77 - Caesarian Section: Philosophy in the Roman Empire

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Peter introduces philosophy in late antiquity, when Aristotelianism and Platonism made a comeback, and pagan philosophy developed alongside Judaism and Christianity.



Further Reading

• G. Boys-Stones, Post-Hellenistic Philosophy (Oxford: 2001).

• H. Dörrie and M. Baltes, Der Platonismus in der Antike (Stuttgart: 1996-).

• M. Edwards and S. Swain, Approaching Late Antiquity (Oxford: 2004).

• L. Gerson (ed.), The Cambridge History of Philosophy in Late Antiquity, 2 vols (Cambridge: 2010).

• A. Smith, Philosophy in Late Antiquity (London: 2004).

Oxford Centre for Late Antiquity


Pete on 29 April 2012

Is this the first (solo)

Is this the first (solo) episode where Peter doesn't use the phrase "Now, I know what you're thinking.." ?

In reply to by Pete

Peter Adamson on 29 April 2012

I no longer know what you're thinking

Yes! Well spotted, I was wondering if anyone would notice. Several people said they were finding it annoying, so I stopped when I got to Late Antiquity.

In reply to by Peter Adamson

Doug on 4 September 2013

I wish you would tell me what I am thinking

I have come to your podcasts quite late but am catching up by listening to one on my lunch break every day. I am sorry you discontinued your very signature phrase. I will miss it. Glad to hear Buster and the giraffes made the cut. Thanks for your entertaining and thought provoking series - I will look forward to the book.

Deelosofer on 22 June 2012

Mind Reader

I have rather enjoyed your reading my mind up to this point. It adds to your credibility. If you can know what I'm thinking, you probably know what these old philosophers were thinking too.

In reply to by Deelosofer

Peter Adamson on 22 June 2012

Reading minds

Well, what I did is I read all the listeners' minds and discovered that most of them wanted me to stop saying it, so I did. But seriously, glad you liked the catchphrase while it lasted! I'm still open to suggestions for a new one.

In reply to by Peter Adamson

Pete on 23 June 2012

Keep the giraffes

Ever since my original comment I've been worried about whether the giraffes will be the next victims of group pressure. They're still going, so maybe I should relax.

I reckon Buster Keaton can take care of himself.

In reply to by Pete

Peter Adamson on 23 June 2012


I'm glad to say that giraffes and Buster seem to be meeting with universal acclaim, so they are probably here to stay.

Robert on 23 June 2012

Do you know what I'm thinking?

I for one enjoyed your use of the "I know what you're thinking" phrase. I was always excited to find out what it was that my mind had been troubling over while I was lost in a visualization of the world as described in your narratives. I viewed your use of the phrase as one of several clever elements you employ that contribute to the unique character of your lectures and allay much of the stolidness too often borne by classical analyses. I will surely miss hearing the phrase, but then I suppose you knew that.

Flora on 24 August 2012

Transcription - for the oral-writing switching dance's sake

Hi, Peter,

Just a few days ago I bumped into your podcasts and now they are already a part of my everyday life.

Something I miss, though, is the transcription of your podcats, where you could footnote the references your making.

I consider myself to be only acquainted with most ancient thinkers you evoke, and it would be of great use to me not only to have the "further reading" section, but also the indication of places in the text you are commenting throughout your podcasts -at least to the new ones, if possible.

Anyway, I really appreciate your project and give you my best wishes!

In reply to by Flora

Peter Adamson on 24 August 2012

Written version

Hi there - In fact there will be a written version in due course, because the scripts are going to appear as a series of books. These will obviously have more detailed references, to primary texts mostly but occasionally to secondary texts as well. I think I will have to ask you to wait for that version, not only because sales of the book version would probably not benefit if I threw  all the scripts online, but also because the scripts as they stand aren't really fit for public consumption! Obviously I'll announce -- on the website, in the podcast, and on facebook and Twitter -- when the first volume becomes available. It will cover ancient philosophy up to Aristotle.

Glad you are enjoying the series.


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