Who is Proclus? What is late Neoplatonism?

This article is primarily historical. For an overview of Neoplatonic philosophy itself, I can currently do no better than point to my work-in-progress translation of Sallustius. Off-site, you can also find the Life of Proclus written by his student and successor Marinus. A problem in the historiography of philosophy Even fairly thorough courses on the … Who is Proclus? What is late Neoplatonism? weiterlesen

Proclus on the Rulers of the Elements

In Sallustius VI.5, the spheres of the elements are assigned to the gods as follows: earth to Hestia, water to Poseidon, air to Hera, and fire to Hephaestus. The idea that each element has its ruler is shared by the later Neoplatonists, but they are rarely so forthcoming about their identity. One exception comes in … Proclus on the Rulers of the Elements weiterlesen

The Shield of Achilles, but Latin (Ilias Latina 862-891)

There, the ruler of fire1 had embossed the arch of the world,The stars and the earth, encircled all round with the flowing NymphsOf Oceanus, and Nereus circled round (by the sea);2[865] The turnings of the constellations and measured times of Night,And the four parts of the world, everything between the Bears3 and the South Wind,And … The Shield of Achilles, but Latin (Ilias Latina 862-891) weiterlesen

What Orphica did the Late Neoplatonists read?

[Note: This post originally made a slightly stronger case, but upon further research, I have modified the argument somewhat.] There is a consensus in scholarship, which until yesterday I assumed to be certain fact, that, whereas earlier generations had seen a variety of poems ascribed to Orpheus arise and disappear, or being reworked again and … What Orphica did the Late Neoplatonists read? weiterlesen

Proclus on Atlas and the Pleiades (and the Muses)

Proclus, Scholium on Hesiod's Works and Days 383–387, “When the Pleiades, daughters of Atlas, are rising, begin your harvest, and your ploughing when they are going to set. Forty nights and days they are hidden and appear again as the year moves round, when first you sharpen your sickle.” Hesiod is referring to Atlas, the … Proclus on Atlas and the Pleiades (and the Muses) weiterlesen

Making Simple Offerings to the Gods

Sacrificial lore is abundant, but not necessary When Sallustius writes about ritual, he has elaborate ceremonies in mind, involving temples, altars, cult statues, prayers, symbols, plants, stones and animals (XV.2). Now, as much knowledge as has been lost, it is certainly possible to compile lists and tables of all of these elements and their correspondences … Making Simple Offerings to the Gods weiterlesen

Hymns to Attis

These Greek hymns are preserved, ironically, be the Christian writer Pseudo-Hippolytus, Refutation of All Heresies 5.9.8–9 (ed. Litwa), who cites them together with a Christological interpretation given to the hymns by a member of the Naassene community (a short-lived Christian sect). First HymnWhether you are Kronos’ offspring, or that of Zeus, o blessed one!,Or of … Hymns to Attis weiterlesen

Two Curse Tablets addressed to Attis Tyrannus

The following Latin curse tablet was found in a pit near Mainz, Germany (Latin Mogontiacum): Greatest of the gods, Attis Tyrannus, and the whole collective of the twelve gods (duodecatheum)! I entrust this violation of justice to the goddesses, so that you may avenge me against Priscilla, daughter of Carantus, who married badly. By your … Two Curse Tablets addressed to Attis Tyrannus weiterlesen

The Book of Sallustius the Philosopher V–VIII

Translated from the original Greek by Ɔ. Martiana. This translation is in the public domain. V 1. (θʹ) After this, one must learn about the First Cause and the orders of the gods after it; the nature of the cosmos; the essence of intellect and soul; providence, fate and fortune; virtue and vice; and consider … The Book of Sallustius the Philosopher V–VIII weiterlesen