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date: 28 February 2021

Heraclides (1) Ponticuslocked

, philosopher, 4th cent. bce
  • David John Furley


4th cent. bce philosopher of the *Academy. Born of a wealthy and aristocratic family in *Heraclea (3) Pontica, he came to *Plato(1)'s Academy in Athens as a pupil of *Speusippus. Like other Academics, he wrote a version of Plato's lectures On the Good; he also studied with *Aristotle, probably while Aristotle was still in the Academic school (he does not really belong to Die Schule des Aristoteles, the ‘school of Aristotle’). He was placed in temporary charge of the Academy during Plato's third visit to Sicily (361/0) and after the death of Plato's successor Speusippus (338) he was runner-up for the headship of the school. He returned to Heraclea. He was still alive at the time of Aristotle's death in 322.

The fragments of his writings, mostly dialogues, reveal the wide variety of his interests—ethical, political, physical, historical, and literary. Diog. Laert. 5. 86–8 gives a list of his writings; more are mentioned in other sources.

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