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Plotinus against Gnostics: a New Survey (PaGaNS)
Start date: Jul 1, 2015, End date: Jun 30, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The PaGaNS project aims to prepare, in 2 years, a new constitution of the text and a new thorough philological commentary to three Plotinian anti-Gnostic treatises (III.8 [30], V.8 [31], V.5 [32]). Since the philological research on Plotinus’ works has been neglected after Henry – Schwyzer’s ed. minor (1982), there is still much scope for philological analysis in the Enneads. It is unavoidable to examine the sources for the reconstruction of Gnostic thought and Plotinus’ polemic fight, e.g. the Nag-Hammadi Coptic texts. Moreover, these three treatises (together with tr. II.9 [33], the critical text and commentary of which have already been prepared) have often been considered part of a single essay (the so-called Großschrift), a suggestion that has found many opponents and certainly needs a fresh analysis. The PaGaNS project will be carried out this way: 1) new collation of the medieval manuscripts; 2) philological analysis of the text; 3) new examination of H.-S.’ textual choices; 4) preparation of a philological commentary explaining all editorial choices and proposing new solutions for all textual issues; 5) new examination of the Großschrift theory; 6) new examination of all Gnostic sources (e.g. the Nag-Hammadi rolls, Irenaeus). PaGaNS project’s outcomes will be two Belles Lettres volumes (Collection Budé, C.U.F), which are intended to be part of a new edition of the entire Plotinian corpus, an international project called Projet Plotin, conceived and led by Prof. J.-M. Narbonne (Univ. Laval, Québec, CA). This multidisciplinary/interdisciplinary project aims to create a research network including all Projet Plotin centers (located in Canada, USA, Brazil, Italy) and the CNRS (part., the Centre Jean Pépin/UPR 76), French host of the project. The PaGaNS project also aims to provide ERA with a deeper understanding of Plotinus’ thought and of the 3rd century cultural/religious background to the history of Christianity and to the birth of the idea of Europe itself.
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