chapter  18
Greek Philosophy and Philosophers in the Third–Sixth Century ce
From Plotinus to the last Alexandrian commentators
ByDaniela P. Taormina
Pages 74

This chapter discusses those Greek philosophers who, between the third and the sixth century ce, described themselves – or were described by other sources – as 'Platonists' (platonikoi). The geographical overview provides an idea of the triumph of Platonism over three centuries. Platonism – with its texts, rules, problems, etc. – constitutes the shared heritage of the intellectual elites of this extended period. A shared dwelling place is instead an element common to the teaching careers of Plotinus, Iamblichus and the Athenian philosophers. Albinus' Prologue bears witness to the existence of a well-defined curriculum of Platonic studies as early as the second century ce. The establishment of this curriculum was a way of changing the order in which students were to read Plato's dialogues to suit their qualifications. The definition of a reading plan is instead clearly recorded in relation to Iamblichus.