Porphyry (philosopher)

Porphyry of Tyre (/ˈpɔːrfɪri/; Greek: Πορφύριος, Porphýrios; Arabic: فرفوريوس‎, Furfūriyūs; c. 234 – c. 305 AD) was a Neoplatonic philosopher who was born in Tyre, in the Roman Empire.[1] He edited and published the Enneads, the only collection of the work of his teacher Plotinus. His commentary on Euclid's Elements was used as a source by Pappus of Alexandria.[2]

He also wrote many works himself on a wide variety of topics.[3] His Isagoge, or Introduction, is an introduction to logic and philosophy,[4] and in the Latin and Arabic translations it was the standard textbook on logic throughout the Middle Ages.[5] In addition, through several of his works, most notably Philosophy from Oracles and Against the Christians, which was banned by emperor Constantine the Great,[6] he was involved in a controversy with a number of early Christians.[7]

Porphyry of Tyre
Porphire Sophiste, in a French 16th-century engraving
Bornc. 234 AD
Diedc. 305 AD
Notable work
EraAncient philosophy
RegionWestern philosophy
Main interests
Metaphysics, astrology
Notable ideas
Criticism of Christianity, vegetarianism


Porphyry was born in Tyre. His parents named him Malchus ("king" in the Semitic languages)[8] but his teacher in Athens, Cassius Longinus, gave him the name Porphyrius ("clad in purple"), possibly a reference to his Phoenician heritage, or a punning allusion to his name and the color of royal robes. Under Longinus he studied grammar and rhetoric.

In 262 he went to Rome, attracted by the reputation of Plotinus, and for six years devoted himself to the practice of Neoplatonism, during which time he severely modified his diet. At one point he became suicidal.[9] On the advice of Plotinus he went to live in Sicily for five years to recover his mental health. On returning to Rome, he lectured on philosophy and completed an edition of the writings of Plotinus (who had died in the meantime) together with a biography of his teacher. Iamblichus is mentioned in ancient Neoplatonic writings as his pupil, but this most likely means only that he was the dominant figure in the next generation of philosophers. The two men differed publicly on the issue of theurgy.

In his later years, he married Marcella, a widow with seven children and an enthusiastic student of philosophy. Little more is known of his life, and the date of his death is uncertain.

Introduction (Isagoge)

Imaginary debate between Averroes (1126–1198 AD) and Porphyry (234–c. 305 AD). Monfredo de Monte Imperiali Liber de herbis, 14th century.[10]

Porphyry is best known for his contributions to philosophy. Apart from writing the Aids to the Study of the Intelligibles (Ἀφορμαὶ πρὸς τὰ νοητά; Sententiae Ad Intelligibilia Ducentes), a basic summary of Neoplatonism, he is especially appreciated for his Introduction to Categories (Introductio in Praedicamenta or Isagoge et in Aristotelis Categorias commentarium), a very short work often considered to be a commentary on Aristotle's Categories, hence the title.[11] According to Barnes (2003), however, the correct title is simply Introduction (Εἰσαγωγή Isagoge), and the book is an introduction not to the Categories in particular, but to logic in general, comprising as it does the theories of predication, definition, and proof. The Introduction describes how qualities attributed to things may be classified, famously breaking down the philosophical concept of substance into the five components genus, species, difference, property, accident.

As Porphyry's most influential contribution to philosophy, the Introduction to Categories incorporated Aristotle's logic into Neoplatonism, in particular the doctrine of the categories of being interpreted in terms of entities (in later philosophy, "universal"). Boethius' Isagoge, a Latin translation of Porphyry's "Introduction", became a standard medieval textbook in European schools and universities, which set the stage for medieval philosophical-theological developments of logic and the problem of universals. In medieval textbooks, the all-important Arbor porphyriana ("Porphyrian Tree") illustrates his logical classification of substance. To this day, taxonomy benefits from concepts in Porphyry's Tree, in classifying living organisms (see cladistics).

The Introduction was translated into Arabic by Abd-Allāh Ibn al-Muqaffaʿ from a Syriac version. With the Arabicized name Isāghūjī (إيساغوجي) it long remained the standard introductory logic text in the Muslim world and influenced the study of theology, philosophy, grammar, and jurisprudence. Besides the adaptations and epitomes of this work, many independent works on logic by Muslim philosophers have been entitled Isāghūjī. Porphyry's discussion of accident sparked a long-running debate on the application of accident and essence.[12]

Philosophy from Oracles (De Philosophia ex Oraculis Haurienda)

Porphyry is also known as an opponent of Christianity and defender of Paganism; his precise contribution to the philosophical approach to traditional religion may be discovered in the fragments of Philosophy from Oracles (Περὶ τῆς ἐκ λογίων φιλοσοφίας; De Philosophia ex Oraculis Haurienda), which was originally three books in length. There is debate as to whether it was written in his youth (as Eunapius reports[9]) or closer in time to the persecutions of Christians under Diocletian and Galerius.[13]

Whether or not Porphyry was the pagan philosopher opponent in Lactantius' Divine Institutes, written at the time of the persecutions, has long been discussed. The fragments of the Philosophy from Oracles are only quoted by Christians, especially Eusebius, Theodoret, Augustine, and John Philoponus. The fragments contain oracles identifying proper sacrificial procedure, the nature of astrological fate, and other topics relevant for Greek and Roman religion in the third century. Whether this work contradicts his treatise defending vegetarianism, which also warned the philosopher to avoid animal sacrifice, is disputed among scholars.[14]

Against the Christians (Adversus Christianos)

Porphyrios Sucevita Fresco
Porphyry, a detail of the Tree of Jesse, 1535, Sucevița Monastery.

During his retirement in Sicily, Porphyry wrote Against the Christians (Κατὰ Χριστιανῶν; Adversus Christianon) which consisted of fifteen books. Some thirty Christian apologists, such as Methodius, Eusebius, Apollinaris, Augustine, Jerome, etc., responded to his challenge. In fact, everything known about Porphyry's arguments is found in these refutations, largely because Theodosius II ordered every copy burned in A.D. 435 and again in 448.[15][16][17]

Porphyry became one of the most able pagan adversaries of Christianity of his day. His aim was not to disprove the substance of Christianity’s teachings but rather the records within which the teachings are communicated.[18]

According to Jerome, Porphyry especially attacked the prophecy of Daniel because Jews and Christians pointed to the historical fulfillment of its prophecies as a decisive argument. But these prophecies, he maintained, were written not by Daniel but by some Jew who in the time of Antiochus Epiphanes (d. 164 BC) gathered up the traditions of Daniel's life and wrote a history of recent past events but in the future tense, falsely dating them back to Daniel's time.

Daniel did not predict so much future events as he narrated past ones. Finally what he had told up to Antiochus contained true history; if anything was guessed beyond that point it was false, for he had not known the future. (quoted by Jerome)

The first part of Daniel, with the exception of the dream in Daniel 2, is historic, not prophetic. Porphyry, attacking only the prophetic portion, declares it to be merely a late anonymous narrative of past events, purporting to have been predicted long before by Daniel. Thus Porphyry's scheme was based on the supposed spuriousness of Daniel's prophecies.[19]

Porphyry devised his own interpretation where the third “prophetic kingdom” was Alexander, and assigned the Macedonian Ptolemies and Seleucids to the fourth kingdom. From among these he chose ten kings, making the eleventh to be Antiochus Epiphanes. In this way he threw his main strength against the book of Daniel, recognizing that if this pillar of faith be shaken, the whole structure of prophecy must tremble. If the writer was not Daniel, then he lied on a frightful scale, ascribing to God prophecies which were never uttered, and making claim of miracles that were never wrought. And if Daniel's authorship could be shown to be false, then Christ Himself would be proved to bear witness to an imposter. (Matt. 24: 15.)[20] Porphyry's thesis was adopted by Edward Gibbon, the English deist Anthony Collins, and most Modernist scholars.[21]

Augustine and the 5th-century ecclesiastical historian Socrates of Constantinople, assert that Porphyry was once a Christian.[22]

Other subjects

Porphyry was opposed to the theurgy of his disciple Iamblichus. Much of Iamblichus' mysteries is dedicated to the defense of mystic theurgic divine possession against the critiques of Porphyry. French philosopher Pierre Hadot maintains that for Porphyry, spiritual exercises are an essential part of spiritual development.[23]

Porphyry was, like Pythagoras, an advocate of vegetarianism on spiritual and ethical grounds. These two philosophers are perhaps the most famous vegetarians of classical antiquity. He wrote the On Abstinence from Animal Food (Περὶ ἀποχῆς ἐμψύχων; De Abstinentia ab Esu Animalium), advocating against the consumption of animals, and he is cited with approval in vegetarian literature up to the present day.

Porphyry also wrote widely on astrology, religion, philosophy, and musical theory. He produced a History of Philosophy (Philosophos historia) with vitae of philosophers that included a life of his teacher, Plotinus. His life of Plato from book iv exists only in quotes by Cyril of Alexandria.[24] His book Vita Pythagorae on the life of Pythagoras is not to be confused with the book of the same name by Iamblichus. His commentary on Ptolemy's Harmonics[25] (Eis ta Harmonika Ptolemaiou hypomnēma) is an important source for the history of ancient harmonic theory.

Porphyry also wrote about Homer. Apart from several lost texts known only from quotes by other authors, two texts survive at least in large parts: the Homerian Questions (Homēriká zētḗmata, largely a philological comment on the Iliad and Odyssey) and About the cave of the Nymphs in the Odyssey (Peri tou en Odysseia tōn nymphōn antrou).


  • Ad Gaurum (of uncertain attribution)[26] – ed. K. Kalbfleisch. Abhandlungen der Preussischen Akadamie der Wissenschaft. phil.-hist. kl. (1895): 33-62.
  • Ad Gedalium (a lost commentary on Aristotle's Categories in seven books (see Simplicius, In Aristotelis Categorias commentarium, 2.5-9), the testimonia are published in Andrew Smith (ed.), Porphyrius, Porphyrii Philosophi fragmenta. Fragmenta Arabica David Wasserstein interpretante, Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 1993
  • Contra Christianos – ed.: Adolf von Harnack, Porphyrius, "Gegen die Christen," 15 Bücher: Zeugnisse, Fragmente und Referate. Abhandlungen der königlich preussischen Akademie der Wissenschaften: Jahrgang 1916: philosoph.-hist. Klasse: Nr. 1 (Berlin: 1916); in English translation, Against the Christians.[27]
  • Contra los Cristianos: Recopilación de Fragmentos, Traducción, Introducción y Notas – E. A. Ramos Jurado, J. Ritoré Ponce, A. Carmona Vázquez, I. Rodríguez Moreno, J. Ortolá Salas, J. M. Zamora Calvo (Cádiz: Servicio de Publicaciones de la Universidad de Cádiz 2006).
  • Corpus dei Papiri Filosofici Greci e Latini III: Commentari – (Florence: Leo S. Olschki, 1995). <# 6 and #9 may or may not be by Porphyry>
  • De abstinentia ab esu animalium – Jean Bouffartigue, M. Patillon, and Alain-Philippe Segonds, edd., 3 vols., Budé (Paris, 1979–1995).
  • De Philosophia ex oraculis haurienda – G. Wolf, ed. (Berlin: 1956).
  • Epistula ad Anebonem – A. R. Sodano ed. (Naples: L'arte Tipografia, 1958).
  • Fragmenta – Andrew Smith, ed. (Stvtgardiae et Lipsiae: B. G. Tevbneri, 1993).
  • The Homeric Questions: a Bilingual Edition – Lang Classical Studies 2, R. R. Schlunk, trans. (Frankfurt-am-Main: Lang, 1993).
  • Isagoge, Stefan Weinstock, ed., in Catalogus Codicum astrologorum Graecorum, Franz Cumont, ed. (Brussels, 1940): V.4, 187-228. (This is an introduction to the Tetrabiblos of Ptolemy, not to be confused with the more famous Isagoge on logic.)
  • Kommentar zur Harmonielehre des Ptolemaios Ingemar Düring. ed. (Göteborg: Elanders, 1932).
  • Opuscula selecta Augusts Nauck, ed. (Lipsiae: B. G. Tevbneri, 1886) (online at archive.org).
  • Porphyrii in Platonis Timaeum commentarium fragmenta A. R. Sodano, ed. (Napoli: 1964).
  • Porphyry, the Philosopher, to Marcella: Text and Translation with Introduction and Notes Kathleen O’Brien Wicker, trans., Text and Translations 28; Graeco-Roman Religion Series 10 (Atlanata: Scholars Press, 1987).
  • Pros Markellan Griechiser Text, herausgegeben, übersetzt, eingeleitet und erklärt von W. Pötscher (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1969).
  • Sententiae ad Intelligibilia Ducentes – E. Lamberz, ed. (Leipzig: Teubner, 1975).
  • Vie de Pythagore, Lettre à Marcella – E. des Places, ed. and trans. (Paris: Les Belles Lettre, 1982).
  • La Vie de Plotin – Luc Brisson, ed. Histoire de l'antiquité classique 6 & 16 (Paris: Librairie Philosophique J. Vrin: 1986–1992), 2 vols.
  • Vita Plotini – in Plotinus, Armstrong, ed. LCL (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1968), 2-84.


  • Isagoge – Mediaeval Sources in Translation 16, E. Warren, trans. (Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 1975).
  • Porphyry's Introduction. Translation of the 'Isagoge' with a Commentary by J. Barnes (Oxford, 2003).
  • Porphyry. On Aristotle's Categories. Translated by Steven K. Strange (Ithaca, New York, 1992).
  • The Organon or Logical Treatises of Aristotle with the Introduction of Porphyry. Bohn's Classical Library 11–12, Octavius Freire Owen, trans. (London: G. Bell, 1908–1910), 2 vols.
  • Five Texts on the Mediaeval Problem of Universals: Porphyry, Boethius, Abelard, Duns Scotus, Ockham Paul Vincent Spade, trans. (Indianapolis: Hackett, 1994).
  • Select Works of Porphyry. Translated by T. Taylor (Guildford, 1994). Contains Abstinence from Eating Animal Food, the Sententiae and the Cave of the Nymphs.
  • Launching-Points to the Realm of Mind. Translation of the 'Sententiae' by K. Guthrie (Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1988).
  • Neoplatonic Saints: The Lives of Plotinus and Proclus. Translated Texts for Historians 35 (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2000).
  • On Abstinence from Killing Animals – Gilliam Clark, trans. (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2000).
  • The Cave of the Nymphs in the Odyssey A revised text with translation by Seminar Classics 609, State University of New York at Buffalo, Arethusa Monograph 1 (Buffalo: Dept. of Classics, State University of New York at Buffalo, 1969).
  • On the Cave of the Nymphs – Robert Lamberton, trans. (Barrytown, N. Y.: Station Hill Press, 1983).
  • Porphyry Against the Christians – R. M. Berchman, trans., Ancient Mediterranean and Medieval Texts and Contexts 1 (Leiden: Brill, 2005).
  • Porphyry’s Against the Christians: The Literary Remains – R. Joseph Hoffmann, trans. (Amherst: Prometheus Books, 1994).
  • The Homeric Questions – edited and translated by R. Schlunk (New York, 1993).
  • Porphyry's Letter to His Wife Marcella Concerning the Life of Philosophy and the Ascent to the Gods. Translated by Alice Zimmern (Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1989).
  • Porphyry the Philosopher, Introduction to the Tetrabiblos and Serapio of Alexandria, Astrological Definitions – Translated by James Herschel Holden (Tempe, Az.: A.F.A., Inc., 2009).
  • Translations of several fragments are contained in Appendix 1 of Religion and Identity in Porphyry of Tyre by Aaron Johnson (Cambridge, 2013).

See also


  1. ^ For Porphyry's dates, place of birth and philosophical school, see Barker 2003. Sarton 1936, pp. 429-430, identifies Transjordania as Porphyry's place of birth.
  2. ^ See O'Connor and Robertson, "Porphyry Malchus".
  3. ^ Topics range from music to Homer to vegetarianism. For a comprehensive list see Beutler (1894–1980); another list is here.
  4. ^ Barnes 2003, p. xv clarifies that the Isagoge "[was] not an Introduction to the Categories, rather "[since it was] an introduction to the study of logic, [it] was... an introduction to philosophy--and hence accidentally an introduction to the Categories."
  5. ^ See Barnes 2003, p. ix.
  6. ^ Gillian Clark (1983). On the Pythagorean Life.
  7. ^ See Digeser 1998.
  8. ^ For connotations of West Semitic M-L-K, see Moloch and Malik; compare theophoric names like Abimelech.
  9. ^ a b Eunapius, Lives of the Philosophers
  10. ^ "Inventions et decouvertes au Moyen-Age", Samuel Sadaune, p.112
  11. ^ Barnes 2003, p. xiv outlines the history of the opinion that Porphyry meant for his Isagoge to be an introductory work to the Categories.
  12. ^ Encyclopedia Iranica, "Araz" (accident)
  13. ^ The Christian apologist Eusebius states that "some Greek" might say "How can these people be thought worthy of forbearance? They have not only turned away from those who from earliest time have been thought of as divine among all Greeks and barbarians... but by emperors, law-givers and philosophers— all of a given mind... And to what sort of penalties might they not be subjected who... are fugitives from the things of their Fathers?" This material, once thought to be part of Against the Christians, but reassigned by Wilken 1979 to Philosophy from Oracles, is quoted in Digeser 1998, p. 129. However, it may not have been by Porphyry at all. See Aaron Johnson, "Rethinking the Authenticity of Porphyry, c.Christ. fr. 1," Studia Patristica 46 (2010): 53-58.
  14. ^ Aaron Johnson, Religion and Identity in Porphyry of Tyre, Cambridge, 2013.
  15. ^ "Constantine and other emperors banned and burned Porphyry's work" (Digeser 1998:130).
  16. ^ Letter of Constantine proscribing the works of Porphyry and Arius, To the Bishops and People, in Socrates Scholasticus, Historia Ecclesiastica, i.9.30-31; Gelasius, Historia Ecclesiastica, II.36; translated in Stevenson, J., (Editor; Revised with additional documents by W. H. C. Frend), A New Eusebius, Documents illustrating the history of the Church to AD 337 (SPCK, 1987).
  17. ^ Froom 1950, p. 326.
  18. ^ Froom 1950, p. 327.
  19. ^ Froom 1950, p. 328.
  20. ^ Froom 1950, p. 329.
  21. ^ Froom 1950, p. 330.
  22. ^ Historia Ecclesiastica III.23.
  23. ^ Hadot, P.: Philosophy as a Way of Life (Oxford: Blackwells, 1995), p. 100.
  24. ^ James A. Notopoulos, "Porphyry's Life of Plato" Classical Philology 35.3 (July 1940), pp. 284-293, attempted a reconstruction from Apuleius' use of it.
  25. ^ "Τοξόλυρος - Εἰς τὰ ἁρμονικὰ Πτολεμαίου ὑπόμνημα - φιλοσοφικό Ακαδημίας". Archived from the original on 2011-07-21.
  26. ^ Jonathan Barnes, Method and Metaphysics: Essays in Ancient Philosophy, Oxford University Press, 2001, pag. 109, n. 22.
  27. ^ Braunsberg, David. "Porphyry, Against the Christians". Early Church Fathers - Additional Texts. Retrieved 20 October 2017.


  • Iamblichus: De mysteriis. Translated with an Introduction and Notes by Emma C. Clarke, John M. Dillon and Jackson P. Hershbell (Society of Biblical Literature; 2003) ISBN 1-58983-058-X.
  • Barker, A. (2003). "Porphyry," in S. Hornblower and A. Spawforth, eds., Oxford Classical Dictionary, revised 3rd edition, pp. 1226–1227.
  • Barnes, J. Trans. (2003). Porphyry: Introduction. Clarendon Press.
  • Beutler, R. (1894–1980). "Porphyrios (21)" in A. Pauly, G. Wissowa, W. Kroll, K. Witte, K. Mittelhaus and K. Ziegler, eds., Paulys Realencyclopädie der classischen Altertumswissenschaft, vol. 22.1.
  • Bidez, J. (1913). Vie de Porphyre. Ghent.
  • Clark, Gillian, "Porphyry of Tyre on the New Barbarians," in R. Miles (ed), Constructing Identities in Late Antiquity (London: Routledge, 1999), 112–132; = in Eadem, Body and Gender, Soul and Reason in Late Antiquity (Farnham; Burlington, VT, Ashgate, 2011) (Variorum collected studies series, CS978), art. XIV.
  • Clark, Gillian, "Philosophic Lives and the philosophic life: Porphyry and Iamblichus," in T. Hägg and P. Rousseau (eds), Greek Biography and Panegyric in Late Antiquity (Berkeley and Los Angeles, University of California Press, 2000), 29–51; = in Eadem, Body and Gender, Soul and Reason in Late Antiquity (Farnham; Burlington, VT, Ashgate, 2011) (Variorum collected studies series, CS978), art. XV.
  • Clark, Gillian, "Fattening the soul: Christian asceticism and Porphyry On Abstinence," Studia Patristica, 35, 2001, 41-51; = in Eadem, Body and Gender, Soul and Reason in Late Antiquity (Farnham; Burlington, VT, Ashgate, 2011) (Variorum collected studies series, CS978), art. XVI.
  • Digeser, E. D. (1998). "Lactantius, Porphyry, and the Debate over Religious Toleration," The Journal of Roman Studies 88, pp. 129–146.
  • Emilsson, E., "Porphyry". Retrieved April 19, 2009.
  • Froom, LeRoy (1950). The Prophetic Faith of our Fathers (DjVu and PDF). 1.
  • Girgenti, G. (1987) Porfirio negli ultimi cinquant'anni: bibliografia sistematica e ragionata della letteratura primaria e secondaria riguardante il pensiero porfiriano e i suoi influssi storici Milan.
  • O'Connor, J. and E. Robertson, "Porphyry Malchus". Retrieved April 14, 2009.
  • Sarton, G. (1936). "The Unity and Diversity of the Mediterranean World," Osiris 2, pp. 406–463. (In JSTOR.)
  • Smith, Andrew (1987) Porphyrian Studies since 1913, in W. Haase, ed., Aufstieg und Niedergang der Römischen Welt II.36.2, pp. 717–773.
  • Smith, Andrew (1974) Porphyry's Place in the Neoplatonic Tradition. A Study in post-Plotinian Neoplatonism, The Hague, Nijhoff.
  • Wilken, R. (1979). "Pagan Criticism of Christianity: Greek Religion and Christian Faith," in W. Schoedel and R. Wilken, eds., Early Christian Literature and the Classical Intellectual Tradition, pp. 117–134.
  • Zuiddam, B. A. "Old Critics and Modern Theology," Dutch Reformed Theological Journal (South Africa), xxxvi, 1995, № 2.

External links

Absolute (philosophy)

The concept of the Absolute, also known as The (Unconditioned) Ultimate, The Wholly Other, The Supreme Being, The Absolute/Ultimate Reality, The Ground of Being, Urgrund, The Absolute Principle, The Source/Fountain/Well/Center/Foundation of Reality, The Ultimate Oneness/Whole, The Absolute God of The Universe, and other names, titles, aliases, and epithets, is the thing, being, entity, power, force, reality, presence, law, principle, etc. that possesses maximal ontological status, existential ranking, existential greatness, or existentiality. In layman's terms, this is the entity that is the greatest, highest, or "truest" being, existence, or reality.

There are many conceptions of the Absolute in various fields and subjects, such as philosophy, religion, spiritual traditions, formal science (such as mathematics), and even natural science. The nature of these conceptions can range from "merely" encompassing all physical existence, nature, or reality, to being completely unconditioned existentially, transcending all concepts, notions, objects, entities, and types, kinds, and categories of being.

The Absolute is often thought of as generating manifestations that interact with lower or lesser types, kinds, and categories of being. This is either done passively, through emanations, or actively, through avatars and incarnations. These existential manifestations, which themselves can possess transcendent attributes, only contain minuscule or infinitesimal portions of the true essence of the Absolute.

The term itself was not in use in ancient or medieval philosophy, but closely related to the description of God as actus purus in scholasticism. It was introduced in modern philosophy, notably by Hegel, for "the sum of all being, actual and potential".

The term has since also been adopted in perennial philosophy.

Antiphon (writer)

Antiphon (Ancient Greek: Ἀντιφῶν) was an author of ancient Greece who wrote an account of men distinguished for virtue (περὶ τῶν ἐν ἀρετή πρωτευσάντων), one of whom was Pythagoras.


Ibn Sina (Persian: ابن سینا‎), also known as Abu Ali Sina (ابوعلیِ سینا), Pur Sina (پورسینا), and often known in the west as Avicenna (c. 980 – June 1037) was a Persian polymath who is regarded as one of the most significant physicians, astronomers, thinkers and writers of the Islamic Golden Age. He has been described as the father of early modern medicine. Of the 450 works he is known to have written, around 240 have survived, including 150 on philosophy and 40 on medicine.His most famous works are The Book of Healing, a philosophical and scientific encyclopedia, and The Canon of Medicine, a medical encyclopedia which became a standard medical text at many medieval universities and remained in use as late as 1650. In 1973, Avicenna's Canon Of Medicine was reprinted in New York.Besides philosophy and medicine, Avicenna's corpus includes writings on astronomy, alchemy, geography and geology, psychology, Islamic theology, logic, mathematics, physics and works of poetry.


Hypomnemata (Ancient Greek: ὑπομνήματα) may refer to:

Plural of the Greek term hypomnema, later used by Michel Foucault

Several ancient literary works by writers including:

Aeneas Tacticus


Hegesander (historian)

Hegesippus (chronicler)

Ion of Chios


Symmachus (translator)

The title of a commentary, as in many of the Commentaria in Aristotelem Graeca; including works by:

Porphyry (philosopher)

Several works by modern authors, including:

Jan Bake

Thomas Bartholin

Heinrich von Cocceji

Christian August Crusius

John Prideaux

Daniel Sennert

Simon Stevin

Andreas Werckmeister

Hypomnemata. Untersuchungen zur Antike und zu ihrem Nachleben, a series of scholarly publications in classical studies

Index of ancient philosophy articles

This page is a list of topics in ancient philosophy.

List of ancient Greeks

This an alphabetical list of ancient Greeks. These include ethnic Greeks and Greek language speakers from Greece and the Mediterranean world up to about 200 AD.

List of metaphysicians

This is a list of metaphysicians, philosophers who specialize in metaphysics. See also Lists of philosophers.

List of writers influenced by Aristotle

Many philosophers and other writers have been significantly influenced by Aristotle.


Porfirio is a given name in Spanish, derived from the Greek Porphyry (porphyrios "purple-clad").

It can refer to:

Porfirio Salinas - Mexican-American artist

Porfirio Armando Betancourt - Honduran football player

Porfirio Barba-Jacob - Colombian poet and writer

Porfirio Becerril - Mexican diver

Porfirio Díaz - Mexican soldier and politician, seven times President

Porfirio DiDonna - American artist

Porfirio Lobo Sosa - Honduran President

Porfirio López - Costa Rican professional soccer player

Porfirio Muñoz Ledo - Mexican politician

Porfirio Rubirosa - Dominican diplomat

Hugo Porfírio - Portuguese footballer


Porphyry (; Greek: Πορφύριος, Porphyrios "purple-clad") may refer to:

Porphyry (geology), an igneous rock with large crystals in a fine-grained matrix, or associated mineral deposit

Porphyritic, the general igneous texture of a rock with two distinct crystal (phenocryst) sizes

Porphyry copper deposit, a primary (low grade) ore deposit of copper, consisting of porphyry rocks

Porphyry Island in Lake Superior

Porphyry (philosopher) (234–305), Neoplatonic philosopher

Porphyry of Gaza (or "St. Porphyry of Gaza", 347–420), Bishop of Gaza

Porphyry, a system of astrological house division

Porphyry, a vineyard near Seaham, New South Wales

Religion in Carthage

The religion of Carthage in North Africa was a direct continuation of the Phoenician variety of the polytheistic ancient Canaanite religion with significant local modifications. Controversy prevails regarding the possible existence and practice of propitiatory child sacrifice in the religion of Carthage. However, a recent study of archeological evidence confirms this ritual.

Samian Sibyl

The Samian Sibyl was the priestess presiding over the Apollonian oracle near Hera's temple on the Isle of Samos, a Greek colony. The word Sibyl comes (via Latin) from the ancient Greek word sibylla, meaning prophetess. There were many Sibyls in the ancient world but she is the one who prophesied the Birth of Jesus in the stable. The Samian Sibyl, by name Phemonoe, or Phyto of whom Eratosthenes wrote.

The Suidas lexicon refers that the Erythraean Sibyl was also called Samian. Pausanias confirms that Erythraean Sibyl has lived the greater part of her life in Samos (Phocis, 12, 5). The Samian Sibyl known as Phyto, or better Foito, from the Greek world foitos which indicates the wandering, especially the mind's. Modern researchers of the Samos island consider that her house was in the cave of Panagia Spiliani monastery which probably is also the cavern of Pythagoras, according to the testimonies of the neoplatonic philosopher Porphyry.

Interesting is the reference of Symeon Metaphrastes (the largest of the Byzantine historians), which says that Samian Sibyl existed when the city of Byzantium was built, the famous ancient colony of the Megarians, which was converted by Constantine the Great into the capital of the empire, after having rebuilt, and was called Constantinople. "During this time Sibyl is known in Samos, and the Byzantium was built under the Megarians". (Simeon Logothetis, Leon Grammatikos chronographia, page 37)

Timeline of mathematics

This is a timeline of pure and applied mathematics history.

Middle Platonists

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.