FACTOID # 8: Bookworms: Vermont has the highest number of high school teachers per capita and third highest number of librarians per capita.
 Home   Encyclopedia   Statistics   States A-Z   Flags   Maps   FAQ   About 


FACTS & STATISTICS    Advanced view

Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:



(* = Graphable)



Encyclopedia > Porphyry (philosopher)
Part of a series on
Platonic idealism
Platonic realism
Middle Platonism
Articles on Neoplatonism
Platonic epistemology
Socratic method
Socratic dialogue
Theory of forms
Platonic doctrine of recollection
Discussions of Plato's works
Dialogues of Plato
Metaphor of the sun
Analogy of the divided line
Allegory of the cave
This box: view  talk  edit

Porphyry of Tyre (Greek: Πορφύριος, c. A.D. 233–c. 309) was a Neoplatonic philosopher. He is important in the history of mathematics because of his Life of Pythagoras, and his commentary on Euclid's Elements, used by Pappus when he wrote his own commentary.[1] Porphyry's Isagogue, or "Introduction" to Aristotle's "Categories", in Latin translation, was the standard textbook on logic for at least a millennium after his death (Barnes 2003). Image File history File links Plato-raphael. ... Platonic idealism is the theory that the substantive reality around us is only a reflection of a higher truth. ... Platonic realism is a philosophical term usually used to refer to the idea of realism regarding the existence of universals after the Greek philosopher Plato who lived between c. ... Middle Platonism refers to the development of certain philosophical doctrines associated with Plato during the first and second centuries A.D. One of the outstanding thinkers of Middle Platonism was Philo Judeaus (Philo the Jew) who synthesized Platos philosophy with Jewish scripture largely through allegorical interpretation of the latter. ... Neoplatonism (also Neo-Platonism) is the modern term for a school of religious and mystical philosophy that took shape in the 3rd century AD, based on the teachings of Plato and earlier Platonists. ... Platonic epistemology is the belief that knowledge is innate, the development (often under the midwife-like guidance of an interrogator) of ideas buried deep in the soul. ... Socratic Method (or Method of Elenchus or Socratic Debate) is a dialectic method of inquiry, largely applied to the examination of key moral concepts and first described by Plato in the Socratic Dialogues. ... Socratic dialogue (Greek Σωκρατικός λόγος or Σωκρατικός διάλογος), is a prose literary form developed in Greece at the turn of the fourth century BCE, preserved today in the dialogues of Plato and the Socratic works of Xenophon - either dramatic or narrative - in which characters discuss moral and philosophical problems. ... Theory of Forms typically refers to Platos belief that the material world as it seems to us is not the real world, but only a shadow of the real world. ... The Platonic doctrine of recollection is the idea that we are born possessing all knowledge and our realization of that knowledge is contingent on our discovery of it. ... PLATO was one of the first generalized Computer assisted instruction systems, originally built by the University of Illinois (U of I) and later taken over by Control Data Corporation (CDC), who provided the machines it ran on. ... This page is about the ancient Greek philosopher. ... Plato, in The Republic (507b-509c), uses the sun as a metaphor for the source of illumination, arguably intellectual illumination, which he held to be The Form of the Good, which is sometimes interpreted as Platos notion of God. ... Plato, in The Republic Book 6 (509D–513E), uses the literary device of a divided line to teach his basic views about four levels of existence (especially the intelligible world of the forms, universals, and the visible world we see around us) and the corresponding ways we come to know... This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... Events Roman Emperor Alexander Severus wins a war against the Persians. ... For the car known as the 309, see Peugeot 309. ... Neoplatonism (also Neo-Platonism) is the modern term for a school of religious and mystical philosophy that took shape in the 3rd century AD, based on the teachings of Plato and earlier Platonists. ... For a list of biographies of mathematicians, see list of mathematicians. ... Euclid (Greek: ), also known as Euclid of Alexandria, was a Greek mathematician of the Hellenistic period who flourished in Alexandria, Egypt, almost certainly during the reign of Ptolemy I (323 BC-283 BC). ... The frontispiece of Sir Henry Billingsleys first English version of Euclids Elements, 1570 Euclids Elements (Greek: ) is a mathematical and geometric treatise, consisting of 13 books, written by the Hellenistic mathematician Euclid in Alexandria circa 300 BC. It comprises a collection of definitions, postulates (axioms), propositions (theorems... Pappus of Alexandria is one of the most important mathematicians of ancient Greek time, known for his work Synagoge or Collection (c. ... Categories (or Categoriae) is a text from Aristotles Organon that enumerates all the possible kinds of thing which can be the subject or the predicate of a proposition. ...


Biographical information

Porphyry's parents were Syrian, and he was born Malchus ("king")[2] in Tyre. His teacher in Athens, Cassius Longinus, gave him the name Porphyrius ("clad in purple"), a punning allusion to the color of the imperial robes. Under Longinus he studied grammar and rhetoric. In 262 he went to Rome, attracted by the reputation of Plotinus, and for six years devoted himself to the study of Neoplatonism. Having injured his health by overwork,[3] on the advice of Plotinus he went to live in Sicily for five years. On returning to Rome, he lectured on philosophy and completed an edition of the writings of Plotinus (who had died in the meantime) together with a biography of his teacher. Iamblichus is mentioned in ancient Neoplatonic writings as his pupil, but this most likely means only that he was the dominant figure in the next generation of philosophers. The two men differed publicly on the issue of theurgy. In his later years, he married Marcella, a widow with seven children and an enthusiastic student of philosophy. Little more is known of his life, and the date of his death is uncertain. The Triumphal Arch Tyre (Arabic , Phoenician , Hebrew Tzor, Tiberian Hebrew , Akkadian , Greek Týros) is a city in the South Governorate of Lebanon. ... Athens is the largest and the capital city of Greece, located in the Attica periphery. ... Cassius Longinus (c. ... For the topic in theoretical computer science, see Formal grammar Grammar is the study of rules governing the use of language. ... Rhetoric (from Greek , rhêtôr, orator, teacher) is generally understood to be the art or technique of persuasion through the use of spoken language; however, this definition of rhetoric has expanded greatly since rhetoric emerged as a field of study in universities. ... Nickname: Motto: SPQR: Senatus Populusque Romanus Location of the city of Rome (yellow) within the Province of Rome (red) and region of Lazio (grey) Coordinates: Region Lazio Province Province of Rome Founded 21 April 753 BC Government  - Mayor Walter Veltroni Area  - City 1,285 km²  (580 sq mi)  - Urban 5... Plotinus Plotinus (ancient Greek: ) (ca. ... Neoplatonism (also Neo-Platonism) is the modern term for a school of religious and mystical philosophy that took shape in the 3rd century AD, based on the teachings of Plato and earlier Platonists. ... Sicily (Sicilia in Italian and Sicilian) is an autonomous region of Italy and the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, with an area of 25,708 km² (9,926 sq. ... The philosopher Socrates about to take poison hemlock as ordered by the court. ... Iamblichus (ca. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ...

Isagogê, the "Introduction"

Porphyry is best known for his contributions to philosophy. Apart from writing the Aids to the Study of the Intelligibles, a basic summary of Neoplatonism, he is especially appreciated for his Introduction to Categories (Introductio in Praedicamenta), a very short work often considered to be a commentary on Aristotle's Categories, hence the title. According to Barnes (2003), however, the correct title is simply Introduction (είσγωγή)(Isagoge), and the book is an introduction not to the Categories in particular, but to logic in general, comprising as it does the theories of predication, definition, and proof. The Introduction describes how qualities attributed to things may be classified, famously breaking down the philosophical concept of substance into the five components genus, species, difference, property, accident. Aristotle (Greek: AristotélÄ“s) (384 BC – 322 BC) was a Greek philosopher, a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great. ... Categories (or Categoriae) is a text from Aristotles Organon that enumerates all the possible kinds of thing which can be the subject or the predicate of a proposition. ...

As Porphyry's most influential contribution to philosophy, the Introduction to Categories incorporated Aristotle's logic into Neoplatonism, in particular the doctrine of the categories of being interpreted in terms of entities (in later philosophy, "universal"). Boethius' Isagoge, a Latin translation of Porphyry's "Introduction", became a standard medieval textbook in the schools and universities which set the stage for medieval philosophical-theological developments of logic and the problem of universals. In medieval textbooks, the all-important Arbor porphyriana ("Porphyrian Tree") illustrates his logical classification of substance. To this day, taxonomy benefits from concepts in Porphyry's Tree, in classifying living organisms: see cladistics. This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... Universals (used as a noun) are either properties, relations, or types, but not classes. ... There are several persons called Bo thius: Philosophers: Anicius Manlius Severinus thius - to many scholars this is the Bo thius, a late-Roman writer best known for his works in philosophy and theology. ... An Arbor Porphyriana, or Porphyrian tree, created by Porphyry, is a construction in logic consisting of three rows or columns of words; the middlemost whereof contains the series of genus and species, and bears some analogy to the trunk. ... It has been suggested that Clade be merged into this article or section. ...

Porphire Sophiste, in a French 16th-c. engraving

Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ...

Philosophy from Oracles

Porphyry is also known as an opponent of Christianity and defender of Paganism; his defense of traditional religion, Philosophy from Oracles, written before the persecutions of Christians under Diocletian and Galerius, set out the basis for them: Christianity percentage by country, purple is highest, orange is lowest Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Wycliffe Tyndale · Luther · Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Pope · Archbishop of Canterbury Patriarch... Look up pagan, heathen in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Gaius Aurelius Valerius Diocletianus (c. ... Galerius Maximianus (c. ...

"How can these people be thought worthy of forbearance? They have not only turned away from those who from earliest time have been thought of as divine among all Greeks and barbarians... but by emperors, law-givers and philosophers— all of a given mind. But also, in choosing impieties and atheism, they have preferred their fellow creatures.[4] And to what sort of penalties might they not be subjected who... are fugitives from the things of their Fathers?"[5]

Whether or not Porphyry was the pagan philosopher opponent in Lactantius' Divine Institutes, written at the time of the persecutions, has long been discussed. Christians tampered with his writings: a spurious version of Philosophy from Oracles bearing Porphyry's name was forged in which the author is made to write as a Christian. The fraudulent work was designed to be serviceable to Christianity; it was accepted by Eusebius and appealed to by apologists like Theodoret. St. Augustine was one of the first to reject it as a forgery. It was allowed to pass unchallenged by hosts of orthodox scholars in succeeding centuries; its character as a vulgar forgery was finally established by the laborious criticism of Dr Nathaniel Lardner in the 18th century. Lucius Caelius (or Caecilius?) Firmianus Lactantius was an early Christian author who wrote in Latin (c. ... Eusebius of Caesarea Eusebius of Caesarea (c. ... Theodoret (393 – c. ... Nathaniel Lardner (1684 - July 24, 1768), English theologian, was born at Hawkhurst, Kent. ...

Adversus Christianos

Of his Adversus Christianos (Against the Christians) in fifteen books, only fragments remain, as quotations adduced in order to be refuted.[6] In it, he famously is quoted as having said, "The Gods have proclaimed Christ to have been most pious, but the Christians are a confused and vicious sect." Counter-treatises were written by Eusebius of Caesarea, Apollinaris of Laodicea, Methodius of Olympus, and Macarius of Magnesia, but all these are lost. Eusebius of Caesarea Eusebius of Caesarea (c. ... Apollinarism or Apollinarianism was a view proposed by Apollinaris of Laodicea that Jesus had a human body but a divine mind. ... The Church Father and Saint Methodius of Olympus (? – c. ... Macarius Magnes is probably to be identified with the bishop of Magnesia who, at the Synod of the Oak in 403, brought charges against Heraclides, bishop of Ephesus, the friend of John Chrysostom. ...

Porphyry's identification of the Book of Daniel as the work of a writer in the time of Antiochus Epiphanes, is given by Jerome. There is no confirmation of the assertions by Socrates of Constantinople, the 5th-century ecclesiastical historian, and Augustine, that Porphyry was once a Christian. For other uses, see Book of Daniel (disambiguation). ... Coin of Antiochus IV. Reverse shows Apollo seated on an omphalos. ... “Saint Jerome” redirects here. ... Socrates of Constantinople[1] was a Greek Christian church historian, a contemporary of Sozomen and Theodoret, who used his work; he was born at Constantinople c. ... “Augustinus” redirects here. ...

Other subjects

Porphyry was also opposed to the theurgy of his disciple Iamblichus. Much of Iamblichus' mysteries is dedicated to the defense of mystic theurgic divine possession against the critiques of Porphyry. This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ...

Porphyry was, like Pythagoras, an advocate of vegetarianism on spiritual and ethical grounds. These two philosophers are perhaps the most famous vegetarians of classical antiquity. He wrote the De Abstinentia (On Abstinence) and De Non Necandis ad Epulandum Animantibus (roughly On the Impropriety of Killing Living Beings for Food), advocating against the consumption of animals, and he is cited with approval in vegetarian literature up to the present day. Pythagoras of Samos (Greek: ; between 580 and 572 BC–between 500 and 490 BC) was an Ionian (Greek) philosopher[1] and founder of the religious movement called Pythagoreanism. ... A variety of vegetarian food ingredients Vegetarianism is the practice of not consuming the flesh of any animal (including sea animals) with or without also eschewing other animal derivatives, such as dairy products or eggs[1]. Some vegetarians also choose to refrain from wearing clothing that has involved the death...

Porphyry also wrote widely on astrology, religion, philosophy, and musical theory. He produced a Philosophos istoria with vitae of philosophers that included a life of his teacher, Plotinus. His life of Plato from book iv exists only in quotes by Cyril of Alexandria.[7] His book Vita Pythagorae on the life of Pythagoras is not to be confused with the book of the same name by Iamblichus. Hand-coloured version of the anonymous Flammarion woodcut (1888). ... Music theory is a set of systems for analyzing, classifying, and composing music and the elements of music. ... Vita or VITA can refer to any of a number of things: Vita (Latin for life) can also refer to a brief biography, often that of a saint (i. ... St. ... Pythagoras of Samos (Greek: ; between 580 and 572 BC–between 500 and 490 BC) was an Ionian (Greek) philosopher[1] and founder of the religious movement called Pythagoreanism. ... Two historical persons go by the name Iamblichus (Greek: Ιάμβλιχος) A Greek novelist; see Iamblichus (novelist) A neoplatonist philosopher; see Iamblichus (philosopher) This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ...

Works by Porphyry

  • Ad Gaurum ed. K. Kalbfleisch. Abhandlungen der Preussischen Akadamie der Wissenschaft. phil.-hist. kl. (1895): 33-62.
  • Contra Christianos, ed., Adolf von Harnack, Porphyrius, "Gegen die Christen,"15 Bücher: Zeugnisse, Fragmente und Referate. Abhandlungen der königlich prüssischen Akademie der Wissenschaften: Jahrgang 1916: philosoph.-hist. Klasse: Nr. 1 (Berlin: 1916).
  • Contra los Cristianos: Recopilación de Fragmentos, Traducción, Introducción y Notas E. A. Ramos Jurado, J. Ritoré Ponce, A. Carmona Vázquez, I. Rodríguez Moreno, J. Ortolá Salas, J. M. Zamora Calvo (Cádiz: Servicio de Publicaciones de la Universidad de Cádiz 2006).
  • Corpus dei Papiri Filosofici Greci e Latini III: Commentarii (Florence: Leo S. Olschki, 1995). <# 6 and #9 may or may not be by Porphyry>
  • De abstinentia ab esu animalium Jean Bouffartigue, M. Patillon, and Alain-Philippe Segonds, edd., 3 vols., Budé (Paris, 1979-1995).
  • De Philosophia ex oraculis haurienda G. Wolf, ed. (Berlin: 1956).
  • Epistula ad Anebonem, A. R. Sodano ed. (Naples: L'arte Tipografia, 1958).
  • Fragmenta Andrew Smith, ed. (Stvtgardiae et Lipsiae: B. G. Tevbneri, 1993).
  • The Homeric Questions: a Bilingual Edition Lang Classical Studies 2, R. R. Schlunk, trans. (Frankfurt-am-Main: Lang, 1993).
  • Isagoge, Stefan Weinstock, ed. in Catalogus Codicum astrologorum Graecorum, Franz Cumon, ed. (Brussels, 1940): V.4, 187-228.
  • Kommentar zur Harmonielehre des Ptolemaios Ingemar Duuring. ed. (Göteborg: Elanders, 1932).
  • Opuscula selecta Augusts Nauck, ed. (Lipsiae: B. G. Tevbneri, 1886).
  • Porphyrii in Platonis Timaeum commentarium fragmenta A. R. Sodano, ed. (Napoli: 1964).
  • Porphyry, the Philosopher, to Marcella: Text and Translation with Introduction and Notes Kathleen O’bBien Wicker, trans., Text and Translatiosn 28; Graeco-Roman Religion Series 10 (Atlanata: Schoalrs Press, 1987).
  • Pros Markevllan Griechiser Text, herausgegeben, übersetzt, eingeleitet und erklärt von W. Pötscher (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1969).
  • Sententiae Ad Intelligibilia Ducentes E. Lamberz, ed. (Leipzig: Teubner, 1975).
  • Vie de Pythagore, Lettre à Marcella E. des Places, ed. and trans. (Paris: Les Belles Lettre, 1982).
  • La Vie de Plotin Luc Brisson, ed. Historie de l'antiquité classique 6 & 16 (Paris: Libraire Philosophique J. Vrin: 1986-1992) 2 vols.
  • Vita Plotini in Plotinus, Armstrong, ed. LCL (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1968), 2-84.
  • To Marcella text and translation with Introduction and Notes by Kathleen O'Biren Wicker (Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1987).

Adolf von Harnack, German theologian Adolf von Harnack (May 7, 1851 - June 10, 1930), was a German theologian and science administrator. ...


  • The Cave of the Nymphs in the Odyssey A revised text with translation by Seminar Classics 609, State University of New York at Buffalo, Arethusa Monograph 1 (Buffalo: Dept. of Classics, State University of New York at Buffalo, 1969).
  • Isagoge Mediaeval Sources in Translation 16, E. Warren, trans. (Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 1975).
  • Isagoge, Introduction, J. Barnes, trans. (Oxford, New York : Oxford University Press, 2003)
  • Isagoge, J. Tricot, trans. (Paris: J. Vrin, 1947).
  • Neoplatonic Saints: The Lives of Plotinus and Proclus Translated Texts for Historians 35 (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2000).
  • On Abstinence from Killing Animals Gilliam Clark, trans. (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2000).
  • On Aristotle's Categories Steven K. Strange, trans. (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1992).
  • On the Cave of the Nymphs Robert Lamberton, trans. (Barrytown, N. Y.: Station Hill Press, 1983).
  • The Organon or Logical Treatises of Aristotle with the Introduction of Porphyry Bohn's Classical Library 11-12, Octavius Freire Owen, trans. (London: G. Bell, 1908-1910), 2 vols.
  • Porphyry Against the Christians, R. M. Berchman, trans., Ancient Mediterranean and Medieval Texts and Contexts 1 (Leiden: Brill, 2005).
  • Porphyry’s Against the Christians: The Literary Remains R. Joseph Hoffmann, trans. (Amherst: Prometheus Books, 1994).
  • Five Texts on the Mediaeval Problem of Universals: Porphyry, Boethius, Abelard, Duns Scotus, Ockham Paul Vincent Spade, trans. (Indianapolis: Hackett, 1994)


  1. ^ Vita of Porphyry.
  2. ^ For connotations of West Semitic MLK, see Moloch; compare theophoric names like Abimelech.
  3. ^ This is a familiar trope in biographies of scholars through the nineteenth century.
  4. ^ That is, refusing to sacrifice to the gods and emperors ("atheism"), Christians have preferred the Christ, one of "their fellow creatures."
  5. ^ The fragment, once thought part of Against the Christians, reassigned by R. Wilken in 1979 to Philosophy from Oracles, is quoted in Elizabeth DePalma Digeser, "Lactantius, Porphyry, and the Debate over Religious Toleration" The Journal of Roman Studies 88 (1998, pp. 129-146) p. 129.
  6. ^ "Constantine and other emperors banned and burned Porphyry's work" (Digeser 1998:130.
  7. ^ James A. Notopoulos, "Porphyry's Life of Plato" Classical Philology 35.3 (July 1940), pp. 284-293, attempted a reconstruction from Apuleius' use of it.

Molech Moloch, Molech or Molekh, representing Hebrew מלך mlk, (translated directly into king) is either the name of a god or the name of a particular kind of sacrifice associated historically with Phoenician and related cultures in north Africa and the Levant. ... Theophory is a reference to the naming practice of adding a gods name (or the local equivalent of the generic term for god) to an individuals proper name. ... pages edit history. ... In literature, a trope is a familiar and repeated symbol, meme, theme, motif, style, character or thing that permeates a particular type of literature. ...


  • Iamblichus: De mysteriis : Translated with an Introduction and Notes by Emma C. Clarke, John M. Dillon and Jackson P. Hershbell ISBN 90-04-12720-8
  • Dr. B.A. Zuiddam, Old Critics and Modern Theology. 1995; Dutch Reformed Theological Journal (South Africa), part xxxvi, number 2, June 1995.
  • Barnes, Jonathan (2003), Porphyry: Introduction, Oxford: Clarendon Press.

John Myles Dillon is an Irish classicist and philosopher who was Regius Professor of Greek in Trinity College, Dublin between 1980 and 2006. ... Oxford is a city and local government district in Oxfordshire, England, with a population of 134,248 (2001 census). ...

External links

  Results from FactBites:
Porphyry (philosopher) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (714 words)
Porphyry is also known as a violent opponent of Christianity and defender of Paganism; of his Adversus Christianos (Against the Christians) in 15 books, only fragments remain.
Porphyry's identification of the Book of Daniel as the work of a writer in the time of Antiochus Epiphanes, is given by Jerome.
Porphyry was, like Pythagoras, known as an advocate of vegetarianism on spiritual or ethical grounds.
Porphyry (philosopher) - definition of Porphyry (philosopher) in Encyclopedia (505 words)
Porphyry is also known as a violent opponent of Christianity and defender of Paganism; of his Adversus Christianas (Against the Christians) in 15 books, only fragments remain.
Porphyry's view of the Book of Daniel, that it was the work of a writer in the time of Antiochus Epiphanes, is given by Jerome.
Porphyry also wrote widely on astrology (what would be considered astronomy in our day), religion, philosophy, and musical theory; and produced a biography of his teacher, Plotinus.
  More results at FactBites »



Share your thoughts, questions and commentary here
Your name
Your comments

Want to know more?
Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:


Press Releases |  Feeds | Contact
The Wikipedia article included on this page is licensed under the GFDL.
Images may be subject to relevant owners' copyright.
All other elements are (c) copyright NationMaster.com 2003-5. All Rights Reserved.
Usage implies agreement with terms, 1022, m