Authority and Authoritative Texts

in the Platonist Tradition

Michael Erler, Jan Erik Hebler & Federico M. Petrucci, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2021


All disciplines can count on a noble founder, and the representation of this founder as an authority is key in order to construe a discipline’s identity. This book sheds light on how Plato and other authorities were represented in one of the most long-lasting traditions of all time. It leads the reader through exegesis and polemics, recovery of the past and construction of a philosophical identity. From Xenocrates to Proclus, from the sceptical shift to the re-establishment of dogmatism, from the Mosaic of the Philosophers to the Neoplatonist Commentaries, the construction of authority emerges as a way of access to the core of the Platonist tradition.

(Text from the publisher)

Table of contents


By Michael Erler, Jan Erik Heßler, Federico M. Petrucci

Chapter 1 – Xenocrates’ Invention of Platonism

By David Sedley

Chapter 2 – An Iconography of Xenocrates’ Platonism

By David Sedley

Chapter 3 – Arcesilaus’ Appeal to Heraclitus as a Philosophical Authority for His Sceptical Stance

By Anna Maria Ioppolo

Chapter 4 – Authority beyond Doctrines in the First Century bc

Antiochus Model For Plato S Authority

By Federico M. Petrucci

Chapter 5 – Authority and Doctrine in the Pseudo-Pythagorean Writings

By Bruno Centrone

Chapter 6 – Constructing Authority

A Re Examination Of Some Controversial Issues In The Theology Of Numenius

By Alexandra Michalewski

Chapter 7 – Plutarch’s E at Delphi

The Hypothesis of Platonic Authority

By George Boys-Stones

Chapter 8 – Aristotle’s Physics as an Authoritative Work in Early Neoplatonism

Plotinus And Porphyry

By Riccardo Chiaradonna

Chapter 9 – Conflicting Authorities? Hermias and Simplicius on the Self-Moving Soul

By Saskia Aerts

Chapter 10 – Kathēgemōn: The Importance of the Personal Teacher in Proclus and Later Neoplatonism

By Christian Tornau

Chapter 11 – ‘In Plato we can see the bad characters being changed by the good and instructed and purified.’

Attitudes To Platonic Dialogue In Later Neoplatonism

By Anne Sheppard

Index Locorum

General Index


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