The aim of this paper is to expose Proclus, a fifth-century Athenian Platonist, as a key figure in a tradition of interpretation that exploited Plato's divided line as evidence for the attribution of a doctrine of mathematical intermediaries to Plato. I will claim that to fully appreciate the rationale behind Proclus's exegesis of the passage, it is necessary to read it against the backdrop of his Neoplatonic meta-physics—especially his views on the procession of all reality from a single principle and his particular views on the ontology of mathematical objects. I will further argue that Proclus's insistence on the harmony between Plato and Pythagoreanism is the main motive behind this interpretation. For Proclus, the divided line is a typical sample of what he regards as "Pythagorean theology," that is, instruction about the first principles of reality through mathematical images.


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pp. 575-599
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