Like many philosophers and Christian fathers, Porphyry was suspicious of real *music but not of musical theory. The introduction to his incomplete Commentary on Ptolemy's Harmonics explains why he chose to work on *Ptolemy rather than other theorists, but not why he thought any treatise in this science worth his attention. Having accused Ptolemy of borrowing heavily from unacknowledged sources, he names many earlier writers in the course of his work and quotes lavishly from their writings, so preserving much important material (selections translated in A. Barker, Greek Musical Writings 2 (1989)). His commentary is the platform for significant ideas of his own, especially in epistemology and on issues related to *Aristotle's theory of the categories.Less
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