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Universal Salvation in Late AntiquityPorphyry of Tyre and the Pagan-Christian Debate$
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Michael Bland Simmons

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780190202392

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190202392.001.0001

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De Philosophia ex oraculis

De Philosophia ex oraculis

Soteriological Structure and Contents

Chapter:
(p.32) 3 De Philosophia ex oraculis
Source:
Universal Salvation in Late Antiquity
Author(s):

Michael Bland Simmons

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190202392.003.0003

This chapter analyzes pertinent fragments of Porphyry’s De philosophia ex oraculis to show the weakness of Gustavus Wolff’s original thematic classification of the three books and to argue that the hypothesis of Wolff and Bidez that Porphyry’s works follow a clearly defined ideological pattern before and after he met Plotinus should be discarded. An analysis of the Prologue of the De philosophia ex oraculis is given to demonstrate that the “elitist interpretation” of the work must be rejected because Porphyry included a way for the salvation of the lower soul for the educated masses in Book I. Various fragments are examined to show that theurgy played an important role in the latter. And the anonymous philosopher mentioned by Lactantius is referring to Porphyry.

Keywords:   Philosophia ex oraculis, Philosophy from Oracles, Gustavus Wolff, elitist interpretation, Lactantius, Anonymous Philosopher, theurgy

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