Lecture: Jaap Mansfeld

Research Centre «Forms of Knowledge in the Ancient World»

in collaboration with

Scuola Superiore di Studi in Filosofia
Dottorato di Ricerca in Antichità classiche e loro Fortuna. Archeologia, Filologia, Storia
Dottorato di Ricerca in Filosofia


Use of sources and indirect tradition: how was born and how to study Ancient Doxography


Lecture by

Jaap Mansfeld

Universiteit Utrecht


Wednesday 20 May 2015, h. 11
University of Rome Tor Vergata
Macroarea di Lettere e Filosofia (via Columbia 1, Rome)
Building B, 3rd Floor, Conference Room «Roberto Pretagostini»

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Jaap Mansfeld was from 1973 to 2001 Professor of History of Ancient and Medieval Philosophy at the University of Utrecht. Member of the board of several international journals, he is also member of the Royal Netherlands Academy. In 1998 he won the prestigious Award of the Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung. His publications on ancient thought, from the Presocratics to Neoplatonism, have deeply influenced the international scientific debate. His interests are focused, in particular, on the tradition of the ancient philosophical texts as well as on Greek doxography: a field in which his researches, carried on together with David Runia, have radically renewed the interpretation inaugurated by Hermann Diels at the end of 19th century.

Among his publications are: Die Offenbarung des Parmenides und die menschliche Welt, 1964; The Pseudo-Hippocratic Tract Peri Hebdomadon Ch. 1-11 and Greek Philosophy, 1971; Die Vorsokratiker, new ed. 2011; Heresiography in Context: Hippolytus’ Elenchos as a Source for Greek Philosophy, 1992; Prolegomena. Questions to be Settled before the Interpretation of an Author, or a Text, 1994; Prolegomena mathematica from Apollonius of Perga to Late Neoplatonism, 1998; (with D. T. Runia) Aëtiana. The Method and Intellectual Context of a Doxographer, several vols., 1997-.

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The more we learn about ourselves as people who think and act, as people philosophically and scientifically active, and the more we investigate the intricate and layered traditions that deeply affect our activity, bringing them back to their interrelations, the better we can understand the philosophy of the ancients.