1st Edition

Reading Plato, Tracing Plato
From Ancient Commentary to Medieval Reception

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ISBN 9780860789697
Published March 13, 2005 by Routledge
352 Pages

USD $150.00

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Book Description

Stephen Gersh deals here with the Platonic tradition in European thought from the 4th to the 14th century. During this period one can distinguish an earlier phase, consisting of the work of ancient Greek commentators who possessed Plato's original works, and a later phase comprising the activities of medieval Latin scholars who, in the absence of most or all of Plato's own works, derived their own version of 'Platonism' from the patristic and secular writers of late antiquity. The essays collected in this volume deal with such important figures in the history of Platonism as Porphyry, Proclus, Boethius, Eriugena, Anselm of Canterbury, and Thierry of Chartres, and together serve to demonstrate the variety, continuity, and especially creativity of these writers. Also notable is the light which many of the essays cast not only on the dialectical or logical aspects usually emphasized by historians of philosophy, but also on the grammatical, rhetorical, and even semiotic elements of texts.

Table of Contents

Contents: Preface; Introduction; The medieval legacy from ancient Platonism; Cratylus Mediaevalis - Ontology and polysemy in medieval Platonism (to ca. 1200); Porphyry's commentary on the 'Harmonics' of Ptolemy and Neoplatonic musical theory; Calcidius' theory of first principles; Aristides Quintilianus and Martianus Capella; Proclus' theological methods. The programme of Theol. Plat. I. 4; Proclus' Commentary on the Timaeus. The prefatory material; Dialectical and rhetorical space. The Boethian theory of topics and its influence during the Early Middle Ages; Per se ipsum. The problem of immediate and mediate causation in Eriugena and his Neoplatonic predecessors; Omnipresence in Eriugena. Some reflections on Augustino-Maximian elements in Periphyseon; The structure of the return in Eriugena's Periphyseon; Eriugena's Ars Rhetorica - Theory and practice; Structure, sign, and ontology from Iohannes Scottus Eriugena to Anselm of Canterbury. A reply to John Marenbon; Anselm of Canterbury; Honorius Augustodunensis and Eriugena. Remarks on the method and content of the Clavis Physicae; Platonism - Neoplatonism - Aristotelianism. Thierry of Chartres' metaphysical system and its sources; (Pseudo-?) Bernard Silvestris and the revival of Neoplatonic Virgilian Exegesis; Berthold von Moosburg on the content and method of Platonic philosophy; Harmonics and semiotics in the Middle Ages: remarks on a recent publication; Index.

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Stephen Gersh is Professor of Medieval Studies at the University of Notre Dame, USA.


’These studies examine many significant figures with novel approaches and offer exacting documentation to support nuanced conclusions on topics of enduring interest from antiquity to contemporaneity.’ Review of Metaphysics