In This Article Greek Philosophy

  • Introduction
  • General Overviews
  • Reference Resources
  • Dictionaries and Encyclopedias
  • Journals
  • Text Resources
  • Early Greek Philosophy Fragments
  • Commentaries on the Presocratics
  • Collections of Essays about Presocratic Philosophy
  • Thales
  • Anaximander
  • Xenophanes
  • Heraclitus
  • Pythagoras and Early Pythagoreans
  • Eleatic Philosophy
  • Empedocles of Acragas
  • Anaxagoras
  • Derveni Papyrus
  • Early Atomism
  • Hippocrates and Early Medical Writers
  • Sophists of the 5th Century bce
  • Antiphon
  • Dissoi Logoi
  • Gorgias
  • Prodicus
  • Protagoras
  • Isocrates
  • Minor Socratics (Cynics, Megarians, and Cyrenaics)
  • The Early Academy
  • Later Peripatetics
  • Hellenistic Philosophy
  • Epicurus and Epicureanism
  • Skepticism
  • Academic Skepticism
  • Pyrrho and Timon
  • Sextus Empiricus as a Source for Hellenistic Skepticism
  • Greek Philosophy in the Roman Imperial Period
  • Andronicus of Rhodes, 1st Century BCE
  • Arius Didymus, 1st Century bce
  • Commentators on Plato, Aristotle, and Others
  • Middle Platonism
  • Antiochus of Ascalon and the 1st-Century bce Academy
  • Philo of Alexandria
  • Plutarch of Chaeronea
  • Alcinous (Albinus), 2nd-Century Platonist
  • Celsus, 2nd-Century Platonist
  • Neopythagoreanism
  • Gnosticism, Hermeticism, Chaldean Oracles
  • Neoplatonism
  • Plotinus
  • Porphyry
  • Iamblichus
  • Calcidius, 4th Century CE
  • Themistius
  • Dexippus, fl. 350 CE
  • Augustine
  • Syrianus, fl. 431/432 CE
  • Hermeias
  • Hierocles of Alexandria, 5th Century CE
  • Proclus
  • (Pseudo) Dionysius the Areopagite, Late 5th to Early 6th Centuries CE
  • Ammonius, Son of Hermeias
  • Asclepius of Tralles
  • Damascius
  • Simplicius
  • Boethius
  • Olympiodorus (6th Century CE, Alexandria)
  • David and Elias
  • John Philoponus

Classics Greek Philosophy
by
Anthony Preus
  • LAST MODIFIED: 25 October 2012
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780195389661-0013

Introduction

The title “Ancient Greek Philosophy” may be applied to philosophical texts written in Greek over a period of somewhat more than one thousand years, from the Milesian Anaximander before 500 BCE to the Alexandrian John Philoponus, who died in 570 CE. The bibliography of the available texts, and translations, is significantly large, and the bibliography of secondary literature written about those texts in subsequent centuries is vast. This bibliography is necessarily highly selective, designed primarily to give access to some of the basic works in each area of investigation. Separate bibliographies on individual philosophers, periods, and schools will follow. This bibliography begins with a section on philosophy before Plato, including the Presocratics and Socrates, with some references to philosophers who were contemporaries of Plato and Aristotle. The second section focuses on Plato and early Platonists; the third section, on Aristotle and his immediate successors in the Peripatetic school. The fourth section focuses on philosophy after Aristotle, often called “Hellenistic” philosophy. This period notably includes Epicureans, Skeptics, and Stoics, as well as followers of Plato and Aristotle during the period from 322 BCE until the Roman Empire engulfed the Greek world. The fifth section includes access to philosophy written in Greek during the Roman Imperial period, from the middle of the 1st century BCE until the closing of the philosophical schools in the 5th and 6th centuries CE. It was during this time that many of the texts that provide our information about the earlier periods were written; many of the surviving texts are commentaries on works by Plato or Aristotle, for example, but significant original philosophical work was written, for instance, by Neoplatonists such as Plotinus and Porphyry, by Aristotelians such as Alexander of Aphrodisias, and by the medical philosopher Galen. Our bibliography includes something of a combination of introductory texts suitable for someone beginning a study of a particular field, plus a significant number of texts and translations of the ancient authors, and a few more-specialized studies, where those may be of special interest.

General Overviews

In this section, I list some of the most important locations for finding materials relevant to specific topics in ancient philosophy. It is often worthwhile, when going beyond the items in a specific section of this bibliography, to browse these general resources. Guthrie 1962–1981 is included here because in effect it serves as a kind of encyclopedia for Greek philosophy from Thales to Aristotle. Sedley 2003, Gill and Pellegrin 2006, and Shields 2002 provide quick introductions to topics in the entire history of ancient philosophy; Kenny 2001 is a single-author, one-volume overview. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy and Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy are extremely useful general resources for students at all levels. Many individual articles are included in this bibliography, but there are many more that are equally valuable.

  • Gill, Mary Louise, and Pierre Pellegrin. 2006. A companion to ancient Greek philosophy. Oxford: Blackwell.

    DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631210610.2006.xE-mail Citation »

    A fairly large collection of introductory articles on a wide range of topics in the whole history of ancient philosophy.

  • Guthrie, W. K. C. 1962–1981. A history of Greek philosophy. 6 vols. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

    E-mail Citation »

    Guthrie’s History is a scholarly introduction to classical philosophy. Philosophers might complain that it is not “philosophical” enough, but that does mean, at least, that Guthrie is not likely to be grinding any axes. It has become somewhat dated, especially for the Presocratics, and stops at Aristotle.

  • Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

    E-mail Citation »

    More topics included than the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, but not always reliable. Some of the articles are “stubs,” often less informative than what you get on Wikipedia. This bibliography includes references to some of the best Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy articles.

  • Kenny, Anthony. 2001. Ancient philosophy: A new history of Western philosophy. Vol. 1. Oxford: Clarendon.

    E-mail Citation »

    Topically organized introduction to major themes.

  • Sedley, David, ed. 2003. The Cambridge companion to Greek and Roman philosophy. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

    DOI: 10.1017/CCOL0521772850E-mail Citation »

    Articles by leading authorities briefly introduce topics in the whole chronological range of ancient philosophy.

  • Shields, Christopher. 2002. Blackwell guide to ancient philosophy. Malden, MA: Blackwell.

    DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631222156.2002.xE-mail Citation »

    Introductory survey articles by noted scholars, covering a significant range of ancient philosophy.

  • The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy Edward N. Zalta.

    E-mail Citation »

    The single-best online resource for ancient Greek philosophy. It features signed articles, mainly by ranking authorities in the field. Most of the articles have very good bibliographies on the topic discussed.

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