12 Facts About Ammonius Saccas


Ammonius Saccas is mainly known as the teacher of Plotinus, whom he taught from 232 to 242.


Ammonius Saccas was undoubtedly the biggest influence on Plotinus in his development of Neoplatonism, although little is known about his own philosophical views.


Later Christian writers stated that Ammonius was a Christian, but it is generally assumed that there was a different Ammonius of Alexandria who wrote biblical texts.


Some others have connected the cognomen with the "Sakyas," an ancient ruling clan of India, claiming that Ammonius Saccas was of Indian origin.


The most famous pupil of Ammonius Saccas was Plotinus who studied under Ammonius for eleven years.


Ammonius Saccas fell from a life of piety into heathen customs.


Ammonius Saccas held the divine philosophy unshaken and unadulterated to the end of his life.


One way to explain much of the confusion concerning Ammonius is to assume that there were two people called Ammonius: Ammonius Saccas who taught Plotinus, and an Ammonius the Christian who wrote biblical texts.


The insistence of Eusebius, Origen's pupil, and Jerome, all of whom were recognized Fathers of the Christian Church, that Ammonius Saccas had not rejected his Christian roots would be easier for Christians to accept than the assertion of Prophyry, who was a Pagan, that Ammonius had chosen Paganism over Christianity.


Ammonius Saccas was the first who had a godly zeal for the truth in philosophy and despised the views of the majority, which were a disgrace to philosophy.


Ammonius Saccas apprehended well the views of each of the two philosophers [Plato and Aristotle] and brought them under one and the same nous and transmitted philosophy without conflicts to all of his disciples, and especially to the best of those acquainted with him, Plotinus, Origen, and their successors.


Porphyry seems to suggest that Ammonius Saccas was instrumental in helping Plotinus think about philosophy in new ways:.