Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa
  • Print publication year: 2000
  • Online publication date: May 2011

46 - Early Byzantine philosophy

from VIII - Philosophy in transition
It is only sixty years ago, that Byzantine philosophy emerged as a subject matter worth investigating in the history of philosophy. Nowadays, discussion on the question about the existence of Byzantine philosophy mainly revolves around the criteria which should be adopted in order to assess this period of philosophical thought without imposing on it on the basis of an anachronistic approach. There were six definitions of philosophy that were used by the Byzantines, which clearly suggest that the characteristics which they themselves attributed to philosophy were diverse. Talking of the philosophical production of the early Byzantine period, this chapter first presents the main authors who engaged themselves in a philosophical discourse, and then focuses on certain philosophical topics which were central at the time. Metaphysics, world, and anthropology are the topics of this period. Early Byzantine philosophy was characterized by the absence of a doctrinal system and of a well-defined philosophical community.
Recommend this book

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this book to your organisation's collection.

The Cambridge History of Philosophy in Late Antiquity
  • Online ISBN: 9781139095464
  • Book DOI:
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
Anonymous Professor (10th century), Anonymi professoris epistulae, ed. A. Markopoulos (2000) [CFHB 37]. Berlin.

J. Barnes (2002b) ‘Ancient Philosophers’, in G. Clark and T. Rajak (eds.), Philosophy and Power in the Graeco-Roman World. Oxford.

W. Blum (1974) ‘Die Theodizee des Patriarchen Germanos I. von Konstantinopel’, Vigiliae Christianae 28:

D. Bradshaw (2004) Aristotle East and West. Metaphysics and the Division of Christendom. Cambridge.

M. Frede (1997) ‘Euphrates of Tyre’, in R. Sorabji (ed.), Aristotle and After. London.

A. Kaldellis (2008) Hellenism in Byzantium. The Transformations of Greek Identity and the Reception of the Classical Tradition. Cambridge.

A. Louth (2002) St John Damascene. Tradition and Originality in Byzantine Theology. Oxford.

K. Oehler (1990) ‘Die Byzantinische Philosophie’, in G. Fløistad (ed.), Contemporary Philosophy. A New Survey, 6/2. Philosophy and Science in the Middle Ages. Dordrecht.

R. Renehan (1984) ‘Meletius’ Chapter on the Eyes: An Unidentified Source’, Dumbarton Oaks Papers 38:

M. Trizio (2007) ‘Byzantine Philosophy as a Contemporary Historiographical Project’, Recherches de Théologie et Philosophie Médiévales 74:

A. J. Visser (1952) Nikephoros und der Bilderstreit. The Hague.

W. Wolska-Connus (1989) ‘Stéphanos d’Athènes et Stéphanos d’Alexandrie: essai d’identification et de biographie’, Revue des études Byzantines 47: