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Plethon resources

Post  Valencia2014 on Wed Dec 10, 2014 10:14 pm

Hi all, would any of you happen to know where I can find of Plethon's writings online? And maybe other Eastern Roman Hellenists? Byzantine Paganism is ok but the site does not seem to be active anymore. Thanks
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Re: Plethon resources

Post  Erodius on Wed Dec 10, 2014 10:41 pm

Very, very few of those writings have ever been translated into modern languages, and only a few even have Latin editions. Most of the writings of the other Byzantine Neoplatonists – the Divine Proclus, Olympiodorus, Syrianus, Simplicius, and Damascius are only available in the original Greek. 

A few print/hardcopy editions of these are available from the Neoplatonist publication company Prometheus Trust:
http://openingmind.net/cart/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=15_46 

There was another English translation of Damascius' On the First Principles published only very recently, but it is hard to find, and expensive. There may be an e-book floating around someplace, though.

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Re: Plethon resources

Post  DavidMcCann on Fri Dec 12, 2014 3:03 pm

By coincidence, I'm currently reading

Radical Platonism in Byzantium : illumination and utopia in Gemistos Plethon / Niketas Siniossoglou. Cambridge UP, 2011

Plotho's Nomoi has been translated into French and Spanish, but there's no complete English version. However, Siniossoglou presents his ideas culled from all of his writings. Other writers (Wind, Kristeller, Hladky) seem to try and deny Pletho's paganism, claiming that the Nomoi is a "literary exercise"!

Petho was not an conventional Platonist:
1. he was a determinist — Siniossoglou compares him to Spinoza
2. he rejected Plotinus's view that the One was beyond being
3. he equated the One to Zeus
4. he rejected Iamblichus's practice of theurgy

Pletho had his own concept of the levels of reality:
a) Atemporal gods, associated with the Platonic categories, the cosmic planes, and the elements
e.g. Poseidon = Mind, Apollo = Identity, Atlas = Sphere of the fixed stars, Hestia = Earth (the element)
b) Temporal gods, associated with levels of soul
e.g. Demeter = Vegetative soul
c) other immortals: astral gods and daimones
d) mortals

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Re: Plethon resources

Post  Vadzhij on Tue Mar 17, 2015 9:09 pm

I think the issue of wether Plethon was a pagan or simply an unorthodox Christian may be redundant. By this I mean that Platonism can be applied to both a pagan and a Christian context. Religion serving as a handmaid to Philosophy. We could all agree that the names are of human convention but the metaphysical entities (Platonic Forms/gods/angels) are real. Gennadios probably would have agreed since using pagan imagery was not so uncommon. What I think actually irritated him so much was that he brought down God from the unknowable (beyond Being) to the knowable (Being), down to the level of the human intellect.

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Re: Plethon resources

Post  Valencia2014 on Thu May 07, 2015 2:57 am

Vadzhij wrote:I think the issue of wether Plethon was a pagan or simply an unorthodox Christian may be redundant. By this I mean that Platonism can be applied to both a pagan and a Christian context. Religion serving as a handmaid to Philosophy. We could all agree that the names are of human convention but the metaphysical entities (Platonic Forms/gods/angels) are real. Gennadios probably would have agreed since using pagan imagery was not so uncommon. What I think actually irritated him so much was that he brought down God from the unknowable (beyond Being) to the knowable (Being), down to the level of the human intellect.

I agree, I see many similarities between Eastern Orthodoxy and Platonism especially Neoplatonism. Lol it's actually rather funny how it is posited most of the time: Polytheism good, Monotheism bad! I was actually watching the Vice special on Greek polytheists the other day and I remember Vlassis Rassias saying that the Economic Memorandum was all the fault of Christianity, like oh my f****** god seriously?

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