Course Content (Syllabus)
The course presents the reception of Ancient philosophy in general and some of its ideas and motifs by the Byzantine literature, through an anthology of relevant texts. Ancient philosophy was one of the main sources of Byzantine thought, but the latter did not hold a single attitude towards it: depending on the circumstances, it was totally condemnable, very cautious, moderately critical or, more rarely, defensive.
During the course we will present and analyze: (a) texts about the relationship between Ancient philosophy and Christianity (Justin, Clement of Alexandria) and the benefit of studying ancient letters and philosophy (Basil of Caesarea, Theodoros Metochites) or about the philosophical irony of Socrates (Metochites), (b) texts that expose and criticize aspects of the philosophy of Plato, Aristotle or Epicurus, ancient Greek views on the creation of the world (Basil of Caesarea) or on the immortality of the soul (Gregory of Nyssa, Aeneas Gazaios), the Platonic theory of Ideas (Michael Psellos, Nickephorus Choumnos) or the Skeptics (Nikolaos Kavasilas), as well as (c) texts that argue for the superiority of Plato or Aristotle (the Late Byzantine controversy between Georgios Gemistos Plethon and Georgios Scholarios or Gennadios II).
Course Bibliography (Eudoxus)
1. Πλήθων, Για τις αποκλίσεις του Αριστοτέλη από τον Πλάτωνα. Αθήνα: εκδόσεις Άτων, 2020.
2. Hynger, H., Βυζαντινή Λογοτεχνία, τόμος Α΄. Αθήνα: ΜΙΕΤ, 2012.