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In the treatise On the Change of Names (part of his magnum opus, the Allegorical Commentary), Philo of Alexandria brings his figurative exegesis of the Abraham cycle to its fruition. Taking a cue from Platonist interpreters of Homer’s Odyssey, Philo reads Moses’s story of Abraham as an account of the soul’s progress and perfection. Responding to contemporary critics, who mocked Genesis 17 as uninspired, Philo finds instead a hidden philosophical reflection on the ineffability of the transcendent God, the transformation of souls which recognize their mortal nothingness, the possibility of human faith enabled by peerless faithfulness of God, and the fruit of moral perfection: joy divine, prefigured in the birth of Isaac.
This book represents the first monograph (miscellany) entirely devoted to Crantor of Soli (app. 335–275 BCE), an outstanding figure of the Old Academy. He was in particular famous for his On Grief, an exemplary work of consolation literature, and for his being the first commentator of Plato’s Timaeus. Unlike his darling Arcesilaus of Pitane, who initiated the Sceptical turn, Crantor seems to have stuck firm to the Academic teachings of Polemon and Plato. The contributions collected in this book aim to convey a complete picture of Crantor by discussing various aspects of his philosophy and biography.
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A wealth of political literature has survived from Greek antiquity, from political theory by Plato and Aristotle to the variety of prose and verse texts that more broadly demonstrate political thinking. However, despite the extent of this legacy, it can be surprisingly hard to say how ancient Greek political thought makes its influence felt, or whether this influence has been sustained across the centuries. This volume includes a range of disciplinary responses to issues surrounding the legacy of Greek political thought, exploring the ways in which political thinking has evolved from antiquity to the present day.
Poetry and Genre, with a Critical Text and Translation
The Orphic Hymns, a collection of invocations to the complete Greek pantheon, have reached us without explicit information about the contexts of their composition and performance. Combining a new critical edition and translation of the hymns with an in-depth study of the poetic strategies they employ and the forms of Greek poetry they draw upon, this book explores what the hymns can tell us about themselves. Through the use of allusion and figures that look to the earliest Greek poetry, the hymns present themselves as a text to be heard and meditated upon in performance, and as Orpheus’ summative revelation on the nature and unity of the divine realm.
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This volume of fourteen essays explores the biology of Aristotle and the Early Peripatos (Theophrastus and the Physical Problems) in its various dimensions—how the study of the soul contributes to the foundation of the science of perishable life, what is the program of this science and its main explanatory strategies, whether it be the explanation of natural generation or the relationship of the animal to its surroundings. But the authors also explore what might be, to Aristotle, the unity of life, not only that of animals and plants, but also that of celestial bodies and the Prime Mover.
‘Let me give you a simple example of what I mean, and you will see the rest for yourself.’ This is how Plato usually introduces mathematical examples to illustrate important philosophical puzzles. The research presented in this book offers a systematic analysis of these examples and demonstrates their crucial psychagogical function. Providing a toolkit of paradoxical objects that challenge the soul and summon thought, mathematical examples do not convey demonstrative rigor or exact calculations, but instead induce psychic states of aporia and wonder. The gaze of Plato’s mathematicians is directed both downwards and upwards: precisely for this reason mathematics have the power to awaken the soul and to lead it towards the Forms.

«Prendi un piccolo esempio, e saprai tutto quello che voglio dire». Così Platone introduce esempi matematici volti a illustrare snodi filosofici particolarmente problematici. Questo studio fornisce un’analisi sistematica di tali esempi e ne mostra la cruciale funzione psicagogica. Come un toolkit di oggetti paradossali che confondono l’anima e mettono in moto il pensiero, le matematiche degli esempi non veicolano rigore dimostrativo e calcoli esatti, ma inducono stati psichici di aporia e meraviglia. Proprio in virtù del loro sguardo biforcuto, rivolto non solo verso l’alto ma anche verso il basso, le matematiche hanno il potere di risvegliare l’anima e di trainarla verso le Idee.
Cosmology, Music, Medicine, and Architecture from Antiquity to the Seventeenth Century
Plato’s Timaeus inspired a uniquely enduring interest across disciplines. In the centuries between its composition and the seventeenth century, scholars looked to this dialogue for answers to questions about the structure of the universe and how to live a healthy and happy life. They saw cosmology as vital to medicine and ethics; and, for them, harmony in music and architecture facilitated balance in the human soul. The Legacy of Plato’s Timaeus explores how the dialogue transformed the disciplines of cosmology, music, medicine, and architecture, and how new intellectual and cultural developments in turn shaped and re-contextualized interpretations of Plato’s ideas.