Ancient Philosophy
and the Classical Tradition

A Journal of the Centre for Ancient Philosophy
and the Classical Tradition

ISSN 1995-4328 (Print) ISSN 1995-4336 (Online)

Special Issue

Teun Tieleman
Department of Philosophy, Utrecht University, The Netherlands, teun.tieleman@phil.uu.nl
Language: French
Issue: ΣΧΟΛΗ 7.1 (2013) 9–19
Keywords: Stoicism, soul, breath (pneuma), mixture, physiognomy, art of living.
Abstract: This article is concerned with the often neglected physical side of Stoic anthropology. The care for one’s soul is central to the Stoic notion of the art of living. Yet a special status is reserved for the human body—in spite of its being subsumed under the class of (preferred) ‘indifferents’. This status is explicable by reference to the fact that they regard the soul as a subtle kind of breath (pneuma) and hence as corporeal. As such, it is blended with the human body through and through. Care for the soul therefore involves care for the body. Furthermore, the Stoic view of the human organism entails a special interest in physiognomy. These interrelated aspects are studied against the backdrop of the relevant medical theories used by the Stoics.

Michael Chase
CNRS, Paris, goya@vjf.cnrs.fr
Language: English
Issue: ΣΧΟΛΗ 7.1 (2013) 20–68
Keywords: creation, cosmology, Big Bang, Pherecydes, Origen, Athanasius, Plotinus, Porphyry, Ammonius Saccas, Proclus, John Philoponus, al-Kindi, Neoplatonica Arabica.
Abstract: This contribution continues the comparison between ancient and modern beliefs on scientific cosmology which began in a previous article in this Journal (ΣΧΟΛΗ 5.2 [2011]). I begin with a brief survey of contemporary theories on Big Bang cosmology, followed by a study of the cosmological theories of the Presocratic thinker Pherecydes of Syros. The second part of my paper studies the ramifications of the basic Platonic principle that bonum est diffusivum sui. I begin by studying the vicissitudes of this theory in the Patristic thought of Origen, the Arians, and Athanasius. Following Willy Theiler, I suggest that similarities between the views of Origen and the Neoplatonist philosopher Porphyry of Tyre may be traceable to Plotinus' teacher Ammonius Saccas. Finally, following Endress, I study the way the Arabic translation of some propositions from Proclus' Elements of Theology were accompanied by interpolated glosses derived from the Christian Neoplatonist John Philoponus, which were designed to make Proclus' thought more acceptable to a creationist, Monotheistic belief system such as Islam. Philoponus' theories of instantaneous creation were taken up, thanks to al-Kindi, by the Neoplatonica Arabica, whence they exerted an important influence on the development of Islamic thought. An Appendix of texts with translation and bibliography completes the article.

Eugene Afonasin
Novosibirsk State University, Russia, afonasin@gmail.com
Language: Russian
Issue: ΣΧΟΛΗ 7.1 (2013) 69–109
Keywords: Ancient cosmogony, contemporary cosmology, Platonism, time, ideal state, the body and the soul, the kybernētēs metaphor, Celtic coins.
Abstract: The article begins with a brief survey of the Early Greek cosmogonies of Pherecydes of Syros and of the Orphics. My major concerns are the figure of Chronos and the demiurgic activity of Zeus. Ancient cosmogony is compared with the contemporary theory of time by I. Prigogine, who, not unlike the Ancients and in contrast with the standard cosmological theory of the Big Bang, thinks that Time did not originate with our world and will not end with it. Then I examine the Platonic kybernētēs metaphor and the ideas, associated with it in the Ancient philosophy against the background of a broader literary tradition. The topic is finally illustrated by an unusual Celtic coin struck in Normandy, France, c. 100 BCE, showing a model ship as the victor’s prize in a chariot race. The image can be placed both in mythological and historical context. It is fascinating to observe how an unknown artist independently follows the steps of the Greek philosopher in his reinterpreting of a complicated mythological image in a political sense.

Anna Afonasina
Novosibirsk State University, Russia, afonasina@gmail.com
Language: Russian
Issue: ΣΧΟΛΗ 7.1 (2013) 110–175
Keywords: Pythagorean pseudoepigrapha, Platonism, Hellenism, metaphysics, astronomy, medicine.
Abstract: In the seventieth of the last century interest to the pseudo-Pythagorean literature was relatively widespread among philologists. It was fuelled by the fact that these texts, written in the Hellenistic period and falsely ascribed to the Ancient Pythagoreans, were notable for their syncretism both in language and content. They posed difficult questions concerning their provenance and dating and, thanks to the efforts of such eminent scholars as H. Thesleff, W. Burkert, W. Marg, M. Baltes, and T. Szlezák, who had undertaken to place the Pythagorean pseudoepigrapha in the proper Hellenistic and Early Roman philosophical and literary context, for the first time entered the mainstream of contemporary classical studies. Still, despite the research accomplished to date, there remain numerous unsolved questions that continue to puzzle everyone entering on the field of Ancient pseudoepigraphica. A treatise “On the nature of the world and the soul”, ascribed to an ancient Pythagorean Timaios of Locri, is among the most interesting pseudonymous philosophical works available, and it is hoped that the first Russian translation of it will draw attention of Russian-speaking scholars to this intriguing document of Late Hellenistic thought. Information about Timaios’ identity and the nature of the work ascribed to him is given in the introduction to the translation. In the commentary we are trying to note some unclear or otherwise remarkable places, mostly on the basis of a comparison between our treatise and Plato’s dialog as it was understood in the Platonic tradition. Generally speaking this ex facte secondary work has proven to be an important source for our understanding of the development of Pythagorean and Platonic ideas from the Hellenistic period up to Late Antiquity and beyond.

Eugene Afonasin
Novosibirsk State University, Russia, afonasin@gmail.com
An introduction, translation from the Greek into Russian and notes
Language: Russian
Issue: ΣΧΟΛΗ 7.1 (2013) 176–238
Keywords: Ancient psychology, embryology, fetus, prenatal development, Platonism, Hippocratic medicine, soul.
Abstract: In this small treatise the Neoplatonic philosopher Porphyry (c. 234–305) addresses the question, problematic to every Platonic philosopher, this of agency of the preexistent human soul. Are the embryos already in possession of the self-moving descended souls and thus already living beings? In order to answer the question Porphyry first tries to show that embryos are not actually animals and thus can more properly be compared with plants. The second set of arguments is aimed to show that they are not animals even potentially. Finally Porphyry argues that, regardless the time of its entry, the self-moving soul comes from outside, not from the parents. The final chapter of the treatise is unfortunately not preserved, but the answer given by the philosopher is clear: a particular soul enters an appropriate body immediately after its birth and harmonically attuned to it for the rest of the bodily life. The translation is prepared on the basis of a new commented edition by T. Dorandi (Brisson et al. 2012). An extensive commentary that accompanies the translation helps to situate the treatise in the context of ancient medical and philosophical literature.

Eugene Abdullaev
Tashkent Greek Orthodox College, Uzbekistan, abd_evg@yahoo.com
An introduction, translation from the Greek into Russian and notes
Language: Russian
Issue: ΣΧΟΛΗ 7.1 (2013) 239–271
Keywords: Neoplatonic schools at Athens, its close, ancient psychology, proofs of immortality of the soul.
Abstract: The article focuses on the Solutiones deorum de quibus dubitavit Chosroes Persarum Rex of Priscian of Lydia, one of the six Athenian philosophers who travelled to the Sassanian king Chosroes I in 531–532 CE. The Solutiones, namely their arguments on immortality of the soul, are considered in two contexts: of the Neoplatonic ‘psychology’ and of the theological speculations in the late Sassanian Zoroastrianism. Based on the proposed dating of the Solutiones, the author critically reviewed Agathias Histories 2.28, 30–31 on the Persian ‘exodus’ of Priscian and his colleagues. The article is amended with the translation of the Introduction and Chapter I of the Solutiones.

ΣΧΟΛΗ, Vol. 7, Issue 1, complete text

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