Porphyry


Porphyry
Porphyrean /pawr fear"ee euhn/, adj.Porphyrian, adj., n.Porphyrianist, n.
/pawr"feuh ree/, n. (Malchus)
A.D. c233-c304, Greek philosopher.

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▪ Syrian philosopher
original name  Malchus  
born c. 234, Tyre [modern Ṣūr, Lebanon] or Batanaea [in modern Syria]
died c. 305, Rome?

      Neoplatonist Greek philosopher, important both as an editor and as a biographer of the philosopher Plotinus and for his commentary on Aristotle's Categories, which set the stage for medieval developments of logic and the problem of universals. Boethius' Latin translation of the introduction (Isagoge) became a standard medieval textbook.

      Porphyry's original Syrian name (meaning “king”) was hellenized at Athens by Cassius Longinus, his teacher of rhetoric (the new name signifying “imperial purple,” an allusion to “king”). Porphyry studied philosophy (263–268?) in Rome under Plotinus, who gently rescued him from a suicidal depression. In 301 he produced his most important work, Enneads, a systematized and edited collection of the works of Plotinus to which was prefixed a biography, unique for its reliability and informativeness.

      Porphyry's voluminous writings extended to philosophy, religion, philology, and science and show scholarly care in citing authorities. Surviving fragments of his Against the Christians, which was condemned in 448 to be burned, marked him as a fierce critic of the new religion. He was also lecturer on Plotinus and tutor to the Syrian philosopher Iamblichus, wrote a life of the mathematician Pythagoras, and preserved precious fragments of earlier philosophy in his On Abstinence, a plea for vegetarianism. In medieval textbooks, the “Porphyrian Tree” illustrated his logical classification of substance.

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • Porphyry's — Porphyry …   Philosophy dictionary

  • Porphyry — (pronounced IPA|/ pɔː(ɹ)fɪri/, from the Greek polytonic|Πορφύριος porphyrios purple clad ) may refer to:*Porphyry (geology), a plutonic rock with large crystals in a fine grained matrix *Porphyry (philosopher) (c. 232 c. 305), a Neoplatonic… …   Wikipedia

  • PORPHYRY° — (233–305 C.E.), Greek philosopher, disciple of Plotinus, and one of the most versatile thinkers of his day. Porphyry displayed considerable interest in Judaism, both as one of the ancient religions of the Orient and as the source of Christianity …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Porphyry — Por phy*ry, n.; pl. {Porphyries}. [F. porphyre, L. porphyrites, fr. Gr. ? like purple, fr. ? purple. See {Purple}.] (Geol.) A term used somewhat loosely to designate a rock consisting of a fine grained base (usually feldspathic) through which… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • porphyry — type of ornamental stone, late 14c., from O.Fr. porfire, from L. porphyrites, a purple semi precious stone quarried near Red Sea in Egypt, from Gk. porphyrites (lithos) the purple (stone), from porphyra (n.) purple, purple dye (see PURPLE (Cf.… …   Etymology dictionary

  • porphyry — ► NOUN (pl. porphyries) ▪ a hard, typically reddish igneous rock containing crystals of feldspar. ORIGIN Greek porphurit s, from porphura purple …   English terms dictionary

  • porphyry — [pôr′fə rē] n. pl. porphyries [ME porfirie < OFr porfire < ML porphyreum, altered < L porphyrites < Gr porphyritēs ( lithos), lit., purple (stone) < porphyros, purple] 1. Historical an Egyptian rock with large feldspar crystals… …   English World dictionary

  • Porphyry — (c. 232–305) Syrian polymath, and disciple and editor of Plotinus . Porphyry also wrote commentaries upon Plato and Aristotle . His most influential work was the Isagoge or Introduction to Aristotle s Categories, which was responsible for the… …   Philosophy dictionary

  • porphyry — /pawr feuh ree/, n., pl. porphyries. 1. a very hard rock, anciently quarried in Egypt, having a dark, purplish red groundmass containing small crystals of feldspar. 2. Petrol. any igneous rock containing coarse crystals, as phenocrysts, in a… …   Universalium

  • porphyry —    A hard igneous rock, originally recognized as the Egyptian variety now known as Imperial porphyry containing crystals of feldspar in a purplish groundmass. It was prized in the sculpture and architecture of the ancient Romans as well as by… …   Glossary of Art Terms


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