History of Ancient Philosophy
University of Washington
Ancient Philosophy in the News
- A bust of Plato at the University of California, Berkeley, long thought
to be a modern forgery, has recently (2003) been discovered to be a genuinely ancient artifact
depicting the philosopher. Take a look at this very slick slideshow
of the bust.
- The New York Times Book Review
(September 28, 1997) of The Fire Within the Eye, by David Park,
a history of light: this book has a lot about ancient physical theories of
matter, light, etc., and includes discussions of Thales, Empedocles, Democritus,
and Aristotle. The author, David Park (a physicist, not a philosopher or an
historian), is sometimes wrong about the details, but he is seldom uninteresting.
(Read the first
chapter of The Fire Within the Eye.)
- Aristotles Lyceum Found? Read all
- Papyrus of Empedocles Found? Said to date
from first century BCE.
- The oldest surviving Greek manuscript of antiquity is the Derveni Papyrus, which dates to ca. 340 BCE (during Aristotles lifetime!).
It was discovered in 1962
during construction work on the National Road from Thessaloniki to Kavala.
The papyrus, which contains a quasi-philosophical treatise explicating an Orphic poem, was badly carbonized by being burned in a funeral pyre. Now
multispectral digital analysis
is being used to make more of the surviving text legible. Here is an AP story about the research. For more about the Derveni Papyrus, see Pat Curds review of
Gábor Betegh, The Derveni Papyrus: Cosmology, Theology and Interpretation.
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