Marinus of Neapolis

Marinos of Neapolis (* probably around 440 in Neapolis, Nablus in Palestine today; † after 486 ) was a late ancient philosopher ( Neoplatonist ) and head of the Neoplatonic school of philosophy in Athens.


Marino was born in the city of Neapolis in the region of Samaria, now Nablus in Palestine. His family belonged to the religious community of the Samaritans, which in his hometown had their place of worship; near to Shechem had found a early as the 2nd century BC destroyed city of the Samaritans. The followers of this faith among the people of Israel. In his youth Marinos got into a conflict with his co-religionists, whom he accused of innovations; So he took a conservative position. Later (probably around 460 ), he moved to Athens, where many Samaritans were living, and turned away from the Samaritan faith. He joined the Neo-Platonic school, which sought in Athens since its inception (around 410) in order to revive the tradition of the Platonic Academy. The head of the school at that time was the famous philosopher Proclus.

Marinos soon earned at the school in high regard. Proclus dedicated to him his Commentary on the Myth of Er in Plato's dialogue Politeia and pulled him as a possible successor to the office of the headmaster into consideration, but hesitated because of the poor health of the Marinos. As Proclus died 485, Marino succeeds.

Among the students of the Marinos were Isidore, Damascius and Agapios. Between Marinos and Isidore, there was disagreement on specific points of the Platonic doctrine. Nevertheless estimated Marinos Isidore and wanted him as his successor. Although Damascius received by Marinos lessons in geometry and arithmetic, but did not think much of the skills of his teacher. He said Marinos had owed ​​his reputation more than his untiring diligence of his talent. In the opinion of Damascius failed Marinos to maintain the high level of school that had existed under Proclus. The unfavorable opinion, the Damascius and his friend Isidore of Marinos ' services had, apparently hung together with philosophical disagreements.

As the Athenian Neoplatonists then continue to the old pagan religion known openly, they were in a constant tension with its Christian environment; the public practice of non-Christian cults was already illegal. Added to this was an estrangement between Marino and the rich citizens Theagenes, who had been a benefactor of the Neo-Platonic school, but later - probably under Christian influence - away from her. Finally, Marinos of his life no longer felt safe, probably because of the danger of the Christians, and fled to Epidaurus, whence he never returned. 486 is the last time he testified as living, time and place of his death are unknown.


Marinos wrote a commentary on the Data of Euclid; of which only the preface has been preserved. He also wrote a long comment to Plato's dialogue Philebus, the course he himself burned after Isidore, whom he had asked for an opinion, criticized the work and expressed the opinion that the existing Philebus Commentary of Proclus was sufficient. Also the comment of the Marinos to Plato's dialogue Parmenides is lost. Been preserved, however, is his obituary of Proclus under the title Proclus or over happiness. It is a speech, which he had held on the first anniversary of Proclus ' death. It is an important source for the history of the Neo-Platonic school in Athens. Marino took the view there, Proclus had long been the happiest among the famous men because he had perfected in the virtues. In addition, Marinos wrote a biography of Proclus in verse, which is not obtained.

Further views in later philosophical works and scholia narrated that Marino had expressed about places in works of Aristotle ( De anima, Analytica priora ), as well as remarks by him to posts in the Almagest of Claudius Ptolemy and the Almagest commentary of Theon of Alexandria. However, this can not safely conclude that Marinos written comments left on these works; maybe it is referring to oral statements he had made in class.


  • January Radicke (ed.): Felix Jacoby ' The fragments of Greek historians ' continued, Part IV A: Biography, Fasc. 7: Imperial and undated authors, Brill, Leiden 1999, ISBN 90-04-11304-5, pp. 268-273 ( 1083 )

Text editions and translations

  • Rita Masullo (ed.): Marino di Neapolis: Vita di Proclo. Testo critico introduzione, traduzione e Commentario. D' Auria Editore, Napoli 1985
  • Maurice Michaux: Le commentaire de Marinus aux Data d' Euclide. Louvain, 1947 ( French translation of the preface of the commentary and analysis )
  • Alexandre N. Oikonomides (ed.): Marinos of Neapolis: The Extant Works, or The Life of Proclus and the Commentary on the Dedomena of Euclid. Ares Publishers, Chicago 1977, ISBN 0-89005-218-2 (Greek text with English and French translations)
  • Henri Dominique Saffrey and Alain -Philippe Segonds (ed.): Marinus: Proclus ou Sur le bonheur. Les Belles Lettres, Paris 2001, ISBN 2-251-00496-3 ( critical edition of the Greek text with French translation and commentary )