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Time, Perpetuity and Eternity in Late Antique Platonism

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This paper focuses on the late antique conception of time, eternity and perpetual duration and examines the relation between these concepts and Plato's cosmology. By exploring the controversy between pagan philosophers (Proclus, Ammonius, Simplicius, Olympiodorus) and Christian writers (Aeneas of Gaza, Zacharias of Mytilene, Philoponus) in respect to the interpretation of Plato's Timaeus, I argue that the Neoplatonic doctrine of the perpetuity (αιδóτηζ) of the world derives from a) the intellectual paradigm presupposed by the conceptual framework of late antiquity and b) the commentators' principal concern for a coherent conception of Platonic cosmology essentially free from internal contradictions.


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