Plotinus

 Myth, Metaphor, and Philosophical Practice

Stephen R. L. Clark, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2016

Description

Plotinus, the Roman philosopher (c. 204-270 CE) who is widely regarded as the founder of Neoplatonism, was also the creator of numerous myths, images, and metaphors. They have influenced both secular philosophers and Christian and Muslim theologians, but have frequently been dismissed by modern scholars as merely ornamental. In this book, distinguished philosopher Stephen R. L. Clark shows that they form a vital set of spiritual exercises by which individuals can achieve one of Plotinus’s most important goals: self-transformation through contemplation. Clark examines a variety of Plotinus’s myths and metaphors within the cultural and philosophical context of his time, asking probing questions about their contemplative effects. What is it, for example, to “think away the spatiality” of material things? What state of mind is Plotinus recommending when he speaks of love, or drunkenness, or nakedness? What star-like consciousness intended when he declares that we were once stars or are stars eternally? What does it mean to say that the soul goes around God? And how are we supposed to “bring the god in us back to the god in all”? Through these rich images and structures, Clark casts Plotinus as a philosopher deeply concerned with philosophy as a way of life.

(Text from the publisher)

Table of contents

Preface
Acknowledgments

Part I: Prolegomena
1.         Why Read Plotinus?
2.         How to Read Plotinus
3.         Theories about Metaphor
4.         Dialectic

Part II: Metaphorically Speaking
5.         Naked and Alone
6.         On Becoming Love
7.         Shadow Plays and Mirrors
8.         Reason Drunk and Sober
9.         Dancing
10.       Remembering and Forgetting
11.       Standing Up to the Blows of Fortune

Part III: The Plotinian Imaginary
12.       Platonic and Classical Myths
13.       Spheres and Circles
14.       Charms and Countercharms
15.       Invoking Demons
16.       Images Within and Without
17.       Fixed Stars and Planets
18.       Waking Up

Part IV: Understanding the Hypostases
19.       Matter
20.       Nature
21.       Soul
22.       Nous
23.       The One

Part V: The Plotinian Way

Bibliography
Index of Passages from the Enneads
Index of Names and Subjects

Link

Version at BMCR home site

Gnose et manichéisme

Entre les oasis d’Egypte et la route de la soie

Hommage à Jean-Daniel Dubois

A. Van den Kerchove, L. G. Soares Santoprete (eds.), 2017

Description

A l’occasion du départ à la retraite de Jean-Daniel Dubois de la direction d’études « Gnose et Manichéisme » à l’Ecole pratique des hautes études en 2015, plusieurs de ses collègues et amis ont tenu à lui rendre hommage. La diversité des thèmes, des écrits et des communautés culturelles et linguistiques étudiés dans les quarante-quatre contributions ici publiées, témoigne de la richesse du parcours intellectuel de Jean-Daniel Dubois, lequel s’étend des oasis d’Egypte jusqu’à la Route de la Soie. Ce volume s’adresse aux spécialistes de la Méditerranée, du Proche-Orient et de l’Extrême-Orient anciens. Il intéressera les historiens des religions, particulièrement ceux des mouvements chrétiens – dont les courants gnostiques -, du manichéisme, des cultes polythéistes et de l’islam, les philologues ainsi que les historiens de la philosophie de l’Antiquité tardive.

(Texte de la maison d’édition)

Table de matières

Liminaire
Anna Van den Kerchove et Luciana Gabriela Soares Santoprete

L’itinéraire intellectuel de Jean-Daniel Dubois
Anna Van den Kerchove et Luciana Gabriela Soares Santoprete
Bibliographie de Jean-Daniel Dubois
Anna Van den Kerchove et Luciana Gabriela Soares Santoprete
Tabula gratulatoria

PARTIE I. Écrits gnostiques
Not Really Non-Existent? A Suggestion for Interpreting and Restoring Zostrianos (Nag Hammadi Codex VIII, 1) 117, 11-15 – Stephen Emmel
L’avant-dernier feuillet de l’Évangile de Judas – une reconstitution – Gregor Wurst
La philosophie des systèmes gnostiques des premiers principes – Josep Montserrat-Torrents
El Sobre los principios de Orígenes y el Tratado tripartito (NHC I, 5) reconsiderados – Francisco García Bazán
The Anonymous Parmenides Commentary, Marius Victorinus, and the Sethian Platonizing Apocalypses: State of the Question – John D. Turner
Padre femenino. El Dios-Madre de los gnósticos – Mariano Troiano
The melothesia of the Apocryphon of John and the Umm al-kitāb – Einar Thomassen
Le théâtre du monde: illusion ou rédemption? – Claudine Besset-Lamoine

PARTIE II. L’Église manichéenne et la réception des écrits manichéens
Secrets of heaven: Manichaean cosmology in its late antique context – Jason David BeDuhn
Le jumeau et le paraclet céleste de Mani: quelques éléments de lecture et de réflexion – Simon C. Mimouni
Symbols of liberation: The Salvation-seeking Souls, the Primary Prophets, and the Light Mind in Manichaean Didactic Painting – Zsuzsanna Gulácsi
Exégèse manichéenne et anti-manichéenne de 2 Corinthiens 4, 4 chez Titus de Bostra (Contre les manichéens IV 108) – Madeleine Scopello
Vérité, Erreur et Mensonge dans le Psautier et les Kephalaia du Fayorem – Paul-Hubert Poirier
Le retour du refoulé. Le concept de la vision de Dieu pour Augustin à la suite des nouvelles recherches sur le manichéisme – Giovanni Filoramo
Sur les traces syriaques des manichéens : les réfutations de Moïse bar Kepha (IXes.) et de Jacques bar Šakko (XIIIs.) – Flavia Ruani
Mani déguisé en monophysite – Alain Le Boulluec
La colonne de lumière, une notion manichéenne dans l’ismaélisme ṭayyibite – Daniel De Smet
Les cinq esprits de l’homme divin (Aspects de l’imamologie duodécimaine XIII) – Mohammad-Ali Amir-Moezzi
‘In the name of Jesus’. Observations on the term ‘Jesus the Messiah’ in christian and manichaean texts from Central Asia – Samuel N. C. Lieu
Le chant divin : rôle et pouvoir de la musique rituelle. Des rites musicaux de l’Orient ancien aux hymnes des manichéens de Chine – Lucie Rault

PARTIE III. Acta Pilati et leur réception
À propos d’un passage mystérieux dans l’Évangile de Nicodème (XVI 3) – Bernard Outtier
Une polémique de rabbins évacuée dans les versions d’Acta Pilati 14.1.2 – Gérard Roquet
La gloria inexpresable. Las teofanías de los apócrifos del Antiguo Testamento y su significado en una variante copta de las Actas de Pilato – Magdalena Díaz Araujo
«Et les enseignes s’inclinèrent» : possibles allusions aux Actes de Pilate dans quelques homélies coptes – Anne-Catherine Baudoin
Diffusion et réception des Actes de Pilate dans la littérature byzantine – Rémi Gounelle
La manifestation de la royauté du Christ dans les Actes de Pilate ré-actualisée dans la liturgie byzantine sous l’impulsion du Pseudo-Germain de Constantinople – Christiane Furrer
The Troyes Redaction of the Evangelium Nicodemi and its Vernacular Legacy – Zbigniew Izydorczyk and Dario Bullitta
De quelques pièces du dossier syriaque sur Pilate : de la correspondance byzantine à la correspondance médiévale – Alain J. Desreumaux
À la recherche de la tradition perdue : à propos d’une édition critique de la version slave des Acta Pilati – Susana Torres Prieto

PARTIE IV. Lieux et figures
Le parent comique du monastère. À propos du De vita contemplativa de Philon d’Alexandrie – Tatjana Aleknienė
Épigraphie et expériences religieuses : le cas des ‘bains’ de Gadara (Palaestina IIa) – Nicole Belayche
Remarques à propos des fragments coptes 159-160, 302-304, conservés à l’IFAO du Caire: Une homélie copte sur la Vierge Marie attribuée à Cyrille de Jérusalem – Agnès Le Tiec
Bardaisan and the Bible – Alberto Camplani
La double figure de Joseph d’Arimathie : histoire de la réception d’un personnage biblique – Régis Burnet
Bartholomew’s martyrdoms : the Latin tradition – Els Rose
Kālēb, souverain et saint : un nouvel Alexandre? – Jacques-Noël Pérès
Loisy et les apocryphes pétriniens – Jean-Michel Roessli

PARTIE V. Pensées grecque et d’Orient
Visions et légitimation : voie hermétique de la connaissance et du salut dans Corpus Hermeticum I – Anna Van den Kerchove
OC 216 (dubium) des Places – Fragmentum Orphicum 353 Kern. Probleme und Interpretationen – Helmut Seng
Le mythe d’Ouranos, Kronos et Zeus comme argument antignostique chez Plotin – Luciana Gabriela Soares Santoprete
Le rituel théurgique de l’ensevelissement et le Phèdre de Platon. À propos de Proclus, Théologie Platonicienne, IV, 9 – Philippe Hoffmann
Le ḥadīth de la création des noms divins et son exégèse par Mullā Ṣadrā – Christian Jambet
L’image, lieu de la médiation dans les papyrus magiques grecs – Michela Zago
Sortilège nabatéen – Michel Tardieu

Index
Sources
Thèmes principaux, Noms anciens de dieux, personnes, lieux
Auteurs modernes

Lien

http://www.brepols.net/Pages/ShowProduct.aspx?prod_id=IS-9782503567631-1

IL PAPIRO DI DERVENI TRA RELIGIONE E FILOSOFIA

Studi e testi per il Corpus dei papiri filosofici greci e latini, vol. 18

Valeria Piano

 

Dieci anni dopo l’editio princeps del Papiro di Derveni pubblicata in questa serie (Kouremenos / Parássoglou / Tsantsanoglou, STCPF 13), esce uno studio sulle prime colonne del papiro, conservate in maniera assai frammentaria e tuttora oggetto di ampia discussione. Si tratta di un’analisi a tutto tondo: dal contesto di ritrovamento a quello della produzione e della fruizione del testo del più antico libro pervenutoci della cultura occidentale (V-IV sec. a.C.).

(Text by the author)

 

Table of Contents

AWERTENZA

PREFACE

PREMESSA

 

Parte I – IL CONTESTO

Capitolo 1 DERVENI E I RITROVAMENTI FUNERARI IN MACEDONIA

 

Parte II – LE PRIME COLONNE.: TESTO E INTERPRETAZIONE

Capitolo 2 IL NUOVO TESTO DELLE PRIME COLONNE

Capitolo 3 TRA SACRIFICI E DIVINAZIONE L’INIZIO DEL TESTO

Capitolo 4 DEMONOLOGIA E GIUSTIZIA RETRIBUTIVA COLL. III E IV

Capitolo 5 ESEGESI DEL RITUALE E PROSPETTIVE SOTERIOLOGICHE COLL. V E VI

Capitolo 6 UMANO, DEMONICO E DIVINO

Parte III – LA PRODUZIONE DEL TESTO

Capitolo 7 ESEGESI POETICA E ALLEGORIA FILOSOFICA

Capitolo 8 ALLEGORIE ETIMOLOGIZZANTI IN P.DERVENI E NELLA PRIMA STOA

Alla fine del discorso

ABBREVIAZIONI BIBLIOGRAFICHE

INDICE DEI PASSI

TAVOLE

Lux in Tenebris

The Visual and the Symbolic in Western Esotericism

Peter J. Forshaw (ed.), Leyde, Brill, 2016

Description

The eighteen original interdisciplinary essays in Lux in Tenebris explore the alchemical, magical, kabbalistic, rosicrucian and theosophical verbal and visual symbolism in the history of Western Esotericism, from the middle ages to the present day.

(Text from the publisher)

Table of contents

Preliminary Material

Introduction: The Visual and the Symbolic in Western Esotericism

Visual and Acoustic Symbols in Gikatilla, Neoplatonic and Pythagorean Thought

Transfiguration and the Fire within: Marsilio Ficino on the Metaphysics and Psychology of Light

The Memory Theatre of Giulio Camillo: Alchemy, Rhetoric, and Deification in the Renaissance

Agrippa’s Cosmic Ladder: Building a World with Words in the De Occulta Philosophia

Imagining the Image of God: Corporeal Envisioning in the Theosophy of Jacob Böhme

Dreams and Symbols in The Chemical Wedding

The Mind’s Eye: Images of Creation and Revelation in Mystical Theology and Theosophy

Where Geometry Meets Kabbalah: Paul Yvon’s Esoteric Engravings

De Sapientia Salomonis: Emanuel Swedenborg and the Kabbalah

The Arcanes of the World. Symbols and Mystical-Allegorical Exegesis in Emanuel Swedenborg’s De Cultu et Amore Dei

Signs in the Sky: The Tobol’sk Chronicle and Celestial Divination in Russia, 1695–1734

Myth and Magic: Victorian Enoch and Historical Contexts

The Juncture of Transcendence and Concretion: Symbolique in René Schwaller de Lubicz

The Symbology of Hermeticism in the Work of Julius Evola

The Iconography of Coniunctio Oppositorum: Visual and Verbal Dialogues in Ithell Colquhoun’s Oeuvre

Modern Angels, Avant-Gardes and the Esoteric Archive

The Death of the Author and the Birth of the Luciferian Reader: Ur-images, Postmodernity and Semiotic Self-Apotheosis

Esoteric Theories of Color

Index of Names

Index of Subjects

Link

https://brill.com/view/title/34012#:~:text=Lux%20in%20Tenebris%20is%20a,philosophy%2C%20Platonism%2C%20Rosicrucianism%2C%20and

Aitiai

Causes, Passions, Action

 

Programme

7 décembre   14h30-18h30

Riccardo CHIARADONNA (Roma 3 /Centre Léon Robin) : Les causes impassibles dans la philosophie de Plotin

Adrien LECERF (Centre Léon Robin) : Passibilité des causes dans le néoplatonisme post-plotinien

1er février 14h30-18h30

Karel THEIN (Prague) : L’intellect agent en tant que cause (Aristote, De anima  III, 5)

22 mars  14h30-18h30

Ben MORISON (Princeton, Centre Léon Robin) :Connaissance des causes et savoir éthique chez Aristote

31 mai  14h30-18h30

Carlo NATALI (Venezia Ca’ Foscari) :Les causes de la naissance et de la fin d’une amitié selon Aristote

14 juin 14h30-18h30

Giulia SISSA (UCLA/CNRS) :Pour l’amour d’un homme. La colère érotique dans le théâtre d’Euripide

Maria Michela SASSI (Pisa) : Le jeu des émotions dans l’action tragique: l’exemple de Médée

Les  séances ont lieu dans la Salle des Actes de l’Université Paris-Sorbonne

Contact

Dir. Cristina Viano

1, rue Victor Cousin 75230 Paris cedex 05 secrétariat 01 40 46 26 32 – fax 01 40 46 26 62

www.centreleonrobin.fr

(Texte des organisateurs)

Lien

https://aitia.hypotheses.org/files/2017/09/programmeannuel-Aitia_2017_18.pdf

The Spiritual Tradition in Eastern Christianity

Ascetic Psychology, Mystical Experience, and Physical Practices

Bradford D.T., Leuven: Peeters, 2016

Description

The Spiritual Tradition in Eastern Christianity is a comprehensive survey of the means, goals, and motivations of the ascetic life as represented in texts spanning the fourth and the nineteenth century. Contemporary examples are also included. The main themes are the dynamics of the soul, the disabling effects of the passions, mental and physical ascetism, the desirable condition of dispassion, and the experience of deification. A variety of topics are addressed, including hesychast prayer, religious weeping, the spiritual senses, dream interpretation, luminous visions, the holy ‘fool’, ascetic demonology, and pain in ascetic practice. Typical ascetic and mystical experiences are interpreted from the psychological and the neuroscientific perspective. Comparative analyses based on Sufism, Vedantic mysticism, and especially early Buddhist psychology highlight distinctive features of the Christian ascetic life. Major figures such as Evagrius Ponticus, Maximos the Confessor, Isaac the Syrian, and Symeon the New Theologian receive extensive individual consideration.

(Text from the publisher)

Table of contents

Preface

Chapter 1 – The Powers of the Soul

1.1 The Incensive Power

1.2 The Desiring Power

1.3 The Intellect

1.4 Image and Archetype

1.5 Brightly Shining Mind

Chapter 2 – The Heart

2.1 Spiritual Anatomy

2.2 Hesychast Prayer

2.3 Four Phases of Prayer

2.4 Intracorporeal Space

2.5 Posture and Respiration

2.6 Attention

2.7 Two Patterns of Autonomic Arousal

2.8 Parallels in Other Traditions

2.9 The Influence of Sufism

Chapter 3 – The Luminous Presence

3.1 Properties of the Luminous Presence

3.2 The Hesychast Controversy

3.3 Divine and Demonic Visions

3.4 Four Kinds of Luminous Visions

3.5 Focal-Extracorporeal Light

3.6 Global-Extracorporeal Light

3.7 Corporeal Light

3.8 Intracorporeal Light

3.9 A Complex Visionary Experience

3.10 Chromatic Visionary Light

3.11 Visionary Light and Divine Omnipresence

Chapter 4 0 Sleep, Dreams, and Prayer

4.1 Prayer During Sleep

4.2 Sleep Deprivation

4.3 Dream Interpretation

4.4 Visions and Revelations While Asleep

4.5 Illustration of Prayer While Dreaming

4.6 Illustration of Mystical Experience While Asleep

4.7 Dreamless Sleep and Mystical Experience

Chapter 5 – The Spiritual Senses

5.1 Spiritual Perception

5.2 Sensory Perception

5.3 One and Many

5.4 Mystical Synesthesia

5.5 Spiritual Odor

5.6 Smell and Demonic Entrapment

Chapter 6 – The Passions

6.1 Eight Dispositions

6.2 The Five Hindrances

6.3 The Constructing Activities

6.4 The Demons

6.5 Anchorite and Cenobite

6.6 Psychotherapy of the Passions

6.7 Illustration of Evagrian Psychotherapy

6.8 Demons, Delirium, and Migraine

Chapter 7 – Stillness and Dispassion

7.1 The Delicacy of Stillness

7.2 Nipsis and Attention

7.3 Nipsis and Emotion

7.4 Nipsis and Memory

7.5 The Permanence of Dispassion

7.6 A Dispassionate ‘Fool’

Chapter 8 – Acedia

8.1 Depleted Fervor

8.2 Acedia and Physical Symptoms

Chapter 9 – Pride and Vainglory

9.1 Vainglory and Social Display

9.2 Clothing and Other Possessions

9.3 Vainglory and Cognition

9.4 A Psychosis of Pride and Vainglory

Chapter 10 – Fornication

10.1 Morbid Defluxions

10.2 Intoxication and Sexual Fantasy

10.3 Fornication and Sense-Desire

Chapter 11 – Gluttony

11.1 Diverse Expressions of Gluttony

11.2 Fasting

11.3 A Syndrome of Ascetic Fasting

11.4 The Precedence of Gluttony over Fornication

11.5 The Desire for Immortality

Chapter 12 – Physical Practices

12.1 Surface and Depth Interventions

12.2 Discomfort and Pain

12.3 The Prostration

12.4 Face, Eyes, and Gaze

Chapter 13 – Evagrius on Impassioned Mental Activity

13.1 Thoughts

13.2 Illustration of Objective Perception

Chapter 14 – Images of Bodily Corruption

14.1 The Buddhist Meditation on Foulness

14.2 The Ascetic Utility of Raw Emotion

Chapter 15 – Maximos on Impassioned Mental Activity

15.1 Conceptual Images

15.2 Illustration of Objective Perception

Chapter 16 – Religious Weeping

16.1 Tears

16.2 Weeping

16.3 Isaac the Syrian on Tears

16.4 Permanent Autonomic Change

Chapter 17 – The Body in Dreams and Fantasy

17.1 The Imaginal Body

17.2 A Principle of Mental Transformation

Chapter 18 – The Deified Body

18.1 The Flesh

18.2 Weightiness

18.3 Illusory Movement

18.4 Weightiness and Cosmology

Chapter 19 – The Remembrance of Death

19.1 Fear and Love

19.2 An Imaginal Practice

19.3 The Thought of Death

19.4 Change in the Practice

19.5 An Imitation of Christ

Chapter 20 – Three Forms of Mystical Experience

20.1 Near-Absorption

20.2 The Ecstatic Vision

20.3 The Imageless Grasp

20.4 Mystical Experience in Temporal Perspective

Chapter 21 – Maximos on Dispassion and Deification

21.1 Eros

21.2 Preliminary Dispassions

21.3 Advanced Dispassions

21.4 Inhibition of Perceptual Experience

21.5 Deification

References

Appendices

Appendix A: Sources and Terms

Appendix B: Ascetic Theologians

Appendix C: Biographical Chronology of Symeon the New Theologian

Appendix D: Visionary Mysticism in Symeon the New Theologian

Appendix E: Deification and Cognitive Inhibition in Maximos the Confessor

Index

Link

https://poj.peeters-leuven.be/content.php?url=issue&journal_code=SIS&issue=0&vol=26

Refutation of All Heresies

Translated with an Introduction and Notes

M. David Litwa, Atlanta: SBL Press, 2015

Description

The Refutation of All Heresies (ca. 225 CE) is a treasure-trove of ancient philosophy, astrology, medicine, magic, Gnostic thought, numerology, heresiography, ecclesial politics, and early Christian studies in general. Offered here for the first time in almost a century is a full English translation, along with a newly-edited Greek text, extensive notes, and a thorough introduction.

(Text from the publisher)

Table of contents 

Preface

Abbreviations

Introduction

Sigla for the Greek

Text Outline of the work

Text and Translation

Book 1

Book 2-3

Book 4

Book 5

Book 6

Book 7

Book 8

Book 9

Book 10

Bibliography

Ancient Sources Index

Subject Index

Link

http://bmcr.brynmawr.edu/2016/2016-12-05.html

Heidelberg University and The Internet Archive

Papyri Graecae Magicae

Description and organization

The Greek Magical Papyri (Latin Papyri Graecae Magicae, abbreviated PGM) is the name given by scholars to a body of papyri from Graeco-Roman Egypt, which each contain a number of magical spells, formulae, hymns and ritual. The materials in the papyri date from the 2nd century BC to the 5th century AD. The manuscripts came to light through the antiquities trade, from the 18th century onwards. One of the best known of these texts is the Mithras Liturgy.

The texts were published in a series, and individual texts are referenced using the abbreviation PGM plus the volume and item number. Each volume contains a number of spells and rituals. Further discoveries of similar texts from elsewhere have been allocated PGM numbers for convenience.

PGM XII and XIII were the first to be published, appearing in 1843 in Greek and in a Latin translation in 1885.

(Text by the organizers)

A digital version of the PGM (specifically, Preisendanz vol. II) at the University of Heidelberg:

http://digi.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/diglit/heidhs3763IIA-51bd2

Link

https://archive.org/stream/Papyri_Graecae_Magicae/Papyri_Graecae_Magicae_djvu.txt

The scriptural universe of ancient christianity

Guy G. Stroumsa, Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2016

Description

The passage of texts from scroll to codex created a revolution in the religious life of late antiquity. It played a decisive role in the Roman Empire’s conversion to Christianity and eventually enabled the worldwide spread of Christian faith. The Scriptural Universe of Ancient Christianity describes how canonical scripture was established and how scriptural interpretation replaced blood sacrifice as the central element of religious ritual. Perhaps more than any other cause, Guy G. Stroumsa argues, the codex converted the Roman Empire from paganism to Christianity. The codex permitted a mode of religious transmission across vast geographical areas, as sacred texts and commentaries circulated in book translations within and beyond Roman borders. Although sacred books had existed in ancient societies, they were now invested with a new aura and a new role at the core of religious ceremony. Once the holy book became central to all aspects of religious experience, the floodgates were opened for Greek and Latin texts to be reimagined and repurposed as proto-Christian. Most early Christian theologians did not intend to erase Greek and Roman cultural traditions; they were content to selectively adopt the texts and traditions they deemed valuable and compatible with the new faith, such as Platonism. The new cultura christiana emerging in late antiquity would eventually become the backbone of European identity.

(Text from the publisher)

Table of contents

Introduction: A Double Paradigm Shift

1. A Scriptural Galaxy

2. A Divine Palimpsest

3. Religious Revolution and Cultural Change

4. Scripture and Culture

5. The New Self and Reading Practices

6. Communities of Knowledge

7. Eastern Wisdoms

8. A World Full of Letters

9. Scriptural and Personal Authority

Conclusion: Alexandria, Jerusalem, Baghdad

Notes

Acknowledgments

Link

https://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php?isbn=9780674545137

Discours sur les oracles chaldaïques

Wilhelm Kroll, Paris: Vrin, 2017

Description

Les Philosophes néoplatoniciens après Plotin, en particulier Proclus et Damascius à Athènes, ont fondé leur philosophie de la religion grecque tardive sur un poème des environs de l’an 200 qui leur était présenté comme une suite d’Oracles venant de sages Chaldéens. Puisque l’on y entendait la parole des dieux, c’était pour ces philosophes néoplatoniciens comme une Bible. Ce poème est malheureusement perdu, mais grâce aux nombreuses citations faites par ces auteurs, on peut tenter d’en retrouver des morceaux et, en les rassemblant, de les expliquer. C’est ce travail d’une extrême difficulté que s’est proposé Wilhelm Kroll en 1894 (il avait 25 ans!), sous la forme d’une thèse pour l’Université de Breslau. L’usage universitaire de cette époque voulait que cette thèse fût rédigée et soutenue en latin. Le latin étant devenu une langue peu compréhensible de nos jours, on a jugé utile de traduire du latin en français ce Discours sur les Oracles Chaldaïques. La reconstitution de Kroll est un travail remarquable auquel il est toujours indispensable de retourner. On s’est seulement appliqué à moderniser les références aux textes cités dont on a aujourd’hui de bonnes éditions critiques qui n’existaient pas du temps de Kroll.

(Text de la maison d’édition)

Lien

http://www.vrin.fr/book.php?code=9782711627462