The myth of Timaeus and cosmological principles
Languages of publication
Plotin, in his treatise 'Against the Gnostics' (Enn. II. 9.), says that the gnostics only misinterpret the Timaeus of Plato. In the present paper, following this statement, the author tries to outline the problems that appeared in the latter ideas in the natural philosophy of the platonists, gnostics and the hermetists under the influence of the cosmological description of the Timaeus. In this question the role of the Demiurge and the interpretation of the idea of the platonic receptacle is fundamental. First of all he examines the cosmological terms (the Creator's model-The Demiurge-receptacle) in the platonic text, then he sketches out in which way the term of the receptacle was altered to the term of the matter and place in the latter cosmologies that were rooted in the platonic philosophy. Within this frame Plotin's statement will be intelligible and it can be explained. In connection with the gnostics the important point is to demonstrate that their dualistic cosmology that was blamed by Plotin is based upon the possibility of the interpretation of Plato's text. The hermetic treatise called Asclepius gives a good example how the pre-existent cosmological princple besides God can appear as matter and place at the same time. The CH VIII. shows textual parallels to the Timaeus. Besides all of these we can't rule out other, mainly eastern influences, but the examination of the ideas of platonic philosophy can make a meaningful viewpoint to the study concerning the influences that could play a significant role in the development of the dualistic cosmologies in the later antiquity.
Publication order reference
CEJSH db identifier