Successions of Philosophers

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Successions of Philosophers or Philosophers' Successions (Greek: Διαδοχὴ τῶν φιλοσόφων) was the name of several lost works from the Hellenistic era. Their purpose was to depict the philosophers of different schools in terms of a line of succession of which they were a part. From the 3rd to the 1st centuries BC there were Successions (Greek: Διαδοχαί) written by Antigonus of Carystus, Sotion, Heraclides Lembos (an epitome of Sotion), Sosicrates, Alexander Polyhistor, Jason of Nysa, Antisthenes of Rhodes, and Nicias of Nicaea.[1] The surviving Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers by Diogenes Laërtius (3rd century AD) draws upon this tradition.

In addition to these, there were often histories of single schools. Such works were created by Phanias of Eresus (On the Socratics), Idomeneus of Lampsacus (On the Socratics), Sphaerus (On the Eretrian philosophers), and Straticles (On Stoics). Among the papyri found at the Villa of the Papyri at Herculaneum, there are works devoted to the successions of the Stoics,[2] Academics,[3] and Epicureans.[4] In a later period, Plutarch produced On the First Philosophers and their Successors and On the Cyrenaics, and Galen wrote On Plato's Sect and On the Hedonistic Sect (Epicureans). There were often biographies of individual philosophers with a brief description of his successors. Of such nature were Aristoxenus's Life of Pythagoras, Andronicus's Life of Aristotle, Ptolemy's Life of Aristotle, and Iamblichus's Life of Pythagoras.


  1. ^ Jorgen Mejer, (1978), Diogenes Laertius and His Hellenistic Background, pages 62-73. Franz Steiner.
  2. ^ PHerc. 1018
  3. ^ PHerc. 1021
  4. ^ PHerc. 1232, 1289, 176