Леонидас Баргелиотис (Афины–Олимпия), И. В. Берестов (Новосибирск),
М. Н. Вольф (Новосибирск), В. П. Горан (Новосибирск), Джон Диллон (Дублин), С. В. Месяц (Москва), Е. В. Орлов (Новосибирск), В. Б. Прозоров (Москва), А. В. Цыб (Санкт-Петербург), А. И. Щетников (Новосибирск)
С. С. Аванесов (Томск), Леван Гигинейшвили (Тбилиси), Люк Бриссон (Париж), В. С. Диев (Новосибирск), Доминик O’Мара (Фрибург), Теун Тилеман (Утрехт), В. В. Целищев (Новосибирск), С. П. Шевцов (Одесса)
Новосибирский государственный университет,
Институт философии и права СО РАН
Основан в марте 2007 г. Периодичность – два раза в год
Данный выпуск подготовлен благодаря поддержке
Института «Открытое общество» (Будапешт)
Адрес для корреспонденции
Философский факультет НГУ, ул. Пирогова, 2, Новосибирск, 630090
Leonidas Bargeliotes (Athens–Ancient Olympia), Igor V. Berestov (Novosibirsk),
Vasily P. Goran (Novosibirsk), John Dillon (Dublin), Svetlana V. Mesyats (Moscow), Eugene V. Orlov (Novosibirsk), Vadim B. Prozorov (Moscow), Andrei I. Schetnikov (Novosibirsk), Alexey V. Tzyb (St. Petersburg), Marina N. Wolf (Novosibirsk)
Sergey S. Avanesov (Tomsk), Luc Brisson (Paris), Levan Gigineishvili
(Tbilisi), Vladimir S. Diev (Novosibirsk), Dominic O’Meara (Friburg), Sergey P. Shevtsov (Odessa), Teun Tieleman (Utrecht), Vitaly V. Tselitschev (Novosibirsk)
Novosibirsk State University
Institute of Philosophy and Law (Novosibirsk, Russia)
The journal is published twice a year since March 2007 Preparation of this volume is supported by
The “Open Society Institute” (Budapest) The address for correspondence
Philosophy Department, Novosibirsk State University,
Первый выпуск восьмого тома журнала приурочен к сравнительно недавно прошедшему 1600-летию со дня рождения одного из величайших платоников поздней античности Прокла (7/8 февраля 412, Византий – 17 апреля 485, Афины) и, наряду со специальными работами об афинской школе платонизма, включает в себя ряд статей, посвященных традиции платонизма от сократического метода в Государстве до оценки значения неоплатонизма в современной философии. Особое внимание уделено платоническому учению о красоте, метафизике Дамаския, учению о времени и вечности от Плотина и Боэция до Эйнштейна и, наконец, платоническим истокам учения о предопределении в иудейской философии эллинистического периода.
Во втором выпуске восьмого тома журнала исследование традиции платонизма продолжено. Русскоязычному читателю впервые предлагаются переводы классических исследований о неписаном учении Платона К. Гайзера и последних днях Академии в Афинах А. Камерона. Несколько статей, посвященных истории права и политического мышления в античности и раннем средневековье, выделены в отдельный раздел. Том дополнен рецензиями и аннотациями.
Следующий выпуск журнала будет посвящен естественным наукам в древности. Работы в этот сборник принимаются до конца ноября 2014 г. Приглашаем к сотрудничеству заинтересованных авторов.
Сердечно благодарим всех коллег и друзей, принявших участие в наших встречах, и напоминаем авторам, что журнал индексируется ThePhilosopher’sIndex и SCOPUS, поэтому присылаемые статьи должны сопровождаться обстоятельными аннотациями и списками ключевых слов на русском и английском языках.
Особое внимание обращаем на оформление библиографических ссылок. Подробные рекомендации см. здесь: http://www.nsu.ru/classics/schole/1/schole-1-2-to authors.pdf. Информируем читателей, что все предыдущие выпуски можно найти на собственной странице журнала www.nsu.ru/classics/schole/, а также в составе следующих электронных библиотек: www.elibrary.ru (Научная электронная библиотека) и www.ceeol.com (Central and Eastern European Online Library).
25 декабря 2013 г.
The first issue of the eighth volume of the journal is dedicated to the Platonic Tradition and, especially, the great Platonist Proclus (February 7/8, 412 – April 17, 485). It contains an illustrated study of the Athenian school of Platonism and a series of articles, dedicated to various aspects of Platonism from Socratic method in the Republic andthe concept of beauty in the Timaeus to Damascius’ metaphysics, time and eternity in Plotinus and Boethius and the platonic origins of the idea of predestination in Hellenistic Jewish philosophy.
In the second issue we continue to study the tradition of Platonism, its sources and developing in later philosophy. Studies, dedicated to the history of law and political thought in Antiquity and Early Middle Ages, form a special section. The volume is supplemented with reviews and annotations.
Our next thematic issue (January 2014) will be dedicated to natural sciences in Antiquity. Studies and translations are due by November 2014. Interested persons are welcome to contribute.
I wish to express my gratitude to all those friends and colleagues who participate in our collective projects and seminars and would like to remind that the journal is abstracted / indexed in The Philosopher’s Index and SCOPUS, wherefore the prospective authors are kindly requested to supply their contributions with substantial abstracts and the lists of keywords. All the issues of the journal are available on-line at the following addresses: www.nsu.ru/classics/schole/ (journal’s home page); www.elibrary.ru (Russian Index of Scientific Quotations); and www.ceeol.com (Central and Eastern European Online Library).
December 25, 2013
email@example.com Платонизм / The Platonic Tradition СТАТЬИ /ARTICLES
The Houses of Philosophical
Schools in Athens
Anna Afonasina and Eugene Afonasin
The Centre for Ancient philosophy and the Classical Tradition,
Novosibirsk State University, Institute of Philosophy and Law, Russia
Abstract. In the first and second parts of the article we look at two archaeological sites excavated in the center of Athens, a building, located on the Southern slope of the Acropolis and now buried under the Dionysiou Areopagitou Street, known as House Chi, or the “House of Proclus”, and Houses A, B and C at the slope of the Areopagus overlooking the Athenian Agora. We outline and illustrate the basic finds and reexamine the principal arguments in favor of identifying these constructions as the houses of philosophical schools and, in the third part of the paper, offer a remark on religious practice in the Neoplatonic school.
Keywords: Academy at Athens, Proclus, Damascius, Neoplatonism, classical archaeology.
Proclus was born in Byzantium one thousand six hundred and two years ago (counting from February 7/8, 2014). Should we be astrologists, we would have given hours, although one must remember that the data provided by our principal source, Marinus, is contradictory and doesn’t admit the final solution.0 Still a child the future philosopher was taken by his parents to Xanthos. Educated in Lycia, Alexandria and Byzantium and still a young man he arrived in Athens, where he spent the rest of his long life, initially as a pupil of Plutarch and Syrianus, and later as the head of the Neoplatonic school.
The biographical evidence is supported by archeological findings, which in turn can be interpreted with the help of the narrative sources. Using this information together one can hope to receive a fuller picture of the life and functioning of the Athenian school.
In the first and second parts of the article we will look at two archaeological sites excavated in the center of Athens, a building, located on the Southern slope of the Acropolis and now buried under the Dionysiou Areopagitou Street, known as House Chi, or the “House of Proclus”, and Houses A, B and C at the slope of the Areopagus overlooking the Athenian Agora. We will outline and illustrate the basic finds and reexamine the principal arguments in favor of identifying these constructions as the houses of philosophical schools and, in the third part of the paper, will offer a remark on religious practice in the Neoplatonic school. Let us consider these data in turn.
Marinus tells the story about Proclus’ successful prayer to Asclepius, resulted in a miraculous recovery of one Asclepigeneia, “the wife of Theagenes our benefactor” (Marinus, Vita Procli 29, p. 35, 18–39 Saffrey–Segonds; transl. by M. Edwards):
Taken with him the great Pericles of Lydia, a man who was himself no mean philosopher, Proclus visited the shrine of the god to pray on behalf of the invalid. For at that time the city still enjoyed the use of this and retained intact the temple of the Savior. And while he was praying in the ancient manner, a sudden change was seen in the maiden and a sudden recovery occurred, for the Savior, being a god, healed her easily… Such was the act he performed, yet in this as in every other case he evaded the notice of the mob, and offered no pretext to those who wished to plot against him.
The house in which he dwelt was in this respect of great assistance to him. For in addition to the rest of his good fortune, his dwelling too was extremely congenial to him, being also the one inhabited by his ‘father’ Syrianus and by Plutarch, whom he himself styled his ‘forefather’.
Then he briefly describes its location as follows:
Apparently he chooses the surrounding religious constructions as the appropriate landmarks and states, that “…it was a neighbor to the shrine of Asclepius celebrated by Sophocles, and [the shrine] of Dionysius by the theatre…” This is understandable since the purpose of Marinus is to emphasize Proclus’ intimate relations with the deities, especially Athena and Asclepius.
But what the last clause is about? Rosán (1949, 30) renders it thus: “…it could be seen or otherwise perceived from the Acropolis of Athena.”
Frantz (1988, 43) thinks that Marinus wanted to say by this phrase that the house “…could be seen, or at least discerned, by someone standing on the Acropolis of Athena”, writing that “Professor Harold Cherniss, who kindly looked at the passage with me, suggested that the dative, unless it is simply bad grammar, is used to emphasize the fact that the viewer is standing on the Acropolis. ‘Or at least discerned’ limits the preceding ‘visible’, rather then offering a senseless alternative ‘otherwise perceived’ (Rosán’s translation), and implies that someone standing on the Acropolis could see it with some difficulty. Homer Thompson, who happened to be in Athens at the time the problem arose, responded to a query whether the facts justified this interpretation with the following: ‘Looking over the present top of the south wall of the Acropolis one has no difficulty in seeing the supposed site of the house; but in Late Antiquity one would presumably have had to climb up to a sentry walk’” (1988, 43, n. 169).
In his review of the above Castrén (1991, 475) takes this to mean that “the House of Proclus was visible from the Acropolis and also otherwise somehow manifest, obviously because of the considerable bulk of construction immediately below the eyes of the spectator”.0
More recently M. Edwards (2000, 104, n. 329) suggested it to mean that the house became visible from the acropolis only when the shrine of Asclepius was destroyed (“seen, or if not it became visible, from the acropolis of Athena”). The idea is attractive because it could be used for indirect dating of the temple’s destruction. But should this really be the case, why did Marinus, having mentioned the demolishing of the temple a few lines before the passage in question, not simply state this? We still therefore incline to take it to mean that “someone standing on the Acropolis could see the house with some difficulty.”0
A Plan of Athens in the 5th century C. E.0 What is intriguing is that a large building complex on the southern slope of the Acropolis, located between the Odeum of Herodes Atticus and the Theater of Dionysus, and therefore approximately matching this description, was actually excavated in 1955. Unfortunately, the work was accomplished only partially and under extreme pressure of time, before the Dionysiou Areopagiou Street was constructed over the site (Meliades 1955).
According to Dontas (1956) the building in its final form was constructed in the period between the end of the fourth and the beginning the fifth century C. E. Only the northern part of the area was excavated because “the rest expands under the area occupied by modern houses, in the back-yards of which could be observed its traces and floor-mosaics” (his article in: Ergon tes Archaiologikes Etaireias kata to 1955 (Athena) 5–14, quoted in Oikonomides 1977: 11–12).
Above: the Dionysiou Areopagiou Street,present view (photographed by the authors in 2009); below: the area in the period of excavation in 1955 (after Frantz 1988)
“This was no ordinary house by Athenian standards, – writes Frantz (1988, 43). – A large room opens into a wide apse (6.60 m. wide, 4.40 m. deep); the lower part of the wall of the apse was surfaced with marble revetment slabs. Above the revetment the thickness of the wall diminishes, and in it were seven niches suitable for sculpture (as in the Areopagus houses). The floors of both parts of the room were covered with mosaics in elaborate geometric patterns, the apse being emphasized by having the floor laid at a slightly higher level. Against the outer face of the east wall of the apse was a small shrine of Cybele, identified by a statuette of the goddess in a niche in the wall. A statue base with a funerary relief carved on the front served as an offering table. Both pieces of sculpture were re-used in these positions…”
The excavators were the first to suggest that the building (now labeled as House Chi) can be identified with the one owned by Plutarch’s family and associated with the names of the founder of the Athenian school of Neoplatonism and his most close associates, Syrianus and Proclus. Indeed, in addition to an obvious fact that it perfectly matches Marinus’ description, it clearly belongs to the type of buildings used in Antiquity, as Frantz put it, “for the gathering of audiences and accommodating lectures and called generally ‘philosophical schools’.” It is equally important that the building seems to be used continuously during the fifth century, but was abandoned in the sixth century C.E. The hypothesis has now been materialized in the form of a memorial plate hung in situ.0
The identification is also confirmed by the reach finds (artistic works and an inscription), illustrating religious and intellectual interests of its inhabitants. Apart of the shrine of Cybele and various religious objects (even a sacrificial knife in the neck of the piglet!), and numerous objects of everyday use (lamps, vases, etc), in the building and its close vicinity there had been discovered numerous statues of the gods (including a statue of Isis), a portrait, tentatively identified as this of a philosopher; and an inscription with the words σοφίης and βίοτον. The head of a philosopher (some speculate – this of Plutarch) dated to the fifth century is also said to come from the vicinity.0
According to Agathias Scholasticus (On the Reign of Justinian, 2.30.3) the last head of the Academy Damascius (c. 458–after 538) had managed to revitalize the school and to assemble in Athens the best philosophers ‘from all over the domain of Hellenism.’ But the philosophers had already been driven from the ‘House of Proclus’ by Plutarch’s relatives (the legal owners of the building) and the house itself was extensively rebuild or even abandoned (Karivieri 1994), so he had to find another location for his school.0 An attractive hypothesis, now widely accepted, is this by P. Athanassiadi who suggested that he may well have established his school “in a superb building complex on the northern slope of the Areopagus, which must have functioned for many years as living quarters, as a teaching and research center, and as a place of worship” (Athanassiadi 1999, 47; Appendix I; PhH 145 and 151E with footnotes).
Look at the plan of Athens above: the Areopagus Houses A, B and C are found between the Areopagus and the Forum (the Roman Agora). Frantz (1988, 38) describes their location and major features as follows:
“The four buildings constituting the Areopagus group stood on the lower slopes of the hill, on terraces leveled for their predecessors. Their sitting and plans were conditioned by the two east-west streets that ran through the area and by the terrain itself. The northernmost, House A, was contiguous to the South Road, which forms the southern boundary of the Agora, but with a very slight difference in orientation so that its northwest corner encroaches on the road by about a meter. House B is about 15 meters to the southeast, a little farther up the hill; the eastern half was built against the remaining wall of the Upper South Road. House C lies still farther up the slope, directly across the road from House B. The south edge of the road therefore determined the line of its northern wall while a scrap in the hard rock of the Areopagus limited further expansion to the south. Of House D only the apse remains ca. 35 meters west of House C…”
The northern slope of Areopagus was inhabited from the classical times, and the houses were constantly rebuilt. Constructions visible now are mainly dated to the period after the Herulian attack at 267 C.E. and up to the sixth century. An example of longevity is a construction on the slope of Areopagus, west of House A, which was built in the fifth century B.E.C. and still occupied in the fifth century C. E. A few small marble figures were found here, including a statuette of Asclepius, a head of Sarapis, and a statuette of Tyche (Frantz 1988, 36ff).
A large central hall – the common feature of all the Areopagus houses as well as the House of Proclus (House Chi) – clearly indicates that the buildings served some public purposes. The halls and adjacent peristyle courts are admittedly perfect places for educational or religious gatherings, conducted privately. The chambers that surround the central hall could be used as “seminar rooms”, some sort of cabinets or private dwellings. At any rate, a building of this type, too spacious for private quarters and not suitable for official use could suite well for hosting a private educational institution.
A perfect example of a similar type is relatively recently uncovered in Aphrodisias. It is the so-called North Temenos House – a large building complex located near the temple of Aphrodite on the edges of the city-center (cf. a picture below). This spacious construction with large apsidal halls and other rooms suitable for public use resembles the Areopagus houses in many ways and could also host a philosophical school.0 The houses feature elaborate mosaic pavements and were adorned with sculpture. Some perfect specimens produced locally, including the marble paneling that decorated the walls, and a number of plaster capitals carved with Aphrodite, Eros and similar images, were found during the excavation and can now be seen in the museum. The houses were abandoned after the seventh centuries’ earthquake.
The historians of ancient philosophy are visiting the ‘House of Damascius’.
March 2009, a conference “Iamblichus: his sources and influence”
(organized by The Irish Institute of Hellenic Studies at Athens and
the Centre for Ancient philosophy and the Classical tradition,
Novosibirsk University, Russia)
House C, Nymphaeum; above: its present condition;
below: its state in the time of excavation in the 1970s (after Frantz 1988) “The most important feature of House C is a nymphaeum leading down from the southeast corner of the central peristyle by two marble steps flanked by marble columns to a small triclinium (ca. 3 x 3.50 m.). On its east side this looked into an apsidal room housing a semicircular pool… The motivation for this construction was obviously the ready availability of water from a fine fountain house into which the water from a spring higher up the hill had been channeled since the second or third century…” (Frantz 1988, 38)
A part of a large building complex in Aphrodisias, North Temenos House,
which is labeled by the researchers as the school of philosophy residence
Various sculptures, some in an excellent state of preservation, were found hidden in wells0 and in the destruction debris over and around houses. The most important are those found in two wells in House C. Some sculptures, like a superb head of Nike or a portrait bust of Antoninus Pius (both are on display in the Agora museum; S 2354 and S 2436), are more or less conventional, while the others, like small statues of Herakles and Hermes, heads of Nemesis and Helios, a statuette of a seated philosopher, and statuettes of Tyche, Serapis and Asclepius (S 871, 885, 875, etc.) represent religious and intellectual preferences of the Last Hellenes rather well.0
Reflecting the syncretic religious situation of the Late Antiquity, the houses on the north slope of Areopagus seem to be literally surrounded by various public and private places of worship. For instance, three large blocks of Egyptian granite and an engraved bronze disk with Egyptian motives, found on the hillside, could indicate that a shrine of Isis was located somewhere in the area; a Mithraeum could stay nearby, since two pieces of sculpture, associated with Mithras are discovered in the vicinity; and a head of Selene in relief, which could be somehow related with a shrine dedicated to Hecate or Cybele, was found in a well down the hill (Frantz 1988, 37).
Bronze Disk, Agora Museum B 904, drawn after Frantz 1988
We do not know what happened to the buildings after 529, when the Academy was closed and its members immigrated to Persia.0 Quite probably that afterwards the building continued to be used as a school, since in the seventh century it was still possible to study philosophy in Athens, as did Theodorus of Tarsus, before becoming Archbishop of Canterbury in 669 (Frantz et al. 1988, 33, n. 120; DOP 19, 1965).