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Simplicius On Manichaean Cosmogony

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Chapter Summary

Simplicius of Cilicia was a sixth century pagan philosopher and commentator on Aristotle. Simplicius commentary on the Encheiridion of the Stoic philosopher Epictetus furnishes us with one of only two refutations of the Manichaean system written from a pagan philosophical rather than Christian theological point of view. Like Proclus, Simplicius criticizes the dualist system typified by the Manichaeans without naming his adversary. There is no question, however, that Manichaeism was the intended target as the author is well-informed on several aspects of Manichaean cosmogony and his attack is not just aimed at dualism in general but in very specific details of the Manichaean cosmogonic myth The only existing English translation of Simplicius commentary on Epictetus Enchiridion (Manual) is the work of two scholars whose focus is on Neo-Platonism and provides minimal annotation.

Keywords: Encheiridion; manichaean cosmogony; Neo-Platonism; Simplicius of Cilicia



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