Bornprobably Alexandria, (Egypt), circa440
DiedAlexandria, (Egypt), circa521
Neoplatonist Ammonius was the son of Hermeias (the scholarch of the Alexandrian school) and Aidesia (admired for her prudence and piety, “the most beautiful woman in Alexandria,” and a close relative of Surianus, scholarch of the Athenian Academy from 431 to 437). His younger and less studious brother Heliodorus was also a philosopher, while his paternal uncle Gregorius was an astronomer.
Ammonius was born under the learned emperor and legal codifier Theodosius II, and was an adolescent when Rome fell to the Vandal army. He studied philosophy at the academy in Athens for many years from about 460 under Proclus of Lydia (scholarch there from 437 to 485), among whose students Ammonius is said to have excelled in mathematics and astronomy. He then succeeded his father as scholarch in Alexandria in 485, a post he held, through a time of religious strife and political regionalism, until his death.
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