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Simplicius (fl. first half 6th century AD)

DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-A107-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved April 24, 2024, from

Article Summary

Simplicius of Cilicia, a Greek Neoplatonic philosopher and polymath, lived in the eastern part of the Roman Empire. He is the author of the most learned commentaries on Aristotle produced in antiquity, works which rest upon the accumulated accomplishments of ancient Greek philosophy and science. In them he gives numerous illuminating references and explanations that not only lead to a fuller understanding of Aristotle, but also allow one to reconstruct the history of the interpretation and criticism of Aristotelian doctrines in antiquity. The main principle that guides Simplicius’ exegesis is the conviction that most Greek philosophers, including some Presocratics, can be brought into agreement with Neoplatonism. Simplicius adduces copious quotations to prove his point, thereby supplying us with substantial fragments from lost works of thinkers like Parmenides, Empedocles, Anaxagoras, Eudemus and the Stoics. A devout pagan, Simplicius sought to defend traditional Greek religion and philosophy against the oppressive dominance of Christianity. His commentaries have influenced the reception and interpretation of Aristotle’s philosophy ever since.

Citing this article:
Wildberg, Christian. Simplicius (fl. first half 6th century AD), 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-A107-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2024 Routledge.

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