Religion Past and Present

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(290 words)

[German Version]

(c. 458, Damascus – after 538, Emesa), Neoplatonist and the last head of the Platonic Academy until Justinian I abolished it in 529. In 531, on the invitation of Great King Khosrau, he went into exile in Persia, but returned to Athens in 532/533. Heavily influenced by Plotinus, Iamblichos, and Proclus, Damascius gave Neoplatonism a critical epistemological turn, after the epistemological optimism of Proclus, through an agnosticism in the name of transcendence. Starting from Plato's Parmenides, he placed greatest emphasis on the pure transcendence of the absolute, w…

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Halfwassen, Jens, “Damascius”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 14 August 2022 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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