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  • Print publication year: 2000
  • Online publication date: May 2011

41 - Priscian of Lydia and Pseudo-Simplicius on the soul

from VI - Late Platonism
Priscian of Lydia is one of the six philosophers listed by Agathias Histories to have accompanied Damascius on his journey to the Sassanian king Chosroes I. He is credited with a work apparently written for King Chosroes, and known in Latin translation under the title Solutiones eorum de quibus dubitavit Chosroes Persarum rex. The Solutiones discusses a number of issues, including what is the nature of the human soul, the nature of sleep, how vision relates to dreams and prophecy in dreams, the solar year cause the four seasons and different climatic, and how lunar phases and lunar activity affect tidal variations zones. An undisputed work on psychology by Priscian is his so-called Metaphrasis on Theophrastus. Priscian provides a thoroughly late-Platonic interpretation of the Peripatetic material, prompted by the critical questions of Theophrastus. The doctrinal content of the Metaphrasis is best discussed in connection with a commentary on Aristotle's De anima which all manuscripts attribute to Simplicius.
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The Cambridge History of Philosophy in Late Antiquity
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