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Re: Belated Greetings for the Season

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  • vaeringjar
    ... what ... exist ... Form of ... exists, ... the ... One ... knowledge ... summit ... fill ... the ... the ... shine ... is ... wisdom ... the ... of ... to
    Message 1 of 4 , Dec 30, 2008
      --- In neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com, John Dilon <jmdillon@...> wrote:
      >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > Admittedly for most, Christmas is all but past now, and I almost
      > > forgot to post a passage for the season this year, but here it is,
      > > better late I suppose than never. No Plotinus this time, instead
      what
      > > I think is rather a high-flown bit from Proclus - perhaps not the
      > > first writer to whom one would turn, even among the Neoplatonists,
      > > for any stylistic pleasure, but at any rate, here a passage from
      > > Platonic Theology I, 24, in my own translation, as it is - with no
      > > apologies to Mr Taylor, whose version I did not consult, though
      > > somehow managed to end up sounding rather like anyway, I suspect:
      > >
      > > To Beauty now let us turn next, what it is and how it came to
      exist
      > > firstly among the gods. This Beauty is said then to be of the
      Form of
      > > the Good, an intelligible Beauty and senior to intellectual Beauty
      > > and Self-Beautiful, and the cause making Beauty in all that
      exists,
      > > and all such things, as is rightly said. And this Beauty, first of
      > > all and like the One is apart, not only from what appears as
      > > beautiful in physical bodies and from the symmetry in them or in
      the
      > > well-turned harmony of the soul or the luminous splendor of the
      > > intellect but also from the Beauty of the second and third
      > > processions among the gods. It is established in the Form of the
      One
      > > in the intellectual purview and goes forth from there upon all the
      > > classes of the gods and shines down on their hyperessential Henads
      > > and all dependent existences down to the visible vehicles. Just as
      > > then through the first Goodness of all the gods of the Form of the
      > > Good, and through intelligible wisdom they have ineffable
      knowledge
      > > established above intellect, thus I believe that through the
      summit
      > > of Beauty is all that is divine to be sought with love. From there
      > > all the gods channel down Beauty and themselves, filled with it,
      fill
      > > all that follows, arousing all things and setting all to ecstasy
      > > round that love of them, pouring over from above on all existence
      the
      > > godly effluence of Beauty...
      > >
      > > ...Beauty bears forth the burden of the ineffable unification of
      the
      > > gods and as it were skims atop the light of the Forms and makes
      shine
      > > the intelligible light and announces the secret of Goodness,
      > > denominating it bright and glittering and effulgent. For the Good
      is
      > > the summit and most like the Form of the One of the gods. And
      wisdom
      > > by whatever means labors to bear now the intelligible light and
      the
      > > first of all Forms. At last, Beauty is established on the summit
      of
      > > the Forms and projects the divine light and makes it appear first
      to
      > > those rising up, more glittering than any morningstar and more
      sought
      > > in love to see and embrace and comprehend mid awe once it appears.
      > >
      > > Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all.
      > >
      > > Dennis Clark
      > >
      > >
      > >
      >
      > That¹s great, Dennis -- just the thing for Stephen¹s Day!
      Compliments of the
      > Season to you. John
      >

      Thanks - I couldn't resist seeing how Taylor dealt with all this
      overblown language - overblown yet replete with late Neoplatonic
      terminology, as is so much of Proclus - and sure enough he also
      chose "luminous splendour" in "the luminous splendor of the
      intellect" and "denominate" for "eponomazetai" in that
      phrase "denominating it bright and glittering and effulgent".

      Proclus uses a couple of verbs that were unfamiliar to me but rather
      of note, I thought, such as "prokuptein" and "epinechesthai", as I
      recall off the top my head from work here without the text in front
      of me, in "Beauty bears forth the burden of the ineffable unification
      of the gods and as it were skims atop the light of the Forms", which
      I think I got right, "bears forth the burden" and "skims". "Kuptein"
      means mostly I believe to stoop as if under a load; I think
      that "skimming" or swimming on top of is a rather nice image he came
      up with there, so perhaps I was unfair to slight his stylistic
      abilities, and the bit at the end about the morningstar is quite
      nice, with the added rather strong effect of the three bare present
      infinitives at the end separated as I recall only by "kai".

      Dennis Clark
    • Goya
      I d like to chime in and wish all a prosperous and happy New Year. I also want to congratulate listmember Peter Adamson on his article “Porphyrius Arabus on
      Message 2 of 4 , Jan 1, 2009
        I'd like to chime in and wish all a prosperous and happy New Year.

        I also want to congratulate listmember Peter Adamson on his article
        “Porphyrius Arabus on Nature and Art: 463F Smith in Context,” in Studies
        on Porphyry, ed. G. Karamanolis and A. Sheppard (London: Institute of
        Classical Studies, 2007), 141-163. It's a fine piece of work which adds a
        couple of previously unobserved fragments to Smith's collection. I
        particularly appreciated the reference to Giuilio A. Luchhetta's book on
        al-Razi, La natura e la sfera, to which Peter has done well to draw
        attention.

        Peter's work is, of course, highly original, but he is also quick to
        acknowledge all (at least one presumes the list is complete) the people
        who helped him by commenting on previous drafts of his paper:

        "I also benefited greatly from
        discussion with Verity Harte, and comments on a previous written draft of
        this paper
        from Cristina D’Ancona, Stephen Menn, and David Reisman".

        Surely this is scholarship the way it should be done : colleagues - and a
        stellar company they are! - are generous enough to devote time and effort
        to sharing their comments with an author, and are rewarded by frank and
        complete acknowledgement of their labor.

        Best, Mike.




        Michael Chase
        CNRS UPR 76
        Paris-Villejuif
        France
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