Greek Roman

Aeneas of Gaza : Theophrastus with Zacharias of Mytilene, by Donald Russell, John Dillon, Sebastian Gertz

By Donald Russell, John Dillon, Sebastian Gertz

50 years sooner than Philoponus, Christians from Gaza, trying to effect Alexandrian Christians, defended the Christian trust in resurrection and the finite length of the realm, and attacked rival Neoplatonist perspectives. Aeneas addresses an strange model of the nutrients chain argument opposed to resurrection, that bodies gets eaten by way of different creatures. Zacharias assaults the Platonist examples of synchronous construction, that have been the creation of sunshine, of shadow, and of a footprint within the sand. a fraction survives of a 3rd Gazan contribution through Procopius. Zacharias lampoons the Neoplatonist professor in Alexandria, Ammonius, and claims a number one function within the rebellion which ended in the cleverest Neoplatonist, Damascius, fleeing to Athens. It was once simply Philoponus, in spite of the fact that, who was once capable of embarrass the Neoplatonists through arguing opposed to them all alone terms.

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There are in fact many remedies: good nurturing, education, reason, custom, the practice of noble deeds, habituation, knowledge, and the bringing to order of everything. And of course the shifting nature of the flow of things is a sufficient lesson in temperance for those who are observant. For instance, there are frequent changes in financial affairs which give a good lesson to those who aspire to profit that they have acquired nothing despite all their sweat, and console those who are in a state of deprivation that they have been freed from a faithless and unsecurable resource.

80 If therefore, this is a cause of good, how could it be evil? But licentiousness and greed and ignorance and cowardliness are and are called the most shameful of evils, which have no share in the good; but happiness is always present, and it is not right that it should be absent, if indeed moderation and justice and courage and prudence are true happiness, no part of which is absent from good men. One who chooses to do injustice will not detract from these things; for he cannot. Of course, he is able to rob one’s purse and to cut up one’s body, but he is not able to detract in any way from happiness.

You are blessed,27 Theophrastus, because, although many and diverse are the doctrines of ancient times, nothing has escaped your notice, but you teach everything clearly, like one who has discovered them yourself, rather than expounding the positions of the ancients. You have showed yourself superior in memory to Hippias28 himself, and not unpractised in your subject. But what am I to do? I still remain ambivalent, and do not know what is to become of me, since I do not know whom I ought to follow: Heraclitus, whose view it is that the flight to this life is the soul’s rest from the toils above;29 or Empedocles, who casts the soul out here as punishment for wrongs previously committed; or Plato, rather, who 30 the soul forth in whatever way takes his fancy, now as a punishment, now for the perfection of the entire universe, now unwillingly, now willingly, sometimes by force, sometimes by self-movement.

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