‘Upper’ Mereology of Human Soul and Salvation according to Hermias of Alexandria

Benedetto Neola

University of Salerno (Italy) and Sorbonne Université (France) , Italy

Abstract

With my article, I try to show how the Neoplatonist Hermias of Alexandria (c. 410-455 AD) elaborated on Plato’s arguments on the immortality of the human soul in order to forge a coherent psychological and ontological system which is in tune with a precise ethics of salvation. In the final Appendix, I propose that these doctrines of the soul were not just erudite theories but turned out to be an actual and effective tool for coping with the threatening moments of the everyday life (notably for coping with the loss of the beloved ones and for facing death).

Keywords:

Neoplatonism, Hermias of Alexandria, Plato's Phaedrus, Doctrine of the Soul, Eschatology

Damascius, Vita Isidori, ed. P. Athanassiadi, Athens 1999, tr. P. Athanassiadi, Damascius. The Philosophical History, Athens 1999.

Hermias Alexandrinus, In Platonis Phaedrum Scholia, ed. C.M. Lucarini – C. Moreschini, Berlin – Boston 2012, tr. D. Baltzly – M. Share, Hermias. On Plato Phaedrus 227A-245E, tr. D. Baltzly – M. Share, London 2018.

Plato, Phaedrus, ed. J. Burnet, Oxford 1903, tr. A. Nehamas – P. Woodruff, Plato. Phaedrus, in: Plato. Complete Works, ed. J.M. Cooper, Indianapolis – Cambridge 1997.

Proclus, De decem dubitationes circa providentiam, ed. H. Boese, Berlin 1960, tr. J. Opsomer – C. Steel, Proclus: Ten Problems Concerning Providence, London – New Delhi – New York – Sydney 2012.

Addey C., Divination and Theurgy in Neoplatonism. Oracles of the Gods, London – New York 2014.

Athanassiadi P., Apamea and The Chaldaean Oracles: A Holy City and a Holy Book, in: The Philosopher and Society in Late Antiquity. Essays in Honour of Peter Brown, ed. A. Smith, Swansea 2005, p. 117-143.

Athanassiadi P., La lutte pour l’orthodoxie dans le Platonisme tardif, de Numénius à Damascius, Paris 2006.

Athanassiadi P., The Creation of Orthodoxy in Neoplatonism, in: Philosophy and Power in the Graeco-Roman World. Essays in Honour of Miriam Griffin, ed. G. Clark –T. Rajak, Oxford 2007, p. 271-291.

Athanassiadi P., Mutations of Hellenism in Late Antiquity, Farnham – Burlington 2015.

Baltussen H., Aristotelian Commentary Tradition, in: The Routledge Handbook of Neoplatonism, ed. P. Remes – S. Slaveva-Griffin, London – New York 2014, p. 106-114.

Beghini A., [Platone], Assioco. Saggio introduttivo, edizione critica, traduzione e commento a cura di Andrea Beghini, Baden 2020.

Bernard H., Hermeias von Alexandrien, Kommentar zu Platons Phaidros. Übersetzt und eingeleitet von Hildegund Bernard, Tübingen 1997.

Bielmeier A., Die neuplatonische Phaidrosinterpretation, Padeborn 1930.

Blumenthal H.J., The Psychology of Plotinus and Later Platonism, in: The Perennial Tradition of Neoplatonism, ed. J.J. Cleary, Leuven 1997, p. 269-290.

Brouwer R., Hellenistic philosophers on Phaedrus 229b-30a, “Proceedings of the Cambridge Philological Society” 235 (2008) p. 30-48.

Cardullo L., Conservare e tramandare la storia di una tradizione: il commentario filosofico antico, in: Il valore e la virtù. Studi in onore di Silvana Raffaele, ed. E. Frasca, Acireale – Roma 2019, p. 1-10.

Criscuolo U., Esegesi della ‘biga’ di Fedro 246a ss. fra medio e neoplatonismo, in: L’ultima parola. L’analisi dei testi: teorie e pratiche nell’antichità greca e latina. Atti del terzo Colloquio italo-francese coordinato da Luigi Spina e Laurent Pernot, ed. G. Abbamonte – F. Conti Bizzarro – L. Spina, Napoli 2003, p. 85-104.

D’Andrès N., Socrate néoplatonicien. Une science de l’amour dans le commentaire de Proclus sur le ‘Premier Alcibiade’, Paris 2020.

De Vries G.J., A Commentary on the Phaedrus of Plato, Amsterdam 1969.

D’Hoine P., Platonic Forms and the Triad of Being, Life, and Intellect, in: All From One. A Guide to Proclus, ed. P. Hoine – M. Martijn, Oxford 2017, p. 98-121.

Dickie M.W., Hermeias on Plato ‘Phaedrus’ 238d and Synesius ‘Dion’ 14.2, “The American Journal of Philology” 114/3 (1993) p. 421-440.

Donini P., Le scuole, l’anima, l’impero: la filosofia antica da Antioco a Plotino, Torino 1982.

Eliasson E., L’anima e l’individuo, in: Filosofia tardoantica, ed. R. Chiaradonna, Roma 2012, p. 213-231.

Festugière A.-J., Modes de composition des Commentaires de Proclus, “Museum Helveticum” 20/2 (1963) p. 77-100.

Finamore J., Iamblichus and the Theory of the Vehicle of the Soul, American Classical Studies 14, Chico 1985.

Finamore J., Hermias and the Soul’s Pilot, in: Defining Platonism. Essays in Honor of the 75th Birthday of John M. Dillon, ed. J. Finamore – S. Klitenic Wear, Steubenville 2017, p. 228-237.

Finamore J., The “Second Trace of Life”: Hermias and the Irrational Soul, in: Platonic Inquiries. Selected Papers from the Thirteenth Annual Conference of the International Society for Neoplatonic Studies, ed. C. D’Amico – J. Finamore – N. Strok, Prometheus Trust 2017, p. 187-198.

Finamore J., Hermias on the Vehicle of the Soul, in: Platonic Interpretations. Selected Papers from the Sixteenth Annual Conference of the International Society for Neoplatonic Studies, ed. J. Finamore – E.D. Perl, Lydney 2019, p. 109-123.

Finamore J., Hermias and the Ensoulment of the Pneuma, in: Studies in Hermias’ Commentary on Plato’s Phaedrus, ed. J. Finamore – C.-P. Manolea – S. Klitenic Wear, Leiden – Boston 2020, p. 35-49.

Fortier S., The Nature of the ‘Scholia’ on Plato’s ‘Phaedrus’, “Phronesis” 63 (2018) p. 449-476.

Fortier S., Proclus on the Climax of the ‘Phaedrus’ (247c6–d1), in: The Reception of Plato’s Phaedrus from Antiquity to the Renaissance, ed. S. Delcomminette – P. d’Hoine – M-A. Gavray, Berlin – Boston 2020, p. 199-218.

Goulet R., Hermeias d’Alexandrie, Dictionnaire des philosophes antiques, v. 3, Paris 2000, p. 639-641.

Haas C., Alexandria in Late Antiquity. Topography and Social Conflict, Baltimore 1997.

Hackforth R., Plato’s Phaedrus. Translated with Introduction and Commentary, Cambridge 1952.

Helmig C., Forms and Concepts. Concept Formation in the Platonic Tradition, Berlin – Boston 2012.

Klitenic Wear S., Hermias on the Activities of the Soul: A Commentary on Hermias, In Phdr. 135.14 – 138.9, in: Studies in Hermias’ Commentary on Plato’s Phaedrus, ed. J. Finamore – C.-P. Manolea – S. Klitenic Wear, Leiden – Boston 2020, p. 100-114.

Layne D. – Tarrant H., The Neoplatonic Socrates, Philadelphia 2014.

Longo A., La réécriture analytico-syllogistique d’un argument platonicien en faveur de l’immortalité de l’âme (Plat. Phaedr. 245c5-246a2). Alcinoos, Alexandre d’Aphrodise, Hermias d’Alexandrie, “Philosophie antique” 9 (2009) p. 145-164.

Longo A., Note sulla dottrina plotiniana dell’anima non discesa, in: Quid est veritas? Hommage à Jonathan Barnes, ed. M. Bonelli – A. Longo, Napoli 2010, p. 219-231.

Longo A., What Is the Principle of Movement, the Self-moved (Plato) or the Unmoved (Aristotle)? The Exegetic Strategies of Hermias of Alexandria and Simplicius in Late Antiquity, in: Studies in Hermias’ Commentary on Plato’s Phaedrus, ed. J. Finamore – C.-P. Manolea – S. Klitenic Wear, Leiden – Boston 2020, p. 115-141.

Manolea C.-P., The Homeric Tradition in Syrianus, Ant. Stamoulis 2004.

Manolea C.-P., Possessed and Inspired: Hermias on Divine Madness, “The International Journal of the Platonic Tradition” 7 (2013) p. 156-179.

Mansfeld J., Prolegomena. Questions to be Settled Before the Study of an Author, or a Text, Leiden – New-York – Köln 1994.

Moreschini C., Elementi dell’esegesi del Fedro nella tarda antichità, in: Understanding the Phaedrus. Proceedings of the II Symposium Platonicum, ed. L. Rossetti, Sankt Augustin 1992, p. 191-205.

Moreschini C., Alla scuola di Siriano: Ermia nella storia del Neoplatonismo, in: Syrianus et la Métaphysique de l’Antiquité Tardive. Actes du Colloque International, Université de Genève, 29 Septembre - 1er Octobre 2006, ed. A. Longo, Napoli 2009, p. 515-578.

Moreschini C., Plato’s Phaedrus in Middle-Platonism: Some Interpretations, “Revue de philosophie ancienne” 38 (2020) p. 93-105.

Neola B., Sulla gnoseologia neoplatonica: ovvero sull’integrazione dell’articolazione stoica e dell’universale aristotelico, “Rivista di Filosofia Neo-Scolastica” 113/2 (2021), p. 475-484.

Neola B., L’“uno” e l’“intelletto” dell’anima umana: ricezioni neoplatoniche del ‘Fedro’ di Platone, “Methexis” 33/1 (2021b) p. 197-222.

Neola B., Il Platonismo di Ermia di Alessandria. Uno studio sugli In Platonis Phaedrum Scholia. Prefezione di Claudio Moreschini, Napoli 2022.

Perkams M., Hermeias von Alexandrien, in: Die Philosophie der Antike 5. Philosophie der Kaiserzeit und Spätantike (Ueberweg), ed. Ch. Riedweg – Ch. Horn – D. Wyrwa, Basel 2018, p. 148-150.

Rashed M., L’héritage aristotélicien. Textes inédits de l’Antiquité. Nouvelle edition revue et augmentée, Paris 2016.

Richard M., Ἀπὸ φωνῆς, “Byzantion” 20 (1950) p. 191-222.

Rist J., Integration and the Undescended Soul in Plotinus, “The American Journal of Philology” 88/4 (1967) p. 410-422.

Rowe C.J., Plato, Phaedrus. With Translation and Commentary, Warminster 1986.

Saffrey H.D. – Westerink L.G., Proclus. Théologie platonicienne. Livre IV, Paris 2003.

Shaw G., Theurgy: Rituals of Unification in the Neoplatonism of Iamblichus, “Traditio” 41 (1985) p. 1-28.

Shaw G., Theurgy and the Soul. The Neoplatonism of Iamblichus, Pennsylvania 1995.

Shaw G., Containing Ecstasy: The Strategies of Iamblichean Theurgy, “Dionysius” 21 (2003) p. 53-88.

Sluiter I., The Dialectics of Genre: Some Aspects of Secondary Literature and Genre in Antiquity, in: Matrices of Genre. Authors, Canons, and Society, ed. M. Depew – D. Obbink, Cambridge – London 2000, p. 183-204.

Steel C., The Changing Self. A study on the Soul in Later Neoplatonism; Iamblichus, Damascius and Priscianus, Bruxelles 1978.

Steel C., ὝΠΑΡΞΙΣ chez Proclus, in: Hyparxis e hypostasis nel Neoplatonismo. Atti del I Colloquio Internazionale del Centro di Ricerca sul Neoplatonismo, Università degli studi di Catania, 1-3 Ottobre 1992, ed. F. Romano – D.P. Taormina, Firenze 1994, p. 79-100.

Tanaseanu-Döbler I., Theurgy in Late Antiquity. The Invention of a Ritual Tradition, Göttingen – Bristol 2013.

Taormina D.P., I limiti dell’umano. Proclo lettore della Palinodia del ‘Fedro’, in: λόγον διδόναι. La filosofia come esercizio del render ragione. Studi in onore di Giovanni Casertano, ed. L. Palumbo, Napoli 2012, p. 865-878.

The Origins of the Platonic System: Platonisms of the Early Empire and Their Philosophical Contexts, ed. M. Bonazzi – J. Opsomer, Leuven 2009.

Trouillard J., L’Un et l’âme selon Proclos, Paris 1972.

Van den Berg R.M., Proclus and the Myth of the Charioteer, “Syllecta Classica” 8 (1997) p. 149-162.


Published
2022-06-15


Neola, B. (2022). ‘Upper’ Mereology of Human Soul and Salvation according to Hermias of Alexandria. Vox Patrum, 82, 31–52. https://doi.org/10.31743/vp.12892

Benedetto Neola  benedetto.neola05@gmail.com
University of Salerno (Italy) and Sorbonne Université (France) https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1692-4972



License

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Zgodnie z regulacjami prawnymi zawartymi w ustawie o prawie autorskim i prawach pokrewnych z dnia 4 lutego 1994 r., autor przekazuje autorskie prawa majątkowe dotyczące składanego dzieła wydawcy czasopisma "Vox Patrum". Przeniesienie praw autorskich do składanego dzieła następuje na wszystkich polach eksploatacji, w szczególności tych wymienionych w art. 50 ustawy o prawie autorskim i prawach pokrewnych: 1. W zakresie utrwalania i zwielokrotniania utworu – wytwarzanie określoną techniką egzemplarzy dzieła, w tym techniką drukarską, reprograficzną, zapisu magnetycznego oraz techniką cyfrową. 2. W zakresie obrotu oryginałem albo egzemplarzami , na których dzieło utrwalono – wprowadzanie do obrotu, użyczenie lub najem oryginału albo egzemplarzy. 3. W zakresie rozpowszechniania utworu w sposób inny niż określony w pkt. 2 – publiczne wykonanie, wystawienie, wyświetlenie, odtworzenie oraz nadawanie i reemitowanie, a także publiczne udostępnianie utworu, aby każdy mógł mieć do niego dostęp w miejscu i czasie przez siebie wybranym.

Za zgodą Redakcji czasopisma artykuły i recenzje opublikowane w półroczniku "Vox Patrum" mogą być przedrukowywane w innych publikacjach.

Autor, w celach niekomercyjnych, może w dowolny sposób, bez zgody Redakcji, rozpowszechniać swój tekst w wersji elektronicznej.

Redakcja publikuje teksty on-line na licencji Creative Commons Uznanie autorstwa-Bez utworów zależnych 4.0 Międzynarodowe.