The Handbook of Platonism (Clarendon Later Ancient by Alcinous

By Alcinous

John Dillon provides the 1st English translation of Alcinous's guide of Platonism, followed by way of an creation and a philosophical observation that demonstrate the highbrow historical past to the tips within the paintings. The instruction manual purports to be an advent to the doctrines of Plato, yet in truth offers us a great survey of Platonist idea within the moment century A.D.

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The theory is not presented by Plutarch with complete coherence, however; the static theory also appears. In particular, evil daemons are recognized, as they were by Xenocrates. Are these daemons permanent elements in the universe, or are they souls in the process of being punished for misdeeds committed during incarnation? Both possibilities seem to be entertained by Plutarch. 20 Truly evil daemons, as opposed to avenging agencies of God, are not a properly Platonic conception, but rather a concession to popular belief, or perhaps an influence from Persian dualism.

326. , 389. 32 If. = Fr. 30 Graeser); cf. Graeser (1973: 15 97-10o), and Barnes (r985). See Moraux (1973), 181-93. xxxu INTRODUCTION supreme principle, or God, is dominant. Later Platonists preserved the Old Academic opposition of monad, or One, and dyad, though they varied in the relationship that they postulated between these two. Antiochus of Ascalon, indeed, seems simply to accept the Stoic pair of an active and a passive principle. 16 It is not even clear that he recognized any transcendent, immaterial principle in the world at all.

12 and r6, Des Places), or A. himself, postulate two distinct gods, both intellects, certainly, but one in repose and turned in upon itself, the other in motion and directed outwards, both above and below itself. Some Neopythagoreans, such as Moderatus of Gades (late rst cent. AD) 19 and Numenius, go further and postulate a triad of 'ones' or gods in descending order, deriving the inspiration for this, perhaps, from a curious passage of the Second Platonic Letter (312e), but also, in all probability, from a metaphysical interpretation of the first three hypotheses of the second part of the Parmenides.

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