Neoplatonism and Gnosticism  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Neoplatonism (also Neo-Platonism) is the modern term for a school of Hellenistic philosophy that took shape in the 3rd century AD, based on the teachings of Plato and some of his early followers. Neoplatonism took definitive shape with the philosopher Plotinus, who claimed to have received his teachings from Ammonius Saccas, a dock worker and philosopher in Alexandria. Neoplatonists considered themselves simply "Platonists", although they also wished to distinguish themselves from various earlier interpreters of Plato, such as the New Academy followers of skepticism like Arcesilaus and Cicero, Clitomachus, Carneades with its probabilistic account of knowledge. A more precise term for the group, suggested by the scholar John D. Turner, is orthodox (neo)Platonism.

Neoplatonism, Gnosticism and other movements

Neoplatonism and Gnosticism are probably also both influences on certain contemporary or later movements. A good example is Hermeticism. Hermeticism seems to have roots prior to the 3rd century, but also to have been influenced heavily by both Gnosticism and Neoplatonism.

See also




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Neoplatonism and Gnosticism" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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