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Temístio / Themistius / Θεμίστιος / Themistios / Euphrades / Εὐφραδής

Themistius, Θεμίστιος, Themistios (317-388 dC), apelidado Euphrades, Εὐφραδής (eloquente)

In the fourth century, Themistius was a very different sort of commentator. He was an orator, politician and essayist in the capital city of Constantinople, and devoted only some of his time to Philosophy. He wrote shorter paraphrase commentaries, which, however, still offer distinctive interpretations, for example of Aristotle  ’s definition of change, where he saw that it mattered which of several potentialities Aristotle   meant to refer to. He has similarly distinctive ideas on concept formation, space, time and the continuum, and his attacks on Galen   on space and time provoked replies in later commentators. His acquaintance with Neoplatonism shows through, and we sometimes see him siding with the Platonists against the Aristotelians, e.g. when he argues that Platonic Forms are needed to explain biological reproduction, in Metaph. 12, quoted by Averroes  , translated in Physics 1(b) (16). Despite being different from other commentators, Themistius proved extremely important. We see him responding to Plotinus   and allowing individual human intellects, in DA 103,32-104,6, at Logic and Metaphysics 17(e) (5). The importance of this is that Thomas Aquinas in the thirteenth century supported himself in his controversy against followers of Averroes   by citing Themistius as allowing for the immortality of individual human intellects. It is further to Themistius’ credit that he was aware that pseudo-Archytas’ Categories, much trumpeted earlier in the century by Iamblichus   as Aristotle  ’s source, was not written before Aristotle   by the Pythagorean Archytas (so Boethius   in Cat., PL 64, 162 A-B). [SorabjiPC3  :8]