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Document Details :

Title: Marsanes
Subtitle: Un texte Sethien Platonisant?
Author(s): BRANKAER, J.
Journal: Le Muséon
Volume: 118    Issue: 1-2   Date: 2005   
Pages: 21-42
DOI: 10.2143/MUS.118.1.616482

Abstract :
Recent studies have dealt with the mutual influence of (mainly platonic) philosophy and Gnosticism. They have not only discussed the doctrinal aspects of this influence, but also situated them in a specific sociological and historical setting. These doctrinal, sociological and historical relations between Gnosticism and Platonism often need to be articulated with more precision to be able to judge their significance. How did the Gnostics integrate platonic material in their own systems and texts? We have examined the case of Marsanes (NH X), a Gnostic treatise that some scholars consider a “platonising sethian text”. A study of the technical and conceptual vocabulary of Marsanes shows that the author deliberately uses elements of platonic terminology to express some his own, Gnostic, concepts. The “platonic” vocabulary is not always used in a systematic or even consistent way. It doesn’t refer to the same conceptual reality as in it’s original context. The “platonic” elements do not seem to be essential components of the “system” of Marsanes, which can be entirely explained within the categories of its Gnostic worldview.

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