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Gigineishvili’s study is a comprehensive exposition of the philosophical system of twelfth-century Georgian Christian Neoplatonist philosopher Ioane Petritsi. Petritsi translated and commented on Proclus’ "Elements of Theology." The translation needed the creation of a philosophic language—a medium for transmitting the extravagant philosophic ideas into Georgian—which Petritsi effectively achieved. Petritsi both explains intricacies of Proclus’ thought and tries to prove the basic affinity between the Platonic and the biblical traditions. Gigineishvili exposes the entire system of Petritsi’s thought on a background of ideas of Proclus, other Neoplatonists, and of the Church Fathers.
Publisher: Gorgias Press LLC
Availability: In stock
SKU (ISBN): 978-1-59333-395-9
  • *
Publication Status: In Print

Publication Date: Jul 16,2007
Interior Color: Black
Trim Size: 6 x 9
Page Count: 324
Language: English
ISBN: 978-1-59333-395-9
$193.00
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Ioane Petritsi was a twelfth-century Georgian philosopher, a student of the Constantinopolian philosophic school run by Michael Psellus and, later, John Italus. After returning to his homeland, Georgia, Petritsi sought to initiate Neoplatonic studies at the Gelati monastic school established by the enlightened King David IV the Builder. To that end, Petritsi produced a translation and commentary on Proclus’ Elements of Theology, a comprehensive exposition of the entire Neoplatonic ontological system.

This was the first complete translation of the Elements of Theology, ca. 100 years earlier than the first Latin translation by William Moerbeke, commissioned by St. Thomas Aquinas. The translation required the creation of a philosophic language—a medium for transmitting the extravagant philosophic ideas into Georgian—which Petritsi effectively achieved. In his original commentaries, Petritsi both explains the intricacies of Proclus’ thought and tries to prove the basic affinity between the Platonic and the biblical traditions. The present volume exposes the entire system of Petritsi’s thought upon a background of ideas on Proclus, other Neoplatonists, and the Church Fathers.

Levan Gigineishvili obtained his PhD at the Department of Medieval Studies of the Central European University, Budapest in 2000. He is a graduate of the Higher Institute of Philosophy of Catholic University of Leuven and of Harvard University. His previous education included the study of Classics at the Tbilisi State University. Since 2000 he has taught Byzantine literature at the Tbilisi State University; since 2003, he has also taught Georgian Literature at the American Academy in Tbilisi. Levan Gigineishvili is an author of numerous articles on Petritsi and philosophic tradition in medieval Georgia.

Ioane Petritsi was a twelfth-century Georgian philosopher, a student of the Constantinopolian philosophic school run by Michael Psellus and, later, John Italus. After returning to his homeland, Georgia, Petritsi sought to initiate Neoplatonic studies at the Gelati monastic school established by the enlightened King David IV the Builder. To that end, Petritsi produced a translation and commentary on Proclus’ Elements of Theology, a comprehensive exposition of the entire Neoplatonic ontological system.

This was the first complete translation of the Elements of Theology, ca. 100 years earlier than the first Latin translation by William Moerbeke, commissioned by St. Thomas Aquinas. The translation required the creation of a philosophic language—a medium for transmitting the extravagant philosophic ideas into Georgian—which Petritsi effectively achieved. In his original commentaries, Petritsi both explains the intricacies of Proclus’ thought and tries to prove the basic affinity between the Platonic and the biblical traditions. The present volume exposes the entire system of Petritsi’s thought upon a background of ideas on Proclus, other Neoplatonists, and the Church Fathers.

Levan Gigineishvili obtained his PhD at the Department of Medieval Studies of the Central European University, Budapest in 2000. He is a graduate of the Higher Institute of Philosophy of Catholic University of Leuven and of Harvard University. His previous education included the study of Classics at the Tbilisi State University. Since 2000 he has taught Byzantine literature at the Tbilisi State University; since 2003, he has also taught Georgian Literature at the American Academy in Tbilisi. Levan Gigineishvili is an author of numerous articles on Petritsi and philosophic tradition in medieval Georgia.

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Levan Gigineishvili

  • Table of Contents (page 5)
  • Foreword (page 9)
  • Preface (page 15)
  • Acknowledgments (page 23)
  • 1 Introduction (page 25)
    • 1. A Short Presentation of the Gelati Monastic School (page 25)
      • i. Foundation (page 25)
      • ii. Subjects Studied (page 29)
      • iii. Scope of Interest, Literature Translated and Major Tendencies (page 30)
    • 2. A Biography of Ioane Petritsi (page 36)
    • 3. Petritsi’s Works (page 44)
      • i. The Certain and Extant Works of Petritsi (page 44)
      • ii. The Works Ascribed to Petritsi by Eighteenth-Century Scholars (page 45)
    • 4. Overview of Petritsian Studies (page 47)
  • 2 The One (page 55)
    • 1. The One of Petritsi (page 55)
    • 2. Summary of Proclus’ Teaching on the One (page 57)
    • 3. Petritsi’s Teaching on the One (page 63)
      • i. The One of Petritsi and Three Aspects of the One’s Goodness (page 63)
      • ii. The One and the Multitude: the Nature of Providence (page 67)
      • iii. The Cryptic Transcendence of the One (page 75)
      • iv. The One and Matter, and the Problem of the Relationship between the Ideas and Matter (page 80)
      • v. The Eros towards the One (page 84)
  • 3 The First Limit and the First Infinity (page 89)
    • 1. Limit and Infinity in Proclus (page 89)
    • 2. Petritsi’s Theory of Limit and Infinity (page 95)
      • i. Neither One nor Many (page 95)
      • ii. Limit (page 98)
      • iii. Infinity (page 105)
      • iv. The Unitary Triad: Different Functions of the One, Limit and Infinity (page 108)
  • 4 The Henads (page 125)
    • 1. Henads in Proclus (page 125)
      • i. A Short Prelude (page 125)
      • ii. Henadic Ranks (page 127)
      • iii. Henadic Providence (page 137)
    • 2. The Henadic Theory of Ioane Petritsi (page 149)
      • i. A Short Prelude (page 149)
      • ii. The “Gods by Virtue of Participation” (page 150)
      • iii. The Hierarchy of the Henads and the Mode of Their Activity (page 159)
      • iv. The Analogy of Light (page 165)
      • v. Henadic Theory and the Christian Worldview (page 166)
  • 5 Intellect (page 169)
    • 1. Summary of Proclus’ Theory of Intellect (page 169)
    • 2. Petritsi’s Theory of Intellect (page 174)
      • i. The Image of the One (page 174)
      • ii. Aspects of Existence (page 178)
      • iii. Immediate and Mediated Effects of Intellect (page 180)
      • iv. Intellectual Hierarchy (page 182)
      • v. “Creation” and the Concept of Intellectual Motion (page 188)
  • 6 Soul (page 201)
    • 1. Summary of Proclus’ Teaching on the Soul (page 201)
    • 2. Petritsi’s Theory of the Soul (page 211)
      • i. A Short Prelude (page 211)
      • ii. A Link between Eternity and the World of Flux (page 212)
      • iii. Soul as a Place of Ideas (page 216)
      • iv. Adam’s Fall in a Platonic Framework (page 219)
      • v. The Hierarchy of Souls (page 229)
      • vi. Critique of Aristotle (page 231)
      • vii. The Role of Logic (page 233)
      • viii. The Course of the Soul’s Reversion (page 235)
      • ix. The Soul’s Ceaseless Striving (page 236)
  • 7 Time and Eternity (page 239)
    • 1. Prolegomenon to the Problem (page 239)
    • 2. Summary of Proclus’ Propositions on Time and Eternity (page 247)
    • 3. Petritsi’s Theory of Time and Eternity (page 249)
      • i. Creation or Emanation? (page 249)
      • ii. A Frozen World (page 266)
      • iii. The Idea of Eschatology (page 285)
  • 8 Conclusion (page 289)
    • General Remarks (page 289)
    • 1. Petritsi’s Doctrines in the Commentaries on the Elements of Theology (page 290)
      • i. The Doctrine of the One (page 290)
      • ii. The Doctrine of Limit and Infinity (page 291)
      • iii. The Doctrine of the Henads (page 292)
      • iv. The Doctrine of the Intellect (page 293)
      • v. The Doctrine of the the Soul (page 294)
      • vi. The Doctrine of Time and Eternity (page 294)
    • 2. Petritsi’s Immediate Predecessors (page 295)
    • 3. Petritsi’s Worldview: a General Estimation (page 301)
  • 9 Sources and Bibliography (page 307)
    • Primary Sources (page 307)
      • Petritsi (page 307)
      • Proclus (page 307)
      • Other (page 308)
    • Secondary literature (page 312)
      • On Petritsi (page 312)
      • On Proclus and (Neo)-Platonism (page 316)
      • Other (page 319)
  • Index (page 321)
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