PORPHYRY°

PORPHYRY° (233–305 C.E.), Greek philosopher, disciple of Plotinus, and one of the most versatile thinkers of his day. Porphyry displayed considerable interest in Judaism, both as one of the ancient religions of the Orient and as the source of Christianity, to which he was hostile. His attitude to Judaism is sympathetic. In his De Abstinentia he cites Josephus (the only pagan writer to do so), drawing upon his description of the Essenes, and he describes with commiseration the misfortunes suffered by the Jews during the reign of antiochus Epiphanes and under Roman rule. In his life of Pythagoras, he features him as a disciple of the Hebrews. In his lost polemic against Christianity, Porphyry did not confine himself to criticism of the books of the Bible and of the New Testament, but conducted an empirical investigation which revealed a knowledge of biblical sources even greater than that of celsus , his predecessor in this field. Porphyry devoted an entire book to discussion of the Book of Daniel (referred to in Jerome's commentary), concluding that it was written by a Jewish contemporary of Antiochus Epiphanes, and that it can, therefore, only be regarded as "prophecy after the event." -BIBLIOGRAPHY: J. Bidez, Vie de Porphyre (1913); A.B. Hulen, Porhyry's Work against the Christians (1933); Schroeder, in: Welt als Geschichte, 17 (1957), 196–202; Reinach, Textes, 203–6. (Menahem Stern)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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  • Porphyry's — Porphyry …   Philosophy dictionary

  • Porphyry — (pronounced IPA|/ pɔː(ɹ)fɪri/, from the Greek polytonic|Πορφύριος porphyrios purple clad ) may refer to:*Porphyry (geology), a plutonic rock with large crystals in a fine grained matrix *Porphyry (philosopher) (c. 232 c. 305), a Neoplatonic… …   Wikipedia

  • Porphyry — Por phy*ry, n.; pl. {Porphyries}. [F. porphyre, L. porphyrites, fr. Gr. ? like purple, fr. ? purple. See {Purple}.] (Geol.) A term used somewhat loosely to designate a rock consisting of a fine grained base (usually feldspathic) through which… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • porphyry — type of ornamental stone, late 14c., from O.Fr. porfire, from L. porphyrites, a purple semi precious stone quarried near Red Sea in Egypt, from Gk. porphyrites (lithos) the purple (stone), from porphyra (n.) purple, purple dye (see PURPLE (Cf.… …   Etymology dictionary

  • porphyry — ► NOUN (pl. porphyries) ▪ a hard, typically reddish igneous rock containing crystals of feldspar. ORIGIN Greek porphurit s, from porphura purple …   English terms dictionary

  • porphyry — [pôr′fə rē] n. pl. porphyries [ME porfirie < OFr porfire < ML porphyreum, altered < L porphyrites < Gr porphyritēs ( lithos), lit., purple (stone) < porphyros, purple] 1. Historical an Egyptian rock with large feldspar crystals… …   English World dictionary

  • Porphyry — (c. 232–305) Syrian polymath, and disciple and editor of Plotinus . Porphyry also wrote commentaries upon Plato and Aristotle . His most influential work was the Isagoge or Introduction to Aristotle s Categories, which was responsible for the… …   Philosophy dictionary

  • porphyry — /pawr feuh ree/, n., pl. porphyries. 1. a very hard rock, anciently quarried in Egypt, having a dark, purplish red groundmass containing small crystals of feldspar. 2. Petrol. any igneous rock containing coarse crystals, as phenocrysts, in a… …   Universalium

  • Porphyry — Porphyrean /pawr fear ee euhn/, adj. Porphyrian, adj., n. Porphyrianist, n. /pawr feuh ree/, n. (Malchus) A.D. c233 c304, Greek philosopher. * * * ▪ Syrian philosopher original name  Malchus   born c. 234, Tyre [modern Ṣūr, Lebanon] or Batanaea… …   Universalium

  • porphyry —    A hard igneous rock, originally recognized as the Egyptian variety now known as Imperial porphyry containing crystals of feldspar in a purplish groundmass. It was prized in the sculpture and architecture of the ancient Romans as well as by… …   Glossary of Art Terms

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