19 Novemeber 2021 3pm

Laura Marongiu (University of Cologne)

On line seminar - to register, please send an email to silvia.debianchi@unimi.it

This video is part of the PROTEUS project that has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (Grant agreement No. 758145)


In Plato’s Timaeus, it is said that the World Soul came to be before the world’s body and is prior to and older than it. This claim raises several questions. For instance, did the World Soul in fact come into being? Did its generation take place in time? Can the World Soul be both generated and imperishable? By addressing these questions, I shall explore how the World Soul’s “birth” is related to the controversial issue of the generation of the cosmos and of time. In addition, I shall consider the implications for the World Soul’s “creation” in the light of the Phaedrus, where the soul is explicitly described as ungenerated. Finally, Plutarch’s and Proclus’ views on psychogony are put in conversation with each other. Specifically, I show how the two commentators, while sharing some similar exegetical strategies and concerns, arrive at two different, and indeed conflicting, readings of the Platonic text.