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Online Lecture

Porphyre et Macrobe
sur l'automotricité de l'âme

December 7, 2023

Lecture will take place on Zoom
7-9pm Athens & Alexandria

6-8pm Paris

5-7pm Oxford
12-2pm New York

Image: The Universe, the Earth in the centre, surrounded by the classical planets, including the sun and the moon, within the zodiacal signs. Image from a 12th-century manuscript of Macrobius's Commentarii in Somnium Scipionis (Parchment, 50 ff.; 23.9 × 14 cm; Southern France). Date: ca. 1150. Source: Copenhagen, Det Kongelige Bibliotek, ms. NKS 218 4°.


In this talk, we will examine a section of Macrobius’ commentary on the Dream of Scipio (II, 13-16) in defense of Plato against the Aristotelian critique of Plato’s thesis of the automotricity of the soul. We will attempt to show that Porphyry is Macrobius’ source and to identify Porphyry’s lost work to which the relevant texts belong.

Adrien Lecerf (Centre Léon Robin, CNRS – Sorbonne Université)

Adrien Lecerf is Research Fellow at the Centre Léon Robin (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique – Sorbonne Université). His work primarily deals with the authors bridging the gap between Plotinus and Proclus (Porphyry, Iamblichus, Hierocles, Syrianus). He has participated in editing Iamblichus’ magnum opus, the Reply to Porphyry’s Letter to Anebo (De Mysteriis) for the Budé series.