Author:
Anna Lucia Furlan Dipartimento di Scienze Religiose, Facoltà di Lettere e Filosofia dell’Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milano, Italy

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Abstract

Cover and uncover: is the attempt to unveil and reveal the hidden meaning of the mysteries a paradox (Porph. Antr. 4. 16–17)? The present contribution aims at exploring Porphyry's interest in the commentary Περὶ τοῦ ἐν Ὀδυσσείᾳ τῶν νυμφῶν ἄντρου (Cave of the Nymphs) for the allegorical interpretation of images, symbols and terms variously linked with the Mysteries and encapsulating truths on the nature of the divine, the soul and ultimately the cosmos. More specifically, attention will be drawn mostly (but not only) on features connected with Orphism, here defined and understood as a form of ‘mysteriosophy’. The scope of this analysis falls within the study of Porphyry's use of allegorical exegesis but also within the broader discussion of different forms of philosophical religion in Late Antiquity, underscoring the complex but fruitful relationship between theology, philosophy and the Mysteries.

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