Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

The Gnostic Sethians and Middle Platonism: Interpretations of the Timaeus and Parmenides

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of Vigiliae Christianae

One may construe the Sethian Gnostic picture of the world and its origins as an interpretation of the biblical protology of the book of Genesis in the light of the Platonic distinction between an ideal, exemplary realm of eternal stable being and its more or less deficient earthly and changeable copy, in which the principal Platonic dialogues of reference are the Timaeus and the Parmenides. Various Sethian treatises offer us accounts of the origin and generation of both these realms; while their portrayal of the origin and deployment of the earthly realm is unmistakably influenced by their readings of Plato's Timaeus, their account of the origin and deployment of the ideal realm is noticeably influenced by readings of Plato's Parmenides. This article attempts to show that the shift from the Timaeus as the primary Platonic dialogue of reference for the Middle Platonic thought of the first two centuries to the Parmenides as the primary dialogue of reference for the emerging Neoplatonism of the third century is also visible in the Sethian treatises. In mid- to later second-century Sethian treatises, the cosmology of the Timaeus serves as an exegetical template to interpret the Genesis protology, but with the turn to the third century, the Sethian trestises that circulated in Plotinus' circle have abandoned all interest in the Genesis protology in favor of a theology of transcendental ascent.


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Vigiliae Christianae — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation