brill: Leiden 2020)
  • The preparation of a commentary on Philo’s De aeternitate mundi in the Philo of Alexandria Commentary Series
  • Continuation of bibliographical work on Philo through the International Philo Bibliography Project.

Publications (Select)


  • Philo of Alexandria and the Timaeus of Plato, doctoral dissertation Free University of Amsterdam, 2 vols. (Amsterdam 1983); revised edition Philo of Alexandria and the Timaeus of Plato, Philosophia Antiqua 44 (Leiden 1986).
  • Philo of Alexandria: an Annotated Bibliography 1937-86, Supplements to Vigiliae Christianae 8 (Leiden 1988) [with R. Radice]; 2nd edition, Leiden 1992.
  • Exegesis and Scripture: Studies on Philo of Alexandria, Variorum Collected Studies Series (London 1990).
  • Philo in Early Christian Literature: a Survey, Compendia Rerum ad Novum Testamentum III 3 (Assen-Minneapolis 1993).
  • Philo and the Church Fathers: a Collection of Papers, Vigiliae Christianae Supplements 32 (Leiden 1995).
  • Aëtiana: The Method and Intellectual Context of a Doxographer, 3 vols. in 4, Philosophia Antiqua 73, 114, 118 (Leiden 1996, 2009–10) [with J. Mansfeld].
  • Philo of Alexandria: an Annotated Bibliography 1987-96, Supplements to Vigiliae Christianae (Leiden 2000).
  • Philo of Alexandria On the Creation of the Cosmos according to Moses: Translation and Commentary, Philo of Alexandria Commentary Series 1 (Leiden etc. 2001)
  • Proclus Commentary on Plato’s Timaeus . Volume II Book 2: Proclus on the Causes of the Cosmos and its Creation ( Cambridge University Press 2008) [with M. Share]
  • Philo of Alexandria: an Annotated Bibliography 1997–2006, Supplements to Vigiliae Christianae 109 (Leiden 2012).
  • Philo On Cultivation: Introduction, Translation and Commentary, Philo of Alexandria Commentary Series 4 (Leiden 2013) [with A. C. Geljon]
  • Aëtiana IV: Papers of the Melbourne Colloquium on Ancient Doxography, Philosophia Antiqua 148 (Leiden 2018) [with J. Mansfeld]
  • Philo On Planting: Introduction, Translation and Commentary, Philo of Alexandria Commentary Series 5 (Brill: Leiden 2019) [with A. C. Geljon]
  • Aëtiana V: An Edition of the Reconstructed Text of the Placita with a Commentary and a Collection of Related Texts, 4 vols., Philosophia Antiqua 153 (Brill: Leiden 2020) [with J. Mansfeld]

Some of his more recent articles are:

  •  ‘The Theme of ‘Becoming Like God’ in Plato’s Republic,’ in N. Notomi and L. Brisson (edd.), Dialogues on Plato’s Politeia (Republic), International Plato Studies 31 (Sankt Augustin 2013) 288–293.
  • ‘Philo and the Gentiles,’ in D. S. Sim and J. S. McLaren (edd.), Attitudes to Gentiles in Ancient Judaism and Early Christianity, Library of New Testament Studies 499 (London 2013) 28–45.
  • ‘Philo in the Patristic Tradition: A List of Direct References,’ in T. Seland (ed.), Reading Philo: a Handbook to Philo of Alexandria (Grand Rapids MI 2014) 268–286.
  • ‘Clement on the Origin of Evil,’ in Jourdan, F. and Hirsch-Luipold, R. eds., Die Würzel allen Übels: Vorstellungen über die Herkunft des Bösen und Schlechten in der Philosophie des 1.–4. Jahrhundert (Tübingen 2014) 87–99.
  • ‘Cosmos, Logos, and Nomos: the Alexandrian Jewish and Christian Appropriation of the Genesis Creation Account,’ in P. Derron (ed.), Cosmologies et cosmogonies dans la littérature antique (Vandœuvres-Geneva 2015) 179–209.
  • ‘Philon von Alexandria,’ in G. Schöllgen et al. (edd.), Reallexikon für Antike und Christentum, vol. 27 (Anton Hierseman: Stuttgart, 2015) 605–27.
  • ‘Philo in Byzantium: an Exploration’, Vigiliae Christianae 70 (2016) 259–281.
  • ‘Eudaimonist Closure in the Speeches of Plato’s Symposium,’ in M. Tulli and M. Erler (edd.), Plato in Symposium: Selected Papers from the Tenth Symposium Platonicum, International Plato Studies 35 (Akademia Verlag: Sankt Augustin, 2016) 403–408.
  • ‘Philo of Alexandria on the Human Consequences of Divine Power,’ in F. Calabi, O. Munnich, G. Reydams-Schils. and E. Vimercati (edd.), Pouvoir et Puissances chez Philon d’Alexandrie, Monothéismes et philosophie 22 (Brepols: Turnhout 2016) 245–56.
  • ‘Philo Alexandrinus,’ in R. Dodaro, C. Mayer, and C. Müller (edd.), Augustinus-Lexicon (Schwabe: Basel 2016), vol. 4 fasc. 5/6, 716–719. 
  • ‘From Stoicism to Platonism: the Difficult Case of Philo’s De Providentia I,’ in T. Engberg-Pedersen (ed.), From Stoicism to Platonism: the Development of Philosophy, 100 BCE to 100 CE, (Cambridge University Press: Cambridge 2017) 159–178.
  • ‘Synesius of Cyrene’s Homily 1 and the Alexandrian Exegetical Tradition,’ in E. Minchin and H. Jackson (eds), Text and the Material World, Essays in Honour of Graeme Clarke (Astrom editions: Uppsala, 2017) 329–338.
  • ‘Epicurus and the Placita,’ in J. Mansfeld and D. T. Runia (edd.), Aëtiana IV: Papers of the Melbourne Colloquium on Ancient Doxography, Philosophia Antiqua 148 (Leiden: Brill, 2018) 377–432.
  • ‘Philo of Alexandria,’ in Oxford Bibliographies in Biblical Studies Online, DOI 10.1093/OBO/9780195393361-0095 (New York: Oxford University Press 2010, updated 2015).
  • ‘Ancient Doxography,’ in Oxford Bibliographies in Classics Online, DOI 10.1093/OBO/9780195389661-0227 (New York: Oxford University Press, 2016).