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Re: [neoplatonism] Fw: BMCR 2008.08.01, Dirk Baltzly, Proclus. Commentary on Plato's Timaeus (fwd)

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  • Goya
    Friends, Since there s been quite a bit of talk on this List about the so-called Harran hypothesis - that is, that seven of the last Neoplatonists who fled to
    Message 1 of 7 , Oct 8, 2008
      Friends,

      Since there's been quite a bit of talk on this List about the so-called
      Harran hypothesis - that is, that seven of the last Neoplatonists who fled
      to the court of the Persian king Chosroes after Justinian closed the pagan
      schools in 529 may have settled in that Mesopotamian city, where they
      established a school - may be interested in the following conference later
      this month. The conference, sponsored by the 5th Section of the Ecole
      Pratique des Hautes Etudes (Paris) and the Institut Français du
      Proche-Orient and organized by Philippe Vallat, will take place at the
      IFPO in Damasicus from Oct. 27-29. The contributions will be in French,
      with simultaneous translation into Arabic. Here's the program:

      « Damascius »

      27 Octobre

      Matinée

      - Polymnia ATHANASSIADI (Université d’Athènes) : « De Jamblique à
      Damascius : la dimension syrienne du platonisme ».
      - Constantin MACRIS (LEM) : « La philosophie de Jamblique et de son
      influence sur le néoplatonisme syrien ».

      Après midi

      - Farès GILLON (EPHE) : « Religion et philosophie dans la vie et la pensée
      de Proclus (Introduction à la doctrine proclienne de l’imagination » (en
      arabe).
      - Carolle TRESSON (EPHE) : « L'expérience aporétique damaskienne » (lu par
      Philippe Hoffmann).
      - Michael CHASE (Centre Jean Pépin) : « Albert le Grand sur la dérivation
      des formes géométriques : Un témoignage de l'influence de Simplicius par
      le biais des Arabes ? »


      28 octobre

      Matinée

      - Michel TARDIEU (Collège de France) : « Le concept hellène pré-coranique
      de religion abrahamique chez les néoplatoniciens syriens. Tenants et
      aboutissants de la profession de foi de Marinus de Naplouse ».
      - Julien ALIQUOT (IFPO Damas) : « Comparaison des éléments d’information
      fournis par Damascius sur les lieux de culte païens de Syrie du sud avec
      les données archéologiques et épigraphiques ».



      Après midi

      - Philippe VALLAT (LEM-IFPO) : I - « Quelques nouvelles de Harrân et de
      Simplicius dans les sources arabes ». II - « Les scholies d’Ibn
      al-Samḥ sur Physique, IV, 219b et le commentaire de Simplicius sur
      la Physique ».
      - Daniel DE SMET (LEM) « Damascius et l'ineffabilité du Premier Principe.
      Une source majeure du Tawhîd ismaélien? ».

      - Philippe HOFFMANN (EPHE – LEM) : « Synthèse et conclusion ».







      Michael Chase
      CNRS UPR 76
      Paris-Villejuif
      France
    • vaeringjar
      Après midi ... de ... sur ... Certainly would be more than worthwhile to attend if possible, from the impressive list of speakers and topics, but for the rest
      Message 2 of 7 , Oct 8, 2008
        Après midi
        >
        > - Philippe VALLAT (LEM-IFPO) : I - « Quelques nouvelles de Harrân et
        de
        > Simplicius dans les sources arabes ». II - « Les scholies d'Ibn
        > al-Samḥ sur Physique, IV, 219b et le commentaire de Simplicius
        sur
        > la Physique ».

        Certainly would be more than worthwhile to attend if possible, from the
        impressive list of speakers and topics, but for the rest of us I hope
        there will be at some point a publication.

        I was curious however personally about this one item, these scholia of
        Ibn al-Sam (?) on the Physics commentary - don't think I have
        encountered them before in any of my readings on the Harran thesis. Is
        this some new evidence being presented at the conference for the first
        time, or am I just out of that loop personally? I am also assuming from
        the listing that there is some relation in that second part of his talk
        to the Harran issue. Thanks.

        Dennis Clark
      • Michael Chase
        ... [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        Message 3 of 7 , Oct 8, 2008
          On Oct 8, 2008, at 12:27 PM, vaeringjar wrote:

          > Après midi
          > >
          > > - Philippe VALLAT (LEM-IFPO) : I - « Quelques nouvelles de Harrân et
          > de
          > > Simplicius dans les sources arabes ». II - « Les scholies d'Ibn
          > > al-Samḥ sur Physique, IV, 219b et le commentaire de Simplicius
          > sur
          > > la Physique ».
          >
          > Certainly would be more than worthwhile to attend if possible, from
          > the
          > impressive list of speakers and topics, but for the rest of us I hope
          > there will be at some point a publication.
          >
          > I was curious however personally about this one item, these scholia of
          > Ibn al-Sam (?) on the Physics commentary - don't think I have
          > encountered them before in any of my readings on the Harran thesis. Is
          > this some new evidence being presented at the conference for the first
          > time, or am I just out of that loop personally? I am also assuming
          > from
          > the listing that there is some relation in that second part of his
          > talk
          > to the Harran issue. Thanks.
          >



          > M.C. : Abu Ali ibn al-Samh was a Christian philosopher and
          > mathematician (ob. 1027) and pupil of Yahya ibn Adi. See Stern in
          > the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society 1956, 31-41. But I know
          > nothing about his views on Harran.
          >


          > AS for new evidence: I would hope most of the papers presented will
          > contain at least *some* "new evidence being presented for the first
          > time": otherwise, I would think most of those going to the
          > conference would have preferred to stay home.
          >


          > Best, Mike
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >



          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Adamson, Peter
          Hello all, Just to amplify what Mike has rightly said, the text that Philippe will presumably talk about is the so called Baghdad Physics which is a
          Message 4 of 7 , Oct 9, 2008
            Hello all,

            Just to amplify what Mike has rightly said, the text that Philippe will presumably talk about is the so called "Baghdad Physics" which is a manuscript containing the Baghdad school's Arabic version of the Physics together with their own comments on it, plus Arabic translations of excerpts from at least Philoponus' commentary on the Physics. Elias Giannakis has done a lot of work on this fascinating text. Also if you look at Lettinck's book on the Physics in Arabic it contains basically paraphrase summaries of a lot of the commentary, in English.

            I take it that what Philippe might be discussing is whether there are signs that they knew Simplicius' commentary as well; that's certainly possible since I believe there is some uncertainty about whether or not his commentary was known. To take another example I know more about, Porphyry's Physics commentary was at least partially known in the 10th century, though they don't cite Porphyry by name in the Baghdad Physics as far as I know.

            Of course, even if they did know the Simplicius commentary, that wouldn't be proof of the Harranian hypothesis, since there would be no way of ruling out other ways that Simplicius' commentary (or parts of it) might have made its way to 10th century Baghdad. But equally it would be grist for the mill of those who get excited about Harran.

            Best,
            Peter


            On 9/10/08 12:02 am, "Michael Chase" <goya@...> wrote:





            On Oct 8, 2008, at 12:27 PM, vaeringjar wrote:

            > Après midi
            > >
            > > - Philippe VALLAT (LEM-IFPO) : I - « Quelques nouvelles de Harrân et
            > de
            > > Simplicius dans les sources arabes ». II - « Les scholies d'Ibn
            > > al-Samḥ sur Physique, IV, 219b et le commentaire de Simplicius
            > sur
            > > la Physique ».
            >
            > Certainly would be more than worthwhile to attend if possible, from
            > the
            > impressive list of speakers and topics, but for the rest of us I hope
            > there will be at some point a publication.
            >
            > I was curious however personally about this one item, these scholia of
            > Ibn al-Sam (?) on the Physics commentary - don't think I have
            > encountered them before in any of my readings on the Harran thesis. Is
            > this some new evidence being presented at the conference for the first
            > time, or am I just out of that loop personally? I am also assuming
            > from
            > the listing that there is some relation in that second part of his
            > talk
            > to the Harran issue. Thanks.
            >

            > M.C. : Abu Ali ibn al-Samh was a Christian philosopher and
            > mathematician (ob. 1027) and pupil of Yahya ibn Adi. See Stern in
            > the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society 1956, 31-41. But I know
            > nothing about his views on Harran.
            >

            > AS for new evidence: I would hope most of the papers presented will
            > contain at least *some* "new evidence being presented for the first
            > time": otherwise, I would think most of those going to the
            > conference would have preferred to stay home.
            >

            > Best, Mike
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >

            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]






            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Michael Chase
            ... But perhaps - just a thought, here - we should wait until the papers have actually been *given* before we judge of their plausibility or otherwise. Best,
            Message 5 of 7 , Oct 9, 2008
              On Oct 9, 2008, at 2:54 AM, Adamson, Peter wrote:

              >
              >
              > Of course, even if they did know the Simplicius commentary, that
              > wouldn't be proof of the Harranian hypothesis, since there would be
              > no way of ruling out other ways that Simplicius' commentary (or
              > parts of it) might have made its way to 10th century Baghdad. But
              > equally it would be grist for the mill of those who get excited
              > about Harran.
              >


              > M.C. I'm not sure how useful it is for us to speculate about a paper
              > none of us have seen, but I'm sure Peter is correct that Vallat's
              > findings will not "prove" the Harran hypothesis.
              >



              > Then again, we would not really expect any single finding to "prove"
              > any controversial hypothesis, now would we? We are, after all,
              > dealing with a historical discipline, not geometry or particle
              > physics. I have certainly never "proved" anything in any of my
              > publications, and I doubt that even Peter, who has published much
              > more and higher-quality material than I have, has ever "proved"
              > anything.
              >




              > The best "someone who gets excited about Harran" (do I detect a
              > sneer?) could hope for is that the collective weight of the evidence
              > presented may render the hypothesis somewhat more plausible.
              > Conversely, those who get their jollies out of adopting a smugly
              > dismissive attitude toward the Harran hypothesis would, I presume,
              > hope that the findings will fail to confirm the thesis (I cannot,
              > offhand, imagine any single possible finding that would *refute* the
              > Harran hypothesis either, so I take it even the most rabid
              > Harranophobes will not pin their hopes on such an eventuality).
              >





















              But perhaps - just a thought, here - we should wait until the papers
              have actually been *given* before we judge of their plausibility or
              otherwise.

              Best, Mike.



              >
              >
              >



              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • vaeringjar
              ... will presumably talk about is the so called Baghdad Physics which is a manuscript containing the Baghdad school s Arabic version of the Physics together
              Message 6 of 7 , Oct 9, 2008
                --- In neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com, "Adamson, Peter"
                <peter.adamson@...> wrote:
                >
                > Hello all,
                >
                > Just to amplify what Mike has rightly said, the text that Philippe
                will presumably talk about is the so called "Baghdad Physics" which
                is a manuscript containing the Baghdad school's Arabic version of the
                Physics together with their own comments on it, plus Arabic
                translations of excerpts from at least Philoponus' commentary on the
                Physics. Elias Giannakis has done a lot of work on this fascinating
                text. Also if you look at Lettinck's book on the Physics in Arabic it
                contains basically paraphrase summaries of a lot of the commentary,
                in English.
                >
                > I take it that what Philippe might be discussing is whether there
                are signs that they knew Simplicius' commentary as well; that's
                certainly possible since I believe there is some uncertainty about
                whether or not his commentary was known. To take another example I
                know more about, Porphyry's Physics commentary was at least partially
                known in the 10th century, though they don't cite Porphyry by name in
                the Baghdad Physics as far as I know.
                >
                > Of course, even if they did know the Simplicius commentary, that
                wouldn't be proof of the Harranian hypothesis, since there would be
                no way of ruling out other ways that Simplicius' commentary (or parts
                of it) might have made its way to 10th century Baghdad. But equally
                it would be grist for the mill of those who get excited about Harran.
                >
                > Best,
                > Peter
                >
                >

                That's very helpful, especially for someone without, sadly, much
                knowledge of the Arabic philosophical tradition. I wasn't very
                specific in my original query, but one question that came to mind was
                whether there was more evidence pro or con in these Arabic texts such
                as the ones he will discuss regarding Simplicius' possible
                familiarity with the "local" geography that has been part of the pro-
                Harranian argument, as I recall, or some such. As Mike says, we shall
                have to wait to see.

                Dennis Clark
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