The Platonist Marsanes and its Pythagorean theme

Anna Z. Zmorzanka

Katolicki Uniwersytet Lubelski Jana Pawła II , Poland


The opening part of this paper presents the influences of Middle-Platonist philosophy discernible in the ontology presupposed in the Marsanes. These are particularly conspicuous in the hierarchical arrangement of reality. At the summit of the Universe there is Invisible God, second in the hierarchy comes Barbelo, the Mind, complete with the world of intellect (identified with Platonic ideas), then follows the Soul and the world of the sense perception, which is the reflection of ideas. The second part contains a discussion of the fragment NHC X 32, 12 - 33, 6. described in the literature as „Pythagorean”. The fragment contains reference to the two eternal principles: monas and dyas, as well as to the ten cosmogonical principles. In this context the question arises as to the relationship of the cosmogo­ny assumed in this fragment and the one presupposed by the author of the Middle- Platonist exposition. Finally, it is concluded, that the Marsanes cosmogony is typi­cal of its period in being a synthesis comprising themes drawn from ontology (and cosmology) of both: Neopythagoreanism and Middle-Platonism.


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Zmorzanka, A. Z. (2012). The Platonist Marsanes and its Pythagorean theme. Vox Patrum, 57, 839–851.

Anna Z. Zmorzanka 
Katolicki Uniwersytet Lubelski Jana Pawła II


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