Working Paper No. 8/2016 | The Noise of the Books – Practices of Knowledge Transfer in Damascius’ Vita Isidori
Gyburg Uhlmann – 2016
In this paper we follow the traces of knowledge transfer in the different text genres that produce a tension between traditional school philosophy and a specific institutional agenda of Damascius’ Neoplatonic Academy in Athens by observing the discourses on knowledge acquisition in both the Vita Isidori and Damascius’ philosophical commentaries. We argue that the entanglement of the Vita Isidori with other school text genres and the school politics of the Academy is even stronger than has hitherto been assumed and that it is therefore neccessary to analyze it as an integral part of the text environment of the late antique philosophical schools. That will even increase the importance of analysing Damascius’ works for a social history of late antiquity since the Vita Isidori declares Damascius’ intent to broaden the reach and range of influence exerted by the educational institutions of philosophical teaching upon cultural developments.