Greek Philosophers of the Hellenistic Age examines an important but frequently neglected group of philosophers writing after Aristotle between the third and first centuries B.C. The work of a distinguished intellectual historian, this book is based on an erudite reading of a vast number of primary sources: the Greek and Latin writings of the philosophers, and the fragments, paraphrases, and testimonies from their lost works.
Kristeller explores the thought of Epicurus; Zenon and Cleanthes, the founder of the Stoic school and his successor; Pyrrhon and Arcesilaus, the founder of Skepticism and the philosopher who introduced it into the Platonic Academy; and Chrysippus, the third head of the Stoic school and its most important representative.
Other figures include Carneades and Philo of Larissa, the second and third representatives of Skepticism in the Platonic Academy, respectively; Panaetius, the first leader of Middle Stoicism; and Antiochus of Ascalon, the head of the Academy, who led it back from Skepticism and prepared Middle Platonism, which paved the way for Neoplatonism.
Originally presented as a series of lectures before the Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa, Italy, Greek Philosophers of the Hellenistic Age assesses a group of philosophers who exerted an enormous influence upon pagan and Christian writers of late antiquity - including Cicero and St. Augustine - and on many medieval and early modern philosophers, theologians, and other thinkers.