List of ancient Greek philosophers

This list of ancient Greek philosophers contains philosophers who studied in ancient Greece or spoke Greek. Ancient Greek philosophy began in Miletus with the pre-Socratic philosopher Thales[1][2] and lasted through Late Antiquity. Some of the most famous and influential Greek philosophers of all time were from the ancient Greek world, including Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. Abbreviations used in this list:

  • c. = circa
  • fl. = flourished
Name Life School Notes
Acrion 5th / 4th century BC Pythagorean visited by Plato
Adrastus of Aphrodisias 2nd century AD Peripatetic wrote commentaries on Aristotle's works and a commentary on Plato's Timaeus
Aedesia 5th century Neoplatonic wife of Hermias, and mother of Ammonius and Heliodorus
Aedesius 3rd / 4th century Neoplatonic studied under Iamblichus before founding his own school in Pergamum
Aeneas of Gaza 5th / 6th century Neoplatonic a Christian convert who studied under Hierocles
Aenesidemus 1st century BC? Pyrrhonist wrote a book called Pyrrhonist Discourses which became a central text for the skeptics
Aesara 5th / 4th century BC Pythagorean
Aeschines of Neapolis 2nd / 1st century BC Academic skeptic
Aeschines of Sphettus 5th / 4th century BC Socratic part of Socrates' circle and likely present at his death
Aetius 4th century AD Peripatetic Antiochean convert to Christianity who studied in Alexandria
Agapius 5th / 6th century AD Neoplatonic studied under Marinus of Neapolis. known for his learning
Agathobulus 1st / 2nd century AD Cynicism Known for his severe asceticism and teacher of Demonax
Agrippa the Skeptic 1st / 2nd century AD Pyrrhonist thought to be the creator of the "five grounds of doubt"
Albinus 2nd century AD Middle Platonist
Alcinous 2nd century AD? Middle Platonist
Alcmaeon of Croton 5th / 5th century BC Pythagorean interested in medicine
Alexamenus of Teos 5th century BC? Socratic may have been the first to write philosophical dialogues
Alexander of Aegae 1st century AD Peripatetic school tutored the emperor Nero
Alexander of Aphrodisias 2nd / 3rd century AD Peripatetic school influential commentator on the Corpus Aristotelicum
Alexicrates 1st / 2nd century AD Pythagorean
Alexinus 4th / 3rd century BC Megarian founded his own school which did not fare well
Amelius 3rd century AD Neoplatonic student of Plotinus who wrote voluminously
Ammonius Hermiae 5th / 6th century AD Neoplatonic
Ammonius of Athens 1st century AD Middle Platonist teacher of Plutarch
Ammonius Saccas 2nd / 3rd century AD Neoplatonic Plotinus' teacher
Anaxagoras 5th century BC Pluralist
Anaxarchus 4th century BC Atomist
Anaxilaus 1st century BC / 1st century AD Pythagorean
Anaximander 7th / 6th century BC Milesian
Anaximenes of Miletus 6th century BC Milesian
Androcydes 2nd century BC? Pythagorean
Andronicus of Rhodes 1st century BC Peripatetic
Anniceris 4th / 3rd century BC Cyrenaic
Antiochus of Ascalon 2nd / 1st century BC Middle Platonist
Antipater of Cyrene 4th century BC Cyrenaic
Antipater of Tarsus 2nd century BC Stoic
Antipater of Tyre 1st century BC Stoic
Antisthenes 5th / 4th century BC Cynic
Antoninus 4th century AD Neoplatonic
Apollodorus of Athens 2nd century BC Stoic
Apollodorus of Seleucia 2nd century BC Stoic
Apollodorus the Epicurean 2nd century BC Epicurean
Apollonius Cronus 4th century BC Megarian
Apollonius of Tyana 1st century AD Neopythagorean
Apollonius of Tyre 1st century BC Stoic
Arcesilaus 4th / 3rd century BC Academic skeptic
Archedemus of Tarsus 2nd century BC Stoic
Archelaus 5th century BC Pluralist
Archytas 5th / 4th century BC Pythagorean
Arete of Cyrene 4th century BC Cyrenaic
Arignote 6th / 5th century BC Pythagorean
Aristarchus of Samos 4th / 3rd century BC Academic skeptic presented the first known model that placed the Sun at the center of the known universe with the Earth revolving around it.
Aristippus 5th / 4th century BC Cyrenaic
Aristippus the Younger 4th century BC Cyrenaic
Aristoclea fl. 6th century BC
Aristocles of Messene 1st century AD? Peripatetic
Aristocreon 3rd / 2nd century BC Stoic
Aristo of Alexandria 2nd /1st century BC Peripatetic
Aristo of Ceos 3rd / 2nd century BC Peripatetic
Aristo of Chios 4th / 3rd century BC Stoic
Aristotle 4th century BC Peripatetic founder of Peripatetic school; student of Plato
Aristotle of Cyrene 4th / 3rd century BC Cyrenaic
Aristotle of Mytilene 2nd century AD Peripatetic
Aristoxenus 4th century BC Peripatetic
Arius Didymus 1st century BC Stoic
Asclepiades of Phlius 4th / 3rd century BC Eretrian
Asclepiades the Cynic 4th century AD Cynicism
Asclepigenia 5th / 6th century AD Neoplatonic
Asclepiodotus 1st century BC
Asclepiodotus of Alexandria 5th century AD Neoplatonic
Aspasius 2nd century AD Peripatetic
Athenaeus of Seleucia 1st century BC Peripatetic
Athenodoros Cananites 1st century BC Stoic
Athenodoros Cordylion 2nd /1st century BC Stoic
Athenodorus of Soli 3rd century BC Stoic
Attalus 1st century BC / 1st century AD Stoic
Atticus 2nd century AD Middle Platonist
Basilides (Stoic) 2nd century BC Stoic Denied the existence of incorporeal entities
Basilides the Epicurean 3rd / 2nd century BC Epicurean Succeeded Dionysius of Lamptrai as the head of the Epicurean school at Athens
Batis of Lampsacus 3rd century BC Epicurean
Bion of Borysthenes 4th / 3rd century BC Cynic Once was a slave, later to be released
Boethus of Sidon 1st century BC Peripatetic
Boethus of Sidon (Stoic) 2nd century BC Stoic
Bolus of Mendes fl. 3rd century BC Pythagorean
Brontinus fl. 6th century BC Pythagorean
Bryson of Achaea fl. 330 BC Megarian
Callicles 5th century BCE Sophist?
Calliphon 2nd century BC Peripatetic
Calliphon of Croton 6th century BC Pythagorean
Callistratus fl. 3rd century AD Sophist
Carneades c. 214 BC – 129/8 BC Academic skeptic
Carneiscus c. 300 BC Epicurean
Cassius Longinus c. 213–273 Middle Platonist
Cebes c. 430–350 BC Pythagorean
Celsus 2nd century
Cercidas 3rd century BC Cynic
Cercops Pythagorean
Chaerephon Socratic
Chamaeleon Peripatetic
Charmadas 164 BC - c. 95 BC Academic skeptic
Chrysanthius fl. 4th century Neoplatonic
Chrysippus Stoic
Cleanthes Stoic
Clearchus of Soli Peripatetic
Cleinias of Tarentum Pythagorean
Cleomedes Stoic
Cleomenes Cynic
Clinomachus Megarian
Clitomachus 187 BC - 109 BC Academic skeptic
Colotes Epicurean
Crantor born c. 350 BC Academic Platonist
Crates of Athens died 268-265 BC Academic Platonist
Crates of Mallus Stoic
Crates of Thebes Cynic
Cratippus of Pergamon Peripatetic
Cratylus Ephesian
Crescens the Cynic Cynic
Crinis Stoic
Critolaus Peripatetic
Cronius Neopythagorean
Damascius born c. 458, died after 538 Neoplatonic
Damis Neopythagorean
Damo Pythagorean
Dardanus of Athens Stoic
Demetrius Lacon Epicurean
Demetrius Phalereus Peripatetic
Demetrius of Amphipolis fl. 4th century BC Academic Platonist
Demetrius the Cynic Cynic
Democrates Pythagorean?
Democritus Presocratic, Atomist
Demonax Cynic
Dexippus fl. 350 Neoplatonic
Diagoras of Melos Sophist
Dicaearchus Peripatetic
Dio Chrysostom Sophist
Diocles of Cnidus fl. 3rd or 2nd century BC? Academic Platonist
Diodorus Cronus Megarian
Diodorus of Adramyttium fl. 1st century BC Academic skeptic
Diodorus of Aspendus Pythagorean
Diodorus of Tyre Peripatetic
Diodotus Stoic
Diogenes of Apollonia Presocratic
Diogenes of Babylon Stoic
Diogenes of Oenoanda Epicurean
Diogenes of Seleucia Epicurean
Diogenes of Sinope Cynic
Diogenes of Tarsus Epicurean
Dionysius of Chalcedon Megarian
Dionysius of Cyrene Stoic
Dionysius of Lamptrai Epicurean
Dionysius the Renegade Stoic
Dio of Alexandria fl. 1st century BC Academic skeptic
Diotima of Mantinea
Diotimus Stoic
Domninus of Larissa c. 420 - c. 480 Neoplatonic
Echecrates Pythagorean
Ecphantus Pythagorean
Empedocles Presocratic, Pluralist
Epicharmus of Kos Pythagorean
Epictetus Stoic wrote The Enchiridion, a handbook of Stoic ethical advice
Epicurus Epicurean said that the purpose of philosophy was to attain tranquility characterized by ataraxia
Eubulides Megarian
Euclid of Megara Megarian
Eudemus of Rhodes Peripatetic
Eudorus of Alexandria Peripatetic
Eudoxus of Cnidus 410/408 BC – 355/347 BC Academic Platonist
Euenus Sophist
Euphantus Megarian
Euphrates Stoic
Eurytus Pythagorean
Eusebius of Myndus fl. 4th century Neoplatonic
Eustathius of Cappadocia c. 400 Neoplatonic
Evander fl. c. 215 - c. 205 Academic skeptic
Favorinus Academic skeptic
Gaius the Platonist fl. 2nd century Middle Platonist
Geminus Stoic
Gorgias Sophist
Hagnon of Tarsus fl. 2nd century BC Academic skeptic
Hecataeus of Abdera Pyrrhonist
Hecato of Rhodes Stoic
Hegesias of Cyrene Cyrenaic
Hegesinus of Pergamon fl. c. 160 BC Academic skeptic
Hegias fl. c. 500 Neoplatonic
Heliodorus of Alexandria fl. 5th century Neoplatonic
Heraclides Lembus
Heraclides Ponticus 387 BC - 312 BC Academic Platonist
Heraclitus Presocratic, Ephesian claimed that "You cannot step in the same river twice" and "All is fire."
Heraclius Cynic
Herillus of Carthage Stoic
Hermagoras of Amphipolis Stoic
Hermarchus Epicurean
Hermias born c. 410 - died c. 450 Neoplatonic
Herminus Peripatetic
Hermippus of Smyrna Peripatetic
Hermotimus of Clazomenae
Hicetas Pythagorean
Hierius fl c. 500 Neoplatonic
Hierocles of Alexandria fl. c. 430 Neoplatonic
Hierocles (Stoic) Stoic
Hieronymus of Rhodes Peripatetic
Himerius Sophist
Hipparchia of Maroneia Cynic
Hippasus Pythagorean
Hippias Sophist
Hippo Presocratic
Horus Cynic
Hypatia of Alexandria born 350-370 – 415 Neoplatonic
Iamblichus c. 245-c. 325 Neoplatonic
Ichthyas Megarian
Idomeneus of Lampsacus Epicurean
Ion of Chios Pythagorean
Isidore of Alexandria fl. c. 475 Neoplatonic
Jason of Nysa Stoic
Lacydes of Cyrene before 241 - c. 205 BC Academic skeptic
Leonteus of Lampsacus Epicurean
Leontion Epicurean
Leucippus Presocratic, Atomist
Lyco of Iasos Pythagorean
Lyco of Troas Peripatetic
Lycophron Sophist
Lysis of Taras Pythagorean
Marinus of Neapolis born c. 450 Neoplatonic
Maximus of Ephesus died 372 Neoplatonic
Maximus of Tyre fl. 2nd century Middle Platonist
Meleager of Gadara Cynic
Melissus of Samos Presocratic, Eleatic
Menedemus Eretrian
Menedemus of Pyrrha fl. c. 350 BC Academic Platonist
Menedemus the Cynic Cynic
Menippus Cynic
Metrocles Cynic
Metrodorus of Athens
Metrodorus of Chios Atomist
Metrodorus of Cos Pythagorean
Metrodorus of Lampsacus (the elder) Presocratic
Metrodorus of Lampsacus (the younger) Epicurean
Metrodorus of Stratonicea fl. 2nd century BC Academic skeptic
Mnesarchus of Athens Stoic
Moderatus of Gades Neopythagorean
Monimus Cynic
Myia Pythagorean
Nausiphanes Atomist
Nicarete of Megara Megarian
Nicolaus of Damascus
Nicomachus Neopythagorean
Nicomachus (son of Aristotle) Peripatetic
Numenius of Apamea fl. c. 275 Neopythagorean
Nymphidianus of Smyrna fl. c. 360 Neoplatonic
Ocellus Lucanus Pythagorean
Oenomaus of Gadara Cynic
Olympiodorus the Elder Peripatetic
Olympiodorus the Younger c. 495-570 Neoplatonic
Onasander fl. 1st century Middle Platonist
Onatas Pythagorean
Origen the Pagan fl. c. 250 Middle Platonist
Panaetius Stoic
Pancrates of Athens Cynicism
Panthoides Megarian
Parmenides of Elea Presocratic, Eleatic held that the only thing that exists is being itself; teacher of Zeno of Elea
Pasicles of Thebes Megarian
Patro the Epicurean Epicurean
Peregrinus Proteus Cynicism
Persaeus Stoic
Phaedo of Elis Socratic, School of Elis
Phaedrus Epicurean
Phanias of Eresus Peripatetic
Phanto of Phlius Pythagorean
Philip of Opus fl. 4th century BC Academic
Philiscus of Aegina Cynicism
Philiscus of Thessaly Sophist
Philo 20 BC - 50 AD Middle Platonist
Philo of Larissa 159/158 BC – 84/83 BC Academic skeptic
Philo the Dialectician Megarian
Philodemus Epicurean
Philolaus Pythagorean
Philonides of Laodicea Epicurean
Philostratus Sophist
Phintys Pythagorean
Plato 428/427 BC - 348/347 BC Academic student of Socrates and teacher of Aristotle; famous for the Theory of Forms
Plotinus c. 204 – 270 Neoplatonic
Plutarch c. 46 – 120 Middle Platonist
Plutarch of Athens c. 350 – 430 Neoplatonic
Polemon of Athens Stoic
Polemon of Laodicea Sophist
Polemon before 314 BC - 270/269 BC Academic
Polyaenus of Lampsacus Epicurean
Polystratus Epicurean
Porphyry 234 – c. 305 Neoplatonic taught by Plotinus; wrote the Isagoge, an introduction to Aristotle's "Categories",
Posidonius Stoic
Potamo of Alexandria Eclecticism
Praxiphanes Peripatetic
Priscian of Lydia fl. c. 550 Neoplatonic
Priscus of Epirus c. 305-c. 395 Neoplatonic
Proclus 412 – 485 Neoplatonic
Proclus of Laodicea
Proclus Mallotes Stoic
Prodicus Sophist
Protagoras Sophist
Ptolemy-el-Garib Peripatetic
Pyrrho Pyrrhonist credited as being the first skeptic philosopher
Pythagoras Pythagorean
Sallustius Neoplatonic
Sallustius of Emesa Cynicism
Satyrus Peripatetic
Secundus the Silent Cynicism
Sextus of Chaeronea
Sextus Empiricus Pyrrhonist
Simmias of Thebes Pythagorean
Simon the Shoemaker Socratic
Simplicius of Cilicia c. 490 - c. 560 Neoplatonic
Siro Epicurean
Socrates Socratic
Sopater of Apamea died before 337 Neoplatonic
Sosigenes Peripatetic
Sosipatra fl. c. 325 Neoplatonic
Sotion Neopythagorean
Speusippus c. 407 BC – 339 BC Academic
Sphaerus Stoic
Stilpo Megarian
Strato of Lampsacus Peripatetic
Syrianus died c. 437 Neoplatonic
Telauges Pythagorean
Telecles of Phocis died 167/166 BC Academic skeptic
Teles the Cynic Cynicism
Thales Presocratic, Milesian the first philosopher; held that the first principle (arche) is water; one of the Seven Sages of Greece
Theagenes of Patras Cynicism
Theano Pythagorean
Themista of Lampsacus Epicurean
Themistius Neoplatonic
Theodorus of Asine fl. 3rd century Neoplatonic
Theodorus the Atheist Cyrenaic
Theon of Smyrna Neopythagorean
Theophrastus Peripatetic
Thrasymachus Sophist
Thrasymachus of Corinth Megarian
Timaeus of Locri Pythagorean
Timaeus the Sophist fl. between 1st and 4th centuries Middle Platonist
Timon Pyrrhonist
Timycha Pythagorean
Tisias Sophist
Xenarchus of Seleucia Peripatetic
Xeniades Pyrrhonist
Xenocrates c. 396 BC – 314 BC Academic
Xenophanes of Colophon Presocratic, Eleatic claimed that, if oxen were able to imagine gods, those gods would be in the image of oxen
Xenophilus Pythagorean friend and teacher of Aristoxenus
Zenobius Sophist
Zenodotus fl. c. 475 Neoplatonic described as "the darling of Proclus"
Zeno of Citium Stoic founder of the Stoic school of philosophy
Zeno of Elea Presocratic, Eleatic famous creator of Zeno's paradoxes
Zeno of Sidon Epicurean sometimes termed the "leading Epicurean"
Zeno of Tarsus Stoic

See also


  1. ^ Aristotle, Metaphysics Alpha, 983b18.
  2. ^ Russell, Bertrand. "The History of Western Philosophy." 1945

External links

Ancient Greek philosophy

Ancient Greek philosophy arose in the 6th century BC and continued throughout the Hellenistic period and the period in which Greece and most Greek-inhabited lands were part of the Roman Empire. Philosophy was used to make sense out of the world in a non-religious way. It dealt with a wide variety of subjects, including astronomy, mathematics, political philosophy, ethics, metaphysics, ontology, logic, biology, rhetoric and aesthetics.Greek philosophy has influenced much of Western culture since its inception. Alfred North Whitehead once noted: "The safest general characterization of the European philosophical tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato". Clear, unbroken lines of influence lead from ancient Greek and Hellenistic philosophers to Early Islamic philosophy, Medieval Scholasticism, the European Renaissance and the Age of Enlightenment.Greek philosophy was influenced to some extent by the older wisdom literature and mythological cosmogonies of the ancient Near East, though the extent of this influence is debated. The classicist Martin Litchfield West states, "contact with oriental cosmology and theology helped to liberate the early Greek philosophers' imagination; it certainly gave them many suggestive ideas. But they taught themselves to reason. Philosophy as we understand it is a Greek creation".Subsequent philosophic tradition was so influenced by Socrates as presented by Plato that it is conventional to refer to philosophy developed prior to Socrates as pre-Socratic philosophy. The periods following this, up to and after the wars of Alexander the Great, are those of "classical Greek" and "Hellenistic" philosophy.

Cynicism (philosophy)

Cynicism (Ancient Greek: κυνισμός) is a school of thought of ancient Greek philosophy as practiced by the Cynics (Ancient Greek: Κυνικοί, Latin: Cynici). For the Cynics, the purpose of life is to live in virtue, in agreement with nature. As reasoning creatures, people can gain happiness by rigorous training and by living in a way which is natural for themselves, rejecting all conventional desires for wealth, power, sex, and fame. Instead, they were to lead a simple life free from all possessions.

The first philosopher to outline these themes was Antisthenes, who had been a pupil of Socrates in the late 5th century BC. He was followed by Diogenes, who lived in a ceramic jar on the streets of Athens. Diogenes took Cynicism to its logical extremes, and came to be seen as the archetypal Cynic philosopher. He was followed by Crates of Thebes, who gave away a large fortune so he could live a life of Cynic poverty in Athens. Cynicism spread with the rise of the Roman Empire in the 1st century, and Cynics could be found begging and preaching throughout the cities of the empire.

Cynicism gradually declined and finally disappeared in the late 5th century, although similar ascetic and rhetorical ideas appear in early Christianity. By the 19th century, emphasis on the negative aspects of Cynic philosophy led to the modern understanding of cynicism to mean a disposition of disbelief in the sincerity or goodness of human motives and actions.

Index of ancient philosophy articles

This page is a list of topics in ancient philosophy.

List of Cynic philosophers

This is a list of Cynic philosophers, ordered (roughly) by date. The criteria for inclusion in this list is fairly mild. See also Category:Cynic philosophers.

List of Epicurean philosophers

This is a list of Epicurean philosophers, ordered (roughly) by date. The criteria for inclusion in this list are fairly mild. See also Category:Epicurean philosophers.

List of Stoic philosophers

This is a list of Stoic philosophers, ordered (roughly) by date. The criteria for inclusion in this list are fairly mild. See also Category:Stoic philosophers.

List of ancient Platonists

Platonists are followers of Platonism, the philosophy of Plato. Platonism can be said to have begun when Plato founded his academy c. 385 BC. Ancient Platonism went on to last until the end of the last remaining pagan school of Platonism in Alexandria which was brought on by the Muslim conquest of Egypt in 641, over a thousand years after the opening of the first Platonic school. Platonism had an immense impact on the intellectual life of the ancient world eventually becoming the dominant philosophy of late antiquity.


Neoplatonism is a term used to designate a strand of Platonic philosophy that emerged in the third century AD against the background of Hellenistic philosophy and religion. The term does not encapsulate a set of ideas as much as it encapsulates a chain of thinkers which began with Ammonius Saccas and his student Plotinus (c. 204/5 – 270 AD) and which stretches to the sixth century AD. Even though neoplatonism primarily circumscribes the thinkers who are now labeled Neoplatonists and not their ideas, there are some ideas that are common to neoplatonic systems, for example, the monistic idea that all of reality can be derived from a single principle, "the One".

After Plotinus there were three distinct periods in the history of neoplatonism: the work of his student Porphyry; that of Iamblichus and his school in Syria; and the period in the fifth and sixth centuries, when the Academies in Alexandria and Athens flourished.Neoplatonism had an enduring influence on the subsequent history of philosophy. In the Middle Ages, neoplatonic ideas were studied and discussed by Muslim, Christian, and Jewish thinkers. In the Islamic cultural sphere, neoplatonic texts were available in Arabic translations, and notable thinkers such as al-Farabi, Solomon ibn Gabirol (Avicebron), Avicenna, and Moses Maimonides incorporated neoplatonic elements into their own thinking. Latin translations of late ancient neoplatonic texts were first available in the Christian West in the ninth century, and became influential from the twelfth century onward. Thomas Aquinas had direct access to works by Proclus, Simplicius and Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite, and he knew about other Neoplatonists, such as Plotinus and Porphyry, through secondhand sources. The mystic Meister Eckhart (c. 1260 – c. 1328) was also influenced by neoplatonism, propagating a contemplative way of life which points to the Godhead beyond the nameable God.

Neoplatonism also had a strong influence on the Perennial philosophy of the Italian Renaissance thinkers Marsilio Ficino and Pico della Mirandola, and continues through nineteenth-century Universalism and modern-day spirituality and nondualism.

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