Apologetic Function of Allegoresis in the Derveni Papyrus Cover Image

Apologetyczna funkcja alegorezy w papirusie z Derveni
Apologetic Function of Allegoresis in the Derveni Papyrus

Author(s): Mikołaj Domaradzki
Subject(s): Philosophy, History of Philosophy, Ancient Philosphy
Published by: Instytut Filozofii i Socjologii Polskiej Akademii Nauk
Keywords: the Derveni papyrus; allegoresis; apology; Orpheus; Anaxagoras; Diogenes

Summary/Abstract: The presented paper argues that the purpose of allegoresis put forward in the Derveni papyrus is primarily apologetic, for its author seeks to reconcile the Orphic view of the world with that of the Anaxagorean school. Being a pious Orphic himself, the Derveni author regards, nevertheless, the authority of Orpheus as seriously challenged by the Presocratic physicists. Accordingly, he aims to show that the ostensibly naïve and/or blasphemous ideas that can be found in Orpheus’ poem (e.g. castration, cannibalism, incest) are in fact complex allegories of profound scientific truths. Thus, when translating the Orphictheogony into the language of Anaxagorean cosmology, the Derveni author suggests a sort of aggiornamento, as he endeavors to bring Orpheus’ poem up to date by demonstrating that it anticipates the major concepts of Anaxagorean physics.

  • Issue Year: 60/2015
  • Issue No: 60
  • Page Range: 11-23
  • Page Count: 13
  • Language: Polish