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Myths of the soul - philosophic insights from ancient myths 1

Ancient myth and the Platonic tradition: a key to understanding ourselves?

Damascius' Seven Myths of the Soul

Damascius was the last head of the Athenian Academy before it was closed by imperial edict in 529 AD: he was, therefore, the inheritor of more than one thousand years of unbroken philosophic learning. In his Commentary on Plato's Phaedo he touches on the symbolic meaning of various myths and gave this verse as a certain explanation of the path of the soul:

The soul descends into generation, after the manner of Kore;

She is scattered by generation, after the manner of Dionysus;

Like Prometheus and the Titans, she is bound to body.

She frees herself by exercising the strength of Heracles;

Gathers herself together through the help of Apollo

And the saviour Athene, by truly purifying philosophy;

And she elevates herself to the causes of her being with Demeter.

In this and two further sessions (Feb 22 & March 21) we will explore the myths of Kore (Persephone), Dionysus, the titan Prometheus, Heracles, Apollo, Athene and Demeter and attempt to trace the mysterious path that Platonic philosophy suggests we are all following.

In this meeting we'll look at the power of myth in general, and then retell the myths of Persephone and Dionysus. As usual, we should have the best part of an hour for a group discussion of the issues arising.

No previous experience of formal philosophy is required.

Entrance in free, but donations between £3-5 will be welcomed.

A PDF download of the outline of the two myths we will be concentrating on is available on our website together with further details of this and other Prometheus Trust's activities: www.prometheustrust.co.uk (the PDF is on the "London Monday Evenings" page.)


Tim Addey | talks | www


Date and Time:

25 January 2016 at 7:30 pm


1 hour 30 minutes



Cecil Sharp House
2 Regent’s Park Road

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Organised by:

The Prometheus Trust
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£5 (concessions £3)

Available from:

Donations at the door.

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