Iterum de Damascio Areopagita
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Further arguments are offered for Damascius’ authorship of Corpus Dionysiacum. The question of whether or not Isidoros and Hierotheos could be seen isosyllabical is discussed (1). The author amuses himself inserting into Christian vocabulary the name of Arabic deity Theandrios (2), giving primacy among sacraments to the consecration of myron as an analogue of the Orphic rites (3) and affirming that Proclus’ theory of eros is superior to Paul’s teaching of agape (4). He raises funeral rites to a sacrament to promote his own doctrine of the after death reward, a doctrine where Christ’s redemption is unconsidered. On the other hand Trinitarianism fits Damascius’ philosophy quite well (5). The defence of infant baptism is an assertion of God’s incomprehensibility and a way of persuading the unconscious reader that the author is the desired master (6). Even in those few passages where he speaks of deliberately chosen evil his reflections are consistent with Neoplatonic teaching about the human soul as it is both: doomed by nature to error and free (7). Dionysius’ style can be identified, within the various kinds of literary styles stated by Hermogenes, with a reinforced peribole. Photius, an unsurpassed judge of Greek prose, ascribes this quality to Paul, Damascius and Maximus the Confessor, thus showing a direct link. Dionysius endeavoured to surpass Paul’s peribole aiming to become more authoritative and sublime than the Apostle himself (8). A new kind of inquiry is applied to words opening sentences; the comparison of Proclus, Damascius, Dionysius, Simplicius, shows a remarkable convergence of Damascius and Dionysius in contrast to the others (9). The lexical equipment of the four writers is very similar, but a stronger taste for the word teletarches and one of Platonic expressions is peculiar to Damascius and Dionysius (10). Author’s main invention is hierarchy, a term inspired by inscriptions of the Oropus sanctuary (11). If Dionysius was a Christian pupil of Damascius, who succeeded to became his alter ego, the task had to be accomplished when he was still sitting in the classroom (12). The aim of this disparaging fiction was to make Platonism of the persecuted philosophers the substance of Christian theology (13).
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