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230 SDIPLICII IN PHYSICORUM I 7 [Arist. p.

191 = 7]

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SIMPLICII IN PHYSICORUM I 7 [Arist. p. IDl»?] 231

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Translation 113
indefiniteness of this kind of extension and which puts a stop to its flight
from being. For it is worth pointing out that it is appropriate that matter 30
be that by which material things are distinguished from immaterial
ones,124 and they are distinguished by bulk and extension and divisibil-
ity and such things, not the extension, divisibility, etc. which are
determined with respect to measures, but those which are without
measure and indefinite and capable of being determined by formal
measures.
As Moderatus125 also recounts, among the Greeks the Pythagoreans 35
and after them Plato seem to be the first to have had this conception of
matter. For [Plato] following (kata) the Pythagoreans proclaims the first
One above Being and all substance, and he says that the second One,
which is what really is and is intelligible, is the Forms, and he says that 231,1
the third, the domain of Soul, participates in the One and the Forms,
and that the final nature after this, which is that of perceptibles, does
not even participate [in them], but it is ordered in terms of reflection
(emphasis) of these things, the matter in perceptibles being a shadow- 5
reflection of the not being which is first in quantity (poson) and being
even further below and derivative of this [not being]. Porphyry, who sets
out these views of Moderatus in the second book of On Soul, has written
that ‘As Plato says somewhere,126 the unified logos, wanting to bring
about the coming to be of things from itself, found room for127 the
quantity (posotês) of all things by privation of itself, depriving quantity
of its own128 logoi and forms. He129 called this thing formless, indivisible, 10
and shapeless quantity, but [said it is] receptive of form, shape, division,
quality, everything of this kind. He130 says that Plato seems to have
predicated many words of this quantity, “omnirecipient”131 and “form-
less”132 and “invisible”,133 and said it shares in a most perplexing way in
the intelligible134 and is barely graspable by a bastard reasoning135 and
all sorts of things like this. He136 says that this quantity and this form, 15
which is understood by privation of the unified logos which embraces all
the logoi of existing things in itself, are paradigms of the matter of
bodies, which itself, he said, was also called quantity (poson) by the
Pythagoreans and Plato, not quantity as form but quantity which is
derived from (kata) privation and loosening (paralusis) and extending
(ektasis) and spreading out (diaspasmos) [and exists] because of devia- 20
tion (parallaxis)137 from being, for which reason matter is also thought
to be evil since it flees away from the good. And it is apprehended by it
[the good] and is not allowed to escape determination, its extension
receiving the logos of eidetic magnitude and being determined by it, its
spreading-out being given form by numerical discrimination.’
So, according to this account, matter is nothing other than the 25
deviation (parallaxis) of perceptible forms in relation to intelligible
things, which have turned away from there138 and move down toward
not being. For it is clear that the bulk which is proper to perceptible
things is one thing and eidetic magnitude another, and that the disper-
Notes to pages 109-113 149
Tomus II, Oxford, 2009) of his commentary on Plato’s Parmenides. And in his
life of Proclus (H.D. Saffrey and A.-P. Segonds, Marinus: Proclus our Sur le
bonheur, Paris, 2001, 29.16-19) Marinus says that Proclus took Pericles with
him to the Athenian Asclepion in a successful attempt to cure a sick child.
102. We now get a series of arguments for the idea that first matter is
qualityless body.
103. Read protera instead of prôta apo, D.A.R.
104. Timaeus 52D4-6.
105. Timaeus 53A9-B5.
106. cf. Cael. 298b3-4 where Aristotle says that all natural substances either
are bodies or are meta sômatôn kai megethôn.
107. Now arguments against the claim that first matter is qualityless body.
108. 53C5-8.
109. That is, the whole corporeal universe.
110. Physics 4.9, 217a26-7.
111. Simplicius has a gar where Ross prints a de.
112. As opposed to ‘in relation to other things’.
113. cf. 225,30-226,1 with the note.
114. See 227,18-22.
115. 4. 2, 209b2-4.
116. That is, the kai offers a gloss, not an addition. cf. Simplicius’ commen-
tary on this passage at 536,24-30.
117. cf. Ennead 2.4, especially 8-12.
118. De Caelo 1.1, 268a1-2.
119. Simplicius has esti where our texts of Aristotle have ousa.
120. Here starts Simplicius’ own view, that matter is extension and body only
in a very different sense.
121. If this is an attack on Philoponus Against Proclus, it misrepresents his
view. See Introduction.
122. Read a comma here, not a full stop.
123. Again, Philoponus’ matter is not a measure which delimits. See Intro-
duction.
124. Again, a comma instead of a full stop.
125. On Moderatus, a Neopythagorean perhaps of the first century AD, see
R. Goulet, ed., Dictionnaire des philosophes antiques, and J. Dillon, The Middle
Platonists, London, 1977, pp. 344-51. 230,34-231,24 is Porphyry fr. 236F
(Smith); 230,34-231,5 is translated into English by Dillon (p. 347), and in
remainder is translated as item 17.f.3 of R. Sorabji, The Philosophy of the
Commentators, 200-600 AD. A Sourcebook, vol. 2: Physics, London, 2005. There
is a German translation of the whole fragment with commentary in H. Dörrie,
M. Baltes, Der Platonismus in der Antike, vol. 4, Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt, 1996,
pp. 176-9 and 477-85.
126. It is not clear where. Diels says ‘cf. Tim. p. 48 sqq.’, Baltes, in H.Dörrie,
M. Baltes, Der Platonismus in der Antike, vol. 4, Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt, 1996,
p. 177) refers (with a question mark) to lines in the Timaeus between 28A and
30A.
127. ekhôrêse; see Baltes 1996, pp. 481-2.
128. i.e., the logos’ own.
129. Plato?
130. Porphyry?
131. Timaeus 51A7.
132. aneideon. The word is not used by Plato, but cf. 211,16 (Boethus),
226,1-2, and 251,34.
150 Notes to pages 113-117
133. Timaeus 52A3.
134. cf. Timaeus 51A8-b1.
135. cf. Timaeus 52B2.
136. Porphyry?
137. The Neoplatonist view of Porphyry and Simplicius, remote from Aris-
totle’s, that matter is the deviation (parallaxis), turning away (ektropê,
paratropê) and decline (hupophora) of perceptible form from being and from
intelligible things to non-being, is given here at 230,23-6 and repeated at
231,8-26; 250,20; 255,12-16; 255,31-2; 774,8. 255,13-16 explains that participa-
tion in being halts the decline, so as to produce an image of being with an
intermediate status, that of non-genuine being. These intermediates are mate-
rial things consisting of matter and Aristotelian form. [The editor thanks Carlos
Steel for information.]
138. i.e., the intelligible world.
139. Diels indicates corruption here. The de is puzzling, and the word
ekmenousês (ekmenô) is not otherwise attested. D.A.R. points out that hu-
pomenousês would match 233.17.
140. 4. 2, 209b6-9. See Simplicius discussion of this passage, especially
537,22-538,14.
141. Simplicius has tautiei hê hulê doxei where our texts of Aristotle have
just hê hulê.
142. These are two views not so far discussed, although 230,15-16 has
attacked the first idea that what underlies forms can itself be form. The editor
thanks Dirk Baltzly for suggesting that this might be Simplicius’ description of
the fourth and lowest category that Proclus ascribes to some unnamed ‘ancients’
in his commentary on Plato’s Timaeus I, 233,2 (cf. II, 128,1ff.). The noetic realm
really has being; soul does not really have being; sensibles do not really not have
being; Matter really does not have being. This might be seen as still describing
matter ‘in terms of being’, but treating it as the worst of the forms.
143. This is the position of Damascius, an older contemporary of Simplicius
and one of his teachers; see his commentary on Plato’s Parmenides (L.G.
Westerink and J. Combès, Damascius: Commentaire du Parménide de Platon,
tome IV, Paris, 2003), 72,3-6 and 117,4-7, to which Carlos Steel adds Damascius
On First Principles 1.26 14; 68 22.
144. Here ends Simplicius’ substitution of his own view of matter for the
view, introduced at 227,23, that it is three-dimensional body without qualities.
145. With this paragraph see the third note on the lemma 191a17-18.
146. The mian of E, F, and the Aldine is preferable to the mia of D printed
by Diels.
147. A comma would be better here than a full stop.
148. cf. 2.1, 193b19-20.
149. Categories 5, 2a11-19.
150. Simplicius relies on a pseudonymous work ascribed to the fourth-
century Pythagorean Archytas. He quotes the passage he has in mind here in
his commentary on the Categories (CAG 8), 91,15-17 (= Thesleff (1965), 24,17-
19).
151. At Metaphysics 7.3, 1029a1-3 Aristotle divides the substratum (just said
to be one of four candidates for being substance) into matter, form, the com-
pound of them. In the next lines Simplicius gives his own summary account of
the positions Aristotle takes in book 7.
152. Phaedrus 245D4-6.
153. cf. 245C9.
154. Inserted from the Aldine by Diels.