One of the more interesting dimensions of the cultural interaction between Judaism and Hellenism (broadly understood) is the tradition of allegorical interpretation that emerged in the Hellenistic period and that reached its culmination with Philo. My aim here is to explore the cultural and political dimensions of this interpretative tradition. Specifically, I want to explore the way in which allegorical interpretation as practised by Philo is embedded in the cultural politics of Alexandria on the one side and the imperial politics of Rome on the other.