A Perfect Medium?: Oracular Divination in the Thought of Plutarch
An in-depth analysis of oracular divination in Plutarch’s thoughtOracular 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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according to Plutarch activity Ammonius analysis ancient animae procreatione Apollo apud Delphos Babut Boethus causal cause Chaeronean character Cleombrotus conception connection context cosmic cosmology cosmos def.or defectu oraculorum defined deity Delphic dialogues Delphic oracle Delphic temple demiurge demons dierent Diogenianus Dionysus divinatory dynamics eective element employed Epicurean explains expression faculty Ferrari framework function fundamental genio Socratis god’s gods Greek harmonic ibid inspiration intellectual intelligible interpretation irrational knowledge Lamprias Leuven mantic material moral myths nature nevertheless notion number five oers ontological Opsomer oracular divination Osiride peculiar Philinus philosophical physical Plato Plutarch Plutarque pneūma present principle procr prophetic providence psychic Pyth Pythagorean Pythiae oraculis Quaest rational realm reason recalls religion religious ritual role Sarapion sensible status Stoic Stoicism stresses superior supra supreme symbol theological theoretical theory Timaeus transcendent virt virtue world soul δύναμις ἐν καὶ λόγος νοῦς τὴν τῆς τὸ τὸν τοῦ