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Re: [neoplatonism] Re: Conference in Cardiff

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  • Olivier Dufault
    The entry in the Souda is strange because the two works it attributes to Zosimus are not found in the Greek textual tradition. Besides the unknown life of
    Message 1 of 11 , Jun 24, 2013
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      The entry in the Souda is strange because the two works it attributes to
      Zosimus are not found in the Greek textual tradition. Besides the unknown
      life of Plato, it mentions �Alchemical works (*ch�meutika*) in 28 books in
      alphabetical order (*kata stoicheion*), whom some call *Cheirokm�ta*.
      Since the Greek alphabet has 24 letters, there is an obvious problem there.
      Reitzenstein suggested that the four additional letters were taken from the
      Coptic alphabet. Still, we are left to wonder why Zosimus only took 4 out
      of the 6 Coptic letters added to the Greek alphabet (Sahidic has 30
      letters, I don't know if the Achmimic alphabet is different, and that would
      be important since Zosimus came from Achmim/Panopolis).

      Another strange thing is that it does not mention any of the books we
      actually know. One possible explanation is that what it called
      "Cheirokm�ta� was a later compilation, now lost, of the works we know from
      the three main corpus.

      The article by Howard Jackson is "The Seer Nikotheos and His Lost
      Apocalypse in the Light of Sethian Apocalypses from Nag Hammadi and the
      Apocalypse of Elchasai", Novum Testamentum, Vol. 32, Fasc. 3 (Jul., 1990),
      pp. 250-277.

      Note that the reference to the Mithraic mystery is not in the treatise *On
      the Letter Omega *but in another one *peri asbestou *(�about
      quicklime�: *M�moires
      authentiques* XIII). Since the product of the operation is called "the
      stone which is not a stone", Mich�le Mertens remarks that the mithraic
      mystery must be that of Mithras being born out of a stone.

      Best,
      Olivier Dufault


      2013/6/23 vaeringjar <vaeringjar@...>

      > **
      >
      >
      > Yes, I would very much like to read your paper, if you post it at
      > academia.edu, please do let us know. I wondered even at first reading
      > about the Suda entry too - there is just nothing else I see particularly
      > Platonic in Zosimus, so far, but then again, we are missing so many of his
      > works, apparently, that it's risky to draw too many conclusions.
      >
      > Still, given what else is in the treatise on Omega, I would think if
      > anywhere he would cite Plato or some Platonic idea there. But who knows for
      > sure? And also his dates are likely 3rd to early 4th century, unless I am
      > wrong, so he will not have had the longer, post Plotinian tradition on
      > which to draw, only I would think up to Plotinus, and I wonder if he will
      > have even known of Plotinus' works, or Porphryry's or Iamblichus'.
      >
      > Which is not to say he could not have known of the Middle Platonist
      > traditions, especially the Neopythagorean strains, such as of Eudorus,
      > right there in Alexandria in fact.
      >
      > What else is strange about the notice in the Suda?
      >
      > Also, can you give the information on the Jackson article on Nicotheus? I
      > am pursuing a bit on him just now myself, how in fact I came back to
      > Zosimus, In that same treatise it is connection with him that Zosimus makes
      > the curious reference to the Mithraic mysteries.
      >
      > Yes, the Mertens' Bude Zosimus is indispensable, and I have had trouble
      > finding Jackson's edition. There is however now also an Italian edition
      > with texts of a couple of the other treatise as well, with extensive
      > commentary by Angelo Tonelli, Zosimo di Panopoli, Visione e risvegli, BUR
      > 2004, with the text - also very inexpensive and easy to get online at
      > Amazon.it. He does make mention of Jung's work in his introduction, but his
      > commetary is mostly though not entirely philological, comparing many
      > readings with other editions, going back to Berthelot.
      >
      > Thanks,
      > Dennis Clark
      >
      >
      > --- In neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com, Olivier Dufault <odufault@...> wrote:
      > >
      > > Hi,
      > > I have presented a paper in Cardiff on Zosimus. For those interested,
      > I've
      > > posted it on my academia.edu page.
      > > To my knowledge, there is no link between Zosimus and any specifically
      > > platonic doctrine, despite the fact that the Souda ascribes a life of
      > Plato
      > > to Zosimus (this is not the only strange thing with this notice). The
      > most
      > > interesting link between early Greek alchemy and Platonism that I have
      > read
      > > is in an article by Luc Brisson called "Le corps dionysiaque." which
      > shows
      > > the alchemical connotations of Olympiodorus' reading of the
      > anthropogenesis
      > > attributed to Orpheus in which both Dionysius and the Titans are
      > > sublimated by Zeus' lightening.
      > > To the works on ancient Greek alchemy already cited, there is also the
      > > important edition that Mich��le Mertens did of a part of Zosimus' corpus
      > in
      > > the Bud�� series (Vol.4 part 1 of the *Alchimistes grecs *collection).
      > For
      >
      > > those interested in the technical side of alchemy, there is also the
      > > edition of two papyri with recipes (part of the "Anastasi papyri", from
      > > which a lot of the PGM come from) done by Robert Halleux in the same
      > > collection.
      > > The most "philosophical" treatise by Zosimus, called "On the Letter
      > Omega"
      > > (part of M. Mertens' edition) was also edited, translated and annotated
      > by
      > > Howard Jackson in SBL. For those interested in the Gnostic connection,
      > > Jackson also has an interesting article on the identity of the Nicotheos
      > > "the hidden" quoted by Zosimus in the same treatise.
      > >
      > > Best,
      > > Olivier Dufault
      > >
      > >
      >
      >
      >


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • vaeringjar
      Thanks, Olivier, for the information - I thought I had looked at Mertens on the Mithraic reference, but I guess I missed that - yes, it s in the thirteenth
      Message 2 of 11 , Jun 25, 2013
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        Thanks, Olivier, for the information - I thought I had looked at Mertens on the Mithraic reference, but I guess I missed that - yes, it's in the thirteenth memoir.

        Well, I think in part the same thing as she does, that it has to do with his birth from the rock, but probably not just that.

        Thanks, I will look at her notes again. I wonder if Berthelot has anything on that passage. Still need to look on the Mithraic studies side too.

        Best,
        Dennis

        --- In neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com, Olivier Dufault <odufault@...> wrote:
        >
        > The entry in the Souda is strange because the two works it attributes to
        > Zosimus are not found in the Greek textual tradition. Besides the unknown
        > life of Plato, it mentions "Alchemical works (*chèmeutika*) in 28 books in
        > alphabetical order (*kata stoicheion*), whom some call *Cheirokmèta*.
        > Since the Greek alphabet has 24 letters, there is an obvious problem there.
        > Reitzenstein suggested that the four additional letters were taken from the
        > Coptic alphabet. Still, we are left to wonder why Zosimus only took 4 out
        > of the 6 Coptic letters added to the Greek alphabet (Sahidic has 30
        > letters, I don't know if the Achmimic alphabet is different, and that would
        > be important since Zosimus came from Achmim/Panopolis).
        >
        > Another strange thing is that it does not mention any of the books we
        > actually know. One possible explanation is that what it called
        > "Cheirokmèta" was a later compilation, now lost, of the works we know from
        > the three main corpus.
        >
        > The article by Howard Jackson is "The Seer Nikotheos and His Lost
        > Apocalypse in the Light of Sethian Apocalypses from Nag Hammadi and the
        > Apocalypse of Elchasai", Novum Testamentum, Vol. 32, Fasc. 3 (Jul., 1990),
        > pp. 250-277.
        >
        > Note that the reference to the Mithraic mystery is not in the treatise *On
        > the Letter Omega *but in another one *peri asbestou *("about
        > quicklime": *Mémoires
        > authentiques* XIII). Since the product of the operation is called "the
        > stone which is not a stone", Michèle Mertens remarks that the mithraic
        > mystery must be that of Mithras being born out of a stone.
        >
        > Best,
        > Olivier Dufault
        >
        >
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