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Philosophers and their Neoplatonic Lives: Problems and Paradigms


Miles, G, Philosophers and their Neoplatonic Lives: Problems and Paradigms, The Oxford Handbook of Ancient Biography, Oxford University Press, K De Temmerman (ed), Oxford, UK, pp. 349-362. ISBN 9780198703013 (2020) [Research Book Chapter]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2020 Oxford University Press

DOI: doi:10.1093/oxfordhb/9780198703013.001.0001


This chapter addresses biographies of philosophers, which, alongside those of political figures and poets, constitute one of the dominant forms of the genre in Antiquity. By the nature of their subjects, philosophical biographies almost invariably contain some doxographic element, explaining the opinions and arguments of the thinker in question. They are also frequently integrated into broader contexts, either into biographical series or into other philosophical contexts. Beyond these common traits, biographies of philosophers exhibit as much variety as other forms of ancient biography: in their structural choices; in their approach to characterizing, and to varying degrees idealizing their subjects; in their narrating voices; and indeed in their ostensible purposes. Something of the variety of these responses to the challenges of representing the philosophic life in biographical form will emerge in the chapterís discussion, which focuses on the class of philosophical biography best represented among the surviving texts: Neoplatonic biography.

Item Details

Item Type:Research Book Chapter
Keywords:ancient Greek biography, Neoplatonism, Plotinus, Porphyry, Iamblichus, Proclus, Marinus
Research Division:Language, Communication and Culture
Research Group:Literary studies
Research Field:Latin and classical Greek literature
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in language, communication and culture
UTAS Author:Miles, G (Dr Graeme Miles)
ID Code:143748
Year Published:2020
Deposited By:History and Classics
Deposited On:2021-03-31
Last Modified:2021-09-13

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