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A Threat to Public PietyChristians, Platonists, and the Great Persecution$
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Elizabeth DePalma Digeser

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780801441813

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801441813.001.0001

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Ammonius Saccas and the Philosophy without Conflicts

Ammonius Saccas and the Philosophy without Conflicts

(p.23) Chapter 1 Ammonius Saccas and the Philosophy without Conflicts
A Threat to Public Piety

Elizabeth DePalma Digeser

Cornell University Press

This chapter examines the “Ammonian community” from its formation under the tutelage of Ammonius Saccas. It considers the role of Ammonius's heirs in the theology and politics of the late third century, and the growing push toward persecution, by establishing his identity and teachings. It argues that one heterodox Ammonius, and not two Ammonii—a “Christian” and a “pagan”—taught philosophy in early third-century Alexandria. It also discusses Porphyry of Tyre's account showing that Ammonius has perfected an approach to philosophy that became definitive of the Plotinian community in Rome, the Origenist communities in Alexandria and Caesarea, and the Iamblichaean community in Syria. Finally, it describes Ammonius's “philosophy without conflicts” as a way for him to achieve the return of his soul to its divine source.

Keywords:   philosophy, Ammonius Saccas, theology, politics, Alexandria, Porphyry of Tyre, Origen, philosophy without conflicts, Syria, Caesarea

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