Katerina Ierodiakonou and Dominic O'Meara

in The Oxford Handbook of Byzantine Studies

Published in print October 2008 | ISBN: 9780199252466
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Classics and Ancient History


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Philosophy in Byzantium has a wide range of meanings, from eloquence and education to encyclopedic knowledge and the Christian way of life (including martyrdom and the monastic life). Byzantine philosophy underwent distinct phases, beginning with Damaskios and his pupil Simplikios (and his pupils and successors), who provided Byzantine thinkers with concepts and a curriculum of philosophy. These Athenian and Alexandrian schools represented later Neoplatonic philosophy, a systematic and varied interpretation of Aristotle and Plato aiming at the divinization of the human rational soul. The influence of the Neoplatonic schools is found in the work of Pseudo-Dionysios, John of Skythopolis, Maximos the Confessor, and John of Damascus. When Constantinople fell in 1204, the philosophical tradition continued in Blemmydes' teaching and handbooks of logic and physics. This article discusses Byzantine philosophy and its relation to the Christian doctrine.

Keywords: Byzantium; philosophy; Damaskios; Simplikios; Neoplatonic philosophy; Blemmydes; logic; Christian doctrine

Article.  3791 words. 

Subjects: Classical Studies ; Middle Eastern Languages

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