Middle Platonism and Neoplatonism. The Latin Tradition, 2 by Stephen Gersh

By Stephen Gersh

2 quantity Paperback Set. twenty third quantity within the courses in Medieval stories sequence from The Medieval Institute (Univ. Notre Dame) edited by means of Ralph McInerny.

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Ross: Plato's Theory uf Ideas (Oxford. 1951). p. 142 ff. P. Merlan: '(ifl'ck Philosophy from Plato to Plotinus'. The Cambridge History of Later Greek and Ear(J' Mediet,al Philosophy, edited by A. H. Armstrong (Cambridge, 196'7). pp. 14-38 and J. Dillon: The Middle Platonists. A Stud}• of Platonism HOB. C. to A. D. 220 (London. 1977 ). pp. 1-11 describe the doctrinc in connection with its later influence. See also the studies cited below. 9'l. Aristoxcnus: Elem. Harm. II, 30. The later accounts in Themistlus and Produ~ seem to be based on this.

And Arnobius; class (iii) would contain Cicero, Seneca, Gellius, Apuleius, and the Asclepius; into category (iv) would come Writers like Marius Victorious, Ambrose, Augustine, and Claudianus Mamertus; and class (v) would contain Macrobius and Martianus Capella. 26 INTRODUCTION Of course such an analysis simplifies the situation considerably, and in particular we have to be aware of three facts regarding the transmission of Platonism. In the first place, some writers criticize the doctrines which they report (Lactantius).

J. Festugiere,9o who argued for example that the final stages of the epistemological ascent to Beauty in the Symposium have much in common with the highest level of contemplation in Plotinus' system. Thus, the object of love is approached through a sequence of negations concerning change, relation to other things, and finally knowledge itself. 91 If Festugiere is correct here, we cannot argue for the distinction between the first and second hypostases in Neoplatonism as totally foreign to Plato's own thinking, as Zeller had maintained.

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