Theophilos Korydalleus' Funeral Oration and its Aristotelian Thematic on the Soul

Published: Sep 30, 2019
Theophilos Corydalleus Funeral Oration Aristoteles thematic On the Soul Poulcheria Michael Vlastos megas ecclesiarches Ecumenical Patriarchate Phanariotic society
Βασίλειος Ι. Τσιότρας

Among the various writings of Theophilos Corydalleus, focusing on the Aristotelian interpretation and teaching practice at the major Academies of the Hellenic world under Ottoman rule, we find a unique work, a Funeral Oration. It was performed by Corydalleus himself in Constantinople in the decade of 1630-40 in honor of Poulcheria, a young woman who passed away in her youth. The departed came from an aristocratic family of the Phanariotic society, since her father, Michael Vlastos was a high-ranking officer of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. This discourse is preserved by five manuscripts and it is written in an elaborate demotic Greek language, enriched with a lot of ancient Greek wording and stylistic elements. The main goal of this paper is to study the manuscript tradition, the content and the sources (mainly Aristotelian and secondly patristic or biblical) and to produce a critical edition of the text. In this Oration, Corydalleus managed to simplify in a vivid and fluent language major Aristotelian doctrines concerning death, such as the separation of the soul from the body, the immortality of the soul, the meaning of fear, and the perception of time etc.


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