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Terminology, Before Neoplatonism, Plotinus, Later Neoplatonists, Ancient Christian Neoplatonism, Medieval Neoplatonism, Neoplatonism In The Latin West

Neoplatonism is a modern term that refers to the philosophical movement that dominated the intellectual life of the Roman Empire from the third to the sixth centuries C.E.; its most prominent representatives were the pagan philosophers Plotinus, Porphyry, Iamblichus, and Proclus. These thinkers strove to elucidate ambiguities in Plato's philosophy with insights drawn from Neopythagoreanism, Aristotelianism, and Stoicism in order to establish a thorough summation of ancient learning. As such, Neoplatonism was the last flowering of pagan philosophy, which flourished until it was supplanted and to a certain degree absorbed by Christian theology. Christian thinkers who were deeply influenced by pagan Neoplatonism are often regarded as Neoplatonists as well, most significantly Augustine of Hippo, the Greek Fathers known as the Cappadocians, Boethius, and the author called Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite. The term is often applied to movements during the Middle Ages and Renaissance that were informed by Neoplatonic doctrines. All Neoplatonists, regardless of religious orientation, shared a belief in the superior quality of immaterial reality and regarded Plato as the greatest of ancient philosophers.

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