Philo himself offers an account in Legatio ad Gaium of his participation in an embassy sent by the Jews of Alexandria to the Emperor Caligula in 39-40 AD. At that time, he describes himself as an old man (Leg. 1). Possibly, therefore, he was born around 20 BC, or a little later. The date of his death is unknown: it may have occurred around 50 AD.1 He records at least one visit to the Temple in Jerusalem when he offered prayers and sacrifices (De Providentia Frag. 2.64), and it is not necessary to assume from what he tells us that this was his only visit. He was thus, however briefly, an eye-witness of some aspects of the Temple Service. His distinctive interpretations of the Service and its details, however, are deeply coloured by his particular philosophical-cum-allegorical understanding of the Hebrew Bible and its laws.2