Orphée et l’Orphisme dans l’Antiquité gréco-romaine: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Orphée et l’Orphisme dans l’Antiquité gréco-romaine

1st Edition

By Luc Brisson


313 pages

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Hardback: 9780860784531
pub: 1995-03-09

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The figure of Orpheus has long exercised a potent influence on religious thought. Yet what we know directly about Orphism comes from a scatter of isolated and often very short fragments quoted in the works of Platonists of the Roman period, notably Proclus, Damascius and Olympiodorus. The author’s concern here is to establish the context in which these passages were cited, and to trace the development of the written tradition, from the texts which contain a critique of the beliefs of the Homeric era to those, whether newly composed or transformed, which show signs of adaptation to later religious and philosophical movements, among them Stoicism and Platonism. In sharp contrast to views held by others, it is argued that it is possible to map out a process of evolution, amongst other criteria by focusing on the role and place of Chronos in the Orphic theogony. The author also asks whether there really ever existed true Orphic sects with a cult with specific rites, and would conclude that the present evidence cannot be held to substantiate this. Orphée a pendant longtemps exercé une puissante influence sur la pensée religieuse. Cependant, ce que nous connaissons directement de l’Orphïsme se réduit à une poignée de fragments isolés et souvent très courts qui se trouvent éparpillés dans les oeuvres de Platoniciens ayant vécu sous l'Empire romain, surtout Proclus, Damascius et Olympiodore. Dans les articles qui composent ce recueil, l'auteur s'est attaché à reconstituer les contextes dans lesquels ces passages sont cités, et à comprendre comment s'est développée la tradition écrite à laquelle ils appartiennent, depuis les textes qui critiquent les croyances véhiculées par Homère et par Hésiode et qui, ayant fait l'objet d'une rédaction ou d'une transformation récente, présentent les signes d'une adaptation à des mouvements religieux ou philosophiques tardifs, le Stoïcisme et le médio-Platonisme entre autres. S'opposant en cela à b


'The competence with which Brisson moves among the Hellenistic sources makes his argument extremely persuasive.' Numen, Vol. 45

Table of Contents

Contents: Avant-propos; Les théogonies Orphiques et le papyrus de Derveni: notes critiques; Usages et fonctions du secret dans le Pythagorisme ancien; La figure de Chronos dans la théogonie orphique et ses antécédents iraniens; Orphée et l’Orphisme à l’époque impériale: témoignages et interprétations philosophiques, de Plutarque à Jamblique; Proclus et l’Orphisme; Damascius et l’Orphisme; Le corps ’dionysiaque’: l’anthropogonie décrite dans le Commentaire sur le Phédon de Platon (1, par. 3-6), attribué à Olympiodore est-elle orphique?; Addenda et corrigenda; Indexes.

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The first title in the Variorum Collected Studies series was published in 1970. Since then well over 1000 titles have appeared in the series, and it has established a well-earned international reputation for the publication of key research across a whole range of subjects within the fields of history.

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Each title in the Variorum Collected Studies series brings together for the first time a selection of articles by a leading authority on a particular subject. These studies are reprinted from a vast range of learned journals, Festschrifts and conference proceedings. They make available research that is scattered, even inaccessible in all but the largest and most specialized libraries. With a new introduction and index, and often with new notes and previously unpublished material, they constitute an essential resource. 

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