Talk:Ammonius Saccas

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Eusebius (Church History, vi. 19), who is followed by Jerome?, asserts that he was born a Christian, remained faithful to Christianity throughout his life, and even produced two works called The Harmony of Moses and Jesus and the Diatessaron, or Harmony of the Four Gospels, which is said by some to exist in a Latin version by Victor, bishop of Capua.

Wasn't the Diatessaron written by Tatian? -- Simon J Kissane

Two or one[edit]

The 1911 says there were two different Ammonius, one Christian and one the founder of the neo-Platonic school. We have two articles on wikipedia, this one and Ammonius of Alexandria (Christian) (note the commentary at the bottom of that article). I would not be opposed to a merge, as long as we mention that some scholars think there is confusion, and that there may have been two different Ammonius'. But perhaps this position is archaic, and no one says that anymore? Are there any more recent sources on the idea of 2?-Andrew c 15:42, 17 January 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

For a recent defence of the two Ammonii thesis see Mark Edwards (2015) One Origen or Two? The Status Quaestionis, Symbolae Osloenses, 89:1, 81-103, with further references. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ick22 (talkcontribs) 15:02, 22 August 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I'm 'professionally' involved in Neoplatonic studies (soon to be published). While Ammonius is not my specialty, I have not heard anything from the world experts about two of the same name - quite the contrary. Another editor asked me recently about this issue. I'm pasting my response:

"Do you mean the bit about Ammonius the teacher of Plotinus being the same as Ammonius the Christian? This is neither new nor original research. The notion that there were two prominent Alexandrian "Ammonii" is probably an old one. That Ammonius is one and the same was taken up at least by 1957 by H. Langerbeck, The Philosophy of Ammonius Saccas: and the Connection of Aristotelian and Christian Elements Therein, Journal of Hellenic Studies, v 77:1, 1957, 67-74. I quote: "Ammonius was of Christian descent; for this, we must undoubtedly take Porphyry's word (Euseb. Hist. Eccl. IV, 19.7). Was he an apostate? This is by no means clearly deducible from Porphyry's words, but only that he devoted himself to a philosophical life." Langerbeck goes on to explain that being an Alexandrian Christian was sticky business at the time and he argues that Ammonius was a Christian not of any particular gnostic or anti-gnostic stripe, but with independent ideas of his own.

"The writing of this wiki article is very poor, and the long quote from Eusebius unnecessary. There is no mention of Hierocles! " Zeusnoos 18:31, 17 January 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Bertrand Russell's History of Philosophy (1945) p. 326 says Ammonius Saccas was the teacher of both Plotinus and Origin, implicitly rejecting the "two Amonnius" theory. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ezraskid (talkcontribs) 05:25, 2 March 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Rewrote the page[edit]

Right, I had a stab at rewriting this page on Ammonius Saccas, so that it might, at least, make some sort of sense now. Basically, I just googled up a few "History of Philosophy" textbooks, noted down what they had to say about him, and rewrote the page accordingly. It does, incidentally, still seem to be the consensus view that there may have been more than one Ammonius. Singinglemon (talk) 23:30, 16 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Yes yes yes the most beloved John M. Dillon is one of those who ascribe to the idea of multiple Saccas'. PS You did a fine job. LoveMonkey (talk) 01:09, 20 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I agree with the fine job. Well done. But I'd like to make one small clarifying point about the following sentence .... "According to Porphyry, the parents of Ammonius were Christians". In reality I think the situation is better represented as follows: "According to Eusebius, Porphyry wrote that the parents of Ammonius were Christians". We don't have the writings of Porphyry, only the writings of Eusebius representing Porphyry. According to the Christian literary tradition the writings of Porphyry were ordered to be burnt by Constantine c.325 CE. (See ) 03:28, 14 October 2013 (UTC)Arius of Alexandria (talk)

Cognomen discussion is not encyclopedic; POV problems[edit]

There is an urgent need for cleanup of the biography given, specifically as it relates to discussing the cognomen of the subject. It is not encyclopedic for this article to assert, even with citations in favor of it, that Bishop Theodeoretos, or for that matter, any ancient person, intended an act of slander, unless that person themselves admitted it. Even with a citation given, which is in this case absent, the most an article on Wikipedia can reasonably do is state that the Bishop in question may have intended slander; however, to assert slander without a confession to it on the Bishop's part, and to furthermore describe the above as "cheap polemics", betrays a clear point of view. At the same time, the theory advanced in opposition to that ascribed, without citation, to Theodeoretos, who is, one should add, not the most well known of Patristic sources (we are not talking about Athanasius, Basil, Eusebius or another noted author from antiquity), that Ammonius Saccas is a relative of the Buddha, suggests an absurdly anti-Christian bias for this article. While it is entirely possible that Saccas was a descendant of the Indian ruling caste who travelled to the major commercial port of Alexandria, it is equally possible that he was one of many fine intellectuals throughout history to have worked his way up from humble beginnings; thus, for this article to dismiss the opinion of Theodeoretos, without bothering to link to a biography on said Bishop, as slander, and as cheap polemics, is entirely unacceptable.

Unfortunately the subject matter of this article is outside of my area of expertise; I have only a passing knowledge of the neo-Platonists, and am not the right person to rewrite the offending sections of this article, but the work must be done urgently, for this article in its present form not encyclopedic.

Wgw2024 (talk) 07:40, 26 September 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

External links modified[edit]

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Origen the Pagan and Origen are probably the same person, according to John Anthony McGuckin, who points out that it is unlikely that two philosophers with the same name, same areas of interest, same teacher, and same place of birth would be teaching in the same part of the Near East at the same time. Furthermore, Porphyry does not directly state whether Origen the Pagan is a pagan or a Christian at all; scholars have just assumed he must have been pagan because Porphyry does not speak negatively of him like he does elsewhere with Origen the Christian. All of this makes the key distinction between the two rather ambiguous at best. --Katolophyromai (talk) 18:59, 28 January 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

For a recent defence of the identity of the "two Origens" see: Ramelli, I. 2009. “Origen, Patristic Philosophy and Christian Platonism: Rethinking the Christianization of Hellenism.” VC 63: 217–263; Ramelli, I. 2011. “Origen the Christian Middle/Neoplatonist: New Arguments for a Possible Identification.” Journal of Early Christian History 1: 98–130. --Ick22 (talk) 15:14, 22 August 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Note also that the reference to Eusebius, History of the Church, vi, 19, is incorrect. Nowhere there does Eusebius speak of two Origens. Eusebius only knows one Origen, the Christian. --Ick22 (talk) 15:14, 22 August 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Not a portrait of Ammonius Saccas[edit]

Encaustic funerary portrait of an Egyptian man named Ammonios from the city of Antinopolis, dated to between c. 225 and c. 250 AD

For some reason, دنيا keeps re-adding the picture at right to the infobox of this article. This is not a portrait of Ammonius Saccas. There is no evidence linking this portrait to Ammonius Saccas and there are no reliable sources that identify it as a portrait of Ammonius Saccas. Please stop re-adding it. I will admit that it is a very nice portrait, but it is not relevant to this article. —Katolophyromai (talk) 15:11, 19 August 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hello, Katolophyromai. Actually, I forgot that I had added this image before but anyway I added this portrait because it is related to this article in wikidata; in addition, it is present in same article in other languages. I discovered ,from your user page, that your are a specialist in history and philosophy so of course you know about Ammonius Saccas better than me. Thank you for your efforts and hope that you could edit the wikidata page of this article if you have time. دنيا (talk) 16:19, 19 August 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@دنيا: Thanks for responding. I was just getting really frustrated because I removed the image, then someone else added it back, then I removed it again, then you re-added it, then I removed it again, then you re-added it again. It felt like everyone was ignoring what I was saying.
I will say that it is a very nice portrait and it does date to around the time when Ammonius Saccas was alive, but it almost certainly does not depict him. Unfortunately, as is the case with most people who lived in ancient times, there are no authentic surviving portraits of Ammonius Saccas; we basically have no idea what he looked like. —Katolophyromai (talk) 18:03, 19 August 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I have now removed the image from the page about Ammonius Saccas on Wikidata. —Katolophyromai (talk) 18:06, 19 August 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The second reference to Eusebius, History of the Church, vi, 19, is incorrect. Nowhere there does Eusebius speak of two Origens. Eusebius only knows one Origen, the Christian. --Ick22 (talk) 15:32, 22 August 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]