Olympiodorus of Alexandria

Exegete, teacher, platonic philosopher

Joosse (ed), Leiden: Brill, 270 p., 2021


This is the first collected volume dedicated to the work of the 6th-century CE philosopher Olympiodorus of Alexandria. His Platonic commentaries are rare witnesses to ancient views on Plato’s Socratic works. As a pagan, Olympiodorus entertained a complex relationship with his predominantly Christian surroundings. The contributors address his profile as a Platonic philosopher, the ways he did and did not adapt his teaching to his Christian audience, his reflections on philosophical exegesis and communication and his thinking on self-cognition. The volume as a whole helps us understand the development of Platonic philosophy at the end of antiquity.

(Text from the publisher)

Table of contents

Front Matter
Chapter 1 Introduction 1-13
Chapter 2 Olympiodorus and Greco-Alexandrian Alchemy 14-30
Chapter 3 The Life of Plato in Introductory Schemes: The Preface to Olympiodorus’ Commentary on the First Alcibiades (in Alc. 1.1–3.2) 31-54
Chapter 4 Olympiodorus on the Scale of Virtues 55-78
Chapter 5 Olympiodorus’ Notion of αἴσθησις and Its Historical Context 79-84
Chapter 6 The Virtue of Double Ignorance in Olympiodorus 95-115
Chapter 7 Olympiodorus’ View of Civic Self-Knowledge 116-140
Chapter 8 The Neoplatonists Hermias and Olympiodorus on Plato’s Theory of Rhetoric 141-166
Chapter 9 Reconciling Philosophy with Poetry: Olympiodorus’ Interpretation of the Gorgias Myth 167-185
Chapter 10 Olympiodorus on Drama 186-205
Chapter 11 Special Kinds of Platonic Discourse: Does Olympiodorus Have a New Approach? 206-220
Chapter 12 Olympiodorus, Christianity, and Metensomatosis 221-242
Back Matter

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