Spring 2020
Sara L. Ahbel-Rappe
Registrar description

We investigate the reception of Plato's myth of the soul (Phaedrus 246-249) from the 1st to 6th centuries CE. Allusions to the psychic chariot, incarnation of the soul after the molting of its wings, and its pre-carnate life in the super-celestial world, are ubiquitous in the philosophical texts of the Roman Empire. With it, Apuleius, Philo, Origen, Plotinus, Proclus, the Chaldean Oracles and later authors fund their cosmological and soteriological speculations. We not only track the circulation of the myth as a self-contained text adapted for apologetic purposes, but look at how and why Platonism insinuated itself into so many traditions.