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Plato, Plotinus, Plethon, etc.

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Poll Question: Plato, et al!
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  Quote opuslola Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Plato, Plotinus, Plethon, etc.
    Posted: 10-Nov-2009 at 17:50
So, for the opposite reasons I refused to rate Socrates, I do nominate the personage that may well be known to us today as either; Plato, or Plotinus, or Plethon, etc.!

At least one of the above personages might well have existed in fact!
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  Quote Sander Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Nov-2009 at 18:21

I go for genius .  His influence is immense.

The story we sometimes read  he was unknown in the west in medieval times is plain nonsense. His Timaeus was available and studied throughout the Middle Ages (Greek-Latin translation )
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  Quote M.Scaevola Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-Nov-2009 at 03:12
... you know Plotinus was an entirely different philosopher than Plato right... wow
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  Quote opuslola Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-Nov-2009 at 08:46
M.Scaevola,

Yes, that is exactly what is believed today!

But, it is funny that it seems we know a lot more about Plato, than either of his "revivers!", that is scholars / philosophers who retreived his works after centuries of obscurity!
Just how does that happen? It would be similar to saying that we know more about Machiavelli; http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&aq=0&oq=machiav&ie=UTF-8&rlz=1T4ADBR_enUS315US315&q=machiavelli

than we do about Bertrand Russell; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bertrand_Russell

Thus; http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/plotinus/
"Owing to the unusually fulsome biography by Plotinus' disciple Porphyry, we know more about Plotinus' life than we do about most ancient philosophers'. The main facts are these.

Plotinus was born in Lycopolis, Egypt in 204 or 205 C.E. When he was 28, a growing interest in philosophy led him to the feet of one Ammonius Saccas in Alexandria. After ten or eleven years with this obscure though evidently dominating figure, Plotinus was moved to study Persian and Indian philosophy. In order to do so, he attached himself to the military expedition of Emperor Gordian III to Persia in 243. The expedition was aborted when Gordian was assassinated by his troops. Plotinus thereupon seems to have abandoned his plans, making his way to Rome in 245. There he remained until his death in 270 or 271.

Porphyry informs us that during the first ten years of his time in Rome, Plotinus lectured exclusively on the philosophy of Ammonius. During this time he also wrote nothing. Porphyry tells us that when he himself arrived in Rome in 263, the first 21 of Plotinus' treatises had already been written. The remainder of the 54 treatises constituting his Enneads were written in the last seven or eight years of his life."

It seems therefore that most all of what we know about Plotinus was revealed by his student Porphyry! We even have only vague recollections of the date of his birth or death.

And, just what do we know about Porphyry?
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/porphyry/
"Porphyry (234?–305? C.E.).." Thus again, even the dates of his birth and death or only surmised! And; "Porphyry was a prolific author who wrote about the whole range of topics. There are some sixty works attributed to him, but most of them are now lost or survive in mere fragments. Extant (though not all complete) are: Life of Plotinus, Life of Pythagoras,..." It seems that even his "Life of Plotinus" exists merely in fragments! And; "He may have been Iamblichus' teacher. The evidence for this, however, is not beyond dispute. It is clear, though, that Iamblichus was strongly influenced by Porphyry, even if he turned vehemently against him."

Could it be that a lot of what we know about Porphyry came from Iamblichus?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iamblichus Again it seems even his life is only vaguely known!
"Iamblichus, also known as Iamblichus Chalcidensis, (Ancient Greek: Ἰάμβλιχος, prob. fr. Syriac or Aramaic ya-mlku, "He is king", c. 245-c. 325) was an Assyrian[1] Neoplatonist philosopher who determined the direction taken by later Neoplatonic philosophy, and perhaps western Paganism itself." And;
"The events of his life and the details of his creed are very imperfectly known, but the main tenets of his belief can be worked out from extant writings. According to the Suda, and his biographer Eunapius, he was born at Chalcis (modern Qinnasrin) in Syria. He was the son of a rich and illustrious family, and he is said to have been the descendant of several priest-kings of Emesa. He initially studied under Anatolius of Laodicea, and later went on to study under Porphyry, a pupil of Plotinus, the founder of Neoplatonism. It was with Porphyry that he is known to have had a disagreement over the practice of theurgy, the criticisms of which Iamblichus responds to in his attributed De Mysteriis Aegyptiorum (On the Egyptian Mysteries)."

So it seems that "his biographer Eunapius" may well have promoted information concerning both him and Plotinus? So, what is known about Eunapius?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eunapius

"In his later years he seems to have lived at Athens, teaching rhetoric." Note the use of the word "seems!" And; "Eunapius was the author of two works, one entitled Lives of the Sophists, and the other consisting of a continuation of the history of Dexippus. The former work is still extant; of the latter only excerpts remain, but the facts are largely incorporated in the work of Zosimus. It embraced the history of events from AD 270-404.

The Lives of the Sophists, a collection of the biographies of twenty-three older and contemporary philosophers and sophists of the author, is valuable as the only source for the history of the neoplatonism of that period."

One could, I suppose, continue along this vein and eventually find out just where most of the information concerning any of the above personages really arose, but it seems to me that a lot of it is but the result of the "imagination" of numerous authors, based mostly on fragments of fragments of documents from other sources about which we know relatively little.

It could also be argued,that most of the above information, if not all of it, became totally lost to scholarship until the advent of Plethon / Pletho and his times, IE, the Renaissance?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gemistus_Pletho Note that the word / name Gemisto seems to have meant "stuffed!", or maybe "full of it?"

From the above site we find;
"Georgius Gemistus (later Plethon or Pletho, Greek: Γεώργιος Πλήθων Γεμιστός) (c1355 – 1452/1454) was a Byzantine scholar of Neoplatonic philosophy. He was one of the chief pioneers of the revival of Greek learning in Western Europe. In the dying years of the Byzantine Empire, he advocated a return to the Olympian gods of the ancient world. [1]

He re-introduced Plato's thoughts to Western Europe during the 1438 - 1439 Council of Florence, a failed attempt to reconcile the East-West schism. Here Pletho met and influenced Cosimo de' Medici to found a new Platonic Academy, which, under Marsilio Ficino, would proceed to translate into Latin all Plato's works, the Enneads of Plotinus, and various other Neoplatonist works." Note again, we have only an estimated date of his birth or death!

And; "George Gemistos was born some time after 1355, probably in Constantinople.[2] As a young man he went to study at Adrianopolis, by now the Turkish capital following its capture by the Ottoman Sultan Murad I in 1365. Adrianopolis was now a centre of learning modelled by Murat on the caliphates of Cairo and Baghdad.[2] Here he began to study Plato, and admired the philosopher so much that late in life he took the similar-meaning name Plethon.[3] In c1407 Gemistos left Adrianopolis and travelled through Cyprus, Palestine and other places,[2] finally settling in Mistra,[4] in the Despotate of Morea."

Please note that he studied in the capital city of the Ottomans, where it seems he first began to study Plato, a figure it seems that had become lost to scholars in the West.

And; "In Mistra he taught and wrote philosophy, astronomy, history and geography, and compiled digests of many classical writers. His pupils included Basilios Bessarion and George Scholarius (later to become Patriarch of Constantinople and Plethon's enemy). He was made chief magistrate by Theodore II.[2]"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basilios_Bessarion

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Scholarius

Just who was Marsilio Ficino?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marsilio_Ficino

"Marsilio Ficino (Latin name: Marsilius Ficinus; October 19, 1433 - October 1 1499) was one of the most influential humanist philosophers of the early Italian Renaissance, an astrologer, a reviver of Neoplatonism who was in touch with every major academic thinker and writer of his day, and the first translator of Plato's complete extant works into Latin. His Florentine Academy, an attempt to revive Plato's school, had enormous influence on the direction and tenor of the Italian Renaissance and the development of European philosophy." And; "During the sessions at Florence of the Council of Ferrara-Florence in 1438-1445, during the failed attempts to heal the schism of the Orthodox and Catholic churches, Cosimo de' Medici and his intellectual circle had made acquaintance with the Neoplatonic philosopher George Gemistos Plethon, whose discourses upon Plato and the Alexandrian mystics so fascinated the learned society of Florence that they named him the second Plato. In 1459 John Argyropoulos was lecturing on Greek language and literature at Florence, and Marsilio became his pupil.

When Cosimo decided to refound Plato's Academy at Florence, his choice to head it was Marsilio, who made the classic translation of Plato from Greek to Latin (published in 1484), as well as a translation of a collection of Hellenistic Greek documents of the Hermetic Corpus - particularly the "Corpus Hermeticum" of Hermes Trismegistos,[1] and the writings of many of the Neoplatonists, for example Porphyry, Iamblichus, Plotinus, et al. Following suggestions laid out by Gemistos Plethon, Ficino tried to synthesize Christianity and Platonism."




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  Quote Cyrus Shahmiri Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-Nov-2009 at 09:22
I voted Great, Plato was a great philosopher but I believed he copied many things from the Zoroastrian philosophy.
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  Quote opuslola Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-Nov-2009 at 14:28
Dear Cyrus,

Just which of the three was reported to have travelled within Persia? From above; "Plotinus was born in Lycopolis, Egypt in 204 or 205 C.E. When he was 28, a growing interest in philosophy led him to the feet of one Ammonius Saccas in Alexandria. After ten or eleven years with this obscure though evidently dominating figure, Plotinus was moved to study Persian and Indian philosophy. In order to do so, he attached himself to the military expedition of Emperor Gordian III to Persia in 243. The expedition was aborted when Gordian was assassinated by his troops. Plotinus thereupon seems to have abandoned his plans, making his way to Rome in 245."

Thus, Plotinus was given that credit! Was Plato?
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  Quote Cyrus Shahmiri Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-Nov-2009 at 06:59

I meant Plato (428 - 348 BC), I think he never travelled within Persia, as you read here: http://www.statemaster.com/encyclopedia/Zoroastrianism "Plato learned of Zoroastrian philosophy through Eudoxus".

Meanwhile this is certainly wrong: "The expedition was aborted when Gordian was assassinated by his troops." The Great Persian king Shapur I himself says in one of his inscriptions:
 
"The emperor Gordian levied in all of the Roman empire an army of Goths and Germans and marched against Asuristan [Modern Iraq], the empire of Iran and us. On the border of Asuristan, at Massice [Misikhe on the Euphrates], a great battle took place. The emperor Gordian was killed and we destroyed the Roman army. The Romans proclaimed Philip [the Arab; 244-249] emperor. The emperor Philip came to terms, and as ransom for their lives he gave us 500,000 dinars and became our tributary. For that reason, we renamed Massice Piruz-Shapur [victorious (is) Shapur]."
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  Quote opuslola Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Nov-2009 at 16:12
My Dear Cyrus,

You wrote; " The Romans proclaimed Philip [the Arab; 244-249] emperor." These words must give anyone who has some background in Roman history some pause to think? Could there actually be a man from an Arab background made emperor of Rome?

Of course historians have made up explanations, but are any of them to be believed?

Ignoring the dates, perhaps the Arab sack of Rome had some long lasting results?

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  Quote Cyrus Shahmiri Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Nov-2009 at 05:35
Shapur just says "Philip" but this Roman emperor is known as "Philip the Arab", I think he was really an Arab, there were also some other emperors of non-Roman origin in the Roman empire.
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  Quote opuslola Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Dec-2009 at 16:18
Cyrus, as you know, or at least as I seem to know, reportedly the Romans had not success in their attacks upon the Arabian area! They were, it seems, repulsed in every attack, of which, as I rememember, there were few!

It seems all other Roman Empr's received such monikers for their conquests in these foreign areas, such as any one known as Africanus, etc.?

Is there any information indicating that Phillip (which really means nothing more nor less than "horse lover", ever conquered any great part of Arabia?

If not, then he received this moniker because of either his place of birth, or his religion, or because of his "look?"

Regards,

Ron
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  Quote TheGreatSimba Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Dec-2009 at 10:20
Phillip the Arab was indeed an Arab, thats why he was given that name by the Romans. He came from an Arab family.

Little is known about Philip's early life and political career. He was born in Shahba, about 55 miles southeast of Damascus, in the Roman province of Syria. Philip has the nickname "the Arab" because he had family who had originated in the Arabian peninsula, believed to be distant descendants of the prestigious Baleed family of Aleppo. Philip was the son of a Julius Marinus, a local Roman citizen, possibly of some importance. Many historians[1][2][3] agree that he was of Arab descent who gained Roman citizenship through his father, a man of considerable influence. Many citizens from the provinces took Roman names upon acquiring citizenship. This makes tracing his Arabic blood line difficult. However, it is documented that Rome used the Ghassan tribe from the Azd of Yemen as vassals to keep the neighboring northern Arabs in check.


This is not unusual. As Cyrus mentioned, there were several emperors who were non-Romans.


Edited by TheGreatSimba - 20-Dec-2009 at 10:22
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  Quote opuslola Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Dec-2009 at 15:46
Dear Great!

It is easy to denote someone as an Arab who was in your own words "born in Shahba, about 55 miles southeast of Damancus..." In that case, he should have been then and now a "Syrian", and nothing else! Or was his so called "Arabian" heritage an over riding fact?

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  Quote TheGreatSimba Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Dec-2009 at 17:43
Syria did not exist as a nation then, so he could not be Syrian. However, Arabs have existed as a people for thousands of years, so yes, he was Arab.
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  Quote Mosquito Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Dec-2009 at 18:12
He was a Roman and probably didnt even speak arabic language and was educated like Roman. The fact that 3 or 4 generations earlier his ancestors were Arabs (from the fathers side) didnt make him an Arab. He was to lesser extent Arab than current president of the USA - Obama - is African.
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  Quote opuslola Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Dec-2009 at 19:56
Dear little blood sucking insect! AKA Mosquito! Laugh!

You are probably correct? This guy did not either speak or read Arabic! Not!

As you and most others know, there was and always has been an almost 180 degree difference between the urgency of the conversion of enemies by those who followed the influence of one member of the Muhammed family and that of his uncles and other?

But, to Rome, it is sure to me, anyone who did not bring home rewards from Arabia, wouuld not be likely to be called an "Arabian", that is unless the Emperor was a "Horse!"

Laugh! and a good "chuckle!"

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  Quote Mosquito Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-Dec-2009 at 16:49
Originally posted by opuslola

Dear little blood sucking insect! AKA Mosquito! Laugh!

You are probably correct? This guy did not either speak or read Arabic! Not!

As you and most others know, there was and always has been an almost 180 degree difference between the urgency of the conversion of enemies by those who followed the influence of one member of the Muhammed family and that of his uncles and other?

But, to Rome, it is sure to me, anyone who did not bring home rewards from Arabia, wouuld not be likely to be called an "Arabian", that is unless the Emperor was a "Horse!"

Laugh! and a good "chuckle!"

 
Aye, its one more argument to discussion about widespreaded romanistation of people in the empire.
 
According to our dear friend Great Simba, emperors like Trajanus, Hadrianus or Septimius Severus werent Romans either.
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  Quote TheGreatSimba Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-Dec-2009 at 17:10
Yes, he probably did not speak Arabic and was certainly Roman culturally. However, ethnically he was Arab. How about you two stop denying that FACT, because even the Romans thought he was Arab enough to add Arab to his name.

And also mosquito, no one in the world would deny that Obama is of African origin.

I dont know why someone of a non Italic ancestry becoming Roman Emperor is strange for you two, he wasnt the only one.
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  Quote opuslola Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Dec-2009 at 13:31
Simba, that is because other emperors with such descriptive names, got them because of there success in the areas mentioned in the descriptive names!

Thus, what was Phillip's great victory either over the Arabs or within Arabia?

Regards,

Hey, am I wrong? 010510




Edited by opuslola - 04-Jan-2010 at 14:03
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  Quote opuslola Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Jan-2010 at 20:39
M.Scaevola, asked me if I knew that the above personages were from differing times!

I would ask any one here to prove that they were "NOT?"

You see, there should be much more information about anyone (just by common sense) the closer to the present that it is?

Doesn't it seem strange that more seems to be known about many of the Ancient Greeks, than about any of the Medieval Greeks, or later Greeks? I am sometimes surprised that we do not have their waist size, and inseam length, etc.! Laugh!

It just seems, almost impossible?
Regards,

By the way, it seems that the early chronoligers (Sclaiger and Petavius, etc.) not only presented the year(s) of a kings rule and death, but also the exact day, and time, and maybe even the weather conditions! Laugh!

Edited by opuslola - 19-Jan-2010 at 18:17
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  Quote Deano97 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Mar-2010 at 17:50
Genius...He was one of the smartest men of all time.
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