A Perfect Medium?: Oracular Divination in the Thought of Plutarch

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Leuven University Press, Sep 25, 2017 - Philosophy - 256 pages

 An in-depth analysis of oracular divination in Plutarch’s thought

Oracular divination was of special concern for Plutarch of Chaeronea (45–120 AD), Platonic philosopher as well as priest at the oracle of Apollo in Delphi. The peculiar nature of Delphic divination as an (im)perfect intermediary between the material and the immaterial world is fathomed in a thorough study of Plutarch’s Delphic dialogues. This in-depth philosophical-conceptual analysis will disclose an original interpretation of oracular divination in Plutarch as interconnected with his psychological and cosmological conceptions. A Perfect Medium? reveals the Delphic temple as a crucial element in Plutarch’s philosophy, as a microcosm reflecting the cosmic dynamics, and as a symbol embodying the relationship between human thirst for knowledge and divine absolute wisdom.
 

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Contents

Acknowledgements
9
Introduction
11
Chapter 1 An analysis of De Pythiae oraculis
17
Chapter 2 An analysis of De defectu oraculorum
59
Chapter 3 An analysis of De E apud Delphos
119
Chapter 4 Divination and the soul
179
Conclusion
219
Bibliography
225
Index Locorum
247
Copyright

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About the author (2017)

Elsa Giovanna Simonetti obtained her PhD in philosophy from Universitą di Padova and KU Leuven in 2016.

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