Ammonius-saccas, or Saccophorus

Ammonius-Saccas, or Saccophorus (so called because he was a porter in early life), a philosopher of Alexandria toward the end of the second century. He is considered as the founder of the Neo-Platonic Philosophy. Plotinus, Longinus, and Origen, were among his pupils. His object was to reconcile Plato and Aristotle, and hence his school was called eclectic. Ammonius had been educated in Christianity; and he seems never to have abandoned the name of the faith, while he was disparaging its doctrines and its essence. Porphyry asserts that Ammonius deserted Christianity, Eusebius (Hist. Eccl. 6, 19) that he adhered to it. To these two opinions, variously advocated by most modern divines, others have added a third, that Eusebius mistook a Christian writer of the same name for the heathen philosopher; and this is warmly maintained by Lardner (Works, 2, 439; 7, 446). He was a man of great talents and energy, and indefatigable in the pursuit of knowledge. — Waddington, Ch. Hist. ch. 3; Tennemann, Hist. Phil. § 203; Brucker, Hist. Phil. 2, 205; Mosheim, Comm. 2, 348, 7; Simon, Hist. de l'cole d' Alexandrie. 1, 204; Dehaut, Essai sur Ammonius Saccas (Bruxelles, 1836, 4to). SEE ALEXANDRIAN SCHOOL; SEE ECLECTICS; SEE NEW PLATONISTS.

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