Philo's Position on Reincarnation

The strong element of Greek philosophy in Philo’s thought has been recognized since antiquity, but his relation to the Pythagorean-Platonic tenet of reincarnation has been a neglected, even avoided, topic in research. My research has confirmed the view, common in the seventeenth to nineteenth centuries, that Philo accepted the doctrine of reincarnation even though he preferred not to speak openly about it. The tenet fits well with his anthropological, ethical and soteriological views, and in a handful of passages he expresses his approval of it fairly openly. In my paper I discuss examples of how allegorization enabled Philo to give a reincarnational interpretation to very different scriptural passages.