Luciana Gabriela Soares Santoprete is a Doctor of philosophy from EPHE. She is a research associate at the CNRS (Research Laboratory on Monotheisms and the Jean Pépin Centre). She has obtained grants to conduct research at Trinity College (Plato Centre, Dublin), at the Humboldt Foundation (Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität, Bonn), at the Jean Pépin Centre (Laboratory of Excellence HASTEC) and at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Nantes. She directed the European project “The ‘Dark Side’ of Late Antiquity. Esoteric currents and their influence in the Spirituality of Late Antiquity” and created the online database and research journal “Platonisms of Late Antiquity”. Her latest book is entitled “Language of gods, language of demons, language of men in Antiquity”. (Brepols, 2018).
Philosophy, philology, religions and digital humanities; metaphysics, epistemology and ethics; classical and late Antiquity; middle and neo-Platonism, Gnosticism, Christianity
A new history of Platonism in late Antiquity: tradition, innovation and philosophical and religious marginality
My research project is devoted to the study of philosophical and philosophico-religious Platonist texts from the Imperial Age and late Antiquity (Ist to VIth century) in their cultural context. It specifically aims to identify the questions broached by Plotinus with the Gnostics, and to demonstrate the importance of their debates for the development of different aspects of Plotinus’s thinking such as epistemology, ontology and ethics.
This research on the intertext of Plotinus fills a historiographical gap. Since the publication of Henry Schwyzer at the beginning of the XXth century, researchers have concentrated on shedding light on textual problems related, in particular, to Platonist, Peripatetic, Stoïc and Epicurean sources, but have neglected the Gnostics, who are indeed the Platonists contemporary of Plotinus, and are among his principal adversaries.
I am, therefore, preparing, along with Michel Tardieu (College of France), an annotated and commented edition of the Traité 33 (II.9) from Plotinus, based on the translation bequeathed to us by Pierre Hadot (work to be published by Vrin), as well as the commentary of the anonymous Gnostic text from the Bruce Codex, known and discussed in the school of Plotinus. The study of the debate between Plotinus and the Gnostics based upon these texts is crucial in order to understand the history of thinking, because this controversy presents a very original overview of the philosophical themes and doctrines of the major authors of classic Antiquity, (Plato, Aristotle). Moreover, it is through Plotinus that the Greek and Roman cultures were handed down to medieval Christianity, to Arab-Islamic thinking and to the humanistic Renaissance, and have, as such, been transmitted to modern Europe. Newly discovered data is systematically inserted into the digital device “The Platonisms of Late Antiquity”.