Priscian of Lydia

Priscian of Lydia

Priscian (or Priscianus) of Lydia, who lived in the first half of the 6th century, was one of the last of the Neoplatonists.

A contemporary of Simplicius of Cilicia, Priscian was born in Lydia, probably in the late 5th century. He was one of the last Neoplatonists to study at the Academy when Damascius was at its head. When Justinian I closed the school in 529, Priscian, together with Damascius, Simplicius, and four other colleagues were forced to seek asylum in the court of the Persian king Chosroes. By 533 they were allowed back into the Byzantine Empire after Justinian and Chosroes concluded a peace treaty, in which it was provided that the philosophers would be allowed to return.

Two works of Priscian's have survived:
*"Answers to Chosroes" ("Solutiones ad Chosroen")
*An epitome of Theophrastus' "On the Soul" ("de Anima")

The "Answers to Chosroes" contain a series of answers to philosophical questions which were apparently posed to Priscian in a debate at the Persian court during his exile.

It has also been suggested that the commentary on Aristotle's "de Anima" attributed to Simplicius, was written by Priscian, [Steel C., in "Priscian, On Theophrastus on Sense-Perception and Simplicius' On Aristotle's On the Soul 2.5-12.", Cornell University Press, 1997. See [ Bryn Mawr Classical Review 1999.10.18] ] but this is disputed. [Hadot, I., [ "Simplicius or Pricianus? On the Author of the Commentary on Aristotle's De Anima".] Mnemosyne, Volume 55, Number 2, 2002, pp. 159-199.]



*Sarton, G., "Introduction to the History of Science". Page 423. Williams & Wilkins. (1927).

External links

* [ Victoria Erhart: "The Context and Contents of Priscianus of Lydia's Solutionum ad Chosroem"]

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