18 Facts About Proclus


Proclus Lycius, called Proclus the Successor, was a Greek Neoplatonist philosopher, one of the last major classical philosophers of late antiquity.


Proclus set forth one of the most elaborate and fully developed systems of Neoplatonism and, through later interpreters and translators, exerted an influence on Byzantine philosophy, Early Islamic philosophy, and Scholastic philosophy.


Proclus studied rhetoric, philosophy and mathematics in Alexandria, with the intent of pursuing a judicial position like his father.


However, the experience of the practice of law made Proclus realize that he truly preferred philosophy.


Proclus returned to Alexandria, and began determinedly studying the works of Aristotle under Olympiodorus the Elder.


Proclus began studying mathematics during this period as well with a teacher named Heron.


Proclus lived in Athens as a vegetarian bachelor, prosperous and generous to his friends, until the end of his life, except for a one-year exile, to avoid pressure from Christian authorities.


For Proclus, this is largely only possible with Plotinus, the only other Neoplatonic writer for whom a significant amount of writings survive.


Unlike Plotinus, Proclus did not hold that matter was evil, an idea that caused contradictions in the system of Plotinus.


The particular characteristic of Proclus's system is his elaboration of a level of individual ones, called henads, between the One which is before being and intelligible divinity.


Proclus identifies them with the Greek gods, so one henad might be Apollo and be the cause of all things apollonian, while another might be Helios and be the cause of all sunny things.


Proclus himself was a devotee of many of the religions in Athens, considering that the power of the gods could be present in these various approaches.


The majority of Proclus's works are commentaries on dialogues of Plato.


Proclus was however a close reader of Plato, and quite often makes very astute points about his Platonic sources.


Proclus wrote a commentary on the Organon, as well as prolegomena to both Plato and Aristotle.


Proclus exerted a great deal of influence on Medieval philosophy, though largely indirectly, through the works of the commentator Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite.


Proclus is an original Christian writer, and in his works can be found a great number of Proclus's metaphysical principles.


Proclus's works exercised an influence during the Renaissance through figures such as Nicholas of Cusa and Marsilio Ficino.