A History of Ancient Philosophy IV

The Schools of the Imperial Age

By Giovanni Reale
Edited and translated by John R. Catan

Subjects: Philosophy
Series: SUNY series in Philosophy
Paperback : 9780791401293, 574 pages, December 1989
Hardcover : 9780791401286, 574 pages, January 1990

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This book covers the first 500 years of the common era. These years witnessed the revivals of Aristotelianism, Epicureanism, Pyrrhonism, Cynicism, and Pythagoreanism; but by far the most important movement was the revival of Platonism under Plotinus. Here, the historical context of Plotinus is provided including the currents of thought that preceded him and opened the path for him. The presuppositions of the Enneads are made explicit and the thought of Plotinus is reconstructed.

The author reorients the expositions of Middle Platonism and neo-Pythagoreanism. He provides a full exposition of Hermeticism and the doctrines of the Chaldean Oracles. He also defends the notion that Philo of Alexandria nourished a Jewish philosophy, not an eclectic mixture.

Giovanni Reale is Professor and holder of the Chair in History of Ancient Philosophy at the Catholic University of Milan. John R. Catan is Professor of Philosophy at the State University of New York College at Brockport.