The Platonic Academy of the fourth century B. Younger students pursued the rigorous studies in mathematics, astronomy and philosophy established by Plato, while mature disciples of the master engaged in exploratory discussions of the dynamic ratios between archetypal Ideas and the living geometry of the cosmos. Speusippus, Xenocrates and Polemon maintained the Pythagorean tradition within the school, elaborating Plato's teachings and applying them to every department of Nature. During the third century the Old Academy waned under Crates and Arcesilaus, and the Middle Academy turned its attention to philosophical disputes with the Stoics. Though Plato's pupil Aristotle had long since set up the rival Lyceum in opposition to the essential Pythagorean elements in Platonic doctrines, it was the Middle or New Academy which abandoned them for a form of Greek philosophical skepticism.
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Plotinus c. Origen c. Eusebian Canons and Sections. Alexandrian Platonist, and teacher of Plotinus and Origen not to be confused with an earlier Ammonius, who taught Plutarch. Little is known of Ammonius, who seems to have belonged to the Neo-Pythagorean underground, and stood at some remove from orthodox philosophy of his time. Attempts to reconstruct his teaching by finding common elements in Plotinus and Origen have not been successful.
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Ammonius Saccas - Encyclopedia
Plotinus c. Origen c. Eusebian Canons and Sections. Alexandrian Platonist, and teacher of Plotinus and Origen not to be confused with an earlier Ammonius, who taught Plutarch. Little is known of Ammonius, who seems to have belonged to the Neo-Pythagorean underground, and stood at some remove from orthodox philosophy of his time.
He [ Ammonius ] adopted the doctrines which were received in Egypt concerning the Universe and the Deity, considered as constituting one great whole; concerning the eternity of the world, the nature of souls, the empire of Providence and the government of the world by daimons. He also established a system of moral discipline which allowed the people in general to live according to the laws of their country and the dictates of nature; but required the wise to exalt their minds by contemplation and to mortify the body. In order to reconcile the popular religions, and particularly the Christian, with this new system, he made the whole history of the heathen gods an allegory, maintaining that they were only celestial ministers entitled to an inferior kind of worship; and he acknowledged that Jesus Christ was an excellent man and the friend of God, but alleged that it was not his design entirely to abolish the worship of demons, and that his only intention was to purify the ancient religion. I have urged that Ammonius was an independent thinker who, though a Platonist, had a weaker commitment to Plato than most of his contemporary Platonists and hence was uninterested in interschool polemics. His concern rather was to search for the truth in philosophy, which led him to study the works of both Plato and Aristotle and appreciate them according to their merits. Focusing on the underlying thought behind the texts, Ammonius left aside doctrines forged by later philosophers, points of detail, and also certain flaws of the philosophers themselves, and reached an understanding of Platonic and Aristotelian philosophy as a whole, concluding that their basic doctrines are essentially the same.