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

39 - Simplicius of Cilicia

from VI - Late Platonism
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.
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