Plutarch in the Religious and Philosophical Discourse of Late Antiquity


The works of Plutarch, notably his Moralia, provide us with exceptional evidence to reconstruct the spiritual and intellectual atmosphere of the first centuries CE. As a priest of Apollo at Delphi, Plutarch was a first range witness of ancient religious experience; as a Middle Platonist, he was also actively involved in the developments of the philosophical school. Besides, he also provided a more detached point of view both regarding numerous religious practices and currents that were permeating the building of ancient pagan religion and the philosophical views of other schools. His combining the insider and the sensitive observer’s perspectives make Plutarch a crucial starting point for the understanding of the religious and philosophical discourse of Late Antiquity.
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Biographical Note

Lautaro Roig Lanzillotta, Ph.D. in Classics (1997) and in Theology (2004) is Associate Professor of New Testament and Early Christian Studies at the University of Groningen. He has published extensively on classics, ancient history and philosophy, and Early Christianity. He is the author a.o. of La envidia en el pensamiento griego (Madrid 1997) and Acta Andreae Apocrypha. A New Perspective on the Nature, Intention and Significance of the Primitive Text (Geneva 2007). Israel Muñoz Gallarte, PhD in Classics (2006) is Assistant Profesor of Classics at the University of Córdoba. He publishes on classics, Plutarch, Early Christian Apocrypha, and Semantics. He is the author of Los sustantivos-Hecho en el Nuevo Testamento (Madrid 2008) and co-author of Cuenca capta: los libros griegos del s. XVI en el Seminario Conciliar de San Julián (Cuenca 2010). Contributors: A.P. Bos, F. Becchi, Raúl Caballero, F. Brenk, G. Roskam, M. Meeusen, A. Jiménez, L. Roig Lanzillotta, A. Casanova, A. Pérez Jiménez, P. Volpe Cacciatore, D. Leao, R. Scannapieco, G. van Kooten, I. Muñoz Gallarte.

Review Quote

" À tous les points de vue, la vaste majorité des propositions sont de qualité et ouvrent sur de nouvelles perspectives. De ce point de vue, l’ouvrage atteint son objectif initial, celui d’éclairer le contexte culturel des premiers siècles." Xavier Brouillette, BMCR 2013.08.29 " Der Band ist sorgfältig präsentiert und fügt der Diskussion um das Verhältnis von Religion und Philosophie bei Plutarch einige wichtige Aspekte hinzu. (...) Der Band sollte in keiner Bibliothek fehlen, die sich mit kaiserzeitlicher Literatur, Philosophie und Religion beschäftigt." Rainer Hirsch-Luipold, sehepunkte 14 (2014), Nr. 1 [15.01.2014] " (...) The volume offers many fine-tuned insights as well as a sense of Plutarch's own breadth and depth." Jane Heath, The Expository Times 126, Nr. 10 [July 2015]

Table of contents

Introduction I. Plutarch and Philosophy 1. Plutarch on the Sleeping Soul and the Waking Intellect and Aristotle’s Double Entelechy Concept Abraham P. Bos 2. The Doctrine Of The Passions: Plutarch, Posidonius And Galen Francesco Becchi 3. The Adventitious Motion of the Soul (Plut., Stoic. rep. 23, 1045 B-F) and the Controversy between Aristo of Chios and the Middle Academy Raúl Caballero 4. Plutarch and “Pagan Monotheism” Frederick Brenk 5. Socrates and Alcibiades: a notorious σκάνδαλον in the later Platonist tradition Geert Roskam 6. Salt in the holy water Plutarch’s Quaestiones Naturales in Michael Psellus’ De omnifaria doctrina Michiel Meeusen II. Plutarch and Religion 7. Iacchus In Plutarch Ana Isabel Jiménez San Cristóbal 8. Plutarch’s Idea of God in the Religious and Philosophical Context of Late Antiquity Lautaro Roig Lanzillotta 9. Plutarch as Apollo’s priest at Delphi Angelo Casanova 10. Plutarch’s Attitude Towards Astral Biology Aurelio Pérez Jiménez 11. “Cicalata sul fascino volgarmente detto jettatura”: Plutarch, quaestio convivalis 5.7 Paola Volpe Cacciatore 12. The Eleusinian Mysteries and political timing in the Life of Alcibiades Delfim F. Leão 13. Μυστηριῶδης θεολογία: Plutarch's fr. 157 Sandbach between cultual traditions and philosophical models Rosario Scannapieco 14. A non-fideistic interpretation of ‘pistis’ in Plutarch’s Writings: The harmony between ‘pistis’ and knowledge George van Kooten 15. The colors of the souls Israel Muñoz Gallarte Index


All those interested in Plutarch’s Moralia in general and in the ancient religious and philosophical world in particular. Also, scholars working on Plutarch, Platonism, Mysteries, Greek religion and Bible studies.