Abstract
_ Source: _Volume 10, Issue 1, pp 1 - 39 Through a novel set of texts drawn from Plato, Porphyry, Plotinus, Ps. Julian, Proclus, Hermeias, Synesius and Damascius, I explore how anagogic _erōs_ in master-disciple relationships in Neoplatonism contributed to the attainment of self-knowledge and to the transmission of knowledge, authority and inspired insights within and outside the _diadochia_. I view anagogic _erōs_ as one of the most important channels of non-discursive pedagogy and argue for the mediating power of anagogic _erōs_ in the attainment of the main goal of the Platonist: reorienting desire from sensible to intelligible beauty and changing one’s ontological status to become like god and attain union with the divine. After considering the problematic nature of Socratic _erōs_, its skeptics and detractors, I discuss the dynamics of philosopher-disciple relationships and the experience of anagogic _erōs_ in the following: the attack on Porphyry and defense by Plotinus following Porphyry’s recital of an ecstatic poem on _Hieros Gamos_, the concealment of anagogic _erōs_ behind the authoritative façade of an oracle, the intensely devotional private letters of Ps. Julian to the aged Iamblichus and of Synesius to his female master Hypatia; the identification of anagogic _erōs_ with theurgic ascent in Syrianus’s school according to Proclus and Hermeias and the experiences of anagogic _erōs_ outside the _diadochia_ in Damascius’ _Philosophical History_. I conclude that the true and correct practice of philosophy had much, if not everything to do with the anagogic _erōs_ between the true philosopher, the bacchant and the philosopher in training, aspiring to become transformed from thyrsus-bearer into bacchant. The privileged and exalted status given to the divine lover ensured the transmission of the philosophical tradition in all its richness, preserving both its discursive and non-discursive aspects as a system of thought, as a way of life and as a way of being and loving.
Keywords Late Antiquity   Hermeias   Iamblichus   Synesius   Hypatia   Plotinus   Proclus   non-discursive pedagogy   Neoplatonism   diadochia   Socrates   Damascius   anagogic erōs   Pseudo-Julian   philosophical schools   Isidore   discipleship   Porphyry
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DOI 10.1163/18725473-12341331
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The Stoic Idea of the City.Malcolm Schofield - 1991 - University of Chicago Press.

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