• 'In the court of a great king': some remarks on Leo Strauss' introduction to the guide for the perplexed

      Sharpe, Matthew Joel (Springer, 2011-04-01)
      This essay, which will be divided between two SOPHIA editions, proposes to test the consensus in Maimonidean scholarship on the alleged intellectualism of Leo Strauss’ Maimonides by making a close interpretive study of Strauss’ 1963 essay ‘How to Begin to Study the Guide for the Perplexed’. While the importance of this essay, which is Strauss’ last extended piece on the Guide, is established in Maimonidean scholarship, its recognised esotericism has been matched by a dearth of detailed studies of the piece. We aim in this essay to try to rectify this situation, by reading ‘How to Begin to Study’ as Strauss directs us to read esoteric texts in Persecution and the Art of Writing. As one control on our exegetical claims, we will close by situating our reading of ‘How to Begin to Study’ and Strauss’ positions there on philosophy, prophecy and the Torah alongside the claims of his earlier, much less esoteric, but also rarely studied: ‘Some Remarks on the Political Science of Maimonides and Farabi’. Because of the now widely recognised foundational importance of Maimonides in understanding Leo Strauss’ own lasting positions, this work will have wider importance in Strauss scholarship, and hopefully make a contribution to the continuing task of trying to understand Strauss’ important thoughts on Athens and Jerusalem, reason and revelation, the city and man.
    • 1 Apologia Justyna Męczennika i Platońska Apologia Sokratesa : inspiracja czy polemika?

      Heszen, Agnieszka (2012)
      Justyn Męczennik jako platonik wzoruje się w swojej Apologii na Apologii Sokratesa i to zarówno pod względem struktury, jak i koncepcji dzieła. W rozdz. 5 dzieła cytuje Platona i kilkakrotnie daje przykład Sokratesa, osoby skazanej przez państwo. Budowa Apologii Sokratesa znajduje u Justyna pełne odbicie: w funkcji prooimion występuje dedykacja i przedstawienie swojej osoby – Sokrates mówi o sposobie prezentacji mowy, zwraca uwagę na technikę wypowiedzi oraz do kogo mowa jest skierowana. Następnie prothesis – przedstawienie tematu, czyli obrona Chrześcijan przed pomówieniami (u Platona – przed fałszywym oskarżeniem Sokratesa), po czym następuje pierwsza część obrony – walka z plotką, oszczerstwem oraz skazywaniem tylko na podstawie nomen Christianum; u Platona: Sokrates występuje przeciwko plotkom na swój temat, a więc przeciwko anonimowym oskarżycielom. W dalszej części apologii, tak jak Sokrates atakuje Meletosa i doprowadza jego sposób myślenia do absurdu, tak Justyn atakuje religię grecko-rzymską, filozofów i poetów.
 Inspiracje Platonem u Justyna są bardzo wyraźne, platonizm jako najbardziej popularna szkoła filozoficzna w II w. stanowił wspólną płaszczyznę do dyskusji nad tożsamością kulturową, a co równie interesujące – stanowił nierzadko oręż do walki z pogaństwem, jednocześnie będąc narzędziem opisu rozwijającego się chrześcijaństwa.

      Vladimir Kola
    • 1) Divus Augustus Pater. Kult boskiego Augusta za rządów dynastii julijsko-klaudyjskiej

      Sajkowski, Ryszard (2001)
      Divus Augustus Pater. The cult of divine Augustus under the rule of the Julio-Claudian dynasty Summary The cult of divine Augustus was one of the most important phenomena of ideological nature under the rule of the Julio-Claudian dynasty. The crucial point of its development was the apotheosis conducted on 17 September 14 AD. The new cult was derived greatly from numerous borrowings from the rites of various gods of the Roman Pantheon. As divus, Augustus received a separate priest, a private priestess, and a college of priests. The first flamen Augustalis became Germanicus. The holder of this title enjoyed many privileges. It seems unlikely, however, that flamen Augustalis controlled the entire cult of divine Augustus. This was the role of the emperor as both the supreme priest and the inheritor of political power. Sodales Augustales also had special cult functions. This religious fraternity had a mixed private-state character just like many of the institutions of the early principate. It was a cult college of gens Iulia and, most of all, of Augustus. From its beginning it enjoyed high prestige. The members of this religious fraternity were recruited among the Senate elite and the family of the emperor. Sacerdos divi Augusti occupies a different place in the priesthood established to worship Augustus. This female priesthood, despite its humble cult and political role, is of great interest to scholars. In spite of discerning investigations by researchers, there seem to have been only two priestesses in the Julio-Claudian dynasty – Julia Augusta, the widow of the creator of the principate, and Antonia Augusta. There is even no certainty that the latter had preformed the function at all. Augustus, as a god, was given a separate temple under a Senate decree. However, the construction work went slowly ahead. Therefore, divus Augustus was initially worshipped in other places of worship. At first, it was the temple of Mars Ultor. He was also worshipped in the sacrarium on the Palatine. One encounters certain difficulties when trying to identify the places of Augustus’ worship in Rome. Ultimately, there seem to have been two sacraria in the capital of the Empire. There is no certainty, however, whether yet another temple was located next to the templum novum divi Augusti on the Palatine. In trying to analyse the phenomenon of the divinity of the Roman emperors, and Augustus in particular, it is necessary to refer to the genesis of Emperor worship. Within the framework of official religion it is important to distinguish such elements as genius and numen. Although the consecratio act conducted by the Senate meant the crossing of the boundary between the human Augustus and the divine Augustus, it is important to remember that Augustus had prepared his apotheosis for a long time and already enjoyed divine honours during his lifetime. Certain elements of Augustus worship developed under his rule continued to exist for some time after the death of the creator of the principate. Augustus divinity was guarded by the law of maiestas. At the beginning of the rule of Tiberius it mostly protected divus Augustus himself. Gradually, despite some opposition, the law began to serve the ruling emperor. There is little certainty of how many cases were brought under the crimen laesae maiestatis against those who insulted the divine Augustus. The issue of trials for offending the law of maiestas is accounted for one-sidedly by ancient historians, which complicates the work of contemporary researchers. There is, however, no denying that for Tiberius (Augustus’ successor) the trials on the charge of maiestas turned out to be a trap. The cult of divus Augustus was approved throughout the Empire. Nevertheless, some weaker voices of opposition could be heard. These were present in the Senate circles cherishing the memory of the last defenders of the Republic, as well as among some ethnic and religious communities. The latter included Judaism and emerging Christianity. The political consequences of Augustus’ deification were very serious. He significantly contributed to the ruling of the Julio-Claudian dynasty for over 50 years. The main reason for that was the fact that in the Rome of that time the tradition of power succession was not yet well-grounded. Directly after the principate creator’s death, his consecratio took place – he was assigned priests and many godly honours and a temple was erected in his honour. These actions obviously took place under Augustus’ successor Tiberius who, during his rule, constantly tried to emulate the divine predecessor and referred to his decrees on numerous occasions. Tiberius was the emperor who contributed to the cult of his adoptive father to the greatest extent. However, one cannot fail to notice that his actions were somehow ambiguous. It has to be remembered that, in addition to his sincere respect for the divine Augustus, Tiberius also tried to use the authority of the creator of the principate to strengthen his power. This is exemplified by the motto imprinted on coins: DIVVS AVGVSTVS PATER. Caligula took a different approach to the Augustan cult. When assuming power after Tiberius, he was in a different position. The 20-year rule by Augustus’ successor greatly contributed to the strengthening of the idea of the principate ’s stability in the minds of the Romans. This allowed Caligula to pay less heed to the Senate aristocracy, as well as other institutional elements of the Republic. Under these circumstances, the cult of Augustus underwent modifications. Divus Augustus still remained at the heart of the religious propaganda of the Roman state and gens Iulia, but also other members of the family of the young Emperor received a number of honours drawing them closer to the world of gods. Drusilla, for that matter, was made a diva. By this, the idea of domus Augusta received a new confirmation. Caligula himself did not cease to participate in, and support, the rites performed to worship his divine grandfather. The available sources lead us to believe that Augustus constituted for the young princeps a role model and a character to which he often compared himself with. For Claudius, the use of the cult of divine Augustus was important as a tool to strengthen political power. But due to the fact that his personal links with divus Augustus were rather weak, Claudius focused on the cult of his grandmother Livia, Augustus’ wife. He also emphasised the function of sacerdos divi Augusti which his mother Antonia Augusta was to fulfil. Claudius faced the task of the ‘reconstruction’ of the cult of Augustus which had deteriorated, especially during the second part of Caligula’s rule. Claudius took a different direction in imitating Augustus than his two predecessors. Augustus’ model was very capacious, allowing him to find examples which could be adjusted to fit his own political goals and personality. Claudius avoided the stiffness characteristic of Tiberius and, at the same time, respected Augustus’ traditions which he Caligula inadvertently abused. Claudius’ attitude to Augustus is not quite clear. Undoubtedly he kept alive the memory of the first princeps, however, there is a lack of testimony about the new honours conferred on divine Augustus during the rule of this Emperor. Almost all of them concentrate around the person of Claudius or his family. There are, however, no honours conferred on the creator of the principate. This type of attitude caused the cult of divine Augustus to be eclipsed by the cult of the ruling Emperor. Nero, the last representative of the Julio-Claudian dynasty descended, unlike Claudius, directly from the line of Augustus. The new emperor deified his predecessor by using the model of Augustus’ apotheosis. In the first part of his rule he drew greatly from the Augustus model of exercising power. Nero ’s ideological platform seems to be the richest in comparison with other emperors of the Julio-Claudian dynasty. The tradition of links with divus Augustus was, however, only one of many different elements. With time, the tradition appeared to play a still smaller role. The departure from the Augustus model took place on many levels. Some of the steps were very radical, whereas others were less significant. The most serious was the elimination of the members of gens Iulia and gens Claudia, and those who could prove their kinship with both the houses. The devastation in Nero ’s closest family put an end to the concept of domus Augusta. Formally, the Emperor did not renounce the divine creator of the principate but, in practice, the idea of the new domus Augusta no longer aimed at presenting Augustus’ descendants united in a single family. Nero was now alone and any creation of ideological concepts of power under those circumstances had to be based around him. These actions ended in disaster. By giving up the Augustan model, Nero lost the support of the army and, as a result, lost power. Apart from the worship of the state religion in the capital, divus Augustus was the subject of a provincial and municipal cult. Here, the worship of divine Augustus was often a continuation, sometimes in an extended form, of the honours Augustus had been granted during his lifetime. In the cult of divus Augustus, in the provinces one can observe a mutual interweaving of elements copied from the capital model and local traditions. The beginning of the provincial cult of Augustus dates back to the rule of Tiberius. The crucial point for the establishment of the provincial cult in the West was the request of the citizens of Hispania Tarraconensis to build a temple for divine Augustus. It is important to emphasise here that he was appointed on a local initiative. In the East, the genesis of the provincial cult is related to the functioning of koinon. In comparison with the western regions, the cult here was characterised not only by longer history but also an extensive system of priesthood and rich ritual. The intensity of development of municipal and private cult in the West depended on the level of social and economic development of the regions. It assumed the most complex forms in the provinces with well-developed city life – generally in the eastern provinces. Whereas the cult of divine Augustus in the western municipal provinces was similar in character to the cult of the principate’s creator in Italy. The greatest testimony to the cult’s development comes from relatively strongly romanised and, at the same time, the wealthiest regions which had been part of the Empire for a long time. These included the mainly proconsular Africa, Spain and Narbonese Gaul. The sources coming from these regions constitute not only an illustration of the development of the cult of divine Augustus and members of domus Augusta, but are also a sign of the processes of romanisation of great numbers of city populations. It is necessary to note that outside Rome we do not encounter an isolated cult of divine Augustus. Whenever we deal with information concerning temples or rituals dedicated to the deified creator of the principate, other members of the family are also worshipped. In fact, during the whole rule of the Julio-Claudian dynasty we actually deal with the cult of divine Augustus in close association with the worship of domus Augusta – domus divina.
    • 1. What is a clandestine philosophical manuscript?

      Paganini Gianni, C. Jacb, J. C. Laursen; Paganini, Gianenrico (UCLA Center for 17th and 18th c. studies and Toronto University Press, 2020)
    • 1. 1927-1967

      Ferraris, Maurizio (Rosenberg & Sellier, 2021-06-09)
      Alle origini del decostruzionismo di Derrida sta l’esperienza delle filosofie radicali tra Otto e Novecento e l’intersezione tra fenomenologia e ermeneutica come filo conduttore maggiore del pensiero contemporaneo. Il punto di partenza è dunque, ancora una volta, Nietzsche, e la sua critica del positivismo e dello storicismo quale si affaccia sin dagli scritti giovanili che segnano la presa di congedo dalla filologia. Positivismo e storicismo, come orizzonti metodologici delle scienze dello s...
    • 1. À la recherche d’un contrôle illusoire

      Bourgeault, Guy (Presses de l’Université de Montréal, 2018-01-23)
      En présentant une fois encore des propos tenus au cours des dix dernières années sur diverses tribunes et dans quelques publications, je ressens le malaise de l’opposant de service. Mais je me refuse à laisser aller, sans protester encore une fois, la constante croissance d’une bureaucratie dont les pratiques, outre qu’elles mettent en cause les rapports rationnels d’adéquation et de proportionnalité entre les fins et les moyens, me paraissent contredire et contrecarrer les visées premières d...
    • 1. Che cos’è la poesia?

      Derrida, Jacques (Rosenberg & Sellier, 2021-06-09)
      L’economia della memoria: un poema deve essere breve, per vocazione ellittica, quale che ne sia l’estensione oggettiva o apparente. Dotto inconscio della Verdichtung e del ritrarsi. Il cuore. Non il cuore che pulsa nelle frasi traducibili senza rischio in ogni lingua. Né solo il cuore degli archivi cardiografici, oggetto di scienze o tecniche, di filosofie e di discorsi bio-etico-giuridici. Forse neppure il cuore delle Scritture o di Pascal, e neanche (ma è meno certo) quello che sta a cuore ...
    • 1. Che cos’è la poesia?

      Derrida, Jacques (Rosenberg & Sellier, 2021-06-09)
      Pour répondre à une telle question – en deux mots, n’est-ce pas? – on te demande de savoir renoncer au savoir. Et de bien le savoir, sans jamais l’oublier: démobilise la culture mais ce que tu sacrifies en route, en traversant la route, ne l’oublie jamais dans ta docte ignorance. Qui ose me demander cela? Même s’il n’en paraît rien, car disparaître est sa loi, la réponse se voit dictée. Je suis une dictée, prononce la poésie, apprends moi par coeur, recopie, veille et garde moi, regarde moi, ...
    • 1. Che cos’è l’etica?

      Premoli De Marchi, Paola (Accademia University Press, 2013-11-05)
      Leopoli, 1942. La città polacca è stata invasa dalle truppe tedesche. Un giovane architetto ebreo, internato in un campo di concentramento alle porte della città, ogni giorno è condotto con un gruppo di compagni nell’edificio dove si trovava il politecnico in cui aveva studiato. L’edificio ora è diventato un ospedale militare. Suo compito è trasportare i rifiuti provenienti dalle sale operatorie. A un certo punto, un’infermiera gli si avvicina, chiedendogli furtivamente di seguirlo. Lo conduc...
    • 1. Culture, Heritage, and Ethics

      Sandis, Constantine (Open Book Publishers, 2016-11-29)
      1. Introduction Heritage is that which has been or may be inherited, regardless of its value. Unfortunately, the term ‘heritage’ (the thirteenth-century English word is derived from the Latin haeres, meaning heir or heiress) is nowadays frequently used for purposes best described as touristic, to sell everything from beer and tomatoes to cars, gardens, and hotels. It is possible to think of some of this heritage as non-cultural, or perhaps even anti-cultural. An even more plausible contender ...
    • 1. Dalla Grande Narrazione alle teorie della storia

      Heller, Ágnes (Rosenberg & Sellier, 2016-05-12)
      Desidero cominciare citando la fondamentale analisi di Michel Foucault relativa al cosiddetto “a priori storico”, presente nell’opera Le Parole e le Cose. Secondo Foucault i cambiamenti radicali che determinano il passaggio da un periodo storico al successivo sono riconducibili al mutamento dell’a priori storico: concetti, idee, concezioni del mondo lasciano il posto ad altre Weltanschauungen in modo non continuo ma discontinuo. Tra l’epoca classica e l’epoca moderna è avvenuto un mutamento d...