Science Historian Cracks the 'Plato Code'

by glenster 3 Replies latest social current

  • glenster

    ScienceDaily (June 29, 2010) — Plato was the Einstein of
    Greece's Golden Age and his work founded Western culture
    and science. Dr Jay Kennedy's findings are set to revolu-
    tionise the history of the origins of Western thought.

    Dr Kennedy, whose findings are published in the leading
    US journal Apeiron, reveals that Plato used a regular
    pattern of symbols, inherited from the ancient followers
    of Pythagoras, to give his books a musical structure.
    A century earlier, Pythagoras had declared that the
    planets and stars made an inaudible music, a 'harmony of
    the spheres'. Plato imitated this hidden music in his books.

    The hidden codes show that Plato anticipated the Scien-
    tific Revolution 2,000 years before Isaac Newton, discover-
    ing its most important idea--the book of nature is written
    in the language of mathematics. The decoded messages also
    open up a surprising way to unite science and religion.
    The awe and beauty we feel in nature, Plato says, shows that
    it is divine; discovering the scientific order of nature is
    getting closer to God. This could transform today's culture
    wars between science and religion.

    "Plato's books played a major role in founding Western
    culture but they are mysterious and end in riddles," Dr
    Kennedy, at Manchester's Faculty of Life Sciences explains.

    "In antiquity, many of his followers said the books con-
    tained hidden layers of meaning and secret codes, but this
    was rejected by modern scholars.

    "It is a long and exciting story, but basically I cracked
    the code. I have shown rigorously that the books do contain
    codes and symbols and that unraveling them reveals the hidden
    philosophy of Plato.

    "This is a true discovery, not simply reinterpretation."

    This will transform the early history of Western thought,
    and especially the histories of ancient science, mathematics,
    music, and philosophy.

    Dr Kennedy spent five years studying Plato's writing and
    found that in his best-known work the Republic he placed
    clusters of words related to music after each twelfth of the
    text--at one-twelfth, two-twelfths, etc. This regular pattern
    represented the twelve notes of a Greek musical scale. Some
    notes were harmonic, others dissonant. At the locations of the
    harmonic notes he described sounds associated with love or
    laughter, while the locations of dissonant notes were marked
    with screeching sounds or war or death. This musical code was
    key to cracking Plato's entire symbolic system.

    Dr Kennedy, a researcher in the Centre for the History of
    Science, Technology and Medicine, says: "As we read his books,
    our emotions follow the ups and downs of a musical scale.
    Plato plays his readers like musical instruments."

    However Plato did not design his secret patterns purely for
    pleasure--it was for his own safety. Plato's ideas were a dan-
    gerous threat to Greek religion. He said that mathematical
    laws and not the gods controlled the universe. Plato's own
    teacher had been executed for heresy. Secrecy was normal in
    ancient times, especially for esoteric and religious knowledge,
    but for Plato it was a matter of life and death. Encoding his
    ideas in secret patterns was the only way to be safe.

    Plato led a dramatic and fascinating life. Born four centur-
    ies before Christ, when Sparta defeated plague-ravaged Athens,
    he wrote 30 books and founded the world's first university,
    called the Academy. He was a feminist, allowing women to study
    at the Academy, the first great defender of romantic love (as
    opposed to marriages arranged for political or financial
    reasons) and defended homosexuality in his books. In addition,
    he was captured by pirates and sold into slavery before being
    ransomed by friends.

    Dr Kennedy explains: "Plato's importance cannot be overstated.
    He shifted humanity from a warrior society to a wisdom society.
    Today our heroes are Einstein and Shakespeare--and not knights
    in shining armour--because of him."

    Over the years Dr Kennedy carefully peeled back layer after
    symbolic layer, sharing each step in lectures in Manchester and
    with experts in the UK and US.

    He recalls: "There was no Rosetta Stone. To announce a result
    like this I needed rigorous, independent proofs based on crystal-
    clear evidence.

    "The result was amazing--it was like opening a tomb and finding
    new set of gospels written by Jesus Christ himself.

    "Plato is smiling. He sent us a time capsule."

    Dr Kennedy's findings are not only surprising and important;
    they overthrow conventional wisdom on Plato. Modern historians
    have always denied that there were codes; now Dr Kennedy has
    proved otherwise.

    He adds: "This is the beginning of something big. It will take a
    generation to work out the implications. All 2,000 pages contain
    undetected symbols.

  • Mad Sweeney
    Mad Sweeney

    I would hope there is a statistical analysis on whether Kennedy's found codes are likely to have been intentional or whether they may have appeared in the text spontaneously. Seems like one could look hard enough and create a code to fit any text you're working on and words like "proof" in a supposedly scientific article give me pause.

  • glenster

    Here's a little more about his method:

    Dr Kennedy said the key to unlocking the code came from the 12 notes of the
    Greek musical scale, which he said was popular among followers of Pythagoras.

    Using computer technology, he restored contemporary versions of Plato's
    manuscripts to their original form, which he said consisted of lines of 35
    characters, with no spaces or punctuation.

    Dr Kennedy discovered that some key phrases, themes and words occurred during
    regular intervals throughout, which matched the spacing in the 12 note scale.

    He found that the restored texts followed a curious pattern and had line
    lengths involving multiples of the number 12. "The Apology," for example, has
    1,200 lines, "The Symposium" has 2,400 and "The Republic" has 12,000.

    He doesn't believe this is a coincidence, as most educated people in ancient
    Athens would have been aware of the importance of line counts. Scribes were
    often paid by the line, and, as authors often chose not to give their manu-
    scripts titles, librarians would have labeled them according to the number of

    The recurring pattern, Kennedy says, chimes with the 12-note Greek musical
    scale, supposedly pioneered by Pythagoras. And after dividing the texts into
    equal 12ths, the Manchester academic found that "major turns in the argument and
    major concepts" matched the spacings of musical notes. In every 1,000 lines in
    the 12,000-line "Republic," for example, Kennedy observed that Plato turned to
    the theme associated with the relevant note on the scale. Musings on love or
    laughter appear at the third, fourth, sixth, eighth and ninth "notes," which
    were considered harmonious by the ancient Greeks. At the more dissonant fifth,
    seventh, 10th and 11th "notes," meanwhile, the philosopher engaged with matters
    of war or death

    The Apology has 1,200 lines; the Protagoras, Cratylus, Philebus and Symposium
    each have 2,400 lines; the Gorgias 3,600; the Republic 12,200; and the Laws

    Kennedy has also found that the enigmatic "divided line" simile in the
    Republic, in which Plato describes a line divided by an unstated ratio, falls
    61.7% of the way through the dialogue. It has been thought that the line refers
    to the golden mean, which expressed as a percentage is 61.8%.

  • Mad Sweeney
    Mad Sweeney

    Cool stuff. What would really be cool is if his publication came with a CD with the music actually played on it, too. I wonder how it sounds.

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