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Article

Moses in the Wilderness: Basil of Caesarea on Formation of the Prophet

Basil of Caesarea’s treatment of the life of Moses in his Hexaemeron is traditionally taken to be dependent on Philo of Alexandria and the Jewish exegetical tradition. Without questioning the fact that Basil knew Philo’s Life of Moses, this paper seeks to demonstrate, however, that in this respect Basil was more indebted to Origen and his tripartite division of philosophy into ethics, physics, and epoptics. This allows not only to make a more balanced assessment of Origen’s influence on Basil, increasingly stressed in recent scholarship, but also to suggest a more nuanced interpretation of Basil’s Address to the youth and his program of the Christian paideia.