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  • Print publication year: 1967
  • Online publication date: March 2008

Chapter 17 - Introduction to later Neoplatonism

Of the surviving Neoplatonic literature far the greatest part is commentary. Except for Proclus' Timaeus, which is indispensable to the historian. The most important are the commentaries on Aristotle to be found in the Berlin Commentaria in Aristotelem graeca. Neoplatonism presents a number of constant features. Some of them reflect pressure from the outside as much as any internal development of Plato's or Plotinus' doctrines. Neoplatonism grew up not only as an academic institution of the Empire but as a spiritual movement in an age of religions. This is a development which had begun long before Plotinus, and the character of it is sufficiently familiar. It is well known that the hostility of Neoplatonists to Christianity was partly political. The Neoplatonists can be said to write often in the interests of a theology, even though in theory there is no part of this theological philosophy which they would not have expected to defend on philosophical grounds.
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The Cambridge History of Later Greek and Early Medieval Philosophy
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