Too much to click when I look for material on the Byzantines on z-library. I feel like a digital monk sometimes who fell through a floor in the Vatican or something and discovered a bunch of documents.
This one died the year before the Eastern Roman Empire finally dissolved
Plethon’s ambition to create a new religion based on Neoplatonism
So many books I see for Byzantines have a description to the effect of “so and so who there’s next to no scholarship on”.
I actually attended an Orthodox church service once. It was all in Greek, I was confused. Must be awkward now that I think about it, someone observing you worship. I did that with like ten or so faiths years ago, the weirdest one was probably the Sikhs. With Neoplatonists though, I’m less able to simply observe. It seems pretty much true, so I find myself “worshiping” it in a certain way. I see it as a potential religion based on reason.
People these days must have a similar experience observing a Prot service- “Is this even in English?” I’m like that myself at least.
I like the looks of this study on Plethon
The Byzantines are where western Europe got its ancient texts from.
Once again, they don’t go out of their way to bring this empire up, and that’s odd to me.
Plethon has been referred to as the last of the Hellenes.
It looks like he might have written a “Utopia” over 50 years before More did.
He’s referenced in the Cantos
Pound was fascinated by the role that Plethon’s conversation must have had on Cosimo de Medici and his decision to acquire Greek manuscripts of Plato and Neoplatonic philosophers.
I’ve been trying to reconstruct all of history here, I’m sure I’ve left out lots of things!
In the beginning was the Herd, and the Herd was with God, and the Herd was God.
This is how a Neoplatonist church service would begin.
Speaking of the idea of “everything is footnotes to Plato” though, you can’t say that about the Old Testament. Especially the Talmud (whether Shahak is right or not that it was in part influenced by Plato) given that interpretation of the Greeks is out of their control- it must mean that the Hebrews knew something they didn’t. I think ultimately the Greeks were mostly writing in the tradition of Aeschylus’s Prometheus Bound and they have to pay the price for challenging “the God above god” whereas the Hebrews were more humble and were rewarded by God for believing in their god. What we call “philosophy” is something between God and god. God isn’t happy about that in many cases, being the most “conservative” entity of them all, being eternal. I probably err in that direction myself- challenging the Hebrews is an indirect way of challenging God. Their dim version of him is the main disguise he wears on earth at present. So when you challenge them you are accusing him of being disguised. He doesn’t want humans to know about that, because they can only handle so much. This is a constant theme here, and most settle on the conclusion it’s better he’s disguised. I agree, he could just have a better one though, one that’s better for the humans. God is eternal, the Hebrews are not. From that it follows the contemplation on how they could be improved. “Contemplation itself isn’t an improvement.” – this is how they’ll respond, without saying it directly. To which I ask, Are you so sure of that if you never have truly contemplated it?
What we need is an adaptation of Plato’s dialogues to respond to the Hebrews (who are not a footnote) in the spirit of Athens. I try to do that. It would be more effective through art. I.e. noble lie elements would be required, which I shun. Most people just submit to God and accept the hebrew god. I can’t accept that, their disguise is too distorting. Like I said, once you thoroughly learn their history it’s easy to see why they’d have pathologies and mental illnesses that would lead them to having an undivine image of the divine in their minds. I will not accept that being imposed upon me.