Asclepiodotus of Alexandria

Asclepiodotus of Alexandria

Asclepiodotus ( _el. Άσκληπιόδοτος) of Alexandria was a Neoplatonist philosopher who lived in the second half of the 5th century. He was a native of Alexandria who studied under Proclus in Athens. He eventually moved to Aphrodisias where he maintained a philosophy school jointly with another man also called Asclepiodotus, whose daughter, Damiane, he married. He wrote a commentary on Plato's "Timaeus", which is however lost.

He taught Damascius, who describes Asclepiodotus in disparaging terms, in part because of his disregard for oracular lore:

Asclepiodotus' mind was not perfect, as most people thought. He was extremely sharp at raising questions, but not so acute in his understanding. His was an uneven intelligence, especially when it came to divine matters - the invisible and intelligible concept of Plato's lofty thought. Even more wanting was he in the field of higher wisdom - the Orphic and Chaldean lore which transcends common sense. [Damascius, PH fr. 85 A, from Athanassiadi, P., Frede M., (1999), "Pagan Monotheism in Late Antiquity" Oxford University Press.]

He and his wife visited the shrine of Isis at Menouthis in Egypt, in order to cure Damiane's childlessness. A baby was produced, but the local Christians claimed it had been bought from a priestess, and used the affair as a pretext to destroy the shrine.



* Bury, et al, (1925), "The Cambridge Ancient History", pages 852-853. Cambridge University Press.

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