The Goddess Athena as Symbol of Phronesis in Porphyry’s On the Cave of the Nymphs

The Goddess Athena as Symbol of Phronesis in Porphyry’s On the Cave of the Nymphs AbstractOn the Cave of the Nymphs, an allegorical exegesis of Homer’s description of the cave of the nymphs at Odyssey 13.102-112, a passage quoted in full at the beginning of the treatise after the briefest possible indication of the project on which Porphyry is embarking, has been generally given little attention in discussions of Neoplatonic philosophy, as it is deemed to be of little importance for establishing Porphyrian doctrine. However, the treatise contains significant philosophical thoughts on the relationship between the soul and body, embodiment, demonology, and the concept of salvation of soul, which are compatible with his other works, especially On Abstinence from Killing Animals (De Abstinentia) and Pathways to the Intelligible (Sententiae). The concept of salvation of soul is found in Porphyry’s identification of the goddess Athena with phronesis, along with the olive tree, while Odysseus represents the soul descending into genesis, but will return back to his fatherland.In this context, this paper will explore the role and meaning of phronesis, namely the goddess Athena, in the process of the soul’s journey towards the intelligible realm and show the relevance of the Neoplatonic doctrine of virtues, particularly the cathartic virtues, in Sententia 32 to Porphyry’s reading of Homer’s image of Odysseus under guidance of the goddess Athena. Phronesis inspires the soul to incline towards the level of Intellect that is, away from damaging influences of the body to which the soul is enslaved and which confuses it with desires, passions, fears and illusory impressions, and prevents it from attaining the intelligible realm, whereas the body and its desires lead us to conflict and unjust behaviour in order to gain wealth, status, power, and pleasure. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of the Platonic Tradition Brill

The Goddess Athena as Symbol of Phronesis in Porphyry’s On the Cave of the Nymphs

Loading next page...
 
/lp/brill/the-goddess-athena-as-symbol-of-phronesis-in-porphyry-s-on-the-cave-of-Frm00wLDa1
Publisher
Brill
Copyright
Copyright © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1872-5082
eISSN
1872-5473
DOI
10.1163/18725473-12341394
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

AbstractOn the Cave of the Nymphs, an allegorical exegesis of Homer’s description of the cave of the nymphs at Odyssey 13.102-112, a passage quoted in full at the beginning of the treatise after the briefest possible indication of the project on which Porphyry is embarking, has been generally given little attention in discussions of Neoplatonic philosophy, as it is deemed to be of little importance for establishing Porphyrian doctrine. However, the treatise contains significant philosophical thoughts on the relationship between the soul and body, embodiment, demonology, and the concept of salvation of soul, which are compatible with his other works, especially On Abstinence from Killing Animals (De Abstinentia) and Pathways to the Intelligible (Sententiae). The concept of salvation of soul is found in Porphyry’s identification of the goddess Athena with phronesis, along with the olive tree, while Odysseus represents the soul descending into genesis, but will return back to his fatherland.In this context, this paper will explore the role and meaning of phronesis, namely the goddess Athena, in the process of the soul’s journey towards the intelligible realm and show the relevance of the Neoplatonic doctrine of virtues, particularly the cathartic virtues, in Sententia 32 to Porphyry’s reading of Homer’s image of Odysseus under guidance of the goddess Athena. Phronesis inspires the soul to incline towards the level of Intellect that is, away from damaging influences of the body to which the soul is enslaved and which confuses it with desires, passions, fears and illusory impressions, and prevents it from attaining the intelligible realm, whereas the body and its desires lead us to conflict and unjust behaviour in order to gain wealth, status, power, and pleasure.

Journal

International Journal of the Platonic TraditionBrill

Published: Jan 1, 1

There are no references for this article.

You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.


DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Search

Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly

Organize

Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.

Access

Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

DeepDyve

Freelancer

DeepDyve

Pro

Price

FREE

$49/month
$360/year

Save searches from
Google Scholar,
PubMed

Create folders to
organize your research

Export folders, citations

Read DeepDyve articles

Abstract access only

Unlimited access to over
18 million full-text articles

Print

20 pages / month

PDF Discount

20% off