Priscus of Epirus

Priscus of Epirus (Greek: Πρίσκος; c. 305 – c. 395 AD), also known as Priscus the Thesprotian (Greek: Πρίσκος ὁ Θεσπρωτὸς) and Priscus the Molossian (Greek: Πρίσκος ὁ Μολοσσός),[1] was a Neoplatonist philosopher and theurgist, a colleague of Maximus of Ephesus, and a friend of the emperor Julian.

Priscus was a pupil of Aedesius in Pergamon, and later went to teach in Athens, where he taught Julian.[2] When Julian was in Gaul, he wrote to Priscus in the hope of acquiring the writings of Iamblichus on the Chaldean Oracles.[3] When Julian was proclaimed Caesar he summoned Priscus to Gaul, and he took him with him to Constantinople when he became Augustus in 361.[4] Priscus and Maximus travelled with Julian on campaign in Persia, and they were with him when he died in 363.[5] Sometime after the death of Julian, Priscus was arrested but eventually freed, avoiding the fate of Maximus who was executed in 371.[6] Priscus returned to Athens where he continued to teach for more than thirty years.[7]


  1. ^ Eunapius, Lives of the Philosophers and Sophists, 429
  2. ^ Jacques Brunschwig, Geoffrey Ernest Richard Lloyd, Pierre Pellegrin, (2000), Greek thought: a guide to classical knowledge, page 910. Harvard University Press
  3. ^ Glen Warren Bowersock, (1997), Julian the Apostate, pages 29-30. Harvard University Press
  4. ^ K. Staikos, (2007), The history of the library in Western civilization, Volume 3, page 76.
  5. ^ Negri Gaetano, (2009), Julian the Apostate, page 210. BiblioBazaar
  6. ^ Dominic J. O'Meara, (2005), Platonopolis: Platonic Political Philosophy in Late Antiquity, page 19. Oxford University Press.
  7. ^ M. V. Sakellariou, (1997), Epirus, 4000 years of Greek history and civilization, page 158.

External linksEdit

  • "Priscus" . Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 22 (11th ed.). 1911. p. 361.
  • Eunapius, Lives of the Sophists: Priscus