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Title: Fragments of the Lost Writings of Proclus
Post by: Major Weatherly on February 06, 2009, 01:13:39 pm
Fragments of the Lost Writings of Proclus
by Thomas Taylor


Proclus (b. circa. 412 C.E., d. 485) was a Greek Neoplatonist philosopher. This is a short book of translations of fragments of Proclus by Thomas Taylor (b. 1758 d. 1835), the English Neoplatonist and translator of Aristotle, Plato and Orpheus

Title: Re: Fragments of the Lost Writings of Proclus
Post by: Major Weatherly on February 06, 2009, 01:14:23 pm
Translated from the Greek.

Εξ ομματων επορισαμεθα φιλοσοφιας γενος, οὖ μελιζον αγαθον  ουτ᾽ ηλθεν ουθ᾽ ηξει ποτε τῳ θνητῳ γενει δωρηθεν εκ θεων.

London: Printed for the author, and sold by Black, Young, and Young


Scanned, proofed and formatted by John Bruno Hare at, July 2008. This text is in the public domain in the US because it was published prior to 1923.











Title: Re: Fragments of the Lost Writings of Proclus
Post by: Major Weatherly on February 06, 2009, 01:14:41 pm

To the lovers of the wisdom of the Greeks, any remains of the writings of Proclus will always be invaluable, as he was a man who, for the variety of his powers, the beauty of his diction, the magnificence of his conceptions, and his luminous development of the abstruse dogmas of the ancients, is unrivalled among the disciples of Plato. As, therefore, of all his philosophical works that are extant, I have translated the whole of some, and parts of others, * I was also desirous to present

p. vi

the English reader with a translation of the existing Fragments of such of his works as are lost.

Of these Fragments, the largest, which is on the Eternity of the World, and originally

p. vii

consisted of eighteen arguments, wants only the first argument to render it complete; and of this I have endeavoured to collect the substance, from what Philoponus has written against it. There is a Latin translation of the work of Philoponus * in which these Arguments are alone to be found—by Joannes Mahotius: Lugdun. 1557. fol.; from which, as the learned reader will perceive, I have frequently been enabled to correct the printed Greek text. The acute Simplicius is of opinion, that this work of Philoponus is replete with garrulity and nugacity, and a considerable portion of his Commentary on Aristotle's Treatise on the Heavens, consists of a confutation of the sophistical reasoning of this smatterer in philosophy.

p. viii

[paragraph continues] In doing this, likewise, he invokes Hercules to assist him in the purification of such an Augean stable.

It is remarkable, that though the writings of Proclus are entirely neglected, and even unknown to many who are called scholars, in this country, yet they are so much esteemed in France and Germany, that such of his works as were only before extant in manuscript, have been recently published by the very learned Professors Boissonade, Victor Cousin, and Creuzer. * The second

p. ix

of these learned men, indeed, conceived so highly of the merits of Proclus, as to say of him, "that, like Homer himself, he obscures, by his own name, the names of all those that preceded him, and has drawn to himself alone the merits and praises of all [the Platonic philosophers]." The eulogy therefore, of Ammonius Hermeas, "that Proclus possessed the power of unfolding the opinions of the ancients, and a scientific judgment of the nature of things, in the highest perfection possible to humanity," *

p. x

will be immediately assented to by every one who is much conversant with the writings of this most extraordinary man. Perhaps, however, the ignorance in this country, of the writings of this Coryphean philosopher, may be very reasonably accounted for, by what Mr. Harris says in the Preface to his Hermes, viz. "’Tis perhaps too much the case with the multitude in every nation, that as they know little beyond themselves and their own affairs, so, out of this narrow sphere of knowledge, they think nothing worth knowing. As we, Britons, by our situation, live divided from the whole world, this, perhaps, will be found to be more remarkably our

p. xi

case. And hence the reason, that our studies are usually satisfied in the works of our own countrymen; that in philosophy, in poetry, in every kind of subject, whether serious or ludicrous, whether sacred or profane, we think perfection with ourselves, and that it is superfluous to search farther."


v:* I have translated the whole of his Six Books on the Theology of Plato, and have added a Seventh Book, in order to supply the deficiency of another Book on p. vi this subject, which was written by Proclus, but since lost; the whole of his Commentary on the Timæus of Plato; and of his Commentary on the First Book of Euclid. I have also translated nearly the whole of his Scholia on the Cratylus; and have given a translation of the substance of his Commentaries on the First Alcibiades and Parmenides of Plato. These are from the Greek. From the barbarous Latin version of Morbeka, † I have also translated his admirable Treatise on Providence and Fate; all which are published. And I am now waiting for an opportunity, which I trust will soon be afforded me, of publishing my Translation of his Solution of Ten Doubts concerning Providence, and his Treatise on the Subsistence of Evil.

v:† This Morbeka was Archbishop of Corinth in the twelfth century.

vii:* The Greek edition of this work of Philoponus against Proclus was printed at Venice, 1535, fol.

viii:* Of the works of Proclus, the first of these Professors has published the Scholia on the Cratylus; the second, the Commentaries on the First Alcibiades, and Five out of the Seven existing Books on the Parmenides of Plato; and also, from the version of Morbeka, the Treatise on Providence and Fate; A Solution of Ten Doubts concerning Providence; and the Treatise on the Subsistence of Evil: and the third, the Commentaries on the First Alcibiades, and the Theological Elements. p. ix All these learned men have done me the honour to speak of me in the handsomest manner, both in the letters which I have received from them, and in the above-mentioned publications. The last of them, in particular, has adopted most of my emendations of the Greek text of the Theological Elements.

ix:* Ει δε τι και ημεις δυνηθειημεν εισενεγκειν περι την του βιβλιου σαφηνειαν, απονημονευσαντες των εξηγησεων του θειου ημων διδασκαλου Προκλου του πλατωνικου διαδοχου, του εις p. x ακρον της ανθρωπινης φυσεως την τε εξηγητικην των δοκουντων τοις παλαιοις δυναμιν, και την επιστημονικην της φυσεως των οντων κρισιν ασκησαντος, πολλην αν τῳ λογιῳ θεῳ χαριν ομολογησαιμεν.—Ammon. Herm. de Interpret. p. 1.


Title: Re: Fragments of the Lost Writings of Proclus
Post by: Major Weatherly on February 06, 2009, 01:15:08 pm
p. 1


If with respect to light, one kind is material, but another immaterial, according to the difference of those illuminating natures, fire and the sun, the light which is immaterial is, in a certain respect, † corrupted; but material light, in a certain respect, pervades through material substances: for the whole air appears to be no less illuminated by the sun than by the fire that is procured by us. And when clouds pass under the sun, the light is in

p. 2

one part intercepted, and we do not receive the whole of it. For how can the light which is in the heavens be continuous with that which is in the air? since the latter is corruptible, but the former not. And the one, indeed, is suspended from its proper principle; but the other, if it should so happen, is cut off, and sometimes is not. The corruptible, however, is not continuous with the incorruptible: for two things of this kind are specifically different from each other.


1:* This and the five following Fragments are to be found in the Treatise of Philoponus against Proclus, on the Eternity of the World.

1:† Immaterial light is, in a certain respect, corrupted, because the recipient of it is corruptible; and when this is corrupted, the light which it received departs to its fountain, the sun.


Title: Re: Fragments of the Lost Writings of Proclus
Post by: Major Weatherly on February 06, 2009, 01:15:33 pm
In Defence of the Timæus of Plato, against the Objections made to it by Aristotle.
Aristotle objects to the very name of paradigm, asserting that it is metaphorical; and he is much more hostile to the dogma which introduces ideas, and particularly to that of animal itself, as is evident from what he says in his Metaphysics. And it appears, that this man is not so averse to any of the dogmas of Plato as he is to the hypothesis of ideas; not only in his Logical Treatises calling ideas sonorous trifles, but also in his Ethics contending against the existence of the good itself. In his Physics, likewise, he does not think it proper to refer the generations of things to ideas: for he says this in his Treatise on

p. 3

[paragraph continues] Generation and Corruption. And this his hostility to the doctrine of ideas * is much more apparent in his Metaphysics; because the discussion there is concerning principles: for there he adduces numerous arguments against ideas, in the beginning, middle, and end of that treatise. In his Dialogues, also, he most manifestly exclaims, that he cannot assent to this dogma, though some one may think that he speaks against it for the purpose of contention.


The maker always existing, that which is generated by him likewise always exists. For either God does not always make; or, he indeed always makes, but the universe is not always generated; † for, he always makes, and the universe is always generated. But if God does not always make, he will evidently be [at a certain time] an efficient in capacity, and again an efficient in energy, and he will be an imperfect Demiurgus, and indigent of time. I f, however, he always makes, but the

p. 4

Title: Re: Fragments of the Lost Writings of Proclus
Post by: Major Weatherly on February 06, 2009, 01:15:46 pm
universe is generated at a certain time, an impossibility will take place. For when that which makes is in energy, that which is generated will also be generated in energy. Both, therefore, exist always; the one being generated, and the other producing perpetually.

The world is always fabricated; and as the Demiurgus fabricated always, and still fabricates, so likewise the world is always fabricated, and now rising into existence, was generated, and, having been made, is always generated [or becoming to be]; so that the world is always fabricated. And as the Demiurgus always did fabricate, and still fabricates, so the world was always and is fabricated; and while it is becoming to be, was generated, and having been generated, is always generated.

Proclus assents to what is said by Aristotle concerning the perpetuity of the world; but he says it was not just in him to accuse Plato. For to be generated, does not signify, with Plato, the beginning of existence, but a subsistence in perpetually becoming to be. For the natures which are established above time, and which are eternal, have the whole of their essence and power, and the perfection of their energy, simultaneously present. But every thing which is in time has not its proper life collectively and at once present. For whatever is in time, though it should be

p. 5

extended to an infinite time, has an existence at a certain time. For that portion of being which it possesses exists in a certain time. For time is not [wholly] present at once; but is generated infinitely, and was not produced at a certain period in the past time. The universe, therefore, was thus generated, as not having a subsistence such as that of eternal beings, but as that which is generated, or becoming to be, through the whole of time, and always subsisting at a certain time, according to that part of time which is present. And again, the universe was generated, as not being the cause to itself of its existence, but deriving its subsistence from some other nature, which is the fourth signification of a generated essence; I mean that which has a cause of its generation.

But if Timæus [in Plato] calls the world a God which will be at a certain time (for perhaps this may give disturbance to some), and induce them to ask whether he gives to the world a generation in a part of time? For the once, or at a certain time, must be admitted by us to be a certain part of time. To this we reply, that every thing which is in time, whether in an infinite or in a finite time, will always exist at a certain time. For whatever portion of it may be assumed, this portion is in a certain time. For the whole of time

p. 6

Title: Re: Fragments of the Lost Writings of Proclus
Post by: Major Weatherly on February 06, 2009, 01:15:56 pm
does not subsist at once, but according to a part. If, therefore, any thing is in tine, though it should be extended to an infinite time, it has indeed an existence at a certain time. But it is generated, or becoming to be, to infinity, and is always passing froth an existence at one time * to an existence at another. And it was at a certain time, and is at a certain time, and will be at a certain time. † This existence too, at a certain time, is always different. The world, however, when it exists at a certain time, has a no less [continued] existence. Hence that which has its hypostasis in a part of time, at a certain time is becoming to be, and at a certain time is, and at a certain time will be. But that which exists in every time [or for ever] is

p. 7

indeed at a certain time, but is always generated, or becoming to be; and in perpetually becoming to be, imitates that which always is.

This, therefore, alone ought to be considered, whether it is necessary to denominate a celestial body, and in a similar manner the whole world, a thing of a generated nature. But how is it possible not to assert this from the very arguments which Aristotle himself affords us? For he says that no finite body has an infinite power; and this he demonstrates in the eighth book of his Physics. If, therefore, the world is finite (for this he demonstrates), it is necessary that it should not possess an infinite power. But in the former part of this treatise we have shewn that eternity is infinite power. The world, therefore, has not an eternal subsistence, since it does not possess infinite power. If, however, it has not an eternal hypostasis, (for a thing of this kind participates of eternity, but that which participates of eternity participates of infinite power,) it is necessary that the world should not always be. * For to exist always, is, according to Aristotle himself, the peculiarity of eternity, since, as he says, eternity

p. 8

from this derives its appellation. For that which is true of eternal being, is not true of that which is always generated [or becoming to be], viz. the possession of infinite power, through being perpetually generated, but this pertains to the maker of it. Hence, too, it is always generated, acquiring perpetuity of existence through that which, according to essence, is eternally being; but it does not possess perpetuity, so far as pertains to itself. So that the definition of that which is generated may also be adapted to the world. Every thing, therefore, which is generated, is indeed itself essentially entirely destructible; but being bound by true being, it remains in becoming to be, and the whole of it is a generated nature. Hence [though naturally destructible] it is not destroyed, in consequence of the participation of existence which it derives from true being. For, since the universe is finite, but that which is finite has not an infinite power, as Aristotle demonstrates; and as that which moves with an infinite motion moves with an infinite power, it is evident that the immovable cause of infinite motion to the universe, possesses itself an infinite power; so that, if you conceive the universe to be separated from its immovable cause, it will not be moved to infinity, nor will it possess an infinite power, but will have a cessation of its motion. It; however,

p. 9

Title: Re: Fragments of the Lost Writings of Proclus
Post by: Major Weatherly on February 06, 2009, 01:16:12 pm
you again conjoin this cause with the universe, it will be moved to infinity through it. Nor is there any absurdity in separating by conception things which are conjoined, in order that we may perceive what will happen to the one from the other; and, in consequence of perceiving this, may understand what the inferior nature possesses from itself, and what it derives, from its co-arrangement, from that which is superior to it. For, in short, since, in terrestrial natures, we see that they are partly corrupted through imbecility, and are partly preserved through power, much more will perpetuity and immortality * be inherent in things incorruptible, through infinite power: for every finite power is corrupted.


For the celestial fire is not caustic, but, as I should say, is vivific, in the same manner as the heat which is naturally inherent in us. And Aristotle himself, in his Treatise on the Generation of Animals, says, that there is a certain illumination from which, being present, every mortal

p. 10

nature lives. All heaven, therefore, consists of a fire of this kind; but the stars have, for the most part, this element, yet they have also the summits of the other elements. * Moreover, if we likewise consider, that earth darkens all illuminative natures, and produces shadow, but that the elements which are situated between earth and fire being naturally diaphanous, are the recipients of both darkness and light, and yet are not the causes of either of these to bodies, but that fire alone is the supplier of light, in the same manner as earth is of darkness, and that these are at the greatest distance from each other,—if we consider this, we may understand how the celestial bodies are naturally of a fiery characteristic. For it is evident that they illuminate in the same manner as our sublunary fire. If, however this is common to both, it is manifest that the fire which is here, is allied to the fire of the celestial bodies. It is not proper, therefore, to introduce to the universe a celestial nature, as something foreign to it, but placing there the summits of sublunary natures, we should admit that the elements which are here, derive their generation through an alliance to the nature of the celestial orbs.


3:* See my Dissertation on the Philosophy of Aristotle, in which the opposition of Aristotle to Plato's doctrine of ideas is shewn to have been employed for the purpose of guarding from misapprehension, arid not of subverting that doctrine.

3:† Proclus here uses the word γινεται, generated, because the universe, on account of the flowing condition of its nature, is always rising into existence, or becoming to be.

6:* In the original, αλλ᾽ ουποτε εις αλλο αει μεθισταμενον. But the sense requires (and this is confirmed by the version of Mahotius,) that we should read, conformably to the above translation, αϖο του ϖοτε εις αλλο, κ.τ.λ..

6:† The corporeal world is continually rising into existence, or becoming to be, but never possesses real being. Hence, like the image of a tree in a rapid torrent, it has the appearance of a tree without the reality, and seems to endure perpetually the same, yet is continually renewed by the continual renovation of the stream. The world therefore was, and is, and will be at a certain time, in the same manner as it may be said of the image of a tree in a torrent, that it was yesterday, is to-day, and will be to-morrow, without any interruption of the continuity of its flux. Philoponus, not perceiving this, has, with his usual stupidity, opposed what is here said by Proclus.

7:* In the original, αναγκη μη ειναι τον κοσμον αει. For the world is not always, αλλα γιγνεται αει, i.e. but is always becoming to be, or, rising into existence; since it has not an eternal sameness of being, but a perpetually flowing subsistence.

9:* In the original, πολλῳ μαλλον εν τοις αφθαρτοις η αφθαρσια δια δυναμιν δηλονοτι απειρον. But from the version of Mahotius,—which is, "Multo magis his, quæ non intereunt, conveniat perpetuitas, atque immortalitas, propter vires, easque infinitas,"—it appears that, for η αφθαρσια, it is requisite to read η αϊδιοτης και αθανασια, agreeably to the above translation.

10:* Viz. the sublunary elements have, in the stars and in the heavens, a causal subsistence. See more on this subject in the third book of my translation of Proclus on the Timæus of Plato.


Title: Re: Fragments of the Lost Writings of Proclus
Post by: Major Weatherly on February 06, 2009, 01:16:41 pm
p. 11

The Original of the following Extracts, from the same Treatise of Proclus, is only to be found in the Commentary of Simplicius on the Third Book of Aristotle's Treatise on the Heavens. *
IN answer to the objection of Aristotle, that if the elements are generated by a dissolution into planes, it is absurd to suppose that all things are not generated from each other,—Proclus observes, "that we must assert the very contrary. For the phænomena do not accord with those who transmute earth, and move things immovable. For we never see earth changed into other things; but terrestrial natures are changed, so far as they are full of air or water. All earth, however, is unchangeable,

p. 12

because earth alone becomes, as it were, ashes, or a calx. For in metallic operations, the whole of the moisture in metals is consumed, but the ashes remain impassive. Not that earth is entirely impassive to other things; for it is divided by them falling upon it; yet the parts of it remain, until again falling on each other, they from themselves make one body. But if it should be said that earth, on account of its qualities, is changed into other things, being itself cold and dry, earth will be more swiftly changed into fire than into water; though water, indeed, appears to be burnt, but earth, when subsisting by itself, (i.e. when it is pure earth, and earth alone,) is not burnt." He adds, "And the heaven, indeed, is neither divisible nor

p. 13

imitable; but the earth existing as the most ancient of the bodies within the heaven, is divisible, but not mutable; and the intermediate natures are both divisible and mutable."

Aristotle observes, "that earth is especially an element, and is alone incorruptible, if that which is indissoluble is incorruptible, and an element. For earth alone is incapable of being dissolved into another body." The philosopher Proclus replies to this objection, yielding to what Aristotle says about earth, viz. that it is perfectly incapable of being changed into the other three elements. And he says, "that Plato, on this account, calls it the first and most ancient of the bodies within the heaven, as unchangeable into other things, and that the other elements give completion to the earth, in whose bosom they are seated, viz. water, air, and sublunary fire. But in consequence of being, after a manner, divided by the other elements, it becomes one of them; for division is a passion which exterminates continuity. If, however, it suffers being divided by the other elements, and energises on them, embracing, compressing, and thus causing them to waste away, it is very properly co-divided with those things from which it suffers, and on which it energises according to the same passion in a certain respect. For there is a division of each,

p. 14

Title: Re: Fragments of the Lost Writings of Proclus
Post by: Major Weatherly on February 06, 2009, 01:16:56 pm
though the more attenuated are divided by the more sharp in one way, as in the arts by saws, augers, and gimlets; and the more gross in another way, by trampling and compression."

In the next place, Aristotle says, "But neither in those things which are dissolved, is the omission of triangles reasonable. This, however, takes place in the mutation of the elements into each other, because they consist of triangles unequal in multitude."

The philosopher Proclus here observes, "that in the dissolution of water into air, when fire resolves it, two parts of air are generated, and one part of fire. But when, on the contrary, water is generated from air, three parts of air being resolved, the four triangles which are mingled together from the same cause, viz. from condensation, together with two parts of air, make one part of water." He adds, "But it is not at all wonderful, that they should be moved in a certain form; for it must be granted, that in all mutations there is something without form, to a certain extent; but being vanquished by some form, they pass into the nature of that which vanquishes. For we also acknowledge, that, in the mutation of the elements with which we are conversant, certain half-generated parts frequently remain."

Aristotle adduces, as a fourth absurdity, "that

p. 15

this hypothesis makes the generation of body simply, but not of some particular body. But if body is generated upon body, it was before shewn that there must necessarily be a separate vacuum, which the authors of this hypothesis do not admit. For if body is generated, it is generated from that which is incorporeal. It is necessary, therefore, that there should be some void place the recipient of the generated body. Hence, if they say that body is generated from planes, it will not be generated from body; for a plane has length and breadth alone." To this, however, Proclus replies, "that natural planes are not without depth; for if body distends the whiteness which falls upon it, it will much more distend the planes which contain it. But if the planes have depth, the generation of fire will no longer be from that which is incorporeal; but the more composite will be generated from a more simple body."

In the next place Aristotle observes, "that those who attribute a figure to each of the elements, and by this distinguish the essences of them, necessarily make them to be indivisibles. For a pyramid or a sphere being in a certain respect divided, that which remains will not be a sphere or a pyramid. Hence, either a part of fire is not fire, but there will be something prior to an element, because every body is either an element

p. 16

Title: Re: Fragments of the Lost Writings of Proclus
Post by: Major Weatherly on February 06, 2009, 01:17:12 pm
or from elements; or not every body is divisible." Proclus, in reply to this, "blames him who makes lire to be a pyramid, and who does not abide in the Platonic hypothesis, since Plato says that a pyramid is the figure of fire; but he does not say that it is fire. For fire is a collection of pyramids, any one of which is invisible, on account of its smallness; nor will fire, so long as it is divided into fire, be divided into pyramids. One pyramid, however, is no longer fire, but the element of fire, invisible from its smallness. If, therefore, this pyramid were divided, it would neither be an element, nor composed of elements, since it would not be divided into pyramids or planes. And why is it wonderful that there should be something inordinate in sublunary bodies? For, in the mutation of the elements with which we are conversant, there is something inordinate." Proclus adds, "that certain differences also are produced, which occasion pestilential consequences in the whole genus, and turn the elements into a condition contrary to nature. But what impossibility is there," says he, "that this section of an element being taken, and fashioned into form and figure by atoms, should again become a pyramid, or some other element, in consequence of being assimilated to the natures which comprehend and compress it."

p. 17

The sixth argument of Aristotle endeavours to shew, that if the elements are fashioned with the above-mentioned figures, there must necessarily be a vacuum which is not even asserted by the advocates for planes. But he spews this from there being but few figures, both in planes and solids, which are able to fill the place about one point, so as to leave no vacuum. *

p. 18

Proclus observes, in reply to this argument of Aristotle, "that the elements being placed by each other, and supernally compressed by the heaven, the more attenuated are compelled into the places of the more gross. Hence, being impelled, and entering into the place about one point, they fill up the deficiency. For Plato also assigns this as the cause of no vacuum being left, viz. that less are arranged about greater things. For thus the cavities of the air have pyramids which fill up the place; those of water have dispersed octaedra; and those of earth have all the figures; and no place is empty."

In the seventh argument, Aristotle says, "that all simple bodies appear to be figured in the place which contains them, and especially water and air." He adds, "it is impossible, therefore, that the figure of an element should remain; for the whole would not on all sides touch that which contains it. But if it were changed into another figure, it would no longer be water, if it differed in figure; so that it is evident that the figures of it are not definite," &c.

Proclus, in opposition to this seventh argument, observes, "that he does not admit that the elements have a characteristic figure, since they can neither have it stably, nor abandon it." He also says, "that it is not the wholenesses of these four

p. 19

Title: Re: Fragments of the Lost Writings of Proclus
Post by: Major Weatherly on February 06, 2009, 01:17:26 pm
bodies which are fashioned with these figures, but the elements of these, viz. those small and invisible bodies from the congress of which these sensible natures, fire, water, air, and earth, are produced. But the wholes of the elements have a spherical figure, being on all sides assimilated to the heaven. For each of them has something better than its own characteristic property, from more divine natures, just as things which approximate to the heaven have a circular motion. It is evident, therefore, that the last of the pyramids which are with the circumambient, (i.e. which are in contact with the sphere of the moon, this being the sphere in which fire is proximately contained,) though they consist of plane triangles, yet, being compressed, they become convex, in order that they may be adapted to the cavity of the heaven. But the parts existing in other things, as in vessels, and receiving configuration together with them, do not destroy the figure of the elements. For the bodies which contain others are from right-lined elements, and nothing prevents them from concurring with each other. But we, expecting to see the superficies of the containing bodies to be cylindrical or spherical, in consequence of being ignorant that they also consist of right-lined elements, are involved in doubt. All the containing natures, therefore,

p. 20

were from the same things as the natures which they contain, and all are adapted to each other, according to planes."

In the eighth argument, Aristotle says, "that neither flesh nor bone, nor any other composite, can be generated from the elements themselves, because that which is continued is not generated from composition, nor from the conjunction of planes: for the elements are generated by composition, and not those things which consist of the elements."

Proclus, in objection to this, says, "that composition is not produced from air alone, nor from water alone. In these, therefore, things that have the smallest parts, being assumed between those that have great parts, fill place, and leave no void. But if this is opposition, and not union, you must not wonder; for it is necessary that they should be distant from each other. And if, when placed by each other, they are with difficulty separated, neither is this wonderful: bodies which consist of larger planes, not being naturally adapted to yield to those which consist of smaller, nor those which are composed of firmer, to those which derive their composition from easily movable planes."

Aristotle, in the ninth argument, says, "that if the earth is a cube, because it is stable and abides; and if it abides not casually, but in its proper

p. 21

Title: Re: Fragments of the Lost Writings of Proclus
Post by: Major Weatherly on February 06, 2009, 01:17:42 pm
place, and is moved from a foreign place, if nothing impedes it; and if this, in a similar manner, happens to fire and the other elements,—it is evident that fire, and each of the elements in a foreign place, will be a sphere or a pyramid, but in its proper place a cube."

In opposition to this ninth argument, Proclus says, "that though the elements are in their proper places, yet such as consist of easily movable figures are not without motion; for pyramids are always moved from the dissimilitude of the vertex to the base. Thus also with respect to air, the elements of it, when it exists in its proper place, are assimilated to things perpetually flowing; and the elements of water love collision. For the summits are adjacent to the bases of their similars, and being impelled, they strike against the whole in the place in which each is contained. But being thus moved, they imitate the motion in a circle, neither being moved from the middle nor to the middle, but revolving about each other in their own place. The elements of earth, however, remain, because they have their summits the same with their bases. But nothing similar acts on the similar, whether they possess similitude according to figures, or according to power, or according to magnitude."

"Farther still," says Aristotle, "if fire heats

p. 22

and burns through its angles, all the elements will impart heat, but one perhaps more than another; since all of them will have angles; as, for instance, the octaedron and the dodecaedron. And according to Democritus, a sphere also burns, as being a certain angle; so that they will differ by the more and the less. This, however, is evidently false."

Proclus, in opposition to this tenth argument, says, "that it is improperly assumed that an angle is calorific, and that a false conclusion is the consequence of this assumption. For Timæus assumes from sense, that sharpness and a power of dividing are certain properties of heat. But that which cuts, cuts not simply by an angle, but by the sharpness of the angle, and tenuity of the side. For thus also the arts make incisive instruments, and nature sharpens the angles of those teeth that are called incisores, and giving breadth to the grinders, has attenuated the sides. An acute angle also is subservient to rapid motion. Hence a power of this kind is not to be ascribed to an angle simply, but to the penetrating acuteness of the angle, the incisive tenuity of the side, and the celerity of the motion. It is likewise necessary that magnitude should be present, as in the pyramid, that it may forcibly enter. If, therefore, in fire alone there is acuteness of

p. 23

Title: Re: Fragments of the Lost Writings of Proclus
Post by: Major Weatherly on February 06, 2009, 01:17:56 pm
angle, tenuity of side, and swiftness of motion, this element alone is very properly hot. This, however, is not the case with all fire, but with that alone which consists of larger pyramids; on which account, as Timæus says, there is a certain fire which illuminates indeed, but does not burn, because it is composed of the smallest elements. And according to this, fire is visible."

Aristotle adds, "at the same time also it will happen that mathematical bodies will burn and impart heat; for these likewise have angles; and atoms, cubes, spheres, and pyramids, are inherent in them, especially if, as they say, these are indivisible magnitudes. For if some of them burn, and others do not, the cause of this difference must be assigned, but not simply so as they assign it."

Proclus, well opposing what is here said, does that which Aristotle desires, viz. he assigns the difference consequent to the hypothesis according to which some bodies burn, but mathematical bodies do not burn. For Plato says, that burning bodies are material and moved figures; on which account also he says, that ϐ is added to the name, this letter being the instrument of motion. Not every thing, therefore, which is angular, is calorific, unless it is acute-angled, is attenuated in its sides, and may be easily moved.

p. 24

Again, Aristotle says, "let it be reasonable, therefore, that to cut and divide should be accidents to figure; yet, that a pyramid should necessarily make pyramids, or a sphere spheres, is perfectly absurd, and is just as if some one should think that a sword may be divided into swords, or a saw into saws."

To this also Proclus replies, "that fire dissolves the elements of that which it burns, and transmutes them into itself. But a sword does not act upon the essence of that which it cuts. For it does not dissolve the essence of it, but by dividing it, makes a less from a greater quantity; since it has not its figure essentially, but from accident. If, therefore, nothing which cuts changes that which is cut into the essence of itself, nor dissolves the form of it, how can it make a division into things similar to itself? But it may be said, Let bodies which are burnt be dissolved into triangles, for instance, water and air, and the elements of them, the icosaedron and octaedron, yet what is which composes the triangles of these into the figure of fire, viz. into the pyramid, so as that many such being conjoined, fire is produced? Plato therefore says, in the Timæus, that the triangles being dissolved by fire, do not cease to pass from one body into another until they conic into another form; for instance, the triangles of

p. 25

the icosaedron, which are divisible into octaedra, or rather till they pass into fire, which is of a dividing nature. For if they are composed into the nature of fire, they cease their transition; since similars neither act upon, nor suffer from each other. But it will be well to hear the most beautiful words themselves of Plato: 'When any one of the forms (says he), becoming invested by fire, is cut by the acuteness of its angles and sides, then, passing into the nature of fire, it suffers no farther discerption. For no form is ever able to produce mutation or passivity, or any kind of alteration, in that which is similar and the same with itself; but as long as it passes into something else, and the more imbecile contends with the more powerful, it will not cease to be dissolved.' It is evident, however, that the planes are not composed casually, and as it may happen, at one time in this, and at another in that figure; but that which dissolves them exterminates the aptitude which they had to that figure, for instance, to the icosaedron, this aptitude being more gross and turbulent, and transfers it to the purer aptitude of the air which is near. And in the first place, they acquire a bulk from octaedra. Afterwards being dissolved by fire, they are more purified and attenuated, and become adapted to the composition of a pyramid. But it is evident that

p. 26

Title: Re: Fragments of the Lost Writings of Proclus
Post by: Major Weatherly on February 06, 2009, 01:18:08 pm
to whatever form they are adapted, from their figure, they easily receive this form, and on this account, from water air is first generated, and then from air fire."

In the next place, Aristotle says, "that it is ridiculous to attribute a figure to fire for the purpose of dividing alone; for fire appears rather to collect and bring boundaries together, than to separate. For it separates accidentally things which are not of a kindred nature, and collects especially those which are."

Proclus opposes this argument, and says, "that the very contrary is true. For fire essentially separates, but collects things together accidentally; since to take away things of a foreign nature from such as are similar, predisposes the concurrence of the latter into each other, and their tendencies to the same thing. For all fiery natures, according to all the senses, have a separating power. Thus, heat separates the touch, the splendid separates the sight, and the pungent the taste. And farther still, all medicines which are of a fiery nature have a diaphoretic power. Again, every thing which collects strives to surround that which is collected, at the same time compelling it; but fire does not endeavour to surround, but to penetrate through bodies." Proclus adds, "that according to those, also, who

p. 27

do not give figures to the elements, fire is thought to rank among things of the most attenuated parts. But a thing of this kind is rather of a separating nature, entering into other things, than of a collective nature. That what essentially separates, however, belongs to fire, is evident from this, that it not only separates things heterogeneous from each other, but every particular thing itself. For it melts silver, and gold, and the other metals, because it separates them."

Aristotle farther observes, "in addition to these things, since the hot and the cold are contrary in capacity, it is impossible to attribute any figure to the cold, because it is necessary that the figure which is attributed should be a contrary; but nothing is contrary to figure. Hence all physiologists omit this, though it is fit either to define all things or nothing by figures."

This objection also, Proclus dissolving says, "that the argument of Aristotle very properly requires that a figure should be assigned adapted to the cold; but that it is necessary to recollect concerning heat, how it was not said that heat is a pyramid, but that it is a power affective, through sharpness of angles and tenuity of side. Cold, therefore, is not a figure, as neither is heat,

p. 28

Title: Re: Fragments of the Lost Writings of Proclus
Post by: Major Weatherly on February 06, 2009, 01:18:26 pm
but it is the power * of a certain figure. And as heat is incisive, so cold has a connective property. And as the former subsists according to sharpness of angles and tenuity of sides, so, on the contrary, the latter subsists according to obtuseness of angles and thickness of sides. Hence, the former power is contrary to the latter, the figures themselves not being contrary, but the powers inherent in the figures. The argument, however, requires a figure, not in reality contrary, but adapted to a contrary power. Such figures, therefore, as have obtuse angles and thick sides, have powers contrary to the pyramid, and are connective of bodies. But such figures are the elements of three bodies. Hence all things that congregate, congregate through impulsion; but fire alone, as we have observed, has a separating power. †

p. 29

Aristotle adds a fifteenth argument, after all that has been said, objecting to magnitude, and shewing that the Pythagoreans make the power of cold a cause, as consisting of great parts, because it compresses and does not pass through pores, as is indicated by what Plato says in the Timæus about cold. * Proclus, however, in opposition

p. 30

to this, observes as follows: "We do not determine the elements of simple bodies by magnitude alone, but also by thinness and thickness, by sharpness and facility of motion, and by immobility and difficulty of motion, which give variety to forms, and cause things which have the same form, not to differ by magnitude alone. For the magnitude of planes makes the largeness or smallness of parts in bodies; since the parts of them are called elements. Thus, the pyramids of fire, of which fire consists, are the parts of fire, and octaedra are the parts of air. For the octaedron is greater than the pyramid, both being generated from an equal triangle. But the composition, together with so great a multitude, make the acute and the obtuse. For more or fewer triangles coming together, an angle, either acute or obtuse, is generated; an acute angle, indeed, from a less, but an obtuse from a greater multitude. But the characteristic property of the planes produces facility or difficulty of motion; these planes existing in a compact state, through similitude, but being prepared for tendency

p. 31

through dissimilitude. Large pyramids, therefore, do not belong to things which refrigerate, but to the larger parts of fire; just as larger octaedra belong to the larger parts of air, and larger icosaedra to larger parts of water. For from this cause waters are thin and thick, and airs are attenuated and gross; since it is evident that these are determined by quantity."


11:* In order to understand what is said by Proclus in answer to the objections of Aristotle, it is requisite to relate, from Simplicius, the hypothesis of the Pythagoreans and Plato, respecting the composition of the elements from the five regular bodies. "They supposed two primogenial right-angled triangles, the one isosceles, but the other scalene, having the greater side the double in length of the less, and which they call a semi-triangle, because it is the half of the equilateral triangle, which is bisected by a perpendicular from the vertex to the base. And from the isosceles triangle, which Timæus calls a semi-square, four such having their right angles conjoined in one centre, a square is formed. But the union of six such triangles † having eight angles, p. 19 forms a cube, which is the element of earth. The semi-triangle, however, constitutes the pyramid, the octaedron, and the icosaedron, which are distributed to tire, air, and water. And the pyramid, indeed, consists of four equilateral triangles, each of which composes six semi-triangles. But the octaedron consists of eight equilateral triangles, and forty-eight semi-triangles; and the icosaedron is formed from twenty equilateral triangles, but one hundred and twenty semi-triangles. Hence, these three, deriving their composition from, one element, viz. the semi triangle, are naturally adapted, according to the Pythagoreans and Plato, to be changed into each other; but earth, as deriving its composition from another triangle specifically different, can neither be resolved into the other three bodies, nor be composed from them."

11:† Viz. of six squares, or six times four isosceles triangles, whose right angles are conjoined in one centre.

17:* In planes this can only be accomplished by the equilateral triangle, the square, and the hexagon; viz. by six equilateral triangles, four squares, and three hexagons. But in solids, the pyramid and cube alone can fill the place, which is about one point. Of the first part of this admirable theorem, which is also mentioned, with the praise it deserves, by Proclus in his Commentary on the First Book of Euclid, the following demonstration is given by Tacquet.—In order that any regular figures frequently repeated may fill space, viz. may form one continued superficies, it is requisite that the angles of many figures of that species composed about one point make four right angles; for so many exist about one point as is evident from Coroll. 3. Prop. 13. of the First Book of Euclid. Thus, for instance, that equilateral triangles may fill place, it is requisite that some angles of such triangles composed about one point should make four right angles. But 6 equilateral triangles make 4 right angles; for 1 makes 2/3 of one right angle, and therefore 6 make 12/3 of 1 right, i.e. 4 right angles. The 4 angles of a square, also, as is evident, make 4 right angles; and this is likewise the case with the 3 angles of a hexagon. For one makes 4/3 of 1 right, and consequently 3 make 12/3 of 1 right, that is, again 4 right. But that no other figure can effect this, will clearly appear, if, its angle being found, it is multiplied by ally number; for the angles will always be less than, or exceed, 4 right angles.

28:* It is well observed by Simplicius, (De Cœlo, p. 142,) "that Plato and the Pythagoreans by a plane denoted something more simple than a body, atoms being evidently bodies; that they assigned commensuration and a demiurgic analogy [ i.e. active and fabricative powers] to their figures, which Democritus did not to his atoms; and that they differed from him in their arrangement of earth."

28:† Simplicius here remarks, "that it may be doubted, how the powers which are in figures, being contrary, the figures themselves will not be contrary; for powers are adapted to the p. 29 things by which they are possessed. Perhaps, therefore, he H. e. Proclus] calls the four figures, the pyramid and the other regular bodies, which not being contrary, their powers are contrary; since their powers are not according to their figures. For neither the thick nor the thin, neither that which has large nor that which has small parts, neither that which is moved with difficulty nor that which is easily moved, are the differences of figure. Perhaps, too, neither are acuteness nor obtuseness of angles simply the differences of figure, since neither is an angle simply a figure. If, therefore, the dispositions of the hot and the cold, which are contrary, are effected according to these contrarieties, no absurdity will ensue. Hence the proposition which says, that things which are determined by figures are not contrary, requires a certain circumscription. For they are not contrary according to figures, yet they are not prevented from having contraries. If, however, some one should insist, that contrarieties are according to figures, it is necessary to recollect that Aristotle in this treatise says, that there is also in figures a certain contrariety."

29:* What Plato says on this subject in the Timæus, is as follows: "The moist parts of bodies larger than our humid parts, entering into our bodies, expel the smaller parts; but not being able to penetrate into their receptacles, coagulate our moisture, and cause it through equability to pass from an anomalous and agitated state, into one immovable and collected. p. 30 But that which is collected together contrary to nature, naturally opposes such a condition, and endeavours by repulsion to recall itself into a contrary situation. In this contest and agitation, a trembling and numbness takes place; and all this passion, together with that which produces it, is denominated cold."


Title: Re: Fragments of the Lost Writings of Proclus
Post by: Major Weatherly on February 06, 2009, 01:18:44 pm
From the Treatise in which a Solution is given of Ten Doubts against Providence.
Providence, therefore, as we have said, being defined by the one and the good, and the good subsisting prior to intellect,—for intellect and all beings aspire after the good, but the good does not aspire after intellect,—it is necessary that the knowledge of providence should be above the knowledge of intellect. And thus it is also necessary that providence should know all things, by the one of itself, according to which one, it likewise benefits every thing intellective and non-intellective, vital and non-vital, beings and non-beings; * impressing in all things a unity, as an

p. 32

image of its Own one. In short, we assert that this one is productive of all things, we likewise say, that all things are preserved by it,—as that which has an hyparxis more true than all essence, and more manifest than all knowledge,—not being divided with, nor moved about, the objects of knowledge. For of these things, physical and intellectual knowledge has the peculiarities. For every intellect is one many, both in its existence, and its intellection. And every soul, since it is motion, intellectually perceives in conjunction with motion. But the one of providence abiding in its unity, being at one and the same time intransitive and indivisible, knows all things after the same manner; and thus knows, not only man and sun, and every other thing of this kind, but also every thing which ranks among particulars. For nothing escapes the knowledge of this one, whether you speak of its existence, or its capability of being known. Thus, the transcendently united knowledge of providence, is a knowledge of all divisible natures, in the same impartible one, and likewise of things the most indivisible, and of such as are most total. And as it gave subsistence to every thing by its own one, so by the same one, every thing is known by it. *


31:* In the original, immediately after καθο και αγαθυνει παντα τα νοουντα, it appears to me that the words και τα μη νοουντα, και ζωντα, are wanting. This defect I have supplied in the above translation.

32:* This extract is to be found in the Treatise of Philoponus against Proclus on the Eternity of the World.


Title: Re: Fragments of the Lost Writings of Proclus
Post by: Major Weatherly on February 06, 2009, 01:19:05 pm
p. 33

From the Fifth Book of Proclus on the Timæus of Plato. *
In this book, in which he explains the doctrine of Plato concerning material forms, he says, that qualities and all material forms derive their subsistence, according to Plato, from non-being, and again perish by returning into non-being, when the composite is dissolved. He then adds as follows: "Would it not, however, be better to say, that material forms, and not only qualities, are the things which are said to enter into and depart from matter; for these, and not qualities, are the resemblances of intelligibles? It is worth while, therefore, to survey whither this form departs. If, indeed, it departs into nature, an absurdity will ensue: for nature would receive something similar to the things which are posterior to it, and which proceed from it. Just as if some one should say, that any thing departs from generation into an intelligible essence. But if we should assert that this form departs into another matter, we should speak contrary to what is evident. For when fire is extinguished, and the matter is converted into air, we do not see

p. 34

that another matter is enkindled [after its departure]. And if material forms are in themselves, they will be intelligibles, and self-subsistent and impartible natures. Whence, therefore, does bulk derive its subsistence'? Whence interval? Whence is the war to obtain possession of a common subject derived? For things which are in themselves do not contend in a hostile manner for a common seat; since neither are they indigent of a certain subject. But if material forms are neither in nature nor in themselves, and it is not possible that such forms should be in matter after their corruption, it is necessary that they should proceed into non-being. For this universe would not remain, matter always remaining, if form alone subsisted without generation, and perished without corruption." *


33:* This extract is only to be found in the Treatise of Philoponus against Proclus on the Eternity of the World.

34:* Forms, when they proceed into matter, and in consequence of this become materialised, resemble (as Plotinus beautifully observes in his Treatise on the Impassivity of Incorporeal Natures) "shadow falling upon shadow, like images in water, or in a mirror, or a dream."


Title: Re: Fragments of the Lost Writings of Proclus
Post by: Major Weatherly on February 06, 2009, 01:19:24 pm
p. 35

1. The first argument is unfortunately lost; but from what may be collected from Philoponus, the substance of it appears to have been this: "that the artificer of the world being an eternally energising being, and energising essentially, the universe must be consubsistent with him, in the same manner as the sun, which produces light by its very being, has the light so produced consubsistent with itself, and neither is light prior or posterior to the sun, nor the sun to light; just as the shadow which proceeds from a body that is situated in the light, is always consubsistent with it." *


35:* Thus, too, Sallust, in cap. 7, De Diis et Mundo: αναγκη δια την του θεου αγαθοτητα οντος του κοσμον, αειτε τον θεον αγαθον ειναι, και τον κοσμον υπαρχειν, ωσπερ ηλιῳ μεν και πυρι συνυφισταται φως, σωματι δε σκια. i.e. " Since the world subsists through the goodness of divinity, it is necessary that divinity should always be good, and that the world should always exist; just as light is consubsistent with the sun and with fire, and shadow with the body [by which it is produced]."


Title: Re: Fragments of the Lost Writings of Proclus
Post by: Major Weatherly on February 06, 2009, 01:19:42 pm
p. 36

Argument the Second.
The paradigm of the world is eternal; and his existence, as a paradigm, is that which is essential, and not accidental to him. But because he possesses the power of being a paradigm essentially, hence, as * he is eternal, he will be eternally the paradigm of the world. If, however, an existence eternally is present with the paradigm, the image also will necessarily always exist; for a paradigm is a paradigm with reference to an image. But if the image was not when the paradigm was not, neither will the paradigm be when the image is not; † since, in this case, it will no longer be a paradigm. For either it will not be a paradigm if the image is not, or it will not be the paradigm of the image. Of things, therefore, which are predicated with reference to each other, the one cannot exist if the other is not. Hence, if the paradigm of the world is eternally the paradigm of it, the world always is an image of an eternally existing paradigm.


36:* For διατι, in the original, it is necessary to read διοτι.

36:† Because the paradigm here is essentially a paradigm, so as not to exist without being a paradigm.


Title: Re: Fragments of the Lost Writings of Proclus
Post by: Major Weatherly on February 06, 2009, 01:20:11 pm
p. 37

Argument the Third.
If a fabricator [or demiurgus] is the fabricator of a certain thing, he will either be always a fabricator in energy, or at a certain time in capacity only, so as not to fabricate eternally. If, therefore, there is a fabricator in energy, who is always a fabricator, that which is fabricated by him will always exist, as being a thing fabricated according to an eternal energy. For Aristotle says, that when the cause exists in energy, the effect will also in a similar manner be in energy; viz. if the cause be a builder in energy, there will be that which is built; if the cause be that which actually heals, there will be that which is actually healed. And Plato, in the Philebus, says, that the maker is the maker of a certain thing which is made. But if that which is fabricated does not subsist in energy, neither will that which fabricates it be in energy. If, however, the fabricator is not in energy, he will be in capacity; viz. before he fabricates, he will possess in capacity the power of fabricating. But every thing which is in capacity a certain thing, says Aristotle, becomes that thing in energy, through some other thing which exists in energy. Thus, that which is hot in capacity becomes actually hot, through that

p. 38

which is hot in energy; and the like is true of the cold, the white, and the black. Hence the fabricator, who had a prior subsistence in capacity, will become an actual fabricator, through some one who is a fabricator in energy. And if the latter, indeed, is always in energy the cause of the former being a fabricator, the former will always be a fabricator through the preceding axiom, * which says, when the cause is in energy, the effect also produced by it will be in energy; so that the thing which is fabricated by an eternally energising cause always is. But if this cause is at a certain time the cause in capacity of the fabricator fabricating, again this cause will require some other cause, which enables it to be in energy the maker of the energising fabricator; and this in consequence of the second axiom, which says, that every thing which is in capacity requires that which is in energy, in order that it may itself have a subsistence in energy. And again, the same reasoning will take place with respect to that other cause, and we must either proceed to infinity, in investigating one cause before another, which

p. 39

leads the proposed cause from capacity to energy, or we shall be compelled to grant, that there is a certain cause which always exists in energy. But this being granted, it follows that the effects of that cause must likewise always subsist in energy, and that the world is always fabricated, if the Demiurgus of it is always the Demiurgus. This follows from the two axioms, one of which is, that such as is the condition of one of two relatives, such also is that of the other, viz. that if the one is in capacity, so also is the other; and if the one is in energy, the other also is in energy. But the other axiom is, that every thing which is in capacity, changes into another thing in energy, through a certain thing which is in energy, the thing so changed being first in capacity and afterwards in energy.


38:* It appears, from what is here said, that certain axioms preceded this work, which, as the beginning is wanting, are lost; and this being the case, it is more than probable that these arguments of Proclus were originally in the form of propositions, like his Physical and Theological Elements.


Title: Re: Fragments of the Lost Writings of Proclus
Post by: Major Weatherly on February 06, 2009, 01:20:31 pm
Argument the Fourth.
Every thing which is generated from a cause essentially immovable is immovable. For if that which makes is immovable, it is immutable; but if immutable, it makes by its very being, not passing from efficient energy into non-efficiency, nor from non-efficiency into efficiency. For if it had transition, it would also have mutation, viz. a

p. 40

transition from the one to the other. But if it has mutation, it will not be immovable. Hence, if any thing is immovable, it will either never be an effector, or it will always be so; lest, in consequence of being effective at a certain time, it should be moved. So that if there is an immovable cause of a certain thing, and which neither never is not * a cause, nor is a cause only at a certain time, it will always be a cause. If, however, this be true, it will be the cause of that which is perpetual. If, therefore, the cause of the universe is immovable, (lest, being moved, he should be at first imperfect, but afterwards perfect, since every motion is an imperfect energy; and lest, being moved, he should be in want of time, though he produces tithe,)—this being the case, it is necessary that the universe should be perpetual, as being produced by an immovable cause. Hence, if any one wishing to conceive piously of the cause of the universe, should say that he alone is perpetual, but that this world is not perpetual, he will evince that this cause is moved, and is not immovable, in consequence of asserting that the world is not perpetual. But by asserting that this cause is moved, and is not immovable, he must also assert

p. 41

that he is not always perfect, but that he was at a certain time likewise imperfect, because all motion is imperfect energy, and is indigent of that which is less excellent, viz. of time, through which motion is effected. He, however, who asserts that this cause is at a certain time imperfect, and not always perfect, and that he is indigent of time, is transcendently impious. Hence, he who, fancies that he is pious towards the cause of the universe, in asserting that this cause alone is perpetual, is, in thus asserting, remarkably impious.


40:* Ουκ is here erroneously omitted in the original, and appears also to have been omitted in the MS. from which Mahotius made his translation.


Title: Re: Fragments of the Lost Writings of Proclus
Post by: Major Weatherly on February 06, 2009, 01:20:51 pm
Argument the Fifth.
If time subsist together with heaven [i.e. with the universe], and neither * can the universe exist if time is not, nor time if the universe has no existence; and if time was not, when the universe †

p. 42

was not, neither will time be when the universe does not exist. For if the universe was when time was not, it then follows that time was when time was not. For that which once was is said to have existed once, in consequence of at a certain time not having existed; since it is neither that which eternally exists, nor that which never exists, but is the medium between both. But wherever there is the once, there time exists. And if the universe will be when time will not have an existence, thus passing from existing at a certain time to not existing at a certain time, * in this case, time will then be when there will be no time [because time and the universe are consubsistent]: for the term ποτε (or, at a certain time) is temporal. If, therefore, the universe neither was when time was not, neither will it be when time ceases to exist. For a subsistence at a certain time (ποτε) which pertains to both these, time not existing, will yet be temporal. † Time therefore always is. For to a subsistence at a certain time, either the always is

p. 43

opposed, or the never. But it is impossible that the never should be opposed to it; for, in short, time has an existence. Hence, time is perpetual. But heaven [or the universe] is consubsistent with time, and time with heaven. For time is the measure of the motion of heaven, just as eternity is of the life of animal itself; * which thing itself spews that time is perpetual. For if this be not admitted, either eternity will be the paradigm of nothing, time not existing, though eternity exists, or neither will eternity itself possess the power of always remaining that which it is; † in consequence of the paradigm of either passing from non-existence into existence, or into non-existence from existence. The heaven therefore always ‡ is, in the same manner as time, proceeding into existence together with time, and being generated

p. 44

neither prior nor posterior to time; but, as Plato says, it was generated, and is, and will be, through the whole of time. *


41:* Ουτε is here omitted in the original, but it is obviously necessary that it ought to be inserted; and this is confirmed by the version of Mahotius, who found ουτε, in this place in his MS.; for his version is "neque cœlum est, si non sit tempus," &c.

41:† Ουρανος is here wanting in the original; or, at least, it is requisite to conceive it to be implied. Philoponus, however, not perceiving this, though it must be evident to every one who understands the reasoning of Proclus, has, as usual, made himself ridiculous in his attempt to confute this fifth argument.

42:* If the universe will be when time has no existence, it will then not exist at a certain time, because time is no more. But as will be pertains to time,—time, as Proclus says, will then be when there will be no time.

42:† Because if time once was not, or if time hereafter will not be, then in either case there will be a tirade when there is no time, which is absurd.

43:* Eternity hi the second monad, and animal itself, or the paradigm of the universe, is the third monad of the intelligible triad. See the Third Book of my Translation of Proclus on the Theology of Plato.

43:† The original of this sentence is, ινα μη ο αιων ἣ μηδενος ᾖ παραδειγμα χρονου, μη οντος αιων υπαρχων, ἣ μηδε αυτος εχῃ το αει μενειν ο εστι. But it is necessary to alter the punctuation of the former part of it, so as to render it conformable to the above translation; and instead of reading παραδειγμα χρονου, μη οντος αιων υπαρχων, to read παραδειγμα, χρονου μη οντος, αιων υπαρχων.

43:‡ In the original, και ο ουρανος αρα εστιν; but it is obviously necessary to read και ο ουρανος αει αρα εστιν.


Title: Re: Fragments of the Lost Writings of Proclus
Post by: Major Weatherly on February 06, 2009, 01:21:15 pm
Argument the Sixth.
The Demiurgus alone can dissolve the world: for Plato says [in the Timæus] that it is in every respect indissoluble, except by him by whom it was bound; for every where it is the province of him who knows [and is the cause of] a bond, to know also the mode of dissolving that which he bound; and it is the province of him who knows the mode of dissolution to dissolve. But the Demiurgus will never dissolve the world. For it is he who says [in the Timæus of Plato], "that it pertains only to an evil nature to dissolve that which is beautifully harmonised and constituted well." But as it is impossible for him who is truly good to be evil, it is impossible that the world should be dissolved. For neither can it be dissolved by any other, because it is possible for the Demiurgus alone to dissolve it; nor can it be dissolved by its fabricator, because it is the province

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of an evil nature to be willing to dissolve that which is beautifully harmonised. Either, therefore, he has not beautifully harmonised the world, and, in this case, he is not the best of artificers; or he has beautifully harmonised it, and will not dissolve it, lest he should become evil, which is a thing impossible. Hence the universe is indissoluble, and therefore incorruptible. But if incorruptible, it was not generated * [according to a temporal generation]. For corruption pertains to every thing which is generated, † as Socrates says in his conference with Timæus on the preceding day, ‡ not in his own words, but professing to utter what the Muses assert. And it is evident that Timæus did not consider this dogma of the Muses to be superfluous; since he admits that there is a certain incorruptible genus. If, therefore, this be true, that which is incorruptible is unbegotten, [i.e. never had any temporal beginning of its existence]. But the world is incorruptible, and therefore is unbegotten. Hence also the world is perpetual, if it is unbegotten and incorruptible.


44:* This is asserted by Plato, of heaven, or the universe, in the Timæus.

45:* Ου γενομενονis here erroneously omitted in the original; but this deficiency is supplied in the version of Mahotius, which has here "ne ortum quidem est."

45:† In the original, παντι γενομενῳ Φθορα εστι, but after παντι it is necessary to add γαρ.

45:‡ This is asserted in the Eighth Book of the Republic; for it is there said, γενομενῳ παντι Φθορα εστιν.


Title: Re: Fragments of the Lost Writings of Proclus
Post by: Major Weatherly on February 06, 2009, 01:21:36 pm
p. 46

Argument the Seventh.
IF the soul of the universe is unbegotten and incorruptible, the world also is unbegotten and incorruptible. For the soul of the world, and likewise every soul, is essentially self-motive; but every thing self-motive is the fountain and principle of motion. If, therefore, the soul of the universe is perpetual, it is necessary that the universe should always be moved by this soul. For as the universe was not moved by the motion of soul, either prior or posterior to soul, it is not possible that soul should not be the principle of its motion, since it is essentially self-motive, and on this account is the principle of motion. Moreover, soul, through being self-motive, is unbegotten and incorruptible. The universe, therefore, is un-begotten and incorruptible. Hence it is evident that every [rational soul] first ascends into a perpetual body [as into a vehicle], and always moves this body. * And likewise, when it is in corruptible bodies, it moves them, though the bodies which are perpetually moved by it.


46:* Concerning this vehicle of the soul, which is ethereal, ace my Translation of the Fifth Book of Proclus on the Timæus of Plato.


Title: Re: Fragments of the Lost Writings of Proclus
Post by: Major Weatherly on February 06, 2009, 01:21:57 pm
p. 47

Argument the Eighth.
Every thing which is corrupted, is corrupted by the incursion of something foreign to its nature, and is corrupted into something foreign to itself; but there is nothing external or foreign to the universe, since it comprehends in itself all things, being a whole of wholes, and perfect from things of a perfect nature. Neither, therefore, will there be any thing foreign to the universe, nor can it be corrupted into any thing foreign, or be generated by a nature foreign to itself. Hence it is incorruptible, and, in consequence of this, it is likewise unbegotten. For every thing which is generated, is generated from something which, prior to what is generated, was foreign to it; so that there will be something which is foreign to the universe. But this will be external to that which is generated. Hence, there will be something external to the universe, which is foreign to the universe before it was generated. But if this be the case, there will be something contrary to the universe from which it was generated. Contraries, however, are produced from each other, and change into each other; and these being two, there are two paths between them, as is demonstrated through many arguments in the Phædo, in which it is

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shewn, that of contraries the one yields to the other, and that nature is not idle. It is evident, therefore, indeed, that what has an orderly arrangement is opposed to that which is disorderly and without arrangement. But if these are opposed as habit and privation, and there is a mutation from privation to habit, much more is there a mutation from habit to privation; for the former is much more impossible than the latter, because certain privations cannot be changed into habits. * If, therefore, that which is more impossible to be generated was generated, in a much greater degree will that be which is more possible; and that which has an orderly arrangement will be changed into that which is without arrangement, and this will be conformable to nature and the will of divinity: for he who produces that which is more impossible, will much more produce that which is more possible. But if these are contraries, according to the law of contraries, the universe will be changed into the contrary of that from which it was generated. It has been demonstrated, however, that the universe is incorruptible. It will

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not, therefore, be changed into any thing contrary; so that neither was it generated [in time], and therefore is perpetual. For it is not possible, when there are two contraries, that there should be a path from the former of the two to the latter, and yet not from the latter to the former. Nor is it possible in privation and habit, that there should be a path from privation to habit, but not from habit to privation. For in certain things, there is not a path from privation to habit. There is, however, a mutation of contraries into each other, as Socrates says in the Phædo. So that either the universe is not incorruptible, or it is in a much greater degree unbegotten than incorruptible, whether that which is without arrangement is contrary to that which has arrangement, or whether that which is without arrangement is the privation of that which is arranged.


48:* The original here is erroneous, for it is διοτι στερησις εστιν, αι δε στερησεις εις εξιν αμεταϐλητοι. Instead of whirl i, it is requisite to read διοτι τινες στερησεις εις εξιν εισιν αμεταϐλητοι. Conformably to this, the version of Mahotius has, "quiæ nonnullæ sunt privationes, quæ in habitum sunt immutabiles."


Title: Re: Fragments of the Lost Writings of Proclus
Post by: Major Weatherly on February 06, 2009, 01:24:54 pm
Argument the Ninth.
Every thing which is corrupted, is corrupted by its own evil. * For it is not corrupted by its

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own proper good, or by that which is peculiar to it, and which is neither good nor evil, but of an intermediate nature. * For every thing of this kind neither injures nor benefits, so that it neither corrupts nor preserves. If, therefore, the universe could be corrupted, it would be corrupted by its own evil. But Plato says [in the Timæus], that the world is a blessed God, and in a similar manner that all the Gods are blessed; and on this account, every genus of Gods being unreceptive of evil, is also unreceptive of mutation. The universe, therefore, to which nothing is evil, will never be corrupted; because it also is a God. But if the universe is incorruptible, because it has not any thing corruptive in its nature, neither has it a temporal generation. For that from which the generation of a thing is derived, is corruptive of that thing. For if it is vanquished, indeed, it is an assistant cause of generation; but if it vanquishes, it is an assistant cause of corruption. Hence, if there is nothing which can corrupt the universe, neither will it have any thing from which it can be generated. But there is nothing which can corrupt it, since there is nothing which is an evil to it. For what can corrupt that which bas an orderly arrangement, except that which is

p. 51

without arrangement, or that which is adorned, except that which is deprived of ornament? for this is an evil, to that which is adorned, and arranged in an orderly manner. If, therefore, there is any thing which is evil to the universe, the universe will contain in itself the unadorned and the unarranged, into which it will be dissolved: but if there is nothing which is evil to it, there will not be a certain privation of order and ornament hostile to the universe, which is arranged and adorned. If, however, it is free from all hostile privation of ornament and order, neither was it generated from any thing deprived of order and ornament, since neither is a thing of this kind hostile to it. But if nothing is evil to it, neither will it have any thing from which it can be generated; and there not being any thing from which it can he generated, it must be un-begotten. For it is necessary that every thing which is generated, should be generated from something, since it is impossible that it should be generated from nothing.


49:* This is asserted by Plato, in the Tenth Book of the Republic, as follows, το ξυμφυτον αρα κακον εκαστον και η πονηρια εχαστον απολλυσιν.

50:* For διαφορου here, it is necessary to read αδιαφορου. The version also of Mahotius has "medium."


Title: Re: Fragments of the Lost Writings of Proclus
Post by: Major Weatherly on February 06, 2009, 01:25:20 pm
Argument the Tenth.
Each of the elements of which the world consists, when in its proper place, either remains in

p. 52

that place, or is moved in a circle; * but when it is not in its own place, it endeavours to arrive thither. If, therefore, the elements of the universe either remain in their proper place, or are moved in a circle; if they remain in the place which is natural to them, they are then in a natural condition of being; but if they are moved in a circle, they will neither have an end nor a beginning of their motion. † And this being the case, it is evident that the universe is immutable, some things in it having places adapted to them according to nature, but others being moved without beginning and without end. For the natures in this sublunary region are changed, in consequence of being in a foreign place, and the things of which they consist hastening to obtain their proper abode. If, therefore, the elements of the universe are in their proper places, and nothing which ranks as a whole tends to a foreign place, nor if it did, could oiler violence to that which is in its proper place, it is necessary that the universe should be immutable;

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since all things always subsist in it according to nature, not only such as rank as wholes, but those that permanently abide in it, and those that are moved. Hence, if before the universe was adorned, the natures which it contained were in their proper places, they either permanently remained in it, or were moved in a circle, and thus again the universe was adorned before it was adorned, and had no temporal beginning of its adornment; all things subsisting in it in a similar manner, both now and formerly. But if the several natures which the universe contains were in foreign places, (for they were entirely in places, being bodies,) they would require a transposition derived from an external cause. * Hence, there will be two principles, one of that which is preternatural, but the other of that which is according to nature; and that which is preternatural will be prior to that which is according to nature; † that which is preternatural being a

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departure from nature. But nature having no existence whatever, (if these things are admitted,) neither will there be that which is preternatural; just as if art had no existence, neither would there be that which is not conformable to art. For that existing which is not according or conformable to a certain thing, will be in consequence of that existing to which it is not conformable. So that if there were places of these according to nature, it is immanifest whether these places, being more ancient, subsisted naturally for an infinite time. But if there were no other places which were the proper receptacles of these, neither would those places be foreign in which they were situated: for that which is foreign is referred to that which is proper or peculiar. If, however, then also these natures were not in foreign places, when they were in the receptacles which they then had, just as now they are not in foreign places, it follows that they then likewise had an existence according to nature, in the same manner as they now have. Hence, the world will always exist; at different times different things subsisting, either according to nature, or preternaturally, with reference to the beings which the world contains. Hence, too, the world, so far as it is the world, is perpetual. But a thing of this kind exists in the world

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alone. * And if such a thing does not always exist, the universe will be transformed, yet still will be perpetual. And as that preternatural subsistence is to what now exists, so is what is now preternatural to that. Both in that state of things likewise, and in this, all things existed in their proper places; but differently at different times. Empedocles, likewise, wisely supposes the world to be made alternately, except that he supposes this to take place frequently; but we admit it to take place only twice. †


52:* This was an axiom of Plotinus, and also of Ptolemy, which in the original is, παν σωμα απλουν εν τῳ οικειῳ τοπῳ ον, ακινητον μενει, ὴ κυκλῳ κινειται. Vid. Procl. in Tim. pp. 142 and 274.

52:† This is demonstrated by Aristotle, and by Proclus, in Lib. II. Element. Physic. Theorem. XVII. See my Translation of Aristotle's Treatise on the Heavens, Book II. Chap. 3.

53:* The original in the latter part of this sentence is defective, since from the version of Mahotius it appears, that after μεταθεσεως it is requisite to add εξωθεν προσδεωνται. For his version of this latter part is, "Transpositione aliunde indigebant."

53:† In the original, και προτερον το παρα φυσιν του κατα φυσιν, which is doubtless the true reading; but Mahotius most erroneously translates this passage as follows: "Atque id quod est secundům naturam, prius est eo, quod est contrŕ naturam."

55:* i.e. A thing which at different times has either a natural or a preternatural subsistence.

55:† Proclus, in asserting that he admits the world to have been made only twice, doubtless alludes to what is said by Plato in the Timćus, viz. "That the Demiurgus, receiving every thing that was visible, and which was not in a state of rest, but moved in a confused and disorderly manner, led it from disorder into order, conceiving that the latter was in every respect better than the former." This separation, however, of the unadorned from the adorned never actually existed, but only exists in our conceptions, as Proclus observes, at the end of the Fourteenth of these Arguments; and, as Porphyry and Iamblichus very properly remark, only indicates how the whole corporeal-formed composition subsists, when considered itself by itself, viz. that it is then disorderly and confused. This twofold state, therefore, of the world, i.e. the unadorned and adorned, is the twofold fabrication admitted by Proclus.


Title: Re: Fragments of the Lost Writings of Proclus
Post by: Major Weatherly on February 06, 2009, 01:25:45 pm
p. 56

Argument the Eleventh.
Matter (says Plato) subsists for the sake of the universe, for it is the receptacle of generation; but that for the sake of which matter exists, is nothing else than generation. If, therefore, matter derives its existence from nothing, it will exist casually for the sake of something; and that which is generated will have matter fortuitously. Nothing, however, which subsists fortuitously is necessary; so that we must say, that neither does the fabrication of things possess stability. But if matter is from a certain cause, and for the sake of generation, these, viz. matter and generation, necessarily subsist in conjunction with each other. For that which exists for the sake of a certain thing, and that for the sake of which a thing exists, are in conjunction with each other; for they have a reference to each other, or are relatives. If, therefore, matter is perpetual, and, so far as it is matter, exists for the sake of something else, generation also is perpetual: for it is necessary that this also should subsist for the sake of a certain thing, because it is generation. Hence, matter and generation are con-subsistent with each other for ever, in the same manner as that for the sake of which a thing

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exists, and that which exists for the sake of that thing. For matter exists for the sake of something, viz. for the sake of the form which it contains. For a certain matter is then matter, when it has form. Hence, artists cause matter, which has not been yet adorned, to become adapted to the reception of a certain form; * and according to the proficiency which they make in preparing the matter, in such proportion also does form accede. For stones are not the matter of the form of the house, till they are made smooth, if it should happen to be requisite, and become properly adapted, and then they are the matter (from which the house can be built). When, therefore, the stones become truly the requisite matter, then form is instantaneously present. If, therefore, that which is simply matter, is entirely the matter of all generation, and is all things in capacity, and is not indigent of any thing in order to its existence as matter, as is the case with that which ranks as some particular thing, (for that which exists simply, is every where a thing of this kind, and is so primarily, and is not in want of any thing to its existence,)—this being the case, all forms simultaneously exist

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in that which is simply matter; for matter not being in want of any thing to its existence, it is also not indigent of any thing in order to its possession of forms. Hence, it derives from the cause of its existence, the forms of which it is the matter. But it is unbegotten and incorruptible, lest it should be in want of another matter, though it exists as matter simply considered. Forms, therefore, subsist in it perpetually, and also the world, for matter is the matter of the world, and not of that which is disorderly, and deprived of ornament. Matter also existed for the sake of the world, and not for the sake of that which is destitute of order. For matter does not exist for the sake of privation, but for the sake of form: and hence the world subsists from that cause from which the matter of it is derived.


57:* In the original, διο και ευεργον ποιουσιν οι τεχνεται, την μηπω ουσαν υλην. But for ουσαν in this passage, I read, conformably to the above translation, κοσμουσαν.


Title: Re: Fragments of the Lost Writings of Proclus
Post by: Major Weatherly on February 06, 2009, 01:26:03 pm
Argument the Twelfth.
Every thing which is generated requires matter, and an efficient cause; so that, if that which is generated does not exist always, but only sometimes, this takes place either through the inaptitude of the matter, or through the efficient cause failing in productive energy, or

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through both these; neither the matter being adapted, nor the maker possessing a sufficiency of productive power. If, therefore, the world formerly was not, or will not be hereafter, this will happen to it either through the matter of which it consists, or through the cause by which the world was produced. The maker of the world, however, always possesses a sufficiency of productive power, since he is eternally the same, and does not subsist differently at different times. Either, therefore, neither now does the maker of the world possess a sufficiency of effective power, or he possesses this now, and did formerly, and will hereafter. And with respect to matter, either it was always adapted to be adorned after the sane manner as it is now, or neither now, though it always subsists after the same manner: for matter remains invariably the same, just as the maker of the world is immutable. If, therefore, every thing which at one time is, but at another is not, is such, either through the insufficiency of the maker, or through matter not always possessing a proper aptitude; but the maker of the world, is not at one time sufficient to produce it, and at another not sufficient, nor is matter at one time properly adapted, but at another not;—if this be the case, the world will not exist at one time, but at another not. The Demiurgus, therefore,

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produces, matter is adorned, and the world is for ever.


Title: Re: Fragments of the Lost Writings of Proclus
Post by: Major Weatherly on February 06, 2009, 01:26:26 pm
Argument the Thirteenth.
Plato says, "that Divinity imparted to the world a motion adapted to a spherical body, viz. a circular motion, which especially subsists about intellect and wisdom." If; therefore, he grants that this motion is adapted to the world, he will also grant that heaven, or the universe, naturally resolves in a circle; but if it has this motion according to nature, we must say, that neither a motion upward, nor a motion downward, [nor a progressive motion,] * pertain to it. These, however, are the motions of the sublunary elements. † It is necessary, therefore, that heaven should be exempt from the rectilinear

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motions of [sublunary] bodies. Hence, it is neither fire, nor earth, nor any one of the bodies which are situated between these; nor is a celestial body light or heavy, if that which tend downwards is heavy, and that which tend upward is light; but if that which is moved in a circle is no one of these elements, it will be something different from them. If, therefore, generation and corruption, are among the number of things contrary to each other; but things which have contrary motions according to nature, are contraries, and one thing is contrary to one, (for this is said by Plato in the Protagoras,) — if this be the case, these things, indeed, will be corrupted and generated; but a celestial body will be unbegotten and incorruptible. If, however, these [i.e. the celestial and sublunary wholes] are in their parts, indeed, generated and corrupted, but the wholes always exist according to nature, remaining in their proper places, and if the world consists of these, viz. of heaven, and the wholes of the four elements;this being the case, the world will be without generation, and without corruption. Such things, therefore, as are in any way whatever generated and corrupted, are the effects, and not parts * of

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the world, the Gods which it contains (as Plato says) * borrowing parts from the world, and the genera of efficient causes, as things which are

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again to be restored to it. These, however, have the appearance of being parts of the universe, which are comprehended in it; though other effects also are comprehended in their proper causes, and are connected by them. Hence, if the world consists of things which are unbegotten and incorruptible, it will itself be unbegotten and incorruptible in a much greater degree. For the whole would be less excellent than its parts, if it indeed had generation and corruption, but the parts, on the contrary, were without generation, and without corruption; though it is Plato himself who says, that the whole is more excellent than the parts. For the whole is not for the sake of the parts, but the parts are for the sake of the whole. But that for the sake of which a thing exists, [or the final cause,] is better than those things which subsist for the sake of the final cause. The elements, however, are parts of that which has its composition from them. And hence, that which consists of the elements, is more excellent than the elements of which it consists. If, therefore, heaven, or the universe, consists of unbegotten and incorruptible elements, it will also itself be unbegotten and incorruptible. And this likewise is demonstrated from Platonic principles.


60:* The words within the brackets are added from the version of Mahotius, whose version of this sentence is, "Quare si à natura motum hunc obtinet, neque eum motum, quo sursùm itur, neque eum, quo deorsum descenditur, neque progressionem ipsi convenire dixerimus." But the Greek is, ει δε ταυτην εχει κατα φυσιν κινησιν, ουτ᾽ αν την επι το ανω κινησιν, ουτε την επι το κατω φαιμεν αυτοῳ προσηεκειν. It appears, therefore, that immediately after κατω, it is requisite to insert the words ουτε την κατα πορωειαν.

60:† This sentence shews the necessity of the above emendation. For the motion of fire and air is upward, of earth downward, and the motion of water is progressive.

61:* "Part" (says Proclus, in his Commentary on the Parmenides of Plato,) "has a manifold signification; for we call that p. 62 a part, which is in a certain respect the same with the whole, and which possesses all such things partially, as the whole does totally. Thus, we call each of the multitude of intellects, a part of the intellect which ranks as a whole, though all forms exist in each; and we say, that the inerratic sphere is a part of the universe, though this sphere also comprehends all things in itself, yet in a manner different from that in which they are comprehended by the world. In the second place, we denominate that to be a part which gives completion to a certain thing. Thus, we say, that the whole [celestial and sublunary] spheres, are parts of the universe, and that the ratiocinative power, and the power by which we opine, are parts of the soul; the former of which give completion to the universe, but the latter to the soul. In addition to these, likewise, we denominate, according to a common signification, every thing a part, which in any way whatever is co-arranged with certain things, in order to effect the consummation of one thing. For thus it may be said, that each of us is a part of the world, not that the universe, so far as it is the universe, receives its completion through its; for neither would the universe become imperfect, by the destruction of any one of us; but because we also are co-arranged with the parts of the universe that rank as wholes, and are governed in conjunction with all other things, and are, in short, in the world as in one animal, are ourselves parts of the universe, and give completion to it, not so far as it exists, but so far as it is prolific." What is here said, therefore, by Proclus, about the natures which are generated and corrupted in the world, are parts of it, according to the last signification of part, as above explained.

62:* See the Note on Argument the Fourteenth.


Title: Re: Fragments of the Lost Writings of Proclus
Post by: Major Weatherly on February 06, 2009, 01:26:49 pm
p. 64

Argument the Fourteenth.
Every artist either gives subsistence to the matter of that which is the subject of his art, or he causes the matter which already exists to be adapted to his purpose. And if he makes the matter which already exists to be adapted to his purpose, he makes the matter [on which his art operates]. For the thing which is properly adapted to his purpose, indicates the matter [of his art], and not simply a subject. So far, therefore, as matter is without adaptation, it has not the power of matter [i.e. not of a matter fit for the operations of art]. Whether, therefore, the artist gives subsistence to his proper matter, or whether he makes the matter when it merely exists as a subject, to be adapted to his purpose, he is entirely the maker of the matter of his proper work. But if this is true of every partial artist, much more does the divine Artist make his proper matter, either giving subsistence to matter itself, or causing it to be adapted to his purpose; in order that he may not be more ignoble than the artificers of sublunary natures, by borrowing matter which he does not return, and to which he does not give subsistence; since these restore the parts which they borrowed from him, in order to accomplish

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the generation of mortal natures. * Since, therefore, the artificer of the universe is also the artificer of matter, which is defined to be the receptacle and nurse of generation, † he likewise made it to be the receptacle of generation. For it has no other existence than an existence as matter, since the definition of it is to be the receptacle of generation. Hence, whether the Demiurgus of the universe gave it the requisite adaptation, he made it to be the receptacle of generation, viz.

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he made it to be matter; or whether he gave subsistence to matter, he immediately made it to be the matter of the world. Hence also every artist makes one of these. But whichever he makes of these, he makes, as we have said, matter. If, therefore, the artificer of this universe made matter to be the receptacle of generation, he either gave subsistence to the vestiges of forms, by which matter became moved in a confused and disorderly manner, being of itself immovable and perfectly formless; or we must say that these vestiges of forms proceeded into matter from some other source, viz. froth some other deity, who belongs to the intelligible order. * If, therefore, the artificer of the universe is the cause of these vestiges of forms, is it not most absurd that he should make matter properly adapted to be the receptacle of generation, and should likewise impart these vestiges, through which matter would not be adapted to be properly fashioned, but would with difficulty be rendered fit for the hypostasis of generation? For that which is disorderly is hostile to that which is orderly. But the receptacle of generation is not hostile to generation

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which has an orderly arrangement. If, however, there is a certain other cause of the vestiges of forms, is it not irrational to suppose that this cause makes matter to be properly and easily adapted, but that the other causes it to be adapted with difficulty; and that the former of these causes should wait, till that which he had produced with a proper adaptation should first become unadapted, in order that he might afterwards make this universe, for the sake of which he caused matter to have a proper adaptation, as if he was not able to give perfection to that which is adapted, till it became unadapted? For it is absurd to suppose that he made matter to be easily adapted, in order that it might alone itself, by itself, receive the vestiges of forms. For in this case he would cause it to be properly adapted, that generation might be inordinately produced. But if he made matter for the purpose of its receiving generation with arrangement, how is it possible that, from those things from which, at the same time that he caused matter to be properly adapted, he gave subsistence to generation, he should wait till a disorderly arrangement took place, in order that he might thus give arrangement to that which was without arrangement, just as if he was incapable of giving subsistence to order without the privation of order? If, therefore, these things are

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absurd, and the vestiges of forms were not prior in time to the arrangement of them, and the subject matter, together with the vestiges of forms, is unbegotten, the order likewise which is in them is unbegotten; nor is there any thing pertaining to these which is prior or posterior. Moreover, neither was matter first generated, and afterwards the vestiges of forms; for the very essence of it is to be matter in conjunction with the vestiges of forms. Hence, it contains these vestiges, from which it derives its subsistence as matter, and is not prior to these vestiges. For, at the same time that it is adapted to receive them, the cause which imparts them, also imparts that which is the very being of matter. Hence, if matter is unbegotten and incorruptible, having a perpetual existence, it always possessed the vestiges of forms; and, together with these also, it possessed order, as we have demonstrated. * Order, therefore, is unbegotten and incorruptible. And no one of these three ranks as first, or second, or third [according to a temporal subsistence]; but these distinctions exist only in our conceptions. Hence, this distinction in conception being taken away, all these have a simultaneous existence, viz. matter, the vestiges

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of forms, and order. But from that from which order derives its subsistence, the world also is derived; so that the world will be unbegotten and incorruptible.


65:* Proclus here alludes to the following passage in the Timæus of Plato: νοησαντες οι παιδες την του πατρος ταξιν, επειθοντο αυτῃ, και λαβοντες αθανατον αρχην θνητου ζωου, μιμουμενοι τον σφετερον δημιουργον, πυρος και γης υδατος τε και αερος απο του κοσμου δανειζομενοι μορια, ως αποδοθησομενα παλιν, κ.τ.λ. i.e. "An soon as his children [i.e. the junior gods] understood the order of their father [viz. of the Demiurgus], they became obedient to this order; and receiving the immortal principle of mortal animal, in imitation of their artificer, they borrowed from the world the parts of tire and earth, water and air, as things which they should restore back again," &c.

65:† Matter is thus defined by Plato in the Timæus: for he there says of it, τινα ουν δυναμιν και φυσιν αυτο υποληπτεον, τοιανδε μαλιστα πασης ειναι γενεσεωσ υποδοχεν αυτο, οιον τιθηνην. But for οιον τιθηνην, which is the reading of all the editions of the Timæus, it is necessary, both from the citation of Proclus and the version of Ficinus, to read, και οιον τιθηνην. For his version of the latter part of this extract is, "Hanc utique generationis horum omnium receptaculum, et quasi nutricem esse." So that, according to Plato, "matter is the receptacle, and, as it were, nurse of all generation."

66:* Viz. from Phanes, according to Orpheus, or animal itself, according to Plato, which deity subsists at the extremity of the intelligible order. See the Second Book of my translation of Proclus on the Timæus.

68:* See more on this subject in the Second Book of my Translation of Proclus on the Timæus.


Title: Re: Fragments of the Lost Writings of Proclus
Post by: Major Weatherly on February 06, 2009, 01:27:07 pm
Argument the Fifteenth.
The paradigm of the world is celebrated [by Plato] * by these three names, viz. only-begotten, eternal, all-perfect. And the last of these names pertains also to the universe, but to no other generated nature; for no other generated nature is all-perfect. With respect to the only-begotten, this is not present with all mundane natures, though it is with all the celestial orbs: for each of these is only-begotten. A perpetual existence, however, is common to all forms; for if this is not, we shall not find any thing of which all forms participate in common. But if it is necessary that every form should possess perpetuity, for this is an image of the eternal, it is requisite to consider what is the meaning of the ever. Whether, therefore, does it signify that which exists for an infinite time, both with reference to the past

p. 70

and the future, or that which, with respect to the past, has indeed a beginning, but, with reference to the future, has no end? * For if this is the meaning of the ever, what will that he which is similar to the eternal? For the eternal has in no respect whatever a subsistence at a certain time only, nor any extension of existence, nor the prior and posterior, but is infinite according to both these. But the infinite is not simultaneously present with the universe, † but subsists in becoming to be [or in perpetually rising into existence]. ‡ If, however, the eternal is that [which we have above said it is], either nothing is similar to it, or, prior to all things the world, resembles it. But it is absurd, since the Demiurgus is most excellent, and wishes to make, and does make, things similar to the paradigm of the universe, [that the world should be

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in no respect similar to its eternal paradigm]. * The world, therefore, being in the greatest possible degree similar to its paradigm, possesses perpetuity both with reference to the past and the future, and not according to one of these only. For if this is denied, that which is without arrangement will be similar to the paradigm of the universe, through being unbegotten; and that which possesses arrangement will be similar to it, through its incorruptibility. If these things, therefore, are impossible, every thing which is unbegotten is incorruptible, and every thing incorruptible is unbegotten; in order that both may be similar to the eternal [paradigm], and not infinite only, according to one of these. And on this account, that which is arranged is no more infinite than that which is without arrangement. That which was generated, therefore, conformably to the paradigm, ought, according to both these, to be similar to the paradigm. But that which was generated conformably to the paradigm, was

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the world. Hence the world, not having [a temporal] generation, is incorruptible, nor, being unbegotten, will it ever be corrupted. For a thing of this kind [viz. a thing which may be corrupted,] is only infinite with reference to the time past. But the world is unbegotten, and at the same time incorruptible. It also possesses infinity according to both these, in order that, as Plato says, it may be in every respect similar to its eternal paradigm.


69:* This is asserted by Plato of the paradigm of the world in the Timæus, which, as we have before observed, is there denominated by him αυτοζωον, or animal itself.

70:* The original is here defective, for it is κατα θατερα δε τελευτην. But it is obviously necessary to read, κατα θατερα δε ου μην τελευτην. Mahotius also, in his version, has as "ex altere autem finem non habet."

70:† In the original of this sentence there is nothing more than ουχ αμα δε το απειρον; and, conformably to this, the version of Mahotius has "infinitum autem non simul constat.'' But it appears to me to be necessary to read ουχ αμα δε το απειρον τω παντι παρεστιν, agreeably to my translation.

70:‡ Conformably to this, Proclus says of the universe (in Tim. lib. ii.) "that, always rising into existence, it is always perfect".

71:* The words within the brackets are omitted in the original, and are supplied from the version of Mahotius. For in the Greek there is nothing more than αλλ᾽ ατοπον, το μηδενα τροπον του δημιουργου αριστου οντος, και βουλομενου ομοια ποιειν τῳ παραδειγματι και ποιουντος. It is requisite, therefore, immediately after το μηδενα τροπον, to add, τον κοσμον ομοιον ειναι τῳ παραδειγματι αιωνιῳ.


Title: Re: Fragments of the Lost Writings of Proclus
Post by: Major Weatherly on February 06, 2009, 01:27:26 pm
Argument the Sixteenth.
If there are two wills in the Demiurgus, one indeed will be this, that what is moved in a confused and disorderly manner should not exist, as Plato says [in the Timæus]; for being willing [says he] that there should be nothing evil, he brought that which was confused from the inordinate into order. And if the Demiurgus has likewise another will, viz. that the universe should be bound, (for, speaking to the junior Gods, he says, "You shall never be dissolved, in consequence of obtaining my will, which is a greater bond than any of those bonds by which you were

p. 73

connected at the commencement of your generation;")—and if these wills are the very being of the things which partake of them, one of them willing that the inordinate should not exist, but the other, that what is orderly should be preserved;—if this be the case, it is necessary either that these wills should always exist in the Demiurgus, or each of them sometimes, or one of them always, but the other at a certain time. It is false, however, that either of these wills should exist only at a certain time. For it is evident, that to be willing at one time, and at another not, can by no means accord with the nature of an eternal being, though he should at first not have been willing, but afterwards should be willing; or, on the contrary, should at first have been willing, but afterwards unwilling. For there will be in this willingness and unwillingness the prior and posterior, and the was, and the will be. But these, Plato says, are the species of time. Time, however, is not in the Demiurgus, but proceeds from, and is posterior to him. Hence he was always willing that the confused and disorderly should not exist, and that what has an orderly arrangement should exist. His will, therefore, essentially producing that which he wished, and both the inordinate and the orderly having a perpetual subsistence, he always produces then by

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his very being. * If, however, he always produces that which he wishes to produce, he will certainly, through one of these wills, always abolish the inordinate, but will preserve, through the other, that which is reduced into order. For thus he will effect, through both, that which it is proper for him to effect; destroying that which he does not wish to exist, and preserving and defending that which he wishes to exist. Each of these wills, therefore, of the Demiurgus, effecting that which it is its province to effect, it is necessary that what is produced by each should be perpetual. For the maker and the thing made exist simultaneously with each other, as Plato says in the Philebus: for there he asserts, "that the thing which is becoming to be beautiful, and the artificer and maker of it, subsist together, and that the one is not without the other." † That which is disorderly, therefore, is always abolished,

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through the eternal will of the Demiurgus that it should not exist, and that which is orderly is preserved, on account of his will that it should always exist; each of these wills being eternal. But if both the inordinate and the orderly are perpetually generated, the inordinate will not be prior to the orderly, nor the orderly to the inordinate. If, however, the inordinate is not prior to the orderly, that which is orderly will not have a beginning posterior to the inordinate; and if the orderly is not prior to the inordinate, it will not have an end prior to the inordinate. * But if it neither began posterior to, nor will end prior to, the inordinate, order is without a beginning and without an end, and is both unbegotten and incorruptible. Moreover, the world is nothing else than order, and that which is arranged. The world, therefore, is un-begotten and incorruptible. For it is absurd to say, since there are two wills in divinity, either that one of these should be always effective, but the other not always; or that one of these should produce by its very being, but the other not; since both possess the same essence, and have through the same cause an eternal subsistence. † For one

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of these, in consequence of being good, as Plato says, was willing that the disorderly should not exist; but the other, in consequence of not being evil, was willing that the orderly should exist. By how much, therefore, to be essentially good, is more adapted to divinity than not to be evil, by so much more divine is the will that what is inordinate should not exist, than the will which ordains that what is orderly should exist. For to be good is more adapted to divinity than not to be evil. Hence, it is perfectly absurd to make the will which is more adapted to him, not to be more eternal and efficacious, if it be lawful so to speak, since it is more divine. So that if it is consequent to these wills that the world should be unbegotten through one of them, but incorruptible through the other, it will be in a greater degree unbegotten than incorruptible; since it possesses the former through the more principal and more divine will of the Demiurgus, but the latter through a subordinate will. Moreover, one of these, viz. the incorruptibility of the world, is manifest to all; and consequently the other will be much more manifest than this, viz. that the world is unbegotten. If, therefore, the two are one, the universe will be similarly unbegotten and incorruptible. But if they are two, but that which exists in consequence of being good is more powerful than that which

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exists in consequence of not being evil, the universe is in a greater degree unbegotten than incorruptible. It would, however, seem, that there is rather one will in the Demiurgus than two wills: for it is the province of the same will to reject the inordinate, whether it be prior or posterior to order, and to produce, without any temporal beginning, that which is orderly, and preserve it in arrangement without end. For there is not any thing which is more adapted to every artificer than order. Every artificer, therefore, wishes to give a proper arrangement to the work which he produces; so that order, so far as he is an artificer, is to him the object of desire. But if there is one object of desire, the appetition also is one, being the appetition of order. If, however, there is one appetition and will, which are directed to the object of the will, there will certainly be one will always producing prior to time that which is arranged, and connecting a thing of this kind for ever. But being one, it is absurd, or rather impossible, to distribute it into parts, and to attribute one part of it to divinity, and this the more imperfect part, but not to attribute to him another part, and this of a more perfect nature. For that which is more perfect pertains to divinity, since it has a greater power than that which is more imperfect.


74:* This sentence in the original is, τησ ουν βουλησεως αυτῳ τῳ ειναι ποιουσης ο βουλεται, ἢ αει τῳ ειναι ποιησει. But for ἢ αιε, κ.τ.λ. it is necessary to read και αει, κ.τ.λ. conformably to the above translation, and also to the version of Mahotius, which is, "cum igitur voluntas ipso esse, quod vult efficiat, et semper sit utraque, semper ipso esse efficiet."

74:† Hence, as the world subsists in becoming to be, and the artificer of it is an eternally energising being, and the one cannot exist without the other, the world must necessarily be perpetually rising into existence.

75:* This follows from what is above demonstrated, viz. that both the inordinate and the orderly are perpetually generated.

75:† For το ευλογον here, in the original, I read το κιωνιον.


Title: Re: Fragments of the Lost Writings of Proclus
Post by: Major Weatherly on February 06, 2009, 01:27:55 pm
p. 78

Argument the Seventeenth.
The following axioms, which are Aristotelic, are by a much greater priority Platonic, viz. "Every thing which is generable, is also corruptible, and every thing unbegotten is incorruptible." * For the former of these is mentioned by Plato in the Republic, and the latter in the Phædrus. In the Republic, therefore, Socrates, personating the Muses, says, "Since every thing which is generated is corruptible;" † and [in the Phædrus) he says, since the soul is unbegotten, it is necessarily also incorruptible. For he spews that every principle is unbegotten, and because unbegotten, he demonstrates that it is also incorruptible. ‡ For these things being true, it is necessary that every thing which is corruptible should be generable; since, if it is unbegotten, the corruptible will be incorruptible, which is impossible. Every thing also which is incorruptible is unbegotten; for if generable, the incorruptible will be corruptible. These things, therefore, necessarily following, if the universe is incorruptible,

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it is also unbegotten; * as is evident from the above premises. For the Demiurgus, according to Plato, is the source of immortal natures; † but the immortal is indestructible, as it is said in the Phædo. For scarcely will any thing else be indestructible, if the immortal is not a thing of this kind. ‡ And this, indeed, Cebes says, and Socrates grants. § If, therefore, every thing which was generated by the Demiurgus is indestructible, (for that which was generated by him is immortal, and this is indestructible,) it is also necessary that it should be unbegotten, through what we have demonstrated to be consequent to the two preceding axioms; one of which is, that every thing generable is corruptible; but the other, that every thing ingenerable is incorruptible. So that, not only according to Aristotle, but also according

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to Plato, it is demonstrated through these two axioms, that the world neither had a temporal generation, nor is corruptible. For if * that which is inordinate is unbegotten, but that which is arranged is incorruptible, that which is without arrangement will be more excellent than that which is arranged. For as the ingenerable is to the generable, so is the incorruptible to the corruptible; so that it will be alternately, as that which is ingenerable is to that which is incorruptible, so is that which is generable to that which is corruptible: and as that which is generable is to that which is corruptible, so is generation to corruption. If, therefore, generation is better than corruption, and the generable is essentially more excellent than the corruptible, the ingenerable also will be more excellent than the incorruptible. Hence, if that which is inordinate is ingenerable and corruptible, but that which is arranged is incorruptible and generable, that which is without arrangement [so far as it is ingenerable] will be more excellent than that which is arranged; and that which from the inordinate produces that which is arranged, will produce that which is less from that which is more

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excellent; in consequence of producing from that which is ingenerable and corruptible, that which is afterwards generable and incorruptible. One of these, therefore, will not be ingenerable and corruptible, but the other generable and incorruptible; or vice versa. But neither is the maker evil; so that what is arranged is not corruptible. And if that which is arranged is from that which is without arrangement, the unarranged is not incorruptible; since it is not, when that which is arranged has an existence. Or, if this is not admitted, each of these will be generable and corruptible. But whether that which is inordinate is generable, being generated from that which is arranged; or whether that which is arranged is corruptible, he who corrupts that which is well arranged, either did not properly harmonise it, and therefore is not good; or he corrupts that which is well harmonised, and is evil. All these consequences, however, are impossible. Hence, that which is inordinate is not prior to that which is orderly: and therefore it follows, that what is orderly is unbegotten, and in like manner that it is also incorruptible.


78:* This is demonstrated by Aristotle in his Treatise on the Heavens. See Book the Second of my Translation of that work.

78:† See the Eighth Book of the Republic.

78:‡ Vid. Phædr. Art. p. 22.

79:* In the original, morrow τουτων δε επομενων, εξ αναγκης ει αφθαρτον το παν εστιν. But it is evidently necessary between το παν and εστιν, to insert και αγενητον, and instead of a comma after επομενων, to place a comma after αναγκης, conformably to the above translation. The MS. also, from which Mahotius made his translation, appears to have wanted the words και αγενητον.

79:† This is asserted in the Timæus.

79:‡ In the original, σχολῃ γαρ αν τι αλλο ειν ανωλεθρον, ει το αθανατον ειη τοιουτον. But both the sense and the version of Mahotius require, that after αθανατον, we should read ουκ ειν τοιουτον.

79:§ See my Translation of the Phædo.

80:* In the original, και γαρ εστι το μεν ατακτον, αγενητον. But it appears to me to be evidently necessary to read, agreeably to the above translation, και γαρ ει εστιν, κ.τ.λ.


Title: Re: Fragments of the Lost Writings of Proclus
Post by: Major Weatherly on February 06, 2009, 01:29:53 pm
p. 82

Argument the Eighteenth.
If things which always subsist according to sameness, and in a similar manner, alone pertain to the most divine of all things, as Plato says in the Politicus,—if this be the case, and if the Demiurgus ranks among the most divine of beings, it pertains to him to subsist eternally after the same and in a similar manner. But if he does not rank among the most divine of things, neither must we say that he is a God who has an eternal existence, nor that he is the best of causes. We assert, however, these things of him as it is written in the Timæus. A subsistence, therefore, according to the same and in a similar manner, is adapted to his nature. For, if that which does not exist always should possess a subsistence according to invariable sameness, that which does not exist always will always be the same. And if that which is the best of causes does not exist invariably the same, it will not be the best. But these things being absurd, it is necessary that the best of causes, and which exists eternally, should be most divine; and that being most divine, it should subsist always according to the same, and in a similar manner. It pertains, however, to that which thus subsists, never to have any variation

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in its existence: for this is contrary to an eternally invariable sameness of subsistence. But it pertains to that which never at any time subsists differently, never at one time to cease from being an effective cause, and at another to be effective; or at one time to be, and at another not to be effective. For this is to subsist differently at different times; viz. to be now effective, but afterwards not, and not to be now effective, but to be effective afterwards. But that which never at any one time is not efficient, and afterwards efficient, or now efficient, and afterwards non-efficient, must necessarily always be an efficient cause in energy, or always not be such a cause. For there are no other consequences besides these. For the extremes are, to be always efficient, and to be always non-efficient. But the media are, for the efficient cause to produce that afterwards which it did not produce before; or, on the contrary, not to produce again that which it had once produced. * It is, however, impossible that the Demiurgus

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being the Demiurgus, should never at any time be an effective cause: for it is not adapted to an artificer to be always unemployed. For how can he be an artificer who never produces any thing? It is necessary, therefore, that the Demiurgus should be an efficient cause, and that he should always fabricate that of which he is the efficient. But the Demiurgus, who always fabricates, must necessarily always make the world. It is necessary, therefore, that the world should neither have a temporal beginning of being fabricated, nor an end. For, if it had a beginning, it would not always have been adorned; and if it should have an end, it will not always be adorned. It is necessary, however, that the world should always be adorned, because it is also necessary that the Demiurgus should always adorn. But this will be the case, if he always snakes with invariable sameness of energy: and he will thus make, if he always subsists after the same and in a similar manner. It is necessary, therefore, that the world should be a world without a beginning and without an end, and that it should be unbegotten and incorruptible. Hence, if the Demiurgus possesses an invarible sameness of subsistence, it is necessary that the world should be without generation, and without corruption. So

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that if Plato clearly asserts this [of the Demiurgus], the world also, according to him, is unbegotten and incorruptible.

If, therefore, Plato says, in the Politicus and the Timæus, * that God is absent. from the world, and again is present with it, being first absent from, and afterwards present with it, (for after this manner, says he, the universe subsisted, as it was likely it should, when Divinity was not present with it); and if Plato similarly asserts both these things, and therefore says, that at one time the world is changed from a disorderly into an orderly condition of being, but that at another time it passes from an orderly into an inordinate state, until Divinity again assumes the helm of government;—if, therefore, this is asserted by Plato, it

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is not proper that Atticus should alone direct his attention to what is said in the Timæus. For there Divinity, who was at one time absent from, is represented as being at another time present with, that from which he was absent. But it is requisite that Atticus should also consider what is asserted in the Politicus, in which the Divinity, who at one time was present with, is represented as absent from that with which he was present. And as through the former he produced order from that which was in a disorderly state, so through the latter, after order, he caused a privation of order to take place. If, therefore, Plato says, that both these mutations were produced by the Demiurgus, respecting that visible god the world, prior to the existence of the world, it is impossible that they should have any subsistence except in our mental conception. For, since Divinity always exists with invariable sameness, he does not say that the world subsists differently at different times, as if possessing this variable subsistence through him, which can only be asserted of partial natures; but he says [speaking enigmatically], that the world is either arranged, or deprived of arrangement, through Divinity being differently affected at different times. If, however, it is impossible that Divinity should be thus affected, because he possesses an invariable sameness of subsistence, it is

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likewise impossible that the world should have at one time a disorderly, and at another an orderly existence. And I should say, that this is truly a divine contrivance of the wisdom of Plato, by which he infers, from the eternal energy of Divinity, that the world is at one and the same time unbegotten and incorruptible; and assigns the absence and presence of Divinity as the cause of the order and disorder of the world. * For, if Divinity alone is the cause of the alternate order and disorder of the world, and it is impossible for him not to subsist, because it is impossible for Divinity to subsist differently at different times, it is also absurd to conceive an alternate subsistence of order and disorder about the world. If, therefore, Divinity is always invariably the same, he is not at one time present with, and at another absent from the world. And if this be the case, the world is not at one time arranged, and at another without arrangement. For the presence of Divinity indeed with the world would confer order, but his absence the privation of order

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on it. But if the world was not at one time arranged, nor at another was, or will be, without arrangement, it always was arranged. But if it was always arranged, it was arranged from an infinite time, and will for an infinite time continue to be arranged. And this Plato proclaims in such a manner, as to become manifest even to the deaf, viz. that the paradigm of the world exists through all eternity, and that the world always was, and is, and will be. As, therefore, the world will be to infinity, so likewise it was from infinity, and it is not proper, since Plato gives it an infinite duration, both with respect to the past and the future, that the friends of Plato should make it to be finite with respect to the past, but infinite with respect to the future; but it is requisite that they should speak conformably to the decision of their master. For thus the world will possess an imitation of the perpetuity of eternity; not having only the half, but the whole of the infinity of time. This, however, was the thing proposed by the Demiurgus, viz. to assimilate time to eternity, and the world to eternal animal [its exemplar], by giving it an existence through the whole of time.

The principal result, however, of all that has been said is this, that no one, with respect to the world, is so pious as Plato, or any other who, conformably to him, says, that the world subsists in a

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disorderly condition, when Divinity is no longer invariably the same, viz. when the Divinity [by whom the world was fabricated] is not an intelligible Cod. For a subsistence according to invariable sameness pertains to the intelligible gods. Either, therefore, both the world and the Demiurgus are gods, or neither of them is a god. And in the latter case, one of them not being a god, will produce disorder, but the other a subsistence which is not invariably the same. And the privation of order of the one will arise from the want of an invariable sameness of subsistence in the other. For the one [i.e. the world] will no otherwise be disorderly, than because the other [i.e. the Demiurgus] is not with invariable sameness, either present with or absent from the world: for it is necessary that the world should be entirely similar to its maker. If, therefore, in conception only, Divinity is at one time present with and at another absent from the world, it follows that the world, in conception only, is at one time arranged, and at another without arrangement. For it is necessary that what subsists in conception only should pertain to both; so that if, from Divinity being present, the world is arranged, it necessarily follows that it is not arranged when he is not present. But if, in reality, [i.e. not in conception

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only,] the universe is at one time * arranged, and at another without arrangement, by a much greater priority, Divinity will in reality be at one time present with, and at another absent from the universe. For it will not follow [absolutely], from the world being arranged, or being without arrangement, that Divinity is either absent from or present with it; but the contrary will take place: so that the prior assertion will be true, to which this is necessarily consequent. † If, therefore, this is impossible, because Divinity subsists eternally with invariable sameness, it is also impossible that the world should at one time be without arrangement, and at another be arranged. For that which is consequent to what is impossible, is necessarily impossible; since, as the dialectic laws say, the possible is consequent to that which is possible. Hence, by admitting that it is possible for the world to have been once

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without arrangement, it will also be possible for it to have been arranged at a certain time, and for Divinity to have been once absent from, and again present with, the world. If, therefore, the latter is impossible, the former likewise is impossible: hence the world is always arranged, and Divinity is always present with the world. And neither was the world arranged from a prior disorderly state of subsistence: for neither was Divinity once absent, and afterwards present; nor will the world, from being arranged, afterwards be without arrangement. For the maker of it was not once * present with, and afterwards wilt be absent from it. And, according to Plato, if the world is necessarily generable and corruptible, there is an equal necessity that the Demiurgus of the world should not rank among the most divine of beings, though it pertains to him to have an invariable sameness of subsistence. If, therefore, it is necessary to be piously disposed towards the maker of the universe, it is also necessary to be thus disposed towards the world; or if we form erroneous conceptions about the latter, our conceptions will, by a much greater priority, be erroneous and unbecoming

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about the former; and not only about him, but likewise about every thing divine. For, if an invariable sameness of subsistence is common to all divine natures, it is necessary either to preserve this in all of them, and after the same manner to preserve it with respect to the Demiurgus; or, if we reject this in one of them, neither will it be credible in the rest.


83:* For that which produces afterwards what it did not before, so far as it produces, unites with that extreme, which is always efficient. And that which does not produce again what it had once produced, so far as it does not produce, unites with the other extreme, which is always non-efficient. They are therefore media between these two extremes.

85:* In the Politicus Plato says, "that the universe at one time is conducted by another divine cause, receiving again an externally acquired life, and a renewed immortality from the Demiurgus; but that at another time, when he remits the reins of government, it proceeds by itself, and being thus left for a time, performs many myriads of retrograde revolutions." See vol. iv. p. 122 of my Translation of Plato, in which the fable, of which these words are a part, is beautifully explained from Proclus. And in the Timæus, it is said by Plato, "that when the Demiurgus began to adorn the universe, he first of all figured with forms and numbers, fire and earth, water and air, which possessed indeed certain vestiges of the true elements, but were in every respect so constituted as it is likely any thing will be from which Deity is absent." See vol. ii. of my Translation of Plato.

87:* Plato does not mean to insinuate by this, that Divinity is actually at one time present with, and at another absent from, the world, for he is eternally present with it, and in a manner invariably the same; but in thus speaking, he only indicates what would be the necessary consequence of his being alternately present with and absent from the universe.

90:* In the original, ποτε is erroneously omitted, as is evident both from the sense of the passage, and the version of Mahotius.

90:† By the prior assertion, Proclus means this, that the world, in conception only, is at one time arranged, and at another without arrangement, in consequence of the maker of it being, in conception only, at one time present with, and at another absent from it.

91:* In the original, ουτε γαρ εκεινος ου παρων αυθις ου παρεστι. But for ου παρων, it is requisite to read ποτε παρων. The version of Mahotius also is, conformably to this emendation, "Non enim ille ante præsens, postea non præsens erit."


Title: Re: Fragments of the Lost Writings of Proclus
Post by: Major Weatherly on February 06, 2009, 01:31:01 pm
p. 93

Simplicius having observed, that Proclus is the only philosopher that he is acquainted with, who thought that place was a body, adds, "he, therefore, admitting the axioms of Aristotle concerning place, and the fourfold division of the investigation of it, says it is necessary that place should be either matter or form, or the boundary of the containing body, or an interval equal to the space between the boundaries of the containing body. For, if place is not any one of the things that are in it, nor of the things which surround it, it cannot be locally changed, if nothing that is in it or about it sustains any mutation. The natures, however, which are in it are form and matter; but the natures which surround it are the boundary of the circumambient, and that which is intermediate." Proclus having demonstrated, therefore, that place is neither matter nor form, through the same arguments as are used by Aristotle, and having subverted the hypothesis that it is the boundary of the containing body, from the absurdities with which

p. 94

the hypothesis is attended, infers that place is an interval; and thus he adapts the demonstration to his own opinion. Since, however, he clearly and concisely explains his hypothesis, it will perhaps be better to hear his own words, which are as follow: "it remains, therefore, if place is neither the form of that which is in place, nor matter, nor the boundary of the comprehending body, that the interval which is between the boundaries of the containing body must be conceived to be the primary place of each body. All the mundane interval, however, of the whole world will be different from the above-mentioned interval. This, therefore, is either nothing, or it is a certain thing. And if, indeed, it is nothing, local motion will be from nothing to nothing, though all motion is according to something which ranks among beings. Places, likewise, which are according to nature, will be nothing, though every thing which subsists conformably to nature is necessarily something belonging to beings. But if it is a certain thing, it is entirely either incorporeal or corporeal. If, however, it, is incorporeal, an absurdity will follow: for it is necessary that place should be equal to that which is in place. But how is it possible for body, and that which is incorporeal, to be equal? For the equal is in quantities, and in homogeneous quantities, as in lines with lines, superficies with

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superficies, and bodies with bodies. hence, place is a body, if it is an interval. But if it is a body, it is either moved, or immovable. If, however, it is in any way whatever moved, it must necessarily be moved according to place; so that again place will be in want of place. But this is impossible, as it also appeared to be to Theophrastus and Aristotle. Hence Aristotle says, that a vessel is place which may be moved, but that place is an immovable vessel; indicating by this, that place is naturally immovable.

If, however, place is immovable, it is either incapable of being divided by the bodies that fall into it, so that body will proceed through body, or it may be divided by them, in the same manner as air and water are divided by the bodies which exist in them. But if, indeed, it may be divided, the whole being cut, the parts will be moved on each side of the dissevered whole. And first, place will be moved, since the parts of it are moved; but it has been demonstrated that it is immovable. Secondly, the parts being cut, we must inquire whither that part which is cut proceeds: for again there will be found another interval between the parts of the dissevered whole, which is the recipient of the divided part, and into which this part proceeding is said to be in place; and this will be the consequence to infinity. Place, therefore,

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is an indivisible body. It; however, it is indivisible, it will either be an immaterial or a material body. But if material, it is not indivisible. For all material bodies, when other material bodies proceed into them, become divided by those bodies; as when, for instance, our bodies fall into water. But immaterial bodies alone are not adapted to be divided by any thing; and this from necessity. For every immaterial body is impassive; but every thing which may be divided is not impassive, since division is a passion of bodies, destructive of their union. For of that which is continuous, so far as continuous, you will not find any other passion than division, which destroys its continuity. Place, therefore,—that we may collect all that has been demonstrated,—is a body, immovable, indivisible, immaterial. But if this be the case, it is very evident that place is more immaterial than all bodies, both than those that are moved, and those that are immaterial in things that are moved. Hence, if light is the most simple of these, for fire is more incorporeal than the other elements, arid light is more incorporeal than fire itself, place will be the most pure and genuine light which is in bodies. If, therefore we conceive that there are two spheres, one of light alone, but the other consisting of many bodies, and that both these are equal to each other in bulk, but that the one is

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firmly established together with the centre, and that the other is inserted in this, we shall see the whole world existing in place, and moved in immovable light. And this light, indeed, is, according to itself, immovable, in order that it may imitate place, but is moved according to a part, in order that it may possess something less than place.

"This hypothesis is rendered credible from what is asserted by Plato, in the [tenth book of the] Republic. For the light which is there mentioned, and is adapted to the rainbow, is said by him to be place. It is also confirmed by the Chaldean oracles respecting the fontal soul; since it is there said, that this soul 'abundantly animates light, fire, æther, and the worlds.' For this is the light which is above the empyrean world, and is a monad prior to the triad of the empyrean, ethereal, and material worlds. This light, too, is the first recipient of the eternal allotments of the gods, and unfolds self-visible spectacles in itself to those that are worthy to behold them. For in this light, according to the Chaldean oracle, things without figure become figured. And perhaps it is on this account called place (τοπος), as being a certain type (τυπος) of the whole mundane body, and as making things which are without interval to possess interval."

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After this, Proclus doubts, against himself, how body can proceed through body, and whether this light is inanimate, or participates of soul. "But," says he, "it is impossible that it should be inanimate, both because it is more excellent than the animated natures that are in it, and because the oracles say that this is animated prior to other things. If, however, it is animated, how is it immovable? And he dissolves the first doubt from the impassivity of immaterial bodies: for an immaterial body neither resists nor is resisted, since that which is resisted possesses a nature capable of suffering by the things which resist. Nor, since it is impassive, can it be divided; so that neither will it be possible to adduce that absurd consequence, that the whole will proceed through that which is smallest; for if an immaterial body is not adapted to be divided, neither will it be divided equally with that which is smallest. But if this will not be the case, neither will the whole proceed through it." Again, he solves the second doubt, by saying, that this immaterial body is animated by the fontal soul, and that it has a divine life, and is essentially self-motive, but not in energy. For if we admit that in [the rational] soul the self-motive is twofold, the one according to essence, but the other according to energy, and if we assert that the one is immovable, but the other

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moved, * what should hinder us from asserting that place participates of a life of this kind, and that it lives according to an immutable essence, but the world according to an essence self-motive in energy. "If, however," says he, "you wish to see the motion of place according to energy, you must survey it as motive of the bodies that are moved, and which evolve the parts of place according to interval; because they are neither able to be in every place, nor to be present with all the parts of place according to each of its parts. And this is an intervening medium with reference to soul, which moves without interval. For it seems that life, indeed, so far as life imparts motion, but place being that which primarily participates of life, confers motion according to the parts of itself, and thus peculiarly unfolds local motion, causing each of the parts of that which is moved to desire to be in the whole itself, since it is unable, through the natural peculiarity of interval, to subsist in a divided manner in the whole itself. For every thing which desires to be a certain thing, but fails of becoming that which is the object of its wish through a defect of nature, continues nevertheless to aspire after that which, through imbecility, it

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is tillable to obtain. For it is requisite," says he, "that the medium between an incorporeal and intransitive life, such as is that of the fontal soul, and a transitive and corporeal life, should be a life which is intransitive, indeed, but corporeal." He adds, "but it appears to me, that the centres of the whole world, considered as one thing, are fixed in this immaterial body. For if the oracles assert that the centres of the material world are fixed in the tether which is above it, we must say, by ascending analogously, that the centres of the highest of the worlds are established in the light of this world. May it not likewise be said, that this light is the first image of the paternal profundity, * and on this account is supermundane, because that profundity is also supermundane?"†

In addition to the above-mentioned opinion of Proclus concerning place, the following is the hypothesis of Damascius of Damascus, the preceptor of Simplicius, a man most inquisitive, and who laboured much in philosophy. His disquisitions on place appear to me to be no less admirable than novel. From the utility of place, therefore, he wishes to discover its essence, and he thus writes: "Every thing in generation, in consequence of falling off from a nature impartible, and without interval, both according to essence and energy, has a twofold separation,—the one according to essence, but the other according to energy, or passion.

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[paragraph continues] That also in generation, which is according to energy, is twofold; the one being connascent with essence, according to which, essence is in a continual flux; but the other proceeding from essence, according to which it energises differently at different times, possessing extended, and not at-once-collected energies. And the separation, indeed, of energy is immediately in want of motion; and motion is consubsistent with it. The separation, also, according to motion, becomes energetic or passive. But the separation of essence becomes likewise twofold; the one being a divulsion into multitude, but the other passing into bulk. And the separation, according to magnitude and bulk, becomes immediately connected with position, in consequence of the parts falling into different situations. Position likewise is twofold; the one being connascent with essence, as of my body, the head is upward, and the feet downward; but the other being adventitious, as at one time I have position in a house, and at another in the forum; and it is evident that the former continues as long as the thing exists, but that the other becomes different at different times. But we properly say, that those things have position, the parts of which are extended, and are distant from each other. Hence position appears properly to belong to magnitudes, and the boundaries which they contain, because these are distant according to continuity. But numbers, although they are separated, yet, at the same time, do not appear to have position, because they are not distant and extended, unless you should say that these also receive magnitude and interval. For all intervals, in consequence of destroying a subsistence collected into one, cause that which is in them to be changed into another, in which also they are said to be placed by position, losing, as it were, independent power; just as, by departing from themselves in their energies, they are said to be moved, and to change. Of these intervals, therefore, in order that they may not be perfectly extended to the indefinite, there are collective measures; time, indeed, being the measure of some things, according to the energy in motion: but of others, definite multitude, which is number, being the measure,

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according to a distinction of essence: and of others, definite magnitude, as a cubit, or something of this kind, according to continuity. Of others, again, place is the measure, according to a dispersion of position. Hence, things that are moved are said to be moved in time; but they are said to have position of essence, and motion itself, in place, so far as essence itself also participates of being moved. And that place indeed subsists about position, and is something belonging to things situated, is evident. For we say, that those things are in place which have position; and upward and downward are the differences of place, surveyed according to position; in the same manner as the right hand and the left, before and behind.

"But that place bounds, measures, and orderly arranges position, you may learn from hence: for we say, that a thing has position, though it should be disorderly posited, in any way whatever; but a thing is then said to have its proper convenient position, when it receives its proper place, just as any thing, whatever it may be, proceeds into being, but then has its proper opportune subsistence, when it exists in a becoming time. Through place, therefore, every part of a thing has a good position; the head of my body, indeed, upward, but the foot downward; the liver in the right-hand parts, but the heart in the middle: and the eyes, through which seeing, we walk, are before; but the back, by which we carry burthens, is behind. These, indeed, are differences through place; just as of the parts of an embryo, one is fabricated before another, through time, and one age orderly proceeds prior to another; nor are the Trojan confounded with the Peloponnesian transactions: for prior and posterior are the differences of time, just as upward and downward, and the other four divisions are the differences of place; as also Aristotle acknowledges. The parts of the world, therefore, have their proper position in the whole, on account of place. Hence, speaking superficially, place, simply so called, is, according to this conception, that which bounds the position of bodies; but speaking of place as having a natural subsistence, it is that which

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bounds the position according to corporeal parts, conformably to nature, both with respect to each other and to the whole, and also the position according to the whole with respect to the parts. For, as different parts of the earth and the heavens are arranged in different situations, on account of place, and some parts are northern but others southern, so the whole heaven and the whole earth, being parts of the world, have a convenient measure of position, and an orderly distribution on account of place; the former being allotted the circumference of the universe, but the latter possessing the middle of it: and it is place which imparts coincidence to the parts of the universe. If, likewise, place (τοπος) is denominated from conjecture, (εκ τουτο παζειν, lege εκ του τοπαζειν) becoming place from being situated near to things conjectural, * as being a certain conjecture of intellectual distinction, thus also what has been said of place will accord with this etymology. For to images, which have a conjectural subsistence, place imparts an establishment, and a similitude to their paradigms. For unless each of the parts of things, which are separated by interval, was situated according to its proper place, an image would never he similar to its paradigm, but every order, convenient measure, and elegant arrangement, would vanish. And, indeed, if you take away place, you will see the disposition of bodies extraneous and disordered, and tending to perfect indefiniteness. For in what position will each of the parts stop, when they are not adapted to any? On this account, therefore, things which are naturally moved, are moved in order that they may obtain their proper position; and things which are permanent, abide in a convenient measure of position through a love of place. Hence place is the cause of something to bodies, and to all corporeal natures, and what it is may perhaps be understood from what has been said.

"It will follow, however, from this, that such a place is neither

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the boundary of that which contains,—for how is this the cause of order or distinction, since it is rather defined by the things which exist in, and are comprehended by it?—nor yet will it be body; fur, though some one should say that it is an immaterial body, which has parts distant and different from each other,—this also will require that which may arrange it, and cause this part to be situated in the middle, and that in the circumference. Nor is it possible that a thing of this kind can be interval: for, through the same causes, interval, in consequence of possessing difference, and having its parts differently situated, will also require a certain convenient position. Place, therefore, appears to be the measure of things posited, just as time is said to be the number of the motion of things moved. Since, however, position is twofold, the one being essential, and the other adventitious, place also will be twofold, the one becoming the perfect element of that which has position, but the other subsisting according to accident. There is also a certain difference of essential position, so far as, in a certain respect, wholes themselves have the proper position of their proper parts, both with respect to each other, and to the universe; or so far as parts have a proper position with reference to the whole and the remaining parts. Hence, place also becomes twofold; the one peculiar, belonging to individual places; but the other being defined according to position in the whole. For, as whole is twofold, the one belonging to each of the parts,—according to the definite and distinct subsistence of each, according to which we say, that the earth is a certain whole, and not the earth only, but also an animal and a plant, and each of the parts in these; but the other being more comprehensive, as when we say the whole world, the whole earth, and the whole air, and of each wholeness * there are proper parts; —in like manner, of place

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we say, that one is the convenient position of the proper parts of a thing, as of try parts in the whole of ray body; but another the convenient position of the whole as of a part, in the place of its more comprehensive wholeness. Thus, the place of the earth, is the place of terrestrial natures; and this so far as earth possesses the middle of the universe. For, though the earth should be deprived of its position about the middle of the universe, it would still retain the convenient position of its proper parts in their proper whole; but it would not then possess its convenient position as a part of the universe. Hence, if the whole earth were hurled upward, it would fall again to the middle; and the parts which it contains would preserve their formation with respect to each other, even when it was removed from the middle. Thus, also, a mad suspended in the air would have the convenient order of his proper parts; but he would no longer have the convenient order as of a part to the whole. And since parts belong more to things more total, than wholes themselves do; for they do not so much vanquish subordinate, as they are vanquished by more excellent natures; and this because first are in a greater ratio to second natures, than second to third natures; this being the case, though a clod of earth should have a proper convenient position in the air, yet it would tend downward, through a desire of that which is more total. For that which is peculiar is every where dead and cold, when divulsed from that which is common, and deprived of its appropriate connexion; just as plants, when torn up by the roots, though they are in complete possession of all their parts, yet immediately droop, in consequence of being divulsed from their common wholeness. For all things live on account of the one mundane animal. Hence, as long as every thing is rooted in the world, through proximate wholenesses, so long it lives, and is preserved; but if it is divulsed from its proximate, it is also torn from the common wholeness. Thus, therefore, the natural tendencies of bodies, and their permanencies in their proper places, are preserved, by admitting place to be a thing of this kind. And the

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local motion of things which are moved, is nothing else than the assumption of different positions, at different times, till that which is moved obtains its appropriate position; the intermediate air or water being divided, and receiving the position which it then has, as long as that which is stronger proceeds. The position, also, of the parts of air, is that which a clod of earth or I receive when moved. The place to which I change is not definitely my peculiar place, but the place of surrounding air, in a different part of which I am also naturally adapted to become situated at different times. Hence, it being dubious how things which are moved are moved in place, since things in place may be justly said to be at rest rather than to be moved, let us see how the philosopher Syrianus states the doubt, and gives the solution of it:—'Some one may ask,' says he, 'how things which are moved, are moved in place, since things moved, are rather from whence, whither. For, in short, things in place appear to be at rest. May we not, therefore, say, that things which are moved, are in place and not in place? For they are not in the first, and, as it were, proper place of themselves; since if they were they would be at rest. But they are in place, surveyed according to its extent; just as we say that the sun is in the constellation called the Lion, because the extent of the Lion comprehends the sun. We also say that a flying eagle is in the air, and that a ship sailing with a prosperous wind is in the sea: for all these have place considered in its extent, or assumed with a greater latitude, but they have not a first and peculiar place, as long as they are moved.' And most of those, indeed, who speak about place, appear to me especially to direct their attention to this external place. For, on being asked, what is the place of the earth? they reply, that it is the middle of the universe; which is the peculiar place of the universe, and of the earth as in the universe. On being also asked, what is the place of the heavens? they say, that which surrounds; but they do not, in their reply, adduce that place of the earth which gives convenient position to its parts; and, in a similar manner, that

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place of the heavens through which its parts are orderly arranged. Hence, all moll, us it seems, assert that place is separate from that which is in place. For, in reality, that which pertains to each particular from more total place, is separate from that which is in place, and is not precedaneously the place of that thing. They also consider place as immovable, looking to this more common place, and which is considered in its extent. For the peculiar place of every thing, and which is co-essentiallised with it, is also moved together with it. But common place abides, being peculiar to that which is more total and comprehensive, as body."


93:* This fragment is extracted from the Commentaries of Simplicius on the Physics of Aristotle, p. 143.

99:* For the rational soul is eternal in essence, but temporal in energy. Hence, according to the former, it is immovable; but according to the latter, is moved.

100:* The paternal profundity, according to the Chaldaic Theology, consists of three triads, each of which triads contains father, power, and intellect. See my collection of the Chaldean Oracles, in the Classical Journal.

103:* Sensible objects are conjectural, because the proper knowledge of them belongs to opinion.

104:* The world is a whole of wholes, which wholes or wholenesses are the celestial and elementary spheres. See the Introduction to my Translation of the Timæus of Plato.


Title: Re: Fragments of the Lost Writings of Proclus
Post by: Major Weatherly on February 06, 2009, 01:31:21 pm
p. 108

From Olympiodorus, in Aristot. Meteor. p. 59,
"It is requisite to know that the divine Proclus, in his Commentaries on the Timæus * of Plato, refers metals to the seven planets, and says, that lead is ascribed to Saturn, through its weight, dulness, and coldness. But electrum [or a metal composed of gold and silver] is referred to Jupiter, through the well-tempered and vivific nature of the star. In a similar manner, also, with respect to the metal which is called migma; † but the migma is more highly valued than gold, and is well tempered. Again, iron is ascribed to Mars, on account of its incisive power and sharpness; but gold to the sun, which is, as it were, the fountain of light. Copper is referred to Venus, on account of its florid nature; and also because

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[paragraph continues] Venus is near to the sun, in the same manner as copper is to gold. Tin is referred to Mercury, through its clearness and splendour, and at the same time, likewise, because Mercury is near to the moon, just as tin is to silver. And silver is ascribed to the moon; since silver when placed near to gold, appears to be illuminated by the gold, and to become more splendid, in the same manner as the moon is illuminated by the sun."


108:* This extract probably formed a part of a Sixth Book of Proclus on the Timæus, which is lost, as it is not to be found in any of the Five Books that are now extant.

108:† From what Proclus says of this metal, called migma, or, a mixture, it appears to be the same with orichalcum, which Plato, in the Critias or Atlanticus, says, "shines with a fiery splendour." Pliny, in list. Nat. lib. xxxiv. cap. 2, says, that this kind of metal has not existed for a long time, owing to the barrenness of the earth. It is, however, mentioned by Martianus the lawyer, who flourished in the time of Alexander Severus, as if it then existed.


Title: Re: Fragments of the Lost Writings of Proclus
Post by: Major Weatherly on February 06, 2009, 01:31:46 pm
From the MS. Commentary of Proclus on the Tenth Book of the Republic of Plato. *
Proclus having observed, that some persons in his time have been seen sitting or standing on the sepulchres in which they had been buried, which, says he, is also related by the ancients of Aristeas, Hermodorus, and Epimenides, subjoins the following examples, the first of which is taken from the History of Clearchus, the disciple of Aristotle.

Cleonymus, the Athenian, who was a man fond of hearing philosophic discourses, becoming

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very sorrowful on the death of one of his associates, and giving himself up to despair, apparently died, and was laid out according to custom; but his mother, as she was folding him in her embraces, taking off his garment, and kissing him, perceived in him a gentle breathing, and, being extremely joyful on the occasion, delayed his burial. Cleonymus in a short time afterwards was restored to life, and narrated all that he saw and heard when he was in a separate state. He said, that his soul appeared, as if liberated from certain bonds, to soar from its body, and that having ascended above the earth, he saw in it places all-various both for their figure and colour, and streams of rivers unknown to men; and that at last he came to a certain region sacred to Vesta, which was under the direction of dæmoniacal powers in indescribable female forms.

The second example is from the historian Naumachius, who flourished (says Proclus) in the time of our ancestors, and is of one Polycritus, who was an illustrious and principal man among the Ætolians. This Polycritus died, and returned to life in the ninth month after his death; came to the general assembly of the Ætolians, and joined with them in their consultations about what measures were best to be

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adopted. Hiero, the Ephesian, and other historians, testify the truth of this, in that account of transactions which they sent to king Antigonus, and their other absent friends.

The third is as follows: In Nicopolis, not long since, the same thing happened to one Eurynous. This man, who was buried in the front of the city, revived fifteen days after, and said that he saw and heard many wonderful things under the earth, which he was ordered not to relate. He lived some time after this, and his conduct was more just after his revival than before.

The fourth is of Rufus, a priest of the Thessalonians, who lived near the time of the historian Naumachius. This man was restored to life the third day after his death, for the purpose of performing certain sacred ceremonies, which he had promised to perform, and having fulfilled his promise, again died.

The fifth and last is of one Philonæa, who lived under the reign of Philip. She was the daughter of Demostratus and Charite, who lived in Amphipolis, and died soon after her marriage to one Craterus. She revived, however, in the sixth month after her death, and, through her love of a youth named Machates, who came to Demostratus from his own country Pelle, had

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connexion with him privately for many nights successively: this amour, however, being at length detected, she again died; previous to which, she declared that she acted in this manner according to the will of terrestrial dæmons. Her dead body was seen by every one lying in her father's house; and on digging the place, which prior to this had contained her body, it was found to be empty, by those of her kindred who came thither, through unbelief of what had happened to her. * The truth of this narration is testified both by the epistles of Hipparchus and those of Arridæus to Philip, in which they give an account of the affairs of Amphipolis.

Proclus then, with his usual sagacity, observes, concerning the cause of this phænomenon, as follows: "Many other of the ancients have collected a history of those that have apparently died, and afterwards revived; and among these are the natural philosopher Democritus, in his writings concerning Hades, and that wonderful Conotes, the familiar of Plato †; * * * for the death was not, as it seemed, an entire desertion of the whole life of the body, but a cessation,

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caused by some blow, or perhaps a wound; but the bonds of the soul yet remained rooted about the marrow, and the heart contained in its profundity the empyreuma of life; and this remaining, it again acquired the life which had been extinguished, in consequence of becoming adapted to animation."

Lastly, Proclus adds: "that it is possible for the soul to depart from, and enter into the body, is evident from him who, according to Clearchus, used a soul-attracting wand on a sleeping lad; and who persuaded Aristotle, as Clearchus relates in his Treatise on Sleep, that the soul may be separated from the body, and that it enters into the body, and uses it as a lodging. For, striking the lad with the wand, he drew out, and, as it were, led his soul, for the purpose of evincing that the body was immovable when the soul was at a distance from it, and that it was preserved uninjured; but the soul being again led into the body, by means of the wand, after its entrance narrated every particular. From this circumstance, therefore, both the spectators and Aristotle were persuaded that the soul is separate from the body."





109:* The learned reader, who is desirous of seeing the original of the above Translation, will find it in the Notes to my Translation of Plato's Republic.

112:* See this instance of revivification more fully detailed by Phlegon Tralliamis, in his Treatise de Mirabilibus et Longævis.

112:† There is an unfortunate chasm here in the Manuscript of two or three lines.