Plato's Code Cracked

A Dr Kennedy in England discovered a code based on ancient Greek musical notation hidden in 2000 pages of Plato’s writings. Here is his paper: … proofs.pdf

Some background on Dr Kennedy: … Invitation

I posted on this subject here:

Then I took a reference to the unsettling effect of the fifth into a segue on the diabolus in musica in modern western music, here:


I wonder what the implications are. That Plato played his public? To me that is no news.

Is it that Plato might have been more than a little influenced by Pythagoras? Bertrand Russell thought so, and I think perhaps that Kennedy’s work on the mathematics of music in his writing implies that Plato might have been a Pythagorean. My question is this. If he was, why not just say so and explain the music embedded in his work? I can’t help but have a sneaking suspicion that Kennedy might have been forcing or contriving his thesis on the music unless there were a reason for Plato to keep it esoteric. The Neoplatonists certainly took the Timaeus as an esoteric book anyway, as you can see in Raffaello’s Scuola di Atena.

As a passage in the 2nd link above says:

The second link also contains 2 or 3 other writings of his on the subject.

In my view, the Neoplatonists started something that has become romantically intoxicating to this day; and that is the idea of the great ur-mystery to be solved in the manner of a great conspiracy to be coded and hidden from an unsuspecting public until one day the great student adept will come along to solve it. Yet there is always something wrong or flawed at the very heart of the scholarship, and that is the idea that history is different from what it actually was, that the works we read were not written to say what they actually say, and that we must derive our own new metaphorical Rosetta Stone to solve the great ur-mystery that serves as the source for all that is holy or sacred in a traditional text. The only problem is that ideas don’t always get passed along in a direct way, and various scribes do not always tend to be very faithful in their attributions. I would question anybody who puts Giordano Bruno and Galileo in the same context. Bruno was a crazed Neoplatonist who believed all the historically flawed hogwash used to justify a system of magic and astrology that he used to create a system of mnemonics that the Chuch considered heretical. Galileo was a scientist whose discoveries using the scientific method were going to turn the religious view of the universe on its ear. Furthermore, Socrates was not actually executed for “sowing doubts about Greek religion,” but rather, according to I.F. Stone, he was arrested for teaching the sons of the rich elite a contempt for Athenian democracy. Students of Socrates like Critias, the cousin of Plato for whom The Crito is named, Charmides, his uncle and Alcibiades were the perpetrators who unleashed reigns of terror on two separate occasions that overthrew the democracy in favor of a kind of Junta called the Dictatorship of the Thirty and enforced by Spartan mercenaries. Between 411 and 401 BC There were two periods of this brutality as well as a third failed coup. The lower classes were stripped of the citizenship they had gained through battlefield valor; a couple centuries earlier, the property of rich foreign residents was stolen and more people murdered in the space of 8 mos during 404BC, than had died in a decade of the Peloponnesian War. Socrates didn’t aid nor approve of what went on but he didn’t resist it either, even when his own former student forbade his continuing his teaching. Stone [says] that Socrates could have easily escaped his fate.The complaints were against his teaching and beliefs. His associations with former dictators and refusal to disavow them gave Athenians sufficient reason to fear him; however, if he had defended himself on principle rather than going out of his way to antagonize the jury, he might well have won acquittal. In prosecuting someone for ideas and some vague reference to impiety Athens was violating its own traditions. Stone concludes that Socrates wanted to die and antagonized the jury so as to elicit a death sentence, seeing it as more seemly than suicide.

Now, if you consider the political landscape during Renaissance times when esoterica and conspiracy theories were gaining traction, you will see a great deal of internecine conflict, palace intrigue, poisonings, and espionage. Codes and conspiracies were in actuality a part of ruling and political life, along with paid informers and carrying with it a good deal of paranoia and distrust among all sorts of people, including philosophers and artists I would expect. Certainly philosophers and artists were not immune to paranoid fantasties and coded conspiracies, and some of them have managed to weave these ideas into their art greatly. That is what I was pointing to in my first post on this subject on the other board. Hell, even Shakespeare has been imagined to have used code language in his plays, presumably influenced by John Dee, who was an esoteric alchemist and member of the court alleged to have used magic to bring about the English victory over the Spanish Armada.

All this is very interesting and fun to read about and study, but I would suggest that any new theories be taken with a large grain of salt. It could well become the next esoteric mystery movie du jour and provide us some great entertainment. Too bad we are way past the age where our artists turn such things into great masterpieces like da Vinci, Raffaello, Nicholas Poussin and the Rennes de Chateau paintings. We might get another Dan Brown book out of it, though.


The Cabala is based on reading the Hebrew OT esoterically, using techniques like gematria and the like, I believe. The Neoplatonist Mirandola was obsessed with working the Cabala into his system of astrology and white magic, which he barely managed to make acceptable to the Church, largely through the influence of his patron and protector Lorenzo de’ Medici. However, not too long after Lorenzo died and a friendly Borgia Pope Alexander VI made his life safe again, it appears that poor Pico was dispatched with poison for his association with Savonarola. Poor guy, he always seemed to manage to stay on the wrong side of someone. Still, he had an amazingly interesting, amorous, and adventurous life for a pious mystical magus. He is definitely my favorite among all the Neoplatonists.

I added some information on the way the sharp 4 / flatted 5 is used in Metal here: