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Institute of Classical Studies


As the study of later ancient philosophy has developed in recent years, it has offered new insights into both the continuing vigour of the Greco-Roman philosophical tradition and the interaction of that tradition with the new cultures of Christianity and of the Arab community. This volume addresses a key figure in this interaction. Porphyry (234?c.305 AD) was not only the greatest pupil of Plotinus and editor of his work but also a significant philosopher in his own right. Many aspects of Porphyry’s work have been re-appraised in recent years in the light of renewed interest in Neoplatonism as in later ancient philosophy in general. New editions and translations of Porphyry’s works have appeared enabling up-to-date discussion of issues such as his loyalty to the views of Plotinus, his attitude to Aristotle, his relationship to the culture of his time, and his afterlife in later Platonist commentators on Aristotle, in the Christian fathers, and in the Arabic tradition. A distinguished international group of scholars address these topics in this volume: Andrew Smith, Steven Strange, Riccardo Chiaradonna, Richard Sorabji, Anne Sheppard, Peter Lautner, George Karamanolis, Mark Edwards, Gillian Clark, and Peter Adamson. The papers were all given at a conference held at the Institute of Classical Studies in July 2004.