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Re: Anonymous Commentary on the Parmenides

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  • vaeringjar
    ... to ... was ... later ... perhaps ... wouldn t ... likely to ... of, ... instance, ... Porphyry. ... seem ... Is ... of ... metaphysical ... first ...
    Message 1 of 10 , May 14, 2007
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      > > The other thought I had was about the MS itself, which according
      to
      > > Bechtle's intro (he's quoting another scholar here, E.A. Lowe),
      was
      > > copied somewhere in Italy before it came to Bobbio, and thence
      later
      > > to Turin. Is the fact that the original 5th century Greek text was
      > > produced in Italy any help at all in determining the authorship? I
      > > wouldn't expect much, I suppose, but might it if nothing else
      perhaps
      > > help exclude some writers, ones not likely available Italy in Late
      > > Antiquity? I was wondering if, slight as it might be, this
      wouldn't
      > > at least not hurt the Porphyry view, since he would be more
      likely to
      > > be known and copied in Italy at that time? Perhaps? I am thinking
      of,
      > > for example, Boethius' work later in the 5th century, for
      instance,
      > > also in Italy, since he obviously had access to copies of
      Porphyry.
      > >
      > > The third thing is about the style, which seems rather informal to
      > > me, including one interjection in the first person in that first
      > > fragment, and some rather odd turns of phrase. It doesn't really
      seem
      > > all that polished to me, not like some finished literary product.
      Is
      > > it at all possible then that this is another of those collections
      of
      > > lecture notes recorded by a student, rather a lecture than a
      > > composition?
      > >
      > > All the above off the cuff, not thoroughly vetted!
      > >
      > > Dennis Clark
      > >
      > >
      > >
      >
      > No, Dennis, I think that Iamblichus is ruled out because of the
      metaphysical
      > scheme utilised by the author in Fr. 6, which seems to link the
      first
      > principle closely with a noetic triad, which goes against Iambl.¹s
      higher
      > degree of transcendentalism ‹ but this is something that suits
      Porphyry very
      > well, in fact. It does not have to be pre-Plotinian. JMD
      >
      >

      I finished reading through all the fragments and frag. 6 certainly
      grabs your attention in that way. I also was curious if any of the
      stylistic features in the Commentary such as the first person
      interjections could be found elsewhere in Porphyry, which I wasn't
      expecting to find, but even a very quick look at de Abstinentia
      showed several examples of just those usages. It is addressed to a
      recipient, Firmus, so it makes me wonder if the similar features in
      the Commentary, including direct usage of "soi" in the first fragment
      mean that it too was addressed to a recipient, unknown to us now.

      Dennis Clark
    • vaeringjar
      ... I haven t personally studied all the scholarship on the possible connections with the Zostrianos, but I have been dipping into various of the Gnostic texts
      Message 2 of 10 , May 14, 2007
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        --- In neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com, stefan marinca
        <stefanmarinca@...> wrote:
        >
        > What do you thing about the "new" testimonies about
        > the "Anonymous Commentary of Parmenides", e.g. the
        > Gnostic texts of Nag Hammadi. Especialy a part of
        > "Zostianos" (= Marius Victorinus, adv. arium) shows
        > some terminological affinities with the "Commentary".
        > If "Zostrianos" are written before 263, we have some
        > cronological problems with the porphyryan paternity of
        > this "commentary"!
        >
        > Bests,
        >
        > Stefan Marinca

        I haven't personally studied all the scholarship on the possible
        connections with the Zostrianos, but I have been dipping into various
        of the Gnostic texts with what certainly appear to be Platonic
        features, and the issue of how to date them already popped up in the
        one I was most curious about, the Apocryphon of John, which in the
        Nag Hammadi version has this very Neoplatonic sounding presentation
        of the One. Some version of this work was apparently known to
        Iranaeus in the late second century, but he makes no mention of part
        of the text describing the One, so it's impossible to know if the
        text on the One is pre-Plotinian, for instance, or not. I wasn't
        trying to compare the two, but the presentation in the Apocryphon is
        quite like that in frag. 1 of the Commentary, but I am not trying to
        imply any connection here. After all, two works could incorporate the
        same doctrines without being directly related.

        So given the date of the Nag Hammadi texts in the mid 4th century,
        there is a lot of room it seems to me to see that the Gnostic texts
        themselves are influenced by Neoplatonist teachings (or earlier
        Alexandrians, for that matter, such as Eudorus and Philo, assuming
        they could be known in those circles). I don't know all the details
        on the Zostrianos, but it would also be 4th century - ? Michael Chase
        gave us a nice bibliography on this some time back, and I plan on
        looking at some of those studies. Personally I want to read Plotinus'
        writings against the Gnostics. If he took the trouble to do that,
        then they must have been seen as worth refuting, so how could they
        not to some extent not be in the same arena?

        Dennis Clark
      • John Dilon
        ... Well, the style is certainly odd in places, but there are a number of fairly distinctive Porphyrian words and phrases. The Marius ­Zostrianus connection
        Message 3 of 10 , May 15, 2007
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          >
          >
          >
          >
          >>> > > The other thought I had was about the MS itself, which according
          > to
          >>> > > Bechtle's intro (he's quoting another scholar here, E.A. Lowe),
          > was
          >>> > > copied somewhere in Italy before it came to Bobbio, and thence
          > later
          >>> > > to Turin. Is the fact that the original 5th century Greek text was
          >>> > > produced in Italy any help at all in determining the authorship? I
          >>> > > wouldn't expect much, I suppose, but might it if nothing else
          > perhaps
          >>> > > help exclude some writers, ones not likely available Italy in Late
          >>> > > Antiquity? I was wondering if, slight as it might be, this
          > wouldn't
          >>> > > at least not hurt the Porphyry view, since he would be more
          > likely to
          >>> > > be known and copied in Italy at that time? Perhaps? I am thinking
          > of,
          >>> > > for example, Boethius' work later in the 5th century, for
          > instance,
          >>> > > also in Italy, since he obviously had access to copies of
          > Porphyry.
          >>> > >
          >>> > > The third thing is about the style, which seems rather informal to
          >>> > > me, including one interjection in the first person in that first
          >>> > > fragment, and some rather odd turns of phrase. It doesn't really
          > seem
          >>> > > all that polished to me, not like some finished literary product.
          > Is
          >>> > > it at all possible then that this is another of those collections
          > of
          >>> > > lecture notes recorded by a student, rather a lecture than a
          >>> > > composition?
          >>> > >
          >>> > > All the above off the cuff, not thoroughly vetted!
          >>> > >
          >>> > > Dennis Clark
          >>> > >
          >>> > >
          >>> > >
          >> >
          >> > No, Dennis, I think that Iamblichus is ruled out because of the
          > metaphysical
          >> > scheme utilised by the author in Fr. 6, which seems to link the
          > first
          >> > principle closely with a noetic triad, which goes against Iambl.¹s
          > higher
          >> > degree of transcendentalism ‹ but this is something that suits
          > Porphyry very
          >> > well, in fact. It does not have to be pre-Plotinian. JMD
          >> >
          >> >
          >
          > I finished reading through all the fragments and frag. 6 certainly
          > grabs your attention in that way. I also was curious if any of the
          > stylistic features in the Commentary such as the first person
          > interjections could be found elsewhere in Porphyry, which I wasn't
          > expecting to find, but even a very quick look at de Abstinentia
          > showed several examples of just those usages. It is addressed to a
          > recipient, Firmus, so it makes me wonder if the similar features in
          > the Commentary, including direct usage of "soi" in the first fragment
          > mean that it too was addressed to a recipient, unknown to us now.
          >
          > Dennis Clark
          >
          >
          >

          Well, the style is certainly odd in places, but there are a number of fairly
          distinctive Porphyrian words and phrases. The Marius ­Zostrianus connection
          is certain y interesting, but can be explained in various ways, I think.
          Porphyry knew Zostrianus, for one thing. JMDF


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