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.
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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.