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Edited by John Finamore, Christina-Panagiota Manolea and Sarah Klitenic Wear

Studies in Hermias’ Commentary on Plato’s Phaedrus is a collection of twelve essays that consider aspects of Hermias’ philosophy, including his notions of the soul, logic, and method of exegesis. The essays also consider Hermias’ work in the tradition of Neoplatonism, particularly in relation to the thought of Iamblichus and Proclus. The collection grapples with the question of the originality of Hermias’ commentary—the only extant work of Hermias—which is a series of lectures notes of his teacher, Syrianus.

Intolerance, Polemics, and Debate in Antiquity

Politico-Cultural, Philosophical, and Religious Forms of Critical Conversation


Edited by George H. van Kooten and Jacques van Ruiten

In Intolerance, Polemics, and Debate in Antiquity scholars reflect on politico-cultural, philosophical, and religious forms of critical conversation in the ancient Near Eastern, Biblical, Graeco-Roman, and early-Islamic world. They enquire into the boundaries between debate, polemics, and intolerance, and address their manifestations in both philosophy and religion. This cross-cultural and inclusive approach shows that debate and polemics are not so different as often assumed, since polemics may also indicate that ultimate values are at stake. Polemics can also have a positive effect, stimulating further cultural development. Intolerance is more straightforwardly negative. Religious intolerance is often a justification for politics, but also elite rationalism can become totalitarian. The volume also highlights the importance of the fluency of minorities in the dominant discourses and of their ability to develop contrapuntal lines of thought within a common cultural discourse.

Der Einheitsbegriff als Kohärenzprinzip bei Maximus Confessor

Eine Studie zu Ps-Dionysius-Rezeption, triplex via und analogem Weltbild bei Maximus Confessor


Jonathan Bieler

In The Concept of Unity as the Principle of Coherence in Maximus Confessor Jonathan Bieler lays out the importance of the concepts of transcendent divine unity, goodness and truth for understanding the coherence of the whole of Maximus’ thought, which brings together theology, anthropology and Christology into a unified vision that is based on an analogy between creator and creation. Interpreting the concepts of Maximus’ thought remains a contentious subject in Maximian scholarship. By evaluating the interior coherence and historical situation of Maximus’ thought in general and by studying the influence of Ps-Dionysius the Areopagite’s methodology on Maximus’ Christology in particular the author shows the context in which Maximus’ well-known conceptual distinctions can be understood in a helpful way. Jonathan Bieler erläutert in Der Einheitsbegriff als Kohärenzprinzip bei Maximus Confessor die zentrale Rolle der Begriffe der göttlichen Einheit, Güte und Wahrheit für ein Verständnis der Kohärenz von Maximus’ Denken, das Gotteslehre, Anthropologie und Christologie zu einer einheitlichen Sicht versammelt, beruhend auf einer Analogie zwischen Schöpfer und Geschöpf. Die Interpretation von Maximus’ Konzepten ist ein umstrittenes Gebiet in der Forschung. Durch eine Auswertung der inneren Kohärenz und der historischen Situation des Maximus und durch eine Untersuchung des Einflusses, den Ps-Dionysius Areopagitas Methodik auf die Christologie des Maximus ausgeübt hat, zeigt der Autor den Kontext auf, in dem Maximus’ begriffliche Unterscheidungen auf eine hilfreiche Weise verstanden werden können.

Themistius’ Paraphrase of Aristotle’s Metaphysics 12

A Critical Hebrew-Arabic Edition of the Surviving Textual Evidence, with an Introduction, Preliminary Studies, and a Commentary


Yoav Meyrav

Themistius’ (4th century CE) paraphrase of Aristotle’s Metaphysics 12 is the earliest surviving complete account of this seminal work. Despite leaving no identifiable mark in Late Antiquity, Themistius’ paraphrase played a dramatic role in shaping the metaphysical landscape of Medieval Arabic and Hebrew philosophy and theology. Lost in Greek, and only partially surviving in Arabic, its earliest full version is in the form of a 13th century Hebrew translation. In this volume, Yoav Meyrav offers a new critical edition of the Hebrew translation and the Arabic fragments of Themistius’ paraphrase, accompanied by detailed philological and philosophical analyses. In doing so, he provides a solid foundation for the study of one of the most important texts in the history of Aristotelian metaphysics.


K. Nilüfer Akçay

Neoplatonic allegorical interpretation expounds how literary texts present philosophical ideas in an enigmatic and coded form, offering an alternative path to the divine truths. The Neoplatonist Porphyry’s On the Cave of the Nymphs is one of the most significant allegorical interpretation handed down to us from Antiquity. This monograph, exclusively dedicated to the analysis of On the Cave of Nymphs, demonstrates that Porphyry interprets Homer’s verse from Odyssey 13.102-112 to convey his philosophical thoughts, particularly on the material world, relationship between soul and body and the salvation of the soul through the doctrines of Plato and Plotinus. The Homeric cave of the nymphs with two gates is a station where the souls descend into genesis and ascend to the intelligible realm. Porphyry associates Odysseus’ long wanderings with the journey of the soul and its salvation from the irrational to rational through escape from all toils of the material world.


Edited by Vitali I. Betaneli and Peter R. Weisensel

Audacity of the Spirit by A.F. Losev (1893-1988) dares us to think holistically, dialectically. Translated from the Russian original Дерзание духа (Politizdat Moskva, 1988) by Peter R. Weisensel and Vitali I. Betaneli, the book falls into three parts: the dialectical method; Losev’s application of dialectics to history and culture; and his personal reflections on studying philosophy. Losev’s insatiable intellectual curiosity probes a remarkable variety of areas. Positions he considers, though, are not always easily reconcilable, as with Marxism-Leninism and Orthodox Christianity. In Losev’s conception of culture, however, culture and the intrinsic unity of any given cultural order is the common element that underlies everything living, even the order’s incompatibles. The given culture cannot be reduced to any single position nor to all of them taken together. Audacity of the Spirit is an introduction to dialectics for beginners, but it is also a major philosopher’s summing-up of his reflections to a non-specialized audience.


Edited by Christopher Moore

Brill’s Companion to the Reception of Socrates, edited by Christopher Moore, provides almost unbroken coverage, across three-dozen studies, of 2450 years of philosophical and literary engagement with Socrates – the singular Athenian intellectual, paradigm of moral discipline, and inspiration for millennia of philosophical, rhetorical, and dramatic composition. Following an Introduction reflecting on the essentially “receptive” nature of Socrates’ influence (by contrast to Plato’s), chapters address the uptake of Socrates by authors in the Classical, Hellenistic, Roman, Late Antique (including Latin Christian, Syriac, and Arabic), Medieval (including Byzantine), Renaissance, Early Modern, Late Modern, and Twentieth-Century periods. Together they reveal the continuity of Socrates’ idiosyncratic, polyvalent, and deep imprint on the history of Western thought, and witness the value of further research in the reception of Socrates.

Reading Proclus and the Book of Causes Volume 1

Western Scholarly Networks and Debates


Edited by Dragos Calma

Reading Proclus and the Book of Causes, published in three volumes, is a fresh, comprehensive understanding of Proclus’ legacy in the Hellenic, Byzantine, Islamic, Latin and Hebrew traditions. The history of the Book of Causes, an Islamic adaptation of mainly Proclus’ Elements of Theology and Plotinus' Enneads, is reconsidered on the basis of newly discovered manuscripts. This first volume enriches our understanding of the diverse reception of Proclus’ Elements of Theology and of the Book of Causes in the Western tradition where universities and religious schools offered unparalleled conditions of diffusion. The volume sheds light on overlooked authors, texts, literary genres and libraries from all major European universities from the 12th to the 16th centuries.


Edited by Mauro Bonazzi, Angela Ulacco and Filippo Forcignanò

The volume Thinking, Knowing, Acting: Epistemology and Ethics in Plato and Ancient Platonism aims to offer a fresh perspective on the correlation between epistemology and ethics, a topic of central importance in the Platonic tradition which has not yet received the attention it deserves. The first part deals with the social, juridical premises of Plato’s philosophy, with particular regard to the relation between science and practical reason. The second part investigates the reception and development of these problems in Aristotle and the Platonic tradition. Other papers, on Solon and Galen, show that the conflict between knowledge and political action was also a central topic for the other Greek thinkers and contribute by contrast to a better evaluation of the originality of Platonism.

Greek Writers and Philosophers in Philo and Josephus

A Study of Their Secular Education and Educational Ideals


Erkki Koskenniemi

In Greek Writers and Philosophers in Philo and Josephus Erkki Koskenniemi investigates how two Jewish writers, Philo and Josephus, quoted, mentioned and referred to Greek writers and philosophers. He asks what this tells us about their Greek education, their contacts with Classical culture in general, and about the societies in which Philo and Josephus lived. Although Philo in Alexandria and Josephus in Jerusalem both had the possibility to acquire a thorough knowledge of Greek language and culture, they show very different attitudes. Philo, who was probably admitted to the gymnasium, often and enthusiastically refers to Greek poets and philosophers. Josephus on the other hand rarely quotes from their works, giving evidence of a more traditionalistic tendencies among Jewish nobility in Jerusalem.