The Golden Chain: Studies in the Development of Platonism and Christianity, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Golden Chain

Studies in the Development of Platonism and Christianity, 1st Edition

By John Dillon


336 pages

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Hardback: 9780860782865
pub: 1991-03-21
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This volume gathers together a series of widely -scattered articles concerned with the great tradition of Platonic scholarship ” The Golden Chain” from the time of Plato himself up into the period of Middle Platonism. The main emphasis, however, is on the first three centuries AD. The first articles address the question of what exactly was the nature of the Platonic school at various stages of its development and what kind of organization the Academy may have had. The following ones present studies on figures from Speusippus in the Old Academy, through Philo of Alexandria and Origen (more honorary members of the Golden Chain), to Plotinus, Iamblichus and Proclus, and on some more general issues, such as the fall of the soul, which span much of the period. Dans ce volume sont rassembles des articles jusque”la très dispersés et qui traitent de la grande tradition du savoir platonicien ” la "Chaîne d'Or"” Sur une période allant de Platon au Moyen”Platonisme et à l'avènement de la pensée chrétienne. Cependant, l'accent est surtout mis sur les trois premières siècles ap. J.C. Les premières articles s'attachent à la nature exacte de l'Ecole platonicienne à différents stades de son évolution et aussi a l'organisation adoptée par "l'Académie". Les études suivantes examinent différents personnages, de Speusippe, qui appartenait à l'Ancienne Académie, en passant par Philon d'Aleandrie et Origiène (membres semi”honoraires de la Chaîne d'Or), jusqu'à Plotin, Iamblique et Procle; y sont aussi traitées des questions d'ordre plus général, telles la chute de l'âme, qui furent embrassées durant la majeure partie de cette période.

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction; What happened to Plato's Garden?; Self-definition in Later Platonism; The Academy in the Middle Platonic period; Female principles in Platonism; Tampering with the Timaeus: ideological emendations in Plato; Speusippus in Iamblichus; 'Xenocrates' Metaphysics: Fr.15 (Heinze) re-examined; 'Metriopatheia and apatheia': some reflections on a controversy in later Greek ethics; The transcendence of God in Philo: some possible sources; Philo and the Stoic doctrine of eupatheiai; Ganymede as the Logos: traces of a forgotten allegorisation in Philo?; The descent of the soul in Middle Platonic and Gnostic thought; Plutarch and 2nd-century Platonism; Harpocration's commentary on Plato: fragments of a Middle Platonic commentary; A date for the death of Nicomachus of Gerasa?; The concept of two intellects: a footnote to the history of Platonism; The platonising of Mithra; Plotinus, Philo and Origen on the grades of virtue; Aisthêsis noêtê: a doctrine of spiritual senses in Origen and in Plotinus; The theory of three classes of men in Plotinus and in Philo; Origen's doctrine of the Trinity and some later Neoplatonic theories; Looking on the Light: some remarks on the imagery of light in the first chapter of Origen's Peri Archôn; The magical power of names in Origen and Later Platonism; Plotinus and the trancendental imagination; Plotinus, Enn. III 9,1 and later views on the intelligible world; Iamblichus and the origin of the doctrine of Henads; Proclus and the Parmenidean dialectic; Image, symbol and analogy: three basic concepts of Neoplatonic exegesis; Addenda and corrigenda; 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