Marinus of Neapolis

For the Italian saint, see Saint Marinus.

Marinus (Ancient Greek: Μαρίνος ὁ Νεαπολίτης; born c. 440 AD) was a Neoplatonist philosopher born in Flavia Neapolis (modern Nablus), Palestine. He was a student of Proclus in Athens. His surviving works are an introduction to Euclid's Data; a Life of Proclus; and two astronomical texts.


He was probably a Samaritan, or possibly a Jew.[1] He came to Athens at a time when, with the exception of Proclus, there was a great dearth of eminent men in the Neoplatonist school.[2] It was for this reason rather than for any striking ability of his own that he succeeded to the headship of the school on the death of Proclus in 485.[2] During this period, the professors of the old Greek religion suffered persecution at the hands of the Christians and Marinus was compelled to seek refuge at Epidaurus.[2] The year of his death is not known.


His chief work was a biography of Proclus,[2] the chief source of information on Proclus' life. The publication of the biography is fixed by internal evidence to the year of Proclus's death; for he mentions an eclipse which will happen when the first year after that event is completed. It was first published with the works of Marcus Aurelius in 1559; it was republished separately by Fabricius at Hamburg in 1700, and re-edited in 1814 by Boissonade with emendations and notes.[2] He is also the author of a commentary (or introduction) on the Data of Euclid, and a commentary on Theon's Little Commentary.[3] There is also a surviving astronomical text which discusses the Milky Way.[3]

His lost works included commentaries on Aristotle and on the Philebus of Plato.[2] It is said that he destroyed the latter because Isidore, his successor, expressed disapproval of it.[2]


  1. O'Connor, John J.; Robertson, Edmund F., "Marinus of Neapolis", MacTutor History of Mathematics archive, University of St Andrews.. Accessed: November 22, 2008. "Marinus of Neapolis was probably a Samaritan, but just possibly a Jew. He became a convert to the Greek way of life and joined the Academy in Athens where he was a pupil of Proclus who was head of the Academy. In fact when Proclus wrote a commentary on the Myth of Er, he dedicated it to Marinus."
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7  Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Marinus (philosopher)". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
  3. 1 2 O'Connor, John J.; Robertson, Edmund F., "Marinus of Neapolis", MacTutor History of Mathematics archive, University of St Andrews. Accessed: November 22, 2008.
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