Ancient Readings of Plato’s Phaedo


Plato’s Phaedo has never failed to attract the attention of philosophers and scholars. Yet the history of its reception in Antiquity has been little studied. The present volume therefore proposes to examine not only the Platonic exegetical tradition surrounding this dialogue, which culminates in the commentaries of Damascius and Olympiodorus, but also its place in the reflections of the rival Peripatetic, Stoic, and Sceptical schools. This volume thus aims to shed light on the surviving commentaries and their sources, as well as on less familiar aspects of the history of the Phaedo’s ancient reception. By doing so, it may help to clarify what ancient interpreters of Plato can and cannot offer their contemporary counterparts.
Restricted Access


EUR €129.00USD $170.00

Biographical Note

Sylvain Delcomminette, PhD, is Professor of Ancient Philosophy at the Université Libre de Bruxelles. He has written monographs on Plato’s Statesman (Brussels, 2000) and Philebus (Leiden, 2006) and is currently working on the topic of necessity in Aristotle. Pieter d’Hoine, PhD, is Assistant Professor of Ancient Philosophy and Intellectual History at the De Wulf – Mansion Centre for Ancient, Medieval and Renaissance Philosophy (KU Leuven). His main area of research is later Neoplatonic metaphysics. Marc-Antoine Gavray, PhD, is Research Associate of the National Fund for Scientific Research (Belgium). He teaches Ancient Philosophy at the Université de Liège. He works on the Sophists, on Plato and on late Neoplatonism (mainly Damascius and Simplicius). Contributors are: Francesca Alesse, Han Baltussen, Riccardo Chiaradonna, Lorenzo Corti, Sylvain Delcomminette, Bram Demulder, Marc-Antoine Gavray, Sebastian Gertz, Pieter d’Hoine, Alain Lernould, Geert Roskam, Harold Tarrant, Franco Trabattoni, and Gerd Van Riel.

Table of contents

Contents List of Contributors Introduction Sylvain Delcomminette, Pieter d’Hoine and Marc-Antoine Gavray Aristote et le Phédon Sylvain Delcomminette Strato of Lampsacus as a Reader of Plato’s Phaedo: His Critique of the Soul’s Immortality Han Baltussen Le Phédon dans le Stoïcisme hellénistique et post-hellénistique Francesca Alesse Sextus, the Number Two and the Phaedo Lorenzo Corti Plutarch’s Reception of Plato’s Phaedo Geert Roskam The Phaedo in Numenian Allegorical Interpretation Harold Tarrant Plotin lecteur du Phédon: l’âme et la vie en iv 7 [2] 11 Riccardo Chiaradonna Syrianus and the Phaedo Pieter d’Hoine Damascius, Olympiodore et Proclus sur les attributs «divin» (θεῖον) et «intelligible» (νοητόν) en Phédon 80a10–b1 dans l’argument dit «de la similitude» Alain Lernould From ‘Immortal’ to ‘Imperishable’: Damascius on the Final Argument in Plato’s Phaedo Sebastian Gertz La théorie de l’âme-harmonie chez les commentateurs anciens Franco Trabattoni «Nombreux sont les porteurs de thyrse, mais rares les Bacchants». Olympiodore et Damascius sur le Phédon Bram Demulder et Gerd Van Riel Au terme d’une tradition: Simplicius, lecteur du Phédon Marc-Antoine Gavray Bibliography Index locorum Index nominum Index rerum


Everyone interested in ancient philosophy, the history of Platonism, the ancient commentary tradition, and the development of philosophical exegesis.