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

39 - Simplicius of Cilicia

from VI - Late Platonism
Summary
This chapter discusses Simplicius' life, works, and methodology of output. He came from Cilicia (south-eastern Anatolia), and was was educated by Ammonius in Alexandria. Of the seven major works written by Simplicius, four or five are commentaries on Aristotle. Simplicius' philosophical views are woven into his commentaries, which serve several agendas, explicating Aristotle being the most important one. Simplicius combines instruction in physics and cosmology with a keen interest in moulding the spiritual outlook of aspiring Platonists. Until recently, Simplicius' views were hardly studied and understood by few. The late nineteenth century cast him in the role of intermediary, a 'source' for Greek philosophy. Simplicius aimed to offer an apologia and protreptic in combining philosophical analysis and historical survey of encyclopaedic proportions. The volume and style of his works make them difficult to categorize. He is neither a Plato or Aristotle, nor a Plotinus or Proclus, but sui generis.
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: https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521194846
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×
Abu l-’Abbas an-Nayrizis Exzerpte aus (Ps.-?)Simplicius Kommentar zu den Definitionen, Postulaten und Axiomen in Euclids Elementa I [Anaritius, d. ca. 922], ed. Arnzen R. (2002). Cologne.
Adamson P., Baltussen H. and Stone M. W. F. (eds.) (2004) Philosophy, Science and Exegesis in Greek, Latin and Arabic Commentaries, 2 vols. London.
Against Philoponus on the Eternity of the World [in Phys 1326.38–36.34], trans. Wildberg C. (1991).
Allan D. J. (1950) ‘Mediaeval Versions of Aristotle, De Caelo, and the Commentary of Simplicius’, in Hunt R. and Klibansky R. (eds.), Mediaeval and Renaissance Studies. London.
Aristotelis De caelo commentaria. Latin Commentaire sur le traité Du ciel d’Aristote, vol. I, traduction de Guillaume de Moerbeke; édition critique par F. Bossier avec la collaboration de Chr. Van de Veire et Guldentops G. (2004). Leuven.
Aristotle. De caelo. English. The treatises of Aristotle … Translated from the Greek; with copious elucidations, from the commentaries of Simplicius on the first, and of Olympiodorus on the last of these treatises, trans. Taylor Thomas (1807). London [vii, 608 p.; Contents: On the heavens; On generation and corruption; Meteorology].
Arnzen R. (2002) Abu l-’Abbas an-Nayrizis Exzerpte aus (Ps.-?)Simplicius Kommentar zu den Definitionen, Postulaten und Axiomen in Euclids Elementa I [Anaritius, d. ca. 922] ed., introd., with Latin and Arabic glossaries. Cologne.
Athanassiadi P. (1999) Damascius. The Philosophical History. Athens.
Börm H. (2006) ‘Der Perserkönig im Imperium Romanum. Chosroes I und der sasanidische Einfall in das Oströmische Reich 540 n. Chr.’, Chiron 36:
Baltussen H. (2003) ‘Early Reactions to Plato’s Timaeus. Polemic and Exegesis in Theophrastus and Epicurus’, in Sharples R. W. and Sheppard A. (eds.), Ancient Approaches to the ‘Timaeus’. London.
Baltussen H. (2007) ‘From Polemic to Exegesis: The Ancient Philosophical Commentary,’ in Lavery J. (ed.), Genres in Philosophy I. Special Issue Poetics Today 28.2:
Baltussen H. (2008a) Philosophy and Exegesis in Simplicius. The Methodology of a Commentator. London.
Baltussen H. (2008b) ‘Priscian’ and ‘Simplicius’, in Keyser P. and Irby-Massie G. (eds.), Encyclopaedia of Ancient Natural Scientists. London, 703;.
Baltussen H. (2009) ‘Simplicius and the Subversion of Authority’, Antiquorum Philosophia vol. III.
Barnes J. (1992) ‘Metacommentary’, Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy x:
Blumenthal H. J. (1987) ‘Alexander of Aphrodisias in the Later Greek Commentaries’, in Wiesner J. (ed.), Aristoteles. Werk und Wirkung. II Kommentierung, überlieferung, Nachleben. Berlin.
Blumenthal H. J. (1988) ‘Simplicius and Others on Aristotle’s Discussions of Reason’, in Duffy J. and Peradotto J. (eds.), Gonimos: Neoplatonic and Byzantine Studies Presented to Leendert G. Westerink at 75. Buffalo, NY.
Blumenthal H. J. (1993) ‘From Ku-ru-so-wo-ko to THEOURGOS: Word to Ritual’, in Blumenthal H. J., Soul and Intellect: Studies in Plotinus and Later Neoplatonism. Variorum (Ashgate), Study XI. London.
Blumenthal H. J. (1996) Aristotle and Neoplatonism in Late Antiquity. Interpretations of the De Anima. London.
Blumenthal H. J. (1997) ‘Iamblichus as a Commentator’, Syllecta Classica 8:
Blumenthal H. J. and Lloyd A.C. (eds.) (1983) Soul and the Structure of Being in Late Neoplatonism: Syrianus, Proclus, and Simplicius (Colloquium Liverpool, 15–16 April 1982). Liverpool.
Bossier F. (1987) ‘Traductions latines et influences du commentaire in De Caelo en Occident (XIIIE–XIVe s.)’, in Hadot (1987a).
Bossier F. (1992) ‘Le Problème des lemmes du De caelo dans la traduction latine du commentaire in de caelo de Simplicius’, in Hamesse J. (ed.), Les Problèmes posés par l’édition critique des textes anciens et médiévaux. Louvain-la-Neuve.
Bowen Alan C. (2002) ‘Simplicius and the Early History of Greek Planetary Theory’, Perspectives on Science 10.2:
Brisson L. (2006) ‘The Doctrine of the Degrees of Virtues in the Neoplatonists: an Analyis of Porphyry’s Sentence 32, its Antecedents, and its Heritage’, in Tarrant H. and Baltzly D. (eds.), Reading Plato in Antiquity. London.
Brown P. R. L. (1980) The Philosopher and Society in Late Antiquity. Center for Hermeneutical Studies. Protocol Series of the Colloquies 34 Berkeley, CA.
Commentaire sur le Manuel d’Epictète, I: chapîtres XI–XXIX, ed. Hadot I. (2001). Paris.
Corollaries on Place and Time [in Phys. 601–645; 773.8–800.25], trans. Urmson J. O. (1992).
Cougny E. (ed.) (1890) Epigrammatum Anthologia Palatina cum Planudeis et Appendice nova. Graece et Latine, vol. III, Paris.
Coxon A. H. (1968) ‘The Manuscript Tradition of Simplicius’ Commentary on Aristotle’s Physics I–IV’, Classical Quarterly 18:
D’Ancona C. (ed.) (2007) The Libraries of the Neoplatonists. (Philosophia Antiqua 107). Leiden–Boston.
Dillon J. (1989) ‘Tampering with the Timaeus: Ideological Emendations in Plato, with Special Reference to the Timaeus’, American Journal of Philology 110:
Dillon J. (1990a) The Golden Chain: Studies in the Development of Platonism and Christianity. Aldershot–Brookfield, CT.
Dillon J. (1990b) ‘Review of Hadot 1987’, Journal of Hellenic Studies 110:
Dillon J. (1992) ‘Plotinus at Work on Platonism’, Greece and Rome 29.2:
Dillon J. (1996) The Middle Platonists. A Study of Platonism, 80 B.C. to A.D. 220, 2nd edn. with a new Afterword. London; (1st edn 1977).
Dillon J. (1999) ‘A Case Study in Commentary’, in Most (1999).
Fazzo S. (2004) ‘Aristotelianism as a Commentary Tradition’, in Adamson Baltussen and Stone 2004: I.
Festugière A. J. (1948) ‘Un versméconnu des Oracles Chaldaeïques dans Simplicius, In de Caelo II.I, 284a14 (375.9 ss. Heiberg)’, Symbolae Osloenses 26:
Foulkes P. (1992) ‘Where was Simplicius?Journal of Hellenic Studies 112:
Gätje H. (1982) ‘Simplikios in der arabischen überlieferung’, Der Islam 59:
Gavray M.-A. (2007) Simplicius lecteur du Sophiste. Contribution à l’étude de l’exégèse néoplatonicienne. études et Commentaires, 108, Paris.
Geffcken J. (1932) ‘Zur Entstehung und zum Wesen des Griechischen Wissenschaftlichen Kommentars’, Hermes 67:
Gerson L. P. (2005) Aristotle and Other Platonists. Ithaca, NY.
Golitsis P. (2007) ‘Nicéphore Blemmyde Lecteur du Commentaire de Simplicius à la Physique d’Aristote’, in D’Ancona (2007).
Golitsis P. (2008) Les Commentaires de Simplicius et de Jean Philopon à la Physique d’Aristote: tradition et innovation. Commentaria in Aristotelem Graeca et Byzantina. Quellen und Studien; Bd. 3. Berlin–New York.
Gutas D. (1998) Greek Thought, Arabic Culture. The Graeco-Arabic Translation Movement in Baghdad and Early ’Abbāsid Society (2nd–4th/8th–10th centuries). London.
Gutas D. (1999) ‘The “Alexandria to Bagdad” Complex of Narratives. A Contribution to the Study of Philosophical and Medical Historiography among the Arabs’, Documenti e Studi sulla Tradizione Filosofica Medievale 10:
Hällström G. (1994) ‘The Closing of the Neoplatonic School in A.D. 529: An Additional Aspect’, in Castrén Paavo (ed.), Post-Herulian Athens. Aspects of Life and Culture in Athens A.D. 267–529. Helsinki.
Haas C. (1997) Alexandria in Late Antiquity. Topography and Social Conflict. Baltimore–London.
Hadot I. (1978) Le Problème du néoplatonisme Alexandrin: Hiéroclès et Simplicius. Berlin–New York.
Hadot I. (1987a) Simplicius. Sa vie, son oeuvre, sa survie. Berlin–New York.
Hadot I. (1987b) ‘Recherches sur les fragments du commentaire de Simplicius sur la Métaphysique d’Aristote’, in Hadot (1987a).
Hadot I. (1990) ‘The Life and Works of Simplicius in Greek and Arabic Sources’, in Sorabji (1990).
Hadot I. (1996) Commentaire sur le Manuel d’Epictète (introduction et édition critique du texte grec). (Philosophia Antiqua vol. 66.) Leiden.
Hadot I. (1997) ‘Le Commentaire philosophique continu dans l’Antiquité’, Antiquité Tardive 5:
Hadot I. (2001a) Simplicius. Commentaire sur les Catégories d’Aristote, Chapître 1. Leiden.
Hadot I. (2001b) ‘Simplikios’, Der Neue Pauly vol. 11. Stuttgart.
Hadot I. (2002a) ‘Der fortlaufende philosophische Kommentar’, in Geerlings W. and Schulz C. (eds.), Der Kommentar in Antike und Mittelalter. Beiträge zu seiner Erforschung. Leiden.
Hadot I. (2002b) ‘Simplicius or Priscianus? On the Author of the Commentary on Aristotle’s De Anima (CAG XI): A Methodological Study’, Mnemosyne 50.2:
Hadot I. (2003) ‘Der philosophische Unterrichtsbetrieb in der romischen Kaiserzeit’, Rheinisches Museum 146.1:
Hadot I. (2004) ‘“Simplicius”, in Cat., p. 1,3–3,17 Kalbfleisch. An Important Contribution to the History of the Ancient Commentary’, Rheinisches Museum 147.3–4:
Hadot I. and Hoffmann Ph. (eds.) (1990) Simplicius. Commentaire sur les catégories. Fascicule 1: Introduction, première partie (p. 1–9,3 Kalbfleisch), traduction commentée. Leiden.
Hadot P. (2004) Apprendre à philosopher dans l’antiquité: l’enseignement du ‘Manuel’ d’Epictète et son commentaire néoplatonicien. Paris.
Hall J. J. (1971) ‘“Planets” in Simplicius De Caelo 471,1 ff.’, Journal of Hellenic Studies 91:
Hoffmann P. (1987a) ‘Aspects de la polémique de Simplicius contre Philopon’, in Hadot (1987a).
Hoffmann P. (1987b) ‘Simplicius’ Polemics’, in Sorabji R. (ed.), Philoponus and the Rejection of Aristotelian Science. London.
Hoffmann P. (2000a) ‘Les Catégories aristotéliciennes pote et pou d’après le commentaire de Simplicius. Méthode d’exégèse et aspects doctrinaux’, in Goulet-Cazé M.-O. (ed.), Le commentaire entre tradition et innovation. Paris.
Hoffmann P. (2000b) ‘Bibliothèques et formes du livres à la fin de l’Antiquité. Le témoignage de la littérature néoplatonicienne des Ve et VIe siècles’, in Pratto G. (ed.), I Manoscritti greci tra riflessione e debattito. Florence.
Hoffmann P. (2006) ‘What was Commentary in Late Antiquity? The Example of the Neoplatonic Commentators’, in Gill M. L. and Pellegrin P. (eds.), A Companion to Ancient Philosophy. Blackwells Companions to Philosophy. Malden, MA–Oxford.
In Categorias, ed. Kalbfleisch C. (1907). CAG VIII.
In De anima, ed. Hayduck M. (1882). CAG XI.
In De caelo, ed. Heiberg J. L. (1884). CAG VII.
In Physika, ed. Diels H. (1882, 1895). CAG Ix and X.
Karamanolis G. (2006) Plato and Aristotle in Agreement? Platonists on Aristotle’s Philosophy from Antiochus to Porphyry. Oxford.
Lamberz E. (1987) ‘Proklos und die Form des philosophischen Kommentars’, in Pépin J. and Saffrey H. D. (eds.), Proclus, Lecteur et Interprète des anciens. Paris.
Lameer J. (1997) ‘From Alexandria to Bagdad: Reflections on the Genesis of a Problematical Tradition’, in Endress G. and Kruk R. (eds.), The Ancient Traditions in Christian and Islamic Hellenism. Studies on the Transmission of Greek Philosophy and Sciences Dedicated to H. J. Drossart Lulofs on his Ninetieth Birthday. Leiden.
Lane Fox R. (2005) ‘Harran, the Sabians and the Late Platonist ‘Movers’’, in Smith Andrew (ed.), The Philosopher and Society in Late Antiquity. Essays in Honour of Peter Brown. Swansea.
Lloyd A. C. (1967) ‘Simplicius’, in Edwards P. (ed.), The Encyclopaedia of Philosophy. New York, 7.448.
Luna C. (2001a) Simplicius. Commentaire sur les Catégories d’Aristote, Chapîtres 2–4 (Traduction par Philippe Hoffmann, avec la collaboration de I. Hadot et P. Hadot. Commentaire par Concetta Luna). Paris.
Luna C. (2001b) Trois études sur la tradition des commentaires anciens à la Métaphysique d’Aristote. Leiden.
Luna C. (2001c) Review of Thiel 1999, Mnemosyne 54.4:
Müller C. W. (1969) ‘Die neuplatonischen Aristoteles kommentatoren über die Ursachen der Pseudepigraphie’, Rheinisches Museum für Philologie 112:
MacCoull L.S.B. (1995) ‘A New Look at the Career of John Philoponus’, Journal of Early Christian Studies 3.1:
Mansfeld J. (1994) Prolegomena. Questions to be Settled Before the Study of an Author, or a Text. Leiden.
Moraux P. (1974) ‘La critique d’authenticité chez les commentateurs grecs d’Aristote’, in Mansel Mélanges. Ankara.
Most G. (ed.) (1999) Commentaries – Kommentare, Aporemata 4. Göttingen.
Nardi B. (1958) Saggi sull’aristotelismo padovano dal secolo XIV al XVI. Florence.
O’Brien D. (1969) Empedocles’ Cosmic Cycle. Cambridge.
O’Meara D. J. (1989) Pythagoras Revived: Mathematics and Philosophy in Late Antiquity. New York–Oxford.
O’Meara D. J. (2004) ‘Simplicius on the Place of the Philosopher in the City (in Epict. Chap. 32)’, Mélanges de l’Université Saint-Joseph 57:
O’Meara D. J. (2006) ‘Patterns of Perfection in Damascius’ Life of Isidore’, Phronesis 51.1:
On Aristotle On the Void [in Phys. 645–693], trans. Urmson J.O. (1994), in Lettinck P., Philoponus on Aristotle Physics 5–8 and J.O. Urmson, o.c.).
On Aristotle’s Categories 1–4, trans. Chase M. (2003).
On Aristotle’s Categories 5–6, trans. Haas F. J. A. and Fleet B. (2001).
On Aristotle’s Categories 7–8, trans. Fleet B. (2001).
On Aristotle’s Categories 9–15, trans. Gaskin R. (2000).
On Aristotle’s On the Heavens 1.1–4, trans. Hankinson R. J. (2002).
On Aristotle’s On the Heavens 1.10–12, trans. Hankinson R. J. (2006).
On Aristotle’s On the Heavens 1.5–9, trans. Hankinson R. J. (2004).
On Aristotle’s On the Heavens 2.1–9, trans. Mueller I. (2004).
On Aristotle’s On the Heavens 2.10–14, trans. Mueller I. (2005).
On Aristotle’s On the Heavens 3.1–6, trans. Mueller I. (2008).
On Aristotle’s On the Heavens 3.7–4.6, trans. Mueller I. (2008).
On Aristotle’s Physics 1.5–9, trans. Baltussen H. (2011).
On Aristotle’s Physics 2, trans. Fleet B. (1997).
On Aristotle’s Physics 3, trans. Urmson J. O. (2002).
On Aristotle’s Physics 4.1–5 [in Phys. 519.3–600.36] and 10–14 [in Phys. 694.30–773.7], trans. Urmson J.O. (1992).
On Aristotle’s Physics 4.1–5 and 10–14, trans. Urmson J. O. (1992).
On Aristotle’s Physics 5, trans. Urmson J. O. (1997).
On Aristotle’s Physics 6, trans. Konstan D. (1989).
On Aristotle’s Physics 7, trans. Hagen C. (1994).
On Aristotle’s Physics 8.6–10, trans. McKirahan R. (2000).
On Epictetus’ Handbook 1.1–26, trans. Brennan T. and Brittain C. (2002).
On Epictetus’ Handbook 27–53, trans. Brittain C. and Brennan T. (2002).
Opsomer J. (2001) ‘Proclus vs. Plotinus on Matter (De Mal. Subs. 30–7)’, Phronesis 46.2:
Praechter K. (1927) ‘Simplikios’, RE IIIA. 1, no. 10.
Rashed M. (1997) ‘A “New” Text of Alexander on the Soul’s Motion’, in Sorabji R. (ed.), Aristotle and After. London.
Rashed M. (2008) Alexandre d’Aphrodise, Commentaire perdu à la Physique d’Aristote (livres IV–VIII). Berlin.
Riet S. (1991) ‘à propos de la biographie de Simplicius’, Revue Philosophique de Louvain 89:
Sabra A. I. (1969) ‘Simplicius’s Proof of Euclid’s Parallels Postulate’, Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 32:
Saffrey H. (1992) ‘Accorder entre elles les traditions théologiques: une caractéristique du néoplatonisme Athénien’, in Bos E. P. and Mejer P. A. (eds.), On Proclus and His Influence in Medieval Philosophy. Leiden.
Sambursky S. (1962) The Physical World of Late Antiquity. London.
Sanders K. R. (2002) ‘Much Ado About “Nothing”: mêden and to mê on in Parmenides’, Apeiron 25.2:
Schofield M. (2002) ‘Leucippus, Democritus and the ou mallon Principle: An Examination of Theophrastus Phys. Op. Fr. 8’, Phronesis 47.3:
Sider D. (2005) The Fragments of Anaxagoras. 2nd edn, Sankt Augustin.
Sider D. (2006) ‘Simplicius’, in Borchert D. (ed.), Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 2nd edn Detroit, MI, 9:
‘Simplicius’ Commentary on Definitions, Postulates and Axioms in Euclids Elementa I, extant in Abu al-Abbas an-Nayrizis, ed. Arnzen Rüdiger (2002).
‘Simplicius’ On Aristotle on the Soul 2.5–12, trans. Huby P. M. (2002).
‘Simplicius’ On Aristotle on the Soul 3.1–5, trans. Blumenthal H. J. (2000).
‘Simplicius’ On Aristotle’s On the soul 1.1–2.4, trans. Urmson J. O. (2002).
Sorabji R. (1983) Time, Creation and the Continuum: Theories in Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages. London.
Sorabji R. (1988) Matter, Space and Motion. London.
Sorabji R. (ed.) (1990) Aristotle Transformed. The Ancient Commentators and their Influence. London–Ithaca, NY.
Sorabji R. (1996) ‘Simplicius’, Oxford Classical Dictionary. 3rd edn, Oxford.
Sorabji R. (2004) The Philosophy of the Commentators, 200–600 AD. A Sourcebook, 3 vols. London.
Stevens A. (1990) Postérité de l’être: Simplicius interprète de Parménide. Brussels.
Tarán L. (1987) ‘The Text of Simplicius’ Commentary on Aristotle’s Physics’, in Hadot (1987a):
Tardieu M. (1987), ‘Les calendriers en usage à Harran d’apres les sources arabes et le commentaire de Simplicius à la Physique d’Aristote’, in Hadot (1987a):
Thiel R. von. (1999) Simplikios und das Ende der neuplatonischen Schule in Athen. Mainz.
Tornau C. (2000) ‘Die Prinzipienlehre des Moderatos von Gades. Zu Simplikios in Ph. 230,34– 231,24 Diels’, Rheinisches Museum 143 (2):
Ullmann M. (1970) Die Medizin im Islam. Leiden–Cologne.
Verbeke G. (1975) ‘Simplicius’, Dictionary of Scientific Biography, vol. XII.440–3.
Verbeke G. (1982) ‘Some Later Neoplatonic Views on Divine Creation and the Eternity of the World’, in O’Meara D. J. (ed.), Neoplatonism and Christian Thought. Norfolk, VA.
Walker J. (2002) ‘The Limits of Late Antiquity: Philosophy between Rome and Iran’, Ancient World 33:
Westerink L. G. (1962) Anonymous Prolegomena to Platonic Philosophy. Amsterdam.
Westerink L. G. (1990) ‘The Alexandrian Commentators’, in Sorabji (1990).
Whittaker J. (1971) ‘Parmenides, Fr. 8, 5,’ in idem, God Time Being. Two Studies in the Transcendental Tradition in Greek Philosophy. Symbolae Osloenses, Suppl. vol. 23. Oslo.
Wiesner J. (1989) ‘Theophrast und der Beginn des Archereferats von Simplikios’ Physikkommentar’, Hermes 117:
Wildberg C. (1993) ‘Simplicius und das Zitat. Zur überlieferung des Anführungszeichens’, in Berger F. (ed.), Symbolae Berolinenses. Für Dieter Harlfinger. Amsterdam.
Wildberg C. (1998) ‘Simplicius’, Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy vol. VIII. London.
Wildberg C. (2007) ‘Simplicius’, Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy (online article).
Yavetz Ido (2003) ‘On Simplicius’ Testimony Regarding Eudoxan Lunar Theory’, Science in Context 16.3: