Timeline of Western Philosophers

Timeline of Western Philosophers

0004 BC-01-01 00:00:00

Seneca the Younger

Lucius Annaeus Seneca the Younger, usually known as Seneca, was a Roman Stoic philosopher, statesman, dramatist, and, in one work, satirist, from the post-Augustan age of Latin literature.

0010-01-01 00:00:00

Hero of Alexandria

Hero of Alexandria, was a Greek mathematician and engineer who was active in his native city of Alexandria, Roman Egypt. He is often considered the greatest experimenter of antiquity and his work is representative of the Hellenistic scientific tradition.

0020 BC-01-01 00:00:00


Philo of Alexandria, also called Philo Judaeus, was a Hellenistic Jewish philosopher who lived in Alexandria, in the Roman province of Egypt.

0035-01-01 00:00:00


Marcus Fabius Quintilianus was a Roman educator and rhetorician from Hispania, widely referred to in medieval schools of rhetoric and in Renaissance writing. In English translation, he is usually referred to as Quintilian, although the alternate spellings...

0055-01-01 00:00:00


Epictetus was a Greek Stoic philosopher. He was born into slavery at Hierapolis, Phrygia and lived in Rome until his banishment, when he went to Nicopolis in northwestern Greece for the rest of his life. His teachings were written down and published by...

0099 BC-01-01 00:00:00


Titus Lucretius Carus was a Roman poet and philosopher. His only known work is the philosophical poem De rerum natura, a didactic work about the tenets and philosophy of Epicureanism, and which usually is translated into English as On the Nature of...

0106 BC-01-01 00:00:00


Marcus Tullius Cicero was a Roman statesman, lawyer, scholar, philosopher and Academic Skeptic, who tried to uphold optimate principles during the political crises that led to the establishment of the Roman Empire. His extensive writings include treatises...

0121-01-01 00:00:00

Marcus Aurelius

Marcus Aurelius Antoninus was Roman emperor from 161 to 180 and a Stoic philosopher. He was the last of the rulers known as the Five Good Emperors, and the last emperor of the Pax Romana, an age of relative peace and stability for the Roman Empire. He...

0160-01-01 00:00:00

Sextus Empiricus

Sextus Empiricus was a Greek Pyrrhonist philosopher and a physician. His philosophical works are the most complete surviving account of ancient Greek and Roman Pyrrhonism, and because of the arguments they contain against the other Hellenistic...

0190 BC-01-01 00:00:00

Hipparchus of Nicaea

Hipparchus of Nicaea was a Greek astronomer, geographer, and mathematician. He is considered the founder of trigonometry, but is most famous for his incidental discovery of precession of the equinoxes. Hipparchus was born in Nicaea, Bithynia, and probably...

0205-01-01 00:00:00


Plotinus was a philosopher in the Hellenistic tradition, born and raised in Roman Egypt. Plotinus is regarded by modern scholarship as the founder of Neoplatonism. His teacher was the self-taught philosopher Ammonius Saccas, who belonged to the Platonic...

0214 BC-01-01 00:00:00


Carneades was a Greek philosopher and perhaps the most prominent head of the Skeptical Academy in ancient Greece. He was born in Cyrene. By the year 159 BC, he had started to refute all previous dogmatic doctrines, especially Stoicism and even the...

0232-01-01 00:00:00


Porphyry of Tyre was a Tyrian Neoplatonic philosopher born in Tyre, Roman Syria during Roman rule. He edited and published The Enneads, the only collection of the work of Plotinus, his teacher. His commentary on Euclid's Elements was used as a source by...

0245-01-01 00:00:00

Iamblichus of Syria

Iamblichus was a Syrian Neoplatonist philosopher of Arab origin. He determined the direction that would later be taken by Neoplatonic philosophy. He was also the biographer of the Greek mystic, philosopher and mathematician Pythagoras.

0276 BC-01-01 00:00:00


Eratosthenes of Cyrene was a Greek polymath: a mathematician, geographer, poet, astronomer, and music theorist. He was a man of learning, becoming the chief librarian at the Library of Alexandria. His work is comparable to what is now known as the study...

0280 BC-01-01 00:00:00

Chrysippus of Soli

Chrysippus of Soli was a Greek Stoic philosopher. He was a native of Soli, Cilicia, but moved to Athens as a young man, where he became a pupil of Cleanthes in the Stoic school. When Cleanthes died, around 230 BC, Chrysippus became the third head of the...

0287 BC-01-01 00:00:00


Archimedes of Syracuse was a Greek mathematician, physicist, engineer, astronomer, and inventor from the ancient city of Syracuse in Sicily. Although few details of his life are known, he is regarded as one of the leading scientists in classical...

0310 BC-01-01 00:00:00

Aristarchus of Samos

Aristarchus of Samos was an ancient Greek astronomer and mathematician who presented the first known heliocentric model that placed the Sun at the center of the known universe, with the Earth revolving around the Sun once a year and rotating about its...

0320 BC-01-01 00:00:00


Timon of Phlius was a Greek Pyrrhonist philosopher, a pupil of Pyrrho, and a celebrated writer of satirical poems called Silloi (Σίλλοι). He was born in Phlius, moved to Megara, and then he returned home and married. He next went to Elis with his wife,...

0333 BC-01-01 00:00:00

Zeno of Citium

Zeno of Citium was a Hellenistic philosopher from Citium, Cyprus. Zeno was the founder of the Stoic school of philosophy, which he taught in Athens from about 300 BC. Based on the moral ideas of the Cynics, Stoicism laid great emphasis on goodness and...

0340 BC-01-01 00:00:00

Strato of Lampsacus

Strato of Lampsacus was a Peripatetic philosopher, and the third director (scholarch) of the Lyceum after the death of Theophrastus. He devoted himself especially to the study of natural science, and increased the naturalistic elements in Aristotle's...

0340 BC-01-01 00:00:00

Theodorus the Atheist

Theodorus the Atheist, of Cyrene, was a Greek philosopher of the Cyrenaic school. He lived in both Greece and Alexandria, before ending his days in his native city of Cyrene. As a Cyrenaic philosopher, he taught that the goal of life was to obtain joy and...

0341 BC-01-01 00:00:00


Epicurus was an ancient Greek philosopher and sage who founded Epicureanism, a highly influential school of philosophy. He was born on the Greek island of Samos to Athenian parents. Influenced by Democritus, Aristippus, Pyrrho, and possibly the Cynics, he...

0354-01-01 00:00:00

Augustine of Hippo

Augustine of Hippo, also known as Saint Augustine, was a theologian and philosopher of Berber origin and the bishop of Hippo Regius in Numidia, Roman North Africa. His writings influenced the development of Western philosophy and Western Christianity, and...

0360 BC-01-01 00:00:00

Pyrrho of Elis

Pyrrho of Elis, born in Elis, Greece, was a Greek philosopher of Classical antiquity, credited as being the first Greek skeptic philosopher and founder of Pyrrhonism.

0371 BC-01-01 00:00:00


Theophrastus, a Greek native of Eresos in Lesbos, was the successor to Aristotle in the Peripatetic school. His given name was Tyrtamus (Τύρταμος); his nickname Θεόφραστος was given by Aristotle, his teacher, for his 'divine style of expression'.

0384 BC-01-01 00:00:00


Aristotle was a Greek philosopher and polymath during the Classical period in Ancient Greece. Taught by Plato, he was the founder of the Lyceum, the Peripatetic school of philosophy, and the Aristotelian tradition. His writings cover many subjects...

0396 BC-01-01 00:00:00


Xenocrates of Chalcedon was a Greek philosopher, mathematician, and leader (scholarch) of the Platonic Academy from 339/8 to 314/3 BC. His teachings followed those of Plato, which he attempted to define more closely, often with mathematical elements. He...

0404 BC-01-01 00:00:00

Diogenes of Sinope

Diogenes, also known as Diogenes the Cynic, was a Greek philosopher and one of the founders of Cynic philosophy. He was born in Sinope, an Ionian colony on the Black Sea coast of Anatolia in 412 or 404 BC and died at Corinth in 323 BC.

0408 BC-01-01 00:00:00

Eudoxus of Cnidus

Eudoxus of Cnidus was an ancient Greek astronomer, mathematician, scholar, and student of Archytas and Plato. All of his works are lost, though some fragments are preserved in Hipparchus' commentary on Aratus's poem on astronomy. Sphaerics by Theodosius...

0408 BC-01-01 00:00:00


Speusippus was an ancient Greek philosopher. Speusippus was Plato's nephew by his sister Potone. After Plato's death, c. 348 BC, Speusippus inherited the Academy, near age 60, and remained its head for the next eight years. However, following a stroke, he...

0412-01-01 00:00:00


Proclus is one of the most influential philosophical commentators of antiquity and is regarded by some scholars as the greatest Neoplatonic philosopher of the 5th century AD.

0425-01-01 00:00:00

Diogenes of Apollonia

Diogenes of Apollonia was an ancient Greek philosopher, and was a native of the Milesian colony Apollonia in Thrace. He lived for some time in Athens. His doctrines are known chiefly from Diogenes Laërtius and Simplicius. He believed air to be the one...

0425-01-01 00:00:00


Hippo was a Pre-Socratic Greek philosopher. He is variously described as coming from Rhegium, Metapontum, Samos, and Croton, and it is possible that there was more than one philosopher with this name.

0427 BC-01-01 00:00:00


Plato was a Greek philosopher born in Athens during the Classical period in Ancient Greece, founder of the Platonist school of thought and the Academy, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world.

0427 BC-01-01 00:00:00


Xenophon of Athens was a Greek military leader, philosopher, and historian, born in Athens. At the age of 30, Xenophon was elected commander of one of the biggest Greek mercenary armies of the Achaemenid Empire, the Ten Thousand, that marched on and came...

0440 BC-01-01 00:00:00

Aristippus of Cyrene

Aristippus of Cyrene was a hedonistic Greek philosopher and the founder of the Cyrenaic school of philosophy. He was a pupil of Socrates, but adopted a very different philosophical outlook, teaching that the goal of life was to seek pleasure by adapting...

0444 BC-01-01 00:00:00


Antisthenes was a Greek philosopher and a pupil of Socrates. Antisthenes first learned rhetoric under Gorgias before becoming an ardent disciple of Socrates. He adopted and developed the ethical side of Socrates' teachings, advocating an ascetic life...

0450 BC-01-01 00:00:00

Diagoras of Melos

Diagoras "the Atheist" of Melos was a Greek poet and sophist of the 5th century BC. Throughout antiquity, he was regarded as an atheist, but very little is known for certain about what he actually believed. Anecdotes about his life indicate that he spoke...

0450 BC-01-01 00:00:00

Democritus of Abdera

Democritus was an Ancient Greek pre-Socratic philosopher primarily remembered today for his formulation of an atomic theory of the universe.

0455 BC-01-01 00:00:00

Leucippus of Miletus

Leucippus is reported in some ancient sources to have been a philosopher who was the earliest Greek to develop the theory of atomism—the idea that everything is composed entirely of various imperishable, indivisible elements called atoms. Leucippus often...

0459 BC-01-01 00:00:00

Thrasymachus of Miletus

Thrasymachus was a sophist of ancient Greece best known as a character in Plato's Republic.

0460 BC-01-01 00:00:00


Hippias of Elis was a Greek sophist, and a contemporary of Socrates. With an assurance characteristic of the later sophists, he claimed to be regarded as an authority on all subjects, and lectured on poetry, grammar, history, politics, mathematics, and...

0460 BC-01-01 00:00:00

Critias of Athens

Critias was an ancient Athenian political figure and author. Born in Athens, Critias was the son of Callaeschrus and a first cousin of Plato's mother Perictione. He became a leading and violent member of the Thirty Tyrants. He also was an associate of...

0465 BC-01-01 00:00:00

Prodicus of Ceos

Prodicus of Ceos was a Greek philosopher, and part of the first generation of Sophists. He came to Athens as ambassador from Ceos, and became known as a speaker and a teacher. Plato treats him with greater respect than the other sophists, and in several...

0470 BC-01-01 00:00:00

Socrates of Athens

Socrates was a Greek philosopher from Athens who is credited as a founder of Western philosophy. An enigmatic figure, Socrates authored no texts and is known mainly through the posthumous accounts of classical writers, particularly his students Plato and...

0480 BC-01-01 00:00:00


The name Antiphon the Sophist is used to refer to the writer of several Sophistic treatises. He probably lived in Athens in the last two decades of the 5th century BC, but almost nothing is known of his life.

0480-01-01 00:00:00


Anicius Manlius Severinus Boethius, commonly called Boethius, was a Roman senator, consul, magister officiorum, and philosopher of the early 6th century. He was born about a year after Odoacer deposed the last Western Roman Emperor and declared himself...

0481 BC-01-01 00:00:00

Protagoras of Abdera

Protagoras was a pre-Socratic Greek philosopher and rhetorical theorist. He is numbered as one of the sophists by Plato. In his dialogue Protagoras, Plato credits him with inventing the role of the professional sophist.

0483 BC-01-01 00:00:00


Gorgias was an ancient Greek sophist, pre-Socratic philosopher, and rhetorician who was a native of Leontinoi in Sicily. Along with Protagoras, he forms the first generation of Sophists. Several doxographers report that he was a pupil of Empedocles,...

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