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Re:Were most Platonists and pagan Neoplatonists vegetarians?

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  • vaeringjar
    ... the ... universally ... said ... to ... and ... kind of ... third ... Homer s ... again) ... considered, ... preceeding and ... another. Epictetus,
    Message 1 of 6 , Mar 20, 2008
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      --- In neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com, Julien Villeneuve
      <julien.villeneuve@...> wrote:
      >
      > Good afternoon Rhiannon,
      >
      > I am by no means an expert on the topic, but here are some quick
      > pointers. Porphyry De Abst. surely implies that vegeterianism and
      the
      > kind of life-orientation that proceeds from being a platonist of the
      > school of Plotinus go hand in hand. Then there is the recognition of
      > Pythagorean elements in the thought of Plato, which seems
      universally
      > recognized (even, after all, by Aristotle) and naturally led most
      > Platonists to give great weight to whatever "Pythagoras" might have
      said
      > about, amongst other things, the conduct of life and how it relates
      to
      > metemsomatosis. This is certainly the case as far as Plotinus is
      > concerned, presumably through the influence of people like Numenius
      and
      > Cronius. In certain cases, such as Numenius, it's rather hard to
      > determine whether we're talking about pythagorizing platonists or
      > platonizing pythagoreans. (There already seems to have been some
      kind of
      > co-'contamination' of these philosophies by Aristotle's time). A
      third
      > item you might want to consider is the Neoplatonic exegesis of
      Homer's
      > Odyssey; there is evidence (some of which I lost, but could find
      again)
      > that as part of that exegesis the episode of the Cyclops was
      considered,
      > straightforwardly enough, to be an allegory about flesh-eating. This
      > exegesis seems to have been a (platonic) commonplace by the time of
      > Plotinus, and so was presumably shared by platonists both
      preceeding and
      > following him.
      >
      > Best,
      >
      > Julien
      >
      > --
      > Julien Villeneuve (julien.villeneuve(at)mcgill.ca)
      > Ph.D. Candidate, Philosophy, McGill University
      > Administrator, PHILO.MTL (www.philomtl.org)
      > "Never look for your work in one place and your progress in
      another." Epictetus, Discourses 1.4.17
      >

      This question struck a chord with me, as I have been reading a bit
      lately about the issue of whatever rites were associated with the
      Orphics and so on. We all know what great respect the later
      Neoplatonists, at least Proclus and Damascius, had for the Orphic
      theology and such, but I wonder what they thought about any of those
      Dionysiac rites that included the eating of flesh, raw flesh,
      apparently. I realize this is a rather controversial subject,
      anything to do with any real Orphic rites. I am looking forward to
      reading the new book by Graf and Johnston on the Orphic tablets.
      Knowing exactly where to start in studying the history of Orphism is
      actually not that clear to me, so I finally just decided to read M.L.
      West's book on the poems first, since you have to start somewhere,
      and not with Guthrie's or Linforth's earlier books. I also took in
      the article in the Kleine Pauly on Orpheus and the Orphic poems.

      Dennis Clark
    • Curt Steinmetz
      Robert Parker s 1995 article on Early Orphism gives a broad overview of the state of the field - at least according to Parker, 13 years ago. It is chapter
      Message 2 of 6 , Mar 20, 2008
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        Robert Parker's 1995 article on "Early Orphism" gives a broad overview
        of "the state of the field" - at least according to Parker, 13 years
        ago. It is chapter 22 in "The Greek World" (edited by Anton Powell) -
        parts of which can be perused online at googlebooks.
        Curt Steinmetz

        vaeringjar wrote:
        >
        >
        > Knowing exactly where to start in studying the history of Orphism is
        > actually not that clear to me, so I finally just decided to read M.L.
        > West's book on the poems first, since you have to start somewhere,
        > and not with Guthrie's or Linforth's earlier books. I also took in
        > the article in the Kleine Pauly on Orpheus and the Orphic poems.
        >
        > Dennis Clark
        >
        >
      • vaeringjar
        ... overview ... years ... Powell) - ... Thanks indeed - that looks really useful, and best of all online. This looks good too, from a Bryn Mawr review of a
        Message 3 of 6 , Mar 21, 2008
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          --- In neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com, Curt Steinmetz <curt@...> wrote:
          >
          > Robert Parker's 1995 article on "Early Orphism" gives a broad
          overview
          > of "the state of the field" - at least according to Parker, 13
          years
          > ago. It is chapter 22 in "The Greek World" (edited by Anton
          Powell) -
          > parts of which can be perused online at googlebooks.
          > Curt Steinmetz
          >

          Thanks indeed - that looks really useful, and best of all online.

          This looks good too, from a Bryn Mawr review of a birthday collection
          for Walter Burkert, with another nod to Parker's piece:

          Fritz Graf (ed.), Ansichten griechischer Rituale. Geburtstags-
          Symposium für Walter Burkert. Stuttgart and Leipzig: Teubner,
          1998. Pp. 500; 39 pls. ISBN 3-519-07433-8. DM 198.

          Christoph Riedweg, "Initiation -- Tod -- Unterwelt. Beobachtungen zur
          Kommunikationssituation und narrativen Technik der orphisch-
          bakchischen Goldblättchen", offers a very important study of the
          Orphic leaves. He analyses, almost narratologically, the language and
          perspective of the different texts, in order to work out who is
          saying what to whom when, and thus to reconstruct the original ritual
          context, whether in initiatory or funerary ritual. As an appendix he
          offers texts and apparatus criticus of all previously published
          tablets of the "A" and "B" groups, with a list of other documents in
          the "C" group. This should be the first port of call on the subject,
          along with Robert Parker's article "Early Orphism" in A. Powell, ed.,
          The Greek World (London and New York 1995) 483-510.

          http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/bmcr/1999/1999-05-06.html

          Dennis Clark
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