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Re: Procession in Commentary on Parmenides att. to Porphyry

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  • vaeringjar
    ... Thanks, Melanie, for the reference - I will go root around in Numenius - and any excuse to do that is welcome, since I find him a curious figure and a
    Message 1 of 7 , Jan 12, 2005
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      --- In neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com, "Melanie B. Mineo" <mmineo@o...>
      wrote:
      > Numenius also uses the term. That's all I know. There's also this:
      > "Proschresis Revisited: An Essay in Numenian Theology," Origeniana
      > Quinta, ed. by
      > R. J. Daly (Leuven: Peeters Press, 1992).
      >

      Thanks, Melanie, for the reference - I will go root around in
      Numenius - and any excuse to do that is welcome, since I find him a
      curious figure and a stylistically entertaining writer, beyond his
      obvious significance among the Platonists. Really too bad we have
      lost so much of his work, although maybe not everyone would agree
      with that.

      Dennis Clark
      Issaquah
    • vaeringjar
      ... prohodos. ... there at ... meaning ... it s ... another ... my ... know ... realities, ... emerges, it ... Is ... Thanks for the lookup of prohodos in TLG
      Message 2 of 7 , Jan 12, 2005
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        --- In neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com, Michael Chase <goya@u...> wrote:
        >
        > Le 11 janv. 05, à 21:06, vaeringjar a écrit :
        >
        > >
        > > <snip>
        >
        > > I would be very interested to hear what the lexicon has for
        prohodos.
        > > I looked up parodos this morning in L&S, and it appears from
        there at
        > > least not to have any special philosophical usage. The basic
        meaning
        > > is "side passage", not surprisingly, given the "par[a]-", and
        it's
        > > well enough attested in the Classical period. So this raises
        another
        > > issue, I think, of why this word would be chosen at all.
        >
        > M.S. Yes. The question is worth investigating. I can only refer to
        my
        > earlier remarks about Porphyry's liking for terms in *par-*. We
        know
        > from Hadot's studies that Porphyry emphasized that in divine
        realities,
        > there is no creatio ex nihilo : when a new level of reality
        emerges, it
        > is simply the manifestation of something that already pre-existed.
        Is
        > it reading too much into Porphyry's choice of words to suggest that
        > this may be why he chose to speak of a new reality's *parodos*, the
        > same word used for the appearance of the chorus (who had come in by
        > side-passages, *parodoi*) in Greek theater?
        >
        >

        Thanks for the lookup of prohodos in TLG and the references in a
        usable fashion.

        Porphyry's tendency to use terms in par- that you point out is very
        interesting and seems to me to offer the explanation of what is going
        on in the Parmenides fragments. I think it's safe to say that the
        choice of parodos is not casual, and it would be at least consistent
        with these other usages. What we could have here then is his
        intentional revision of the Plotinian usage.

        I dug a little more in the indices of the Bude's of de Abstentia and
        the Letter to Marcella and the Life of Pythagoras, and in none of
        them is there any citation of either prohodos or parodos.
        Unfortunately I don't have the index portion photocopied from Smith's
        fragments, so I can't tell easily if Porphyry used prohodos anywhere
        there. Not that all of this checking is determinative anyway, but an
        occurrence of prohodos might at least be of some value, even if its
        (apparent) absence not.

        When we have only fragments there is always the danger of over
        emphasizing the significance of individual words or terms in a text,
        given our ignorance of their true original frequency and overall
        importance, and the loss of so much context, so this choice of words
        may again be rather more smoke than fire. But your points are very
        attractive and I think offer the key to what is going on with
        parodos. We do give the writer the benefit of being smart and more
        precise usually, when in doubt, or at least I think we should with
        Porphyry. And it's important to bear in mind at his time of writing
        that none of the "nailing down" such as with Proclus had occurred
        yet - he was at the beginning of what we call Neoplatonism, so there
        would be more fluidity in terminology then I would think. And there
        were his differences with Iamblichus and others during his lifetime
        in dealing with the legacy of Plotinus, if you will, etc., and not at
        that stage a total unanimity of approach on all issues. (Nor of
        course was there ever completely any among Neoplatonists, even 300
        hundred years later.)


        Dennis Clark
        Issaquah
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