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3079Re: Cornford's Pythagoreanism

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  • vaeringjar
    Mar 3, 2010
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      --- In neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com, dgallagher@... wrote:
      >
      > In a message dated 3/2/2010 2:23:37 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,
      > vaeringjar@... writes:
      >
      > >
      > > Provocative topic and hoping lively discussion ensues. I'm not a
      > > philosopher by profession, so not remotely well read in the general
      > literature,
      > > either secondary and original sources, as most of you are here. My
      > interest
      > > is more focused on understanding myself, what constitutes "its"
      > experience
      > > and the world. In that life-long, 70-year, process, Plotinus has come to
      > > make the most sense to me in terms of offering a universally coherent
      > > explanation; in this context especially noting I.8. From the quote, I
      > think
      > > Cornford understood the core problem. It remains so for me. Plotinus
      > provides a
      > > significant measure of solace, although inescapably requiring a deep
      > > reverence for thauma.
      > >
      > > Was it Proclus who referred to the dyad as "the door"? If so, I'd
      > > appreciate a pointer to the source citation.
      > >
      > > Thanks in advance for any light you all might shed.
      > >
      > > With eager interest,
      > >
      > > David Gallagher
      > > Trumansburg, NY
      > >
      > >
      >
      > Personally I can't say about Proclus' calling the "Dyad" a door - I would
      > have to research that. Certainly the Pythagoreans liked to use imagery like
      > that, but that one specifically I don't recall encountering. If he did, he
      > might have gotten it from some Pythagorean source. Sounds like the sort of
      > thing that might be found in the intro to his commentary on Euclid or in
      > the vastness of the Timaeus commentary..P
      > Precisely what I requested; a pointer. Will pursue. Many thanks.
      >

      I was curious about this but didn't have the time last night to look up the chapter in the Theologoumena Arithmeticae to see if "door" was one of the symbolic associations with the Dyad. I just looked online at Robin Waterfield's translation - I guess no one has scanned in De Falco's edition online yet - and I cannot find mention of it there. Another source to look at would be Photius' summary of Nicomachus' theology of numbers, I would think, but still it could be also somewhere in the vastness of Proclus.

      My favorite of these for the Dyad is "tolma/daring", like the great step into the (scary) world of sensible reality (this bit in the Theologoumena actually from Anatolius' de Decade). "Door" actually makes sense, since a door can swing out into the world, or it can swing both ways, representing nicely the fact brought out so well by Porphyry in his commentary on the Philebus that the infinite Dyad goes both doubling upward in quantity as well as the other direction, halfing to infinity.

      I recall there was some discussion about Rhea lately here - the Theologoumena has her associated with the Dyad, and mentions the old association of the Monad with Zeus, which as I recall at least goes back to Xenocrates. I find this however a bit odd, that the mother of Zeus would be associated with the Dyad, since it normally would be thought of as coming from the One and not the other way around.

      One reason given there for her association with the Dyad is the notion of "flowing, flux" from "rhein".

      Dennis Clark
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