Online Encyclopedia

HERMIAS

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V13, Page 371 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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HERMIAS. (1) A Greek philosopher of the Alexandrian school. A disciple of Proclus, he was known best for the lucidity of his method rather than for any original ideas. His chief workswere a study of the Isagoge of Porphyry and a commentary on Plato's Phaedrus. Unlike the majority of logicians of the time, he admitted the absolute validity of the second and third figures of the syllogism. (2) A Christian apologist and philosopher who flourished probably in the 4th and 5th centuries. Nothing is known about his life, but there has been preserved of his writings a small thesis entitled [itavvpĀµos rwv Ew Othas-64 v. In this work he attacked pagan philosophy for its lack of logic in dealing with the root problems of life, the soul, the cosmos and the first cause or vital principle. There is an edition by von Otto published in the Corpus apologetarum (Jena, 1872). It is interesting, but without any claim to profundity of reasoning. Two minor philosophers of the same name are known. Of these, one was a disciple of Plato and a friend of Aristotle; he became tyrant of Atarneus and invited Aristotle to his court. Aristotle subsequently married Pythias, who was either niece or sister of Hermias. Another Hermias was a Phoenician philosopher of the Alexandrian school; when Justinian closed the school of Athens, he was one of the five representatives of the school who took refuge at the Persian court.
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