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The most important representative of the later Neo-Platonic school, born 412 A.D. at Byzantium. He received his first instruction at Xanthus in Lycia, and betook himself to Alexandria to complete his education. There he attached himself chiefly to Heron the mathematician, and to the Aristotelian Olympiodorus. Before the age of twenty, he removed to Athens to attend the lectures of the most celebrated Platonists of the time, Syrianus and Plutarchus. On the death of the latter he became head of the Platonic school until his own death in 485. His disciples were very numerous; and his learning and zeal for the education of the young, combined with his beneficence, his virtuous and strictly ascetic life, and his steadfastness in the faith of his fathers, gained him the enthusiastic devotion of his followers. We possess an account of his life, full of admiration for his character, by his pupil and successor, Marinus. The efforts of Ploclus, were directed to the support of paganism in its struggle with the now victorious Christianity, by reducing to a system all the philosophic and religious traditions of antiquity. His literary activity was very great, and extended over almost every department of knowledge; but Platonic philosophy was the centre of the whole. His philosophical works, now extant, are a commentary on a few dialogues of Plato (mainly on the Timaeus), also his chief work on the theology of Plato, as well as summary of the theology of Plotinus, with writings treating several branches of philosophy from his own point of view. Some of his minor works have only reached us in a Latin translation. As specimens of his mathematical and astronomical works, we have a commentary on the first book of Euclid, a sketch of the astronomical teaching of Hipparchus, Ptolemy, and others, a slight treatise on the heavens, etc. One of his grammatical writings survives in his commentary on Hesiod's Works and Days. Lastly, we have two epigrams by him, and six hymns. It is doubtful whether the Grammatical Chrestomathy, extracts from which, preserved by Photius, are the only source of our knowledge of the Greek cyclic poets, was really written by him, and not rather by a grammarian of the same name in the 2nd century A.D.
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