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Re: [neoplatonism] More on prohodos

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  • bradley Skene
    Porphyry frequently subsitutes God for One I ve often wondered if it has something to do with his Semitic background (Euseubius says he came from a
    Message 1 of 2 , Jan 13, 2005
      Porphyry frequently subsitutes 'God' for 'One' I've often wondered if it has something to do with his Semitic background (Euseubius says he came from a Christian fmaily and apsotazied, but that seems incredible).

      He also beleived in the devil:

      They (sc. daimones) have full control over the interpretation of sense perception and are well able to deceive by working miracles. With their help the evil daimones' [human] companions make romantic and sexual charms. All lack of discipline and hope of wealth and glory are through them, and especially fraud. Deceit is of their household. They wish to seem gods and the supernatural power that is their patron wishes to seem the greatest God. They rejoice 'in libation and the smell of sacrifice' [Il. 9.500], for it is this that gives substance to their spirit-vehicle. This [vehicle] lives from smokes and exhalations, and is strengthened by the smell of sacrificed blood and flesh. (De abst. 2.42.1-3, My translation)

      I suppsoe a text like: Leges 896E-897D, might be the background of this. Is anyone famialr with a related Plotinus passage?


      Bradley A. Skene

      vaeringjar <vaeringjar@...> wrote:

      I just discovered from the index in the edition of the Sententiae by
      Lamberz that prohodos also appears in 31, and there is no doubt that
      it refers to Procession in that case. In fact the whole sententia is
      devoted to the subject, and prohodos appears at the end.

      31 plays directly off Plotinus III.9.4.1-7, which starts, in
      Armstrong's translation, "How does multiplicity come from One?
      Because it is everywhere, for there is nowhere where it is not."
      Porphyry however takes this down the chain in 31, to Nous and Soul:

      "Ho theos pantachou hoti oudamou, kai ho nous pantachou hoti oudamou
      kai he psyche pantachou hoti oudamou. all' ho theos men pantachou
      kai oudamou ton met'auton panton" ("Deus ubique est, quia est
      nusquam: et mens ubique, quia nusquam; et anima ubique, quia
      nusquam. Sed deus quidem ubique et nusquam eorum omnium quae post
      ipsum sunt," in Ficino's Latin) - "God is everywhere because he is
      nowhere, and Nous is everywhere because it is nowhere, and Soul is
      everywhere because it is nowhere. But God is in fact everywhere and
      nowhere in respect of all those things which [come] after him." (my

      Isn't it interesting that Porphyry substitutes God for Plotinus' One

      31 ends with:

      "kai este ge he prohodos tou pantos eis to mete pantachou hama mete
      medamou einai dynamenon, all'ana meros hekateron metechon" ("Atque
      hic progressus universi procedit usque ad illud quod nec ubique
      simul, nec nusquam esse potest, sed ex parte utriusque particeps
      est.)" - "And so the universal procession arrives at that point
      which cannot be everywhere and nowhere at the same time, but
      participates in each one in turn."

      So now I am not so sure about parodos as Porphyry's revision of
      prohodos, given this passage. Perhaps one could argue though, since
      Porphyry is playing off of Plotinus here, then he is attracted into
      the Plotinian usage of prohodos and would chose not to emply his own
      term, or perhaps parodos is a later development than the Sententiae -
      ? I am spinning too many webs here, probably. Plotinus however does
      not explicitly use the term anywhere in III.9.4. Curiouser and

      A wonderful passage, whatever else is going on here, and I would
      have to wonder if it isn't a source for the title of the second
      definition in the medieval Book of XXIV Philosophers, "Deus est
      sphera infinita cuius centrum est ubique, circumferentia vero

      I suppose that would give, at least in a Christian context, new
      meaning to the phrase "the Devil is in the details" - ??

      Dennis Clark

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