Olympiodorus, Life of Plato and On Plato First Alcibiades 1-9
Olympiodorus (AD c. 500–570), possibly the last non-Christian teacher of philosophy in Alexandria, delivered these lectures as an introduction to Plato with a biography. For us, they can serve as an accessible introduction to late Neoplatonism. Olympiodorus locates the First Alcibiades at the start of the curriculum on Plato, because it is about self-knowledge. His pupils are beginners, able to approach the hierarchy of philosophical virtues, like the aristocratic playboy Alcibiades. Alcibiades needs to know himself, at least as an individual with particular actions, before he can reach the virtues of mere civic interaction. As Olympiodorus addresses mainly Christian students, he tells them that the different words they use are often symbols of truths shared between their faiths.
Life of Plato and On Plato First Alcibiades 1-9,
tr. M. Griffin,
London: Bloomsbury, 2015
ISBN 9781472588302 (hb)