chapter  7
The Neoplatonic legacy
Pages 12

In the course of Western history, it turned out that the Neoplatonic understanding of Platonic philosophy became the reading of Plato, to nally gradually crumble away only as a result of the rise of modern philological and historical scholarship emerging in the seventeenth century (Tigerstedt 1974). us when we speak of Augustine’s Platonism or of the so called Cambridge Platonists (of the seventeenth century), we are o en speaking of Platonism that is saturated by many Neoplatonic insights into Plato. is makes it di cult to disentangle Platonic and Neoplatonic in uences. e study of the Neoplatonic heritage can be roughly divided into two. On the one hand, there are direct in uences, which are sometimes explicitly reported by the thinkers themselves. is means that the author in question has actually consulted the Neoplatonic works. On the other hand, there are indirect in uences that may come, through intermediaries, from a variety of sources. ese are more usual but sometimes also more di cult to prove. e core of scholarly work must then be in the study of the similarity of doctrines rather than the curriculum or intellectual history of the author studied. In the case of Neoplatonism the latter kinds of in uences are much more common.