Neoplatonist Greek philosopher Porphyry.


(c. 234 - c. 305)

After his Syrian name—Malchus, meaning “king”—was Hellenized in Athens by his teacher of rhetoric to imply “imperial purple,” Porphyry studied with the founder of Neoplatonism, Plotinus, in Rome. He went on to write a biography of the philosopher and a commentary on Aristotle’s Categories, the introduction to which Boethius translated into Latin and which later became a standard medieval textbook. Porphyry also wrote On Abstinence, a defense of vegetarianism.

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