Proclus’s Commentary on Plato’s Republic contains in its fifth and sixth essays the only systematic analysis of the workings of the allegorical text to reach us from polytheist antiquity. In the context of defending Homer against the criticisms leveled by Socrates in the Republic, Proclus, a late-antique polytheist thinker, provides not only a rich selection of interpretive material, but also an analysis of Homer’s polysemous text whose influence can be observed in the work of the founder of modern semiotics, Charles Sanders Peirce. This first modern translation into English, with Greek text facing and limited commentary, makes it possible to appreciate the importance of Proclus in the history of both hermeneutics and semiotics.
Robert Lamberton is Professor of Classics at Washington University in St. Louis. He is the author of Homer the Theologian: Neoplatonist Allegorical Reading and the Growth of the Epic Tradition (University of California Press), Hesiod, and Plutarch (both from Yale University Press) and co-editor of Homer’s Ancient Readers (Princeton University Press) and [Plutarch] Essay on the Life and Poetry of Homer (Scholars Press).
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