In its eighth year, the Neoplatonic Studies seminar will focus on three texts: a) the biography of Proclus written by his pupil Marinus; b) an anonymous introduction to Platonic studies dating from the Alexandrian school of the sixth century (A.D.); and, in tandem with readings from Plato’s text, c)  Damascius’s Lectures on the Philebus.The seminar is, as it has been from its inception, open to all – to those who have and do not have ancient Greek, to those well-versed in ancient Neoplatonic philosophy, and to those who are not. The only requisite is ‘a desire to know’. Each week the seminar studies a short passage or two in English translation (though those who prefer to read the original Greek are not forbidden from doing so). 

The seminar is organized by Sara Miglietti (Warburg), Tim Addey (Prometheus Trust), Harold Tarrant (University of Newcastle, Australia), Dilwyn Knox (UCL), Daniel Samuel (Warburg PhD), and Peter Singer.

Texts

  • Marinus of Samaria, The Life of Proclus; or Concerning Happiness. The Greek text with an English translation is contained in: Essays and Fragments of Proclus, the Platonic successor, transl. Thomas Taylor, Frome: The Prometheus Trust, 1999. Available from the Prometheus Trust website under the title Essays and Fragments of Proclus. The text is also available, with notes, in: Mark Edwards, Neoplatonic Saints. The Lives of Plotinus and Proclus by Their Students, Liverpool University Press, Liverpool, 2000.
  • Anonymous Prolegomena to Platonic Philosophy, Greek text ed. with an English translation by L. G. Westerink, 2nd edition, Dilton Marsh: Prometheus Trust, 2011. Available from the Prometheus Trust website.
  • Damascius, Lectures on the Philebus, transl. L. G. Westerink, 3rd edition, Westbury, Prometheus Trust, 2010. Available from the Prometheus Trust website.
  • Plato, Philebus: any modern translation that includes the Stephanus column numbers in the margin.

Seminars will take place via Zoom, Thursdays, 5.00-7.00pm (UK time), on the dates indicated below. If you are not already a participant and would like to join the sessions, please email Daniel Samuel (daniel.samuel@postgrad.sas.ac.uk) to be sent a link to Zoom.

Date

Text

Content

no. of pages in translation

30 Sept.

Marinus

Life, transl. Taylor, pp. 217-221

5

7 Oct.

Marinus

Life, transl. Taylor, pp. 221-226

5

14 Oct.

Marinus

Life, transl. Taylor, pp. 226-232

5

21 Oct.

Marinus

Life, transl. Taylor, pp. 232-239

5

28 Oct.

Marinus

Life, transl. Taylor, pp. 239-244

5

4 Nov.

Prolegomena

I. Plato

6

11 Nov.

Prolegomena

II. Plato’s philosophy

6

18 Nov.

Prolegomena

III-IV. Plato’s writings

2

25 Nov.

Prolegomena

V-VIII. Living dialogues

4

2 Dec.

Prolegomena

IX. Themes

3

9 Dec.

Prolegomena

X-XI. Dialogue order & methods

5

16 Dec.

Damascius, 1-11

Preliminaries

3


Spring 2022

Date

Text

Content

no. of Damascius pgs

Plato, Philebus, Stephanus, cols.

total pages to read

13 Jan.

Damascius, 12-25

The problem stated, etc

4

11b-12c

5

20 Jan.

Damascius, 26-40

Pleasure divisible?

3

12c-14b

5

27 Jan.

Damascius, 41-60

One & Many - Prometheus

4

14c-16b

6

3 Feb.

Damascius, 61-70

Unity & plurality

3

16c-20a

7

10 Feb.

Damascius, 71-96

proofs

5

20b-23a

8

17 Feb.

Damascius, 97-103

Limit, infinitude, mixture, pt 1

2

23b-26d

5

24 Feb.

Damascius, 104-112

Limit, infinitude, mixture, pt 2

2

23b-26d

5

3 March

Damascius, 113-126

Pleasure infinitude

3

26e-28a

5

10 March

Damascius, 127-139

Intelligence, limit

3

28a-31a

6

17 March

Damascius, 140-153

Systematic proofs

3

31b-33c

5

24 March

Damascius, 154-164

Pleasure and soul

3

33c-36c

6

31 March

Damascius, 165-183

False pleasure 1

4

36d-40e

8

7 April

Damascius, 184-191

False pleasure 2

2

40e-44b

5

21 April

Damascius, 192-203

False pleasure 3

2

44b-49e

8

28 April

Damascius, 204-214

True pleasure

3

50e-52e

5


Summer 2022

Date

Text

Content

no. of Damascius pgs

Plato, Philebus, Stephanus, cols.

total pages to read

5 May

Damascius, 215-224

Pleasure as genesis

2

53a-55b

4

12 May

Damascius, 225

Knowledge

1

55c-60e

6

19 May

Damascius, 226-232

Mixing

2

61a-64a

5

26 May

Damascius, 233-246

Three monads

4

64a-65a

5

2 June

Damascius, 247-249

Measures

1

65a-66a

2

9 June

Damascius, 250-259

Six phases of the Good

2

66a-67b

3