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A Dictionary of Early Christian Biography

Hermias (5), a Christian Philosopher

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Hermias (5), a Christian philosopher, author of the Irrisio Gentilium Philosophorum, annexed in all Bibliothecae Patrum to the works of Athenagoras (Migne, Patr. Gk. vi. 1167). It was published in Greek and Latin at Basle in 1553. It consists of satirical reflections on the opinions of the philosophers, shewing how Anaxagoras, Empedocles, Pythagoras, Epicurus, etc. agree only in repelling and refuting one another. Who the author was seems to have baffled all inquiries. Some identify him with Hermias Sozomen the ecclesiastical historian. Even the martyr of May 31 has been suggested (Ceillier, vi. 332). Cave (i. 81) attributes the work to the 2nd cent. As it was plainly written when heathenism was triumphant, Ceillier ( u.s. ) places it under Julian. Neander (H. E. ii. 429, ed. Bohn) regards Hermias as "one of those bitter enemies of the Greek philosophy whom Clement of Alexandria thought it necessary to censure, and who, following the idle Jewish legend, pretended that the Greek philosophy had been derived from fallen angels. In the title of his book he is called the philosopher; perhaps he wore the philosopher's mantle before his conversion, and after it passed at once from an enthusiastic admiration of the Greek pilosophy to extreme abhorrence of it" (Du Pin H. E. t. i. p. 69, ed. 1723). The latest ed. is by H. Diels, in Doxographi Graeci (Berlin, 1879).


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Bibliography Information
Wace, Henry. Entry for 'Hermias (5), a Christian Philosopher'. A Dictionary of Early Christian Biography. 1911.

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