The Handbook of Platonism (Clarendon Later Ancient Philosopher)

Alcinous: The Handbook of Platonism
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II, 7 and 4, 7.

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This would be another remarkable example of how pivotal theological doctrines rested on philosophical bases that were imported by Origen from Imperial philosophical debate to Christian theology. He read the resurrection on a twofold plane, physical and spiritual as well, as a resurrection of both the body and the soul, which is liberated from its own death, which was due to sin Origen in Dial.

One of these sources is Methodius. But he renounced these technicalities for the sake of his broader public. VII, 3, a ff.

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VII, 3, a In general he emphasises their unity. In this case, Origen may have relied directly on Aristotle; at any rate, it is obvious that he was deploying the Aristotelian binary that in his day was prominent in major works by Alexander of Aphrodisias. Indeed, in Comm.

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This ultimately resides in the natural constitution of things, including human nature DF chs. Chance resides in what happens against the natural order of things. VI, 2 Origen avers that a human being can never act as though he or she were not responsible for his or her deeds and thereby liable to praise or blame. DF II, 3, so that the first three Greek passages fully confirm the last. He wanted to make it clear that his own Christian doctrine of apokatastasis was quite different from the Stoic one, and did not imply determinism. The first is that the Stoics posited an infinite series of aeons, whereas Origen postulated an end of all aeons, which coincides with apokatastasis itself.

This will put an end to every time and every aeon. If this is the case, our freedom of will is over. For, if during given cycles, out of necessity, the same things have happened, happen, and will happen If one accepts this idea, I do not quite know how our freedom will be saved and how praises and blames will possibly be justified. CC IV, II, 3, 4, a passage in translation definitely accredited by the previous passages in Greek, the Stoic doctrine of periodical time is again accused of denying human free will and responsibility with the difference that the examples adduced here are not from Greek philosophy [Socrates], as in the debate with the Middle Platonist Celsus, but from Scripture :.

For, if one aeon will be perfectly identical to another, Adam and Eve will do for the second time the same things that they already did But this theory can be supported by no argument, since souls are pushed by their free will, and their progresses and regresses depend on the faculty of their will. For instance, in Princ. Likewise in a passage preserved in the original Greek and not fragmentary, Comm. Indeed, he does not become another person if, for instance, he had warts on his face and then no more.

They [ sc. They concern the notion of numerical identity and of the continued identity of an individual throughout more worlds. For the expression itself comes from Aristotle De gen. II, 11, b18, 97 who clearly had a different idea from what Chrysippus had: according to Aristotle, numerically identical beings can recur only if their substance is necessary, i.

I, fr. Either way it is clear that God did not begin to create at a certain point, while earlier he was idle. Sabas — must always be handled with care and suspicion. Origen insists that it must be the very same person even if with different characteristics, and not a different person Princ. III, 6, 6; Fr. II ap. IV, 4, 8. This is noteworthy and points to a probable influence of Alexander on Origen in this respect. For Origen, too, God is the only being who is totally unmixed with matter Princ.

His very first words, in Princ. I, 1, 1, aim at correcting the impression that Scripture may convey the idea of a corporeal God scio quoniam conabuntur quidam etiam secundum scripturas nostras dicere Deum corpus esse. In the treatment that follows immediately, and focuses on God as the first principle, Origen demonstrates precisely that God is incorporeal; for instance, non ergo corpus aliquod aut in corpore esse putandus est Deus… non indiget loco corporeo neque sensibili magnitudine vel corporali habitu aut colore, neque alio ullo prorsus indiget horum quae corporis vel materiae propria sunt Princ.

I, 1, 6. I, 4, , where he wants to rule out that there was any time when God was not active —, but also already at the beginning of his treatment of God as first principle, and precisely in connection with the nature of God as Nous: natura illa simplex et tota mens ut moveatur vel operetur aliquid nihil dilationis aut cunctationis habere potest Princ. God is perpetually active. Origen also thinks that only God is free from matter, while all created intellects have a body, heavier or lighter, and therefore are material to a certain extent Princ.

II, 2, 2; I, 6, 4; Hom. I shall return to this in a moment. The section of this commentary that was devoted to the great prayer for unity in John 17 is lost, but a fragment on John survives in Greek from the Catenae fr.

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That Origen is specifically referring to Greek philosophy is indicated in an absolutely reliable text, preserved in Greek, and not a fragment or a translation: Comm. And it is even more typical of Alexander of Aphrodisias, in whose works it occurs 81 times. Alexander, In Ar. II 3, 6 is rather a philosophical theory that identified the ideas with thoughts and mental representations, such as the Stoic theory.

Alcinous: The Handbook of Platonism

I, 5, , in De mixt. This is why it happens that, the more one detaches himself from the Good, the closer one comes to evil. Hayduck II, 7 and 4, 7. Cited as PS. See also Ep. A6, b18 ff.

His description, indeed, is perfectly consistent with other testimonies — mostly coming from commentators of Aristotle! The idea is not a substance or an individual being because it is just a thought, a concept. Origen in Princ. II 3, 6 seems to me to be quoting this Stoic definition when he refers to mentis fantasia vel cogitationum and this quotation obviously stems from Origen himself, and not from Rufinus. Then these Forms or logoi became substances only when they were created as independent beings.

First the Forms- logoi existed in a pre-figuration or pre-formation: secundum praefigurationem et praeformationem semper erant in Sapientia ea, quae protinus etiam substantialiter facta sunt Princ. I, 4, The same view is also expressed in a passage preserved in the original Greek and not fragmentary, and thus able to corroborate the previous one: Comm.

I, 19, Let me offer a simile.

A house or ship are built on architectonic models, so one can say that the principle of the house or ship consists in the paradigms and logoi found in the craftsman. In the same way, I think, all things were made according to the logoi of future beings that God had already manifested beforehand in Wisdom. These existed there ab aeterno , before their creation as substances.

In this respect, not even rational creatures are coeternal with God, since only God is eternal proper Therefore, creatures can receive transformations and variety of aspects, so that, with respect to their merits , they will be found in better or worse conditions. III, 6, 5. The Good has a priority that is not only moral, but ontological, since it is God, and qua God it is the true Being.

Evil has no ontological consistence. On the contrary, evil and meanness are opposed to the Good and non-being to Being. Donec enim adhaeremus Deo et inhaeremus ei qui vere est, etiam nos sumus. Sin autem abscesserimus a Deo Non ergo per hoc substantialis animae designatur interitus Hom.

I, 4, 1; III, 1, This too is an evident Aristotelian heritage. Uerumtamen, quamuis permaneat quis in peccato, quamuis sub mortis regno et potestate perduret , non tamen ita aeternum istud mortis esse arbitror regnum ut est uitae atque iustitiae, maxime cum nouissimum inimicum mortem ab apostolo audiam destruendum.

Si eadem aeternitas mortis ponatur esse quae uitae est, iam non erit mors uitae contraria, sed aequalis: aeternum enim aeterno contrarium non erit, sed idem. Nunc autem certum est mortem uitae esse contrarium: certum est ergo quod, si uita aeterna est, mors esse non possit aeterna.

Cum enim mors animae, quae est nouissimus inimicus, fuerit destructa, etiam haec communis mors, quam illius uelut umbram esse diximus, necessario abolebitur , et regnum mortis pariter cum morte destructum erit. However, even if one may remain in sin, even if one may endure under the royal power of death , I do not think that this reign of death is eternal as that of life and justice is, especially in that I hear from the Apostle that the last enemy, death, must be destroyed [1 Cor ].

For should one suppose that the eternity of death is the same as that of life, death will no longer be the contradictory opposite of life, but equal to it. Now, it is certain that death is the contradictory of life; therefore, it is certain that, if life is eternal, death cannot be eternal. For, when the death of the soul, which is the very last enemy, has been destroyed, also this common death which, as I said, is a sort of shadow of the death of the soul will necessarily be abolished, and the kingdom of death, along with death itself, will be wiped out.

This is again an attack that Origen appreciated. That souls, per se incorporeal, always make use of bodies, corruptible or not, is another story. And it is again a story that bears a striking similarity with Alexander. For the latter, too, maintained that the soul, albeit being no body, only exists in a body, though not as in a subject De an.

Origen also insisted that souls are incorporeal but are always found in bodies. Indeed, I have mentioned that Origen claims that all creatures, including rational creatures, need bodies of various kinds: incorruptible and light, or heavy and mortal, etc. For only the Trinity can correctly be thought to live without a body [ incorporea vita existere ].

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Therefore … the material substance, which by nature is capable of being transformed from all into all, when it is dragged to inferior creatures, is formed into a dense and solid body II, 2, 2. This is the case from the very beginning, in his view: rational creatures were created with spiritual bodies, which were transformed after their fall, but they were never souls without bodies.

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I, 17, II 3, 2 Origen even produces a syllogism — another application of Aristotelian syllogistic reasoning to his own philosophy! Now, this is manifestly not the case; therefore, no creature can live without a body. IV, 4, 8 Origen argues again that rational creatures always need a body, by necessity: corporeal matter tamdiu necesse est permanere quamdiu permanent ea, quae eius indigent indumento. Semper autem erunt rationabiles naturae, quae indigeant indumento corporeo; semper ergo erit et natura corporea , cuius indumentis uti necesse est rationabiles creaturas.

Thus, souls had a body at the beginning of their existence as substances, when God created both them and matter, with a potential for infinite transformations. This is explained in the section that immediately precedes the above-quoted passage:. The intelligible nature must necessarily use bodies , because, qua created, it is subject to movement and alteration. For what was not and began to exist is for this very reason mutable in its nature and does not possess good or evil substantially, but accidentally That the soul has a body adapted to its spiritual refinement and progress is also stated in Hom.

A6, b18 ff.

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At the same time, Father and Son are one God, and not two Gods. Origen reflects on the perfection of the One and the imperfection of the Dyad — the idea that is found in Plato, Aristotle, and Alexander — in another Greek passage, albeit fragmentary: Sel. The same is the case with another Greek, though fragmentary, passage, Sel. This is a good example of how Origen — like Philo before him — read the tenets of Platonism in Scripture.

This was natural to him, since he was convinced that Plato was actually inspired by the Jewish Scripture, and that the same Logos that revealed itself in the Bible — which is the body of Christ the Logos — also inspired Greek philosophers in their best doctrines, of course the doctrines that Origen found compatible with Christianity. This is why he taught all philosophical schools at his university, apart from the atheistic ones, which could not possibly be compatible with Christianity. Jerome in Ep. Accattino , P. Alon , I. Amand , D.

Greek Philosophy in Christian Thought

Recueil de travaux d'histoire et de philologie. Armstrong , A. Dodds [ et al. Bardy , G.

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Barnes, J. Beatrice , P. In Byzantine times, in the Italian Renaissance, and even up to , it was regarded as an ideal introduction to Plato's thought. In fact it is far from being this, but it is an excellent source for our understanding of Platonism in the second century AD. Neglected after a more accurate view of Plato's thought established itself in the nineteenth century, the Handbook is only now coming to be properly appreciated for what it is. It presents a survey of Platonist doctrine, divided into the topics of Logic, Physics, and Ethics, and pervaded with Aristotelian and Stoic doctrines, all of which are claimed for Plato.

John Dillon presents an English translation of this work, accompanied by an introduction and a philosophical commentary in which he disentangles the various strands of influence, elucidates the complex scholastic tradition that lies behind, and thus reveals the sources and subsequent influence of the ideas expounded. Better World Marketplace. The cover may contain minor wear, and the.

It presents a survey of Platonist doctrine, divided into the topics of Logic, Physics, and Ethics, and pervaded with Aristotelian and Stoic doctrines, all of which are claimed for Plato. John Dillon presents an English translation of this work, accompanied by an introduction and a philosophical commentary in which he disentangles the various strands of influence, elucidates the complex scholastic tradition that lies behind, and thus reveals the sources and subsequent influence of the ideas expounded. The handbook of Platonism Albinus , John M.