Proclus—or “Proclus of Athens” as he is sometimes known—is widely and rightly considered to be one of the most significant later Neoplatonist philosophers. At age 40 (c. 437 CE), or so, Proclus became Head of the revived Plato’s Academy in Athens. In his role for the next 50 years the unmarried Proclus worked hard, combining effectively the roles of administrator, teacher, and writer. Astronomy, ethics, mathematics, physics, theology—Proclus tackled all of those topics that together fell under the umbrella of philosophy in his time. The Elements of Theology was his most important work. Elements contains 211 separate propositions. Each proposition, or theorem, is followed by a brief description, or explanation, of the proposition. And each successive proposition builds on those that had come before. Propositions 1 through 112 lay out various Neoplatonic antitheses: “one” and “many”; “cause” and “effect’; the “moved” and the “unmoved”; the “perpetual” and the “dated existence in a part of time”; “wholes and parts”; “active” and “passive”; “finite” and “infinite”; etc. Propositions 113 through 211 work within and between those now-established antitheses showing the relations between “divine henads, or gods,” “intelligences”, and “souls.” Translation: Thomas Taylor. This recording opens with a helpful introduction to the life and work of Proclus by Mark G. Spencer
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