Radical Platonism in Byzantium: Illumination and Utopia in Gemistos Plethon

Radical Platonism in Byzantium: Illumination and Utopia in Gemistos Plethon

by Niketas Siniossoglou
Radical Platonism in Byzantium: Illumination and Utopia in Gemistos Plethon

Radical Platonism in Byzantium: Illumination and Utopia in Gemistos Plethon

by Niketas Siniossoglou

Paperback

$39.99 
  • SHIP THIS ITEM
    Qualifies for Free Shipping
  • PICK UP IN STORE
    Check Availability at Nearby Stores

Related collections and offers


Overview

Byzantium has recently attracted much attention, but principally among cultural, social and economic historians. This book shifts the focus to intellectual history, exploring the thoughts of visionary reformer Gemistos Plethon (c.1355–1452). It argues that Plethon brought to their fulfilment latent tendencies among Byzantine humanists towards a distinctive anti-Christian and pagan outlook. His magnum opus, the pagan Nomoi, was meant to provide an alternative to and escape-route from the polarity of the Orthodoxy of Gregory Palamas and Thomism. It was also a groundbreaking reaction to the bankruptcy of a pre-existing humanist agenda and to aborted attempts at the secularisation of the State, whose cause Plethon had himself championed in his two utopian Memoranda. Inspired by Plato, Plethon's secular utopianism and paganism emerge as the two sides of a single coin. On another level, the book challenges anti-essentialist scholarship that views paganism and Christianity as social and cultural constructions.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781316629598
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 09/22/2016
Series: Cambridge Classical Studies
Pages: 472
Product dimensions: 5.51(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.02(d)

About the Author

Niketas Siniossoglou is a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow and Junior Research Fellow of Wolfson College, Cambridge. He is the author of Plato and Theodoret: The Christian Appropriation of Platonic Philosophy and the Hellenic Intellectual Resistance (Cambridge, 2008).

Table of Contents

Introduction: Plethon and the notion of Paganism; Part I. Lost Rings of the Platonist Golden Chain: 1. Underground Platonism in Byzantium; 2. The rise of the Byzantine Illuminati; 3. The Plethon affair; Part II. The Elements of Pagan Platonism: 4. Epistemic optimism; 5. Pagan ontology; 6. Symbolic theology: the mythologising of Platonic ontology; Part III. Mistra versus Athos: 7. Intellectual and spiritual utopias; Part IV. The Path of Ulysses and the Path of Abraham: 8. Conclusion; Epilogue: 'Spinozism before Spinoza', or the pagan roots of modernity.
From the B&N Reads Blog

Customer Reviews