Philosophers : from neoplatonists to christians

Athens during Roman period was not the power it used to be during classical times, but a respected city-school, that everyone would like to visit and learn. All that until 529, when the Byzantine christian emperors official closed the schools in the city.


Plutarch the Chaeronian in Athens

One famous philosopher of that (after 31 BC) period is Plutarch, who was born not in Athens, but in Chaeronia, a city north from Athens, who is classified as a middle Platonist. He was the uncle of a Marcus Aurelius’ teacher, Sextus. He studied philosophy and mathematics at the Academy of Athens between 66-67 AD, under Ammonius (an expert in the works of Aristotle). His most famous work is Parallel Lives and many more.


Alexander of Aphrodisias

He was a Caria native and came to Athens at the 2nd century AD. He was a student of two Stoics, Sosigenes and Herminus and became head of the Peripatetic School.


Julian (the Apostate)

Even he is being treated with bias since he was anti- Christian and was permitted to study in Athens at 355. He was a co-student and friend of Basil the Great and Gregory of Nazianzus, since they studied at the same city.

That period (3rd-6th century) marked the passing from pagan religion to Christianity.

Plutarch the Athenian

Later, in 5th century there was another Plutarch, neoplatonist this time. Proclus was one of his students. His daughter, Asclepigenia, studied at the neoplatonic school of Athens as well. During this period, philosophers was prosecuted by Christian, since the new religion was imposed to Greeks.

Proclus Lycaeus

He was from Lycia, in Asia Minor. He marks the end of Classical philosophy period, and bridges the gap with medieval philosophy. He is said to have been a vegetarian bachelor and his house has been discovered in Athens, under the pavement of Areopagitou pedestrian, south of Acropolis, opposite the theater of Dionysus. Proclus is said to have a devotion to the goddess Athena, who he believed guided him at key moments in his life.Proclus died aged 73, and was buried near Lycabettus hill in a tomb.


Marinus of Neapolis

Marinus was a student of Proclus and was probably a Jew. He reports that when Christians removed the statue of the goddess Athena from the Parthenon, a beautiful woman appeared to Proclus in a dream and announced that the “Athenian Lady” wished to stay at his home. 


Simplicius of Cilicia

He was there, when the Schools of Athens were closed (529). A student of Damascius (the last scholarch of Plato’s Academy), was prosecuted by Byzantine emperor Justinian to the Persian King Chosroes.