Stobaeus 1.41–42, incl. Hermetica

Category: Neoplatonism > Works of Hermes (“Hermetica”)

1 Introduction

These two chapters from John Stobaeus’ Anthology contain eight quotations from lost works attributed to Hermes, namely SH (‘Stobaean Hermetica’) 2b, 4–5, 11, 15–16, 21–22. They may once have contained even more, but only three out of thirteen chapters of Anthology 1.42 survive.

(Since the sub-headings survive, however, we do know that much of 1.42 was drawn from the doxography of Aëtius, as the still-surviving last section is; the best edition of this doxography is J. Mansfeld & D.T. Runia, Aëtiana V, 2020.)

If you read the Greek, note that the pseudo-/Neo-Pythagoric fragments of Pseudo-Archytas are written in Doric, not the Attic dialect.

2 Contents

Stobaeus, Anthology 1.41: On Nature and the Causes Consequent from It

1.41.1a = SH 2b : From the work To Tat of Hermes
1.41.1b = SH 11 : Ditto
1.41.2 : From (Pseudo-)Archytas’ On First Principles
1.41.3 : From Porphyry’s Starting-Points Towards the Intelligibles
1.41.4 = SH 16 : From the works To Ammon of Hermes
1.41.5 : From (Pseudo-)Archytas’ On First Principles
1.41.6 = SH 4 : From the work To Tat of Hermes
1.41.7 = SH 15 : From the works To Ammon of Hermes
1.41.8 = SH 5 : From the work To Tat of Hermes
1.41.9 : From Plato’s Cratylus
1.41.10 : Unattributed comment on Homer
1.41.11 = SH 21 : From Hermes

Stobaeus, Anthology 1.42: About the Origination of Animals

1.42.1 : From Plato’s Timaeus
1.42.2–6 : lost
1.42.7 = SH 22 : From the work Aphrodite of Hermes
1.42.8–12 : lost
1.42.13 : Aëtius 5.18

Stobaeus, Anthology 1.41
On Nature and the Causes Consequent from It
(Περὶ φύσεως καὶ τῶν συμβαινόντων ἐξ αὐτῆς αἰτίων)

(1.41.1a = SH 2b) From the work To Tat of Hermes.


Ἑρμοῦ ἐκ τοῦ πρὸς Τάτ.

1. Ἐγώ, ὦ τέκνον, καὶ τῆς φιλανθρωπίας ἕνεκα καὶ τῆς πρὸς τὸν θεὸν εὐσεβείας πρῶτον τόδε συγγράφω. Οὐδεμία γὰρ ἂν λέγοιτο δικαιότερον εὐσέβεια [ἢ] τοῦ νοῆσαι τὰ ὄντα καὶ χάριν τῷ ποιήσαντι ὑπὲρ τούτων ὁμολογῆσαι, ὅπερ διατελῶν οὐ παύσομαι.

2. Τί οὖν ἄν τις πράττων, ὦ πάτερ, εἰ μηδέν ἐστιν ἀληθὲς ἐνθάδε, καλῶς διαγάγοι τὸν βίον;

Εὐσέβει, ὦ τέκνον. Ὁ δὲ εὐσεβῶν ἄκρως φιλοσοφήσει· χωρὶς γὰρ φιλοσοφίας ἄκρως εὐσεβῆσαι ἀδύνατον· ὁ δὲ μαθὼν οἷα ἔστι καὶ πῶς διατέτακται καὶ ὑπὸ τίνος καὶ ἕνεκεν τίνος, χάριν εἴσεται ὑπὲρ πάντων τῷ δημιουργῷ ὡς πατρὶ ἀγαθῷ καὶ τροφεῖ χρηστῷ καὶ ἐπιτρόπῳ πιστῷ· ὁ δὲ χάριν ὁμολογῶν εὐσεβήσει· 3. ὁ δὲ εὐσεβῶν εἴσεται καὶ ποῦ ἐστιν ἡ ἀλήθεια καὶ τίς ἐστιν ἐκείνη, καὶ μαθὼν ἔτι μᾶλλον εὐσεβέστερος ἔσται. Οὐδέποτε γάρ, ὦ τέκνον, ψυχὴ ἐν σώματι οὖσα καὶ κουφίσασα ἑαυτὴν ἐπὶ τὴν κατάληψιν τοῦ ὄντως ἀγαθοῦ καὶ ἀληθοῦς ὀλισθῆσαι δύναται ἐπὶ τὸ ἐναντίον· δεινὸν γὰρ ἔρωτα ἴσχει καὶ λήθην πάντων τῶν κακῶν ψυχὴ μαθοῦσα ἑαυτῆς τὸν προπάτορα, καὶ οὐκέτι ἀποστῆναι δύναται τοῦ ἀγαθοῦ. 4. Τοῦτ’, ὦ τέκνον, τοῦτο εὐσεβείας ἔστω τέλος, ἐφ’ ὃ ἀφικνούμενος καὶ καλῶς βιώσῃ καὶ εὐδαιμόνως τεθνήξῃ τῆς ψυχῆς σου μὴ ἀγνοούσης ποῦ αὐτὴν δεῖ ἀναπτῆναι. 5. Αὕτη γὰρ μόνη ἐστίν, ὦ τέκνον, ἡ πρὸς ἀλήθειαν ὁδός, ἣν καὶ οἱ ἡμέτεροι πρόγονοι ὥδευσαν καὶ ὁδεύσαντες ἔτυχον τοῦ ἀγαθοῦ. Σεμνὴ αὕτη ὁδὸς καὶ λεία, χαλεπὴ δὲ ψυχῇ ὁδεῦσαι ἐν σώματι οὔσῃ. 6. Πρῶτον μὲν γὰρ αὐτὴν ἑαυτῇ πολεμῆσαι δεῖ καὶ διάστασιν μεγάλην ποιῆσαι καὶ ὑπὸ τοῦ ἑνὸς μέρους πλεονεκτηθῆναι. Ἑνὸς γὰρ γίγνεται πρὸς δύο ἡ σύστασις, τοῦ μὲν φεύγοντος, τῶν δὲ καθελκόντων κάτω, καὶ ἔρις καὶ μάχη πολλὴ πρὸς ἄλληλα τούτων γίγνεται τοῦ μὲν φυγεῖν βουλομένου, τῶν δὲ κατασχεῖν σπευδόντων. 7. Ἡ δὲ νίκη ἀμφοτέρων οὐχ ὁμοία· τὸ μὲν γὰρ πρὸς τὸ ἀγαθὸν σπεύδει, τὰ δὲ πρὸς τὰ κακὰ κατοικεῖ· καὶ τὸ μὲν ἐλευθερωθῆναι ποθεῖ, τὰ δὲ τὴν δουλείαν ἀγαπᾷ. Κἂν μὲν νικηθῇ τὰ δύο μέρη, μεμένηκεν ἑαυτῶν ἔρημα καὶ τοῦ ἄρχοντος· ἐὰν δὲ τὸ ἓν ἡττηθῇ, ὑπὸ τῶν δύο ἄγεται καὶ φέρεται τιμωρούμενον τῇ ἐνθάδε διαίτῃ. 8. Οὗτός ἐστιν, ὦ τέκνον, ὁ τῆς ἐκεῖσε ὁδοῦ ἀγών· δεῖ γάρ σε, ὦ τέκνον, πρῶτον τὸ σῶμα πρὸ τοῦ τέλους ἐγκαταλεῖψαι καὶ νικῆσαι τὸν ἐναγώνιον βίον καὶ νικήσαντα οὕτως ἀνελθεῖν.

(1.41.1b = SH 11) [Continues directly from the previous fragment, albeit counted separately by modern editors; see the notes on both fragments.]

1. But now,¹ o my child, I will go through (all) beings in brief points; for you will understand what I say if you remember what you hear:


  1. All beings are in motion; for only what has no being is immobile.²
  2. Every body is changeable; not every body is dissolvable. – (Only) some bodies are dissolvable.³
  3. Not every living being is mortal; not every living being is immortal.
  4. What is dissolvable is destructible; what is permanent is unchangeable and eternal.
  5. What is always originated is always also destroyed, but what is originated (only) once is never destroyed and never becomes something else.⁴
  6. First is the god, second the cosmos, third the human.
  7. The cosmos exists for the human, but the human for the god.⁵
  8. The perceptive (faculty) of the soul is mortal, but the rational (faculty) is immortal.⁶
  9. All essence is immortal; all essence is changeable.⁷
  10. Every being is double; no being is stable.⁸
  11. Not all things are moved by soul, but soul moves every being.⁹
  12. Everything that can be affected can perceive, but not everything that perceives is affected.¹⁰
  13. Everything that can feel grief can also feel joy – the mortal animal –, not everything that can feel joy can feel grief – the eternal animal.¹¹
  14. Not every body can be sick; every body that is sick is dissolvable.
  15. Intellect is in the god; reasoning is in the human being. Reason is in intellect; intellect is impassive.¹²
  16. Nothing in the body is true, in the incorporeal everything is without falsity.¹³
  17. Everything that is originated is changeable; not everything that is originated is destructible.¹⁴
  18. Nothing good is on the Earth; nothing evil is in Heaven.
  19. The god is good; the human is evil.
  20. The good is deliberate; the evil is unwilling.¹⁵
  21. The gods choose good things as good.¹⁶
  22. Good order is [unintelligible]; law (nómos) is good order (eunomía).
  23. Time is divine, law (or ‘custom’) human.¹⁷
  24. Κακία κόσμου τροφή, χρόνος ἀνθρώπου φθορά.¹⁸
  25. Everything in Heaven is inalterable; everything on Earth is alterable.
  26. Nothing in Heaven is enslaved; nothing on Earth is free.
  27. Nothing unknowable is in Heaven; nothing knowable is on Earth.¹⁹
  28. The things on Earth have nothing in common with those in Heaven.²⁰
  29. All things in Heaven are blameless; all things on Earth are blameworthy.
  30. The immortal is not mortal; the mortal is not immortal.
  31. What is begotten (‘sown’) is not always born (‘originated’), but what is born is always begotten.²¹
  32. The dissolvable has two periods: one is from begetting until birth (‘origination’), and the other from birth until death; but the period of the eternal body is only from origination.²²
  33. Dissolvable bodies are increased and diminished.
  34. Dissolvable matter is changed into opposites – destruction and origination –, but eternal matter either into the same or into similar things.²³
  35. Origination (or ‘birth’) is the beginning of the human destruction, destruction the beginning of human origination.²⁴
  36. What departs […] also departs.²⁵
  37. Of beings, some are in bodies, others in forms, others again in activities; body is in forms, while form and activity are in body.²⁶
  38. The immortal does not share in the mortal, but the mortal shares in the immortal.²⁷
  39. The mortal does not enter into an immortal body, but the immortal can descend into a mortal.²⁸
  40. Activities are not carried upwards, but rather downwards.²⁸
  41. The things on Earth provide provide no benefit to those in Heaven; those in Heaven provide every benefit to those on Earth.²⁹
  42. Heaven is a container of eternal bodies; Earth is a container of destructible bodies.
  43. Earth is irrational, Heaven rational.
  44. Τὰ ἐν οὐρανῷ ὑπόκειται, τὰ ἐπὶ γῆς τῇ γῇ ἐπίκειται.³⁰
  45. Heaven is the first element, earth the last.
  46. Providence is divine order, necessity a servant of providence.³¹
  47. Fortune is disordered chance, an image of actuality, a false opinion.³²
  48. What is (a) god? Invariable good; what is (a) human? Variable evil.

3. If you remember these brief points, you will also easily recall what I laid out for you at greater lenth; for these are the summaries of those accounts.³³

4. But avoid conversations with the masses; for I do not wish you to be uncharitable, rather (I mean) that you will seem to be ridiculous to the masses. For like is received by like, but unlike is never agreeable to unlike. These accounts (lógoi) have an audience of very few, or perhaps not even a few.

5. They contain something unique in them: they rather incite the evil to their evil. Therefore, you must guard them from the many, who do not understand the virtue of what is taught (legómena).”

“How do you mean, o my father?”

“As follows, o my child: every human animal is very inclined toward evil, and is born with evil as its foster-sibling, and is therefore even pleased by evil. So, if this animal should learn that the cosmos is originated and that all things occur in accord with providence and necessity, because fate rules all things, then it will be much worse than it is (now); they will despise the universe as something originated,³⁴ and refer the causes of evil to fate,³⁵ and never leave off from every evil deed. For that reason, guard it from them, so that, by being in ignorance, they will be less evil out of fear of the uncertain.”³⁶


[Greek text.]

1. Νῦν δέ, ὦ τέκνον, κεφαλαίοις τὰ ὄντα διεξελεύσομαι· νοήσεις γὰρ τὰ λεγόμενα μεμνημένος ὧν ἤκουσας.


  1. Πάντα τὰ ὄντα κινεῖται· μόνον τὸ μὴ ὂν ἀκίνητον.
  2. Πᾶν σῶμα μεταβλητόν, οὐ πᾶν σῶμα διαλυτόν· ἔνια τῶν σωμάτων διαλυτά.
  3. Οὐ πᾶν ζῷον θνητόν, οὐ πᾶν ζῷον ἀθάνατον.
  4. Τὸ διαλυτὸν φθαρτόν, τὸ μένον ἀμετάβλητον, ἀίδιον.
  5. Τὸ ἀεὶ γινόμενον ἀεὶ καὶ φθείρεται, τὸ δὲ ἅπαξ γινόμενον οὐδέποτε φθείρεται οὐδὲ ἄλλο τι γίνεται.
  6. Πρῶτον ὁ θεός, δεύτερον ὁ κόσμος, τρίτον ὁ ἄνθρωπος.
  7. Ὁ κόσμος διὰ τὸν ἄνθρωπον, ὁ δὲ ἄνθρωπος διὰ τὸν θεόν.
  8. Ψυχῆς τὸ μὲν αἰσθητικὸν θνητόν, τὸ δὲ λογικὸν ἀθάνατον.
  9. Πᾶσα οὐσία ἀθάνατος, πᾶσα οὐσία μεταβλητή.
  10. Πᾶν τὸ ὂν διττόν, οὐδὲν τῶν ὄντων ἕστηκεν.
  11. Οὐ πάντα ψυχῇ κινεῖται, πᾶν δὲ ὂν ψυχὴ κινεῖ.
  12. Πᾶν τὸ πάσχον αἴσθεται, ‹οὐ› πᾶν τὸ αἰσθόμενον πάσχει.
  13. Πᾶν τὸ λυπούμενον καὶ ἥδεται – ζῷον θνητόν –, οὐ πᾶν τὸ ἡδόμενον λυπεῖται – ζῷον ἀίδιον.
  14. Οὐ πᾶν σῶμα νοσεῖ· πᾶν σῶμα νοσοῦν διαλυτόν.
  15. Ὁ νοῦς ἐν τῷ θεῷ, ὁ λογισμὸς ἐν τῷ ἀνθρώπῳ. Ὁ λόγος ἐν τῷ νοί, ὁ νοῦς ἀπαθής.
  16. Οὐδὲν ἐν σώματι ἀληθές, ἐν ἀσωμάτῳ τὸ πᾶν ἀψευδές.
  17. Πᾶν τὸ γενόμενον μεταβλητόν, οὐ πᾶν τὸ γενόμενον φθαρτόν.
  18. Οὐδὲν ἀγαθὸν ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς, οὐδὲν κακὸν ἐν τῷ οὐρανῷ.
  19. Ὁ θεὸς ἀγαθός, ὁ ἄνθρωπος κακός.
  20. Τὸ ἀγαθὸν ἑκούσιον, τὸ κακὸν ἀκούσιον.
  21. Οἱ θεοὶ τὰ ἀγαθὰ αἱροῦνται ὡς ἀγαθά.
  22. Ἡ εὐνομία μετὰ θεοῦ ὁμόνοια· ἡ εὐνομία ὁ νόμος.
  23. Θεῖος χρόνος, νόμος ἀνθρώπινος.
  24. Κακία κόσμου τροφή, χρόνος ἀνθρώπου φθορά.
  25. Πᾶν ‹τὸ› ἐν οὐρανῷ ἀμετάθετον, πᾶν τὸ ἐπὶ γῆς μεταθετόν.
  26. Οὐδὲν ἐν οὐρανῷ δοῦλον, οὐδὲν ἐπὶ γῆς ἐλεύθερον.
  27. Οὐδὲν ἄγνωστον ἐν οὐρανῷ, οὐδὲν γνώριμον ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς.
  28. Οὐ κοινωνεῖ ‹τὰ ἐν οὐρανῷ τοῖς ἐπὶ γῆς, κοινωνεὶ› τὰ ἐπὶ γῆς τοῖς ἐν οὐρανῷ.
  29. Πάντα τὰ ἐν οὐρανῷ ἄμωμα, πάντα τὰ ἐπὶ γῆς ἐπίμωμα.
  30. Τὸ ἀθάνατον οὐ θνητόν, τὸ θνητὸν οὐκ ἀθάνατον.
  31. Τὸ σπαρὲν οὐ πάντως γενητόν, τὸ δὲ γενητὸν πάντως καὶ σπαρέν.
  32. Διαλυτοῦ σώματος δύο χρόνοι· ὁ ἀπὸ τῆς σπορᾶς μέχρι τῆς γενέσεως καὶ ὁ ἀπὸ τῆς γενέσεως μέχρι τοῦ θανάτου· τοῦ ἀιδίου σώματος χρόνος ἐκ τῆς γενέσεως μόνος.
  33. Τὰ διαλυτὰ σώματα αὔξεται καὶ μειοῦται.
  34. Ἡ διαλυτὴ ὕλη εἰς τὰ ἐναντία ἐναλλοιοῦται – φθορὰν καὶ γένεσιν –· ἡ δὲ ἀίδιος ἢ εἰς αὑτὴν ἢ εἰς τὰ ὅμοια.
  35. Γένεσις ἀνθρώπου φθορᾶς, φθορὰ ἀνθρώπου γενέσεως ἀρχή.
  36. Τὸ ἀπογιγνόμενον ‹καὶ ἐπιγίγνεται, τὸ ἐπιγιγνόμενον› καὶ ἀπογίγνεται.
  37. Τῶν ὄντων τὰ μὲν ἐν σώμασίν εἰσι, τὰ δὲ ἐν ἰδέαις, τὰ δὲ ‹ἐν› ἐνεργείαις· σῶμα δὲ ἐν ἰδέαις, ἰδέα δὲ καὶ ἐνέργεια ἐν σώματί ἐστι.
  38. Τὸ ἀθάνατον οὐ μετέχει τοῦ θνητοῦ, τὸ δὲ θνητὸν τοῦ ἀθανάτου μετέχει.
  39. Τὸ μὲν θνητὸν εἰς ἀθάνατον σῶμα οὐκ ἔρχεται, τὸ δὲ ἀθάνατον εἰς θνητὸν παραγίνεται.
  40. Αἱ ἐνέργειαι οὐκ εἰσὶν ἀνωφερεῖς, ἀλλὰ κατωφερεῖς.
  41. Οὐδὲν ὠφελεῖ τὰ ἐπὶ γῆς τὰ ἐν οὐρανῷ, πάντα ὠφελεῖ τὰ ἐν οὐρανῷ τὰ ἐπὶ γῆς.
  42. Ὁ οὐρανὸς σωμάτων ἀιδίων δεκτικός, ἡ γῆ σωμάτων φθαρτικῶν δεκτική.
  43. Ἡ γῆ ἄλογος, ὁ οὐρανὸς λογικός.
  44. Τὰ ἐν οὐρανῷ ὑπόκειται, τὰ ἐπὶ γῆς τῇ γῇ ἐπίκειται.
  45. Ὁ οὐρανὸς πρῶτον στοιχεῖον, ἡ γῆ ὕστατον στοιχεῖον.
  46. Πρόνοια θεία τάξις, ἀνάγκη προνοίᾳ ὑπηρέτις.
  47. Τύχη φορὰ ἄτακτος, ἐνεργείας εἴδωλον, δόξα ψευδής.
  48. Τί θεός; ἄτρεπτον ἀγαθόν· τί ἄνθρωπος; τρεπτὸν κακόν.

3. Τούτων τῶν κεφαλαίων μεμνημένος καὶ ὧν σοι διὰ πλειόνων λόγων διεξῆλθον εὐκόλως ἀναμνησθήσῃ· ταῦτα γὰρ ἐκείνων εἰσὶ περιοχαί.

4. Τὰς μέντοι πρὸς τοὺς πολλοὺς ὁμιλίας παραιτοῦ· φθονεῖν μὲν γάρ σε οὐ βούλομαι, μᾶλλον δὲ ὅτι πολλοῖς δόξεις καταγέλαστος εἶναι. Τὸ γὰρ ὅμοιον πρὸς τὸ ὅμοιον παραλαμβάνεται, ἀνόμοιος δὲ ἀνομοίῳ οὐδέποτε φίλος. Οὗτοι δὲ οἱ λόγοι ὀλίγους παντελῶς τοὺς ἀκροατὰς ἔχουσιν ἢ τάχα οὐδὲ τοὺς ὀλίγους ἕξουσιν.

5. Ἔχουσι δέ τι καὶ ἴδιον ἐν ἑαυτοῖς· τοὺς κακοὺς μᾶλλον παροξύνουσι πρὸς τὴν κακίαν· διὸ χρὴ τοὺς πολλοὺς φυλάττεσθαι μὴ νοοῦντας τῶν λεγομένων τὴν ἀρετήν.

Πῶς εἶπας, ὦ πάτερ;

Οὕτως, ὦ τέκνον. Πᾶν τὸ ζῷον τὸ ἀνθρώπινον ἐπιρρεπέστερόν ἐστιν εἰς τὴν κακίαν καὶ ταύτῃ σύντροφον γίγνεται, διὸ καὶ ἥδεται αὐτῇ. Τοῦτο δὲ τὸ ζῷον ἐὰν μάθῃ ὅτι γενητὸς ὁ κόσμος καὶ πάντα κατὰ πρόνοιαν καὶ ἀνάγκην γίνεται, εἱμαρμένης πάντων ἀρχούσης, οὕτω πολλῷ ἑαυτοῦ χεῖρον ἔσται, καταφρονῆσαν μὲν τοῦ παντὸς ὡς γενητοῦ, τὰς δὲ αἰτίας τοῦ κακοῦ τῇ εἱμαρμένῃ ἀναφέρον, οὐδ’ ἀφέξεταί ποτε παντὸς ἔργου κακοῦ. Διὸ φυλακτέον αὐτούς, ὅπως ἐν ἀγνοίᾳ ὄντες ἔλαττον ὦσι κακοὶ φόβῳ τοῦ ἀδήλου.

(1.41.2) From (Pseudo-)Archytas’ On First Principles.

There must necessarily be two first principles of (all) beings, one possessing the column¹ (systoikhía) of ordered and definite things, the other possessing the column of disordered and indefinite things; and the former can be spoken of and possesses reason and it both contains the things that are and defines and orders even the things that are not – because it always approaches things that are originated to conduct them with good order and good proportion, and to communicate substances and forms universally –; the other is irrational and cannot be spoken of, and it ruins the things that have been ordered, and dissolves things that have come into origination and being – because it always approaches things to assimilate them to itself.



Ἐκ τοῦ Ἀρχύτου Περὶ ἀρχᾶν.

Ἀνάγκα [καὶ] δύο ἀρχὰς εἶμεν τῶν ὄντων, μίαν μὲν τὰν συστοιχίαν ἔχοισαν τῶν τεταγμένων καὶ ὁριστῶν, ἑτέραν δὲ τὰν συστοιχίαν ἔχοισαν τῶν ἀτάκτων καὶ ἀορίστων. Καὶ τὰν μὲν ῥητὰν καὶ λόγον ἔχοισαν καὶ τὰ ἐόντα ὁμοίως συνέχεν καὶ τὰ μὴ ἐόντα ὁρίζεν καὶ συντάσσεν – πλατιάζοισαν γὰρ ἀεὶ τοῖς γινομένοις εὐλόγως καὶ εὐρύθμως ἀνάγεν ταῦτα καὶ τὸ καθόλω οὐσίας τε καὶ ἰδέας μεταδιδόμεν –· τὰν δ’ ἄλογον καὶ ἄρρητον καὶ τὰ συντεταγμένα λυμαίνεσθαι καὶ τὰ ἐς γένεσίν τε καὶ ὠσίαν παραγενόμενα διαλύεν – πλατιάζοισαν γὰρ ἀεὶ τοῖς πράγμασιν ἐξομοιοῦν αὑτᾷ ταῦτα.

Ἀλλ’ ἐπείπερ ἀρχαὶ δύο κατὰ γένος ἀντιδιαιρεόμεναι τὰ πράγματα τυγχάνοντι τῷ τὰν μὲν εἶμεν ἀγαθοποιόν, τὰν δ’ εἶμεν κακοποιόν, ἀνάγκα καὶ δύο λόγως εἶμεν, τὸν μὲν ἕνα τᾶς ἀγαθοποιῶ φύσιος, τὸν δ’ ἕνα τᾶς κακοποιῶ. Διὰ τοῦτο καὶ τὰ τέχνᾳ καὶ τὰ φύσι γινόμενα δύο τούτων πράτων μετείληφε, τᾶς τε μορφῶς καὶ τᾶς ὠσίας. Καὶ ἁ μὲν μορφώ ἐντι ἁ αἰτία τῶ τόδε τι εἶμεν· ἁ δὲ ὠσία τὸ ὑποκείμενον, παραδεχόμενον τὰν μορφώ. Οὔτε δὲ τᾷ ὠσίᾳ οἷόν τέ ἐντι μορφῶς μετεῖμεν αὐτᾷ ἐξ αὑτᾶς, οὔτε μὰν τὰν μορφὼ γενέσθαι περὶ τὰν ὠσίαν, ἀλλ’ ἀνάγκα ἁτέραν τινὰ εἶμεν αἰτίαν, τὰν κινάσοισαν τὰν ἐστὼ τῶν πραγμάτων ἐπὶ τὰν μορφώ· ταύταν δὲ τὰν πράταν τᾷ δυνάμι καὶ καθυπερτάταν εἶμεν τᾶν ἀλλᾶν· ὀνομάζεσθαι δ’ αὐτὰν ποθάκει θεόν· ὥστε τρεῖς ἀρχὰς εἶμεν ἤδη, τόν τε θεὸν καὶ τὰν ἐστὼ τῶν πραγμάτων καὶ τὰν μορφώ. Καὶ τὸν μὲν θεὸν ‹τὸν› τεχνίταν καὶ τὸν κινέοντα, τὰν δ’ ἐστὼ τὰν ὕλαν καὶ τὸ κινεόμενον, τὰν δὲ μορφὼ τὰν τέχναν καὶ ποθ’ ἃν κινέεται ὑπὸ τῶ κινέοντος ἁ ἐστώ. Ἀλλ’ ἐπεὶ τὸ κινεόμενον ἐναντίας ἑαυτῷ δυνάμιας ἴσχει τὰς τῶν ἁπλόων σωμάτων, τὰ δ’ ἐναντία συναρμογᾶς τινος δεῖται καὶ ἑνώσιος, ἀνάγκα ἀριθμῶν δυνάμιας καὶ ἀναλογίας καὶ τὰ ἐν ἀριθμοῖς καὶ γαμετρικοῖς δεικνύμενα παραλαμβάνεν, ἃ καὶ συναρμόξαι καὶ ἑνῶσαι τὰν ἐναντιότατα δυνασεῖται ἐν τᾷ ἐστοῖ τῶν πραγμάτων ποττὰν μορφώ. Καθ’ αὑτὰν μὲν γὰρ ἔσσα ἁ ἐστὼ ἄμορφός ἐντι, κιναθεῖσα δὲ ποττὰν μορφὰ ἔμμορφος γίνεται καὶ λόγον ἔχοισα τὸν τᾶς συντάξιος. Ὁμοίως δὲ καὶ τὸ δι’ ὃ κινέεται τὸ κινεόμενόν ἐντι τὸ πράτως κινέον· ὥστ’ ἀνάγκα τρεῖς εἶμεν τὰς ἀρχάς, τάν τε ἐστὼ τῶν πραγμάτων καὶ τὰν μορφὼ καὶ τὸ ἐξ αὑτῶ κινατικὸν καὶ πρᾶτον τᾷ δυνάμι. Τὸ δὲ τοιοῦτον οὐ νόον μόνον εἶμεν δεῖ, ἀλλὰ καὶ νόω τι κρέσσον· νόω δὲ κρέσσον ἐντί, ὅπερ ὀνομάζομεν θεόν, φανερόν. – Ὁ μὲν τῶ ἴσω λόγος περὶ τὰν ῥητὰν καὶ λόγον ἔχοισαν φύσιν ἐντί· ὁ δὲ τῶ ἀνίσω περὶ τὰν ἄλογον καὶ ἄρρητον· αὕτα δ’ ἐντὶ ἁ ἐστώ· καὶ διὰ τοῦτο γένεσις καὶ φθορὰ γίνεται περὶ ταύταν καὶ οὐκ ἄνευ ταύτας.

(1.41.3) From Porphyry’s Starting-Points towards the Intelligibles (33).


Ἐκ τῶν Πορφυρίου πρὸς τὰ νοητὰ ἀφορμῶν.

Τὰ κατηγορούμενα τοῦ αἰσθητοῦ καὶ ἐνύλου ἀληθῶς ἐστὶ ταῦτα, τὸ πάντῃ εἶναι διαπεφορημένον, τὸ μεταβλητὸν εἶναι, τὸ ὑφεστάναι ἐν ἑτερότητι, τὸ σύνθετον εἶναι, τὸ ‹μὴ› καθ’ ἑαυτὸ αὐτὸ ὑπάρχειν, τὸ ἐν τόπῳ, τὸ ἐν ὄγκῳ θεωρεῖσθαι καὶ ὅσα τούτοις παραπλήσια· τοῦ δὲ ὄντως ὄντος καὶ καθ’ αὑτὸ ὑφεστηκότος αὐτοῦ τὸ εἶναι ἀεὶ ἐν ἑαυτῷ ἱδρυμένον, τὸ ὡσαύτως ‹καὶ› κατὰ ταὐτὰ ἔχειν, τὸ ἐν ταὐτότητι οὐσιῶσθαι, τὸ ἀμετάβλητον εἶναι κατ’ οὐσίαν, τὸ ἀσύνθετον, τὸ μήτε λυτὸν μήτε ἐν τόπῳ εἶναι μήτε εἰς ὄγκον διαπεφορῆσθαι, τὸ μήτε γιγνόμενον μήτε ἀπολλύμενον εἶναι καὶ ὅσα τοιαῦτα, ὧν ἐχομένους δεῖ μηδὲν ἐπαλλάττοντας περὶ τῆς διαφόρου αὐτῶν φύσεως καὶ αὐτοὺς λέγειν καὶ ἄλλων λεγόντων ὑπακούειν.

(1.41.4 = SH 16) From the works To Ammon of Hermes.


Ἑρμοῦ ἐκ τῶν πρὸς Ἄμμωνα.

1. Ἡ ψυχὴ τοίνυν οὐσία ἐστὶν ἀσώματος, καὶ ἐν σώματι δὲ οὖσα οὐκ ἐκβαίνει τῆς ἰδίας οὐσιότητος. Τυγχάνει γὰρ οὖσα ἀεικίνητος κατ’ οὐσίαν, κατὰ νόησιν αὐτοκίνητος, οὐκ ἔν τινι κινουμένη, οὐ πρός τι, οὐχ ἕνεκέν τινος· προτερεῖ γὰρ τῇ δυνάμει, τὸ δὲ πρότερον οὐ δεῖται τῶν ὑστέρων.

2. Τὸ ἔν τινι τοίνυν ἐστὶν ὁ τόπος καὶ χρόνος καὶ φύσις, τὸ δὲ πρός τι ἐστὶν ἁρμονία καὶ εἶδος καὶ σχῆμα, τὸ δὲ οὗ ἕνεκα τὸ σῶμα· 3. ἕνεκα γὰρ σώματος καὶ χρόνος καὶ τόπος καὶ φύσις. Ταῦτα δὲ κατὰ συγγενικὴν οἰκειότητα κοινωνεῖ ἀλλήλοις, ἐπεί τοι γε τὸ σῶμα ἐδεῖτο τόπου (ἀμήχανον γὰρ ἦν συστῆναι σῶμα ἄνευ τόπου) καὶ μεταβάλλεται φυσικῶς, ἀδύνατον δὲ μεταβολὴν εἶναι ἄνευ χρόνου καὶ τῆς κατὰ φύσιν κινήσεως, οὐδὲ σώματος οἷόν τε σύστασιν εἶναι ἄνευ ἁρμονίας.

4. Ἕνεκα τοίνυν τοῦ σώματός ἐστιν ὁ τόπος· παραδεχόμενος γὰρ τὰς τοῦ σώματος μεταβολὰς οὐκ ἐᾷ ἀπόλλυσθαι τὸ μεταβαλλόμενον· μεταβαλλόμενον δὲ ἀφ’ ἑτέρου εἰς ἕτερον μεταπίπτει καὶ τῆς μὲν ἕξεως στερίσκεται, τοῦ δὲ εἶναι σῶμα συστατὸν οὐχί· μεταβληθὲν δὲ εἰς ἕτερον τὴν τοῦ ἑτέρου ἕξιν ἔχει. Τὸ γὰρ σῶμα, ᾗ σῶμα, μένει σῶμα· ἡ δὲ ποιὰ διάθεσις οὐ μένει· τὸ σῶμα τοίνυν κατὰ διάθεσιν μεταβάλλεται.

5. Ἀσώματος τοίνυν ὁ τόπος καὶ ὁ χρόνος καὶ ἡ φυσικὴ κίνησις.

6. Τυγχάνει δὲ ἕκαστον τούτων τῆς ἰδίας ἰδιότητος. Ἰδιότης δὲ τοῦ τόπου περιοχή, χρόνου δὲ διάστημα καὶ ἀριθμός, φύσεως δὲ κίνησις, ἁρμονίας δὲ φιλία, σώματος δὲ μεταβολή· ἰδιότης δὲ ψυχῆς ἡ κατ’ οὐσίαν νόησις.

(1.41.5) From (Pseudo-)Archytas’ On First Principles.


Ἀρχύτου ἐκ τοῦ Περὶ ἀρχᾶν.

Ἀρχὰ τᾶς τῶν ἐόντων γνώσιος τὰ αὐτόθεν φαινόμενα. Τῶν δ’ αὐτόθεν φαινομένων τὰ μέν ἐντι νοατά, τὰ δ’ αἰσθατά· νοατὰ μὲν τὰ ἀκίνητα, αἰσθατὰ δὲ τὰ κινεόμενα. Κριτήριον δὲ τῶν μὲν νοατῶν ὁ νόος, τῶν δ’ αἰσθατῶν ἁ αἴσθασις. Τῶν δὲ μὴ αὐτόθεν φαινομένων τὰ μέν ἐντι ἐπιστατά, τὰ δὲ δοξαστά· ἐπιστατὰ μὲν τὰ ἀκίνητα, δοξαστὰ δὲ τὰ κινεόμενα. Δεῖ δὲ ταῦτα τρία νοᾶσαι, τό τε κρῖνον καὶ τὸ κρινόμενον καὶ ποθ’ ὅπερ κρίνεται. Καὶ τὸ μὲν κρῖνον εἶμεν τὸν νόον καὶ τὰν αἴσθασιν, τὸ δὲ κρινόμενον τὸν λόγον· ποθ’ ὅπερ δὲ κρίνεται τὸ αὐτόθεν φαινόμενον· τούτω δὲ τὸ μὲν νοατόν, τὸ δ’ αἰσθατόν. Ἐπικρίνει δὲ ὁ νόος τὸν λόγον, ὅκα μὲν ποτὶ τὸ νοατὸν ποτιβάλλων, ὅκα δὲ ποτὶ τὸ αἰσθατόν. Ὅκκα μὲν γὰρ περὶ νοατῶν μαστεύηται ὁ λόγος, ποτὶ τὸ νοατὸν ποτιβάλλει, ὅκκα δὲ περὶ αἰσθατῶν, ποτὶ τὸ αἰσθατόν. Καὶ δι’ αὐτὸ ψευδογραφίαι ἐν γαμετρίᾳ κατὰ σχήματα καὶ ἀριθμὼς ἐμφαίνονται, αἰτιολογίαι δὲ καὶ εἰκοτολογίαι ἐν φυσιολογίᾳ καὶ πολιτικᾷ κατὰ γένεσιν καὶ πράξιας. Τὸ μὲν γὰρ ὅτι ἐν διπλόῳ λόγῳ ἁρμονία τυγχάνει, ποτὶ τὸ νοατὸν [λόγον] ποτιβάλλων ὁ λόγος γινώσκει· τὸ δ’ ὅτι συμφωνεῖ ὁ διπλόος λόγος, διὰ τᾶς αἰσθάσιος ἐπιμαρτυρεῖται. Καὶ τῶν μαχανικῶν δὲ τοὶ λόγοι ποττὰ νοατὰ ποτιβάλλοντι σχήματα καὶ ἀριθμὼς καὶ ἀναλογίας, τὰ δὲ ἀποτελέσματα ποτὶ τὰ αἰσθητά· μεθ’ ὕλας γὰρ ταῦτα θεωρεῖται καὶ κινάσιος. Καθόλω δὲ ἀμάχανον γνῶμεν τὸ διὰ τί ἐν ἑκάστῳ μὴ προειδότας τὸ τί ἐντι ἕκαστον. Κρίνεται δὲ τὸ μὲν τί ἐντι ἕκαστον ‹τῶν› ἐόντων τῷ νόῳ· τὸ δ’ ὅτι ἐντὶ ἢ ὅτι οὕτως ἔχει, λόγῳ καὶ αἰσθάσι· λόγῳ μέν, ὅκκα δεῖξίν τινος σαμάνωμεν διὰ συλλογισμῶ, ὑπάρχοντος ἐξ ἀνάγκας· αἰσθάσι δ’, ὅκκα ἐπιμαρτυρώμεθα τὸν λόγον διὰ τᾶς αἰσθάσιος.

(1.41.6 = SH 4) From the work To Tat of Hermes.


Ἑρμοῦ ἐκ τῶν πρὸς Τάτ.

1. Ὀρθῶς ταῦτα ἀπέδειξας, ὦ πάτερ· ἐκεῖνα δὲ ἔτι με δίδαξον. Ἔφης γάρ που τὴν ἐπιστήμην καὶ τὴν τέχνην ἐνέργειαν εἶναι τοῦ λογικοῦ· νῦν δὲ φὴς τὰ ἄλογα ζῷα στερήσει τοῦ λογικοῦ ἄλογα εἶναι καὶ κεκλῆσθαι· δῆλον ‹δ’› ὅτι ἀνάγκη κατὰ τοῦτον τὸν λόγον τὰ ἄλογα ζῷα μὴ μετέχειν ἐπιστήμης μηδὲ τέχνης διὰ τὸ ἐστερῆσθαι τοῦ λογικοῦ.

2. Ἀνάγκη γάρ, ὦ τέκνον.

Πῶς οὖν ὁρῶμεν, ὦ πάτερ, τινὰ τῶν ἀλόγων ἐπιστήμῃ καὶ τέχνῃ χρώμενα, οἷον τοὺς μύρμηκας τὰς τροφὰς ἀποθῃσαυριζομένους τοῦ χειμῶνος καὶ τὰ ἀέρια ζῷα ὁμοίως καλιὰς ἑαυτοῖς συντιθέντα, τὰ δὲ τετράποδα γνωρίζοντα τοὺς φωλεοὺς τοὺς ἰδίους;

3. Ταῦτα, ὦ τέκνον, οὐκ ἐπιστήμῃ οὐδὲ τέχνῃ ποιεῖ, ἀλλὰ φύσει. Ἡ γὰρ ἐπιστήμη καὶ ἡ τέχνη διδακτά εἰσι· τούτων δὲ τῶν ἀλόγων οὐδεὶς οὐδὲν διδάσκεται. Τὰ δὲ φύσει γιγνόμενα ἐνεργείᾳ μὲν γίγνεται καθολικῇ· τὰ δὲ ἐπιστήμῃ καὶ τέχνῃ εἰδικῶς παραγίγνεται, οὐ πᾶσι· ‹τὰ δὲ πᾶσι› γιγνόμενα ὑπὸ φύσεως ἐνεργεῖται. 4. Οἷον οἱ ἄνθρωποι ἄνω βλέπουσιν, οὐ πάντες δὲ ἄνθρωποι μουσικοὶ οὐδὲ πάντες τοξόται ἢ κυνηγοὶ οὐδὲ τὰ ἄλλα πάντα· ἀλλὰ τινὲς αὐτῶν τι ἔμαθον ἐπιστήμης καὶ τέχνης ἐνεργούσης. 5. Τὸν αὐτὸν τρόπον εἰ μέν τινες τῶν μυρμήκων τοῦτο ἔπραττον, οἳ δ’ οὔ, καλῶς ἂν ἔλεγες ἐπιστήμῃ αὐτὸ τοῦτο πράττειν καὶ τέχνῃ συνάγειν τὰς τροφάς· εἰ δὲ πάντες ὁμοίως ἄγονται ὑπὸ τῆς φύσεως ἐπὶ τοῦτο καὶ ἄκοντες, δῆλον ὅτι οὐκ ἐπιστήμῃ οὐδὲ τέχνῃ τοῦτο πράττουσιν. 6. Ἐνέργειαι γάρ, ὦ Τάτ, ἀσώματοι αὐταὶ οὖσαι, ἐν σώμασίν εἰσιν καὶ διὰ τῶν σωμάτων ἐνεργοῦσι. Διόπερ, ὦ Τάτ, καθότι ἀσώματοί εἰσι, καὶ ἀθανάτους αὐτάς φημι εἶναι· καθότι δὲ χωρὶς σωμάτων ἐνεργεῖν οὐ δύνανται, φημὶ αὐτὰς εἶναι ἀεὶ ἐν σώματι. 7. Τὰ γὰρ πρός τι ἢ ἕνεκά τινος γενόμενα προνοίᾳ καὶ ἀνάγκῃ ὑποπεπτωκότα ἀδύνατον ἀργά ποτε μεῖναι τῆς ἰδίας ἐνεργείας. Τὸ γὰρ ὂν ἀεὶ ἔσται, ταὐτὸ γὰρ αὐτοῦ καὶ σῶμα καὶ ζωή ἐστι. Τούτῳ τῷ λόγῳ ἕπεται τὸ καὶ ἀεὶ τὰ σώματα εἶναι. Διὸ καὶ αὐτὴν τὴν σωμάτωσίν φημι ἀιδίαν ἐνέργειαν εἶναι. Εἰ γὰρ σώματα ἐπίγεια διαλυτά, σώματα δὲ δεῖ εἶναι, τόπους καὶ ὄργανα τῶν ἐνεργειῶν ταῦτα, αἱ δὲ ἐνέργειαι ἀθάνατοι, τὸ δὲ ἀθάνατον ἀεὶ ἔστιν, ἐνέργεια καὶ ἡ σωματοποίησις, εἴγε ἀεὶ ἔστι. 8. Παρέπονται δὲ τῇ ψυχῇ οὐκ ἀθρόως παραγιγνόμεναι, ἀλλὰ τινὲς μὲν αὐτῶν ἅμα τῷ γίνεσθαι τὸν ἄνθρωπον ἐνεργοῦσιν, ὁμοῦ τῇ ψυχῇ περὶ τὸ ἄλογον οὖσαι, αἱ δὲ καθαρώτεραι ἐνέργειαι κατὰ μεταβολὴν τῆς ἡλικίας τῷ λογικῷ μέρει τῆς ψυχῆς συνεργοῦσαι. 9. Αὗται δὲ αἱ ἐνέργειαι τῶν σωμάτων εἰσὶν ἠρτημέναι. Καὶ ἀπὸ μὲν τῶν θείων σωμάτων ἔρχονται εἰς τὰ θνητὰ αὗται [αἱ] σωματοποιοῦσαι, ἑκάστη δὲ αὐτῶν ἐνεργεῖ ἢ περὶ τὸ σῶμα ἢ τὴν ψυχήν. Καὶ αὐτῇ μέντοι τῇ ψυχῇ συγγίγνονται χωρὶς σώματος· ἀεὶ δὲ ἐνέργειαί εἰσιν, οὐκ ἀεὶ δὲ ἡ ψυχὴ ἐν σώματι θνητῷ ἐστι· δύναται γὰρ χωρὶς τοῦ σώματος εἶναι, αἱ δὲ ἐνέργειαι χωρὶς τῶν σωμάτων οὐ δύνανται εἶναι. 10. Ἱερὸς λόγος ἐστίν, ὦ τέκνον, οὗτος. Συνεστάναι μὲν σῶμα χωρὶς ψυχῆς οὐ δύναται, τὸ δὲ εἶναι δύναται.

Πῶς τοῦτο λέγεις, ὦ πάτερ;

Οὕτω νόησον, ὦ Τάτ· τῆς ψυχῆς χωρισθείσης τοῦ σώματος ἐπιμένει αὐτὸ τὸ σῶμα· τοῦτο δὲ τὸ σῶμα παρὰ τὸν τῆς ἐπιμονῆς χρόνον ἐνεργεῖται διαλυόμενον καὶ ἀειδὲς γιγνόμενον· ταῦτα δὲ οὐ δύναται πάσχειν τὸ σῶμα χωρὶς ἐνεργείας. Ἐπιμένει οὖν τῷ σώματι ἡ ἐνέργεια αὕτη ψυχῆς χωρισθείσης. 11. Αὕτη οὖν ἡ διαφορὰ ἀθανάτου σώματος καὶ θνητοῦ, ὅτι τὸ μὲν ἀθάνατον ἐκ μιᾶς ὕλης συνέστηκε, τὸ δὲ οὔ· καὶ τὸ μὲν ποιεῖ, τὸ δὲ πάσχει—πᾶν γὰρ τὸ ἐνεργοῦν κρατεῖ, τὸ δὲ ἐνεργούμενον κρατεῖται—καὶ τὸ μὲν κρατοῦν ἐπιτακτικὸν καὶ ἐλεύθερον ‹ὂν› ἄγει, τὸ δὲ δοῦλον φέρεται. 12. Αἱ μὲν ‹οὖν› ἐνέργειαι οὐ μόνον τὰ ἔμψυχα ἐνεργοῦσι σώματα, ‹ἀλλὰ› καὶ τὰ ἄψυχα, ξύλα καὶ [τοὺς] λίθους καὶ τὰ ἄλλ’ ὁμοίως, αὔξουσαί τε καὶ καρποφυοῦσαι καὶ πεπαίνουσαι καὶ φθείρουσαι καὶ τήκουσαι καὶ σήπουσαι καὶ θρύπτουσαι καὶ τὰ ὅμοια ἐνεργοῦσαι, ὅσα δύναται σώματα ἄψυχα πάσχειν. Ἐνέργεια γὰρ κέκληται, ὦ τέκνον, αὐτὸ τοῦτο, ὅ τί ποτέ ἐστι τὸ γιγνόμενον· 13. ἀεὶ δὲ γίγνεσθαι δεῖ καὶ πολλά, μᾶλλον δὲ πάντα· οὐδέποτε γὰρ χηρεύει τῶν ὄντων τινὸς ὁ κόσμος, ἀεὶ δὲ φερόμενος ἐν ἑαυτῷ κυίσκει τὰ ὄντα, οὐδέποτε ἀπολειφθησόμενα αὐτὰ τῆς φθορᾶς. 14. Πᾶσα οὖν ἐνέργεια νοείσθω, ὡς ἀεὶ ἀθάνατος οὖσα, ἥτις ἂν ᾖ ἐν οἱῳδήποτε σώματι. 15. Τῶν δὲ ἐνεργειῶν αἳ μέν εἰσι τῶν θείων σωμάτων, αἳ δὲ τῶν φθαρτῶν, καὶ αἳ μὲν καθολικαί, αἳ δὲ εἰδικαί, καὶ αἳ μὲν τῶν γενῶν, αἳ δὲ τῶν μερῶν ἑνὸς ἑκάστου. Θεῖαι μὲν οὖν εἰσιν αἱ εἰς τὰ ἀίδια σώματα ἐνεργοῦσαι· αὗται δὲ καὶ τέλειαί εἰσιν, ὡς εἰς τέλεια σώματα· μερικαὶ δὲ αἱ δι’ ἑνὸς ἑκάστου γένους τῶν ζῴων· εἰδικαὶ δὲ αἱ εἰς ἕκαστον τῶν ὄντων τί. 16. Οὗτος οὖν ὁ λόγος, ὦ τέκνον, συνάγει πάντα μεστὰ εἶναι ἐνεργειῶν. Εἰ γὰρ ἀνάγκη τὰς ἐνεργείας ἐν σώμασιν εἶναι, πολλὰ δὲ σώματα ἐν κόσμῳ, πλείους φημὶ εἶναι τὰς ἐνεργείας τῶν σωμάτων. Ἐν ἑνὶ γὰρ πολλάκις σώματί ἐστι μία καὶ δευτέρα καὶ τρίτη χωρὶς τῶν παρεπομένων καθολικῶν· ‹καθολικὰς› γὰρ ἐνεργείας φημὶ τὰς ὄντως σωματικάς, διὰ δὲ τῶν αἰσθήσεων καὶ τῶν κινήσεων γινομένας· χωρὶς γὰρ τούτων τῶν ἐνεργειῶν τὸ σῶμα συστῆναι οὐ δυνατόν. Ἕτεραι δέ εἰσιν εἰδικαὶ ἐνέργειαι ταῖς ψυχαῖς τῶν ἀνθρώπων διὰ τεχνῶν καὶ ἐπιστημῶν καὶ ἐπιτηδευμάτων καὶ ἐνεργημάτων. 17. Παρέπονται γὰρ ταῖς ἐνεργείαις αἱ αἰσθήσεις, μᾶλλον δὲ ἀποτελέσματα τῶν ἐνεργειῶν ‹αἱ› αἰσθήσεις εἰσί. 18. Νόησον οὖν, ὦ τέκνον, διαφορὰν ἐνεργείας ‹καὶ αἰσθήσεως· ἡ μὲν ἐνέργεια› ἄνωθεν πέμπεται· ἡ δὲ αἴσθησις ἐν τῷ σώματι οὖσα καὶ ἀπὸ τούτου τὴν οὐσίαν ἔχουσα, δεξαμένη τὴν ἐνέργειαν φανερὰν ποιεῖ, καθάπερ αὐτὴν σωματοποιήσασα. Διόπερ τὰς αἰσθήσεις καὶ σωματικὰς καὶ θνητάς φημι εἶναι, τοσοῦτον συνεστώσας, ὅσον καὶ τὸ σῶμα. Καὶ γὰρ συγγεννῶνται τῷ σώματι αἱ αἰσθήσεις καὶ συναποθνήσκουσι· 19. τὰ δὲ ἀθάνατα σώματα αὐτὰ μὲν [ἀθάνατον] αἴσθησιν οὐκ ἔχει, ὡς ἐξ οὐσίας τοιαύτης συνεστῶτα· ἡ γὰρ αἴσθησις οὐδ’ ὅλως ἄλλου ἐστὶ [σωματικὴ] ἢ τοῦ προσγενομένου τῷ σώματι κακοῦ ἢ τοῦ ἀγαθοῦ ἢ τοῦ πάλιν αὖ ἀπογενομένου. Τοῖς δὲ ἀιδίοις σώμασιν οὔτε προσγίνεταί ‹τι› οὔτε ἀπογίνεται· διὸ αἴσθησις ἐν ἐκείνοις οὐ γίνεται.

20. Ἐν παντὶ οὖν σώματι αἴσθησις αἰσθάνεται;

Ἐν παντί, ὦ τέκνον, καὶ ἐνέργειαι ‹ἐν› πᾶσιν ἐνεργοῦσι.

Καὶ τοῖς ἀψύχοις, ὦ πάτερ;

Καὶ ‹τοῖς› ἀψύχοις, ὦ τέκνον. Διαφοραὶ δέ εἰσι τῶν αἰσθήσεων· αἱ μὲν τῶν λογικῶν μετὰ λόγου γίγνονται, αἱ δὲ τῶν ἀλόγων σωματικαί εἰσι μόνον, αἱ δὲ τῶν ἀψύχων αἰσθήσεις μέν εἰσι, παθητικαὶ δὲ κατὰ αὔξησιν μόνον καὶ κατὰ μείωσιν γιγνόμεναι. Τὸ δὲ πάθος καὶ ‹ἡ› αἴσθησις ἀπὸ μιᾶς κορυφῆς ἤρτηνται, εἰς δὲ τὸ αὐτὸ συνάγονται, ὑπὸ δὴ τῶν ἐνεργειῶν. 21. Τῶν δὲ ἐμψύχων ζῴων εἰσὶ δύο ἄλλαι ἐνέργειαι, αἳ παρέπονται ταῖς αἰσθήσεσι καὶ τοῖς πάθεσι, λύπη καὶ χαρά· χωρὶς τούτων ζῷον ἔμψυχον καὶ μάλιστα λογικὸν αἴσθεσθαι ἀδύνατον· διὸ καὶ ἰδέας ταύτας εἶναί φημι [τῶν παθῶν ἰδέας] τῶν λογικῶν μᾶλλον ζῴων ἐπικράτουσας. [Αἱ μὲν ἐνέργειαι ἐνεργοῦσιν, αἱ δὲ αἰσθήσεις τὰς ἐνεργείας ἀναφαίνουσιν.] 22. Αὗται δὲ οὖσαι σωματικαὶ ἀνακινοῦνται ὑπὸ τῶν τῆς ψυχῆς ἀλόγων μερῶν, διὸ καὶ ἀμφοτέρας φημὶ κακωτικὰς εἶναι. Τό τε γὰρ χαίρειν μεθ’ ἡδονῆς τὴν αἴσθησιν παρέχον πολλῶν κακῶν εὐθέως αἴτιον συμβαίνει τῷ παθόντι, ἥ τε λύπη ἀλγηδόνας καὶ ὀδύνας ἰσχυροτέρας παρέχεται· διόπερ εἰκότως ἀμφότεραι κακωτικαὶ ἂν εἴησαν.

23. Ἡ αὐτὴ ‹δ’› ἂν εἴη αἴσθησις ψυχῆς καὶ σώματος, ὦ πάτερ;

Πῶς νοεῖς, ὦ παῖ, ψυχῆς αἴσθησιν;

Οὐχ ἡ μὲν ψυχὴ ἀσώματος, ἡ δὲ αἴσθησις σῶμα ἂν εἴη, ὦ πάτερ, ‹εἰ› ἡ αἴσθησις [ἡ] ἐν σώματι οὖσα τυγχάνει;

Ἐὰν ἐν σώματι αὐτὴν θῶμεν, ὦ τέκνον, ὁμοίαν τῇ ψυχῇ αὐτὴν ἀποφανοῦμεν ἢ ταῖς ἐνεργείαις· ταῦτα γὰρ ἀσώματα ὄντα φαμὲν ἐν σώμασιν. Ἡ δὲ αἴσθησις οὔτε ἐνέργειά ἐστιν οὔτε ψυχὴ οὔτε ἀσώματόν τι ἄλλο παρὰ τὰ προειρημένα, οὐκ ἂν οὖν εἴη ἀσώματον· εἰ δ’ οὐκ ἔστιν ἀσώματον, σῶμα ἂν εἴη· τῶν γὰρ ὄντων δεῖ τὰ μὲν σώματα εἶναι, τὰ δὲ ἀσώματα.

(1.41.7 = SH 15) From the works To Ammon of Hermes.

1. What is in motion is moved in accord with the actuality of the movement that moves the universe. For the nature of the universe affords the universe with its movements, one movement in accord with its potential, the other in accord with its actuality. And the former extends through the entire cosmos and holds it together from inside; but the latter stretches along it and contains it from outside; but they pass through all things together.

2. Further, the nature (phýsis) of all things, which makes all things that are originated grow (phý-), provides growth to growing things, for it sows the seeds of its origination, and possesses movable matter. When matter is put in motion, it is heated, and becomes fire and water; the former is powerful and strong, the latter passive. And since fire is opposed to water, it died some of the water, and ‹earth› was originated, carried aloft on the water. And when it was dried all around, a vapor arose from the three – from water, earth and fire – and air was originated.

3. These came together in a harmonious proportion, the hot with the cold, the dry with the moist, and from their ‘breathing together’ (sýmpnoia), there arose a spirit (or ‘breath’, pnêuma) and seed, analogous to the encompassing spirit.¹

1: A spirit encompassing the universe (and apparently pre-existing the differentiation of the elements), to which this seminal spirit is analogous.

Ἑρμοῦ ἐκ τῶν πρὸς Ἄμμωνα.

1. Κινεῖται δὲ τὸ κινούμενον κατ’ ἐνέργειαν τῆς κινήσεως τῆς κινούσης τὸ πᾶν. Ἡ γὰρ φύσις τοῦ παντὸς τῷ παντὶ παρέχει κινήσεις, μίαν μὲν τὴν κατὰ δύναμιν αὐτῆς, ἑτέραν δὲ τὴν κατ’ ἐνέργειαν· καὶ ἣ μὲν διήκει διὰ τοῦ σύμπαντος κόσμου καὶ ἐντὸς συνέχει· ἣ δὲ παρήκει καὶ ἐκτὸς περιέχει· καὶ διὰ πάντων πεφοιτήκασι κοινῇ.

2. Καὶ ἡ φύσις πάντων, φύουσα τὰ γιγνόμενα, φυὴν παρέχει τοῖς φυομένοις, σπείρουσα μὲν τὰ ἑαυτῆς σπέρματα γενέσεως(?), ἔχουσα δὲ ὕλην κινητήν. Κινουμένη δὲ θερμαίνεται καὶ γίγνεται ‹ἡ› ὕλη πῦρ καὶ ὕδωρ, τὸ μὲν σθεναρὸν καὶ ἰσχυρόν, τὸ δὲ πάσχον. Τὸ δὲ πῦρ ἐναντιούμενον τῷ ὕδατι ἐξήρανε τοῦ ὕδατος, καὶ ἐγένετο ‹ἡ γῆ› ὀχουμένη ἐπὶ τοῦ ὕδατος. Περιξηραινομένου δὲ ἀτμὸς ἐγένετο ἐκ τῶν τριῶν, τοῦ τε ὕδατος, τῆς γῆς καὶ τοῦ πυρός, καὶ ἐγένετο ἀήρ.

3. Ταῦτα συνῆλθε κατὰ τὸν τῆς ἁρμονίας λόγον, θερμὸν ψυχρῷ, ξηρὸν ὑγρῷ, καὶ ἐκ τῆς συμπνοίας τούτων ἐγένετο πνεῦμα καὶ σπέρμα ἀνάλογον τῷ περιέχοντι πνεύματι. 4. Τοῦτο δὲ ἐς τὴν μήτραν ἐμπεσὸν οὐκ ἠρεμεῖ ἐν τῷ σπέρματι, οὐκ ἠρεμοῦν δὲ μεταβάλλει τὸ σπέρμα, μεταβαλλόμενον δὲ αὔξην ἴσχει καὶ μέγεθος. Ἐπὶ τῷ μεγέθει δὲ εἴδωλον ἐπισπᾶται σχήματος καὶ σχηματίζεται· ὀχεῖται δὲ ἐπὶ τῷ σχήματι τὸ εἶδος, δι’ οὗ καὶ εἰδωλοποιεῖται τὸ εἰδωλοποιούμενον. 5. Ἐπεὶ τοίνυν τὸ πνεῦμα οὐκ εἶχεν ἐν τῇ νηδύι τὴν ζωτικὴν κίνησιν, τὴν δὲ βλαστικήν, καὶ ταύτην ἥρμοσεν ἁρμονία, ὑποδοχὴν οὖσαν τῆς διανοητικῆς ζωῆς. Ἔστι δὲ αὕτη ἀμερὴς καὶ ἀμετάβλητος, οὐδέποτε ἐξισταμένη τῆς ἀμεταβλησίας. Τὸ δ’ ἐν τῇ νηδύι ἀριθμοῖς λοχεύει καὶ μαιοῦται καὶ εἰς τὸν ἔξω ἀέρα ἄγει· 6. καὶ ἐγγυτάτω ψυχὴ οὖσα οἰκειοῦται, οὐ κατὰ τὴν συγγενικὴν ἰδιότητα ἀλλὰ τὴν καθειμαρμένην· οὐ γὰρ ἔρως ἐστὶν αὐτῇ μετὰ σώματος εἶναι. 7. Διὰ τοῦτο καθ’ εἱμαρμένην παρέχει τῷ γιγνομένῳ διανοητικὴν κίνησιν καὶ νοερὰν ζωῆς αὐτῆς οὐσίαν· παρεισέρπει γὰρ τῷ πνεύματι καὶ κινεῖ ζωτικῶς.

(1.41.8 = SH 5) From the work To Tat of Hermes.


Ἑρμοῦ ἐκ τῶν πρὸς Ἄμμωνα πρὸς Τάτ.

1. Καὶ ὁ μὲν κύριος καὶ πάντων δημιουργὸς τῶν ἀιδίων σωμάτων, ὦ Τάτ, ἅπαξ ποιήσας οὐκέτι ἐποίησεν οὐδὲ ποιεῖ. Ταῦτα γὰρ ἑαυτοῖς παραδοὺς καὶ ἑνώσας ἀλλήλοις ἀφῆκε φέρεσθαι, μηδὲν ἐνδέοντα, ὡς ἀίδια. Εἰ δὲ δέονται τινῶν, ἀλλήλων δεήσονται, οὐδεμιᾶς δὲ τῆς ἔξωθεν ἐπιφορᾶς, ὡς ἀθάνατα. Ἔδει γὰρ τὰ ὑπ’ ἐκείνου σώματα γενόμενα τοιαύτην ἔχειν καὶ τὴν φύσιν. 2. Ὁ δὲ ἡμέτερος δημιουργὸς ἐν σώματι ὢν ἐποίησεν ἡμᾶς καὶ ποιεῖ ἀεὶ καὶ ποιήσει σώματα διαλυτὰ καὶ θνητά. Οὐ γὰρ θέμις ἦν αὐτῷ μιμεῖσθαι τὸν ἑαυτοῦ δημιουργόν, ἄλλως τε καὶ ἀδύνατον ‹ὄν›. ὃ μὲν γὰρ ἐκ τῆς πρώτης οὐσίας ἐποίησεν οὔσης ἀσωμάτου, ὃ δὲ ἐκ τῆς γειναμένης σωματώσεως ἐποίησεν ἡμᾶς. 3. Εἰκότως οὖν κατὰ τὸν ὀρθὸν λόγον ἐκεῖνα μὲν τὰ σώματα, ὡς ἐξ ἀσωμάτου οὐσίας γεγεννημένα, ἀθάνατά ἐστι· τὰ δὲ ἡμέτερα διαλυτὰ καὶ θνητά, ὡς τῆς ὕλης ἡμῶν ἐκ σωμάτων συνεστώσης, 4. διὰ τὸ ἀσθενῆ εἶναι καὶ πολλῆς ἐπικουρίας δεόμενα. Πῶς γὰρ ἂν καὶ τὸ τυχὸν ἀντέσχεν ὁ σύνδεσμος ἡμῶν τῶν σωμάτων, εἰ μή τινα εἶχεν ἐπεισερχομένην τροφὴν ἐκ τῶν ὁμοίων στοιχείων καὶ ὑπεσωμάτου ἡμᾶς καθ’ ἑκάστην τὴν ἡμέραν; Καὶ γὰρ γῆς τε καὶ ὕδατος καὶ πυρὸς καὶ ἀέρος ἐπιρροὴ ἡμῖν γίγνεται, ἥ τις τὰ σώματα ἡμῶν νεοποιοῦσα συνέχει τὸ σκῆνος· 5. ὥστε καὶ πρὸς τὰς κινήσεις ἐσμὲν ἀσθενέστεροι, φέροντες κινήσεις μηδὲ ἡμέρας μιᾶς. Εὖ γὰρ ἴσθι, ὦ τέκνον, ὅτι εἰ μὴ ἐν ταῖς νυξὶν ἡμῶν ἀνεπαύετο τὰ σώματα, οὐκ ἂν πρὸς μίαν ἡμέραν ἀντέσχομεν. Ὅθεν ἀγαθὸς ὢν ὁ δημιουργὸς πάντα προεπιστάμενος, εἰς διαμονὴν τοῦ ζῴου ἐποίησε τὸν ὕπνον, [ὃν] μέγιστον τοῦ καμάτου τῆς κινήσεως, καὶ ἐπ’ ἰσότητος ἔταξεν ἑκατέρῳ χρόνον, μᾶλλον δὲ τῇ ἀναπαύλῃ πλείονα. 6. Μεγίστην δὲ νόει, τέκνον, τοῦ ὕπνου τὴν ἐνέργειαν, ἐναντίαν τῇ τῆς ψυχῆς, οὐκ ἐλάττω ‹δ’› ἐκείνης. Καθάπερ γὰρ ἡ ψυχὴ κινήσεώς ἐστιν ἐνέργεια, τὸν αὐτὸν τρόπον καὶ τὰ σώματα ζῆν οὐ δύναται χωρὶς τοῦ ὕπνου. 7. Ἄνεσις γὰρ καὶ ἄφεσίς ἐστι τῶν συνδέτων μελῶν καὶ ἔσωθεν ἐνεργεῖ σωματοποιῶν τὴν ἐπεισελθοῦσαν ὕλην, ἑκάστῳ τὸ οἰκεῖον διαστέλλων· τὸ μὲν ὕδωρ τῷ αἵματι, τὴν δὲ γῆν ‹τοῖς› ὀστέοις καὶ μυελοῖς, τὸν δὲ ἀέρα τοῖς νεύροις καὶ φλεψί, τὸ δὲ πῦρ τῇ ὁράσει. Διόπερ καὶ ἥδεται ἄκρως τὸ σῶμα τοῦ ὕπνου ταύτην ἐνεργοῦντος τὴν ἡδονήν.

(1.41.9) From Plato’s Cratylus (400bc).


You mean “body” (σῶμα)? I think this admits of many explanations, if a little, even very little, change is made; for some say it is the tomb (σῆμα) of the soul, their notion being that the soul is buried in the present life; and again, because by its means the soul gives any signs which it gives, it is for this reason also properly called “sign” (σῆμα). But I think it most likely that the Orphic poets gave this name, with the idea that the soul is undergoing punishment for something; they think it has the body as an enclosure to keep it safe, like a prison, and this is, as the name itself denotes, the safe (σῶμα) for the soul, until the penalty is paid, and not even a letter needs to be changed.

Πλάτωνος ἐκ τοῦ Κρατύλου.

Τὸ σῶμα λέγεις; Πολλαχῇ μοι δοκεῖ τοῦτό γε· ἂν μὲν καὶ σμικρόν τις παρακλίνῃ, καὶ πάνυ· καὶ γὰρ σῆμά τινές φασιν αὐτὸ εἶναι τῆς ψυχῆς, ὡς τεθαμμένης ἐν τῷ νῦν παρόντι· καὶ διότι αὖ τούτῳ σημαίνει ἃ ἂν σημαίνῃ ἡ ψυχή, καὶ ταύτῃ σῆμα ὀρθῶς καλεῖσθαι. Δοκοῦσι μέντοι μάλιστα θέσθαι οἱ ἀμφὶ Ὀρφέα τοῦτο τὸ ὄνομα, ὡς δίκην διδούσης τῆς ψυχῆς, ὧν δὴ ἕνεκα δίδωσι· τοῦτον δὲ περίβολον ἔχειν, ἵνα σῴζηται, δεσμωτηρίου εἰκόνα· εἶναι οὖν τῆς ψυχῆς τοῦτο αὐτό, ὥσπερ ὀνομάζεται, ἕως ἂν ἐκτίσῃ τὰ ὀφειλόμενα, ‹τὸ› σῶμα, καὶ οὐδὲν δεῖν παράγειν οὐδὲν γράμμα.

(1.41.10) [Unattributed.]

Homer also made this clear in the same way; for he always calls the (body) of those who are alive démas, as in these lines (Iliad 1.115–116): “For she is not inferior / in démas or in stature”. But he calls the (body) that has thrown off the soul sôma (Iliad 7.79–80 = 22.342–343): “(Let them) return my sôma to my home, / so that the Trojan men and the wives of the Trojans may give me my share of fire when I am dead.” For it is a bond (desmós) of the soul and a démas when the soul endures it, but it is left behind as a sôma, that is, a monument (sêma) and trace, when it has left.

[Greek text.]

Ὡσαύτως δὲ καὶ Ὅμηρος ἐδήλωσε· τὸ μὲν γὰρ τῶν ζώντων ἀεὶ δέμας προσαγορεύει, ὡς ἐν τούτοις· “ἐπεὶ οὔ ἑθέν ἐστι χερείων / οὐ δέμας οὐδὲ φυήν.” Τὸ δὲ ἀποβεβληκὸς τὴν ψυχὴν σῶμα καλεῖ· “Σῶμα δὲ οἴκαδ‘ ἐμὸν δόμεναι πάλιν, ὄφρα πυρός με / Τρῶες καὶ Τρώων ἄλοχοι λελάχωσι θανόντα.” Τὸ γὰρ αὐτὸ τῆς ψυχῆς δεσμὸς μὲν ἦν καὶ δέμας κρατουμένης, σῶμα δὲ ἀπολείπεται, τουτέστι σῆμα καὶ ἴχνος, ἀπελθούσης.

(1.41.11 = SH 21) From Hermes.

1. So, there is the one before being¹ (proón), above all beings and true (óntōs) beings. For it is the being before being (proòn ón) through which the so-called universal essentiality (‘being-ness’, ousiótēs) is common to the true intelligible beings and to the beings conceived (nooúmena) in accord with themselves.²

The things opposite to these, contrarily, are in turn themselves in accord with themselves³ – nature, a perceptible essence, which contains all perceptibles within itself.

Between these are the intellectional (noēmatikoí) and perceptible gods. The former share in the intelligibles, the latter are matters of opinion; but they are united with the intellectional gods.⁴ 2. They are the images (eikónes) of the intellections, as the Sun is an image of the demiurgic god above heaven. For just as he creates the universe, so the Sun creates the animals, produces plants and presides over spirits (or ‘winds’, pneúmata).

1: Or rather “that before being”, an expression in neuter gender. The idea stems from Plato’s Republic 509b, just as this whole fragment is Platonic through and through.
2: Both phrases refer to the same set of beings, the eternal intelligibles (noētá) and true beings. None of the different attempts by editors to “repair” the text have made a difference to this; I do not think there is anything that needs fixing to begin with.
3: Litwa draws “nature” into this phrase and translates “have an individuated nature”. I think not: both intelligibles and perceptibles are said to be “in accord with themselves” (kath’ heautá), the point is that they are in accord with different selves, intelligible in the case of the former, perceptible in the case of the latter. The perceptible essence is the realm of nature, while the true beings are beyond nature (“supernatural”, we might say).
4: “The former” and “the latter” are in neuter gender, not the masculine gender that attends the word “gods” (theoí). Still, it seems that the same beings are meant. The curiously named “intellectional” gods share in the eternal forms (like the twelve gods in Plato’s Phaedrus), and the perceptible gods in turn are united with them, although as visible beings they are in the realm of opinion (i.e., they are “apparent realities”; they do not, as Litwa translates “share […] in apparent realities” as the intellectional gods share in the intelligibles). The intellectional gods should not be called “intelligible”, since they are expressly said to rank below the intelligibles.


Ἔστι τοίνυν τὸ προὸν ἐπὶ πάντων τῶν ὄντων καὶ τῶν ὄντως ὄντων. Προὸν ὂν γάρ ἐστι, δι’ οὗ ἡ οὐσιότης ἡ καθόλου λεγομένη κοινὴ νοητῶν τῶν ὄντως ὄντων καὶ τῶν ὄντων τῶν καθ’ ἑαυτὰ νοουμένων.

Τὰ δὲ ἐναντία τούτοις κατὰ τὸ ἕτερον πάλιν αὐτὰ καθ’ ἑαυτά ἐστι φύσις, οὐσία αἰσθητή, ἔχουσα ἐν ἑαυτῇ αἰσθητὰ πάντα.

Μεταξὺ δὲ τούτων νοηματικοὶ καὶ αἰσθητοὶ θεοί· τὰ μὲν μετέχοντα τῶν νοητῶν, τὰ δὲ δοξαστά, τὰ κοινωνοῦντα τῶν νοηματικῶν θεῶν. Αὗται δὲ εἰκόνες εἰσὶ νοημάτων, οἷον ἥλιος εἰκών ἐστι τοῦ ἐπουρανίου δημιουργοῦ θεοῦ. Καθάπερ γὰρ ἐκεῖνος τὸ ὅλον ἐδημιούργησε, καὶ ὁ ἥλιος δημιουργεῖ τὰ ζῷα καὶ γεννᾷ ‹τὰ› φυτὰ καὶ τῶν πνευμάτων πρυτανεύει.

Stobaeus, Anthology 1.42
About the Origination of Animals
(Περὶ τῆς τῶν ζῴων γενέσεως)

(1.42.1) From Plato’s Timaeus (76e–77c).


And when all the limbs and parts of the mortal living creature had been naturally joined together, [77a] it was so that of necessity its life consisted in fire and air; and because of this it wasted away when dissolved by these elements or left empty thereby; wherefore the Gods contrived succour for the creature. Blending it with other shapes and senses they engendered a substance akin to that of man, so as to form another living creature: such are the cultivated trees and plants and seeds which have been trained by husbandry and are now domesticated amongst us; but formerly the wild kinds only existed, [77b] these being older than the cultivated kinds. For everything, in fact, which partakes of life may justly and with perfect truth be termed a living creature. Certainly that creature which we are now describing partakes of the third kind of soul, which is seated, as we affirm, between the midriff and the navel,1 and which shares not at all in opinion and reasoning and mind but in sensation, pleasant and painful, together with desires. For inasmuch as it continues wholly passive and does not turn within itself around itself, repelling motion from without [77c] and using its own native motion, it is not endowed by its original constitution with a natural capacity for discerning or reflecting upon any of its own experiences. Wherefore it lives indeed and is not other than a living creature, but it remains stationary and rooted down owing to its being deprived of the power of self-movement.

Πλάτωνος ἐκ τοῦ Τιμαίου.

Ἐπειδὴ δὲ πάντα ἦν τὰ τοῦ θνητοῦ ζῴου συμπεφυκότα μέρη καὶ μέλη, τὴν δὲ ζωὴν ἐν πυρὶ καὶ πνεύματι συνέβαινεν ἐξ ἀνάγκης ἔχειν αὐτῷ, καὶ διὰ ταῦτα ὑπὸ τούτων τηκόμενον, κενούμενον ἔφθινε, βοήθειαν αὐτῷ θεοὶ μηχανῶνται. τῆς γὰρ ἀνθρωπίνης ξυγγενῆ φύσεως φύσιν ἄλλαις ἰδέαις καὶ αἰσθήσεσι κεραννύντες, ὥσθ’ ἕτερον ζῷον εἶναι, φυτεύουσιν· ἃ δὴ νῦν ἥμερα δένδρα καὶ φυτὰ καὶ σπέρματα παιδευθέντα ὑπὸ γεωργίας τιθασῶς πρὸς ἡμᾶς ἔσχε· πρὶν δ’ ἦν μόνα τὰ τῶν ἀγρίων γένη, πρεσβύτερα τῶν ἡμέρων ὄντα. Πᾶν γὰρ οὖν ὅ τι περ ἂν μετάσχῃ τοῦ ζῆν, ζῷον μὲν ἂν ἐν δίκῃ λέγοιτο ὀρθότατον· μετέχει γε μὴν τοῦτο, ὃ νῦν λέγομεν, τοῦ τρίτου ψυχῆς εἴδους, ὃ μεταξὺ φρενῶν ὀμφαλοῦ τε ἱδρῦσθαι λόγος, ᾧ δόξης μὲν λογισμοῦ τε καὶ νοῦ μέτεστι τὸ μηδέν, αἰσθήσεως δὲ ἡδείας καὶ ἀλγεινῆς μετὰ ἐπιθυμιῶν. πάσχον γὰρ διατελεῖ πάντα· στραφέντι δὲ αὐτῷ ἐν ἑαυτῷ περὶ ἑαυτό, τὴν μὲν ἔξωθεν ἀπωσαμένῳ κίνησιν, τῇ δὲ οἰκείᾳ χρησαμένῳ, τῶν αὑτοῦ τι λογίσασθαι κατιδόντι φύσιν οὐ παρέδωκεν ἡ γένεσις· διὸ δὴ ζῇ μὲν ἔστι τε οὐχ ἕτερον ζῴου, μόνιμον δὲ καὶ κατερριζωμένον πέπηγε διὰ τὸ τῆς ὑφ’ ἑαυτοῦ κινήσεως ἐστερῆσθαι.

(1.42.2) On Conception
(Περὶ συλλήψεως).

[Lost; but compare Aëtius 5.6, “How Conceptions Occur”.]

(1.42.3) Over What Timespan the Embryo is Articulated
(Ἐν πόσῳ χρόνῳ διαρθροῦται τὸ ἔμβρυον).

[Lost; but see Aëtius 5.21.]

(1.42.4) From What Body Part the Embryo Begins to Be Formed
(Ἀπὸ ποίου ἄρχεται μορίου μορφοῦσθαι τὸ ἔμβρυον).

[Lost; Aëtius 5.17?]

(1.42.5) How Males and Females Are Begotten
(Πῶς ἄρρενα γεννᾶται καὶ θήλεα).

[Lost; but see Aëtius 5.7.]

(1.42.6) How Monstrous Births Arise
(Πῶς τέρατα γίνεται).

[Lost; but see Aëtius 5.8.]

(1.42.7 = SH 22) Whence Arise the Similarities to Parents or More Distant Ancestors
(Πόθεν γίνονται τῶν γονέων αἱ ὁμοιώσεις ἢ τῶν προγόνων).

[Also see Aëtius 5.11]

From the work Aphrodite of Hermes.

Why are babies similar to their parents, or traced back to their relations?¹ I shall expound the reason (lógos). When, as the productive blood turns into form, reproduction (génnēsis) stores up semen, it somehow happens that a certain substance is breathed out² from all parts of the body through a divine act, as if the same person were reproduced; and the same likely happens with the woman.

When the fluid of the man is predominant and remains intact, the baby will turn out to be similar to the father, as, contrarily, (it will be similar) to the mother in the same fashion. If there is a predominance of some part, it will become like it in that part.

There are also times when even after (or ‘for’?) many generations, the baby resembles the shape of a (more distant) ancestor, when their decan has influence (lógos) at the moment when the woman conceives.

1: This question could (but need not) indicate that the Aphrodite was a dialogue. However, it may have been a work about sexuality rather than featuring Aphrodite as a character.
2: Compare the pneumatic (‘breath’) faculty in fragment 5 of the Oxford Hermetica.

Ἑρμοῦ ἐκ τῆς Ἀφροδίτης.

Παρὰ τί δὲ τὰ βρέφη ὅμοια τοῖς γονεῦσι γίνεται ἢ συγγενείαις ἀποδίδοται; Ἐκθήσω λόγον. Ὅταν νοστίμου αἵματος ἐξαφρουμένου ἡ γέννησις ἀποθησαυρίζῃ γόνον, συμβαίνει πως ἐκπνεῖν ἐκ τοῦ σώματος ὅλου μελῶν οὐσίαν τινὰ κατὰ θείαν ἐνέργειαν, ὡς τοῦ αὐτοῦ ἀνθρώπου γινομένου, τὸ δ’ αὐτὸ καὶ ἐπὶ τῆς γυναικὸς εἰκὸς γίγνεσθαι.

Ὅταν καθυπερτερήσῃ τὸ ῥυὲν ἀπὸ τοῦ ἀνδρὸς καὶ ἄθικτον γένηται, τῷ πατρὶ ὁμοιούμενον τὸ βρέφος ἀποδειχθήσεται, ὡς τὸ ἀνάπαλιν τὸν αὐτὸν τρόπον τῇ μητρί· ἐὰν τινος μέρους καθυπερτέρησις γένηται, πρὸς ἐκεῖνο τὸ μέρος ἀφομοιοῦται.

Ἔσθ’ ὅτε δὲ καὶ εἰς μακρὰς γενεὰς παραβάλλει τὸ βρέφος τῇ μορφῇ τοῦ γεννήσαντος, ἐκείνου δεκανοῦ λόγον ἔχοντος πρὸς τὴν ὥραν, ἐν ᾗ ἡ γυνὴ ἐπαιδοποίει.

(1.42.8) How Children Can Be Born Similar to Others and Not Their Parents
(Πῶς ἄλλοις ὅμοιοι γίνονται οἱ γεννώμενοι καὶ οὐ τοῖς γονεῦσι).

[Lost; but see Aëtius 5.12.]

(1.42.9) Why Mules Are Infertile
(Διατί αἱ ἡμίονοι στεῖραι).

[Lost; but see Aëtius 5.14.]

(1.42.10) How Twins and Triplets Are Born
(Πῶς δίδυμα γίνεται καῖ τρίδυμα).

[Lost; but see Aëtius 5.10.]

(1.42.11) Whether The Embryo is a Living Being
(Εἰ τὸ ἔμβρυον ζῷον).

[Lost; but see Aëtius 5.15.]

(1.42.12) How Embryos Are Nourished
(Πῶς τρέφεται τὰ ἔμβρα).

[Lost; but see Aëtius 5.16.]

(1.42.13) Why Births at Seven Months Are Viable
(Διατί τὰ ἑπταμηνιαῖα γόνιμα).

[Aëtius 5.18]

Those around Aristotle and Hippocrates say that, when the womb reaches the full term in seven months, then (the embryo) emerges and is born viable; but if it emerges, but is not nourished, because the umbilical cord had grown weak because the embryo was difficult for it, then it is malnourished (at birth). But if it remains in the womb for nine months, then it emerges fully formed.

[Greek text.]

Οἰ δὲ περὶ τὸν Ἀριστοτέλην καὶ Ἱπποκράτην φασίν, ἐὰν μὲν ἐκπληρωθῇ ἡ μήτρα ἐν τοῖς ἑπτὰ μησί, τότε προκύπτειν καὶ γεννᾶσθαι γόνιμα· ἐὰν δὲ προκύψῃ μέν, μὴ τρέφηται δέ, ἀσθενήσαντος τοῦ ὀμφαλοῦ διὰ τὸ ἐπίπονον αὐτῷ γενέσθαι τὸ ἔμβρυον, ἄτροφον εἶναι. Ἐὰν δὲ μείνῃ τοὺς ἐννέα μῆνας ἐν τῇ μήτρᾳ, προκύψαν τότε ὁλόκληρόν ἐστι.