Ancient Philosophy : Textual Paths and Historical Explorations book cover
1st Edition

Ancient Philosophy
Textual Paths and Historical Explorations

ISBN 9781138680999
Published December 6, 2017 by Routledge
836 Pages

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USD $170.00

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Book Description

‘We are all Greeks. Our laws, our literature, our religion, our arts, have their root in Greece’, the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley once wrote. It is in Greek that the questions which shaped the destiny of Western culture were asked, and so were the first attempts at an answer, and the search for a method of investigation. This book tries to rediscover the propulsive force that for over two millennia spread, and still lives in our system of thought. By systematically quoting the very words of the leading actors and by tracing their sources, it leads the reader along a path where they will be able to observe the establishment of philosophical ideas and language, in an updated and balanced picture of archaic lore, of the thought of the classical and hellenistic ages, and of the philosophy of late antiquity. The book looks closely at the progress of scientific thought and at its increasing autonomy, while following the evolution of the fruitful yet problematic relationship between the Greek world and the Near East.

Table of Contents

1. East and West

M. Laura Gemelli Marciano

2. Ancient philosophy and the doxographical tradition

Jaap Mansfeld

2a. The transmission of ancient philosophy

Lorenzo Perilli, Daniela P. Taormina, with Jaap Mansfeld

3. Philosophical Stones: Ancient philosophy as reflected in the mirror of inscriptions

Georg Petzl

4. Socio-historical outline of the Archaic period

Paolo Tuci

5. "You Greeks are always children": The infancy of wisdom

Lorenzo Perilli

6. The Presocratics

Lorenzo Perilli

6a. New discoveries of ancient philosophical and scientific texts

Lorenzo Perilli, Daniela P. Taormina

7. The sophists and Socrates

Rick Benitez

7a. The sophists: Key figures

Lorenzo Perilli, Daniela P. Taormina, with Rick Benitez

8. Socio-historical outline of the Classical and Hellenistic periods

Paolo Tuci

9. Plato

Maria Isabel Santa Cruz

10. The Academy from Plato to Polemo

Dimitri El Murr

10a. Academic philosophers (4th-1st cent. BC)

Tiziano Dorandi

11. Aristotle

James G. Lennox

11a. Aristotle’s poetics

Guido Paduano

12. Hellenistic philosophy

Keimpe Algra

13. Socio-historical outline of the Roman period

Federico De Romanis

14. Some remarks on ancient science

Lorenzo Perilli

14a. Logos and algorithms

Paolo Zellini

15. Philosophy in Rome

Therese Fuhrer

15a. Lucretius: a failed subversion

Luca Canali

16. Socio-historical outline of the later Roman empire

Umberto Roberto

17. Platonism, Pythagoreanism, Aristotelianism

Dominic J. O’Meara

18. Greek philosophy and philosophers in the 3rd-6th Cent. AD

From Plotinus to the last Alexandrian commentators

Daniela P. Taormina

19. Augustine of Hippo and the new Christian culture

Marta Cristiani

Aristotle’s Testament


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Lorenzo Perilli is Professor of Classical Philology at the University of Rome ‘Tor Vergata’, Italy, and the Director of the transdisciplinary Research Centre in Classics, Mathematics and Philosophy ‘Forms of Knowledge in the Ancient World’. His research interests include Ancient medicine and science, Presocratic philosophy, textual criticism, and humanities computing.


Daniela P. Taormina is Professor in Greek Philosophy at the University of Rome ‘Tor Vergata’, Italy. Her research activity concerns especially the philosophy of Late Antiquity, from Middle-Platonism to the Platonic philosophers of the VI century AD and is focused in particular on the domains of psychology and post-Plotinian ontology. Most recently, she is co-editor and contributor of Plotinus and Epicurus. Matter, Perception, Pleasure (2016).


This book gives an excellent overview of the development of philosophy in the classical world. Perilli and Taormina have put together an innovative history of ancient philosophy.

Teun Tieleman, Utrecht University, Netherlands