short ancient greek text

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A. R. Q.

Member
Arabic
Can any one kindly help me translating this short ancient greek text into English, It's in latin letters:

He men gar (psyche) epi soteria kai katharsei kai teleioteti ton
tede katiousa achranton poieitai kai ten kathodon
 
  • Perseas

    Senior Member
    This is my understanding:
    The soul, which descends aiming at salvation, catharsis (purification) and perfection, makes an untainted descent.
     
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    Scholiast

    Senior Member
    Greetings

    It is with hesitation that I presume to correct a learned native Greek such as Perseas, but his version appears to omit καί (kai), the third-last word: I propose: '...makes the descent untainted as well', or '...also makes the descent untainted'.

    Also, out of idle curiosity, where does this text come from? It looks vaguely Platonic, but I don't recognise it.

    Σ
     

    A. R. Q.

    Member
    Arabic
    Greetings

    It is with hesitation that I presume to correct a learned native Greek such as Perseas, but his version appears to omit καί (kai), the third-last word: I propose: '...makes the descent untainted as well', or '...also makes the descent untainted'.

    Also, out of idle curiosity, where does this text come from? It looks vaguely Platonic, but I don't recognise it.

    Σ
    thank you for your kind help.

    the text exlplains lamblichus's idea about the descent of souls in order to unit with the bodies, mentioned in: Joannes Stobaeus, Eclogae physicae et ethicae, [Berolini 1884-1912], I, pp. 906-10. I read it in: the mystical philosophy of Ibn Masarra and his followers, by Asin Palacios.
     

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    ioanell

    Senior Member
    Greek
    Greetings,

    My contribution in addition to the useful posts above.

    Iamblichus, the Neoplatonist philosopher, talking about what various philosophers think about the nature of the soul and specifically about its descent in order to unite with the body, thinks that there are different purposes for a soul to do that and these purposes in turn make the ways of this descent differ accordingly; and then he lists them. So, in our sentence:

    ἡ μὲν γὰρ (ψυχὴ) ἐπὶ σωτηρἰᾳ καὶ καθάρσει καὶ τελειότητι τῶν τῇδε κατιοῦσα, ἄχραντον ποιεῖται καὶ τὴν κάθοδον.

    The soul which descends in order to be saved and purified aiming to do this perfectly, makes the descent untainted as well.
     
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    A. R. Q.

    Member
    Arabic
    Greetings,

    My contribution in addition to the useful posts above.

    Iamblichus, the Neoplatonist philosopher, talking about what various philosophers think about the nature of the soul and specifically about its descent to the place of the dead in order to unite with the body, thinks that there are different purposes for a soul to do that and these purposes in turn make the ways of this descent differ accordingly; and then he lists them. So, in our sentence:

    ἡ μὲν γὰρ (ψυχὴ) ἐπὶ σωτηρἰᾳ καὶ καθάρσει καὶ τελειότητι τῶν τῇδε κατιοῦσα, ἄχραντον ποιεῖται καὶ τὴν κάθοδον.

    The soul which descends in order to be saved and purified aiming to do this perfectly, makes the descent untainted as well.
    Thank you for your care.

    the context of this text in Palacios's study supposes that the heaven souls decend in order to Give aid to the souls on earth, not to be saved. He said:

    "[lamblichus] supposes that the weakness and imperfection acquired by souls upon uniting with the world of bodies necessitate a powerful aid which comes to them from on high in order that they might attain redemption. That aid is supplied to them by the souls pure of all stain which descend to this world to assure to the physical beings salvation, purification and perfection".

    So, is this meaning possible in greek sentence?
     

    sotos

    Senior Member
    Greek
    I googled for the original greek and found that the whole paragraph says that the way souls descent (on earth) differs depending on their purpose.. Here "η μεν" means "other [psyche] descends in an untainted way in order to confer salvation etc." (while other [psyche] descends not without some suffering, in order to train and correct morals ... ) (
    Plotini ad Gnosticos liber Graece ...: Castignatius edidit atque notas et codicis Monacensis 449 cum editione Basilicensi collati variantes lectiones ... 1832, p. 70)
     

    Scholiast

    Senior Member
    χαίρετ᾽ ὦ φίλοι

    One tiny refinement which in my previous reply (# 4) I, and others appear to have done too, overlooked is that ποιεῖται is middle voice rather than active. So the soul 'makes for itself the descent untainted too', or 'makes its descent [morally] unblemished too'—though after consulting LSJ I remain unsure how strongly still in Iamblichus' day, or Plotinus', how clearly the active and middle were distinct in sense. It seems that as regards ποεῖν/ποιεῖσθαι there was already in Herodotus' time some 'elasticity' between them.

    Σ
     

    ioanell

    Senior Member
    Greek
    is this meaning possible in greek sentence?
    Yes, without entering into deeper philosophical matters, this meaning is possible, but it only refers to the first of the three cases-purposes stated by Iamblichus; the one which says that the purpose of the descent of pure souls is to assure to the physical beings salvation, purification and perfection, or otherwise redemption. And by saying “physical beings”, he can’t obviously mean anything else but -as stated in your excerpt as well- the souls which acquired weakness and imperfection upon uniting with the bodies in which they now dwell.
     

    ioanell

    Senior Member
    Greek
    ποιεῖται is middle voice rather than active.
    (Please, allow me to advocate your view by rewriting as "ποιεῖται is middle voice, not active.")
    You are right, as ποιεῖται means that the subject of the sentence has a special interest in the action, but it hasn’t been overlooked and I don’t think there is any ambiguity regarding the translation, either in Modern Greek or in English, as long as the soul makes its (own) descent and not somebody else’s; so, it makes for itself...etc
     
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