Eunapius (Greek: Εὐνάπιος; fl. 4th–5th century AD) was a
Greek sophist and historian of the 4th century AD. His principal
surviving work is the Lives of Philosophers and Sophists (Greek:
Βίοι Φιλοσόφων καὶ Σοφιστῶν; Latin: Vitae
sophistarum), a collection of the biographies of 23 philosophers and
1 Early life
3 Later years
5 Further reading
6 External links
He was born at Sardis, AD 346. In his native city he studied under his
relative, the sophist Chrysanthius, and while still a youth went to
Athens, where he became a favourite pupil of
rhetorician. He possessed considerable knowledge of medicine.
Eunapius was the author of two works, one entitled Lives of
Philosophers and Sophists, and Universal History consisting of a
continuation of the history of Dexippus. The former work is still
extant; of the latter only excerpts remain, but the facts are largely
incorporated in the work of Zosimus. It embraced the history of events
from AD 270–404.
The Lives of Philosophers and Sophists, a collection of the
biographies of 23 older and contemporary philosophers and sophists of
the author, is valuable as the only source for the history of the
Neoplatonism of that period. The style of both works is marked by a
spirit of bitter hostility to Christianity. Photius had before him a
"new edition" of the history in which the passages most offensive to
Christians were omitted.
The Lives of Philosophers and Sophists consists of the biographies of
the following philosophers and sophists: Plotinus, Porphyry,
Iamblichus, Alypius, Sosipatra,
Aedesius the Cappadocian, Sopater,
Ablabius, Eustathius, Maximus, Priscus, Julian of Cappadocia,
Prohaeresius, Epiphanius, Diophantus (Diophantus the Arab), Sopolis,
Himerius, Parnacius, Libanius, Acacius, Nymphidianus, Zeno of Cyprus,
Magnus, Oribasius, Ionicus and Crysanthius.
In his later years he seems to have lived at Athens, teaching
rhetoric. Initiated into the Eleusinian Mysteries, he was admitted
into the college of the
Eumolpidae and became hierophant. There is
evidence that he was still living in the reign of the younger
Edition of the Lives by JF Boissonade (1822), with notes by D
History fragments in C. W. Müller, Fragmenta Hist. Graecorum, iv.
V. Cousin, Fragments philosophiques (1865), translation: W. C. Wright
Loeb Classical Library
Loeb Classical Library edition of Philostratus's Lives of the
This article incorporates text from a publication now in
the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Eunapius".
Encyclopædia Britannica. 9 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
Philostratus, Lives of the Sophists. Eunapius, Lives of the
Philosophers and Sophists. Translated by Wilmer C. Wright. 1921. Loeb
Classical Library. ISBN 978-0-674-99149-1
1568 editio princeps of the Vitae sophistarum (Greek text with
preceding Latin translation)
English translation of the Lives of the Philosophers and Sophists and
Introduction by Wilmer Cave Wright (translator) from the Tertullian
Greek Opera Omnia by Migne Patrologia Graeca with Analytical Indexes
Βίοι Φιλοσόφων καὶ Σοφιστῶν (original text
Philostratorum et Callistrati opera, Eunapii vitae sophistarum,
Himerii sophistae declamationes, A. Westermann, Jo. Fr. Boissoade, Fr.
Dübner (ed.), Parisiis, editore Ambrosio Firmin Didot, 1849, pp.
ISNI: 0000 0001 0868 0803