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Concerning embryos, Porphyry takes an original view on issues that had been left undecided by his teacher Plotinus and earlier by the doctor Galen. What role is played in the development of the embryo by the souls or the natures of the father, of the mother, of the embryo, or of the whole world? Porphyry's detailed answer, in contrast to Aristotle's, gives a significant role to the soul and to the nature of the mother, without, however, abandoning Aristotle's view that the mother supplies no seed. In the fragments of On What is in Our Power, "Porphyry" discusses Plato's idea that we choose each of our incarnations, and so are responsible for what happens in our lives. This volume contains an English translation of the two commentaries, as well as extensive notes, an introduction and a bibliography.
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An English translation of two of Porphyry's commentaries on Aristotle, accompanied by a detailed introduction, commentary notes and a bibliography.

Table of Contents

Preface Conventions Abbreviations To Gaurus On How Embryos are Ensouled Textual Emendations and Conjectures Introduction Translation Notes Appendix 1: Anonymous Christianus, Hermippus or On Astrology 2.17 Appendix 2: Michael Psellus, from On How the Soul of the Body Enters and from When Embryos are Ensouled English-Greek Glossary Greek-English Index Subject Index On What is in Our Power Textual Emendations and Conjectures Introduction Porphyry's Commentary on Plato's Republic (181-187F Smith) Translation Notes

About the Author

James Wilberding is Lecturer in Ancient Thought, School of Historical Studies, Newcastle University, UK.

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