The purpose of the article is to demonstrate that the ascent of the soul as one of the fundamental spiritual exercises in Plotinus’ philosophy can be approached from three perspectives: anabatic proper, aphaeretic and agnoetic. All of them are based on the hierarchical structure of knowledge and being in Plotinus’ philosophy, but they differ in details. The methods are reconstructed on the basis of the analysis of selected passages from the Enneads.
In Peristephanon 14, Prudentius creates an inventive verse rendering of the martyrdom of Agnes. Interestingly, in this poem, the portrayal of Agnes shares many features with the elegiac puellae of Roman love elegy. Prudentius’ classicising poetry is characterised by the mixture of genres and literary traditions, one of them being Roman love elegy. The affinities, however, between Prudentius and the latter tradition deserve closer attention. In this paper, by identifying vocabulary, themes and motifs of Roman elegy in Peristephanon 14, I will illustrate ways in which Prudentius’ Agnes can be read as a Christianised elegiac puella.
It appears that Apollo’s identification with the physical sun is predominantly understood in modern scholarship as a philosophical interpretation of a traditional religious belief. More precisely, it is often understood as an application of physical allegoresis on the tenets of traditional religion and thus attributed to a later stratum of Greek thought. A new evaluation of ancient evidence presented here reveals that the Apollo-sun identification was present in Greek ethnographic context from the earliest period and cannot be reduced to a philosophical reinterpretation of traditional myth and religion. At the same time, the authors interested in the interpretation of traditional religion in terms of natural philosophy were especially prone to use the Apollo-sun identification in their works, since it was able to provide substantial support for their hermeneutic approach.
The poem by Parmenides is widely recognized as having a decisive influence on Greek philosophy. The text is also notorious for its interpretative problems owing to its obscure poetic style. Among the discordant quotes from the proem, Simplicius uniquely preserves a verse with the unparalleled genitive εὐκυκλέος (literally ‘of [the] well-wheeled’). Contrary to a recent editorial trend in opting for the lectio facilior εὐπειθέος (‘of [the] well-persuasive’), I argue in this paper that the lectio difficilior is genuine testimony to a poetic device designed by Parmenides to perform a pivotal role in the proemial structure as a whole, and to redeploy a key concept in archaic verbal art by means of paronomasia: the ‘glory’ (κλέος) conveyed through the costly medium of song. The proem thus gives characteristic voice to the experimental spirit of inquiry in which Parmenides variously challenged and took his cue from the conceptual framework of encomiastic performance.
This article focuses on Statius’ representation of Thetis in the Achilleid in comparison with her representation in the Iliad. Statius, it is argued, goes against the Homeric tradition, depicting the goddess with features opposite from those she possesses in Homer. Thetis, generally perceived as a modest and ladylike speaker in the Iliad, employs masculine-gendered rhetoric and becomes offensive in the Achilleid; paternal acts linked to Peleus in the Homeric tradition are in Statius’ poem undertaken by Thetis; Homer’s omniscient and powerful goddess is almost ridiculed in Statius: being obsessed with the impossible, i.e. Achilles’ salvation, she repeatedly fails to achieve a possible delay of his doom. Through this technique, Statius inverts Thetis’ traditional character, creating a heroine that fits perfectly in his unconventional epic of cross-dressing and role-play.