The systematic theosophy of Plotinus and his successors does not belong to the present article, except so far as it is the presupposition of their mysticism; but, inasmuch as the mysticism of the medieval Church is directly derived from Neoplatonism through the speculations of the pseudo-Dionysius, Neoplatonic mysticism fills an important section in any historical review of the subject.
But the link that connects him with churchly realism, as well as with the NeoPlatonic mysticism, is the conviction that complete and certain knowledge rests wholly on divine revelation, i.e.
It was the Alexandrian theology that superseded them; that is to say, NeoPlatonic mysticism triumphed over the early Christian hope of the future, first among the "cultured," and then, when the theology of the "cultured" had taken the faith of the "uncultured" under its protection, amongst the latter also.
The Pythagorean theory of numbers, Neoplatonic ideas of emanation, the Logos, the personified Wisdom, Gnosticism - these and many other features combine to show the antiquity of tendencies which, clad in other shapes, are already found in the old pre-Christian Oriental religions.
Daehne had tried to show that he was Neoplatonic, and Reinkens has maintained that he was essentially Aristotelian.
For the Stoic and Neoplatonic uses of Aoyos, as also for those of Philo Judaeus and the Fathers, see Logos.
Some general information as to the Platonic doctrines (chiefly in a Neoplatonic garb) was obtainable from the commentary with which Chalcidius (6th century) accompanied his translation, from the work of Apuleius (2nd century) De dogmate Platonis, and indirectly from the commentary of Macrobius (c. 400) on the Somnium Scipionis of Cicero, and from the writings of St Augustine.
John the Scot was still E acquainted with Greek, seeing that he translated the work of the pseudo-Dionysius; and his speculative genius achieved the fusion of Christian doctrine and Neoplatonic thought in a system of quite remarkable metaphysical completeness.
In this way, however, though the distinctions drawn may still be comparatively vague, there existed in the schools a Peripatetic tradition to set over against the Neoplatonic influence of John the Scot, and amongst the earliest remains of Scholastic thought we find this tradition asserting itself somewhat vigorously.
The universal human intellect is made by him to proceed from the divine by a series of Neoplatonic emanations.
Accepted at first as Aristotle's, and actually printed in the first Latin editions of his works, the book is in reality an Arabian compilation of Neoplatonic theses.
The apocryphal Neoplatonic treatises and the First views of the Arabian commentators obscured for the effects of first students the genuine doctrine of Aristotle, and the the new 13th century opens with quite a crop of mystical knowledge.
1207; see Amalric and MYsTicism), though based by him upon a revival of Scotus Erigena, was doubtless connected in its origin with the Neoplatonic treatises which now become current.
So long as the Neoplatonic influence remained strong, attempts were still made to demonstrate the doctrine of the Trinity, chiefly in a mystical sense as in Erigena, but also by orthodox churchmen like Anselm.
His extant works are - (i) a speech before Arcadius, De regno; (2) Dio, sive de suo ipsius instituto, in which he signifies his purpose to devote himself to true philosophy; (3) Encomium calvitii (he was himself bald), a literary jeu d'esprit, suggested by Dio Chrysostom's Praise of Hair; (4) De providentia, in two books; (5) De insomniis; (6) 157 Epistolae; (7) 12 Hymni, of a contemplative, Neoplatonic character; and several homilies and occasional speeches.
A beginning had been made, in the 5th century, by the neoplatonic Christian who addressed his contemporaries under the mask of Dionysius the Areopagite.
But these cannot be considered the actual progenitors of Neoplatonism; their philosophic method is quite elementary as compared with the Neoplatonic, their fundamental principles are uncertain, and unbounded deference is still paid to the authority of Plato.
Philosophically considered, therefore, the Gnostic systems are very unlike the rigorous self-consistency of Neoplatonism; although they certainly contain almost all the elements which enter into the Neoplatonic theory of the universe.
The dogmas of the Basilidians, as given by Hippolytus, read almost like passages from Neoplatonic works: g ird oWv v, obx 6N n, OLO"Ga, OLK Q,vo u nov, obx Q.7f abvOErop, OLK av671r011, OLK ava(o-Oi j rov, OLK twOpw'ros ()UK Oeos avwi]TWS, ava60Oi i rw,, ?L7rpoatp g TWS, loraOWS, ?a/en-Ow/iron KOOµov 7)O %7] oE 7ro ijo-aL.
The Philonic and Gnostic philosophies thus appear to be merely an historical anticipation of the Neoplatonic, without any real connexion.
The founder of the Neoplatonic school in Alexandria is supposed to have been Ammonius Saccas.
So great was the general decline that this Neoplatonic philosophy offered a welcome shelter to many earnest and influential men, in spite of the 1 It was condemned by an edict of the emperors Theodosius II.
In the chief cities of the empire Neoplatonic schools flourished till the beginning of the 5th century; during this period, indeed, they were the training-schools of Christian theologians.
In Athens a Neoplatonic school still flourished.
" It was reserved for Proclus," says Zeller, " to bring the Neoplatonic philosophy to its formal conclusion by the rigorous consistency of his dialectic, and, keeping in view all the modifications which it had undergone in the course of two centuries, to give it that form in which it was transferred to Christianity and Mahommedanism in the middle ages."
In the seventh book of his Confessions he has recorded how much he owed to the perusal of Neoplatonic works.
Thus Fichte, Spinoza, Jakob Boehme and the Mystics, and finally, the great Greek thinkers with their Neoplatonic, Gnostic, and Scholastic commentators, give respectively colouring to particular works.
Later on Zarvan was elevated to the position of supreme principle, creator of Ormazd and Ahriman, and, long 1 Analogous to this is the veneration in which the Catholic monks and the Neoplatonic "` philosophers" were held; but the prestige of the Manichaean electi was greater than that of the monks and the philosophers.
Principiis, 125) and received at his hands a Neoplatonic interpretation; this cosmogony was probably the writing which Strabo ascribes to a Sidonian philosopher, Mochus, who lived before the Trojan times (xvi.
The teaching of the Fons Vitae was entirely new to the country of its origin, and being drawn largely from Neoplatonic sources could not be expected to find favour with Jewish thinkers.
The reign of Gallienus (260-268) would suit the tone of its references to the Roman emperor (Waitz, P. 74), and also any polemic against the Neoplatonic philosophy of revelation by visions and dreams which it may contain.
After lecturing in her native city, Hypatia ultimately became the recognized head of the Neoplatonic school there (c. 400).
P. 347), states that "she appears to have taught the Neoplatonic doctrine in the form in which Iamblichus had stated it."
In the above acceptation of the term, the Neoplatonic doctrine of emanations from the supra-essential One, the fanciful emanation-doctrine of some of the Gnostics (the aeons of the Valentinian system might be mentioned), and the elaborate esoteric system of the Kabbalah, to which the two former in all probability largely contributed, are generally included under the head of theosophy.
The more enlightened Ilarranians, however, adopted a religious philosophy strongly tinged with Neoplatonic and Christian elements.
Under these teachers he became familiar with the Talmud and, what was probably more important for his own development, with the philosophical writings of Ibn Ezra and Maimonides, Levi ben Gerson, Hasdai Crescas, and other representatives of Jewish medieval thought, who aim at combining the traditional theology with ideas got from Aristotle and his Neoplatonic commentators.
Neoplatonic philosophy had been in the main content either to formulate the contradiction or to deny the reality of one of the opposing terms. And traces of Neoplatonic influence, more especially as regards their doctrine of the unreality of the material and sensible world, are to be found everywhere in the Christian philosophers of Alexandria, preventing or impeding their formulation of the problem of freedom in its full scope and urgency.
Erigena's contemporaries, and was certainly unorthodox enough to justify the condemnation which it subsequently received from Honorius III.; but its influence, together with that of the Pseudo-Dionysius, had a considerable share in developing the more emotional orthodox mysticism of the 12th and 13th centuries; and Neoplatonism (or Platonism received through a Neoplatonic tradition) remained a distinct element in medieval thought, though obscured in the period of mature scholasticism by the predominant influence of Aristotle.
The moral philosophy of Aquinas is Aristotelianism with a Neoplatonic tinge, interpreted and supplemented by a view of Christian dogma derived chiefly from Augustine.
The Neoplatonic extravagances which lay hidden in the school from the first came in his writings to a head, and merged in pure phantasy.