Famous Ancient Roman Philosophers

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Find out more about the greatest Ancient Roman Philosophers, including Cicero, Pliny the Elder, Hypatia, Seneca the Younger and Plutarch.
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 1 
Lucius Annaeus Seneca
(Roman Stoic Philosopher, Statesman and Dramatist)
Lucius Annaeus Seneca
5
Birthdate: 0004 BC
Birthplace: Córdoba, Spain
Died: 0065 AD
Roman Stoic philosopher and dramatist Seneca the Younger is remembered for his tragic plays such as Medea and Phaedra. He was exiled to Corsica by emperor Claudius but later returned as a tutor to Nero. He became Nero’s advisor later but committed suicide for being part of the Pisonian conspiracy.
 2 
Cicero
(One of Rome's Greatest Orators of Politics and Prose Stylists)
Cicero
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Birthdate: January 3, 0106
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Arpino, Italy
Died: December 7, 0043
Roman statesman, lawyer, and scholar Cicero was one of the greatest 1st-century BC prose writers and orators. He influenced Latin literature immensely and introduced Greek philosophy to the Romans. He was declared an enemy of the state, following his opposition to Mark Antony after Julius Caesar’s death, and was executed.
 3 
Pliny the Elder
(Roman Author, Natural Philosopher and Army Commander)
Pliny the Elder
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Birthdate: 0023 AD
Birthplace: Como, Italy
Died: 0079 AD

Pliny the Elder was a Roman natural philosopher, author, and army and naval commander of the Roman Empire. His work Naturalis Historia became an editorial model for the present-day encyclopedias. Today, his statue greets the visitors of Cathedral of S. Maria Maggiore in his hometown, Como.

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 4 
Plutarch
(Greek Middle Platonist Philosopher, Historian, Biographer and Priest)
Plutarch
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Birthdate: 0046 AD
Birthplace: Chaeronea, Greece
Died: 0119 AD

Plutarch was a Greek philosopher, essayist, biographer, and historian. He also served as the priest at the Temple of Apollo. He is best remembered for his work Parallel Lives, a series of 48 biographies of noteworthy men. His writings had a huge influence on French and English literature. Writers like Shakespeare were influenced by his works.

 5 
Plotinus
(Ancient Philosopher and Founder of ‘Neoplatonism’)
Plotinus
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Birthdate: 0204 AD
Birthplace: Lycopolis, Egypt
Died: 0270 AD

Plotinus was a Hellenistic philosopher whose writings on metaphysics have inspired centuries of Jewish, Christian, Pagan, and Gnostic mystics and metaphysicians. His philosophy also had a major influence on the evolution of Christian theology. Plotinus' ideas influenced medieval Islam as well as a group of philosophers and theologians at the University of Cambridge which was known as the Cambridge Platonists

 6 
Lucretius
(Roman Poet and Philosopher)
Lucretius
3
Birthdate: 0099 BC
Birthplace: Ancient Rome
Died: 0055 BC

Lucretius was a Roman philosopher and poet. He is credited with originating the three-age system, which was formalized by C. J. Thomsen in 1836. His only known work De rerum natura, a philosophical poem, influenced several Augustan poets, including Virgil. The poem also played a prominent role in the development of atomism.

 7 
Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite
(A Syrian Monk Who Merged Neoplatonism and Christian Theology in His Treatises)
Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite
3
Birthplace: Unknown

Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite was a Christian Neoplatonist who is believed to have been a Syrian monk using a pseudonym. His Greek treatises merged Neoplatonism and Christian theology, though his identity hasn’t yet been confirmed. Some of his best-known treatises include On the Divine Names and On the Celestial Hierarchy.

 8 
Pelagius
(British Monk and Theologian Known for His Theological System Called Pelagianism)
Pelagius
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Birthdate: 0354 AD
Birthplace: Britannia
Died: 0418 AD

British monk and theologian Pelagius is known for his theological system called Pelagianism that lay-stress on human choice in salvation and freedom of human-will. He censured the theory of original sin of Augustine of Hippo who held that original sin is transmitted by concupiscence. Pelagius was eventually accused of heresy and Pelagianism was condemned at the 418 Council of Carthage.

 9 
Atticus
(Ancient Roman Philosopher Who Followed Platonism and Rejected the Peripatetic School)
Atticus
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Birthdate: 0175 BC
Birthplace: Rome, Italy
Died: March 31, 0032

Ancient Platonic philosopher Atticus lived in the 2nd century, during the reign of Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius. The only known source that reveals about him is Greek historian Eusebius's Preparatio Evangelica. He wrote against the Peripatetic school of philosophy. His polemic claimed Aristotle was an atheist.

 10 
Apuleius
(Numidian Latin-Language Prose Writer, Platonist Philosopher, and Rhetorician)
Apuleius
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Birthdate: 0125 AD
Birthplace: M’Daourouch, Algeria
Died: 0170 AD
Apuleius was a Numidian prose writer who wrote in latin. A Platonist philosopher and rhetorician, Apuleius studied Platonism in Athens and was initiated into several cults. He is known to have used magic and was once accused of using magic to gain the fortune and attention of a wealthy widow. He is best remembered for his novel The Golden Ass.
 11 
Priscus
(Roman Historian Who Penned the Greek Work History of Byzantium)
Priscus
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Birthplace: Panion

Thracian diplomat and historian Priscus was a rare Christian in the Pagan court of Attila the Hun, as a representative of Roman Emperor Theodosius II. He later also traveled to Egypt. The massive 8-volume Greek work History of Byzantium was penned by him. He penned an intriguing account of a dinner with Attila.

 12 
Lucius Annaeus Cornutus
(Roman Stoic Philosopher Who Was Banished by Nero for Being Critical of Him)
Lucius Annaeus Cornutus
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Birthplace: Leptis Magna, Libya
Died: 0065 AD

Roman Stoic philosopher of the 1st century, Lucius Annaeus Cornutus soared to fame during the reign of Emperor Nero. He was also an educator and friend of Roman poet and satirist Persius. He penned many works such as Theologiae Graecae but was banished by Nero for being critical of him in his works.

 13 
Nigidius Figulus
(Roman Philosopher and Author Who Revived Many Pythagorean Doctrines)
Nigidius Figulus
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Birthdate: 0098 AD
Birthplace: Rome, Italy
Died: 0045 AD

Roman philosopher and author Nigidius Figulus was a friend of philosopher Cicero, who supported him during the Catilinarian conspiracy. His iconic works on Roman religion include De diis. He also penned Commentarii grammatici. He also worked on Pythagorean doctrines, such as math, astrology, and magic.

 14 
Troilus
(Greek Mythical Figure Who Was a Trojan Prince and Was Killed by Achilles)
Troilus
0

In Greek mythology, Troilus was a Trojan prince and the son of King Priam of Troy. In medieval writings, Troilus appeared as an innocent boy betrayed by a girl named Cressida, a tale that inspired Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida. He was killed by Achilles while he drank from a fountain.