CLA 526 / HLS 527 / PHI 522

Problems in Greek and Roman Philosophy: Late Antique Receptions of Plato’s Phaedrus

Sara L. Ahbel-Rappe

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We investigate the reception of Plato’s myth of the soul (Phaedrus 246-249) from the 1st to 6th centuries CE. Allusions to the psychic chariot, incarnation of the soul after the molting of its wings, and its pre-carnate life in the super-celestial world, are ubiquitous in the philosophical texts of the Roman Empire. With it, Apuleius, Philo, Origen, Plotinus, Proclus, the Chaldean Oracles and later authors fund their cosmological and soteriological speculations. We not only track the circulation of the myth as a self-contained text adapted for apologetic purposes, but look at how and why Platonism insinuated itself into so many traditions.

View this course on the Registrar’s website.

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