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Fragments of the Lost Writings of Proclus

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« Reply #15 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."


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Footnotes
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."



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« Reply #16 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. *



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Footnotes
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.



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« Reply #17 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." *




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Footnotes
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."



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« Reply #18 on: February 06, 2009, 01:19:24 pm »

p. 35

ARGUMENTS
IN PROOF OF
THE ETERNITY OF THE WORLD.
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." *



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Footnotes
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]."



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« Reply #19 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.




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Footnotes
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.



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« Reply #20 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.


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Footnotes
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.



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« Reply #21 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.


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Footnotes
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.



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« Reply #22 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. *


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Footnotes
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.



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« Reply #23 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


p. 45

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.





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Footnotes
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.



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« Reply #24 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.



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



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« Reply #25 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

p. 48

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


p. 49

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.


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Footnotes
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."



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« Reply #26 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


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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.


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Footnotes
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."



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« Reply #27 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;



p. 53

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



p. 54

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. †




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Footnotes
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.



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« Reply #28 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.


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Footnotes
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.



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« Reply #29 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.



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