Markus Vinzent's Blog About this Blog. Hudry, Le livre des vingt-quatre philosophes , Histoire des doctrines de l'antiquite classique 39 Paris, the oldest version in ms. Laon, , ff. Contrary to Hudry, however, I do neither think, the text is by Marius Victorinus - I think, the definitions and the commentary derive from two different sources -, nor do I believe that the Laon manuscript preserves an older version, yet a version that is sometimes better, sometimes more corrupt than the younger manuscripts. Liber viginti quattor philosophorum.
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Markus Vinzent's Blog About this Blog. Hudry, Le livre des vingt-quatre philosophes , Histoire des doctrines de l'antiquite classique 39 Paris, the oldest version in ms. Laon, , ff. Contrary to Hudry, however, I do neither think, the text is by Marius Victorinus - I think, the definitions and the commentary derive from two different sources -, nor do I believe that the Laon manuscript preserves an older version, yet a version that is sometimes better, sometimes more corrupt than the younger manuscripts.
Liber viginti quattor philosophorum. Book of 24 Philosophers. Congregatis viginti quattuor philosophis, solum eis in quaestione remansit: quid est Deus? L add. While the 24 Philosophers were brought together, amongst them the only question remained: Who is God? L: Of these, one made the following suggestion. Haec definitio data est secundum imaginationem primae causae, prout se numerose multiplicat in se, ut sit L: fuerit multiplicans acceptus sub unitate, multiplicatus sub binario, reflexus sub ternario.
Sic quidem L add. So it is, namely, L: also with numbers L: the many : Each single unity has its own number, insofar as it reflects the diversity from the others. Haec definitio data est per modum imaginandi ut continuum L: centrum ipsam primam causam in vita sua. Terminus L: Circulus quidem suae extensionis est supra ubi et extra terminans. Propter hoc ubique est centrum eius, nullam habens in communia dimensionem.
Sic patet propositum. This definition is given as a way of imagining that the continuum L: centre is the very first cause in its own life. Therefore, its centre is everywhere, and has no common dimension. Asked for the circumference of its sphere, he states that it is elevated into infinity, as what is without dimension, was like the creator, is L: also the beginning and so L: its the end is nowhere. From which the proposition is clear. Haec definitio data est secundum considerationem essentiae divinitatis in sua simplicitate.
Cum non sit aliquid ipsi resistens, ipsa simul ubique tota L: data ens, et etiam similiter super et extra ubique non distrahitur defectu virtutis alicuius in ipsa deficientis, nec stat terminata L: etiam aliter sic virtute alieni dominantis. This definition is given in consideration of the essence of the Godhead in its simplicity.
Haec definitio dicit vitam propriam secundum rationes diversas ipsius essentiae deitatis. This definition expresses life proper of the essence of the Godhead itself with regards to diverse aspects. Namely it mentions that what generates, generates itself; yet, what is generated speaks itself out as word L: verifies itself , because it is generated; but it is adequated by way of continuation, which preserves itself as spiration.
L: and so remains. Haec definitio data est a fine. Unitas vero finis est et perfectio. Quod ergo sonat hoc, bonum est L om. Gaudium ergo veritatis omnis essentiae sua vita est, vita quidem omnis ab unitate, haec L: hoc autem ab interiori L: inferiori indivisione. Quanto igitur magis unum L: imum , tanto magis vivit. Sua unitas summa est. This definition is given with regards the end. Namely the oneness of the end is also perfection. What, therefore, sounds accordingly, is good, and what sounds more so, is so much better.
Joy, therefore, of all true essence is its life, all life derives from oneness, this, however, from being undivided within L: below. The more, therefore, something is one L: below , the more it is alife. Its oneness is the utmost one. L: And so the proposition is evident. Haec definitio datur L: data est sub relatione. Subiectum quoque accidentis propria substantia est cum aliena.
Quae aliena si recedit, perit accidens, id est proprietas agens. Relatione ergo ad primum agens L: causam omnis substantia accidens est, et accidens nihil, et substat nihil substantiae ut alienum L: accidens ut et substantia nihil. Substantia divina est ut substantia propria quae non fluit. L: Et est aliena autem substantia divina, ut est propria substantia quae non fluit. This definition is given with regards to relation. The subject, too, of an accidens is its proper substance, although an alien one.
If the alien recedes, the accidens perishes, namely its acting propriety. In relation, therefore, to the first actor L: cause , all substance is accidens, and any accidens is nothing, and it is not anything of substance, but what is alien. Only the divine substance is a proper substance which is not flowing. L: The divine substance, however, is also alien, as it is a proper substance that is not flowing.
Genitor vero primum capit ratione geniturae, sed non sic L: om. Genitus vero procedit generatione in finem, sed non recipit variationem natura natura] L: ut medii.
Intendit enim quod idem est finis vero nomine generantis et geniti, quia non est vita divina nisi unum medio L: medium tantum; sed non est finis L: om. This definition is given with regard to the specific nature [of the divine] L: with regard to the species of the centre. What is being generated comes forth by generation towards its end, but being of a medium being of a medium] L: as nature does not suffer variation.
Haec definitio data L: om. In prima causa id a quo vita et est ipsum a est ipsum] L: sperma quo vita tota. Igitur id ipsum est fons L add. Quod si rei creatae unitas unitas] L: illius generantis et geniti ad illam penitus se inclinat, revertendo per viam regressionis, tunc est id ipsum amor creaturae, prout ordinata est creatura ab ipso L: ipso] L: ipsa cui quanto magis te unificaveris L: vivificaveris , tanto exaltaberis et tanto elevabitur.
Et hoc eius latere est. This definition is related L: om. In the first cause that from which life stems is also the one itself stems is also the one itself] L: also the semen stems from which all life stems. Therefore this itself is the well L add. If in the created thing the oneness the oneness] L: that of what generates and is generated inclines itself most inwardly towardes that one, reverting by way of regression, then this is itself the love of the creature to which creature has been ordained by him L: it , and the more you unify L: live yourself with him L: it , the more you will be exalted and the more he will be elevated.
And this is how he himself hides. Haec definitio est secundum formam. Totum quidem uno aspectu omnes partes videt, pars vero totum non videt, nisi diversis respectibus et successivis. Propter hoc deitas est L: om. Unde intuitus eius unicus est, L add.
This definition relates to form. The totality namely sees the parts in one look, whereas the part does not see the totality, unless from diverse perspectives and succesively. Therefore, the Godhead is the totality of successive things. Wherefore its intuition is unique and not the result of a process. Haec definitio patet per quartam et septimam. In posse creato caro] L: et caro , et primo inventus est numerus, secundum plura aut pauciora opera educentia possibile ad actum L: accidentia , quia, si sint infinita, impossibile dicitur.
Eius enim L: om. Omne esse clausionem dicit finitatis alicuius. Unde a centro ad esse L add. In divino esse non est sic L: non sic autem est in divino esse , sed opera infinita a centro ad extimum a centro ad extimum] L: ad ostium et actum. Unde sua clausio infinita est et actu non impossibilis L: possibilis , nisi quia necesse L: necessario existens. Unde sequitur quod etiam redeundo est i L: om.
This definition is clear from the fourth and seventh [definition]. In the created L: om. Wherefore from the centre to L add. In the Godhead, however L: om. Therefore, its closure is infinite and action not impossible L: possible , if not even necessary. It follows therefore that also in returning, endless goodness is the way which is the more secure from being into the unity of the centre. Haec definitio formalis est, sed sed] L: et etiam a quo materia relata.
Esse omne clausionem dicit. Superest igitur qui non clauditur. Et L: Est necesse quia malum non habet, quia non clauditur, sed infinita possibilitate. This is a formal, but relational definition formal, but relational definition] L: formal definition and also one from which matter is related. Being is said to be totally closed. Therefore, what is above being is not closed. And L: om. Thus neither it is drawn away, being itself above L: and being, as it never moves away from itself, but returns to itself, and isn not in need of the totality, but in excess of it.
Textkit Greek and Latin Forums
The first textual witness is from a 12th-century French manuscript currently at Laon. Both definitions and commentary echo and weave numerous late ancient and medieval views on the First Cause and the nature of divinity. During the Middle Ages, the Liber was variously attributed to Hermes Trismegistos , Aristotle or simply quoted anonymously by theologians and philosophers. Contemporary scholarship is still inconclusive about the origin and authorship of the text. There are notably German, French and Italian studies of the text available,  with no English translation yet in print, although online editions exist.
Liber XXIV Philosophorum: Editio Minima
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