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date: 30 October 2020

Ammonius (2) Saccaslocked

  • Erik Robertson Dodds
  •  and John Dillon

Extract

Ammonius (2) Saccas, of *Alexandria (1), Platonist philosopher, active in first half of 3rd cent. ce, famous as the teacher of *Plotinus, who studied under him 232–42, as well as of *Origen (1) the Christian, *Origen (2) the pagan, *‘Longinus’, and others. According to Porphyry (in Eus. Hist. Eccl. 6. 19) he was brought up as a Christian but reverted to paganism as soon as he began to think for himself. The epithet θεοδίδακτος (‘taught of God’) and the nickname Saccas (sack-carrier? wearer of sackcloth?) would seem to imply a humble origin, though other interpretations have been proposed. He wrote nothing, and no distinctive features of his teaching can be inferred with any certainty from the few references to it in Nemesius, Nat. hom. 2 and 3, and Hierocles in Photius, cod. 251. Even the story of the vow of secrecy which his pupils, like those of Pythagoras, took and subsequently broke (Porph.

Subjects

  • Classical Philosophy

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