The Shadow of the Divine Shepherd. The Platonic Metaphor of the King and Statesman in Clement of Alexandria

Miroslav Šedina

Jewish and Christian exegetes were induced by their appreciation of the allegorical potency of biblical texts to treat individual biblical figures as metaphorical images of classical philosophical procedures. Moses’ work inspired many great Greek thinkers but only his life story presents him in the role of a „living law“ (nomos empsychos), manifesting the specific biblical conception of philosophical education. At the same time, the evidence of Moses’ fate endows the biblical tradition with inspiration and provides giving access to the original divine archetype for all similar analyses. However, Clement’s attempt to exploit the Old Testament story of Moses’ life as a metaphorical “definition” of the ideal ruler, comparable with the logical descriptions of the Greek philosophers, comes up against the inner limits of imaginative expression itself.