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Title: Encountering the divine in Late Roman Pagan (auto)biographical works
Author: Remoundos, Ioannis.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3513 6934
Awarding Body: Royal Holloway, University of London
Current Institution: Royal Holloway, University of London
Date of Award: 2002
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This thesis offers a close study of three sets of late Roman texts that are (auto)biographical in nature and concern the presentation of lives of pagan holy men, their spiritual quest and their personal encounters with the Divine. The thesis starts with an Introduction, where the aims of the study are defined, followed by three chapters that deal successively with 1) The Sacred Tales of Aelius Aristides 2) Philostratus' Life ofApollonius of Tyana 3) Neoplatonic biographical works, i. e., Porphyry's Life ofPlotinus and the Life of Pythagoras, Iamblichus' On the Pythagorean Way of Life, Eunapius' Lives of the Philosophers, Marinus' Life ofProclus, and Damascius' Philosophical History (also known as Life oflsidore). The main goal of the thesis is the elucidation of the theological content of the aforementioned (auto)biographical texts, which is based on a detailed examination of (a) the means used in the process of contacting the Divine or even achieving union with It; (b) the ways in which this contact or union takes place, given the psychological and spiritual conditioning of the seekers; (c) the effect that the phenomenon of union has both on the pagan holy men themselves and on their followers and their environment in general. In ordert o achievet he goal of the thesis,t he interpretationo f the sourcesc ombines (auto)biographya ndi ts religious/p hilosophicalb ackground:in otherw ords,t he theological content of each source is explicated in the light of its spiritual and intellectual foundations. This particular kind of analysis shows that the accounts of personal encounters with the Divine under study share -despite their differences- a number of similar elements or patterns (presented in an orderly way in the fourth, and concluding, chapter), hence revealing that certain features of Neoplatonic spirituality can be detected in earlier literary expressions of Graeco-Roman religious thought
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available