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Storytime: A cavern pleasant, though involv’d in night. Reading Porphyry’s On the Cave of the Nymphs, Part II

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We conclude the pleasant, though involv’d in night, task of reading through Porphyry’s On the Cave of the Nymphs in Homer’s Odyssey. Delights abound.

Works Cited in this Episode:

  • Odysseus as image of the humans soul’s return to its true homeland: cf. Plot. Enn. I.6[1]8.16, quoting Homer Il. 2.140, then moving on to reminiscences of Od. 2.29 ff. and 10.483-4.
  • Pherecydes of Syros on the recesses, caves, hollows, and so forth : B 6 D-K.
  • Plato on the two ‘openings’ (pace Porphyry, these are actually four in the Myth of Er, each set of openings having an ‘in’ and an ‘out’ opening): Republic 614c1-3; d4-5; 615d4-e4. The soul as wine-jar: Gorg. 493d6-494a5.
  • Proclus on the solstitial gates: In R . 2.128.26-129.21 Kroll = Numenius F 35 des Places = Test. 42 Leemans.

Recommended Reading:

See the previous episode for generally-relevant bibliography. For a detailed discussion of the solstitial gates in relation to the ecliptic and the torchbearers, see R. L. Beck. The Religion of the Mithras Cult in the Roman Empire: Mysteries of the Unconquered Sun. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2006, 209–14.