Studies in Later Greek Philosophy and Gnosticism: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Studies in Later Greek Philosophy and Gnosticism

1st Edition

By Jaap Mansfeld


336 pages

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Hardback: 9780860782407
pub: 1989-03-30
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It is a curious fact that many of the sources for the Presocratic and Stoic philosophers are early Christian authors; similarly, one can even find an echo of Parmenides in a Gnostic treatise from Nag Hammadi. Such writers were often dependent for their knowledge on a whole chain of previous interpretations and traditions, and it is these with which Professor Mansfeld is here largely concerned. He has tried to discover what in an earlier writer - Plato, and Aristotle, of course, as well as the Early Greeks - was of interest to a later one, notably the Middle Platonists. These articles demonstrate the value of such an approach, showing how a familiarity with the later history of an idea, say in a Gnostic text, can contribute to the understanding of the idea itself; or how the study of the selection of ideas used by Philo, for instance, not only sheds light on his own projects, but also helps explain why some motifs survived and not others, and why philosophical thought took the directions it did.

Table of Contents

Contents: Preface; Providence and the destruction of the universe in early Stoic thought; Resurrection added: the interpretatio christiana of a Stoic doctrine; Techne: a new fragment of Chrysippus; The Cleanthes fragment in Cicero, De natura deorum, II 24; Some Stoics on the soul; Three notes on Albinus; Heraclitus, Empedocles and others in a Middle Platonist cento in Philo; Heraclitus fr. B 63 D.-K; On two fragments of Heraclitus in Clement of Alexandria; Philosophy in the service of Scripture; Reviews of O’Brien, Pour interpréter Empédocle, and Mastandrea, Un Neoplatonico Latino: Cornelio Labeone; Alexander and the history of Neoplatonism; Bad world and demiurge: a ’Gnostic’ motif from Parmenides and Empedocles to Lucretius and Philo; Reviews of Alderink, Creation and salvation in ancient Orphism, Pesce, Tavola di Cebete, and Fitzgerald & White, Tabula of Cebes; Hesiod and Parmenides in Nag Hammadi; Addenda; Index.

About the Series

Variorum Collected Studies

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.

The history of the medieval world remains central to the series, with Byzantine studies a particular speciality, but the range of titles extends from Hellenistic philosophy and the history of the Roman empire and early Christianity, through the Renaissance and Reformation, up to the 20th century. Islamic Studies forms another major strand as do the histories of science, technology and medicine.

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. 

For further information about contributing to the series please contact Michael Greenwood at [email protected]

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General
HISTORY / Ancient / General