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Proclus commentary on the Timaeus of Plato, Book Three: On the World -Soul

Proclus commentary on the Timaeus of Plato, Book Three: On the World -Soul

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Published by Martin Euser
This is Proclus's most famous book, from his Commentary on Plato's Timaeus. The latter was widely studied by scholars in the Middle Ages/Renaissance, and highly valued by Copernicus, Keppler and other astronomers.
Book Three deals with the structure of the World-soul.
Thomas Taylor translation. It is more accessible than his work on the Platonic Theology, because it deals with slightly more tangible things like psyche, intuition (called intellect in the Greek tradition), space, geometry and the four Elements.

The numbering in the margin indicates Diehl's volume and page numbers, while the numbers with capital letter indicate his text numbering. I'm looking for a volunteer who wants to put this on WikiSource, together with the footnotes, containing Greek text. You can reach me through the contact form at my website meuser.awardspace.com
This is Proclus's most famous book, from his Commentary on Plato's Timaeus. The latter was widely studied by scholars in the Middle Ages/Renaissance, and highly valued by Copernicus, Keppler and other astronomers.
Book Three deals with the structure of the World-soul.
Thomas Taylor translation. It is more accessible than his work on the Platonic Theology, because it deals with slightly more tangible things like psyche, intuition (called intellect in the Greek tradition), space, geometry and the four Elements.

The numbering in the margin indicates Diehl's volume and page numbers, while the numbers with capital letter indicate his text numbering. I'm looking for a volunteer who wants to put this on WikiSource, together with the footnotes, containing Greek text. You can reach me through the contact form at my website meuser.awardspace.com

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Published by: Martin Euser on Jun 03, 2010
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05/12/2014

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Proclus
Commentary on the Timaeus of PlatoBook III
(On the World-soul;edited bywww.scribd.com/meuser )
2,1
The present treatise in one way surveys the world according to thewholeness which it contains, conformably to which also it is similar toall-perfect animal, and was generated an only-begotten animal,* animatedand endued with intellect; but in another way, according to the divisionwhich is in it; as when it divides the soul from body, and likewise thingswhich have a more formal order. But how does the psychical breadthproceed from fabrication, and according to what kind of reasons? For
139D
since the world is an animated animal and endued with intellect, threethings are exhibited in it,
viz.
a certain body, soul, and intellect.Intellect however, is entirely unbegotten; for it is allotted an eternalessence and energy. But body is entirely generated: for it consistsaccording to the whole of itself, in the whole of time. And soul is of amiddle essence. As therefore, it is arranged in the middle of impartibleand partible natures, after the same manner also, it is the boundary** of unbegotten and generated essences. Hence it is generated indeed, as withreference to intellect, but is unbegotten, when considered with relationto a corporeal-formed nature. It exists also as the end of eternal beings,but ranks as first among things that are generated. On this accounttherefore, Plato delivers to us an all-various generation of body,producing it wholly from causes different from itself; but he produces
2,2
soul both from itself, and from the total fabrication and vivification. Hedoes not however, in words devise any generation of intellect. Forneither is intellect produced according to idea, nor does it admit of anyname of generation, being entirely unbegotten, and eternal. It ishowever unfolded into light from wholes, but abiding in them
E
inherently, it proceeds unitedly, together with its more total causes.Hence it abides impartible and undivided, being preserved by undefiledand inflexible powers, while another life is distributed and divided aboutthe parts of the universe. Plato therefore, delivers the first hypostasis of the universe from fabrication,
viz.
an hypostasis according to wholeness;according to which it becomes animated, divine, and endued with
 
intellect, conformably to a similitude to all-perfect animal. But he addsa second hypostasis, which divides the world according to wholes, andthe production of total parts; soul and the corporeal-formed nature* Tim. 30b-31b.**existing according to this hypostasis. For intellect is entirely unbegotten,as we have said, because it is without generation and indivisible; exceptthat it proceeds in an unbegotten manner, from the providence of theDemiurgus. But he calls the nature which receives intellect, theevolution* itself into light of soul. For the Demiurgus himself placesthe circles of soul in intellect, unfolding it without division, as beingimpartible, and without figure, as being perfectly unfigured. And hedelivers after this, the third hypostasis of the universe, dividing itaccording to parts, and giving perfection to each of the parts. For he
F
delivers to us, how fire and air, water and earth are generated.** But inthe last place, he surveys the energy of fabrication which is effective of body; and neither in this does he descend to particulars,+ but abides in
2,3
the whole elements. For the total fabrication is the fabrication of 
140A
wholes, and of total parts. But he delivers the formation of individuals,and of things which are truly partial, to the junior Gods; in order thatimitating the providence of their father about wholes, they also mayreceive a similar fabrication about particulars, and may have that analogyto him which he has to the intelligible paradigm. For being intellectualas with reference to this paradigm, and having the order of intellect, aswith relation to intelligible intellect, he becomes himself intelligible tothe mundane Gods.As we have said therefore, fabrication being triple, the first, accordingto wholeness, the second, according to a division into wholes, and thethird, according to a division into parts , + Plato now intends to deliverto us the middle or second fabrication; having indeed a transition of thiskind consentaneous from things themselves; and having also anopportune progression to this from what had been before said. Forsince he had defined the world to be one visible animal, comprehendingwithin it all such things as are naturally allied to it; that the worldindeed is one, he demonstrated from the onlyness of the paradigm;0
B
but that it is visible, and that it is comprehensive of all kindred natures,is rendered manifest to us by the division of the universe into wholes.
t For
eK(f 
>amv
here, read
€  
 K<fxxvoiv. t
Tim. 31b; 32b.§ For
 rot KaBeoTOt,
read
 m mdeKaoTOt.
• In other words fabrication is either Jovian, or Dionysiacal, or Adonaical, as was
 
before observed by Proclus.o Tim. 31a.
For if we can discover from what cause the world is visible, and how allthe elements are co-arranged in it, and through what analogies, we shalleasily perceive that it comprehends all kindred natures, and that there isnothing sensible which is not contained in the one ambit of he world,perceiving this however, we shall sufficiently obtain the object of investigation. For this was, how the world is visible, and how it iscomprehensive of all things which are naturally allied to it. For fromwhat has been before said, we assume that the world is alone; but fromthese things, that it is all-perfect.
31b
"Since, however, it is necessary that what is generated of a corporealnature should be visible and tangible; but without fire nothing canbecome visible, neither can any thing be tangible without a certain solid,nor solid without earth; - hence divinity beginning to fabricate,constituted the body of the universe from fire and earth."Plato having a little before given the definition of that which isgenerated,* calling it that which is becoming to be, and which isperishable, he defined it to be that which is the object of opinion inconjunction with sense. But demonstrating that the world is generated,he converts the definition. For he says that sensibles are seen to bethings which are becoming to be, and are generated.* But nowtransferring that which is itself generated, to the order of a subject, hepredicates of it the visible and tangible. For these are the extremes of sensibles, just as the sight and the touch are the extremes of the senses.Hence there, as I have observed in what he says respecting the worldbeing generated, he converts the definition. But here he gives itaccording to nature. For that which is becoming to be was in the orderof the indefinite. But as he said in the hypotheses, that which is theobject of opinion in conjunction with sense, is to be assumed in thedefinition. He says therefore, it is necessary that what is generatedshould be sensible, not indeed every generated nature, but that which webefore called generated,
viz.
the composite nature, and which is alwaysbecoming to be through the whole of time. For soul also is generated,but the discourse is not about this. If however, some one should saythat according to Plato material forms and qualities themselves areapprehended by sense, and yet are incorporeal, and at the same timehave generation, let him know, says the divine Iamblichus, that these
t Tim. 28a.$ Tim. 28c.

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