Plato’s Works: A Regular Spice Rack of Heresies

Tertullian, de Anima XXIII:

“In good faith, I grieve that Plato has become the spice merchant of all the heretics. You see in his Phaedo his souls going here and there. Just so, in the Timaeus, that the progeny of God, as they are about to give themselves to birth, receive an immortal soul and gird it round with a mortal body. Further, we read that this world is just the image of some other. In order to commend all of these things to our credulity, he has elaborated the argument that the soul in previous times had dealt with God and shared in the Ideas, from whence it then came here and re-learned those things which it previously knew by reviewing exempla. This idea was μαθήσεις ἀναμνήσεις, that is ‘memories as lessons.’ For he teaches that the souls coming here forget the circumstances in which they formerly existed, and then remember what they learned from these visible proofs. Since, then, those things which the heretics have adopted are bound up in this sort of argument from Plato, I will crush the argument of the heretics if I disprove the argument of Plato.”

Doleo bona fide Platonem omnium haereticorum condimentarium factum. Illius est enim et in Phaedone, quod animae hinc euntes sint illuc, et inde huc ; item in Timaeo, quod genimina dei delegata sibi mortalium genitura accepto initio animae immortali mortale ei circumgelauerint corpus; tum, quod mundus hic imago sit alterius alicuius. Quae omnia ut fidei commendet, et animam retro in superioribus cum deo egisse in commercio idearum et inde huc transuenire et hic quae retro norit de exemplaribus recensere, nouum elaborauit argumentum, μαθήσεις ἀναμνήσεις, id est discentias reminiscentias esse; uenientes enim inde huc animas obliuisci eorum in quibus prius fuerint, dehinc ex his uisibilibus edoctas recordari. Cum igitur huiusmodi argumento illa insinuentur a Platone quae haeretici mutuantur, satis haereticos repercutiam, si argumentum Platonis elidam

3 thoughts on “Plato’s Works: A Regular Spice Rack of Heresies

  1. Oh you don’t like the divine Plato, Tertullian? You don’t see any value in one of the greatest Greek minds? Three words, jabroni: GOSPEL OF JOHN

    Tertullian wasn’t fit to lick Plato’s sandal…

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