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Arius Didymus  

Brad Inwood

Arius Didymus, of Alexandria (1), philosopher and adviser to *Augustus; *procurator of Sicily. He wrote a now lost consolation for the death of Nero *Claudius Drusus, addressed to *Livia Drusilla. His doxographical work (see doxographers) is represented by two long fragments on Stoic and Peripatetic ethics, preserved by *Stobaeus (Ecl.


Arrian, c. 86–160 CE  

Albert Brian Bosworth

Born in *Nicomedia in *Bithynia, he held local office and pursued studies with *Epictetus, whose lectures he later published (allegedly verbatim) as the Discourses and summarized in the Encheiridion (‘Manual’). In Greece between 108 and 112 he attracted the friendship of *Hadrian, who later adlected him to senatorial rank (see adlection) and after his consulate (?129) employed him for six years (131–7) as legate of *Cappadocia. Subsequently he retired to Athens, where he held the archonship (145/6), and perhaps survived into the reign of *Marcus Aurelius.One of the most distinguished writers of his day, Arrian represented himself as a second *Xenophon (1) and adopted a style which fused elements of Xenophon into a composite, artificial (yet outstandingly lucid) diction based on the great masters, *Herodotus (1) and *Thucydides (2). The Cynegeticus is an explicit revision of Xenophon's monograph in the light of the revolution in *hunting brought by the Celtic greyhound; and Xenophon's influence is demonstrable in the short essays he wrote in Cappadocia: the Periplus (c.


Aspasius, c. 100–50 CE  

Robert Sharples

Aspasius (c.100–50 ce), Peripatetic. His commentaries on *Aristotle's Cat., Int., Metaph., Ph., and Cael., and his Treatise on the Natural Emotions are lost. His commentary on the Nicomachean Ethics survives in part (ed. G. Heylbut, Comm. in Arist. Graeca 19/1 (1889)). The treatment of the Nicomachean Ethics rather than the Eudemian as the authoritative Aristotelian ethical work begins with this commentary.


Athēnaiōn politeia  

P. J. Rhodes

*Aristotle is credited with works on the constitutions of 158 states: a papyrus containing all but the opening few pages of the Athenian constitution was acquired by the British Museum, and was published in 1891. About the first two thirds (chs. 1–41) give a history of the constitution to the restoration of the democracy after the regime of the Thirty (see thirty tyrants). This part derives from a mixture of sources, and is of uneven merit, but at its best it contains valuable information which does not survive in any other text. The remaining third (42–69) gives an extremely useful account of the working of the constitution in the author's time, and appears to be based on the laws of Athens and the author's own observation.There has been much argument as to the authorship of the work: it was regularly attributed in antiquity to Aristotle, and was written (in the 330s bce, with some revision in the 320s) when he was in Athens; there are some striking agreements between the Athēnaiōn politeia and Aristotle's Politics (e.



Julia Annas

Athenodorus, of Tarsus, son of Sandon, Stoic, a friend of *Cicero and *Strabo, and, like *Arius Didymus, a court philosopher to Augustus; he addressed a work to *Octavia (2). (He is to be distinguished from Athenodorus Cordylion.) He probably came to Rome with the then Octavian in 44 bce; in old age he was sent by Augustus to expel Boethus, Antony's ruler in Tarsus, where he then became the chief citizen. He was probably a pupil of *Posidonius (2), and sent a summary of some of the latter's views to Cicero, who wanted them for his De officiis. He wrote a work against Aristotle's Categories, an account of *Tarsus, and, like Posidonius, On the Ocean. The younger *Seneca used his ethical writings.



Catherine Osborne

Atomism, a term used of theories that posit the existence of small indivisible particles as the ultimate components of matter. The Greek term atomon, used by some ancient philosophers to describe these ultimate components, means ‘uncuttable' or ‘indivisible'. The theories in ancient philosophy that fall under the general term ‘atomism' share certain features: all posit an infinite number of these microscopic particle-type entities (atoma, atoms) as the physical occupants of the universe; these atoms are in motion through empty space, and the space itself has neither boundaries nor distinct places within it; atoms come in different varieties, which are differentiated in shape and have certain fundamental features such as solidity, resistance, texture, and possibly weight. The atom's intrinsic features never change, but when the atoms gather together to form larger bodies (either collections of several atoms of the same sort, or an assortment of different kinds) their intrinsic or primary qualities account for other secondary effects that are features of larger bodies, including the appearance of colour, flavour, and scent (what we might call secondary qualities). These derivative effects can change as the arrangement of the atoms in a body or collection of bodies change, even though the atoms themselves do not acquire or lose any properties of their own.


Atticus, c. 150–200 CE  

John Dillon

Atticus (c. 150–200 ce), Platonist (see plato (1)), opposed the infiltration of *Peripatetic elements into Platonism, but himself introduced into it certain doctrines proper to *Stoicism. Like *Plutarch, he insisted on a literal interpretation of Plato's Timaeus, as regards the temporal beginning of the cosmos.


Augustine, St, Aurelius Augustinus, 354–430 CE  

John F. Matthews

St Augustine (Aurelius Augustinus (354–430 ce), was born at Thagaste (mod. Souk Ahras, Algeria), son of Patricius, a modest town councillor of pagan beliefs, and a dominant Catholic mother, Monica. Educated at Thagaste, *Madauros, and Carthage, he taught rhetoric at Thagaste, Carthage, and Rome and (384–6) as public orator at Milan, then the capital of the emperor Valentinian II. Patronized at Rome by *Symmachus (2), the pagan orator, he hoped, by an advantageous marriage (to which he sacrificed his concubine, the mother of a son, Adeodatus—d. c.390) to join the ‘aristocracy of letters’ typical of his age (see ausonius). At 19, however, he had read the Hortensius of *Cicero. This early ‘conversion to philosophy’ was the prototype of successive conversions: to *Manichaeism, a Gnostic sect promising Wisdom, and, in 386, to a Christianized *Neoplatonism patronized by *Ambrose, bishop of Milan. Catholicism, for Augustine, was the ‘Divine Philosophy’, a Wisdom guaranteed by authority but explored by reason: ‘Seek and ye shall find’, the only scriptural citation in his first work, characterizes his life as a thinker.


Aurelius, Marcus, Meditations  

R. B. Rutherford

Aurelius, Marcus, Marcus is most famous for a work his subjects never saw, the intimate notebook in which he recorded (in Greek) his own reflections on human life and the ways of the gods, perhaps before retiring at night. The title Meditations is purely modern: τά εἰς ἑαυτὸν (‘to himself’), found in our MSS, may not go back to the author, but is surely accurate. Internal evidence suggests that he was past his prime when he wrote (2. 2, and other references to his age or imminent death), and that at least parts were composed during his lengthy campaigns against the German tribes. It seems to have survived almost by accident; it was unknown to the writers of his time and for long afterwards, but seems to have surfaced in the 4th cent. (Them., Or. 6. 81c, not a certain allusion). In general the closest analogies for the thought are with *Epictetus, but Marcus is interested less in sustained exposition.


Bion (1), of Borysthenes (Olbia), philosopher, c. 335–c. 245 BCE  

J. L. Moles

Bion (1), of Borysthenes (Olbia) (c.335–c.245 bce), philosopher. His own account of his life (Diogenes Laertius 4. 46–7) is fictionalized. His disreputable parents (ex-prostitute and freedman who sold salt fish) strain credulity; his father's financial disgrace and his own enslavement recall alleged adventures of *Diogenes (2) the Cynic. Bion reached Athens c.315 and, while classed as Academic by *Diogenes (6) Laertius 4. 46–58, associated variously with *Xenocrates (1) the Academic, *Crates (2) the Cynic, Theodorus the Cyrenaic, and *Theophrastus the Peripatetic. He subsequently wandered widely, lecturing and teaching for money. When old, he became a court philosopher of *Antigonus (2) Gonatas. Cynic in his theatricality, caustic wit, rhetoric, style, rejection of traditional education and of all philosophy except ethics, and in much of his ethics, Bion followed the *Cyrenaics in accepting the legitimacy of different social and political roles, including that of kings, and in interpreting the tag ‘use the things that are present’ to include both riches and poverty. His serio-comic writings, of which *Teles and Diogenes (6) Laertius preserve substantial fragments, greatly influenced the diatribe tradition and *Horace's Satires.


Blossius, Gaius  

Ernst Badian

Descendant of a prominent anti-Roman family of Hannibalic *Capua and a student of Stoic philosophy (see stoicism), was a friend of Ti. *Sempronius Gracchus (3), after whose death he joined *Aristonicus (1). After Aristonicus' defeat he killed himself. His philosophical influence on both these men is difficult to gauge.


Boethius, Musical writings  

Andrew Barker

Boethius' Institutio musica, mainly paraphrased from Greek sources, deploys Pythagorean harmonics (see pythagoras), within the quadrivium, to promote understanding of music's extraordinary powers. Books 1–3 (introduction and mathematical demonstrations) and possibly book 4 (divisions of the monochord, modes) derive from a lost work by *Nicomachus (3). Book 5 (incomplete) renders *Ptolemy (4)Harmonica 1, very selectively: perhaps Harmonica 2–3 were intended to follow.


Boethus (3), of Sidon, Stoic, pupil of Diogenes (3) of Babylon, 2nd cent. BCE  

Julia Annas

Stoic, pupil of *Diogenes (3) of Babylon.Diverging from orthodox Stoic physics, he rejected the ekpurōsis and derived *soul from air and fire. He devoted much attention to details of Stoic cosmology, writing a commentary on *Aratus (1)'s Phaenomena and works On Nature and On Fate.


Boethus (4), of Sidon, Aristotelian philosopher  

D. O'Meara

Aristotelian philosopher of the time of Augustus, *Andronicus of Rhodes' pupil and successor, it seems, as head of the *Peripatetic school at Athens. He pursued Andronicus' work of explaining *Aristotle: his commentaries, now lost, were used by later Greek commentators. His learned and subtle interpretation and defence of Aristotle's Categories is best documented.



Wilbur R. Knorr

Bryson (early 4th cent. bce), of Heraclea (3) Pontica, a sophist associated with the following of *Euclides (1) of Megara, he is criticized by Aristotle for an allegedly fallacious quadrature of the circle (An. post. 75b4; Soph. el. 171b16, 172a3). The argument, whatever its original intent, employs a form of two-sided convergence of polygonal sequences to the circle, a procedure later exploited by *Archimedes in his measurement of the sphere.



C. C. W. Taylor

A character in *Plato (1)'s Gorgias, whose historicity is disputed. He attacks conventional morality as an inversion of true or natural morality, since the restrictions of conventional justice (to nomōi dikaion) violate the natural right (to phusēi dikaion) of the strong to exploit the weak.



Philosopher of uncertain date (probably not before *Ariston (1) of Chios and *Hieronymus (2) of Rhodes, who flourished c.250 bce). Cicero says he held that the supreme good consists in the union of pleasure and virtue. 128 (122).



Gisela Striker

Carneades from Cyrene (214/3–129/8 bce), the most important representative of the sceptical *Academy, often called the founder of the New Academy as distinct from the Middle Academy of *Arcesilaus (1). He studied philosophy in the Academy under Hegesinus, but also took lessons in Stoic dialectic from *Diogenes (3) of Babylon. Carneades became scholarch some time before 155, when he was sent by Athens on an embassy to Rome together with the Stoic Diogenes and the Peripatetic *Critolaus. He resigned as head of the Academy in 137/6 and was succeeded by a younger namesake. Carneades was famous for his dialectical and rhetorical skills. He attracted many students, and his lectures drew large audiences, even from the schools of the orators. He left no writings, but his arguments were recorded in many volumes by his pupil *Clitomachus.Carneades used the method of arguing for and against any given view to criticize all dogmatic philosophies, covering not only epistemology, but also physics, theology, and ethics. He also continued the debate between the Academy and the Stoa, whose doctrines had been defended against earlier sceptical objections by *Chrysippus.



Epicurean of the 3rd or 2nd cent. bce, author of Philistas, a discussion of friendship in which *Praxiphanes was criticized.


Catius, Titus  

M. T. Griffin

Titus Catius, an Insubrian from Cisalpine Gaul (see Gaul (cisalpine)), is mentioned by Cicero (Fam. 15. 16) as a recently deceased writer on Epicureanism (see epicurus). He is also mentioned by *Quintilian (Inst. 10. 1. 24) and probably by *Pliny (2) the Younger (Ep.