Philemon

Philemon

[fi-lee-muhn, fahy-]
Holland, Philemon, 1552-1637, English translator and scholar. Educated at Cambridge, he became director of the free school in Coventry, where he also practiced medicine. He was the first English translator of Livy and Septonius, of Plutarch's Morals and Pliny's Natural History, and of Ammianus Marcellinus.
Philemon, c.360-c.265 B.C., Greek poet of the New Comedy. He was in ancient times considered second only to Menander. Fragments of his plays, originally numbering 97, survive.
Philemon, letter of the New Testament, written to a Colossian named Philemon by Paul, probably when the latter was a prisoner in Rome (c.A.D. 60). Onesimus, Philemon's fugitive slave, had found Paul and become a Christian. Paul sent him back to his master with a personal note adjuring the Christian master to accept Onesimus not merely as a slave but as a brother. Onesimus' name means "useful" in Greek. Philemon, the shortest of the Pauline letters, is thought by some scholars to have been written at the same time as the (probably pseudonymous) Colossians and Ephesians. The names Mark, Aristarchus, and Demas occur in both Philemon and Colossians.

In Greek mythology, a pious old couple in Phrygia. When Zeus and Hermes, disguised as wayfarers, had been turned away by the couple's richer neighbors, Philemon and Baucis extended them hospitality. As a reward they were spared when a flood swept the countryside. Their cottage was turned into a temple, and they became priest and priestess of it. Years later they were granted their wish to die at the same moment, and they were turned into trees.

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  • Philemon (genus), a genus of birds in the family Meliphagidae
  • Philemon, Carl Jung's wise spirit guide in form of an elderly winged man
  • Philemon was also the name of several ancient grammarians whose works survive only in fragments

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