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Stoics On Souls And Demons: Reconstructing Stoic Demonology

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Chapter Summary

The Stoic cosmos is determined by a single perfectly rational and provident force, ordering everything for the best; its inherent order, which is intelligible to humans, is both the source of, and perfect example for, human rationality. This chapter investigates whether and to what extent anything like an appropriation of aspects of traditional demonology was effected in Stoicism. It charts the evidence, reconstruct the outlines of underlying theory, and signal some problems and developments. The chapter offers a survey of various conceptions of demons that were around in the pre-Hellenistic religious and philosophical traditions, and of the various functions assigned to them. It examines the way in which Stoics adopted and incorporated elements from this tradition, and the extent to which their attitude changed in the course of the history of the school. It also discusses how the early Stoics conceived of the possibility of the souls survival after death.

Keywords: death; demonology; demons; Hellenistic; philosophical traditions; reconstruct; soul; Stoic



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