Heliodorus of Alexandria

Last updated

Heliodorus of Alexandria (Greek : Ἡλιόδωρος) was a Neoplatonist philosopher who lived in the 5th century AD. He was the son of Hermias and Aedesia, and the younger brother of Ammonius. His father, Hermias, died when he was young, and his mother, Aedesia, raised him and his brother in their home city of Alexandria until they were old enough to go to philosophy school. Aedesia took them to Athens where they studied under Proclus. Eventually they returned to Alexandria, where they both taught philosophy. Damascius, who was taught by Heliodorus, describes him as less gifted than his elder brother, and more superficial in his character and studies.

Alexandria Metropolis in Egypt

Alexandria is the second-largest city in Egypt and a major economic centre, extending about 32 km (20 mi) along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea in the north central part of the country. Its low elevation on the Nile delta makes it highly vulnerable to rising sea levels. Alexandria is an important industrial center because of its natural gas and oil pipelines from Suez. Alexandria is also a popular tourist destination.

Greek language language spoken in Greece, Cyprus and Southern Albania

Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages, native to Greece, Cyprus and other parts of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea. It has the longest documented history of any living Indo-European language, spanning more than 3000 years of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the major part of its history; other systems, such as Linear B and the Cypriot syllabary, were used previously. The alphabet arose from the Phoenician script and was in turn the basis of the Latin, Cyrillic, Armenian, Coptic, Gothic, and many other writing systems.

Hermias was a Neoplatonist philosopher who was born in Alexandria c. 410 AD. He went to Athens and studied philosophy under Syrianus. He married Aedesia, who was a relative of Syrianus, and who had originally been betrothed to Proclus, but Proclus broke the engagement off after receiving a divine warning. Hermias brought Syrianus' teachings back to Alexandria, where he lectured in the school of Horapollo, receiving an income from the state. He died c. 450 AD, at a time when his children, Ammonius and Heliodorus, were still small. Aedesia, however, continued to receive an income from the state, in order to raise the children, enabling them to become philosophers.

He cannot be the author of a commentary on the Astrology of Paulus Alexandrinus which was written after 564, which is ascribed to another Heliodorus.

Paulus Alexandrinus was an astrological author from the late Roman Empire. His extant work, Eisagogika, or Introductory Matters, which was written in 378 AD, is a treatment of major topics in astrology as practiced in the fourth century Roman Empire.

Heliodorus is cited as the author of a work titled Commentary, which has been preserved, on the Introduction or Rudiments of Paulus Alexandrinus, the 4th century Alexandrian astrologer. The name "Heliodorus" appears only on the later of two groups of manuscripts, and so is somewhat doubtful. Leendert Westerink has argued that the commentary consists of notes of lectures, most likely given by the 6th-century philosopher and astrologer, Olympiodorus, in 564 AD. The Greek text of his commentary on Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics has been published in vol. 19.2 of Commentaria in Aristotelem Graeca (CAG).

Related Research Articles

Ammonius Hermiae was a Greek philosopher, and the son of the Neoplatonist philosophers Hermias and Aedesia. He was a pupil of Proclus in Athens, and taught at Alexandria for most of his life, writing commentaries on Plato, Aristotle, and other philosophers.

Ammonius Saccas was a Greek philosopher from Alexandria who was often referred to as one of the founders of Neoplatonism. He is mainly known as the teacher of Plotinus, whom he taught for eleven years from 232 to 243. He was undoubtedly the biggest influence on Plotinus in his development of Neoplatonism, although little is known about his own philosophical views. Later Christian writers stated that Ammonius was a Christian, but it is now generally assumed that there was a different Ammonius of Alexandria who wrote biblical texts.

Clement of Alexandria Christian theologian

Titus Flavius Clemens, also known as Clement of Alexandria, was a Christian theologian who taught at the Catechetical School of Alexandria. A convert to Christianity, he was an educated man who was familiar with classical Greek philosophy and literature. As his three major works demonstrate, Clement was influenced by Hellenistic philosophy to a greater extent than any other Christian thinker of his time, and in particular by Plato and the Stoics. His secret works, which exist only in fragments, suggest that he was also familiar with pre-Christian Jewish esotericism and Gnosticism. In one of his works he argued that Greek philosophy had its origin among non-Greeks, claiming that both Plato and Pythagoras were taught by Egyptian scholars. Among his pupils were Origen and Alexander of Jerusalem.

Library of Alexandria one of the largest libraries in the ancient world, located in Alexandria, Egypt

The Great Library of Alexandria in Alexandria, Egypt, was one of the largest and most significant libraries of the ancient world. The Library was part of a larger research institution called the Mouseion, which was dedicated to the Muses, the nine goddesses of the arts. The idea of a universal library in Alexandria may have been proposed by Demetrius of Phalerum, an exiled Athenian statesman living in Alexandria, to Ptolemy I Soter, who may have established plans for the Library, but the Library itself was probably not built until the reign of his son Ptolemy II Philadelphus. The Library quickly acquired a large number of papyrus scrolls, due largely to the Ptolemaic kings' aggressive and well-funded policies for procuring texts. It is unknown precisely how many such scrolls were housed at any given time, but estimates range from 40,000 to 400,000 at its height.

Hypatia was a Hellenistic Neoplatonist philosopher, astronomer, and mathematician, who lived in Alexandria, Egypt, then part of the Eastern Roman Empire. She was a prominent thinker of the Neoplatonic school in Alexandria where she taught philosophy and astronomy. She is the first female mathematician whose life is reasonably well recorded. Hypatia was renowned in her own lifetime as a great teacher and a wise counselor. She is known to have written a commentary on Diophantus's thirteen-volume Arithmetica, which may survive in part, having been interpolated into Diophantus's original text, and another commentary on Apollonius of Perga's treatise on conic sections, which has not survived. Many modern scholars also believe that Hypatia may have edited the surviving text of Ptolemy's Almagest, based on the title of her father Theon's commentary on Book III of the Almagest.

Damascius, known as "the last of the Neoplatonists," was the last scholarch of the School of Athens. He was one of the pagan philosophers persecuted by Emperor Justinian I in the early 6th century AD, and was forced for a time to seek refuge in the Persian court, before being allowed back into the Empire. His surviving works consist of three commentaries on the works of Plato, and a metaphysical text entitled Difficulties and Solutions of First Principles.

Moses the Black Monk, priest and martyr in Egypt

Saint Moses the Black (330–405), was an ascetic monk and priest in Egypt in the fourth century AD, and a notable Desert Father.

Gaius Avidius Cassius was a Roman general and usurper. He was born in Cyrrhus, and was the son of Gaius Avidius Heliodorus, who served as Praefectus augustalis, and Julia Cassia Alexandra, who was related to a number of royal figures, including her descent from both Augustus and Herod the Great. He began his military career under Antoninus Pius, rising to the status of legatus. He served during the Parthian War of Lucius Verus, in which he distinguished himself, for which he was elevated to the Senate, and later made Imperial legate. During the Bucolic War, he was given the extraordinary title of Rector Orientis, giving him Imperium over all of the eastern provinces of the Roman Empire.

Syrianus was a Greek Neoplatonist philosopher, and head of Plato's Academy in Athens, succeeding his teacher Plutarch of Athens in 431/432. He is important as the teacher of Proclus, and, like Plutarch and Proclus, as a commentator on Plato and Aristotle. His best-known extant work is a commentary on the Metaphysics of Aristotle. He is said to have written also on the De Caelo and the De Interpretatione of Aristotle and on Plato's Timaeus.

Raphael Rooms suite of reception rooms in the Palace of the Vatican painted by Raphael and his workshop

The four Raphael Rooms form a suite of reception rooms in the palace, the public part of the papal apartments in the Palace of the Vatican. They are famous for their frescoes, painted by Raphael and his workshop. Together with Michelangelo's ceiling frescoes in the Sistine Chapel, they are the grand fresco sequences that mark the High Renaissance in Rome.

Pope Heraclas of Alexandria Pope of Alexandria

Pope Heraclas, 13th Pope of Alexandria & Patriarch of the See of St. Mark.

Asclepigenia was an Athenian philosopher and mystic.

Olympiodorus the Younger was a Neoplatonist philosopher, astrologer and teacher who lived in the early years of the Byzantine Empire, after Justinian's Decree of 529 AD which closed Plato's Academy in Athens and other pagan schools. Olympiodorus was the last pagan to maintain the Platonist tradition in Alexandria ; after his death the School passed into the hands of Christian Aristotelians, and was eventually moved to Constantinople. He is not to be confused with Olympiodorus the Deacon, a contemporary Alexandrian writer of Bible commentaries.

Stéphanos II Ghattas, was an eparch of the Coptic Catholic Church. From 1986 to 2006 he served as the Coptic Catholic Patriarch of Alexandria. He was also a Cardinal.

Catechetical School of Alexandria

The Catechetical School of Alexandria was a school of Christian theologians and priests in Alexandria. The teachers and students of the school were influential in many of the early theological controversies of the Christian church. It was one of the two major centers of the study of biblical exegesis and theology during Late Antiquity, the other being the School of Antioch.

Hermias of Atarneus who lived in Atarneus, was Aristotle's father-in-law.

Aedesia was a female philosopher of the Neoplatonic school who lived in Alexandria in the fifth century AD. She was a relation of Syrianus and the wife of Hermias, and was equally celebrated for her beauty and her virtues. After the death of her husband, she devoted herself to relieving the wants of the distressed and the education of her children, Ammonius and Heliodorus. She accompanied the latter to Athens, where they went to study philosophy, and was received with great distinction by all the philosophers there, and especially by Proclus, to whom she had been betrothed by Syrianus, when she was quite young. She lived to a considerable age, and her funeral oration was pronounced by Damascius, who was then a young man, in hexameter verses.

This page is a list of topics in ancient philosophy.

References