By Jonathan Musgrave

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10), and the nature of the soul (Amb. ) Ambigua 23-30 are concerned with questions pertaining to the use of language with respect to the relationship between God and the world (Amb. 23), that of the Father and Son (Amb. 24-28), and the titles that are given to the Son (Amb. ) Ambiguum 71,71 which I shall discuss at the end of this introduction, serves as a sort of epilogue to the collection of Ambigua and places all of Maximus’ speculation about the cosmos within the domain of “play” in relation to the intellectual reality that lies behind cosmic appearances.

It is necessary to pass through a false but seemingly acceptable account of reality if one is finally to overcome error. 60-61). A plausible—and false—account is given 108 See Jaap Mansfeld, Offenbarung des Parmenides und die menschliche Welt (Assen: Van Gorcum, 1964), 156-162, and Leonardo Tarán, Parmenides (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1965), 202-216 for different accounts of the possible translations of this passage. ” 51 and it is the denial of it that moves Parmenides to the unity of νοῦς and τὸ ἐόν and steels him against falling into error and away from reality.

35 natural philosophy as περὶ φύσεως ἱστορία so that giving a coherent, fact-based account of nature becomes, in Maximus, a game God allows human beings to play in order to teach them greater things through the principles they learn while experiencing nature. 82 The disciplined contemplation of nature, then, is a sort of game we play in order to begin to learn the principles of what we shall encounter when we reach the maturity of the future age. It is not disconnected from that reality; it is, after all, the Word himself who “plays” in visible things so that the games are filled with divine wisdom.

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