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Proceedings of the British Academy, Volume 120, Biographical Memoirs of Fellows, II$
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P. J. Marshall

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780197263020

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197263020.001.0001

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Arthur Hilary Armstrong 1909–1997

Arthur Hilary Armstrong 1909–1997

Chapter:
(p.1) (p.2) Arthur Hilary Armstrong 1909–1997
Source:
Proceedings of the British Academy, Volume 120, Biographical Memoirs of Fellows, II
Author(s):

A. A. Long

Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197263020.003.0001

Hilary Armstrong changed the subject of ancient philosophy by devoting much of his long life to promoting the study of the Neoplatonist philosopher Plotinus. When Armstrong graduated from Cambridge University in 1932, Plotinus was widely regarded in the English speaking world as an obscurely mystical thinker, a minority interest at best, and certainly not a philosopher remotely comparable in intellect and rigour to Plato and Aristotle. Today, thanks to Armstrong's prolific output, especially his seven-volume text and translation of the Enneads, no serious scholar of ancient philosophy can afford to neglect Plotinus. As well as being a leading scholar of ancient philosophy, Armstrong was a devout, active, and increasingly idiosyncratic Christian; or perhaps better, a free-thinking Christian Platonist. His religious outlook consistently informed his view of Plotinus. As he grew older, he became increasingly ecumenical, critical of ecclesiastical hierarchy, and sympathetic to the religious experience of other faiths. He published extensively both on contemporary theological issues and also on early Christian thought and its relation to Greek philosophy, especially Platonism.

Keywords:   Plotinus, Enneads, ancient philosophy, Platonism, Greek philosophy, theology

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