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Re: [neoplatonism] Re: Fw: BMCR 2004.12.29, Albertus Bernabe/, Orphicorum et Orphicis

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  • Michael Chase
    ... M.C. It is kind of tough. Just Greek and Latin texts, no translation, even the notes are in Latin. The major problem was that almost all the texts are by
    Message 1 of 6 , Dec 31, 2004
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      Le 31 déc. 04, à 06:56, vaeringjar a écrit :

      >
      > > >
      >
      > Thanks for the very welcome information - I managed to photocopy
      > Kern's edition some time back, but it seems rather daunting to me
      > whenever I have tried to delve into it.

      M.C. It is kind of tough. Just Greek and Latin texts, no translation,
      even the notes are in Latin. The major problem was that almost all the
      texts are by now seriously out of date.


      > I am happy to see the
      > Derveni papyrus included in the first volume; it would be nice if
      > Oxford Univ. Press reissued Zuntz' <Persephone> - it seems very rare
      > now, outside of course a decent university library.

      M.C. Zuntz is always a good read (although he's a bit too positivistic
      for my taste), but there's been a whole bunch of interesting
      publications recently on the Derveni papyrus, including a brand new
      (French) translation by a (very) young woman named Fabienne Jourdan who
      did the work as part of her M.A. thesis (it was only one of three
      volumes ; one is intimidated to think about what she'll prduce for her
      PhD!). Anyhow, see


      Le papyrus de Derveni / texte présenté, trad. et annoté par Fabienne
      Jourdan. Paris : Les Belles Lettres, 2003. XXXII-166 p. en partie
      doubles. (Vérité des mythes ; 23. Sources). • Avec le texte grec en
      regard.

      Then there is Gabor Betegh's very recent (2004) The Derveni Papyrus:
      Cosmology, Theology and Interpretation, about which the publisher
      says :

      "This is the first comprehensive study of the Derveni Papyrus. The
      papyrus, found in 1962 near Thessalonica, is not only one of the oldest
      surviving Greek papyri but is also considered by scholars to be a
      document of primary importance for a better understanding of the
      religious and philosophical developments of the fifth and fourth
      centuries BC. Gabor Betegh aims to reconstruct and systematically to
      analyse the different strata of the text and their interrelation by
      exploring the archaeological context; the interpretation of rituals in
      the first columns of the text; the Orphic poem commented on by the
      author of the papyrus; and the cosmological and theological doctrines
      which emerge from the Derveni author's exegesis of the poem. Betegh
      discusses the place of the text in the context of late Presocratic
      philosophy and offers an important preliminary edition of the text of
      the papyrus with critical apparatus and English translation. "

      From a bit further back, there is : •
      Studies on the Derveni papyrus / ed. by André Laks and Glenn W. Most.
      Oxford : Clarendon Pr. ; Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press,
      1996. VIII-203 p. index. • Papers presented by various scholars at a
      colloquium at Princeton University, April 17-18, 1993. AAHG 1999 52
      (3-4) : 174-176 O. Wenskus | AncPhil 2001 21 (2) : 477-480 A. M. F. W.
      Verhoogt | CR 1998 N. S. 48 (2) : 451-452 J. A. Palmer | Eos 1998 85
      (2) : 307-312 M. Winiarczyk | LEC 1999 67 (2-3) : 174 J. A. Straus | MH
      1997 54 (4) : 236-237 F. Graf | OSAPh 1999 17 : 303-324 E. Hussey |
      Phronesis 1998 43 (3) : 286-287 M. R. Wright | REG 1999 112 (1) : 280
      A. Blanchard.
      >
      > Has anyone ever done a study focusing on Orphism and the Neoplatonic
      > philosophers?

      M.C. : Yup. My friend and colleague Luc Brisson has published several
      papers on the topic… they're collected in his


      Orphée et l’orphisme dans l’antiquité gréco-romaine. Aldershot ;
      Brookfield (Vt.) : Variorum, 1995. VIII-301 p. ill. index. (Collected
      studies series ; 476). || => 67-02914 | AncPhil 1996 16 (2) : 463-467
      G. Betegh | BAGB 1997 (1) : 55-56 É. Des Places | Elenchos 1997 18
      (2) : 408-413 C. D’Ancona | Emerita 1997 65 (1) : 153-155 A. Bernabé |
      Numen 1998 45 (3) : 321-324 G. Scalera McClintock | PP 1996 51 :
      156-160 G. Scalera.

      I think it's safe to say Luc's approach is also rather positivistic :
      that is, if there ain't no contemporary evidence for a phenomenon, it
      don't exist. He's therefore led to reject as late ideological
      fabrications a lot of elements that other scholars (like Bernabe)
      consider to be parts of ancient Orphism.


      > Why did those who gave weight to the Chaldaean Oracles
      > and Orphic verses, etc., do so? Why particularly the Orphika?

      M.C. Well, why not? Here were theological verses that went way back in
      time and that were exotic enough (since O. was a Thracian) to be
      considered representative of “ Barbaric wisdom ”, which was so popular
      among the Neoplats. There was also perhaps a reaction here to early
      Christianity, which claimed the Greek philosophers had stolen their
      wisdom from Moses. The Neoplats fought back by claiming there was
      perfect harmony between the ancient theological writings of Homer,
      Hesiod, Orpheus, and the Chaldaean Oracles, not to mention various
      Pythagorean works like the Goiden Verses



      > I can
      > see the parallels between the basic ontology of Neoplatonism and the
      > apparently similar structures in the Chaldaean oracles, but the
      > special attraction of Orphism, especially in Proclus, is not
      > something I have ever really fathomed. From what I know there seems
      > te be no clear parallels.

      M.C. Um, well, all I can say is, Proclus and Damascius, Syrianus,
      Hierocles and others would disagree with you. See for instance, H.
      Lewy, Chaldaean Oracles and theurgy, new ed. Paris 1978, p. 483ff. for
      a comparative table of Proclus' three theological systems : Platonic,
      Orphic, and Chaldaean.


      > Is it more a general connection with the
      > Pythagorean milieu?

      M.C. Yes, I would think so. Compare Proclus, In Tim., III, 168, 8 ff. =
      OF fr. 507 II B Kern : " Timaeus, because he was a Pythagorean, follows
      the principles of the Pythagoreans. These are the teachings received
      from the Orphics, since everything that Orpheus had communicated in
      secret, in the form of secret doctrines, Pythagoras learned after he
      was initiated in Thracian Libethra, when the hierophant Aglaophamus
      communicated to him the science concerning the gods that Orpheus had
      learned from his mother Calliope
    • vaeringjar
      ... me ... translation, ... the ... D.C. A wonderful New Year s present, thank you for taking the trouble to post all these references! ... several ...
      Message 2 of 6 , Jan 1, 2005
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        --- In neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com, Michael Chase <goya@u...> wrote:
        >
        > Le 31 déc. 04, à 06:56, vaeringjar a écrit :
        >
        > >
        > > > >
        > >
        > > Thanks for the very welcome information - I managed to photocopy
        > > Kern's edition some time back, but it seems rather daunting to
        me
        > > whenever I have tried to delve into it.
        >
        > M.C. It is kind of tough. Just Greek and Latin texts, no
        translation,
        > even the notes are in Latin. The major problem was that almost all
        the
        > texts are by now seriously out of date.
        >


        D.C. A wonderful New Year's present, thank you for taking the
        trouble to post all these references!


        >
        > M.C. : Yup. My friend and colleague Luc Brisson has published
        several
        > papers on the topic… they're collected in his
        >
        >
        > Orphée et l'orphisme dans l'antiquité gréco-romaine.
        Aldershot ;
        > Brookfield (Vt.) : Variorum, 1995. VIII-301 p. ill. index.
        (Collected
        > studies series ; 476). || => 67-02914 | AncPhil 1996 16 (2) : 463-
        467
        > G. Betegh | BAGB 1997 (1) : 55-56 É. Des Places | Elenchos 1997 18
        > (2) : 408-413 C. D'Ancona | Emerita 1997 65 (1) : 153-155 A.
        Bernabé |
        > Numen 1998 45 (3) : 321-324 G. Scalera McClintock | PP 1996 51 :
        > 156-160 G. Scalera.
        >

        D.C. Well, by luck I happen to have the CNRS volume <Proclus Lecteur
        et Interprete des Anciens> and took a look in there to see if
        perhaps there was anything on Orphism, and sure enough Brisson has a
        lengthy essay there, "Proclus et l'Orphisme," which looks like a
        great place to start. I suppose this piece must also be in the
        Aldershot collection.

        > > Why did those who gave weight to the Chaldaean Oracles
        > > and Orphic verses, etc., do so? Why particularly the Orphika?
        >
        > M.C. Well, why not? Here were theological verses that went way
        back in
        > time and that were exotic enough (since O. was a Thracian) to be
        > considered representative of " Barbaric wisdom ", which was so
        popular
        > among the Neoplats. There was also perhaps a reaction here to
        early
        > Christianity, which claimed the Greek philosophers had stolen
        their
        > wisdom from Moses. The Neoplats fought back by claiming there was
        > perfect harmony between the ancient theological writings of Homer,
        > Hesiod, Orpheus, and the Chaldaean Oracles, not to mention various
        > Pythagorean works like the Goiden Verses

        D.C. A point of interest to me - do we know how much of this search
        for harmony and an ancient provenience for their philosophy was
        prompted by a desire to pull things together and synthesize the wide
        range of pagan belief with philosophy, and how much rather as a
        defense against Christianity? (Or both?) Plotinus would not have
        been so concerned with this sort of thing, would he? I am truly
        asking, not implying he wouldn't. If he weren't, would that be
        because Christianity was much more of a threat after Plotinus? And
        that he seems not to have been so religious (I refer to his comment
        about the gods coming to him.)

        >
        >
        >
        > > I can
        > > see the parallels between the basic ontology of Neoplatonism
        and the
        > > apparently similar structures in the Chaldaean oracles, but the
        > > special attraction of Orphism, especially in Proclus, is not
        > > something I have ever really fathomed. From what I know there
        seems
        > > te be no clear parallels.
        >
        > M.C. Um, well, all I can say is, Proclus and Damascius, Syrianus,
        > Hierocles and others would disagree with you. See for instance, H.
        > Lewy, Chaldaean Oracles and theurgy, new ed. Paris 1978, p. 483ff.
        for
        > a comparative table of Proclus' three theological systems :
        Platonic,
        > Orphic, and Chaldaean.
        >

        D.C. I didn't phrase that very well at all - I wasn't trying to
        imply I thought the links shouldn't have been made, rather that I am
        ignorant of exactly how they made correspondences to Orphism. But
        before you brought all these fascinating references in Lewy, etc. to
        my attention I was totally unaware of the precise details, the
        direct linking of the levels of reality to various gods, as the
        table in Lewy with many helpful references shows. I assume the
        passage in Damascius I.284 (Kern 60) is the source for the actual
        linking, and I need to delve into that.

        I only have the original 1956 edition of Lewy - I wonder if there is
        any more discussion of this in the later 1978 edition. In fact I
        have always wondered what else in total is in that edition. (It was
        hard enough getting a copy of the book in ANY form.)

        >
        > > Is it more a general connection with the
        > > Pythagorean milieu?
        >
        > M.C. Yes, I would think so. Compare Proclus, In Tim., III, 168, 8
        ff. =
        > OF fr. 507 II B Kern : " Timaeus, because he was a Pythagorean,
        follows
        > the principles of the Pythagoreans. These are the teachings
        received
        > from the Orphics, since everything that Orpheus had communicated
        in
        > secret, in the form of secret doctrines, Pythagoras learned after
        he
        > was initiated in Thracian Libethra, when the hierophant
        Aglaophamus
        > communicated to him the science concerning the gods that Orpheus
        had
        > learned from his mother Calliope

        D.C. I only have Festugiere's translation of the In Tim., and I was
        searching around in there and in Kern, and I found this passage,
        although I think it's fr. 107 rather than 507 (?). The scholion In
        Tim. 28c, quoted as a part of this fragment also, is important too
        for establishing the list of gods. Lewy refers as well to a "summary
        given in the scholia" in Diehl - I don't think Festugiere included
        the scholia in his translation - ? Or at least I can't seem to find
        them. So I trust the scholion included in Kern is the
        relevant "summary" that Lewy cites as significant.

        Again, thanks very much, Michael - this is all really intriguing.
        After taking a quick first look at the Proclus In Tim passage you
        refer to, I have to say the first thing that came to mind was the
        Second Letter of Plato and the three kings there, since Proclus in
        througout the passage calls the Orphic group of 6 gods kings - but
        just a coincidence, I suppose - ?


        Dennis Clark
        Issaquah
      • Cosmin I. Andron
        I would add to Mike s list also: Richard Janko, The Derveni Papyrus (Diagoras of Melos, APOPYRGIZONTES LOGOI?): A New Translation, Classical Philology 96
        Message 3 of 6 , Jan 4, 2005
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          I would add to Mike's list also:
          Richard Janko, The Derveni Papyrus (Diagoras of Melos,
          APOPYRGIZONTES LOGOI?): A New Translation, Classical Philology 96
          (2001), pp. 1-32

          Wish you all a Happy New Year!
          With every best wish, yours
          Cosmin

          ----------------------------
          Department of English
          School of Foreign Languages
          XianNing College
          [ Xian Ning Xue Yuan ]
          No.2 Yongan Dadao
          XianNing City, Zip Code: 437005
          Hubei Province
          China

          Phone: 0086 (0)715 8342293
          Email: cosmin.andron@...
          Website: www.cosmin-andron.com



          --- In neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com, Michael Chase <goya@u...> wrote:
          >
          > Le 31 déc. 04, à 06:56, vaeringjar a écrit :
          >
          > >
          > > > >
          > >
          > > Thanks for the very welcome information - I managed to photocopy
          > > Kern's edition some time back, but it seems rather daunting to
          me
          > > whenever I have tried to delve into it.
          >
          > M.C. It is kind of tough. Just Greek and Latin texts, no
          translation,
          > even the notes are in Latin. The major problem was that almost all
          the
          > texts are by now seriously out of date.
          >
          >
          > > I am happy to see the
          > > Derveni papyrus included in the first volume; it would be nice
          if
          > > Oxford Univ. Press reissued Zuntz' <Persephone> - it seems very
          rare
          > > now, outside of course a decent university library.
          >
          > M.C. Zuntz is always a good read (although he's a bit too
          positivistic
          > for my taste), but there's been a whole bunch of interesting
          > publications recently on the Derveni papyrus, including a brand
          new
          > (French) translation by a (very) young woman named Fabienne
          Jourdan who
          > did the work as part of her M.A. thesis (it was only one of three
          > volumes ; one is intimidated to think about what she'll prduce for
          her
          > PhD!). Anyhow, see
          >
          >
          > Le papyrus de Derveni / texte présenté, trad. et annoté par
          Fabienne
          > Jourdan. Paris : Les Belles Lettres, 2003. XXXII-166 p. en partie
          > doubles. (Vérité des mythes ; 23. Sources). • Avec le texte grec
          en
          > regard.
          >
          > Then there is Gabor Betegh's very recent (2004) The Derveni
          Papyrus:
          > Cosmology, Theology and Interpretation, about which the publisher
          > says :
          >
          > "This is the first comprehensive study of the Derveni Papyrus. The
          > papyrus, found in 1962 near Thessalonica, is not only one of the
          oldest
          > surviving Greek papyri but is also considered by scholars to be a
          > document of primary importance for a better understanding of the
          > religious and philosophical developments of the fifth and fourth
          > centuries BC. Gabor Betegh aims to reconstruct and systematically
          to
          > analyse the different strata of the text and their interrelation
          by
          > exploring the archaeological context; the interpretation of
          rituals in
          > the first columns of the text; the Orphic poem commented on by the
          > author of the papyrus; and the cosmological and theological
          doctrines
          > which emerge from the Derveni author's exegesis of the poem.
          Betegh
          > discusses the place of the text in the context of late Presocratic
          > philosophy and offers an important preliminary edition of the text
          of
          > the papyrus with critical apparatus and English translation. "
          >
          > From a bit further back, there is : •
          > Studies on the Derveni papyrus / ed. by André Laks and Glenn W.
          Most.
          > Oxford : Clarendon Pr. ; Oxford ; New York : Oxford University
          Press,
          > 1996. VIII-203 p. index. • Papers presented by various scholars at
          a
          > colloquium at Princeton University, April 17-18, 1993. AAHG 1999
          52
          > (3-4) : 174-176 O. Wenskus | AncPhil 2001 21 (2) : 477-480 A. M.
          F. W.
          > Verhoogt | CR 1998 N. S. 48 (2) : 451-452 J. A. Palmer | Eos 1998
          85
          > (2) : 307-312 M. Winiarczyk | LEC 1999 67 (2-3) : 174 J. A. Straus
          | MH
          > 1997 54 (4) : 236-237 F. Graf | OSAPh 1999 17 : 303-324 E. Hussey
          |
          > Phronesis 1998 43 (3) : 286-287 M. R. Wright | REG 1999 112 (1) :
          280
          > A. Blanchard.
          > >
          > > Has anyone ever done a study focusing on Orphism and the
          Neoplatonic
          > > philosophers?
          >
          > M.C. : Yup. My friend and colleague Luc Brisson has published
          several
          > papers on the topic… they're collected in his
          >
          >
          > Orphée et l'orphisme dans l'antiquité gréco-romaine.
          Aldershot ;
          > Brookfield (Vt.) : Variorum, 1995. VIII-301 p. ill. index.
          (Collected
          > studies series ; 476). || => 67-02914 | AncPhil 1996 16 (2) : 463-
          467
          > G. Betegh | BAGB 1997 (1) : 55-56 É. Des Places | Elenchos 1997 18
          > (2) : 408-413 C. D'Ancona | Emerita 1997 65 (1) : 153-155 A.
          Bernabé |
          > Numen 1998 45 (3) : 321-324 G. Scalera McClintock | PP 1996 51 :
          > 156-160 G. Scalera.
          >
          > I think it's safe to say Luc's approach is also rather
          positivistic :
          > that is, if there ain't no contemporary evidence for a phenomenon,
          it
          > don't exist. He's therefore led to reject as late ideological
          > fabrications a lot of elements that other scholars (like Bernabe)
          > consider to be parts of ancient Orphism.
          >
          >
          > > Why did those who gave weight to the Chaldaean Oracles
          > > and Orphic verses, etc., do so? Why particularly the Orphika?
          >
          > M.C. Well, why not? Here were theological verses that went way
          back in
          > time and that were exotic enough (since O. was a Thracian) to be
          > considered representative of " Barbaric wisdom ", which was so
          popular
          > among the Neoplats. There was also perhaps a reaction here to
          early
          > Christianity, which claimed the Greek philosophers had stolen
          their
          > wisdom from Moses. The Neoplats fought back by claiming there was
          > perfect harmony between the ancient theological writings of Homer,
          > Hesiod, Orpheus, and the Chaldaean Oracles, not to mention various
          > Pythagorean works like the Goiden Verses
          >
          >
          >
          > > I can
          > > see the parallels between the basic ontology of Neoplatonism
          and the
          > > apparently similar structures in the Chaldaean oracles, but the
          > > special attraction of Orphism, especially in Proclus, is not
          > > something I have ever really fathomed. From what I know there
          seems
          > > te be no clear parallels.
          >
          > M.C. Um, well, all I can say is, Proclus and Damascius, Syrianus,
          > Hierocles and others would disagree with you. See for instance, H.
          > Lewy, Chaldaean Oracles and theurgy, new ed. Paris 1978, p. 483ff.
          for
          > a comparative table of Proclus' three theological systems :
          Platonic,
          > Orphic, and Chaldaean.
          >
          >
          > > Is it more a general connection with the
          > > Pythagorean milieu?
          >
          > M.C. Yes, I would think so. Compare Proclus, In Tim., III, 168, 8
          ff. =
          > OF fr. 507 II B Kern : " Timaeus, because he was a Pythagorean,
          follows
          > the principles of the Pythagoreans. These are the teachings
          received
          > from the Orphics, since everything that Orpheus had communicated
          in
          > secret, in the form of secret doctrines, Pythagoras learned after
          he
          > was initiated in Thracian Libethra, when the hierophant
          Aglaophamus
          > communicated to him the science concerning the gods that Orpheus
          had
          > learned from his mother Calliope
        • vaeringjar
          ... rare ... positivistic ... who ... her ... Fabienne ... en ... oldest ... to ... in ... doctrines ... of ... DC I just wanted to point out to the group that
          Message 4 of 6 , Feb 1, 2005
          • 0 Attachment
            --- In neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com, Michael Chase <goya@u...> wrote:
            >
            >
            > > I am happy to see the
            > > Derveni papyrus included in the first volume; it would be nice if
            > > Oxford Univ. Press reissued Zuntz' <Persephone> - it seems very
            rare
            > > now, outside of course a decent university library.
            >
            > M.C. Zuntz is always a good read (although he's a bit too
            positivistic
            > for my taste), but there's been a whole bunch of interesting
            > publications recently on the Derveni papyrus, including a brand new
            > (French) translation by a (very) young woman named Fabienne Jourdan
            who
            > did the work as part of her M.A. thesis (it was only one of three
            > volumes ; one is intimidated to think about what she'll prduce for
            her
            > PhD!). Anyhow, see
            >
            >
            > Le papyrus de Derveni / texte présenté, trad. et annoté par
            Fabienne
            > Jourdan. Paris : Les Belles Lettres, 2003. XXXII-166 p. en partie
            > doubles. (Vérité des mythes ; 23. Sources). • Avec le texte grec
            en
            > regard.
            >
            > Then there is Gabor Betegh's very recent (2004) The Derveni
            Papyrus:
            > Cosmology, Theology and Interpretation, about which the publisher
            > says :
            >
            > "This is the first comprehensive study of the Derveni Papyrus. The
            > papyrus, found in 1962 near Thessalonica, is not only one of the
            oldest
            > surviving Greek papyri but is also considered by scholars to be a
            > document of primary importance for a better understanding of the
            > religious and philosophical developments of the fifth and fourth
            > centuries BC. Gabor Betegh aims to reconstruct and systematically
            to
            > analyse the different strata of the text and their interrelation by
            > exploring the archaeological context; the interpretation of rituals
            in
            > the first columns of the text; the Orphic poem commented on by the
            > author of the papyrus; and the cosmological and theological
            doctrines
            > which emerge from the Derveni author's exegesis of the poem. Betegh
            > discusses the place of the text in the context of late Presocratic
            > philosophy and offers an important preliminary edition of the text
            of
            > the papyrus with critical apparatus and English translation. "
            >


            DC I just wanted to point out to the group that there is a very
            recent review of Betegh's book in Classical Review, by Richard Janko.
            He cites some problems in Betegh's text of the papyrus, and of course
            many other useful - and essential, I presume - observations. Here is
            the link:

            http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/bmcr/2005/2005-01-27.html

            I was myself able to get Betegh and Jourdan's texts recently - by the
            way, I read in her introduction that she bases her edition on Janko's
            text from his 2002 article in ZPE, with a few changes. This was
            fortunate, if for no other reason that ZPE 2002 is not online yet.

            If anyone wants to wade into a troubled stream, from what little I
            have read already, I gather no one could do better than plunge into
            the murky waters surrounding the Derveni papyrus.

            Dennis Clark
            Issaquah
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