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  Astrology and Neoplatonism

   Neoplatonism - the religious and philosophical direction which arose in the 3rd century AD and kept influence till 18th century. Late antique Neoplatonism was spiritual continuation of Hellenism and painted itself all final period of ancient philosophy. The basis it was made by Platon's doctrine in alloy with elements of an Aristotelianism, Stoicism and Pythagoreanism. The founder of Neoplatonism usually consider Plotinus or his teacher Ammonius Saccas. Neoplatonism promoted the general process of remythologization which took the Roman philosophy, sending it to the course of objective idealism. At an initial stage Neoplatonism sharply opposed itself to Christianity and, to a lesser extent, - to Gnosticism. Three main directions of late antique Neoplatonism differ:
   1. The direction which is going back to Plotinus - transcendental and idealistic, with hierarchical, in a basis a dualistic picture of the world in which the lowest place is allocated to matter. Cultivates mystical practice.
   2. The line going from Proclus. The inclination to pantheism, tendency to concrete and scientific reasonings is characteristic of it.
   3. Alexandrian Neoplatonism which is genetically connected with the line of Proclus. It was issued in compositions of Ammonius Hermiae (the end 5 - the beginning of 6 century) trying to synthesize Platon and Aristotle's exercises in a whole, which opened Neoplatonism for natural-science and logical speculation and brought closer it to Christianity. In patristics thanks to Augustine of Hippo and Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite there was a partial merge of Christian theology to Neoplatonism. Characteristic features of Neoplatonism: transcendental perception of god as the highest being who is not reduced to anything terrestrial; identification of thinking and existence as emanations of "the One"; from "the One" as degression followed life-mind (nous) with the ideas in it, the soul turned to mind and to the sensual space eternal in time in the life; spiritualizing of all mental; identification of knowledge of God with self-knowledge; appreciation of human identity; idea of beauty and harmony as about expression divine in an origin of the universe. S.S.Averintsev notices: "Neoplatonik saw the highest sample for human spirit in circular motion of the heavenly bodies which are evenly running on the same orbit and thus bringing the immovability moment in the movement, in the time (measured by their run) - the eternity moment. Stars "imitate" the mind which is permanently conceiving of itself, and the human mind has to "imitate" stars. Space is put essentially above the person, the astronomy - is higher than history, musical and mathematical regularity - above the free choice". Thus, neoplatonik not only recognized the right for existence behind astrology, but also were engaged in it: both Plotinus, and his pupil Porphyry; astrology questions were actively developed by representatives of the Syrian school of Neoplatonism led by Iamblichus; much attention was paid to studying of astrology by neoplatonik in Athens (Proclus, Marinus, other).
   The influence of neoplatonism is found in Arab thinkers (especially al-Razi and al-Farabi), in Thomas Aquinsky 's intellectuals, in medieval mysticism, among humanists (Ficino, Pico della Mirandola, Bruno), in I.Cepler 's teaching of harmony.


   Словарь античности
   Культура Византии. IV - первая половина VII в.