Book I.

Chapter I.

O Pericles, to me the dearest of friends, I am of opinion that the whole philosophy of Plato was at first unfolded into light through the beneficent will of superior natures, exhibiting the intellect concealed in them, and the truth subsisting, together with beings, to souls conversant with generation (so far as it is lawful for them to participate of such supernatural and mighty good); and again, that afterwards having received its perfection, returning as it were into itself and becoming unapparent to many who professed to philosophize; and who earnestly desired to engage in the investigation of true being, it again advanced into light. But I particularly think that the mystic doctrine respecting divine concerns, which is purely established on a sacred foundation, and which perpetually subsists with the gods themselves, became thence apparent to such as are capable of enjoying it for a time, through one man,1 whom I should not err in calling the primary leader and hierophant of those true mysteries, into which souls separated from terrestrial places are initiated, and of those entire and stable visions, which those participate who genuinely embrace a happy and blessed life. But this philosophy shone forth at first from him so venerably and arcanely, as if established in sacred temples, and within their adyta, and being unknown to many who have entered into these holy places, in certain orderly periods of time, proceeded as much as was possible for it into light, through certain true priests, and who embraced a life corresponding to the tradition of such mystic concerns. It appears likewise to me, that the whole place became splendid, and that illuminations of divine spectacles everywhere presented themselves to the view.

These interpreters of the epopteia (or mystic speculations) of Plato, who have unfolded to us all-sacred narrations of divine concerns, and who were allotted a nature similar to their leader, I should determine to be the Egyptian Plotinus, and those who received the theory from him, I mean Amelius and Porphyry, together with those in the third place who were produced like virile statues from these, viz.: Iamblichus and Theodorus, and others, who after these, following this divine choir, have energized about the doctrine of Plato with a divinely-inspired mind. From these, he2 who, after the gods, has been our leader to everything beautiful and good, receiving in an undefiled manner the most genuine and pure light of truth in the bosom of his soul, made us a partaker of all the rest of Plato’s philosophy, communicated to us that arcane information which he had received from those more ancient than himself, and caused us, in conjunction with him, to be divinely agitated about the mystic truth of divine concerns.

To this man, therefore, should we undertake to return thanks adequate to the benefits which we have received from him; the whole of time would not be sufficient. But if it is necessary, not only3 that we should have received from others the transcendent good of the Platonic philosophy, but that we should leave to posterity monuments of those blessed spectacles of which we have been spectators, and emulators to the utmost of our ability, under a leader the most perfect of the present time, and who arrived at the summit of philosophy; perhaps we shall act properly in invoking the gods, that they will enkindle the light of truth in our soul, and in supplicating the attendants and ministers of better natures to direct our intellect and lead it to the all-perfect, divine and elevated, end of the Platonic theory. For I think that everywhere be who participates in the least degree of intelligence, will begin his undertakings from the Gods, and especially in explications respecting the Gods: for we can no otherwise be able to understand a divine nature than by being perfected through the light of the Gods; nor divulge it to others unless governed by them, and exempt from multiform opinions, and the variety which subsists in words, preserving at be same time the interpretation of divine names. Knowing therefore this, and complying with the exhortation of the Platonic Timæus, we in the first place establish the Gods as leaders of the doctrine respecting themselves. But may they in consequence of hearing our prayers be propitious to us, and benignantly approaching, guide the intellect of our soul, and lead it about the Vesta of Plato, and to the arduous sublimities of this speculation; where, when arrived, we shall receive all the truth concerning them, and shall obtain the best end of our parturient conceptions of divine concerns, desiring to know something respecting them, inquiring about them of others, and, at the same time, as far as we are able, exploring them ourselves.

Chapter II.

And thus much by way of preface. But it is necessary that I should unfold the mode of the proposed doctrine, what it is requisite to expect it will be, and define the preparatives which a hearer of it ought to possess; that being properly adapted, he may approach, not to our discourses, but to the intellectually-elevated and deific philosophy of Plato. For it is proper that convenient aptitudes of auditors should she proposed according to the forms of discourses, just as in the mysteries, those who are skilful in concerns of this kind, previously prepare receptacles for the Gods, and neither always use the same inanimate particulars, nor other animals, nor men, in order to procure the presence of the divinities; but that alone out of each of these which is naturally capable of participating divine illumination, is by them introduced to the proposed mystic rites.

The present discourse, therefore, will first of all be divided by me into three parts. In the beginning, considering all those common conceptions concerning the Gods, which Plato summarily delivers, together with the power and dignity every where of theological axioms; but in the middle of this work, speculating the total orders of the Gods, enumerating their peculiarities, defining their progressions after the manner of Plato, and referring every thing to the hypotheses of theologists; and, in the end, speaking concerning the Gods which are in different places celebrated in the Platonic writings, whether they are supermundane or mundane, and referring the theory respecting them to the total genera of the divine orders.

In every part of this work, likewise, we shall prefer the clear, distinct, and simple, to the contraries of these. And such things as are delivered through symbols, we shall transfer to a clear doctrine concerning them; but such as are delivered through images, we shall transmit to their exemplars. Such things too as are written in a more affirmative way, we shall examine by causal reasonings; but such as are composed through demonstrations, we shall investigate; and besides this, explain the mode of truth which they contain, and render it known to the hearers. And of things enigmatically proposed, we shall elsewhere discover perspicuity, not from foreign hypotheses, but from the most genuine writings of Plato. But with respect to the things which immediately occur to the hearers, of these we shall contemplate the consent with things themselves. And from all these particulars, one perfect form of the Platonic theology will present itself to our view, together with its truth which pervades through the whole of divine intellections, and the one intellect which generated all the beauty of this theology, and the mystic evolution of this theory. Such, therefore, as I have said, will be my present treatise.

But the auditor of the proposed dogmas is supposed to be adorned with the moral virtues, and to be one who has bound by the reason of virtue all the illiberal and inharmonious motions of the soul, and harmonized them to the one form of intellectual prudence: for, as Socrates says, it is not lawful for the pure to be touched by the impure. But every vicious man is perfectly impure; and the contrary character is pure. He must likewise have been exercised in all the logical methods, and have contemplated many irreprehensible conceptions about analyses, and many about divisions, the contraries to these, agreeably, as it appears to me, to the exhortation of Parmenides to Socrates. For prior to such a contest in arguments, the knowledge of the divine genera, and of the truth established in them, is difficult and impervious. But in the third place, he must not be unskilled in physics. For he who has been conversant with the multiform opinions of physiologists, and has after a manner explored in images the causes of beings, will more easily advance to the nature of separate and primary essences. An auditor therefore of the present work, as I have said, must not be ignorant of the truth contained in the phenomena, nor unacquainted with the paths of erudition, and the disciplines which they contain; for through these we obtain a more immaterial knowledge of a divine essence. But all these must be bound together in the leader intellect. Being likewise a partaker of the dialectic of Plato, meditating those immaterial energies which are separate from corporeal powers, and desiring to contemplate by intelligence4 in conjunction with reason [true] beings, our auditor must genuinely apply himself to the interpretation of divine and blessed dogmas, and fill his soul, according to the Oracle, with profound love; since, as Plato somewhere observes, for the apprehension of this theory, a better assistant than love cannot be obtained.

He must likewise be exercised in the truth which pervades through all things, and must excite his intelligible eye to real and perfect truth. He must establish himself in a firm, immovable, and safe kind of divine knowledge, and must be persuaded not to admire any thing else, nor even to direct his attention to other things, but must hasten to divine light with an intrepid reasoning energy, and with the power of an unwearied life; and in short, must propose to himself such a kind of energy and rest as it becomes him to possess who intends to be such a coryphæus as Socrates describes in the Theætetus. Such then is the magnitude of our hypothesis, and such the mode of the discourses about it. Before, however, I enter on the narration of the things proposed, I wish to speak about theology itself, its different modes, and what theological forms Plato approves, and what he rejects; that these being previously known, we may more easily learn in what follows, the auxiliaries of the demonstrations themselves.

Chapter III.

All, therefore, that have ever touched upon theology, have called things first, according to nature, Gods; and have said that the theological science is conversant about these. And some, indeed, have considered a corporeal essence, as that alone which has any existence, and have placed in a secondary rank with respect to essence, all the genera of incorporeal natures, considering the principles of things as having a corporeal form, and evincing that the habit in us by which we know these, is corporeal. But others, suspending indeed all bodies from incorporeal natures, and defining the first hyparxis5 to be in soul, and the powers of soul, call (as it appears to me) the best of souls, Gods; and denominate the science which proceeds as far as to these, and which knows these, theology. But such as produce the multitude of souls from another more ancient principle, and establish intellect as the leader of wholes, these assert that the best end is a union of the soul with intellect, and consider the intellectual form of life as the most honourable of all things. They doubtless too consider theology, and the discussion of intellectual essence, as one and the same. All these, therefore, as I have said, call the first and most self-sufficient principles of things, Gods, and the science respecting these, theology.

The divine narration however, of Plato alone, despises all corporeal natures, with reference to principles. Because, indeed, every thing divisible and endued with interval, is naturally unable either to produce or preserve itself, but possesses its being, energy, and passivity through soul, and the motions which soul contains. But Plato demonstrates that the psychical essence [i.e. the essence pertaining to soul] is more ancient than bodies, but is suspended from an intellectual hypostasis. For every thing which is moved according to time, though it may be self-moved, is indeed of a more ruling nature than things moved by others, but is posterior to an eternal motion. He shows, therefore, as we have said, that intellect is the father and cause of bodies and souls, and that all things both subsist and energize about it, which are allotted a life conversant with transitions and evolutions.

Plato, however, proceeds to another principle entirely exempt from intellect, more incorporeal and ineffable, and from which all things, even though you should speak of such as are last, have necessarily a subsistence. For all things are not naturally disposed to participate of soul, but such things only as are allotted in themselves a more clear or obscure life. Nor are all things able to enjoy intellect and being, but such only as subsist according to form. But it is necessary that the principle of all things should be participated by all things, if it does not desert any thing, since it is the cause of all things which in any respect are said to have a subsistence. Plato having divinely discovered this first principle of wholes, which is more excellent than intellect, and is concealed in inaccessible recesses; and having exhibited these three causes and monads, and evinced them to be above bodies, I mean soul, the first intellect, and a union above intellect, produces from these as monads, their proper numbers; one multitude indeed being uniform,6 but the second intellectual, and the third psychical. For every monad is the leader of a multitude coordinate to itself. But as Plato connects bodies with souls, so likewise he connects souls with intellectual forms, and these again with the unities of beings. But he converts all things to one imparticipable unity. And having run back as far as to this unity, he considers himself as having obtained the highest end of the theory of wholes; and that this is the truth respecting the Gods, which is conversant with the unities of beings, and which delivers their progressions and peculiarities, the contact of beings with them, and the orders of forms which are suspended from these unical7 hypostases.

But he teaches us that the theory respecting intellect, and the forms and the genera revolving about intellect, is posterior to the science which is conversant with the Gods themselves. Likewise that the intellectual theory apprehends intelligibles, and the forms which are capable of being known by the soul through the projecting energy of intellect; but that the theological science transcending this, is conversant with arcane and ineffable hyparxes, and pursues their separation from each other, and their unfolding into light from one cause of all: whence, I am of opinion, that the intellectual peculiarity of the soul is capable of apprehending intellectual forms, and the difference which subsists in them, but that the summit, and, as they say, flower of intellect and hyparxis, is conjoined with the unities of beings, and through these, with the occult union of all the divine unities. For as we contain many gnostic powers, through this alone we are naturally capable of being conjoined with and participating this occult union. For the genus of the Gods cannot be apprehended by sense, because it is exempt from all bodies; nor by opinion and dianoia,8 for these are divisible and come into contact with multiform concerns; nor by intelligence in conjunction with reason, for knowledge of this kind belongs to true beings; but the hyparxis of the Gods rides on beings, and is defined according to the union itself of wholes. It remains, therefore, if it be admitted that a divine nature can be in any respect known, that it must be apprehended by the hyparxis of the soul, and through this, as far as it is possible, be known. For we say that every where things similar can be known by the similar; viz. the sensible by sense, the doxastic9 by opinion, the dianoetic by dianoia, and the intelligible by intellect. So that the most unical nature must be known by the one, and the ineffable by that which is ineffable.

Indeed, Socrates in the [First] Alcibiades rightly observes, that the soul entering into herself will behold all other things, and deity itself. For verging to her own union, and to the centre of all life, laying aside multitude, and the variety of the all manifold powers which she contains, she ascends to the highest watch-tower of beings. And as in the most holy of the mysteries, they say, that the mystics at first meet with the multiform, and many-shaped10 genera, which are hurled forth before the Gods, but on entering the interior parts of the temple, unmoved, and guarded by the mystic rites, they genuinely receive in their bosom divine illumination, and divested of their garments, as they would say, participate of a divine nature;—the same mode, as it appears to me, takes place in the speculation of wholes. For the soul when looking at things posterior to herself, beholds the shadows and images of beings, but when she converts herself to herself she evolves her own essence, and the reasons which she contains. And at first indeed, she only as it were beholds herself; but, when she penetrates more profoundly into the knowledge of herself, she finds in herself both intellect, and the orders of beings. When however, she proceeds into her interior recesses, and into the adytum as it were of the soul, she perceives with her eye closed, the genus of the Gods, and the unities of beings. For all things are in us psychically, and through this we are naturally capable of knowing all things, by exciting the powers and the images of wholes which we contain.

And this is the best employment of our energy, to be extended to a divine nature itself, having our powers at rest, to revolve harmoniously round it, to excite all the multitude of the soul to this union, and laying aside all such things as are posterior to the one, to become seated and conjoined with that which is ineffable, and beyond all things. For it is lawful for the soul to ascend, till she terminates her flight in the principle of things; but arriving thither, beholding the place which is there, descending thence, and directing her course through beings; likewise, evolving the multitude of forms, exploring their monads and their numbers, and apprehending intellectually how each is suspended from its proper unity, then we may consider her as possessing the most perfect science of divine natures, perceiving in a uniform manner the progressions of the Gods into beings, and the distinctions of beings about the Gods. Such then according to Plato’s decision is our theologist; and theology is a habit of this kind, which unfolds the hyparxis itself of the Gods, separates and speculates their unknown and unical light from the peculiarity of their participants, and announces it to such as are worthy of this energy, which is both blessed and comprehends all things at once.

Chapter IV.

After this all-perfect comprehension of the first theory, we must deliver the modes according to which Plato teaches us mystic conceptions of divine natures. For he appears not to have pursued every where the same mode of doctrine about these; but sometimes according to a deific energy, and at other times dialectically, he evolves the truth concerning them. And sometimes he symbolically announces their ineffable peculiarities, but at other times he recurs to them from images, and discovers in them the primary causes of wholes. For in the Phædrus being inspired by the Nymphs, and having exchanged human intelligence for a better possession, fury, he unfolds with a divine mouth many arcane dogmas concerning the intellectual Gods, and many concerning the liberated rulers of the universe, who lead upwards the multitude of mundane Gods to the monads which are intelligible and separate from [mundane] wholes. But relating still more about those Gods who are allotted the world, he celebrates their intellections, and mundane fabrications, their unpolluted providence and government of souls, and whatever else Socrates delivers entheastically [or according to a divinely-inspired energy] in that dialogue, a
s he clearly asserts, ascribing at the same time this fury to the deities of the place.

But in the Sophista, dialectically contending about being, and the separate hypostasis of the one from beings, and doubting against those more ancient than himself, he shows how all beings are suspended from their cause, and the first being, but that being itself participates of the unity which is exempt from the whole of things, that it is a passive one, but not the one itself, being subject to and united to the one, but not being that which is primarily one. In a similar manner too, in the Parmenides, he unfolds dialectically the progressions of being from the one, and the transcendency of the one, through the first hypotheses, and this, as he asserts in that dialogue, according to the most perfect division of this method. And again, in the Gorgias, he relates the fable concerning the three demiurgi [or fabricators] and their demiurgic allotment, which indeed is not only a fable, but a true narration. But in the Banquet, he speaks concerning the union of Love. And in the Protagoras, about the distribution of mortal animals from the Gods; in a symbolical manner concealing the truth respecting divine natures, and as far as to mere indication unfolding his mind to the most genuine of his hearers.

If likewise, you are willing that I should mention the doctrine delivered through the mathematical disciplines, and the discussion of divine concerns from ethical or physical discourses, of which many may be contemplated in the Timæus, many in the dialogue called the Politicus, and many may be seen scattered in other dialogues; here likewise to you who are desirous of knowing divine concerns through images, the method will be apparent. For all these shadow forth the powers of things divine. The Politicus, for instance, the fabrication in the heavens. But the figures of the five elements delivered in geometrical proportions in the Timæus,11 represent in images the peculiarities of the Gods who ride on the parts of the universe. And the divisions of the psychical essence in that dialogue shadow forth the total orders of the Gods.

I omit to mention that Plato composes polities, assimilating them to divine natures, and to the whole world, and adorns them from the powers which it contains. All these therefore, through the similitude of mortal to divine concerns, exhibit to us in images, the progressions, orders, and fabrications of divine natures. And such are the modes of theologic doctrine employed by Plato.

It is evident however, from what has been already said, that they are necessarily so many in number. For those who treat of divine concerns in an indicative manner, either speak symbolically and fabulously, or through images. But of those who openly announce their conceptions, some frame their discourses according to science, but others according to inspiration from the Gods. And he who desires to signify divine concerns through symbols is Orphic, and in short, accords with those who write fables concerning the Gods. But he who does this through images is Pythagoric. For the mathematical disciplines were invented by the Pythagoreans, in order to a reminiscence of divine concerns, at which, through these as images they endeavour to arrive. For they refer both numbers and figures to the Gods, according to the testimony of their historians. But the entheastic character, or he who is under the influence of divine inspiration, unfolding the truth itself by itself concerning the Gods, most perspicuously ranks among the highest initiators. For these do not think proper to unfold the divine orders, or their peculiarities to their familiars, through certain veils, but announce their powers and their numbers, in consequence of being moved by the Gods themselves. But the tradition of divine concerns according to science, is the illustrious prerogative of the philosophy of Plato. For Plato alone, as it appears to me, of all those who are known to us, has attempted methodically to divide and reduce into order, the regular progression of the divine genera, their mutual difference, the common peculiarities of the total orders, and the distributed peculiarities in each. But the truth of this will be evident when we frame precedaneous demonstrations about the Parmenides, and all the divisions which it contains.

At present we shall observe that Plato does not admit all the fabulous figments of dramatic composition, but those only which have reference to the beautiful and the good, and which are not discordant with a divine essence. For that mythological mode which indicates divine concerns through conjecture is ancient, concealing truth under a multitude of veils, and proceeding in a manner similar to nature, which extends sensible figments of intelligibles, material, of immaterial, partible, of impartible natures, and images, and things which have a false being, of things perfectly true. But Plato rejects the more tragical mode of mythologizing of the ancient poets, who thought proper to establish an arcane theology respecting the Gods, and on this account devised wanderings, sections, battles, lacerations, rapes and adulteries of the Gods, and many other such symbols of the truth about divine natures, which this theology conceals; this mode he rejects, and asserts that it is in every respect most foreign from erudition. But he considers those mythological discourses about the Gods, as more persuasive, and more adapted to truth and the philosophic habit, which assert that a divine nature is the cause of all good, but of no evil, and that it is void of all mutation, ever preserving its own order immutable, and comprehending in itself the fountain of truth, but never becoming the cause of any deception to others. For such types of theology, Socrates delivers in the Republic.

All the fables therefore of Plato, guarding the truth in concealment, have not even their externally apparent apparatus discordant with our undisciplined and unperverted anticipation respecting the Gods. But they bring with them an image of the mundane composition, in which both the apparent beauty is worthy of divinity, and a beauty more divine than this, is established in the unapparent lives and powers of the Gods. This therefore, is one of the mythological modes respecting divine concerns, which from the apparently unlawful, irrational, and inordinate, passes into order and bound, and regards as its scope the composition of the beautiful and good.

But there is another mode which he delivers in the Phædrus. And this consists in every where preserving theological fables, unmixed with physical narrations, and being careful in no respect to confound or exchange theology, and the physical theory with each other. For, as a divine essence is separate from the whole of nature, in like manner, it is perfectly proper that discourses respecting the Gods should be pure from physical disquisitions. For a mixture of this kind is, says he, laborious: and to make physical passions the end of mythological conjecture, is the employment of no very good man; such for instance, as considering through his [pretended] wisdom, Chimæra, Gorgon, and things of a similar kind, as the same with physical figments. Socrates, in the Phædrus, reprobating this mode of mythologizing, represents its patrons as saying under the figure of a fable, that Orithya sporting with the wind Boreas, and being thrown down the rocks, means nothing more, than that Orithya who was a mortal, was ravished by Boreas through love. For it appears to me, that fabulous narrations about the gods, should always have their concealed meaning more venerable than the apparent. So that if certain persons introduce to us physical hypotheses of Platonic fables, and such as are conversant with sublunary affairs, we must say that, they entirely wander from the intention of the philosopher, and that those hypotheses alone, are interpreters of the truth contained in these fables, which have for their scope, a divine, immaterial, and separate hypostasis, and which looking to this, make the compositions and analyses of the fables, adapted12 to our inherent anticipations of divine concerns.

Chapter V.

As we have therefore enumerated all these modes of the Platonic theology, and have shown what compositions and analyses of fables are adapted to the truth respecting the Gods, let us consider, in the next place, whence, and from what dialogues principally, we think the dogmas of Plato concerning the Gods may be collected, and by a speculation of what types or forms we may be able to distinguish his genuine writings, from those spurious compositions which are ascribed to him.

The truth then concerning the Gods pervades, as I may say, through all the Platonic dialogues, and in all of them conceptions of the first philosophy, venerable, clear, and supernatural, are disseminated, in some indeed, more obscurely, but in others more, conspicuously; conceptions which excite those that are in any respect able to participate of them, to the immaterial and separate essence of the Gods. And, as in each part of the universe, and in nature herself, the demiurgus of all that the world contains, established resemblances of the unknown hyparxis of the Gods, that all things might be converted to a divine nature, through their alliance with it, in like manner I am of opinion, that the divine intellect of Plato weaves conceptions about the, Gods in all his writings, and leaves nothing deprived of the mention of divinity, that from the whole of them, a reminiscence of wholes may be obtained, and imparted to the genuine lovers of divine concerns.

If however, it be requisite to lay before the reader those dialogues out of many, which principally unfold to us the mystic discipline about the gods, I should not err in ranking among this number, the Phædo and Phædrus, the Banquet, and the Philebus, and together with these, the Sophista and Politicus, the Cratylus and the Timæus. For all these are full through the whole of themselves, as I may say, of the divine science of Plato. But I should place in the second rank after these, the fable in the Gorgias, and that in the Protagoras; likewise the assertions about the providence of the Gods in the Laws, and such things as are delivered about the Fates, or the mother of the Fates, or the circulations of the universe, in the tenth book of the Republic. Again, you may, if you please, place in the third rank those Epistles, through which we may be able to arrive at the science about divine natures. For in these, mention is made of the three kings; and very many other divine dogmas worthy the Platonic theory are delivered. It is necessary therefore, looking to these, to explore in these each order of the Gods.

Thus from the Philebus, we may receive the science respecting the one good, and the two first principles of things, together with the triad13 which is unfolded into light from these. For you will find all these distinctly delivered to us by Plato in that dialogue. But from the Timæus, you may obtain the theory about intelligibles, a divine narration about the demiurgic monad: and the most full truth about the mundane Gods. But from the Phædrus, [you may acquire a scientific knowledge of] all the intelligible and intellectual genera, and of the liberated orders of Gods, which are proximately established above the celestial circulations. From the Politicus, you may obtain the theory of the fabrication in the heavens, of the uneven periods of the universe, and of the intellectual causes of those periods. But from the Sophista, the whole sublunary generation, and the peculiarity of the Gods who are allotted the sublunary region, and preside over its generations and corruptions. But with respect to each of the Gods, we may obtain many conceptions; adapted to sacred concerns from the Banquet, many from the Cratylus, and many from the Phædo. For in each of these dialogues, more or less mention is made of divine names, from which it is easy for those who are exercised in divine concerns to discover by a reasoning process the peculiarities of each.

It is necessary however, to evince that each of the dogmas accords with Platonic principles, and the mystic traditions of theologists. For all the Grecian theology is the progeny of the mystic tradition of Orpheus; Pythagoras first of all learning from Aglaophemus the orgies of the Gods, but Plato in the second place receiving an all-perfect science of the divinities from the Pythagoric and Orphic writings. For in the Philebus referring the theory about the two species of principles [bound and infinity] to the Pythagoreans, he calls them men dwelling with the Gods, and truly blessed. Philolaus therefore, the Pythagorean, has left us in writing many admirable conceptions about these principles, celebrating their common progression into beings, and their separate fabrication of things. But in the Timæus, Plato endeavouring to teach us about the sublunary Gods, and their order, flies to theologists, calls them the sons of the Gods, and makes them the fathers of the truth about those divinities. And lastly, he delivers the orders of the sublunary Gods proceeding from wholes, according to the progression delivered by them of the intellectual kings. Again, in the Cratylus he follows the traditions of theologists, respecting the order of the divine processions. But in the Gorgias, he adopts the Homeric dogma, respecting the triadic hypostasis of the demiurgi. And in short, he every where discourses concerning the Gods agreeably to the principles of theologists; rejecting indeed, the tragical part of mythological fiction, but establishing first hypotheses in common with the authors of fables.

Chapter VI.

Perhaps, however, some one may here object to us, that we do not in a proper manner exhibit the every where dispersed theology of Plato, and that we endeavour to heap together different particulars from different dialogues, as if we were studious of collecting together many things into one mixture, instead of deriving them all from one and the same fountain. For if this were the case, we might refer different dogmas to different treatises of Plato, but we shall by no means have a precedaneous doctrine concerning the Gods, nor will there be any dialogue which presents us with an all-perfect and entire procession of the divine genera, and their coordination with each other. But we shall be similar to those who endeavour to obtain a whole from parts, through the want of a whole prior to parts, and to weave together the perfect from things imperfect; when, on the contrary, the imperfect ought to have the first cause of its generation in the perfect. For the Timæus, for instance, will teach us the theory of the intelligible genera; and the Phædrus appears to present us with a methodical account of the first intellectual orders. But where will be the coordination of intellectuals to intelligibles? And what will be the generation of second from first natures? In short, after what manner the progression of the divine orders takes place from the one principle of all things, and how in the generations of the Gods, the orders between the one, and all-perfect number, are filled up, we shall be unable to evince.

Farther still, it may be said, where will be the venerableness of your boasted science about divine natures? For it is absurd to call these dogmas which are collected from many places Platonic; and which, as you acknowledge, are introduced from foreign names to the philosophy of Plato; nor are you able to evince one whole entire truth about divine natures. Perhaps, indeed, they will say, certain persons, junior to Plato, have delivered in their writings, and left to their disciples, one perfect form of theology. You, therefore, are able to produce one entire theory about nature from the Timæus; but from the Republic, or Laws, the most beautiful dogmas about manners, and which tend to one form of philosophy. Alone, therefore, neglecting the treatise of Plato, which contains all the good of the first philosophy, and which may be called the summit of the whole theory, you will be deprived of the most perfect knowledge of beings, unless you are so much infatuated, as to boast on account of fabulous fictions, though an analysis of things of this kind abounds with much of the probable, but not of the demonstrative. Besides, things of this kind are only delivered adventitiously in the Platonic dialogues; as the fable in the Protagoras, which is inserted for the sake of the politic science, and the demonstrations respecting it. In like manner, the fable in the Republic is inserted for the sake of justice; but in the Gorgias, for the sake of temperance. For Plato combines fabulous narrations with investigations of ethical dogmas, not for the sake of the fables, but for the sake of the leading design, that we may not only exercise the intellectual part of the soul, through contending reasons, but that the divine part of the soul may more perfectly receive the knowledge of beings, through its sympathy with more mystic concerns. For, from other discourses, we appear similar to those who are compelled to the reception of truth; but from fables we suffer in an ineffable manner, and call forth our unperverted conceptions, venerating the mystic information which they contain.

Hence, as it appears to me, Timæus with great propriety thinks it fit that we should produce the divine genera, following the inventors of fables as the sons of the Gods,14 and subscribe to their always generating secondary natures from such as are first, though they should speak without demonstration. For this kind of discourse is not demonstrative, but entheastic, and was invented by the ancients, not through necessity, but for the sake of persuasion, not regarding mere discipline, but sympathy with things themselves. But if you are willing to speculate not only the causes of fables, but of other theological dogmas, you will find that some of them are scattered in the Platonic dialogues for the sake of ethical,15 and others for the sake of physical considerations. For in the Philebus, Plato discourses concerning bound and the infinite, for the sake of pleasure and a life according to intellect. For I think the latter are species of the former. In the Timæus, the discourse about the intelligible Gods, is assumed for the sake of the proposed physiology. On which account it is every where necessary that images should be known from paradigms; but that the paradigms of material things should be immaterial, of sensibles, intelligible, and that the paradigms of physical forms should be separate.

But again in the Phædrus, Plato celebrates the supercelestial place, the subcelestial profundity, and every genus under this, for the sake of amatory mania: the manner in which the reminiscence of souls takes place, and the passage to these from hence. But every where, as I may say, the leading end is either physical or political, while the conceptions about divine natures take place, either for the sake of invention or perfection. How, therefore, can such a theory as yours be any longer venerable and supernatural, and worthy to be studied beyond every thing, when it is neither able to evince the whole in itself, nor the perfect, nor that which is precedaneous in the writings of Plato, but is destitute of all these, is violent and not spontaneous, and does not possess a genuine, but an adventitious order, as in a drama? And such are the objections which may be urged against our design.

Chapter VII.

I, however, to an objection of this kind, shall make a just and perspicuous reply. I say then, that Plato every where discourses about the Gods agreeably to ancient rumour, and to the nature of things. And sometimes indeed, for the sake of the cause of the things proposed, he reduces them to the principles of the dogmas; and thence, as from a watch tower, contemplates the nature of the thing proposed. But sometimes he establishes the theological science as the leading end. For in the Phædrus his subject respects intelligible beauty, and the participation of beauty pervading from thence through all things; and in the Banquet it respects the amatory order.

But if it be necessary to survey in one Platonic dialogue, the all-perfect, whole, and connected, extending as far as to the complete number of theology, I shall perhaps assert a paradox, and which will alone be apparent to our familiars. We ought however to dare, since we have entered on such like arguments, and affirm against our opponents, that the Parmenides, and the mystic conceptions it contains, will accomplish all you desire. For in this dialogue all the divine genera proceed in order from the first cause, and evince their mutual connexion and dependence on each other. And those which are highest indeed, connate, with the one, and of a primary nature, are allotted a unical, occult and simple form of hyparxis; but such as are last, are multiplied, are distributed into many parts, and are exuberant in number, but inferior in power to such as are of a higher order; and such as are middle, according to a convenient proportion, are more composite than their causes, but more simple than their proper progeny. And in short, all the axioms of the theologic science, appear in perfection in this dialogue, and all the divine orders are exhibited subsisting in connexion. So that this is nothing else than the celebrated generation of the Gods, and the procession of every kind of being from the ineffable and unknown cause of wholes. The Parmenides, therefore, enkindles in the lovers of Plato, the whole and perfect light of the theological science. But after this, the before mentioned dialogues distribute parts of the mystic discipline about the Gods, and all of them, as I may say, participate of divine wisdom, and excite our spontaneous conceptions respecting a divine nature. And it is necessary to refer all the parts of this mystic discipline to these dialogues, and these again to the one and all-perfect theory of the Parmenides. For thus, as it appears to me, we shall suspend the more imperfect from the perfect, and parts from wholes, and shall exhibit reasons assimilated to things, of which, according to the Platonic Timæus, they are interpreters. Such then is our answer to the objection which may be urged against us; and thus we refer the Platonic theory to the Parmenides; just as the Timæus is acknowledged by all who are in the least degree intelligent, to contain the whole science about nature.

Chapter VIII.

I appear, however, by these means, to have excited for myself a twofold contest against those who attempt to investigate the writings of Plato; and I see two sorts of persons, who will oppose what has been said. One of these does not think proper to explore any other design in the Parmenides, than exercise through opposite arguments, or to introduce in this dialogue a crowd of arcane and intellectual dogmas, which are foreign from its intention. But the other sort, who are more venerable than these, and lovers of forms assert, that one of the hypotheses is about the first God, another about the second God, and the whole of an intellectual nature, and a third, about the natures posterior to this, whether they are the more excellent genera, or souls, or any other kind of beings. For the investigation of these particulars does not pertain to the present discourse.

These, therefore, distribute three of the hypotheses after this manner. But they do not think proper to busy themselves about the multitude of Gods, the intelligible, and the intellectual genera, the supermundane and mundane natures, or to unfold all these by division, or busily explore them. For according to them, though Plato in the second hypothesis, treats about intellectual beings, yet the nature of intellect is one, simple and indivisible. Against both these therefore, must he contend, who entertains that opinion of the Parmenides, which we have before mentioned. The contest however against these is not equal. But those who make the Parmenides a logical exercise, are again attacked by those who embrace the divine mode of interpretation. And those who do not unfold the multitude of beings, and the orders of divine natures, are indeed, as Homer says, in every respect venerable and skilful men, but yet for the sake of the Platonic philosophy, we must doubt against them, following in this our leader to the most holy and mystic truth. It is proper likewise to relate as far as contributes to our purpose, what appears to us to be the truth respecting the hypotheses of the Parmenides; for thus perhaps by a reasoning process, we may embrace the whole theology of Plato.

Chapter IX.

In the first place then, let us consider those, who draw down the design of this dialogue from the truth of things to a logical exercise, and see whether they can possibly accord with the writings of Plato. It is therefore evident to every one, that Parmenides proposes to himself to deliver in reality the dialectic method, and that with this view he cursorily assumes it in a similar manner in each of the things which have a real being, as, in sameness, difference, similitude, dissimilitude, motion, and permanency, etc.; exhorting at the same time, those who desire to discover the nature of each of these in an orderly method, to this exercise, as to a great contest. He likewise asserts that it was by no means an easy undertaking to him who was so much advanced in years, assimilates himself to the Ibycean horse, and presents us with every argument to prove that this method is a serious undertaking, and not a contest consisting in mere words. How therefore, is it possible, that we can refer to empty arguments those conceptions16 about which the great Parmenides, evincing that they require much serious discussion, composed this discourse? How likewise is it reasonable to suppose that an aged man would busy himself with mere verbal contests, and that he who loved to speculate the truth of things, would bestow so much study on this method,—he who considered every thing else, as having no real existence, and who ascended to the high watch-tower of being itself? Indeed, he who admits this must suppose that Parmenides is satirized by Plato in this dialogue, by thus representing him drawn down to juvenile contests, from the most intellectual visions of the soul.

But if you are willing, let us consider in addition to the above, what Parmenides promises, and on what subject engaging to speak, he entered on this discussion. Was it not then about being according to his doctrine, and the unity of all beings, to which extending himself, his design was concealed from the vulgar, while he exhorts us to collect the multitude of beings into one undivided union? If, therefore, this is the one being, or that which is the highest, and which is perfectly established above the reasons conversant with opinion, is it not absurd to confound dogmas about intelligibles with doxastic arguments? For indeed, such a form of discourse is not adapted to the hypothesis about true beings, nor does the intellection of unapparent and separate causes harmonize with dialectic exercises; but these differ from each other, so far as intellect is established above opinion, as Timæus informs us, and not Timæus only, but likewise the dæmoniacal Aristotle, who, discoursing on a power of this kind, exhorts us to make our investigations, neither about things perfectly unapparent to us, nor about such as are more known.

It is far therefore from being the case, that Parmenides, who places the science of beings above that which appears to be truth to those who rank sense before intellect, should introduce doxastic knowledge to an intellective nature, since a knowledge of this kind is dubious, various, and unstable; or that he should speculate true being with this doxastic wisdom, and inane discussion. For a various form of knowledge does not harmonize17 with that which is simple, nor the multiform with the uniform, nor the doxastic with the intelligible.

But still further, nor must this be omitted, that such a mode of discourse is perfectly foreign from the discussion of Parmenides. For he discourses about all beings, and delivers the order of wholes, their progression beginning from the one, and their conversion ending in the one. But the argumentative method is very remote from scientific theory. Does it not therefore appear, that Plato must have attributed a discordant hypothesis to Parmenides, if it be said that he merely regards an exercise through opposite arguments, and that for the sake of the power employed in this exercise, he excites the whole of this evolution of reasons? Indeed, it will be found that in all the other dialogues, Plato attributes hypotheses to each of the philosophers adapted to their peculiar tenets. Thus to Timæus, he assigns the doctrine about nature; to Socrates, that of a republic; to the Elean guest, that about being; and to the priestess Diotima, that respecting love. Afterwards, each of the other dialogues confines itself to those arguments which are adapted to the writings of the principal person of the dialogue. But Parmenides alone will appear to us wise in his poems, and in his diligent investigation of true being, but in the Platonic scene, he will be the leader of a juvenile muse. This opinion, therefore, accuses Plato of dissimilitude of imitation, though he himself condemns the poets, for ascribing to the sons of the Gods a love of money, and a life subject to the dominion of the passions. How, therefore, can we refer a discussion of doxastic and empty arguments to the leader of the truth of beings?

But if it be necessary that omitting a multitude of arguments, we should make Plato himself a witness of the proposed discussion, we will cite if you please what is written in the Theætetus and Sophista; for from these dialogues what we assert will be apparent. In the Theætetus then Socrates being excited by a young man to a confutation of those who assert that being is immoveable, attacks among these an opinion of this kind entertained by Parmenides, and at the same time assigns the cause. “I blush,” says he, “for Parmenides, who is one of these, more than for all the rest; for I, when very young, was conversant with him when he was very elderly, and he appeared to me to possess a certain profundity perfectly generous. I am afraid therefore, lest we do not understand what has been asserted, and much more am I fearful that we fall short of the meaning of Parmenides.” With great propriety therefore do we assert, that the proposed discussion does not regard a logical exercise, and make this the end of the whole, but that it pertains to the science of the first principles of things. For how could Socrates using a power of this kind, and neglecting the knowledge of things, testify that the discourse of Parmenides possessed a depth perfectly generous? And what venerableness can there be in adopting a method which proceeds doxastically through opposite reasons, and in Undertaking such an invention of arguments?

Again, in the Sophista, exciting the Elean guest to a perspicuous evolution of the things proposed by him, and evincing that he was now accustomed to more profound discourses: “Inform me,” says he, “whether it is your custom to give a prolix discussion of a subject which you are able to demonstrate to any one by interrogations; I mean such discussions as Parmenides himself formerly used, accompanied with all-beautiful reasons, and of which I was an auditor when I was very young, and he was very elderly?” What reason then can be assigned, why we should not believe Socrates, when he asserts that the arguments of Parmenides were all-beautiful, and possessed a generous profundity, and why we should degrade the discussion of Parmenides, hurl it from essence and being, and transfer it to a vulgar, trifling, and empty contest, neither considering that discourses of this kind are alone adapted to youth, nor regarding the hypothesis of being characterized by the one, nor any thing else which opposes such an opinion?

But I likewise think it is proper that the authors of this hypothesis, should consider the power of dialectic, such as it is exhibited by Socrates in the Republic;—how, as he says, it surrounds all disciplines like a defensive enclosure, and elevates those that use it, to the good itself, and t
he first unities, purifies the eye of the soul, establishes it in true beings, and the one principle of all things, and ends at last in that which is no longer hypothetical. For if the power of this dialectic is so great, and the end of this path so mighty, it is not proper to confound doxastic arguments, with a method of this kind. For the former regards the opinions of men, but the latter is called garrulity by the vulgar. And the one is perfectly destitute of disciplinative science, but the other is the defensive enclosure of such sciences, and the passage to it is through these. Again, the doxastic method of reasoning has for its end18 the apparent, but the dialectic method endeavours to arrive at the one itself, always employing for this purpose steps of ascent, and at last, beautifully ends in the nature of the good.

By no means therefore, is it fit that we should draw down to doxastic arguments, a method which is established among the most accurate sciences. For the merely logical method which presides over the demonstrative phantasy, is of a secondary nature, and is alone pleased with contentious discussions; but our dialectic, for the most part, employs divisions and analyses as primary sciences, and as imitating the progression of beings from the one, and their conversion to it again. But it likewise sometimes uses definitions and demonstrations, and prior to these the definitive method, and the dividing method prior to this. On the contrary, the doxastic method is deprived of the incontrovertible reasonings of demonstration. Is it not, therefore, necessary that these powers must be separated from each other, and that the discussion of Parmenides, which employs our dialectic, must be free from the empty variety of mere argument, and must fabricate its reasonings with a view to being itself, and not to that which is apparent? And thus much may suffice in answer to those who reprobate our hypotheses. For if all this cannot convince them, we shall in vain endeavour to persuade them, and urge them to the speculation of things.

Chapter X.

But a greater and more difficult contest remains for me, against those lovers of the speculation of beings, who look to the science of first causes, as the end proposed in the hypothesis of the Platonic Parmenides; and this contest we will accomplish, if you please, by numerous and more known arguments.

And in the first place, we shall define what that is, about which our discourse against them will be employed; for this, I think, will render the mystic doctrine of Plato concerning divine natures, apparent in the highest degree. There are, therefore, nine hypotheses which are discussed by Parmenides in this dialogue, as we have evinced in our commentaries upon it. And the five precedaneous hypotheses suppose that the one has a subsistence, and through this hypothesis, that all beings, the mediums of wholes, and the terminations of the progressions of things, may be supposed to subsist. But the four hypotheses which follow these, introduce the one, not having a subsistence, according to the exhortation of the dialectic method, show that by taking away the one, all beings, and such things as have an apparent existence, must be entirely subverted, and propose to themselves the confutation of this hypothesis. And some of the hypotheses evidently conclude every thing according to reason, but others (if I may be allowed the expression) perfectly evince things more impossible than impossibilities; which circumstance some prior to us perceiving, as it appears to me, necessarily to happen in these hypotheses, have considered it as deserving discussion,19 in their treatises on this dialogue.

With respect to the first of the hypotheses therefore, almost all agree in asserting, that Plato through this celebrates the superessential principle of wholes, as ineffable, unknown, and above all being. But all do not explain the hypothesis posterior to this after the same manner. For the ancient Platonists, and those who participated the philosophy of Plotinus assert that an intellectual nature presents itself to the view in this hypothesis, subsisting from the superessential principle of things, and endeavour to harmonize to the one and all-perfect power of intellect, such conclusions as are the result of this hypothesis. But that leader of ours to truth about the Gods, and confabulator of Plato (that I may use the language of Homer) who transferred what was indefinite in the theory of the more ancient philosophers, to bound, and reduced the confusion of the different orders to an intellectual distinction, in the writings which he communicated to his associates;—this our leader, in his treatise on the present subject, calls upon us to adopt a distinct division of the conclusions, to transfer this division to the divine orders, and to harmonize the first and most simple of the things exhibited to the first of beings; but to adapt those in the middle rank to middle natures, according to the order which they are allotted among beings; and such as are last and multiform, to ultimate progressions. For the nature of being is not one, simple, and indivisible; but as in sensibles, the mighty heaven is one, yet it comprehends in itself a multitude of bodies; and the monad connectedly contains multitude, but in the multitude there is an order of progression; and of sensibles, some are first, some middle, and some last; and prior to these, in souls, from one soul a multitude of souls subsists, and of these, some are placed in an order nearer, but others more remote from their wholeness, and others again fill up the medium of the extremes;—in like manner, it is doubtless necessary that among perfectly true beings, such genera as are uniform and occult, should be established in the one and first cause of wholes, but that others should proceed into all multitude, and a whole number, and that others should contain the bond of these, in a middle situation. It is likewise by no means proper to harmonize the peculiarities of first natures with such as are second, nor of those that possess a subject order, with such as are more unical, but it is requisite that among these, some should have powers different from others, and that there should be an order in this progression of true beings, and an unfolding of second from first natures.

In short, being which subsists according to, or is characterized by the one, proceeds indeed from the unity prior to beings, but generates the whole divine genus, viz. the intelligible, intellectual, supermundane, and that which proceeds as far as to the mundane order. But our preceptor likewise asserts, that each of the conclusions is indicative of a divine peculiarity. And though all the conclusions harmonize to all the progressions of the one being, or of being characterized by the one, yet I am of opinion, it is by no means wonderful, that some conclusions should more accord with some hypotheses than with others. For such things as express the peculiarity of certain orders, do not necessarily belong to all the Gods; but such as belong to all, are doubtless by a much greater reason present with each. If, therefore, we ascribe to Plato, an adventitious division of the divine orders,20 and do not clearly evince that, in other dialogues, he celebrates the progressions of the Gods from on high to the extremity of things, sometimes in fables respecting the soul, and at other times, in other theological modes, we shall absurdly attribute to him, such a division of being, and together with this, of the progression of the one. But if we can evince from other dialogues, that he (as will be manifest in the course of this work) has celebrated all the kingdoms of the Gods, in a certain respect, is it not impossible, that in the most mystic of all his works, he should deliver through the first hypothesis, the exempt transcendency of the one with respect to all the genera of beings, to being itself, to a psychical essence, to form, and to matter, but that he should make no mention of the divine progressions, and their orderly separation? For if it is proper to contemplate last things only, why do we touch on the first principle before other things? Or if we think fit to unfold the multitude of the proper hypotheses, why do we pass by the genus of the Gods, and the divisions which it contains? Or if we unfold the natures subsisting between the first and last of things, why do we leave unknown the whole orders of those divine beings, which subsist between the one, and natures that are in any respect deified? For all these particulars evince, that the whole discourse is defective, with respect to the science of things divine.

But still farther, Socrates, in the Philebus, calls upon those that love the contemplation of beings, to use the dividing method, and always to explore the monads of total orders, and the duads, triads, or any other numbers proceeding from these. If this then is rightly determined, it is doubtless necessary that the Parmenides, which employs the whole dialectic method, and discourses about being which is characterized by the one, should neither speculate multitude about the one, nor remain in the one monad of beings, nor in short, introduce to the one which is above all beings, the whole multitude of first beings immediately, but should unfold, as in the first order, such beings as have an occult subsistence, and are allied to the one; but as in the middle rank, those genera of the Gods which subsist according to progression, and which are more divided than the extremely united, but are allotted a union more perfect, than such as have proceeded to the utmost; and should unfold as in the last rank, such as subsist according to the last division of powers, and together with these, such as have a deified essence. If, therefore, the first of the hypotheses is about the one which is above all multitude, it is doubtless necessary that the hypothesis which follows this, should not unfold being itself in an indefinite and indistinct manner, but should deliver all the orders of beings. For the dividing method does not admit, that we should introduce the whole of multitude at once to the one, as Socrates teaches us in the Philebus.

Besides, we may evince the truth of what we assert from the very method of the demonstrations. For the first of the conclusions become immediately manifest from the least, most simple, most known, and as it were common conceptions. But those which are next in order to these, become apparent through a greater multitude of conceptions, and such as are more various. And the last conclusions are entirely the most composite. For he always uses the first conclusions, as subservient to the demonstration of those that follow,21 and presents us with an intellectual paradigm of the order observed in geometry, or other disciplines, in the connexion of these conclusions with each other. If, therefore, discourses bring with them an image of the things of which they are interpreters, and if, as are the evolutions from demonstrations, such must the order necessarily be of the things exhibited, it appears to me to be necessary, that such things as derive their beginning from the most simple principles, must be in every respect of a more primary nature, and must be arranged as conjoined with the one; but that such as are always multiplied, and suspended from various demonstrations, must have proceeded farther from the subsistence22 of the one.

For the demonstrations which have two conclusions, must necessarily contain the conclusions prior to themselves; but those which contain primary, spontaneous, and simple conceptions, are not necessarily united with such as are more composite, which are exhibited through more abundant media, and which are farther distant from the principle of beings. It appears therefore, that some of the conclusions are indicative of more divine orders, but others, of such as are more subordinate; some, of more united, and others, of more multiplied orders; and again, some, of more uniform, and others, of more multiform progressions. For demonstrations are universally from causes, and things first. If, therefore, first are the causes of second conclusions, there is an order of causes, and things caused, in the multitude of the conclusions. For, indeed, to confound all things, and speculate them indefinitely in one, neither accords with the nature of things, nor the science of Plato.

Chapter XI.

Again, therefore, let us discuss this affair in another way, and view with the dianoëtic power, where any thing futile is delivered. For let it be said, if you please, and we will first of all allow it, that the conclusions of this second hypothesis are about true being. But as this is multitude, and not only one itself, like the one prior to beings; for being is that which is passive to the one, as the Elean guest in the Sophista informs us; and as it is universally acknowledged by our opponents, who establish that which is first as the one, but intellect, as one many, soul, as one and many, and body, as many and one:—as therefore, this has been asserted a thousand times, I mean that in true being there is multitude together with union, whether will they say that these things harmonize with the whole of being, but not with its parts, or both with the whole and its parts? And again, we ask them, whether they attribute all things to each part of being, or whether they ascribe different things to different parts?

If, therefore, they are of opinion, that each particular should alone harmonize with the whole of being, being will consist of non-beings, that which is moved, of things immoveable, that which abides, of things deprived of permanency, and universally, all things will consist of their opposites, and we shall no longer agree with the discourse of Parmenides, who says that the parts of being characterized by the one, are in a certain respect wholes, and that each of them is one and being, in a manner similar to the whole. But if we attribute all things to each part, and there is nothing which we do not make all things, how can the summit of being, and that which is most eminently one, contain a wholeness, and an incomprehensible multitude of parts? How can it at one and the same time contain the whole of number, figure, motion and permanency, and in short all forms and genera? For these differ from each other, and the hypothesis will assert things impossible. For things near to, will be similarly multiplied with things remote from the one, and that which is first, will not be a less multitude than that which is last; nor again, will the last of things be a less one than the first, and things in the middle will have no difference with respect to division from the extremes.

As therefore, it is not proper to ascribe all this multitude of conclusions to the whole alone, nor to consider all things in a similar manner in all the parts of being, it remains that different conclusions must harmonize with different things. It is necessary, therefore, that either the enumeration of the conclusions should be inordinate, or ordinate. But if they say they are inordinate, they neither speak agreeably to the dialectic method, nor to the mode of demonstrations, which always generate things secondary from such as are first, nor to the science of Plato, which always accompanies the order of things. But if they say the conclusions are regular, I think it is entirely necessary, that they should either begin from things first according to nature, or from things last. But if from things last being characterised by the one will be the last, and that which is moved according to time, the first. This, however, is impossible. For that which participates of time, must by a much greater priority participate of first being. But that which participates of first being, does not necessarily participate of time. First being, therefore, is above time. If then Plato begins from first being, but ends in that which participates of time, he proceeds supernally from the first to the last parts of true being. Hence, the first conclusions are to be referred to the first orders, the middle, for the same reason, to the middle orders, and the last, as is evident, to such as are last. For it is necessary, as our discourse has evinced, that different conclusions should be assigned to different things, and that a distribution of this kind should commence from such things as are highest.

But likewise, the order of the hypotheses, as it appears to me, is a sufficient argument of the truth of our assertion. For with us the one which is exempt from all multitude, is allotted the first order, and from this the evolution of all the arguments commences. But the second order after this, is about true beings, and the unity which these participate. And the third order in regular succession, is about soul. Whether, therefore, is it about every soul or not? In answer to this, we shall observe, that our leader Syrianus has beautifully shown, that the discourse about whole souls is comprehended in the second hypothesis. If, therefore, the order of these three hypotheses proceeds according to the nature of things, it is evident that the second is produced from the first, and the last from the second. For I would ask those who are not entirely unskilled in discourses of this kind, what can be more allied to the one, than being characterized by the one, which the first of the conclusions of the second hypothesis unfolds? Or what can be more allied to soul, than that which participates of time, which subsists divisibly, and which is the last thing exhibited in this hypothesis? For the life of partial as well as of total souls is according to time. And first being is that which first participates of the one, and through its connexion with being, has a redundant hyparxis with respect to the imparticipable unity. But if this hypothesis is the middle, and if we aptly harmonize the highest conclusions with things highest, we should doubtless harmonize middles with middles. For this hypothesis commencing from first being, proceeds through all the genera posterior to it, till it ends in a nature participating of time.

But, farther, from the common confession of those interpreters of Plato, who were skilled in divine concerns, we can demonstrate the same things as we have above asserted. For Plotinus, in his book On Numbers, enquiring whether beings subsist prior to numbers, or numbers prior to beings, clearly asserts that the first being subsists prior to numbers, and that it generates the divine number. But if this is rightly determined by him, and being is generative of the first number, but number is produced by being, it is not proper to confound the order of these genera, nor to collect them into one hypostasis, nor, since Plato separately produces first being, and separately number, to refer each of the conclusions to the same order. For it is by no means lawful, that cause and the thing caused, should have either the same power, or the same order: but these are distinct from each other; and the science concerning them is likewise distinct, and neither the nature, nor the definition of them is one and the same.

But, after Plotinus, Porphyry in his treatise On Principles, evinces by many and beautiful arguments, that intellect is eternal, but that at the same time, it contains in itself something prior to the eternal, and through which it is conjoined with the one. For the one is above all eternity, but the eternal has a second, or rather third order in intellect. For it appears to me to be necessary that eternity should be established in the middle of that which is prior to the eternal, and the eternal. But of this hereafter. At the same time, thus much may be collected from what has been said, that intellect contains something in itself better than the eternal. Admitting this, therefore, we ask the father of this assertion, whether this something better than the eternal is not only being characterized by the one, but is a whole and parts, and all multitude, number and figure, that which is moved, and that which is permanent; or whether we are to ascribe some of the conclusions to it, but not others? For it is impossible that all these can accord with a nature prior to eternity, since every intellectual motion, and likewise permanency, are established in eternity. But if we are to ascribe some of the conclusions to it, and not others, it is evident that other orders in intellect are to be investigated, and that each of the conclusions is to be referred to that order, to which it appears particularly adapted. For intellect is not one in number, and an atom, as it appeared to be to some of the ancients, but it comprehends in itself the whole progression of first being.

But the third who makes for our purpose after these, is the divine Iamblichus, who, in his treatise Concerning the Gods, accuses those who place the genera of being in intelligibles, because the number and variety of these is more remote from the one. But afterwards he informs us where these ought to be placed. For they are produced in the end of the intellectual order, by the Gods which there subsist. How the genera of being, however, both are, and are not in intelligibles, will be hereafter apparent. But if, according to his arrangement of the divine orders, intelligibles are exempt from the genera of being, much more are they exempt from similitude and dissimilitude, equality and inequality. Each of the conclusions, therefore, ought not in a similar manner to be accommodated to all things, so as to refer them to the whole breadth of the intelligible, or intellectual order. Hence from what the best of the interpreters have said, when philosophizing according to their own doctrines, both the multitude of the divine orders, and of the Platonic arguments, are to be considered as proceeding according to an orderly distinction.

In addition, likewise, to what has been said, this also may be asserted, that we cannot, on any other hypothesis, obtain a rational solution of the many doubts which present themselves on this subject, but shall ignorantly ascribe what is rash and vain to this treatise of Plato. For in the first place, why are there only so many conclusions, and neither more nor less? For there are fourteen conclusions. But as there are so many, we cannot assign the reason of this, unless we distribute them in conjunction with things themselves. In the second place, neither shall we be able to find the cause of the order of the conclusions with respect to each other, and how some have a prior, and others a posterior establishment, according to the reason of science, unless the order of the conclusions proceeds in conjunction with the progression of beings. In the third place, why do some of the conclusions become known from things proximately demonstrated, but others from preceding demonstrations? For that the one is a whole and contains parts, is demonstrated from being, which is characterized by the one; but its subsistence in itself and in another, is placed in a proximate order, after the possession of figure, but is demonstrated from whole and parts. Or why are some things often demonstrated, from two of the particulars previously evinced, but others from one of them? For we shall be ignorant of each of these, and shall neither be able scientifically to speculate their number, nor their order, nor their alliance to each other, unless following things themselves, we evince that this whole hypothesis is a dialectic arrangement, proceeding from on high through all the middle genera, as far as to the termination of first being.

Again, if we should say, that all the conclusions demonstrate syllogistically only, in what respect shall we differ from those, who assert that the whole of this discussion consists of doxastic arguments, and only regards a mere verbal contest? But if it is not only syllogistic, but likewise demonstrative, it is doubtless necessary, that the middle should be the cause of, and by nature prior to the conclusion. As, therefore, we make the conclusions of the preceding reasons, the media of those that follow, the things which the arguments respect, must doubtless have a similar order as to being, and their progeny must be the causes of things subject, and generative of such as are secondary. But if this be admitted, how can we allow that all of them have the same peculiarity and nature? For cause, and that which is produced from cause, are separated from each other.

But this likewise will happen to those who assert that one nature is to be explored in all the arguments, that they will by no means perceive how in the three first conclusions, the one remains unseparated from being, but is first separated in the fourth conclusion. But in all the following conclusions, the one is explored considered as subsisting itself by itself. Is it not therefore necessary, that these orders must differ from each other? For that which is without separation, in consequence of having an occult and undivided subsistence, is more allied to the one, but that which is separated, has proceeded farther from the first principle of things.

Again, if you are willing to consider the multitude of the arguments, and the extent of the hypothesis, how much it differs from that which follows it,—neither from this will it appear to you to be entirely about one and an unseparated nature. For reasonings about divine concerns, are contracted in the more principal causes, because in these the occult is more abundant than the perspicuous, and the ineffable than the known. But they become multiplied and evolved, by proceeding to divine orders more proximate to our nature. For such things as are more allied to that which is ineffable, unknown, and exempt in inaccessible places, are allotted an hyparxis more foreign from verbal enunciation. But such things as have proceeded farther, are both more known to us, and more apparent to the phantasy, than such as have a prior subsistence.

This, therefore, being abundantly proved, it is necessary that the second hypothesis, should unfold all the divine orders, and should proceed on high, from the most simple and unical to the whole multitude, and all the number of divine natures, in which the order of true being ends, which indeed is spread under the unities of the Gods, and at the same time is divided in conjunction with their occult and ineffable peculiarities. If, therefore, we are not deceived in admitting this, it follows, that from this hypothesis, the continuity of the divine orders, and the progression of second from first natures, is to be assumed, together with the peculiarity of all the divine genera. And indeed, what their communion is with each other, and what their distinction proceeding according to measure, likewise, the auxiliaries which may be found in other dialogues respecting the truth of real beings, or the unities which they contain, are all to be referred to this hypothesis. For, here we may contemplate the total progressions of the Gods, and their all-perfect orders, according to theological science. For as we have before shown that the whole treatise of the Parmenides has reference to the truth of things, and that it was not devised as a vain evolution of words, it is doubtless necessary, that the nine hypotheses which it discusses, employing the dialectic method, but speculating with divine science, should be about things and certain natures, which are either middle or last. If, therefore, Parmenides acknowledges that his whole discourse will be about the one, and how it subsists with respect to itself, and all other things, it is evident that the speculation of the one, must commence from that which is highest, but end in that which is the last of all things. For the hyparxis of the one proceeds from on high, as far as to the most obscure hypostasis of things.

Chapter XII.

As the first hypothesis, however, demonstrates by negations the ineffable supereminence of the first principle of things, and evinces that he is exempt from all essence and knowledge,—it is evident that the hypothesis after this, as being proximate to it, must unfold the whole order of the Gods. For Parmenides does not alone assume the intellectual and essential peculiarity of the Gods, but likewise the divine characteristic of their hyparxis through the whole of this hypothesis. For what other one can that be which is participated by being, than that which is in every being divine, and through which all things are conjoined with the imparticipable one? For as bodies through their life are conjoined with soul, and as souls through their intellective part, are extended to total intellect, and the first intelligence, in like manner true beings through the one which they contain are reduced to an exempt union, and subsist in unproceeding union with this first cause.

But because this hypothesis commences from that which is one being, or being characterized by the one, and establishes the summit of intelligibles as the first after the one, but ends in an essence which participates of time, and deduces divine souls to the extremities of the divine orders, it is necessary that the third hypothesis should demonstrate by various conclusions, the whole multitude of partial souls, and the diversities which they contain. And thus far the separate and incorporeal hypostasis proceeds.

After this follows that nature which is divisible about bodies, and inseparable from matter, which the fourth hypothesis delivers supernally suspended from the Gods. And the last hypothesis is the procession of matter, whether considered as one, or as various, which the fifth hypothesis demonstrates by negations, according to its dissimilar similitude23 to the first. But sometimes, indeed, the negations are privations, and sometimes the exempt causes of all the productions. And what is the most wonderful of all, the highest negations are only enunciative, but some in a supereminent manner, and others according to deficiency. But each of the negations consequent to these is affirmative; the one paradigmatically, but the other iconically, or after the manner of an image. But the middle corresponds to the order of soul, for it is composed from affirmative and negative conclusions. But it possesses negations coordinate to affirmations. Nor is it alone multiplied, like material natures,24 nor does it possess an adventitious one; but the one which it contains, though it is still one, yet subsists in motion and multiplication, and in its progressions is, as it were, absorbed by essence. And such are the hypotheses which unfold all beings, both separable and inseparable, together with the causes of wholes, as well exempt, as subsisting in things themselves, according to the hyparxis of the one.

But there are four other hypotheses besides these, which by taking away the one, evince that all things must be entirely subverted, both beings and things in generation, and that no being can any longer have any subsistence; and this, in order that he may demonstrate the one to be the cause of being and preservation, that through it all things participate of the nature of being, and that each has its hyparxis suspended from the one. And in short, we syllogistically collect this through all beings, that if the one is, all things subsist as far as to the last hypostasis, and if it is not, no being has any subsistence. The one, therefore, is both the hypostatic and preservative cause of all things; which Parmenides also himself collects at the end of the dialogue. With respect, however, to the hypothesis of the Parmenides, its division, and the speculation of its several parts, we have sufficiently treated in our commentaries on that dialogue; so that it would be superfluous to enter into a prolix discussion of these particulars at present. But as from what has been said, it appears whence we may assume the whole of theology, and from what dialogues we may collect into one the theology distributed according to parts, we shall in the next place treat about the common dogmas of Plato, which are adapted to sacred concerns, and which extend to all the divine orders, and shall evince that each of these is defined by him according to the most perfect science. For things common are prior to such as are peculiar, and are more known according to nature.

Chapter XIII.

In the first place, therefore, we shall assume the things which are demonstrated in the Laws, and contemplate how they take the lead, with respect to the truth about the Gods, and are the most ancient of all the other mystic conceptions about a divine nature. Three things, therefore, are asserted by Plato in these writings; that there are Gods; that their providence extends to all things; and that they administer all things according to justice, and suffer no perversion from worse natures.

That these then obtain the first rank25 among all theological dogmas, is perfectly evident. For what can be of a more leading nature, than the hyparxis of the Gods, or than boniform providence, or immutable and undeviating power? Through which they produce secondary natures uniformly, preserve themselves in an undefiled manner, and convert them to themselves. But the Gods indeed govern other things, but suffer nothing from subordinate natures, nor are changed with the variety of the things to which their providence extends. We shall learn, however, how these things are defined according to nature, if we endeavour to embrace by a reasoning process the scientific method of Plato about each of them; and prior to these, survey by what irrefragable arguments he proves that there are Gods; and thus afterwards consider such problems as are conjoined with this dogma.

Of all beings, therefore, it is necessary that some should move only, but that others should be moved only, and that the natures situated between these, should both move and be moved. And with respect to these last it is necessary, either that they should move others being themselves moved by others, or that they should be self-motive. These four hypostases likewise, are necessarily placed in an orderly series, one after another; that which is moved only and suffers, depending on other primary causes; that which moves others, and is at the same time moved, being prior to this; that which is self-motive, and which is beyond that which both moves and is moved, beginning from itself, and through its own motion imparting the representation of being moved, to other things; and that which is immoveable, preceding whatever participates either producing or passive motion. For every thing self-motive, in consequence of possessing its perfection in a transition and interval of life, depends on another more ancient cause, which always subsists according to sameness, and in a similar manner, and whose life is not in time, but in eternity. For time is an image of eternity.

If, therefore, all things which are moved by themselves, are moved according to time, but the eternal form of motion is above that which is carried in time, the self-motive nature will be second in order, and not the first of beings. But that which moves others, and is moved by others, must necessarily be suspended from a self-motive nature: and not this alone, but likewise every alter-motive fabrication, as the Athenian guest demonstrates. For if all things, says he, should stand still, unless self-motive natures had a subsistence among things, there would be no such thing as that which is first moved. For that which is immoveable, is by no means naturally adapted to be moved, nor will there then be that which is first moved; but the alter-motive nature is indigent of another moving power. The self-motive nature, therefore, alone, as beginning from its own energy, will move both itself and others in a secondary manner. For a thing of this kind imparts the power of being moved to alter-motive natures, in the same manner as an immoveable nature imparts a motive power to all beings. In the third place, that which is moved only, must first of all be suspended from things moved by another, but moving others. For it is necessary, both that other things, and the series of things moved, which extends in an orderly manner from on high to the last of things, should be filled with their proper media.

All bodies, therefore, belong to those things which are naturally moved only, and are passive. For they are productive of nothing, on account of possessing an hypostasis endued with interval, and participating of magnitude and bulk; since every thing productive and motive of others, naturally produces and moves, by employing an incorporeal power.

But of incorporeal natures, some are divisible about bodies, but others are exempt from such a division about the last of things. Those incorporeals, therefore, which are divisible about the bulks of bodies, whether they subsist in qualities, or in material forms, belong to the number of things moved by another, but at the same time moving others. For these, because they possess an incorporeal allotment, participate of a motive power; but because they are divided about bodies, are deprived of the power of verging to themselves, are divided together with their subjects, and are full of sluggishness from these, they are indigent of a motive nature which is not borne along in a foreign seat, but possesses an hypostasis in itself. Where, therefore, shall we obtain that which moves itself? For things extended into natures possessing bulk and interval, or which are divided in these, and subsist inseparably about them, must necessarily either be moved only, or be motive through others. But it is necessary, as we have before observed, that a self-motive nature should be prior to these, which is perfectly established in itself, and not in others, and which fixes its energies in itself, and not in things different from itself. There is, therefore, another certain nature exempt from bodies, both in the heavens and in these very mutable elements, from which bodies primarily derive the power of being moved. Hence, if it be requisite to discover what such an essence as this is, (rightly following Socrates, and considering what the end of things is,) which by being present to alter-motive natures, imparts to them a representation of self-motion, to which of the above mentioned natures shall we ascribe the power of things being moved from themselves? For all inanimate natures are alone alter-motive, and whatever they suffer, they are adapted to suffer, through a certain power externally moving and compelling. It remains, therefore, that animated natures must possess this representation, and that they are self-motive in a secondary degree, but that the soul which is in them, primarily moves itself, and is moved by itself, and that through a power derived from itself as it imparts life to bodies, so likewise it extends to them from itself a representation of being moved by themselves.

If, therefore, the self-motive essence is more ancient than alter-motive natures, but soul is primarily self-motive, from which the image of self-motion is imparted to bodies, soul will be beyond bodies, and the motion of every body, will be the progeny of soul, and of the motion it contains. Hence it is necessary that the whole heaven and all the bodies it contains possessing various motions, and being moved with these different motions, according to nature (for a circulation is natural to every body of this kind) should have ruling souls, which are essentially more ancient than bodies, and which are moved in themselves, and supernally illuminate these with the power of being moved. It is necessary, therefore, that these souls which dispose in an orderly manner the whole world and the parts it contains, and who impart to every thing corporeal which is of itself destitute of life, the power of being moved, inspiring it, for this purpose, with the cause of motion, should either move all things conformably to reason, or after a contrary manner, which it is not lawful to assert. But if indeed, this world and every thing in it which is disposed in an orderly manner, and is moved equally and perpetually according to nature, as is demonstrated, partly in the mathematical disciplines, and partly in physical discussions, is suspended from an irrational soul, which moving itself moves also other things, neither the order of the periods, nor the motion which is bounded by one reason, nor the position of bodies, nor any other of those things which are generated according to nature, will have a stable cause, and which is able to distribute every thing in an orderly manner, and according to an invariable sameness of subsistence. For every thing irrational is naturally adapted to be adorned by something different from itself, and is indefinite and unadorned in its own nature. But to commit all heaven to a thing of this kind, and a circulation revolving according to reason, and with an invariable sameness, is by no means adapted, either to the nature of things, or to our undisciplined conceptions. If however, an intellectual soul, and which employs reason, governs all things, and if every thing which is moved with a perpetual lation, is governed by a soul of this kind, and there is no one of the wholes in the universe destitute of soul (for no body is honourable if deprived of such a power as this, as Theophrastus somewhere says) if this be the case, whether does it possess this intellectual, perfect, and beneficent power, according to participation, or according to essence? For if, according to essence, it is necessary that every soul should be of this kind, since each according to its own nature is self-motive. But if, according to participation, there will be another intellect subsisting in energy, more ancient than soul, which essentially possesses intellection, and by its very being pre-assumes in itself the uniform knowledge of wholes; since it is also necessary that the soul which is essentialized according to reason, should possess that which pertains, to intellect through participation, and that the intellectual nature should be twofold; the one subsisting primarily in a divine intellect itself; but the other, which proceeds from this, subsisting secondarily in soul. To which, you may add, if you please, the presence of intellectual illumination in body. For whence is the whole of this heaven either spherical or moved in a circle, and whence does it revolve with a sameness of circulation according to one definite order? For how could it always be allotted the same idea and power immutably according to nature, if it did not participate of specific formation according to intellect? For soul, indeed, is the supplier of motion; but the cause of a firm establishment, and that which reduces the unstable mutation of things that are moved, into sameness, and also a life which is bounded by one reason, and a circulation which subsists with invariable sameness, will evidently be superior to soul.

Body, therefore, and the whole of this sensible nature belong to things which are alter-motive. But soul is self-motive, binding in itself all corporeal motions; and prior to this is intellect which is immoveable. Let no one, however, suppose that I assert this immobility of intellect to resemble that which is sluggish, destitute of life,26 and without respiration, but that it is the leading cause of all motion, and the fountain, if you are willing so to denominate it, of all life, both of that which is converted to itself, and of that which has its hypostasis in other things. Through these causes also, the world is denominated by Timæus, an animal endued with soul and intellect; being called by him an animal according to its own nature, and the life pervading to it from soul, and which is distributed about it, but animated or endued with soul, according to the presence of a divine soul in it, and endued with intellect, according to intellectual domination. For the supply of life, the government of soul, and the participation of intellect connect and contain the whole of heaven.

If, however, this intellect is essentially intellect, since Timæus indicating that the essence of intellect is the same with its intellection, denominates it divine; for he says, that soul receiving: a divine intellect led an upright and wise life; if, therefore, this be the case, it is necessary that the whole world should be suspended from its divinity, and that motion indeed should be present to this universe from soul, but that its perpetual permanency and sameness of subsistence should be derived from intellect, and that its one union, the conspiration in it and sympathy, and its all-perfect measure should originate from that unity,27 from which intellect is uniform, soul is one,28 every being is whole and perfect according to its own nature, and every thing secondary together with perfection, in its own proper nature, participates of another more excellent peculiarity, from an order which is always established above it. For that which is corporeal being alter-motive, derives from soul the representation of self-motive power, and is through it an animal. But soul being self-motive participates of a life according to intellect, and energizing according to time, possesses a never-ceasing energy, and an ever-vigilant life from its p
roximity to intellect. And intellect possessing its life in eternity, always subsisting essentially in energy,29 and fixing all its stable intellection at once in intellect, is entirely deific through the cause prior to itself. For it has two-fold energies as Plotinus says, some as intellect, but others as being inebriated with nectar. And elsewhere he observes, that this intellect, by that which is prior to itself and is not intellect, is a god; in the same manner as soul, by its summit which is above soul, is intellect; and as body, by the power which is prior to body, is soul.

All things therefore, as we have said, are suspended from the one through intellect and soul as media. And intellect indeed has the form of unity; but soul has the form of intellect; and the body of the world is vital. But every thing is conjoined with that which is prior to itself. And of the natures posterior to these, one in a more proximate, but the other in a more remote degree, enjoys that which is divine. And divinity, indeed, is prior to intellect, being primarily carried in an intellectual nature; but intellect is most divine, as being deified prior to other things; and soul is divine, so far as it requires an intellectual medium. But the body which participates of a soul of this kind, so far as body indeed, is also itself divine; for the illumination of divine30 light pervades supernally as far as to the last dependencies; yet it is not simply divine; but soul, by looking to intellect, and living from itself, is primarily divine.

My reasoning is also the same about each of the whole spheres, and about the bodies they contain. For all these imitate the whole heaven, since these likewise have a perpetual allotment; and with respect to the sublunary elements, they have not entirely an essential mutation, but they abide in the universe according to their wholenesses, and contain in themselves partial animals. For every wholeness has posterior to itself more partial essences. As, therefore, in the heavens, the number of the stars proceeds together with the whole spheres, and as in the earth the multitude of partial terrestrial animals subsists together with their wholeness, thus also it appears to me to be necessary that in the wholes which have an intermediate subsistence, each element should be filled up with appropriate numbers. For how in the extremes can wholes which subsist prior to parts, be arranged together with parts, unless there is the same analogy of them in the intermediate natures?

But if each of the spheres is an animal, and is always established after the same manner, and gives completion to the universe, as possessing life indeed, it will always primarily participate of soul, but as preserving its own order immutable in the world, it will be comprehended by intellect, and as one and a whole, and the leader and ruler of its proper parts, it will be illuminated by divine union. Not only the universe, therefore, but each also of its perpetual parts is animated and endued with intellect, and as much as possible is similar to the universe.31 For each of these parts is a universe with respect to its kindred multitude. In short, there is indeed one corporeal-formed wholeness of the universe, but there are many others under this, depending on this one; there is one soul of the universe, and after this, other souls, together with this disposing in an orderly manner the whole parts of the universe with undefined purity; one intellect, and an intellectual number under this, participated by these souls; and one god who connectedly contains at once all mundane and supermundane32 natures, and a multitude of other gods, who distribute intellectual essences, and the souls suspended from these, and all the parts of the world. For it is not to be supposed that each of the productions of nature is generative of things similar to itself, but that wholes and the first of mundane beings should not in a much greater degree extend in themselves the paradigm of a generation of this kind. For the similar is more allied, and more naturally adapted to the reason of cause than the dissimilar, in the same manner as the same than the different, and bound than the infinite. These things, however, we shall accurately survey in what follows. But we shall now direct our attention to the second of the things demonstrated in the Laws, viz. that the Gods providentially attend at once to wholes and parts, and shall summarily discuss the irreprehensible conception of Plato about the providence of the Gods.

Chapter XIV.

From what has been said, therefore, it is evident to every one, that the Gods being the causes of all motion, some of them are essential and vivific, according to a self-motive, self-vital, and self-energetic power. But others of them are intellectual, and excite by their very being all secondary33 natures to the perfection of life, according to the fountain and principle of all second and third progressions of motion. And others are unical, or characterized by unity, denying by participation all the whole genera of themselves, according to a primary, all-perfect, and unknown power of energy, and who are the leaders of one kind of motion, but are not the principle of another. But again others supply to secondary natures motion according to place or quality, but are essentially the causes of motion to themselves. For every thing which is the cause of essence to other things is much prior to this the cause to itself of its own proper energies and perfection. Farther still, that which is self-motive is again the principle of motion, and being and life are imparted by soul to every thing in the world, and not local motion only and the other kinds of motion, but the progression into being is from soul, and by a much greater priority from an intellectual essence, which binds to itself the life of self-motive natures and precedes according to cause all temporal energy. And in a still greater degree do motion, being, and life proceed from a unical hyparxis, which connectedly contains intellect and soul, is the source of total good, and proceeds as far as to the last of things. For of life indeed, not all the parts of the world are capable of participating, nor of intellect and a gnostic power; but of the one all things participate, as far a
s to matter itself, both wholes and parts, things which subsist according to nature, and the contraries to these; and there is not any thing which is deprived of a cause of this kind, nor can any thing ever participate of being, if it is deprived of the one. If, therefore, the Gods produce all things, and contain all things, in the unknown comprehensions of themselves, how is it possible there should not be a providence of all things in these comprehensions, pervading supernally as far as to the most partial natures? For it is every where fit that offspring should enjoy the providential care of their causes. But all alter-motive are the progeny of self-motive natures. And things which subsist in time, either in the whole of time, or in a part of it, are the effects of eternal natures; because that which always is, is the cause of that which sometimes exists. And divine and unical genera, as they give subsistence to all multiplied natures, precede them in existence. In short, there is no essence, or multitude of powers, which is not allotted its generation from the one. It is necessary, therefore, that all these should be partakers of the providence of preceding causes, being vivified indeed from the psychical gods, and circulating according to temporal periods; and participating of sameness and at the same time a stable condition of forms from the intellectual gods;34 but receiving into themselves the presence of union, of measure, and of the distribution of good from the first Gods. It is necessary, therefore, either that the Gods should know that a providential care of their own offspring is natural to them, and should not only give subsistence to secondary beings, and supply them with life, essence and union, but also previously comprehend in themselves the primary cause of the goods they contain, or, which it is not lawful to assert, that being Gods, they are ignorant of what is proper and fit.

For what ignorance can there be of beautiful things, with those who are the causes of beauty, or of things good, with those who are allotted an hyparxis defined by the nature of the good? But if they are ignorant, neither do souls govern the universe according to intellect, nor are intellects carried in souls as in a vehicle, nor prior to these do the unities of the Gods contractedly comprehend in themselves all knowledge, which we have acknowledged they do through the former demonstrations. If, therefore, they are not deprived of knowledge, being the fathers, leaders and governors of every thing in the world, and35 to them as being such a providential care of the things governed by, and following them, and generated by them, pertains, whether shall we say that they knowing the law which is according to nature, accomplish this law, or that through imbecility they are deprived of a providential attention to their possessions or progeny, for it is of no consequence as to the present discussion which of these two appellations you are willing to adopt? For if through want of power they neglect the superintendence of wholes, what is the cause of this want of power? For they do not move things externally, nor are other things indeed the causes of essence, but they assume the government of the things they have produced, but they rule over all things as if from the stern of a ship, themselves supplying being, themselves containing the measures of life, and themselves distributing to things their respective energies.

Whether also, are they unable to provide at once for all things, or they do not leave each of the parts destitute of their providential care? And if they are not curators of every thing in the world, whether do they providentially superintend greater things, but neglect such as are less? Or do they pay attention to the less, but neglect to take care of the greater? For if we deprive them of a providential attention to all things similarly, through the want of power, how, while we attribute to them a greater thing, viz. the production of all things, can we refuse to grant that which. is naturally consequent to this, a providential attention to their productions? For it is the province of the power which produces a greater thing, to dispose in a becoming manner that which is less. But if they are curators of less things, and neglect such as are greater, how can this mode of providence be right? For that which is more allied, and more similar to any thing, is more appropriately and fitly disposed by nature to the participation of the good which that thing confers on it. If, however, the Gods think that the first of mundane natures deserve their providential care, and that perfection of which they are the sources, but are unable to extend their regard to the last of things, what is it which can restrain the presence of the Gods from pervading to all things? What is it which can impede their unenvying and exuberant energy? How can those who are capable of effecting greater things, be unable to govern such as are less? Or how can those who produce the essence even of the smallest things, not be the lords of the perfection of them, through a privation of power? For all these things are hostile to our natural conceptions. It remains, therefore, that the Gods must know what is fit and appropriate, and that they must possess a power adapted to the perfection of their own nature, and to the government of the whole of things. But if they know that which is according to nature, and this to those who are the generating causes of all things is to take care of all things, and an exuberance of power,—if this be the case, they are not deprived of a providential attention of this kind. Whether, also, together with what has been said, is there a will of providence in them? Or is this alone wanting both to their knowledge and power? And on this account are things deprived36 of their providential care? For if indeed knowing what is fit for themselves, and being able to accomplish what they know, they are unwilling to provide for their own offspring, they will be indigent of goodness, their unenvying exuberance will perish, and we shall do nothing else than abolish the hyparxis according to which they are essentialized. For the very being of the Gods is defined by the good, and in this they have their subsistence. But to provide for things of a subject nature, is to confer on them a certain good. How, therefore, can we deprive the Gods of providence, without at the same time depriving them of goodness? And how if we subvert their goodness is it possible, that we should not also ignorantly subvert their hyparxis which we established by the former demonstrations? Hence it is necessary to admit as a thing consequent to the very being of the Gods that they are good according to every virtue. And again, it is consequent to this that they do not withdraw themselves from a providential attention to secondary natures, either through indolence, or imbecility, or ignorance. But to this I think it is also consequent that there is with t
hem the most excellent knowledge, unpolluted power, and unenvying and exuberant will. From which it appears that they provide for the whole of things, and omit nothing which is requisite to the supply of good.

Let, however, no one think that the Gods extend such a providence about secondary things, as is either of a busy or laborious nature, or that this is the case with their exempt transcendency, which is established remote from mortal difficulty. For their blessedness is not willing to be defiled with the difficulty of administration, since even the life of good men is accompanied with facility, and is void of molestation and pain. But all labours and molestation arise from the impediments of matter. If, however, it be requisite to define the mode of the providence of the Gods, it must be admitted that it is spontaneous, unpolluted, immaterial, and ineffable. For the Gods do not govern all things either by investigating what is fit, or exploring the good of every thing by ambiguous reasonings, or by looking externally, and following their effects as men do in the providence which they exert on their own affairs; but pre-assuming in themselves the measures of the whole of things, and producing the essence of every thing from themselves, and also looking to themselves, they lead and perfect all things in a silent path, by their very being, and fill them with good. Neither, likewise, do they produce in a manner similar to nature, energizing only by their very being, unaccompanied with deliberate choice, nor energizing in a manner similar to partial souls in conjunction with will, are they deprived of production according to essence; but they contract both these into one union, and they will indeed such things as they are able to effect by their very being, but by their very essence being capable of and producing all things, they contain the cause of production in their unenvying and exuberant will. By what busy energy, therefore, with what difficulty, or with the punishment of what Ixion, is the providence either of whole souls, or of intellectual essences, or of the Gods themselves accomplished, unless it should be said, that to impart good in any respect is laborious to the Gods? But that which is according to nature is not laborious to any thing. For neither is it laborious to fire to impart heat, nor to snow to refrigerate, nor in short to bodies to energize according to their own proper powers. And prior to bodies, neither is it laborious to natures to nourish, or generate, or increase. For these are the works of natures. Nor again, prior to these, is it laborious to souls. For these indeed produce many energies from deliberate choice, many from their very being, and are the causes of many motions by alone being present. So that if indeed the communication of good is according to nature to the Gods, providence also is according to nature. And these things we must say are accomplished by the Gods with facility, and by their very being alone. But if these things are not according to nature, neither will the Gods be naturally good. For the good is the supplier of good; just as life is the source of another life, and intellect is the source of intellectual illumination. And every thing which has a primary subsistence in each nature is generative of that which has a secondary subsistence.

That however, which is especially the illustrious prerogative of the Platonic theology, I should say is this, that according to it, neither is the exempt essence of the Gods converted to secondary natures, through a providential care for things subordinate, nor is their providential presence with all things diminished through their transcending the whole of things with undefiled purity, but at the same time it assigns to them a separate subsistence, and the being unmingled with every subordinate nature, and also the being extended to all things, and the taking care of and adorning their own progeny. For the manner in which they pervade through all things is not corporeal, as that of light is through the air, nor is it divisible about bodies, in the same manner as in nature, nor converted to subordinate natures, in the same manner as that of a partial soul, but it is separate from body, and without conversion to it, is immaterial, unmingled, unrestrained, uniform, primary and exempt. In short, such a mode of the providence of the Gods as this, must at present be conceived. For it is evident that it will be appropriate according to each order of the Gods. For soul indeed, is said to provide for secondary natures in one way, and intellect in another. But the providence of divinity who is prior to intellect is exerted according to a transcendency both of intellect and soul. And of the Gods themselves, the providence of the sublunary is different from that of the celestial divinities. Of the Gods also who are beyond the world, there are many orders, and the mode of providence is different according to each.

Chapter XV.

The third problem after these we shall connect with the former, and survey how we are to assume the unpervertible in the Gods, who perform all things according to justice, and who do not in the smallest degree subvert its boundary, or its undeviating rectitude, in their providential attention to all other things, and in the mutations of human affairs. I think therefore, that this is apparent to every one, that every where that which governs according to nature, and pays all possible attention to the felicity of the governed, after this manner becomes the leader of that which it governs, and directs it to that which is best. For neither has the pilot who rules over the sailors and the ship any other precedaneous end than the safety of those that sail in the ship, and of the ship itself, nor does the physician who is the curator of the diseased, endeavour to do all things for the sake of any thing else than the health of the subjects of his care, whether it be requisite to cut them, or administer to them a purgative medicine. Nor would the general of an army or a guardian say that they look to any other end, than the one to the liberty of those that are guarded, and the other to the liberty of the soldiers. Nor will any other to whom it belongs to be the leader or curator of certain persons, endeavour to subvert the good of those that follow him, which it is his business to procure, and with a view to which he disposes in a becoming manner every thing belonging to those whom he governs. If therefore we grant that the Gods are the leaders of the whole of things, and that their providence extends to all things, since they are good, and possess every virtue, how is it possible they should neglect the felicity of the objects of their providential care? Or how can they be inferior to other leaders in the providence of subordinate natures? Since the Gods indeed always look to that which is better, and establish this as the end of all their government, but other leaders overlook the good of men, and embrace vice rather than virtue, in consequence of being perverted by the gifts of the depraved.

And universally, whether you are willing to call the Gods leaders, or rulers, or guardians, or fathers, a divine nature will appear to be in want of no one of such names. For all things that are venerable and honourable subsist in them primarily. And on this account indeed, here also some things are naturally mare venerable and honourable than others, because they exhibit an ultimate resemblance of the Gods. But what occasion is there to speak further on this subject? For I think that we hear from those who are wise in divine concerns paternal, guardian, ruling and pæonian powers celebrated. How is it possible therefore that the images of the Gods which subsist according to nature, regarding the end which is adapted to them, should providentially attend to the order of the things which they govern, but that the Gods themselves with whom there is the whole of good, true and real virtue, and a blameless life, should not direct their government to the virtue and vice of men? And how can it be admitted, on this supposition, that they exhibit virtue victorious in the universe, and vice vanquished? Will they not also thus corrupt the measures of justice by the worship paid to them by the depraved, subvert the boundary of undeviating science, and cause the gifts of vice to appear more honourable than the pursuits of virtue? For this mode of providence is neither advantageous to these leaders, nor to those that follow them. For to those who have become wicked, there will be no liberation from guilt, since they will always endeavour to anticipate justice, and pervert the measures of desert. But it will be necessary, which it is not lawful to assert, that the Gods should regard as their final end the vice of the subjects of their providence, neglect their true salvation, and consequently be alone the causes of adumbrant good. This universe also and the whole world will be filled with disorder and incurable perturbation, depravity remaining in it, and being replete with that discord which exists in badly governed cities. Though is it not perfectly impossible that parts should be governed according to nature in a greater degree than wholes, human than divine concerns, and images than primary causes?

Hence if men properly attend to the welfare of men in governing them, honouring some, but disgracing others, and every where giving a proper direction to the works of vice by the measures of virtue, it is much more necessary that the Gods should be the immutable governors of the whole of things. For men are allotted this virtue through similitude to the Gods. But if we acknowledge that men who corrupt the safety and well-being of those whom they govern, imitate in a greater degree the providence of the Gods, we shall ignorantly at one and the same time entirely subvert the truth concerning the Gods, and the transcendency of virtue. For this I think is evident to every one, that what is more similar to the Gods is more happy than those things that are deprived of them37 through dissimilitude and diversity. So that if among men indeed, the uncorrupted and undeviating form of providence is honourable, it must undoubtedly be in a much greater degree honourable with the Gods. But if with them, mortal gifts are more venerable than the divine measures of justice, with men also earth-born gifts will be more honourable than Olympian goods, and the blandishments of vice than the works of virtue. With a view therefore to the most perfect felicity, Plato in the Laws delivers to, us through these demonstrations, the hyparxis of the Gods, their providential care extending to all things, and their immutable energy; which things, indeed, are common to all the Gods, but are most principal and first according to nature in the doctrine pertaining to them. For this triad appears to pervade as far as to the most partial natures in the divine orders, originating supernally from the occult genera of Gods. For a uniform hyparxis, a power which providentially takes care of all secondary natures, and an undeviating and immutable intellect, are in all the Gods that are prior to and in the world.

Chapter XVI.

Again, from another principle we may be able to apprehend the theological demonstrations in the Republic. For these are common to all the divine orders, similarly extend to all the discussion about the Gods, and unfold to us truth in uninterrupted connexion with what has been before said. In the second book of the Republic therefore, Socrates describes certain theological types for mythological poets, and exhorts his pupils to purify themselves from those tragic disciplines, which some do not refuse to introduce to a divine nature, concealing in these as in veils the arcane mysteries concerning the Gods. Socrates therefore, as I have said, narrating the types and laws of divine fables, which afford this apparent meaning, and the inward concealed scope, which regards as its end the beautiful and the natural in the fictions about the Gods,—in the first place indeed, thinks fit to evince, according to our unperverted conception about the Gods and their goodness, that they are the suppliers of all good, but the causes of no evil to any being at any time. In the second place, he says that they are essentially immutable, and that they neither have various forms, deceiving and fascinating, nor are the authors of the greatest evil lying, in deeds or in words, or of error and folly. These therefore being two laws, the former has two conclusions, viz. that the Gods are not the causes of evils, and that they are the causes of all good. The second law also in a similar manner has two other conclusions; and these are, that every divine nature is immutable, and is established pure from falsehood and artificial variety. All the things demonstrated therefore, depend on these three common conceptions about a divine nature, viz. on the conceptions about its goodness, immutability and truth. For the first and ineffable fountain of good is with the Gods; together with eternity, which is the cause of a power that has an invariable sameness of subsistence; and the first intellect which is beings themselves, and the truth which is in real beings.

Chapter XVII.

That therefore, which has the hyparxis of itself, and the whole of its essence defined in the good, and which by its very being produces all things, must necessarily be productive of every good, but of no evil. For if there was anything primarily good, which is not God, perhaps some one might say that divinity is indeed a cause of good, but that he does not impart to beings every good. If, however, not only every God is good, but that which is primarily boniform and beneficent is God, (for that which is primarily good will not be the second after the Gods, because every where things which have a secondary subsistence, receive the peculiarity of their hyparxis from those that subsist primarily)—this being the case, it is perfectly necessary that divinity should be the cause of good and of all such goods as proceed into secondary descents, as far as to the last of things. For as the power which is the cause of life, gives subsistence to all life, as the power which is the cause of knowledge, produces all knowledge, as the power which is the cause of beauty, produces every thing beautiful, as well the beauty which is in words, as that which is in the phenomena, and thus every primary cause produces all similars from itself and binds to itself the one hypostasis of things which subsist according to one form,—after the same manner I think the first and most principal good, and uniform hyparxis, establishes in and about itself, the causes and comprehensions of all goods at once. Nor is there any thing good which does not possess this power from it, nor beneficent which being converted to it, does not participate of this cause. For all goods are from thence produced, perfected and preserved; and the one series and order of universal good, depends on that fountain. Through the same cause of hyparxis therefore, the Gods are the suppliers of all good, and of no evil. For that which is primarily good, gives subsistence to every good from itself, and is not the cause of an allotment contrary to itself; since that which is productive of life, is not the cause of the privation of life, and that which is the source of beauty is exempt from the nature of that which is void of beauty and is deformed, and from the causes of this. Hence, of that which primarily constitutes good, it is not lawful to assert that it is the cause of contrary progeny; but the nature of goods proceeds from thence undefiled, unmingled and uniform.

And the divine cause indeed of goods is established eternally in itself, extending to all secondary natures, an unenvying and exuberant participation of good. Of its participants, however, some preserve the participation with incorruptible purity, receiving their proper good in undefiled bosoms, and thus through an abundance of power possess inevitably an allotment of goods adapted to them. But those natures which are arranged in the last of the whole of things, entirely indeed enjoy according to their nature the goodness of the Gods; for it is not possible that things perfectly destitute of good should either have a being, or subsist at first; but receiving an efflux of this kind, they neither preserve the gift which pervades to them, pure and unmingled, nor do they retain their proper good stably, and with invariable sameness, but becoming imbecil, partial and material, and filled with the privation of vitality of their subject, they exhibit to order indeed, the privation of order, to reason irrationality, and to virtue, the contrary to it, vice. And with respect indeed to the natures which rank as wholes,38 each of these is exempt from a perversion of this kind, things more perfect in them always having dominion according to nature. But partial natures through a diminution of power always diverging39 into multitude, division and interval, obscure indeed the participation of good, but substitute the contrary in the mixture with good, and which is vanquished by the combination. For neither here is it lawful for evil to subsist unmingled, and perfectly destitute of good; but though some particular thing may be evil to a part, yet it is entirely good to the whole and to the universe. For the universe is always happy, and always consists of perfect parts, and which subsist according to nature. But that which is preternatural is always evil to partial natures, and deformity, privation of symmetry, perversion, and a resemblance of subsistence are in these. For that which is corrupted, is indeed corrupted to itself, and departs from its proper perfection, but to the universe it is incorruptible and indestructible.

And every thing which is deprived of good, so far indeed as pertains to itself, and its own subsistence, is deprived of it through imbecility of nature; but it is good to the whole, and so far as it is a part of the universe. For it is not possible that either a privation of life, or deformity and immoderation, or in short privation can be inserted in the universe; but its whole number is always perfect, being held together by the goodness of wholes. And life is every where present, together with existence, and the being perfect, so far as each thing gives completion to the whole. Divinity therefore, as we have said, is the cause40 of good; but the shadowy subsistence of evil does not subsist from power, but from the imbecility of the natures which receive the illuminations of the Gods. Nor is evil in wholes, but in partial natures, nor yet in all these. For the first of partial natures and partial intellectual genera are eternally boniform. But the media among these, and which energize according to time, connecting the participation of the good with temporal mutation and motion, are incapable of preserving the gift of the Gods immoveable, uniform and simple; by their variety obscuring41 the simplicity of this gift, by their multiform its uniform nature, and by their commixture its purity and incorruptibility. For they do not consist of incorruptible first genera, nor have they a simple essence, nor uniform powers, but such as are composed of the contraries to these, as Socrates somewhere says in the Phædrus. And the last of partial natures and which are also material, in a much greater degree pervert their proper good. For they are mingled with a privation of life, and have a subsistence resembling that of an image, since it is replete with much of non-entity, consists of things hostile to each other, and of circumstances which are mutable and dispersed through the whole of time, so that they never cease to evince in every thing that they are given up to corruption, privation of symmetry, deformity, and all-various mutations, being not only extended in their energies, like the natures prior to them, but being replete both in their powers and energies with that which is preternatural, and with material imbecility. For things which become situated in a foreign place, by co-introducing whole together with form, rule over the subject nature; but again receding to that which is partial, from their proper wholeness, and participating of partibility, imbecility, war and the division which is the source of generation, they are necessarily all-variously changed. Neither, therefore, is every being perfectly good; for there would not be the corruption and generation of bodies, nor the purification and punishment of souls. Nor is there any evil in wholes: for the world would not be a blessed god, if the most principal parts of which it consists were imperfect. Nor are the Gods the causes of evils, in the same manner as they are of goods; but evil originates from the imbecility of the recipients of good, and a subsistence in the last of things. Nor is the evil which has a shadowy subsistence in partial natures unmingled with good. But this participates of it in a certain respect, by its very existence being detained by good. Nor in short, is it possible for evil which is perfectly destitute of all good to have a subsistence. For evil itself is even beyond that which in no respect whatever has an existence, just as the good itself is beyond that which is perfectly being. Nor is the evil which is in partial natures left in a disordered state, but even this is made subservient to good purposes by the Gods, and on this account justice purifies souls from depravity. But another order of gods purifies from the depravity which is in bodies. All things however are converted as much as possible to the goodness of the Gods. And wholes indeed remain in their proper boundaries, and also the perfect and beneficent genera of beings. But more partial and imperfect natures are adorned and arranged in a becoming manner, become subservient to the completion of wholes, are called upward to the beautiful, are changed, and in every way enjoy the participation of the good, so far as this can be accomplished by them.

For there cannot be a greater good to each of these, than what the Gods impart according to measures to their progeny: but all things, each separately, and all in common, receive such a portion of good, as it is possible for them to participate. But if some things are filled with greater, and others with less goods, the power of the recipients, and the measures of the distribution must be assigned as the cause of this. For different things are adapted to different beings according to their nature. But the Gods always extend good, in the same manner as the sun always emits light. For a different thing receives this light differently according to its order, and receives the greatest portion of light it is capable of receiving. For all things are led according to justice, and good is not absent from any thing, but is present to every thing, according to an appropriate boundary of participation. And as the Athenian guest says, all things are in a good condition, and are arranged by the Gods. Let no one therefore say, that there are precedaneous productive principles of evil in nature, or intellectual paradigms of evils, in the same manner as there are of goods, or that there is a malefic soul, or an evil-producing cause in the Gods, nor let him introduce sedition and eternal war against the first good. For all these are foreign from the science of Plato, and being more remote from the truth wander into barbaric folly, and gigantic mythology. Nor if certain persons speaking obscurely in arcane narrations, devise things of this kind, shall we make any alteration in the apparent apparatus of what they indicate. But the truth indeed of those things is to be investigated, and in the mean time, the science of Plato must be genuinely received in the pure bosoms of the soul, and must be preserved undefiled and unmingled with contrary opinions.

Chapter XVIII.

In the next place, let us survey the immutability and simplicity of the Gods, what the nature of each of them is, and how both these appear to be adapted to the hyparxis of the Gods, according to the narration of Plato. The Gods, therefore, are exempt from the whole of things. But filling these, as we have said, with good, they are themselves perfectly good; each of them according to his proper order possesses that which is most excellent; and he whole genus of the Gods is at once allotted predominance according to an exuberance of good. But here again, we must oppose those who interpret in a divisible manner that which is most excellent in the Gods, and who say, that if the first cause is most excellent, that which is posterior to the first is not so. For it is necessary, say they, that what is produced should be inferior to that by which it is produced. And this indeed is rightly asserted by them. For it is necessary in the Gods, to preserve the order of causes unconfused, and to define separately their second and third progressions. But together with a progression of this kind, and with42 the unfolding into light of things secondary from those that are first, that which is most excellent must also be surveyed in each of the Gods. For each of the Gods in his own characteristic peculiarity is allotted a transcendency which is primary and perfectly good. One of them indeed, that we may speak of something known, is allotted this transcendency, and is most excellent as possessing a prophetic power, another as demiurgic, but another as a perfector of works. And Timæus indicating this to us, continually calls the first demiurgus the best of causes. For the world, says he, is the most beautiful of generated natures, and its artificer is the best of causes; though the intelligible paradigm, and which is the most beautiful of intelligibles is prior to the demiurgus. But this is most beautiful and at the same time most excellent, as the demiurgic paradigm; and the maker and at the same time father of the universe is most excellent, as a demiurgic God. In the Republic also, Socrates speaking of the Gods, very properly observes, that each of them being as much as possible most beautiful and most excellent, remains always with a simplicity of subsistence in his own form. For each of them being allotted that which is first and the summit in his own series, does not depart from his own order, but contains the blessedness and felicity of his own proper power. And neither does he exchange his present for a worse order; for it is not lawful for that which possesses all virtue to be changed into a worse condition; nor does he pass into a better order. For where can there be any thing better than that which is most excellent? But this is present with each of the divinities according to his own order, as we have said, and also with every genus of the Gods. I
t is necessary therefore that every divine nature should be established immutably, abiding in its own accustomed manner. Hence from these things the self-sufficiency, undefiled purity, and invariable sameness of subsistence of the Gods is apparent. For if they are not changed to a more excellent condition of being, as possessing that which is best in their own nature, they are sufficient to themselves, and are not in want of any good. And if they are not at any time changed to a worse condition, they remain undefiled, established in their own transcendencies. If also they guard the perfection of themselves immutably, they subsist always with invariable sameness. What the self-sufficiency therefore of the Gods is, what their immutability, and what their sameness of subsistence, we shall in the next place consider.

The world then is said to be self-sufficient, because its subsistence is perfect from things perfect, and a whole from wholes; and because it is filled with all appropriate goods from its generating father. But a perfection and self-sufficiency of this kind is partible, and is said to consist of many things coalescing in one, and is filled from separate causes according to participation. The order of divine souls also, is said to be self-sufficient, as being full of appropriate virtues, and always preserving the measure of its own blessedness without indigence. But here likewise the self-sufficiency is in want of powers. For these souls have not their intellections directed to the same intelligibles; but they energize according to time, and obtain the complete perfection of their contemplation in whole periods of time. The self-sufficiency therefore of divine souls, and the whole perfection of their life is not at once present. Again, the intellectual world is said to be self-sufficient, as having its whole good established in eternity, comprehending at once its whole blessedness, and being indigent of nothing, because all life and all intelligence are present with it, and nothing is deficient, nor does it desire any thing as absent. But this, indeed, is sufficient to itself in its own order, yet it falls short of the self-sufficiency of the Gods. For every intellect is boniform, yet is not goodness itself, nor primarily good; but each of the Gods is a unity, hyparxis and goodness. The peculiarity however of hyparxis changes the progression of the goodness of each. For one divinity is a perfective goodness, another is a goodness connective of the whole of things, and another is a collective goodness. But each is simply a goodness sufficient to itself. Or it may be said, that each is a goodness possessing the self-sufficient and the all-perfect, neither according to participation, nor illumination, but by being that very thing which it is. For intellect is sufficient to itself by participation, and soul by illumination, but this universe, according to a similitude to a divine nature. The Gods themselves, however, are self-sufficient through and by themselves, filling themselves, or rather subsisting as the plenitudes of all good.

But with respect to the immutability of the Gods, of what kind shall we say it is? Is it such as that of a [naturally] circulating body? For neither is this adapted to receive any thing from inferior natures, nor is it filled with the mutation arising from generation, and the disorder which occurs in the sublunary regions. For the nature of the celestial bodies is immaterial and immutable. But this indeed is great and venerable, as in corporeal hypostases, yet it is inferior to the nature of the Gods. For every body possesses both its being, and its perpetual immutability from other precedaneous causes. But neither is the impassive and the immutable in the Gods such as the immutability of souls. For these communicate in a certain respect with bodies, and are the media of an impartible essence, and of an essence divided about bodies. Nor again is the immutability of intellectual essences equivalent to that of the Gods. For intellect is immutable, impassive, and unmingled with secondary natures, on account of its union with the Gods. And so far indeed as it is uniform, it is a thing of this kind; but so far as it is manifold, it has something which is more excellent, and something which is subordinate, in itself. But the Gods alone having established their unions according to this transcendency of beings, are immutable dominations, are primary and impassive. For there is nothing in them which is not one and hyparxis. But as fire abolishes every thing which is foreign to it and of a contrary power, as light expels all darkness, and as lightning proceeds through all things without defilement, thus also the unities of the Gods unite all multitude, and abolish every thing which tends to dispersion and all-perfect division. But they deify every thing which participates of them, receiving nothing from their participants, and do not43 diminish their own proper union by the participation.

Hence also the Gods being present every where, are similarly exempt from all things, and containing all things are vanquished by no one of the things they contain; but they are unmingled with all things and undefiled. In the third place, this world indeed is said to subsist with invariable sameness, so far as it is allotted an order in itself which is always preserved indissoluble. At the same time however, since it possesses a corporeal form, it is not destitute of mutation, as the Elean guest observes. The psychical order likewise is said to obtain an essence always established in sameness; and this is rightly said. For it is entirely impassive according to essence; but it has energies extended into time, and as Socrates says in the Phædrus, at different times it understands different intelligibles, and in its progressions about intellect comes into contact with different forms. Besides these also, much-honoured intellect is said both to subsist and to understand with invariable and perpetual sameness, establishing at once in eternity its essence, powers, and energies. Through the multitude however of its intellections, and through the variety of intelligible species and genera, there is not only an invariable sameness, but also a difference of subsistence in intellect. For difference there is consubsistent with sameness. And there is not only a wandering of corporeal motions, and of the psychical periods, but likewise of intellect itself, so far as it produces the intelligence of itself into multitude; and evolves the intelligible. For soul indeed evolves intellect, but intellect the intelligible, as Plotinus some where rightly observes, when speaking of the intelligible subjections. For such are the wanderings of intellect and which it is lawful for it to make. If therefore we should say that, a perpetual sameness of subsistence is primarily in the Gods alone, and is especially inherent in them, we shall not deviate from the truth, and we shall accord with Plato, who says in the Politicus, that an eternally invariable sameness of subsistence alone pertains to the most divine of all things. The Gods, therefore, bind to themselves the causes of a sameness of this kind, and guard with immutable sameness their proper hyparxis established according to the unknown union of themselves. And such is the immutability of the Gods, which is contained in self-sufficiency, impassivity and sameness.

Chapter XIX.

In the next place, let us consider what power the simplicity of the Gods possesses; for this Socrates adds in his discourse concerning a divine nature, not admitting that which is various, and multiform, and which appears different at different times, but referring to divinity the uniform and the simple. Each of the divinities therefore, as he says, remains simply in his own form. What then shall we conclude respecting this simplicity? That it is not such as that which is defined to be one in number. For a thing of this kind is composed of many things, and abundantly mingled. But it appears to be simple so far as it has distinctly a common form. Nor is it such as the simplicity which is in many things according to an arranged species or genus. For these are indeed more simple than the individuals in which they are inherent, but are replete with variety, communicate with matter, and receive the diversities of material natures. Nor is it such as the form of nature. For nature is divided about bodies, verges to corporeal masses, emits many powers about the composition subject to it, and is indeed more simple than bodies, but has an essence mingled with their variety. Nor is it such as the psychical simplicity. For soul subsisting as a medium between an impartible essence, and an essence which is divided about bodies, communicates with both the extremes. And by that which is multiform indeed in its nature it is conjoined with things subordinate, but its head is established on high, and according to this it is especially divine, and allied to intellect.

Nor again is the simplicity of the Gods such as that of intellect. For every intellect is impartible and uniform, but at the same time it possesses multitude and progression; by which it is evident that it has a habitude to secondary natures, to itself, and about itself. It is also in itself, and is not only uniform, but also multiform, and as it is said, is one many. It is therefore allotted an essence subordinate to the first simplicity. But the Gods have their hyparxis defined in one simplicity alone, being exempt indeed from all multitude so far as they are gods, and transcending all division and interval, or habitude to secondary natures, and all composition. And they indeed are in inaccessible places, expanded above the whole of things, and eternally ride on beings. But the illuminations proceeding from them to secondary natures, being mingled in many places with their participants which are composite and various, are filled with a peculiarity similar to them. Let no one therefore wonder, if the Gods being essentialized in one simplicity according to transcendency, various phantasms are hurled forth before the presence of them; nor, if they being uniform the appearances are multiform, as we have learnt in the most perfect of the mysteries. For nature, and the demiurgic intellect extend corporeal-formed images of things incorporeal, sensible images of intelligible, and of things without interval, images endued with interval. For Socrates also in the Phædrus indicating things of this kind, and evincing that the mysteries into which souls without bodies are initiated are most blessed, and truly perfect, says, that they are initiated into entire, simple and immoveable visions, such souls becoming situated there, and united with the Gods themselves, but not meeting with the resemblances which are emitted from the Gods into these sublunary realms. For these are more partial and composite, and present themselves to the view attended with motion. But illuminated, uniform, simple, and, as Socrates says, immoveable spectacles exhibit themselves to the attendants of the Gods, and to souls that abandon the abundant tumult of generation, and who ascend to divinity pure and divested of the garments of mortality. And thus much is concluded by us respecting the simplicity of the Gods. For it is necessary that the nature which generates things multiform should be simple,44 and should precede what is generated, in the same manner as the uniform precedes the multiplied. If, therefore, the Gods are the causes of all composition, and produce from themselves the variety of beings, it is certainly necessary that the one of their nature which is generative of the whole of things, should have its subsistence in simplicity. For as incorporeal causes precede bodies, immoveable causes things that are moved, and impartible causes all partible natures, after the same manner uniform intellectual powers precede multiform natures, unmingled powers, things that are mingled together, and simple powers, things of a variegated nature.

Chapter XX.

In the next place, let us speak concerning the truth which is in the Gods; for this in addition to what has been said is concluded by Socrates, because a divine nature is without falsehood, and is neither the cause of deception or ignorance to us, or to any other beings. We must understand therefore, that divine truth is exempt from the truth which consists in words, so far as this truth is composite, and in a certain respect is mingled with its contrary, and because its subsistence consists of things that are not true. For the first parts do not admit of a truth of this kind, unless some one being persuaded by what Socrates asserts in the Cratylus, should say that these also are after another manner true. Divine truth also is exempt from psychical truth, whether it is surveyed in opinions or in sciences, so far as it is in a certain respect divisible, and is not beings themselves, but is assimilated to and co-harmonized with beings, and as being perfected in motion and mutation falls short of the truth which is always firm, stable and of a principal nature. Divine truth is likewise again exempt from intellectual truth, because though this subsists according to essence, and is said to be and is, beings themselves, through the power of sameness, yet again, through difference, it is separated from the essence of them, and preserves its peculiar hypostasis unconfused with respect to them. The truth therefore of the Gods alone, is the undivided union and all-perfect communion of them. And through this the ineffable knowledge of the Gods, surpasses all knowledge, and all secondary forms of knowledge participate of an appropriate perfection. But this knowledge alone of the Gods contractedly comprehends these secondary forms of knowledge, and all beings according to an ineffable union. And through this the Gods know all things at once, wholes and parts, beings and non-beings, things eternal and things temporal, not in the same manner as intellect by the universal knows a part, and by being, non-being, but they know every thing immediately, such things as are common, and such as are particulars, though you should speak of the most absurd of all things, though you should speak of the infinity of contingencies, or even of matter itself.

If, however, you investigate the mode of the knowledge and truth of the Gods, concerning all things that have a subsistence in any respect whatever, it is ineffable and incomprehensible by the projecting energies of the human intellect; but is alone known to the Gods themselves. And I indeed admire those Platonists that attribute to intellect the knowledge of all things, of individuals, of things preternatural, and in short, of evils, and on this account establish intellectual paradigms of these. But I much more admire those who separate the intellectual peculiarity from divine union. For intellect is the first fabrication and progeny of the Gods. These therefore assign to intellect whole and first causes, and such as are according to nature, and to the Gods a power which is capable of adorning and generating all things. For the one is every where, but whole is not every where. And of the one indeed matter participates and every being; but of intellect and intellectual species and genera, all things do not participate. All things therefore are alone from the Gods, and real truth is with them who know all things unically. For on this account also, in oracles the Gods similarly teach all things, wholes and parts, things eternal, and such as are generated through the whole of time. For being exempt from eternal beings, and from those that exist in time, they contract in themselves the knowledge of each and of all things, according to one united truth. If therefore any falsehood occurs in the oracles of the Gods, we must not say that a thing of this kind originates from the Gods, but from the recipients, or the instruments, or the places, or the times. For all these contribute to the participation of divine knowledge, and when they are appropriately co-adapted to the Gods, they receive a pure illumination of the truth which is established in them. But when they are separated from the Gods through inaptitude, and become discordant with them, then they obscure the truth which proceeds from them. What kind of falsehood therefore can be said to be derived from the Gods, who produce all the species of knowledge? What deception can there be with those who establish in themselves the whole of truth? In the same manner, as it appears to me, the Gods extend good to all things, but always that which is willing and able receives the extended good, as Socrates says in the Phædrus. And a divine nature indeed is causeless of evil, but that which departs from it, and gravitates downward, is elongated through itself; thus also, the Gods indeed are always the suppliers of truth, but those natures are illuminated by them, who are lawfully their participants. For the Elean wise man says, that the eye of the soul in the multitude, is not strong enough to look to the truth.

The Athenian guest also celebrates this truth which subsists primarily in the Gods; for he says that truth is the leader to the Gods of every good, and likewise of every good to men. For as the truth which is in souls conjoins them with intellect, and as intellectual truth conducts all the intellectual orders to the one, thus also the truth of the Gods unites the divine unities to the fountain of all good, with which being conjoined, they are filled with all boniform power. For every where the hyparxis of truth has a cause which is collective of multitude into one; since in the Republic also, the light proceeding from the good, and which conjoins intellect with the intelligible, is denominated by Plato truth. This characteristic property therefore, which unites and binds together the natures, that fill and the natures that are filled, according to all the orders of the Gods, must be arranged as originating supernally and proceeding as far as to the last of things.

Chapter XXI.

To us however discussing what pertains to every divine nature, what we assert will be known from those commonly received truths adduced in the Phædrus, and which we have before mentioned. Socrates therefore says that every thing divine is beautiful, wise, and good,45 and he indicates that this triad pervades to all the progressions of the Gods. What therefore is the goodness, what the wisdom, and what the beauty of the Gods? With respect to the goodness of the Gods therefore, we have before observed, that it preserves and gives subsistence to the whole of things, that it every where exists as the summit, as that which fills subordinate natures, and as pre-existing in every order analogous to the first principle of the divine orders. For according to this all the Gods are conjoined with the one cause of all things, and on account of this primarily derive their subsistence as Gods. For in all beings there is not any thing more perfect than the good, and the Gods. To the most excellent of beings therefore, and which are in every respect perfect, the best and most perfect of things is adapted.

Chapter XXII.

But in the Philebus, Plato delivers to us the three most principal elements of the good, viz. the desirable, the sufficient, and the perfect. For it is necessary that it should convert all things to itself, and fill all things, and that it should be in no respect deficient, and should not diminish its exuberance. Let no one therefore conceive the desirable to be such as that which is frequently extended in sensibles as the object of appetite. For such is apparent beauty. Nor let him suppose it to be such as is indeed able to energize upon and excite to itself the natures which are able to participate it, but which at the same time may be apprehended by intelligence, and is educed by us according to a projecting energy, and an adhesion of the dianoetic power. For it is ineffable, and prior to all knowledge extends to all beings. For all things desire the good, and are converted to it. But if it be requisite summarily to unfold the characteristic peculiarity of the desirable, as the supplier of light proceeds by his rays into secondary natures, converts the eye to himself, causes it to be solar-form, and to resemble himself, and through a different similitude conjoins it with his own fulgid splendour, thus also I think the desirable of the Gods allures and draws upward all things to the Gods in an ineffable manner by its own proper illuminations, being every where present to all things, and not deserting any order whatever of beings. Since even matter itself is said to be extended to this desirable, and through this desire is filled with as many goods as it is able to participate. It is therefore the centre of all beings, and all beings, and all the Gods have their essences, powers and energies about this. And the extension and desire of things towards this is inextinguishable. For all beings aspire after this desirable which is unknown and incomprehensible. Not being able therefore either to know or receive that which they desire, they dance round it, and are parturient and as it were prophetic with respect to it. But they have an unceasing and never-ending desire of its unknown and ineffable nature, at the same time that they are unable to embrace and embosom it. For being at once exempt from all things, it is similarly present to and moves all things about itself, and is at the same time by all of them incomprehensible. By this motion also and this desire it preserves all things. But by its unknown transcendency through which it surpasses the whole of things, it preserves its proper union unmingled with secondary natures. Such therefore is the desirable.

But the sufficient is full of boniform power, proceeds to all things, and extends to all beings the gifts of the Gods. For we conceive such a sufficiency as this to be a power pervading and protending to the last of things, extending the unenvying and exuberant will of the Gods, and n
ot abiding in itself, but unically comprehending the super-plenitude, the never-failing, the infinite, and that which is generative of good in the divine hyparxis. For the desirable being firmly established, and surpassing the whole of things, and arranging all beings about itself, the sufficient begins the progression and multiplication of all good, calls forth that which is primary in the uniform hyparxis of the desirable, by its own prolific46 exuberance, and by the beneficent replenishings which pervade to all things, and copiously produces and imparts it to every being. It is owing to the sufficient therefore, that the stability of divine natures, and that which proceeds from its proper causes is full of goodness, and that, in short, all beings are benefited, abiding in, proceeding from, and being united to their principles, and essentially separated from them. Through this power therefore, the intellectual genera give subsistence to natures similar to themselves, souls desire to generate, and imitate the beings prior to souls, natures deliver their productive principles into another place, and all things possess, in short, the love of generation. For the sufficiency of the goodness of the Gods, proceeding from this goodness, is disseminated in all beings, and moves all things to the unenvying communication of good; intellect indeed to the communication of intellectual, but soul of psychical, and nature of natural good.

All things therefore abide through the desirable of goodness, and generate and proceed into second and third generations through the sufficient. But the third thing, the perfect, is convertive of the whole of things, and circularly collects them to their causes; and this is accomplished by divine, intellectual, psychical and physical perfection. For all things participate of conversion, since the infinity of progression is through this again recalled to its principles; and the perfect is mingled from the desirable and sufficient. For every thing of this kind is the object of desire, and is generative of things similar to itself. Or in the works of nature also, are not perfect things every where lovely and prolific through the acme of their beauty? The desirable therefore establishes all things, and comprehends them in itself. The sufficient excites them into progressions and generations. And the perfect consummately leads progressions to conversions and convolutions. But through these three causes, the goodness of the Gods fixing the unical power and authority of its proper hypostasis in this triad, is the primary and most principal fountain and vestal seat of things which have any kind of subsistence whatever.

Chapter XXIII.

After this, wisdom is allotted the second order, being the intelligence of the Gods, or rather the hyparxis of their intelligence. For intelligence indeed, is intellectual knowledge; but the wisdom of the Gods is ineffable knowledge, which is united to the object of knowledge and the intelligible union of the Gods. But it appears to me that Plato especially surveyed this in the triad [of the beautiful, the wise and the good,] as may be, inferred from the conceptions scattered about it in many places. I say then that Diotima in the Banquet is of opinion that wisdom is full of that which is known, and that it neither seeks, nor investigates, but possesses the intelligible. Hence, she says, that no one of the Gods philosophizes, nor desires to become wise; for a God is wise. Hence that which is philosophic is imperfect, and indigent of truth; but that which is wise is full and unindigent, and has every thing present which it wishes and desires nothing. But the desirable and the appetible are proposed to the philosopher. Socrates, however, in the Republic considers that which is generative of truth and intellect, as affording an indication of wisdom, to our souls indeed the ascent to divine plenitude being accomplished through knowledge,47 but to the Gods intellect being present from the fullness of knowledge.48 For the progression in them is not from an imperfect habit to the perfect; but from a self-perfect hyparxis a power prolific of inferior natures proceeds. But in the Theætetus he indicates that the perfective of things imperfect, and that which calls forth concealed intelligence in souls, pertain to wisdom. For he says, it compels me to obstetrication, but prevents me from generating. It is evident therefore, from these things, that the genus of wisdom is triadic. Hence it is full of being and truth, is generative of intellectual truth, and is perfective of intellectual natures that are in energy, and itself possesses a stable power. We must admit therefore, that these things pertain to the wisdom of the Gods. For this wisdom is full indeed of divine goodness, generates divine truth, and perfects all things posterior to itself.

Chapter XXIV.

In the next place let us consider the beautiful, what it is, and how it primarily subsists in the Gods. It is said therefore to be boniform beauty, and intelligible beauty, to be more ancient than intellectual beauty, and to be beauty itself, and the cause of beauty to all beings; and all such like epithets. And it is rightly said. But it is separate not only from the beauty which is apparent in corporeal masses, from the symmetry which is in these from psychical elegance, and intellectual splendour, but also from the second and third progressions in the Gods; and subsisting in the intelligible place of survey, it proceeds from this to all the genera of the Gods, and illuminates their superessential unities, and all the essences suspended from these unities, as far as to the apparent vehicles of the Gods. As therefore through the first goodness all the Gods are boniform, and through intelligible wisdom they have a knowledge ineffable, and established above intellect, thus also, I think, through the summit of beauty, every thing divine is lovely. For from thence all the Gods derive beauty, and being filled with it, fill the natures posterior to themselves, exciting all things, agitating them with Bacchic fury about the love of themselves, and pouring supernally on all things the divine effluxion of beauty.

Such therefore, in short, is divine beauty, the supplier of divine hilarity, familiarity and friendship. For through this the Gods are united to and rejoice in each other, admire, and are delighted in communicating with each other, and in their mutual replenishings, and do not desert the order which they are always allotted in the distributions of themselves. Plato also delivers three indications of this beauty, in the Banquet indeed, denominating it the delicate; for the perfect and that which is most blessed, accedes to the beautiful through the participation of goodness. But he thus speaks of it in that dialogue: “That which is truly beautiful, is delicate, perfect and most blessed.” One of the indications therefore of the beautiful, is a thing of this kind, viz. the delicate. But we may assume another indication of it from the Phædrus, viz. the splendid. For Plato attributing this to the beautiful says: “It was then that we were permitted to see splendid beauty shining upon us etc.” And afterwards he adds: “And arriving hither we apprehended it shining most manifestly through the clearest of the senses.” And at last he says: “But now beauty alone has this allotment to be most splendid and most lovely.” These two things therefore are to be assumed as indications of beauty. Another indication of beauty is this, that it is the object of love, which now also Plato appears to me to have called most lovely. And in many other places he shows that the amatory fury is conversant with the beautiful, defining, and in short, suspending love from the monad of beauty. “For love, says he, is conversant with the beautiful.”

Because, therefore, beauty converts and moves all things to itself, causes them to energize enthusiastically, and recalls them through love, it is the object of love, being the leader of the whole amatory series, walking on the extremities of its feet, and exciting all things to itself through desire and astonishment. But again because it extends to secondary natures plenitudes from itself, in conjunction with hilarity and divine facility, alluring, inflaming, and elevating all things, and pouring onthem illuminations from on high, it is delicate, and is said to be so by Plato. And because it bounds this triad, and covers as with a veil the ineffable union of the Gods, swims as it were on the light of forms, causes intelligible light to shine forth and announces the occult nature of goodness, it is denominated splendid, lucid and manifest. For the goodness of the Gods is supreme and most united; their wisdom is in a certain respect now parturient with intelligible light, and the first forms; but their beauty is established in the highest forms, is the luminous precursor of divine light, and is the first thing that is apparent to ascending souls, being more splendid and more lovely to the view and to embrace than every luciferous essence, and when it appears is received with astonishment. This triad therefore filling all things, and proceeding through all things, it is certainly necessary that the natures which are filled should be converted to and conjoined with each of the three through kindred, and not through the same media. For of different things that are filled by this triad there is a different medium; and different powers are converted to a different perfection of the Gods. I think therefore, it is manifest to everyone, and it is frequently asserted by Plato, that the cause which congregates all secondary natures to divine beauty, which familiarizes them to it and is the source of their being filled with it, and of their derivation from thence, is nothing else than love, which always conjoins according to the beautiful, secondary to the first49 Gods, and the more excellent genera, and the best of souls. But again, truth is certainly the leader to, and establishes beings in, divine wisdom, with which intellect being filled, possesses a knowledge of beings, and souls participating of this energize intellectually. For the full participation of true wisdom is effected through truth, since this everywhere illuminates intellective natures, and conjoins them with the objects of intellection, just as truth also is the first thing that congregates intellect and the intelligible. To those however who hasten to be conjoined with the good, knowledge and cooperation are no longer requisite, but collocation, a firm establishment and quiet are necessary.

Chapter XXV.

What therefore is it which unites us to the good? What is it which causes in us a cessation of energy and motion? What is it which establishes all divine natures in the first and ineffable unity of goodness? And how does it come to pass that everything being established in that which is prior to itself according to the good which is in itself, again establishes things posterior to itself according to cause? It is, in short, the faith of the Gods, which ineffably unites all the genera of the Gods, of dæmons, and of happy souls to the good. For it is necessary to investigate the good neither gnostically, nor imperfectly, but giving ourselves up to the divine light, and closing the eyes of the soul, after this manner to become established in the unknown and occult unity of beings. For such a kind of faith as this is more ancient than the gnostic energy, not in us only, but with the Gods themselves, and according to this all the Gods are united, and about one center uniformly collect the whole of their powers and progressions.

If however it be requisite to give a particular definition of this faith, let no one suppose that it is such a kind of faith as that which is conversant with the wandering about sensibles. For this falls short of science, and much more of the truth of beings. But the faith of the Gods surpasses all knowledge, and according to the highest union conjoins secondary with first natures. Nor again, let him conceive a faith of a similar species with the celebrated belief in common conceptions; for we believe in common conceptions prior to all reasoning. But the knowledge of these is divisible, and is by no means equivalent to divine union; and the science of these is not only posterior to faith, but also to intellectual simplicity. For intellect is established beyond all science, both the first science, and that which is posterior to it. Neither, therefore, must we say that the energy according to intellect is similar to such a faith as this. For intellectual energy is multiform, and is separated from the objects of intellection through difference; and in short, it is intellectual motion about the intelligible. But it is necessary that divine faith should be uniform and quiet, being perfectly established in the port of goodness. For neither is the beautiful, nor wisdom, nor anything else among beings, so credible and stable to all things, and so exempt from all ambiguity, divisible apprehension and motion, as the good. For through this intellect also embraces another union more ancient than intellectual energy, and prior to energy. And soul considers the variety of intellect and the splendor of forms as nothing with respect to that transcendency of the good by which it surpasses the whole of things. And it dismisses indeed intellectual perception, running back to its own hyparxis; but it always pursues, investigates, and aspires after the good, hastens as it were to embosom it, and gives itself to this alone among all things without hesitation. But why is it necessary to speak of the soul? For these mortal animals, as Diotima somewhere says, despise all other things, and even life itself and being, through a desire of the nature of the good; and as all things have this one immovable and ineffable tendency to the good; but they overlook, consider as secondary, and despise the order of everything else. This, therefore, is the one secure port of all beings.

This also is especially the object of belief to all beings. And through this the conjunction and union with it is denominated faith by theologists, and not by them only, but by Plato likewise, (if I may speak what appears to me to be the case) the alliance of this faith with truth and love is proclaimed in the Laws. The multitude therefore are ignorant, that he who has a conception of these things, when discoursing about their contraries, infers the same thing with respect to the deviations from this triad. Plato then clearly asserts in the Laws that the lover of falsehood is not to be believed, and that he who is not to be believed is void of friendship. Hence it is necessary that the lover of truth should be worthy of belief, and that he who is worthy of belief should be well adapted to friendship. From these things therefore, we may survey divine truth, faith and love, and comprehend by a reasoning process their stable communion with each other. If, however, you are willing, prior to these things we will recall to our memory that Plato denominates that virtue fidelity which conciliates those that disagree, and subverts the greatest of wars, I mean seditions in cities. For from these things faith appears to be the cause of union, communion and quiet. And if there is such a power as this in us, it is by a much greater priority in the Gods themselves. For as Plato speaks of a certain divine temperance, justice and science, how is it possible that faith which connectedly comprehends the whole order of the virtues should not subsist with the Gods? In short, there are these three things which replenish divine natures, and which are the sources of plenitude to all the superior genera of beings, viz. goodness, wisdom and beauty. And again, there are three things which collect together the natures that are filled, being secondary indeed to the former, but pervading to all the divine orders, and these are faith, truth and love. But all things are saved through these, and are conjoined to their primary causes; some things indeed, through the amatory mania, others through divine philosophy, and others through theurgic power, which is more excellent than all human wisdom, and which comprehends prophetic good, the purifying powers of perfective good, and in short, all such things as are the effects of divine possession. Concerning these things therefore, we may perhaps again speak more opportunely.

Chapter XXVI.

Again, let us, if you are willing, from other dialogues investigate the common dogmas of Plato about divine natures. Whence therefore, and what dogmas shall we assume, while we proceed in our search according to nature? Are you willing that we should in the next place recall to our memory what is written in the Phædo? Socrates therefore says in the demonstrations of the immortality of the soul which are derived from its similitude to divinity, that the essence which is superior to the soul, (and to which the soul is naturally similar, and being similar participates of an immortal allotment) is divine and immortal, intelligible and uniform, indissoluble and possesses an invariable sameness of subsistence; but that the essence which is inferior to the soul, is entirely the contrary, to which also it pertains to be corrupted and to be passive. For a thing of this kind is sensible and multiform, and is dissoluble because it is a composite; and he predicates among these all such things as pertain to a corporeal subsistence. Let us therefore direct our attention to these common dogmas, and examine after what manner each of them pertains to the Gods.

In the first place then what is that which we look to when we speak of that which is said to be divine? From what has been said therefore, it is evident that every God subsists according to the highest union of beings. For to us ascending from bodies, the Gods have appeared to be superessential unities, the generators, perfectors and measurers of essences, and who bind all first essences to themselves. But that which is divine, is not only hyparxis and the one in each order of being, but at the same time is that which participates and that which is participated; of which the latter is a God, but the former is divine. Whether however, prior to the participated unities, there is something which is separate and participated will be evident in what follows. But at present we shall define that which is divine to be a thing of this kind, viz. being which participates of the one, or the one subsisting contractedly together with being. For we assume all things in the Gods except the one, as suspended from them and secondary, viz. essence, life and intellect. For the Gods do not subsist in, but prior to these, and they produce and contain these in themselves, but are not defined in them. But it is necessary not to be ignorant that these are in reality thus distinguished from each other. In many places, however, Plato magnificently celebrates the participants of the Gods by the same names, and denominates them Gods. For not only the Athenian guest in the Laws calls a divine soul a God, but also Socrates in the Phædrus. For he says “that all the horses and charioteers of the Gods are good and consist of things good”; and afterwards still more clearly, “and this is the life of the Gods.” But this is not yet wonderful. For is it not admirable that he should denominate those beings Gods who are always conjoined with the Gods, and who together with them give completion to one series? For in many places be calls dæmons Gods, though they are essentially posterior to, and subsist about the Gods. For in the Phædrus and Timæus, and in other dialogues, you will find him extending the appellation of the Gods even as far as to dæmons. But what is still more paradoxical than these things, he does not refuse to call certain men Gods; for in the Sophista he thus denominates the Elean guest.

From all that has been said therefore, this must be assumed, that with respect to a God, one thing is simply a God, another according to union, another according to participation, another according to contact, and another according to similitude. For of super-essential natures indeed, each is primarily a God; of intellectual natures, each is a God according to union; and of divine souls each is a God according to participation. But divine dæmons are Gods according to contact with the Gods; and the souls of men are allotted this appellation through similitude. Each of these however is, as we have said, rather divine than a God. Since the Athenian guest calls intellect itself divine; but that which is divine is posterior to the first deity, in the same manner as that which is united is posterior to the one, that which is intellectual to intellect, and that which is animated, to soul. And always those natures that are more uniform and simple have the precedency; but the series of beings ends in the one itself. Let this, therefore, be the definition and distinction of that which is divine.

In the next place, let us survey the immortal. For with Plato there are many orders of immortality, pervading from on high as far as to the last of things; and the last echo, as it were, of immortality, is in those visible natures that are perpetual; which the Elean guest, in his discourse about the circulation of the universe, says, are allotted from the father a renovated immortality. For every body is allotted a being and a life dependent on another cause; but is not itself naturally adapted to connect, or adorn, or preserve itself. The immortality of partial souls is, I think, more manifest and more perfect than this; which Plato evinces by many demonstrations in the Phædo, and in the 10th book of the Republic. But I mean by the immortality of partial souls, that which has a more principal subsistence, as containing in itself the cause of eternal permanency. We shall not, however, err if prior to both these we establish the immortality of dæmons. For the genera of these through which they subsist are incorruptible, and they neither verge to mortality, nor are filled with the nature of things which are generated and corrupted. But I infer that the immortality of divine souls is still more venerable and essentially more transcendent than that of dæmons; which divine souls we say are primarily self-motive, and are the fountains and principles of the life divided about bodies, and through which bodies obtain a renovated immortality. If, however, prior to these you conceive the Gods themselves, and the immortality in them, and how in the Banquet Diotima does not attribute an immortality of this kind even to dæmons, but defines it to subsist in the Gods alone, such an immortality as this will appear to you to be separate, and exempt from the whole of things. For there eternity subsists, which is the fountain of all immortality, and through it all things live and possess life, some things indeed a perpetual life, but others a life dispersed into non-being. In short, therefore, that which is divine is immortal so far as it generates and comprehends in itself a perpetual life. For it is immortal, not as participating of life, but as the supplier of a divine life, and as deifying life itself, whether you are willing to call such a life intelligible, or by any other name.

In the next place let us direct our attention to the intelligible. It is denominated, therefore, in opposition to that which is sensible and which is apprehended by opinion in conjunction with sense. For the intelligible is first unfolded into light in the most principal causes. For soul is indeed intelligible, is of this allotment, is exempt from sensibles, and obtains an essence separated from them. Prior to soul also intellect is intelligible; for we rather think it fit to arrange Soul in the middle, than to co-numerate it with the first essences. That likewise is denominated intelligible, which is more ancient than intellect, which replenishes intelligence, and is itself by itself perfective of it, and which Timæus arranges prior to the demiurgic intellect and intellectual energy, in the order of a paradigm. But beyond these is the divine intelligible, which is defined according to union itself, and a divine hyparxis. For this is intelligible as the object of desire to intellect, as perfecting and comprehending intellect, and as the plenitude of being. In one way, therefore, we must denominate the intelligible as the hyparxis of the Gods; in another way as true being and the first essence; in another way as intellect and all intellectual life; and in another way as soul and the psychical order. It is likewise necessary not to fashion the different natures of things conformably to names. Such, therefore, is the order of this triad; so that what is divine indeed is unmingled and ranks as the first; that which is immortal is the second; and that which is intelligible the third. For the first of these is deified being; the second is life subsisting according to the immortality of the Gods; and the third is intellect, which is denominated intelligible in consequence of being replete with union.

Chapter XXVII.

After this, it follows in the next place, that we should consider the uniform, the indissoluble, and that which has an invariable sameness of subsistence, from the same causes, and these are the precursors of, and pervading through all the divine orders. For the uniform, indeed, has the highest subsistence, is present with the divine monad, and appears to be especially adapted to that which is primarily being,50 and in which also every participable genus of unities ends. For the one is prior to these, as will be evident as we proceed. But the indissoluble is the second. For it comprehends and binds the extremes according to divine union; since the dissoluble is such as it is through the want of connection and of a power which collects multitude into one. And that which has an invariable sameness of subsistence is eternal, and is full of the perpetuity of the G
ods; from which also the participation of immortality and eternal sameness is derived to other things. The uniform, therefore pertains to the same thing as the divine; but the indissoluble to the same thing as the immortal; and that which has an invariable sameness of subsistence we must refer to the intelligible.

And do you not see how these are severally after a manner co-adapted to each other? For the burst of these, through the first unity which is participated by being is, as it is fit it should be, uniform. For if a God subsists according to the one, that which is divine will doubtless be uniform. But that which through one cause of life is immortal, is also similarly indissoluble. For life is the bond of dissoluble natures; which also Timæus indicating to us, opposes the dissoluble to the immortal: “for you are not immortal, says the demiurgus, yet you shall never be dissolved, nor be subject51 to the fatality of death.” Everything mortal, therefore, is dissoluble; but the immortal is indissoluble. That, however, which has a renovated immortality is for the same reason neither indissoluble, nor mortal. For being in the middle of both it is neither of the extremes, according to each opposition. But the third of these being established according to the plenitude of whole intelligibles subsists at once and is invariably the same. For the intelligible is the cause of sameness and of eternal permanency; and intellect through this is entirely eternal. These triads, therefore, proceed from the first and most principal causes, in the same manner as we demonstrated of the before-mentioned triads. But to things, indeed, we shall consider hereafter.

These things, therefore, being discussed, let us direct our attention to the unbegotten in divine natures, and unfold what we assert it to be. For we say that all [true] being is without generation, and Socrates demonstrates in the Phædrus, that souls are unbegotten. Prior to these, also, the Gods themselves are established above generations and a subsistence according to time. How, therefore, shall we define the unbegotten when applied to a divine nature, and according to what reason? Is it because divinity is exempt from all generation, not only from that which subsists in the parts of time, such as we assert the generation of material natures to be, nor from that only which is extended into the whole of time, such as Timæus demonstrates the generation of the celestial bodies to be, but also from the psychical generation? Since Timæus denominates this to be unbegotten according to time, but to be the best of generated natures. And in short, a divine nature is exempt from all division and essential separation. For the progression of the Gods is always according to a union of secondary natures, which are uniformly established in the nature prior to them, the things producing containing in themselves the thing produced. The indivisible, therefore, the unseparated and the united are in reality unbegotten. So that if certain generations of the Gods are spoken of by Plato in fabulous figments, as in the fable of Diotima, the generation of Venus is celebrated, and of Love at the birth of Venus, it is necessary not to be ignorant after what manner things of this kind are asserted, and that they are composed for the sake of symbolical indication; and that fables for the sake of concealment call the ineffable unfolding into light through causes, generation. For in the Orphic writings, indeed, the first cause is on this account denominated Time; since again, for another reason, it is thus denominated, in order that a subsistence according to cause may be the same as a subsistence according to time. And the progression of the Gods from the best of causes is properly denominated generation according to time. To Plato, therefore, mythologizing, it is adapted to devise things of this kind conformably to theologists; but when he is discoursing dialectically, and investigating and unfolding divine natures intellectually and not mystically, it is then adapted to him to celebrate the unbegotten essence of the Gods. For the Gods primarily establish in themselves the paradigm of non-generation. But an intellectual nature is in a secondary degree unbegotten, and after this the psychical essence. And in bodies there is an ultimate resemblance of unbegotten power; which some posterior to Plato perceiving, have indefinitely shown that the whole heaven is unbegotten. The Gods, therefore, are unbegotten. But there is an order in them of first, middle, and last progressions, and a transcendency and subjection of powers. There are also in them uniform comprehensions of causes; but multiform progenies of things caused. And all things, indeed, are consubsistent in each other; but the mode of subsistence is various. For some things as replenishing subsist prior to secondary natures; but others as being filled aspire after more perfect natures, and participating of their power become generative of things posterior to themselves, and perfective of their hyparxis.

Chapter XXVIII.

Looking to these things, therefore, we may unfold what is said of paternal causes, and of the prolific powers of mothers in fables. For everywhere, we may suppose that the cause of a more excellent and more uniform nature is paternal;52 but we may say that the cause of a more subordinate and partial nature pre-exists in the order of a mother. For with the Gods a father is analogous to the monad, and the cause of bound; but a mother, to the duad, and to the infinite power which is generative of beings. The paternal cause, however, is with Plato uniform, and is established in a more elevated order than the natures which proceed from it, and subsists prior to its progeny in the allotment of the desirable. Again, the maternal cause has the form of the duad; and at one time presents itself to the view in fables as more excellent than its progeny, but at another time as essentially subordinate to it; as in the Banquet, Plato calls Poverty the mother of Love. And this is not only the case in fabulous figments, but also in the philosophic theory of beings, as is evident in the Timæus. For there Plato calls being the father, but matter the mother and nurse of generation. The powers, therefore, which are prolific and perfective of secondary natures, and the suppliers of life and causes of separation are mothers, being established above the natures produced by them. But the powers which receive the natures that proceed into light, which multiply their energies, and extend even the subordinate allotment of the progeny, are also themselves called mothers. Again, however, the progeny of such like causes, at one time indeed, proceed according to union from their proper principles, and are filled from both the paternal and maternal cause; but at another time they contain the bond of them, being arranged in the middle, conveying the gifts of the fathers to the maternal bosoms, and converting the receptacles of them to the completions of primary causes. But of the natures which subsist from twofold pre-existing principles, some are assimilated to the paternal cause; and such like genera of Gods are productive, defensive, and comprehensive. For to produce, to contain, and to defend, pertain to the cause of bound. But others are assimilated to the maternal cause and are prolific, and vivific, and the suppliers of motion, of the multiplication of powers, of variety and progressions. For all these are the progeny of infinity and the first multitude.

Chapter XXIX.

Thus much therefore may suffice concerning the unbegotten hyparxis of the Gods. It now remains, I think, to speak of divine names. For Socrates in the Cratylus thinks fit to unfold in a remarkable degree the rectitude of names in divine natures. And Parmenides indeed, in the first hypothesis, as he denies of the one everything else that is known, and all knowledge, so likewise he denies of it name and language. But in the second hypothesis, besides all other things, he shows that this one may be spoken of and53 that it has a name. In short therefore, it must be admitted that the first, most principal and truly divine names are established in the Gods themselves. But it must be said that the second names, which are the imitations of the first, and which subsist intellectually, are of a dæmoniacal allotment. And again we may say that those names which are the third from the truth, which are logically devised, and which receive the ultimate resemblance of divine natures, are unfolded by scientific men, at one time energizing divinely, and at another intellectually and generating moving images of their inward spectacles. For as the demiurgic intellect establishes resemblances about matter of the first forms contained in himself, and produces temporal images of things eternal, divisible images of things indivisible, and adumbrated images as it were of true beings,—after the same manner I think the science that is with us representing intellectual production, fabricates resemblances of other things and also of the Gods themselves, representing that which is void of composition in them, through composition; that which is simple, through variety; and that which is united through multitude; and thus fashioning names, ultimately exhibits images of divine natures. For it generates every name as if it were a statue of the Gods. And as the theurgic art through certain symbols calls forth the exuberant and unenvying goodness of the Gods into the illumination of artificial statues, thus also the intellectual science of divine concerns, by the compositions and divisions of sounds unfolds the occult essence of the Gods. Very properly therefore, does Socrates in the Philebus say, that on account of his reverence of the Gods; he is agitated with the greatest fear respecting their names. For it is necessary to venerate even the ultimate echoes of the Gods, and venerating these to become established in the first paradigms of them. And thus much concerning divine names, which at present may be sufficient for the purpose of understanding the theology of Plato. For we shall accurately discuss them when we speak of partial powers.


Book II.

Chapter I.

The most proper beginning however of the theory proposed by us is that from which we may be able to discover the first cause54 of all beings. For being impelled from this in a becoming manner, and having our conceptions purified respecting it, we shall with greater facility be able to distinguish other things. About these things therefore we must speak from the beginning as follows: It is necessary that all beings, and all the natures of beings should either be many only, there being no one in them, neither in each, nor in all of them; or that they should be one only, there being no multitude, but all things being compelled into one and the same power of existence; or it is necessary that they should be both one and many, and that being should be one in order that neither multitude itself by itself may vanquish beings, nor that we may be forced to bring together into the same thing all things and their contraries at once. These things therefore being three, which of them shall we choose? And to which of the above mentioned assertions shall we give our suffrage. It is necessary therefore severally to discuss the absurdities which attend these positions, and thus to survey after what manner the truth subsists.

If then beings are many, and in such a manner many, as we have mentioned from the beginning, so that the one is not any where to be found, many absurdities will happen to be the result, or rather all the nature of beings will at once from the first be destroyed, as there will immediately be nothing which is capable of participating the one. For it must be admitted that every being is either one certain thing, or nothing. And that indeed which is a certain being, is also one; but that which is not even one being, has not any existence whatever. Hence, if many things have a subsistence, each of the many is something or a certain one. But if each of them is nothing, or not even one thing, neither is it possible for the many to exist; for the many are many so far as each individual of the multitude exists. If, therefore, the many alone have a subsistence, and the one in no respect is, neither will the many exist. For things which are in no respect one have not any existence whatever. But if the one is not, by a much greater priority neither have the many an existence. For it necessarily follows that none of the things from which the many consist will have a subsistence.

Farther still, if the many alone have a subsistence (as has been said) all things will be infinitely infinite; and if you receive any one of the infinites whatever, this also will be immediately infinite. And with respect to the things from which this consists and which are infinite, each of these likewise will be infinite. For let something of the many be assumed, which we say is not one, this therefore will be multitude according to its own nature, since it belongs to beings, but is not nothing. If however it is multitude, this also will consist of many things, and will be many. And if you assume something of these manys, this will immediately appear to you not to be one, but many. There will likewise be immediately the same reasoning in these, and in a similar manner each, (because we falsely speak of each) will be multitude in energy. And each, as I may say, will be infinite, or rather will be infinitely infinite. For there is nothing which will not be something of this kind; since a part is many, and in a similar manner the part of a part; and this to infinity. For multitude proceeding will never stop, nor infinity, in consequence of being deprived of the nature of the one. To make beings however, to be infinitely infinite, is impossible both with respect to truth, and to the thing proposed by us. For if being is infinitely infinite, being can neither be known, nor discovered; since the infinite is entirely incomprehensible and unknown. If also being is infinitely infinite, there will be something more infinite than the infinite. But if that something is more infinite, this will be less infinite. That, however, which is less infinite, since it is not perfectly infinite, will evidently be finite, so far as it falls short of the nature of the infinite. If, therefore, there is something which is itself according to multitude more infinite than that which is infinite in multitude there will be something more than the infinite, and the infinite will be less, yet not according to multitude. This however is impossible. Hence there is not the infinitely infinite.

Again therefore, according to this hypothesis, the same things will be according to the same, similar and dissimilar. For if all the manys are not one, and each thing according to all things is not one, that which is not one will evidently suffer the same passion in consequence of the privation of the one. All things therefore being deprived of the one, after the same manner, they will on this account subsist similarly with respect to each other. But things which subsist similarly, so far as they thus subsist, are evidently similar to each other. Hence the many will be similar to each other, so far as they are deprived of the one. They will likewise according to this privation of the one be perfectly dissimilar. For it is necessary that things which are similar should suffer the same passion; so that things which do not suffer any thing that is the same, will not be similar. But things which suffer any thing that is the same, suffer also one thing. Hence things which are deprived of every one, will not suffer any thing that is the same. The many therefore will be similar and dissimilar according to the same. But this is impossible; Hence it is impossible for the many to exist which are in no respect one.

Moreover, the many will be the same with and different from each other according to the same. For if all things are similarly deprived of the one, so far indeed as all of them are similarly deprived they will be the same according to this privation; since things which subsist after the same manner according to habit are the same, and also things which are after the same manner deprived according to privation. But so far in short, as each of them is deprived of every one, so far the many will be different from each other. For if the one in the many is the same, that which is in no respect one, will in no respect be the same. The many therefore will be the same and not the same with each other. But if they are the same and not the same it is evident that they are different from each other. For that which is the same and not the same, so far as it is not the same, is not the same, by nothing else than the different. Farther still therefore, these many will be moveable and immoveable, if the one is not. For if each of them is not one, they will be immoveable according to the privation of the one. For if that which is not one should be changed, each of them would have the one; since privations being changed, entirely lead into habits the things that are changed. It is necessary however that what is not one should remain immoveable according to the privation of the one, though this very thing is itself impossible, viz. that the many should stand still. For every thing which stands still is in something which is the same, viz. it is either in the same form, or in the same place. But every thing which is in the same, is in one thing which is the same. For the same in which it is, is one thing. Every thing therefore which stands still is in one thing. The many, however, do not participate of the one. But it is perfectly impossible that things which do not participate of the one, should be in one certain thing. And things which are not in one thing cannot stand still, since things which stand still are entirely in one and the same thing. It is impossible therefore, that the many should stand still, and remain immoveable. It has been demonstrated however, that the many must necessarily stand immoveable. The same things therefore, and the same passion, (I mean the privation of the habit of the one,) are moveable and immoveable. For things immoveable, and things which stand still, so far as they are unstable, so far they must necessarily appear to be moveable.

Moreover, there is no number of beings if the one in no respect is; but all things and each thing will be not one. For the particle of number, the monad, is one, and every number itself is one. For if there are five monads, there is also the pentad; and if three monads, the triad. But the triad itself is a certain unity, and so is the pentad. So that if there is no one, there will neither be any part, nor the whole of numbers. For how can there be any number the one not existing? For the one is the principle of numbers. But the principle not existing, neither is it possible that the things which proceed from this principle should exist. Hence the one not existing, neither will there be any number.

Again, therefore, neither will there be any knowledge of beings if the one is not. For it will not be possible either to speak or think of any being. For each thing itself, and every thing of which we can speak, and in which we impress the nature of the one, will have no existence, because neither does the one exist. Hence neither will there be any discourse nor any knowledge. For discourse is one thing consisting of many things, if it is perfect. And knowledge then exists, when that which knows becomes one with that which is known. But union not existing, there will at the same time be no knowledge of things, and it will be impossible to speak about things which we know. To which we may add, that the inexplicable in the several infinites, will necessarily always fly from the bound of knowledge. For immediately each apparent infinite which he who possesses knowledge desires to understand, will escape the gnostic power hastening to come into contact with, and adhere to it, since it is incapable either of contact or adhesion. If, therefore, the many alone have an existence, the one having no subsistence whatever, so many absurdities, and a still greater number must necessarily happen to those who adopt such an hypothesis.

But if the one which is the one itself alone has a subsistence, and there is nothing else (for if there were there would not only be one but many things; since one and another thing are more than one, and are not one thing only) if this be the case, there will neither be among all things either whole, or that which has parts. For every thing which has parts is many, and every whole has parts. But the one is in no respect many. Neither therefore will there be a whole, nor that which has parts. Farther still, neither is it possible that there should be a beginning, or end of any thing. For that which has a beginning, a middle, and an end, is divisible. But the one is not divisible, because neither has it any parts. Hence, neither has it a beginning, nor a middle, nor an end. Again, if the one alone has a subsistence, no being will have figure. For every thing which has figure is either rectilinear or circular, or mixt from these. But if indeed it is rectilinear, it will have for its parts, the middle, and the extremes. If it is circular, there will be one thing in it as a middle, but other things as extremes, to which the middle extends. And if it is mixed from the right and circular line, it will consist of many things, and will not be one.

Moreover, neither will any being be in itself, nor in another thing. For that which is in another thing is different from that in which it is. But the one alone existing and nothing else (for it will by no means be in another thing) there will be no being which is in another thing. But that which is in itself will at the same time comprehend and be comprehended; and in this, to comprehend will not be the same thing as to be comprehended; nor will there be the same55 definition of both. There will therefore be two things, and no longer the one alone. Again, neither will any being be moved. For being moved indeed, it must necessarily be changed. But being changed it must be in another thing. If the one however alone has an existence, it is not possible for any thing to appear to be in something else. Hence it is not possible for any being to be changed. But every thing which stands still is necessarily in the same thing. And that which is in the same is in a certain same thing. The one however is in no same thing. For that which is in a certain thing, is either in itself, or in something else. But it has been demonstrated, that it is neither in itself, nor in another. Hence neither is it in a certain same thing. Neither therefore does any being stand still.

Moreover, it is impossible for any thing to be the same with, or different from any thing. For if there is nothing besides the one itself, there is not any thing which will be either the same with, or different from another thing. For there will not be any other being. And the one itself will not be different from itself; for it would be many and not one. Nor will it be the same with itself. For this thing which is same is in another, and same is not the one itself. For the one is simply one, because it is not many. But that which is same is the same with another thing. Again, neither is it possible for any thing to be similar or dissimilar to any thing. For every thing similar suffers a certain same passion; but every thing dissimilar a certain different passion. The one, however, cannot suffer any thing, nor can this be the case with any thing else besides the one; since nothing else has any existence whatever, if the one alone has a subsistence.

Farther still, in addition to these things we say that neither is it possible for any thing to be touched, nor to be separate, if there is nothing else besides the one. For how can things which have no existence be separate, or come into contact with any thing? But neither can the one either be separate from itself or touch itself. For it would thus be passive to the being touched, and the being separate. But the one suffers no other thing besides itself. It is likewise requisite that no one thing should either be equal or unequal to any thing. For that which is equal to another thing, is said to be so with reference to another thing. And the like may be said of that which is unequal. Another thing, however, has no existence, if the one alone has a subsistence. But neither can the one be equal or unequal to itself. For if unequal, there will be one thing in it as greater, but another as less; so that it will be two things and not one. And if the one is equal to itself, the one will measure itself. This however is impossible. For the one will measure and be measured by itself, so that it will not be the one itself. Neither therefore will there be any equality or inequality in beings. If however these things are impossible, neither can any being come into contact with another, and be separate, nor be similar or dissimilar, nor be same or different, nor again, stand still, or be moved, or in short be in any thing, or have figure, or be a whole, or have parts, if the one alone has a subsistence which is void of multitude, and is without all these things. Neither however, is it possible for the many alone to have a subsistence, as was before demonstrated. And hence it is necessary that every being should be both many and one.

If this however is the case, either the many must participate of the one, or the one of the many, or both must participate of each other, or neither of each other; but the many indeed must be separate, and the one must also be separate, in order that the many and the one may subsist, as reason evinces. If, therefore, neither the one participates of the many, nor the many of the one, the same absurdities will ensue as we brought together in the hypothesis of the many alone having a subsistence. For again there will be the many separate from the one. For if the one subsists by itself, and the many do not in any respect participate of the one, the many will be infinitely infinite, they will be similar and dissimilar, same and different, moved and stable, and there will neither be any number nor any knowledge of the many. For the absence of the one compels all these consequences to be apparent in the many. It is impossible therefore, that neither the many should participate of the one, nor the one of the many.

If however, the one participates of the many, and the many of the one, and both these are in each other, it is necessary that there should be another nature besides these, which is neither one nor many. For both these being mingled in each other, it is necessary that there should be a cause of their mixture which conjoins multitude to the one, and the one to multitude. For it is necessary that every thing that is mingled, should have a cause of the mixture. For in short, if the one and multitude participate of each other, neither the one is the cause of essence to multitude, nor multitude to the one, but a certain third thing is the cause of essence to both, and which is prior to these. For what will that be which makes this to be multitude, and that to be one? And what is the cause of this communication and association with each other, the one so far as it is one never having any communication with the many? For the many so far as many, and the one so far as one are different from each other. And so far as neither is from neither, they have no sympathy with each other. What therefore is it which collects these into one, since they fly from and are unmingled with each other? For being thus discordant with each other, they cannot desire each other, or if they did their congress must be fortuitous. For if this should happen to be the case, there was a time when these were separate from each other, since now also they subsist together casually. It is however impossible for the many to subsist separate from the one. The mixture therefore is not casual. But neither is the mixture from the many, if neither one is the cause of the many, nor the many of the one. What therefore is this more excellent thing [which is the cause of the mixture?] For it is either one, or not one. But if indeed, it is the one itself, we must again inquire concerning this, whether it participates of multitude or of nothing. For if this participates, it is evident that some other thing prior to this, will for the same reason present itself to the view, and this will be the case to infinity. But if a thing of this kind is entirely void of multitude, again that which was asserted at first will not be true, viz. that the many do not participate of the one, nor the one of the many. I mean however that which is the most principal and primarily one. But there is indeed a certain one in the many, and there is also the imparticipable one, and which is simply one, and nothing else. If however that which is prior to both, is not56 one, it is necessary that this not one should be more excellent than the one. All things however are, and are generated what they are, through the one. And together with the one indeed every being is preserved; but separate from the one proceeds to the corruption of itself. The mixture also of the one and multitude, which the non-one affords to beings, is communion and union. The one57 therefore, and that which is not one,58 are the cause of nothing else to beings than of their being one. If however the one is the cause of a thing of this kind, that which is not one will not be the cause of that which is more excellent [than union.] But it is every where necessary that what is more excellent should be the cause to beings of another more excellent thing, according to its own power. For thus it will be more excellent as being more good, and as the cause from its own nature of a greater and more excellent good to those things to which a less good is the cause of less goodness. From these things therefore it is necessary, that the many should participate of the one, that the one should be unmingled with multitude, and that nothing should be better than the one, but that this should also be the cause of being to the many. For every thing which is deprived of the one, flies immediately into nothing, and to its own corruption. But that which is not many, is not at one and the same time not many and nothing. For to the one that which is nothing, or not one, is opposed, and to the many that which is not many is opposed. If, therefore, the one and the many are not the same, the not being many will not be the same with nothing. From thus considering the affair therefore, it appears that the one is beyond multitude, and is the cause of being to the many.

Chapter II.

It is necessary however, that discussing the same subject after another manner, we should again see if we can in a certain respect follow what has been said, and refer it to the same end. It is necessary therefore, that there should either be one principle, or many principles; or rather, we should begin from hence. And if there are many principles, they must either possess sympathy with each other, or they must be divulsed from each other, and they must be either finite or infinite. But if there is one principle, this must either be not essence, or essence. And if it is essence, this must either be corporeal or incorporeal. And if incorporeal, it must either be separate from, or inseparable from bodies. And if separate, it must either be moveable or immoveable. But if it is not essence, it must either be inferior to all essence, or participated by essence, or imparticipable. If therefore there are many principles, and which have no sympathy with each other, no being will originate from them [conjointly,] nor will they be common to all things, but each will produce by itself. For what communication can there be between things which are naturally foreign, or what co-operation between things which are entirely of a different kind? In addition also to these things, there will be the many which do not participate of the one. For if there is a certain one common in all of them, they will not be perfectly separated essentially from each other. If therefore they are different, and there is nothing which is the same about them, they are alone many and by no means one. But if there are many principles, and which possess sympathy with each other, they will have something common, which leads all of them to sympathy, and similarly unfolds all of them to the view. For we call those things sympathetic, which happen to be passive to the same thing. But similars are entirely similar from participating one form and one nature. If however this be the case, it is necessary that that all [or universal] which is every where, and in all the principles, should be of a more principal nature than the many. This therefore gives them the power to generate sympathy with each other, and affords them communion according to nature.

Again, if there are indeed infinite principles, either the things which proceed from them are infinite, and there will thus be the infinite twice, or they are finite, and thus all the principles will not be principles. For things finite in number, will entirely proceed from finite principles. The principles therefore are in vain infinite. To which may be added, that infinity makes both the principles to be unknown, and the things which proceed from them. For the principles being unknown, it is necessary that the things which proceed from them should be unknown; since we then think that we know any thing when we know the causes and the first principles of it. But if the principles are finite, it is evident that there will be a certain number of them: for we say that number is a definite multitude. If however, there is a number of the principles, it is necessary that there should be a cause of the whole number of them. For every number is from one; and this, viz. the one is the principle of numbers. This therefore will be the principle of principles, and the cause of finite multitude, since number itself is one, and the end in the many is one, and it bounds the many by that which is one. But the principle being one, and this being essence, it is necessary if this is admitted to be either corporeal or incorporeal, that it must be acknowledged to be the principle of other things.

If therefore, body is the cause of the generation of beings, it is necessary indeed, that it should be divisible and have parts. For every body is in its own nature divisible; since every magnitude is a certain whole and that which is a whole consists of parts. These parts therefore, (but I mean each of them) must either severally participate a certain one, or not participate it. If therefore they do not participate it, they will be many alone, and by no means one. Hence, neither will that which consists from them be a whole. For there being no one, that which consists of all of them will not be one. But if each of the parts participates of something of this kind, and there is something which is the same in all of them, a thing of this kind must necessarily be incorporeal, and impartible according to its own nature. For if this also is itself corporeal, it is either wholly in each of the parts, or not wholly. If therefore, it is indeed wholly in each, it will itself be separated from itself. For the parts in which it is are separate from each other. But if it is not wholly in each of the parts, this also will be divisible, and will have parts after the same manner as the above mentioned parts; and there will again be the same inquiry concerning these, viz. whether in these also there is something common, or nothing; since if there is nothing common, we shall place the many separate from the one.

Let us however consider the whole; for every body is a whole, and has parts. What therefore will that be which is connective of the parts, since they are many? For it is necessary to say either that the whole is unific of the parts, or the parts of the whole, or that some third thing prior to both, which is neither a whole, nor has any part, connects and unites the whole with its parts, and the parts with the whole. But if the whole indeed is connective of the parts, the whole will be incorporeal and impartible. For if it is a body, this also will be partible, and will be indigent of a nature which is capable of connecting the parts; and this will be the case to infinity. But if the parts are connective of the whole, how can the many be connective of the one; and things divided, of that which consists from them? For on the contrary, it is necessary that the one should have the power of uniting the many, and not the many of uniting the one. And if that which connects both, is neither a whole nor has parts, it will be perfectly impartible. But being impartible, it is also necessarily without interval. For every thing which has interval has parts, and is divisible. But being without interval it is incorporeal; for every body possesses interval.

Farther still, it is necessary that the principle should be perpetual; for every being is perpetual or corruptible. Hence it must be admitted that the principle of beings is perpetual or corruptible. But if we should grant that this may be corrupted, there will be no being incorruptible. For the principle being destroyed, it will neither be itself generated from any thing, nor will another thing be generated from it. For it can neither be able to generate itself (since it is not, if it is not perpetual) nor can another thing be able to generate it, if it is the principle of all things. But if it is incorruptible, it will have the power of not being corrupted, and this power will be infinite, in order that it may exist to infinity through the whole of time. For every finite power of existence pertains naturally to that which is corruptible. But an infinite power pertains to perpetual natures, the existence of which continues to infinity. This infinite therefore, I mean the infinite according to power, is either impartible or partible. But if it is partible indeed, there will be the infinite in a finite body. For the principle is finite; since if it were infinite, there will be nothing else besides itself. But if it is impartible, the power of infinitely existing will be incorporeal. And the principle of beings is incorporeal,59 so far as it is this power through which the subject of it always is. That it is impossible therefore, the principle of beings can be corporeal is from these things evident.

If however it is incorporeal, it must either be separate, or inseparable from bodies. But if inseparable indeed, it will have all its energies in bodies, and subsisting about them. For that is inseparable from body which is not any where naturally adapted to energize except in and with bodies. But if the principle is a thing of this kind, it is evidently necessary that none of the things which subsist according to it should be more powerful, or possess greater authority than the principle of all beings. If however, nothing is more excellent in bodies than the power which subsists in and energizes about bodies, and a corporeal essence, there will not any where be intellect and the power which energizes according to intellect. For every such like motion [i.e. energy] proceeds from a power, which is entirely in its energies independent of body. But it neither was, nor is lawful for generated natures to surpass the power of their causes. For every thing which is in the things begotten is from primary natures, and the latter are the lords of the essence of the former. If therefore, the principle of beings is able to generate intellect and wisdom, how is it possible it should not generate it, on account of and in itself? For one of two things is necessary, either that intellectual perception pertains in no respect to beings, or that it is inferior to them; and that if it exists it acts in bodies only. These things however, it is impossible to assert. But if that which is the first of beings, and which is the principle of all things is separate from bodies, it is perfectly necessary to admit that it is either immoveable or moved. And if indeed it is moved, there will be something else prior to it, about which it is moved. For every thing which is moved, is naturally adapted to be moved about something else which is permanent. And farther still, besides this, it is moved through desire of another thing. For it is necessary indeed that it should be moved in consequence of desiring a certain thing; because motion itself by itself is indefinite. But the end of it is that for the sake of which it subsists. It desires however, either something else, or itself. But every thing which desires itself is immoveable. For why should any thing that is present with itself want to be in another thing? For of things which are moved, the motion of that is less to which the good is nearer, but the motion is greater of that to which the good is more remote. But that which possesses good in itself and for the sake of which it subsists, will be immoveable and stable; since being always in itself, it is in good. That however which is in itself is in same; for each thing is the same with itself. But of that which is in itself we say indeed that it stands still and is immoveable; while that which is not immoveable, is not in itself but in another, is moved towards another thing, and is perfectly indigent of good. If therefore the principle of beings is moved, but every thing which is moved is moved through the want of good, and towards another thing which is the object of desire to it, there will be something else which is desirable to the principle of beings besides itself, and about which possessing a sameness of subsistence, we must say it is moved. This however is impossible. For the principle is that for the sake of which all things subsist, which all things desire, and which is indigent of nothing. For if it were in want of something, it would be entirely subordinate to that of which it is in want, and to which its energy is directed as the object of desire. But if the principle is immoveable (for this is what remains,) it is necessary that it should be one incorporeal essence, possessing an eternal sameness of subsistence. After what manner, however, does it possess the one? And how is it one essence? For if essence and the one are the same, it must be admitted that the principle of beings is essence. But if essence is different from the one, it must be granted that to be the one is not the same thing as to be essence. And if, indeed, essence is better than the one, according to this it must be said to be with the principle. But if the one is better than essence and beyond it, the one is also the principle of essence. And if they are coordinate to each other, the many will be prior to the one.60 This, however, is impossible as we have before demonstrated. It is evident, indeed, that essence is not the same as the one. For it is not one and the same thing to say one, and that essence is one; but the former is not yet a sentence, and the latter is. To which may be added, that if essence and the one are the same, multitude will be the same as that which has no existence, and which is not essence. This, however, is impossible. For in essence the many are contained, and in that which is not essence is the one. But if essence and the one are not the same, they will not be coordinate to each other; for if they were coordinate there will be some other thing prior to them, if it is necessary that all things should subsist from one principle. And if one of these is better than the other, either the one is prior to essence, or essence is prior to the one. But if the one indeed is prior to essence, this and not essence is the principle of all things. For it is necessary that nothing should be better than the principle. And if essence is prior to the one, the one will be passive to essence, and not essence to the one. But if the one is passive to essence, it is necessary that the one and essence should be every thing, and that all such things as are one should be essence, but not that all such things as are essence should be one. There will, therefore, be a certain essence deprived of the one. If, however, this be the case, it will be nothing. For that which is deprived of the one is nothing. Hence the one is prior to essence.

But if that which is first is something which is not essence, it is absurd to assert that it is subordinate to essence. For the principle is that which has the greatest power and the most absolute authority, and is most sufficient to itself, and is not that which is most ignoble, and indigent of the many. And, in short, it is necessary that no secondary nature should be better than the principle; for it is requisite that beings should not be governed badly. But if, indeed, the principle has an order subordinate to the things which proceed from it, and the things proceeding from it are better than it, all things will be badly confounded, nor will the principle according to nature be any thing else than something which is not the most excellent of things, nor will things which proceed from the principle possess from it a power of ruling over their principle. The principle of beings, therefore, will indeed be fortuitous, and also the beings which are its progeny. But this is impossible. For things which are fortuitous (if to have a fortuitous subsistence is this, not to exist according to intellect, nor with a view to a definite end) are disorderly, infinite, and indefinite, and are all of them things which have a less frequency of subsistence. But the principle is invariably principle, and other things proceed from it. If however, that which is not essence is better than all essence, it will either be participated by it, or it will be entirely imparticipable. If, however, essence participates of the principle, of what will it be the principle? And how will it be the principle of all beings? For it is necessary that the principle of beings should be no one of beings; since if it were any one of them, it is necessarily not the principle of all beings. But every thing which is participated by another thing is said to be that by which it is participated, and in which it primarily is. The principle, however, is separate, and belongs in a greater degree to itself than to other things. Besides, every thing which is participated proceeds from another more excellent cause; since that which is imparticipable is better than that which is participate. It is not, however, possible to conceive any thing better than that which is most excellent, and which we call the principle. For it is not lawful to assert that things secondary to the principle, and which proceed from it, are in any respect better than their principle. The cause therefore of all beings is above all essence, is separate from every essence, and is neither essence, nor has essence as an addition to its nature. For such an addition as this is a diminution of simplicity, and of that which is one.

Chapter III.

See, therefore, the third argument after these, leading us to the same conclusion with the former arguments. For it is necessary that the cause of all beings should be that of which all beings participate, to which they refer the subsistence of themselves, and which separates itself from nothing that in any respect whatever is said to have an existence. For this alone is the object of desire to beings, which primarily, or in some other way, is itself the cause of their subsistence. And it is necessary that every thing which is produced with reference to, and on account of it, should have a certain habitude with relation to it, and through this also, a similitude to it. For every habitude of one thing towards another, is predicated in a two-fold respect, either from both participating of one thing, which affords to the participants a communion with each other; or from one of them participating of the other; of which, indeed, the one as being more excellent, imparts something to that which is subordinate to itself; but the other, as being inferior, is assimilated to the more excellent nature, so far as it participates of it. Hence it is necessary, if all sensible natures possess a habitude to that which is first, aspire after, and subsist about it, either that there should be a certain third thing the cause of the habitude, or that the principle should impart to the natures posterior to itself, a tendency to itself, and that desire, through which every thing is preserved, and exists. Nothing else, however, is more excellent than that which is first. Hence, the habitude of beings, their existence, and their tendency to the first, are derived from thence. And all things participate of the principle of themselves, if it is necessary that this which is participated, should from thence become apparent in all beings, since it is the principle of all things, and deserts no being whatever. What, therefore, will this nature be, which is every where, and in all beings? Is it life and motion? But there are indeed many things which are deprived of these. Is, therefore, permanency every where, and in all things? But neither is this true. For motion, so far as it is motion, will not participate of permanency. Is much-honoured intellect, therefore, so far as it is intellect, participated by all beings? But this also is impossible. For all beings would have intellectual perception, and no being would be deprived of intellect.

Shall we say, therefore, that being itself and essence are participated by all things that in any respect whatever have a subsistence? But how is this possible? For that which is in generation, or passing into existence, is said to be, and is destitute of essence. Nor must we wonder, if it also, since it ranks among beings, should now participate of essence. For so far as it is in generation, it is not; but it ends in existence and essence when it is now actually generated, and is no longer rising into existence. All things, therefore, that have in any respect whatever a subsistence, do not participate of essence. What then will that be which is every where and by all things participated? Let us consider every being, and see what that is to which all beings are passive, and what it is which is common in all of them, as in essence, sameness, difference, permanency, and motion. Can we say, therefore, that each of these is any thing else than one thing, and not only separately, but this is also the case with the things which subsist from them; and in short, it is not possible in a certain respect to speak otherwise of all things, than this, that all things, and each thing is one. For if any thing should be deprived of the one, though you should speak of parts, or of beings, immediately, that which becomes destitute of the one, will be altogether nothing. Or with what intention do we say that a thing which is not is perfectly nothing, [or not even one thing] unless the one is the last thing which deserts beings? This it is, therefore, to become that which in no respect is, and to be perfectly deprived of the one. For it is possible for that which is not moved to be, and for that which has no being to have an hyparxis; but that which is not even one thing, and which is destitute of the one itself, will be entirely nothing. Hence the one is present with all beings; and though you should speak of multitude itself, it is necessary that this also should participate of the one; for if it does not become one thing, it is not possible for it to subsist. And if even you divide the whole to infinity, immediately nothing else than one occurs. For either that which is divided does not subsist, or becoming to be, or subsisting something else, it will be immediately one.61 The one, therefore, which is everywhere apparent, and is in all beings, and which deserts no being whatever, is either derived from the one which is simply one, or from that which is more excellent than the one. For it is not possible for the one to be otherwise passive, [i.e. to be consubsistent with something else] than from the first one, to which the one is no longer present, but which is the one itself, or nothing else than one.

Again, therefore, from another principle we may arrive at the same conclusion, by speaking as follows: It is necessary either that the causes of beings and things caused should proceed to infinity, and that there should be nothing first or last in beings; or that there should be no first, but that there should be the last of things, infinity existing in one part only. Or on the contrary, it is necessary that beings should proceed to infinity from a definite principle, or that there should be a certain first and last, and a boundary of beings each way. And if there are boundaries of beings, things either proceed from each other, and the generation of beings is in a circle; or if they are not from each other, either one of them is from another, or the first indeed is one, but the last not one, or the contrary, or both are one, or each is not one. If, therefore, first things, and the causes of beings are infinite, each thing will consist of infinites. For that which proceeds from a certain principle, must necessarily participate of that principle from which it proceeds. But that which derives its subsistence from many causes, will be in its own nature multiform, as participating of many powers. And that which is produced from infinites prior to itself, will have infinite peculiarities derived from the principles, and adapted to itself. Every being, therefore, being infinite, and consisting of infinites, will render all things infinitely infinite, and there will neither be a knowledge of any being, nor any evolution of powers. For the power of the infinite is perfectly unknown, and incomprehensible, by those natures to whom it is infinite.

But if things are infinite in a descending progression, whether is each of them infinite always proceeding most downward, in the same manner as we say all things do, or is each whole indeed finite, but the beings which are produced from these are infinite? For if every being according to the beginning of itself is definite, but according to its end is infinite, there will neither be in parts nor in wholes, a conversion of beings to their proper principle, nor will that which is second in order ever have a subsistence so as to be assimilated to the extremity of a pre-existent order; though as we frequently say, the summits of inferiors are conjoined with the boundaries of superiors. For where there is no last, by what contrivance can such a similitude of progression as this, and such a mutual coherence of beings be left, according to which secondary things are always conjoined to the natures prior to them? But if all things alone have an infinity of this kind, each being bounded by that which is posterior to itself, wholes will be subordinate to parts, and the parts of beings will be naturally more perfect [than wholes.] For wholes, indeed, will be without conversion to the principle prior to themselves; but parts will be converted to it after their progression. By how much the more, however, every being hastens to conjunction with that which is more perfect than itself, by so much the more must it necessarily excel, as it appears to me. And if this whole proceeding to infinity is not convolved to the summit of itself, and circularly converted and perfected according to such a conversion [it will not desire its proper good.] If, however, we admit that there is an infinity both ways these things must necessarily happen.

In addition to these things, also, there will be no common object of desire to all beings, nor any union nor sympathy of them. For things which are perfectly infinite have not that which is first in them; but not having a first, we shall not be able to say what is the common end of beings, and why some things are more excellent, but others are allotted a subordinate nature. For we call one thing better and another less excellent, from proximity to that which is best, just as we define the more and the less hot from communion with that which is hot in the first degree. And in short, we form a judgment of the more and the less from a reference to that which is a maximum. It is necessary, therefore, that the boundary in beings should be that which is first and that which is last.

But if, indeed, these are from each other, the same thing will be older and younger, cause and at the same time the thing caused, and each thing will be first and last. For it makes no difference, whether these are from each other, or the things which subsist between these. For the extremes being indifferent, how is it possible that a mutation according to essence should intervene? But if the one is from the other, whether is the first derived from the last, as some say, who generate things more excellent from things subordinate, and things more perfect from such as are more imperfect? In this case, however, must not that which is allotted the power of generating and producing the perfect, by a much greater priority perfect and adorn itself by its present power? And how is it possible that leaving itself to be of an inferior allotment it should definitely assign a more excellent order to another thing? For every thing aspires after its proper perfection, and simply desires good; though not every thing is able to participate of a thing of this kind. If, therefore, it has the power of producing this most perfect thing, that which is last will energize on account of itself prior to other things, and the whole of good, and all perfection, will be first established in itself.

But if that which is last is produced from that which is first, and the most imperfect from that which is most perfect, whether, is each of them one, or is this one, but that not one? If, however, that which is first, or that which is last, is not one, neither of them will be first or last. For, as there will be multitude in each, each of them will have the better and the worse; and neither will that which is best be unmingled with that which is inferior to it, nor that which is the most obscure of all things according to being, have so great a subjection entirely deprived of a more perfect nature; but there will be something more extreme than that which is last, and something more perfect than that which is first. For every where, that which is best if it receives another addition through that which is inferior will be more perfect than that which does not abide in the best, [through not receiving this very addition.] If, therefore, we rightly assert these things, the one is the principle of all things, and the last of beings is one. For it is necessary, I think, that the end of the progression of beings should be assimilated to the principle, and that as far as to this, the power of the first should proceed.

Summarily, therefore, recapitulating what we have said, it is necessary either that the first principle should be one, or that there should be alone many62 first principles, or one containing multitude in itself, or many participating of one. But if there are many first principles only, there will not be one thing from them. For what will make one and a whole, if there are many principles, and there is nothing which produces one? For it is certainly necessary that things posterior to the principles should be assimilated to them. Either, therefore, there will not be the one in any being, or it will not be from these principles; so that each of the things which in any respect whatever have a subsistence will be divided multitude alone. And again each of the parts of any being will be a thing of this kind, and we shall in no way whatever stop, dividing into minute parts essence and existence. For all things will be many, and the one will be no where in the universality of things, nor will either wholes or parts be apparent.

But if it is necessary, indeed, that there should be many principles, and that they should participate of the one, the one will be coordinated in the many. Again, however, it is necessary, that the uncoordinated should every where be more ancient than the coordinated, and the exempt than the participated. For how is the one in each of the many except from one principle which co-arranges the multitude, and converts it to itself according to the communion of the one? Again, if the first one were multiplied, the one will be passive; for at the same time it will be one and not one, and will not be that which is one [only.] It is necessary, however, in each genus of things, that there should be that which is unmingled with an inferior nature, in order that there may be that which is mingled, in the same manner as we say respecting forms. For from the equal itself, things which are equal in these sublunary realms, appear indeed as equal, though they are filled with a contrary nature; and from that which is primarily being, that which is mingled with non-being is derived, and which presents itself to the view as being. And in short every where the simple unmingled subsistence of each thing precedes those things which through remission are mingled with the privations of themselves. The one therefore is by itself exempt from all multitude; and that which is one, and at the same time not one, is not the first one, but is suspended63 from that which is primarily one; through the principle, indeed, participating of the one, but through the diminution arising from multitude, now manifestly exhibiting in itself the cause of separation.

Chapter IV.

That the one therefore is the principle of all things, and the first cause, and that all other things are posterior to the one, is I think evident from what has been said. I am astonished however at all the other interpreters of Plato, who admit the existence of the intellectual kingdom, but do not venerate the ineffable transcendency of the one, and its hyparxis which surpasses the whole of things. I particularly, however, wonder that this should have been the case with Origen, who was a partaker of the same erudition with Plotinus. For Origen ends in intellect and the first being, but omits the one which is beyond every intellect and every being. And if indeed he omits it, as something which is better than all knowledge, language and intellectual perception, we must say that he is neither discordant with Plato, nor with the nature of things. But if he omits it because the one is perfectly unhyparctic, and without any subsistence, and because intellect is the best of things, and that which is primarily being is the same as that which is primarily one, we cannot assent to him in asserting these things, nor will Plato admit him, and con-numerate him with his familiars. For I think that a dogma of this kind is remote from the philosophy of Plato, and is full of Peripatetic innovation. If you are willing, however, we will adduce some arguments against this dogma, and against all others who are the patrons of this opinion, and we will strenuously contend for the doctrine of Plato, and show that according to him the first cause is beyond intellect, and is exempt from all beings, as Plotinus and Porphyry, and all those who have received the philosophy of these men, conceive him to assert.

We shall begin, therefore, from the Republic; for here Socrates clearly shows that the good is established above being, and the whole intellectual order, following the analogy of the first goodness to the sun. For if, as the sovereign sun is to generation, to every thing visible, and to all visive natures according to the power generative of light, so it is necessary the good should be with reference to intellect and intelligibles, according to a cause productive of truth,—if this be the case, we must say that the sun is exempt at one and the same time from visive and visible natures, and must admit that the good transcends the natures which are always intellective, and also those which are eternally intelligible. It is better, however, to hear the Platonic words themselves: “You may say that the sun not only imparts the power of being seen to visible natures, but also that he is the cause of their generation, increase, and nutriment, not being himself generation. Certainly. We may say, therefore, that things which are known, have not only this from the good that they are known, but likewise that their being and essence are thence derived, whilst the good itself is not essence, but beyond essence, transcending it both in dignity and in power.” Through all these things, therefore, it is evident how the good and the first principle are defined by Plato to be expanded above not only the intellectual, but also the intelligible extent, and essence itself, according to union, in the same manner as it is inferred the sun surpasses all Visible natures, and perfects and generates all things by his light. How, therefore, following Plato, can we admit that intellect is the best of things, and the cause of all things? How can we assert that being itself64 and essence are the same with the principle which is the leader of all the divine progressions? For essence and intellect are said to subsist primarily from the good, to have their hyparxis about the good, to be filled with the light of truth proceeding from thence, and to obtain the participation which is adapted to them from the union of this light, which is more divine than intellect itself and essence, as being primarily suspended from the good, and affording in beings a similitude to that which is first. For the light which is emitted from the sun causes every thing visible to be solar-form. And the participation of the light of truth renders that which is intelligible boniform and divine. Intellect, therefore, is a god through a light which is more ancient than intellectual light and intellect itself, and that which is intelligible and at the same time intellectual participates of a divine hyparxis through a plenitude of this light being appropriately imparted to it.65 And in short, every divine nature is that which it is said to be, on account of this light, and is through it united to the cause of all beings. By no means, therefore, is the first good to be considered as the same with intellect, nor must it be admitted that the intelligible is more ancient than all the hyparxis of the whole of things, since it is even subordinate to the light proceeding from the good, and being perfected by this light, is conjoined according to its own order with the good itself. For we must not say that the intelligible is united to the first after the same manner as the light [of truth;] but the latter through continuity with the good is established in it without a medium; while the former, through this light, participates of a vicinity to the good; since in sensibles also, the solar light is primarily connascent with the circulation of the sun, ascends as far as to the centre of the whole sphere, and subsists on all sides about it. But all sensible natures through this obtain a similitude to the sun, each of them according to its own nature being filled with solar-form illumination. These things, therefore, will be sufficient to recall into the memory of those who love the contemplation of truth, the conceptions of Plato on this subject, and to evince that the order of intellect is secondary to the exempt transcendency of the one.

If, however, it is requisite to evince the same thing through many testimonies, let us survey what the Elean guest in the Sophista determines concerning these things. He says, therefore, it is necessary that the multitude of all beings, whether they are contraries or not, should be suspended from the one being, [i.e. from being characterized by the one;] but that the one being itself should be suspended from the one. For when we call the hot or the cold, or permanency or motion, being, we do not denominate each of these as the same with being itself. For if permanency were being itself, motion would not be being; or, if motion were such like being, permanency would not participate of the appellation of being. But it is evident that being accedes to permanency, to motion, and to every multitude of beings from one thing which is primarily being. This very thing, therefore, which is the cause of essence to all things, and which is participated by all other things, is a participant of this one, and on this account, as it is being alone, so also it is primarily being.66 It is, however, being itself indeed, and is not allotted to be, from participation; but it is one according to participation, and on this account it is passive to the one. But it is being67 primarily. If, therefore, Plato gives to the one a subsistence beyond being, in the same manner as that which is first in wholes is supposed by him to transcend beings, how is it possible that being should not be posterior to the one, since it participates of it, and on this account is denominated one?

Moreover, Socrates in the Philebus clearly demonstrates the same thing to those who are able to know wholes from parts, viz. that intellect has not the same order as the first cause of all. Investigating, therefore, the good of the human soul and its end, of which participating in every respect sufficiently it will reap the fruits of a felicity adapted to its nature, he in the first place removes pleasure from an end of this kind, and after this intellect, because neither is this replete with all the elements of the good. If, therefore, the intellect which is in us is an image of the first intellect, and the good of the whole of our life is not to be defined according to this alone, is it not necessary that in wholes also, the cause of good must be established above intellectual perfection? For if that which is primarily good subsisted according to total intellect, in us also and all other [intellectual natures,] self-sufficiency and appropriate good would be present through the participation of intellect. Our intellect, indeed, is disjoined from the good, and is indigent, and on this account requires pleasure in order to the attainment of human perfection. But a divine intellect always participates of the good, and on this account is divine. For it is boniform through the participation of good; but divine, as being suspended from the first deity. It is the same reasoning, therefore, which infers that the good is exempt from the first intellect, and which defines felicity to consist not in intelligence only, but in the all-perfect presence of the good. For the intellectual form of energy is itself by itself defective with respect to blessedness. And why is it requisite to be prolix? For Parmenides teaches us most clearly the difference of the one from essence and being, and shows that the one is exempt from all other things and from essence; for this he evinces of the one at the end of the first hypothesis. But how is it possible that the cause of essence, and which is exempt from it through supreme transcendency, should not also be beyond the intellectual order? For intellect is essence. But if in intellect there is permanency and motion, and Parmenides demonstrates that the one transcends both these, does he not immediately bring us to the ineffable cause of all things, which is prior to every intellect? And if every intellect is converted to itself, and is in itself, but the one is demonstrated to be neither in itself, nor in another, how can we any longer consider intellect as the same with the first cause of all? In what respect, also, will the one which is prior to being differ from the one being, which is the subject of the second hypothesis, if intellect is the best of things, and the first principle of all? For the one being participates of the one; but that which participates is secondary to that which is participated. That the one, however, is according to Plato more ancient than intellect and essence, is through what has been said recalled to our memory.

Chapter V.

In the next place, if the one is neither intelligible nor intellectual, nor in short participates of the power of being, let us survey what will be the modes of leading us to it, and through what intellectual conceptions Plato unfolds as far as he is able, to his familiars, the ineffable and unknown transcendency of the first. I say then, that at one time he unfolds it through analogy, and the similitude of secondary natures; but at another time he demonstrates its exempt transcendency, and its separation from the whole of things, through negations. For in the Republic, indeed, he indicates the ineffable peculiarity and hyparxis of the good, through analogy to the sun; but in the Parmenides, he demonstrates the difference of the one with respect to all things posterior to it through negations. But he appears to me through one of these modes to unfold the progression from the first cause of all other things, and prior to other things, of the divine orders. For on this account the first cause is exempt from all the natures produced by it, because every where cause is established above its effects; and on this account the first is nothing of all things, because all things proceed from him. For he is the principle of all things, both of beings, and at the same time of non-beings. But again, according to the other of these modes, he adumbrates the conversion to the first of the things which have proceeded from it. For in each order of beings, through similitude to it there is a monad analogous to the good, which has the same relation to the whole series conjoined with it, that the good has to all the orders of the Gods. The cause, however, of this similitude is entirely the conversion of the whole of things to the good. These, therefore, proceed from thence and are converted to it. And the progression indeed of all things demonstrates to us the ascent to the first through negations; but the conversion of all things demonstrates this to us through analogies. Let not, however, any one considering these negations to be such things as privations despise such a mode of discussion, nor defining the sameness in words analogously, and words in habitudes, endeavour to calumniate this anagogic progression to the first principle. For negations, as it appears to me, extend a triple peculiarity in things. And at one time, indeed, being more primogenial than affirmations, they are procreative and perfective of the generation of them. But at another time, they are allotted an order coordinate to affirmations, and negation is then in no respect more venerable than affirmation. And again, at another time, they are allotted an order subordinate to affirmations, and are nothing else than the privations of them. For with respect to non-being itself, with which there is also a negation of beings, at one time considering it as beyond being, we say that it is the cause and the supplier of beings; but at another time we evince that it is equivalent to being; just as I think, the Elean guest demonstrates [in the Sophista] that non-being is in no respect less, if it be lawful so to speak, than being; and at another time we leave it as a privation of, and indigent of being. For indeed, according to this mode, we call every generation, and matter itself, non-being.

Analogies, however, are assumed for the purpose alone of indicating the similitude of secondary natures to the first principle. And neither any reason, nor habitude, nor communion of this principle with things posterior to it, becomes apparent from these. For its exempt nature is not of such a kind as is beheld in the second and third orders of beings; but the good transcends the whole of things in a much greater degree than intellect surpasses the natures posterior to itself, whether it be the demiurgic intellect, or the intellect of the whole world, or some other intellect from among the number of those that are called divine. Every intellect however, and every god, is allotted a transcendency with respect to subordinate natures, and those things of which it is the cause, inferior to that which the first principle has to every being; for this principle similarly transcends all things, and not some in a greater, but others in a less degree; since thus we should introduce a greater and less habitude of it to secondary natures. It is necessary, however, to preserve it without habitude to all things, and similarly exempt from the whole of things. But of other natures, some are indeed nearer, and others are more remote from it. For each thing proceeds from it, since it produces all things according to one cause. And different things are indeed converted to it in a different manner, this principle in the mean time, receiving no habitude or communion with things posterior to itself.

Chapter VI.

The mode of demonstration, therefore, pertaining to the one is, as we have said, twofold. For again, Plato delivers to us twofold names of the ineffable cause. In the Republic indeed he calls it the good, and demonstrates it to be the fountain of the truth which unites intellect and intelligibles. But in the Parmenides, he denominates such a principle as this the one, and shows that it gives subsistence to the divine unities. Again therefore, of these names, the one is the image of the progression of the whole of things, but the other of their conversion. For because indeed all things derive their subsistence and proceed from the first principle, on this account referring the one to it, we demonstrate that it is the cause of all multitude and every progression. For whence is multitude unfolded into light except from the one? But because again the progressions from it are naturally converted to it, and desire its ineffable and incomprehensible hyparxis, we denominate it the good. For what else is that which converts all things, and which is extended to all beings as the object of desire, but the good? For all other things subsist distributedly, and are to some beings honourable, but to others not. And every thing which in any respect whatever is said to have a subsistence aspires after some things, and avoids others. But the good is the common object of desire to all beings, and all things according to their nature verge and are extended to this. The tendency however of desiring natures is every where to the appropriate object of desire. The good therefore converts, but the one gives subsistence to all secondary natures. Let not, however, any one suppose that the ineffable can on this account be named, or that the cause of all union is doubled. For here indeed we transfer to it names, looking to that which is posterior to it, and to the progressions from, or the circular conversions to it. Because, indeed, multitude subsists from it, we ascribe to it the appellation of the one; but because all things even as far as to things that have the most obscure existence, are converted to it, we denominate it the good.

We endeavour therefore to know the unknown nature of the first principle, through the things which proceed from, and are converted to it; and we also attempt through the same things to give a name to that which is ineffable. This principle, however, is neither known by beings, nor is effable by any one of all things; but being exempt from all knowledge, and all language, and subsisting as incomprehensible, it produces from itself according to one cause all knowledge, every thing that is known, all words, and whatever can be comprehended by speech. But its unical nature, and which transcends all division, shines forth to the view dyadically in the natures posterior to it, or rather triadically. For all things abide in, proceed from, and are converted to the one. For at one and the same time, they are united to it, are in subjection to its union which is exempt from the whole of things, and desire the participation of it. And union indeed imparts a stable transcendency to all secondary natures, and which subsists in unproceeding conjunction with the cause of them. But subjection defines the progression of beings, and their separation from the imparticipable and first unity. And desire perfects the conversion of the subsisting natures, and their circular tendency to the ineffable. First natures therefore, being always entirely united, [to the ineffable] some more remotely, but others more proximately, and receiving through this union their hyparxis, and their portion of good, we endeavour to manifest through names the progression and conversion of the whole of things. But with respect to their stable comprehension, if it be lawful so to speak, in the first, and their union with the ineffable, this as being incomprehensible, and not to be apprehended by knowledge, those who were wise in divine concerns were unable to indicate it by words. But as the ineffable is primarily concealed in inaccessible places, and is exempt from all beings, thus also the union of all things with it is occult, ineffable, and unknown to all beings. For every being is united to it, neither by intellectual injection, [or projection] nor the energy of essence; since things which are destitute of knowledge are united to the first, and things deprived of all energy, participate according to their order of a conjunction with it. That which is unknown therefore in beings according to their union with the first, we neither endeavour to know, nor to manifest by names, but being more able to look to their progression and conversion, we ascribe indeed to the first two names, which we derive as resemblances from secondary natures. We also define two modes of ascent to the first, conjoining that mode which is through analogy with the appellation of the good, but that which is through negations with the appellation of the one; which Plato also indicating, in the Republic indeed calls the first the good, and at the same time makes a regression to it through analogy; but in the Parmenides establishing it as the one itself, he unfolds the transcendency of it which is exempt from beings, through negative conclusions. According to both these modes therefore, the first principle transcends both gnostic powers, and the parts of speech; but all other things afford us the cause of knowledge and of appellation. And the first principle indeed unically gives subsistence to all the unions and hyparxes of secondary natures; but the things posterior to this cause participate of it in a divided manner. These also, as we have before observed, become multiplied by abiding, proceeding and returning; but the one is at once perfectly exempt from all the prolific progressions, convertive powers, and uniform hypostases in beings. What the modes therefore are of the doctrine about the first, and through what names Plato endeavours to indicate it, and whence the names and the modes of this indication which is unknown to all things are derived, is, I think, through what has been said sufficiently manifest.

Chapter VII.

If, however, it be requisite to survey each of the dogmas about it which are scattered in the writings of Plato, and to reduce them to one science of theology, let us consider, if you are willing, prior to other things, what Socrates demonstrates in the 6th book of the Republic, conformably to the before mentioned mode, and how through analogy he teaches us the wonderful transcendency of the good with respect to all beings, and the summits of the whole of things. In the first place therefore, he distinguishes beings from each other, and establishing some of them to be intelligibles, but others sensibles, he defines science by the knowledge of beings. But he conjoins sense with sensibles, and giving a twofold division to all things, he places one exempt monad over intelligible multitude, and a second monad over sensible multitude, according to a similitude to the former monad. Of these monads also, he shows that the one is generative of intelligible light, but the other of sensible light. And he evinces that by the intelligible light indeed, all intelligibles are deiform, and boniform, according to participation from the first God; but that by the sensible light, according to the perfection derived from the sun, all sensible natures are solarform, and similar to their one monad. In addition also to what has been said, he suspends the second monad from that which reigns in the intelligible. And thus he extends all things, both the first and the last of beings, I mean intelligibles and sensibles, to the good. Such a mode of reduction to the first as this, appears to me to be most excellent, and especially adapted to theology; viz. to congregate all the Gods in the world into one union, and suspend them from their proximate monad; but to refer the supermundane Gods to the intellectual kingdom; to suspend the intellectual Gods from intelligible union; and to refer the intelligible Gods themselves, and all beings through these, to that which is first. For as the monad of mundane natures is supermundane, as the monad of supermundane natures is intellectual, and of intellectual natures intelligible, thus also it is necessary that first intelligibles should be suspended from the monad which is above intelligibles and perfected by it, and being filled with deity, should illuminate secondary natures with intelligible light. But it is necessary that intellectual natures which derive the enjoyment of their being from intelligibles, but of good and a uniform hyparxis from the first cause, should connect supermundane natures by intellectual light. And that the genera of the Gods prior to the world, through receiving a pure intellect from the intellectual Gods, but intelligible light from the intelligible Gods, and a unical light from the father of the whole of things, should send into this apparent world the illumination of the light which they possess. On this account, the sun being the summit of mundane natures, and proceeding from the ethereal profundities, imparts to visible natures supernatural perfection, and causes these as much as possible to be similar to the supercelestial worlds. These things therefore we shall afterwards more abundantly discuss.

The present discourse, however, suspends all things after the above mentioned manner from the good, and the first unity. For if indeed the sun connects every thing sensible, but the good produces and perfects every thing intelligible, and of these, the second monad [i.e. the sun] is denominated the offspring of the good, and on this account causes that which is sensible to be splendid, and adorns and fills it with good, because it imitates the primogenial cause of itself,—if this be the case, all things will thus participate of the good, and will be extended to this one principle, intelligibles indeed, and the most divine of beings without a medium, but sensibles through their monad [the sun.]

Again therefore, and after another manner, Plato narrates to us in this extract from the Republic the analysis to the first principle. For he suspends all the multitudes in the world from the intelligible monads, as for instance, all beautiful things from the beautiful itself, all good things from the good, and all equal things from the equal itself. And again, he considers some things as intelligibles, but others as sensibles; but the summits of them are uniformly established in intelligibles. Again, from these intelligible forms he thinks fit to ascend still higher, and venerating in a greater degree the goodness which is beyond intelligibles, he apprehends that all intelligibles, and the monads which they contain, subsist and are perfected through it. For as we refer the sensible multitude to a monad uncoordinated with sensibles, and we think that through this monad the multitude of sensibles derives its subsistence, so it is necessary to refer the intelligible multitude to another cause which is not connumerated with intelligibles, and from which they are allotted their essence and their divine hyparxis.

Let not, however, any one fancy that Plato admits there is the same order of the good in intelligible forms, as there is prior to intelligibles. But the good indeed, which is coordinated with the beautiful, must be considered as essential, and as one of the forms which are in intelligibles. For the first good, which by conjoining the article with the noun we are accustomed to call the good, is admitted to be something superessential, and more excellent than all beings both in dignity and power; since Socrates also, when discussing the beautiful and the good, calls the one the beautiful itself and the other the good itself, and thus says he we must denominate all the things which we then very properly considered as many. Again, particularly considering each thing as being one, we denominate each thing that which it is, and thus Socrates leading us from sensible things that are beautiful and good, and in short from things that are participated, subsist in other things, and are multiplied, to the superessential unities of intelligibles and the first essences, from these again, he transfers us to the exempt cause of every thing beautiful and good. For in forms, the beautiful itself is the leader of many beautiful things, and the good itself of many goods, and each form alone gives subsistence to things similar to itself. But the first good is not only the cause of what is good, but similarly of things beautiful, as Plato elsewhere says; and “all things are for its sake, and it is the cause of every thing beautiful.”

For again, in addition to what has been said, the good which is in forms is intelligible and known, as Socrates himself teaches; but the good prior to forms is beyond beings, and is established above all knowledge. And the former is the source of essential perfection; but the latter is the supplier of good to the Gods so far as they are Gods, and is generative of goods which are prior to essences. We must not therefore apprehend that when Socrates calls the first principle the good, from the name of idea, that he directly calls it the intelligible goodness; but though the first principle is superior to all language and appellation, we permit Socrates to call it the cause of every thing beautiful and good, transferring through the things which are proximately filled by it, appellations to it. For this I think Socrates indicating asserts in all that he says about the good, that it is beyond knowledge and things that are known, and likewise beyond essence and being, according to its analogy to the sun. And after a certain admirable manner he presents us with an epitome of the negations of the one in the Parmenides. For the assertion that the good is neither truth, nor essence, nor intellect, nor science, at one and the same time separates it from the superessential unities, and every genus of the Gods, and from the intellectual and intelligible orders, and from every psychical subsistence. But these are the first things, and through the first hypothesis of the Parmenides, these are taken away from the principle of the whole of things.

Moreover, neither when he celebrates the good the leader of the divine orders, as the most splendid of being, does he denominate it most splendid as participating of light. For the first light proceeds from it to intelligibles and intellect, but he gives it this appellation as the cause of the light which is every where diffused, and as the fountain of every intelligible, or intellectual, or mundane deity. For this light is nothing else than the participation of a divine hyparxis. For as all things become boniform through participating of the good, and are filled with the illumination proceeding from thence, thus also the natures which are primarily beings are deiform; and as it is said, intelligible and intellectual essences become divine through the participation of deity. Looking therefore to all that has been said, we shall preserve the exempt transcendency of the good with reference to all beings and the divine orders. But again, in each order of beings, we must grant that there is a monad analogous to it, not only in sensibles, as Plato says the sun is, but likewise in supermundane natures, and in the genera of Gods arranged from the good prior to these. For it is evident that the natures which are nearer to the first cause and which participate of it in a greater degree, possess a greater similitude to it. And as that is the cause of all beings, so these establish monads which are the leaders of more partial orders. And Plato indeed arranges the multitudes under the monads; but extends all the monads to the exempt principle of the whole of things, and establishes them uniformly about it. It is necessary therefore that the theological science should be unfolded conformably to the divine orders, and that our conceptions about it should be transcendent, and unmingled and unconnected With other things. And we should survey indeed all secondary natures, subsisting according to and perfected about it; but we should establish it as transcending all the monads in beings, according to one excess of simplicity, and as unically arranged prior to the whole orders [of Gods.] For as the Gods themselves enact the order which is in them, thus also it is necessary that the truth concerning them, the precedaneous causes of beings, and the second and third progeny of these should be definitely distinguished.

This, therefore, is the one truth concerning the first principle, and which possesses one reason remarkably conformable to the Platonic hypothesis, viz. that this principle subsists prior to the whole orders in the Gods, that it gives subsistence to the boniform essence of the Gods, that it is the fountain of superessential goodness, and that all things posterior to it being extended towards it, are filled with good, after an ineffable manner are united to it, and subsist uniformly about it. For its unical nature is not unprolific, but it is by so much the more generative of other things, as it pre-establishes a union exempt from the things which have a subsistence. Nor does its fecundity tend to multitude and division; but it abides with undefiled purity concealed in inaccessible places. For in the natures also which are posterior to it, we every where see that what is perfect desires to generate, and that what is full hastens to impart to other things its plenitude. In a much greater degree therefore it is necessary that the nature which contains in one all perfections, and which is not a certain good, but good itself, and super-full, (if it be lawful so to speak) should be generative of the whole of things, and give subsistence to them; producing all things by being exempt from all things, and by being imparticipable, similarly generating the first and the last of beings.

You must not, however, suppose that this generation and progression is emitted in consequence of the good either being moved, or multiplied, or possessing a generative power, or energizing; since all these are secondary to the singleness of the first. For whether the good is moved, it will not be the good; since the good itself, and which is nothing else, if it were moved would depart from goodness. How, therefore, can that which is the source of goodness to beings, produce other things when deprived of good? Or whether the good is multiplied through imbecility, there will be a progression of the whole of things through a diminution, but not through an abundance of goodness. For that which in generating departs from its proper transcendency, hastens to adorn inferior natures, not through prolific perfection, but through a diminution and want of its own power. But if the good produces all things by employing power, there will be a diminution of goodness about it. For it will be two things and not one, viz. it will be good and power. And if indeed it is in want of power, that which is primarily good will be indigent. But if to be the good itself is sufficient to the perfection of the things produced, and to the plenitude of all things, why do we assume power as an addition? For additions in the Gods are ablations of transcendent unions. Let the good therefore alone be prior to power, and prior to energy. For all energy is the progeny of power. Neither, therefore, does the good energizing give subsistence to all things through energy, nor being in want of power does it fill all things with powers, nor being multiplied do all things participate of good, nor being moved do all beings68 enjoy the first principle. For the good precedes all powers, and all energies, and every multitude and motion; since each of these is referred to the good as to its end. The good therefore is the most final of all ends, and the centre of all desirable natures. All desirable natures, indeed, impart an end to secondary beings; but that which pre-subsists uncircumscribed by all things is the first good.

Chapter VIII.

After these things, however, let us direct our attention to the conceptions about the first principle in the epistle [of Plato] to Dionysius, and survey the manner in which he considers its ineffable and immense transcendency. But perhaps some one may be indignant with us for rashly drawing to our own hypotheses the assertions of Plato, and may say that the three kings of which he speaks are all of them intellectual Gods; but that Plato does not think fit to co-arrange or connumerate the good with secondary natures. For such a connumeration ought not to be considered as adapted to the exempt transcendency of the good with respect to other things, nor in short, must it be said that the good contributes as the first with reference to another second or third cause to the completion of a triad in conjunction with other natures; but that it in a greater degree precedes every triad and every number, than the intelligible precede the intellectual Gods. How, therefore, can we connumerate with other kings the good which is at once exempt from all the divine numbers, and coarrange one as the first [king,] another as the second, and another as the third? Some one may also adduce many other things, indicating the transcendency of the first principle with respect to every thing divine. Such a one, however, in thus interpreting the words of Plato will remarkably accord with us who assert the good to be imparticipable, to transcend all the intelligible and intellectual genera, and to be established above all the divine monads.

That Plato, indeed, admits the first God to be the king of all things, and says that all things are for his sake, and that he is the cause of all beautiful things, does not I think require much proof to those who consider his words by themselves apart from their own conjectures, by introducing which they violently endeavour to accord with Plato. But that we do not assert these things connumerating [the first God with secondary natures,] Plato himself manifests, neither calling the first king the first, but alone the king of all things, nor asserting that some things are about him, as he says that second things are about that which is second, and third things about that which is third, but69 he says, in short, that all things are about him. And to the other kings, indeed, he introduces, number and a divided kingdom; but to the king of all things he neither attributes a part of number, nor a distribution of dominion opposite to that of the others. Such a mode of words, therefore, neither connumerates the king of all things with the other kings, nor co-arranges him as the leader of a triad with the second and third power. For of a triadic division the first monad, indeed, is the leader of first orders, and which are coordinate with itself; but the second of second; and the third of third orders. If, however, some one should apprehend that the first monad is the leader of all things, so as to comprehend at once both second and third allotments; yet the cause which subsists according to comprehension is different from that which similarly pervades to all things. And to the king of all things, indeed, all things are subject according to one reason and one order; but to the first of the triad, things first are subjected according to the same order; and it is necessary that things second and third should be subservient according to their communion with the remaining kings. Does not, therefore, what is here said by Plato remarkably celebrate the exempt nature of the first cause, and his uncoordination with the other kingdoms of the Gods? Since he says that this cause similarly reigns over all things, that all things subsist about him, and that for his sake essence and energy are inherent in all things.

If also Socrates in the Republic clearly70 teaches that the sun reigns over the world analogous to the good, let no one dare to accuse this analogy as connumerating the good with the king of mundane natures. For unless71 together with the similitude of secondary causes to the first principles, we think fit to preserve that exempt dominion [of the first cause] it will be impossible for us to evince that the super-mundane kings have their allotment analogous to the first cause, who subsists prior to the whole of things according to one transcendency. But what occasion is there to be prolix? For Plato indeed calls the first God king; but he does not think fit to give the others the same appellation, not only in the beginning of what he says about the first, but shortly after, he adds: “About the king himself and the natures of which I have spoken there is nothing of this kind.” The first God, therefore, alone is called king. But he is called not only the king of things first, in the same manner as the second of things second, and the third of things third, but as the cause at once of all being and all beauty. Hence the first God precedes the other causes in an exempt and uniform manner, and according to a transcendency of the whole of things, and is neither celebrated by Plato as coordinated with them, nor as the leader of a triad.

That these things, however, are asserted by Plato about the first God we shall learn by recurring a little to the preceding words, which are as follow: “You say, that I have not sufficiently demonstrated to you the particulars respecting the first nature. I must speak to you, therefore, in enigmas, that in case the letter should be intercepted, either by land or sea, he who reads it may not understand this part of its contents. All things are situated about the king of all; and all things are for his sake; and he is the cause of every thing beautiful.” In these words, therefore, Plato proposing to purify our conceptions about the first principle through enigmas, celebrates the king of all things, and refers to him the cause of the whole of things beautiful and good. Who, therefore, is the king of all things, except the unical God who is exempt from all things, who produces all things from himself, and is the leader of all orders according to one cause? Who is he that converts all ends to himself, and establishes them about himself? For if you call him, for whose sake all things subsist, the end of all ends, and the primogenial cause, you will not deviate from the truth concerning him. Who is he that is the cause of all beautiful things, shining upon them with divine light, and who encloses that which is deformed and without measure, and the most obscure of all things in the extremity of the universe?

If you are willing also from the words of Plato that follow the preceding, we will show that to be the recipient neither of language nor of knowledge is adapted to the first principle. For the words: “This your inquiry concerning the cause of all beautiful things is as of a nature endued with a certain quality,” are to be referred to this principle. For it is not possible to apprehend it intellectually, because it is unknown, nor to unfold it, because it is uncircumscribed; but whatever you may say of it, you will speak as of a certain thing; and you will speak indeed about it, but you will not speak it. For speaking of the things of which it is the cause, we are unable to say, or to apprehend through intelligence what it is. Here therefore, the addition of quality, and the busy energy of the soul, remove it from the goodness which is exempt from all things, by the redundancy of its conceptions about it. This likewise draws the soul down to kindred, connate, and multiform intelligibles, and prevents her from receiving that which is characterized by unity, and is occult in the participation of the good. And it is not only proper that the human soul should be purified from things coordinate with itself in the union and communion with that which is first, and that for this purpose it should leave all the multitude of itself behind, and exciting its own hyparxis, approach with closed eyes, as it is said, to the king of all things, and participate of his light, as much as this is lawful for it to accomplish; but intellect also, which is prior to us, and all divine natures, by their highest unions, superessential torches, and first hyparxes are united to that which is first, and always participate of its exuberant fullness; and this not so far as they are that which they are, but so far as they are exempt from things allied to themselves, and converge to the one principle of all. For the cause of all disseminated in all things impressions of his own all-perfect transcendency, and through these establishes all things about himself, and being exempt from the whole of things, is ineffably present to all things. Every thing therefore, entering into the ineffable of its own nature, finds there the symbol of the father of all. All things too naturally venerate him, and are united to him, through an appropriate mystic impression, divesting themselves of their own nature, and hastening to become his impression alone, and to participate him alone, through the desire of his unknown nature, and of the fountain of good. Hence, when they have run upwards as far as to this cause, they become tranquil, and are liberated from the parturitions and the desire which all things naturally possess of goodness unknown, ineffable, imparticipable, and transcendency full. But that what is here said is concerning the first God, and that Plato in these conceptions leaves him uncoordinated with and exempt from the other causes, has been, I think, sufficiently evinced.

Chapter IX.

Let us in the next place consider each of the dogmas, and adapt them to our conceptions concerning cause, that from these we may comprehend by a reasoning process, the scope of the whole of Plato’s theology. Let then one truth concerning the first principle be especially that which celebrates his ineffable, simple, and all-transcending nature; which establishes all things about him, but does not assert that he generates or produces any thing, or that he presubsists as the end of things posterior to himself. For such a form of words neither adds any thing to the unknown, who is exempt from all things, nor multiplies him who is established above all union, nor refers the habitude and communion of things secondary to him who is perfectly imparticipable. Nor in short, does it announce that it teaches any thing about him, or concerning his nature, but about the second and third natures which subsist after him.

Such then being this indication of the first God, and such the manner in which it venerates the ineffable, the second to this is that which converts all the desires of things to him, and celebrates him as the object of desire to and common end of all things, according to one cause which precedes all other causes. For the last of things subsists only for the sake of something else, but the first is that only for the sake of which all other things subsist: and all the intermediate natures participate of these two peculiarities. Hence they genuinely adhere to the natures which surpass them, as objects of desire, but impart the perfection of desires to subordinate beings.

The third speculation of the principle of things is far inferior to the preceding, considering him as giving subsistence to all beautiful things. For to celebrate him as the supplier of good, and as end preceding the two orders of things, is not very remote from the narration which says, that all causes are posterior to him, and derive their subsistence from him, as well those which are paternal, and the sources of good, as those that are the suppliers of prolific powers. But to ascribe to him a producing and generative cause, is still more remote from the all-perfect union of the first. For as it cannot be known or discussed by language, by secondary natures, it must not be said that it is the cause, or that it is generative of beings, but we should celebrate in silence this ineffable nature, and this perfectly causeless cause which is prior to all causes. If, however, as we endeavour to ascribe to him the good and the one, we in like manner attribute to him cause, and that which is final or paternal, we must pardon the parturition of the soul about this ineffable principle, aspiring to perceive him with the eye of intellect, and to speak about him; but, at the same time, the exempt transcendency of the one which is immense, must be considered as surpassing an indication of this kind. From these things therefore, we may receive the sacred conceptions of Plato, and an order72 adapted to things themselves. And we may say that the first part of this sentence sufficiently indicates the simplicity,73 transcendency, and in short the uncoordination with all things of the king of all. For the assertion that all things subsist about him, unfolds the hyparxis of things second, but leaves that which is beyond all things without any connexion with things posterior to it. But the second part celebrates the cause of all the Gods74 as prearranged in the order of end. For that which is the highest of all causes, is immediately conjoined with that which is prior to cause; but of this kind is the final cause, and that for the sake of which all things subsist. This part therefore is posterior to the other, and is woven together with the order of things, and the progression of the Platonic doctrine.

Again, the third part asserts him to be productive of all beautiful things, and thus adds to him a species of cause75 inferior to the final. Whence also Plotinus, I think, does not hesitate to call the first God the fountain of the beautiful. It is necessary therefore to attribute that which is best to the best of all things, that he may be the cause of all, and in reality prior to cause. But this is the good. This too, which is an admirable circumstance, may be seen in the words of Plato, that the first of these three divine dogmas, neither presumes to say any thing about the good, and this ineffable nature, nor does it permit us to refer any species of cause to it. But the second dogma leaves indeed the good ineffable, as it is fit it should, but from the habitude of things posterior to it, enables us to collect the final cause: for it does not refuse to call it that for the sake of which all things subsist. But when it asserts that all things are for the sake of the good, it excites in us the conception of the communion and coordination of that which is the object of desire with the desiring natures. And the third dogma evinces that the good is the cause of all beautiful things. But this is to say something concerning it, and to add to the simplicity of the first cause, and not to abide in the conceptions of the end, but to conjoin with it the producing principle of things second. And it appears to me that Plato here indicates the natures which are proximately unfolded into light after the first. For it is not possible to say any thing concerning, it except at one time being impelled to this from all things, and at another from the best of things: for it is the cause of hyparxis to all things, and unfolds its own separate union through the peculiarities of these. We ascribe to it therefore the one and the good from the donation which pervades to all things from it. For of those things of which all participate, we say there is no other cause than that which is established prior to all these. But the about which (το περι ο,) the on account of which (το δι, ο76), and the from which (το αφ᾽ου,) particularly subsist in the intelligible Gods: and from these they are ascribed to the first God. For whence can we suppose the unical Gods derive their peculiarities, except from that which is prior to them? To this summit of intelligibles therefore the term about is adapted, because all the divine orders occultly proceed about this summit which is arranged prior to them. But the term on account of which pertains to the middle order of intelligibles: for all things subsist for the sake of eternity and an hyparxis perfectly entire. And the term from which is adapted to the extremity of intelligibles: for this first produces all things, and adorns them uniformly. These things, therefore, we shall indeed make more known in the doctrine which will shortly follow concerning the intelligible Gods.

Chapter X.

In the next place, let us finish the discussion concerning the first God, with the theory of Parmenides, and unfold the mystic conceptions of the first hypothesis as far as pertains to the present purpose. For we shall refer the reader for the most perfect interpretation of them to our commentaries on that dialogue. In the first place therefore, it is requisite to determine this concerning the first hypothesis, that it comprehends as many conclusions negatively, as the hypothesis which follows it does affirmatively. For this latter demonstrates all the orders proceeding from the one; but the former evinces that the one is exempt from all the divine genera. From both these hypotheses however, it is obvious to every one how it is necessary that the cause of the whole of things should transcend his productions. For because the one is the cause of all the Gods, he transcends all things. And because he is exempt from them through transcendency, on this account he gives to all things their hypostases. For through being expanded above all things he causes all things to subsist. Since in the second and third orders also of beings, causes which are entirely exempt from their effects, more perfectly generate and connect their progeny than those causes do which are coordinate with their effects. And the one by ineffably producing all the divine orders, appears to be unically established above all. For in the productions posterior to it, cause is every where different from the things caused. And on this account nature indeed being incorporeal, is a cause which transcends bodies; but soul being perfectly perpetual, is the cause of things generated; and intellect being immoveable is the cause of every thing that is moved. If, therefore, according to each progression of beings effects are denied of their causes, it is certainly necessary to take away all things similarly from the cause of all.

In the second place, I think it is necessary that the order of the negations should be defined by those who receive theology according to the intention of Parmenides; and that it should be admitted that they proceed indeed from the monads which subsist primarily in the divine genera, and that Parmenides takes away from the one all second and third natures, according to an order adapted to each. For that which transcends more principal causes must in a much greater degree subsist prior to those that are subordinate. Parmenides, however, does not begin his negations from the Gods that are united to the first: for this genus is with difficulty distinguished from the one: because being arranged naturally [immediately] after it, it is most unical and occult, and transcendently similar to its producing cause. Parmenides therefore beginning where prior to all other things division and multitude are apparent, and proceeding regularly through all the second orders as far as to the last of things, again returns to the beginning, and shows how the one differs from the Gods that are most similar to it, and which primarily participate of it, according to one ineffable cause.

In the third place, in addition to what has been said, I determine concerning the mode of negations, that they are not privative of their subjects, but generative of things which are as it were their opposites. For because the first principle is not many, the many proceed from it, and because it is not a whole, wholeness proceeds from it, and in a similar manner in other things. And in thus determining, I speak conformably to Plato, who thinks it proper to abide in negations, and to add nothing to the one. For whatever you add, you diminish the one, and afterwards evince that it is not the one, but that which is passive to [or participates] the one. For it is thus not one only, but in addition to this possesses something else also by participation. This mode therefore of negations is exempt, unical, primary, and is a departure from the whole of things, in an unknown and ineffable transcendency of simplicity. It is likewise necessary, having attributed such a mode as this to the first God, again to exempt him from the negations also. For neither does any discourse, nor any name belong to the one, says Parmenides. But if no discourse belongs to it, it is evident that neither does negation pertain to it. For all things are secondary to the one, things knowable and knowledge, and the instruments of knowledge, and after a manner that which is impossible presents itself at the end of the hypothesis. For if nothing whatever can be said of the one, neither is this discussion itself adapted to the one. Nor is it at all wonderful that the discourse of those who wish to know the ineffable by words should terminate in that which is impossible; since all knowledge when conjoined with an object of knowledge which does not at all pertain to it loses its power. For sense, if we should say that it pertained to that which is the object of science would subvert itself; and this would be the case with science and every kind of knowledge if we should say that they belonged to that which is intelligible; so that language when conversant with that which is ineffable, being subverted about itself, has no cessation, and opposes itself.

Chapter XI.

Let us now therefore, if ever, abandon multiform knowledge, exterminate from ourselves all the variety of life, and in perfect quiet approach near to the cause of all things. For this purpose, let not only opinion and phantasy be at rest, nor the passions alone which impede our anagogic impulse to the first, be at peace; but let the air be still, and the universe itself be still. And let all things extend us with a tranquil power to communion with the ineffable. Let us also, standing there, having transcended the intelligible (if we contain any thing of this kind,) and with nearly closed eyes adoring as it were the rising sun, since it is not lawful for any being whatever intently to behold him—let us survey the sun whence the light of the intelligible Gods proceeds, emerging, as the poets say, from the bosom of the ocean; and again from this divine tranquillity descending into intellect, and from intellect, employing the reasonings of the soul, let us relate to ourselves what the natures are from which, in this progression, we shall consider the first God as exempt. And let us as it were celebrate him, not as establishing the earth and the heavens, nor as giving subsistence to souls, and the generations of all animals; for he produced these indeed, but among the last of things; but, prior to these, let us celebrate him as unfolding into light the whole intelligible and intellectual genus of Gods, together with all the supermundane and mundane divinities—as the God of all Gods, the unity of all unities, and beyond the first adyta,77—as more ineffable than all silence, and more unknown than all essence,—as holy among the holies, and concealed in the intelligible Gods, And again after these things descending into a reasoning process from an intellectual hymn, and employing the irreprehensible science of dialectic, let us, following the contemplation of first causes, survey the manner in which the first God is exempt from the whole of things. And let our descent be as far as to this. But opinion and phantasy and sense, prevent us indeed from partaking of the presence of the Gods, and draw us down from Olympian goods to earth-born motions, Titannically divide the intellect that is in us, and divulse us from an establishment in wholes to the images of beings.

Chapter XII.

What therefore will be the first conception of the science proceeding from intellect, and unfolding itself into light? What other can we assert it to be than that which is the most simple and the most known of all the conceptions contained in this science? What therefore is this? “The one, says Parmenides, if it is the one will not be many.” For it is necessary that the many should participate of the one; but the one does not participate of the one, but is the one itself. Neither is that which is primarily one participable. For it would not be purely one if mingled with the many, nor that which is one, if it received the addition of that which is subordinate. The one therefore is exempt from the many. The many however subsist primarily in the summit of the first intellectual Gods, and in the intelligible place of survey, as we are taught in the second hypothesis. The one, therefore, entirely transcends an order of this kind, and is the cause of it. For the not many, is not privation, as we have said, but the cause of the many. This, therefore, Parmenides does not think it requisite to demonstrate, but as a thing most manifest to every one, he first evinces this, through the opposition as it were of the many to the one. But employing this he takes away that which follows; and he takes away that which is posterior to this by employing the conclusions prior to it, and this he always does, after the same manner. And at one time indeed, he assumes the elements of the demonstrations from proximate conclusions, but at another time from those that are more remote. For after this intelligible order of Gods, as we have said, he gives subsistence to that order which connectedly contains and bounds the extent of them, from their exempt cause. But this order is called by him in the second hypothesis parts and a whole. These therefore he denies of the one employing the many for the purpose of distinguishing the subjects and the one. For, as he says, that which is a whole and has parts is many; but the one is beyond the many. If, therefore, the one transcends the intelligible simplicity, but whole and that which has parts proceed from it in order to become the bond of the whole of this distribution, is it not necessary that the one should neither be a whole, nor be indigent of parts? And I think it is through this transcendency that the one presubsists as the cause of this order of Gods, and that it produces this order, but in an exempt manner.

In the third place after these, we may survey the order which is allotted the boundary of the intellectual and at the same time intelligible Gods, proceeding from the one, and may behold the one perfectly expanded above it. For this order indeed subsists from the second genera, and from the intellectual wholeness of the genera. But the one, as has been demonstrated, is exempt according to cause from this wholeness. The one therefore has neither beginning, or middle, or end, nor has it extremes, nor does it participate of any figure. For through these Gods, the before mentioned order of Gods becomes apparent. Whether therefore, there be a perfective summit, or what is celebrated as the middle centre in these Gods, or a termination converting the end of these divinities to their beginning, the one is similarly beyond every triple distribution. For the one would have parts, and would be many, if it participated of things of this kind. But it has been demonstrated that the one unically subsists prior to the many, and to wholeness together with its parts, as the cause of them. And you see how Parmenides indeed exhibits to us one negation of the highest order, but two negations of the middle, and three of the last order. Besides this also, he shows that the one has no extremity. But the infinite is a thing of this kind. And separately from this he likewise shows that the one is unreceptive of all figures.

Again therefore, after these triple orders we must direct our attention to the intellectual Gods subsisting from these, and receiving a tripartite division, and must demonstrate that the one transcends these also. For such is the one, says Parmenides, since it is neither in itself, nor in another. For if it were in another, it would be on all sides comprehended by that in which it is, and would every where touch that which comprehends it. But in this case, it would have a figure, would consist of parts, and on this account would be many and not one. And if it were in itself it would entirely comprehend itself in itself. But comprehending and at the same time being comprehended, it will be two, and will be no longer primarily one. The discourse therefore proceeds to the same conclusion, and evinces that the one will not be one, by the summit of the intellectual order, if any one endeavours to mingle it with other things. Hence the one being perfectly exempt from this summit also, gives subsistence to it, this summit at one and the same time participating of the third of the Gods placed above it, but being produced from the second of these Gods, and being perfected from the first, and entirely established in it.

Moreover, the one likewise generates the second intellectual order, being unmingled with it. For the one neither stands still, nor is moved. It participates therefore of neither of these; but being similarly exempt from both, it at the same time transcends the middle orders of the intellectual progression of the Gods. For if it were moved, it would be moved in a twofold respect, viz. either according to a change in quality, or local motion. But it is not possible that the one can be changed in quality; for being thus changed it will be not one, and will fall off from a unical hyparxis. Nor can it be locally moved. For it is impossible that it should be moved in a circle, because it would have parts, viz. middle and extremes. And if it changed one place for another it would be partible. For it would be necessary that it should neither be wholly in that place to which it is moved, nor in that whence it begins to be moved. For if it were wholly in either of them, it would be immoveable, in consequence of partly not yet being moved, and partly having now ceased its motion. But if the one stands still, it is certainly necessary that it should abide in the same thing. But it has been demonstrated that the one is no where. Hence it is neither in itself, nor in another thing. In no respect therefore is the one moved, or does it stand still, which things [viz. motion and permanency] particularly belong to the middle order of intellectuals, as will be evident from the second hypothesis. For the first God produces this order also, being exempt from it.

In the third place, we may survey through what next follows, the last order of intellectuals, proceeding from the one, and subordinate to it. For in this order sameness and difference subsist unitedly. But at the same time the one subsists prior to both these. For different is said to be different both from itself and from other things. And in a similar manner same is the same with itself, and with other things. But the one is not indeed different from itself, because that which is different from the one will be not one. And it is not the same with other things, lest becoming the same with them, it should latently pass into their nature. Moreover, neither is the one different from other things. For it would be at the same time one, and would have as an addition the power of difference. For so far as it is different it will not be one; since difference is not the one. Hence being one and different, it will be many and not the one. Nor is the one the same with itself. For if the one and the same differ only in name, the many will not be in consequence of participating of sameness with each other. For it is impossible that the many should become one by participating of the many. But if the one and sameness are essentially different, that which is primarily one does not participate of sameness, lest by receiving sameness in addition to the one, it should become a passive one, and not that which is primarily one. If however the extremity of intellectuals is characterized by this tetrad, it is evident that the one existing beyond this also supernally unfolds it into light, and places over the wholes of the universe a tetradic monad, the source of ornament to all secondary natures. For from hence other things primarily receive a communication with the one which are also indeed produced and connectedly contained by the one.

But after the intellectual Gods, the ineffable transcendency of the one arranges the extent of the supermundane divinities, the one in the mean time, being occultly exempt from its supermundane progeny. And this extent indeed proximately subsists from the intellectual Gods, but uniformly receives its hyparxis from the first God. This, therefore, Parmenides produces through similitude and dissimilitude, from the deity which encloses the boundary of the intellectual monads. For the similar is that which is passive to sameness, in the same manner as dissimilitude is that which is passive to difference. Parmenides therefore demonstrates that the one transcends according to one simplicity such a peculiarity of the Gods also as this. For that which is established above the power of same and different, in a much greater degree transcends the genera which are allotted a subsistence according to similitude and dissimilitude.

What therefore remains after this? Is it not evident that it is the multitude of the mundane Gods? But this also is twofold, the one being celestial, but the other sublunary. Of these, therefore, the genus which revolves in the heavens, proceeds together with the equal, the greater and the less. But in the sublunary genus the equal is allotted a difference in multitude from the celestial equality, but the unequal is again divided by the power of the more and the less. According to another genus therefore of the divine orders, there will be a monad and a duad, but above indeed, they are allied to the one and to sameness, and beneath to multitude, and the intellectual cause of difference. Hence the one transcends all these. For the equal indeed every where consists of the same parts. By what contrivance therefore is it possible that the nature which at one and the same time is exempt from sameness, and the difference which is associated with it, should participate of equality and inequality?

Besides all these divine orders therefore we must intellectually survey the genera of deified souls, and which are distributed about the Gods. For in each of the divine progressions and in the progressions also of souls, the first genus presents itself to the view connascent with the Gods; since both in the heavens, and in the sublunary region divine souls receive the division of the Gods into the world, as the Athenian Guest in a certain place demonstrates. The psychical extent therefore, is characterised by time, and by a life according to time. But the peculiarity of divine souls is shown by Parmenides to consist in their being younger and at the same time older both than themselves and other things. For revolving always according to the same time, and conjoining the beginning with the end, as at one and the same time proceeding to the end of the whole period they become younger, but as at the same time circulating to the beginning of it, they become older. All their ages however, perpetually preserve the same measures of time. Again, there is sameness in them and difference, the former indeed preserving equality, but the latter inequality, according to time. The one therefore subsists prior to divine souls, and generates these also together with the Gods. We now therefore come to the end of the whole distribution of more excellent natures; and the cause of all intelligibles at once unfolds into light the genera that follow the Gods, and that are triply divided by the three parts of time. But this cause is demonstrated by the intellectual projections of Parmenides to be also exempt from these. For that which is beyond all time and the life which is according to time, can by no contrivance become subservient to the more partial periods of time.

That which is the first of all things therefore, unfolds into light all the Gods, divine souls, and the more excellent genera, and is neither complicated with its progeny, nor multiplied about them; but being perfectly exempt from them in an admirable simplicity, and transcendency of union, it imparts to all things indifferently progression and at the same time order in the progression. Parmenides therefore beginning from the intelligible place of survey of the first intellectual Gods, proceeds thus far, according to the measures of generation, giving subsistence to the genera of the Gods, and to the natures that are united to and follow the Gods,78 and perpetually evinces that the one is ineffably exempt from all things. But again, from hence he returns to the beginning, and imitating the conversion of the whole of things, separates the one from the highest, viz. from the intelligible Gods. For thus especially we may survey the transcendency of the one, and the immense difference of its union from all other things, if we not only demonstrate that it is established above the second or third progressions in the divine orders, but also that it subsists prior to the intelligible unities themselves, and this in a manner conformable to the simplicity of their occult nature, and not through a variety of words, but through intellectual projection alone. For intelligibles are naturally adapted to be known by intellect. This therefore, Parmenides also evinces in reality, relinquishing logical methods, but energizing according to intellect, and asserting that the one is above essence, and being characterized by the one. For this assertion was not collected from the preceding conclusions. For the discourse about the first Gods themselves would be without demonstration, if it derived its credibility from things subordinate. At the same time therefore, Parmenides contends that all knowledge, and all the instruments of knowledge, fall short of the transcendency of the one, and beautifully end in the ineffable of that God who is beyond all things. For after scientific energies, and intellectual projections, a union with the unknown follows, to which also Parmenides referring the whole of his discussion, concludes the first hypothesis, suspending indeed all the divine genera from the one, but evincing that the one is unically exempt from all things, subsisting without the participation of intelligibles and sensibles, and in an ineffable manner giving subsistence to the participated monads. Hence also, the one is said to be beyond that one which is conjoined with essence, and at the same time to be beyond every participated multitude of unities.


Book III.

Chapter I.

Such therefore is the theology with Plato concerning the first God, as it appears to me, and so great is the transcendency which it is allotted with respect to all other discussions of divine concerns; at one and the same time venerably preserving the ineffable union of this God exempt from the whole of things, uncircumscribed by all gnostic comprehensions, and apart from all beings; and unfolding the anagogic paths to him, perfecting that parturient desire which souls always possess of the father, and progenitor of all things, and enkindling that torch in them, by which they are especially conjoined with the unknown transcendency of the one. But after this imparticipable, ineffable, and truly superessential cause, which is separated from all essence, power and energy, the discussion of the Gods immediately follows. For to what other thing prior to the unities is it lawful to be conjoined with the one, or what else can be more united to the unical God than the multitude of Gods? Concerning these therefore, we shall in the next place unfold the inartificial theory of Plato, invoking the Gods themselves to enkindle in us the light of truth. I wish however prior to entering on the particulars of this theory, to convince the reader, and to make it evident to him through demonstration, that there are necessarily as many orders of the Gods, as the Parmenides of Plato unfolds to us in the second hypothesis.

This therefore is I think prior to all other things apparent to those whose conceptions are not perverted, that every where, but especially in the divine orders, second progressions, are completed through the similitude of these to their proper principles. For nature and intellect, and every generative cause, are naturally adapted to produce and conjoin to themselves things similar, prior to such as as are dissimilar to themselves. For if it is necessary that the progression of beings should be continued, and that no vacuum should intervene either in incorporeal natures, or in bodies, it is necessary that every thing which proceeds naturally should proceed through similitude. For it is by no means lawful that the thing caused should be the same with its cause; since a remission and deficiency of the union of the producing cause generates secondary natures. For again, if that which is second were the same as that which is first, each would be similarly the same, and one would not be cause, but the other the thing caused. If however, the one by its very being, or essentially, has an exuberance of productive power, but the other falls short of the power that produced it, these are naturally separated from each other, and the generative cause precedes in excellence the thing generated, and there is not a sameness of things which so greatly differ. But if that which is second is not the same with that which is first, if indeed it is different only, they will not be conjoined to each other, nor will the one participate of the other. For contact and participation, are indeed a communion of things conjoined, and a sympathy of participants with the natures they participate. But if it is at the same time the same with and different from that which is first, if indeed the sameness is indigent, and vanquished by the power which is contrary to it, the one will no longer be the leader of the progression of beings, nor will every generative cause subsist prior to things of a secondary nature, in the order of the good. For the one is not the cause of division, but of friendship. And the good converts generated natures to their causes. But the conversion and friendship of things secondary to such as are primary is through similitude, but not through a dissimilar nature. If therefore the one is the cause of the whole of things, and if the good is in an exempt manner desirable to all things, it will every where give subsistence to the progeny of precedaneous causes, through similitude, in order that progression may be according to the one, and that the conversion of things which have proceeded may be to the good. For without similitude there will neither be the conversion of things to their proper principles, nor the generation of effects. Let this therefore be considered as a thing admitted in this place.

But the second thing besides this, and which is demonstrated through this, is, that it is necessary every monad should produce a number coordinate to itself, nature indeed a natural, but soul a psychical, and intellect an intellectual number. For if every thing generative generates similars prior to dissimilars, as has been before demonstrated, every cause will certainly deliver its own form and peculiarity to its own progeny, and before it gives subsistence to far distant progressions, and things which are separated from its nature, it will produce things essentially near to it, and conjoined with it through similitude. Every monad therefore, gives subsistence to a multitude indeed, as generating that which is second to itself, and which divides the powers that presubsist occultly in itself. For those things which are uniformly and contractedly in the monad, present themselves to the view separately in the progeny of the monad. And this indeed the wholeness of nature manifests, since it contains in one the reasons, [i.e. productive principles] of all things both in the heavens and in the sublunary region; but distributes the powers of itself to the natures which are divided from it about bodies. For the nature of earth, of fire, and of the moon, possesses from the wholeness of nature its peculiarity and form, and energizes together with this wholeness, and contains its own allotment This also the monad of the mathematical sciences and of numbers manifests. For this being all things primarily, and spermatically producing in itself the forms of numbers, distributes different powers to different externally proceeding numbers. For it is not possible that what is generated, should at once receive all the abundance of its generator. And it is necessary that the prolific power of every thing that pre-exists in the cause79 itself should become apparent. The monad therefore gives subsistence to a multitude about itself, and to number which distributes the peculiarities that abide collectively in itself. Since however, as was before observed, the similar is always more allied to cause than the dissimilar, there will be one multitude of similars to the monad, proceeding from the monad; and another of dissimilars. But again, the multitude which is similar to the monad is that in a divided manner which the monad is indivisibly. For if the monad possesses a peculiar power and hyparxis, there will be the same form of hyparxis in the multitude together with a remission with reference to the whole.

After this however, it is necessary to consider in the third place, that of progressions, such as are nearer to their cause are indicative of a greater multitude of things, and are at the same time in a certain respect equal to their containing causes; but that such as are more remote possess a less extended power of signification; and on account of the diminution of their power, change and diminish at the same time the amplitude of production. For if, of progressions, that which subsists the first in order is more similar to its principle, and that which gives subsistence to the greatest number is both with respect to essence and power more similar to the generating principle of all things, it is necessary that of secondary natures, such as are nearer to the monad, and which receive dominion after it, should give a greater extent to their productions; but that such things as are more separated from their primary monad should neither pervade in a similar manner through all things, nor extend their efficacious energies to far distant progressions. And again, as similar to this, it is necessary that the nature which gives subsistence to the greatest number of effects, should be arranged next to the monad its principle; and that the nature generative of a more numerous progeny, because it is more similar to the supplying cause of all things than that which is generative of a few, must be arranged nearer to the monad, according to hyparxis. For if it is more remote, it will be more dissimilar to the first principle; but if it is more dissimilar, it will neither possess a power comprehending the power of similar natures, nor an energy abundantly prolific. For an abundant cause is allied to the cause of all. And universally, that which is generative of a more abundant, is more naturally allied to its principle than that which is productive of a less numerous progeny. For the production of fewer effects is a defect of power; but a defect of power is a diminution of essence; and a diminution of essence becomes redundant on account of dissimilitude to its cause, and a departure from the first principle.

Again therefore, in addition to what has been said, we shall assert this which possesses the most indubitable truth, that prior to the causes which are participated, it is every where necessary that imparticipable causes should have a prior subsistence in the whole of things. For if it is necessary that a cause should have the same relation to its progeny as the one to all the nature of beings, and that it should naturally possess this order towards things secondary; but the one is imparticipable, being similarly exempt from all beings, as unically producing all things;—if this be the case, it is requisite that every other cause which imitates the transcendency of the one with respect to all things, should be exempt from the natures which are in secondary ranks, and which are participated by them. And again, as equivalent to this, it is requisite that every imparticipable and primary cause should establish monads of secondary natures similar to itself, prior to such as are dissimilar. I say, for instance, it is requisite that one soul should distribute many souls to different natures; and one intellect participated intellects to many souls. For thus the first exempt genus will every where have an order analogous to the one. And secondary natures which participate kindred causes will be analogous to these causes, and through the similitude of these will be conjoined with their imparticipable principle. Hence prior to the forms which are in other things, those are established which subsist in themselves; exempt causes prior to such as are coordinate; and imparticipable monads prior to such as are participate. And consequently (as that which is demonstrated at the same time with this) the exempt causes are generative of the coordinate, and imparticipable natures extend participate monads to their progeny. And natures which subsist from themselves produce the powers which are resident in other things. These things therefore being discussed, let us consider how each of the divine genera subsists through analogy,80 and survey following Plato himself, what are the first and most total orders of the Gods. For having discovered and demonstrated this, we shall perhaps be able to perceive the truth concerning these several orders.

It is necessary therefore, from the before-mentioned axioms, since there is one unity the principle of the whole of things, and from which every hyparxis derives its subsistence, that this unity should produce from itself, prior to all other things, a multitude characterized by unity, and a number most allied to its cause. For if every other cause constitutes a progeny similar to itself prior to that which is dissimilar, much more must the one unfold into light after this manner things posterior to itself, since it is beyond similitude, and the one itself must produce according to union things which primarily proceed from it. For how can the one give subsistence to its progeny except unically? For nature generates things secondary to itself physically, soul psychically, and intellect intellectually. The one therefore is the cause of the whole of things according to union, and the progression from the one is uniform. But if that which primarily produces all things is the one, and the progression from it is unical, it is certainly necessary that the multitude thence produced should be self-perfect unities, most allied to their producing cause. Farther still, if every monad constitutes a number adapted to itself, as was before demonstrated, by a much greater priority must the one generate a number of this kind. For in the progression of things, that which is produced is frequently dissimilar to its producing cause, through the dominion of difference: for such are the last of things, and which are far distant from their proper principles. But the first number, and which is connascent with the one, is uniform, ineffable, superessential, and perfectly similar to its cause. For in the first causes, neither does difference intervening separate from the generator the things begotten, and transfer them into another order, nor does the motion of the cause effecting a remission of power, produce into dissimilitude and indefiniteness the generation of the whole of things; but the cause of all things being unically raised above all motion and division, has established about itself a divine number, and has united it to its own simplicity. The one therefore prior to beings has given subsistence to the unities of beings.

For again, according to another mode [of considering the subject] it is necessary that primary beings should participate of the first cause through their proximate unities. For secondary things are severally conjoined to the natures prior to them through similars; bodies indeed to the soul which ranks as a whole, through the several souls [which they participate]; but souls to universal intellect through intellectual monads; and first beings, through unical hyparxes to the one. For being is in its own nature dissimilar to the one. For essence and that which is in want of union externally derived, are unadapted to be conjoined with that which is super-essential, and with the first union, and are far distant from it. But the unities of beings, since they derive their subsistence from the imparticipable unity, and which is exempt from the whole of things, are able to conjoin beings to the one, and to convert them to themselves.

It appears therefore to me, that Parmenides demonstrating these things through the second hypothesis, connects the one with being, surveys all things about the one, and evinces that this proceeding nature, and which extends its progressions as far as to the last of things is the one. For prior to true beings it was necessary to constitute the unities; since it neither was nor is lawful, says Timæus, for that which is the best of things to effect any thing else than that which is most beautiful. But this is in a remarkable degree most similar to that which is best. To the one however, a unical multitude is most similar; since the demiurgus of the universe also being good, constituted all things similar to himself through goodness itself. Much more therefore, does the fountain of all good produce goodnesses naturally united to itself, and establish them in beings. Hence there is one God, and many Gods, one unity and many unities prior to beings, and one goodness, and many after the one goodness, through which the demiurgic intellect is good; and every intellect is divine, whether it be an intellectual or intelligible intellect. And that which is primarily superessential is the one; and there are many superessentials after the one. Whether therefore, is this multitude of unities imparticipable in the same manner as the one itself, or is it participated by beings, and is each unity of beings the flower as it were of a certain being, and the summit and center of it, about which each being81 subsists? But if these unities also are imparticipable, in what do they differ from the one? For each of them is one, and primarily subsists from the one. Or in what being more redundant than the first cause were they constituted by it? For it is every where necessary that what is second being subordinate to that which is prior to itself, should fall short of the union of its producing82 cause, and by the addition of a certain thing should have a diminution of the monadic simplicity of the first. What addition therefore, can we adduce, or what redundancy besides the one, if each of these also is by itself one? For if each of them is one and many, we shall appear to transfer to them the peculiarity of being. But if each is one only, in the same manner as the one itself, why does this rank as the cause which is exempt from all things, but each of these is allotted a secondary dignity? Neither therefore shall we preserve the transcendency of the first with reference to the things posterior to it, nor can we admit that the unities proceeding from it are unconfused either with respect to themselves, or to the one principle of them.

But neither shall we be persuaded by Parmenides who produces the one together with being, and demonstrates that there are as many parts of the one as there are of being; that each being83 also participates of the one, but that the one is every where consubsistent with being; and in short, who asserts that the one of the second hypothesis participates of being, and is participated by being, the participation in each not being the same. For the one indeed participates of being, as not being primarily one, nor exempt from being, but as illuminating truly-existing essence. But being participates of the one, as that which is connected by it, and filled with divine union, and converted to the one itself which is imparticipable. For the participated monads conjoin beings to the one which is exempt from the whole of things, in the same manner as participated intellects conjoin souls to the intellect which ranks as a whole, and as participated souls conjoin bodies to the soul which ranks as a whole. For it is not possible that the dissimilar genera of secondary natures should be united without media to the cause which is exempt from multitude; but it is necessary that the contact should be effected through similars. For a similar multitude, so far indeed as it is multitude, communicates with the dissimilar; but so far as it is similar to the monad prior to itself, it is conjoined with it. Being established therefore, in the middle of both, it is united to the whole, and to the one which is prior to multitude. But it contains in itself remote progressions, and which are of themselves dissimilar to the one. Through itself also, it converts all things to that one, and thus all things are extended to the first cause of the whole of things, dissimilars indeed through similars,84 but similars through themselves. For similitude itself by itself conducts and binds the many to the one, and converts secondary natures to the monads prior to them. For the very being of similars so far as they are similars is derived from the one. Hence, it conjoins multitude to that from which it is allotted its progression. And on this account similitude is that which it is, causing many things to be allied, to possess sympathy with themselves, and friendship with each other and the one.

Chapter II.

If however it be requisite, not only by employing the intellectual projections of Parmenides to unfold the multitude of Gods participated by beings, but also concisely to demonstrate the theory of Socrates about these particulars, we must recollect what is written in the Republic, where he says that the light proceeding from the good is unific of intellect and of beings. For through these things the good is demonstrated to be exempt from being and essence, in the same manner as the sun is exempt from visible natures. But this light being in intelligibles illuminates them, in the same manner as the solar-form light which is in visible natures. For visible natures no otherwise become apparent, and known to the sight, than through the light which is ingenerated in them. All intelligibles therefore become boniform through the participation of light, and through this light, every true85 being is most similar to the good. If, therefore, it makes no difference to speak of this light, or of the one (for this light conjoins intelligibles, and causes them to be one, as deriving its subsistence from the one) if this be the case, the deity proceeding from the first is participable, and all the multitude of unities is participable. And that indeed which is truly superessential is the one. But each of the other Gods, according to his proper hyparxis, by which he is a superessential God, is similar to the first; but they are participated by essence and being. According to this reasoning therefore, the Gods appear to us to be unities, and participable unities, binding indeed all beings to themselves, but conjoining through themselves to the one which similarly transcends all things, the natures posterior to themselves.

Since therefore each of the Gods is indeed a unity, but is participated by some being, whether shall we say that the same being participates of each of the unities or that the participants of some of the unities are more, but of others less numerous? And if this be the case either the participants of the superior unities must be more, but of the inferior must be fewer in number, or vice versa. For it is necessary that there should be an order of the unities, in the same manner as we see that of numbers some are nearer to their principle, but others more remote from it. And that some are more simple, but others more composite, and exceed indeed in quantity, but suffer a diminution in power. But it is well that we have mentioned numbers. For if it is necessary to survey the order of the first monads with respect to each other, and their progression about beings, from these as images, in these also the monads which are nearer to the one will be participated by things which are more simple in essence, but those which are more remote from it, will be participated by more composite essences. For thus the participation will be according to the analogous; first monads being always participated by the first beings, but second monads by secondary beings. For again, if the first is exempt from all things, and is imparticipable, but that which is connascent with the most simple nature and the one is more similar to the imparticipable than that which is connascent with a more various and multiform nature, and which has more powers suspended from it,—if this be the case, it is perfectly obvious, that the unities which are nearer to the one are necessarily participated by the first and most simple essences; but that those which are more remote are participated by more composite essences, which are less in power, but are greater in number and multitude. For in short, additions in these unities are ablations of powers; and that which is nearer to the one, which surpasses the whole of things by an admirable simplicity, is more uniform, and is consubsistent with more total orders. And it happens according to the ratio of power, that the simplicity of the first unities is transcendent. For those things which are the causes of a greater number of effects, imitate as much as possible the cause of all things, but those which are the causes of fewer effects, have an essence more various than the natures that are prior to them.86 For this variety distributes into minute parts and diminishes the power which abides in one. Moreover, in participated souls also, such as are first and most divine subsist in simple and perpetual bodies. Others again are connected with bodies that are simple, but in conjunction with these with material bodies also. And others are connected at one and the same time with simple, material and composite bodies. For the celestial souls indeed rule over simple bodies, and such as have an immaterial and immutable subsistence. But the souls that govern the wholes of the elements, are at the same time invested with ethereal garments, and at the same time through these are carried in the wholes of the elements, which as wholes indeed are perpetual and simple, but as material receive generation and corruption, and composition from dissimilar natures. And the souls that rank in the third order, are those which proximately inspire with life their luciform87 vehicles, but also attract from the simple element material vestments, pour into these a secondary life, and through these communicate with composite and multiform bodies, and sustain through this participation another third life.

If, however, you are willing to survey the intellectual orders, some of these are arranged in the souls which rank as wholes, and in the most divine of mundane souls, which also they govern in a becoming manner. But others being arranged in the souls of the more excellent genera, are proximately participated by the rulers that are in them; and are participated secondarily by more partial essences. But again they arrange third intellectual orders in partial souls. And according as the power which they are allotted is diminished, in such proportion is participation in them more various, and far more composite than the participation of the natures that are prior to them. If, therefore, this is the mode of participation in all beings, it is certainly necessary that of the Gods also those that are nearer to the one, should be carried in the more simple parts of being, but that those which have proceeded to a greater distance should be carried in the more composite parts of being. For the participations of second genera are divided after this manner according to a similitude to them.

Again therefore, we may summarily say, that after the one principle of the whole of things, the Gods present themselves to our view as self-perfect monads, participated by beings.88 How many orders therefore there are of beings we shall afterwards unfold, and show what beings are allotted a more simple, and what a more various hyparxis. Of all, beings then, the last is that which is corporeal. For this derives its being, and all its perfection from another more ancient cause, and is neither allotted simplicity nor composition, nor perpetuity, nor incorruptibility from its own power. For no body is either self-subsistent, or self-begotten; but every thing which is so contracting in one, cause, and that which proceeds from cause, is incorporeal and impartible. And in short, that which is the cause of hyparxis to itself, imparts also to itself an infinite power of existence. For never deserting itself, it will never cease to be, or depart from its own subsistence. For every thing that is corrupted, is corrupted through being separated from the power that supplied it with being. But that which imparts being to itself, as it is not separated from itself, is allotted through itself a perpetual essence. No body however, since it is not the cause of perpetuity to itself, will be perpetual. For every thing which is perpetual possesses an infinite power. But body being finite is not the cause of infinite power. For infinite power is incorporeal, because all power is incorporeal. But this is evident, because greater powers are every where. But no body is capable of being wholly every where. If therefore, no-body imparts to itself power, whether the power be infinite or finite, but that which is self-subsistent imparts to itself the power of being, and of existing perpetually, no body will be self-subsistent. Whence therefore is being imparted to bodies, and what is it which is adapted proximately to supply them with being? Must we not say that the cause of being to bodies primarily is that which by being present renders the nature of body more perfect than its kindred bodies [when they are deprived of it?] This indeed is obvious to every one. For it is the province of that which imparts perfection to connect also the essence of secondary natures, since perfection itself is the perfection of essence. What therefore is that of which bodies participating, are said to be better than the bodies which do not participate of it? Is it not evident that it is soul? For we say that animated bodies are more perfect than such as are inanimate. Soul therefore is primarily beyond bodies; and it must be admitted that all heaven and every thing corporeal is the vehicle of soul. Hence, these two orders of beings present themselves to our view; the one indeed being corporeal, but the other which is above this, psychical.

With respect to soul itself however, whether is it the same with or different from intellect? For as the body which participates of soul is perfect, thus also the soul is perfect which participates of intellect. And of the soul indeed, which is able to live according to reason, all things do not participate: but of intellect and intellectual illumination rational souls participate, and also such things as partake of any kind of knowledge. And soul indeed energizes according to time; but intellect comprehends in eternity both its essence, and at the same time its stable energy. And not every soul indeed is adapted to preserve immutably and without diminution the perfection of itself; but every intellect is always perfect, and possesses a never-failing power of its own blessedness. The intellectual genus therefore is essentially beyond the psychical; since the former, neither in whole nor in partial intellects, admits the entrance of the nature of evil; but the latter being undefiled in whole souls, departs in partial souls from its own proper blessedness. What therefore is the first of beings? Shall we say intellect, or prior to this the extent of life? For soul indeed is self-vital, supplying itself with life; and intellect is the best and most perfect, and as we have said, an eternal life. But the life of intellect is indeed in a certain respect intellectual, and is mingled from the intellectual and vital peculiarity. It is necessary however, that there should be life itself. Whether therefore is life or intellect the more excellent thing? But if gnostic beings only participate of intellect, but such beings as are destitute of knowledge participate of life, (for we say that plants live) it is certainly necessary that life should be arranged above intellect, being the cause of a greater number of effects, and imparting by illumination more gifts from itself than intellect. What then? Is life the first of beings? And is to live the same thing as to be? But this is impossible. For if life is that which is primarily being, and to be vital is the same thing as to have being, and there is the same definition of both life and being, every thing which participates of life would also participate of being, and every thing which participates of existence would likewise participate of life. For if each is the same thing all things would similarly participate of being and life. All vital natures indeed have essence and being; but there are many beings that are destitute of life. Being therefore subsists prior to the first life. For that which is more universal, and the cause of a greater number of effects, is nearer to the one, as has been before demonstrated. Soul therefore is that which is primarily established above bodies; but intellect is beyond soul;89 life is more ancient than intellect; and being which is primarily being is established above all these. Every thing also which participates of soul, by a much greater priority participates of intellect; but not every thing which enjoys intellectual efficiency, is also adapted to participate of soul. For of soul rational animals only participate; since we say that the rational soul is truly soul. For Plato in the Republic says, that the work of soul is to reason and survey beings. And every soul [i.e. every rational soul] is immortal, as it is written in the Phædrus; the irrational soul being mortal, according to the demiurgus in the Timæus. And in short, it is in many places evident that Plato considers the rational soul to be truly soul, but others to be the images of souls, so far as these also are intellectual and vital, and together with whole souls produce the lives that are distributed about bodies. Of intellect however, we not only admit that rational animals participate, but also such other animals as possess a gnostic power; I mean such as possess the phantasy, memory and sense; since Socrates also in the Philebus refers all such animals to the intellectual series. For taking away intellect from the life which is according to pleasure, he likewise takes away not only the rational life, but every, gnostic power of the irrational life. For all knowledge is the progeny of intellect, in the same manner as all reason is an image of soul.

Moreover, all things which participate of intellect, by a much greater priority participate of life, some things indeed more obscurely, but others more manifestly. But all living beings do not participate of intellectual power, since plants indeed are animals, as Timæus says, but they neither participate of sense, or phantasy; unless some one should say that they have a co-sensation of what is pleasing and painful. And in short, the orectic powers every where are lives, and the images of the whole of life, and the last productions of life; but they are of themselves destitute of intellect and without any participation of the gnostic power. Hence also, they are of themselves indefinite, and deprived of all knowledge.

Again therefore, all animals indeed receive a portion of being, and different animals a different portion, according to their respective natures; but all beings are not similarly able to participate of life; since we say that qualities and all passions, and the last of bodies, receive the ultimate effective energy of being, but we do not also say that they participate of life. Being therefore is more ancient than life; life than intellect; and intellect than soul. For it is necessary that the causes of a greater number of effects being more ancient and according to order more principal, should preside over causes which are able to produce and adorn fewer effects. Very properly therefore, does Plato in the Timæus give subsistence to soul from intellect, as being secondary to it according to its own nature. But in the Laws he says that intellect is moved similarly to a sphere fashioned by a wheel.90 For that which is moved, is moved by participating of life, and is nothing else than real life about motion. And in the Sophista he exempts being from all the total genera of things, and from motion. For being, says he, according to its own nature, neither stands still, nor is moved. But that which neither stands still nor is moved, is beyond eternal life.

These four causes therefore being prior to a corporeal subsistence, viz. essence, life, intellect and soul, soul indeed participates of all the causes prior to itself, being allotted reason from its own peculiarity, but intellect, life and being, from more ancient causes. Hence it gives subsistence to things posterior to itself in a fourfold manner. For according to its being indeed, it produces all things as far as to bodies; according to its life, all things which are said to live, even as far as to plants; according to its intellect, all things which possess a gnostic power, even as far as to the most irrational natures; and according to its reason, the first of the natures that are able to participate of it.91 But intellect being established beyond soul, and existing as the plenitude of life and being, adorns all things in a threefold manner, imparting indeed by illumination the power of the intellectual peculiarity to all gnostic beings, but supplying the participation of life to a still greater number, and of being to all those to whom primary being imparts itself. But life being arranged above intellect, presubsists as the cause of the same things in a twofold respect, vivifying secondary natures indeed, together with intellect, and filling from itself with the rivers of life, such things as are naturally adapted to live, but together with being supernally producing essence in all things. But being itself which is primarily being generates all things by its very existence, all lives, and intellects and souls, and is uniformly present to all things, and is exempt from the whole of things according to one cause which gives subsistence to all things. Hence it is the most similar of all things to the one, and unites the comprehension of beings in itself to the first principle of the whole of things, through which all beings, and non-being, wholes and parts, forms and the privations of forms subsist, which privations do not necessarily participate of being, but it is entirely necessary that they should participate of the one.

These things as it appears to me persuaded the Elean guest in the Sophista, when discussing that which is perfectly being, to admit that not only being is there, but also life, intellect and soul. For if true and real being is venerable and honourable, intellect is there in the first place, says he. For it is not lawful for that which is of itself venerable and immaterial to be without intellect. But if intellect is in that which is perfectly being, intellect will entirely be moved. For it is not possible for intellect ever to subsist, either without motion or permanency. But if intellect is moved and stands still, there are in being both life and motion. Hence, from what has been said, three things become apparent, viz. being, life and intellect. Moreover, soul also in the next place is discovered through these things. For it is necessary, says he, that life and intellect which before were by themselves, should also be in soul. For every soul is a plenitude of life and intellect, participating of both, which the Elean guest indicating adds, “Shall we say that both these are inherent in it, but yet it does not possess these in soul?” For to possess, as some one says in a certain place, is secondary to existing. And soul indeed participates of each of these according to the peculiarity of itself; but it mingles the rational form of its own hyparxis, with the intellectual vivific power. But both intellect and life subsist prior to soul, the former as being moved and standing still at one and the same time, and the latter as being motion and permanency. These four monads also, soul, intellect, life and being are not only mentioned by Plato here, but in many other places. And as in soul all things subsist according to participation, so in intellect the things which are prior to it subsist, and in life that which is prior to life. For we say that life exists, or has a being. Or how could it be said to be arranged in being unless it participated of being? We likewise say that intellect is and lives. For it is moved, and is a portion of being. Hence it is the third of the more comprehensive monads. Prior however to beings which are participated, it is every where necessary that imparticipable causes should subsist, as was before demonstrated, conformably to the similitude of beings to the one. Being therefore which is primarily being, is imparticipable; but life first participates of being, yet is imparticipable, being exempt from intellect. And intellect is filled indeed from being and life; but is imparticipable in souls, and in the natures posterior to itself. Intellect also presides over soul, imparting to it by illumination the participation of life and being; but being imparticipable subsists prior to bodies. The last order of beings therefore is that to which bodies are annexed; celestial bodies indeed primarily, but sublunary bodies with the addition of material [vestments.] This therefore is the progression of beings, through life, intellect and soul, ending in a corporeal nature.

If, however, it is necessary that the superessential unities of the Gods which derive their subsistence from the imparticipable cause92 of all things should be participated, some of them indeed, by the first orders in beings, others by the middle, and others by the last orders, as was before demonstrated, it is evident that some of them deify the imparticipable portion of being, but that others illuminate life, others intellect, others soul, and others bodies. And of the last unities indeed, not only bodies participate, but likewise soul, intellect, life and essence. For intellect in itself is a plenitude of life and being. But from the unities which are above this world intellect is suspended, and the psychical power, which pre-exists in intellect. From the unities above these, imparticipable and intellectual intellect is suspended. From those that are beyond these, the first and imparticipable life is suspended. And from the highest unities, the first being itself, and which is the most divine of beings, is suspended. Hence Parmenides beginning from the one being, produces from thence the whole orders of the Gods. These things therefore being previously determined by us, let us speak concerning the divine dialogues, beginning from on high, and producing from the one the whole orders of the Gods. Let us also, following Plato, in the first place demonstrate the several orders from other dialogues, by arguments which cannot be confuted. Afterwards, let us thus conjoin and assimilate the conclusions of Parmenides, to the divine progressions, adapting the first conclusions to the first, but the last to the last progressions.

Chapter III.

Again therefore, the mystic doctrine concerning the one must be resumed by us, in order that proceeding from the first principle, we may celebrate the second and third principles of the whole of things. Of all beings therefore, and of the Gods that produce beings, one exempt and imparticipable cause pre-exists,—a cause ineffable indeed by all language, and unknown by all knowledge and incomprehensible, unfolding all things into light from itself, subsisting ineffably prior to, and converting all things to itself, but existing as the best end of all things. This cause therefore, which is truly exempt from all causes, and which gives subsistence unically to all the unities of divine natures, and to all the genera of beings, and their progressions, Socrates in the Republic calls the good, and through its analogy to the sun reveals its admirable and unknown transcendency with respect to all intelligibles. But again, Parmenides denominates it the one. And through negations demonstrates the exempt and ineffable hyparxis of this one which is the cause of the whole of things. But the discourse in the epistle to Dionysius proceeding through enigmas, celebrates it as that about which all things subsist, and as the cause of all beautiful things. In the Philebus however, Socrates celebrates it as that which gives subsistence to the whole of things, because it is the cause of all deity. For all the Gods derive their existence as Gods from the first God. Whether therefore, it be lawful to denominate it the fountain of deity, or the kingdom of beings, or the unity of all unities, or the goodness which is generative of truth, or an hyparxis exempt from all these things, and beyond all causes, both the paternal and the generative, let it be honoured by us in silence, and prior to silence by union, and of the mystic end may it impart by illumination a portion adapted to our souls.

But let us survey with intellect the biformed principles proceeding from and posterior to it. For what else is it necessary to arrange after the union of the whole theory, than the duad of principles? What93 the two principles therefore are of the divine orders after the first principle, we shall in the next place survey. For conformably to the theology of our ancestors, Plato also establishes two principles after the one. In the Philebus therefore, Socrates says, that God gives subsistence to bound and infinity, and through these mingling all beings, has produced them, the nature of beings, according to Philolaus subsisting from the connexion of things bounded, and things infinite. If, therefore, all beings subsist from these, it is evident that they themselves have a subsistence prior to beings. And if secondary natures participate of these mingled together, these will subsist unmingled prior to the whole of things. For the progression of the divine orders originates, not from things coordinated and which exist in others, but from things exempt, and which are established in themselves. As therefore the one is prior to things united, and as that which is passive to the one, has a second order after the imparticipable union, thus also the two principles of beings, prior to the participation of and commixture with beings, are themselves by themselves the causes of the whole of things. For it is necessary that bound should be prior to things bounded, and infinity prior to infinites, according to the similitude to the one of things which proceed from it. For again, if we should produce beings immediately after the one, we shall no where find the peculiarity of the one subsisting purely. For neither is being the same with the one, but it participates of the one, nor in reality is that which is the first the one; for, as has been frequently said, it is better than the one. Where therefore is that which is most properly and entirely one? Hence there is a certain one prior to being, which gives subsistence to being, and is primarily the cause of it; since that which is prior to it is beyond union, and is a cause without habitude with respect to all things, and imparticipable, being exempt from all things. If however this one is the cause of being, and constitutes it, there will be a power in it generative of being. For every thing which produces, produces according to its own power, which is allotted a subsistence between that which produces and the things produced, and is of the one the progression and as it were extension, but of the other is the pre-arranged generative cause. For being which is produced from these, and which is not the one itself, but uniform, possesses its progression indeed from the one, through the power which produces and unfolds it into light from the one; but its occult union from the hyparxis of the one. This one therefore which subsists prior to power, and first presubsists from the imparticipable and unknown cause of the whole of things, Socrates in the Philebus calls bound, but he denominates the power of it which is generative of being, infinity. But he thus speaks in that dialogue, “God we said has exhibited the bound, and also the infinite of beings.”

The first therefore and unical God, is without any addition denominated by him God; because each of the second Gods is participated by being, and has being suspended from its nature. But the first indeed, as being exempt94 from the whole of beings, is God, defined according to the ineffable itself, the unical alone, and superessential. But the bound and the infinite of beings, unfold into light that unknown and imparticipable cause; bound indeed, being the cause of stable, uniform, and connective deity; but the infinite being the cause of power proceeding to all things and capable of being multiplied, and in short, being the leader of every generative distribution. For all union and wholeness, and communion of beings, and all the divine measures, are suspended95 from the first bound. But all division, prolific production, and progression into multitude, derive their subsistence from this most principal infinity. Hence, when we say that each of the divine orders abides96 and at the same time proceeds, we must confess that it stably abides indeed, according to bound, but proceeds according to infinity, and that at one and the same time it has unity and multitude, and we must suspend the former from the principle of bound, but the latter from that of infinity. And in short, of all the opposition in the divine genera, we must refer that which is the more excellent to bound, but that which is subordinate to infinity. For from these two principles all things have their progression into being, even as far as to the last of things. For eternity itself participates at once of bound and infinity; so far indeed, as it is the intelligible measure, it participates of bound; but so far as it is the cause of a never-failing power of existing, it participates of infinity. And intellect, so far indeed as it is uniform, and whole, and so far as it is connective of paradigmatical measures, so far it is the progeny of bound. But again, so far as it produces all things eternally, and subsists conformably to the whole of eternity, supplying all things with existence at once, and always possessing its own power undiminished, so far it is the progeny of infinity. And soul indeed, in consequence of measuring its own life, by restitutions and periods, and introducing a boundary to its own motions, is referred to the cause of bound; but in consequence of having no cessation of motions, but making the end of one period the beginning of the whole of a second vital circulation, it is referred to the order of infinity. The whole of this heaven also, according to the wholeness of itself, its connexion, the order of its periods, and the measures of its restitutions, is bounded. But according to its prolific powers, its various evolutions, and the never-failing revolutions of its orbs, it participates of infinity. Moreover, the whole of generation, in consequence of all its forms being bounded, and always permanent after the same manner, and in consequence of its own circle which imitates the celestial circulation, is similar to bound. But again, in consequence of the variety of the particulars of which it consists, their unceasing mutation, and the intervention of the more and the less in the participations of forms, it is the image of infinity. And in addition to these things, every natural production, according to its form indeed, is similar to bound, but according to its matter, resembles infinity. For these are suspended in the last place97 from the two principles posterior to the one, and as far as to these the progression of their productive power extends. Each of these also is one, but form is the measure and boundary of matter, and is in a greater degree one. Matter however is all things in capacity, so far as it derives its subsistence from the first power. There, however, power is generative of all things. But the power of matter is imperfect, and is indigent of the hypostasis which is generative98 of all things according to energy. Very properly therefore is it said by Socrates that all beings are from bound and infinity, and that these two intelligible principles primarily derive their subsistence from God. For that which congregates both of them, and perfects them, and unfolds itself into light through all beings is the one prior to the duad. And union indeed is derived to all things through that which is first; but the division of the two orders of things is generated from these primary causes, and through these is extended to the unknown and ineffable principle. Let it therefore be manifest through these things, what the two principles of beings are, which become proximately apparent from the one, according to the theology of Plato.

Chapter IX.

In the next place let us show what the third99 thing is which presents itself to the view from these principles. It is every where therefore called that which is mixed, as deriving its subsistence from bound and infinity. But if bound is the bound of beings, and the infinite is the infinite of beings, and beings are the things which have a subsistence from both these, as Socrates himself clearly teaches us, it is evident that the first of things mingled, is the first of beings. This, however, is nothing else than that which is highest in beings, which is being itself, and nothing else than being. My meaning is, that this is evident through those things by which we demonstrate that what is primarily being, is comprehensive of all things intelligibly, and of life and intellect. For we say that life is triadic vitally, and intellect intellectually; and also that these three things being life and intellect are every where. But all things presubsist primarily and essentially in being. For there essence, life and intellect subsist, and the summit of beings. Life however is the middle centre of being, which is denominated and is intelligible life. But intellect is the boundary of being, and is intelligible intellect. For in the intelligible there is intellect, and in intellect the intelligible. There however intellect subsists intelligibly, but in intellect, the intelligible subsists intellectually.

And essence indeed is that which is stable in being, and which is woven together with the first principles, and does not depart from the one. But life is that which proceeds from the principles, and is connascent with infinite power. And intellect is that which converts itself to the principles, conjoins the end with the beginning, and produces one intelligible circle. The first of beings therefore is that which is mingled from the first principles, and is triple, one thing which it contains subsisting in it essentially, another vitally, and another intellectually, but all things presubsisting in it essentially. I mean however by the first of beings essence. For essence itself is the summit of all beings, and is as it were the monad of the whole of things. In all things therefore, essence is the first. And in each thing that which is essential is the most ancient, as deriving its subsistence from the Vesta of beings. For the intelligible is especially this. Since intellect indeed is that which is gnostic, life is intelligence, and being is intelligible. If however every being is mingled, but essence is being itself, prior to all other things essence is that which subsists as mingled from the two principles proceeding from the one. Hence Socrates indicating how the mode of generation in the two principles differs from that of the mixture says, “that God has exhibited bound and infinity “For they are unities deriving their subsistence from the one, and as it were luminous patefactions from the imparticipable and first union. But with respect to producing a mixture, and mingling through the first principles, by how much to make is subordinate to the unfolding into light, and generation to patefaction, by so much is that which is mixed allotted a progression from the one, inferior to that of the two principles.

That which is mixed therefore, is intelligible essence, and subsists primarily from [the first] God, from whom infinity also and bound are derived, But it subsists secondarily from the principles posterior to the unical God, I mean from bound and infinity. For the fourth cause which is effective of the mixture is again God himself; since if any other cause should be admitted besides this, there will no longer be a fourth cause, but a fifth will be introduced. For the first cause was God, who unfolds into light the two principles. But after him are the two principles bound and infinity. And the mixture is the fourth thing. If therefore the cause of the mixture is different from the first divine cause, this cause will be the fifth and not the fourth thing, as Socrates says it is. Farther still, in addition to these things, if we say that God is especially the supplier of union to beings, and the mixture itself of the principles is a union into the hypostasis of being, God is also certainly the cause of this primarily. Moreover, Socrates in the Republic clearly evinces that the good is the cause of being and essence to intelligibles, in the same manner as the sun is to visible natures. Is it not therefore necessary, if that which is mixed is primarily being, to refer it to the first God, and to say that it receives its progression from him? If also the demiurgus in the Timæus, constitutes the essence of the soul itself by itself from an impartible and a partible essence, which is the same thing as to constitute it from bound and infinity; for the soul according to bound is similar to the impartible, but according to infinity, to the partible essence;—if therefore the demiurgus mingles the essence of the soul from these, and again separately, from same and different, and if from these being now pre-existent, he constitutes the whole soul, must we not much more say that the first God is the cause of the first essence? That which is mixed therefore, proceeds, as we have said, from the first God, and does not subsist from the principles alone posterior to the one, but proceeds also from these, and is triadic. And in the first place indeed, it participates from God of ineffable union, and the whole of its subsistence. But from bound, it receives hyparxis, and the uniform, and a stable peculiarity. And from infinity, it receives power, and the occult power which is in itself, of all things. For in short, since it is one and not one, the one is inherent in it according to bound, but the non-one according to infinity. The mixture however of both these, and its wholeness, are derived from the first God. That which is mixed therefore, is a monad, because it participates of the one; and it is biformed, so far as it proceeds from the two principles; but it is a triad, so far as in every mixture, these three things are necessary according to Socrates, viz. beauty, truth, and symmetry. Concerning these things however, we shall speak again.

In what manner, however, essence is that which is first mixed, we shall now explain. For this is of all things the most difficult to discover, viz. what that is which is primarily being, as the Elean guest also somewhere says; for it is most dubious how being is not less than non-being. In what manner therefore essence subsists from bound and infinity must be shown. For if bound and infinity are superessential, essence may appear to have its subsistence from non-essences. How therefore can non-essences produce essence? Or is not this the case in all other things which subsist through the mixture of each other? For that which is produced from things mingled together, is not the same with things that are not mingled. For neither is soul the same with the genera, from which, being mingled together, the father generated it, nor is a happy life the same with the life which is according to intellect, or with the life which is according to pleasure, nor is the one in bodies the same with its elements. Hence it is not wonderful, if that which is primarily being, though it is neither bound nor infinity, subsists from both these, and is mixed, superessential natures themselves not being assumed in the mixture of it, but secondary progressions from them coalescing into the subsistence of essence. Thus therefore being consists of these, as participating of both, possessing indeed the uniform from bound, but the generative, and in short, occult multitude from infinity. For it is all things occultly, and on this account, is the cause of all beings; which also the Elean guest indicating to us, calls being the first power, as subsisting according to the participation of the first power, and participating of hyparxis from bound, and of power from infinity. Afterwards however, the Elean guest defines being to be power, as prolific and generative of all things, and as being all things uniformly. For power is every where the cause of prolific progressions, and of all multitude; occult power indeed being the cause of occult multitude; but the power which exists in energy, and which unfolds itself into light, being the cause of all-perfect multitude. Through this cause therefore, I think, that every being, and every essence has connascent powers. For it participates of infinity, and derives its hyparxis indeed from bound, but its power from infinity. And being is nothing else than a monad of many powers, and a multiplied hyparxis, and on this account being is one many. The many however subsist occultly and without separation in the first natures; but with separation in secondary natures. For by how much being is nearer to the one, by so much the more does it conceal multitude, and is defined according to union alone. It appears to me also that Plotinus and his followers, frequently indicating these things, produce being from form and intelligible matter, arranging form100 as analogous to the one, and to hyparxis, but power as analogous to matter. And if indeed they say this, they speak rightly. But if they ascribe a certain formless and indefinite nature to an intelligible essence, they appear to me to wander from the conceptions of Plato on this subject. For the infinite is not the matter of bound, but the power of it, nor is bound the form of the infinite, but the hyparxis of it. But being consists of both these, as not only standing in the one, but receiving a multitude of unities and powers which are mingled into one essence.

Chapter X.

That therefore which is primarily being is through these things denominated by Plato that which is mixed. And through the similitude of it, generation also is mingled from bound and infinity. And the infinite indeed in this is imperfect power; but the bound in it is form and the morphe of this power. On this account we establish this power to be matter, not possessing existence in energy, and requiring to be bounded by something else. We no longer however say that it is lawful to call the power of being matter, since it is generative of energies, produces all beings from itself, and is prolific of the perfect powers in beings. For the power of matter being imperfect dissimilarly imitates the power of being; and becoming multitude in capacity, it expresses the parturition of multitude in the power of being.101 Moreover, the form of matter imitates ultimately bound, since it gives limits to matter, and terminates its infinity. But it is multiplied and divided about it. It is also mingled with the privation of matter, and represents the supreme union of the hyparxis of being, by its essence always advancing to existence, and always tending to decay. For those things which subsist in the first natures according to transcendency, are in such as are last according to deficiency. For that also which is primarily being is mixed, is exempt from the bound of infinite life, and is the cause of it. But that which consists of the last102 of forms and the first matter, is in its own nature void of life; since it possesses life in capacity. For there indeed generative causes subsist prior to their progeny, and things perfect prior to such as are imperfect. But here things in capacity are prior to such as are in energy, and concauses are subject to the things which are produced from them. This however, I think, happens naturally, because the gifts of the first principles pervade as far as to the last of things, and not only generate more perfect natures, but also such as have a more imperfect subsistence. And on this account that which is mixed is the cause of generation, and of the nature which is mingled here. The bound and infinity however, which are prior to being, are not only the causes of this nature, but also of the elements of it, of which that which is mixed is not the cause, so far as it is mixed. For bound and infinity are twofold. And one kind of these is exempt from the things mingled, but another kind is assumed to the completion of the mixture. For I think it is every where necessary that prior to things that are mingled, there should be such as are unmingled, prior to things imperfect, such as are perfect, prior to parts, wholes, and prior to things that are in others, such as are in themselves; and this Socrates persuades us to admit not in one thing only, but also in beauty and symmetry, and in all forms. If therefore the second and third genera of being and forms subsist prior to their participants, how can we assert that bound and infinity which pervade through all beings have their first subsistence as things mingled? It must be admitted therefore, that they are unmingled and separate from being, and that being is derived from them, and at the same time consists of them. It is derived from them indeed, because they have a prior subsistence; but it consists of them, because they subsist in being according to a second progression.

The genera of being also are twofold; some of them indeed being fabricative of beings, but others existing as the elements of the nature of each being. For some of them indeed presubsist themselves by themselves, as possessing a productive power; but others being generated from these, constitute each particular being. Let no one therefore any longer wonder, how Socrates indeed in the Philebus establishes that which is mingled, prior to bound and infinity, but we on the contrary evince that bound and infinity are exempt from that which is mixed. For each is twofold, and the one indeed is prior to being, but the other is in being; and the one is generative, but the other is the element of the mixture. Of this kind also, are the bound and infinity of the mixed life, each being the element of the whole of felicity. Hence also each is indigent of each. And neither is intellect by itself desirable, nor perfect pleasure. It is necessary however, that the good should consist of all these, viz. of the desirable, the sufficient, and the perfect. Bound itself therefore and infinity, which are separate, subsist according to cause prior to that which is mixed. But the bound and infinity which are mixed are more imperfect than the mixture. Hence, from what has been said, it is evident what the things are of which the mixture consists.

Chapter XI.

In the next place, we must speak of the triad, which is consubsistent with this mixture. For every mixture, if it is rightly made, as Socrates says, requires these three things, beauty, truth, and symmetry. For neither will any thing base, if it is introduced into the mixture, impart rectitude, since it will be the cause of error, and of inordinate prerogative, nor if truth is at any time separated, will it suffer the mixture to consist of things that are pure, and which are in reality subdued, but it will fill the whole with an image and with non-being. Nor without symmetry will there be a communion of the elements, and an elegant association. Symmetry, therefore, is necessary to the union of the things that are mingled, and to an appropriate communion. But truth is necessary to purity. And beauty to order; which also renders the whole lovely. For when each thing in the mixture has a place adapted to itself, it renders both the elements, and the arrangement resulting from them, beautiful. Here therefore, in the first mixture, these three things are apparent, symmetry, truth, and beauty. And symmetry indeed is the cause to the mixture, that being is one; truth is the cause of the reality of its existence; and beauty is the cause of its being intelligible. Hence it is intelligible and truly being. That also which is primarily being is more uniform, and intellect is conjoined to it, according to its familiarity with the beautiful. But each participates of existence, because it is being derived from being. That which is mixed however, is supreme among beings, because it is united to the good. And it appears to me, that the divine Iamblichus perceiving these three causes of being, defines the intelligible in these three, viz. in symmetry, truth, and beauty, and unfolds the intelligible Gods through these in the Platonic theology. In what manner indeed, the intelligible breadth consists of these, will be most evident as we proceed. Now however, from what has been said, it is perfectly manifest why Socrates says that this triad is found to be in the vestibules of the good. For that which is primarily being participates of this triad through its union with the good. For because indeed the good is the measure of all beings, the first being becomes itself commensurate. Because the former is prior to being, the latter subsists truly and really. And because the former is good and desirable, the latter presents itself to the view as the beautiful itself. Here therefore, the first beauty also subsists; and on this account the one is not only the cause of good, but likewise of beauty, as Plato says in his Epistles. Beauty however subsists here occultly, since this order comprehends all things uniformly, in consequence of subsisting primarily from the principles [bound and infinity]. But where and how beauty is unfolded into light, we shall shortly explain.

Chapter XII.

Such therefore, is the first triad of intelligibles, according to Socrates in the Philebus, viz. bound, infinite, and that which is mixed from these. And of these, bound indeed is a God proceeding to the intelligible summit, from the imparticipable and first God, measuring and defining all things, and giving subsistence to every paternal, connective, and undefiled genus of Gods. But infinite is the never-failing power of this God, unfolding into light all the generative orders, and all infinity, both that which is prior to essence, and that which is essential, and also that which proceeds as far as to the last matter. And that which is mixed, is the first and highest order of the Gods, comprehending all things occultly, deriving its completion indeed through the intelligible connective triad, but unically comprehending the cause of every being, and establishing its summit in the first intelligibles, exempt from the whole of things.

Chapter XIII.

After this first triad subsisting from, and conjoined with the one, we shall celebrate the second, proceeding from this, and deriving its completion through things analogous103 to the triad prior to it. For in this also it is necessary that being should participate, and that the one should be participated, and likewise that this one which is secondarily one, should be generative of that which is secondarily being. For every where participated deity constitutes about itself that which participates it. Thus whole souls render bodies consubsistent with their causes: and partial souls generate, in conjunction with the Gods, irrational souls. Much more therefore, do the Gods produce in conjunction with the one all things. Hence, as the first of the unities generates the summit of being, so likewise the middle unity constitutes the middle being. But every thing which generates, and every thing which makes or produces, possesses a power prolific of the things produced, according to which it produces, corroborates and connects its progeny. Again therefore, there will be a second triad unfolded into light analogously to the first. And one thing indeed, is the summit of it, which we call one, deity, and hyparxis. But another thing is the middle of it, which we call power. And another thing is the extremity of it, which we say is that which is secondarily being. This however is intelligible life. For all things are in the intelligible, as was before demonstrated, viz. to be, to live, and to energize intellectually. And the summit indeed, of the intelligible order, is all things according to cause, and as we have frequently said, occultly. But the middle of it, causes multitude to shine forth, and proceeds from the union of being into manifest light. And the extremity of it, is now all intelligible multitude, and the order of intelligible forms. For forms have their subsistence at the extremity of the intelligible order. For it is necessary that forms should subsist first and become apparent in intellect. If therefore being abides exemptly in the first mixture, but now proceeds, and is generated dyadically from the monad, there will be motion about it; and if there is motion, it is also necessary that there should be intelligible life. For every where motion is a certain life, since some one calls even the motion of material bodies life. That which is first therefore, in this second triad, may be called bound; that which is second in it, infinity; and that which is the third, life. For the second triad also is a God, possessing prolific power, and unfolding into light from, and about itself, that which is secondarily being. Here however also, the triad is analogous to the first triad.

But again, it is necessary to comprehend by reasoning the peculiarity of this triad. For the first triad being all things, but intelligibly and unically, and as I may say, speaking Platonically, according to the form of bound, the second triad is indeed all things, but vitally, and as I may say, following the philosopher, according to the form of infinity, just as the third triad proceeds according to the peculiarity of that which is mixed. For as in the progression according to breadth, that which is mixed presents itself to the view as the third, so likewise in the progression according to depth of intelligibles, the third has the order of that which is mixed with reference to the superior triads. The middle triad therefore, is indeed all things, but is characterized by intelligible infinity. For the three principles after the first, orderly distribute for us the intelligible genus of the Gods. For bound indeed, unfolds into light the first triad; but infinity the second; and that which is mixed, the third. It is infinite power therefore, according to which the second triad is characterized. For being the middle, it subsists according to the middle of the first triad, being all things from all. For in each triad, there is bound, infinity, and that which is mixed. But the peculiarity of the monads being respectively different, evolves the intelligible order of the Gods. The middle triad however, thus subsisting, but I say thus, because it consists of all the things of which the triad prior to it consists, yet it contains and connects the middle of intelligibles according to infinite power, and is filled indeed from a more elevated union, but fills the union posterior to itself with the powers of being. And it is measured indeed, from thence uniformly, but measures the third triad by the power of itself. And it abides indeed, in the first triad stably, but it establishes in itself the triad which is next in order. And in short, it binds to itself the intelligible centre, and establishes one intelligible coherence; causing indeed that which is occult and possesses the form of the one in the first triad, to shine forth; but collecting the intelligible multitude of the third triad, and comprehending it on all sides. The being however, which gives completion to this triad is mixed, in the same manner as the being of the triad prior to it, and receives the peculiarity of life. For the infinity in this generates life.

It is likewise necessary that this triad should participate of the three things, symmetry, truth, and beauty. That which is primarily being however, principally subsists according to symmetry, which unites it, and conjoins it to the good. But the second triad, principally subsists according to truth. For because it participates of that which is primarily being, it is being, and truly being. And the third triad principally subsists according to the beautiful. For there intelligible multitude, order and beauty, first shine forth to the view. Hence this being is the most beautiful of all intelligibles. This however will be discussed hereafter. As there is a triad therefore, in each of the mixtures, the first indeed, symmetry especially comprehends and connects; the second truth, and the third beauty. And this induced the divine Iamblichus to say, that Plato in these three defines the whole of the intelligible [order]. For all are in each, but one of these predominates more in one of the intelligible monads than in another. Moreover, the third triad presents itself to the view after this. For it is necessary that the extremity of being should also be deified, and should participate of an intelligible unity. For beings are not more in number than the unities, as Parmenides says, nor are the unities more numerous than beings; but each progression of being participates of the one; since this universe also, according to each part of itself, is governed by soul and intellect. By a much greater priority therefore, must the intelligible in its first, middle, and last hypostases, participate of the intelligible Gods.

Chapter XIV.

As the first unity therefore, after the exempt cause of all things, unfolds into light intelligible being, and the second unity, intelligible life, thus also the third constitutes about itself, intelligible intellect, and fills it with divine union, constituting power as the medium between itself and being, through which it gives completion to this being, and converts it to itself. In this therefore, every intelligible multitude shines forth to the view. For the whole of this being is intelligible intellect, life, and essence. And it is neither all things according to cause, in the same manner as that which is primarily being, nor does it cause all things to shine forth, as the second being does, but it is as it were all things according to energy, and openly. Hence also, it is the boundary of all intelligibles. For since the progression of beings is accomplished according to similitude, the first being is most similar to the one; the second, is parturient with multitude, and is the origin of separation; but the third, is now all-perfect, and unfolds into light in itself, intelligible multitude and form.

Farther still, as the first triad abides occultly in bound, and fixes in itself every thing that is stable in intelligibles; but the second abides and at the same time proceeds; so the third, after progression converts the intelligible end to the beginning, and convolves the order to itself. For it is every where the province of intellect to convert and converge to the intelligible. All these likewise are uniform [i.e. have the form of one] and intelligible, viz. the abiding, the proceeding, and the returning. For each of these is not asserted after the same manner in intelligibles. And the intelligible genus of Gods104 is unical, simple, and occult, conjoining itself to the one itself which is prior to beings; and unfolds105 into light nothing else than the transcendency of the one. For these three triads, mystically announce that unknown cause the first and perfectly imparticipable God. The first of them indeed, announcing his ineffable union; the second his transcendency, by which he surpasses all powers; and the third, his all-perfect generation of beings. For as they are able to comprehend the principle which surpasses both the union and the powers of all beings, so they exhibit to secondary natures, his106 admirable transcendency; receiving indeed separately the unical power and dominion of the first God; but unfolding into light intelligibly the cause which is prior to intelligibles. For these Gods though they are allotted a simplicity which is equally exempt from all the divine orders, yet they fall short of the union of the father. Of this triad therefore, which converts all intelligibles to the first principle, and convolves the multitude apparent in itself to the stable union of the whole of things, one thing is bound, and unity and hyparxis; another, is infinity and power; and another is that which is mixed, essence, life, and intelligible intellect. But the whole triad subsists according to being, and is the intellect of the first triad. For the first triad is an intelligible God primarily. But the triad posterior to it is an intelligible and intellectual God. And the third triad is an intellectual God. These three deities also, and triadic monads, give completion to the intelligible genera. For they are monads according to their deities; since all other things are suspended from the Gods, and also powers and beings. But they are triads according to a separate division. For bound, infinity, and that which is mixed, have a threefold subsistence; but in one place indeed, all things are according to bound; in another, all things are according to infinity; and in another, all things are according to that which is mixed. And in one place, that which is mixed is essence; in another, it is intelligible life; and in another, intelligible intellect. In this last therefore, forms subsist primarily. For the separation of intelligibles, unfolds the order of forms; because form is being, but is not simply being. Hence that which is primarily being, is being itself, and is that which is being. But that which is the second being, is power, proceeding indeed from the first being, and existing as it were a duad generative of the multitude of beings, but not yet being multitude. And that which, is the third being, is itself the multitude of beings; being there existing with separation. For being is the exempt cause of those things which forms constitute divisibly. And of the things of which being is productive collectively, of these, forms are the cause in a way attended with separation. Because forms indeed, are causes productive of separation in their effects, and also because forms are called the paradigms of beings. Being however, is the cause of all things posterior to itself, but is not the paradigm of them. For paradigms are the causes of things which are separated according to existence, and which have different characters of essence. After the one therefore which is prior to beings, that which is one-many occultly, and the united subsists. On this account, it is that which is divided into multitude, and which tends from the uniform to the splendid. But the last of intelligibles, is that from which a certain distribution into parts originates, and which is comprehensive of intelligible multitude.

Chapter XV.

Socrates therefore, in the Philebus, affords us such like auxiliaries to the theory of the intelligible triads. It is requisite however, not only to abide in these conceptions, but also to demonstrate the theology of Plato about these triads from other dialogues, and from them to point out one truth adapted to the things themselves. We shall assume therefore, what is written in the Timæus, and shall follow our leader [Syrianus] who has unfolded to us the arcane mysteries of these triads, and conjoin with the end of what has been said the beginning of the following discussion. In the Timæus therefore, Plato investigating what the paradigm of the whole world is, discovers that it is comprehensive of all intelligible animals, that it is all-perfect, that it is the most beautiful of intelligibles, that it is only-begotten, and that it is the intelligible of the demiurgus. He likewise denominates it animal itself, as being the intelligible paradigm of every animal, and of that which is the object of sense. Hence it is necessary that this animal itself, because it is all-perfect, and the most beautiful of intelligibles, should be established in the intelligible orders. For though there is intelligible animal in the demiurgus, yet it is rather intellectual than intelligible, and is not the most beautiful of all intelligibles, but is second to them in beauty and power. For primary beauty is in the intelligible Gods. In the demiurgus also, there are not only four forms of the things contained in the world, but there is all the multitude of forms. For in him the paradigms of individual forms presubsist. But animal itself is totally constitutive of all animals by the intelligible tetrad. The demiurgus likewise is not like animal itself only-begotten among beings, but subsists in conjunction with the vivific cause, together with which he constitutes the second genera of being, mingling them in the crater or bowl, in order to the generation of souls. For of the things of which intelligible animal is effective and at the same time generative, of these the demiurgus is allotted the cause in a divided manner, in conjunction with the crater. Hence, as I have said, animal itself is exempt from the demiurgus, and is, as Timæus every where denominates it, intelligible.

Nevertheless, because forms are first separated in it, and because it is all-perfect, it subsists in the third order of intelligibles. For neither that which is primarily, nor that which is secondarily being,107 is all-perfect. For the former is beyond all separation; but the latter generates indeed, and is parturient with intelligibles, but is not yet the multitude of beings. If therefore neither of these is multitude, how can either of them be all-perfect multitude? If however all-perfect multitude shines forth in the third triad of intelligibles, as was a little before demonstrated, but animal itself is the first paradigm (for it is comprehensive of all intelligible animals, is an only-begotten paradigm, and is not conjoined with any other principle) it is necessary that animal itself should be established according to this order. For either there will not be an intelligible paradigm, (and in this case, how will sensibles be images of intelligibles? Or how will the intelligible Gods be the fathers of the whole of things?) Or if there is, it is the third in intelligibles. For the natures which are prior to the triad in intelligibles, are not all-perfect; since they are exempt from the division into multitude. But the natures posterior to it are not only-begotten. For they proceed together with others; the male indeed, with the female, and those that are of a demiurgic together with those that are of a generative characteristic. Nor are they the most beautiful of intelligibles; for beauty is in the intelligible. But animal itself is all-perfect, and at the same time only begotten. The first paradigm of beings therefore, is arranged in the third triad of intelligibles. Moreover, animal itself is eternal, as Timæus himself says. For says he, “the nature of animal is eternal.” And again, in another place he asserts, “that the paradigm is through all eternity being.” If therefore it is eternal, it participates of eternity. And if that which participates is every where secondary to that which is participated, animal itself is secondary to eternity. And if it is through all eternity being, it is filled with the whole power of eternity. If this however be the case, it subsists proximately after eternity. For that which enjoys the whole of causes, is arranged proximately after them.

Chapter XVI.

Moreover, if eternity has the same ratio to intelligible animal, which time has to that which is sensible, but the universe proximately participates of time (for time was generated together with the universe) it is certainly necessary that animal itself should primarily participate of eternity. Eternity therefore is beyond the first paradigm. For eternity indeed measures the existence of animal itself: but animal itself is measured and filled with perpetuity from it. To which may be added, that we assert eternity to be the cause of immortality to all things. Hence eternity is that which is primarily immortal. For as that which is primarily being is the cause of existence to all things, but that which is effective of form is itself prior to other forms, so that which is the cause of perpetuity and immortality, is itself primarily immortal. The dæmoniacal Aristotle also rightly calls eternity immortal and divine, and that from whence the existence and life of all things are suspended. If however it is that which is primarily immortal, and not according to participation, but is as it were immortality and perpetuity, it will be life, possessing from itself the ever, and exuberantly scattering the power of perpetuity, and extending it to other things, so far as each is naturally adapted to receive it. For the immortal is in life, and subsists together with life. Hence Socrates in the Phædo,108 after many and beautiful demonstrations of the psychical immortality, says, “God therefore, my dear Cebes, and the form itself of life, are much more immortal.” Hence, intelligible life, and the God who is connective of this life, primarily possess the immortal, and are the fountain of the whole of perpetuity. But this is eternity. Eternity therefore has its subsistence in life, and will be established in the middle of the intelligible order.

Farther still, it is necessary to assert that intelligible eternity is one of these three things, viz. that it subsists either according to being, or according to life, or according to intelligible intellect. But being, as the Elean guest says, according to its own nature, neither stands still, nor is moved. For if being is being to all things, and essence is a thing of this kind, much more must this be the case; with intelligible essence, and that which is primarily being. For they are nothing else than essence only. But being unfolds motion and permanency, and the other genera of beings, in the second and third, progressions of itself. The first being therefore, as we have said, is at one and the same time exempt from motion and permanency. But eternity according to Timæus abides in one. Hence also time imitates in its motion the intelligible permanency of eternity. Eternity therefore does not subsist according, to that which is primarily being, nor yet according to intelligible intellect.109 For neither is soul time, which is moved through the whole of time. And in short, in divine beings, that which is participated is everywhere established above that which participates. But the eternal participates of eternity, just as that which is temporal participates of time. Eternity therefore is prior to intelligible intellect, and posterior to being; so that it is established in the middle of the intelligible breadth. And as animal itself is eternal, so likewise eternity is that which is always being. For as animal itself participates of eternity, so eternity participates of being, and is the cause of existence, of perpetual life, and intellection, and measures the essences, powers and energies of all things.

Chapter XVII.

Since, however, eternity subsists according to the middle centre of intelligibles, and animal itself according to the extremity of them, and the most splendid of that which is intelligible, what is that which is the first of intelligibles, and how is it denominated by Timæus? He says therefore of eternity, that while it abides in one, time proceeds according to number; and that by motion it adumbrates the permanency of eternity, but by number, its stable union. What therefore is that one, in which Timæus says eternity abides? For it is necessary either to say that it is the one of eternity, or the one which transcends all intelligibles, or the one of the first triad. But if indeed, we say that it is the imparticipable one, how is it possible that any thing can abide in that which is exempt from all things; and which neither admits the habitude nor communion of secondary natures with itself? For every thing which abides in any thing, is in a certain respect on all sides comprehended by that in which we say it abides. It is however perfectly impossible that the first one should either comprehend any being, or be coarranged with beings. But if any one should suppose that it is the one of eternity, in which Timæus says eternity abides, in this case, eternity will be in itself. It is necessary however, that it should abide in itself, by having its subsistence in abiding in that which is prior to itself. For to abide in that which is prior to, is better than the establishment of things in themselves, in the same manner as it is more perfect than the collocation of better in less excellent natures. If therefore eternity abides in itself, to what shall we primarily assign permanency in that which is prior to itself? For it is necessary that this being more divine, should have its generation prior to that which is inferior to it. If therefore eternity can neither abide in itself, nor in the one which is prior to beings, it is evident that abiding in one according to Timæus, it is established in the one of the first triad, or rather in the whole of that triad. For, as we have before observed, the first triad is the cause of stability to all beings, in the same manner as the middle triad is the cause of their progression, and the third triad of their conversion to their principle.

Chapter XVIII.

Again therefore, three orders of intelligibles present themselves to our view, according to the doctrine of Timæus, viz. animal itself, eternity, and the one. And through this one, and the firm establishment in it, eternity has fixed the intelligible kingdom. But through eternity, animal itself defines the boundary of the intelligible Gods, according to a perpetual and invariable sameness. And animal itself indeed, having proceeded tetradically, is suspended from the duad in eternity. For eternity is the ever in conjunction with being. But the duad in eternity participates of the intelligible monad, which Timæus on this account denominates one, as being the monad and principle of all the intelligible breadth. Since otherwise indeed, he very properly calls the first triad one, in consequence of its being especially characterized according to bound, denominating it from bound. But he calls the middle triad dyadically, eternity, connecting the names; because this triad is defined according to intelligible power. And he denominates the third triad animal itself, transferring the appellation to the whole of it, from the extremity of the triad. The first triad therefore is the union of all the intelligibles, being in a certain respect coordinated with them. For the union is different from this which is exempt from intelligibles and imparticipable. It is also the supplier of stable power. For all things are established on account of it. But eternity is primary being, and is that which is primarily established. Hence, with respect to the permanency of the whole of things, we say that the first triad is that on account of which this permanency is effected; but that the second triad is that by which it is produced. For the firm establishment of beings is indeed according to this second triad, but is on account of the first. But the second triad is the proximate measure of all beings, and is coordinated with the things that are measured. There are also at one and the same time in it, bound and infinity; bound indeed, so far as it measures intelligibles; but infinity, so far as it is the cause of perpetuity, and the ever. For according to the oracle, eternity is the cause of never-failing life, of unwearied power, and unsluggish energy. Nevertheless, eternity is more characterised by infinity [than by bound.] For it comprehends in itself infinite time. And time indeed has bound and infinity in a divided manner. For according to its continuity, it is infinite; but according to the now it is bounded. For the now is a bound. But eternity establishes bound and infinity in the same. For it is a unity and power. And according to the one indeed, it is bound; but according to power infinite; which time110 also demonstrates as from images; because the middle triad [of intelligibles] has bound, infinity, and that which is mixed. For whence is the bound of time derived except from eternal bound? For the temporal bound also is impartible, in the same manner as the bound of eternity is one. For the impartible is the image of the one. Whence likewise is the infinity of the continuity of time derived except from the power of the infinite? For the latter is a stable infinity, but the former an infinity which is moved. And as the latter stands still according to the one, so the former is moved according to number. Since whence is the alliance of time with lives, except from the first principle [of life, eternity?] But time proceeds through all temporal life.

Again, therefore, from these things it is evident, that eternity subsists according to the middle of the intelligible Gods. For here there is infinite life, and the cause of all life, intellectual, psychical, and that which subsists partibly in bodies. But eternity is the father and supplier of infinite life; since eternity is also the cause of all immortality and perpetuity; And Plotinus, exhibiting, in a most divinely inspired manner, the peculiarity111 of eternity, according to the theology of Plato, defines it to be infinite life, at once unfolding into light the whole of itself, and its own being. For establishing its life in the intelligible centre, and through the one indeed measuring its being, and fixing it in that which is prior to itself, but through power causing it to be infinite, it unfolds indeed the uniform transcendency of the first triad, but defines the termination of the Gods, and extends from the middle on all sides, and to all the intelligible breadth. Moreover the third triad is filled indeed with intelligible life,112 and on this account is an intelligible animal, and the first animal. For it primarily participates of the whole nature of this life; but unfolds into light in itself the first of forms, to which also the demiurgic intellect extending itself, constitutes the whole world, and is itself the intelligible universe, and the apparent world the sensible universe. Hence also, Plato denominates animal itself all-perfect. Or rather, if you are willing we will speak thus: that in this third triad, there are bound, infinity, and that which is mixed, which we have called intelligible intellect. Hence the whole triad is denominated only-begotten from the father which is in it. For the cause of bound imparts that which is uncoordinated with other things; and an exempt transcendency. For that which comprehends, says Timæus, all such animals as are intelligible, will not be the second with any other; since again, it would be requisite that there should be another animal about it. Hence that which comprehends in one all intelligible animals is a whole. But every where whole is referred113 to bound, and parts to infinity. So that if on this account animal itself is only-begotten, it will possess this peculiarity according to bound. But again, it is denominated eternal according to the power of it. For this power especially pertains to that which is eternal. For eternity is infinite power abiding in one, and proceeding stably. Animal itself, however, is all-perfect according to intellect. For that which unfolds in itself all the intelligible separation of being, is intelligible intellect. And that intellect, according to the decision of Plato, will be all-perfect, which comprehends all intelligibles, and defines the boundary of the intelligible order. The only-begotten, therefore, the eternal, the all-perfect, bound, infinity, and that which is mixed, manifest the nature of intelligible animal. On this account, Timæus also, in these three conclusions, reminds us of the paradigm, viz. in the conclusion which shows that the universe is only-begotten, and again, in the generation of time, and in the all-perfect comprehension of all animals.

If likewise Timæus says, that animal itself is the most beautiful of all intelligibles, and that this has the third order in intelligibles, it will not be wonderful. For it has been before asserted by us, that every where the cause of the best mixture is the triad symmetry, truth, and beauty. But beauty principally shines forth in the third progression of being, and exhibits its luminous nature together with intelligible forms, just as truth shines forth in the second, and symmetry in the first progression of being. If, however, truth is indeed the first, beauty the second, and symmetry the third, it is by no means wonderful, that according to order, truth and beauty should be prior to symmetry; but that symmetry being more apparent in the first triad than the other two, should shine forth as the third in the secondary progressions. For these three subsist occultly in the first triad. And truth indeed, so far as it is intelligible knowledge, is in the second triad; but beauty so far as it is the form of forms is in the third triad. For that this triad subsists there first, is evident from this, that truth is primarily in that which is especially being, prior to knowledge. But beauty, which pervades as far as to the last of beings, is necessarily in the first being, from which the last of beings are derived. And the first symmetry is in that which is primarily mixed. For every mixture requires symmetry, in order that what is produced from it may be one certain thing. Though these three things, therefore, presubsist there, for we assume, as acknowledged universally, that symmetry is there, and the most beautiful of intelligible animals, as Timæus says, yet at present we shall dismiss the further consideration of them, as we have elsewhere precedaneously discussed them, and have especially endeavoured to enforce what we conceive to be the opinion of Plato concerning their order. For we have spoken of these things in a treatise consisting of one book, in which we demonstrate that truth is coordinate to the philosopher, beauty to the lover, and symmetry to the musician; and that such as is the order of these lives, such also is the relation of truth, beauty, and symmetry to each other.

Animal itself, therefore, may with the greatest justice, be called most beautiful, so far as it is eminently contained in intelligible beauty. For beauty is wont to be carried in forms, and is as it were the form of forms, unfolding that which is occult in the good, causing its loveliness to shine forth, and attracting to its own splendor the desire which is concealed about it. And to the good indeed, all things possess a silent and arcane tendency; but we are excited to the beautiful with astonishment and motion. For the illumination from it, and its efficacy, acutely pervade through every sou], and as being the most similar of all things to the good, it converts every soul that surveys it. The soul also, beholding that which is arcane shining forth as it were to the view, rejoices in, and admires that which it sees, and is astonished about it. And as in the most holy of the mysteries, prior to the mystic spectacles, those that are initiated, are seized with astonishment, so in intelligibles prior to the participation of the good, beauty shining forth, astonishes those that behold it, converts the soul to itself, and being established in the vestibules [of the good] shows what that is which is in the adyta, and what the transcendency is of occult good. Through these things therefore, let it be apparent whence beauty originates, and how it first shines forth; and also that animal itself is the most beautiful of all intelligibles.

Chapter XIX.

Since, however, Timæus says that the primary and intelligible paradigms have their subsistence in intelligible animal, and that all these are four, unfolding themselves first into light, according to the all-perfect tetrad,—this being the case, in the first place it deserves to be considered, that as species or forms present themselves to the view in the intelligible, it is necessary by a much greater priority, that the genera of beings should pre-subsist in intelligibles. For it is not possible to admit that forms are intelligible, but that genera are intellectual only. But as forms exist intelligibly indeed, according to their first subsistence, but the pleroma, or plenitude of them shines forth in the intellectual gods,114 and divides that which is total into more partial decrements, produces the uniform, into multitude, and expands that which is exempt into coordinate causes, thus also the genera of being are occultly and indivisibly in intelligibles, but are accompanied with separation in intellectuals. And on this account the first triad indeed has essence for that which is mixed; but the second has life, where there was motion and permanency, life both abiding and proceeding; and in the third there are sameness and difference. For the all-perfect multitude indeed, is through intelligible difference, but the united and that which is comprehensive in common of parts according to genera, and according to one, is through intelligible sameness. And all these subsist intelligibly, essentially, and uniformly in these triads.

In the first place therefore, this deserves to be inferred by those who love to survey the nature of things, and it is also fit that they should attribute coordinate genera to intelligible forms. For it neither was nor will be lawful for genera to shine forth secondarily115 after forms. Hence much more must it be admitted that genera subsist in the intelligible after the above-mentioned manner, by those who admit that there are intelligible forms. In the next place, in addition to these things we must survey how this tetrad of forms subsists, and how it shines forth in intelligible intellect analogous to the principles. For it is divided into a monad and triad. For so far as the idea of the celestial gods is arranged prior to the others, it is defined according to a divine cause. It appears however to me that intelligible intellect returning to the principles of the whole of things, according to the conversion of itself, it becomes the plenitude of forms, and is all things intellectually and at the same time intelligibly, comprehending in itself the causes of beings, and being full of the ineffable and exempt cause of all things, constitutes the monad of the gods; whence also, Plato I think calls it the idea of the gods. But receiving the intellectual causes of the three principles posterior to the one, it exhibits three ideas after this, one of them indeed, being the cause of air-wandering and volant animals, this cause proceeding analogous to bound. Hence also it constitutes gods that are uniform, elevating, undefiled, united to the celestial gods, and which receive measures second in dignity to theirs, and have the same relation to those gods that govern generation coordinately, as the celestial gods have to these, according to exempt transcendency. But it exhibits the cause of the aquatic gods, coordinate with generative and infinite power, and which produces gods that are the suppliers of motion and prolific abundance, and that are the inspective guardians of life; since also this water itself which is the object of sense is under the dominion of effusion, infinite lation and indefiniteness. Hence likewise it is attributed to vivific powers. And intelligible intellect exhibits the precedaneous cause of terrestrial and pedestrious gods, in a manner adapted to the nature of that which is mixed. It also generates gods who contain the end of the whole of things, who are stable, who subdue the formless nature of matter by the last forms, and fix the seat of mundane natures in the one centre of the universe. For deriving their subsistence from the first Vesta as it were, or seat of beings, they stably define this mundane seat. Thus therefore forms first unfold themselves into light in intelligible intellect, possessing their progression and order according to the first principles. It is necessary however, in addition to these things, to infer this in the third place, following Timæus, that according to this triad, the multitude of intelligible parts shines forth, and the whole is divided into an all-perfect order of parts. For that, says he, of which other intelligible animals both according to one, and according to genera are parts, is the first and most beautiful paradigm of the universe. But if other intelligible animals are parts of this, it is evident that it is a whole, comprehending in itself the multitude of intelligible parts, and that it is connective of all intelligible parts. It must be inferred therefore that this triad is the first cause of production and fabrication. For if it contains the primary paradigms of things, it is evident that the orderly distribution of secondary natures, originates from it. And if it is an animal constitutive of all animals, every psychical extent, and all the extent of bodies, have their progression from thence; and it will also comprehend the intelligible causes of all the vivific and demiurgic orders.

Chapter XX.

Such conceptions, therefore, as these, may be assumed from what is written in the Timæus concerning the three intelligible triads, conformably to what is said of them in the Philebus, surveying in each bound, infinity, and that which is mixed. If you are willing also, we will show from what is scattered in the Sophista, that Plato had the same conception as we have concerning the first principles. The Elean guest therefore, in that dialogue, doubting against the assertion of Parmenides that the universe is one, unfolding intelligible multitude, and showing how it is suspended from the one, at first indeed, he argues from the one being [or being characterized by the one] and reminds us that this is passive to the one, and participates of the one, but is not the one itself, nor that which is primarily one. But afterwards, he produces the conception of the distinction between the imparticipable one and being, from whole. For if the one being is a whole, as Parmenides testifies, but that which is a whole has parts, and that which has parts, is not the one itself, the one being will not be the same as the one. In the third place therefore, he argues from the all-perfect. For that which is perfectly divided, and is connective of many parts, can never have the same subsistence as that which is entirely one. And having proceeded thus far he shows that what is void of multitude, is in its own nature exempt from the one being, proceeding in the demonstration of this through three arguments. And at one time indeed, he begins from the one being, at another time from whole, and at another from all. It is better however to hear the words themselves of Plato. That the one therefore, is not the same with the one being, he proves through the following words. “But what with respect to those who assert that the universe is one? Must we not enquire to the utmost of our power what they say being is? Certainly. To this question therefore they may answer: Do you say there is one thing alone? We do say so. Or will they not speak, in this manner? They will. What then, do you call being any thing? Yes. Do you call it the one, employing two names respecting the same thing? Or how do you say? What will be their answer after this O guest?” Through this therefore, Plato separating the one and being from each other, and showing that the conception of the one is different from that of being, and that these are not the same with each other, evinces that the most proper and primary one is exempt from the one being. For the one being does not abide purely in an hyparxis void of multitude and possessing the form of one. But the one itself is exempt from every addition. For by whatever you may add to it, you will diminish its supreme and ineffable union. Hence it is necessary to arrange the one prior to the one being, and to suspend the one being from that which is one alone. For if the one and the one being were the same, and it made no difference to say one and being (since if they differed, the one would again be changed from the one being,) if therefore the one differs in no respect from the one being, all things will be one, and there will not be multitude in beings, nor will it be possible to denominate things, lest there should be two things, the thing and the name. For being exempt from all multitude, and all division, there will neither be a name of any thing, nor any discourse about it, but the name will appear to be the same with the thing. And neither will a name be the name of a thing, but a name will be the name of a name, if a thing is the same with a name, and a name is the same with a thing,116 and a thing will be the thing of a thing. For all things will exist about a thing the same as about a name, through the union of the thing and the name. If therefore, these things are absurd, and the one is, and also being, and being participates of the one, the one and the one being are not the same.

But that whole also is not the same with the one, Plato afterwards demonstrates [in the same dialogue,] beginning as follows: “What then? Will they say that whole is different from the one being, or that it is the same with it? Undoubtedly they will and do say so. If therefore whole is, as Parmenides says, “that which is every where similar to the bulk of a perfect sphere, entirely possessing equal powers from the middle; for nothing is greater or more stable than this:”—if this be the case, it is necessary that being should have a middle and extremities. And having these, there is every necessity that it should have parts. Or how shall we say? Just so. Nothing however hinders but that when it is divided, it may have the passion of the one in all its parts, and that thus the all and whole may be one. Undoubtedly. But is it not impossible that that which suffers these things should be the one? Why? Because according to right reason, that which is truly one should be said to be entirely without parts. It must indeed necessarily be so. But such a thing as we have just now mentioned, in consequence of consisting of many parts would not accord with the one.” Through these things therefore, the Elean guest arguing from wholeness after the one being, and also from the division of the parts of wholeness, demonstrates that the all is not one. For if whole is in beings, as Parmenides in his verses testifies it is, all things will not be the one. For the one is impartible; but whole possesses parts. Whole therefore is not the one itself. For that transcends all things and wholeness; but whole is passive to the one. Hence also it is denominated whole; for it is not the one itself. Hence all things are not one void of separation and multiplication.

Moreover, the all is comprehensive of many parts. For whole indeed, consists at first of two parts; but the all possesses a multitude of parts, and participating of wholeness at the same time is all, as being perfectly distributed into parts. This therefore is not the one itself, but is passive to the one. For the one itself is impartible. But it is impartible in such a manner as to be exempt from all parts. Hence the all is not the same with the one. We therefore, have divided whole and the all, but Plato conjoins them, when he says: “Nothing however hinders but that when it is divided, it may have the passion of the one in all its parts, and that thus the all and whole may be one.” At the same time however, they are divided after the above mentioned manner. From these three arguments therefore, the Elean guest separates the one from the participants of the one, and doubts against those who assert all things to be one, viz. the one being, whole and the all; of which the all indeed participates of whole, and is a self-perfect multitude, consisting of many parts; but whole participates of being. For being is not whole, as Parmenides testifies. These therefore, having such an order as this, is it not necessary that the arguments of Plato should be made conformably to the three intelligible117 triads? For it was requisite, since Parmenides defined the one being in intelligibles, that Plato should from thence derive his demonstrations of the distinction between the one prior to intelligibles, and the one which is in intelligibles. For the doubts against Parmenides, evince in many places that the one which is participated derives its subsistence from the imparticipable union. The one118 therefore is not in these triads, but the one being and whole. But with respect to the all, it is evident that it is in the extremity of the intelligible order. For that which is in every respect perfect, and all intelligible multitude, have their subsistence in that extremity. But whole is in the middle centre, and in the bond of the intelligible breadth. For whole is adapted to have a subsistence prior to the all; since the all is a whole, but whole is not necessarily all. For the all is divided multitude; but that which contains multitude in itself, and which is not yet separated is whole. And this especially pertains to eternity. For eternity is the measure of all intelligible multitude, just as whole is the coherence and union of the all. But the one being is in the first triad. For the one is especially the peculiarity of this triad, as Timæus also has demonstrated. And being which is occultly and intelligibly being, and which is the cause of essence to all other things, primarily shines forth there. Again therefore, following the Elean guest, three triads present themselves to our view; the first indeed according to the one being; the second according to whole; and the third according to the all. To which also the demiurgus of the universe looking, adorns the sensible universe, defining the visible nature with reference to that intelligible all; but time with reference to the intelligible wholeness. On which account also time is continued. And as the intelligible whole comprehends two parts, but contains the parts in one boundary, after the same manner, time also is bounded by the now, but by its twofold parts is infinite. These things therefore, we shall shortly after more fully discuss when we speak concerning the Parmenides. For the conceptions of the Elean guest are the proteleia of the mysteries of the Parmenides. Before however we turn to the Parmenides, let us discuss, if it is agreeable to you, the three triads from the beginning, collecting the conception of Plato from his assertions that are scattered in many places.

Chapter XXI.

There are three triads therefore, as we have frequently observed, and they are divided after this manner into bound, infinity, and that which is mixed. Hence there are triple intelligible bounds, triple infinities, and triple mixtures. But of every intelligible triad, the bound in each is denominated father; the infinite, power; and that which is mixed, intellect. And let not anyone apprehend that these names are foreign from the philosophy of Plato. For it will appear that he uses these appellations in the before mentioned triads more than any one. For he denominates the first God father and lord in his Epistles. It is evident however, that as the first God surpasses even the paternal order, the first paternal is in the intelligible Gods. For these are they that are most eminently allied to the one, and that intelligibly unfold his ineffable and unknown union. If therefore the first God is denominated one and father from the natures that proximately proceed from him,—if this be the case, as the intelligible Gods are primarily unities, so likewise they are primarily fathers. For Plato gives names to the ineffable in a twofold respect, either from the summits of beings, or from all beings. For through these the transcendency of the one is known. Moreover, the Elean guest calls being that which is powerful and power. The first power therefore exists prior to being, and is united to the father; but it particularly accords with being, which also it fills. Hence being as participating of power is denominated powerful; but as united to it, and producing all beings according to it, it is called power. If however both Plato himself, and his most genuine disciples, frequently call all [true] beings intellect (on which account, in many places they make three principles, the good, intellect and soul, denominating every [true] being intellect) you will also have the third in these intellect. But it is necessary not to be ignorant of the difference. For with respect to intellect, one kind is intellect as with reference to hyparxis. For when we denominate the unity in each triad intelligible, as the object of desire to being, and as filling being, then we call that which ranks as the third in the triad intellect. For it is intelligible as essence and intellect, but not as the intellect of essence, but of father and deity. For every participated deity is intelligible, as being the plenitude of its participant. But another kind is intellect which is the intellect of essence; according to which we say that the being of the third triad, is the intellect of that which is primarily being. For this is essential intellect, being allotted its own essence by energizing.119 For all things are essentially in it, and both the more simple genera, and the primary paradigms; for it is intelligible intellect. But the third kind is intellectual intellect, which subsists analogous to intelligible intellect, is conjoined with it, and is filled from it, possessing intellectually those things which are in the other intelligibly. And in short, it is necessary every where that such things as are first according to each series, should have the form of the things that are prior to them. Hence also they are called things first, and possess a certain transcendency of essence towards coordinate natures. Since therefore, that which is prior to intelligibles is God, the first intelligibles are Gods and unities. And since the intelligible is essential, the first intellects are essences. Since also intellect is every where according to its own nature intellectual, the first souls are intellectual. Because likewise, souls are the plenitudes of life, the first of bodies are most vital. And because the bodies that are perpetual are moved in a circle, the summits of material bodies are moved in conjunction with those bodies that are perpetual. This therefore is the cause why the unities are frequently called intelligibles, and beings intelligible intellects.

That Plato however knew this triad, I mean father, power and intellect, we shall learn by looking to the demiurgic order. For in this the triad is most remarkably apparent. Hence, on account of its union with the intelligible, it is filled with this triad, and possesses these things in a more divided manner than animal itself, or intelligible eternity. Immediately therefore, in the beginning of the fabrication in the Timæus, the demiurgus calls himself father, “Of which works I am the demiurgus and father.” But shortly after he unfolds his power, “Imitating my power in your generation.” This therefore is also wonderful, that he has delivered to us the most theological conception concerning power. For in the first place indeed, he calls it the power of the father, when he says, “Of which works I am the demiurgus and father,” and that the power is his, [is evident from the words,] “Imitating my power:” so that according to Plato power is of the father. And in the next place, he ascribes to this power a peculiarity generative of the whole of things; for this is evident from the words “In your generation.” Power therefore is the cause of generation and of the progression of beings. And in the last place, he delivers the intellectual peculiarity of the demiurgus. “Having thus spoke, again into the former crater in which he had tempered the soul of the universe, he poured mingling the remainder of the former mixture.” For to pour, to mingle, mixture, and to be productive of soul, pertain to intellect. Though what necessity is there for asserting these things, since prior to this he calls the demiurgus intellect. “Whatever ideas therefore intellect perceived by the dianoetic energy in animal itself, such and so many he conceived it necessary for this universe to contain.” Hence the demiurgus is father, and power and intellect. And he possesses these things as much as possible on account of intelligibles. For he is a God as father, on account of them. He is also power, and the generator of wholes, and knows beings intellectually, on account of them. For in them intelligible knowledge first subsists. Much more therefore are father, power and intellect in intelligibles; from which also the demiurgus being filled, participates of this triad. For Plato assumes each of these analogously; For as the paternal triad in intelligibles gives subsistence to intelligible eternity, so the demiurgus makes those works to be indissoluble of which he is the father. And as in intelligibles, eternity proceeding according to all power generates intelligible animal itself, so the demiurgic power gives subsistence to mundane animals that are perpetual and divine, and imparts to the junior Gods another power which is generative of mortal animals. That any one therefore may assume these names from Plato is evident from what has been said.

Since however, being has an hypostasis triply in intelligibles, one is primarily being and prior to the eternal; but another is secondarily being, and the first eternity; and another is being ultimately, and is intelligible and eternal intellect. And here indeed there is being, but there eternity, and there intellect. And eternity is more comprehensive than intellect; but being than eternity. For every intellect is eternal, but not every thing eternal is intellect. For soul according to its essence is eternal, and every thing which participates of eternity, participates also by a much greater priority of being. For with perpetuity of existence, existence is entirely consubsistent. But that which participates of existence is not universally eternally being. For bodies also participate in a certain respect of the nature of existence, but they are not eternal. Intellect therefore constitutes an intellectual essence only, so far as it is intellect; since so far as it is also life and being it constitutes all things. But eternity constitutes both the intellectual and psychical essence. For the mixture [in the second triad] was intelligible life. But being constitutes the intellectual, the psychical, and the corporeal life. For matter also is being [most obscurely,] and is capacity indeed, but formless being, and non-being, falling off from the participation of being. If, however, someone should say that it is being in power or capacity, yet it has this power from being. For capacity is the forerunning participation of energy. And thus much concerning these things.

But what sufficient argument of division does Socrates afford us in the Phædrus, concerning these intelligible triads? And how from what is delivered by him may we recur to the conception of the hypostasis of the most principal Gods? Socrates therefore in that dialogue, being inspired by the Nymphs, celebrates every thing divine as beautiful, wise and good, and says that by these the soul is nourished. But if every thing divine is a thing of this kind, this is the case with the intelligible by a much greater priority. And all these indeed are every where, but in the first triad, the good principally subsists; in the second the wise; and in the third the beautiful. For in this there is the most beautiful of intelligibles. But in the second triad truth and the first intelligence subsist. And in the first there is the commensurate, which we say is the same as the good. But Socrates in the Philebus says that the element of the good is the desirable, the sufficient, and the perfect. The desirable therefore pertains indeed to bound; for it is the union and goodness of all the triad, and the triad converges about it. But the sufficient pertains to infinity. For sufficiency is a power capable of pervading to all things, and of being present to all things without impediment. And the perfect pertains to that which is mixed. For this is that which is primarily triadic; since every mixture has its coalition from the triad. The elements therefore of the good unfold to us the first triad; and the elements of intelligible Wisdom, the second triad. But every thing wise is full of being, is generative of truth, and is convertive of imperfect natures to their perfection. The full therefore pertains to the second bound; for this is uniformly filled with the participation of the natures prior to itself. For the full is every where adapted to bound, just as that which cannot be filled is adapted to the infinite. But the prolific pertains to the second power, and to infinity. For that which does not abide in the fullness of itself, but is prolific and generative of other things, is especially indicative of divine infinity. And the convertive pertains to that which is mixed. For this as being allotted the end of the triad, converts every thing imperfect to the full, and unites itself prior to other things to the bound of the whole triad.

Chapter XXII.

Moreover, the elements of beauty are the peculiarities of the third triad of intelligibles. But these are, as we have before observed, the lovely, the delicate, and the splendid. the lovely therefore, being arranged analogous to the desirable, pertains to bound. But the delicate being coordinate to the sufficient, pertains to the infinite power which is in the beautiful. And the splendid is of an intellectual peculiarity. For this is the beautiful of beauty; is that which illuminates all things, and astonishes those that are able to behold it. And as apparent beauty shining most manifestly, is seen through the clearest of the senses (for the objects of this sense have many differences according to Aristotle, and this sense pervades farther than the rest) so likewise intelligible beauty appears to the intellect of the soul shining intelligibly. For it is an intelligible form. And on this account the splendor of beauty is apparent to intellect. Splendid beauty therefore, as Socrates calls it, shines forth at the extremity of the intelligible order. For this is the most splendid of intelligibles, is intelligible intellect, and is that which emits the intelligible light, that when it appeared astonished the intellectual Gods, and made them admire their father, as Orpheus says. Such therefore is the preparation to the science of the intelligible Gods which may from these things be assumed. And now it will appear how beauty is indeed occultly in the end of the first intelligible triad, but subsists in the third triad so as to have manifestly proceeded into light. For in the former it subsists according to one form only; but in the latter it subsists triadically. It is also evident how each of the triads is at one and the same time a monad and a triad. For the first triad being characterized according to the good, derives its completion from the three elements of the good. But the second being characterized by the wise is contained in the triad of wisdom. And the third subsisting according to the beautiful, is all-perfect through the triad of beauty. If however the beautiful is occultly in the first triad, and shines forth triadically in the third, it is evident that intelligible intellect loves the first triad, and has love conjoined with its beauty. And this is the intelligible love of the first beauty. From these therefore, intellectual love proceeds, together with faith and truth, as we have before observed. For the three intelligible monads, the good, the wise and the beautiful, constitute three powers which lead upwards all other things, and prior to other things the intellectual Gods. Concerning these things however, we shall speak hereafter.

Chapter XXIII.

Let us now then direct our attention to the theory of the Parmenides. But I wish again to remind the reader of what we have before demonstrated. It has been shown therefore, that it is necessary to divide the second hypothesis into the whole progressions of the one being; and that this hypothesis is nothing else than the generation and progression of the Gods, proceeding supernally from the supreme union of intelligibles as far as to a deified essence. For the discussion is not, as some say it is, in the first hypothesis, concerning God and the Gods. For it was not lawful to Parmenides to conjoin multitude with the one, and the one with multitude. For the first God is perfectly exempt from the whole of things. But in the first hypothesis essence, and even the one itself, are taken away from the first God. That such an ablation, however, as this is not adapted to the other Gods is evident to every one. Moreover, neither does Parmenides in the first hypothesis speak about the intelligible Gods, as they say he does; for they assert that the negations are of these Gods, because they are conjoined with the one, and in simplicity and union precede120 all the divine genera. For how can the similar or the dissimilar, or contact and the privation of contact, and all the other particulars which are denied of the one, be inherent in the intelligible Gods? They appear indeed to me to be right in asserting that the things which are taken away are similitudes of the Gods; but they do not speak rightly when they say that all of them are similitudes of the intelligible Gods. To which it may be added, in opposition to this assertion, that the discussion is again concerning the intelligible Gods in the second hypothesis. For the things which are denied in the first, are affirmed in the second hypothesis. This therefore, as I have said, is demonstrated that the conclusions with reference to each other have the order of prior and posterior, of causes and effects. It is necessary therefore, that proceeding from the beginning, we should adapt the first conclusions to the first orders, the middle conclusions to the middle orders, and the last conclusions to the last orders, and should demonstrate that as many questions are asked, as there are progressions of the divine orders. And in the first place, we must deliver the doctrine of Parmenides concerning the intelligible Gods, of whom we have proposed to speak; since Plato speaks about these in many places, partly indicating, and partly clearly unfolding his meaning.

It is necessary however, that we should collect into one the elaborate and synoptical theory about each order, since it would not be proper now to repeat the exposition which we have given in our commentaries on that dialogue. But assuming each of the conclusions itself by itself, I will endeavour to refer it to an appropriate order of the Gods, following in so doing the divine inspirations of our leader [Syrianus]. For we also through his assistance have with a divine head pursued these sacred paths about the theory of the Parmenides being, agitated with a divine fury, and wakened as from a profound sleep to this arcane mystic discipline. And thus much concerning the mode of the whole of the conclusions. But from hence I shall pass to the narration of the things proposed.

The first and imparticipable one therefore, which pre-exists, beyond the whole of things, and not only beyond the unities that participate, but also those that are participated, is celebrated through the first hypothesis, being demonstrated to be the cause of all things ineffably, but not being defined itself in any one of all things, nor having any power or peculiarity of a kindred nature with the other Gods. But after this [imparticipable one,] that which is alone superessential and surpassing, and unmingled with all hyparxis, is a unity participated by being, and constituting about itself the first essence, and by the addition of this participation becoming more redundant than that which is primarily one. This however is a superessential hyparxis, and the hyparxis of the first intelligible triad. As there are therefore these two things in the first triad, viz. the one and being, and the former generates, but the latter is generated, and the former perfects, but the latter is perfected, it is necessary that the middle of both should be power, through which and together with which the one constitutes and is perfective of being. For the progression of being from the one, and its conversion to the one, is through power. For what else conjoins being to the one, or causes the one to be participated by being except power? For it is the progression of the one, and its extension to being. Hence, in all the divine genera powers precede progressions and generations. This triad therefore, the one, power and being, is the summit of intelligibles. The first of these indeed producing; the third being produced; and the second being suspended from the one, but coalescing with being.

Chapter XXIV.

This triad therefore, Parmenides delivers immediately in the beginning of the second hypothesis, adjoining to the one the most simple participation of essence. But he calls it the one being, and says that being participates of the one, and the one of being. The participation however of these is different. For the one121 indeed so participates of being, as illuminating and filling, and deifying being; but being so participates of the one, as suspended from the one, and deified by it. But the habitude which is the middle of both, is not with them void of essence. For neither is the habitude which is among sensibles in no respect being, and much more is this the case with the habitude which is there. But this habitude is biformed. For it is of the one, and is connascent with being. For it is the motion of the one, and its progression into being. Parmenides delivers this triad, beginning what he says about it as follows: “See therefore from the beginning if the one is. Is it possible then for it to be, and yet not to participate of essence? It is not possible.” But he ends speaking about it in the following words: “Will therefore that which is said be any thing else than this, that the one participates of essence, when it is summarily asserted by any one that the one is? It will not.” This therefore is the first intelligible triad, the one, being, and the habitude of both, through which being is of the one and the one of being, in a manner perfectly admirable; Plato indicating through these things, that the father is the father of intellect, and that intellect is the intellect of the father, and that power is concealed between the extremes. For deity is the father of the triad, and being is the intellect of this deity. Yet it is not intellect in the same way as we are accustomed to call the intellect of essence. For every such intellect stands still and is moved, as the Elean guest says. But that which is primarily being, neither stands still, nor is moved, as he also teaches. The first triad therefore is called one being; since power is here occultly. For the triad does not proceed from itself; but subsists without separation and uniformly, being primarily defined according to divine union. Hence, this is the first participation of essence, which participates of the one through power as the middle, which collects together and separates both the one and being. And it is superessential indeed, but is conjoined with essence. We must never think therefore that all power is the progeny of essence. For the powers of the Gods are superessential, and are consubsistent with the unities themselves of the Gods. And through this power the Gods are generative of beings. Rightly therefore, does poetry every where assert that the Gods are able to do all things. For essential powers indeed are not capable of effecting all things; since they are not constitutive of superessential natures. The first triad therefore, is through these things unfolded to us by Parmenides.

Chapter XXV.

But immediately after this, the second triad is allotted a progression, which Parmenides characterizes by intelligible wholeness, as we have shown in the Sophista. For the first triad being uniform, and possessing all things intelligibly and occultly, viz. hyparxis, power and being, so that power which is the cause of division, subsisting between the one and being, is concealed, and becomes apparent through the communion of the extremes with each other,—the second triad proceeds, being characterized by the first intelligible power, and having the monads in itself distinguished from each other. For all things being united and without distinction in the first triad, distinction and separation shine forth in this triad. Being also and power are more divided from each other. And that which consists of these is no longer one being [or being characterized by the one,] but is a whole, so that it has the one and being in itself as parts. For above indeed [i.e. in the first triad] all things are prior to parts and wholeness. But in this triad there are both parts and a whole, power unfolding itself into light. For as there is separation here, there are parts and the whole consisting of these. The second triad therefore is called intelligible wholeness. But the parts of it, the one and being, I call the extremes. And power being here the middle, connects the one and being, and does not cause them to be one, in the same manner as in the first triad. Since also it is the middle of both, through its communion indeed with being, it renders the one one being; but through its communion with the one, it perfectly causes being to be one. And thus the one being consists of two parts, viz. of being which is characterised by the one, and of the one which is characterized by being, as Parmenides himself says. He begins therefore to speak about this triad as follows: “Again therefore, let us say if the one is what will happen. Consider then if it is not necessary that this hypothesis should signify the one to be a thing of such a kind as to have parts?” But he ends in the following words: “That which is one therefore is a whole, and has a part.”

Through these things therefore Parmenides defines the second order of intelligibles to be a wholeness. For as existence is derived to all things from the first triad, so whole from the second, and an all-perfect division from the third. This however will be considered by us hereafter. Wholeness therefore is triple, being either prior to parts, or consisting of parts, or subsisting in a part, according to the doctrine of Plato. For in the Politicus indeed, he calls genus a whole, but species a part, not that genus derives its completion from species, but exists prior to it. And in the Timæus he says that the world is a whole of wholes. And all the world indeed derives its completion from parts that are wholes; but each of the parts is a whole, not as the universe is, but partially. Wholeness therefore, being triple as we have said, according to Plato, the unity, and the intelligible and occult cause of these is now delivered, unically comprehending and constituting three wholenesses; according to the hyparxis indeed of itself, the wholeness prior to parts; but according to its power, the wholeness which is from parts; and according to its being the wholeness which is in a part. For the one is prior to all multitude; but power communicates in a certain respect with both the extremes, and comprehends in itself the peculiarities of them; and being in a certain respect participates of the one. Hence the first of the wholenesses, or that which is prior to parts is derived from a unical hyparxis. For it is a monad, and is itself constitutive of parts, and of the multitude which is in them. But the second wholeness is from power. For it derives its completion from parts, just as in the power which is collective of the one and being, the extremes in a certain respect shine forth to the view. And the third wholeness is from being. For being is a part, and is the progeny both of power and the one,122 and possesses each of these partially. After the intelligible therefore, three wholenesses are divided according to the different orders of beings. But the intelligible wholeness comprehends the three unically, and is the intelligibly connective monad of this triad, every way extending the powers of itself from the middle of the intelligible and occult order.

Chapter XXVI.

Immediately after this triad we may see another proceeding, in which all intelligible multitude shines forth, and which Parmenides indeed constitutes a wholeness, but a wholeness consisting of many parts. For after the occult union of the first triad, and the dyadic separation of the second, the progression of the third is generated, which has indeed its subsistence from parts, but the parts are many, with the multitude of which the triad prior to it is parturient. For in this triad there is a unity, and power, and being. But the one is multiplied, and also being and power. And thus all the triad indeed is a wholeness; but each of its extremes, viz. the one and being, as it is multitude conjoined through collective power, is again divided and multiplied. For this power conjoining unical multitude to the multitude of beings, of some of these it causes each through progression to be being characterized by the one, but of others each according to participation to be the one characterized by being. For here indeed there are two parts of the wholeness, the one and being; but the one participates of being, for it is conjoined with it; and being participates of the one. the one of being therefore, is again divided, so that the one and being generate a second unity conjoined with the part of being. But being participating of the one, is again separated into being and the one. For it generates a more partial being suspended from a more partial unity. And being consists of more partial deified beings, and is a more specific monad. The cause however of this progression is power. For power is effective of two things, and is the operator of multitude. For the one indeed calls forth into multitude, but being converts to the participation of the divine unities. Whence therefore does Parmenides begin to teach us concerning this triad? And where does he conclude his discourse about it? The beginning, therefore, of what he says on this subject is as follows: “What then? Can each of these parts of the one being, viz. the one and being, desert each other, so that the one shall not be a part of being, or being shall not be a part of the one? It cannot be.”123 But he ends thus: “Will not, therefore, the one being after this manner be an infinite multitude? It seems so.”

In the first place, therefore, it is proper to understand the manner of the progression of the divine genera; and that conformably to the intelligible monad, which we arrange according to the one being, the duad posterior to it which we call a wholeness [proceeds.] But we say that it consists of two parts which are separated by power, and that intelligible multitude presents itself to the view from the monad and the duad. For when all things are said to be parts of the one being, viz. secondary things, and such as become apparent through the separating cause of power, then Parmenides delivers the union which pervades from the monad to the third triad. But when power separating and conjoining the unities and beings, gives completion to multitude, then the participation of the duad becomes perfectly apparent, as I think Parmenides demonstrates when he says, “so that it is necessary two things should always be generated, and that there should never be one thing (only.)” This triad, therefore, proceeds according to both the pre-existent triads, flowing according to the Oracle, and proceeding to all intelligible multitude. For infinite multitude is indicative of this flux, and of the incomprehensible nature of power. Hence, in the first place, I have said that the hypostasis of this triad is through these things demonstrated to be suspended from the triads prior to it. And in the next place, I say, that this triad, according to Parmenides, is primogenial. For this first imparts the power of being generated; and Parmenides calls the multitude which is in it in generation, [i.e. becoming to be, or rising into existence.] For he says: “And the part will be generated from two parts at least.” And again: “Whatever part is generated, will always have these parts.” And in what follows: “So that it is necessary it should always be generated two things, and should never be one.” Does not he, therefore, who frequently uses the word generation in teaching concerning the progression of the intelligible multitude, proclaim that the natures prior to this order are more united to each other? But this order proceeds to a greater extent, unfolds the occult nature of the triads prior to itself, and is primogenial, unfolding in itself prolific power.

In addition to these things also, it is necessary to consider the infinity of multitude, not as those think fit to speak, who assume the infinite in quantity, but since in the principles of the whole of things, there are bound and infinity, the former being the cause of the union, but the latter of the separation of multitude, Parmenides calls the first and intelligible multitude infinite, because all multitude indeed, according to its own nature, is infinite, as being the progeny of the first infinity. All intelligible multitude, however, is a thing of this kind. For it is the first multitude, and multitude itself. But multitude itself is the first progeny of intelligible infinity. Intelligible multitude, therefore, is on this account infinite, as unfolding into light the first infinity, and this infinity is the same with the all-perfect. For that which has proceeded to the all, and as far as it is requisite an intelligible nature should proceed, through the power which is generative of the whole of things, is infinite. For it cannot be comprehended by any other thing. But intelligible multitude is comprehensive of all intelligible multitude. For if indeed that which is primarily infinite, was infinite according to quantity, it would be requisite to admit that the intelligible is infinite multitude of this kind. Since, however, the intelligible is infinite power, it is necessary that the participant of the primarily infinite, should cause infinity to shine forth according to the power which is comprehensive of all prior natures. And if it be requisite to relate my own opinion, as that which is primarily one is primarily bound, so that which is primarily multitude is infinite multitude. For it receives the whole power of infinity, and producing all unities, and all beings, as far as to the most individual natures, it possesses never-failing power. It is, therefore, more total than all multitude, and is an incomprehensible infinite. Hence unfolding into light all multitude, it bounds and measures it by infinite power, and through wholeness introduces bound to all things. These things, therefore, may be assumed from Parmenides concerning the third intelligible triad.

Chapter XXVII.

Let us in the next place speak in common about all the intelligible triads. With respect to the first triad, therefore, which is occult, and is allotted the intelligible summit in intelligibles, Plato at one time proceeding from the union which is in it, and its exempt transcendency with respect to the other triads, denominates it one, as in the Timæus. For eternity, says he, abides in one. But reason evinces that this one is the first triad of intelligibles. But at another time proceeding from the extremities which are in it, viz. that which is participated, and that which participates, he calls it the one being, considering the power which is comprehended in these as ineffable, in consequence of its subsisting uniformly and occultly. And at another time, he unfolds the whole of it, according to the monads which are in it, bound, infinity, and that which is mixed; bound indeed indicating its divine hyparxis, infinity its generative power, and that which is mixed, the essence proceeding from this power. Plato, therefore, as I have said, teaches us through these names the first intelligible triad; at one time indeed through one name, but at another through two names, and at another again through three names, unfolding it to our view. For there is a triad in it, according to which the whole is characterized; and a duad according to which the extremes communicate with each other; and a monad which exhibits the ineffable, occult, and unical nature of the first, through its own monads.

But the second triad after this, Plato denominates in the Timæus indeed, eternity; but in the Parmenides the first wholeness. How these, however, are allotted the same peculiarity we may learn by considering that every thing eternal is indeed a whole; viz. if it is perfectly eternal, and has the whole of its essence and energy at once present. For every intellect is a thing of this kind, perfectly establishing at once in itself, the whole of intellectual perception. It likewise does not possess one part of being, but is deprived of another part, nor does it partially participate of energy, but it summarily comprehends the whole of being, and the whole of intelligence. If, however, in its energies it proceeded according to time, but had an eternal essence, it would be allotted the whole of the latter, and this always stably the same, but would possess the former variably, so as to exert different energies at different times. Eternity, therefore, is every where the cause of wholeness to the natures to which it is primarily present. But whole also is every where comprehensive of perpetuity. For no whole abandons either its essence or its proper perfection; but that which is primarily corrupted and vitiated is a partial nature. For on this account also the whole world is perpetual, viz. because it is a whole, and this is likewise the case with all that the heavens contain, and with each of the elements. For every where wholeness is connective of subjects. Hence eternity is consubsistent with wholeness, and whole and eternity are the same. Each also is a measure, the one of things eternal, and of all perpetual natures, but the other of parts and of all multitude. Since, however, there are three wholenesses, one indeed being prior to parts, another subsisting from parts, and another in a part,—through the wholeness which is prior to parts, eternity measures those unities of divine natures which are exempt from beings; but through the wholeness which derives its subsistence from parts, it measures the unities that are coordinate with beings; and through the wholeness which is in a part, it measures all beings and whole essences. For these wholenesses being parts of the divine unities, they possess partibly what pre-exists unically in the unities. And, moreover, eternity is nothing else than the ever shining forth from the unity which is connected with being. But whole consists of two parts, viz. of the one and being, power existing as the collector of the parts. According to both these conceptions, therefore, the duad pertaining to the middle intelligible triad, unfolds the uniform and occult hypostasis of the first triad.

Moreover, in the Timæus, Plato calls the third triad of intelligibles, animal itself, intelligible, all-perfect, and only-begotten. But in the Parmenides he denominates it infinite multitude, and a wholeness comprehensive of many parts. And in the Sophista he perpetually calls it the intelligible distributed into many beings. All these assertions, therefore, are the progeny of one science, and tend to one intelligible truth. For when Timæus calls this triad intelligible animal, he also asserts it to be all-perfect, and comprehensive of intelligible animals as its parts, both according to one and according to parts. Hence animal itself is according to this a whole, comprehensive of intelligible animals as its parts. And Parmenides, when he shows that the one being is all-perfect multitude, demonstrates that it is consubsistent with this order. For the infinite will be all-powerful and all-perfect, as we have before observed, comprehending in itself an intelligible multitude of parts, which also it generates; some of these being more total, but others more partial, and as Timæus says, both according to one, and according to genera. Farther still, as he calls animal itself eternal and only-begotten, so Parmenides first attributes the ever and to be generated, to infinite multitude, when he says, “And thus, according to the same reasoning, whatever part is generated will always possess these two parts: for the one will always contain being, and being the one; so that two things will necessarily always be generated, and no part will ever be one”

Who, therefore, so clearly reminds us of eternal animal, and the primogenial triad, as Parmenides, first assuming in this order generation and the ever, and so continually using each of these? The same thing, therefore, is both an all-perfect animal, and all-powerful intelligible multitude. For the first infinity being power, and every intelligible subsisting according to it, and receiving from it a division into parts, I think it proper to call it all-powerful; thus avoiding the appellation of the infinite, which disturbs the multitude. That, however, which in these things is both difficult to understand, and for which Plato especially deserves to be admired, we must not omit, but demonstrate to the genuine lovers of truth. For intelligible animal comprehends four intelligible ideas, according to which it not only constitutes the genera of Gods, but also the more excellent kind of beings after the Gods, and also mortal animals themselves; for generating it extends the idea of air-wandering, the idea of aquatic, and the idea of terrestrial animals, from the Gods as far as to mortal animals. Since animal itself, therefore, comprehends four ideas, and through the same paradigms produces totally divine, dæmoniacal and mortal animals, this deservedly produces a doubt in those who love the contemplation of truth, how, the causes being the same, and the same primary paradigms pre-existing, some of the natures which are constituted are Gods, others dæmons, and others mortal animals. For all these being generated with reference to one form, how is it possible they should not have the same form and nature; since it is requisite that one idea should every where be generative of things that have a similar form? For on this account we admit the hypothesis of ideas, in order that the intelligible genus of Gods may possess and contain prior to multitude monads productive of similar natures. This doubt,124 therefore, being so difficult, some one may solve it logically by saying, that all things which subsist according to one form are not synonymous, and that they do not similarly participate of their common cause, but some things primarily, and others ultimately. For each form is the leader of a certain series, beginning supernally, and subsiding as far as to the last of things. For according to the oracle, all things begin supernally to extend their admirable rays to the downward place. Hence it will not be wonderful that the same idea should pre-exist as the cause of Gods, dæmons, and mortal animals, producing all things totally, and delivering the more partial separation of things to the demiurgic order, in the same manner as this order delivers the production of individuals to the junior Gods. For intelligibles are the causes of whole series; but intellectuals of divisions according to common genera. Supermundane forms are the causes of specific differences; but mundane of things which are now individuals. For they are causes which are moved, and are the leaders of mutation to their progeny.

If however it be requisite to survey the thing itself by itself, and how one intelligible form is the cause125 of Gods, and dæmons and mortals, Parmenides alone is able to satisfy us about the parts which are contained in the intelligible multitude. For he characterizes some things according to being, but others according to the one. For the one being, indeed, is absorbed by the one, but being which is one is rather absorbed by being, and the one being, and being which is one, contain in themselves each of the intelligible animals. According to the one being, therefore, Parmenides constitutes the divine genera, together with an appropriate peculiarity. But according to being which is one, he constitutes the genera posterior to the Gods. And according to the one being indeed of being which is one, he constitutes the genera of dæmons, but according to being which is one, the mortal genera. And again, according to the one being of the one being, he constitutes the first and highest genera of the Gods; but according to the being which is one of it, the second genera, and which have an angelic order. And thus all things are full of Gods, angels, dæmons, animals, and mortal natures. And you see how the medium is preserved of the more excellent genera. For being which is one is the angelic boundary of the one being which produces the Gods. But the one being is the dæmoniacal summit of being which is one, and which adorns secondary natures. As to the unions, however, of secondary natures, it is not immanifest that they approximate to multitude, and to the progression of the natures placed above them. Nor must you wonder if being which is one is the cause of angels, but the one being of dæmons. For in one place, being which is one is a part of the one being, but in another the one being is a part of being which is one. And here, indeed, the union is essential, but there essence has the form of the one. For the summit of being which is one is a thing of this kind. Deservedly, therefore, is intelligible multitude all-powerful, and intelligible animal all-perfect, as being at once the cause of all things, and this as far as to the last of things, Plato all but exclaiming, [in the words of the Chaldæan Oracle,] “Thence a fiery whirlwind sweeping along, obscures the flower of fire, leaping at the same time into the cavities of the worlds.” For the divine unities proceeding gradually, generate the multitude of all mundane natures. This triad, therefore, is the fountain and cause of all things: and from it all the life, and all the progression of the Gods, and the genera superior to us, and of mortal animals subsist. For it produces totally and uniformly all things, and binds to itself the whole principles of the divisible rivers of vivification, and the production of forms.

Chapter XXVIII.

Again, therefore, let us recur from the divided theory of intelligibles to the all-perfect and one science of them, and let us say to ourselves, that this intelligible genus of the Gods is unically exempt from all the other divine orders, and is neither called intelligible as known by a partial intellect, nor as comprehended by intelligence in conjunction with reason, nor yet as pre-existing in all-perfect intellect. For it transcends both total and partial intelligibles, and exists prior to all intellectual objects, being an imparticipable and divine intelligible. Hence, also, it is allotted the same transcendency with respect to all the intelligible orders, as the one with respect to every genus of the Gods. For this intelligible is imparticipable, and supernally fills the divine and intellectual orders. For if every intellect is intelligible to itself, it possesses this property through the intelligible Gods. For plenitude is derived to all things from thence. And thus the intelligible is at the same time exempt from intellect, existing itself by itself; and at the same time the intelligible is not external to intellect. For there is an intelligible which is conjoined with intellect; the coordinate being derived from that which is exempt, the participated from that which is imparticipable, that which is inherent from that which is pre-existent, and that which is multiplied from that which is uniform. Intelligible simplicity, therefore, must not be defined to be such as that which we are accustomed to assert of intelligibles. For in these the one becomes equal to multitude, and separation to the uniform sameness of essence. But intelligible simplicity is uniform, without separation and occult, excelling every divisible form of life, and intellectual multitude. Hence I do not place intelligible simplicity in the order of idea. For this form is partial, and is subordinate to intelligible union. But I consider it as the hyparxis of divine natures, and as generative of the whole of the good which is distributed to all divine natures, and in which the Gods themselves subsist. For the goodness of the Gods, is neither form nor habit, but the plenitude of divine self-sufficiency and divine power, according to which the Gods fill all things with good. In a much greater degree, therefore, are the intelligible Gods, because they are united to the good, wholly full of superessential goodness, and being established in this, they contain in it the supreme hyparxis of themselves. Very properly, therefore, do we say that the intelligible Gods unfold the ineffable principle of all things, and his admirable transcendency and union; subsisting themselves indeed occultly, but comprehending multitude uniformly and unically; reigning over the whole of things exemptly, and being uncoordinated with all the other Gods. For as the good illuminates all things with superessential light, and exhibits the Gods who are the fathers of all things, so likewise the intelligible genus of Gods, according to a similitude to the good, imparts from itself to all the secondary Gods, intelligible plenitude. Hence, according to each distribution of the Gods, there is an appropriate intelligible multitude, just as a monad analogous to the good exists prior to each of the divine orders. And this monad indeed is the pre-existent leader of union to secondary natures. But intelligible multitude is the pre-existent source of beauty, self-sufficiency, power, essence, and all intelligible goods. For the Gods antecedently and intelligibly comprehend all intellectual natures, and contain in themselves all126 things according to supreme union.


Book IV.

Chapter I.

Let the discussion, therefore, of the intelligible Gods, unfolding the mystic doctrine of Plato concerning them be here terminated by us. But it entirely follows in the next place, that we should consider after the same manner the narration concerning the intellectual Gods. Since, however, of intellectuals some are both intelligible and intellectual, viz. such as according to the Oracle perceiving intellectually are at the same time intellectually perceived; but others are intellectual only;—this being the case, beginning from those that are intellectual and at the same time intelligible, we will in the first place determine what pertains to them in common, from which we shall render the doctrine concerning each order of them more perspicuous. Again, therefore, let us recall to our memory those things which we a little before demonstrated, viz. that there are three total monads which are entirely beyond the Gods that are divided according to parts, viz. essence, life and intellect. And these prior to the partial participate of the superessential unities. Essence, however, is exempt from the rest. Life is allotted the middle order. But intellect converts the end of this triad to the beginning. And all these are indeed intelligibly in essence; but intelligibly and intellectually in life; and intellectually in intellect. And as secondary natures always participate of the natures placed above them, but these prior to participation presubsist themselves by themselves; and as in each order there are these three things, the cause of abiding, the cause of proceeding, and the cause of conversion, though intellect is more formalized according to conversion, but life according to progression, and essence according to permanency;—this being the case, it is certainly necessary that the first intellectual Gods being essentialized according to life should conjoin imparticipable intellect, and the intelligible genus of Gods, and that they should uniformly connect the various progressions of secondary, but unfold and expand the stable hyparxis of precedaneous causes. For imparticipable life is a thing of this kind, circumscribing that which is primarily being and intellect, and participating indeed of being, but participated by intellect. But this is the same thing as to assert that intelligence is filled indeed from the intelligible, but fills intellect from itself. For being is the intelligible, but life is intelligence. And being indeed is characterized according to a divine hyparxis; but life according to power; and intellect according to intelligible intellect. For as being is to hyparxis, so is intellect to being. And as intelligible power is to each of the extremes, so is life to the intelligible and to intellect. And as power is generated from the one and hyparxis, but constitutes in conjunction with the one the nature of being, so life proceeds indeed from being, and gives subsistence to a power different from that which is in being. As also the one itself which exists prior to being, imparts to being from itself a second unity, so likewise life being allotted an hypostasis prior to intellect, generates intellectual life. For true being and the intelligible which precede the rest, supply both life and intellect with union. Imparticipable life, therefore, but which participates of the intelligible monads is the second after being, is generative of imparticipable intellect, and giving completion to this medium, and containing the bond of intelligibles and intellectuals, is illuminated by Gods who are allotted a union secondary to the occult subsistence of intelligibles, but preceding according to cause the separation of intellectual natures. For the unical, indivisible, simple, and primary nature of intelligibles, subsides through the medium of these Gods into multitude and separation, and the inexplicable evolution of the divine orders. Whence also, I think, the Gods who connectedly contain life which is infinite, being the middle of the intelligible and intellectual Gods, and carried in the divisions of themselves as in a vehicle, are called intelligible and at the same time intellectual; being filled indeed, from the first intelligibles, but filling the intellectual Gods. For we call the intelligible Gods intelligible, not as coordinate with intellect. For the intelligible which is in intellect is one thing, and that which produces the intellectual Gods another: and we denominate the Gods that subsist according to life intelligible and at the same time intellectual, not as giving completion to intellect, nor as being established according to intellectual intelligence, and imparting to intellect the power of intellectual perception, but to the intelligible the power of being intellectually perceived, but we give them this appellation, as deriving their subsistence from the intelligible monads, but generating all the intellectual hebdomads. And because they are illuminated indeed with intelligible life, but subsist prior to intellectuals, according to a generative cause, we think fit to denominate them in common, connecting their names from the extremes, in the same manner as they also are allotted a peculiarity collective of wholes in the divine orders.

It is evident, therefore, that they subsist according to this medium, and that they are proximate to the intelligible Gods, who are both monadic and triadic. For the intelligible triads, with reference indeed to the highest union and which is exempt from all things, are triads; but with reference to the divided essence of triads, they are monads, unfolding into light from themselves total triads. Since intelligibles, therefore, in their triadic progression, do not depart from a unical hyparxis, the intelligible and at the same time intellectual Gods subsist triadically, exhibiting in themselves the separation of the monads, and through divine difference, proceeding into multitude, and a variety of powers and essences. For the natures which subsist more remote from the one principle [of all things,] are more multiplied than the natures which are prior to them;127 and are diminished indeed in powers, and the comprehensions of secondary natures, but are divided into more numbers, and such as are more distant from the monad. They likewise relinquish the union which is the cause of primarily efficient natures, and variety is assumed by them in exchange for the occult hyparxis of those primary essences. According to this reasoning, therefore, the intelligible and intellectual separation is greater than the separation which is only intelligible. And of these again, the partial orders are allotted a much greater division, so as to unfold to us a multitude of Gods which cannot be comprehended in the numbers within the decad. Their peculiarities also are indescribable, and inexplicable by our conceptions, and are manifest only to the Gods themselves, and to the causes of them. Such, therefore, are the intelligible and intellectual Gods, and such is the peculiarity which they are allotted, a peculiarity connective of extremes, and which unfolds into light precedaneous, but converts secondary natures. For they intellectually perceive the Gods prior to them, but are objects of intellection to the Gods posterior to them. Hence also Timæus establishes all-perfect animal to be the most beautiful of intelligibles, because there are intelligibles posterior to it, which it surpasses in beauty, as being superior to them, and because it is the boundary of the first intelligibles, the natures posterior to it subsisting intellectually. According to this reasoning, therefore, the first intellectual Gods are also intelligible; and we do not, deriving these things from a foreign source, ascribe them to Plato, but they are asserted by us in consequence of receiving auxiliaries from him. This, however, will be more manifest through what follows.

Chapter II.

In the next place, therefore, we shall discuss the manner in which the Gods who illuminate the breadth of imparticipable life proceed from the intelligible Gods. Since then the intelligible Gods establish in themselves uniformly things multiplied, occultly such as are divided, and according to a certain admirable transcendency of simplicity, the various genera of beings,—hence the first intellectual Gods,128 unfolding their indistinct union, and the unknown nature of their hypostasis, and being filled through intelligible power and essential life with the prolific abundance of wholes, are allotted a kingdom which ranks as the second after them. And they always indeed produce, perfect, and connect them selves, but receive from the intelligible Gods an occult generation; from intelligible power indeed, receiving a peculiarity generative of all things; but from intelligible life which pre-exists according to cause in the intelligible, receiving the nature which is spread under them. For life is primarily indeed in intelligibles; but secondarily in intelligibles and intellectuals; and in a third degree in intellectuals; existing indeed according to cause in the first, but according to essence in the second, and according to participation in the last of these. The first intellectual, therefore, proceed from the intelligible Gods, multiplying indeed their union, and their unical powers, unfolding their occult hyparxis, and through prolific, connective, and perfective causes assimilating themselves to the essential, entire, and all-perfect transcendencies of intelligibles. For in intelligibles there were three primarily effective powers; one indeed constituting the essence of wholes; another measuring things which are multiplied; and another being productive of the forms of all generated natures.

And conformably to these, the intelligible and intellectual powers subsist; one indeed, by its very essence producing the life of secondary natures, according to a certain intelligible comprehension; but another being connective of every thing which is divided, and imparting by illumination the intelligible measure to those natures that relinquish the one union [of all things;] and another supplying all things with figure, and form and perfection. The intelligible and intellectual orders of the Gods, therefore, are generated according to all the intelligible causes. From power indeed, being allotted the peculiarity of progression; but from life receiving the portion of being which is suspended from them. For life is conjoined with power; since life is of itself infinite, all motion having infinity consubsistent with its nature, and the power of infinity, is generative of the whole of things. But from the triadic hypostasis of intelligibles, they receive a distribution into first, middle and last. For it is necessary that all things should be detained by a triadic progression, and that this should be the case prior to all [other] things with the intelligible and at the same time intellectual genera of Gods. For because they subsist as the middle of wholes, and give completion to the bond of the first orders, according to their summit indeed, they are assimilated to intelligibles, but according to their extremity, to intellectuals. And they are partly indeed intelligible, and partly intellectual. For everywhere the progressions of the divine genera are effected through continued similitude. And the first of subordinate are united to the ends of pre-existent causes. As however, the first and the last in the middle of wholes are both intelligible and intellectual, it is necessary there should be a connective medium of these, according to which medium the peculiarity of these Gods is principally apparent. For that which is intelligible and at the same time intellectual, in one part indeed is more abundant than, but in another equally communicates with both these. From these things, therefore, the continuity of the progression of the divine orders appears to be admirable. For the extremity of intelligibles indeed was intellectual, yet as in intelligibles. But the summit of intelligibles and at the same time intellectuals, is intelligible indeed, yet it possesses this peculiarity vitally. And again, the end of intelligibles and at the same time intellectuals, is intellectual, but it is vitally so. But the beginning of intellectuals, is intelligible, and presides over the intellectual Gods, yet it has the intelligible intellectually. And thus all the divine genera are allotted an indissoluble connexion and communion, an admirable friendship, and well-ordered diminution, and a transcendency, partly coordinate and partly exempt. That which proceeds too, is always in continuity with its producing cause; and secondary natures together with a firm establishment in their causes, make a progression from them. There is likewise one series and alliance of all things; secondary natures always subsisting from those prior to them, through similitude. After what manner, therefore, the intelligible and at the same time intellectual Gods, unfold themselves into light from the intelligible Gods, may through these things be recollected.

Chapter III.

In the next place, let us show how they are divided in their progressions, and what difference the triads of these Gods are allotted with respect to the intelligible triads. These Gods, therefore, are also divided triply, after the above mentioned manner; being conjoined indeed to the intelligible, through their summit; but to the intellectual through their end; and through the middle bond of the extremes, being allotted the peculiarity of each equally, and extending to both the intelligible and intellectual genera of Gods, as the centre of these two-fold orders, uniformly containing the communion of wholes. They are likewise divided triply, because in these all things, viz. essence, life, and intellect, are vitally, in the same manner as they are intelligibly in the Gods prior to them, and intellectually in the Gods that derive their subsistence from these. And essence indeed is the intelligible of life; but life is the middle and at the same time the peculiarity of this order; and intellect is the extremity, and that which is proximately carried in intellectuals as in a vehicle. All things therefore subsisting in these Gods, there will be a division of them into first, middle, and last genera. And in the third place, they are divided triply, because it is necessary that life should abide, proceed, and be converted to its principles; since of beings, the first triad was said to establish all things, and prior to other things the second triad. Eternity, therefore, abides stably in the first triad. But the triad posterior to this, is the supplier to wholes [and therefore to all things,] of progression, motion, and life according to energy. And the third triad is the supplier of conversion to the one, and of perfection which convolves all secondary natures to their principles. Hence it is necessary that the intelligible and at the same time intellectual Gods, should primarily participate of these three powers, and should abide indeed in the summit of themselves; but proceeding from thence, and extending themselves to all things, should again be converted to the intelligible place of survey, and conjoin to the beginning of their generation the end of their whole progression.

The intelligible and at the same time intellectual Gods therefore are, as I have said, triply divided. And essence indeed is that which ranks as first in them, but life is the middle, and intellect the extremity of them. Since however, each of these three is perfect, and participates of the intelligible monads, I mean of the essence which is there, of intelligible life, and of intelligible intellect, they are tripled according to the participation of primarily efficient causes. And the intelligible of life indeed possesses essence, intellect, and life intelligibly; but the intelligible and intellectual of it, possesses essence, life and intellect, intelligibly and at the same time intellectually; and the intellectual of it possesses these intellectually and intelligibly.129 And every where indeed, there is a triad in each of the sections, but in conjunction with an appropriate peculiarity. Hence three intelligible and at the same time intellectual triads present themselves to our view, which are indeed illuminated by the divine unities, but each of them contains an all-various multitude. For since in intelligibles, there was an all-powerful and all-perfect multitude, how is it possible that this multitude should not in a much greater degree, be evolved and multiplied, in the Gods secondary to the intelligible order, according to the prolific cause of them? Each triad therefore comprehends in itself a multitude of powers, and a variety of forms, producing intelligible multitude into energy, and unfolding into light the generative infinity of intelligibles. And we indeed, being impelled from the participants, discover the peculiarity of the participated superessential Gods. But according to the order of things, the intelligible and intellectual monads generate about themselves essences, and all lives, and the intellectual genera. And through these, they unfold the unknown transcendency of themselves, preserving by itself the pre-existent cause of the whole of things. There are however, as we have said, three intelligible triads. And there are also three triads posterior to these, which appear to be tripled from them, according to their prolific perfection.

But it is necessary that the peculiarity of the intelligible, and also of the intelligible and at the same time intellectual triad, should be defined according to another mode. For in the intelligible order indeed, each, triad had only the third part of being; for it consisted of bound, and infinity, and from both these. But this was essence indeed in the first triad, intelligible life in the second, and intelligible intellect in the third. The natures however prior to these were unities and superessential powers, which give completion to the whole triads. But in the intelligible and at the same time intellectual order, each triad has essence, life and intellect; one indeed intelligibly and at the same time intellectually, but more intelligibly, so far as it is in continuity with the first intelligibles; but another intellectually and intelligibly, but more intellectually, because it is proximately carried in intellectuals; and another according to an equal part, as it comprehends in itself both the peculiarities. Hence the first triad, that we may speak of each, was in intelligibles, bound, infinity, and essence; for essence was that which was primarily mixed. But here the first triad is essence, life and intellect, with appropriate unities. For essence is suspended from the first deity [of this triad,] life from the second, and intellect from the third. And these three superessential monads, unfold the monads of the first triad. But again, the second triad after this, was in the intelligible order, a superessential unity, power, and intelligible and occult life. Here however, essence, life and intellect are all vital, and are suspended from the Gods who contain the one bond of the whole of this order. For as the first unities were allotted a power unific of the middle genera, so the second unities after them, exhibit the connective peculiarity of primarily efficient causes. After these therefore, succeeds the third triad, which in the intelligible order indeed was unity, power, and intelligible intellect; but here it consists of three superessential Gods, who close the termination of the intelligible and at the same time intellectual Gods, and begird all things intellectually, I mean essence, life and intellect. They are likewise the suppliers of divine perfection,130 imitating the all-perfect intelligible triad, just as the connectedly containing Gods imitate the intelligible measure, and the Gods prior to these, the generative cause of intelligibles. The three intelligible therefore, and at the same time intellectual triads, are thus generated, and are allotted such a difference as this, with respect to the intelligible triads.

Chapter IV.

Again however, returning to Plato, let us accord with him, and exhibit the science which pre-exists with him concerning each of these triads. And in the first place, let us assume what is written in the Phædrus, and survey from the words themselves of Socrates, how he unfolds to us the whole of the orderly distinction of these triads, and the differences which it contains. In the Phædrus therefore, there are said to be twelve leaders who preside over the whole [of mundane concerns,] and who conduct all the mundane Gods, and all the herds of dæmons, and convert them to the intelligible nature. It is also said that Jupiter is the leader of all these twelve Gods, that he drives a winged chariot, adorns and takes care of all things, and brings all the army of Gods that follow him, first indeed to the place of survey within the heaven, and to the blessed spectacles, and discursive energies of the intelligibles which are there. But in the next place Jupiter brings them to the subcelestial arch which proximately begirds the heaven, and is contained in it, and after this to the heaven itself, and the back of heaven; where also divine souls stand, and being borne along together with the heaven, survey all the essence that is beyond it. Socrates further adds, that prior to the heaven there is what is called the supercelestial place, in which true and real essence, the plain of truth, the kingdom of Adrastia, and the divine choir of virtues subsist, and that souls being nourished through the intellection of these monads, are happily affected, following [in their contemplation] the circulation of the heaven.

These things therefore, are asserted in the Phædrus, Socrates being clearly inspired by divinity, and discussing mystic concerns. It is necessary however, prior to other things, to consider what the heaven is of which Socrates speaks, and in what order of beings it is established. For having discovered this, we may also survey the subcelestial arch, and the supercelestial place.131 For each of these is assumed according to habitude towards the heaven; the one indeed being primarily placed above it, but the other being primarily arranged under it.

Chapter V.

What therefore is the heaven to which Jupiter leads the Gods? For, if we should say that it is the sensible heaven, as certain other persons say it is, it will be necessary that the more excellent genera should be converted to things naturally subordinate to themselves. For if Jupiter the mighty leader in the heaven proceeds to this sensible heaven, and leads to it all the Gods that follow him, he will have a conversion to things subordinate, and posterior to himself. And together with Jupiter, this will also be the case with all the leaders, and the Gods and dæmons suspended from these; though the same Socrates in the Phædrus says, that even a partial soul when perfected is conversant with sublime concerns, and governs the whole world. How is it possible therefore, that the leaders of whole souls should be converted to the sensible heaven, and exchange the intelligible place of survey for an inferior allotment, when through these souls they preside over the universe, in order that they may illuminate mundane natures with a liberated and unrestrained power? In addition to these things also, what are the blessed intellections of the Gods within this sensible heaven, and what are the evolutions of all the knowledge of sensibles?132 For in short the Gods know sensibles, not by a conversion to them, but by containing in themselves the causes of them. Hence intellectually perceiving themselves, they know sensibles causally, and rule over them, not by looking to them, and verging to the subjects of their government, but by converting through love inferior natures to themselves. Neither therefore, is it lawful for the Gods who adorn the whole of heaven, and think it worthy their providential care, to be ever situated under the circulation of this heaven; nor is there any blessedness in the contemplation of the things which exist under it; nor are the souls that are converted to this contemplation among the number of those that are happy, and that follow the Gods, but they rank among those that exchange intelligible for doxastic nutriment, such as Socrates says, the souls are that are lame, that have broken their wings, and are in a merged condition. Since therefore passions of this kind belong to partial souls, and these not such as are happy, how can we refer a conversion to the sensible heaven to the ruling and leading Gods?

Farther still, Socrates says that souls standing on the back of the heaven, are carried round by the circumvolution itself of the heaven; but Timæus, and the Athenian guest say, that souls lead every thing in the heavens by their own motions, externally cover bodies with their motions, and living their own life through the whole of time, impart to bodies secondarily efficient powers of motion. How therefore do these things accord with those who make this heaven to be sensible? For souls do not contemplate and dance round intelligibles, through the circulation of the heavens; but through the unapparent convolution of souls, bodies revolve in a circle, and about these perform their circulations. If therefore any one should say that the sensible heaven circumvolves souls, and that it is divided according to the back, the profundity, and the subcelestial arch, many absurdities must necessarily be admitted.

But if some one should say that the heaven is intelligible, to which Jupiter is the leader, but all the Gods, and together with these, dæmons follow him, he will unfold the divinely-inspired narrations of Plato consentaneously to the nature of things, and will follow the most celebrated of his interpreters. For Plotinus and Iamblichus are of opinion that this heaven is a certain intelligible. And prior to these, Plato himself in the Cratylus following the Orphic theogonies calls the father indeed of Jupiter, Saturn, but of Saturn, Heaven. And he evinces that Jupiter is the demiurgus of the whole of things through the names [by which he is called,] investigating for this purpose the truth concerning them. But he shows that Saturn is connective of a divine intellect; and that Heaven is the intelligence, or intellectual perception of the first intelligibles. For sight, says he, looking to the things above, is Heaven. Hence Heaven subsists prior to every divine intellect, with which the mighty Saturn is replete; but intellectually perceives the things above, and such as are beyond the celestial order. The mighty Heaven therefore, is allotted a kingdom which is between the intelligible and intellectual orders. For the circulation mentioned in the Phædrus is intelligence, through which all the Gods and souls obtain the contemplation of intelligibles. But intelligence is a medium between intellect and the intelligible. It must be said therefore, that the whole of heaven is established according to this medium, and that it contains the one bond of the divine orders, being the father indeed of the intellectual genus, but being generated from the kings prior to it, which also it is said to see. But on one side of it the supercelestial place, and on the other the subcelestial arch must be arranged.

Chapter VI.

Again therefore, if indeed the supercelestial place is the imparticipable and occult genus of the intelligible Gods, how can we establish so great a divine multitude there, and this accompanied with separation, viz. truth, science, justice, temperance, the meadow, and Adrastia? For neither do the fountains of the virtues, nor the separation and variety of forms, pertain to the intelligible Gods. For the first and most unical of forms extend the demiurgic intellect of wholes to the intelligible paradigm, and the comprehension of forms which is there. But Socrates in the Phædrus says that a partial intellect contemplates the supercelestial place. For this intellect is the governor of the soul, as it is well said by the philosophers prior to us. If therefore, it be necessary from this analogy to investigate the difference of intelligibles, as the demiurgic intellect indeed, is imparticipable, but a partial intellect is participable, so with respect to the intelligible, one indeed which is the first paradigm of the demiurgus, pertains to the first intelligibles, but another which is the first paradigm of a partial intellect pertains to the second intelligibles, which are indeed intelligibles, but are allotted an intelligible transcendency, as subsisting at the summit of intellectuals. But if the supercelestial place is beyond the celestial circulation, but is inferior to those intelligible triads, because it is more expanded; for it is the plain of truth, and is not unknown, is divided according to a multitude of forms, and possesses a variety of powers, and the meadow which is there nourishes souls, and is visible to them, the first intelligibles illuminating souls with ineffable union, but not being known by them through intelligence;—if this be the case, it is certainly necessary that the supercelestial place should subsist between the intelligible nature, and the celestial circulation. If Plato himself also admits that essence which truly is, exists in this place, how is it possible that he should not also admit it to be intelligible, and to participate of the first intelligibles? For because indeed it is essence it is intelligible; but because it truly is, it participates of being.

Moreover, possessing in itself a multitude of intelligibles, it will not be arranged according to the first triad; for the one being is there, and not the multitude of beings. But possessing a various life which the meadow indicates, it is subordinate to the second triad; for intelligible life is one, and without separation. And again, since it shines forth to the view with divided forms, all-various orders, and prolific powers, it falls short of the all-perfect triad [in intelligibles]. If therefore it is the second to these in dignity and power, but is established above the celestial order, it is intelligible indeed, but is the summit of the intellectual Gods. On this account also, nutriment is derived to souls from thence. For the intelligible is nutriment, since the first intelligibles also, viz. the beautiful, the wise and the good, are said to nourish souls. For by these, says Socrates the wing of the soul is nourished; but by the contraries to these it is corrupted and destroyed. These things however, are indeed effected by the first intelligibles exemptly, and through union and silence. But the supercelestial place is said to nourish through intelligence and energy, and to fill the happy choir of souls with intelligible light, and the prolific rivers of life.

Chapter VII.

After the supercelestial place however and the heaven itself, is the subcelestial arch, which it is obvious to every one ought to be arranged under the heaven, and not in the heaven. For it is not called by Plato the celestial, but the subcelestial arch. That it is also proximately situated under the celestial circulation, is evident from what is written concerning it. But if it be necessary to make the subcelestial arch being such, the same with the summit of intellectuals, and not with the end of the intelligible and intellectual Gods, it will be now necessary to contemplate what remains. For the summit of intellectuals separates itself from the kingdom of the heaven, but the subcelestial arch is on all sides comprehended by it. And the former indeed constitutes the whole of intellect, intellectual multitude, and as Socrates says, the blessed discursive energies of the Gods; but the latter only bounds the celestial series, and supplies the Gods with the means of ascending to the heaven. For when the Gods are elevated to the banquet and the delicious food, and are filled with intelligible goods, then they proceed ascending, to the subcelestial arch, and through it are raised to the celestial circulation. Hence, if you say that the subcelestial arch is perfective of the Gods, and converts them to the whole of the heaven, and the supercelestial place, you will not wander from the meaning of Plato. For the Gods are indeed nourished by the intelligible, by the meadow, and by the divine forms, which the place above the heaven comprehends; but they are filled with this nutriment through the subcelestial arch. For through this they also participate of the celestial circulation. Hence they are converted indeed, through the subcelestial arch; but they receive a vigorous intellectual perception from the celestial order; and they are filled with intelligible goods from the supercelestial place. It is evident therefore, that the supercelestial place is allotted an intelligible summit; but the circulation of the heaven, the middle breadth; and the arch, the intelligible extremity. For all things are in it. And intellect indeed is convertive, but the intelligible is the object of desire. But divine intelligence gives completion to the middle, perfecting indeed the conversions of divine natures, and binding them to such as are first, but unfolding the tendencies to intelligibles, and filling secondary natures with precedaneous goods. I think however, that through these things we have sufficiently reminded the reader of the order of these three.

Chapter VIII.

Perhaps however, some one may ask us, why we here characterize the whole progression of the intelligible and at the same time intellectual Gods, according to the middle, and why we call one of the extremes supercelestial, but the other subcelestial, from their habitude to the middle, indicating the exempt transcendency of the one, but the proximate and connected diminution of the other. Perhaps therefore, we may concisely answer such a one, that this whole genus of the intelligible and at the same time intellectual Gods, binds together both the extremes, being to the one the cause of conversion, but to the other of becoming unfolded into light, and being present with secondary natures. As therefore, we denominate all the intelligible Gods paternal and unical, characterizing, them from the summit, and as we say that they are the boundaries of the whole of things, viz. those that are effective of essence, those that are the causes of perpetuity, and those that are the sources of the production of forms, after the same manner we unfold these middle Gods as the leaders of all bonds, from the middle which is in them. For the whole of this middle order is vivific, connective and perfective. But the summit of it indeed, unfolds the impressions of intelligibles, and their ineffable union. The termination of it converts intellectuals, and conjoins, them to intelligibles. And the middle collects into, and fixes in itself as in a centre the. whole genera of the Gods. For to the extremes also through reference to the middle we attribute the habitude of transcendency and diminution, calling the one above, but the other under the middle.

Chapter IX.

Through these things therefore, we may concisely answer him, as I have said, who doubts concerning these names. Here however it is fit that we should admire the divine science of Plato, because he has narrated the mode of the ascent of the whole of things to the intelligible conformably to the highest of initiators. For in the first place, he elevates souls and the Gods themselves to the fountains, through the liberated leaders. For the blessed and most abundant spectacles and discursive energies are particularly in these fountains, in which also theurgists place all their hope of salvation. They are therefore blessed through the unpolluted monads; but they are most abundant through the cause of divine difference; and they are spectacles and discursive energies, through the intellectual and paternal powers. But in the second place, Plato elevates souls and Gods from the fountains, and through the fountains to the leaders of perfection. For after many and divided intellections the good of the perfective Gods shines forth, being supernally expanded from the intellectual Gods themselves, and illuminating us, and prior to our souls, whole souls, and prior to these, the Gods themselves. But from the perfective Gods Plato elevates souls and Gods to the divinities, who are connective of all the intellectual orders. For the perfective Gods are suspended from these divinities, subsist together with them, and are comprehended by them. Such also is the communion and union of these Gods, that some of the most celebrated [interpreters of Plato] have supposed that there is an all-perfect and indivisible sameness among them, in consequence of not being able to apprehend by a reasoning process the separation which is in them. For here also, it may appear to some one that Plato calls the extremity of the celestial circulation, the arch. This however is not the case. For he does not denominate the arch celestial, but subcelestial. As therefore, the supercelestial is essentially exempt from the heaven, thus also the subcelestial is inferior to the kingdom of the heaven. For the former indeed is indicative of transcendency, but the latter of a proximately-arranged diminution.

After this circulation however, which is connective of the whole of things, Plato elevates souls and the Gods to the supercelestial place, and the intelligible union of intellectuals, where also the Gods abiding, are nourished, are in a happy condition, and are filled with ineffable and unical goods. For with theurgists also, the ascent to the ineffable and intelligible powers which are the summits of all intellectuals, is through the connective Gods. In what manner however, the Gods are here conjoined to the first intelligibles, Plato no longer unfolds through words; for the contact with them is ineffable, and through ineffables, as he also teaches in what he says about them in the Phædrus. And through this order the mystic union with the intelligible and first-producing causes is effected. With us therefore, there is also the same mode of conjunction. And through this, the mode of theurgic ascent is more credible. For as wholes ascend to exempt principles, through the natures proximately placed above them, thus also parts imitating the ascent of wholes, are conjoined through middle steps of ascent, with the most simple and ineffable causes. For what Plato has delivered in this dialogue concerning whole souls, he afterwards unfolds concerning ours. And in the first place indeed, he conjoins them with the liberated Gods. Afterwards, through these he elevates them to the perfective Gods. Afterwards, through these, to the connective Gods, and in a similar manner, as far as to the intelligible Gods. Socrates therefore, narrating the mode of ascent to intelligible beauty, and how following the Gods prior to bodies and generation, we were partakers of that blessed spectacle, says: “For it was then lawful to see splendid beauty, when we obtained together with that happy choir, this blessed vision and spectacle, we indeed following Jupiter, but others in conjunction with some other God, perceiving, and being initiated in those mysteries, which it is lawful to call the most blessed of mysteries.” How then were we once conjoined with intelligible beauty? Through being initiated, says he, in the most blessed of mysteries. What else therefore, does this assert, than that we were conjoined with the perfective leaders, and were initiated by them, in order to our being replenished with beauty? Of what goods therefore, is the initiation the procurer? “Which orgies,” says he, “were celebrated by us, when we were entire and impassive, and were initiated in, and became spectators of entire, simple, and quietly stable visions.” The entire therefore, is derived to souls from the celestial circulation. For this contains, and is connective of all the divine genera, and also of our souls. Every thing however, which in the whole contains parts, comprehends also that which is divided, and collects that which is various into union and simplicity. But the entire, quietly stable, and simple visions, are unfolded to souls supernally from the supercelestial place, through the connectedly-containing Gods. For the mystic impressions of intelligibles, shine forth in that place, and also the unknown and ineffable beauty of characters. For muesis and epopteia133 are symbols of ineffable silence, and of union with mystic natures through intelligible visions. And that which is the most admirable of all is this, that as theurgists order the whole body to be buried, except the head, in the most mystic of initiations, Plato also has anticipated this, being moved by the Gods themselves. “For being pure,” says he, “and liberated from this surrounding vestment, which we now denominate body, we obtained this most blessed muesis and epopteia, being full of intelligible light. “For the pure splendor [which he mentions] symbolically unfolds to us intelligible light. Hence, when we are situated in the intelligible, we shall have a life perfectly liberated from the body. But elevating the head of the charioteer to the place beyond the heaven, we shall be filled with the mysteries which are there, and with intelligible silence. It also appears to me that Plato sufficiently unfolds the three elevating causes, love, truth, and faith, to those who do not negligently read what he has written. For what besides love conjoins with beauty? Where is the plain of truth, except in this place? And what else than faith is the cause of this ineffable muesis? For muesis in short, is neither through intelligence nor judgment, but through the unical silence imparted by faith, which is better than every gnostic energy, and which establishes both whole souls and ours, in the ineffable and unknown nature134 of the Gods. These things however, have proceeded to this length from my sympathy about such like concerns.

Chapter X.

But again returning to the proposed theology, let us unfold the conceptions which Plato indicates to us concerning each order of the intelligible and at the same time intellectual Gods. The supercelestial place therefore is intelligible. Hence also Plato says that it is essence which truly is, and that it is visible to the intellect of the soul. It is likewise the one comprehension and union of the intellectual Gods. For it is not intelligible after such a manner as animal itself, nor as the first eternity, nor as that which is itself primarily the one being. For as these are primarily intelligibles, they are exempt from all other intelligibles, and presubsist by themselves. But the supercelestial place, is proximately established above the celestial circulation, and of this is the intelligible; yet it is not simply intelligible. And that we assert these things rightly, Socrates also testifies, imparting the intellection of this intelligible to souls likewise, through the heaven. For in this period, according to which they are carried round together with the circulation of the heaven, they behold indeed justice, they behold temperance, and they also behold science, and each of the beings which have a true and real existence; so that if the supercelestial place is intelligible, and real being, yet it is intelligible, as being above the heaven. The first intelligibles however, are intelligible according to their own essence, and according to the exempt and first efficient cause of all intellectual natures. For the mighty Saturn likewise, though he is an intellectual God, and the fullness of intellect, is intelligible as with reference to the demiurgus; for he is the summit of the intellectual triad. Thus therefore, the place also which is above the heaven, is allotted an intelligible transcendency with respect to the celestial circulation, and is intelligible as in the first intellectuals.135 Hence also it subsists analogous to the first triad of intelligibles. That triad however, was simply intelligible. For the intelligible which is in intelligibles, at once exists prior to all second and third intelligibles. But the supercelestial place is not simply intelligible; for it is the summit of intellectuals, and not of intelligibles. Hence Plato calls the first triad of intelligibles the one being; but he denominates the supercelestial place, truly-existing essence. For the former indeed, antecedes all beings in an admirable simplicity, and in the occult unity of being. For that being is the intelligible itself, and is not in one respect intelligible, but in another intellectual, nor is it that which is passive to [viz. participates of] being; but it is the seat, and the most ancient monad of being. This order however, [viz. the supercelestial place] falls short of the union of that triad, and participates of being, but is not simply being. Hence also Plato calls it essence, and essence which truly is, as receiving this intelligible and essential according to the essence of that which is primarily being. And the first triad indeed of intelligibles was paternal; for it subsists according to divine union and bound, and is the occult, and highest boundary of all intelligibles. But the supercelestial place is maternal, subsisting according to infinity, and the power of infinity. For this order is feminine and prolific, and produces all things by intelligible powers. Hence also, Plato calls it a place, as being the receptacle of the paternal causes, and bringing forth, and producing the generative powers of the Gods into the hypostasis of secondary natures. For having denominated matter also a place, he calls it the mother and nurse of the reasons [i.e. of the productive principles], which proceed into it from being, and the paternal cause.

According to this analogy, therefore, Plato thus denominates the supercelestial place, as feminine, and as being the cause of those things maternally, of which the intelligible father is the cause paternally. Matter however receives forms alone; but the mother and nurse of the Gods, not only receives, but also constitutes and generates secondary natures, together with the father. Nor does this generative deity produce from herself into an external place, her progeny, and separate them from her own comprehension, in the same manner as the natures which generate here, deliver their offspring into light external to themselves; but she generates, comprehends and establishes all things in herself. Hence also she is the place of them, as being a seat which on all sides contains them, and as by her prolific, and primarily efficient powers, preoccupying and containing in herself, all the progressions, multitude and variety of secondary natures. For all beings subsist in the Gods, and are comprehended and saved by them. For where can they recede from the Gods, and from the comprehension which is in them? And how, if they depart from them, can they remain even for the smallest portion of time? In a particular manner however the powers which are generative of divine natures, are said to comprehend their progeny, so far as they are the proximate causes of them, and constitute their essence with a more abundant division, and a more particular providence. For paternal causes produce secondary natures uniformly, exemptly, and without coordination, and comprehend, but unically their own progeny. And in simplicity indeed, they preoccupy the variety of them; but in union their multitude. It is evident therefore, from what has been said, that the supercelestial place is intelligible, and after what manner it is intelligible. In addition to these things also it is evident, how it is feminine; for place is adapted to generative Gods through the above-mentioned causes. And the meadow is the fountain of a vivific nature, as will be shortly demonstrated. Socrates likewise assumes all the divine natures that are in this place to be of this kind, [viz. to be of the feminine genus] I mean science herself, justice herself temperance herself, truth herself, and Adrastia; which may especially be considered as a certain indication, that Plato particularly attributes the feminine to this order, and not only other theologists.

Chapter XI.

What therefore is the cause through which Plato in the first place celebrates this deity negatively, analogous to the one? And what are the negations? For he denominates it, without colour, without figure, and without contact. And he takes away from it these three hyparxes, colour, figure, and contact. I say therefore, that this order being the summit of the intellectual Gods, is unknown and ineffable, according to its peculiarity, and is [only] to be known through intelligible impressions. For being the summit of intellectuals, it conjoins itself with intelligibles. For how could intellectuals be conjoined with intelligibles, unless they antecedently constituted an intelligible transcendency of themselves? But what connexion and communion could be surveyed of the whole orders of things, unless the extremities of such as are first possessed a certain similitude to the beginnings of such as are second? For on account of this similitude, these are connascent with each other, and all things subsist according to one series. As therefore, the end of intelligibles was intellectual, so likewise the beginning of intellectuals is allotted an intelligible hyparxis. And each of these indeed is intelligible; but the one is intelligible simply; and the other is not intelligible without the addition of the intellectual. These therefore, are consubsistent with each other. And the one indeed, is the paternal cause of the whole of things, so far as it is intelligible, and the intellectual which is in it is extended intelligibly. But the other is generatively constitutive of the same things, because it is intellectual, and intelligible good presides in the intellectual genus. All things therefore, are from both, exemptly indeed, from the intellectual of intelligibles, but coordinately, from the intelligible of intellectuals. And both indeed, rejoice in unknown hyparxes; and are alone, as Plato says, known by intelligible, mystic, and ineffable impressions. Hence also he calls the attempt boldness which endeavours to unfold the arcana concerning them, and to explain by words their unknown union.

From the end of the intelligible order however, the summit of intellectuals possesses its unknown peculiarity. For so far as it conjoins itself to the first intelligibles, and is filled with their unical, ineffable, and paternal hyparxis, so far also it exists in an unknown manner prior to intellectuals. Hence it is incomprehensible by the natures posterior to it; but it is known by those prior to it, being super-expanded into a continued union with them.136 It likewise knows the natures prior to itself intelligibly; but this does not at all differ from uniform and ineffable knowledge. For intelligible knowledge is the union, cause, summit, and unknown and occult hyparxis of all knowledge. Since therefore, the one and united triad is, if it be lawful so to speak, the intellectual image of the unknown union of intelligibles, and presides over the same uniform and unknown power in intellectuals, as its own cause does, hence Plato mystically unfolds it through negations. For every where that which is highest, and that which is unknown, are analogous to the unical God. As therefore, we are taught to celebrate this God through negations, after the same manner we endeavour to unfold negatively the uniform and unknown summits of secondary orders. And in short, since Socrates in the Phædrus makes the ascent as far as to the supercelestial place, arranging it analogous to the first, as in this order, and in the ascent of souls, he celebrates it by negations. For in the Timæus, Plato contends that the one demiurgus through whom every demiurgic genus of Gods subsists, is ineffable and unknown; and every where that which is highest has this transcendency with respect to secondary natures. For it imitates the cause which is at once unically exempt from all beings. We celebrate this cause however, through negations alone, as existing prior to all things; but we unfold the summits which proceed analogous to it, affirmatively and at the same time negatively. As participating indeed, the natures prior to themselves, we celebrate them affirmatively. For Plato calls the supercelestial place essence which truly is, the plain of truth, the meadow, and the intelligible place of survey of the Gods, and he does not only call it without colour, without figure, and without contacts thus mingling affirmations with negations. For this order is a medium between the intelligible Gods and the first intellectual divine orders, containing the bond of both. And it guards indeed intellectually according to a uniform and unknown transcendency, but transmits the plenitudes of intelligibles as far as to the last of things. It likewise elevates all things at once, according to one common union, as far as to the intelligible father, and generates and produces them as far as to matter. Being therefore established between the unical and the multiplied Gods, it is unfolded, negatively indeed, through the unknown manner in which it transcends secondary natures, but affirmatively through its participation of the first natures. For the first demiurgus is called in the Timæus fabricator and father, and good, and all such names, so far as he participates of pre-existent causes; but so far as he is the monad of all fabrication, Plato leaves him unknown and ineffable, exempt from all the fabricators of things. For he says, “it is difficult to discover him, and when found, it is impossible to speak of him to all men.” Thus therefore Plato unfolds the supercelestial place, affirmatively indeed, as being filled from the first causes, at one time indeed calling it essence which truly is, at another the plain of truth, and at another, something else of this kind; but137 so far as it transcends the intellectual Gods, and so far as it is supreme and unical, he celebrates it negatively, in the same manner as the principle which is exempt from all things.

Chapter XII.

It follows therefore, in the next place, that we should consider what the negations are, and from what orders they are generated. In the Parmenides then, the negations of the one are produced from all the divine orders, because the one is the cause of all of them. And every thing divine according to the hyparxis of itself participates of the first principle; and the one in consequence of transcending these is in a much greater degree exempt from the natures posterior to these. For from these all things proceed; since they receive partibly the peculiarities of these. This however is evident from the other hypotheses, in which the same conclusions are again circulated, at one time being connected together negatively, and at another affirmatively. For what is there which could be able to subsist, unless it was antecedently comprehended according to cause in wholes? But in the Phædrus, the things which are denied of the intelligible summit of all intellectuals are the natures which are proximately established after this summit, viz. the sacred genera, the connective, the perfective, and the paternal of what are properly called intellectuals. For this summit being exempt from these, it also transcends all the intellectual Gods. For what every genus of the Gods is to the one, that the three orders posterior to this summit, are to it. Plato therefore denominates the celestial order which connectedly contains wholes, and illuminates them with intelligible light, colour; because likewise the apparent beauty of this sensible heaven is resplendent with all various colours, and with light. Hence he calls that heaven intellectual colour, and light. For the light proceeding from the good is [in the orders] above [the heaven] unknown and occult, abiding in the adyta of the Gods; but it shines forth in this order, and from being unapparent becomes manifest. Hence it is assimilated to colour the offspring of light.

Farther still, if the heaven is sight beholding the things above, the intelligible of it may very properly be called colour which is conjoined with the sight. The cause therefore of the intelligibles in the heaven is without colour, but is exempt from them; for sensible colour is the offspring of the solar light. But Plato denominates the order which proximately subsists after the celestial order, and which we have called the subcelestial arch, figure. For the arch itself is the name of a figure. And in short, in this order, Parmenides also places intellectual figure. But Plato first attributes contact to the summit of intellectuals, as is evident from the conclusions of the Parmenides. For in the first hypothesis taking away figure from the one, he uses this as a medium, viz. that the one does not touch itself. “But the one” says he, “does not touch itself.” And the conclusion is evident. Here therefore contact first subsists, and subsists according to cause. For of those things of which the demiurgus is proximately the cause, the father who is prior to him is paradigmatically the cause. In this order therefore, contact is the paradigm of the liberated Gods. Hence these three orders are successive, viz. colour, figure, and contact. And from these the supercelestial place is essentially exempt. Hence it is without colour, without figure, and without contact. Nor does it transcend these three privatively, but according to causal excellence. For it imparts to colour from intelligibles the participation of light; on figure it confers by illumination intellectual bound; and in contact it supernally inserts union and continuity, and perfects all things by its power, things which are touched indeed, through union, those that are figured, through the participation of bound, and those that are coloured, through the illumination of light. But it draws upward, and allures to itself every thing ineffably and through intelligible impressions, and fills every thing with unical goods.

If therefore, we assert these things rightly, we must not admit the interpretation of those who are busily occupied in sensible colours, and contacts, and figures, and who assert that the supercelestial place is exempt from these. For these are trifling, and by no means adapted to that place. For even nature, not only that which exists as a whole, but that also which is partial, is exempt from sensible colours, from apparent figures, and from corporeal contact. What therefore is there venerable in this, if it is also present to natures themselves? But it is necessary to extend colours, and figures, and contacts, from on high as far as to the last of things, and to evince that the supercelestial place, is similarly exempt from all these. For soul also and intellect participate of figure; and contact is frequently in incorporeal natures, according to the communion of first with secondary beings, and it is usual to call these communications contacts, and to denominate the touchings of intellectual perceptions adhesions. We should not therefore be carried from things first to things last, nor compare the highest order of intellectuals with the last of beings, above which both soul and nature are established. For in so doing we shall err, and shall not attend to Plato, who exclaims that it is boldness to assert these things concerning it. For where is the boldness, and what the unknown power transcending our conceptions, in contemplating the truth of sensible colours, figures, and contacts. For an hypostasis of this kind is known by physiologists, and not by the sons of theologists. Such therefore is the power possessed by the negations through which Plato celebrates the supercelestial place.

Chapter XIII

Again then, let us in the next place survey the affirmations, how they exist according to the participation of the first intelligibles themselves. The supercelestial place therefore, is said to be essence which truly is, because it participates of that which is primarily being. For to be, and truly to be are present to all things, as the progeny of the intelligible essence. For as the one is from the first principle which is prior to intelligibles, so the nature of being is from intelligibles. For there the one being subsists, as Parmenides a little before taught us. But the supercelestial place is beheld by the governor of the soul, because it is allotted an intelligible transcendency with respect to the other intellectual Gods. Hence the intelligible good of it is rendered manifest from its being known by intellect. This intelligible therefore, in the same manner as that which is truly being, arrives to it from the unical Gods. For they are primarily and imparticipably intelligibles, and the first efficient causes of all intelligibles. These things also concur with each other, viz. that which is truly being, and the intelligible. For every intelligible is truly being, and every thing which is truly being is intelligible. For intellect is intelligible according to the being which is in it; but according to its gnostic power it is intellect. Hence also every intellect is the supplier of knowledge; but every intelligible is the supplier of essence. For that which each is primarily, it imparts by illumination to the secondary orders.

Chapter XIV

In the third place therefore, the genus of true science is said to be established about the supercelestial place. For these two things ascend to the contemplation of that essence, viz. intellect the governor of the soul (but this is a partial intellect established indeed above souls, and elevating them to their paternal port) and true science which is the perfection of the soul. This therefore energizes about that place, as transitively revolving in harmonic measure about being. But intellect contemplates it, as employing simple intellection. Farther still, the science which is in us is one thing, but that which is in the supercelestial place another. And the former indeed is true, but the latter is truth itself. What therefore is it, and whence does it subsist? It is indeed a deity which is the fountain of all intellectual knowledge, and the first efficient cause of undefiled and stable intelligence.138 But it shines forth in the first triad of intellectuals, because this is perfective of all other things, and likewise of divine souls. For these ascending to this uniform power of all knowledge, perfect their own knowledge. For each of the undefiled souls, says Socrates, revolving together with Jupiter and the heaven, surveys justice, temperance and science. Hence, these three fountains are there, being intelligible deities, and the fountains of the intellectual virtues, and not being, as some think they are, intellectual forms. For Plato is accustomed to characterize these by the term itself, as for instance science itself and justice itself; and this Socrates says somewhere in the Phædo. By here when he says justice herself, temperance herself, and science herself, he appears to unfold to us certain self-perfect and intelligible deities, which have a triadic subsistence. And of these science indeed is the monad; but temperance has the second order; and justice the third. And science indeed is the supplier of undefiled, firm and immutable intelligence; but temperance imparts to all the Gods the cause of conversion to themselves; and justice imparts to them the cause of the distribution of the whole of good according to desert. And through science indeed, each of the Gods intellectually perceives the natures prior to himself, and is filled with intelligible intelligence;139 but through temperance he is converted to himself and enjoys a second union, and a good coordinate to the conversion to himself: and through justice he rules over the natures posterior to himself, in a silent path, as they say measures their desert, and supplies a distribution adapted to each. These three fountains therefore contain all the energies of the Gods. And science indeed proceeds analogous to the first triad of intelligibles. And as that triad imparts essence to all things, so this illuminates the Gods with knowledge. But temperance proceeds analogous to the second triad of intelligibles. For temperance imitates the connective and measuring power of that triad; since it measures the energies of the Gods, and converts each of them to itself. And justice proceeds analogous to the third triad of intelligibles. For it also separates secondary natures according to appropriate desert,140 in the same manner as that triad separates them intelligibly by the first paradigms.

Chapter XV.

After these things therefore, we may survey another triad pre-existing in this place, which also Socrates celebrates, viz. the plain of truth, the meadow, and the nutriment of the Gods. The plain of truth therefore, is intellectually expanded to intelligible light, and is splendid with the illuminations that proceed from thence. For as the one emits by illumination intelligible light, so the intelligible imparts to secondary natures a participation productive of essence. But the meadow is the prolific power of life, and of all-various reasons, is the comprehension of the first efficient causes of life, and is the cause of the variety, and generation of forms. For the meadows also which are here are productive of all-various forms and reasons, and bear water which is the symbol of vivification. And the nourishing cause of the Gods, is a certain intelligible union, comprehending in itself the whole perfection of the Gods, and filling the Gods with acme and power, in order that they may bestow a providential attention to secondary natures, and may possess an immutable intellectual perception of such natures as are first. Above however, the Gods participate of these uniformly; but in a divided manner in their progressions.

With respect to the nutriment likewise, one kind is called by Plato ambrosia, but the other nectar. “For the charioteer,” says he, “stopping the horses at the manger, places before them ambrosia, and afterwards gives them nectar to drink.” The charioteer therefore, being nourished with intelligibles, unically participates of the perfection which is imparted through illumination by the Gods. But the horses participate of this divisibly; first indeed of ambrosia, and afterwards of nectar. For it is necessary that from ambrosia, they should stably and undeviatingly abide in more excellent natures; but that through nectar they should immutably provide for secondary natures. For they say that ambrosia is solid, but nectar liquid nutriment; which Plato also indicates when he says that the charioteer places before the horses ambrosia and afterwards gives them nectar to drink. Hence the nutriment of nectar manifests the unrestrained and indissoluble nature of providence, and its proceeding to all things in an unpolluted manner. But the nutriment of ambrosia manifests stability, and a firm settlement in more excellent natures. From both these however, it is evident that the Gods both abide and proceed to all things, and that neither their undeviating nature, and which is without conversion to subordinate beings, is unprolific, nor their prolific power and progression is unstable; but abiding they proceed, and being established in the divinities prior to themselves, they provide for secondary natures without being contaminated. Nectar and ambrosia therefore, are the perfections of the Gods, so far as they are Gods; but other things are the perfections of intellect, nature, and bodies. Hence Plato having assumed these in souls, calls the souls [which are nourished with these,] Gods. For so far as they also participate of the Gods, so far they are filled with nectar and ambrosia. These however in their progressions have a bipartite division; the one indeed, being the supplier to the Gods of stable and firm perfection; but the other, of undeviating providence, of liberated administration, and of an unenvying and abundant communication of good, according to the two principles of the whole of things, which preside over a distribution of this kind. For it must be admitted that ambrosia is indeed analogous to bound, but nectar to infinity. Hence the one is as it were humid, and not bounded from itself; but the other is as it were solid, and has a boundary from itself. Nectar therefore is prolific, and is perfective of the secondary presence of the Gods, and is the cause of power, of a vigour which provides for the whole of things, and of infinite and never-failing supply. But ambrosia is stable perfection, is similar to bound, is the cause to the Gods of an establishment in themselves, and is the supplier of firm and undeviating intellection. Prior to both these however, is the one fountain of perfection, and seat to all the Gods, which Plato calls nutriment, and the banquet, and delicious food, as unically perfecting indeed the divided multitude of the Gods, but converting all things to itself through divine intelligence. For δαις [the banquet] indeed manifests the divided distribution of divine nutriment; but θοινη [delicious food] the united conversion of the whole of things to it. For it is the intellectual perception of the Gods, so far as they are Gods. But nutriment connectedly contains both these powers, being the plenitude of intelligible goods, and the uniform perfection of divine self-sufficiency.

Chapter XVI.

Concerning these things therefore, thus much may suffice as to the present theory. But it follows that we should discuss the division of the supercelestial place into three parts. For the intelligible summit of intellectuals is, as we have before observed, a triad. Immediately therefore, according to the first conception of this place, Plato unfolds its triadic nature, assuming indeed, three negatives, the uncoloured, the unfigured, and the intangible Having likewise established three divinities in it, viz. science, temperance, and justice, our preceptor and leader [Syrianus] thinks fit to divide this triad into three monads, and also demonstrates this conformably to the Orphic theologies. If, however, it be requisite to discover the definite peculiarities of these three Goddesses, from what has been already laid down, we must understand, that the plain of truth, the meadow, and the nourishing cause of the Gods are posited there. To nourish therefore is the province of intelligible perfection. Hence the elevating impulse is given to the wing of the soul, and also intellectual perfection, according to the nourishment which flows from thence into the soul. But the peculiarity of the meadow, is to possess a power generative of reasons and forms; and of the causes141 of the production of animals. Hence also souls are fed about the meadow; and the pabulum (νομη) is indeed nutriment, but in a divided manner.

The plain however of truth is the expansion and manifestation of intelligible light, the evolution of inward reasons, and perfection proceeding every where. This therefore142 is the peculiarity of the third monad. But fecundity is the peculiarity of the second; and intelligible plenitude of the first. For all the supercelestial place is indeed illuminated with the light of truth. Hence all the natures that are contained in it are called true. And Socrates says, “that whatever soul attending on divinity has beheld any thing of reality shall be free from damage, till another period takes place.” For every thing in that place is truly being and intelligible, and is full of divine union. In the first monads however [i.e. in the plain of truth and the meadow,] this intelligible light subsists contractedly, and is occultly established as it were in the adyta; but in the third monad [viz. in the nourishing cause of the Gods] it shines forth, and is co-expanded, and is co-divided with the multitude of powers. We may therefore from these things survey the differences of the three monads, in a manner conformable to the Platonic hypotheses. But if indeed science pertains to the first monad, temperance to the second, and justice to the third, from these things also the triad will be perfectly apparent. And does not science which is stable, and the uniform intelligence of wholes, and which at the same time is consubsistent with intelligibles, pertain to the power which is united to the intelligible father, and which does not proceed, nor separate its union from the deity of that father? but does not the genus of justice pertain to the power which is divided, which separates the intellectual genera, leads the intelligible multitude into order, and imparts by illumination distribution according to desert? And does not the genus of temperance pertain to the power which is the medium of both these, which is converted to itself, and possesses the common bond of this triad? For the harmonic, and a communication with the extremes according to reason, are the illustrious good of this middle power.

That we may not therefore be prolix, what has been said being sufficient to remind us of the meaning of Plato, those three deities are celebrated by us, which dividing the supercelestial place, are indeed all of them intelligible as in intellectuals, and are likewise summits, and collective of all things into one intelligible union. One of these however is so stably; another generatively; and another convertively, possessing a primary effective power in intellectuals. For one of them indeed, unites the monads of all the Gods and collects them about the intelligible; but another effects this about the progressions of the Gods; and another about their conversions. All of them however at the same time collect into one the whole of an hyparxis which always abides, proceeds, and returns. Hence also Plato elevates the Gods that are distributed in the world, to this one place, and converts them energizing about this as collective of the whole orders of the Gods to the participation of intelligibles. These monads, therefore, educe intelligible forms, fill them with the participation of divine union, and again recall the natures that have proceeded, and conjoin them to intelligibles. Concerning this whole triad however, what has been said may suffice.

Chapter XVII.

It remains therefore, that we should pass to the discussion of Adrastia, Socrates indicating that she possesses her kingdom in this place. For that which defines the measures of a blameless life to souls from the vision of these intelligible goods, is certainly there allotted its first evolution into light. For the elevating cause, being secondary to the objects of desire, may be able to raise both itself and other things to the supercelestial place, through conversion. But that which defines and measures the fruits of the vision of the intelligible to souls, since it has its hyparxis in the intelligible, imparts by illumination beatitude to them from thence. It is established therefore, as I have said, in that place. But it rules over all the divine laws uniformly, from on high, as far as to the last of things. It likewise binds to the one sacred law of itself, all the sacred laws, viz. the intellectual, the supermundane, and the mundane. Whether therefore, there are certain Saturnian laws, as Socrates in the Gorgias indicates there are, when he says, “The law therefore which was in the time of Saturn is now also among the Gods; or whether there are Jovian laws, as the Athenian guest asserts there are, when he says, “But justice follows Jupiter, which is the avenger of those that desert the divine law;” or whether there are fatal laws, as Timæus teaches there are, when he says, “That the demiurgus announced to souls the laws of fate;”—of all these the sacred law of Adrastia is connective according to one intelligible simplicity, and at the same time imparts existence to all of them, and the measures of power. And if it be requisite to relate my own opinion, the inevitable guardian power of this triad, and the immutable comprehension of order pervading every where, presubsist in this goddess. For these three deities not only unfold and collect all things, but they are also guardians according to the Oracle of the works of the father, and of one intelligible intellect.

This guardian power therefore, the sacred law of Adrastia indicates, which nothing is able to escape. For with respect to the laws of Fate, not only the Gods are superior to them, but also partial souls, when they live according to intellect, and give themselves up to the light of providence. And the Saturnian Gods are essentially exempt from the Jovian laws, and the connective and perfective Gods from the Saturnian laws; but all things are obedient to the sacred law of Adrastia, and all the distributions of the Gods, and all measures and guardianships subsist on account of this. By Orpheus also, she is said to guard the demiurgus of the universe, and receiving brazen drumsticks, and a drum made from the skin of a goat, to produce so loud a sound as to convert all the Gods to herself. And Socrates imitating this fabulous sound which extends a certain proclamation143 to all things, in a similar manner produces the sacred law of Adrastia to all souls. For he says, “This is the sacred law of Adrastia, that whatever soul has perceived any thing of truth, shall be free from harm till another period,” all but expressing the Orphic sound through this proclamation, and uttering this as a certain hymn of Adrastia. For in the first place indeed, he calls it θεσμος, a sacred law, and not νομος, a law, as he does the Saturnian and Jovian laws. For θεσμος is connected with deity, and pertains more to intelligibles [than to the intellectuals]; but νομος indicating intellectual distribution, is adapted to the intellectual fathers. And in the second place, he speaks of it in the singular and not in the plural number, as Timæus does of the fatal laws. In the third place therefore, he extends it to all the genera of souls, and evinces that it is the common measure of their happy and blessed life, and the true guard of those souls that are able to abide on high free from all passivity. For such is the meaning of the words, “And the soul that is able to do this always, shall always be free from harm.” This sacred law therefore, comprehends all the undefiled life of divine souls, and the temporal blessedness of partial souls. And it guards the former indeed intelligibly, but measures the latter by the vision of intelligible goods. And thus much concerning Adrastia.

Chapter XVIII.

With respect to what remains therefore, we shall summarily say, that the supercelestial place is the first triad of the intelligible and at the same time intellectual Gods, possessing three peculiarities, the unfolding into light, the collective, and the defensive. It likewise comprehends all these intelligibly, and in an unknown manner, conjoining indeed intellectuals to intelligibles, but calling forth the prolific powers of intelligibles, receiving in itself the plenitude of forms from the intelligible paradigms, and producing its own meadow from the fontal summit which is there. But from the one intellect it gives subsistence to the three virtues, perfects all itself by intelligible impressions, and in its ineffable bosoms receives the whole of intelligible light. At one and the same time also it abides in the occult nature of the intelligible Gods, and proceeds intelligibly from thence, shines forth to the view of intellectuals, and converts and draws upward by ineffable powers all the images of its proper union which it has disseminated in every thing. To this place likewise it is necessary that we should mystically approach, leaving in the earth all the generation-producing life, and the corporeal nature, with which on coming hither we were surrounded as with a wall, but exciting alone the summit of the soul to the participation of total truth, and the plenitude of intelligible nutriment.

Chapter XIX.

After this intelligible and unknown triad however, which presides over all the intellectual144 genera, let us survey the triad which connectedly contains the bond of them, intelligibly and at the same time intellectually. For it is necessary that prior to intellect and the intellectual Gods, the cause of connectedly containing should be in these Gods; and that this being established in the middle of the intelligible and intellectual order, should extend to all the divine multitudes, all the genera of beings, and all the divisions of the world. For what is it which primarily connects things? If, as some say, the nature of spirit and local motion, body itself which is connective of other things will require connexion. For every body according to its own composition is dissipable and divisible; which also the Elean guest indicating to those who make corporeal principles, says that the essence which is so much celebrated by them, is broken and dissipated. Body therefore, is not naturally adapted to be connective of other things, nor even if a power of this kind pertained to bodies, would spirit be able to afford us this power, because it is always defluous and dissipated, and diffusing itself beyond that which bounds it. But if we suppose that habits and connective forms which are divided about bodies illuminate their subjects with connexion, it is perfectly necessary that they should effect this by being present with them; but how will these habits and forms connect themselves? For it is difficult to devise how this can be effected. For these being distributed about material bulks, and divided together with their subjects, require a boundary and connexion. But they are not naturally adapted to be bounded or connected from themselves; because they have not an essence self-begotten and self-subsistent. That however, which neither produces nor perfects itself, cannot connect itself. And moreover, every habit, and every material form is alter-motive, and depends on another more ancient cause, and on this account is inseparable from subjects, not being able to verge to itself.

But if abandoning these, we should assert that souls which are incorporeal and self-begotten, are the first efficient causes of connexion, where shall we place the partible and at the same time impartible nature of souls, that which is mixed from the partible and impartible, that which participates of the genera of being, and that which is divided into harmonic reasons? For souls indeed, connect bodies and natures, because they participate of an impartible peculiarity; but they are in want of another connective nature which may impart the first principle of mixture to the genera, and of connexion to divided reasons. For the self-motive nature of souls being transitive, and extended to time, requires that which may connect its one life, and may render it total and indivisible. For the whole which is connective of parts, exists prior to parts; since the whole which consists of parts receives connexion introduced from something different from itself. But if proceeding with the reasoning power beyond souls, we survey intellect, whether the intellect which is participated, or if you are willing, that which is imparticipable and divine, and in short, if we survey at once the intellectual genus of the Gods, if this is primarily connective of beings, we shall find also in this all-various multitude, divisions of genera, and as Socrates says, many and blessed visions, and discursive energies. For the separation of divine natures, and the variety of forms, present themselves to the view in intellectuals, and also fabulous sections and generative powers. How therefore, can that which connects be primarily here, where the divisive genus shines forth? And how is it possible that intellectual multitude should not refer to another more ancient cause the participation of its proper connexion? For intellectual multitude is that which is primarily connected (since it is that which is primarily divided, and that which requires connexion is divisible, but the indivisible itself is beyond the connective hyparxis), but it is not that which primarily connects. For every thing which is connected, is connected by another thing which primarily possesses the power of connexion. It is evident therefore, from what has been said, that the connective order of beings is established prior to the intellectual Gods.

The intelligible indeed, and occult hyparxis, is the supplier of union to all things, as proximately subsisting after the one, and being indivisible and uniform. But connexion is the contraction of multitude into impartible communion; on which account it subsists as secondary to intelligibles. For the medium which was there was intelligible, and the united primarily-efficient cause of connexion. The connective however, of intelligibles and intellectuals, imitates the unific power of intelligibles. For there the three triadic monads were the unions of wholes; one of them indeed according to transcendency; another according to the middle centre; and another according to conversion. But in the intelligible and at the same time intellectual orders, these three triads are the second after those unions, and are connascent with multitude. Hence one of these triads is collective; another is connective of multitude; and another is of a perfective nature. For that which is collected, that which is connected,145 and that which is perfected, is multitude. Whether therefore it is intellectual, or supermundane, or mundane, or any other multitude, it is collected, connected, and perfected through these three triads. And when collected indeed, it is elevated to the union of intelligibles, and is firmly established in them. When it is connected, it abides impartible and undissipated in its progeny. And when it is perfected, it receives completion from its proper parts or powers.

Since however, it is necessary that beings abiding, proceeding and returning should enjoy this triple providence, there are indeed three pre-existent collective monads, three connective, and three perfective, monads. And we do not say this, that on account of the good of secondary natures, first natures are thus divided, and preside over so many orders and powers; but they indeed are always the primary causes of good to things subordinate, while we from inferior natures recur to the causes of wholes. The intelligible therefore, and intellectual triads, perfect things triadically, and always connect and collect them into union. But the intelligible monads generate without separation and unically, their permanencies, progressions and conversions. With respect to other things however, we have partly spoken, and shall again partly speak concerning them.

Chapter XX.

Let us therefore speak at present concerning the connective triad. This then, Socrates, in the Phædrus, calls the celestial circulation. Because indeed, it possesses the middle centre of imparticipable life, and is that which is most vital itself of life, he calls it circulation, as comprehending circularly, and on all sides all other lives, and divine intellections. For on account of this, souls also which are elevated to it, are perfected according to intellection, and are conjoined with intelligible spectacles. The circulation of the heaven, however, is always established after the same manner. For it is an eternal, whole, one, and united intelligence. But the circulation of souls is effected through time, subsists in a more partial manner, and is not an at-once-collected comprehension of intelligibles. Souls, therefore, are carried round in a circle, and are restored to their pristine state, the celestial circulation always remaining the same. Because, however, it gives completion to the bond of the intelligible and intellectual Gods, and connects all the orders in their abiding, proceeding, and returning, Socrates calls it celestial. For Timæus says, that this [sensible] heaven also, compresses on all sides the elements that are under it, and that on this account, no place is left for a vacuum. As, therefore, the apparent heaven is connective of all things that are under it, and is the cause of continuity, coherence and sympathy, (for the intervention of a vacuum would interrupt the continuity of things, and the subversion of this continuity would destroy the sympathy of bodies) thus also that intellectual heaven, binds all the multitudes of beings into an impartible communion, illuminating each with an appropriate portion of connexion. For intellect participates of the connective cause in one way, the nature of soul in another, and a corporeal state of being in another. For through the highest participation of connexion, intellect is impartible; but through second measures of participation, soul is partible and impartible, according to one mixture; and through an ultimate diminution, bodies possessing a partible hypostasis, at the same time remain connected, and do not in consequence of being dissipated perish, but enjoy their own division and imbecility. The whole of the connective triad therefore, is denominated heaven according to the hyparxes of itself; but the breadth of life which is spread under it is called circulation. For in things apparent to sense, the period of the heavens is motion, and is as it were the life of body.

Chapter XXI.

If however it be requisite to discover the triadic nature of it from what has been laid down, we must employ the mode of analogy. Since therefore Plato himself calls the back of the heaven one thing, and its profundity another, it is evident that the celestial arch is the third thing; for the arch which is under this, he directly calls subcelestial. But as we say that the supercelestial place is established above the back of the heaven, so likewise we must grant that the subcelestial is different from the celestial arch. For the heaven is bounded, supernally indeed by the back, but beneath by the arch. And it is comprehended indeed by the supercelestial place, but it comprehends the subcelestial arch. It is evident therefore from these things, that the heaven presents itself to our view as triadic, according to its back indeed, connectedly containing all things in one simplicity; but according to its arch bounding the whole triad; and according to its profundity, itself proceeding into itself, and constituting the middle breadth of connexion and coherence. The back however, of the whole celestial order, is an intelligible deity, being perhaps allotted from hence this appellation. But it is intelligible as in the connective triad, externally compressing, and connectedly comprehending all the kingdom of the heaven. It likewise imparts to all the Gods by illumination a uniform and simple comprehension of secondary natures, and is supernally filled with intelligible union. Hence also, divine souls being led through all the celestial profundity, stand indeed on the back of the heaven, but the circulation carries them round as they stand; and thus they survey what is called the supercelestial place. The station therefore, is the establishment of souls in the intelligible watch tower of the heaven, extending to souls sameness, undefiled power, and undeviating intellection. But the circumduction is the participation of a life full of vigour, and the most acute energy. And the common presence of both these, comprehends the prolific energy, the quiet motion, and the stable intellection of intelligibles. But the celestial profundity, is the one continuity of the whole triad, and the middle deity which conjoins the whole146 celestial order, proceeding indeed from the intelligible comprehension, but ending in the celestial arch, which defines the boundary of the whole of the heaven. There is therefore, one union and connexion of all this triad, and an indissoluble progression from the back as far as to the arch, through this middle deity which is connascent with both the extremes, and which unfolds indeed the connective multitude, but on each side is bounded by the extremes; one of which comprehends it supernally, but the other from beneath bounds its progression.

The celestial arch therefore remains, which is the boundary beneath of the triad, and this is also the case with the intellect which is in it, being filled indeed by life, but united by the intelligible, and converting all the triad to its principle. For the arch also is similar to the back of the heaven, though according to interval it is less. Through subjection therefore it is diminished; but through similitude it is converted to the celestial summit. And this is the celestial intellect which is the proximate sunocheus147 of the subcelestial arch. Hence each148 arch is called the intellectual boundary of the intelligible and intellectual Gods. The whole connective triad therefore, is allotted such a division as this; the back (το νωτον) according to the intelligible (κατα το νοητον); the profundity according to life; and the arch according to intellect. But the whole of it is one and continued, because that which connects all other things, ought much more to be connective of itself. For each peculiarity of the Gods begins its energy from itself; the peculiarity indeed, which is collective, fixing itself collectively in the highest union; that which is convertive of wholes, converting itself to the principle; and that which is undefiled preserving itself prior to other things pure from matter. Hence the connective peculiarity also, prior to its participants, connects itself intelligibly and intellectually, and through this connexion the nature of the heaven is asserted to be one and continued. For all the triad converges to itself, and preserves its proper wholeness united, and most similar to itself according to nature. And the arch indeed, proximately connects all intellectuals, and compresses them on all sides. But prior to this, the celestial profundity itself, which also comprehends the arch, binds together the whole orders. And prior to these, the celestial back uniformly comprehends according to one ambit of simplicity, all the celestial kingdom itself, and all things that are contained under it, and binds them to themselves, by connective power and hyparxis. For in the things also that are apparent to sense, the concave circumference of the heavens, proximately compresses the elements, and does not suffer them in their indefinite motions on all sides, to be dissipated and blown away. And still prior to these, the celestial bulk strongly compresses and impels all things to the middle, and leaves no void place. But there is one comprehension of all these, viz. the back of the heavens, which is the cause to the heavens of similitude, and to the elements of contact with the heavens. For the smooth and equable nature of the back of the heavens as Timæus says, makes the whole of heaven similar to itself; and always the natures which comprehend are connective of the natures that are comprehended. It is necessary therefore from things that are apparent, to transfer the similitude to the father of the intellectual Gods, Heaven, and to survey how he is both one and triple, supernally indeed, and beneath, possessing the intelligible and intellect; but according to the middle possessing life, which being the cause of progressions and intervals, and generative powers, we have properly arranged according to interval under the celestial profundity;149 since Plato himself also calls the summit the back. “For those”, says he,” that are called immortals, when proceeding beyond the heaven they arrive at the summit, stand on the back of the heaven.” He calls therefore, the summit of the celestial order, and beyond, the back of the heaven; which things are in a remarkable manner the prerogatives of the first of the Synoches. For connectedly containing all things in the one summit of his hyparxis, according to the Oracle, he wholly exists beyond, and is united to the supercelestial place, and to the ineffable power of it, being enclosed on all sides by it, and shutting himself in the uniform comprehension of intelligibles. For what difference is there between saying that the first of the Synoches is shut in the intelligible place of survey, and evincing that it is proximately comprehended by the supercelestial place, which was intelligible, but expanded in intellectuals? If however, that which is beyond is the first, the summit is evidently coarranged with the rest, and is exempt from them. But if the first is a thing of this kind, being established according to the intelligible summit, and imparting by illumination to the other Gods, contact with the intelligible, and with the paternal port, it is indeed necessary that there should be a middle and an extremity, the one according to the celestial profundity, but the other according to the termination of the whole circulation. If however the circulation of the whole of the heaven is one and continued, the peculiarity of this order must be assigned as the cause of this. For being connective of the whole orders of the Gods, and prior to other things of itself, and being as it were the centre and bond of the divine genera, it in the first place binds and connects itself, and extends itself to one life. the heaven therefore is one and at the same time triple, and proceeds into three monads, being both unapparent and apparent, and that which is between these, and imitating the intelligible Gods who subside into intelligible triads.

Chapter XXII.

If you are willing however from what is written in the Cratylus, to see the peculiarity of this order, in the first place, let this be considered by you as an argument of the Synoche established in the middle, that a twofold habitude of it is delivered, one, towards intelligibles, but the other towards intellectuals. For it is said to see the things above, and to generate a pure intellect. Hence, of intelligibles it is the intelligence, but of intellectuals the intelligible. For the cause of intellect subsists prior to an intellectual cause, and that which is at once both these, especially gives completion to the middle order of intelligibles and intellectuals. For the collective deity, perceiving intelligibles, or rather being united to them, does not primarily give subsistence to a divine intellect. And the perfective deity, producing together with the middle divinity intellectuals, proximately perceives intellectually the celestial order, and not the intelligibles prior to the heaven. But the middle divinity alone, occupying the intelligible and intellectual centre, equally indeed extends to both, but perceiving intelligibles intellectually, it is the cause of intellectuals intelligibly. Since however, habitude to its causes precedes the power150 in it which is generative of intellectuals, Socrates beginning from this habitude, delivers also a second power as suspended from it. But sight directed to things above is very properly assigned the appellation of celestial, as seeing the things above. This therefore, perfectly defines for us a habitude more ancient than the connectedly-containing order, jointly assuming it to be intellectual as with reference to intelligibles, and sight as with reference to the objects of sight, though it intellectually perceives itself, and is intelligible in itself. But the intelligible of it, as with reference to that which is primarily intelligible, is allotted an intellectual order. What follows however, unfolds the habitude of this middle to intellectuals. (For Socrates adds,) “Whence also, O Hermogenes, those who are conversant with things on high say that Heaven generates a pure intellect, and that this name is properly assigned to it.” The order therefore, of the Heaven is expanded as a middle in the middle intellectual and intelligible Gods, comprehending at once the intelligible and intellectual in one impartible connexion, subsisting similarly with respect to each of these, and being equally distant from the first intellectuals, and the unical intelligibles. Hence it is said to perceive intellectually the things above, and thus to produce (a pure) intellect.

Assuming this therefore, in the first place from what has been laid down, in the next place we should attend to this, that the celestial order being triple, and the whole of it intellectually perceiving intelligibles, and producing intellectuals, the first monad indeed in an eminent manner intellectually perceives intelligibles. For it mingles itself with intelligibles, knows intelligible intellect, is united to the natures prior to itself, and is impartible as in impartibles, super-expanding itself towards intelligible simplicity. But the third monad is especially generative of intellectuals; since it is the intellect of the whole connective triad. And with the Orphic theologists also, Heaven the father of Saturn is the third. But the middle monad produces together with the third the intellectual order of the Gods; but is conjoined together with the first to intelligibles, and is filled indeed with intelligible union from the first, but fills the third151 with prolific powers. Do you not see therefore, how Plato through the peculiarity of the extremes, unfolds to us the whole celestial order? Conjoining indeed, the intelligible hyparxis of it to intelligibles; but its intellectual hyparxis to intellectuals; and affording us the means of collecting its hyparxis which is the middle of both these, and which proceeds according to a common peculiarity. For if you likewise wish to assume this from what has been said, the celestial light is conjoined to the light of intelligibles. For sight is nothing else than light. The middle order therefore, by its own light, and by the divine summit of itself is conjoined to the first natures; but by an intellectual nature, and the boundary of the whole triad, it generates intellect, and all the unpolluted deity of intellectuals. For it does not produce intellect by itself, but in conjunction with purity. For this Socrates himself asserts: “Whence also, they say, that a pure intellect is generated by it.” Hence the celestial order is the first-efficient cause of the intellectual hyparxis, and of undefiled power. If however it is necessary that purity should not be inherent in intellect from accident, it is the deity of those beings that are exempt from secondary natures, and is the supplier of immutable power, which the mighty Heaven producing in conjunction with intellect, is at the same time the efficient cause of the Gods who are the sources of purity, and of the intellectual fathers. These indications therefore of the truth concerning the connective Gods, may also be assumed from the Cratylus.

Chapter XXIII.

It remains therefore that in conformity to what is written in the Phædrus, we should survey the subcelestial arch, and the peculiarity of the Gods that are there. Before however we begin the doctrine concerning it, I wish to premise thus much, that some of the most celebrated of the interpreters prior to us, conceiving that this subcelestial arch is a divine order arranged under the heaven, have thought fit to rank it immediately after the first God, calling the first God Heaven. But others have arranged both the heaven, and the subcelestial arch in the breadth of intelligibles. For the Asinæan philosopher indeed [Theodorus] being persuaded by Plotinus, calls that which proximately proceeds from the ineffable, the subcelestial arch, as in his treatise concerning names he philosophizes about these things. But the great Iamblichus conceiving the mighty heaven to be a certain order of the intelligible Gods, (and in one place he considers it to be the same with the demiurgus,) asserts that the order proximately established under the heaven, and as it were begirding it, is the subcelestial arch. And these things he has written in his Commentaries on the Phædrus. Let no one therefore think that we make any innovation concerning the theology of this order, and that we are the first who divide the subcelestial arch from the heaven; but that we are principally persuaded by Plato, who distinguishes these three orders, the supercelestial place, the celestial circulation, and the subcelestial arch; and that after Plato, we are persuaded by those who investigate his theory in a divinely-inspired manner, viz. by Iamblichus and Theodorus. For why is it necessary to speak of our leader [Syrianus,] who was truly a Bacchus, [i.e. one agitated with divine fury,] and who in a remarkable manner was full of deity about Plato, and caused as far as to us the admirable nature of the Platonic theory, and the astonishment with which it is attended, to shine forth?

He therefore in his treatise on the concord [of Orpheus, Pythagoras, and Plato, has most perfectly unfolded the peculiarity of this order, the subcelestial arch.] The two above-mentioned wise men, however, differ very much from each other in their theory. For Theodorus, in calling the first cause Heaven, does not any longer permit Heaven to be sight perceiving the things above, as Socrates in the Cratylus etymologises it to be. For the first God neither sees, nor is sight, nor is inferior to any thing. Neither therefore does Theodorus admit this explanation of the name, nor does he celebrate the supercelestial place, as Socrates does wider the influence of divine inspiration. For there is neither any place, nor intelligible of the one, nor any multitude of forms, nor does the genus of souls ascend beyond the first God; since there is not any thing beyond him. But the divine Iamblichus, as he supposes that Heaven subsists indefinitely after the first cause, and as he has not delivered the peculiarity of its hyparxis, he is indeed pure from the above-mentioned doubts, but he should teach us what the celestial order is, how it subsists, and what genus of Gods prior to the demiurgus gives completion to it. He however who has perfected every thing [on this subject,] and has confirmed all that he has said by invincible arguments, is our preceptor [Syrianus,] who has surveyed all the orders between the first God, and the kingdom of the heaven, and who has intellectually beheld the peculiarity of this order, and has delivered to us his mystics the accurate truth concerning it. In this way therefore, our fathers and grandfathers differ from each other; but all of them in common distinguish the subcelestial arch from the celestial circulation.

Chapter XXIV.

This therefore must also be supposed by us, and likewise in addition to this, that this order of Gods (the subcelestial arch,) is proximately arranged under the heaven. Hence, since the heaven being one and triple, is allotted the connective order, but the supercelestial place is allotted the highest order of the intelligible and at the same time intellectual Gods, it is undoubtedly necessary that the subcelestial arch should terminate the middle progression of the Gods, should close this whole order, and convert it to its principle, and that it should receive an order which is secondary indeed to the heaven, but which it convolves to the highest union, and should be connascently conjoined with the middle genera, but exist, prior to intellectuals. For these indeed separate their kingdom from the celestial power; but the subcelestial arch is united to the heaven, and is comprehended by the celestial order. Whence also it is denominated subcelestial. As it is conjoined therefore, to the celestial circulation, and subsists proximately from it, it converts all secondary natures to intelligibles, and perfects them according to the intellectual place of survey. For since the intellectual Gods are generated according to conversion, and are convolved to themselves according to one spherical union, it is necessary that the perfective empire should be proximately established above them.

Hence, I am led to wonder at those who are ignorant of this divine order, and do not maintain the whole fountain of perfection; but some of them betake themselves to entelechias, of whom we admit thus much alone, that they also conjoin the perfect with the form of connexion. They are ignorant therefore, of the perfection which is separate from subjects, willingly embrace the resemblances of true perfections, and are conversant with these. Others again assign soul as the cause of perfection, who are ignorant that they do not vindicate to themselves a perfection pre-existing in eternity, and who begin from the life which energizes according to time, and possesses its perfection in periods. It is necessary, however, that a perfection the whole of which subsists at once, should be prior to that which is divided, and that stable perfection should be prior to that which is moved. For the motion itself which is according to time, is indigent of end, and of the desirable, and is evolved about it according to parts. In the third place, after these, others recur to intellect, and suppose the first perfection to be intellectual. For intellect indeed, is energy and intellectual perfection; but it aspires after divine perfection, subsists about it, and is converted to itself through it. It is necessary therefore, that the cause of conversion should exist prior to the intellectual genera which are converted to divine perfection, and that the leader of the perfection which is one, should be expanded above the natures which are perfected.

Deservedly therefore, does the subcelestial arch prior to all intellectual natures, pre-establish an order of Gods convertive and perfective of all the secondary divine genera. And on this account, Plato elevates the Gods and dæmons that follow Jupiter, to this arch, and through this to the heaven, and the supercelestial place. For when they proceed to the banquet, and delicious food, they ascend to the subcelestial arch. Hence through this they are perfected, participate of the circulation of the heaven, and are extended to the intelligible. For the intelligible is that which nourishes and fills all things. The perfective therefore is established under the connective order. And it perfects indeed all the natures that ascend to the intelligible, dilates souls to the reception of divine goods, and illuminates intellectual light. But comprehending in the bosoms of itself, the second genera of the Gods, it establishes all things in the connective circulation of wholes.

Through these things therefore, Socrates also shortly after says, that the souls that are elevated together with the twelve Gods, to intelligible beauty, are initiated [viz. rendered perfect] in the most blessed of the mysteries, and through this initiation receive the mysteries with a pure soul, and become established in, and spectators of things ineffable. Hence the initiation of the Gods is there; the first mysteries are there. Nor is it at all wonderful, if Plato also tolerates us in calling the Gods [of this order] Teletarchs since he says, that the souls that are there are initiated, the Gods themselves indeed initiating them. But how is it possible otherwise to denominate those who are the primary sources of telete or initiation, than Teletarchs? For I indeed, perceiving so great an energy even as far as to the names themselves, do not see how they can be called differently. Initiation however, being one and triple, (for the perfective are co-divided with the connective Gods,) Plato calls the one union of it the subcelestial arch, in the same manner as he calls the connective order Heaven. But the depth which is in it is indicated by his admitting that there is in it an extreme subjection, and a steep path to the summit of the arch. As therefore, in the order prior to this, we thought it proper to arrange the intelligible according to the summit, the vital according to the profundity, and the intellectual according to the extremity, which defines the whole celestial circulation, so likewise in this perfective order, we must consider the intelligible of the arch as its summit, denominating it after the same manner as the back of the heaven, because these are coordinate to each other; but we must consider the profundity as coordinate to life, through which souls proceed to the summit; and the extremity which closes the whole arch, as coordinate to intellect.

Chapter XXV.

This whole order however, which is united to the order prior to it we must analogously divide. For the perfective Gods are spread under all the connective triad. And one of these indeed, is the supplier to the Gods of stable152 perfection, establishing all the Gods in, and uniting them to themselves. But another is the primary source of a perfection generative of wholes, exciting things which precede according to essence, to the providence of secondary natures. And a third is the leader of conversion to causes, convolving every thing which has proceeded, to its proper principle. For through this triad every thing which is perfect is self-sufficient, and subsists in itself; every thing which generates, is perfect, and generates full of vigour; and every thing which aspires after its proper principle, is conjoined to it, through its own perfection. Whether therefore, you assume the power of nature which is perfective of things that are generated, or the perfect number of the restitutions of the soul to its pristine state, or the perfection of intellect which is established according to energy in one, all these are suspended from the one perfection of the Gods, and being referred to it, some are allotted a greater, but others a less portion of a perfect hyparxis; and every perfection proceeds from thence. But in short, perfection is triple; one indeed being prior to parts, such as is the perfection of the Gods. For this has its subsistence in unity, pre-existing self-perfectly, prior to all multitude. For such indeed is the we of the Gods, not being such as the one of souls, or of bodies; since these indeed are in a kindred manner conjoined with multitude, and are co-mingled with essences. But the unities of the Gods are self-perfect, and subsist prior to essences, generating multitudes, and not being generated together with them. But another perfection is that which consists of parts, and which derives its completion through parts, such as is the perfection of the world; for it possesses the all-perfect from its plenitudes. And a third other perfection, is that which is in parts. But thus also each part of the world is perfect. For as this universe is a whole consisting of wholes, so likewise it is perfect from the perfect parts that are in it, according to Timæus. And in short, perfection is divided after the same manner as wholeness; for, as Timæus says, they are conjoined with each other.

Hence also the perfective genus is connascent with the connective, and the perfective monad is arranged under all the connective genera. And as the wholeness of the heaven which connectedly contains parts is triple, so likewise perfection is triple. And if it be requisite to deliver my own opinion, all the perfections are derived from all the leaders; but the perfection which is prior to parts, pertains in a greater degree to the first leader; that which consists of parts, to the middle; and that which is in a part, to the third leader. But prior to this triad, is the intelligible triad, which is uniform perfection, and an all-perfect hyparxis, and which Timæus also denominates perfect according to all things. There, however, the three perfections pre-existed unitedly, or rather, there was one fountain of every perfection. As therefore the connective153 triad, is the evolution of the intelligible connexion, and the collective triad of the unific, and that which is the first in intelligibles, so likewise the perfective triad is the image of the all-perfect triad. For the intelligible and intellectual proceed analogous to the intelligible triads. Perfection therefore is triple, prior to parts, from parts, in a part. According to another mode also, perfection is stable, generative, convertive. And according to another conception, there is one perfection of intellectual and impartible essences, another of psychical essences, and another of the natures which are divisible about bodies. Very properly therefore, there are three leaders of perfection prior to the intellectual Gods, who constitute one order under the celestial circulation, who elevate through themselves all secondary natures to the intelligible, perfect them by intelligible light, convert and conjoin them to the kingdom of the heaven impart an unsluggish energy to the natures that are perfected, and are the guardians of their undefiled perfection.

Chapter XXVI.

Such are the conceptions which may be assumed from Plato concerning the third triad of the intelligible, and at the same time intellectual orders, which at one time he denominates the subcelestial arch, possessing a summit, middle, and extremity, but at another a blessed mystery, and of all mysteries the most ancient and august, through which he elevates souls and conjoins them to the mystic plenitude of intelligibles. For this triad opens the celestial paths, being established under the celestial circulation, and exhibits the self-splendid appearances of the Gods, which are both entire and firm, and expand to the mystic inspection of intelligible spectacles, as Socrates says in the Phædrus. For telete precedes muesis, and muesis, epopteia. Hence we are initiated [teleioumetha] in ascending, by the perfective Gods. But we view with closed eyes [i.e. with the pure soul itself, muoumetha] entire and stable appearances, through the connective Gods, with whom there is the intellectual wholeness, and the firm establishment of souls. And we become fixed in, and spectators of [epopteuomen] the intelligible watch tower, through the Gods who are the collectors of wholes. We speak indeed of all these things as with reference to the intelligible, but we obtain a different thing according to a different order. For the perfective Gods initiate us in the intelligible through themselves. And the collective monads are through themselves the leaders of the inspection of intelligibles. And there are indeed many steps of ascent, but all of them extend to the paternal port, and the paternal initiation, in which may the teletarchs, who are the leaders of all good, likewise establish us, illuminating us not by words, but by deeds. May they also think us worthy of being filled with intelligible beauty under the mighty Jupiter, and perfectly free us from those evils about generation with which we are now surrounded as with a wall. May they likewise impart to us by illumination this most beautiful fruit of the present theory, which, following the divine Plato, we have sufficiently delivered to those who love the contemplation of truth.

Chapter XXVII.

Let us now therefore again follow Parmenides in another way, who after the intelligible triads generates the intelligible, and at the same time, intellectual orders, and unfolds the continued progression of divine natures, through successive conclusions. For the connexion of the words, and their dependence on each other, imitates the indissoluble order of things, which always conjoins middles to extremes, and proceeds through middle genera to the last progressions of beings. This therefore we must survey prior to the several intellectual conceptions, how the intelligible, and at the same time, intellectual triads, proceed analogous to the intelligible triads, that we may comprehend by a reasoning process the well-arranged order of things. There were three intelligible triads therefore, viz. the one being, whole, and infinite multitude. And three intelligible, and at the same time, intellectual triads, have also presented themselves to our view, viz. number, whole, and the perfect. Hence from the one being, number is derived; from the intelligible whole, the whole that is in these; and from infinite multitude, the perfect. For the infinite which is there was all-powerful, and all-perfect, comprehending indeed all things, but being itself incomprehensible. To the all-powerful therefore and all-perfect, the perfect is analogous, possessing a perfection which is intellectual, and secondary to the first effective and intelligible perfection. The whole also which is both intelligible and intellectual is allied to the intelligible whole, but it differs from it, so far as the latter possesses wholeness according to the one union of the one being; but the one of the former appears to be itself by itself a whole, consisting of unical parts, and being appears to consist of many beings. These wholenesses therefore, being divided, differ from the wholeness which precedes according to union and is intelligible. For the wholenesses of this whole are parts of the intelligible wholeness.

In the third place therefore, we must consider number as analogous to the one being. For the one being is there indeed occultly, intelligibly, and paternally; but here in conjunction with difference it generates number, which constitutes the separation of forms and reasons.154 For difference itself first shines forth in this order, being power indeed, and the duad in intelligibles; but here it is maternal, and a prolific fountain. For there power was collective of the one, and the one being; on which account also it was ineffable, as existing occultly in the one and in hyparxis. But here difference separates indeed being and the one. After this likewise, it multiplies the one proceeding generatively, and calls forth being into second and third progressions; breaking indeed being into many beings, and dividing the one into more partial unities. But according to each of these completing the decrements, the wholes remaining. Very properly therefore does Plato make the negations of the one from this. For here the many subsist, through difference which divides being and the one; since the whole also which is denied of the one, is intellectual and not intelligible. The negation therefore says that the one is not a whole, so that the affirmation is, the one is a whole. This whole however is intellectual and not intelligible. Parmenides also denies the many as follows: “The one is not many; but the opposite to this is, the one is many. The multitude of intelligibles, however, does not make the one to be many, but causes the one being to be many. And in short, every intelligible is characterized by the one being. For in the intelligible being and the one are complicated, and are connascent with each other; and being is most unical. But when each of these proceeds into multitude, they are separated from each other, and evince a greater difference with respect to each other. Each of these also is divided into multitude through the prolific nature of difference. From these things therefore, it is evident that the intelligible and intellectual orders, being analogous to the intelligible orders, proceed in conjunction with diminution.

Chapter XXVIII.

After this however, let us discuss each of them, beginning according to nature. First, therefore, the intelligible, and at the same timer intellectual number presents itself to our view; and which is connected with multitude. For every number is multitude; But with respect to multitude, one kind subsists unitedly, and another kind with separation. Number, however, is separate multitude; for there is difference in it. For in the intelligible there was power, and not difference, and this power generated multitude, and conjoined it to the monads. Number therefore is in continuity with intelligible multitude; and this is necessary. For the monad was there, and also the duad; since whole also was there, and was always monadic; and becoming to be two, has no cessation. Hence the monad and the duad were there, which are the first and exempt principles of numbers. And in these multitude was unitedly; since the monad which is the fountain of numbers, and the duad possess all multitude according to cause; the former paternally, but the latter maternally. And on this account intelligible multitude is not yet number, but is intelligibly established in the uniform principles, I mean the monad and the duad; generatively indeed, in the duad, but paternally in the monad. For the third God was father and mother; since if animal itself is in it, it is also necessary that the cause of the male and the female should there primarily pre-exist For these are in animals. Hence according to Timæus, and according to Parmenides, the maternal and the paternal cause are there. And in these, intelligible animals, and intelligible multitudes are comprehended. From these first principles also number together with difference proceed, and they generate the monads and the duads which are in number, and all numbers. For both the generative and the paternal subsist in these in a feminine manner.

All the monads likewise of this triad are paternal. Hence prior to other things they participate of the monadic cause, but according to the power of difference. For there indeed, I mean in the intelligible, the maternal was paternally; but here the paternal subsists maternally; just as there, the intellectual subsists intelligibly, but here the intelligible, intellectually. From that order therefore, the first number subsists proximately, but being generated analogous to the first triad of intelligibles, it also evidently proceeds from it. Hence also, Parmenides beginning his discourse about number, reminds us of the first hypothesis through which he generates the one being, asserting that the one participates of essence, and essence of the one, in consequence of this subsisting according to that triad. And this very properly. For being intelligible and intellectual, so far indeed, as it is allotted an intelligible order in intellectuals, it proceeds from the summit of intelligibles, but so far as it precedes the intellectual orders, it proceeds from the intellectual of intelligibles. In that intelligible triad, however, the one was of being, and being of the one, through the ineffable and occult union of these two, and their subsistence in each other. But in the intelligible and at the same time intellectual triad, difference presenting itself to the view, which is the image of the concealed and ineffable power in the first triad of intelligibles, and luminously exerting its own energy, separates the one from being, and being from the one, leads each into divided multitude, and thus generates total number. For number, as we have frequently said, is divided and not united multitude, and subsists from the principles according to a second progression, but is not occultly established in the principles. Hence also, it is simply different from multitude. And in intelligibles indeed, there is multitude; but in intellectuals number. For there indeed, number is according to cause; but here multitude is according to participation. For there indeed, division subsists intelligibly; but here union has an intellectual subsistence. If therefore number proceeds from these, and is allotted such an order, Parmenides very properly especially mentions these triads, asserting that the one participates of essence, and essence of the one,155 and that through these the many become apparent. For one of these indeed, is the illustrious property of the first triad, but the other of the third triad. And in the first triad indeed, participation156 was the presubsistence of the union of the one and being; but in the third triad many intelligibles present themselves to the view, Plato all but proclaiming that the most splendid of intelligibles subsists according to intelligible multitude, though multitude is there occult, and uniformly. For according to each order of divine natures, multitude is appropriately generated in the extremities.

Chapter XXIX.

The intelligible number therefore of the intellectual genera, proceeds from these, and through these. And it possesses indeed properties incomprehensible by human reasonings, but which are divided into two first effective powers, viz. the power generative of wholes, and the power which collects into union all progressions. For according to the monad indeed, it collects intellectual multitude, and conjoins it to intelligibles; but according to the duad it produces multitude, and separates it according to difference. And according to the odd number indeed, it collects the many orders into indivisible union; but according to the even number, it prolifically produces into light all the genera of the Gods. For being established as the middle of the intelligible and intellectual Gods, and giving completion to the one bond of them, it is carried in its summit indeed, in intellectuals as in a vehicle, but being united to intelligibles, it evolves intelligible multitude, and calls forth its occult and unical nature into separation, and prolific generation. It also collects that which is intellectual into union and impartible communion. And not this only, but generating all things as far as to the last of things, according to the incomprehensible cause of the duad and the nature of the even number, it again unites the proceeding natures and convolves them according to the monad, and the sameness of the odd number. Through unity indeed, and the duad, it produces,157 collects and binds all things intelligibly, occultly, and in an unknown manner to the intelligible, and effects this even in the last matter and the vestiges of forms which it contains. But through the even and odd number it constitutes the two coordinations, viz. the vivific and the immutable, the prolific and the effective, all the impartible genera of fabricating and animal-producing powers, those powers that preside over a partible life, or partible production, the more intellectual and singular mundane natures, and which belong to the better coordination, and those natures that are more irrational and multiplied, and which give completion to the subordinate series. And again, through this divided generation we may see that each of the proceeding natures, is united and at the same time multiplied, is indivisible and divided in its causes, and through diminution is separated from them. And we attribute indeed things that are more excellent and more simple to the nature of the odd number, but things that are less excellent and more various, to the nature of the even number. For every where indeed, the odd number is the leader of impartible, simple, and unical goods; but the even number is the cause of divided, various, and generative progressions. And thus we may see all the orders of beings woven together according to divine number which is most ancient, intellectual, and exempt from all the dinumerated genera. For it is necessary that number should exist prior to the things that are numbered, and that prior to things which are separated there should be the cause of all separation, according to which the genera of the Gods are divided, and are distinguished in an orderly manner by appropriate numbers.

If therefore in intellectuals there are divisions, contacts, and separations of the proceeding natures, and likewise communications of coordinate natures, it is necessary that number should be prior to intellectuals, which divides and collects all things intelligibly by the powers of itself. And if all things subsist occultly, intelligibly, in an unknown manner and exemptly in this summit,158 there is a number of them, and a peculiarity unical and without separation. Number therefore subsists according to the middle bond of intelligibles and intellectuals, being indeed expanded above intellectuals through intelligible goods, but subordinate to intelligibles through intellectual separations. And it is assimilated indeed to intelligibles according to the power which is collective of many things into union, but to intellectuals according to the power which is generative of the many from the one. But from this highest place of survey of the intellectual Gods, it constitutes the first intellectual numbers themselves which have the nature of forms, are universal, and preside over the whole of generation and production. It likewise constitutes the second numbers, which are supermundane, and vivific, and measure the Gods that are in the world. But it constitutes as the third numbers, these celestial governors of the perpetual circulations, and who convolve all the orbs according to the intellectual causes of them. And it constitutes as the last numbers those powers that in the sublunary region connect and bound the infinity and unstable nature of matter by forms, and numbers and reasons, through which both the wholes and parts of all mortal natures are variegated with proper numbers. But it every where connects the precedaneous and more perfect genera of the Gods by the odd number, but the subordinate and secondary genera, by the even number. Thus for instance, in the intellectual orders, it produces the female and the prolific according to the even number, but the male and the paternal according to the odd number. But in the supermundane orders, it characterizes similitude and the immutable according to the odd number, but dissimilitude and a progression into secondary natures, according to the even number. For thus the Athenian guest also, orders that in sacred worship odd things should be distributed to the celestial, but even to the terrestrial powers. And according to each of these genera that which is of a more ruling nature must be referred to the odd number, but that which is subordinate, to the even number.

The nature of number, therefore, pervades from on high, as far as to the fast of things, adorning all things, and connecting them by appropriate forms. For how could a perfect number comprehend the period of the whole world, as the Muses in Plato assert that it does? Or how could numbers, some of which are productive of fertility, and others of sterility, comprehend the descents of souls? Or how could some of them define the ascents of souls in less, but others in greater periods, as Socrates says in the Phædrus, where he delivers to us restitutions consisting of three thousand and ten thousand years? Or how could time itself which is unically comprehensive of the psychical measures, proceed according to number, as Timæus says it does, unless divine number exists prior to all these, which imparts to all things a principal cause of order according to numbers? Since all things therefore subsist through numbers and forms, numbers are allotted a progression, from the intellectual summit. But forms have their generation from intelligible159 forms. For forms subsist primarily in the third triad of intelligibles. But numbers are primarily in the first triad of intellectuals; since also in the effects of these, every number indeed is form, but not every form is number.

If, however, it be requisite clearly to unfold the truth, numbers are also prior to forms. For there are indeed superessential numbers, but there are not superessential forms. And according to this reasoning every form is number, as also the Pythagoreans said. For Timæus being a Pythagorean, not only asserts that there are intelligible forms, but also intelligible numbers; for he says that the intelligible forms are four. There however, number is intelligibly, and monadically according to cause. For intelligible animal is a monad, occultly containing the whole of number. But in the summit of intellectuals, number subsists separately, evolving the number which pre-exists in the monad according to cause and uniformly. For there is a difference, I think, between saying multitude in its cause, and multitude from its cause, and between saying united, and saying separated multitude. And the one indeed is prior to number, but the other is number. So that according to Timæus there are intelligible numbers together with forms, and prior to forms. And according to Parmenides, number is after multitude. For Timæus calls uniform and occult multitude the number of forms. But since number is primarily in the Gods, but forms participate of the divine unities, he denominates the first ideas four. For monad and triad, were primarily indeed in the Gods themselves, but secondarily in intellectuals; and superessentially indeed in the former, but formally in the latter. In intelligibles therefore, multitude was unically; but in intellectuals it subsists separately. But where there is separation there also there is number, as we have frequently observed. Hence likewise all the genera of the Gods are from hence generated. And they are divided, the paternal indeed and generative, among intelligibles and intellectuals; but the demiurgic and vivific, among intellectuals. And the genera indeed, that bind through similitude, are divided among supermundane natures; but those that are both exempt and distributed, are divided among the liberated Gods. And the celestial160 and sublunary genera, are divided among the mundane Gods. And in short, all the coordinations of beings receive their distinction and separation from this order. From these things therefore, it is evident what the peculiarities are which intelligible and at the same time intellectual number possesses, and of what it is the cause to the Gods.

Chapter XXX.

In the next place, we must likewise assert that the first number161 is of a feminine nature. For in this, difference first shines forth, separating the one from being, and dividing the one into many unities, and being into many beings. What therefore is the difference which is the cause of these things to the Gods? For if we should call it a genus of being, in the first place indeed, how is it prior to being? For separating being and the one, it is arranged between both of them. But existing as a middle, it calls forth indeed the one into generations, but it fills being with generative cause. If therefore, it is prior to being, how will it be one certain genus of being? And in the second place, after this, the different which is a genus of being, is every where essential, and is by no means inherent in superessential natures. But difference itself is primarily present with the unities themselves, and separates and produces many unities from one. How therefore, can superessential difference ever come to be the same with the difference which gives completion to essences?

In the third place, that different [which is a genus of being,] presents itself to the view in intellectuals, according to the demiurgic order. But difference itself is the intelligible summit of intellectuals. And the former indeed, subsists together with sameness; but the latter has by itself a subsistence in the intelligibles of intellectuals. To which also may be added, that in what follows, Plato as he proceeds makes mention of difference, and generates it in conjunction with sameness. How therefore, does he effect the same conclusion twice? For he does not employ such a repetition as this in any one of the other conclusions. For whole, which he seems to assume twice, is not the same whole, viz. the intellectual is not the same with the intelligible; but these, as we have said, differ from each other. For how could be unfold to us the different progressions of divine natures, if he collected the same conclusions? According to all these conceptions, therefore, we must separate the difference which is generative of numbers from the genus of beings.

But if difference itself is not the nature of the different, but a power generative of beings, it will be collective of being and the one. For every where power is allotted an hyparxis of this kind. For through power the one participates of being, and being of the one. Power therefore was the cause, not of division, but of communion, of contact without separation, and of the habitude of the one to being, and of being to the one. Hence it is necessary that it should neither be arranged according to intelligible power, nor according to the intellectual difference of beings; but that being the middle of both, it should subsist analogous to intelligible power, but should generate in the extremities of intellectuals the portion of the different. What else therefore is it than the feminine nature of the Gods? Hence also it imitates intelligible power, and is prolific of many unities, and of many beings. And how could it otherwise separate number from itself, and the forms and powers of number, unless it was the cause of the divine progressions in a feminine manner. Multitude therefore is paternally in intelligibles, but maternally in intellectuals. Hence, in the former indeed, it subsists monadically, but in the latter according to number. Very properly therefore, in the second genera of the Gods also, union is derived from the male, but separation from the female divinities. And bound indeed proceeds from the males, but infinity from the females. For the male is analogous to bound, but the female to infinity. The female, however, differs from infinite power, so far as power indeed, is united to the father, and is in him; but the female is divided from the paternal cause. For power is not only in the female divinities, but is also prior to them, since the intelligible powers are in the male divinities, according to Timæus, who says that the power of the demiurgus is the cause of the generation of perpetual natures. For [the demiurgus says to the junior Gods] “imitating my power, produce and generate animals.” Power therefore, is prior to the male and the female, and is in both, and posterior to both. For it pervades through all beings, and every being participates of power, as the Elean guest says. For power is every where. But the female participates in a greater degree of its peculiarity, and the male of union according to bound. That the first number therefore, which presents itself to the view from intelligibles, is of a feminine nature, is through these things evident.

Chapter XXXI

It remains then, that we should speak concerning the triadic division of it, following Parmenides. These three things therefore, have appeared to us from the beginning, according to the separation of the one from being, viz. the one, difference, and being; difference not being the same either with the one or being. For though the one and being were in intelligibles, yet difference first subsists here. Since however power above [i.e. in intelligibles] was collective, but here is the separator of the extremes, there are not only three monads, but also three duads, viz. the one in conjunction with difference, difference in conjunction with being, and the one in conjunction with being. For difference also is the cause of a separation of this kind, not preserving the union of the one being with genuine purity. There are therefore three monads, and three duads. But these likewise may become three triads, when we begin, at one time from the one, at another time from being, and at another from difference. Hence this triad subsists monadically, and triadically. But this is the same thing as to assert that difference and the first feminine nature generates in itself, monads, duads, triads. For the divided assumption, generates for us different monads; but the conjoined assumption, duads, and triads, some indeed being vanquished by the one, others by difference, and others by being. And thus far the first deity presents itself to the view, being prolific of the first numbers; according to the one indeed, of unical numbers, but according to difference of generative, and according to being, of essential numbers.

Since however, from this deity which is intelligible, that which is posterior to it proceeds, it is evidently necessary that the monad, duad, and triad, should severally have prolific power. These powers therefore, Parmenides calls once, twice, thrice. For each of these is a power which is the cause of the above-mentioned essences that produce either separately, or connectedly. For there with respect to the generations of them, some of them are entirely peculiar, but others are common to secondary natures. The progeny therefore of these are, the oddly-odd, the evenly-even and the evenly-odd.162 And of these, the oddly-odd, indeed, as we have before observed, is collective into union of the divine progressions. But the evenly-even is generative of wholes, and proceeds as far as to the last of things. The evenly-odd however, is mixed, having its subsistence from both the even and the odd. Hence we must establish the first as analogous to bound, but the second as analogous to power, and the third as analogous to being. And you may see, how indeed in the first order all things had a primary subsistence, viz. monad, duad, triad; but how in this order, all things are secondarily and subordinately. And the mixture which is the triad, subsisted there indeed in one way, but here the evenly-odd subsists in another way. For there the extremes were odd, because they were intelligible; but here the even is more abundant, and the intelligible summit only is odd. For the middle of the triad is analogous to power. And there indeed, is the monad, which has all the forms of odd numbers according to cause, and the duad is there, which is occultly all the forms of even numbers, and also the triad, which is number primarily. But here both the odd and the even number now subsist in a twofold respect, in one place in an unmingled, and in another in a mingled manner. All things therefore, are here prolifically, but there, paternally and intelligibly. But that monad does not proceed from intelligibles, but subsists in them in unproceeding union. Hence, after these, and from these, we may survey the whole of number subsisting according to a third progression. “For these things,” says Parmenides, “pre-existing, no number will be absent.” Every number therefore, is generated through these in the third monad, and both the one and being become many, difference separating each of them. And every part indeed of being participates of the one; but every unity is carried as in a vehicle in a certain portion of being. Each of these however, is multiplied, intellectually separated, divided into minute parts, and proceeds to infinity. For as in intelligibles, we attribute infinite multitude to the third triad, so here, in this triad we assign infinite number to the third part of the triad. For in short every where, the infinite is the extremity, as proceeding in an all-perfect manner, and comprehending indeed all secondary natures, but being itself participated by none of them. In the first monad therefore, there were powers, but intelligibly. In the second, there were progressions and generations, but both intelligibly and intellectually. And in the third, there was all-powerful number, unfolding the whole of itself into light; and which also Parmenides denominates infinite. It is likewise especially manifest that it is not proper to transfer this infinity to quantity. For how can there be an infinite number, since infinity is hostile to the nature of number? And how are the parts of the one equal to the minute parts of being? For in infinites there is not the equal. But this indeed has been thought worthy of attention by those who were prior to us.

Chapter XXXII.

The division therefore into three, having been demonstrated by us, we shall briefly observe, that the one appears to be many according to this order, the one itself proceeding into a multitude of unities, and being in a similar manner becoming generated in conjunction with the one. For those three monads are the intelligible comprehensions of all orders, and they at once preside over all the progressions from intelligibles, produce All of them in an exempt manner, and collect them to the intelligible causes. Since however, Plotinus admits that number is prior to animal itself, and says that the first being produces from itself number, and that this is established as a medium between the one being, and animal itself but is the basis and place of beings, it is worth while to speak likewise concisely about this. For if he says that animal itself has intelligible and occult number, as comprehended in the monad, he speaks rightly, and accords with Plato. But if he says that animal itself comprehends number, now separated, or which has a multiform subsistence, and is the progeny of difference, intelligible multitude is not a thing of this kind. For there indeed, the one is being, and being is the one. Hence animal itself is according to all things perfect. But in number, the one is separated from being, and being from the one, and each of the parts is no longer an intelligible whole, as an animal itself. For that is a whole of wholes, and every where the one was with being in the parts of it, and animal itself was only-begotten. But number proceeded after the twofold coordinations, I mean the monad and duad, the odd and the even number. How therefore, can we place in animal itself the first number? If however, some one should say that number exists there, it is according to cause and intelligibly. But it is intellectually separated by difference. And farther still, in addition to these things, if animal itself is surveyed by some one in the demiurgic order, and he denominates it the plenitude of forms, and the ineligible of the demiurgic intellect, it will thus have intellectual number, as being arranged near the intellectual end. But if he should call intelligible animal number, in this case there will be separation and difference in the Gods, whom we have asserted to be established above the whole of things, according to supreme union; For all section and division originate from the intellectual Gods; since here difference proceeds, adorning things in conjunction with the one and being. How therefore, does the division of the unities into minute parts, or the multiform nature of beings pertain to intelligibles? And how can the multitude of all forms accord with the first animal itself? For the tetrad was there, divided by the monad and triad, a division of this kind: being adapted to the third order of intelligible forms. For as the one being is a monad, but eternity is a monad and duad, (for to be is conjoined with the ever) so animal itself is a monad and triad. Since, however, it comprehends in itself the cause of all number, Timæus denominates it the tetrad which is comprehensive of the four first effective causes. For the tetrad itself pre-exists as the fountain of all the production of forms. But in intelligibles the monad, duad and triads subsist unically; but in intellectuals in a divided manner.

Difference therefore necessarily generates all these for us with separation. For every where, the first of subordinate natures have the peculiar form of the natures that exist prior to them.163 Hence, the first multitudes proceed indeed from the one, but they are unical, without separation, and without number, imitating the one principle of the whole of things. Very properly therefore, does Parmenides constitute multitude in intelligibles, according to the end [of the intelligible order]; but number in intellectuals according to the beginning [of the intelligible and at the same time intellectual order.] And these are conjoined with each other. Parmenides also pre-establishes unical and intelligible multitude, as the cause of intellectual numbers. And Timæus shows that animal itself is only-begotten, because it was monadically the cause of the whole of things, and not dyadically, nor according to divine difference. That number however, is the first thing in intellectuals, we have abundantly shown.

Chapter XXXIII.

But Parmenides begins to speak about it as follows: “Proceed therefore, and still farther consider this. What? We have said that the one participates of essence, so far as it is being. We have said so. And on this account the one being appears to be many.” But he completes his discourse about the first monad thus: “Are not three (things odd, and two even? How should they not?” And about the second monad, as follows: “Hence there will be the evenly-even, and the oddly-odd, and the oddly-even, and the evenly-odd.” But he completes his discourse about the third and all the succeeding triad, as follows: “The one being therefore, is not only many, but it is likewise necessary that the one which is distributed by being should be many. Entirely so.” The first triad, therefore, of the intelligible, and at the same time, intellectual Gods, is through these things unfolded to us by Plato, and which possesses indeed, according to the first monad the first powers of numbers, I mean the odd and the even, and is completed through these principles which were in intelligibles occultly, viz. monad, duad, triad. But according to the second monad it possesses the second powers of numbers which subsist from these [i.e. from the first powers]. For the section of the forms of the even number, is allotted a second order. And the oddly-odd is subordinate to the first odd numbers. But according to the third monad, it possesses the more partial causes of divine numbers. Hence also, a separation into minute parts, infinity, all-perfect division, and unical and essential number are here; receiving indeed, the unical and the essential from unity and being, but the separation of number from difference. For every where difference is in the three monads, but it particularly unfolds the multitudes of numbers, according to the third monad, generates more partial Gods, and divides being in conjunction with the Gods. For neither is deity in these imparticipable, because unity is not separate from being, nor is essence destitute of deity, because neither is being deprived of the one.

Since however, all things are in each of the monads, but unically and intelligibly in the first, generatively, and according to the peculiarity of difference in the second, and intellectually, and according to being in the third;—this being the case, Plato when unfolding to us the first monad, very properly begins from the monad, and proceeds as far as to the triad; but when teaching about the second, he begins from evenly-even numbers, and proceeds as far as to those that are evenly-odd, both which belong to the nature of the even number. And when he adds the third monad, he begins from being, and recurs through difference to the one. For having shown that being participates of number, he from hence leads us round to unical number, employing the mode of conversion in the conception of this monad.

Chapter XXXIV.

If, however, it be requisite to survey the unknown peculiarity of divine numbers, and how the first order of intelligibles and intellectuals, and number which subsists according to this order, is the most ancient of all numbers, in the first place, we should consider the infinity mentioned by Parmenides, and see whether he does not say that intelligible multitude is infinite on account of this number, in consequence of its being unknown and incomprehensible by partial conceptions. For the all-perfect, and all-powerful peculiarity of divine numbers is exempt from the comprehension of partible natures, [such as ours]. They are therefore unknown, and on this account are said to be inexplicable, and not to be investigated. For number also in the last of things, and multitude, together with the known have likewise the unknown. And we are not able to comprehend the progression of every number in consequence of being vanquished by infinity. The incomprehensibility therefore, of this power which is unknown according to a discursive energy, is comprehended according to cause, in intelligible numbers and multitudes. For there would not be a thing of this kind in the last of numbers, unless the unknown pre-existed in intelligible numbers, and unless the former were ultimate imitations of the exempt incomprehensibility of the latter.

In the second place, after this, we may also add, that unical numbers are likewise of themselves unknown. For they are more ancient than beings, more single than forms, and being generative of, exist prior to the forms which we call intelligible. But the most venerable of divine operations manifest this, since they employ numbers, as possessing an ineffable efficacy, and through these effect the greatest, and most arcane of works. And prior to these nature ineffably, according to sympathy, imparts different powers to different164 things, to some solar, but to others lunar powers, and renders the productions of these concordant with numbers. For in these monadic numbers also, the forms of numbers, such as the triad, the pentad, and the heptad, are one thing, but the unions of the forms another thing. For each of these forms is both one, and multitude. Hence form is unknown according to the highest union.

If therefore, monadic number participates of a certain unknown power, much more must the first number possess this peculiarity unically exempt from the whole of things. And besides this, we may also assume the anagogic power of numbers, not only because they define the periods of the physical restitutions, circumscribing our indefinite lation by appropriate measures, perfecting us according to these measures, and conjoining us to our first causes, but because likewise, number in a remarkable manner possesses a certain power of attracting to truth, as Socrates says in the Republic, leading us to intelligibles from a sensible nature.165 As therefore, the last number is allotted this peculiarity, what ought we to say about the first number? Is it not this, that it unfolds intelligible light, especially persuades to an establishment in intelligibles, and through its own order announces to us the uniform power of principles? If therefore, we rightly assert these things, we shall in a greater degree admire Timæus, who having placed time over the perfections of souls, and the whole world, through which it would become more similar to animal itself says, that time proceeds according to number, and by number measures the existence of total souls. And as in intellectuals, number is established above the celestial circulation, collecting and causing it to be one, thus also in sensibles Timæus says, that time being number measures the celestial periods, and comprehends in itself the first causes of the perfection of the periods. If also, Socrates in the Republic, in the speech of the Muses, speaks about the one and entire period of the universe, which he says a perfect number comprehends, does it not through these things appear chat divine number is perfective of wholes, and restores them to their pristine state, and that it measures all periods? The power likewise of collecting things imperfect to the perfect, accedes to all things from number, which elevates souls from things apparent to those that are unapparent, illuminates the whole world with the perfection of motion, and defines to all things measures, and the order of periods. But if not only a perfect number contains the period of a divine generated166 nature, but another second number after this is the lord of better and worse generations as the same Socrates says, number will not only restore things to their pristine state, but will also be of a generative nature. And it is evident that these things subsist in a divided manner, according to the second and third periods of numbers; but at once, and contractedly in the first of numbers. The first number therefore, is generative, mensurative, and perfective of generated natures.

Chapter XXXV.

The first order therefore of intelligibles and intellectuals is thus surveyed by Parmenides. But after this the order which possesses the middle place of intelligibles and intellectuals, and which a little before we called connective, presents itself to the view. It is however denominated in a three-fold respect, viz. one, many, whole, parts, finite, infinite. For since the separation of unities and beings from number, extends to it, the one and being, which we have said difference divides, become wholes; But the things proceeding from these, are the parts of these; And wholeness indeed connectedly contains parts, but these are contained by their wholeness, in one way indeed, by the one, but in another by being. For there indeed, I mean in the summit of the intellectual Gods, unity was the cause of multitude, at the same time being exempt from multitude, and generative of the many. But here unity is coarranged with multitude. Hence also it is a whole which has reference to many unities as to parts. Since however, the connective order is triple, one division of it being intelligible, another intelligible and intellectual, and another intellectual, the first monad indeed subsists according to the one and the many; but the second, according to whole and parts; and the third, according to the finite and the infinite. For where the first triad ends, there the second has its beginning. Hence, in the triad prior to this, Parmenides infers that the one is many. And in this triad, he concludes the same thing together with what remains. There however, the one was generative of infinites; but here the one is comprehensive of many, the whole of parts, and the finite of infinites. Hence, there indeed, unity is exempt from the many; but here it is coarranged with multitude. Hence also, the first coarrangement generates whole together with parts; but the subsistence of whole and parts produces the finite and at the same time infinite. For these are successive to each other, viz. the one, the whole, the finite, and the things which are as it were in an opposite arrangement to these, the many, parts, infinites. And the one itself is indeed the principle of the rest. But whole has now a habitude with respect to parts, and a representation of the duad, and proceeds into a coarrangement with reference to the parts. The finite however, is now multitude, participating of bound and the one, and is as it were a triad. For it is neither bound alone, as the monad, nor infinite alone, as the duad, but it participates of bound, which is primarily a triad. Every thing finite therefore, is a whole, but not every whole is finite. For the infinite is a whole, whether it is multitude, or magnitude. And every whole indeed, is one, but not every one is a whole. For that which is without habitude to multitude is not a whole. The one therefore, is beyond whole; but whole is beyond the finite.

After the same manner also, infinite parts are said to be the parts of that which is finite. For the infinite of itself has no subsistence; by which also it is evident that the infinite is not in quantity in energy,167 but in capacity. All parts however are not infinite. For according to bound they are characterized by one of the parts. And again, parts indeed are many, but the many are not entirely parts. The many therefore, are prior to parts: and parts are prior to infinites. Hence, as the many are to the one, so are parts to whole, and so are infinites to the finite. And these three connectedly-containing monads, give completion to the middle order of intelligibles and intellectuals. For unity indeed, is the supplier of stable and intelligible connection to all the secondary orders. But wholeness connects the progressions of divine natures, and produces one habitude of the orderly, distribution of wholes. And the finite monad imparts by illumination to the conversions of second natures, connection with the natures prior to them. And one of these indeed is analogous to the one being, on which account also it is intelligible. But another is analogous to the third order, in which there was the one, and the duad which generates infinite multitude. Such is the connective triad, which Parmenides exhibits to us through these things. The one therefore, is one and many, whole and parts, finite and infinite multitude. Let no one however, be disturbed that Plato calls the one or being infinite multitude. For he calls the one and being when they have proceeded and are divided, infinite in multitude. For all multitude indeed, is referred to the intelligible infinity. But divided multitude, and which has proceeded perfectly, is most signally infinite.

Since therefore, all the primary causes of intellectuals are in this triad, and all things are disseminated in its bosoms, the first Synocheus indeed, comprehends these causes as multitude, being himself an intelligible unity, and the flower as it were of the triad. But the second comprehends indeed secondarily these causes, but co-arranged and co-multiplied with then. And the third, together with all-perfect division, connects the multitude comprehended in himself. Each of them also is connective, but one as bounding, another as giving completion to a whole, and another as uniting. Plato therefore made, and makes as he proceeds his demonstrations of the one. For the whole theory is concerning the one. But it is evident that being is co-divided with the one. For universally, it has been before observed, that every deity proceeding thence is participable, and that every portion of being participates of deity. It is necessary however, not to stop in the one alone, but to consider the same peculiarity168 as imparted to being in a secondary degree, since Plato also produces the one itself by itself according to the differences of the divine orders; which occasions me to wonder at those who think that all the conclusions of the second hypothesis are concerning intellect, and do not perceive that Plato omitting being surveys the one itself by itself, as proceeding and generated, and receiving different peculiarities. For how in discoursing concerning intellect could he omit being, according to which intellect has its subsistence, power, and energy. For the one is beyond the nature of intellect; but being gives hyparxis to intellect, and intellect is nothing else than being. This opinion however of these men may be confuted by many other arguments. But if the three connective Gods are divided after the above-mentioned manner, and the intelligible connective deity is one many, but the intelligible and at the same time intellectual deity is whole and parts, and the intellectual is finite and infinite, each of them is very properly called much. For each of the Synoches according to his own peculiarity is a multitude. For the first about the many, receives many Synoches of a more partial nature. The second receives these according to parts. And the third, according to infinites. If therefore, there are certain partial Gods who are allotted this peculiarity, they are comprehended in this first triad.

Chapter XXXVI.

Moreover, it is easy for every one to see how these things accord with what is written in the Phædrus. for the connective one accords with the back of the heaven that comprehends these. For the one and the back are the same, comprehending according to one simplicity the whole circulation. But whole is the same with the profundity of the heaven, and with as it were the bulk of it. For the celestial profundity is a whole extended from the back as far as to the arch. And end is the same with the arch. This therefore, is evident beyond every thing, and each of the other conclusions, is to be referred to the same conceptions. Hence from what has been said, it may be collected, that these three things pertain in a remarkable degree to the Synoches, viz. the one, whole, and the end [or the finite]. For what is so able to connect multitude as the one which is co-arranged with it? What is so connectedly-comprehensive of parts as whole? And how is it possible that the end [or bound,] should not be the cause of binding together things which are borne along to infinity. It terminates therefore, their progression, and brings back their dispersed section to the one essence of connection. And thus much concerning the connective triad.

Chapter XXXVII.

But the third, as they say, to the saviour, and let us also following Plato in what remains celebrate the perfective order of the Gods. Because, therefore, the end of the connective order was the finite, [or the bounded] the perfective order has extremes. For the end [or bound] is the extremity. There however indeed the one was said to be the finite, but here it is said to have an extremity, as receiving according to participation that which has the power of terminating many things. And there indeed, the one was end or bound, which also connectedly contains the infinite; but here having an extremity, it will also have a middle and beginning, and will be perfect. For that which receives its completion from all these, is perfect. Here, therefore, the perfection which consists of parts is apparent. For the consummation of the parts, produces the perfect. Moreover, because such a one as this has a middle and extremes, it will have the figure of a circumference, or it will be rectilinear, or it will be mixed [from the right and circular line]. For all these require a middle and extremes; some indeed with simplicity, but others with connexion. Three peculiarities, therefore, again present themselves to our view; the first, indeed, being that which we said was to have extremes; the second, being according to the perfect; and the third, according to figure. And there are also three perfective leaders of wholes; one indeed being intelligible; another, intelligible and intellectual; and the third, intellectual.

The intelligible leader, therefore, is said to have extremes, as being directly arranged under the end of the connective Gods, and in the boundaries of himself intelligibly comprehending all the intellectual orders. But the intelligible and intellectual leader, is defined according to the perfect, comprehending in himself the beginnings, middles, and ends of beings, and giving completion to the middle bond of the whole perfective triad. And the intellectual leader proceeds according to triadic figure, being the cause of bound and divine perfection; and imparting termination to things indefinite, but intellectual perfection to things imperfect. And this triad indeed is produced according to the connective triad. For the end in them is the cause of the possession of the extremity. But it is also produced from itself. For that which has extremes, having become a whole, constitutes the perfect through end [or bound]. But the perfect comprehending beginnings, middles and ends, unfolds figure. And thus the perfective triad proceeds supernally, as far as to the last of things, pervading to all things, and perfecting both whole and partial causes.

Chapter XXXVIII.

And do you not see how each of the triads conjoins the summit of itself with the ends placed above it? For the one many was the end of the collective and unknown triad; and the same is the beginning of the connective triad. The end of the connective triad was the finite; and this again is the beginning of the perfective triad. For to have extremes manifests that which consists of ends or bounds. And thus the whole middle order is connected with and united to itself, and is truly the bond of total orders, itself establishing an admirable communion with itself, but conjoining intellectuals to intelligibles, and convolving them to one impartible union; above indeed, having the intelligible and unknown triad, but in the middle producing the triad which is connective of progressions, and at the end, the convertive empire, through which it proximately converts the intellectual to the intelligible Gods.

For on what account does intellect look to itself, and is in itself? Is it not because it is on all sides finite or bounded, converges to itself, and convolves its appropriate energies about itself? But why is it perfect, and full of intellectual goods? Is it not because it first participates of the perfection [of the above mentioned] leaders, and subsists according, to them, possessing a self-perfect essence and intellectual perception? After what manner likewise, is it said to be a sphere, both by Plato, and other theologists? Is it not because it is the first participant of figure, and is intellectually figured according to it? All conversion, therefore, all perfection, and every intellectual figure, accede to the intellectual Gods, from the perfective triad. For the intelligible leader of perfection, gives perfection to the ends and summits and hyparxes of wholes. But the intelligible and intellectual leader terminates their progressions which extend from on high as far as to the last of things. And the intellectual leader comprehends in his own perfection, the conversions of all the Gods, and bounds and perfects through figures their progressions to infinity.

Chapter XXXIX.

Looking therefore to this division, we may be able to survey causally many things which are to be found among other theologists. For why is one of the deities of the unknown triad carried in the first of the worlds, but another in the middle breadth, and another in the extremity? It is because the first of these was uniform, but the second proceeded according to difference, and the third, according to the infinite number of beings. But why of the three connective Gods, is the first empyrean, the second ethereal, and the third material? It is because the first indeed subsists according to the one, and connectedly contains the one world. But the second subsists according to whole, and divides the ethereal world. And the third according to the finite, and rules over material infinity. But why again, are the Teletarchs co-divided with the Synoches? Because the first having extremes governs like a charioteer the wing of fire. But the middle comprehending beginnings, ends and middles, perfects ether, which is also itself triple. And the third, which comprehends according to one union, the orbicular, the rectilinear, and the mixed169 figure, perfects unfigured and formless matter; giving form indeed (μορφωσας) to the inerratic sphere, and the first matter, by the orbicular; but to the planetary sphere, and the second matter, by the mixed figure. For the spiral is there. And it gives form to the sublunary region, and the last matter by the rectilinear. For the motions according to a right line are in this region. Hence, the first triad is uniformly the cause of the division of the worlds. But the second has a more abundant representation of section, and of progression into parts; yet does not exhibit to us the multitude of the worlds. And the third unfolds the seven worlds, and the monad together with two triads. So great is the divine conception of Plato, that from these things we may survey the causes of what after his time became apparent.

For this, indeed, from what has been said appears to be very admirable, that according to each of the triads, the middle is characteristic of the whole triad. Thus for instance, in the unknown triad, difference is established as the middle between the one and being. But in the connective triad whole is the characteristic, which is the middle of the one, and the finite. And in the perfective triad, the perfect is the characteristic, which is itself established as the middle of that which has extremes, and of figure. For difference is the feminine itself, and the prolific nature of the Gods. And whole is itself the form of connected comprehension, binding together many parts. And the perfect is itself the good of perfection, possessing a beginning, middle, and end, and conjoining the end to the beginning, according to the peculiarity of conversion. Being also nothing else than a perfect governor it is the cause of the peculiarity of these Gods subsisting every where according to the middle centres. Hence the whole order of the intelligible, and at the same time, intellectual Gods, may be surveyed as having its subsistence in the middle. For the intelligible Gods, indeed, are especially defined according to hyparxes and summits; on which account also, they are called fathers, and unical Gods. For the one and father are in them the same. But the intellectual Gods are defined according to ends or extremities; and on this account, all of them are denominated intellects and intellectual. The intelligible, and at the same time, intellectual Gods, however, being middles, especially present themselves to the view according to the middles of the triads.

Farther still, this also may be considered in common about all these triads, that each according to the end proceeds to infinity. For the end of the first triad is number; of the second, the infinite in multitude; and of the third, the rectilinear, which itself participates of the nature of the infinite. And of this the cause is, that each of the triads according to its extremity is carried as in a vehicle in the material worlds, and comprehends according to one cause the infinity of the natures that are generated in them. In addition, likewise, to what has been said, we may survey the order of the triads, from the ends that are in them. For the end of the first triad is number: but of the second, the finite and the infinite; and of the third, the orbicular, the mixed figure, and the rectilinear. It is evident, therefore, that the first triad is monadic; but the second dyadic; and the third triadic. And the first of these indeed is analogous to the one being; but the second to the intelligible whole; and the third, to the all-perfect whole. But that these have this order with respect to each other, has been before observed. In short, therefore, every intelligible, and at the same time intellectual triad, is according to its summit indeed conjoined to the intelligible; but according to its middle, unfolds its proper power; and according to its termination, comprehends the infinity of secondary natures. And here we shall end the doctrine concerning the intelligible and intellectual Gods.


Book V.

Chapter I.

In the next place, let us survey another order of Gods, which is called intellectual, being indeed conjoined to the orders prior to it, but terminating the total progressions of the Gods, converting them to their principle, and producing one circle of the primarily-efficient and all-perfect orders. Let us also extend the intellect that is in us to the imparticipable and divine intellect, and distinguish the orders and diminutions of essence that are in it, according to the narration of Plato.

This intellectual hypostasis therefore of the Gods, is suspended indeed from more ancient causes, and is filled from them with total goodness and self-sufficiency. But after these causes, it establishes an illustrious empire over all secondary natures, binding to its dominion all the partial progressions of the Gods. And it is denominated indeed intellectual, because it generates an impartible and divine intellect. But it is filled from intelligibles, not as from those intelligibles which are co-arranged with intellect, nor as with those which are alone divided from intellect by the conception of the mind, but as establishing in itself unically all multitudes, and occultly containing the evolutions of the Gods into light, and the hyparxes of intelligibles. It is likewise allotted the total intellect of intellectuals, the variety of beings, and the multiform orders of divine natures; and it convolves the end of the whole progression170 [of the Gods] to the one intelligible principle. For intellectuals are converted to intelligibles. And some intellectuals indeed are united and171 firmly established prior to the divided Gods; but others are multiplied and through conversion are conjoined to primarily-efficient causes. The intellectual Gods however proceed from all the Gods prior to them, receiving indeed unions from the one that is prior to intelligibles; but essences from intelligibles; and being allotted lives all-perfect, connective and generative of divine natures, from the intelligible and at the same time intellectual Gods; but the intellectual peculiarity from themselves. They likewise convert to themselves all the divided orders, but establish themselves in intelligibles, existing wholly through the whole, pure and unknown knowledges, and fervid lives. Besides these things also, they are all-perfect essences, producing all secondary natures through subsisting from themselves, and being neither diminished by their progression, nor receiving an addition by their progeny; but through their own never-failing and infinite powers, being the fathers, causes, and leaders of all things. Nor are they co-divided with their progeny, nor do they depart from themselves in their progressions; but at once, and according to union they govern total multitudes, and all orders, and convolve them to the intelligible, and to occult good.

Whether therefore I may speak of life, it is not proper to think that it is such a life as we surveyed a little before. For that was imparticipable, but this is participated. And that indeed, was generative, but this is vivific. But it is not immanifest that these differ from each other. For the vivific cause indeed, is also evidently generative; but the generative cause is not entirely vivific. For it imparts figure to things unfigured, bound to things indefinite, and perfection to things imperfect Or whether I may denominate the cause in intellectuals intelligible, it must not immediately be conceived to be such an intelligible, as that of which we have before spoken. For that was imparticipable, and prior to intellectuals, itself pre-existing by itself, and exempt from wholes; not being denominated intelligible, as the plenitude of intellect, but as the prior-cause of it, and the object of desire and love to it, subsisting uniformly uncoordinated with it The intelligible however which is now the subject of consideration, is participated, and co-arranged with intellect, is multiform, and contains in itself the divided causes of all things. Or whether we may call the Gods in this order fathers and fabricators, it must be admitted that this paternal and fabricative characteristic, is different from the hyparxis of the intelligible172 fathers. For they indeed were generative of whole essences; but these pre-exist as the causes of divisible emanations, and of definite productions of form. And they indeed contained in themselves powers fabricative of the divine progressions; but these separate from themselves prolific causes, and are not conjoined to them according to union, but according to a communion subordinate to union. For the marriages which are celebrated by fables, and the concordant conjunction of divine natures, are in the intellectual Gods. But the demiurgic being mingled with the vivific effluxions, every genus of the Gods is unfolded into light, both the supermundane, and the mundane. This, however, will be hereafter discussed.

Chapter II.

Since however, we have, in short, surveyed the peculiarity of the intellectual Gods, it remains that we should deliver an appropriate theory concerning the division of them. For the intellectual order is not one and indivisible, but is allotted progressions more various than those of the more elevated genera. There will therefore be here also three fathers, who divide the whole intellectual essence; one indeed, being arranged according to the intelligible, but another according to life, and another according to intellect. They also imitate the intelligible fathers, who divide the intelligible breadth in a threefold manner, and who are allotted a difference of this kind with respect to each other. For one of these intellectual fathers proceeds analogous to the first [intelligible] father, and is intelligible. But another proceeds analogous to the second [intelligible] father, and binds to himself the whole of intellectual life. And another proceeds analogous to the third father, and closes the whole intellectual, in the same manner as he closes the intelligible order.

But these fathers being three, and the first indeed, abiding in himself, but the second proceeding and vivifying all things, and the third glittering with fabricative productions, it is evidently necessary, that other triple Gods should be conjoined with them; of which, one indeed will be the source to the first intellectual God, of stable purity; but another, of undefiled progression, to the second God; and another of exempt, fabrication, to the third. For in the Gods prior to these, the undefined deities were according to cause, through union without separation, and a sameness collective of powers which are not in want of the communion of these. But in the intellectual Gods, where there is an all-perfect separation, as in total orders, and a greater habitude to secondary natures, unpolluted deity or power is necessary, which has the ratio of sameness, and undeviating subsistence, to the paternal cause, and which is co-divided with the fathers, so that each of the undefiled Gods is conjoined with a peculiar father.

These two triads therefore have presented themselves to our view, one indeed, of the intellectual fathers, but the other of the undefiled Gods. There is however, besides these two, a third other triadic monad, which is the cause of separation to intellectuals, and which subsists together with the above mentioned triads. For the fathers indeed are the suppliers of all essence; but the inflexible Gods, of sameness. But it is evidently fit that there should be also the came of separation, and that this should be one and at the same time triple, separating the intellectual Gods from the above mentioned orders, from themselves, and from inferior natures. For why are they the leaders of another order, if they are not divided from the first orders? Why are they multiplied, and why do they differ from each other in their kingdoms, unless they are separated? Why also do they transcend the partial [Gods] unless they are also separated from these? The cause of separation therefore, will be for us one and a triple monad. But the paternal and undefiled causes will be each of them a uniform triad. And what is most paradoxical of all, the separative cause is more monadic; but the paternal and also the undefiled cause, are each of them more triadic. For the separative monad indeed, is the cause of separation to the other monads; but the others are the sources of communion and union to it. Hence each of these, being separated, becomes triadic; but the separative monad is monadic, in consequence of being united by these. For all intellectuals pervade through each other, and are in each other, according to a certain admirable communion, imitating the union of intelligibles, through being present and mingled with each other. The sphere also which is there, is the intellectual order, energizing in and about itself, and proceeding into itself hebdomadically, being a monad and a hebdomad, the image, if it be lawful so to speak, of the all-perfect intelligible monad, and unfolding its occult union, through progression and separation. This first progression therefore of the intellectual Gods, which is separated by us into a heptad, we have perfectly celebrated.

Other secondary seven hebdomads, however, are to be considered under this, which produce as far as to the last of things, the monads of this heptad. For each monad is the leader of an intellectual hebdomad conjoined with it, and extends this hebdomad from on high, from the summit of Olympus, as far as to the last, and terrestrial orders. I say, for instance, the first paternal monad, indeed, constitutes seven such monads. But the second again constitutes seven vivific monads. And the third, seven demiurgic monads. Each likewise of the undefiled monads constitutes a number equal to that produced by the fathers. And the monad of separation constitutes seven [separative monads]. For all these causes proceed in conjunction with each other. And as the first triad of the fathers subsists together with the undefiled triad, and the divisive monad, after the same manner also, the second triads are allotted seven coordinate undefiled triads, and separative monads. Whence, therefore, does so great a number of intellectual Gods present itself to our view? It is evident, indeed, from what has been said. For the first hebdomad, indeed, the cause of the second hebdomads, and which has the relation of a monad to them, and which a little before we denominated an intellectual sphere, subsists according to the intelligible breadth, imitating the paternal nature of it through the paternal triad but the eternity of its power, through undefiled sameness; and the multitude shining forth in its extremities, through the monad which is divisive of wholes. The remaining hebdomads, however, which are derived from this, proceed according to the intelligible and intellectual genera. For each monad, conformably to the summits of those genera, constitutes a monad co-arranged with the multitude proceeding from it; since every summit is uniform [i.e. has the form of the one,] as we have before demonstrated. But according to the middle and third progressions of those genera, each monad generates two triads. For the separation of them was apparent in the middle and ultimate progressions, as we have before observed. As, therefore, the intelligible, and at the same time, intellectual genera, produced the intelligible breadth, which is of a unical nature, into a triadic multitude, after the same manner also the intellectual monads call forth the intelligible, and at the same time intellectual triads, into intellectual hebdomads. and they constitute indeed the monads which are coarranged with the hebdomads, according to the summits of the triads; but the two triads, according to the second and third decrements of those triads. Hence every hebdomad has the first monad indeed intelligible; but the second after this, and which is triadic, intelligible and intellectual; and the third triad, which is the next in order, intellectual. All these likewise subsist as in intellectuals. For they are characterized according to the peculiarity of the constitutive monad.

In short, the intellectual powers proceed according to the intelligible orders; but they constitute these seven hebdomads according to the first intellectual orders. For it is indeed necessary that exempt causes should be assimilated to the intelligible Gods; but that co-arranged causes, and which proceed every where, should be assimilated to the intelligible, and at the same time, intellectual Gods; since these also are the first that divide the worlds triadically, and pervade as far as to the last of things, connectedly containing and perfecting all things. But the intelligible Gods contain the causes of wholes uniformly, and occultly. You may also say, that the intelligible Gods produce all things uniformly; for numbers subsist in them monadically. But the intelligible and intellectual Gods produce all things triadically. For the monads in these are divided according to number. And what the monad was in the former, that number is in the latter. And the intellectual Gods produce all things hebdomadically. For they evolve the intelligible, and at the same time, intellectual triads, into intellectual hebdomads, and expand their contracted powers into intellectual variety; since they define multitude itself and variety by numbers which are nearest to the monad, for the numbers of the partial are different from the numbers of the total orders in the Gods. And the whole of. this intellectual number is indeed more expanded than the natures prior to it, and is divided into more various progressions, yet it does not desert its alliance with the monad. For hebdomadic multitude has an abundant affinity with the nature of the monad j since it is measured according to it, and primarily subsists from it. And the Pythagoreans, when they denominate the heptad light according to intellect, evidently admit its hyparxis to be intellectual, and on this account suspended from the monad. For the unical, which light manifests, is inherent from this in all the divine numbers. And thus much concerning the division of these intellectual Gods.

Chapter III.

It follows in the next place, that we should adapt the theory of Plato to this order, and show that he does not dissent from any of the theological dogmas concerning it. Since, therefore, we have demonstrated, that the celestial order, which we find in the Cratylus perfectly celebrated, possesses the middle bond of the intellectual, and at the same time, intelligible Gods, but that under this another order of Gods is immediately arranged, as Socrates shows in the Phædrus, called the subcelestial arch, and which we have considered as not divided from the heaven,—this being the case, what order is it which divides itself from the kingdom of the heaven, but is the leader of the intellectual order of the Gods, and is primarily the supplier of intellect, according to the doctrine of Plato, as Socrates says in the Cratylus, except that which the mighty Saturn comprehends? For he calls this God the first and most pure intellect. This God, therefore, is the summit of a divine intellect, and, as he says, the purest part of it; separating himself indeed from the celestial order, but reigning over all the intellectual Gods; because be is full of intellect, but of a pure intellect, and is a God extended to the summit of the intellectual hypostasis. Hence also, he is the father of the mighty Jupiter, and is simply father. For he who is the father of the father of all things, is evidently allotted in a much greater degree the paternal dignity. Saturn, therefore, is the first intellect; but the mighty Jupiter is also an intellect, containing, as Socrates says in the Philebus, a royal soul and a royal intellect.

And these Gods are two intellects, and intellectual fathers; the one, indeed, being intellectual; but the other intelligible, in intellectuals. For the Saturnian bonds which Socrates mentions in the Cratylus, are unific of the intelligence of Jupiter about the intelligible of his father, and fill the Jovian intellect with the all-perfect intelligence of the Saturnian intellect. And this I think is likewise evident from the analogy of souls to Pluto. For as he binds souls about himself, filling them with wisdom and intelligence, thus also Saturn being the object of desire and love to Jupiter, contains him in himself by indissoluble bonds. And these things Socrates indicates in the Cratylus, jesting, and at the same time being serious in what he says. The object of desire therefore, and the intelligible to Jupiter, is Saturn. But the mighty Jupiter himself is a divine and demiurgic intellect. Hence, it is necessary that there should be a third other intellectual cause, generative of life. For Jupiter indeed is the cause of life, as Socrates says, but intellectually and secondarily. But we say that life is every where arranged prior to intellect. Hence, we must say that the queen Rhea, being the mother of Jupiter, but subordinate to the father Saturn, gives completion to this middle, existing as a vivific world, and establishing in herself the causes of the whole of life. These three paternal orders, therefore, have appeared to us in intellectuals: one of them indeed subsisting according to the intelligible power of intellectuals;173 but another according to divine and intellectual life; and another according to intellectual intellect. For we celebrate the middle deity, herself by herself, as the mother of the demiurgus, and of wholes. When, however, we survey her together with the extremes, we denominate her a paternal cause, as being comprehended in the fathers; and as generating some things together with Saturn, but others in conjunction with Jupiter.

Moreover, Plato following Orpheus, calls the inflexible and undefiled triad of the intellectual Gods Curetic, as is evident from what the Athenian guest says in the Laws, celebrating the armed sports of the Curetes, and their rhythmical dance. For Orpheus represents the Curetes who are three, as the guards of Jupiter. And the sacred laws of the Cretans, and all the Grecian theology, refer a pure and undefiled life and energy to this order. For το κορον to koron, indicates nothing else than the pure and incorruptible. Hence, we have before said, that the mighty Saturn, as being essentially united to the cause of undefiled purity, is a pure intellect. The paternal Gods therefore are three, and the undefiled Gods also are three. Hence it remains that we should survey the seventh monad.

If, therefore, we consider the fabulous exections, both the Saturnian and the Celestial, of which Plato makes mention, and thinks that such like narrations should always be concealed in silence, that the arcane truth of them should be surveyed, and that they are indicative of mystic conceptions, because these things are not fit for young men to hear,—[if we consider these] we may obtain from them what the separative deity is, who accomplishes the divisions, and segregates the Saturnian genera indeed from the Celestial, and the Jovian from the Saturnian, and who separates the whole intellectual order from the natures prior and posterior to it, disjoins the different causes in it from each other, and always imparts to secondary natures, secondary measures of dominion. And let not any one be disturbed, or oppose me on hearing these things. How therefore does Plato reject exections, bonds, and the tragical apparatus of fables? For he thinks that all such particulars will be condemned by the multitude and the stupid, through ignorance of the arcana they contain; but that they will exhibit to the wise certain admirable opinions. Hence, he indeed does not admit such a mode of fiction, but thinks it proper to be persuaded by the ancients who were the offspring of the Gods, and to investigate their arcane conceptions. As therefore he rejects the Saturnian fables, when they are narrated to Euthyprhon, and the auditors of the Republic, yet at the same time admits them in the Cratylus, placing about the mighty Saturn and Pluto, other secondary bonds,—thus also, I think he forbids exections to be introduced to those who know only the apparent meaning of what is said, and does not admit that there is illegal conduct in the Gods, and nefarious aggressions of children against their parents, but he opposes, and confutes as much as possible such like opinions. He assents however to their being narrated to those who are able to penetrate into the mystic truth, and investigate the concealed meaning of fables, and admits the separation of wholes, whether [mythologists] are willing to denominate them exections for the purpose of concealment, or in whatever other way they may think fit to call them. For bonds and exections are symbols of communion and separation, and each is the progeny of the same divine mythology. Nor is there any occasion to wonder, if from these things we endeavour to confirm the opinion of Plato; but it is requisite to know how the philosophy of Plato admits all such particulars, and how it rejects them, and in what manner he apprehends they may be the causes of the greatest evils, and of an impious life to those that hear them. The seven intellectual Gods therefore, will through these conceptions appear to have been thought worthy of being mentioned by Plato.

Chapter IV.

It is, however, I think, necessary syllogistically to collect the progression of them according to hebdomads, from images. The demiurgus therefore, [in the Timæus] fabricates the soul of the universe an image or all the divine orders, in the same manner as he fabricates this sensible world an image of intelligibles. And in the first174 place indeed, he constitutes the whole essence of the soul, and afterwards divides it into numbers, binds it by harmonies, and adorns it with figures, I mean the rectilinear and the circular. After this also, he divides it into one circle and seven circles. Whence therefore, are this monad and hebdomad derived, except from the intellectual Gods? For figure, number, and true being, are prior to them. And as in the fabrication of the soul, after the subsistence of the psychical figure, the division of the circles according to the monad and hebdomad follows, thus also in the Gods, after intellectual and intelligible figure, the intellectual breadth, and that sphere of the Gods succeed. The multitude therefore of the seven hebdomads subsist from the divine intellectual hebdomad entering into itself. And on this account, the demiurgus thus divides the circles in the soul, because he, and every intellectual order, produce an intellectual hebdomad from each monad. I do not however assert, and now contend, that the seven circles are allotted an hyparxis similar to the seven Gods that proceed from the demiurgus, but that the demiurgus dividing the soul according to circles, introduces number to the sections from the intellectual Gods, I mean the monadic and the hebdomadic number. For the monad indeed subsists according to the circle of sameness, but the division, according to the circle of difference. Shortly after however, it will appear that same and different belong to the demiurgic order.

Farther still, after the division of the circles, the demiurgus assumes some things which are symbols of the assimilative, and others which are symbols of the liberated Gods, and through these, he refers the soul to these orders of the Gods. If therefore figure is prior to the intellectual Gods, but the similar and dissimilar are posterior to them, it is evidently necessary that the monadic and at the same time hebdomadic, should be referred to this order, and that the progression from the monad to the hebdomad should pertain to this order. Each therefore of the seven intellectual Gods, is the leader of an intellectual hebdomad, as we may learn from images. There however indeed, the hebdomad is one, and allied to itself. But in souls, the circles differ from each other, according to the divine peculiarities. For they receive number in such a manner as to preserve the proper nature which they are allotted, connectedly containing mundane natures, and convolving the apparent by their own circles. And thus much concerning these particulars, which afford arguments that are not obscure of the arrangement of them by Plato.

Chapter V.

Again however, making another beginning, let us speak about each [of the intellectual Gods,] as much as is sufficient to the present theology. Let Saturn therefore, the first king of the intellectual Gods, be now celebrated by us, who according to Socrates in the Cratylus illuminates the pure and incorruptible nature of intellect, and establishing his own all-perfect power in his own summit of intellectuals, abides in, and at the same time proceeds from his father [Heaven]. He likewise divides the intellectual government from the connective, and establishes the transcendency of the other intellectual Gods in connexion with his own; but comprehends in himself the intelligible of the demiurgic intellect, and the plenitude of beings. Hence the Saturnian bonds, mystically, and obscurely signify the comprehension of this intelligible, and a union with it. For the intelligible is comprehended in intellect.

As therefore, the intelligible is indeed exempt from intellect, but intellect is said to comprehend it, thus also Jupiter is said to bind bis father. And in placing bonds about his father, he at the same time binds himself [to him]. For a bond is the comprehension of the things that are bound. But the truth is as follows: Saturn is indeed an all-perfect intellect; and the mighty Jupiter is likewise an intellect. Each therefore being an intellect, each is also evidently an intelligible. For every intellect is converted to itself; but being converted to it energizes towards itself; Energizing however towards itself, and not towards externals, it is intelligible and at the same time intellectual; being indeed intellectual, so far as it intellectually perceives, but intelligible, so far as it is intellectually perceived. Hence also the Jovian intellect is to itself intellect, and to itself intelligible. And in a similar manner the Saturnian intellect is to itself intelligible, and to itself intellect. But Jupiter indeed is more intellect, and Saturn is more intelligible. For the latter is established according to the intellectual summit, but the former according to the intellectual end. And the one indeed is the object of desire, but the other desires. And the one fills, but the other is filled.

Saturn therefore being intellect and intelligible, Jupiter also is in the second place intellect and intelligible. The intellectual however of Saturn is intelligible; but the intelligible of Jupiter is intellectual. Jupiter therefore, being at the same time intellectual and intelligible, intellectually perceives and comprehends himself, and binds the intelligible in himself. But binding this in himself, he is said to bind the intelligible prior to himself, and to comprehend it on all sides. For entering into himself, he proceeds into the intelligible prior to himself, and by the intelligible which is in himself, intellectually perceives that which is prior to himself. And thus the intelligible is not external to intellect. For every intellect possesses that which is in itself without any difference with respect to itself. But again, it intellectually perceives in itself that which is prior to itself. For every thing which is external to intellect, is foreign and adventitious, and pertains to an inferior nature. But that which is pre-established in the order of cause, and which pre-exists as the object of desire, is in the desiring natures themselves. For being converted to, and verging to themselves, they discover the causes of themselves, and all more ancient natures. And by how much more perfect and uniform the conversion of the desiring natures is about the objects of desire, by so much the more are they present with their own desirables. Hence every intellect, by intellectually perceiving itself, intellectually perceives likewise, all the natures prior to itself. And by how much the more it is united to itself, in a so much greater degree it is established in the intelligibles prior to itself. For the cause of any being, and which is the source of essence or of perfection to it, is not external to that being; but that which is subordinate to any being, is external to it, and is not the intelligible. On this account also, each of the divine natures is unconverted to that which is inferior to itself, but is converted to itself, and through itself reverts to that which is more excellent. And the intelligible indeed is not inferior to any intellect; but every intellect energizing towards itself, and comprehending the intelligibles prior to itself, intellectually perceives them.

Some intelligibles likewise are such as are conjoined with intellect. But others are such as are proximately participated by it. And others are such as it sees more remotely, and which are more exempt from its nature. On this account, the demiurgic intellect is indeed at the same time intelligible and intellect, but has the intelligible of his father, which he binds as the fable says. He sees however animal itself, which is, according to Timæus, the most beautiful of all intelligibles, And if the illustrious Amelius, forming such conceptions as these, said that intellect is threefold, one being that which is, another that which has, and another that which sees, he rightly apprehends the conception of Plato, according to my opinion. For it is necessary that the second intellect should not only have the intelligible, but that it should be and have the intelligible; that it should be indeed the intelligible coordinate with itself, but have the intelligible prior to itself, so far as it participates of it. And it is necessary that the third intellect should see the intelligible, and should also be and have it; that it should see indeed the first intelligible; but have that which is proximately beyond itself; and that it should be the intelligible which is in itself, and which is conjoined with its own intelligence, and should be inseparable from it.

If therefore, as we said from the beginning, Jupiter intellectually perceives his father Saturn, Saturn is indeed intelligible, but Jupiter is intellect; being one intelligible himself, but participating of another. Hence also Plato does not simply call Saturn intellect, but a pure and incorruptible intellect. For he175 in the intellectual is intelligible. Since however, he is not simply intelligible, but as in intellectuals, he is intellect, and is himself paternally so, being both father and intellect, and having the paternal intellectually. In intelligibles therefore, intellect is also father; but in intellectuals father is intellect. Hence Saturn is a pure, immaterial and perfect intellect, established above fabrication in the order of the desirable. But possessing such a peculiarity as this, he is full of all intelligibles intellectually, is as it were exuberant with intellections, and establishes twofold genera of Gods, some indeed in himself, but others posterior to himself. And he leads forth, indeed, the prolific powers of his father Heaven as far as to the last of things; but fills the demiurgic order with generative goods.

Chapter VI.

Saturn however is the only one of the Gods who is said both to receive and give the royal dignity with a certain necessity, and as it were violence, cutting off the genitals of his father, and being himself castrated by the mighty Jupiter. For he bounds the kingdom of his father, and is bounded by the God posterior to himself He is also filled from the natures placed above him, but fills the whole fabrication [of the universe] with prolific perfection. But separating himself from his father, he is exempt from his progeny. Being however one all-perfect intellect, he contains in himself the multitude of total intelligibles. And as he deifies the intellectual summit, he illuminates all things with intelligible light.

Chapter VII.

Very properly therefore, has this universe twofold lives, periods, and convolutions; the one being Saturnian, but the other Jovian, as the fable in the Politicus says. And according to one of the periods indeed, it produces all goods spontaneously, and possesses an innoxious and unwearied life. But according to the other it participates of material error, and a very mutable nature. For the life in the world being twofold, the one unapparent, and more intellectual, but the other more physical and apparent, and the one being defined according to providence, but the other proceeding in a disorderly manner according to fate;—this being the case, the second life indeed, which is multiform, and perfected through nature, is suspended from the Jovian order; but the more simple, intellectual, and unapparent life, is suspended from the Saturnian order. And these things the Elean guest clearly teaches, calling one of the circulations Jovian, but the other, Saturnian; though Jupiter also is the cause of the unapparent life of the universe, is the supplier of intellect, and the leader of intellectual perfection; but he elevates all things to the kingdom of Saturn, and being a leader in conjunction with his father, constitutes the whole mundane intellect. And if it be requisite to speak the truth clearly, each of the periods indeed, I mean the apparent, and the unapparent, participates of both these Gods; but the one indeed is more Saturnian, and the other is perfected under the kingdom of Jupiter.

That the mighty Saturn therefore is allotted a kingdom different from that of the Gods prior to him, the Elean guest clearly manifests in what he asserts prior to the fable. For he says, “We have heard from many respecting the kingdom of which Saturn was the founder.” According to this wise man therefore, Saturn is one of the royal Gods. Hence also he presides over a kingdom different from that of his father. And while his father connectedly contains the middle centres of the intelligible and intellectual Gods, he is the leader of the intellectual orders and supplies all intellectual life, first indeed, to the Gods, but secondarily to the natures more excellent than ours, and in the last place to partial souls, when they are able to be extended to the Saturnian place of survey. For this universe, and all the mundane Gods, always possess this twofold life, and imitate the Saturnian intelligence indeed through unapparent and intellectual energy, but the demiurgic intellect of Jupiter, through a providential attention to secondary natures, and in short, through the visible fabrication. But partial souls at one time energize intellectually, and consecrate themselves to Saturn, but at another time after a Jovian manner, and pay a providential attention to secondary natures, without restraint. When however they revolve analogous to those176 deities [Saturn and Jupiter] they intellectually perceive intelligibles, and dispose sensibles in an orderly manner, and live both these lives, in the same manner as the Gods and the more excellent genera. For their periods are twofold; one being intellectual, but the other providential. Their paradigms also are twofold; the Saturnian intellect being the paradigm of the one, but the Jovian intellect of the other. For the mighty Jupiter himself has a twofold energy, containing indeed intelligibles in intellect, but adorning sensibles by demiurgic production.

Since however the circulations are twofold, not only in wholes, but also in partial souls, the Elean guest says that in the Saturnian period, the generation of these souls is not from each other, as in men which are the objects of sensible inspection, nor as the first man with us is alone earth-begotten, so in partial souls one first soul is the offspring of man, but all of them are earth-begotten. For they are elevated from ultimate end terrestrial bodies, and embrace an unapparent,177 relinquishing a sensible life. He also says that neither do they verge to old age, and change from being younger to becoming older; but on the contrary, they are rendered more vigorous, proceed intellectually in a way contrary to generation, and as it were, divest themselves of the variety of life with which in descending they became invested. Hence likewise all the symbols which are adapted to youth are present with these souls, when they pass into this condition, such as a privation of hair, and a smoothness of the cheek instead of hoariness and beards. For they lay aside every thing which adheres to them from generation. But being situated there with Saturn, and living the life which is there, he says that there are abundance of fruits from trees, and many other [vegetable] substances, which the earth spontaneously produces. Being likewise naked, and without coverlets, they are for the most part fed in the open air; for they have a temperament of the seasons which is always the same. But they make use of soft beds, grass in abundance being produced for them from the earth. Souls therefore derive these and such like goods from this mighty God, in the Saturnian period. For they are thence filled indeed with vivific goods, and gather intellectual fruits from wholes; but do not procure for themselves perfection and blessedness, from partial energies. For doxastic nutriment indeed has divisible and material, conceptions; but intellectual nutriment has pure, impartible, and native conceptions, which the spontaneous obscurely signifies.

The production from the earth also signifies the prolific intellect of the Gods, which imparts to souls by illumination perfection and self-sufficiency. For on account of the exuberant abundance of good, they are able to impart an influx of it, according to the measure of felicity adapted to them. Hence, they are neither covered with garments, as when they proceeded into generation, nor have they superabundant additions of life, but they are purified themselves by themselves from all composition and variety, and extending their intellect to total good, they participate of it from the intellectual father, being guarded by the intellectual Gods, and receiving from them the measures of a happy life. They likewise pass through the whole of their existence with facility, lead a sleepless and pure life, being established in the generative powers of intelligibles; and being filled with intellectual goods, and nourished with immaterial and divine forms, they are said to live a life under Saturn.

Chapter VIII.

Because, therefore, this God is the leader of all intellectual life, and every intellect as well that which is imparticipable, as that which is participable proceeds from this cause, hence it belongs to this mighty God to feed in a distributed manner, and to nourish souls. For because indeed he is intelligible in intellectuals, he nourishes souls, and souls are called the nurslings of Saturn. But because he does not fill them with first, and unical intelligibles, but with those that are multiplied by his own cause of separation, he is said to feed them distributedly, and as it were in a divided manner. And do you not see how through these things, this God appears to be coordinate to the first triad of the intelligible and intellectual Gods? For as Socrates,in the Phædrus, says, that souls are nourished in the supercelestial place, and in the intelligible meadow, so the Elean guest asserts that the souls that are fed under Saturn, are filled with intelligible goods. And it is not at all wonderful if souls are perfected by both these; intellectually indeed, under the kingdom of Saturn; but intelligibly under the order of the first intellectual Gods. For this God himself is nourished by that order. And on this account he is allotted a leading and primary transcendency in intellectuals, because they are filled from that order [through him] with occult and unapparent powers. And he is that among the intellectual fathers, which the order of the first intellectual Gods is in the intelligible and at the same time intellectual orders. Hence the intelligible every where becomes nutriment to ascending souls, but the connexion with it is effected through the second and third Gods.

As therefore, the demiurgic order elevates souls to the Saturnian place of survey, thus also the Saturnian order elevates them to the subcelestial178 arch. For having made many and blessed discursive energies in the kingdom of Saturn, they are again extended from hence to the perfective, and from thence to the celestial triad, from which contemplating the supercelestial place, they are now ineffably conjoined with the supreme goods of intelligibles. And after this manner the second orders always connect souls with the orders prior to them. Hence also, the theurgic art imitating the unapparent periods of souls, arranges initiations in the mysteries of the second Gods, prior to the more sublime mysteries. And through these, it causes us to pass to the intelligible place of survey. These things, therefore, Plato indicates concerning the Saturnian life, and the polity of souls under Saturn, not in the Politicus only, but also in the discourses of the Athenian guest. For in the fourth book of the Laws he celebrates the life under Saturn, obscurely signifying the undefiled nature, the facility, plenitude, and self-sufficiency of that energy, through fabulous fictions.

Chapter IX.

If, however, it be requisite from these things, and from all the mystic discipline concerning this God, to consider and discuss the orders which he constitutes in wholes, in the first place, we must direct our attention to the three kings mentioned in the Gorgias, who distributing the kingdom of Saturn were produced by him, as being allotted in a divided manner a uniform and impartible dominion, and over whom he places the divine law, which is the cause of distribution according to intellect, both to the Gods themselves, and to all the natures posterior to the Gods. In the second place we must consider the rulers and kings mentioned in the Laws, who are said to preside over the different allotments of souls, and who are not men, but dæmons of a more divine and excellent genus, who distribute to souls the measures of good, cut off their generation-producing lives, restrain their disorderly lation, retain them in the intelligible, and comprehend them in the kingdom of Saturn. In the third place, therefore, we must direct our attention to the dæmon Gods, who preside over the parts of the world, and the herds [of souls] that are in it, as the Elean guest says in the Politicus, and who at one time come into contact with the objects of their government, and distribute to them intellectual, and all unapparent goods, but at another time withdraw themselves from the physical life of the world, recur to their own place of survey, and imitate the exempt transcendency of the demiurgus and father of the universe.

But after these things, we must survey the twofold circulations of the mundane Gods, viz. the Saturnian and the Jovian; for these Gods always have each of these, as the fable says in the Politicus. For it is evident that the mutation of the stars and the sun takes place in each of the revolutions. This period, therefore, being twofold, it is obvious to every one that the periods are full of Saturnian goods, and participate of the Saturnian series. And not only the mundane Gods, but likewise all the, more excellent genera that follow the Gods, energize according to both these energies, and revolve according to the twofold circulations, through which souls also sometimes participate of an intellectual life, and proceed in this path, exchanging for sense intellect as the leader of their motion and circulation. Saturn, therefore, extends his kingdom supernally from the first Gods, as far as to partial souls, perfects all things, and fills them with intellectual goods, distributing to different natures different measures of good. For on account of this, law also subsists with him, as Socrates says in the Gorgias: “This law therefore was in the time of Saturn, and always was, and now is, among the Gods.” For law is the distribution of intellect; but this God is the first, most pure, and incorruptible intellect.

If, however, this God is the primary leader of all division, and is the origin of intellectual separation, it is necessary on this account, that law should be with him, which distinguishes the orders of beings, divides the intellectual genera, and separates all forms according to a well-ordered progression; but imparts to all things by illumination the measure of hyparxis, connecting the order which is in them, preserving the boundaries of divine distribution immutable, and possessing the same dignity in the kingdom of Saturn, and in intellectuals, as Adrastia in the supercelestial place, and in the intelligible, and at the same time, intellectual orders. For from each of them an immutable guard, and the progression of order to all things are generated. But they differ from, each other, because law indeed divides the one into multitude, defines the measures of intellectual subsistence, and distributes to every thing an appropriate good, producing the different measures of beings from the one [Saturnian] intellect. But Adrastia abiding in the intelligible, guards all things uniformly, and preserves total order in a firm undeviating manner, exempt from all division. Law, therefore, is a certain God which divides divine forms, and definitely imparts to every thing that which is adapted to it according to the plenitude proceeding from one uniform cause; and it is also co-existent with the Saturnian order, in which the separations of beings, and the all-perfect progression of forms first subsist. Hence the demiurgus likewise looking to this conducts all things according to law, and constitutes mundane providence an image of the union of the father; but fate and the fatal laws, an image of the division according to law. Souls, therefore, live according to law; in the Jovian period indeed being governed conformably to the laws of Fate; but in the Saturnian period living according to divine law they are subservient to the multitude [of divine forms] and are extended to the one cause of all; and ascending to the intelligible place of survey, they are subjected to the sacred law of Adrastia. For this law extends from on high as far as to the last of things, and defines to souls the measures of whole periods, as Socrates says in the Phædrus. Who therefore this greatest God is, and what the goods are of which he is the cause to souls, and prior to these, to Gods and dæmons, the leaders of souls, let it, from these things be manifest.

Chapter X.

Since however, theologists assert that an exemption from old age pertains to this order, as the Barbarians say, and Orpheus the theologist of the Greeks, (for he mystically says that the hairs of the face of Saturn are always black, and never become hoary) I admire the divinely-inspired intellect of Plato which unfolds the same things concerning this God those who proceed in his steps. For he says that souls in the Saturnian period abandon old age, but return to youth, and remove from themselves hoariness, but have black hair. For he says that the white hairs of the more elderly become black; but the cheeks of those that have beards being rendered smooth, they are restored to the past season [of youth.] These things indeed are asserted by the Elean guest; similar to which are the assertions of Orpheus concerning this God.

————— under Saturnian Jove
Men liv’d immortal; moist and fragrant hair
From the pure chin then sprouted, nor was mix’d
With the white flower that marks infirm old age;
But in its stead, a florid down appeared.

In these verses he delivers the similitude of Saturnian souls to this God. For he says that they remove from the view the old age which they had acquired from generation and abandon material imbecility; and that they exert the juvenile and vigorous life of intellect; For it is no otherwise lawful for them to be assimilated to the God who is exempt from old age, than through intellectual puberty, and undefiled power; But the cause of this is, that king Saturn himself is the source of the unallured Gods, and the inflexible triad. Hence he is, as Socrates says, a pure intellect. For he is at the same time the intellect of the undefiled order, ranking as a summit, and riding as in a vehicle in the flourishing and vigorous179 Gods that govern wholes. The souls also which are sent to him, wonderfully advance, in conjunction with intellectual energy, in vigour, and in a power undeviating, and free from any tendency to matter. Partial souls therefore, when they change their periods, at one time proceed to a more juvenile, and at another, to a more aged condition. But whole souls always live according to both these periods, and are conversant with Saturn according to the unapparent period, but govern the universe in conjunction with Jupiter, according to visible providence, at once receiving an increase according to both these periods, and becoming at one and the same time both older and younger. And this is what Parmenides indicates when he says, that the one proceeding according to time becomes at once younger and older. These things however, will hereafter be more manifest.

Chapter XI.

Having therefore brought to an end the information concerning the king of the intellectual Gods, it evidently follows that we should in the next place celebrate the queen Rhea. For both Plato and Orpheus assert that she is the mother of the demiurgus of wholes, but a divinity posterior to Saturn. Thus therefore, we must speak concerning her. The stable and united cause of all intellectuals, and the principal and original monad, abiding in herself, unfolding into light all intellectual multitude, and again convolving it into herself, and embosoming her progeny, and the causes of wholes that emerge from her, analysing as it were after division the natures that are divided, and being paternally allotted the highest kingdom in intellectuals,—this being the case, the vivific Rhea proceeds as the second from her proper principle, being allotted a maternal order in the whole paternal orders, and producing the demiurgus, of wholes, prior to other Gods, and the immutable guard of the Gods, For this Goddess is the middle centre of the paternal intellectual triad, and the receiving bosom of the generative power which is in Saturn, calling forth indeed, to the generation of wholes, the causes which abide in him, but unfolding definitely all the genera of the Gods. And being filled indeed from the father prior to her with intelligible and prolific power, but filling the demiurgus and father subsisting from her, with vivific abundance. Whence also the demiurgus is the cause of life to all things, as containing in himself the plenitude of intellectual life, and extending to all things the prolific cause of his mother. For as the middle Goddess multiplies the uniform powers of Saturn, and produces and causes them to preside over secondary natures, so the third father, at, one and the same time unfolds, divides, and produces as far as to the last of things, the all-perfect abundance of the Saturnian monad, and the dyadic generation of the mother Rhea, so as not to leave the most material and disorderly part of the universe destitute of the power of Saturn.

This Goddess therefore, being the middle of the two fathers, one of which collects, but the other divides intellectual multitude, and the one through transcendency desiring to abide and to be established in himself, but the other hastening to produce, generate and fabricate all things, she educes indeed into herself, the demiurgic causes of wholes, but imparts her own proper power to secondary natures, in unenvying abundance. Hence also Plato assimilates her prolific exuberance to streams, as Socrates says in the Cratylus, evinces that this Goddess is a certain flux, and in what he asserts of her obscurely shows nothing else than her fontal nature, and a power unically comprehensive of the divisible rivers of life. For the first-effective flux is fontal; which also Socrates indicating in this Goddess, shortly after clearly says that the name of Tethys is the name of a fountain. Why therefore, is it any longer necessary to doubt about these things, and to say where does Plato make mention of fontal Gods? For he himself denominates the causes of the subsistence of all the Gods fontal fluxions. And besides this, if he admits that the mundane soul is the fountain and principle of life, because it proceeds both from an impartible and partible vivification, how is it possible that he should not in a much greater degree and more truly call the Goddess who comprehends in herself all life, fontal?

Concerning names however, it is not, I think, at all proper to contend, but we should survey the orders themselves of the first effective Gods, and see how Plato following theologists copiously unfolds them to us, celebrating after the Saturnian monad the kingdom of Rhea, constituting from these the demiurgus of wholes, and all the multitude of Gods which is woven together with him. For this Goddess binding together the breadth of intellectuals, and embosoming total life, emits all the intellectual powers in herself of the rivers of life; and by the summit of herself indeed, is conjoined to the first father, and together with him generates wholes, and the genera of Gods that abide in him; but by her extremity is connascent with fabrication, and according to a kindred conjunction with fabrication, constitutes all the orders of Gods that are prior to the world, and that are in the world. Hence there also the causes of the demiurgi of wholes primarily subsist, and the more partial genera of life: and the union and total deity of all these, is at once exempt from the plenitudes of herself, and is at once co-arranged with them.

Thus therefore, she is both uniform and multiform, one and simple, though being self-perfect, she is a vivific world, proceeding from on high as far as to the last of things, and as far as to the extremities of the universe, giving subsistence to the vivific powers of the breadth of life. Hence also Plato refers the vivific Cause of wholes to this Goddess, and through the last gifts of this divinity, indicates her total energy; which primarily indeed fills the whole demiurgus with intellectual and prolific power, but secondarily perfects all the genera of, the Gods with the intellectual fruits of herself. According to a third order also, her total energy nourishes the souls that are the attendants of the Gods, with the rivers of divine perfection. And in the last orders, it imparts to mortal animals the gift of nature. This therefore so, I think, more known than every thing to those who admit that things divine are beyond the works of nature.

That however, which it is more fit the lovers of the contemplation of truth should consider, I say, is this, that Plato divides Ceres from180 the whole vivific deity, and coarranges her, at one time with Proserpine, at another with Juno, and at another with the progeny of Jupiter, as we may learn in the Cratylus. In which dialogue indeed, he co-arranges Rhea with Saturn, but connects a certain common investigation and theory about Ceres, Jupiter, and Juno. In the Laws likewise celebrating the legislative Goddesses, he refers the whole of a legitimate life to the union of Ceres and Proserpine; since according to Orpheus this middle Goddess being conjoined with Saturn by her summit, is called Rhea; but producing Jupiter, and together with Jupiter unfolding the whole and partial orders of the Gods, she is called Ceres. And all the order of middle life is comprehensive of the other Titanidæ, and likewise of Ceres. For it pre-established this monad as a middle collective of all the orders in it, both those that are occult, and those that are divided about the generative powers of the Goddess. Each of these powers, however, are triple. And this monad indeed conjoins the superior triad to Saturn, but weaves the inferior, together with the demiurgic order. It also evinces that the Cerealian monad being the middle, is coarranged with, and is at the same time exempt from the demiurgus of wholes. For in conjunction with the whole order it constitutes, and together with Jupiter generates Proserpine. And thus we have celebrated the primogenial Goddess who is the middle of the fathers.

Chapter XII.

Now however, after this Goddess, the demiurgus of wholes is in the third place to be celebrated, according to the order which he is allotted in the intellectual Gods, peculiarly unfolding for this purpose all the truth concerning him. And in the first place, we must remember that it is necessary the peculiarity of this third father should be demiurgic; and thus in the next place, following Plato, we must direct our attention to other particulars [respecting this God]. The first of the intellectual Gods therefore, who is parturient with multitude, who is the leader and source of all separation, and who separates himself from the uniform and first Gods, but generates the divided principles of wholes,—this God again converts his progeny to himself, and weaves together these parts with his own sameness, and exhibits himself as one intelligible world in intellectuals, bringing forth in himself, and retaining with himself his own offspring. But the second of the intellectual deities, is the vivific Goddess, who brings forth indeed in conjunction with the first intellectual God, occult multitude, (for she is conjoined to him according to supreme transcendency) but cannot endure to remain in this mode of generating, and in Collecting the separation of wholes into unseparated union. Hence she separates the third intellect from the [first] father; but produces the multitude of the Gods, and of intellectual reasons, and fills the demiurgus with generative power. If, therefore, the first intellectual God is parturient with the generation of wholes; but the prolific vivification of the intellectual orders causes this generation to shine forth;—it is evident that the intellect of the intellectual fathers according to his own order, produces and adorns all things, and calls forth indeed, the occult nature of his father, into separation and progression, but prepares total vivification to send forth the rivers of itself, as far as to the last of things. For it is every where the peculiarity of intellect to divide and unfold multitude, the plenitudes of life, and the unions of intelligibles. Intelligible intellect however contains multitude uniformly, or according to the form of one; for multitude pre-exists in the intelligible according to cause. But the intelligible, and at the same time, intellectual intellect, has indeed secondary measures of union, but is exempt from all perfect separation, abiding in the first principles of wholes. And intellectual, intellect is the source of all division, and of the subsistence of partial natures; since it pre-establishes in itself all the multitude of forms, and this not tetradically only, as intelligible intellect, but it possess we all-perfect intellectual cause of all forms. It is necessary therefore that the whole demiurgic principles should pertain to this intellect, that all the demiurgic Gods should proceed from this one third father, and that this should be the demiurgus of wholes. For as the first of paradigms co-subsists in intelligible intellect, and in the third triad and the first father, so likewise we must place the first demiurgic monad in intellectual intellect, and the third father of the intellectual Gods. For on this account also the demiurgic is conjoined with the paradigmatic cause, according to the analogy which each is allotted among the fathers; one indeed in intelligibles, but the other in intellectuals. For one is the boundary of the intelligible, but the other of the intellectual order. But this is evident from what has been before said.

Farther still, fabrication being fourfold, and one indeed adorning wholes totally, another adorning wholes but partially, another adorning parts, but totally, and another weaving parts together with wholes, partially,—this being the case, it is evident that the cause of wholes which is the cause of them uniformly and indivisibly, is the most ancient of all the causes. It is necessary however, that this cause should either be prior to, or in, or posterior to the intellectual Gods. Where therefore shall we place it? For all the parts which are constituted by intellectuals are more partial than the one and total fabrication. For the division of wholes into three, and the leaders of divisible production, present themselves to the view in these orders. The natures therefore, that are prior to intellectuals, are defined according to other peculiarities of the Gods, as was before shown, and in short, they subsist according to union and are expanded above the separation of intellectual forms.

Chapter XIII.

It remains therefore that the one demiurgus of wholes must be arranged in intellectuals. But if indeed, he is the first father, he will be intelligible, will contain his progeny in himself, and will be the collector of separation. How therefore, does he divide the worlds? How does he generate the multitudes of mundane natures? How does he speak to all the junior demiurgi at once? For the first father is uncoordinated with the whole number of mundane natures, and also converts his first progeny to himself, flying as it were from multitude to union, and. hastily withdrawing himself from all-various separation into intelligible transcendency. But if the one demiurgus of wholes is the vivific order, all things indeed, will be full of life, on account of the whole demiurgus. And the cause of souls, according to a probable reason will here become apparent subsisting prior to multitude. But how will he convert all things to himself? How is he called demiurgus and father? For the vivific deity, herself by herself, has a maternal dignity among the Gods, and is the supplier of progression to all things. But to produce forms, and to convert, are the. illustrious and peculiar good of intellect. Neither therefore, is the demiurgus of wholes in the supermundane order. For all the natures there are partial, and either partially preside over wholes, or comprehend the productions of parts totally. Nor is he in intelligibles. For all the Gods there are fathers; and no one there is called181 demiurgus and father. But the divine orders antecedently comprehend all things in a manner perfectly occult and unical. Nor is he in the intelligible and at the same time intellectual order. For to collect, connect, and perfect multitudes, is not the province of the demiurgic peculiarity. For this is the source of separation, and the production of forms, glittering with intellectual sections. But the intelligible and at the same time intellectual Gods, extend intellectual multitudes to the union of intelligibles. Nor again, is it possible to admit that the demiurgic cause is in the first or second order of intellectuals. For the summit of intellectuals is imparticipable by mundane natures, and is rather proposed to them in the order of the desirable; but is not productive of them. Hence, all the Gods in the world are elevated to the Saturnian place of survey; but proceed from another secondary principle, and through it are converted and conjoined to the exempt kingdom. And the middle centre being vivific, is not defined according to the paternal characteristic. For the generative very much differs from the paternal, and the vivific from the demiurgic genus; so far, I think, as the principles of the whole orders, I mean bound and infinity, differ from each other. For the demiurgic and paternal order is referred to bound; but all vivific and generative power, to infinity.

Chapter XIV.

I wonder therefore, at those interpreters of Plato, who do not make one fabrication but many, who assert that there are three demiurgi of wholes, and pass at one time to the second, and at another to the third demiurgus; and who divide what is said in the Timæus, and think fit to refer some of the assertions to one, but others to another cause. For that there is a demiurgic triad, and another multitude of Gods characterized according to the producing cause, I also admit, and think it will be granted by Plato. It is necessary however in each order prior to the triad, and prior to every multitude, that there should be a pre-existent monad. For all the orders of the Gods originate from a monad; because each of the whole orders is assimilated to the whole progression of the Gods. As therefore the subsistence of the Gods has the cause of its generation from the imparticipable one, thus also it is necessary that the perfect orders in the Gods, should have a pre-existent monad, and a first-effective principle. According to the same reasoning, all the vivific progressions are suspended from one vivification, and the demiurgic orders are extended to one fabrication. And it is not proper that there should be multitude without the monad. For, there will neither be coarrangement, nor a division of multitude according to intellect, unless the one and whole pre-exist For on this account prior to all the divine progressions, the order of wholeness subsists, in order that it may comprehend parts, and may define them in, and about itself.

How therefore neglecting whole in fabrication, can we survey demiurgi divided according to parts? Though Plato himself thinks with respect to the paradigm of the universe, that the world should not be assimilated to any thing which naturally subsists in the form of a part, but to all perfect animal; and on this account he demonstrates that the world is only-begotten, because its paradigm is one. For if it were not one, but many paradigms, again it would be necessary that there should be another animal about it, of which it would be a part, and it would be more right to assert that the world is no longer similar to the many paradigms, but to that which comprehends them. For it is necessary that the one paradigm should precede the many, in the same manner as the one good subsists prior to participated goods, and that the whole world should be the image of one paradigm prior to many. For whether it is alone the image of many paradigms, whence will the world be one and a whole? And how is it possible it should not be more dishonourable than its parts? For these indeed, are assimilated to intelligibles, but the whole world is similar to no one of real beings. Or whether all the world subsists from a certain intelligible paradigm, if indeed there are many paradigms of one world, these also will be similar to each other, if they are the causes of the same image. It is necessary therefore, that sameness should be communicated to these from one form; or again, the world will be more venerable than its paradigms according to union. But if the paradigm is one, after the same manner also the demiurgic cause is one. For as there is one image from one paradigm, thus also the progeny being one, derives its subsistence from one demiurgus and father. For it is necessary that the paradigmatic cause should either be the same with the demiurgus, and should be established in him, or that it should be prior to the demiurgus, as we say it is, or that it should be posterior to the demiurgus, as some think proper to assert.

If however, the paradigm and the demiurgus are the same, the demiurgus will be one according to Plato. For the paradigm is only-begotten, as he demonstrates. But if the demiurgus exists prior to the paradigm, which it is not lawful to assert, but the paradigm is one, much more will the demiurgus be one. For the causes which are more elevated are allotted a more uniform hypostasis; since also the first cause of wholes is one. And if the paradigmatic cause has indeed the first order in beings, but the demiurgic cause the second order, and this universe the last order, being the resemblance of the former, and the progeny of the latter, how is it possible since the extremes are monadic, the middle multitude should be without the monad? For it is necessary that the paradigm being intelligible, should impart by illumination a greater degree of union to the universe than the demiurgic cause. And as the paradigm being only-begotten, comprehends in itself the first paradigms, after the same manner it is necessary that the demiurgic monad should be comprehensive of many demiurgi. For if the world derives its only-begotten subsistence from the paradigm, but through the demiurgus, the demiurgus also is indeed entirely one.

Farther still, I think that those who are the patrons of this opinion should direct their attention to that assertion of Socrates, that it is every where fit the many should be comprehended in the one. For on account of this we admit the hypothesis of forms [or ideas], and prior to other things we pre-establish intellectual monads. How therefore are intellectual forms extended to one principle, and how do each of them proceed from one demiurgic cause, but the whole demiurgic form is multiplied, and divided prior to the indivisible monad? For it is necessary that as all equals, whether they are intellectual, or psychical, or sensible, should be suspended from one first equality, all beautiful things, from beauty itself, and the many every where, from primary beings, thus also it is necessary that the multitude of demiurgi should be suspended from one fabrication, and should subsist about one demiurgic monad. For how can it be lawful to leave the one in forms rather than in the Gods? For forms indeed, have their hypostasis mingled with multitude; but the Gods are defined according to union itself. If therefore all the multitudes of forms are the progeny of monads, much more are the orders of the Gods allotted peculiarities which originate from monads, and which through monads are inherent in multitudes. But if this be the case, it is necessary that the whole demiurgus should subsist prior to the multitude of demiurgi, and that the three demiurgi should distribute the one cause of the generation of the universe.

Again therefore we assert from the beginning that it is necessary the demiurgic principle should either be one, or many, or one, and many. But if indeed, it is one alone, and the multitude in the world, and the different order which it contains subsist similarly from one demiurgic principle, how are mortal and immortal natures the progeny of the same cause without a medium? For all the natures that proceed from the one fabrication are immortal. But if the demiurgic principle is many only, whence is the common form of hyparxis communicated to the multitude, if it does not originate from one? For as the final cause is one, viz. the good, as the paradigmatic cause is one, viz. animal itself, and as the world is a generated one, thus also after the same manner, the demiurgic cause is one. But if there are one and many demiurgic principles, whether does the one principle belong to partial or to total genera? If however, it belongs indeed to partial genera, bow is it extended to the first and intelligible paradigm? For the supermundane genera subsist about the intellectual Gods, and according to intellectual paradigms. For being partial, they entirely assimilate the natures posterior to themselves to intellectuals, coordinately to themselves. Or how will it any longer preserve the union of total fabrication which produces wholes totally? For a thing of this kind pertains to no partial nature; but it belongs to a partial principle, to produce parts either totally182 or partially, as we before observed. But if the demiurgic principle belongs to the total orders, it is necessary that it should either be intelligible or intellectual, or intelligible and intellectual. If however, it is of an intelligible nature, how is it divisive of wholes? How is it co-arranged with mundane natures? How is it said to fashion the universe? How from the genera of being does it produce soul, and the natures posterior to soul? For [on this hypothesis] we must admit that all these are in intelligibles, viz. figure, the genera of being, and these divided, the similar and the dissimilar, and other things through which the demiurgic principle constitutes the whole world. But if the demiurgic principle is of an intelligible and at the same time intellectual nature, how does he produce participated intellect? How does he separate the multiform orders of souls? How does he divide the parts, or the circles that are in them? For that which is generative of participated intellect, is imparticipable intellect. And that which has the power of dividing multitude will not [on this hypothesis] differ from that which connects the total genera of the Gods. And in short, the demiurgus of wholes, is called by Timæus intellect, and is frequently said to see, to discover, and to reason, but he is no where denominated by him intelligible and at the same time intellectual. For the intelligible and at the same time intellectual Gods, divide all things triadically. But the demiurgus, at one time indeed, divides the world into five parts, and at another divides the circles of the soul into hebdomads, that he may generate either the celestial spheres, or the seven parts of the soul. We must say therefore, that he is entirely secondary to the intelligible and at the same time intellectual Gods, and he is the cause of secondary goods to the world. But we must refer to those Gods the cause of united forms and reasons. That the demiurgic intellect however, is an intellectual God, is I think through these things sufficiently apparent at present.

Chapter XV.

But Plato appears to me to have indicated the peculiarity of this God in a remarkable manner, by calling him intellect, and asserting that be sees intelligibles, but admitting that they are visible to him according to nature. For that which is truly intellect, and which establishes itself according to this hyparxis, is intellectual intellect. For intelligible intellect also, is indeed simply intelligible, and is of that allotment; but is said to be intellect, as being the cause of every intellectual nature. And the intellect of the intelligible and at the same time intellectual Gods, has not its own nature unmingled with the intelligible. But intellectual intellect alone, is peculiarly intellect, being allotted the intellectual itself in intellectuals; just as the most principal of intelligibles, is primarily, the first, and the highest intelligible, which we denominate the one being, and that which is occultly being. This therefore is that which is simply intelligible. But that which is simply intellect is intellectual intellect. For the intelligible indeed possesses the summit, but intellect the end of wholes. And the intermediate natures partly pertain to the intelligible, and partly to intellect, and the intellectual nature. And the intelligibles indeed, that are primarily so, possess intellect according to cause; but the first of intellectuals have the intelligible according to participation; and the natures that are collective of these, conjoin the intelligible and intellectual peculiarity together. Since, therefore, Timæus also calls the demiurgus intellect indefinitely, and neither denominates him life, nor intelligible, in consequence of his peculiarity being alone intellectual, it is certainly necessary that he should be established at the end of the intellectual Gods.

For there intellect is intellect itself, and is not such an intellect as the Saturnian is. For Saturn also is intellect, but he is a pure and incorruptible intellect, which manifests his supreme empire in intellectuals, transcending the whole intellectual Gods. But the demiurgus is simply intellect. As therefore, the simply intelligible is the first of intelligibles, so that which is simply intellect, is the last of intellectuals. For all things are in each of the orders. For in intelligibles life and intellect pre-exist; and in the breadth of life, there are similarly life and intellect. And in intellectuals there is each of the rest. But in intelligibles indeed, being is according to essence, but life and intellect are according to cause. In intellectuals, intellect indeed is according to essence, but being and life are according to participation. And in the intermediate natures, intellect is according to cause, but being is according to participation, and life according to essence. As therefore, that which is most vital in life is the middle, and as that which is especially intelligible is the summit in being, so in intellectuals, the extremity is that which is most intellectual. Hence if there is a certain intellect which is simply intellect, and a perceiving intellect, this is intellectual intellect, which Plato denominating the demiurgus unfolds to us the most manifest order, which it is allotted in intellectuals. On this account also, prior to all other things, the demiurgus constitutes participated intellect, as Timæus says. For placing intellect in soul, and soul in body, he fashioned the universe. Energizing therefore, according to his own essence, and producing by his very being, he constituted the intellect of the universe prior to all other things. For every participated proceeds from imparticipable intellect. Hence, as if Plato had said, that the generative cause which gives subsistence to participated intelligible, is that which is primarily being, so since the demiurgus first produces intellect from himself, he will be imparticipable and intellectual intellect. From these things therefore, it is evident what the hyparxis of the demiurgus and father is, and what order it is allotted in intellectuals according to Timæus.

Chapter XVI.

Let us however after another manner syllogistically collect the peculiarity of the demiurgus, receiving from the Timæus the principles of the arguments on this subject. This therefore is known to every one, that Timæus calls the whole demiurgus fabricator and father, in the beginning of what he says concerning him. For he says, “It is difficult to discover the fabricator and father of this universe, and when found, it is impossible to speak of him to all men.” Hence, he does not think fit to call him either father alone, or fabricator alone, nor again connecting the two, father and fabricator, but on the contrary, he places the fabricative prior to the paternal. Now therefore, we must show in the first place, in what respect fabricator and father differ from each other; and in the next place, in addition to this, who the fabricator alone is, and who father and fabricator is, and how the fabricative and at the same time paternal peculiarity, is considered by Plato as adapted to the demiurgus.

If therefore, we divide all things into the Gods, and the progeny of the Gods, and this is the same thing as to divide them into superessential monads, and the progressions of beings, father indeed will be generative of the Gods and superessential unities; but fabricator will give subsistence to essences and beings. For again, according to this reason Timæus says, that the natures which are generated by the demiurgus are equal to the Gods; for the demiurgus is not only fabricator, but also father; but that those which are produced by the junior Gods, are allotted a mortal nature. For these Gods are alone producers and fabricators of things which participate of existence alone, and not of the superessential peculiarity. Hence through that by which they suffer a diminution with respect to the demiurgic monad, through this they are not allotted a power generative of things equal to the Gods. And through that by which the intellectual demiurgus is expanded above the junior Gods, through this he binds to himself the generations of all mundane natures.

But if again, we divide beings into the total and partial, father indeed, will appear to us to be the hypostatic cause of wholes, but fabricator of partial natures. For the former is the cause exemptly of things that are generated; but the latter proximately. And the former, produces indeed by his very being, energy giving perfection to his hyparxis; but the latter produces by energizing, his hypostasis being fixed according to energy. If also we again separately divide the generations of perpetual and* mortal natures, we must refer the generation of perpetual natures to the paternal cause, but the generation of mortal natures to the fabricative cause. For the fabricator indeed produces that which is generated from non-being to being. For the Elean guest defines the effective art to be this. But the father constitutes things posterior to himself consubsistent with himself. For he is father by his very being, and has the power of generating united with himself. Each therefore, I mean the paternal and the effective or fabricative, is assimilated to the principle of bound. And the former indeed is the cause of union, but the latter of the production of forms. And the former is the cause of wholes, but the latter of an extension as far as to parts. And the one indeed, is the primary leader of simple, but the other of composite natures; Again however, in these the generative cause, and the cause which is productive of life, are opposed to each other; because the paternal cause indeed is connascent with generative powers, but the effective with vivific powers. And as the paternal and the effective causes pertain to the coordination of bound, so every thing prolific and vivific, pertains to vivification, and the first infinity.

These things, however, being thus divided by us, it is evident that the paternal indeed, is itself by itself primarily in the intelligible Gods. For they are the fathers of wholes, being fixed according to supreme intelligible union. And on this account, Plato also calls the first God father, from the natures which are proximately established after him, transferring to him the appellation of father. For every where indeed, it is usual with Plato to introduce names to the ineffable from secondary causes, and the causes which are posterior to it. But at one tune indeed, he introduces the names from all beings, and at another from the first beings. For it neither was nor is lawful to refer names to him who is exempt from all beings, from subordinate natures, and which are placed in an order very remote from him. If therefore, all beings participate of the paternal peculiarity, we must say that Plato gives this name to the one from all beings; for there is. not among all beings such a cause as this. Hence it is evident that Plato introduces to the one an appellation of this kind, from that which is the first and highest in the Gods. The intelligible Gods, however, are more ancient than all (he divine orders, and subsist immediately after the one. The paternal cause therefore of beings is in the intelligible Gods, and the intelligible Gods are the fathers of all the divine genera; being established in the highest essences, and occultly producing wholes. And the first God indeed, is beyond the appellation of father, as he is likewise beyond all other names; and he is neither properly called the good, or the one, through his ineffable and unknown transcendency. But the intelligible Gods are primarily superessential unities and goodnesses, and are the exempt fathers of beings.

The paternal peculiarity, therefore, originates supernally from the first intelligible triad; but the fabricative first presents itself to the view in the third triad. For that which generates all forms, and adorns all things with forms is the third triad of intelligibles. For there, as we have said, all-perfect animal subsists, which is comprehensive of the first and intelligible paradigms. Here therefore, the effective also or fabricative at the same time subsists. For animal itself constitutes the Gods, and produces the forms of all beings. Hence it is allotted the paternal peculiarity, according to the divine cause, but according to the formal cause, it unfolds into light the effective principle of wholes. But again, on the contrary, the effective and at the same time paternal peculiarity, is allotted its hypostasis in the demiurgic monad. Hence also the demiurgus of wholes is the hypostatic cause of Gods. In a particular manner however, he fabricates the world, energizing with forms and demiurgic reasons. For he constitutes intellect, souls and bodies, adorning all things with forms, some indeed with first, others with middle, and others with last forms.

Do you not see, therefore, how the end of intelligibles indeed, was paternal and at the same time effective; but the end of intellectuals is effective and at the same time paternal. There however, the paternal peculiarity is more predominant; but here the effective. For in both indeed, both causes pre-exist; nevertheless in the paradigm [i.e. in animal itself] the paternal is more prevalent, but in the demiurgus the effective. For the former produces by his very being; but the latter by energizing. And in the former indeed, fabrication [or effective energy] is essential; but in the latter essence is effective. Forms also are with both; but in the former intelligibly, and in the latter intellectually. From these things therefore, it is evident, that the demiurgic cause subsists analogous to the paradigmatic cause; and that it has the same order with respect to intellectuals, as that has with respect to intelligibles. And on this account Timæus also says that the demiurgus of wholes was extended to that paradigm. For he says, “Whatever ideas intellect perceived by the dianoëtic energy in animal itself, such and so many he conceived it necessary for the universe to contain.” And together with this analogy, there is a diminution of the intellectual with reference to the intelligible. For the latter is more united; but the former is more separated. And the one indeed is pre-established in the order of the desirable; but the other is moved about the desirable. And the one fills with paternal power; but the other absorbs as it were and embosoms the whole prolific abundance of the desirable. And after this manner, the demiurgus of the universe is all-perfect, receiving whole intelligible powers, from all-perfect animal. For the universe is threefold; one indeed being intelligibly [all]; another intellectually; and another sensibly. For the world is perfect, from perfect natures, as Timæus says. And animal itself is perfect according to all things, as the same Timæus asserts. The demiurgus likewise, being the best of causes, is all-perfect.

Again therefore, resuming what we have said, we repeat, that the paternal cause commences from the supreme union of intelligibles; but the paternal and at the same time effective cause is consubsistent in the intelligible paradigm; and the effective and at the same time paternal cause is defined according to the whole demiurgus. But the cause which is alone effective and fabricative, pertains to the junior Gods who give subsistence to partial and mortal things. The peculiarity therefore of the demiurgic cause is effective and paternal. And this Timæus asserts, not only in the beginning of the discourse about it, in which he says, “[To discover] therefore, the artificer and father of this universe, etc.;” but also in the speech to the junior Gods, he does the same thing; for the demiurgus in a similar manner says to them: “Gods of Gods of whom I am the demiurgus and father, [Whatever is generated by me is indissoluble, I being willing that it should be so.]” For he does not call himself father and demiurgus, but demiurgus and father, just as there [Timæus calls him] fabricator and father. And not in the Timæus only is this mode of the arrangement of the names defined, but in the Politicus also, the Elean guest speaking about the world says that it imitates the instruction of its demiurgus and father; and in the beginning indeed, he uses these names more accurately, but in the end more negligently. Since Plato therefore, every where preserves this order of names unchanged, it is evident to those who are not entirely unskilled in things of this kind, that he defines the demiurgic monad according to this peculiarity, and that he considers it to be effective and at the same time paternal. For because indeed, it is the end of the intellectual triad, it is allotted a paternal transcendency with respect to all the second genera of Gods; but because it produces from itself all the partial genera and species of beings, it possesses an effective cause of the natures to which it gives subsistence. And because indeed, it is father, power is in it, and at the same time intellect. For the demiurgus himself says, “Imitating the power which I employed in your generation.” And again, Timæus says concerning the demiurgus; “Whatever ideas intellect perceived in animal itself, such and so many he conceived by the dianoetic energy it necessary for this universe to contain.” Hence he is father, and the power of the father is in him, and intellect. All these however, are in him intellectually, and not intelligibly. Hence, I think he is called father indeed, not simply, but together with effector and demiurgus; and power, not by itself, but the power of the demiurgus and father. For he who calls himself demiurgus and father, says that it is the power of himself. But he is immediately called intellect, without the addition of power, and the other appellations. Whatever ideas therefore intellect perceived,” etc. For all things are in him intellectually, and both power and father, by which he imitates the intelligible paradigm. For in him all things were intelligibly,183 viz. bound, infinity, and that which is mixed from both these. These, however, are father, power, and intellect. But the intellectual of the paradigm indeed was intelligible in the intelligible Gods, subsisting prior to an intellectual cause. The intellectual however of the demiurgus, is of itself intellectual, being intellectual in intellectuals, as was before observed. Because indeed, as we have said, he is father, power is in him, and also intellect. But because these are defined according to the effective and demiurgic, he is coarranged with the vivific order, and together with it constitutes the genera of life, and vivifies the whole world. What this order is however, and where it is arranged, we shall shortly survey. But thus much is evident from what has been said, that so far as he is the demiurgus, he requires contact with the vivific order, together with it generates total lives, and conjoins it to himself. Disseminating, however, all the measures of life in it, and together with it adorning and producing them, he again converts them to himself. For it belongs to him to generate all things, and to recall all things to himself, no less than to generate them, because he is established at the end of the intellectual order, and is the demiurgic intellect. As he is therefore demiurgic, he gives subsistence to all things; but as intellect, he convolves multitude to union, and converts it to himself. He also accomplishes both these, by the words which he delivers to the junior Gods. For he fills them with demiurgic and prolific power, collects them to himself, constitutes himself the object of desire as it “were to the multitude of Gods, and extends about himself all the demiurgi in the world.

Chapter XVII.

In the third place therefore, let us purify our conceptions about the demiurgic cause according to other projecting energies of intellect, following for this purpose Timæus. In the first place then, Timæus in the beginning of the theory concerning the demiurgus, sufficiently exhibits his goodness, and his unenvying and abundant communication of demiurgic reasons, being impelled to this from the seat of goodness which is inherent in him, and from his exuberant deity. For his goodness and his unenvying abundance, are not as it were a certain habit of good, and a power, or a form itself by itself existing prior to many goods, but it is one ineffable participation of good, and the one of the demiurgic order; according to which the demiurgus also is a God, and fills all things with their proper good. For because there is deity in him which desires to adorn and arrange all things, and an hyparxis which is extended to the providence of the whole of things, on this account he establishes the principle of fabrication. His goodness therefore is nothing else than demiurgic deity. But his will is the progeny of the energy of his goodness, bounding the end of his power. For since in the demiurgus of wholes there are, as we have said, father, power, and intellect, and these subsist in him intellectually, according to each of these he is filled with the participation of the one. And through goodness indeed, that which is paternal in him, and which is as it were the intelligible of intellect, is illuminated. But through will, his power is governed, and is extended to one intelligible good. And through providence, his intellect is perfect, and gives subsistence to all things. All these likewise are the progeny of the one deity in the demiurgus.

In the first place, therefore, as I have said, Timæus unfolds through these things the divine peculiarity of the demiurgus. But in the second place, he presents to our view the intelligible cause which is in him, and also the united paradigmatic cause of wholes which he contains. For to make all things similar to himself, evinces that he is the intelligible paradigm of every thing beautiful and good in the world. For because he gives subsistence to all things by his very being, that to which he gives subsistence is the image of himself. And according to this reasoning the demiurgus is not only a God, but he contains in himself the intelligible, and true being, and antecedently comprehends not only the final cause of mundane natures, but also the paradigmatic cause. But again, in the third place, Timæus celebrates the demiurgic power, and the principle which abolishes every thing disorderly and indefinite, and prepares the beautiful alone and the good to have dominion in wholes. For the assertion that the demiurgus to the utmost of his power suffered nothing evil and vile to exist, indicates his unconquerable power, which adorns things material in an unpolluted manner, and imparts by illumination bound to indefinite, and order to disorderly natures.

In which part of the Timæus, likewise, this dogma of Plato will appear to you to be admirable, that matter is generated from some one of the Gods situated above the demiurgus. For the demiurgus receiving matter occupied by the vestiges of forms, thus himself introduces into it all the perfection of ornament and arrangement. Matter, therefore, and the whole of that which is the subject of bodies, proceed supernally from the first principles, which on account of their exuberance of power, are able to generate even the last of beings. But the demiurgus of the universe, imparts by illumination, order, bound, and ornament, and the whole world is fabricated an image of intelligibles, through the communication of forms.

In the fourth place, therefore, let us survey how Timæus unfolds to us the demiurgic intellect. “By a reasoning process,” says he, the demiurgus discovered from the things which are visible according to nature, that no work which is destitute of intelligence can ever become more beautiful than that which possesses intellect.” What therefore is this reasoning? What is the discovery, and whence does it originate? Reasoning, therefore, is indeed distributed intellection, looking to itself, and in itself investigating good. For every one who reasons, passes from one thing to another, and being converted to himself, searches after good. The demiurgic intellect, therefore, in adorning and arranging the universe subsists analogously to him who reasons; for he emits the divided causes of mundane natures, which pre-exist unitedly in intelligibles. For those things which intelligible intellect constitutes uniformly and exemptly, these intellectual intellect separating, distributing into parts, and as it were fabricating by itself, generates. Reasoning therefore is the being filled with the intelligible, and an all-perfect union with it. By which also it is evident that it is not fit to think this reasoning [of the demiurgus] is either investigation or doubt, or a wandering of divine intellect, but that it is stable intelligence intellectually perceiving the multiform causes of beings. For intellect is always united to the intelligible, and is filled with its own intelligibles. And in a similar manner it is intellect in energy, and intelligible. For at one and the same time, it intellectually perceives and is perceived, discovers itself, entering into itself, and the reasoning also finds what this intelligence is, but not according to transition. For the intelligence of the Gods is eternal. And invention with them is not the discovery of that which i3 absent; for all things are always present to the intellect of the Gods. The intelligible likewise there is not separated from intellect. The conversion, therefore, of intellect to itself may be called reasoning; but the being filled from intelligibles invention. And intelligibles themselves may be denominated things visible according to nature. For because Timæus had denominated the unadorned subject of bodies when it was vanquished by the obscure vestiges of forms, visible, hence, I think, he calls intelligibles visible according to nature. For it is according to nature, to intellect to look to these, and not to things subordinate to these. As, therefore, he says, that intellect itself sees intelligibles, after the same manner also he calls intelligibles things naturally visible, and converts intellect to the intelligible, as that which sees to that which is seen. If, therefore, intellect sees animal itself, and assimilates to it the whole world, it may be said that animal itself is visible to the demiurgus of the universe. For there the most splendid of intelligibles subsists; and this is that which we before demonstrated, when we said that there the fountain of beauty shines forth, which Socrates, in the Phædrus, denominates splendid and fulgid.

Chapter XVIII.

Such therefore are the conceptions which are to be assumed of the demiurgic cause, and from these things they are to be derived. We shall however obtain one perfection of the summit of the dogmas concerning it, if we are able to survey the words which this cause extends to the junior demiurgi, and to unfold the concealed meaning of them. This, therefore, we shall also do, establishing the following principle of the explanation of them: The energies and powers of the Gods are twofold. And some indeed abide in, and energize about them, and have for their end one hypostasis, and which is united to essence. But others proceed from them, exhibit an efficacious power about secondary natures, and coexist with the multitude of their recipients, and with the peculiarity of essence. These, however, being twofold, the secondary are suspended from those that are prior to them, are defined about them, and receive their proper hyparxis according to them. For it is every where necessary that externally proceeding should be the images of internal energies, evolving the at-once-collected nature of their indivisibility; multiplying that in them which is united, and dividing their impartibility.

According to this reasoning, therefore, the energy of nature is also twofold, one being that which abides in it, according to which it connects itself, and the reasons it contains, but the other proceeding from it, through which also bodies are filled with these physical powers, which being moved by nature, act on each other, and physically suffer by each other. Again, the motion of the soul likewise is twofold. And the one indeed is self-motive, is converted to itself, is of itself, concurs with the life of the soul, and is without any difference with respect to it. But the other is incumbent on alter-motive natures, moves these, and about these extends the power of itself. The energy of intellect, therefore, is likewise twofold. And one indeed is intellectual, is united to true beings, and is impartible, being coexistent with the intelligible itself of intellect, or rather being the intelligible itself, and intellect. For intellect is not of itself in capacity, and afterwards receiving energy, intellectually perceives the intelligible; but it is one simple energy. For the multitude of it is unical, and its energy is directed to itself. But the other,energy of intellect is directed to externals, and to things which are able to participate of intellect. For these intellect causes to be intellectual through itself, splendidly as it were emitting the light of its own intelligence, and imparting it to others. It is necessary, therefore, that the divine and demiurgic intellect itself, should always indeed be united to the intelligible, and that it should have the plenitude and self-sufficiency of demiurgic intelligence eternally established according to a union exempt from wholes; to which, as it appears to me, Timæus also looking says, that the father of the universe abides in his accustomed manner, and withdraws himself to his own place of survey, delivering the fabrication of mortal natures to the mundane Gods. For so far as he is exempt from the beings posterior to himself and is uncoordinated with the more partial multitude of Gods, so far he is converted to himself, and surveys and intellectually perceives the natures prior to himself, according to one uniform union. But in consequence of the more ruling and leading Gods being extended towards him, he emits from himself secondary energies, to all the partial orders.

Timæus, therefore, fashions through words, these powers and efficacious energies which proceed from the whole and one fabrication to the demiurgic multitude of Gods. For words are the images of intellections; because indeed they evolve that which is contracted in intelligibles, but lead forth that which is impartible into a partible hypostasis. They likewise transfer that which abides in itself into habitude to another thing. And it is evident that the reasons which are impelled from nature, are certain natural [powers], and render that which receives them physical. But the reasons which are generated from soul, are indeed vivific, but render the inanimate nature which participates of them [animated] and moved from itself, through the power of soul, as Socrates says in the Phædrus, and communicate to it the resemblance of self-motion. And the reasons which are generated from intellect, illuminating the natures posterior to it, distribute all intellectual goods to their recipients, being the suppliers of true knowledge, of purity and a more simple life. After the same manner also the demiurgic words produce in the junior Gods, whole, impartible, and united measures of exempt fabrication, and fill their essences with demiurgic providence. They likewise render them second demiurgi, and emulous of their father. For he indeed gives subsistence to the whole plenitudes of the world. But they, imitating him, fabricate all partial natures in conjunction with wholes. And he produces the essence of perpetual natures. But they fashioning mortal natures according to one generation-producing circle, likewise transmute these. And as the one demiurgus governs the whole periods of the universe, thus also the many demiurgi convolve the divisible circles of the natures that are borne along184 in generation. If, therefore, we assert these things rightly concerning the words proceeding from the demiurgus to the multitude of mundane Gods, and they are efficacious, fabricative, and convertive of their recipients to a union with him, and are also perfective of the beneficent reasons which they contain, we shall no longer seem to speak paradoxically, if we say that these words extend to the Gods in the world the participation of all the powers that are firmly established in the father, and of the causes prior to, and subsisting after him. And as he convolving the end of the intellectual Gods, is the plenitude of all things, so likewise the demiurgic words proceeding from him, produce in the junior Gods the peculiarities, as I may say, of all the divine genera that are above the world, through which they are suspended from all the orders prior to them; just I think as the whole of this world [is suspended from the mundane Gods who185] fabricate all mortal natures, and impart to different things a different power, and an efflux of divine powers.

What, therefore, in short, is it which Plato indicates the Gods derive through these words from the first demiurgus, and the all-perfect fabrication? In the first place, indeed, they derive this, that they are Gods of Gods. For the vocal address proceeding to them from the father, is the supplier of divine power, and is allotted an efficacious presence in its participant, as we before observed. But in the next place, these words impart to them an indissoluble power. The demiurgus of wholes, however, comprehends in himself the cause of dissolution, in order that they may indeed be essentially indissoluble, but according to the cause of binding, not indissoluble. In the third place, therefore, the demiurgus produces in them from on high, through these words, a renovated immortality. For the assertion that they are neither immortal, nor shall be subject to the fatality of death, establishes them in this form of immortality, which the fable in the Politicus denominates renovated. In addition to this also, the words testify that they derive from the father a power perfective of wholes. For if the world is imperfect without the subsistence of mortal animals, it is doubtless necessary that those who preside over the generation of them should be the causes of perfection to the universe. And in the last place, these words impart to the junior Gods a paternal and generative empire derived from the exempt and intellectual cause of wholes; and insert in them the proximate powers of regeneration. For through these words, the junior Gods again receive in themselves the natures that are corrupted, fabricate parts from wholes, and again effect the dissolution of parts into their wholes. And universally the words of the demiurgus subject the perpetually-generated course of nature, to the fabrication of the junior Gods. In short, therefore, the demiurgus fills the junior Gods with divine union, fills them with a firm establishment, and fills them with a perpetuity adapted to their nature. But he pours into them the all-various causes of perfective powers, of vivific rivers, and demiurgic measures. Hence also, the many demiurgi refer the fabrication of particulars to the one and whole providence of the father, and the principles of demiurgic works which they received from him, to his efficacious production. And all of them indeed are filled with all powers, because all of them participate of the demiurgic words which proceed into them from the father. But some of them are more characterized by one peculiarity than another.

And some of them indeed are the suppliers of union to their progeny; others, of indissoluble permanency; others, of perfection; and others, of life. But others preside over regeneration, and being allotted in a distributed manner in the universe, the powers which subsist unitedly in the one demiurgus, they are subservient to the providence of the father. And every thing which is generated by the many demiurgi, is in a much greater degree produced by the one fabrication; which governs mortal natures indeed, eternally, things that are moved, immovably, and partible natures impartibly. It is not however necessary that the progeny of that one demiurgus should be suspended from the motion of the junior Gods. For every where the one fabrication is more comprehensive than that which is multiplied. And the more causal of divine natures energize prior to their own offspring, and together with them constitute the progeny that proceed from them. The first [demiurgic] God, therefore, produces from and through himself the divine genera186 of the universe, according to his beneficent will. But he governs mortal natures through the junior Gods, generating indeed these also from himself, but other Gods producing them as it were with their own hands. For he says, “these being generated through me will become equal to the Gods.” The cause, therefore, through which, is to be attributed to the junior Gods; but the cause from which, even in the production of mortal natures is to be referred to the whole demiurgus. For always the first of those things that are constituted, produce in conjunction with their monad the generation of secondary natures. And all things indeed proceed from that monad, but some things immediately; and through it, but some things through other media receive the providence that emanates from it. For these middle genera of causes are allotted the providential inspection of secondary natures from the first effective monad.

Chapter XIX.

Concerning the words, therefore, in the Timæus, which the demiurgus delivers to the Gods in the world, thus much may suffice at present. But after these, it is fit to survey the second measures of total demiurgic providence, which the demiurgus extends from himself to the many and divisible souls. For having constituted these, divided them equal in number to divine animals, and disseminated them about the world, he inserts in them fabricative boundaries, defines the whole periods of them, inscribes in them the laws of Fate, proposes the apparent measures of their generation-producing life, legally institutes, and adorns in a becoming manner all the rewards of virtue, and the works of vice, intellectually comprehends in one the end of every period, and coarranges with a view to this the whole polity of partial souls. All souls,187 therefore, of an immortal condition, being allotted a progression from the demiurgus, are filled from him with an united and intellectual providence. Because, however, progeny which are suspended from their causes participate of the perfective efficacy which proceeds from them, divine souls, indeed, primarily subsisting from thence, become auditors of the words of their father immediately; but partial souls participate of the uniform providence of the demiurgus secondarily, and with greater partibility. Hence also the demiurgus, as a legislator, defining to these all the measures of their life, he thus extends demiurgic words, unitedly comprehending the divided nature of the whole of their life, convolving in sameness without time their temporal mutability, and collecting uniformly, according to one simplicity, the multiform and diversified nature of the energy which exists about them. But to divine souls he immediately unfolds the providence of himself, and exhorts them to join with him in a providential inspection of the whole world, to fabricate, adorn and dispose in conjunction with him, mortal natures, to govern generated beings according to the measures of justice, and to lead and convolve all things, following demiurgic providence. Very far therefore, are those interpreters of Plato from according with the fabrication of the universe, who admit that partial are the same with whole souls, and who attribute the same essence to all souls; because all of them are allotted their generation from one demiurgus.

For in the first place, the father in the course of his fabrication adorning, and disposing in an orderly manner partial souls, poured mingling, the remainder of the former mixture, says Timæus, and produced the second and third genera. But in a progression of this kind, the words effective of conversion which he extends to divine souls, are intellectual, and demiurgic, and impart to them generative powers, and perfective goods; but those which he extends to partial souls, are the definite sources of generation, of the laws of Fate, of justice, and all-various periods. If, therefore, every thing which proceeds from the demiurgus is essentially imparted to souls, it is indeed necessary that different measures of words should be the causes of different powers; and that to some among the number of divisible souls, the demiurgus should distribute a polity exempt from mundane affairs, but to others a polity arranged under these souls, and supernally governed by them. These things, however, may elsewhere be more copiously demonstrated.

Chapter XX.

After the demiurgic words therefore, again returning to the demiurgic intellect, let us survey following Plato, who the demiurgus is, who convolves the end itself of the intellectual triad to the beginning, and after what manner it is fit to denominate him according to the Grecian theology. Or rather, prior to this let us summarily show what we may assume concerning him according to the narration of Timæus. For we shall more easily learn those particulars, if we assent to these. For directly, in the beginning of the theology concerning him, he is celebrated as the fabricator and father of the world. And he is neither called fabricator alone, nor father and fabricator, but at one and the same time manifestly possessing both peculiarities, he is rather characterized by the fabricative, than by the paternal cause. But he is denominated the demiurgus of wholes, according to his goodness, unenvying and exuberant will, and his power which is able to adorn and arrange all things, and even such as are of a disorderly nature. He is however particularly unfolded to us as the supplier of beauty, symmetry and order, and as the best of causes; and this because he is allotted the uniform, and first effective power of the whole demiurgic series. But he gives subsistence to intellect and soul, and at the same time to all the life in the world; since he fabricated the whole world an animal animated, and endued with intellect. Being likewise full of every intelligible, and extending himself to intelligible and all-perfect animal and conjoining this to himself through similitude, he fabricates the sensible universe only-begotten, in the same manner as the separate paradigm [animal itself] transcending wholes, unitedly constitutes the intelligible universe.

Moreover, he is likewise the fabricator of bodies, and the perfector of works, binding all things by the most excellent analogies, and co-adapting their powers, bulks, and numbers by the most beautiful bonds. Farther still, he constituted the universe a whole from wholes, and perfect from perfect parts, that it might be free from old age and disease, and might contain in itself all the genera of the elements. He likewise adorned it with the first figure, and with the most simple and most comprehensive of all figures. Besides these things, he is also the cause of self-sufficiency to the universe, and of a circulation into itself, in order that suffering all things from, and effecting all things in itself, it might not be in want of any thing externally situated. And he is indeed the supplier of intellectual motion, and of a life which is evolved according to time, and which effects188 a mutation always according to the same, and similarly, and about the same things. Farther still, he is the father of soul, and of all the genera in soul, of the division in it, and all the harmonic reasons it contains, constituting it in the world, as a self-moved and immortal lyre; and he is also the divider of the one, and the seven circles in it, and in short, is the maker and fabricator of figure and morphe.189

In addition to these things likewise, he generates from himself the whole of time, according to the imitation of eternity, together with all the measures of time, and the Gods that unfold these measures into light. But he especially constitutes the whole sun, enkindling its light from his own intellectual essence, in order that possessing a transcendency exempt from the other Gods it might be the king of the universe. Moreover, he fabricates190 all the multitudes of mundane Gods and dæmons, and all celestial and sublunary natures, in order that he may evince this only-begotten and self-sufficient God [the world] to be the image of the intelligible and all-perfect God; fixing the earth indeed, as a firm seat or Vesta, in it, but distributing by lot the other elements to divine souls and dæmons. Besides all this likewise, he converts to himself the genera of Gods that have proceeded from him, and fills all things with undefiled generation, with perpetual life, demiurgic perfection, and generative abundance. He also constitutes divisible souls together with their vehicles, divides them about their leading Gods, arranges different souls under different Gods, unfolds to them the laws of Fate, measures their descents into generation, establishes rewards to their contests in their periodic revolutions, and institutes, as I may say, the whole of their polity in the world.

But after all these things, he introduces a boundary to the providence of wholes, and returning to his own place of survey, delivering to the junior Gods the superintendence of mortal natures, and abiding in his own accustomed manner, is the paradigm to the demiurgi in the world of providential attention to beings of a second order. And as in the fabrication of wholes the paradigm is intelligible animal, so in the arrangement of partial natures, the paradigm is intellectual animal, in which all forms shine forth in a divided manner, according to their own nature. For Timæus says, “the children understanding the order of their father, were obedient to it,” and he abiding, and paternally, and eternally producing all things, they adorn and arrange the mortal genera demiurgically, and according to time. Hence the providence of the demiurgus presents itself to the view, extending from on high as far as to the production of these, and what is here said by Plato, is as it were a hymn to the demiurgus and father of this universe, celebrating his productions, and the benefits which he confers on the world.

And it is requisite that being persuaded by what is here clearly written, we should investigate all the other enquiries about the demiurgus. My meaning is, that we should investigate what we mentioned a little before, who the demiurgus is, and how we ought to denominate him according to the sentiments of the Greeks; and on what account, Timæus neither delivers the name of him, nor unfolds to us who he is, but says, “that it is difficult to discover him, and that when discovered, it is impossible to speak of him to all men.” Now therefore, I think, from what has been already said, it is evident even to those who are but in a small degree intelligent, that according to the decision of Plato, it is the great Jupiter, who is now celebrated by us as the demiurgus. For if, as we have observed, the kingdom of Saturn is the summit of the whole intellectual triad, and the intelligible transcendency of intellectuals, but the maternal and vivific fountain of Rhea, is the middle centre, and the receiving bosom. of the generative power in Saturn, it is manifest to every one, that the mighty Jupiter is allotted the end of this triad. For from the before-mentioned causes, one of which indeed is paternal, but the other generative, he is the God having a paternal subsistence, who is said to reign, receiving the intellectual dominion of his father. If, therefore, it is necessary that the demiurgus should convolve the end of this intellectual triad, as was before demonstrated, and to effect this, is the province of the royal power of Jupiter, we must evidently acknowledge that the Jovian empire is the same as that of the demiurgus, and that Jupiter is the demiurgus celebrated in the Timæus.

Chapter XXI.

If, however, it be necessary to consider this as worthy of further discussion, and to demonstrate that the theology in the Timæus about the demiurgus, accords with what is elsewhere written by Plato concerning this God, let us in the first place assume what is delivered in the Critias, because this dialogue proximately follows the Timæus, and is composed according to an analogy to it, delivering the hypostasis of the same things in image, the primary paradigms of which Timæus celebrates through the fabrication of the world. Here, therefore, Plato, (that I may derive what I say from the beginning) relating the warlike preparations of the Athenians, in former times, and the insolence and usurpation of the Atlantics, who were the progeny of Neptune, but destroyed the divine seed, through the mixture of human and mortal pursuits, and conducted themselves insolently to all men, collects indeed the Gods to a consultation concerning them, in the same manner as poets inspired by Phœbus, and forms a common assembly of the Gods. But Jupiter is the author of the whole polity of them, and converts the multitude of them to himself. And as in the Timæus the demiurgus convolves all the mundane Gods to himself, so Jupiter in the Critias providentially attending to the whole of things, collects the Gods to himself.

In the next place, therefore, let us consider what Plato says concerning this God, and how it accords with what was before said by Timæus. “But Jupiter the God of Gods who reigns legitimately, and who is able to perceive every thing of this kind, when he saw that an equitable race was in a miserable condition, and was desirous of punishing them, in order that by being chastized they might possess more elegant manners, collected all the Gods into their most honourable habitation, whence being seated as in the middle of the whole world, he beholds all such things as participate of generation.” Here, directly in the beginning, king Jupiter being celebrated as the God of Gods, does it not accord with what is written in the Timæus, where he is said to be the father and cause of all the mundane Gods? For what other God is it who reigns over all the Gods, except the cause of their subsistence and essence? Who is it also that calls the mundane deities, Gods of Gods? Is it not him who binds to himself the principle of all fabrication? If, therefore, he imparts to his progeny to be Gods of Gods, in a much greater degree it pertains to him to be celebrated as the God of all [the mundane] Gods. To which, therefore, of the Gods prior to the world, does it particularly belong to punish offenders except to him who defines to souls all their measures, unfolds to them the laws of the universe, and legally institutes such things as are fit concerning justice and injustice, in order that afterwards he may not be accused of the vices of each of them? Moreover, to congregate all the Gods into their most honourable habitation, from which the whole of generation may be seen, and which possesses the middle of the universe, is to attribute to him a providence exempt from multitude, but extending equally to the whole world; which things indeed are the illustrious goods of the demiurgic monad. For to convert all the Gods to himself, and to survey the whole world pertains exemptly to the demiurgus of the universe. For what else is multitude able to participate proximately, except the monad from which it derives its subsistence? And who can convert all the Gods in the world to himself, but the fabricator of their essence, and of their allotment in the universe?

Chapter XXII.

We must establish this, therefore, as one and the first argument in proof of the thing investigated. But if you are willing, we will derive a second argument from what is said by Socrates in the Cratylus, in which he discusses the meaning of the names, from which he may represent to us the essence of Jupiter. For he is not led to the nature of this God from one name, as he is in the names of other Gods, such as Saturn, Rhea, Neptune, and Pluto, but from two names which tend to one thing, and which divisibly indicate the one and united essence of Jupiter, he unfolds the power of this God, and the peculiarity of his hyparxis. For the common rumour concerning him, denominates him in a two-fold respect. And at one time calling him (δια) dia, we worship him in our prayers and hymns; but at another time we celebrate him as (ζηνα) zena, a word derived from life. Being therefore at the same time called (ζευς) zeus and delighting in the appellation of dia, he is similarly denominated from both names by the Greeks. And these names manifest the essence and order which he is allotted among divine natures. And neither of these names indeed, is by itself sufficiently able to make known the peculiarity of the God; but when conjoined with each other and forming a sentence, they have the power of unfolding the truth concerning him.191 How, therefore, from both the names the power of this king is signified, and the precedaneous order of his hypostasis in the Gods, we may hear Socrates himself saying, “That the name of his father192 who is called Jupiter is beautifully posited; but that it is not easy to apprehend the meaning of it, because in reality the name of Jupiter is as it were a sentence. Dividing it however into two parts, some of us use one part, and some another. For some indeed call him zena, but others dia. And these parts collected into one evince the nature of the God, which we say a name ought to effect. For there is not any other who is more the author of life to us, and to all other things than he who is the ruler and king of all things. It happens, therefore, that this God is rightly denominated, on account of whom life is present to all living beings. But it is divided into two parts, as if I should say that there is one name from dia and zena.” The mode, therefore, of collecting the names into one, and of rendering the hyparxis of this God apparent through both, is manifest to every one.

If, however, he is the supplier of life to all things, as he is said to be, and is the ruler and king of all such things as are said to live, to whom can we assert this peculiarity pertains, if we omit the demiurgus? And is it not necessary, that according with what is said in the Timæus, we should refer to him the principle of vivification. For the demiurgus renders the whole world animated, endued with intellect, and an animal, and constitutes the triple life which is in it, one indeed being impartible and intellectual, another partible and corporeal, and another between these, impartible and at the same time partible. It is he likewise who conjoins each of the celestial spheres to the circulations of the soul, inserts in each of the stars a psychical and intellectual life, and produces in the sublunary elements leading Gods and souls, and in addition to all these things, constitutes the divisible genera of life, and imparts to the junior Gods the principle of mortal animals. All things therefore in the world are full of life, through the power of the demiurgus and father. And this world is one animal, deriving its completion from containing all animals, through the never-failing cause of the power by which it was generated. And there is no other who is the supplier of life to all things, and through whom all things live, some indeed more clearly, but others more obscurely, than the demiurgus of wholes. For he also is intellectual animal, in the same manner as the all-perfect paradigm is intelligible animal. Hence likewise, these are conjoined to each other. And the one indeed is paternally the cause of wholes; but the other demiurgically. And as animal itself constitutes intelligibly, all intelligible and sensible animals, according to one cause, thus also the demiurgus fabricates intellectually according to a second order, the animals in the world.

As animal itself likewise proximately subsists from intelligible life, so the demiurgus is generated from intellectual life, and is the first that is filled with the rivers of vivification. Hence he illuminates all things with life, unfolding the depths of the animal-producing deity, and calling forth the prolific power of the intellectual Gods. If therefore, all things live through the demiurgic cause, they also participate of soul and intellect, and, as I may say, of all vivification, through the providence of this God. But he who pours the rivers of life on all things in the world from himself, and is the ruler and king of wholes, is the mighty Jupiter, as Socrates says in the Cratylus, and evidently appears to be the same with the demiurgus. And the divinely-inspired intellectual conception of Timæus concerning the demiurgus, accords with the theology of Socrates about Jupiter. If likewise each of them denominates the knowledge of this God difficult to be apprehended, and one of them says that it is difficult to discover, him, and when discovered, that it is impossible to speak of him to all men, but the other asserts that it is not easy to understand the name of Jupiter, do they not in this respect accord with each other in what they say concerning this God? Besides this also, the composition of the names, and the coalition of the two names into one hyparxis, appear in a remarkable degree to be adapted to the demiurgus. For a biformed193 essence, and generative power, are attributed to him according to other theologists. For the duad sits with him, according to which he generates all things; concerning which Timæus also introduces him speaking to the demiurgi in the world, and saying, “Imitating my power.” And through this he produces and vivifies all things. Hence it is necessary through names also to consecrate the duad to him according to ancient rumour. For he glitters with intellectual sections, divides and collects wholes, and constitutes one indissoluble order from many things. And this the power of the names indicates, extending us from divided intellection, to one self-perfect and uniform theory.

All these particulars therefore, clearly demonstrate to us that Plato considers the demiurgus of wholes to be the same with Jupiter. For he who alone is the cause of life to all things, and who is the king of all things, is the demiurgus of the universe. And he who in a remarkable manner rejoices in a duad of names, is he who arranges and adorns the whole world. And it appears to me, as I have frequently said, that in consequence of being allotted the end of the intellectual triad, converting this to the beginning, and being full of the middle fountains of life, but uniting himself to the watch-tower of his father, and producing into himself the simplicity of an intelligible subsistence, according to the peculiarity of first-effective causes, he is also allotted a duad of names. And as he received his essence from both [i.e. from Saturn and Rhea] and possesses indeed bound from his father, but infinite power from the generative deity of his mother, thus also he possesses one of the names from his father, and from the uniform perfection which is in him; but the other from total vivification. And through both, as he is allotted an essence, so likewise an appellation. For it is obvious to every one, that the term (δια) dia194 on account of which, is a sign of a total essence. “Let us declare, says Timæus, on account of what cause [the composing artificer constituted generation and the universe]. He was good.” But the name of life pertains of itself to the middle order of beings. The demiurgus therefore obtains one of these names, viz. dia, from the intellectual summit, and the paternal union. For according to the participation of it, he is one,195 bound, and intelligible. But he obtains the other name from the middle order of intellectuals. For there life, and the vivific bosoms are allotted their hypostasis. The demiurgic intellect however, shining forth from both, participates also of the names through composition. For we call him dia and zena, because life proceeds to all things on account of him, and to live is inherent in all [vital natures] on account of him. And thus after a manner the position of the names indicates the progression of the demiurgus from both the precedaneous causes.

Chapter XXIII.

Again therefore, let us direct our attention to what is written in the Philebus, and survey how, in what is there said, Socrates refers the fabrication of the universe to Jupiter. For admitting that intellect adorns and arranges all things, in the same manner as the wise men prior to him, and that it governs the sun and moon, and all the circulation [of the heavens] he demonstrates that the whole world participates of soul, and intellectual inspection, and that we also derive the participation of these from wholes; but that the universe is not and was not from chance, and likewise the most divine of visible natures, as many physiologists assert, while the natures which the universe contains participate of soul and intellect. Having therefore, as we have said, demonstrated these things, and shown that what the whole world contains is greater and more perfect than what we contain, and that wholes have a greater authority, and a more ruling essence than partial natures, and having placed intellect over wholes, as that which adorns and arranges the universe, and likewise assigned this province to soul, through the inspection of intellect, (for intellect is not present to the world without soul) he afterwards recurs to imparticipable intellect, to the author of participated intellect and soul, and the fabricator of the whole world, and he denominates and celebrates this fabricator, who contains the causes of the plenitudes in the world, as no other than Jupiter the great king and ruler of wholes, conformably to the rumour of the Greeks. He likewise extends about him all the providence of the world, and places in him the whole cause of the arrangement and ornament of the universe.

It is better however, in the next place, to hear the words themselves of Plato. He gives therefore to the world an intellectual superintendence, and adds this to the before mentioned demonstrations, that there is, as we have frequently observed, an abundance of infinity in the world, and a sufficiency of bound, and that there is a certain cause in them by no means vile and contemptible, which adorns and co-arranges the years, the seasons, and the months, and which may most justly be called wisdom and intellect. But again, because it is necessary that participated intellect should govern the world through soul as a medium, (for it is impossible that intellect should be present to any thing without soul, as Timæus also asserts) hence it is requisite that soul also should preside over the universe, and that proximately having dominion over the natures it contains, it should govern the world according to intellect. This therefore Socrates having in the next place added, he subjoins as follows: “Moreover, wisdom and intellect could never be without soul.” For how could the impartible and eternal essence of intellect be immediately conjoined with a corporeal nature? It is necessary therefore that intellect should preside over wholes, that it may connect the order in the world, well-being, and all things. For order and well-being are the progeny of an intellectual essence. But it is necessary that soul primarily participating of intellect, should illuminate body with the light proceeding from thence, and fill all things with intellectual arrangement. It must be admitted therefore, that the world is animated and endued with intellect. Hence from this Socrates ascends to the cause itself of the whole world, which produced intellect and soul, and generated the total order [of the universe.]

“Hence, (Socrates adds) you may say that in the nature of Jupiter there are a royal soul and a royal intellect through the power of cause; and that in the other Gods there are other beautiful things, whatever they are, by which their deities love to be distinguished, and from which they delight in taking their respective denominations.” One of these two things therefore is necessary, either that what is here said is said concerning the world, or concerning the demiurgus of wholes. For if the world is Jupiter, the participated intellect in the world is royal, and the soul also is royal which governs the universe, and arranges and adorns it according to intellect. And these things are evidently present to the world through the power of the cause by which it was constituted, and which rendered it a partaker of intellect and animated. And thus Jupiter will be that which is adorned and fabricated, and not the adorner and fabricator of all things. If, however, it is necessary that the power of cause should be comprehensive in an exempt manner of a royal intellect and a royal soul, we must admit that the nature of Jupiter is in the demiurgic order and power; and intellect and soul will be in him according to cause, since he imparts both these to his progeny. Of these two opinions therefore, every one may adopt that which he pleases, but to me, when I consider what is here said, and every other assertion of Plato concerning this God, it by no means appears to be necessary to refer the nature of Jupiter to the whole world. For neither does the only-begotten subsistence of the world accord with the kingdom of Jupiter, since the Saturnian triad, and which distributes the dominion of the father, is manifestly celebrated by Plato himself; nor can that which is cause to all things, as it is said in the Cratylus, refer196 to the world. For the world is among the number of things which participate of life from another. As I have said therefore, we must leave this opinion, as by no means adapted to Plato, though it is adopted by some of his interpreters. But considering cause to be the same as Jupiter, we must say that soul and intellect are established in him exemptly; and that Jupiter participates of both these, from the Gods that are prior to him; of intellect indeed, from his father, but of soul from the queen [Rhea] who is the deity of vivification. For there the fountain of soul subsists, just as in Saturn, there is intellect according to essence. For every where the intelligible unically comprehends the intellect which is coordinate with it. And thus much concerning these particulars.

Chapter XXIV.

In the next place, we may conjoin with this the mythological conceptions in the Protagoras, and arrive at the same conclusion, considering in common with the Timæus, bow the opinions delivered to us concerning the mighty Jupiter, through the Protagorean fable, accord with the assertions about the demiurgus. The fable says, therefore, that Prometheus adorning the human race, and providentially attending to our rational life, that it may not perish by being merged in the furies of earth, and the necessities of nature, as some one of the Gods says, bound nature to the arts, extended these which are imitations of intellect, as it were to sportive souls, and through these excited our gnostic and dianoëtic power to the contemplation of forms. For every artificial production is effective of form, and adorns the matter which is the subject of it. The fable also adds, that Prometheus providentially attending to the arts gave them to souls, and that he received them from Vulcan and Minerva. For in these Gods the cause of all arts is primarily comprehended; Vulcan primarily imparting the fabricative power of them; but Minerva supernally illuminating their gnostic and intellectual power. Not only however, is the invention of arts necessary to souls in generation, but also a certain other science, the political, which is more perfect than the arts, and which is able to arrange and adorn them, and to lead souls through virtue to a life according to intellect. But as Prometheus was unable to impart this life to us, because the political science is primarily with the mighty Jupiter, but it was not possible (says the fable) for Prometheus to enter latently into the tower of Jupiter, (for the guards of Jupiter are terrible, defending him exempt from all partial causes,)— hence Jupiter sent the messenger Hermes to men, who brought with him prudence and shame, and in short the political science. Jupiter also ordered Hermes to impart similarly to all men these virtues, and to distribute to all souls the knowledge of things just, beautiful, and good, but not in a divided manner, as different arts are distributed to different persons. And some men indeed are judges of these things; but others are ignorant either of all, or of some of the arts.

In what is here said, therefore, Plato primarily refers to Jupiter the paradigm of the political science, as is evident from the words themselves. But he produces the progression of this science, and the communication and participation of the Hermaical series, and extends its essential, presence, which we participate in common, to all souls. For to distribute to all of them, is to insert in souls essentially a science of this kind. These things, therefore, being laid down, let us consider to whom we must say the political science especially pertains, and who it is that primarily established a polity in the universe, that formed divine to govern mortal natures, divided wholes from parts, and produced self-motive and intellectual natures more ancient than those that are deprived of the presence of intellect. Is it not the demiurgus, who is the cause to us of all these goods, who governs the whole world according to rectitude, binds it by the best analogies, establishes every polity in it, possesses and comprehends the laws of Fate, and extends the sacred laws of Adrastia, as far as to the last of things, and arranges and adorns by justice all celestial and sublunary natures? For he who introduces partial souls into the universe as into their habitation, and imparts to them a total polity which is the best of all polities, and is governed by the most excellent laws, is he who denominates these laws the laws of Fate, who defines the measures of Justice, and legally institutes all things, as Timæus says. Is it not therefore superfluous to endeavour to prove that he who possesses the first paradigm of the political science, is according to Plato the demiurgus?

If, however, these things are true, and according to the fable in the Protagoras it must be admitted that the political science first subsists in Jupiter, it is evident from what has been said, that the demiurgus of the universe is Jupiter. For to what other cause can we grant the primary form of the political science to belong, than to that which arranges and adorns the universe? If the polity in the heavens is the first and most perfect of all polities, as Socrates in the Republic says it is. Who likewise is he that produces all things, and co-arranges them when produced to each other, in order to the elegant disposition of the universe? If, therefore, the first and most perfect demiurgus of the universe is political, but the political science first subsists with Jupiter, being established with him on a sacred foundation, proceeds from thence to all secondary natures, and adorns and arranges both wholes and parts according to intellect, it is evidently necessary that the demiurgus of wholes should be the same with Jupiter, and that there should be one hyparxis of both, which administers every thing in the world according to rectitude, and circularly leads every thing confused and disorderly into order. For, says Timæus, it is not lawful for that which is best to effect any thing else than that which is most beautiful. How therefore is it possible that he who adorns and arranges wholes through Themis, and together with her produces all things, should not essentially possess in himself the whole of the political science?

How is it possible likewise that he should not be the first Jupiter, who definitely imparts to all things that which is divine, and weaves one polity from all things, but is exempt from all partial causes and the Titannic genera, and is guarded by his own undefiled powers, beyond the whole world? For the guards which surround him, obscurely signify his immutable order, and the undeviating defence of fabrication, through which being firmly established in himself, he pervades through all things without impediment, and being present to all his progeny, is according to supreme transcendency expanded above wholes. Moreover, the citadel of Jupiter, according to the rumours of theologists, is a symbol of intellectual circulation, and of the highest summit of Olympus, which all the wise suspend from the intellectual watch tower of Jupiter, to which he extends all the mundane Gods, imparting to them from thence intellectual powers, divine light, and vivific illuminations, and compressing all the profundities of the worlds by one most simple circulation, through which the summit also of the apparent worlds is denominated the period of sameness, and the most prudent and uniform circulation, as Timæus says, expressing the unical intellectual power of demiurgic conversion, and being allotted the same transcendency with respect to all the sensible world that the supreme summit of Jupiter possesses with respect to all the arrangement of the firmaments. These things may also be assumed by us as subservient to the proposed investigation, from the fabulous fictions in the Protagoras.

Chapter XXV.

We may, however, approach still nearer to the truth, and assume in the present discussion, the fable in the Politicus. For in this it will appear that Plato in a remarkable manner considers, the demiurgus of the universe to be the same with Jupiter, and even as far as to the very names asserts the same things as Timæus. The Elean guest, therefore, as we have before observed, assigns [in this dialogue] twofold circulations to the whole of this world, the one intellectual, and which elevates souls but the other proceeding into nature and imparting things contrary to the former. And the one indeed, being unapparent, and governed by diving providence, but the other apparent, and convolved according to the order of Fate. He also places twofold motive causes over these circulations. For every mutation and period require a certain moving cause. And prior to the causes that move the circulations, he asserts that there are as it were twofold ends of the periods, and assigns first effective causes of the motions, coordinate to the moving causes, and to the circulations themselves which differ from each other. Jupiter therefore moves, and circularly leads one of the periods, whether you are willing to call it intellectual, or providential, or in whatever other way you may denominate it, and he also supplies the world with life, and imparts to it a renovated immortality. But he pre-establishes his father Saturn as the object of desire to, and the end of the whole of this circulation. For he leads back wholes, and converts them to himself.

Moreover, he extends happy souls to the watch-tower of his father, viz. those souls whose corporeal nature is obliterated, and whose circulation is to the incorporeal and the impartible. All the generation-producing197 symbols likewise of these souls are amputated, and the form of their life is transferred to the intellectual summit. For these souls are also said to be the nurslings of Saturn, but to commit the government of themselves to Jupiter, and through him to be extended to the intelligible, and the Saturnian dominion. For the intelligible is nutriment, as it is said by the Gods themselves. And as Socrates in the Phædrus elevates souls through the circulation of the heaven to the supercelestial place, where souls are nourished, survey true beings, and the unknown order of the Gods, with the highest powers of themselves, and as he there says, intellectually perceive with the heads of the charioteers,—thus also the Elean guest circularly leads souls under Jupiter, to the Saturnian watch-tower, and asserts that such as have ascended are nourished by Saturn, and calls them the nurslings of the God. For every where indeed, the intelligible is perfective of, and has the power of filling an intellectual life, and the summit of intellectuals extends perfection. These souls likewise participate of the natures that are beyond, establish themselves in more elevated intellectuals, and ascend as far as to the unknown order, but remote from the good, and the one principle of all things. But the souls [that ascend through the circulation of the heaven] are extended to the first intellect, which is imparticipable, and the intelligible itself, and when they are there, and have established their life in the occult order as in a port, they ineffably participate of the union proceeding from the good, and of the light of truth.

With respect however to what remains respecting the twofold periods, as we have said, the world itself indeed moves itself, being moved according to its own nature, and giving completion to the order of Fate. But the first-effective cause of this motion of the world, and of its life, is the God who illuminates it with the power of being moved and of living, and is the mighty Jupiter. Hence also this period is said to be Jovian, so far as Jupiter is the cause of this apparent arrangement, just as Saturn is the cause of the intellectual and unapparent arrangement. It is better, however, to hear Plato himself discussing these things. That there are, therefore, twofold circulations of the universe, and that the God who moves it is the leader of the one, but of the other the world itself convolving itself, Plato here teaches us. But as was just now said, and which is the only thing that remains, the universe is at one time co-governed by another divine cause, again acquiring life, and receiving a renovated immortality from the demiurgus; but at another time, when he lays aside as it were the handle of his rudder, the world being left by itself, moves for a time by itself, so as frequently to proceed in an inverted order.

Again, however, that one of the periods, viz. the apparent, is Jovian, but that the other is referred to the kingdom of Saturn, Plato himself determines in what follows, subjoining these words, after the celebration of that life, and of the undefiled polity of the souls that are there, which is liberated from all corporeal pains, and the servitude about matter: “You have heard, Socrates, what was the life of men under Saturn; but you yourself have seen what the condition of the present life is, which is said to be under Jupiter.” And moreover, that of these two circulations, (since the apparent is under Jupiter) Jupiter is the cause and maker of it, is obvious to every one, and that again Jupiter is the power that moves the unapparent circulation, which is Saturnian, may be demonstrated from what is written. For it is necessary that these two Gods should either rule over each of these circulations, or that one of them should rule over the unapparent, but the other over the present circulation. If, however, Jupiter moves the universe according to this period, the world can no longer be said to convolve itself, and to govern every thing it contains. Nor will it be true neither that the whole is convolved by divinity with twofold and contrary circulations, nor again, that two certain Gods convolve it whose decisions are contrary to each other. For if Saturn indeed moves it according to one circulation, but Jupiter moves it according to a period contrary to that of Saturn, two Gods will move it according to contrary circumvolutions. If, however, these things are impossible, it is indeed manifest to every one that both the divine causes preside over the circulation according to the Saturnian convolution; Saturn indeed as the supplier of an intellectual life; but Jupiter, as elevating all things to the Saturnian empire, and establishing them in his own intelligible. And thus that period may be called Saturnian, in consequence of Saturn imparting the first effective cause of the whole [of an intellectual] life. But according to this more physical circulation, and which is known to every one, Fate and connate desire move the universe.

Jupiter, however, is the cause of this motion exemptly, who gives Fate and an adscititious life to the world. These things, therefore, being demonstrated by us, let us consider what the particulars are which are asserted of the God who moves the world according to the other period. And they are these; “that the world indeed at another time is conjointly governed by another divine cause, again acquiring life, and receiving a renovated immortality from the demiurgus.” It is obvious, therefore, to every one; that the Elean guest says, that the God who moves the universe according to the Saturnian period, supplies it with life, and imparts to it a renovated immortality, and that he clearly calls him the demiurgus. Hence, if it is Jupiter who conjointly governs that period, as has been demonstrated, he will be the demiurgus of the world, and the supplier of immortality. And what occasion is there to say much on the subject? For if the same God is the cause of life, and is denominated the demiurgus, again the Cratylus will present itself to us, and Jupiter according to this will be the same with the demiurgus. For life accedes to all things from Jupiter, as it is asserted in that dialogue. Moreover, in what follows, as Timæus calls the cause of the circulation of Fate, demiurgus and father, after the same manner the Elean guest denominates this cause, and also calls it the maker. “For the world,” says he, “revolves, remembering the doctrine of the demiurgus and father.” Properly, therefore, do we denominate the whole of this period Jovian, because the world moves and convolves itself; according to the doctrine of Jupiter, and the order imparted to it from him. Again, therefore, Jupiter is demiurgus and father. And here also the Elean guest preserves the same order of the divine names as Timæus. For he does not198 call him father and demiurgus, but on the contrary, in the same manner as Timæus, demiurgus and father; because the demiurgic peculiarity in him is more manifest than the paternal deity. These things, however, have been copiously investigated before; and it has been shown in what respect the demiurgic is different from the paternal genus, how they are complicated with each other,199 where the paternal subsists essentially, but the demiurgic according to cause, and where again, the demiurgic subsists essentially, but the paternal, according to participation.

Chapter XXVI.

It will remain, therefore, that we should make mention of what is written in the Laws concerning Jupiter. For perhaps in them also it will appear that Plato assigns the same order to the demiurgus and to Jupiter. As the equalities, therefore, according to which polities are adorned, are twofold, and the one polity indeed proposes the equal according to number, and proceeds through things which differ from each other according to an equal law; but the other embraces in all things, the equality which is according to desert; and also, since equality subsists according to ratio,—this being the case, each of these equalities exists in the providence of the world. For the essence of the soul, indeed, is primarily divided by its fabricator by the equality according to ratio; but it is also consummately filled with the remaining middles, and bound with them through the whole of itself. The several bodies [of the world] likewise, participate of a certain common essence, in the fabrication of things; and on this account they are allotted the equality which is according to number. But all things are arranged and adorned through the best of analogies, and the demiurgus according to this inserts both in wholes and parts, an indissoluble order in the universe, and an adaptation of them to each other.

This equality, therefore, the Athenian guest exhorts his citizens particularly to honour, in consequence of assimilating his city to the universe. He also says that it is a thing of this kind, but that it is not likewise easy for every one to perceive the most true and excellent equality; for it is the judgment of Jupiter. What therefore is the cause on account of which the Athenian guest asserts this analogy to be the judgment of Jupiter? What other cause can we assign than its contributing to the perfection of the world, and its power and dominion in the fabrication of wholes? For that which gives an orderly distinction to the genera of causes, contrives the most beautiful bond of them, and weaves together one order from wholes, is according to Timæus the power of this analogy. For it established soul in the middle (of the universe) analogous to intellect and a corporeal nature. For soul is the middle of an impartible and partible essence. And by how much it surpasses a partible, by so much it falls short of an impartible hypostasis. The power of this analogy, however, binds the soul from double and triple ratios, and connects the whole of it proceeding from and at the same time returning to (its principles,) by the primary and self-motive boundaries of equality. It likewise constitutes the corporeal series from the four first genera. And it adapts indeed the extremes to each other through the middles, but mingles the middles according to the peculiarity of the extremes. It reduces, however, all things to one world, and one indissoluble order connectedly comprehended in the universe. If, therefore, we acknowledge that this equality has dominion in the whole fabrication of things, the best of analogies is the judgment of the demiurgus, and according to the decision of him who generated wholes it is allotted that great dominion in the fabrication of the universe, which we have before shown it to possess. Hence if the same analogy is the judgment of Jupiter, as the Athenian guest says it is, it is obvious to every one that the nature of Jupiter is demiurgic. For it is not any thing else which judges of the dignity of this analogy than that which employs it in the arrangement of wholes. And to this the legislator establishing himself analogous, binds and in a particular manner adorns the city which is assimilated to the universe, by this analogy.

Chapter XXVII.

From these things, therefore, and from all that has been previously said, we confidently assert, following Plato and paternal rumours, that Jupiter is the demiurgus of the universe; and we may collect into one, the scattered opinions of the ancients on this subject; of whom, some, indeed, refer the paradigm of the world, and the demiurgic cause to the same order; but others divide these from each other. And some place all-perfect animal prior to the demiurgus; but others afford an hypostasis to it after the demiurgus. For if the demiurgus is, as has been said, the great Jupiter, and the paradigm proposed to the demiurgus in order to the generation of the world, is all-perfect animal, these are at the same time united to each other, and are allotted an essential separation. And animal itself, indeed, intelligibly comprehends in itself the whole Jovian series; but Jupiter the demiurgus of the universe intellectually pre-establishes in himself the nature of animal itself. For animal itself is the supplier of life to all things, and all things primarily live on account of it, and Jupiter being the cause of life, possesses, the paradigm and the generative principle of the essence of all animals. Justly, therefore, does Timæus, in Plato, having called the intelligible paradigm animal, conjoin the demiurgic intellect to the first intelligible animal; and through the all-perfect union of the demiurgus and father with it, he also arranges and adorns this universe. For Jupiter binding to himself the fabrication of the universe, and being an intellectual animal, is united to intelligible animal, and being allotted a progression analogous to it, constitutes all things intellectually, which proceed from animal itself intelligibly.

For, as we have said, the intelligible hypostases being triple, and one indeed, being allotted its hyparxis according to existence and the one being; but another according to intelligible life, and the middle centre of the intelligible breadth, where eternity, all life, and intelligible life subsist, as Plotinus somewhere says; and another according to intelligible multitude, the first plenitude of life, and the all-perfect paradigm of wholes,—this being the case, the three kingdoms of the intellectual Gods are divided analogous to the three intelligible hypostases. And one indeed, the mighty Saturn, being allotted an hyparxis according to the summit of intellectuals, and having a paternal transcendency, possesses a dominion analogous to the summit of the intelligible Gods, and the occult order. And as in that order, all things are uniformly, and are ineffably, and without separation united, thus also this God again converts to himself, and conceals in himself the natures that have proceeded from him, imitating the occult of the first summit. But again, the order which comprehends the middle genera of wholes, and is filled indeed, from the generative power of Saturn, but fills from itself the whole fabrication with vivific rivers, has the same order in intellectuals which eternity has in intelligibles, and the uniform cause of the life which is there. And as eternity proximately generates intelligible animal, which is also denominated eternal, through the participation of eternity, thus also the middle bosom of the intellectual Gods, unfolds the demiurgus of the universe, and the vivific fountain of wholes. But the third king, viz. the fabricator and at the same time father, is indeed coordinate to the remainder of the intelligible triad, viz. to all-perfect animal. And as that is an animal, so likewise is Jupiter. And Jupiter indeed is intelligibly in all-perfect animal; but all-perfect animal is intellectually in Jupiter. The extremities likewise of the intelligible and intellectual Gods are united to each other; and in them, separation is co-existent with union. And one of them, indeed, is exempt from fabrication; but the other is converted to the intelligible, is filled from thence with total goods, and is allotted a paternal transcendency through the participation of it. The maker, therefore, and father of the universe, who has firmly established in himself the uniform strength and power of all fabrication, who possesses and comprehends the primary cause of the generation of wholes, and who stably fixes in himself all things, and again produces them from himself in an undefiled manner, being allotted such an order as this among the intellectual fathers, is celebrated, as I may say, through the whole of the Timæus, in which dialogue, his prolific and paternal power is unfolded, and his providence which pervades from on high as far as to the extremities of the universe. He is also frequently celebrated by Plato in other dialogues, so far as it is possible to celebrate his uniform and united power,200 and which through transcendency is exempt from wholes.

Chapter XXVIII.

If however some one recollecting what is said in the beginning of the Timæus about him, viz. that it is difficult to discover him, and when found, impossible to speak of him to all men, should enquire in the first place, why since the Grecian theology ascribes such a name to the demiurgus, as we have before mentioned, Timæus says that he is ineffable, and established above all the indication which subsists in words. In the next place, if he should inquire why intelligible animal which is arranged above the demiurgus is both denominated, and is made known by many signs, but the demiurgus who has established his kingdom in an order secondary to that of all-perfect animal, and is an intellectual God, (all-perfect animal receiving an intelligible transcendency) is left by Timæus ineffable, as we have said, and unknown, perhaps we also, following Plato, may be able to dissolve all such doubts. For every order of the Gods originates from a monad, and presides over its proper series according to the first-effective cause. And such things indeed as are nearer to this principle are more total than those that are more remote from it. But more total natures are manifestly seen to be less201 distant from the monad, and conjoin things which are diminished according to essence to the natures that are prior to them. Every order of the Gods likewise is a whole united to itself through the whole, is allotted one indissoluble connexion, both in wholes and parts, and through the monad which collects every order into one, it is converted about itself, is suspended from this, and is wholly convolved according to it.

If, therefore, we assert these things truly, in each order a monad is allotted a transcendency with respect to multitude, analogous to the good. And as the unical cause of whole goods, and which is incomprehensible by all things, is exempt from all things, constitutes all things about itself, generates them from itself, and hastily withdraws the unions of all things to its own ineffable superunion, thus also the uniform and generative principle of every coordinate multitude, connects, guards and perfects the whole series of itself, imparts good to it from itself, and fills it with order and harmony. It is likewise that to its own progeny, which the good is to all beings, and is the object of desire to all the natures that originate from itself. Thus, therefore, the union of the intelligible father subsists prior to the whole paternal order; the one wholeness of the Synoches is prior to the connective order; and the first effective cause of life, to the vivific order.

Hence also, of every demiurgic series, which is suspended from the triad of the sons of Saturn, the monad which proximately fabricates wholes, and is established above this triad, comprehends in itself all the demiurgic Gods, converts them to itself, and is of a boniform nature. The one fountain likewise of all the demiurgic numbers, subsists, as I may say, with respect to all this order analogous to the one, and to the one principle of all things. Timæus therefore, indicating these things to us, asserts directly in the beginning of the generation of the world, that this monad which proximately fabricates wholes, is difficult to be known, and is indescribable, as having the same ratio as the ineffable and unknown cause of all beings. Whence likewise, I think, he calls the demiurgus the best of causes, and the father of this universe, as being allotted the highest order among the demiurgi, and convolving to himself, and producing from himself all the effective principles. That one however, Parmenides demonstrates to be perfectly unknown and ineffable; but Timæus says that it is difficult to discover the maker and father of the world, and impossible to speak of him to all men; which assertion falls short of the cause that flies from all knowledge, and all language, and appears to verge to the nature of things known and effable. For when he says that it is impossible to speak of him to, all men, he does not leave him entirely ineffable and unknown. And the assertion that it is difficult to discover him, is not the sign of a peculiarity perfectly unknown. For because the demiurgus has established a kingdom analogous to the good, but in secondary and manifold orders of it, he participates indeed of the signs of the good, but is allotted the participation in conjunction with an appropriate peculiarity, and a communion with beings adapted to him. And as he is good, but not the good itself, so likewise he is difficult to be known by the natures posterior to him, but is not unknown. He is also celebrated in mystic language, but is not perfectly ineffable. You may see however, the order of things, and the remission in them proceeding in a downward progression. For the good indeed, is exempt from all silence, and all language. But the genus of the intelligible Gods rejoices in silence, and is delighted with ineffable202 symbols. Hence also, Socrates in the Phædrus, calls the vision of the intelligible monads the most holy of initiations, as being involved in silence, and perceived intellectually in an arcane manner. But the vision of intellectuals is indeed effable, yet is not effable and known to all men, but is known with difficulty. For through diminution with respect to the intelligible, it proceeds from silence and a transcendency which is to be apprehended by intelligence alone into the order of things which are now effable.

If however, this be the case, all-perfect animal is much more ineffable and unknown than the demiurgic monad. For it is at once the monad of every paradigmatic order, and is intelligible, but not intellectual. How therefore, do we endeavour to denominate, and as it were unfold it, but thus magnificently celebrate the demiurgic cause? And how do we class this cause in the same rank with things ineffable? For this will not be acting conformably to Plato, who arranges animal itself beyond the demiurgus; but this will be giving an hypostasis to it in a secondary order of Gods, where it will be ranked, and will be effable and known more than the demiurgic monad. To which may be added, that to denominate that all-perfect animal most beautiful, but the demiurgus the best of causes, gives indeed the same analogy to these causes with respect to each other, as there is of the good with respect to the beautiful. And as the good is prior to the beautiful, (for the first beauty, as Socrates says in the Philebus, is in the vestibules of the good) so likewise the best203 is prior to the most beautiful, and the demiurgus is prior to all-perfect animal. For the best indeed, remarkably participates of the good, but the most beautiful, of beauty.

Chapter XXIX.

In addition to these things therefore, it must also be asserted by us, that the most beautiful and the best, are simply indeed related to each other according to order, as the good is to the beautiful. For the series of the whole of goodness is expanded above all the progression and arrangement of the beautiful. Every where, therefore, the best is prior to the most beautiful. And the one, indeed, with reference to an inferior order, will be the best, but the other with reference to a more excellent order, will be the most beautiful. I say for instance, that the most beautiful, as in intelligibles, will have this peculiarity; but the best as in intellectuals. And if the most beautiful, in supermundane natures, is a thing of this kind, the best will be said to be best as with reference to the Gods in the world. Hence, if the best of causes is the leader of the demiurgic series, and according to it is allotted a transcendency of this kind, but the most beautiful of intelligible animals pre-establishes the illustrious power of beauty in a higher order, by what contrivance can it on this account be shown that intelligible and all-perfect animal is subordinate to the intellectual cause? And that the demiurgus is converted to that which is posterior to himself? Or how can it be said that animal itself is visible to him, and all-perfect animal, and that which is comprehensive of all intelligibles, if it is made to be comprehended by another? For thus the demiurgus will be more comprehensive than animal itself, if the former indeed being characterized according to the best, is expanded above the paradigm, but the latter being denominated as most beautiful is secondary to the demiurgic cause.

Moreover, as that all-perfect and intelligible animal is particularly considered by Timæus according to a formal nature, and not according to the union which is in it, and an hypostasis which is above all forms,204 he very properly grants that animal itself may be known and manifested by words, but considers the demiurgus as in a certain respect ineffable, and superior to knowledge. For both indeed, I mean the demiurgus and animal itself, participate of union, and prior to a formal essence, are contained in the one. And if you assume the unities which are in them, you must admit the unity of the paradigm to be intelligible, but the demiurgic unity to be intellectual, and that an intelligible hyparxis is nearer to the first one, which is unknown and incomprehensible by all things, than an intellectual hyparxis. But if you are willing to survey the forms of the paradigm by themselves, according to which it is said to be the paradigm of every thing in the world, and the goodness and union of the demiurgus, the former will appear to you to be known and effable; but the demiurgic cause will be seen to participate of the unknown and ineffable peculiarity of the Gods. For again, Timæus was in a remarkable degree in want of the demiurgus and father, as the producing cause of wholes, and the generator of the world. But to generate, to produce and provide are the peculiarities of Gods, so far as they are Gods. Hence also Timæus denominates the peculiarity of the demiurgus according to which he is a God, the cause of the generation of the universe, and the most proper principle of the arrangement of wholes. But he denominates the peculiarity of the paradigm to be that which comprehends the first forms, according to which the world also is invested with forms. For it is the image of the paradigm, but the effect of the demiurgus. It belongs, therefore, to the paradigm to be the first of forms, but to the demiurgus to be the best of causes, according to his goodness, and the hyparxis of essence. For, as we have said, to generate, to give subsistence to, and to provide for other things, especially pertain to the Gods, and not to the natures which are primarily suspended205 from them; but the latter are allotted through the former an abundance prolific of secondary natures. It appears tome that Socrates in the Republic indicating these things, does not say that the sun is the cause of generation, till he had declared him to be the progeny of the superessential principle of all things; just as Timæus does not begin the fabrication of the universe, till he had celebrated the goodness of the demiurgus of wholes. For each [i.e. the demiurgus and the sun] is a producing cause according to the good, the former indeed of the universe, but the latter of a generated nature; but not according to the intellect which is in than, or life, or any other form of essence; For these through the participation of the good constitute the natures posterior to themselves. And thus through these things we have answered the before-mentioned doubts.

Chapter XXX.

Of the problems pertaining to total fabrication, it now remains for me to relate what my opinion is respecting the Crater, and the genera that are mingled in it. For these also Timæus co-arranges with the demiurgic monad, in the generation of the soul. The demiurgus, therefore, mingles the elements of the hypostasis of souls; but the middle genera of being are mingled. The much-celebrated Crater, however, receives this mixture, and generates souls in conjunction with the demiurgus. Hence, in the first place, the genera of being must be admitted to be twofold. And it must be granted indeed, that some of them give completion to total hypostases, but others, to such as are partial; and that the hyparxes of first effective and united causes, are established in the intelligible Gods. For there essence subsists primarily in the summit of intelligibles, and motion and permanency are in the middle centre. For intelligible eternity abides in one, and at once both abides and is the occult cause of all life. Hence, Plotinus also calls eternity life which is one and total: and again, in another part of his works he calls it intelligible life. But the third from him, Theodorus, denominates it permanency. And both these opinions harmonize with each other; because permanency also is in. eternity, (for according to Timæus, eternity abides in one) and motion. For eternity is intelligible life, and that which participates of it is intelligible animal. 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? For that one participates of being, and being of the one. All the parts likewise of the one being pervade through each other in an unconfused manner; for at one and the same time sameness and difference are there occultly. And the whole intelligible breadth is allotted its hypostasis according to the first and most uniform genera. As essence likewise presents itself to the view in conjunction with the one, according to the first triad, so motion and permanency shine forth in the second, and sameness and difference in the third triad. And all things are essentially in the intelligible; just as life and intellect are there intelligibly. For since all beings proceed from intelligibles, all things pre-exist there according to cause. And motion and permanency are there essentially, and sameness and difference uniformly.

Again, in the middle genera of the intelligible and intellectual hypostases, the same things subsist secondarily and vitally. In the summit of them indeed, essence subsists. For Socrates in the Phædrus speaking about this order, characterizes the whole of it from essence. For the truly-existing essence which is without colour, without figure, and without contact, subsists after this manner. But in the middle centre there are motion and permanency. For there the circulation of the heaven subsists, as the same Socrates says; being established indeed undeviatingly, in one form of intelligence; but being moved in, and about itself; or father being motion and eternal life. But in the extremity of this order, sameness and difference are vitally established. Hence it is converted to the beginning according to the nature of sameness, is divided uniformly, proceeds into more numbers, and generates from itself more partial monads.

Again, in the third orders, the highest of the intellectual Gods possesses all things according to essence, and is the intelligible itself and true being in intellectuals, again recalling the separation which is in himself into undivided union. But the middle order subsists according to motion and at the same time permanency. For it is a vivific deity, abiding and at the same time proceeding, being established with purity, and vivifying all things by prolific powers. And the third progression subsists according to sameness, together with difference. For this separates itself from the fathers, and is conjoined to them through intellectual conversion. And it binds, indeed, at once the natures posterior to itself, to each other, according to the common powers of forms, and at the same time separates them by intellectual sections. But in this order, all genera and species first shine forth to the view; because it is especially characterized according to difference, being allotted the end of all the total hypostases. From this likewise it proceeds to all things, viz. to participated intellect, the multiform orders of souls, and the whole of a corporeal nature. For in short, it constitutes triple genera of the natures posterior to itself; some indeed, being impartible and the first; others being media between partible and impartible natures; and others being divided about bodies. And through these things it generates all the more partial genera of beings. That we may therefore again return to what has been before said, the genera must be admitted to subsist every where, yet not every where after the same manner; but in the highest orders of divine natures indeed, they subsist uniformly, without separation, and unitedly, where also permanency participates of motion, and motion of permanency, and there is one united progression of both. In the more partial orders, however, it must be admitted that the same things subsist in a divided manner, and together with an appropriate remission. For since the first and most total of forms are in the extremity of intelligibles, it is indeed necessary that genera should have the beginning of their hypostasis in intelligibles. And if the demiurgic cause is generative of all the partial orders, it comprehends the first genera of the hypostasis of them. As likewise the fountain of all forms subsists in this cause, though there are intelligible forms, so the genera of being pre-exist in it, though there are other whole genera prior to it. And the divine Iamblichus somewhere rightly observes that the genera of being present themselves to the view in the extremity of the intelligible Gods. The present theology likewise, following things themselves, gives a progression to these as well as forms supernally, from the intelligible Gods. For such things as subsist according to cause, occultly, and without separation in the first essences [i.e. in intelligibles] these subsist in a divided and partible manner, and according to the nature of each,in intellectuals. For from hence, all the divisible orders of beings are filled both with these genera, and with formal hyparxes. And on this account, the demiurgus also is said to comprehend all genera, and to have the fountain of forms, because he generates, all the partial rivers [of life] and imparts to them from himself by illumination all the measures of subsistence. Hence triple genera of all beings proceed from the demiurgus, some indeed being impartible, others partible,206 and others subsisting between these, being more united indeed than the partible, but more separated than the impartible genera; but subsisting according to the middle of both, and connectedly containing the one bond of beings. And the demiurgus indeed produces the intellectual essence, through the first and impartible genera; but the corporeal essence through the third and partible genera; and the psychical hypostasis which is in the middle of these, through the middle genera in beings. Moreover, he generates every intellectual and impartible nature from himself, and fills them with total generative power. But he constitutes the psychical essence, in conjunction with the Crater; and the corporeal essence, in conjunction, with total Nature.

Chapter XXXI.

That in this arrangement likewise we follow Timæus, any one may learn from the following considerations: The demiurgus producing the intellect of the universe, himself produces it from his own essence alone, unfolding it at once according to one union, in consequence, of constituting it eternally, and no mention whatever is here made of the Crater. But the demiurgus in arranging and adorning soul prior to body, mingles the genera, and energizes in conjunction with the Crater. And in fashioning the body of the universe, and describing the heaven, he fabricates it in conjunction with Necessity. For the nature of the universe, says Timæus, was generated mingled from intellect and necessity. And neither does he here assume the Crater in order to the arrangement of bodies. But it has been abundantly shown by us elsewhere, that Plato calls physical production, a production through necessity, and does not, as some suppose, consider necessity to be the same with matter. It is evident, therefore, that the demiurgus produces the generation of bodies together with total Nature, mingles the partible genera in the first Nature, and thus produces bodies from intellect and necessity. For bodies receive207 from intellect indeed, good and union; but from necessity a progression which terminates in interval and division. He arranges and adorns, however, the self-motive essence of souls, in conjunction with the Crater. And neither intellect, nor bodies, require a cause of this kind. The demiurgus indeed is the common source of the triple genera. But the Crater is the peculiar cause of souls, and is co-arranged with the demiurgus and filled from him, but fills souls. And receiving from thence indeed the powers of prolific abundance, it pours them on souls according to the measures of their respective essences. To some of them likewise it orderly distributes the summits of the genera [of being], to others the middle progressions of the genera, and to others, the terminations of them. Hence the Crater is indeed essentially vivific, since souls also are certain lives, but it is the first-effective cause of souls, according to the peculiarity of hyparxis, and is the uniform and all-perfect monad, not of every life, but of that which is psychical. For from this Crater the soul of the universe subsists, and likewise the second and third genera of partible souls, and of those souls that are allotted a progression between these.

The whole number, therefore, of the psychical order proceeds from the Crater, and is divided according to the prolific powers which it contains. Hence the Crater is said to be the cause of souls, the receptacle of their fabrication, and the generative monad of them, and the like. For it is said to be so rightly, and conformably to the mind of Plato. If, however, the Crater is co-arranged with the demiurgus, and equally constitutes with him the genera of souls, it is indeed necessary that this Crater should be fontal, in the same manner as the whole demiurgus. Hence the Crater is the fountain of souls, but it united to the demiurgic monad. And on this account, Socrates also in the Philebus says, that in Jupiter there is a royal soul, and a royal intellect. For that which we at present denominate fontal, he calls royal; though the name of fountain when applied to souls is well known to Plato. For Socrates, in the Phædrus, says, that the self-motive nature is the fountain and principle of motion to such other things as are moved.

And you see that as a twofold divine monad prior to souls is delivered by theologists, the one being indeed fontal, but the other of a primary ruling nature, Plato likewise gives to the progeny of these twofold; appellations, assuming one name from the more total, but the other front the more partial monad. For the self-motive nature, is a fountain indeed, as being the offspring of the fontal soul, but it is a principle, as participating of the primary ruling soul. If therefore, the name of fountain, and; also of principle is assigned by Plato to souls, what occasion is there to wonder if we denominate the exempt monads of them, fountains and principles? Or rather from these things that is demonstrated. For whence is a ruling power imparted to all souls except from the ruling monad? For that which similarly extends to all souls, is necessarily imparted to them from one and the same cause. If therefore, some one should say it is imparted by the demiurgus, so far as he is the demiurgus, it is necessary that in a similar manner it should be inherent in all other things which proceed from the demiurgic monad. But if it proceeds from the definite and separate cause of souls, that cause must be denominated the first fountain and principle of them.

Moreover, that of these two names, the ruling is more allied to souls than the fontal, as being nearer to them according to order, Plato manifests in the same dialogue. For calling the self-motive nature the fountain and at the same time principle of the motion of the whole of things, he nevertheless frames his demonstration of its unbegotten subsistence from principle alone. For, says he, principle is unbegotten. For it is necessary that every thing which is generated should be generated from a principle. If therefore, demonstrations are from things proximate to the things demonstrated, it is necessary that principle should be more proximate to souls than fountain. Farther still, if every thing which is generated is generated from a principle, as Plato says, but souls are in a certain respect generated, as Timæus says, there is also a precedaneous principle of souls. And as they are the principles of things which are generated according to time, so after another manner principle subsists prior to souls, which are generated. And as they are unbegotten according to the generation of bodies, thus also the principle of souls is exempt from all generation. Through these things therefore, it is demonstrated by us, that the Crater is the fountain of souls, that after the fountain there is a primary ruling monad of them, and that this monad is more proximate to souls than the fountain, but is established above them, as being their prolific cause. And all these particulars we have demonstrated from the words of Plato.

Chapter XXXII.

Again therefore, let us return to the things proposed, and teach in a greater degree the lovers of the contemplation of truth, concerning this Crater. For the whole vivific deity having established in the middle of the intellectual kings the prolific cause of divine natures, and according to her highest, most intellectual and all-perfect powers, being occultly united to the first father, but according to more partial and secondary causes from them, being conjoined to the demiurgus, and establishing one conspiration together with him of the generation of the partial orders, Timæus mystically mentions those more ancient powers of the Goddess, and which abide in the first father. But with respect to those powers that are co-arranged with the demiurgus, and adorn together with him the natures in the universe, some of these he delivers more clearly but the whole of others through indication. For the secondary monads themselves of the Goddess are triple, as the wise assert, one of them being the fountain of souls, the second, being the fountain of the virtues, but the third being the fountain of Nature which is suspended from the back of the Goddess. The demiurgus therefore, also assumes these three hypostases to his own prolific production. And the Crater indeed, as we have said, is the fountain of souls, unically containing the whole and perfect number of them.208 And as the demiurgus is allotted a paternal cause with respect to the psychical generation, so the Crater is prolific, and is allotted the ratio and order of a mother. For such things as Jupiter produces paternally in souls, the fountain of souls produces maternally and generatively.

Virtue however, energizes by itself, and adorns and perfects wholes. And on this account, the universe having participated of soul, immediately also participates of virtue. “For the demiurgus, says Timæus, having placed soul in the middle, extended it through the universe, and besides this surrounded the body of it externally with soul as with a veil, and causing circle to revolve in circle, constituted heaven one, alone and solitary, but through virtue able to converse with itself, and being in want of no other thing, but sufficiently known and friendly itself to itself.” At one and the same time therefore the world is animated, lives through the whole of its life according to virtue, and possesses from the virtues as its highest end, friendship with itself, and an all-perfect knowledge of itself. For it is itself sufficiently known and friendly to itself through virtue.

Moreover, nature also is consubsistent with the generation of body. For the demiurgus generates body through necessity, and fashions it together with its proper life. And on this account, shortly after, having constituted partial souls, he shows to them the nature of the universe, and the laws of Fate. For in consequence of possessing the cause of total Nature and Fate, he also exhibits these to souls. For the demiurgus is not converted to things posterior to himself, but primarily contains in himself the things which are exhibited, and unfolds to souls the powers of himself. Hence, the paradigm of all Nature, and the one cause of the laws of Fate pre-subsist in him. For the fountain of Nature, is called the first Fate by the Gods themselves. “You should not look upon Nature, for the name of it is fatal.” Hence also, Timæus says, that souls at one and the same time see the laws of Fate, and the nature of the universe, viz. they see as it were mundane Fate, and the powers of it. And the Elean guest in the Politicus, denominates the motive cause of the more physical circulation of the universe, Fate. For he says that “Fate and connate desire convolve the world.” And the same person likewise clearly acknowledges that the world possesses this power from the demiurgus and father. For he says that all the apparent arrangement and circulation are derived from Jupiter. It is demonstrated therefore, that according to these three causes of the vivific Goddess which are co-arranged with the demiurgus, the world is perfected by him, viz. according to the fontal Crater, the fountain of the virtues, and the first-effective cause of nature.

It is likewise manifest that again in these things Plato does not refuse to employ the name of fountain. For in the Laws he calls the power of prudence which is essentially inherent in souls, and which is productive of the virtues in us, the fountain of intelligence. And he also says, that two other fountains are imparted to us by nature, viz. pleasure and pain. As, therefore, we before demonstrated that souls are called the fountains of motions, on account of the one fountain of them, of which they participate, thus also when Plato calls the first progeny of Nature fountains, it is obvious to every one, that he will permit the exempt cause itself of them to be denominated a fountain. After the same manner, likewise, since he magnificently celebrates the essential power of virtue in us, as the fountain of intelligence, he will not be compelled to hear a name which does not at all pertain to his philosophy, if some one should be willing to denominate, the first monad of the virtues, a fountain. But where shall we have the name of fountain posited by him in the intellectual Gods? In the Cratylus, therefore, he says that Tethys is the occult name of a fountain, and he calls Saturn himself and the queen Rhea fluxions. For these divinities are rivers of the intelligible fountains, and proceeding from fountains placed above them, they fill all the natures, posterior to themselves with the prolific rivers of life. And the Crater itself likewise is fontal. The Gods, therefore, also denominate the first-effective causes of partial natures, fontal Craters. These things, however, we shall more fully investigate elsewhere. Let it be considered also, that we have here sufficiently examined the particulars concerning the demiurgic monad, according to the narration of Plato.

Chapter XXXIII.

In the next place, let us survey those causes and leaders of uncontaminated purity, and see if Plato any where appears to remind us of this order of Gods, and of the inflexible power proceeding from them to all the divine genera. For the. first-effective triad of the immutable order, is united to the triad of the intellectual kings and the progressions of the former are co-divided with the monads of the latter. And the summit of the triad, and as it were, the flower of the inflexible guard of wholes is united to the first intellectual king. But the middle centre of the triad, is in a kindred manner conjoined to the second intellectual king, proceeds together with him, and subsists about him. And the extremity209 of the whole triad is connected with the third intellectual king, is converted with him to the principle [of the intellectual order,] and together with him is convolved to the one union of the father of all the intellectual Gods. And after this manner, indeed, the three unpolluted guardians of the intellectual fathers, are monadically divided. But together with this division they have also an hypostasis united to each other. All of them, likewise, are in a certain respect in each of the fathers, and all of them energize about all. And after a certain manner indeed according to their proper hypostasis, they are divided from the fathers; but after another manner they are impartibly assumed with them, and at one and the same time they are allotted an equally dignified order with the father, and appear to possess an essence subordinate to them.

Such, therefore, being their nature, they preserve, indeed, the whole progressions of the fathers undefiled, but supply them with inflexibility in their powers, and immutability in their energies. They are suspended, however, from total purity. And if some of the ancients have in any of their writings surveyed in intellect that which always subsists with invariable sameness, which receives nothing into itself from subordinate natures, and is not mingled with things. inferior, they celebrate all such goods as these, as pervading to intellect, and other natures, from these Gods. For the oration in the Banquet of Plato, celebrates in a remarkable manner the immiscibility of the divine essence with secondary natures; and that which transcends the whole of things in purity and immutable power, arrives to the Gods through the guardian cause. And as the intellectual fathers, are the suppliers of prolific production, both to all other things, and to the inflexible Gods, thus also, the undefiled Gods, impart the power of purity, both to the fathers, and to the other divine orders. At one and the same time, therefore, the three unpolluted Gods subsist with the three intellectual kings, are the guardians of the fathers themselves, establish about them an immutable guard, and firmly fix themselves in them. Hence also, the Athenian guest, as he arranges and adorns his polity through the best analogy, through which, the demiurgus binds and constitutes the whole number [of the elements,] so likewise he appoints a guard to all the inhabitants of the region, that nothing, as much as possible, may be without defence; imitating in this the intellectual Gods themselves who guard all things by the undefiled leaders. And it appears to me that on this account he calls the rulers [of his polity] guardians of the laws, or [simply] guardians, because the inflexible guardians are consubsistent with the intellectual leaders of the whole Worlds.

Chapter XXXIV.

These arguments, however, will be more remote from that divine triad, and are referred to it from ultimate images. But perhaps omitting these, we may abound with greater conceptions, and more conducive to the investigation of the thing proposed, and speculating together with Plato the divine genera, we may discover how he also celebrates this order of Gods, and constitutes them together with the three kings that are now discussed, just as by other theologists also, we are mystically instructed in the truth concerning them. In the fable therefore of Protagoras, Plato indicating to us the exempt watch-tower of Jupiter, and the transcendency of his essence which is unmingled with all secondary natures, through which be is inaccessible and unrepealed to the partible genera of Gods, refers the cause of this to his210 immutable guard, and the defensive order by which he211 is surrounded. For on account of this, all the demiurgic powers indeed are firmly established in themselves. But all the forms [that are in him] are according to supreme transcendency exempt from secondary natures. And in short, the demiurgic intellect [through this order] abides after its accustomed manner. For the fable says that the guards of Jupiter are terrible to all things And on this account such [partible] genera of Gods (one of which also Prometheus is) cannot be immediately conjoined with the undefiled and Olympian powers of the demiurgus. If, therefore, Socrates himself in the form of a fable clearly delivers to us the guard about the demiurgus, is it not through these things evident that the guardian genus is consubsistent with the intellectual Gods? For as the Oracles say, that the demiurgic order is surrounded with a burning guard, thus also Plato says that guards stand round it, and defend inflexibly the summit of it exempt from all secondary natures.

But in the Cratylus, Socrates unfolding through the truth which is expressed in names, who Saturn is, demonstrates indeed his212 peculiar hyparxis, according to which he subsists as the leader of the total intellectual orders. He likewise unfolds to us the monad of the unpolluted order, which is united with Saturn. For Saturn, as he says in that dialogue, is a pure intellect. For, he adds, the koron (το κορον) of him, does not signify his being a boy, but the purity, and incorruptible nature of intellect. After an admirable manner therefore, the fabricator of these divine names, has at one and the same time conjoined the Saturnian peculiarity, and the first monad of the unpolluted triad. For the union of the first father with the first of the unpolluted Gods, is transcendent, and hence this inflexible God is called silent by the Gods, is said to accord with intellect, and to be known by souls according to intellect alone; because he subsists in the first intellect according to one union with it Saturn therefore, as being the first intellect, is defined according to its proper order, but as a pure and incorruptible intellect, he has the undefiled conjoined in himself. And on this account, he is the king of all the intellectual Gods. For as intellect he gives subsistence to all the intellectual Gods, and as a pure intellect, he guards the total orders of them. The two fathers therefore, [Saturn and Jupiter] are shown by the words of Plato to be co-arranged with the immutable Gods, according to union indeed, the first, but according to separation the third.

If you are willing however, to survey the one inflexible guard of them with respect to each other, according to which the third father is stably in the first, as being the intellect of him, and energizing about him, again direct your attention to the bonds in the Cratylus, of which indeed, partible lives, and the lives deprived of intellect, and which are stupidly astonished about matter, are unable to participate. But a divine intellect itself, and the souls which are conjoined to it, participate of these bonds according to an order adapted to them. For the Saturnian bonds, appear indeed to bind the mighty Saturn himself, but in reality, they connect about him in an undefiled manner the natures that throw the bonds around him. For a bond is the symbol of the connective order of the Gods, since every thing which is bound is connected by a bond. Again therefore from these things, the guardian good which extends from the connective Gods to the intellectual kings is apparent, since it unites, and collects them into one. For a bond guards that which is connected by it. But the immutable Gods inflexibly preserve their own appropriate orders. For the guardship of these Gods is twofold; the one indeed, being primary and uniform, and suspended from the triad of the connective Gods; but the other being co-existent with the intellectual kings, and defending them from a tendency to all secondary natures. For all the intellectual fathers ride on the unpolluted Gods, and are established above wholes, through their inflexible, undeviating, and immutable power.

If however, it be not only necessary that these two fathers should participate of this guardian order, but that the middle vivific deity of them should be allotted a monad of the immutable Gods coordinate to herself, it is indeed necessary that the first [guardianship] of the unpolluted leaders in the intellectual fathers, should be triadic, and should have the same perfect number with the three intellectual Gods. It is likewise necessary that the first of these leaders should be stably united to the first [of the intellectual kings]; but that the second should in a certain respect be separated from the second of these kings, together with a union with him. And that the third should now be entirely separated from the third king. And thus the unpolluted proceeds conformably to the paternal order, and is after the same manner with it triadically divided. The first of the unpolluted Gods likewise guards the occult nature of Saturn, and the first-effective monad which transcends wholes, and establishes perfectly in him the causes that proceed from, and again return to him. But the second, preserves the generative power of the queen Rhea, pure from matter, and undefiled, and sustains from the incursions of secondary natures her progression to all things, on which she pours the rivers of life. And the third preserves the whole fabrication of things established above the fabrications, and firmly abiding in itself. It likewise guards it so as to be inflexible, one, and all-perfect with respect to the subjects of its providential case, and expanded above all partial production.

Chapter XXXV.

Let us now then from this indefinite and common doctrine about these Gods, adduce the Grecian rumour concerning it, as delivered to us by Plato, and demonstrate that he as far as to the very names follows the theologists of the Greeks, just as in the mystic theory of the three kings, and the narration of the unpolluted Gods, he does not depart from their interpretation. For who that is in the smallest degree acquainted with the divine wisdom of the Greeks, does not know that in their arcane mysteries, and other concerns respecting the Gods, the order of the Curetes, is in a remarkable manner celebrated by them, as presiding over the undefiled peculiarity, as the leader of the goddess [Rhea,] and as binding in itself the guardianship of wholes? These Gods therefore, are said to guard the queen Rhea, and the demiurgus of wholes, and proceeding as far as to the causes of partible vivification and fabrication, to preserve the Proserpine and Bacchus which are among these causes, exempt from secondary natures, just as here [i.e. in the intellectual order], they defend the vivifications of total life, and the first-effective monads of all-perfect fabrication. Not only Orpheus therefore, and the theologists prior to Plato knew this Curetic order, and knowing, venerated it, but the Athenian guest also in the Laws celebrates it. For he says, that the armed sports of the Curetes in Crete, are the principal paradigms of all elegant motion. And now, neither is he satisfied with having mentioned this Curetic order, but he also adds the one unity of the Curetes, viz. our mistress Minerva, from which the mystic doctrine also of theologists prior to him, suspends the whole progression of the Curetes. He likewise, surrounds them above with the symbols of Minerva, as presiding over an ever-flourishing life, and vigorous intellection; but beneath, he manifestly arranges them under the providence of Minerva. For the first Curetes indeed, as being the attendants of the intelligible and occult Goddess, are satisfied with the signs that proceed from thence; but those in the second and third orders, are suspended from the intellectual Minerval monad.

What then is it, that the Athenian guest says concerning this monad, which converts to itself in an undefiled manner the Curetic progressions? “The core (κορη) i.e. virgin, and mistress that is with us, being delighted with the discipline of dancing, did not think it proper to play with empty hands; but being adorned with an all-perfect panoply, she thus gave perfection to dancing.” Through these things therefore, the Athenian guest clearly shows the alliance of the Curetic triad to the Minerval monad. For as that triad is said to sport in armour, so he says that the Goddess who is the leader of them [i.e. of their progression] being adorned with an all-perfect panoply, is the source to them of elegant motion. And as he denominates that triad Curetic, from purity, so likewise he calls this goddess Core, as being the cause of undefiled power itself. For koron (το κορον) as Socrates213 says in the Cratylus, signifies the pure and incorruptible. Whence also the Curetes are allotted their appellation, as presiding over the undefiled purity of the Gods. And the monad of them is particularly celebrated as a mistress and as Core [a virgin] she being the supplier of an inflexible and flourishing dominion to the Gods. The word koron therefore, as we have said, is a symbol of purity, of which these Gods are the primary leaders, and according to which214 they are participated by others. But their being armed, is a symbol of the guardian power according to which they connect wholes, guard them exempt from secondary natures, and preserve them established in themselves. For what other benefit do men derive from arms except that of defence? For these are in a particular manner the safeguard of cities. Hence fables also ascribing to the unpolluted Gods an unconquerable strength, give to them an armed apparatus. Hence adorning the one unity of them with an all-perfect panoply, they establish it at the summit of the progression of these Gods. For the all-perfect precedes things which are divided according to parts, and the panoply exists prior to the partible distribution of guardian powers. And it appears to me that through these particulars Plato again asserts the same things as were afterwards revealed by the Gods. For what they denominate every kind of armour, this Plato celebrates as adorned with an all-perfect panoply. [For the Gods say,] “Armed with every kind of armour, he resembles the Goddess.” For the all-perfect in the habit of Pyrrhich arms, and the undefiled in power, pertain, according to Plato, to the Minerval monad; but according to the narration of the Oracles they pertain to that which is furnished with every kind of arms.

Farther still, rhythm and dancing are a mystic sign of this deity, because the Curetes contain the undefiled power of a divine life; because they preserve the whole progressions of it always arranged according to one divine boundary; and because they sustain these progressions from the incursions of matter. For the formless, the indefinite, and the privation of rhythm, are the peculiarities of matter. Hence, the immaterial, the definite, and the undefiled, are endued with rhythm, are orderly, and intellectual. For on this account, the heavens also are said to form a perpetual dance, and all the celestial orbs participate of rhythmical and harmonious motion, being filled with this power supernally from the unpolluted Gods. For because they are moved in a circle they express intellect, and the intellectual circulation. But because they are moved harmonically, and according to the first and best rhythms, they participate of the peculiarity of the guardian Gods. Moreover, the triad of the unpolluted leaders is suspended from the summit of the intellectual Gods. And that it proceeds from this summit, Plato himself teaches us, by placing the first cause of purity in Saturn the king of all the intellectual hebdomad. For purity (το κορον) is there primarily, as he informs us in the Cratylus, and the first-effective cause of purity, pre-exists unically in Saturn. For on this account also, the Minerval monad, is called Core (a virgin) and the Curetic triad is after this manner celebrated, being suspended from the purity in the intellectual father.

Chapter XXXVI.

Concerning the undefiled leaders, thus much we have had to say, according to the narration of Plato. The monad therefore, now remains, which closes the number of all the intellectual hebdomad, and is the first arid uniform cause of all division, which must in the next place be discussed by us. The sections therefore, of the intellectual Gods which are celebrated by all the wise in divine concerns among the Greeks, and which obscurely signify the separations in those Gods, are effected in them through the seventh monad, which is the cause of division, and according to which they separate themselves from the Gods that are placed above them, proceeding into another order, are allotted a union exempt from subordinate natures, and by themselves have a definite order, and a progression bounded according to number. Plato however, allows indeed poets that are inspired by Phœbus, to signify things of this kind obscurely and mystically; but he excludes the multitude from hearing these things, because they believe without examination in the fabulous veils of truth. And this is, what Socrates reprobates in Euthyphron, who was thus affected in consequence of being ignorant of divine concerns. According to the divinely-inspired intellect of Plato therefore, transferring all such particulars to the truth concerning wholes, and unfolding the concealed theory which they contain, we shall procure for ourselves the genuine worship of a divine nature. For Socrates himself in the Cratylus, unfolds to us the Saturnian bonds, and their mystic meaning, and in a remarkable manner demonstrates that the visions of those ancient and illustrious men do not fall off from the truth.

After the same manner therefore, he will permit his friends to assume intellectual sections, and the power which is productive of these, according to divinely-inspired conceptions, and will suffer them to survey these together with bonds in the intellectual Gods. Farther still, the fable in the Gorgias, in a clearer manner separates the empire of Jupiter from the Saturnian kingdom, and calls the former the second from, and more recent than the latter. What is the cause, therefore, which separates these paternal monads? What intellectual power produced the intellectual empire from that which is exempt from it? For it is necessary that there should be with the Gods themselves the first-effective fountain of division, through which Jupiter also separates himself from the monad his father, Saturn from the kingdom of the Heaven, and the natures posterior to Jupiter, proceeding into an inferior order, are separated from his all-perfect monad.

Moreover, the demiurgus himself in the production of the genera posterior to himself, at one and the same time is the cause to them of union, and the source of their all-various divisions. For fabricating the soul one whole, he separates it into parts, and all-various powers. And in the Timæus where the demiurgus is said to do this, Plato himself does not refuse to call these separations, and essential divisions, sections. He likewise cuts off parts from thence, places them in that which is between these, and again separates parts from the whole, and thus the mixture from which he had cut off these parts, was now wholly consumed. Is it therefore any longer wonderful that the framers of fables should denominate the divisions of the intellectual leaders, sections, since even Timæus himself who does not devise fables, but indicates the essential progression of souls into multitude, uses as a sign the word section? And does not also Plato in the greatest degree accord with the highest of theologists, when he delivers to us the demiurgus glittering with intellectual sections? As therefore the demiurgus, when producing the essence of souls, constitutes it according to true being, when generating life, he generates it according to the life which is in real beings, and produces the intellect which is in souls according to the intellect which is in himself,—thus also when cutting the essence of the soul from itself, and separating it, he energises according to the sections and separations which are in the intellectual order, and according to the one and intellectual cause of them. According to Plato, therefore, there is a first monad of the total divisions in intellectuals, and together with the twofold triads, I mean the paternal and the undefiled, it gives completion to the whole intellectual hebdomad. And we, following Plato, and other theologists, concede the same things.

Chapter XXXVII.

Let us now, however, return to the beginning, and demonstrate that Parmenides delivers the same things concerning this intellectual hebdomad, and that he produces this hebdomadic aiōn (eternity) and the peculiarity of the Gods which is intellectual alone, in continuity with the triple orders of the intelligible, and at the same time intellectual Gods. And, in the first place, let us survey what he says concerning the father of the intellectual Gods, and the undefiled power which is co-arranged with him. For after the threefold figure, and the order of the Gods which perfects all things, that which is in itself215 and in another, becomes apparent. These things, however, are demonstrated to be signs of the intellectual summit of the intellectual monads. For the first father of the Gods in this order, at one and the same time is allotted a paternal transcendency with respect to those posterior to him, and is the intellect of the first intelligibles. For every imparticipable intellect is said to be the intellect of the natures prior to itself, and towards them, from whom it is produced, it has an intellectual conversion, and in them as first-effective causes it establishes itself. Whence also the demiurgic intellect is the intellect of the natures above itself, and proximately indeed of its own father, from which likewise it proceeds, but eminently of the intelligible unities beyond [Saturn].

The first king, therefore, in intellectuals, is both an intellectual father, and a paternal intellect. He is, however, the intellectual father indeed of the Gods that proceed from himself; but he is the paternal intellect of the intelligibles prior to himself. For he is indeed intellectual essentially; but he has an intelligible transcendency in intellectuals; because he is also established analogous to the unknown order of the intelligible, and at the same time, intellectual Gods, and to the occult order of the intelligible triads. And as they are expanded above the triadic hypostases of the Gods posterior to themselves, thus also the father of intellectuals, is a father expanded above the whole intellectual hebdomad, in consequence of being a paternal intellect. And analogously to the above-mentioned orders of Gods, he establishes himself in them, and is filled from them with paternal and intelligible union. On this account also, he is occult, shuts in himself the prolific powers of himself, and producing from himself total causes, he again establishes them in, and converts them to himself.

These things, therefore, Parmenides also indicating, magnificently celebrates this order by these twofold signs, and characterizes the first king and father of the intellectual216 Gods through these peculiarities. For he is in himself, and in another. For so far indeed as he is a total intellect, his energy is directed to himself, but so far as he is in the intelligibles prior to himself, he establishes in another the all-perfect intelligence of himself. For, indeed, this subsistence in another, is more excellent than the subsistence of a thing in itself; since, as Parmenides himself concludes, the subsistence of Saturn in another, pertains to him according to whole, but the subsistence of him in himself, according to parts. Where, therefore, does the another pre-exist? And to what order of the Gods prior to Saturn does it belong? Or is not this also divinely unfolded by our preceptor? For he says that this another, remarkably pertains to that order, according to which the power of difference first shines forth, being the progeny of intelligible and paternal power. Hence in the first triad the another was occultly, so far as power also had there an occult subsistence; but it particularly shines forth in the first order of the intelligible, and at the same time, intellectual Gods. For there the first difference, the feminine nature of the Gods, and the paternal and unvocal power subsist.

[Saturn therefore] who is the first of the intellectual fathers being intelligible, so far as he is a whole, establishes himself in the intelligible triads prior to himself, from which also he is filled with united and occult goods. And on this account he is said to be in another. With respect to those triads indeed, the another is occultly and according to cause in the intelligible [i.e. in the first triad] of intelligibles; but according to essence in the intelligible of the intelligible, and at the same time, intellectual Gods. All intelligibles therefore are united; the intelligible indeed of the intelligible and intellectual Gods being united to the intelligible of the intelligibles prior217 to intellectuals; but the intelligible of intellectuals, to both. And the subsistence indeed in another, adheres to the difference which is according to unical number. But unical number is suspended from the occult union of the one being; on which account also it is unical.

Farther still, we also say, that there is a twofold conversion in those orders, the one indeed being towards themselves, but the other towards the causes of them, (for it neither was nor will be lawful for divine natures, to convert themselves in any respect to natures posterior to themselves). And the intelligible Gods generate all things stably; but the intelligible and intellectual Gods who illuminate imparticipable life, impart the original cause of progression to all things; and the intellectual Gods arrange and adorn wholes according to conversion. Hence, it is indeed necessary that the summit of intellectuals which pours forth from itself the whole and all-perfect form of conversion, should be characterized by both the convertive symbols, and should be at one and the same time converted to itself, and to the natures prior to itself. Hence, because indeed, it is converted to itself, it is in itself; but because it is converted to the intelligible orders beyond itself, it is in another. For the another is more excellent than the whole intellectual order. As, therefore, the summit of intelligibles primarily subsists according to the intelligible peculiarity itself, and is firmly established above wholes; and as the summit of intelligibles and intellectuals primarily unfolds the peculiarity of this order, subsisting according to divine diversity, and being to all things the cause of all-various progressions;—thus also the intelligible deity of intellectuals, exhibits from himself according to union the twofold forms of conversion, being indeed in another according to the more excellent form of conversion, but in himself according to the less excellent form. For to be converted to himself is inferior to the conversion to more excellent natures.

Again, therefore, the subsistence in another, is the illustrious prerogative of the intelligible and paternal peculiarity. For the another is intelligible, and difference was the power proceeding from the intelligible fathers, and from the natures firmly established in them. Hence, that which is comprehended in this power, and is filled from it, is paternal and intelligible. But the subsistence of a thing in itself is the proper sign of the unpolluted monad. For as we have before observed, the summits of the two intellectual triads are conjoined. And the monad of the guardian triad has eternally established itself in the paternal monad, and again establishes in, and converts to itself the natures which have proceeded from itself. And the first intellectual father is indeed father on account of himself, but on account of the unpolluted [monad,] he comprehends in himself the genera of himself, stably recalls them [when they have proceeded from him] to himself, and in his own allness218 contains the intelligible multitudes of intellectuals in unproceeding219 union with their monad.

The first leader, therefore, of the guardian order subsists in conjunction with the father. And the father indeed comprehends the unpolluted cause, but is comprehended by the first intelligibles. And as he is intelligibly established in them, so likewise he has established in himself, and constituted about himself, the one summit of the inflexible Gods. In the Parmenides, therefore, also the same God appears to us to be a pure intellect. Because, indeed, he is intellect, being extended to the intelligible place of survey, and on this account being in another, so far as he is wholly established in it. But again, because he is pure and immaterial, being converted to himself, and shutting in himself all his own powers. For the parts of this wholeness, are more partial powers, which hasten indeed to a progression from the father, but are on all sides established and comprehended by the wholeness. And the wholeness itself is a deity, connectedly containing in itself intelligible parts, being parturient indeed with intellectual multitude, generating all things stably, and again embosoming and collecting to itself its progeny, and as the more tragical fables say, absorbing and depositing them in itself For the progeny of it are twofold; some indeed, being, as it were, analyzed into it; but others being divided from it. And some abiding in it through the first unpolluted monad; but others proceeding according to the prolific cause of the intellectual Gods, surmounting the union of the father, and being the primary leaders of another order, and of the arrangement and ornament of secondary natures. The first order therefore of the intellectual Gods, is thus delivered to us by Parmenides.

Chapter XXXVIII.

The second order however, after this, is that which comprehends the middle genera of wholes, is the cause to all things of progression and prolific power, and is in continuity with the first order of the intellectual Gods. What else therefore than life is every where in continuity with the intelligible and true being? For it is the medium between intellect and the intelligible, conjoining intellect to the intelligible, and expressing the intelligible power which collects together the one and being. As the intelligible therefore is to the one and hyparxis, so is life to power, and intellect to being. And as in intelligibles, the one is the object of desire, but being aspires after the participation of the one, and power collects being to the participation of the one, and the one to a communion with being, (for the one here is not imparticipable, and exempt from all power) so likewise the intelligible is the object of desire to intellect, but intellect is filled with it. And life binds indeed intellect to the intelligible, but unfolds the intelligible to intellect. Whence also, I think, those who are wise in all divine concerns, call the one and hyparxis intelligible. But that which is primarily being, they call220 the first intellect, conformably to this analogy. Life therefore, is the medium between being and intellect, in the same manner as power subsists between the one and being. And all these, viz. the intelligible, life, and intellect are primarily in intelligibles; but secondarily in intelligibles and intellectuals; and according to a third diminution, in intellectuals. In intelligibles however, being is according to essence; for there intellect is primarily according to cause. But in intellectuals, intellect indeed, is according to essence; but the natures prior to intellect, are according to participation. Since therefore, life is surveyed in a threefold respect, in intelligibles indeed according to cause; but in intelligibles and intellectuals, according to hyparxis; and in intellectuals,221 according to participation, it is indeed necessary that the life which is in the intellectual order, should both be life, and participate of the causes generative of life prior of itself. The one therefore of the intellectual Gods which is arranged in the middle, is not motion, but that which is moved. For prior to this, it has been demonstrated by Plato, that all life is motion. For soul is self-motive because it is self-vital. And intellect is on this account moved, because it has the most excellent life. The first vivific cause, therefore, of the intellectual Gods, is primarily allotted motion. If, however, it was the first-effective and highest life, it would be requisite to denominate it motion, and not that which is moved. But since it is life as in intellectuals, but is filled from exempt life, it is at the same time motion, and that which is moved. Very properly, therefore, does Parmenides demonstrate that the one in this order is moved, because it proceeds from the causes of all life that are placed above it, and is analogous to the middle centre of intelligibles, and to the middle triad of intelligibles and intellectuals. Hence also, Socrates in the Phædrus calls this middle triad Heaven; for the whole of it is life and motion. But that which is moved, is the middle in intellectuals, as being filled from it, [i.e. from the life in the middle triad of intelligibles and intellectuals;] since eternity also, which is arranged according to the intelligible wholeness, is all-perfect life, and all life, according to Plotinus. There, however, the middle is life according to cause; but in intellectuals, it is life according to participation; and in the order between these, it is life according to essence, proceeding indeed from intelligible life, (as Parmenides also manifests, characterizing both according to wholeness, though the wholeness in intelligibles is different from that which is in intelligibles and intellectuals, as we have before observed,) but producing after this, intellectual life. For that which is moved, is indeed entirely allied to the circulation of the Heaven, and to intellectual and intelligible life.

Moreover, the permanency which is coordinate with this motion, is not one certain genus of being, as neither is motion. For beings indeed are naturally adapted to participate of the genera of being; but the superessential goods of the Gods, are expanded above the order of beings. If, therefore, Parmenides here, assuming the one itself by itself, surveys in this motion and permanency, he evidently does not attribute the elements of being to the Gods, but assigns to them peculiarities appropriate, all-perfect, and transcending wholes. And thus asserting that the one is moved and stands still, according to motion, indeed, he delivers the vivific hyparxis of the Gods, the generative fountain of wholes, and the leading cause of all things. But according to permanency, he delivers the unpolluted monad coordinated with motion, and which connectedly-contains the middle centres of the guardian triad. For as the summit of the guardian triad, is united to the first father, according to the first hypostasis, thus also the deity who contains the middle bond of the unpolluted leaders, is by a congeniality of nature consubsistent with the motive cause of all the Gods, which moves wholes, and is primarily moved from itself. And through this deity, the prolific power of this Goddess [Rhea] is firmly established in herself. Producing likewise, and multiplying all things, she is [through this deity] exempt from wholes, and inflexibly exists prior to her progeny. With respect, therefore, to motion here and permanency, the former indeed is the fountain of the life and generative power that proceeds to all things; but the latter,222 establishes the whole vivific fountain in itself, but is from thence filled with the prolific rivers of life. Parmenides, therefore, delivering to us these things, and the progression of them, demonstrates that that which is moved is generated from that which is in another, but that which stands still, from that which is in itself. For the first monad of the paternal triad constitutes the natures posterior to it. And after the Same manner, the highest of the unpolluted triad, and which is intelligible as in this triad, imparts at one and the same time the middle and last monad of the triad. Oh this account, also, motion here is better than permanency. For as a subsistence in another is according to cause more ancient than the subsistence of a thing in itself, so likewise that which is moved, is causally more ancient than that which is permanent. For the unpolluted Gods, are in power subordinate to the fathers, and are comprehended in them.

Chapter XXXIX.

The third, therefore, to the Saviour, as they say, and let us direct our attention to the demiurgic monad, unfolding itself into light together with the coordinate Gods it contains. In the first place, then, here also the communion of the one with other things is apparent, and we must no longer consider the one alone by itself, but according to its habitude towards other things. Because, therefore, the demiurgic order produces wholes from itself, and arranges and adorns a corporeal nature, it also generates all the second and ministrant causes of the Gods. For what occasion is there to say that the term other things, is a sign of a corporeal condition of being, since formerly the Pythagoreans thought fit to characterize an incorporeal nature by the one, but indicated to us the nature which is divisible about body, through the term others? In the second place, the number of the conclusions [in this part of the Parmenides] is doubled. For the one is no longer demonstrated to be alone same, or different, as it is to be in itself, and in another, or to be moved, and stand still, but it is demonstrated to be the same with itself, and different from itself,223 and to be different from other things, and the same with other things. But this twice appeared to us before to be entirely adapted to the demiurgic monad, both according to other theologists, and to Socrates in the Cratylus, who says that the demiurgic name is composed from two words. In the third place, therefore, the multitude of causes is here separated, and all the monads of the Gods present themselves to the view, according to the demiurgic progression. For the demiurgic order is apparent, the prolific power coordinate with it, the undefiled monad the cause of exempt providence, and the distributive fountain of wholes; and together with these, as I may say, all the orders about the demiurgus are apparent, according to which he produces and preserves all things, and being exempt from the things produced, is firmly established in himself, and separates his own kingdom, from the united empire of his father.

How, therefore, and through what particulars do these things become apparent? We reply, that the same with itself (for this Parmenides first demonstrates) represents to us about the nature of the one, the monadic and paternal peculiarity, according to which the demiurgus also subsists. Hence, likewise, the one is said to be the same with itself. For the another is in the demiurgus according to the transcendency of different causes; but the same, appears to be a sign of his proper, viz. of his paternal, hyparxis. For being one, and the exempt father and demiurgus of wholes, he establishes his proper union in himself. And in this one, Parmenides in a remarkable manner shows the uniform, and that which is allied to bound. But the same with other things, is the singular good of prolific power, and of a cause proceeding to, and pervading through all things without impediment. For the demiurgus is present to all things which he produces, and is in all things the same, which he arranges and adorns, pre-establishing in himself the generative essence of wholes. If, therefore, we rightly assert these things, bound and infinity subsist in him demiurgically. And the one indeed is in the sameness which is separate from other things, but the other is in the power which generates other things. For every where power is prolific of secondary natures. But the principle which subsists according to bound, is the supplier of an united and stable hypostasis.

Moreover, the different from other things, manifests his undefiled purity and his transcendency which is exempt from all secondary natures. For the first intellect was on this account pure and incorruptible, as Socrates says in the Cratylus, because it is established above coordination or communion224 with all sensible natures. For as some one of the Gods says, he does not incline his power to matter, but is at once exempt from all fabrication. But the demiurgic intellect receiving from thence total power, and a royal dominion, adorns indeed sensibles, and constitutes the whole of a corporeal nature. Together however, with prolific abundance, and the providential attention to secondary natures, he transcends his progeny, and abides in his own accustomed manner, as Timæus says, through the inflexible guard which subsists with him, and the power imparted to him from it, which is uncontaminated with other participants. Hence, through the never-failing supply of good, and providential energies, and the generation of subordinate natures, he is the same with them. For he is participated by them, and fills his progeny with his own providential care. But through his purity, undefiled power, and inflexible energies, he is separate from wholes, is disjoined from them and is imparticipable by other things. And as the first king of intellectuals is allotted his non-inclination to matter, through the guard which is united to him, and through the undefiled monad; and as the vivific goddess possesses her stable and inflexible power from the second cause of the guardian Gods; thus also the demiurgic intellect preserves a transcendency exempt from other things, and a union separated from multitude, through the third monad of the leaders of purity. For the cause of separate providence is a guard coordinate with the demiurgus, who hastens to produce225 all things, and to pervade through all things. But the guard which is the supplier of stable power is coordinate with the vivific deity, who is moved to the generation of wholes. And with the intellect that is multiplied according to intellectual conceptions [i.e. with Saturn,] the guard is coordinate, that imparts an undefiled union of the conversion of all his energies to himself. The monad, therefore, remains, which is arranged as the seventh of these intellectual monads, which is present with, and energizes with all of them, but particularly unfolds itself into light in the demiurgic order, and which Parmenides also producing for us together with the whole demiurgus, defines it in difference, in the same manner as he does the undefiled cause in the demiurgus. He says however, that this difference separates the demiurgic monad itself from itself. For we have before observed that this order is the supplier of separation to all the Gods. As therefore, the demiurgus is the same with himself, through the paternal union, after the same manner he is separated from himself and his father through this difference. Whence therefore, does he derive this power? From being in himself, says Parmenides, and in another. For these were indeed unitedly in the first father, but separately in the third. Separation therefore, pre-existed there according to cause; but in the demiurgus it shines forth, and unfolds the power of itself.

That the cause however of division, is in a certain respect in the first father, Parmenides manifests in the first hypothesis, when he says, “that every thing which is in itself is in a certain respect a duad, and is separated from itself.” There however, the duad is occultly; but here it subsists more clearly, where also all intellectual multitude shines forth to the view. For difference is the progeny of the firmly-abiding duad which is there. This therefore separates the demiurgic intellect from the Gods prior to it, and divides the monads in it from each other. For if so far as it is in another, it is united to the intelligible of itself, but so far as it is in itself it is separated from it, because it proceeds according to each order of its own intelligible,—if this be the case, it is necessary that this difference should be the cause to it of separation from its father. All the intellectual monads therefore; have appeared to us to subsist coordinately with each other. And the subsistence indeed, in another is the sign of the father. But the subsistence in itself, is the sign of the first unpolluted monad. Again, motion is the sign of vivific goodness; but permanency of the inflexible power conjoined with motion. And sameness with itself, and with another, is the sign of the demiurgic peculiarity; but the being different from other things, is the sign of the guard about the demiurgus. And in the last place, the being different from itself, is the sign of the seventh intellectual monad, which is according to cause indeed, and occultly in the first father, but is allotted its hypostasis more clearly in the demiurgus. Parmenides likewise appears to me, when dividing the signs of fabrication, to have unfolded in the middles themselves, the peculiarities of the undefiled monad, and of the dividing monad, so far as they also are in a certain respect comprehended in the fabrication. For he shows in the first of the conclusions that the one is the same with itself; in the second, that it is different from itself; in the third, that it is different from other things; and in the fourth that it is the same with other things. For he co-arranges indeed, the dividing power with the paternal union; but connects with a transcendency separate from secondary natures, the providential cause of them. For in the Gods, it is necessary that union should exist prior to separation, and and a purity unmingled with secondary natures, prior to a providential inspection of them; through which likewise, being every where, they are no where, being present with all things, they are exempt from all things, and being all things, they are not any of their progeny.


Book VI.

Chapter I.

The hebdomadic aion (eternity) therefore, of the intellectual Gods has been through these things celebrated by us, following the mystic conceptions of Plato. But after this, let us in the next place contemplate the multiform progressions of the ruling orders, and refer the one union of them to the intellectual theory of Parmenides. For this order is woven together in continuity with the demiurgus and father of wholes, proceeds from, is perfected by, and converted to him, according to his perfective power. Hence also, it is necessary to connect the narration about the governors of the universe, with the discussion concerning the demiurgus, and to assimilate words to the things of which they are the interpreters. For all the series of the ruling Gods, are collected into the intellectual fabrication as into a summit, and subsist about it. And as all the fountains are the progeny of the intelligible father, and are filled from him with intelligible union, thus likewise, all the orders of the principles or rulers, are suspended according to nature from the demiurgus, and participate from thence of an intellectual life. And let no one be offended with me, on hearing in this place the names of fountain and principle, nor accuse these names, as not at all pertaining to Plato. For, as we have before observed, Plato does not leave unnoticed any one of these mystic names. But in his discussions about souls, when he denominates them the fountains and principles of motion, he at the same time indicates the difference between the peculiarity of fountain, and the peculiarity of principle, and the inferiority of principle with respect to the exempt transcendency of fountain.

He likewise manifests that the self-vital extends to all things as far as to soul, from fountain; but the unbegotten from principle. And this is because the fontal genus indeed of the Gods is self-begotten, and first-effective, and produces other things from itself; but the ruling genus of the Gods, and which has the relation of a principle, though it proceeds from the fountains, and is allotted a more partial order among beings, yet it is expanded above every thing which is generated, and neither is in a certain respect connected with generated natures, nor communicates with a sensible nature. For the mundane Gods, indeed, are in a certain respect generated; whence also, they are denominated generated by Timæus, and this whole world is likewise called by him a generated god. But the ruling Gods, and who have the relation of principles, are perfectly exempt from generated natures, and are not co-arranged with them. Hence also, the unbegotten is most particularly adapted to them. Those Gods, however, who preside over the liberated dominion being the media between the unbegotten and generated Gods, come into contact indeed with the latter, but do not give completion to the choir of mundane Gods. Hence, they are in a certain respect both generated and unbegotten. The Gods, therefore, who are the summits of super-mundane natures, and the rulers of wholes, are alone allotted an unbegotten subsistence in the orders that proceed from the demiurgus. Hence, likewise, this peculiarity is from thence derived to souls. For, as Plato says, principle is unbegotten. For it is necessary that every thing which is generated should be generated from a principle, but that the principle should not be generated from any thing.

At the same time, therefore, it is manifest through these things, how the [ruling] principles proceed from the Gods prior to them. For they are not allotted a progression from them according to motion, nor in short, according to mutation; but the orders of the ruling Gods subsist by their very being, according to their prolific power, and unenvying and exuberant will; and the self-begotten power of the intellectual Gods, gives to the principles also the first generation from itself. Whether, therefore, some one is willing to adopt these, or other names of the divine orders, we shall consider it as a thing of no consequence. But receiving the peculiarity of them, whatever it may be, according to the rumours of theologists, we shall transfer their mystic tradition to the Platonic narration. For thus we shall make the investigation of what follows conformable to what has been before said, and what we assert will be adapted to the things themselves.

Chapter II.

Again therefore, let us assume the principles of the science concerning these Gods, and demonstrate that the theory pertaining to them is consequent to the first causes. The intelligible Gods therefore, surpass wholes according to supreme transcendency, and primarily participate the union and divine light, in which all the Gods perfectly establish their hypostases. They likewise unically produce all things from themselves, according to the paternal and exuberant will of the communication of good, and pre-establish is themselves occultly the first effective causes of secondary natures. For the whole and common measures of forms presubsist in them, and they comprehend according to one cause the uniform genera of being, and prior to these, bound and infinity, from which the superessential orders of the Gods generate all beings.

But in the second rank after these, the intelligible and at the same time intellectual Gods subsist, being divided indeed according to the same number, and preserving the measure of the all-perfect triad in a second order, but producing into multitude the unities of intelligibles, and transferring the unical boundaries of those triads into essential hypostases, and which participate of the one. Instead of powers however, which are whole, without separation, and occult, they are transferred into divided causes, and which proceed far from the one.

Again, in the third rank after the intelligible Gods, those that are called intellectual are arranged at one and the same time indeed, proceeding into an order diminished with respect to that which is prior to it, and changing the number according to which they subsist. For instead of the perfective triads, they are intellectually divided according to hebdomads. And with respect to the hebdomads, the division of them into two triads, is supernally derived from the first triads; but the terminations of them into monads, express the ends of those orders. For every thing which is the peculiarity of difference and multitude, proceeds from thence to all the genera.

Again, therefore, from these, the multiform orders of the ruling principles are generated, being divided indeed analogous to all the intelligible Gods, and to those that are prior to these intellectual Gods, viz. to those that are called intelligible and at the same time intellectual; They have however, their proximate and peculiar hypostasis from the one fabrication; but their united generation together with intellectuals, from the third triad of intelligibles. For that all-perfect cause produces also from itself, the whole orders of the Gods. Hence likewise Parmenides denominates it infinite multitude, as unfolding into light all the genera of being, and all the orders of divine natures, and as being sufficient through one all-perfect power to the generation of wholes.

Farther still, we may also assert this of these leading and ruling Gods, that the intellectual monads make their progression according to imparticipable intellect, in the same manner as the Gods prior to them illuminate imparticipable life, and prior to all things, the intelligible Gods constitute about themselves truly existing and intelligible essence. For every God is participated indeed by beings, and on this account falls short of the unity which is imparticipable and exempt from all things. But a different deity proceeds according to a different peculiarity. And some of the Gods indeed, being defined according to the ineffable good itself, comprehend the intelligible causes of wholes. But others produce the vivific powers, and connectedly contain the first genera of the Gods. Others again, unfold into light all the intellectual involutions, and preside over the participants of the unities that produce divided hypostases. Since therefore, the intellectual Gods primarily subsist according to imparticipable intellect, and on this account are denominated intellectual, the orders that first proceed immediately after them, illuminate the summit of participated intellect, and are intellectual indeed, as with reference to the inferior orders, and which are now divided according to providential energies about the world. But they are secondary to the first intellectuals, and are allotted a more partial government; just as the first of intellectuals, are indeed intelligible with respect to the Gods produced from them, but fall short of the union of first intelligibles. As therefore, they unfold into light the first and imparticipable life, which the intelligible monads pre-established in themselves according to cause only, and occultly; (for all the causes of wholes are pre-assumed there according to one ineffable union) after the same manner also, these Gods, shining forth the first of the intellectuals, express the Gods from whom they derive their subsistence, and are intellectual indeed, but produce the pure, uniform, and total hyparxis of the fathers, into a secondary, and multiplied progression, which is divided about themselves, and into a diminution of essence. By first emissions also from the first-effective, and self-subsistent fountains, they shine forth similarly to the intellectual Gods.

Hence also, they bind to themselves the ruling and generative causes of all the partial orders, and which exist prior to these orders both in dignity and power. And in short, they have the same transcendency with respect to the other Gods [subordinate to them,] which the intelligible Gods have to those that are produced from them. For the intelligible Gods being expanded above all the intellectual genera,226 have pre-established the intelligible hyparxis, by itself, unmingled and pure; and these ruling Gods have also established in themselves the supermundane union, and this peculiarity perfectly exempt from mundane natures. And as in the imparticipable and total hypostases, there is indeed, the intelligible genus, itself by itself; there is also the intellectual which is foreign from this; and there is that which is collective of both, which is celebrated as subsisting in the middle, and is denominated intelligible and at the same time intellectual,—thus also, in these partial orders, the peculiarity of the supermundane Gods, pre-exists by itself exempt from the parts of the universe, uncoordinated with this world, and on all sides comprehending it according to cause.

But the essence of all the mundane Gods is allotted the third order, being proximately carried as in a vehicle in the parts of the world, giving completion to this one and only begotten God, and connectedly-containing the different progressions in it. The government however of the liberated Gods is allotted the middle bond of the extremes, possessing sovereign authority over all [mundane] natures, and in a certain respect communicating with the divisions about the world, but unitedly ascending at the same time into many of its parts, and collecting the divided numbers of the mundane Gods into unical bounds, and more simple causes. Every genus likewise, of the mundane Gods is spread under this liberated order, being on all sides connected, contained, and perfected by it, and filled with the first of goods. If therefore, there is any thing supermundane in the Gods, and if it imparts a certain definite hyparxis of essence to them, and defines a certain peculiarity of powers and a transcendency of order by itself, we must admit that it primarily subsists in the ruling Gods, being derived to them from the intellectual fathers, unmingled with a mundane nature. And this supermundane order indeed is universal, as with reference to all the partible rivers of the Gods, but it is partial, as with reference to the all-perfect, one and whole kingdom of the intellectual Gods. For it is every where necessary that the leading causes of secondary orders, should be in a certain respect assimilated to the terminations of the orders established above them.

And thus the progression of the Gods is one and continued, originating supernally from the intelligible and occult unities, and ending in the last division of a divine cause. For, as in sensibles the most gross and solid bodies, are not immediately connascent with the ethereal expanse, but those which are simple and more immaterial than others, are proximately spread under the celestial periods, and of containing bodies, those which are primarily227 contained, are allotted a greater communion than those which are situated remotely, and are conjoined to them through other media; thus also, in the divine essences prior to the world, the second orders are in continuity with those prior to them. The progressions of beings however, are completed through similitude. But the termination of the higher orders are united to the beginnings of second orders. And one series and indissoluble order, extends from on high, through the surpassing goodness of the first cause, and his unical power. For because indeed, he is one, he is the supplier of union; but because he is the good, he constitutes things similar to him, prior to such as are dissimilar. And thus all things are in continuity with each other. For if this continuity were broken, there would not be union. And things dissimilar to each other being placed in a consequent order, that which is more similar to the principle, would not have a more ancient and honourable progression into being. If therefore, we assert these things rightly, it is necessary that the first hypostases of the partial orders should be total, according to an intellectual transcendency which they are allotted in the divided genera of the Gods, and thus that they should causally comprehend all secondary natures, and conjoin them to the Gods prior to themselves. The order of the ruling Gods therefore, is in continuity with the kingdom of the intellectual Gods. Hence also, Parmenides proximately constitutes it from the demiurgic monad. These things however, will afterwards be apparent.

Chapter III.

For the present, however, let us survey the common peculiarity of the whole of this order, that we may to the utmost of our power admire the divinely-inspired intellection of Plato, which unfolds to us the most mystic of dogmas. The progression, therefore, of these Gods is said to be supermundane, as we have observed, and to have the second dominion in wholes, after the intellectual Gods. But being defined according to the hyparxis itself of this essence, it unfolds indeed the united nature of the intellectual Gods; but produces into multitude the causes comprehended in them. It also arranges and adorns the more partial genera of beings, from total and first-effective monads, divides them according to the best228 order, and co-arranges them to each other. But it collects and binds all secondary natures, and inserts in them an admirable communion of essences and powers. Besides this, likewise, it conjoins all the natures posterior to itself, to those prior to itself, and calls forth the beneficent will of exempt causes, into the providential care of secondary natures, but establishes the hyparxes of subordinate in first essences, and imparts to all beings continuity, and one series of hypostasis. Conferring also all these benefits, it comprehends in itself the supply of them according to one peculiarity. For it assimilates all things, subordinate natures, to those prior to them, and coordinate natures, to each other. And through this similitude, atone, and the same time, indeed, it unfolds the essences and multiform powers of them, and is the collector of many things into union, and of divided natures, into the divine communion of goods.

From hence, therefore, the orders of different images primarily subsist. For every image is produced according to a similitude to its paradigm. But that which assimilates secondary to first natures, and binds all things through similitude, especially pertains to these Gods. For what else is able to assimilate the world itself, and every thing in the world to their paradigms, but this supermundane genus of Gods? For all intellectuals constitute the natures in the world according to one union, and an all-perfect providence, and impartibly preside over the essence of them. But the liberated genus of Gods, in a certain respect now comes into contact with the world, and co-operates with the mundane Gods. It is necessary, therefore, that the assimilating nature should every where according to essence indeed be exempt from the things assimilated, and which are impressed through similitude; but that it should adorn secondary natures with separation, and a division according to species. For how would it be possible for it to assimilate some things to others, and appropriately conjoin all things to their paradigms, unless it proceeded as far as to the last forms, and separated all those things from each other, of which there are immoveable pre-existing causes? For the demiurgus, indeed, appears to assimilate all things to himself, as Timæus says, being good, he produced all things similar to himself on account of his beneficent will. He likewise imparts to the world the order of time, by this mean rendering the world more similar to intelligible animal. And in short, on account of the similitude of the universe to its paradigm, he produces all things, and perfects his own fabrication.

In the demiurgus, however, all things, and likewise the second genera of Gods, are according to cause. And as he is the plenitude of all the natures prior to himself, thus also, he comprehends the united causes of the natures posterior to himself. Hence, he perfects the universe, energizes assimilatively, vivifies wholes, is the father of souls, the plastic framer of bodies, this supplier of harmony, the author of bonds, the cause of the impartible and partible genera, and the maker of all figures. And these things, indeed, he constitutes unically; but the Gods posterior to him in a divided manner. Let not, however, any one assert, that the assimilative nature is primarily in the demiurgus, but [let him rather say] that existence is present to the demiurgus according to sameness.229 But if from him similitude subsists in all things, and his very being is in sameness, as Parmenides teaches us, we must indeed admit, that such a genus of Gods [as the assimilative] is proximate to him, which also first unfolds his whole fabrication, and inserts it in secondary natures, but is essentially different from and posterior to him, and falls short of the first-effective principle of all things which he contains. In short, the demiurgic monad, and all the multitude co-arranged with it, presides over the similitude of wholes, uniformly, originally, and impartibly; but the order of the ruling Gods, divides indeed that which is united in the demiurgic fabrication, expands that which is total in the energy of the intellectual Gods, and produces into variety the simplicity of their providence. Hence similitude extends from these to all the natures in the world, and to the first, middle, and last forms of life. For that which is assimilated presides over a second form of communion with, appropriate principles, on account of progression from causes.

If, however, you are willing by investigating each particular to survey the providence pervading to all things through similitude, you will find that the whole world is the image of the perpetual Gods on account of this, and also that all the wholenesses in it are in a similar manner suspended from their paradigms, that whole souls always dance about the intelligible, and that the more excellent genera that follow the Gods and such of our souls as are happy, are on account of similitude extended from the wandering produced by generation, to their proper fountain. In short, you will find, that all progressions and conversions are effected and perfected on account of the cause of similitude. For every thing, which proceeds subsists through similitude to its generator; and every thing which is converted, in consequence of being assimilated to its proper principles, makes a conversion to them. Moreover, similitude eternally guards the never-failing nature of all the forms in the world, extending supernally from the Gods themselves. And the stable similitude of forms, brings back again to the circle of generation, the unstable mutation of particulars, not only in immaterial, but also in material forms which are conversant with mutability. And it closes in a finite period, the infinite variety of generated natures. But it refers the all-various division of reasons [i.e. of productive principles] to their united and first-effective cause. And on this account, the world being perpetually all-perfect, is completely filled by total genera and species. Hence also, it is similar to intelligible animal, possessing and comprehending all such things after the manner of an image, as all-perfect animal possesses paradigmatically.

We must not, therefore, suppose that the genus of similitude is something small, and extended only to a few things, since it is the cause of perfection to the whole world, gives completion through similitude to its first generation and self-sufficiency, and supplies from itself, its entire comprehension of all things. But neither must we admit that a production of this kind, is to be referred to one certain intellectual form. For that which extends230 to all the superessential, essential, psychical, incorporeal, and corporeal genera, exists prior to all forms and genera, and to incorporeal and corporeal causes. For the Gods in the world, do not proceed assimilated to their causes, on account of the intellectual form of similitude. Nor on account of the paradigmatic idea of the dissimilar, are the superessential unities of the Gods divided, the intellectual nature separated from itself, and the psychical essences allotted a progression in order; but, I think, that both similitude and dissimilitude have their hypostasis analogous to intellectual sameness and difference. And as they are primarily in the Gods themselves, but secondarily in intellectual forms, being unfolded into light together with the hyparxes of the Gods, thus also, this similitude and dissimilitude, are allotted indeed a precedaneous hyparxis in the superessential unities, but a successive hyparxis in the descending progressions of beings. And on this account Parmenides, as he evinced that the one is moved and stands still, is same and different, separate from being, thus also he demonstrates to us the similar and the dissimilar in the uniform hyparxes themselves of the Gods. And Socrates indeed presents to our view in the beginning of the dialogue, the similar and the dissimilar, and defines each paradigm of these to be separate, and exempt from the many similars and dissimilars. But Parmenides recurring to the superessential hypostases of wholes, produces beings from thence, according to the peculiarities of the first causes.

For as every thing in generation is adorned with forms from essences thus also the peculiarities of hyparxes extend to all essences from superessential natures. For generation is the image of essence; but essence has its progression according to superessential union. The genus of similitude, therefore, is primarily in the Gods; but is divided secondarily in intellectual forms. And on this account the progressions of the whole of things are according to similitude; but the conversions of all things to their principles are through similitude, it being said that all things proceed, and receive the power of conversion from divinity. The intelligible paradigm indeed preassumes in itself the occult cause of the assimilative Gods. For it is not sluggish from itself, and established unprolific. But it produces all things essentially assimilated to itself, constitutes them paternally, and is by its very being alone. It likewise imparts by illumination hyparxis to secondary natures, and the power of assimilation to itself. But again, that which is demiurgic of the divine genera, being suspended from the precedaneous cause of the intelligible paradigm, and adhering to, and energizing about it, assimilates indeed all things both to itself and the paradigm, but does not define its proper hyparxis in the genus of similitude. For it comprehends intellectually and unitedly the causes of the similitude of wholes, and employs such like genera of Gods as ministrant to the generation of secondary natures. But the tribe of ruling Gods, being wholly arranged in the partible orders, but first unfolding the intellectual fabrication of the father, is suspended indeed from him231 through the similitude of the causes pre-existing in him, but extends and expands all things to the demiurgic union. It converts, however, the partible genera of the Gods to impartible intellectual sameness. But it assimilates the proceeding orders to the intelligible paradigms, and gives completion to the one series of all beings. Very properly, therefore, do those who are wise in divine concerns assert, that the last triad of intelligibles is the cause of the fontal and ruling Gods, and that the whole series of rulers subsists about the intellectual father. For the genus of assimilating natures pertains to the perfect paradigm, just as the genus of things assimilated pertains to the extremity of the intellectual order. For all things are assimilated to the first paradigm, and the conversion of all secondary natures to it is through similitude. And with the demiurgus of wholes, the cause of intellectual sameness and difference is united, being partibly unfolded into light through the power of similitude and dissimilitude, and producing the one and whole form of that fabrication in all beings through divided energies,and the separations of essence. Through these things, therefore, we have reminded the reader, that the first and most total of the partible divine genera, and which is united to the intellectual orders, is allotted the assimilative peculiarity, and being defined according to this, conjoins all things to the demiurgic monad; and [we have also shown] how it proceeds from the intelligible paradigm to all mundane natures, and is the primary origin of their generation.

Chapter IV.

Again, it follows In addition to what has been said, that we should separate all the assimilative powers, properly arrange them, and survey them proceeding about the one essence of the Gods. Plato, therefore, asserts that the first and most ruling of these powers, are those that unfold the intellectual production of the father, and expand it to all the divided orders of beings. But that the second, are those which are connective of wholes, and which preserve one series and indissoluble connexion of the divine progressions. And that the third, are those which are the primary leaders of perfection to all secondary natures, and produce through similitude self-perfect conversions to principles. But next to these he arranges those powers that extend all the proceeding genera of the Gods to impartible monads, and which pre-exist as the collectors of partible natures. Farther still, he likewise asserts that other assimilative powers give subsistence to the divided genera, and are definitely the suppliers of existence and essence to first and last natures. And besides all these, that other powers are the causes of undefiled distribution, and of perpetually stable perfection.

Moreover, together with these, I should arrange the authors of prolific production, and those that pour upon and distribute to all secondary natures the partible rivers of life. And farther still, after these, I should arrange the powers that elevate secondary beings, cut off every thing material, confused, and inordinate, and are the suppliers of all goods. For there is no one of all the beautiful things in the world that does not proceed from this232 order of Gods, which fills its participants with divine goods. Or whence indeed is the world always established in its proper principles, whence does its circulation remain immutable, and whence is the universe connected by indissoluble bonds? For the ends of its periods become the principles of the subsequent revolutions. But the circle of generation imitates the invariable supply of the celestial orbs, and all things are converted to more divine natures. Matter, indeed, is assimilated to beings, through the last representations of the production of form. But that which is moved in a confused and disordered manner, is circularly led to order and bound by demiurgic reasons, being assimilated to natures which always subsist with invariable sameness and permanency. Things, however, which are borne along in a diversified generation, and multiform mutations, are assimilated to the celestial orbs, and being moved in an all-various manner, follow the revolutions of the heavenly bodies. But the convolutions of the heavens, represent as in images the psychical periods; and the circulations of the spheres inscribe as it were the intellections of the celestial souls. Time itself, likewise, which proceeds according to number, and forms a circular dance, is in a certain respect233 assimilated to stable intellections, and to [eternity] the measure of all intelligibles. For the whole of this time was generated an image of eternity abiding in one, since it is evolved after the same manner according to number. All things, therefore, are allotted a progression into existence, and the distribution of perfection according to measure from the assimilative leaders, and connect the essence of themselves through similitude.

Moreover, this order of Gods in a particular manner, presides over the sympathy of things in the world, and their communion with each other. For all things concur with each other through similitude, and communicate the powers which they possess. And first natures, indeed, impart by illumination the gift of themselves to secondary natures, in unenvying; abundance. But effects are established in their causes. An indissoluble connexion, likewise, and communion of wholes and a colligation of agent and patients, are surveyed in the world. For in effects their generative causes subsist through similitude. And in causes, the progeny that proceed from them are contained according: to comprehension. All things, likewise, are in each other, and similitude is the collector of all things. On this account, also celestial, impart to sublunary natures, an exuberant and unenvying communication of their own effluxions; but sublunary, being in a certain respect assimilated to celestial natures, participate of an appropriate perfection. A chain likewise extends from on high, as far as to the last of things, secondary, always expressing the powers of the natures prior to them, progression indeed diminishing the similitude, but all things at the same time, and even such as most obscurely participate of existence, bearing a similitude to the first causes, and being co-passive with each other, and with their original causes. For there is naturally a two-fold similitude in things which have proceeded from their causes. For they are assimilated to each other, according to their progression from the one, and their conversion again to it, and they are also assimilated to their ruling and first-effective causes. And through the former similitude, indeed, the elements conspire, are connascent, and are mingled with each other. But through the latter, they hasten to their proper principles, and are conjoined with their paradigms. On this account, all things which participate of the solar effluxion, are suspended from the circulation of the sun; I mean, not only the genera that are more excellent than us, but likewise the number of souls, animals, plants, and stones. But all things adhere to the Mercurial circulation, which receive the peculiarity of this God. And the like takes place in the other [mundane] Gods. For all of them are leaders and rulers in the universe. And many orders indeed of angels dance round them; many numbers of demons; many herds of heroes; the copious multitude of partial souls; the multiform genera of mortal animals; and the various powers of plants. And all things indeed aspire after their leaders, and in all things there is an impression of their proper monad; but in some this impression is more clear, and in others more obscure; since similitude also subsists in a greater degree, in the first progeny, but is obscured in the middle, and last progeny, according to the ratio of progression. Images, therefore, and paradigms, are allotted their hypostasis on account of collective similitude. And every thing on account of similitude is familiar to itself, and to coordinate natures. But there is an unshaken friendship between the coordinate natures in the world through the presence of similitude; since contraries, also, and things which are most distant from each other, are irreprehensibly bound through it, and connected so as to produce the perfection of the universe.

In short, therefore, we may say, that the assimilative leaders of wholes, produce and generate all things from themselves. For progressions are through similitude; and every thing which is constituted, is wont to be assimilated to its generative cause. The assimilative rulers also convert all things to their principles; for every conversion is through similitude. They likewise bind coordinate natures to each other. For the communion of the one cause [of all] produces similitude indeed in its participants, but from this, it inserts in them an indissoluble connexion. They also cause all things to sympathize, be friendly, and familiar with each other; exhibiting indeed, through participation, more elevated in more abject natures; but subordinate in more perfect essences, through causal comprehension. They likewise extend series and periods from on high, as far as to the last of things. And they produce monads indeed, into diminution, through appropriate numbers; but collect multitudes into union, through communion according to essence. They also adapt wholes to parts; but comprehend parts in wholes. And things imperfect, indeed, they perfect, through contact with ends; but they guard immutably perfect natures, through a similar cause. They likewise lead into definite order, by similar forms and reasons, the sea of dissimilitude; but they terminate the very-mutable generation of sublunary natures, by stable paradigms. Thus much, therefore, we have to say in common concerning the order of divine natures, which we assert to be proximate indeed to the intellectual Gods, but to be the leader, and cause of the assimilation of all secondary natures to their proper principles.

Chapter V.

In the next place, I wish prior to the theory of Parmenides to teach, what the Gods are, possessing this peculiarity, of whom Plato makes mention in other dialogues. For perhaps thus the doctrine of Parmenides will become more credible, and more manifest to reason. The ruling Gods, therefore, are divided in a threefold manner; and some of them indeed are united to the intellectual kings, and extend the whole series under themselves to a union with those kings; but others give completion to the middle genera, and distribute the all-perfect progression of these Gods; and others close the end of this order, and unfold the powers of these divinities to secondary natures. This being the case, those Gods that are arranged in the summits, do not immediately participate of the similitude of the assimilative Gods; but some of them are in a certain respect established above it, and are essentially connected with the intellectual Gods; but others proceed from it, and are mingled with the secondary genera. Hence, those only who give completion to the middle breadth, genuinely define in themselves the hyparxis of this order. We, therefore, likewise beginning from these, shall embrace by a reasoning; process the whole theory of Plato. For we shall find in these, the perfect measures of the ruling order, perfectly delivered to us by him.

Again, therefore, let us refer the whole progression of these middle orders, to a triad, it being allotted a division of this kind supernally, from the three intellectual fathers. Hence, indeed, this whole order of Gods, is, suspended from the demiurgic monad. But the demiurgic intellect produces indeed some of them from itself and the intellectual father; but others from itself,234 and the whole vivification; and others from appropriate rivers. Hence, also, of the Gods that thus derive their subsistence, some are allotted a paternal dignity, and are ruling fathers; but others are allotted a generative; and others an elevating and convertive dignity. But since a certain order of the Unpolluted Gods is conjoined with each of the intellectual kings, it is indeed necessary that in the ruling Gods also, a second progression from them should shine forth to the view, and that on this account the guardian order should be connascent with the above-mentioned triple orders, being appropriately consubsistent with each of them; viz. paternally indeed in the first; but vivifically in the middle; and intellectually and convertively in the third order. And thus it is necessary that this whole order of Gods should be divided by paternal powers, and prolific progressions, by powers that lead upward all secondary natures, and by those that are of an undefiled guardian characteristic. For being allotted their hypostasis from the intellectual Gods, some indeed ascend totally into parts, but others partibly pour on wholes, the exuberant powers of themselves. They likewise distribute the providence of the demiurgus and father, some indeed arranging and adorning the universe with the first, middle, and last forms of production; others educing the rivers of life, and pouring them on all things; others elevating the natures that have proceeded, and recalling them to the father; and others presiding over purity, and being the guardians of secondary natures.

Chapter VI.

Again, therefore, receiving the beginning of the theory of Plato from the paternal cause, we assert as follows: The demiurgus and father of this universe, being allotted this order in the intellectual kings, as was before demonstrated, as he produced wholes totally, and referred all things to the one form of the world, and the one perfection of the universe, thus also he arranged and adorned the parts of the world, and gave completion to the whole, contriving that all immortal and mortal natures should be generated for the sake of the universe. And this is what Plato introduces him saying in the Timæus to the junior Gods: “That mortal natures therefore may exist, and that this universe may be truly all, convert yourselves according to nature to the fabrication of animals.” Since, however, after the monad, it is every where necessary that a multitude should be generated proximate to the monad, and that prior to an all perfect division, united number should subsist (for that which has proceeded to all things is not allied to that which abides, nor is it possible that what is all-variously divided, should be connascent with that which is impartible)—this being the case, the demiurgus of wholes, produces indeed from himself, and his father a number proximate to the monad of the fathers. But the three [fathers] deriving their subsistence from one father, and first receiving the power and dominion of fabrication, produce other second and third fabricators from themselves, till through a diminution proceeding according to, [appropriate] measures, they evolve the whole demiurgic number, the cause of which indeed, the demiurgic monad comprehends in itself.

The orderly progression, however, of multitude becomes at length apparent. And thus the three ruling fathers of wholes, separate their productions, by first, middle, and last boundaries of fabrication, and are all of them total, but they are fabricators and fathers of parts totally; through being in continuity indeed with the monad, not changing the form of production; but on account of diminished progression, not possessing an energy impartibly extended to all things. And the one demiurgus indeed, being arranged prior to the triad, comprehends in himself uniformly the productions of all [the demiurgi]. But these three fathers multiply the unical dominion and power of the first demiurgus, divide his impartible production, and lead forth into secondary natures the stable energy of the father. And the exempt monad indeed comprehends in itself the all-perfect measure of the triad, according to supreme union; but the triad unfolds into light from itself the undivided power of the monad.

Plato, therefore, celebrates indeed, in other dialogues, these three fabricators and fathers, but particularly in the Gorgias, adducing as a witness of the theory concerning them, divinely-inspired poetry, he refers the whole progression of them to Saturn the father of the intellectual Gods, and from thence gives to them their first production into light. He exempts, however, the demiurgic intellect from the triadic division of them, coarranges it with the father, and says, that they have an intellectual dominion secondary to him. He likewise calls them the sons of Saturn, but indicates that they are allotted their progression from Jupiter. For there is a twofold Jupiter both according to Plato, and all the theology, as I may say, of the Greeks; the one indeed convolving the end of the intellectual triad to the beginning; but the other being allotted the summit of the ruling triad. And the one being the demiurgus of wholes totally; but the other being allotted the first parts of divided fabrication. And the one indeed being arranged prior to the three fathers; but the other being the first of the three, and proximate to the remaining fathers. Whence, also, I think that many who discuss these particulars are ignorant that Jupiter the demiurgus of the universe, is not the first of the three fathers, and that Saturn the leader and ruler of the intellectual kings, is not the same with the demiurgic intellect. For of those who immediately suspend the triad of the ruling fathers from the paternal kingdom of Saturn, some indeed refer the whole fabrication of things to Saturn himself; but others ascribe to the summit of the triad the generation of wholes. Is not, however, each of these impossible? For the one abiding in himself, and converting to himself every thing which has proceeded, is exempt from demiurgic production; but the other being divided oppositely to the total235 fathers, will not be the impartible fabricator of wholes. For it is necessary that the whole and all-perfect demiurgus of the world, should neither be connumerated with the many236 demiurgi, nor be the same with the cause which is stable, and perfectly established in itself. For he has a subsistence contrary to the cause which recalls that which has proceeded, and again exhibits it unemanent from itself. To be present likewise to all things by no means accords with that nature which energizes separately, and takes away its generative power. How, therefore, can he who converts his own children to himself, and shuts his own progeny in himself, possess the same power with the demiurgus who unfolds all things into light, and produces them into multitude? And how can he who is allotted the universe in conjunction with the remaining demiurgi, be uniformly the cause of the universe?

For, if you are willing, consider each of these three demiurgi, and survey what will happen from this assertion. For we say that the first of them is the cause of essence, and of existence to the fabrications in the world; but that the second is the source of the motion, life, and generation of sensibles; and that the third is the Cause of the divided production of forms of partible circumscription, and of the circular conversion of wholes to their one principle. We likewise definitely assert these things, admitting that the fabrication of each of the three extends to the whole world. But surveying the peculiar mode of fabrication in each, we say that the first is the effector of essence, the second of life, and the third of intellect. And that the first is the cause of hyparxis, the second of motion, and the third of conversion. Hence, the whole world, so far as it participates of being, is produced from the first father; but so far as it subsists through motion, and is generation, it receives its progression from the second father; and so far as it is perfectly divided, and after all-various division, is converted to its proper principle, it is produced from the third father.

Chapter VII.

These things, therefore, being thus determined, we may see how in the Timæus, the demiurgus and father of this universe, at one and the same time impartibly constitutes the world, gives to it essence, and supplies it with existence, fashioning bodies, generating souls in the middle of an impartible and partible essence, and constituting intellects ingenerably [i.e. without generation] and indivisibly, from the first genera. And farther still, besides these things, he distributes different motions to souls and bodies, divides each of them all-variously, according to harmonic reasons, binds them by analogies, and converts them to himself, and his own will. How, therefore, can we any longer rank such a demiurgus as this in the same order with one of these three fathers. For those things which they are said to give to the universe divisibly, he constitutes impartibly from himself. Nor does be produce some things precedaneously, and others according to accident, but by his very being he generates essence, supplies motions, and extends the divisions of mundane forms, and after the progression of other things, converts all things to himself, abiding in his own accustomed manner.

In the second place, therefore, we say that the three demiurgi differ from each other, because the first paternally comprehends the rest, and is the father of this whole triad. But the second is the power of the triad, and participates of the extremes according to the peculiarity of powers. And the third is the intellect of the triad, and contains the paternal, and intellectual power [by participation]. And in short, the first is the father of both; but the second is the power of both; and the third is the intellect of both. How, therefore, can the demiurgus of wholes be the same with one of the above mentioned fathers? For he, as Timæus says, is the father of all the world, and is allotted in himself a paternal power and divine intellect, converting all things to the watch-tower of himself. Again, therefore, we find that the partible peculiarities of the three demiurgi, pre-exist in him impartibly and uniformly. And as the demiurgic triad participates of union with him, on account of the uncircumscribed transcendency of the monad, thus also the monad antecedently and occultly comprehends in itself the triad, according to the power of causes? Nor is it proper to confound these with each other, but it is requisite exempt the monad from the triad, and to suspend the triad from the monad. And neither ought we to make the three fathers, the rulers of total fabrication, nor to rank the first of them in the same order with the one demiurgus. For a coordinated entirely differs from an exempt cause. And that which produces all things according to comprehension perfectly differs from that which is similarly present to all things, and is equally distant from all things. Besides this also, multitude is every where suspended from its proper monad. And as the one precedes the total orders of things, so likewise each order of the Gods has its progression from a monad; since also, each God is allotted a union which antecedes the multitude he contains. But if the whole genus of the Gods, and each God proceed after the same manner, it is also necessary that each of the divided orders should have the same mode of subsistence.

In the third place we say that both Plato and the ancient theology of the Greeks assert, that these three demiurgi divide the uniform kingdom of their father Saturn. And that one of these three every where arranges and adorns the first of wholes, another the middles, and another the extremities of wholes; and that each is allotted this order, not in fabrication only, but also in the providence of partial souls. For of these, some indeed are arranged and perfected under the first, prior to generation; but others, that give completion to generation, are arranged under the second; and others, that require purification after generation, are perfected under the third. Moreover, the first demiurgus, as it is written in the Timæus, produces the whole world. For he constitutes the circulation of the same, and arranges and adorns the circulation of the different, and all sublunary natures as far as to the earth, which he fabricated to be the guardian of night and day, being immovably fixed about the axis which is extended through the poles of the universe. He also fills the whole parts of the world with their proper numbers, and gives generation to all of them, both to those that revolve manifestly, and to those that become manifest when they please. Again, he defines the whole period to partial souls, the measures of their descent into generation, the vicissitudes of the present life, and their restitutions to their kindred star,237 and he is also said to unfold to them all the laws of Fate, and to point out to them the nature of the universe. Hence, he is not one238 of these three fathers, nor is he co-arranged with them, but is perfectly exempt from the triad. According likewise to the proper prerogative of his empire, he is expanded separately above each, and in common above all of them. And the operations indeed, of these fathers, are divided about him, and are distinguished by more partial boundaries. But his fabrication is uncircumscribed, is one whole, and is impartible.

Chapter VIII.

Let it therefore, from these things be manifest, that the demiurgic monad, is exempt from the ruling fathers, and that according to one undivided cause he generates beings eternally. But if Jupiter is according to Plato, the one and whole fabricator of the only-begotten world, as we have before demonstrated, and we grant these things without being deceived, and if, as it is now said, and Socrates in the Gorgias teaches us, the first of the demiurgi that divide the kingdom of Saturn, is in a similar manner called Jupiter, there will be according to this theory a twofold Jupiter, the one being an intellectual God prior to the three fathers; but the other being of a ruling, assimilative, and principal nature, and arranged at the summit of the three. For Jupiter, Neptune, and Pluto, divide, says Plato, the kingdom of their father, three leaders of wholes subsisting from one great king as it were, and producing the one fountain of the demiurgic series, into one all-perfect principal triad, which Plato also indicating, denominates the providence divided in the three a kingdom, attributing the first-effective, and the uniform to the Gods prior to these. If these however, are not the only orders of Jupiter, but there is also another Jovian multitude, how this proceeds will be evident in what follows. For all these three fathers participate of the same appellation, and are after the same manner celebrated by poets inspired by Phœbus; but one is called simply Jupiter, another marine Jupiter, and another subterranean Jupiter. The leader however of the three, possesses primarily the paternal dignity in the triad, and the appellation of the great Jupiter. For on account of the supreme union which he is allotted with the fontal demiurgus, who is beyond the three, he also participates of the same name as the total Jupiter, without any distinction. And on this account, I think, Socrates, in the Cratylus, unfolding to us the arcane and mystic discipline concerning the Gods, from names, and at one time co-arranging Jupiter with Saturn, and at another with the remaining demiurgi, does not think it worth while to speak twice about the same things, but in the intellectual conceptions about the all-perfect demiurgus, he also thinks fit to deliver the arcane discipline concerning the first of the three demiurgi, through the truth of names. For in a certain respect, it was not possible for him to do otherwise who shows that the theory in things accords with names; since also, the father of this triad, is inseparably united to the whole demiurgus. But of these things enough.

If you are willing however, we will add the following observations to what has been said. For perhaps some one may apprehend that the fable in the Gorgias, gives to the three sons of Saturn, a progression from Saturn proximately, but not, as we have said, through the demiurgic monad as a medium. For again, the three are said to divide the kingdom of Saturn, but not of the whole demiurgus and father. That we may not however, ignorantly wander beyond measure from the conception of Plato, and the truth of things, in consequence of following fabulous fictions, we must affirm from the beginning, that both the whole demiurgus, and this triad of the ruling fathers, proceed from the father of the intellectual Gods. But the whole demiurgus proceeding from a whole, impartibly participates of his father. For he abides in the allness of his power, and imitates, if it be lawful so to speak, his uniform and unmultiplied nature, by being monadic and whole, and the father of things first, middle and last. But the three demiurgi, in a divided manner participate of, and proceed from their generating cause, being divided indeed from each other, but dividing his unical providence. And Saturn indeed, is a God one and numerous, establishing multitude in himself, and occultly comprehending it in appropriate boundaries. But Jupiter expresses the paternal monad, and produces the unical nature of it into the providence of wholes. And the three sons of Saturn unfold into light the multitude which is there, in the all-perfect boundary of the triad. Hence also they are said to divide the kingdom of their father,239 which Jupiter possessed indivisibly. Hence, if it be requisite to speak boldly, he indeed is a proceeding father, hastening to arrange and adorn, and being parturient in order to the generation of wholes. But they distribute his providence. This however, is the same thing as to say they distribute the providence of Jupiter. For the progression to them was from each of these divinities, from Saturn indeed, according to the from which (αφ’ου), but from Jupiter according to the by which, υφ’ου.240 For Jupiter indeed, unfolds them into light; but they proceed from the Saturnian adyta.

If again, you are willing [to consider the affair] according to the Parmenides of Plato, since in the Saturnian order there are both wholeness and parts, if you assume the subsistence there of that which is in another, according to whole, but of that which is in itself, according to parts, Jupiter indeed, who is prior to the three, proceeds from his father according to whole; but the three demiurgi, according to parts. Hence, Jupiter reigns, possessing in himself, as Socrates says in the Philebus, a royal intellect. But they reign in a divided manner, and are allotted the universe according to parts. Hence therefore, the Elean guest in the Politicus, celebrates these two intellectual kings, one indeed, being the cause of the unapparent life to wholes, and of the other circulation, but the other being the source of the manifest order of things, and of the present period; and he attributes to Jupiter the cause of both these, periods. But at one time indeed, he ascribes this cause to Jupiter, as leading all things in the universe to the kingdom of Saturn; but at another, as binding to himself the providence of secondary natures. For he is united to his father by intellectual bonds, of which Socrates makes mention in the Cratylus. He is likewise a whole extended to a whole, and as it were adapts himself by his own light to the light of his father, and possesses a second dominion. Hence also, he is said to define the providence of his father. The Athenian guest however [in the Laws,] extending us to the one demiurgic kingdom, to the law, and the total justice which are there asserts, “that God, as it is said, possesses the beginning, middle, and end of all beings, and bounds all things by a circular progression according to nature, in a direct path.” For because we do not think it right to consider Plato here as speaking of the first God, or of any other of the intellectual or intelligible fathers, but of the whole demiurgus, it is sufficient for those who are moderately able to understand things of this kind, that he is said to bound all things in a direct path, and to proceed circularly according to nature. It is also sufficient, that Justice is said to be the attendant of this God, being the avenger of those who transgress the divine law. For the first God, and all the Gods who are established above the perfective order, are exempt from this rectilinear, and also from the circular progression, as Parmenides teaches us. They likewise transcend all motion. But the first that proceeds after motion, is the whole and all-perfect demiurgus. To this divinity therefore, it pertains to bound wholes in a direct path, to proceed circularly, and to be followed by Justice. For we say indeed, that the thing which follows, follows that which is moved.

Moreover, the Gods who are secondary to the demiurgus, have not a unical dominion over wholes as he has, nor do they antecedently assume the beginnings, middles and ends of all beings. But some of them indeed, preside over partial natures totally, as these three fathers; but others preside over wholes partibly, as those who pour upon all things the rivers of life, in a divided manner; and others preside over parts partibly, as the last of the demiurgi, and who are conversant with the world. The one and impartible demiurgus of wholes therefore, alone comprehends in himself, the beginning, middle, and end of all beings, and equally rules over all secondary natures according to one cause. But Justice follows him, bounding the desert of the whole of things, and circumscribing each thing in its proper limits. And these things the Athenian guest manifests in the above-mentioned words; but Orpheus clearly refers them to the whole demiurgus. For he says that total Justice follows him, now reigning over, and beginning to arrange and adorn the universe.

Justice th’ abundant punisher of crimes,
Aid and defence of all things, follows Jove.

Moreover, that Jupiter comprehends the beginnings, middles and ends of wholes, the theologist says, in addition to these things,

Jove’s the beginning, and the middle’s Jove,
And all things flow from Jove’s prolific mind.

And it appears to me that Plato looking to all the Grecian theology, and particularly to the Orphic-mystic discipline says, that God, according to the ancient assertion, possesses the beginning, middle, and end of all things, bounding the whole of things in a direct path, and proceeding circularly according to nature, and that he has Justice for his attendant,