Middle Platonism and Neoplatonism: The Latin Tradition - Vol. 2

By Stephen Gersh; Ralph McInerny | Go to book overview

Excursus F
Favonius Eulogius' Disputatio de Somnio Scipionis

The Disputatio de Somnio Scipionis by Favonius Eulogius, a grammarian from Carthage and sometime pupil of Augustine of Hippo,1 is a typical example of late fourth-century philosophical learning. It abounds in citations of Greek doctrines such as Pythagoras' that the the nature of all things depends upon number2 and that the distances between the heavenly bodies represent harmonic ratios,3 Plato's that soul is compounded from the substance which is indivisible and from that which is divided around body,4 Xenocrates' that number corresponds to soul and god,5 and the Stoics' that soul is subject to seven motions: four perturbations and three constancies.6 Combined with these are frequent references to Latin writers: mention is made of Varro's teaching that there is a relation between the circuits of the moon and the six surfaces of a cube,7 of the descrip-

____________________
1
For the attribution of this commentary to Favonius Eulogius, and for the identification of the latter as Augustine's pupil see R. E. van Weddingen: Favonii Eulogii Disputatio de Somnio Scipionis. Édition et traduction de R. E. van W. (Collection Latomus 27) ( Bruxelles, 1957), pp. 5-10; M. Sicherl: 'Favonius Eulogius', Reallexikon für Antike und Christentum 7 ( 1969), col. 636-640; and L. Scarpa: Favonii Eulogii Disputatio de Somnio Scipionis. Edizione critica, traduzione e note a cura di L.S. ( Padova, 1974), pp. xi-xii.
2
Favonius Eulogius: Disp. de Somn. Scip. 2, 1-2. I shall quote the text of Scarpa's edition in all passages except that cited on pp. 743-744.
3
Ibid. 25, 1-3.
4
Ibid. 5, 2-3.
5
Ibid. 5, 6.
6
Ibid. 12, 5.
7
Ibid. 17, 1-2.

-737-

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