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Apuleius / Thomas Taylor (was Re: [neoplatonism] Fw: QUOTES FROM OTHER LETTERS

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  • bradley Skene
    The shorter works of Apuleius were trnaslated at the turn of the century, and more recently and authorotatively: Apuleius : rhetorical works / translated and
    Message 1 of 7 , Jun 11, 2003
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      The shorter works of Apuleius were trnaslated at the turn of the century, and more recently and authorotatively:


      Apuleius : rhetorical works / translated and annotated by Stephen Harrison, John Hilton, and Vincent Hunink ; edited by Stephen Harrison. PublishedOxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2001.

      Thoams Taylor was what today would be called a 'pagan reconstructionist' rather than a scholar. Most of his translations were out of Latin (from Ficino's translation of Plato, for example, rather than from the Greek). He had a rudimentary knowldge of Greek, but not equal to the task he udnertook. After comapring his translation of Porphyry's Letter to Anebo to the Greek text of Sodano, I have to say that Coleridge's characterization of him--that he renders difficult Greek into incoprehensible English--is kind to him. Taylor wanted to turn Neoplatonism into a kind of fundamentalism. He denied the validiity of telescoptic asttronomy and Newton's and Kepler's Laws becuase he found them incompatible with the Timaeus, as if the Timaeus was a rigid doctrinaire prosciption of the limits of truth, which to my mind only signifiies how little he understood the meaning and purpose of that work. He was frequently attacked in the popualr press as having the ultimate aim of reviving animal
      sacrifice, which, while perhaps not literarly true, accurately suggest the character fo his thought. It is not co-incidental that today his translations are generally only reprinted by occultist presses. He has little or no improtance for Modern Neoplatonic scholarship, but is important for understanding the Romantic movement in England.

      Bradley Skeen


      "Gary C. Moore" <gottlos75@...> wrote:


      I shall dig out my Apulieus and apply myself. On THE GOLDEN ASS I have a number of commentaries, some on the Latin. I also have his main philosophical treatises that I have not read. They are "On the God of Socrates," "On the Philosophy of Plato," and "Poetical Paraphrase of the Teachings of Diotima." Are you familiar with any of those? They are translated (around 1820) by a self-taught Englishman who did all the Neoplatonics as well as Plato and Aristotle named Thomas Taylor. Strangely, he was possibly the first to translate Greek philosophy into English, and certainly the only one who did so extensively. And he did it so well that modern translators still take his judgments very seriously. He was also an acquaintance of many of the Romantics in England, for instance William Blake. As far as I know he is the only person to translate Apulieus' philosophical works (all short).



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    • Al Billings
      He s also the only source, in English, of quite a few texts. Point me to a translation of Iamblichus _De Mysteriis_ that is current and scholastic and I ll
      Message 2 of 7 , Jun 11, 2003
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        He's also the only source, in English, of quite a few texts. Point me to a
        translation of Iamblichus' _De Mysteriis_ that is current and scholastic and
        I'll chuck my copy of Thomas Taylor's...

        Al

        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "bradley Skene" <malkhos@...>
        To: <neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com>; <PhilosophyAncient@yahoogroups.com>
        Cc: <Neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Wednesday, June 11, 2003 9:42 AM
        Subject: Apuleius / Thomas Taylor (was Re: [neoplatonism] Fw: QUOTES FROM
        OTHER LETTERS


        > The shorter works of Apuleius were trnaslated at the turn of the century,
        and more recently and authorotatively:
        >
        >
        > Apuleius : rhetorical works / translated and annotated by Stephen
        Harrison, John Hilton, and Vincent Hunink ; edited by Stephen Harrison.
        PublishedOxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2001.
        >
        > Thoams Taylor was what today would be called a 'pagan reconstructionist'
        rather than a scholar. Most of his translations were out of Latin (from
        Ficino's translation of Plato, for example, rather than from the Greek). He
        had a rudimentary knowldge of Greek, but not equal to the task he udnertook.
        After comapring his translation of Porphyry's Letter to Anebo to the Greek
        text of Sodano, I have to say that Coleridge's characterization of him--that
        he renders difficult Greek into incoprehensible English--is kind to him.
        Taylor wanted to turn Neoplatonism into a kind of fundamentalism. He denied
        the validiity of telescoptic asttronomy and Newton's and Kepler's Laws
        becuase he found them incompatible with the Timaeus, as if the Timaeus was a
        rigid doctrinaire prosciption of the limits of truth, which to my mind only
        signifiies how little he understood the meaning and purpose of that work. He
        was frequently attacked in the popualr press as having the ultimate aim of
        reviving animal
        > sacrifice, which, while perhaps not literarly true, accurately suggest
        the character fo his thought. It is not co-incidental that today his
        translations are generally only reprinted by occultist presses. He has
        little or no improtance for Modern Neoplatonic scholarship, but is important
        for understanding the Romantic movement in England.
        >
        > Bradley Skeen
        >
        >
        > "Gary C. Moore" <gottlos75@...> wrote:
        >
        >
        > I shall dig out my Apulieus and apply myself. On THE GOLDEN ASS I have a
        number of commentaries, some on the Latin. I also have his main
        philosophical treatises that I have not read. They are "On the God of
        Socrates," "On the Philosophy of Plato," and "Poetical Paraphrase of the
        Teachings of Diotima." Are you familiar with any of those? They are
        translated (around 1820) by a self-taught Englishman who did all the
        Neoplatonics as well as Plato and Aristotle named Thomas Taylor. Strangely,
        he was possibly the first to translate Greek philosophy into English, and
        certainly the only one who did so extensively. And he did it so well that
        modern translators still take his judgments very seriously. He was also an
        acquaintance of many of the Romantics in England, for instance William
        Blake. As far as I know he is the only person to translate Apulieus'
        philosophical works (all short).
        >
        >
        >
        > ---------------------------------
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        > Free online calendar with sync to Outlook(TM).
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        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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        >
        >
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        >
      • Cosmin I. Andron
        ... Very few - some alternatives are at the end of this message. ... and scholastic and - TT, Iamblichus On the Mysteries = Alexander Wilder, Theurgia or the
        Message 3 of 7 , Jun 11, 2003
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          > He's also the only source, in English, of quite a few texts.

          Very few - some alternatives are at the end of this message.


          >Point me to a translation of Iamblichus' _De Mysteriis_ that is current
          and scholastic and

          - TT, Iamblichus On the Mysteries => Alexander Wilder, Theurgia or the
          Egyptian Mysteries by Iamblichos, New York 1911/London 1915. This is
          *not* the 'standard - scholastic English translation' but it has one
          virtue: the text used by Wilder [G. Parthey, Jamblichi De Mysteriis
          Liber Berlin 1857; repr. Amsterdam, 1965] is better than the one used by
          Taylor. [Following this link it will lead you to Wilder’s translation:
          http://www.esotericarchives.com/oracle/iambl_th.htm%5d

          However neither Parthey nor des Places (CUF 1966) are entirely
          satisfactory. There isn't yet standard English translation however,
          there is in preparation one with a new Greek text as well by J Dillon, E
          Clarke and J Herschbell? (to be out in 2003?)

          >AB>I'll chuck my copy of Thomas Taylor's...

          I wouldn't do that. For that matter I am not sure I agree with some
          points made in the message posted by B Skeen:


          >BS>He [TT] has little or no improtance for Modern Neoplatonic
          scholarship, but is important for understanding the Romantic movement in
          England.

          I dare to say that TT is most valuable today not as much as translator
          but as a modern Platonist who deserves to be studied on his own right,
          and for such a task his original works do not suffice. The choices he
          makes in his translations are also a witness of his *understanding* of
          texts and their passage in his original works.


          >BS>He had a rudimentary knowldge of Greek, but not equal to the task he
          udnertook.

          Not that sure on this matter either: For example concerning his
          translation of Proclus' Theol. Plat. the editors of the modern edition
          (Saffrey and Westerink) have this to say: 'En 1816, le texte grec de
          Portus (the editio princeps published in 1618, my note) est traduit en
          anglais par Thomas Taylor. Malgré la mauvaise qualité du texte du
          Portus, établi sur un manuscrit secondaire, les absurdités évidentes de
          sa ponctuation et l’obscurité de sa traduction latine, il faut
          reconnaître que la grande compétence de Th. Taylor en textes
          platoniciens – il avait presque tout lu et traduit ! – lui a le plus
          souvent permis de comprendre le sens général de la Théol. plat. et l’a
          conduit à proposer quelques conjectures heureuses dont plusieurs ont été
          confirmées par les meilleurs manuscrits.' Introd. Procl. Theol. Plat.
          ed. Westerink-Saffrey, vol. I p.XCV

          and also ‘Taylor a séjourne a Oxford en 1802 et a travaille a la
          Bodleian Library. Il est probable qu’il y a consulte le cod. Laud. 18
          (prod. 1358 ; the ms. was Pico’s own copy at some point - ex libris on
          f.288v ; this text is earlier and possibly better than the one used by
          Portus, my note), c’est peut-être à lui qu’il faudrait attribuer
          certaines notes marginales récentes.’ ibid. p.XCV n.1

          A Segonds records in ‘Liminaire’ p.XI (Proclus et la Théologie
          Platonicienne, Leuven-Paris 2000, Segonds-Steel eds.) that during the
          revival of philological interest in the XIXth century in the works of
          the Neoplatonists confined to the Franco-German space, TT is ‘la
          brilliante exception’.

          On the other hand one should not compare the scholarship of TT with
          today’s standards. Textual criticism as we see it today does not go back
          further than XIXth century (and concerning a *theory* of textual
          criticism only the name of Hort comes to my mind but I could be wrong
          and there might be something earlier??).

          Thus I cannot agree with the next position either:

          >BS>After comapring his translation of Porphyry's Letter to Anebo to the
          Greek text of Sodano,

          What Sodano (1958) had and what Taylor (1818) had cannot be compared.
          One had access to virtually all the existing manuscripts while at his
          best Taylor had probably the 'edition' of Gale (1678)which is rather a
          shady reconstruction...


          >He was frequently attacked in the popualr press as having the ultimate
          >aim of reviving animal sacrifice, which, while perhaps not literarly
          >true, accurately suggest the character fo his thought.

          Neoplatonism didn’t seem to bring with it a good name in the academic
          circles in the Anglo-American world. KS Guthrie’s situation is not much
          superior in the America of the beginning of XXth century. He could be
          more rightfully called an occultist than TT, though the negative
          reaction is still disproportionate compared with the misgivings of his
          scholarship – e.g. see the review of his Plotinus by G Boas in The
          Journal of Philosophy, XVII.13, June 17 1920 and Guthrie’s defence
          (emotional but not bullet proof) in ibid. XVIII.14, July 7 1921)

          Oxford’s only Regius Professor of Greek with Neoplatonic interests
          (yet??), E R Dodds, got his chair only because the recommendation of G
          Murray (the acting RPG) mentioned that ‘Dodds' Neoplatonism is his own
          side-show’ (Murray Papers, Bodleian Library, 76/245-6). And once he got
          the job, his work was not (as he was invited to do) on the Plotinus
          edition with P Henry but an Oxford edition of Euripides’ ‘Bacchae’. [I
          owe this information to the response of R Todd to W Hankey on Blank in
          BMCR 1999.11.19]



          ## English translations of neoplatonic authors as an alternatives to TT:

          - TT, Proclus' Elements of Theology => Proclus, The elements of
          theology, ed. E.R. Dodds, Oxford 1963 (with commentary)

          - TT, Abstinence from Animal Foods => Porphyry. On Abstinence from
          Killing Animals. Trans. Gillian Clark. London, Duckworth, 2000

          - TT, Auxiliaries to the perception of Intelligible Natures =>
          Porphyry's Launching-points to the realm of mind : an introduction to
          the neoplatonic philosophy of Plotinus / translated from the Greek by
          Kenneth Sylvan Guthrie ; with an introduction by Michael Hornum,Imprint
          Grand Rapids, Phanes Press, 1988 [not much better than TT - however
          there is soon to be published a new edition of the text (work of a CNRS
          equipe) with an English translation by J. Dillon !]

          - TT, Concerning Homer's Cave of the Nymphs => The cave of the nymphs in
          the Odyssey : A revised text with translation by Seminar Classics 609,
          State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, Dept. of Classics,
          State University of New York at Buffalo, 1969

          - TT, Collected Writings of Plotinus => Plotinus, transl. by
          A.H.Armstrong, Cambridge Mass., 7 vol, 1966-1988 [One cn also use
          MacKenna in various editions - available also on the www]

          - TT, Hymns and Initiations - Proclus => Proclus' Hymns: Essays,
          Translations, Commentary. By RM van den Berg, Leiden, Brill, 2001.

          - TT, The Chaldean Oracles => The Chaldean oracles : text, translation,
          and commentary by Ruth Majercik, Leiden, Brill 1989.

          - TT, Proclus' Theology of Plato => Not yet a new English translation
          (However the Greek text in the CUF edition (with French transaltion:
          Saffrey/Westerink) is very different from the one used by Taylor )

          - TT, Proclus' Commentary on the Timaeus of Plato => Not yet a new
          English translation but a good translation in French by A Festugiere on
          the standard (Teubner) text.

          -TT, Iamblichus, Life of Pythagoras => On the Pythagorean life,
          translated, with notes and introduction by Gillian Clark, Liverpool,
          Liverpool University Press, 1989. or Iamblichus, On the Pythagorean Way
          of Life transl. by John Dillon & Jackson Herschbell,Society of Biblical
          Literature, 1992.

          - TT, Proclus, On the Subsistence of Evil => Proclus, On the Existence
          of Evils, transl. J Opsomer & C Steel, London, Duckworth 2003 (ACA) For
          the other treatises standard text is in CUF with French translation.



          With every best wish, yours
          Cosmin


          ~~~~~~~~~~~~

          Cosmin I. Andron BA, MA (Cluj), PhD cand.

          Department of Classics
          Royal Holloway College
          University of London
          Egham
          Surrey TW20 OEX
          England

          Phone: 0044 (0) 7759 188 337
          Email: C.I.Andron@...

          Web page: www.cosmin-andron.com
        • Al Billings
          ... Yes, I m familiar with it. I m also under the impression that it is viewed as a substandard translation as well. ... And last year it was supposed to be
          Message 4 of 7 , Jun 11, 2003
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            Cosmin wrote:

            >>Point me to a translation of Iamblichus' _De Mysteriis_ that is current
            >> and scholastic and
            >
            > - TT, Iamblichus On the Mysteries => Alexander Wilder, Theurgia or the
            > Egyptian Mysteries by Iamblichos, New York 1911/London 1915. This is
            > *not* the 'standard - scholastic English translation' but it has one
            > virtue: the text used by Wilder [G. Parthey, Jamblichi De Mysteriis
            > Liber Berlin 1857; repr. Amsterdam, 1965] is better than the one used by
            > Taylor. [Following this link it will lead you to Wilder's translation:
            > http://www.esotericarchives.com/oracle/iambl_th.htm%5d

            Yes, I'm familiar with it. I'm also under the impression that it is viewed
            as a substandard translation as well.

            > However neither Parthey nor des Places (CUF 1966) are entirely
            > satisfactory. There isn't yet standard English translation however,
            > there is in preparation one with a new Greek text as well by J Dillon, E
            > Clarke and J Herschbell? (to be out in 2003?)

            And last year it was supposed to be out in 2002. It's a year or two overdue
            now.

            >>AB>I'll chuck my copy of Thomas Taylor's...
            >
            > I wouldn't do that. For that matter I am not sure I agree with some
            > points made in the message posted by B Skeen:

            I don't plan on doing it because I read (some) Latin, not Greek, and there
            are only two translations into English of all of _De Mysteriis_. There are
            published partials here and there (like Peter Struck's) but none complete.

            Al
          • bradley Skene
            John Dillon has one in Press; it ought to be out this summer, I believe. Al Billings wrote:He s also the only source, in English, of
            Message 5 of 7 , Jun 13, 2003
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              John Dillon has one in Press; it ought to be out this summer, I believe.

              Al Billings <memoria@...> wrote:He's also the only source, in English, of quite a few texts. Point me to a
              translation of Iamblichus' _De Mysteriis_ that is current and scholastic and
              I'll chuck my copy of Thomas Taylor's...

              Al

              ----- Original Message -----
              From: "bradley Skene" <malkhos@...>
              To: <neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com>; <PhilosophyAncient@yahoogroups.com>
              Cc: <Neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com>
              Sent: Wednesday, June 11, 2003 9:42 AM
              Subject: Apuleius / Thomas Taylor (was Re: [neoplatonism] Fw: QUOTES FROM
              OTHER LETTERS


              > The shorter works of Apuleius were trnaslated at the turn of the century,
              and more recently and authorotatively:
              >
              >
              > Apuleius : rhetorical works / translated and annotated by Stephen
              Harrison, John Hilton, and Vincent Hunink ; edited by Stephen Harrison.
              PublishedOxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2001.
              >
              > Thoams Taylor was what today would be called a 'pagan reconstructionist'
              rather than a scholar. Most of his translations were out of Latin (from
              Ficino's translation of Plato, for example, rather than from the Greek). He
              had a rudimentary knowldge of Greek, but not equal to the task he udnertook.
              After comapring his translation of Porphyry's Letter to Anebo to the Greek
              text of Sodano, I have to say that Coleridge's characterization of him--that
              he renders difficult Greek into incoprehensible English--is kind to him.
              Taylor wanted to turn Neoplatonism into a kind of fundamentalism. He denied
              the validiity of telescoptic asttronomy and Newton's and Kepler's Laws
              becuase he found them incompatible with the Timaeus, as if the Timaeus was a
              rigid doctrinaire prosciption of the limits of truth, which to my mind only
              signifiies how little he understood the meaning and purpose of that work. He
              was frequently attacked in the popualr press as having the ultimate aim of
              reviving animal
              > sacrifice, which, while perhaps not literarly true, accurately suggest
              the character fo his thought. It is not co-incidental that today his
              translations are generally only reprinted by occultist presses. He has
              little or no improtance for Modern Neoplatonic scholarship, but is important
              for understanding the Romantic movement in England.
              >
              > Bradley Skeen
              >
              >
              > "Gary C. Moore" <gottlos75@...> wrote:
              >
              >
              > I shall dig out my Apulieus and apply myself. On THE GOLDEN ASS I have a
              number of commentaries, some on the Latin. I also have his main
              philosophical treatises that I have not read. They are "On the God of
              Socrates," "On the Philosophy of Plato," and "Poetical Paraphrase of the
              Teachings of Diotima." Are you familiar with any of those? They are
              translated (around 1820) by a self-taught Englishman who did all the
              Neoplatonics as well as Plato and Aristotle named Thomas Taylor. Strangely,
              he was possibly the first to translate Greek philosophy into English, and
              certainly the only one who did so extensively. And he did it so well that
              modern translators still take his judgments very seriously. He was also an
              acquaintance of many of the Romantics in England, for instance William
              Blake. As far as I know he is the only person to translate Apulieus'
              philosophical works (all short).
              >
              >
              >
              > ---------------------------------
              > Do you Yahoo!?
              > Free online calendar with sync to Outlook(TM).
              >
              > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              >
              >
              >
              > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
              > neoplatonism-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
              >
              >
              >
              > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
              >
              >


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            • Al Billings
              ... They said that last year too. Al
              Message 6 of 7 , Jun 13, 2003
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                Malkhos wrote:


                > John Dillon has one in Press; it ought to be out this summer, I believe.

                They said that last year too.

                Al
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