C. Moreschini, Apuleius and the Metamorphoses of Platonism

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Claudio Moreschini, Apuleius and the Metamorphoses of Platonism, Turnhout, 2016.

Éditeur : Brepols
Collection : Nutrix 10
420 pages
ISBN : 978-2-503-55470-9
105 €

Apuleius was a respected philosophus Platonicus in Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages. Until the middle of last century, he attracted the attention of scholars as a so-called ‘Middle Platonist' author. Then, with the rejection of the historical schema that he had been situated in (the so-called ‘school of Gaius', which we will treat shortly), his ‘brother' Alcinous was the object of studies and (even harsh) criticisms, while almost nothing more was written about Apuleius by anyone. Studies of Middle Platonism primarily accentuated the liberty of the philosophers of the 1st and 2nd centuries AD, who interpreted the doctrines of Plato without constituting a specific school. Due to this new vision of Middle Platonism, Apuleius' role was difficult to define. It is not uncommon to find that Apuleius the philosopher is completely neglected . The literary character, and especially the ‘rhetorical' nature of some of his works and of his personality have probably hurt his reputation in philosophy. These aspects of his personality have however been ever more accentuated in the last few decades within the development of studies on Second Sophistics.
Consequently not only have there been few scholars to show interest for Apuleius' philosophical doctrines, but those few who have the opportunity to almost manage his philosophical doctrines usually disregard his literary works. In this way one cannot understand the most specific aspect of his philosophy, which consists in a sort of intermingling of philosophy and literature (a typical attitude of Greek and Latin culture of the 2nd century AD), and above all, of religion and Platonism. The dichotomy between philosophy and literature that was normal in the 19th and 20th centuries therefore still persists in the case of Apuleius. Claudio Moreschini attempted in some way to fill this gap in his 1978 study on Apuleio e il Platonismo. It was obviously in vain. Accordingly, in this book he would like to reflect on the possibility of a synthesis between these two aspects.


PREFACE
INTRODUCTION: APULEIUS PHILOSOPHER AND RHETOR
1. Apuleius and Middle Platonism
2. Apuleius the Philosopher and Man of Letters

CHAPTER 1. POPULAR PHILOSOPHY AND PLATONISM: THE APOLOGIA AND THE FLORIDA
1. The Defense of Philosophy and Philosophers
2. Philosophers and Poets
3. Praise of Poverty
4. Scientific Research
5. Magic
6. Mystery Religions
7. Platonism
8. Platonism and Sophistic

CHAPTER 2. THE METAMORPHOSES, THE NOVEL OF A PLATONIC PHILOSOPHER
1. Some Observations on Criticism of the Metamorphoses
2. The Novel and Religion
3. The Platonism of the Metamorphoses
4. Platonism and the Isiac Mysteries
5. The Metamorphoses: an Autobiographical Work?

CHAPTER 3. THE TALE OF CUPID AND PSYCHE
1. Symbolic Interpretation
2. Folkloric Interpretation
3. Religious Interpretation
4. Literary Interpretation
5. Attempts of Reconciliation
6. The Moral Interpretation
7. The Platonic Interpretation
8. Platonism in the Tale

CHAPTER 4. THE DE DEO SOCRATIS AND APULEIUS' DEMONOLOGY
1. The World and Living Beings
2. Middle Platonic Demonology
3. The Nature of the Demons
4. The Roles of the Demons
5. Demon or Soul?
6. A Difficulty in Apuleius
7. The Language of Demons
8. Apuleius and Plutarch

CHAPTER 5. RHETORIC AND PHILOSOPHY IN APULEIUS' TIMES
1. Fronto
2. Fronto and Marcus Aurelius
3. Favorinus in Rome
4. Aulus Gellius
5. Gellius and Calvisius Taurus
6. The Speculum morale of Gellius
7. Cynicism
8. Aelianus
9. Minor Platonists of the Roman World
10. Aelius Aristides and the Platonism of the Second Century

CHAPTER 6. THE PHILOSOPHICAL WORKS
1. The De Platone et eius dogmate
2. The De mundo
3. Chronology of the Philosophical Works
4. The Authenticity of the De Platone and the De mundo
5. The De interpretatione

CHAPTER 7. APULEIUS "PHILOSOPHICUS PLATONICUS". PHYSICS
1. The Doctrine of God
2. Matter
3. The Ideas
4. The Cosmic Soul and Cosmogony
5. The Creation of the World
6. Providence and Fate
7. Time
8. The Human Soul
9. Some Physical Questions

CHAPTER 8. APULEIUS "PHILOSOPHICUS PLATONICUS". ETHICS
1. First and Second Goods
2. Man and Oikeiosis
3. The medietas of Virtue
4. Virtues and Vices
5. Goods and Evils
6. Rhetoric
7. Varia moralia
8. The Perfect Sage
9. Likeness to God
10. Following God

CHAPTER 9. APULEIUS AND CHRISTIAN AUTHORS
1. Apuleius and Arnobius
2. Cornelius Labeo
3. Augustine's Polemic against Apuleius

CONCLUSION - BIBLIOGRAPHY - INDEX OF NAMES

 


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