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More on Tiberianus' Hymn

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  • vaeringjar
    Just a followup resulting from having finished reading Lewy s article. Lewy sees in the address to the god who cannot really be named a direct influence of
    Message 1 of 3 , Mar 31, 2008
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      Just a followup resulting from having finished reading Lewy's article.

      Lewy sees in the address to the god who cannot really be named a direct
      influence of similar addresses in the magical papyri. While the
      language he cites in his magical examples is certainly similar to that
      in the poem, I think he misses the possibility of such a usage refering
      rather just to the One as being above and beyond all aspects and hence
      also not really nameable. Lewy also would like to see the original
      Greek poem behind Tiberianus' translation as earlier, as late second
      century, not showing itself any specific Neoplatonist influences, and I
      agree, there really are not any obvious others there except for the
      possible interpretation of the god who cannot be named that I am
      putting forth.

      He does in his article cite the Orphic parallels to Zeus in the
      forumulation of the god first, middle, and last, including Plato in the
      Laws.

      But most interesting for my wild idea about attributing the Greek
      original, assuming there is one at all, to Porphyry is what Lewy
      suggests himself at the end of his article: that he finds the most
      likely source of the original Greek poem would in fact by Porphyry,
      from his Philosophy Drawn from the Oracles. So I suppose my wild idea
      is a little less wild than I thought, at least in the same authorial
      arena as Lewy sees it.

      Dennis Clark
    • John Dilon
      ... Yes indeed, Dennis, that all seems very sound. Porphyry was certainly a major influence in Roman circles in the 4th cent. -- Marius Victorinus, Augustine
      Message 2 of 3 , Apr 1, 2008
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        >
        >
        >
        > Just a followup resulting from having finished reading Lewy's article.
        >
        > Lewy sees in the address to the god who cannot really be named a direct
        > influence of similar addresses in the magical papyri. While the
        > language he cites in his magical examples is certainly similar to that
        > in the poem, I think he misses the possibility of such a usage refering
        > rather just to the One as being above and beyond all aspects and hence
        > also not really nameable. Lewy also would like to see the original
        > Greek poem behind Tiberianus' translation as earlier, as late second
        > century, not showing itself any specific Neoplatonist influences, and I
        > agree, there really are not any obvious others there except for the
        > possible interpretation of the god who cannot be named that I am
        > putting forth.
        >
        > He does in his article cite the Orphic parallels to Zeus in the
        > forumulation of the god first, middle, and last, including Plato in the
        > Laws.
        >
        > But most interesting for my wild idea about attributing the Greek
        > original, assuming there is one at all, to Porphyry is what Lewy
        > suggests himself at the end of his article: that he finds the most
        > likely source of the original Greek poem would in fact by Porphyry,
        > from his Philosophy Drawn from the Oracles. So I suppose my wild idea
        > is a little less wild than I thought, at least in the same authorial
        > arena as Lewy sees it.
        >
        > Dennis Clark
        >
        >
        >

        Yes indeed, Dennis, that all seems very sound. Porphyry was certainly a
        major influence in Roman circles in the 4th cent. -- Marius Victorinus,
        Augustine and so on, so why not Tiberianus? Of course, Tib. is probably
        quite capable of cranking out his own poem, rather than just translating it
        from a Greek source, but who knows? As for Lewy¹s comparison with magical
        texts, I think the comparison is not apt, as the god in magical papyri
        habitually has a secret name, whereas the One has no name at all, and that
        is the situation here, I think. John


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • vaeringjar
        ... article. ... direct ... that ... refering ... hence ... second ... and I ... the ... in the ... Porphyry, ... idea ... authorial ... certainly a ...
        Message 3 of 3 , Apr 1, 2008
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          --- In neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com, John Dilon <jmdillon@...> wrote:
          >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > > Just a followup resulting from having finished reading Lewy's
          article.
          > >
          > > Lewy sees in the address to the god who cannot really be named a
          direct
          > > influence of similar addresses in the magical papyri. While the
          > > language he cites in his magical examples is certainly similar to
          that
          > > in the poem, I think he misses the possibility of such a usage
          refering
          > > rather just to the One as being above and beyond all aspects and
          hence
          > > also not really nameable. Lewy also would like to see the original
          > > Greek poem behind Tiberianus' translation as earlier, as late
          second
          > > century, not showing itself any specific Neoplatonist influences,
          and I
          > > agree, there really are not any obvious others there except for
          the
          > > possible interpretation of the god who cannot be named that I am
          > > putting forth.
          > >
          > > He does in his article cite the Orphic parallels to Zeus in the
          > > forumulation of the god first, middle, and last, including Plato
          in the
          > > Laws.
          > >
          > > But most interesting for my wild idea about attributing the Greek
          > > original, assuming there is one at all, to Porphyry is what Lewy
          > > suggests himself at the end of his article: that he finds the most
          > > likely source of the original Greek poem would in fact by
          Porphyry,
          > > from his Philosophy Drawn from the Oracles. So I suppose my wild
          idea
          > > is a little less wild than I thought, at least in the same
          authorial
          > > arena as Lewy sees it.
          > >
          > > Dennis Clark
          > >
          > >
          > >
          >
          > Yes indeed, Dennis, that all seems very sound. Porphyry was
          certainly a
          > major influence in Roman circles in the 4th cent. -- Marius
          Victorinus,
          > Augustine and so on, so why not Tiberianus? Of course, Tib. is
          probably
          > quite capable of cranking out his own poem, rather than just
          translating it
          > from a Greek source, but who knows? As for Lewy¹s comparison with
          magical
          > texts, I think the comparison is not apt, as the god in magical
          papyri
          > habitually has a secret name, whereas the One has no name at all,
          and that
          > is the situation here, I think. John
          >
          >


          So that is an important distinction about the magical names. Also I
          really don't think Lewy is that persuasive in that part of his
          article where he rather assumes the poem is a translation, and
          doesn't really entertain the notion that it just might have
          originally been in Latin. The magical approach also leads him to make
          this observation, given that the poem is to be taken as spoken by
          Plato himself:

          "The portrayal of Plato as a magician who elicits by magical
          devices the secrets of the Omnipotent's power, so that he may
          later publish them in his Timaeus, is certainly the most curious
          metamorphosis which the legendary portrait of the philosopher
          underwent in antiquity. The source of this strange idea may
          appear from an inquiry into a third influence discernible in the
          hymn, Orphism."

          I can't think of any other later tradition of Plato as magician, but
          that may just be my ignorance, or he just means here this is the only
          instance of that - ?

          Not to say it's not a fine and useful article, written apparently, by
          the way, before his book on the Chaldaean Oracles but published
          posthumously. Also I didn't mean above to say that Lewy is suggesting
          that the original Greek poem was composed by Porphyry himself, rather
          that it was collected by him into the Philosophy Drawn from Oracles,
          and cites the fact that there is indeed already one hymn included
          (Wolf 144, to the World Ruler, in Lewy's footnote 73, p 258).
          Certainly a reasonable idea, I think - though I like my birthday
          party better - !

          The chief Chaldaean influence he adumbrates:

          "The description of the Supreme Being as a "fiery radiance" -
          resulting from a combination of the Stoic doctrine of the immanent
          noetic fire and the Platonic doctrine of the supramundane noetic
          light -points to a similar date, since it occurs first in the Oracula
          Chaldaica, a composition of Platonizing Orientals who lived in Rome
          at the end of the second century." (p 255, and in his footnote ad loc
          he refers to his forthcoming book on the Oracles.)

          He makes several references to Norden's discussion of the poem that
          sound as if they are worth looking at, so I am trying to get hold of
          Agnostos Theos - one of those books you see cited frequently, but in
          my case at least have never read.

          Dennis Clark
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