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CH A P. LXI.
Marinus, successor of Proclus in the chair of the school of philosophy at Athens, author of the Life.
of Proclus. Extracts out of that Life. Where also of Syrianus, predecessor of Proclus.
1. Marinus, of- Flavia Neapolis in Palestine, scholar of Proclus, and his successor in the chair of the school of philosophy at Athens, wrote the Life of Proclus, who died in the year 485, soon after his master's death.
2. In this Life are two passages which have a reference to the Christians : if I transcribe them at length there will appear some other things deserving our regard. And afterwards I shall transcribe several other passages.
3. If I should allow myself to enlarge here,' says Marinus, • I might relate very many theurgic operations of this blessed man. One, however, out of innumerable, I shall mention, • and it is wonderful to hear. Asclepigenia, daughter of Archiades and Plutarcha, and wife of • Theagenes, to whom we are much indebted when she was yet but a young maiden, and lived
with her parents, was seized with a grievous distemper, incurable by the physicians. Archiades, • as all the hopes of his family depended upon her, was much grieved and afflicted. All help • from the physicians failing, as in other cases, so now in this also, he applied to the sheet • anchor, that is, to the philosopher, as his good saviour, earnestly entreating him to pray for his daughter, whose condition was not unknown to him. He therefore taking with him Péricles of Lydia, who also was a philosopher, and worthy of that name, went to the temple of Æscu• lapius, intending there to offer up his prayers to the god for the afflicted young woman. For • the city [Athens] was then happy in him, and enjoyed the temple of the saviour entire and • undemolished. Whilst he was praying after the ancient manner, the young woman immedi• ately perceived an alteration for the better, and recovered. For the saviour, as being god, • healed her easily. The sacred rites being performed Proclus went to Asclepigenia, and found • her freed from her distemper, and in the enjoyment of health. However, this whole affair
was transacted privately, without the knowledge of any others, and without giving any occasion • to make inquiries. And this was the more easily so transacted, his habitation being near to • the temple; which was one of the felicities of this man, that he had a very convenient house, * which his father Syrianus, and his grandfather Plutarch (for so he called them), had lived in, • and which was near to the temple of Æsculapius.'
4. Presently afterwards he speaks of the favours which Proclus received from Minerva. • And,'' says he, how dear he was to the goddess, president of philosophy, appeared : from the great progress which he made in that study, to which he had been directed by the 'goddess herself. And she also manifested her great regard for him when her image, which
a The origin of Marinus shall be more particularly related • He calls Syrianus his father, as he had been instructed by and by in an article taken from Damascius, in chap. Ixii. by him ; and Plutarch his grandfather, as he had instructed
* Hinc merito videor inihi colligere hanc vitam a Marino his master. Pater, non qui genuerat, sed qui instituerat ; et scriptam editamque non diu a Procli obitu, certe anno non- avus pro magistro præceptoris. Fabric. in loc. dum integro post illum elapso, quia de eclipsi hac, ut futurà, 1 “Οπως δε αυτος και τη φιλοσοφω Θεω προσφιλης εγενέτο, loquitur. Fabric, not. in Marini Proclum. cap. 37. p. 76. παρεςησε μεν ικανως και αιρεσις τ8 εν φιλοσοφια βιο, τοιαυτη Marini Proclus, chap. 29, p. 58, &c.
γενομενη, διαν ο λογος υπεδειξε. Σαφως δε και η Θεος –ανηει εις το Ασκληπειoν, προσευξομενος τω Θεω υπερ εδηλωσε, ηνικα το αγαλμα αυτης το εν Παρθενων τεως της καμνάσης. Και γαρ ευτυχει τ8τ8 η πολις τοτε, και είχεν ίδρυμενον υπο των τα ακινητα κινουντων μετεφερετο. Εδοκει ετι απορθητον το το Σωτηρος ιερον. Ευχομενα αυτο τον γαρ τα φιλοσοφω οναρ, φοιταν παρ' αυτον ευσχημων τις γυνη, αρχαιοτερον τροπον, αθροα μεταβολη περι την κορης έφαινετο, και απαγγελλειν, ότι χρη ταχισα την οικιαν προπαρασκευαζειν" και ραγωνη εξαιφνης εγίγνετο. Ρεια γαρ ο Σωτηρ, ωςε Θεος, ή γαρ κυρια Αθηνα, εφη, παρα σοι μενειν εθελει. Ιbid. cap. Ib. p. 60.
30 p. 62.
• had been hitherto placed in the Parthenon (or temple of Minerva), was taken away by those · who move such things as ought not to be moved: for when that was done a woman of excel • lent beauty appeared to him in a dream, who bid him presently put his house in order. For,' says she, “ the lady Minerva intends to come and live with you.” And,' as Marinus goes on to say in the words next following, how much he was favoured by the god Æsculapius is • evident from what was before related by us : and was farther apparent from the presence of • the god with him in his last sickness. For, when he was between sleeping and waking, he saw • a dragon creeping about his head, which occasioned some remission of his distemper. By that • vision there was an abatement made in his sickness. And it is easy to believe that were it not • for his preparedness for death, and his desire of it, he might have recovered if he had been more careful about his health.'
We may suppose that when Marinus speaks of the taking away the statue of Minerva out of her temple, he shews some caution and modesty, out of respect to the times in which he lived, saying in those soft terms that, they moved such things as ought not to be moved.' For he must have esteemed it sacrilege, and the utmost profaneness.
5. I have transcribed more of both those passages than might be thought needful: but I was willing to shew the credulity of those philosophers, a weakness very common to men of all characters; and therefore we ought to be upon our guard against it, and exercise our reason and our senses ; which certainly God has bestowed upon us for some good purposes, beside procuring the immediate comforts of life.
6. I shall add a few more like things for shewing how much the thoughts of this great philosopher Proclus, and of his disciple Marinus, were engaged in these superstitions, and the fables on which they were founded.
7. • But,' says - Marinus, • if I should go over all the like things, and relate his friendship * with Pan, son of Mercury, and the many favours and blessings which he received from this
god at Athens; and particularly the many advantages conferred upon him by the mother of • the gods, upon which he highly valued himself; I should perhaps seem to the reader to say
things very unlikely, and even incredible : for indeed there were very many, and almost innu• merable instances of the favour of this goddess toward him, and more than I can myself now (recollect. However, if any are desirous to have a full knowledge of them, he may consult • his book of the mother of the gods. By which he will perceive that it was not without divine • aid that he was able to bring to light all the theology concerning that goddess, and the several things which are mystically said and done by her and Attis. All which he has philosophically
explained ; so that men need no longer to be disturbed about the lamentations, and other mys• teries of that solemnity.'
8. And in a preceding chapter, among other superstitions of Proclus, Marinus informs us that once a month he purified himself according to the rites of the mother of the gods.'
Nor can we forbear to recollect here that the mother of the gods was a subject, which enployed the fine pen of the emperor Julian,' who composed a long oration to recommend and explain her mysteries. Marinus
says that, • Proclus - died in the hundred and twenty-fourth year after the reign of • Julian.'
Which shews that the memory of Julian was still dear to the heathen people, of whose reign they were willing to make an epoch.
He was buried in the same sepulchre with his master · Syrian.
10. In a place before cited, we saw how, Marinus says, ' that beside other felicities, Proclus had an advantage in the situation of his house, which was near the temple of Æsculapius. And Marinus has several times assured us that Proclus abounded, and even overflowed in the goods of fortune. This has occasioned Fabricius to refer to a passage in the extracts of Photius
a Cap. 32. p. 69.
Cap. 36. p. 74. Τας δε μητρωακας παρα Ρωμαιοις, η και προτερον ποτε
! See before, p. 419. ταρα Φρυξι, στο δασθ σας άγισειας έκας8 μηνος ηγνευεν. Cap. 6 Ουδ' αυ παλιν την προς των πολλων υμνεμενην ευποτμιαν, 19. p. 36.
ει και αυτη παλιν εκ τυχης αυτω ευπαρεσκευασο, ει τω αλλα Or: V. ap. Spanhem, p. 158. &c.
ανθρωπων. Κεχορηγητο γαρ αφθονως απασι τοις εξωθεν λεγο« Ετελευτησε δε τω δ' και κ' και ' απο Ιαλιανε βοιλειας. μενους αγαθοις. "Cap. 2. p. 3. 4. Vid. et. cap. 34. p. 71. Cap. 36. p. 73.
from Damascius; which indeed appears to me very curious: where it is said, the revenues of • the school were not then such as they were in the time of Plato, as some imagine: for Plato • was poor, and had only one garden, which was in the academy, and a small revenue of three
But in the time of Proclus the revenue was a thousand crowns, or more, many having left handsome legacies to the school.'
And I shall also place below the note of Fabricius. Undoubtedly such an annual revenue was very comfortable. And I cannot but think that this shews the good temper of the Christian magistracy at that time : for Proclus, and the other presidents of the philosophical school at Athens, were heathens. To me it seems also that the large catalogue of the works of Proclus in Suidas, is another argument of the freedoin which the Gentile people then enjoyed. Proclus could not have published so many works of philosophy and literature, if the discouragements under which the Gentiles lay had been very strict and rigorous: and I have therefore transcribed above the more of that catalogue, that my readers might be the better sensible of this. And one of those books was against the Christians, as others were in favour of the mysteries of Gentilism. This Life of Proclus, written by Marinus, must be reckoned another example of freedom of speech, owing to the privileges which those dissenters and nonconformists then enjoyed.
11. It may be thought that I have already concluded this chapter ; nevertheless I have a word or two more to add.
The works of Proclus were very numerous and voluminous, as we have seen. Fabricius c. has enlarged in his account of them very much to the satisfaction of learned and curious readers.
In Photius - are extracts out of a work of Proclus, entitled zpusoudice, in two books, which is also in the catalogue of Suidas. The work itself is lost. Brit from the extracts of Photius it appears to have been a work filled with ancient learning. He therein discoursed of the several. sorts of poetry. He observed that among epic poets the most excellent were Homer, Hesiod, • Pisander, Panyasis, and Antimachus. And he there represented, so far as he could learn, their • families, their countries, and works. Upon which part of Photius's extract I place below an observation of Fabricius.
12. Syrianus likewise, who was of Alexandria, and was master of Proclus, and his predecessor in the school at Athens, was author of divers works. There is a catalogue of them under his name in Suidas; though s possibly there may be in it some mistakes. And some things may be. ascribed to Syrianus which were written by Proclus. Syrianus is supposed to have died about the year of Christ 450.
It may be thought by some that I have enlarged too much in my account of this life of Proclus by Marinus ; nevertheless I have not fully gratified myself: if I had, instead of making extracts, I should have made a translation of the whole work, as I did of Libanius for the temples: it affording, as seems to me, a genuine and curious specimen of heathenish credulity and simplicity. I believe that Marinus was an honest man; at least I see nothing to the contrary.
I am glad that he lived so comfortably, though he was not of the prevailing religion.
4 Η των διαδοχων 8σια, οχ ως οι πολλοι νομιζασι, Πλατωνος d. Cod: 239. p. 981, &c. ην το ανεκαθεν. Πενης γαρ ην ο Ιλατων, και μονον τον εν
Γεγονατι δε το επες ποιηται, κρατισος μεν "Ομηρος, Ησιο-. Ακαδημια εκεκτητο κηπον, και η προσοδος νομισματων τριων. δος, Πεισανδρος, Παντασις, Αντιμαχος. Διερχεται δε τοτων, “Η δε της ασιας ολης χιλιων η και πλειονων υπηρχεν επι Προκλε, ως oίoν τε εσι, γενος τε και πατριδας, και τινας επι μερες [al. πολλων των αποθνησκοντων κτηματα τη σχολη καταλιμπανον- επιμετρες) πραξεις. Phot. p. 981. infr. m. Twy. Phot. Cod. 242. p. 1057.
| Hinc non temere conjicio brevein vitam Homeri, quam 6 Marinus supra dixerat, Proclum bonis fortunæ undiqne sub Procli nomine edidit Leo Allatius in libro de Homeri affluisse et abundasse. Cai adde quod Photius ex Damascio vitâ, et V. C. Josua Barnesius præclaræ suæ Homeri editioni refert p. 536. reditus scholæ, cui Proclus præfuit, ex variis præmisit, ex priore Chrestomathias hujus libro decerptam legatis non mediocriter auctos fuisse, ita ut summâ mille am. esse. Fabr. ut supra. p. 522. plius nummûm, hoc est thalerorum, inde quotannis philoso- 3 Vide Fabric. ib.
450. phus fie.e: ditior. Fabric. annot. ad Marini Procl. cap. 29.
-diem obiit circa annum Christi, ut conjicio, 450.
Fabric.ibil. p. 4.19. c Bib. Gr. 1. v. cap. 26. T. 8. p. 455, &c.
C H A P. LXII.
III. Divers passages from
I. His time and works. II. Extracts from his works in Photius.
his works in Suidas.
1. Damascius is mentioned by Cave in his Historia Literaria of Ecclesiastical Writers. He ? reckons him among Gentile authors, who in the sixth century had reflected upon the Christian religion. He placeth him as flourishing in the year of Christ 400.
The account which Suidas gives of Damascius is to this purpose : · He was a stoic philosopher of Syria, intimately acquainted with Simplicius and Eulalius, who were Phrygians. He • flourished in the time of Justinian : he wrote commentaries upon Plato, of Principles, and a • Philosophic History.'
Suidas says he flourished in the time of Justinian, who reigned from the year 527 to 565. But Damascius himself, in his Life of Isidorus, says, that at that time Theodoric was king of all Italy. Theodoric 8 died in 526. We might therefore, perhaps, place Damascius as flourishing somewhat sooner than Cave has done: and Fabricius says he presided in the school of philosophy at Athens in the time of Theodoric. However, 'Pagi relies upon Suidas, who placeth him as flourishing in the time of Justinian. And we shall see proofs of it in the chapter of Simplicius which will follow this.
They who desire to know more of Damascius may consult the writers mentioned below.
II. Of this author there are large extracts in Photius; and in Suidas, under divers articles of his Lexicon, several passages are quoted from him. I intend first of all to observe some remarkable things in Photius : afterwards I shall put down divers passages collected out of Suidas.
1. In Photius are three articles concerning this author; the first at Code cxxx. the second at clxxxi. the third at ccxlii.
2. In the first Photius says: “We' read the four books of Damascius, of which the title of • the first is, Concerning strange and wonderful things, in three hundred and fifty-two chapters; - the second, Wonderful stories concerning dæmons, in two-and-fifty chapters; the third, Won• derful stories concerning souls which appeared after death, in sixty-three chapters ; the fourth, • Of other wonderful things, in a hundred and five chapters. In all which are many impossible * and ineredible things, and foolish and ill-contrived stories of falsehoods, and truly worthy of • the irreligion and impiety of Damascius; who, when the light of religion illustrated the whole
world, slept in the thick darkness of idolatry. However, of the style Photius says it is compendious, elegant, and conspicuous, suited to such relations.
* Scriptores Gentiles Christianam Religionem hoc seculo i Damascius autem Justiniani Imp. temporibus floruit, ut perstringentes. H. L. T. I. p. 552.
docet Suidas in' voce Aquaoxios, qui hæc ideo scire potuit. • Damascius, patriâ Damascenus, sectà Stoïcus, aliis Peri- Pagi 470. n. iii. pateticus, -claruit circa ann. 540. Id. ib.
k Voss. Hist. Gr. 1. 2. cap. 22. Fabric. Bib. Gr. Tom. 9. p. V. Axjzoxios. p. 506. Kuster.
416, 437. Pagi ann. 470. num. i. d Kau Tepi apywr. That work is said to be still in several 1 Ανεγνωστησαν Δαμασκια λογοι τεσσαρες, ών ο μεν πρωτος, libraries of Europe. Wolfius published from the public επιγραφην εχει περι παραδοξων ποιηματων κεφαλαια τοβ. library of Hamburg the beginning, and large extracts from it, δε δευτερος, παραδοξων περι δαιμονιων διηγηματων κεφαλαια in his Anecdota Græca, Sacra et Profana. Tom. 3. p. 195. νς. Ο δε τριτος περι των μετα θανατον επιφαινομενων ψυχων &c. e Vid Pagi ann. 505. n. iii.
παραδοξων διηγηματων κεφαλαια ξη. Ο δε τεταρτος--Εν ο δε ην Βαλεμεσις Θεοδεριχα πατηρ, ός νυν το μεγισον οίς ασασιν αδυνατα τε και απιθανα, και κακοπλασα τερατολοεχει κρατος Ιταλιας απασης. ap. Phot. p. 1041. in.
γήματα, και μωρα, και ως αληθως αξια της αθεοτητος και δυσ& Vide Pagi ann. 526. n. iv. ix. x. et conf. ibid. Λ. 475. σεβειας Δαμασκια: ος, και τα φωτος της ευσεβειας τον κοσμον
πληρωσαντος, αυτος υπο βαθει σκοτω της ιδωλολατρειας εκαh De Damscio hoc Damasceno, qui, regnante in Italia Gaude, x, X. Cod. 130. p. 312. Theodorico, Athenis in scholå Platonicâ floruit, plura Photius,
-nec non Suidas. Fabric. Bib. Gr. Tom. 13. p. 784.
3. In the second article Photius gives a general account of the Life of Isidorus. We a * read,' says he, the Life of the philosopher Isidorus, written by Damascius of Damascus, a large work, dedicated to Theodora, also a zealous Greek as to religion, and well instructed in philosophy—_descended likewise from ancestors noted for their zeal for the impiety of idolatry
-As to religion this author is altogether impious, and often reviles our holy religion, though 6 somewhat cautiously.'
Some of those passages, in the very words of Damascius, would have been entertaining to us now; and could not have perverted any.
Near the end of this article of Photius is an account of our author's masters. • In rhetoric • Theon was his master, under whom he studied three years. Afterwards Damascius himself • presided in the same school nine years. Geometry and arithmetic, and other parts of mathe• matics, he learned from Marinus, and Harmonius son of Hermias of Alexandria. Logic he • learned from Isidorus, whose life he wrote, and whom he highly commends.'
Suidas, as before seen, says, that Damascius wrote a philosophic history. I suppose he means the Life of Isidorus, which, according to Photius, was • a large work. 'Or else this Life of Isidorus was one part of that history. Even the extracts of that Life in Photius are large, and exhibit a great variety of matters.
I shall transcribe below the account which Fabricius has given of this article of Photius.
4. In the third article of Photius concerning this author, are large extracts from his Life of Isidorus the philosopher. Several of which will be transcribed by me.
5. Here is a story concerning the celebrated Alexandrian philosopher Hierocles, and his wife: which I do not take now, because I have made a distinct article of Hierocles, and have placed that story & there.
6. · He says that Marinus, successor of Proclus, came from Neapolis in Palestine, near the : mountain Garizin. This writer then blasphemously adds, in which mountain is a most sacred
temple of the most high Jupiter, in which Abram, the father of the ancient Hebrews, was 'priest, as Marinus himself says: Marinus, therefore, who was orginally a Samaritan, forsook • their doctrine, as being a novelty derived from the Abramic religion, and embraced the Greek religion.'
7. Damascius mentions Peter Mongus, the Arian bishop of Alexandria, in this manner : • But he who was bishop of the prevailing religion, being an impudent and wicked man, behaved • thus.' Peter" was ordained bishop in the year 477, and died in the year 490; Valesius, in his notes upon Eusebius, has quoted this passage. He has observed divers others in which heathen writers, after the conversion of Constantine, call the Christian religion the prevailing opinion,' and the Christians the prevailing 'party.'
8. Damascius says that, • Marcellinus, * count of Dalmatia, was of the Greek religion:' that is, in the time of the emperor Zeno, near the end of the fifth century.
9. In another place, as observed by Photius, · Damascius says that." Anthemius the Roman
1 Γραφειν δε τον Ισιδωρο βιον προθεμενος, Θεωδωρα τινι το Platonem et Ptolomæi astronomica ipsi interpretatus. In diaσυνταγμα προσπεφωνηκεν, Ελληνα μεν και αυτη θρησκειαν lecticis denique is ipse, cujus vitam describendam suscepit, τιμωση, , -Εςι δε την μεν περι τα θεια δοξαν εις ακρον δυσσε- Isidorus. Fabr. Bib. Gr. Tom. 9. p. 437. δης --Διο και της ιερας ημων, ει και δειλιωση και λαθραιοτερα e Cod. 242. p. 1028, &c. κακοφροσυνη, όμως 8κ ολιγακις καθυλακτων ευσεβειας. Cod. Ibid. p. 1037. infr.
& See here, p. 416. 181. p. 408. b P. 412.
h “Οτι ο διαδοχος Προκλο, φησιν, ο Μαρινος, γενός ην απο της -Wolusixoy. p. 408. lin. 35.
εν Παλαιστινη Νεας πολεως προς ορει κατωκισμενης, τω Αργα« Cod. clxxxi. Damasci Damasceni De Vita Isidori Philo- ριζω καλεμενω. Ειτα βλασφημων και δυσσεξης φησιν ο συγsophi, liber prolixus in capita Ix. divisus, variâque refertus gpapaus, ev w Atos uyiga ayiwlalo ispov, w xahiepato Appajucunda de alis etiam illius Statis philosophis notitia, sed jam μας, των παλαι Εβραιων προγονος, ως αυτος ελεγεν ο Μάριpridem deperditus, ex quo uberiora excerpta dabit Photius νος. Σαμαρειτης 8ν το απαρχης ο Μαρινος γεγονους, απεταξατο infra. Cod. 242. Hoc scriptum Damascius, superstitione fev TCOS TYY ensivwy dočan, a TE EIS XZ1YOTQUIZY ATO TTS ABpaus Ethnicâ imbutus scriptor, et Christiana sacra subinde laces- θυσιας απορρυεισαν, τα δε Ελληνων ηγαπησεν. κ. λ. p. 1056. m. sens, dicavit Theodoræ, eruditæ feminæ, quam ipse et Isidorus 1 ο δε των κρατεντων της πολιτειας γεμων, την δοξαν επισinstituerant, filiam Cyrinæ et Diogenis, qui patre Eusebio, avo κοπειν ειληχως, ονομα Πετρος, ανηρ ιταμος ων και περιπονηρος. Flaviano patus, (iisdem, quos celebrat Macrobius,) genus re- %. 2. p. 1057. fin. ferebat ad Lampsigeranum, Monimumque, a quibus et suam * Vid. Pagi ann. 477. X. 490. xxiv. Jamblichus duxerat originem. Damascium in oratoriâ facul- i Not. p. 62. ad Euseb. H. E. l. 4. cap. 7. tate per trienniuin instituerat Theon, in mathematices disci- m Ο δε Μαρκελλινος της Δαλματων ην χωρας αυτοδεσποτος plinis Maripus, in philosophià Athenis alter cum Marino Pro- Yeplov, 'Enagu onu öežav. p. 1048. in. di successor, Zenodotus, et Alexandriæ Ammonius Hermiæ, n P. 1049. infr. m.