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City and School in Late Antique Athens and Alexandria$
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Edward Watts

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780520244214

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520244214.001.0001

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Athens and Its Philosophical Schools in the Fifth Century

Athens and Its Philosophical Schools in the Fifth Century

(p.79) Chapter 4 Athens and Its Philosophical Schools in the Fifth Century
City and School in Late Antique Athens and Alexandria

Edward J. Watts

University of California Press

By the turn of the fifth century, the dominance that Athenian teachers had once enjoyed over the political life of the city was only a memory. Much of this was due to the rapid evolution of Athenian public life in the late fourth century. Teachers, most of whom were pagan, had to determine how best to adapt to a new political environment in which their independence was diminished and religious concerns could never be ignored. Amidst these changes in the city, there is a distinct shift in the focus of the extant sources describing Athenian education. This chapter reveals the closed world of private philosophical schools at a very significant moment: when Athenian teachers of philosophy first introduced Iamblichan Neoplatonism to the Athenian educational environment. This chapter also discusses the activities of Plutarch, the most prominent early exponent of Iamblichan Neoplatonism in Athens, to effectively function in this new political environment.

Keywords:   Plutarch, Iamblichan Neoplatonism, education, Athens, classical era, teachers, philosophy, Christianity

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