The Theology of the Early Greek Philosophers

By Werner Jaeger | Go to book overview

NOTES
THE following are the works most frequently referred to in the Notes:
Diels Hermann, Die Fragmente der Vorsokratiker, 5. Aufl., hrsg. v. Walther Kranz. Berlin: Weidmann, 1934-5. (All references to the fragments of the pre-Socratics are made from this edition.)
Diels Hermann, Doxographi Graeci. Berlin: Reimer, 1879.
Jaeger Werner, Aristotle. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1934.
Jaeger Werner, Paideia: The Ideals of Greek Culture. Vol. i, 2nd ed., N.Y.: Oxford University Press, 1945 (the 2nd ed. of this volume has not yet appeared in England); vol. ii, N.Y., 1943; Oxford: Blackwell, 1944; vol. iii, N.Y., 1944; Oxford: Blackwell, 1945.

CHAPTER I
THE THEOLOGY OF THE GREEK THINKERS
1.
Cf. Aug. Civ. Dei vi, praef.
2.
Although the demonstration of the total or partial agreement of the Greek and Roman philosophers with Christian doctrine begins in book vi of the Civitas Dei with the analysis of M. Terentius Varro's doctrine of the gods, it reaches its climax only in book viii, where St. Augustine states that Platonism even 'transcends' the Stoic philosophy of Varro in approaching the truth. As for the general idea see viii praef., second half. On the subordination of the pre-Socratic thinkers as forerunners of Socrates and Plato see ibid., ch. ii, where St. Augustine briefly treats Thales, Anaximander, Anaximenes, Anaxagoras, Diogenes, and Archelaus. In this chapter he apparently follows an historical handbook. Similar doxographic surveys of the theology of the Greek philosophers from the Epicurean and Stoic points of view are to be found in Cic. De nat. deor. i and ii. That Augustine used this type of history of Greek philosophy is clear from his congruencies with Hippolytus' Philosophoumena (see R. Agahd in Fleckeisen Jahrböcher, 1898, pp. 93 ff.). Cf. also his reference to the division of the pre-Socratic period into an Italic and an Ionian school, which we find in the same context in Diog. L.praef. 13. Diog. L. praef. 1 speaks also of the wisdom of other nations: the Persians, Babylonians and Assyrians, Indians, Celts, Phoenicians, Scythians, Egyptians, and Libyans. In the Civ. Dei viii, ch. ix, where St. Augustine refers for a second time to the division of the pre-Socratics into an Ionian and an Italian school, he adds the sapientes aliarum gentium as well, and enumerates exactly the same nations as does Diogenes, with the single exception of the Phoenicians. Indirectly, Diogenes and St. Augustine go back to the same source ( Sotion Diadochai), but St. Augustine followed directly a more recent work which had used the same tradition (a Latin translation of Porphyry History of Philosophy? See Agahd, op. cit., p. 106, n. 2).
3.
Aug. Civ. Dei vi, ch. v, reveals the systematic structure of Varro's theology in that work. See what he says in his characterization of Varro's work in the preceding chapters, ii-iv. The Antiquitates rerum humanarum et divinarum

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