Platonism and Pythagoreanism in the imperial age 2007.pdf

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Transcript of Platonism and Pythagoreanism in the imperial age 2007.pdf

  • MONOTHEISMES ET PHILOSOPHIE Collection dirigee par

    Carlos Levy

  • tot- -i &io

    A PLATONIC PYTHAGORAS PLATONISM AND PYTHAGOREANISM

    IN THE IMPERIAL AGE

    edited by Mauro Bonazzi Carlos Levy Carlos Steel

    BREPOLS

  • 2007 - Btepols Publishers n.v., Turnhcut , Belgium

    All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or other wise,wit hour the priot permission of the publisher.

    D/2007/0095/145

    ISBN 978-2-503-51915-9

    Printed in the E.U. on acid-free paper

  • PREFACE

    "For I think that H o m e r certainly has a point when he talks of 'Two going together, and one noticed it before the other ' (Iliad 10, 224). For somehow we all do better that way, whatever has to be done or said or thought out. 'And if he notices it alone', he immediately goes about look-ing for someone to show it to, so as to have some support, and doesn't stop till he finds someone." (Plato, Protagoras, 348c-d, transl. Ch. Taylor). N o less than in Plato's time, in our age of increasing specialization, col-laboration and discussion prove to be of primary importance. This awareness led to the organization of Diatribai, an annual meeting in Ancient Philosophy, jointly organized by the Universita degli Studi di Milano (Mauro Bonazzi and Pierluigi Donini), Universite de Paris IV - La Sorbonne (Carlos Levy) and Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, De Wulf -Mansion Centre (Carlos Steel). The present volume collects the papers presented at die Colloquium on Platonismo ep'ttagorismo in eta imperial*, held in Villa Feltrinclli at Gargnano (Lake Garda) on 14-16 April 2005. I t is part of a broader project aiming at confronting the Platonic tradition with die most important philosophical schools of the Hellenistic and Imperial age. The first volume has already been published by M. Bonazzi and V. Celluprica, L'eredita platonica. Studi sulla traditions platonica da Anesilao a Proclo (Napoli 2006), and others, dealing more specifically with Stoicism and Aristotelianism, will soon follow.

    The majority of the papers presented at the Colloquium are included in this volume, with the exception (due to problems of timing) of the contributions by Constantinos Macris (L* pythagorisme erige en haeresis: remarques surun aspect mkonnu duprojetpythagoricien de Jamblique) and Cristina D 'Ancona (Le dottrine pitagoriche ml commento di Siriano sulla 'Metajisica'). Together with the speakers, we wish to thank the scholars who attended the meeting for their contribution to its "diatribic" tone: Michefe Alessandrelli, Annalisa Arci, Frederick Brenk, Fernanda Caizzi, Riccardo

  • 8 PRhHACF-

    Chiaradonna, Gabriele Corrielli, Ferruccio Franco Repellini, Sofia Mattel, Emidio Spinelli, Franco Trahattoni, Marco Zambon.

    We want to thank Silvia ergo for her invaluable help in preparing die text of the present volume for the press and for compiling the Index loco-rum, and Fernanda Caizzi, who has generously put at our disposal her time and the experience in desktop publishing she acquired in editing the Corpus dei papiri Jilosojici greet i latini.

    * * *

    Ever since Plato and tli Old Academy, Platonists have shown great interest in the Pythagorean tradition. Such a tendency is already discern-able in Plato himself, whr>se philosophy, according to Aristode, was deeply influenced by the Pythagoreans. Platon pythagori^ei: from Aristode onwards this statement has often been repeated. The same may also be said of Plato's pupils, Spe^sippus, Xenocrates or Heraclides: they all "pythagorize". The importance of this tradition is particularly evident in the Imperial Age, when Pydiagoreanism has become part of the Platonic tradition. It is a fascinating topic, which only in recent years has received due attention, although much temains to be done, as will be evident from the papers collected in die present volume. A Platonic Pythagoras concen-trates on specific topics and philosophers, in order to show the broadness of the issues at hand, dius contributing to a better appreciation of the long history of the relationship between Platonism and Pydiagoreanism.

    A first group of papers deals with the early Imperial age, the period of the so-called Middle Platonism, when Pydiagoreanism reenters the philosophical debate. Despite Zeller's classification of Plutarch of Chae-ronea with the "Pythagorizi/ig Platonists", Plutarch's Pydiagoreanism has not been duly studied in recent scholarship. Daniel Babut and Pierluigi Donini , however, show hoV deeply Plutarch was attracted to this philo-sophy. According to die latter, Pythagoreanism constitutes an essential part of the perennial tradition of Greek philosophy. Philo of Alexandria offers another interesting case. His project of integrating Platonism into Jewish thought heavily depends upon his Pydiagorean reception of Platonism, as is demonstrated by both Carlos Levy and Francesca Calabi. In Late Antiquity, the interaction between Platonism and Pydiagoreanism becomes even more important. Christoph Helmig focuses on the recep-

  • PREFACE

    tion of authoritative Neopythagoreans by Neoplatonists, in particular Ni-comachus of Gerasa. Scholars have repeatedly stressed the central posi-tion of lamblichus' effort to 'pythagorize' Platonism, but his importance should not lead us to minimize Proclus' role in this process. Elena Gritti, Alessandio l ingui t i and Cailos Steel study his contribution in such vital areas as dialectic, physics, and theology.

    The harmony of the spheres is undoubtedly the most renowned doc-trine from the Pythagorean tradition. In his contribution, Dominic O'Meara examines how the Neoplatonists interpreted this fascinating doctrine. As with the other papers of this volume, O'Meara's contribu-tion is another example of how a specific issue can bring to light the rich-ness and the importance of the Pythagorean tradition - a tradition that has fascinated philosophers for centuries.

    Mauro Bonasgi Carlos Uiy Carlos Steel

  • LA Q U E S T I O N D E LA DYADE C H E Z P H I L O N D 'ALEXANDRIE

    Parler de la dyade chez Philon dans un colloque consacre au pythago-risme, cela peut paraitre reunir toutes les conditions pour rester dans le vague. S'il y a un point sur lequel tous les specialistes de Philon s'ac-cordent, c'est bien qu'il n'existe pas dans son ceuvre de pensee syste-matique, en tout cas au sens de systeme philosophique. Le pythago-risme, lui, est sans doute de tous les courants philosophiques de l'Antiquite celui dont les contours sont les plus imprecis. Quant a la dyade, elle est par definition indefinie. Si j'ai choisi de trailer un tel sujet, c'est parce qu'il m'a serable que le theme avait attire beaucoup moins l'attention des chercheurs que 1'etude dc la cause active et parce que j'ai acquis la conviction qu'il s'agit d'une notion qui, en raison meme de sa plasticite, peut nous aider a mieux comprendre la situa-tion de Philon par rapport a la philosophic Apres avoir rapidcmcnt analyse la presence chez Philon d'allusions explicites au pythagorisme, je m'interesserai aux diverses references a la dyade et je ferai enfin quelques remarques sur l'absence d'un modele unique de creation chez Philon.1

    Les references explicites de Philon aux Pythagoriciens sont relati-vement nombreuses, en tout cas plus nombreuses que pour n'impor-te quelle autre ecole philosophiquc, mais egalement d'une remarqua-ble variete. En Prob. 2, il est question du "tres saint thiase des Pytha-goriciens", ni)9aYopei

  • 12 CAR],Ob LEVY

    prime son accord avec 1'attitude elitiste exprimee par ce "tres saint thiase": ne pas chemincr sur les voies trop frequences. Dans ce rneme rcgistre, on trouve en Quaest. gen. I 99 une allusion au principe pytha-goricien du respect absolu du Maitre, dont le nom n'est pas pronon-ce, ce que Philon met en parallele avec le caractere ineffable du nom de Dieu. Une telle reverence s'expliquerak mal sans une connaissance approfondie du pythagorisme, ou, en tout cas, de ce qui etait alors pre-sente comme tel. Cependant, la seule reference a la lecture directe d'un texte pythagoricien se trouve dans Aet. 12, ou la formulation parait indiquer que Philon nous n'entrerons pas id sur la question de l'au-thenticite du traite - a lu personnellement le traite d'Ocellus de Lucanie.2 Plus ambigue est la reference a Philolaos dans le De opifido. Philon rapporte une citation de celui-cl: "il existe un Recteur et Chef de toutes choses, Dieu, qui est pour l'eternke durable, immuable, sem-blable a !ui-meme, different de tous les autres etres", , mais, d'une part, celle-ci a pu etre tiree d'un ouvrage doxographique, et, d'autre part, elle n'a pas toute 1'efficacite demonstrative que Philon lui attribue. En effet, il oppose les Pythagoriciens, dont il dit qu'ils assimilent le nom-bre sept a l'unite, et done au Recteur de l'univers, et le reste des phi-losophes, pour qui 1'hebdomadc representerait la Victoire, identifier a Athena sortie de la tete de Zeus. Or la citation de Philolaos - que Jean I-ydus attribue a un certain Onetor de Tarente4 - n'evoque a aucun

    2 Aei. 12, a propos de la theorie de l'etemite du monde: evioi 6' OUK Apinrortiiiv

    r*K S6fy\^ Eijperiiv Xcyowriv aXka r

  • LA DYADE CHEZ PHILON D'AI KX'\NDRIE 13

    moment 1'hebdomade et, par ailleurs, Philon lui-meme semble se con-tredire dans le Legum allegoriae, puisqu'il affirme: "dans leurs mythes, les Pythagoriciens l'assimilent a la toujours vierge et sans mere parce qu'elle n'a pas ete enfantee et n'enfantera jamais".5 Cette contradic-tion, qui pourrait etre interpretee comme une preuve de l'inconse-quence de PAlexandrin dans l'utilisation des sources philosophiques, me semble plutot relever d'un