Macrobius Macrobius Ambrosius Theodosius known as Theodosius, was a Roman provincial who lived during the early fifth century, at the transition of the Roman to the Byzantine Empire, when Latin was as widespread as Greek among the elite. He is known for his writings, which include the copied and read Commentarii in Somnium Scipionis, one of the most important sources for Platonism in the Latin West during the Middle Ages, the Saturnalia, a compendium of ancient Roman religious and antiquarian lore, De differentiis et societatibus graeci latinique verbi, now lost; the correct order of his names is "Macrobius Ambrosius Theodosius", how it appears in the earliest manuscripts of the Saturnalia, how he is addressed in the excerpts from his lost De differentiis. Only in manuscripts were his names reversed as "Ambrosius Theodosius Macrobius", which James Willis adopted for his edition of the Commentary. Alan Cameron notes that Cassiodorus and Boethius both refer to him as "Macrobius Theodosius", while he was known during his lifetime as "Theodosius": the dedication to the De differentiis is addressed Theodosius Symmacho suo, by the dedicatory epistle to Avianus's Fables, where he is addressed as Theodosi optime.
Little is known for certain about Macrobius. He states at the beginning of his Saturnalia that he was "born under a foreign sky", both of his major works are dedicated to his son, Eustachius, his major works have led experts to assume. Which "foreign sky" Macrobius was born under has been the subject of much speculation. Terrot Glover considers Macrobius either an ethnic Greek, or born in one of the Greek-speaking parts of the Roman Empire, such as Egypt, due to his intimate knowledge of Greek literature. J. E. Sandys argued that Macrobius was born in one of the Greek provinces; however other experts, beginning with Ludwig van Jan, point out that despite his familiarity with Greek literature Macrobius was far more familiar with Latin than Greek—as evidenced by his enthusiasm for Vergil and Cicero—and favor North Africa, part of the Latin-speaking portion of the Roman Empire. Scholars have attempted to identify him with a Macrobius, mentioned in the Codex Theodosianus as a praetorian prefect of Spain, a proconsul of Africa.
The Codex Theodosianus records a praepositus named Macrobius in 422. A number of older authorities go so far as to identify Macrobius the author with the first, date his floruit to 399–410. There are objections to either identification: as Alan Cameron notes, the complete name of the first candidate is attested in an inscription to be "Flavius Macrobius Maximianus", while the second is excluded because "A praepositus must at this period have been a eunuch."However, since Macrobius is referred to as vir clarissimus et inlustris, a title, achieved by holding public office, we can reasonably expect his name to appear in the Codex Theodosianus. Further, Cameron points out that during his lifetime Macrobius was referred to as "Theodosius", looking for that name Cameron found a Theodosius, praetorian prefect of Italy in 430. "It is significant that the only surviving law addressed to this Theodosius sanctions a privilege for Africa Proconsularis on the basis of information received concerning Byzacena," Cameron notes.
Macrobius's most influential book—and one of the most cited books of the Middle Ages—was a commentary in two books on the Dream of Scipio narrated by Cicero at the end of his Republic. The nature of the dream, in which the elder Scipio appears to his grandson and describes the life of the good after death and the constitution of the universe from a Stoic and Neo-Platonic point of view, gave occasion for Macrobius to discourse upon the nature of the cosmos, transmitting much classical philosophy to the Middle Ages. In astronomy, this work is noted for giving the diameter of the Sun as twice the diameter of the Earth. Of a third work On the Differences and Similarities of the Greek and Latin Verb, we only possess an abstract by a certain Johannes, doubtfully identified with Johannes Scotus Eriugena. See editions by Ludwig von Jan, Franz Eyssenhardt, James Willis, R. A. Kaster; the grammatical treatise will be found in Heinrich Keil's Grammatici latini. Macrobius's Saturnalia consists of an account of the discussions held at the house of Vettius Agorius Praetextatus during the holiday of the Saturnalia.
It contains a great variety of curious historical, critical and grammatical discussions. "The work takes the form of a series of dialogues among learned men at a fictional banquet." Robert A. Kaster, Macrobius: Saturnalia. Loeb classical library 510-512. Cambridge, MA/ London: Harvard University Press, 2011. 3 volumes. Percival Vaughan Davies, Macrobius: The Saturnalia. New York: Columbia University Press, 1969. William Harris Stahl, Macrobius: Commentary on the Dream of Scipio. New York: Columbia University Press, 1952. Macrobius, Ambrosius Aurelius Theodosius. Seven Books of the Saturnalia: Codex from the Plutei Collection of the Bibli
Iamblichus was a Syrian Neoplatonist philosopher of Arab origin. He determined the direction that would be taken by Neoplatonic philosophy, he was the biographer of Pythagoras, a Greek mystic and mathematician. Aside from Iamblichus' own philosophical contribution, his Protrepticus is of importance for the study of the Sophists, owing to its preservation of ten pages of an otherwise unknown Sophist known as the Anonymus Iamblichi. Iamblichus was the chief representative of Syrian Neoplatonism, though his influence spread over much of the ancient world; the events of his life and his religious beliefs are not known, but the main tenets of his beliefs can be worked out from his extant writings. According to the Suda, his biographer Eunapius, he was born at Chalcis in Syria, he was the son of a rich and illustrious family, he is said to have been the descendant of several priest-kings of the Arab Royal family of Emesa. He studied under Anatolius of Laodicea, went on to study under Porphyry, a pupil of Plotinus, the founder of Neoplatonism.
He disagreed with Porphyry over the practice of theurgy. Around 304, he returned to Syria to found his own school at Apamea, a city famous for its Neoplatonic philosophers. Here he designed a curriculum for studying Plato and Aristotle, he wrote commentaries on the two that survive only in fragments. Still, for Iamblichus, Pythagoras was the supreme authority, he is known to have written the Collection of Pythagorean Doctrines, which, in ten books, comprised extracts from several ancient philosophers. Only the first four books, fragments of the fifth, survive. Scholars noted that the Exhortation to Philosophy of Iamblichus was composed in Apamea in the early 4th c. AD. Iamblichus was said to have been a man of great learning, he was renowned for his charity and self-denial. Many students gathered around him, he lived with them in genial friendship. According to Fabricius, he died during the reign of Constantine, sometime before 333. Only a fraction of Iamblichus' books have survived. For our knowledge of his system, we are indebted to the fragments of writings preserved by Stobaeus and others.
The notes of his successors Proclus, as well as his five extant books and the sections of his great work on Pythagorean philosophy reveal much of Iamblichus' system. Besides these, Proclus seems to have ascribed to him the authorship of the celebrated treatise Theurgia, or On the Egyptian Mysteries. However, the differences between this book and Iamblichus' other works in style and in some points of doctrine have led some to question whether Iamblichus was the actual author. Still, the treatise originated from his school, in its systematic attempt to give a speculative justification of the polytheistic cult practices of the day, it marks a turning-point in the history of thought where Iamblichus stood; as a speculative theory, Neoplatonism had received its highest development from Plotinus. The modifications introduced by lamblichus were the detailed elaboration of its formal divisions, the more systematic application of the Pythagorean number-symbolism, under the influence of Oriental systems, a mythical interpretation of what Neoplatonism had regarded as notional.
Unlike Plotinus who broke from Platonic tradition and asserted an undescended soul, Iamblichus re-affirmed the soul's embodiment in matter, believing matter to be as divine as the rest of the cosmos. It is most on this account that lamblichus was venerated. Iamblichus was praised by those who followed his thought. By his contemporaries, Iamblichus was accredited with miraculous powers; the Roman emperor Julian, not content with Eunapius' more modest eulogy that he was inferior to Porphyry only in style, regarded Iamblichus as more than second to Plato, claimed he would give all the gold of Lydia for one epistle of Iamblichus. During the revival of interest in his philosophy in the 15th and 16th centuries, the name of Iamblichus was scarcely mentioned without the epithet "divine" or "most divine". At the head of his system, Iamblichus placed the transcendent incommunicable "One", the monad, whose first principle is intellect, nous. After the absolute One, lamblichus introduced a second superexistent "One" to stand between it and'the many' as the producer of intellect, or soul, psyche.
This is the initial dyad. The first and highest One, which Plotinus represented under the three stages of being and intellect, is distinguished by Iamblichus into spheres of intelligible and intellective, the latter sphere being the domain of thought, the former of the objects of thought; these three entities, the psyche, the nous split into the intelligible and the intellective, form a triad. Between the two worlds, at once separating and uniting them, some scholars think there was inserted by lamblichus, as was afterwards by Proclus, a third sphere partaking of the nature of both, but this supposition depends on a conjectural emendation of the text. We read, that in the intellectual triad he assigned the third rank to the Demiurge; the Demiurge, the Platonic creator-god, is thus identified with the perfected nous, the intellectual triad being increased to a hebdomad. The identification of nous with the Demiurge is a significant moment in the Neoplatonic tradition and its adoption into and development within the Christian tradition.
St. Augustine follows Plotinus by identifying nous, which bears the logos, with the creative principle
Ammonius Hermiae was a Greek philosopher, the son of the Neoplatonist philosophers Hermias and Aedesia. He was a pupil of Proclus in Athens, taught at Alexandria for most of his life, writing commentaries on Plato and other philosophers. Ammonius' father, died when he was a child, his mother, raised him and his brother, Heliodorus, in Alexandria; when they reached adulthood, Aedesia accompanied her sons to Athens where they studied under Proclus. They returned to Alexandria, where Ammonius, as head of the Neoplatonist school in Alexandria, lectured on Plato and Aristotle for the rest of his life. According to Damascius, during the persecution of the pagans at Alexandria in the late 480s, Ammonius made concessions to the Christian authorities so that he could continue his lectures. Damascius, who scolds Ammonius for the agreement that he made, does not say what the concessions were, but it may have involved limitations on the doctrines he could teach or promote, he was still teaching in 515. He taught Asclepius of Tralles, John Philoponus and Simplicius.
He was an accomplished astronomer. Of his reputedly numerous writings, only his commentary on Aristotle's De Interpretatione survives intact. A commentary on Porphyry's Isagoge may be his, but it is somewhat corrupt and contains interpolations. In De Interpretatione, Ammonius contends. Like Boëthius in his second Commentary and The Consolation of Philosophy, this argument maintains the effectiveness of prayer. Ammonius cites Iamblichus who said "knowledge is intermediate between the knower and the known, since it is the activity of the knower concerning the known."In addition, there are some notes of Ammonius' lectures written by various students which survive: On Aristotle's Categories On Aristotle's Prior Analytics I On Aristotle's Metaphysics 1–7 On Nicomachus' Introduction to Arithmetic On Aristotle's Prior Analytics On Aristotle's Posterior Analytics On Aristotle's On Generation and Corruption On Aristotle's On the Soul There is Greek-language work called Life of Aristotle, ascribed to Ammonius, but "is more probable that it is the work of Joannes Philoponus, the pupil of Ammonius, to whom it is ascribed in some MSS."
Ammonius: On Aristotle Categories, translated by S. M. Cohen and G. B. Matthews. London and Ithaca 1992. Ammonius: On Aristotle's On Interpretation 1–8, translated by D. Blank. London and Ithaca 1996. Ammonius: On Aristotle's On Interpretation 9, with Boethius: On Aristotle's On Interpretation 9, translated by D. Blank and N. Kretzmann. London and Ithaca 1998 John Philoponus: On Aristotle On Coming-to-be and Perishing 1.1–5, translated by C. J. F. Williams. London and Ithaca 1999 John Philoponus: On Aristotle On Coming-to-be and Perishing 1.6–2.4, translated by C. J. F. Williams. London and Ithaca 1999. John Philoponus: On Aristotle On the Soul 2.1–6, translated by W. Charlton. London and Ithaca 2005 John Philoponus: On Aristotle On the Soul 2.7–12, translated by W. Charlton. London and Ithaca 2005 John Philoponus: On Aristotle On the Soul 3.1–8, translated by W. Charlton. London and Ithaca 2000 John Philoponus: On Aristotle On the Intellect, translated by W. Charlton. London and Ithaca 1991. Andron, Cosmin.
"Ammonios of Alexandria",The Routledge Encyclopedia of Ancient Natural Scientists, eds. Georgia Irby-Massie and Paul Keyser, New York: Routledge, 2008. Jones, A. Martindale, J. Morris, J; the Prosopography of the Later Roman Empire, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992, pages 71–72. Karamanolis, George E. Plato and Aristotle in agreement?: Platonists on Aristotle from Antiochus to Porphyry, New York: Oxford University Press, 2006. Merlan, Phillip. "Ammonius, Son of Hermias". Dictionary of Scientific Biography. 1. New York: CharlesScribner's Sons. P. 137. ISBN 0-684-10114-9. Seel, Gerhard and the Seabattle. Texts and Essays, in collaboration with Jean-Pierre Schneider and Daniel Schulthess. Sorabji, Richard; the Philosophy of the Commentators, 200–600 AD. A Sourcebook, Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2005. Verrycken, Koenraad; the Metaphysics of Ammonius son of Hermias, in Richard Sorabji, Aristotle Transformed. The Ancient Commentators and their Influence, Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1990, p. 199-231.
Blank, David. "Ammonius". In Zalta, Edward N. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Commentaria in Aristotelem Graeca, Vol. 4 parts 2–6, Akademie der Wissenschaften, Edita consilio et auctoritate Academiae litterarum regiae borussicae
Athens is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, with its recorded history spanning over 3,400 years and its earliest human presence starting somewhere between the 11th and 7th millennium BC. Classical Athens was a powerful city-state that emerged in conjunction with the seagoing development of the port of Piraeus, a distinct city prior to its 5th century BC incorporation with Athens. A center for the arts and philosophy, home of Plato's Academy and Aristotle's Lyceum, it is referred to as the cradle of Western civilization and the birthplace of democracy because of its cultural and political impact on the European continent, in particular the Romans. In modern times, Athens is a large cosmopolitan metropolis and central to economic, industrial, maritime and cultural life in Greece. In 2012, Athens was ranked the world's 39th richest city by purchasing power and the 67th most expensive in a UBS study. Athens is a global one of the biggest economic centres in southeastern Europe.
It has a large financial sector, its port Piraeus is both the largest passenger port in Europe, the second largest in the world. While at the same time being the sixth busiest passenger port in Europe; the Municipality of Athens had a population of 664,046 within its administrative limits, a land area of 38.96 km2. The urban area of Athens extends beyond its administrative municipal city limits, with a population of 3,090,508 over an area of 412 km2. According to Eurostat in 2011, the functional urban area of Athens was the 9th most populous FUA in the European Union, with a population of 3.8 million people. Athens is the southernmost capital on the European mainland; the heritage of the classical era is still evident in the city, represented by ancient monuments and works of art, the most famous of all being the Parthenon, considered a key landmark of early Western civilization. The city retains Roman and Byzantine monuments, as well as a smaller number of Ottoman monuments. Athens is home to two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Acropolis of Athens and the medieval Daphni Monastery.
Landmarks of the modern era, dating back to the establishment of Athens as the capital of the independent Greek state in 1834, include the Hellenic Parliament and the so-called "architectural trilogy of Athens", consisting of the National Library of Greece, the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens and the Academy of Athens. Athens is home to several museums and cultural institutions, such as the National Archeological Museum, featuring the world's largest collection of ancient Greek antiquities, the Acropolis Museum, the Museum of Cycladic Art, the Benaki Museum and the Byzantine and Christian Museum. Athens was the host city of the first modern-day Olympic Games in 1896, 108 years it welcomed home the 2004 Summer Olympics, making it one of only a handful of cities to have hosted the Olympics more than once. In Ancient Greek, the name of the city was Ἀθῆναι a plural. In earlier Greek, such as Homeric Greek, the name had been current in the singular form though, as Ἀθήνη, it was rendered in the plural on, like those of Θῆβαι and Μυκῆναι.
The root of the word is not of Greek or Indo-European origin, is a remnant of the Pre-Greek substrate of Attica. In antiquity, it was debated whether Athens took its name from its patron goddess Athena or Athena took her name from the city. Modern scholars now agree that the goddess takes her name from the city, because the ending -ene is common in names of locations, but rare for personal names. During the medieval period, the name of the city was rendered once again in the singular as Ἀθήνα. However, after the establishment of the modern Greek state, due to the conservatism of the written language, Ἀθῆναι became again the official name of the city and remained so until the abandonment of Katharevousa in the 1970s, when Ἀθήνα, Athína, became the official name. According to the ancient Athenian founding myth, the goddess of wisdom, competed against Poseidon, the god of the seas, for patronage of the yet-unnamed city. According to the account given by Pseudo-Apollodorus, Poseidon struck the ground with his trident and a salt water spring welled up.
In an alternative version of the myth from Vergil's Georgics, Poseidon instead gave the Athenians the first horse. In both versions, Athena offered the Athenians the first domesticated olive tree. Cecrops declared Athena the patron goddess of Athens. Different etymologies, now rejected, were proposed during the 19th century. Christian Lobeck proposed as the root of the name the word ἄθος or ἄνθος meaning "flower", to denote Athens as the "flowering city". Ludwig von Döderlein proposed the stem of the verb θάω, stem θη- to denote Athens as having fertile soil. In classical literature, the city was sometimes referred to as the City of the Violet Crown, first documented in Pindar's ἰοστέφανοι Ἀθᾶναι, or as τὸ κλεινὸν ἄστυ. In medieval texts, variant names include Setines and Astines, all derivations involving false splitting of p
Porphyry of Tyre was a Neoplatonic philosopher, born in Tyre, in the Roman Empire. He published the Enneads, the only collection of the work of his teacher Plotinus, his commentary on Euclid's Elements was used as a source by Pappus of Alexandria. He wrote many works himself on a wide variety of topics, his Isagoge, or Introduction, is an introduction to logic and philosophy, in the Latin and Arabic translations it was the standard textbook on logic throughout the Middle Ages. In addition, through several of his works, most notably Philosophy from Oracles and Against the Christians, banned by emperor Constantine the Great, he was involved in a controversy with a number of early Christians. Porphyry was born in Tyre, his parents named him Malchus but his teacher in Athens, Cassius Longinus, gave him the name Porphyrius a reference to his Phoenician heritage, or a punning allusion to his name and the color of royal robes. Under Longinus he studied rhetoric. In 262 he went to Rome, attracted by the reputation of Plotinus, for six years devoted himself to the practice of Neoplatonism, during which time he modified his diet.
At one point he became suicidal. On the advice of Plotinus he went to live in Sicily for five years to recover his mental health. On returning to Rome, he lectured on philosophy and completed an edition of the writings of Plotinus together with a biography of his teacher. Iamblichus is mentioned in ancient Neoplatonic writings as his pupil, but this most 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 years, he married Marcella, a widow with seven children and an enthusiastic student of philosophy. Little more is known of his life, the date of his death is uncertain. 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 appreciated for his Introduction to Categories, a short work considered to be a commentary on Aristotle's Categories, hence the title. According to Barnes, the correct title is Introduction, the book is an introduction not to the Categories in particular, but to logic in general, comprising as it does the theories of predication 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, difference, accident. 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. Boethius' Isagoge, a Latin translation of Porphyry's "Introduction", became a standard medieval textbook in European 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 illustrates his logical classification of substance. To this day, taxonomy benefits in classifying living organisms; the Introduction was translated into Arabic by Abd-Allāh Ibn al-Muqaffaʿ from a Syriac version. With the Arabicized name Isāghūjī it long remained the standard introductory logic text in the Muslim world and influenced the study of theology, philosophy and jurisprudence.
Besides the adaptations and epitomes of this work, many independent works on logic by Muslim philosophers have been entitled Isāghūjī. Porphyry's discussion of accident sparked a long-running debate on the application of accident and essence. Porphyry is known as an opponent of Christianity and defender of Paganism. There is debate as to whether it was written in his youth or closer in time to the persecutions of Christians under Diocletian and Galerius. Whether or not Porphyry was the pagan philosopher opponent in Lactantius' Divine Institutes, written at the time of the persecutions, has long been discussed; the fragments of the Philosophy from Oracles are only quoted by Christians Eusebius, Theodoret and John Philoponus. The fragments contain oracles identifying proper sacrificial procedure, the nature of astrological fate, other topics relevant for Greek and Roman religion in the third century. Whether this work contradicts his treatise defending vegetarianism, which warned the philosopher to avoid animal sacrifice, is disputed among scholars.
During his retirement in Sicily, Porphyry wrote Against the Christians which consisted of fifteen books. Some thirty Christian apologists, such as Methodius, Apollinaris, Jerome, etc. responded to his challenge. In fact, everything known about Porphyry's arguments is found in these refutations because Theodosius II ordered every copy burned in A. D. 435 and again in 448. Porphyry became one of the most able pagan adversaries of Christianity of his day, his aim was not to di
Julian known as Julian the Apostate, was Roman Emperor from 361 to 363, as well as a notable philosopher and author in Greek. A member of the Constantinian dynasty, Julian was orphaned as a child, he was raised by the Gothic slave Mardonius, who had a profound influence on him, providing Julian with an excellent education. Julian became Caesar over the western provinces by order of Constantius II in 355, in this role he campaigned against the Alamanni and Franks. Most notable was his crushing victory over the Alamanni at the Battle of Argentoratum in 357, leading his 13,000 men against a Germanic army three times larger. In 360, Julian was proclaimed Augustus by his soldiers at Lutetia, sparking a civil war with Constantius. However, Constantius died before the two could face each other in battle, named Julian as his successor. In 363, Julian embarked on an ambitious campaign against the Sassanid Empire; the campaign was successful, securing a victory outside Ctesiphon. However, while campaigning into Persian territory, the Persians flooded the area behind him and Julian took a risky decision to withdraw up the valley of the Tigris River.
During the Battle of Samarra, Julian was mortally wounded under mysterious circumstances, leaving his army trapped in Persian territory. Following his death, the Roman forces were obliged to cede territory in order to escape, including the fortress city of Nisibis. Julian was a man of unusually complex character: he was "the military commander, the theosophist, the social reformer, the man of letters", he was the last non-Christian ruler of the Roman Empire, he believed that it was necessary to restore the Empire's ancient Roman values and traditions in order to save it from dissolution. He purged the top-heavy state bureaucracy, attempted to revive traditional Roman religious practices at the expense of Christianity, his attempt to build a Third Temple in Jerusalem was intended to harm Christianity rather than please Jews. Julian forbade the Christians from teaching and learning classical texts, his rejection of Christianity, his promotion of Neoplatonic Hellenism in its place, caused him to be remembered as Julian the Apostate by the church.
Flavius Claudius Julianus was born at Constantinople in May or June 332, the son of Julius Constantius, consul in 335, half-brother of the emperor Constantine, by his second wife, Basilina, a woman of Greek origin. Both of his parents were Christians. Julian's paternal grandparents were the emperor Constantius Chlorus and his second wife, Flavia Maximiana Theodora, his maternal grandfather was Julius Julianus, Praetorian Prefect of the East under the emperor Licinius from 315 to 324, consul suffectus in 325. The name of Julian's maternal grandmother is unknown. In the turmoil after the death of Constantine in 337, in order to establish himself and his brothers, Julian's zealous Arian cousin Constantius II appears to have led a massacre of most of Julian's close relatives. Constantius II ordered the murders of many descendants from the second marriage of Constantius Chlorus and Theodora, leaving only Constantius and his brothers Constantine II and Constans I, their cousins and Gallus, as the surviving males related to Emperor Constantine.
Constantius II, Constans I, Constantine II were proclaimed joint emperors, each ruling a portion of Roman territory. Julian and Gallus were excluded from public life, were guarded in their youth, given a Christian education, they were saved by their youth and at the urging of the Empress Eusebia. If Julian's writings are to be believed, Constantius would be tormented with guilt at the massacre of 337. Growing up in Bithynia, raised by his maternal grandmother, at the age of seven Julian was under the guardianship of Eusebius of Nicomedia, the semi-Arian Christian Bishop of Nicomedia, taught by Mardonius, a Gothic eunuch, about whom he wrote warmly. After Eusebius died in 342, both Julian and Gallus were exiled to the imperial estate of Macellum in Cappadocia. Here Julian met the Christian bishop George of Cappadocia, who lent him books from the classical tradition. At the age of 18, the exile was lifted and he dwelt in Constantinople and Nicomedia, he became a lector, a minor office in the Christian church, his writings show a detailed knowledge of the Bible acquired in his early life.
Julian's conversion from Christianity to paganism happened at around the age of 20. Looking back on his life in 362, Julian wrote that he had spent twenty years in the way of Christianity and twelve in the true way, i.e. the way of Helios. Julian began his study of Neoplatonism in Asia Minor in 351, at first under Aedesius, the philosopher, his Aedesius' student Eusebius of Myndus, it was from Eusebius that Julian learned of the teachings of Maximus of Ephesus, whom Eusebius criticized for his more mystical form of Neoplatonic theurgy. Eusebius related his meeting with Maximus, in which the theurgist invited him into the temple of Hecate and, chanting a hymn, caused a statue of the goddess to smile and laugh, her torches to ignite. Eusebius told Julian that he "must not marvel at any of these things as I marvel not, but rather believe that the thing of the highest importance is that purification of the soul, attained by reason." In spite of Eusebius' warnings regarding the "impostures of witchcraft and magic that cheat the senses" and "the works of conjurers who are insane men led astray into the exercise of earthly and material powers", Julian was intrigued, sought out Maximus as his new mentor.
According to the historian Eunapiu
Carneades was an Academic skeptic born in Cyrene. By the year 159 BC, he had started to refute all previous dogmatic doctrines Stoicism, the Epicureans whom previous skeptics had spared; as head of the Academy, he was one of three philosophers sent to Rome in 155 BC where his lectures on the uncertainty of justice caused consternation among leading politicians. He left many of his opinions are known only via his successor Clitomachus, he seems to have doubted the ability not just of reason too in acquiring truth. His skepticism was, moderated by the belief that we can ascertain probabilities of truth, to enable us to live and act correctly. Carneades, the son of Epicomus or Philocomiis, was born at Cyrene, North Africa in 214/213 BC, he migrated early to Athens, attended the lectures of the Stoics, learned their logic from Diogenes. He studied the works of Chrysippus, exerted his energy of a acute and original mind in their refutation, he attached himself to the Academy. His great eloquence and skill in argument revived the glories of his school.
In the year 155 BC, when he was fifty-eight years old, he was chosen with Diogenes the Stoic and Critolaus the Peripatetic to go as ambassador to Rome to deprecate the fine of 500 talents, imposed on the Athenians for the destruction of Oropus. During his stay at Rome, he attracted great notice from his eloquent speeches on philosophical subjects, it was here that, in the presence of Cato the Elder, he delivered his several orations on Justice; the first oration was in commendation of the virtue of Roman justice, the next day the second was delivered, in which all the arguments he'd made on the first were refuted, as he persuasively attempted to prove that justice was problematic, not a given when it came to virtue, but a compact device deemed necessary for the maintenance of a well-ordered society. Recognizing the potential danger of the argument, Cato was shocked at this and he moved the Roman Senate to send the philosopher home to his school, prevent exposure of Roman youth to the threat of re-examining all Roman doctrines.
Carneades lived twenty-seven years after this at Athens. Carneades was succeeded, by his namesake Carneades, son of Polemarchus, but the younger Carneades died 131/0 BC and was succeeded by Crates of Tarsus; the elder Carneades died at the advanced age of 85, in 129/128 BC. After the death of Crates of Tarsus in 127/126 BC Clitomachus became head of the Academy. Carneades is described as a man of unwearied industry, he was so engrossed in his studies, that he let his hair and nails grow to an immoderate length, was so absent at his own table, that his servant and concubine, was obliged to feed him. Latin writer and author Valerius Maximus, to whom we owe the last anecdote, tells us that Carneades, before discussing with Chrysippus, was wont to purge himself with hellebore, to have a sharper mind. In his old age, he suffered from cataract in his eyes, which he bore with great impatience, was so little resigned to the decay of nature, that he used to ask angrily, if this was the way in which nature undid what she had done, sometimes expressed a wish to poison himself.
Carneades is known as an Academic skeptic. Academic skeptics hold that all knowledge is impossible, except for the knowledge that all other knowledge is impossible. Carneades left no writings, all, known of his lectures is derived from his intimate friend and pupil, Clitomachus. In ethics, which more were the subject of his long and laborious study, he seems to have denied the conformity of the moral ideas with nature; this he insisted on in the second oration on Justice, in which he manifestly wished to convey his own notions on the subject. All this, was nothing but the special application of his general theory, that people did not possess, never could possess, any criterion of truth. Carneades argued that, if there were a criterion, it must exist either in reason, or sensation, or conception, but reason itself depends on conception, this again on sensation. Therefore, sensation and reason, are alike disqualified for being the criterion of truth, but after all, people must live and act, must have some rule of practical life.
For, although we cannot say that any given conception or sensation is in itself true, yet some sensations appear to us more true than others, we must be guided by that which seems the most true. Ag