Prometheus Trust
TTS Catalogue
Texts and Translations
Other books
ISNS Collections
Complete Catalogue
Zoom Courses
Essentials Course
Exploring Platonism
Warburg Neoplatonic Reading
London Monday  Evenings
Bristol Monthly sessions
Academy Appeal
Virtual Events
ISNS Scholars Articles
Meadow 1
Editorial 1
Caveman to Contemplative
Chariot Symbology
Holy Basil
Scolia on Eros
Meadow 2
Meadow 3
Thomas Taylor
The Trust
Files to download
Seeds and fruits
Contact us
Study weeks in Italy
Latest books
Reading group
Weekend on Myth


Scholia on Eros

 I W Cleeve

Note: Footnotes (which are given at the end of the article) are marked by an asterisk followed by a number. Annotations are marked thus {ann. x} where x denotes the number of the annotation.

 Words in <> brackets have been inserted by the author in order to clarify the translations.

Additions in other brackets are added by the author when the brackets are followed by a C, by Thomas Taylor when followed by a T, by Westerink - W, by Majercik - M, or Shaw - S.

Line numbers when in texts are indicated by being inserted within a pair of tildes (e.g. ~32~)


From: Proklos, In Alc.I, 30-34; tr. O'Neill [The Hague 1965]. 


The Order of EROS


Now let our examination of these matters pertaining to the consideration of style proceed thus far, but thenceforward turning to the actual investigation of the subject-matter, let us consider how far <Eros-> Love is appropriate to the present discussion.

As the individual natures of different Gods have revealed themselves as differing,

    some Producing *1 The Universe and constituting the Form of Beings and their orderly arrangement,

    others Bestowers *2 of Life and Generators of its various kinds,

     others Guardians *3 ever maintaining undefiled the Unchangeable Order and indissoluble coherence of things,

    others again in charge of some other function and preserving The Universe through the communication of themselves,

    The Order of EROS Proceeds from PHANES as The CAUSE of BEAUTY, and is Converted to PHANES

so also the Whole Order of <Eros-> Love is for all Beings the cause of reversion to The Divine Beauty (i.e. Phanes)C,

on the one hand elevating to, uniting with and establishing in It (i.e. The Divine Beauty)C all that is Secondary, and

 on the other filling therefrom what lies subsequent to itself (i.e. The Divine Beauty)C and radiating the communications of Divine Light that proceed from it.

Doubtless for this reason the account in the Banquet *4 called <Eros-> Love "a Mighty Spirit" (i.e. Great Daimon)C, as primarily displaying in itself this Power of Intermediacy , since *5 there is a medium between everything that reverts and the Cause of Reversion and Object of Appetency (i.e. Desire)C to Secondary Beings.


~31~ The Whole Series *6 of <Eros-> Love, then, produced from The Cause of Beauty (i.e. Phanes)C, gathers all things towards it, recalls them to participation therein, and has set up a procession midway between the Object of Love and the Beings elevated through <Eros-> Love;

    for this reason it has pre-established in itself the pattern of the Whole Order of Spirits (i.e. Daimons)C, possessing that intermediacy among The Gods that the Spirits [Daimons]C have been allotted "between" the affairs of "Gods and Mortals". *7

Since the Whole Series of <Eros-> Love *8 subsists among The Gods according to this individual <median> nature, let us perceive its One-like and Hidden Summit ineffably established among the very First Orders of The Gods {Ann. 1} and united to the most Primary Intelligible Beauty (i.e. Phanes)C apart from all Beings;

    let us consider thoroughly its intermediate procession that shines forth in The <Hyperkosmic> Gods that precede The World (i.e. The Kosmos)C, manifesting itself first of all intelligently (i.e. Intellectually)C,

    in the second rank possessing an Authoritative character <in TheLiberated Gods>,

     and at the end of the whole orderly arrangement unconditionally established <in The Kosmic Gods> above all the intra-mundane (i.e. prior to that which is in The Kosmos)C;{Ann. 2}

    again let us observe its third descent, splitting up into manifold divisions in regard to the World (i.e. The Kosmos)C, producing from itself many Orders and functions and distributing them among the different portions of TheUniverse. {Ann. 3}


After the Unitary and Primary Principle of <Eros-> Love ~32~ and the triple and self-perfecting substance (i.e. Essence)C{Ann. 4} thereof appears the manifold mass of Loves (i.e. Eros-Daimons)C,

    whence the choirs of Angels *9 are filled with their share of <Eros-> Love,

    the bands (i.e. herds)C of Spirits [Daimons]C through the fullness imparted by this God <Eros> accompany The <Kosmic ?> Gods in their ascent to Intelligible Beauty,

    the armies of Heroes revel with the Spirits [Daimons]C and Angels because of their share in The Beautiful, {Ann. 5}

and practically everything is aroused, re-kindled and warmed around "the Effluence of <Intelligible> Beauty".*10 {Ann. 6}

    EROS in The Ascent and Descent of Human SOULS -

Furthermore, men's Souls receive a share of such <Amatory> Inspiration, through intimacy with The God <Eros> are moved*11 with regard to The Beautiful, and descend*12 to the region of coming-to-be (i.e. Sublunary Generation)C for the benefit of less perfect Souls and out of forethought for those in need of Salvation.

    For The Gods and their followers (i.e. Angels, Daimons, Heroes, & Divine Souls)C "abiding in their own characters"*13 benefit and turn back to themselves all that is secondary,

    and men's Souls descending*14 and laying hold on process imitate the Providence of The Gods, which has the Form of Goodness.

As, then, other Souls established according to another God visit without defilement the region of Mortals and the Souls that move about therein, - some help the less perfect through Prophecy, ~33~ others through Mystic Rites and others through Divine Medicine - so also the Souls that have chosen the Life of <Eros-> Love are moved by The God (i.e. Eros)C who is the "Guardian of Beautiful Youths"*15 to the care of Noble Natures, and from Apparent Beauty they are elevated to The Divine <Beauty>, taking up with them their darlings, and turning both themselves and their beloved towards Beauty Itself.

This is just what Divine <Eros-> Love primarily accomplishes in The Intelligible World, both uniting itself to the Object of Love (i.e. Phanes {Ann. 7})C, and elevating to it what shares in the influence that emanates from it and implanting in all a singlebond and one indissoluble friendship with each other and with Essential Beauty. {Ann. 8}

Now the Souls that are possessed by <Eros-> Love and share in the Inspiration therefrom, using Apparent Beauty with Vehicle (i.e. Augoeides)C *16 undefiled, are turned towards Intelligible Beauty and set that end to their Activity; "kindling a light"*17 for less perfect Souls they elevate these also to The Divine and dance with them about The One Source of All Beauty (i.e. Phanes/Eros Protogonos)C.


Those, again, that have fallen away from the Gift of <Eros-> Love on account of bad nourishment, but have been allotted a loving nature and fall upon the images of what is Beautiful on account of ignorance of True Beauty, embrace Material and individual examples ~34~ of Beauty and are distraught at these, "unaware of the experience they have undergone";*18 they withdraw from all that is Divine and are carried down to the Godless and obscure element of Matter; though seeming to hasten towards union with The Beautiful like the Souls that are Perfect Lovers, yet, unawares, instead of union they tend towards the dispersion of their life and "the Sea of Dissimilarity",*19 and instead of The True and Really Existent Beauty are united with Ugliness Itself and the shapelessness (i.e. formlessness)C of Matter.

    For where is it possible for Material things to pass through*20 each other,

    or where is Apparent Beauty pure and unadulterated, when it is commingled with Matter and filled to the full with underlying shapelessness?

(Proklos, In Alc.I, 30-34; tr. O'Neill [The Hague 1965], 18-22)



Annotation 1

The Divine Orders of The Ideal World: The Intelligible Gods, The Intelligible-Intellectual Gods, and The Intellectual Gods.

Annotation 2

    EROS as The LOVING BOND and MEDIUM between All Things

Phanes Protogonos is The All-in-One, the Unity of potential Multiplicity - from Phanes All proceeds, and to Phanes All returns. Thus, as Difference emerges from the Sameness of Phanes, this 'Most Beautiful of Intelligibles' is characterised by Sameness and Difference - as is Eros. And as Proklos (Theol. Plat. V, 30) says:

    "Moreover, Sameness and Difference, are in the extremity of Intelligibles. For whence does Multitude originate, but from Difference? And whence is the communion of Parts with Wholes, and the hyparxis of things which are divided in each other derived but from Sameness?"

Proklos (In Alc. I, 53) points out that "The Intelligibles, on account of their Unutterable Union, have no need of the mediation of Eros", for they are bound together in Sameness, being One with each other. Nonetheless, there Eros subsists Intelligibly, not as a Medium, but in itself, for all media comprehend the extremes of which they are the media.

 It is Eros who establishes "the communion of Parts with Wholes", and of inferiors to superiors and vice versa (ibid.). In fact it is Eros who binds everything to everything else, into a Wholeness of Loving Parts; and because of this Proklos (In Tim. III, 156A, see below) calls Eros "the Unifying Cause of Wholes".

    All things yearn for Beauty and for The Good - a Desire which is Eros.

    And that Desire for The Beautiful in Phanes is for The Good - for there is nothing more Beautiful than The Good.

    And the Eros-Love of The Good draws All inexorably towards it - for Eros Loves all things into One.

    And there is nothing more unitive than The One - for, because of The One, Eros draws all things into Unity.

    And this Unity is First Most Beautifully Intelligible in Phanes Protogonos, within whom the Multiplicity that will be subsists in Unity - within which All Things Love Each Other, as Each Other, as One.


    "The Paternal Self-Begotten Intellect (i.e. Phanes)C understanding his own works, disseminated in all things, the bond of <Eros-> Love heavy with Fire." (Chald. Oracl. 39)

As Iamblichos (De Myst., 58-9) says:

    "There is, therefore, One Common Indivisible Bond (i.e. Eros)C of them according to Intellectual Energies; and there is also this Bond according to the common participations of Forms, since there is nothing which intercepts these, nor any thing which comes between them.

    For indeed, an Immaterial and Incorporeal Essence itself, being neither separated by places, nor by subjects, nor defined by the divisible circumscriptions of Parts, immediately concurs, and is connascent with Sameness.

    The progression also, from, and the regression of all things to, The One, and the entire domination of The One, congregates the communion of The Kosmic Gods with The Gods that pre-exist in The Intelligible World.

    ~59~ Farther still, the Intellectual conversion of Secondary to Primary Natures, and the gift of the same Essence and Power imparted by The Primary to The Secondary Gods, connects the synod of them in indissoluble union. For in things of different Essences, such as Soul and Body, and also in those of a dissimilar species, such as Material Forms, and those which are in any other way separated from each other, the connascent adventitious union is derived from Supernal Causes, and is lost in certain definite periods of Time.

    But by how much the higher we ascend, and elevate ourselves to the Sameness both in Form and Essence, of First Natures, and proceed from Parts to Wholes, by so much the more shall we discover the Union which has an Eternal existence, and survey The Essence (i.e. Phanes)C, which has a precedaneous and more principal subsistence, and possesses about, and in itself, Difference and Multitude." *21 (tr. Taylor)

Thus Eros subsists with Phanes, wherein he is called Eros Protagonos as being the medium between The One and Good prior to him and The All which is posterior.

Eros is TheMedium, for Love is the bond of all things everywhere. Thus Eros is the Monad of Daimons, for, in The Kosmos, Daimons are the intermediaries between all things.

 Phanes too is a Medium between The Inintelligible and Occult and The Intelligible and comprehensible - and symbolically, he has the duality of The Androgyne.


 EROS and The Elevation of The SOUL to Divine BEAUTY and PHANES -
The Epithet PROTOGONOS and The Identity of EROS and PHANES

It should be remembered that Phanes Protogonos = Eros Protogonos.

Proklos (In Alc. I, 33), discussing how Souls inspired by Eros elevate themselves and the object of their Love, adds that:

    "This is just what Divine <Eros-> Love primarily accomplishes in The Intelligible World, both uniting itself to the Object of Love (i.e. Phanes)C, and elevating to it what shares in the influence that emanates from it and implanting in all a singlebond and one indissoluble friendship with each other and with Essential Beauty.

    Now the Souls that are possessed by <Eros-> Love and share in the Inspiration therefrom, using Apparent Beauty with Vehicle (i.e. Augoeides) (*16) undefiled, are turned towards Intelligible Beauty and set that end to their Activity; "kindling a light" *22 for less perfect Souls they elevate these also to The Divine and dance with them about The One Source of All Beauty (i.e. Phanes/Eros Protogonos)C." (tr. O'Neill)

Phanes is Eros Protogonos as The Object of All Love. Thus Eros unites all those who love with Himself and with The All That Is Loved as Himself - for, being the medium between the extremes of Lover and Loved, he comprehends both within Himself.


Annotation 3

    The Subsistence of EROS in The DEMIURGOS - PHANES and The "BOND of LOVE"

As Eros subsists with Phanes, who is comprehended in The Demiurgos, so Eros must also subsist in The Demiurgos; for otherwise The Kosmos would be without its 'Bond of Love'.Ch. Or. 39 (ap. Procl., In Tim., II, 54, 5-16 = Kr. p. 36; tr. Majercik) is almost explicit:

    'But this greatest and most perfect Bond which The Father (i.e. Zeus)C everywhere throws around The World (i.e. The Kosmos)C . . . the Oracles have called the Bond of Love, heavy with Fire:

    "For after he thought his works, The Self-Generated Paternal Intellect (i.e. Phanes)C sowed the Bond of< Eros->Love , heavy with Fire, into all things."

    And the Oracles add the reason for this:

    "In order that The All might continue to Love for an infinite time and the things woven by the Intellectual Light of The Father (i.e. The Demiurgos)C might not collapse."

    Because of this < Eros->Love, all things are suited to one another:

    "With this < Eros->Love, the elements of The World (i.e. The Kosmos)C remain on course."

And again, in Ch. Or. 42 (ap. Procl., In Parm., 769, 7-12, Co.2 = Kr. p. 24):

    '(The Intelligible Ideas)M are separated and compounded at the same time (according to the oracle)

    "by the Bond of wondrous< Eros->Love , which leapt first from Intellect (i.e. Phanes)C, clothing his Bonded Fire with the Fire (of Intellect [Zeus]C )M in order to mingle the Source Craters while offering the Flower of his Fire."

To call Eros "The Unifying Cause of Wholes" as Proklos (In Tim. III, 155A, cf. Ann. above) does, just after he has cited Ch. Or . 39, is to equate Eros with Phanes as Protogonos. He continues immediately with:

    "The Demiurgos however, likewise possesses in himself the Cause of Eros. For he is "Metis The First Generator, and much-pleasing < Eros-> Love" (Orphic. fr. 123, 11). Hence he is very properly the cause of friendship and concord to his fabrications.

    And perhaps looking to this Pherecydes (fr. 3d) said,that Zeus when he was about to fabricate, was changed into<Eros-> Love. Because however, he constituted The Kosmos from contraries, he led it to concord and friendship , and disseminated in all things Sameness and Union which pervade through Wholes." (tr. Taylor.)

Annotation 4

The Intellectually Intelligible Essence of The Ideal World: see Annotation 1 above.

Annotation 5

    The Characteristic Qualities of The DAIMONIC Triad: ANGELS-DAIMON-HEROES

Summarised from Proklos, In Tim. V, 289F-290B = 3,165, the characteristics the three categories of Daimons are:

    Angels -  correspond to Being, and Phanes;

      show forth the hidden Essence of TheGods;

      are essentially Intellectual and interpret The Demiurgic Intelect to Secondary Natures.

    Daimons -  correspond to Infinite Life, and progression;

      have a Multiform nature;

      accord with The Demiurgic Providence of Wholes;

      govern Nature;

      complete The Order of The Kosmos.

    Heroes -  correspond to Intellect, and conversion;

      Purify, invigorate, and elevate the Life of Souls.


In his n. 64 O'Neill quotes the whole passage which is appended here:

    ~3,165~ "If likewise it is requisite that The Whole Kosmos should be perfect, it is ~290A~ necessary that together with the Divine Genera we should conceive that the Daimonic Order was generated prior to our Souls, (which Plato shortly after constitutes,)T and which receives a triple division, viz. into Angels, Daimons properly so called, and Heroes.

     For the whole of this Order fills up the middle space between Gods and Men; because there is an All-Perfect separation or interval between our concerns, and those of The Gods. For the latter are Eternal, but the former are frail and Mortal. And the former indeed are satisfied with the enjoyment of Intellect in Energy partially; but the latter ascend into Total Intellects Themselves (i.e. TheGods)C.

    On this account, there is a Triad which conjoins our concerns with The Gods, and which proceeds analogous to the Three Principle Causes of things; though Plato is accustomed to call the whole of this Triad Daimonic.

    For the Angelic is analogous to Being, or The Intelligible (i.e. Phanes)C, which is first unfolded into light from the ineffable and occult Fountain of Beings (i.e. The One Being)C. Hence also it unfolds The Gods Themselves, and announces that which is occult in their Essence.

     But the Daimonic is analogous to Infinite Life. On which account it proceeds every where, according ~B~ to many Orders, and is of a multiform nature.

    And the Heroic is analogous to Intellect and conversion. Hence also, it is the inspective guardian of purification, and is the supplier of a magnificent and elevatedlife.*23

     Father still, the Angelic indeed proceeds according to the Intellectual Life of The Demiurgos. Hence it also is essentially Intellectual, and interprets and transmits a Divine Intellect to Secondary Natures.

    But the Daimonic proceeds according to The Demiurgic Providence of Wholes, governs Nature, and rightly gives completion to the Order of The Whole Kosmos.

     And the Heroic again, proceeds according to the convertive Providence of these. Hence, this Genus likewise, is elevated, raises Souls on high, and is the cause of a grand and vigorous Energy."

    (Proklos, In Tim. V, 289F-290B = 3,165; tr. Taylor)


Annotation 6


In his n. 65, O'Neill refers to the Phaedrus 251b:

    ~b~ "But, in consequence of surveying this Beautiful Object [Intelligible Beauty]C, he experiences a mutation in his feelings, a perspiration and unaccustomed heat ,*24 such as horror produces. For, receiving the influx of Beauty (tou kallouV thn aporrohn)C through his Eyes, he becomes hot, and this irrigates the nature of his Wings (h tou pterou fusiV )C; but when heated, whatever belongs to the germinating of his Pinions liquefies, and which formerly being compressed through hardness restrained the vigour of their shoots.

    But an influx (epirrueishV )C of nutriment taking place, the quill of the Wing swells, and endeavours to burst forth, through the Whole Form of the Soul(upo pan to thV yuchV eidoV )C: for the Whole was ~c~ formerly winged (pterwth)C. The Whole (olh)C, therefore, in this case, becomes fervid, and leaps upward." (tr. Taylor)

In his n. 3 Taylor expresses the opinion that:

    "Heat here signifies the Anagogic Power of the Soul, or that Power which elevates her to Intelligibles."

It would seem that 'heat' represents the Energy produced in the Pneuma as a reaction to the Sensible perception of Intelligible Beauty for - in the references to the Senses: feelings, heat, and so on - the Wings are indicated to be Natural Powers of Eros in the Soul.

Thisheat produces 'dryness ' in the Soul, for Fire dissolves the other Elements into itself (*25). This 'dryness' is a consequence of "influx of Beauty", first through the Senses and then through the perception of Intelligible Beauty.

Through the Senses we see beautiful things, the Beauty in them being an Image of Intelligible Beauty Itself. Our Imagination holds and enhances this Image while our Reason examines it, for we are driven by Eros to get closer to its Reality. What information our Reason provides we use to expand our understanding of why the Image of Beauty is beautiful, and even of the Reality of Beauty Itself.

When the Imagination constructs a reasonably accurate Image of the Reality of The Beauty in the Beauty we perceive the Intellectual Inspiration of Beauty Itself 'flows' into the Soul, originally through the Eyes of Sense, but now through the Eye of the Soul.

The Fire of Intelligible Beauty 'heats' the Soul - metaphorically vaporising the 'Wateryness' of the Soul - and the Soul becomes dry.

As Herakleitos says (Wheelwright, Fr. 44; Diels 12; Bywaters 41, 42):

        [kai] yucai de apo twn ugrwn anaqumiwntai.

        Souls are vaporised from what is moist .



And (Wheelwright, Fr. 46; Diels 118; Bywaters 75):

        auh yuch sofwtath kai aristh.

        Adry Soul is wisest and best.



Note the word anaqumiintai (vaporised) in Fr. 44. The Soul is 'de-Thymified' (see below, where Cratylus 419d-420b is cited). Intellectual Fire transmutes the Watery Images of the Senses into the Rational Ideas of Air. The domination of the Pneuma, together with the passive materialism of the Thymos (the Emotional Power of the Pneuma), is vanquished by the Rational Soul, which in turn is elevated to the Vision of Intelligible Beauty.

And in Fr. 46, the Soul, dried by the Fire of Intellect, is said to be the wisest and the noblest (aristh), motivated as it is by the purest conceptions of Beauty to which it can attain.

As Proklos says in one of the remaining fragments of his Commentary on The Chaldeaen Oracles:

    "The Angelic Order in a characteristic way leads Souls upward to the Celestial region, "appearing about the Soul", according to the Oracle, i.e., illuminating it thoroughly, and causing it to be full of undefiled Fire, which imparts to it an immutable and tranquil Order and Power, through or by which it is not rushed into material disorder, but is united with the light of Divine Things: this, further, retains it in its native place (i.e. 'the Celestial region')C , and causes it to be unmixed with Matter, elevating the spirit [Pneuma]C by heat and raising it On High by means of the anagogic life. For the heating of the spirit [ Pneuma]C is the imparting of Life." (Tr.)

    (In Ch. Or. I. tr. T. M. Johnston
    in Iamblichus: The Exhortation to Philosophy [Grand Rapids 1988], 123

    and The "Flow" of LOVE

    Let us return to the Wings themselves.

These Wings - presumably the two Horses of the Soul, or closely associated with them - are energised and nourished by the "influx of Beauty" which flows in through the Eyes. Beauty is the only Intelligible Idea capable of perception by the Senses, so it is fitting that the beginning of the Soul's ascent should begin here.

As Proklos (In Crat . 16) says:

    ". . . one Name shadows forth many things, as erwV [Eros]C,Love, both from rwmh, strength, and from ptero n, a wing, manifests different things." (tr. Taylor)

It is the Soul's love of Beauty which energises Eros. For, whatever else, the Wings are the Energies of Eros. Beauty awakens Love, Love awakens Eros, and Eros awakens the Soul.

So, by means of the Energy of the Wings we may fly up to the Vision of Intellectual Reality.

And again (In Crat. 9) he says:

    ". . . in the Phaedrus [252c], Plato calls the Love which is participated by Mortals flying, but that which is imparticipable and Divine winged , through the Essence and the Energy of the God conspiring into one; . . ." (tr. Taylor)

But first the appreciation of Apparent Beauty must flow into the Soul. An "influx of Beauty which flows in through the Eyes" energises Souls who long for the Vision of Intelligible Beauty Itself. In a Soul thus Inspired, 'the Essence and the Energy of the God conspiring into one' in the One of the Soul.

This 'flow' is the flow of < Eros->Love , for Love flows between the Lover and the Object of Love.

In the Cratylus [419d-420b] Plato explains the essential identity of loving and flowing through the words themselves:

    "Nor is there any difficulty aboutepiqumia (desire ), ~e~ for this name was evidently given to the Power that goes (iousa) into the Soul (qumoV , i.e. the Emotional Power of the Pneuma, see above, where Herakleitos Fr. 44 is cited)C.

     And qumoV has its name from the raging (quriV ) and boiling (zesewV )C of the Soul (yuchV )C.

    The name imeroV (1onging) was given to the stream (rouV ) which most draws the Soul; for because it flows (rei)C with a rush (iemenoV ) and with a desire (efiemenoV )C for things ~420a~ and thus draws the Soul on through the impulse of its flowing (esin teV rohV )C, all this Power gives it the name of imeroV .

(Text Omitted)

    And ErwV(Love) is so called because it flows in (esrei) from without, and this flowing (roh)C is not inherent in him who has it, ~b~ but is introduced through the Eyes; for this reason it was in ancient times called esroV from esrein - for we used to employ omicron (o)C instead of omega (w)C - but now it is called erwV through the change of omicron to omega."

    (tr. Fowler, Loeb)


Thus the Senses first perceive the "influx of Beauty" which comes into the Pneuma as the Energy of Epithymia, the Appetant Desire for the Object of Love: this Desire is for Apparent Beauty, on one extreme for The Kosmos (as a Body), on the other for some Animal Body or inanimate object.

 This Desire (Epithymia) agitates ("a mutation in his feelings, a perspiration and unaccustomed heat", qv. above) the Emotional Power of the Pneuma (the Thymos), and through this, stirs the Imagination with longing (imeroV) for the Object of Love.

Thus, "through the Eyes" the Lover becomes Inspired by Eros to approach Intelligible Beauty, and make himself One with Intelligible Beauty Itself.



qumoV is difficult to translate accurately, for much depends on context, and on the individual point of view of the translator.

Two examples of the text (Crat. 419de) referred to illustrate the difficulty:

    "But neither is it difficult to discover the meaning of epiqumia, desire: ~e~ for it evinces a power proceeding (iousa)C to qumoV , anger. But qumoV , anger, derives its appellation from qusewV , and zesewV , raging and ardour." (tr. Taylor)


    "Nor is there any difficulty about epiqumia (desire ), ~e~ for this name was evidently given to the Power that goes (iousa) into the Soul (ton qumon). And qumoV has its name from the raging (quriV ) and boiling (zesewV )C of the Soul." (tr. Fowler, Loeb 167)

In this context qumojV cannot mean anger. It is parallel in meaning with the Hebrew word nephesh and expresses the personality of an individual with reference to his emotional life, and thus of the individual reaction to experiences which any particular individual may have. In this way it tends to characterise the individual.

Fowler (Loeb ed.) translates ton qumon as 'the Soul', but this is not accurate, and it is not what Plato wants us to understand. True, it is often used as 'Soul', where the sense conveys a concept of Human individuality, but in such cases it would be better to use words like: feeling, imagination, passion, mind, temper, appetite, spirit, courage, etc. (LSJ9 [1996] s.v. II.). It is also used in opposition to epiqumia and logismoV (ibid.).

qumoV therefore, is a quality or condition of the Pneuma, or Irrational Vehicle of the Soul, but not the Pneuma itself, and certainly not the Soul.


    qumoV is the POWER of Epiqumia - Epiqumia is the ENERGY of The qumoV

The qumoV is essentially passive , and reacts to what ever impinges upon it. Thus, when epiqumia flows into the qumoV , it motivates the qumoV to desire . Perhaps we should say that epiqumia is the desire, but qumoV is that which is affected by desire, and which expresses it in terms of raging (qusewV) and ardour (zesewV) or any other expression of strong emotion.

qumoV is the Power of the Epiqumia - Epiqumia is the Energy of the qumoV .


. . . egguterw gar estin o qumoV hmwn hper h epiqumia.

    ". . . for our Spirited Appetite (o qumoV )C is nearer < to Reason> than our Sense Appetite (h epiqumia)C." (Procl., In Alcib. I, 139; tr. O'Neill)

Both the Thymikon and the Epithymikon are qualities of the Irrational Vehicle or Pneuma. Their relationship with each other may be indicated by the following diagram.


The Epithymikon proceeds away from the Rational Soul, whereas the Thymos, though Irrational in itself, is converted to the Rational Soul, and is thus more proximate to it.

The Epithymikon and the Thymikon affect each other, but in Souls of a greater Rational Power (Logistikon), the Thymos is less readily disturbed by the influence of Epithymia, and is thus more stable.


Annotation 7

 Phanes is Eros Protogonos as The Object of All Love. Thus Eros unites all those who love with Himself and with The All That Is Loved as Himself - for, being the medium between the extremes of Lover and Loved, he comprehends both within Himself.

Annotation 8

        See above, Ann. 2: The Subsistence of EROS PROTOGONOS in PHANES PROTOGONOS-
        EROS as The LOVING BOND and MEDIUM between All Things";

        Ann. 3:  "The Subsistence of EROS in The DEMIURGOS - PHANES and The "BOND of LOVE"".


    1 (from Proklos, In Alc. O'Neil p.19) cf. El. Theol. prop. 157 & note on props. 151-9, esp. p. 138, 7 - 9; "every producing cause presides over the bestowal of form upon things composite, the assignment of their stations, and their numerical distinction as individuals.

    2 (op. cit.) cf. El. Theol. prop. 155 & note; cp. notes on 68, 5 & 52, 8.

    3 (op. cit.) cf. ibid., prop. 154 & note, prop. 156 & note.

    4 (op. cit.) cf. Symposium 202d

    5 (op. cit.) Reading upaontoV mesou (NMR). The addition of gar in MR seems all attempt to indicate that pantoV . . . mesou is a distinct causal clause in the genitive absolute.

    6 (op. cit) cf. El. Theol . p. 25, 5: "A Series or Order is a Unity, in that the entire sequence derives from the Monad its declension into plurality." (Dodds). cf. also notes on prop. 21, p. 208

    7 (op. cit.) cf. Symposium 202d-e.

    8 (op. cit.) Here, and in the following lines cp. El. Theol. prop. 148 "Every Divine Order has an internal unity of threefold origin, from its highest, its mean, and its last term." cf. also the notes on p. 52 of the text.

     9 (op. cit. p.20) For the division of Intermediate Beings into Angels, Spirits [Daimon]C and Heroes and the origin of the doctrine cf. El. Theol. p. 295; and for a more specific description of their particular functions cf. esp. Procl. in Tim. III p. 165, 11-166, 3: . . . "For this reason there is also a Triad which unites us to The Gods, which proceeds on an analogy with the Three Original Causes, although Plato is accustomed to call the whole of it Spirit [Daimonic]C. 'the division of Angels preserves an analogy with The First Intelligible that appears from the ineffable and hidden spring of Reality, and therefore it manifests The Gods and proclaims their secret identity. The division of Spirits [Daimons]C preserves an analogy with unbounded Life, therefore proceeds everywhere in multiple ranks and assumes many forms and shapes. the division of Heroes preserves an analogy with Intellect and reversion, and therefore it presides over purification and bestows a life of great achievement and exaltation. Further, the division of Angels proceeds by way of the Intelligent Life of The Demiurgos, and therefore it is itself Essentially Intelligent; it interprets and transmits The Divine Mind to Secondary Beings. The division of Spirits [Daimons]C proceeds by way of the Providence of The Demiurgos for The Universe: it regulates the Nature and rightly compliments the division of the whole world (i.e. The Kosmos)C. The division of Heroes proceeds by way of Reflexive Forethought for all these things: therefore this kind is exalted, elevates Souls and imparts Vigour. Such being these I three kinds, they are attached to The Gods, the first kind (to The Supercelestial < or Liberated>C Gods, the second) to The Celestial < Gods>C, and the latter to the Overseers of Process and there is about each God his own appropriate numbers of Angels, Heroes and Spirits [Daimons]C . . . cf. also Procl. in Crat. p. 75, 9-79, 19 Pasquali, and Hans Lewy op. cit. cap. V "Chaldaean Demonology".

    10 (op. cit.) cf. Phaedrus 251b

     11 (op. cit.) cp. Plot. VI, 7, 22, 8-10: "Then the Soul receiving into itself the Effluence from (The Good) is stirred, dances wildly and is filled with frenzy and becomes Love [Eros]C.

     12 (op. cit. p. 21) For the noble purpose of the Soul's descent cp. Plot. I, 1, 12, 21-8: ibid. IV, 3, 17 and Porph. De Abst. IV, 18 ad init

    13 (op. cit.) cf.Timaeus 42e

    14 (op. cit.) cf. El. Theol. prop. 206; "Every particular Soul can descend into Temporal process and ascend from process to Being an infinite number of times" and notes, where Professor Dodds refers Procl. in Tim. III p. 324, 4-7: "We must ask this very question from the beginning, why the Soul descends into Bodies. Because it wishes to imitate the Providential Activity of The Gods, and on this account it lays aside Contemplation and proceeds to Birth."

    15 (op. cit.) cf. Phaedrus 265c

    16 (op. cit.) Vehicle (i.e. Augoeides)C: i.e. a first holy, immediately informed by the Soul. cf. El. Theol . props. 196, 207-9 & notes pp. 304-9, also Appendix II p. 313-21 for a description of the origins and development of this doctrine. cf. further: RĂ©flexions sur l' OXHMA dans les Elements de Theology de Proclus, par Mr. Jean Trouillard, in Rev. des Etudes Grecques Vol. 70, no. 329-30, 1957; Lewy op. cit. c. III sect. I "The vehicle of the Soul" and notes 6, 7, 26-7, 30.

    17 (op. cit.) cf. Timaeus 39b

    18 (op. cit. p. 22) cf. Phaedrus 250a

    19 (op. cit.) cf. Statesman 273d

     20 (op. cit.) There is no communication between one Material thing and another, but the Immaterial can communicate itself to the Material (e.g. The Creator of The Universe Procl. in Tim. I p. 365, 26-366, 7 the work of Divine Providence in this dialogue p. 54, 10, and of spiritual illumination p. 80, 10). Interpenetration of Bodies was a Stoic tenet (cf. SVF II 467 etc.)

     21 The nature of The One, as it is all-receptive, and all-productive (pandechV kai pantofuhV) exhibits in Itself a certain representation and indication of multitude; for It is all things prior to all. (Taylor is wrong here, for these remarks do not refer to The One, but to Phanes. See above in this Annotation.)

    22 cf. Timaeus 39b.

    23 For h yuchV in this place, it is becessary to read uyhlhV.

     24 Heat here signifies the Anagogic Power of the Soul, or that Power which elevates her to Intelligibles.

    25 Simp. ap. Procl. On Aristotle On The Heavens III, 289b-300a, in Taylor, Essays and Fragments of Proclus [Frome 1999], 162-70.


Click here to go to the next article Morpho-Achilles-icon   Click here to return to the contents page Morpho-Rhetenor-Cacica-icon