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Faces of the InfiniteNeoplatonism and Poetry at the Confluence of Africa, Asia and Europe$
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Stefan Sperl and Yorgos Dedes

Print publication date: 2022

Print ISBN-13: 9780197267257

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: May 2022

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197267257.001.0001

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Neoplatonists in Modern Greek Poetry

Neoplatonists in Modern Greek Poetry

(p.454) 22 Neoplatonists in Modern Greek Poetry
Faces of the Infinite

David Ricks

British Academy

This paper analyses a cluster of major Greek poets since 1880 who have referred to key figures from the history of Neoplatonism as a foil to their ancestral Greek Orthodoxy. Though that foil sometimes takes the form of a rejection -- 'Thou hast conquered, o pale Galilaean!' -- it can operate in a variety of ways. Among the cases discussed are Kostis Palamas (1859-1943), in his translation of Leconte de Lisle's 'Hypatie' and in his epic The Emperor’s Reedpipe; C.P. Cavafy (1863-1933), in a number of short poems in which Neoplatonists and their cultural context appear; and in the work of the ardently Orthodox poet Zissimos Lorenzatos (1915-2004). The Platonic or Neoplatonist persons involved cover a range from Charmides to Ammonius Saccas, Chrysanthius of Sardis, Maximus of Ephesus, Proclus, and, far remote in time and place, Ibn ʿArabī .

Keywords:   Neoplatonism, Plotinus, Hypatia, Proclus, Julian the Apostate, Sufism, Greek Orthodoxy

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