Plato’s Symposium addresses the subject of human nature (anthrōpinen physin) in its former state (palai hemōn physis) (189D). According to the speaker, Aristophanes, there were not two but three “kinds” (ta genē) of humans: male (arren), female (thēlu), and an equal combination of both male and female (ampheterōn) (189D). In this third type, male and female are joined into the form (eidos) of one unity, androgynon (189E). This androgynon is quite vital, which, according to Aristophanes, threatens the gods who thus split the form in half, creating the separate forms, male and female. Each has only a portion of the original vigor and is therefore no longer a concern to the divine patriarchy. Aristophanes says, this “man-woman” nature has ultimately been vanished (aphanistai), and Aristophanes himself appears to devalue it by referring to it as a “thing” (auto). Other notions of androgyny also occur. The ancient Gnostic text Interrogationes maiores Mariaequoted by Epiphanius of Salamis...
- Anselm of Canterbury. (1940–1961). Opera omni (F.S. Schmitt, Ed.). Edinburgh: Thomas Nelson & Sons.Google Scholar
- Bernard of Clairvaux. (1987). Selected works. In G. R. Evans (Ed.), The classics of western spirituality. New York: Paulist Press.Google Scholar
- Jung, C. G. (1969). Aion: Researches into the phenomenology of the self (trans: Hull, R. F. C.). Princeton: Princeton University Press, Bollingen Series XX.Google Scholar
- Plato. (1964). Symposium, Gorgias (trans: Lamb, W.R.). Loeb Classical Library, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
- The Panarion of St. Epiphanius. (1990). (trans: Amidon, P. R.). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar