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2903Re: Proclus' Theology of Plato - a seventh book?

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  • vaeringjar
    Dec 7, 2009
      --- In neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com, John Dillon <jmdillon@...> wrote:
      >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > In Taylor's 1812 introduction to his translation of the six books of
      > > Proclus on the Theology of Plato he says "I have added a seventh book in
      > > order to render the work complete; for without the development of the
      > > mundane Gods, and the more excellent genera their perpetual attendants,
      > > it would obviously be incomplete. From the catalogue of the manuscripts
      > > in the late French King's library, it is evident that Proclus had
      > > written a seventh book as some chapters of it are there said to be
      > > extant in that library. These I have endeavoured, but without success,
      > > to obtain." He adds as a footnote, "Proclus at the end of the first
      > > book of this work says, 'that divine names will be accurately discussed
      > > by him, when he comes to speak of partial powers.' This, however, is
      > > not done by him in any one of the six books that are extant; which shows
      > > that another book is wanting."
      > >
      > > I know that Taylor's supposition that there was once a seventh book is
      > > now generally considered to be wrong, but I would be interested to know
      > > if anyone has followed up the "catalogue of manuscripts" and a possible
      > > entry in it pointing to Proclus and a possible seventh book. Does the
      > > catalogue of Louis XVI (I assume) still exist?
      > >
      > > Alternatively, is there now clear evidence that the six books are
      > > actually the complete work?
      > >
      > > Tim
      > >
      > Now that would be an interesting subject of investigation, Tim. TT was
      > doubtless dependent on rumours, but still.. It is fairly certain that
      > Proclus intended to go further ‹ and after all, all of his commentaries are
      > truncated ‹ I have suggested, irreverently, by exhausted scribes! John
      >
      >

      Just had the most disturbing vision ca. 1792 of some Madame Lafarge like character wrapping fish with parchment ripped from the Royal library's only copy of the complete Platonic Theology!

      But where did Taylor get this idea? It's too specific, isn't it, just to be some sort of vague rumor? Who on earth at that point in time would start such a rumor, unless if it was just a rumor it was someone smart enough to play a specific rather malicious joke on Taylor, someone who knew him well, trying to set him off on a wild goose chase? I do wonder if there is a little fire to this old smoke. I actually am surprised we have as much of Proclus as we do, but as we have discussed here before it's hard often to see much reason in what survived and what didn't.

      Dennis Clark
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