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Religions of the Constantinian Empire$
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Mark Edwards

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199687725

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199687725.001.0001

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The Metamorphoses of Platonism

The Metamorphoses of Platonism

Chapter:
(p.41) Chapter 3 The Metamorphoses of Platonism
Source:
Religions of the Constantinian Empire
Author(s):

Mark Edwards

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199687725.003.0003

Chapter 3 observes that, notwithstanding the invectives of Porphyry against the Christians, the pagan Platonism of the Constantinian era has a more religious colour than that of Plotinus which would have made it more assimilable to Christians. The chief exponents in this period are Iamblichus and Theodore of Asine, both of whom are eclectic in their sympathies, though thoroughly Greek in temper. Chalcidius, on the other hand, is a prime example of liminality or hybridity, clearly stamped as a Christian by his references to Origen and the Hebrews, yet consistently working out his own cosmology within the Platonic tradition. By contrast, Eusebius is careful not to permit the boundary between Christianity and Platonism to be obscured. The end of the chapter brings us back to Porphyry, or rather to Constantine’s invidious use of his name in a philippic against the heretic Arius.

Keywords:   Platonism, Porphyry, Iamblichus, Theodore of Asine, Chalcidius, Numenius, Eusebius of Caesarea, Arius, second god, Constantine

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