These philosophers have all given meaning to life
Sorry [I forgot] Socrates
Sorry [I forgot] Socrates
Hypatia is still my numero uno though (math, politician)
Next is Voltaire (early retirement, universal tolerance, free thinker, enlightenment, french)
Then Porphyry (theological outlook despite melancholy, vegetarian, universal tolerance, historical criticism)
Then Hierocles (synthesis of stoic, plotinian, stood up to state)
Then Jung (hooks into everything including gnosticism bridging a gap between plotinus and today, empiricism)
Then Watts (Buddhism, aware of Jung and western thought)
Then Aristotle (empiricism, survey, Alexander’s teacher, logic)
Then Plato (idealism, survey of philosophy, Aristotles teacher, pupil of Socrates, very important in the whole setup, carrier of eternal soul idea from pythagoras and by extension Jainism, Mathematician)
Then it’s up for grabs after that
They are kind of like saints to me. Socrates isnt even one of my favorites, probably why I forgot him. But I like to think he and I talk a lot and are not afraid to speak our minds.
21 distinct people here
Alcibiades is my favorite tragic (game of thrones esque) anti hero. Pericles my favorite hero. Parminedes doesnt get a mention unfortunately but without him the theory of unity wouldnt have developed. Democritus is certainly influential as well (and by extension the Stoics). Aside from Parminedes poem, there isnt much to go off of. Anaxagoras was my original favorite, then Voltaire, and now its Hypatia due to round about events reintroducing me to her as the head of the Alexandrian academy. Some might say, how can you know someone who has no writings? “Bios” as well as a lot of academic historical works. I’d pick a theme and start buying used books on amazon and use encyclopedias and whitepapers to augment my reading.
I can actually detail the entire neoplatonic line. Inbetween damascius as the last head of Athens and Justinians closure in 529. The alexandrian academy operated for 100 years more, then you have the Imperial Academy in Byzantinium (Stephanus, Theodora), but I skip that & follow the crypto Dionysius corpus then Boethius, Aquinas, then Plethon & Marcilio Ficino bridging the east west gap by reintroducing Byzantium works to the west since the inaccess of platonic works due the Arab invasion in… Alexandria. Which results in the Renaissance right around the time Byzantium falls… to ironically Muslims (nothing against them, just an east west split once more). (Voltaire) and the likes of Thomas Taylor translating similar to Ficino & then Jung delving in as well as Watts delving into Jung.
You have modern experts like [late] Jaegar, [late] Guthrie, Wallis, Dillon, Schibli, Shaw, (2nd Watts), Markus, Kingsley, Gerson, Dodds, & Butler.
But I find the middle platonic (Appuleius) period leading up to Alexandria (culminating in hellenized jewish philosophers such as Philo & Numenius & resulting in the neoplatonic tradition thru Ammonius & his students Origen and Plotinus) more fascinating than the Christian (stephanus)/muslim (avicenna) post alexandria neoplatonic period.
George RR Martin said if you liked his books. History had great stuff. I took him up on it after his 4th Song of Ice and Fire book and have been reading historical doxographies of philosophical thought augmenting with context of any academic material (encyclopedias, wars, forms of government, religions).
I forgot to mention, Thomas McEvilley and his ingenious work “Shape of Ancient Thought” which helped bridge the gap between indian and Greek thought through historically impermeable middle man Persia.
My favorite history book on the Greeks is
“Aspects of Greek History 750-323BC: A Source-Based Approach”
Robert Wilkens “Christians as the Roman’s saw them” introduced me to Porphyry
My favorite professor on the Greeks is Yale’s Donald Kagan and on philosophy is Yale’s Tamar Gendler
I didnt even mention Spinoza and Bruno. Spinoza (and Voltaire) I’m aware of through Durant and Spinoza (also heard via Kaku) was heavily influenced by Aristotle and neoplatonic thought. Same w Bruno
The names of the people in the pic: sapphos, diotima, aspasia, hypatia, sosipatra, theodora. Pythagoras, socrates, plato, aristotle, ammonius, plotinus, porphyry. Hypatia, hierocles, plutarch, iamblichus, proclus, damascius, voltaire, jung, watts. Hypatia is shown twice due her role as a head of an academy in the neoplatonic tradition. All were teachers or leaders in some fashion