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(pōsēdō`nēəs), c.135–c.51 B.C., Greek Stoic philosopher, b. Apamea, Syria. He settled in Rhodes after extensive travels. Noted for his learning, Posidonius gave new life to Stoicism by fortifying it with contemporary learning. Although his writings have been lost, it is known that they were copious. He made contributions to Stoic physics and ethics—notably the theory that a vital force emanating from the sun permeated the world and his doctrine of cosmic sympathy, through which man and all things in the universe are united. Other writings dealt with the natural sciences, mathematics, and military tactics. He had strong influence on the Romans.



Born circa 135 B.C., in Apameia, Syria; died 51 B.C., in Rome. Ancient Greek Stoic philosopher. Major representative of the Middle Stoa.

The leader of a school in Rhodes (Rodhos), Posidonius combined the ideas of Stoicism with those of Platonism. He equalled Aristotle in the encyclopedic range of his knowledge. Posidonius wrote works on all aspects of philosophy, as well as on religion, ethics, cosmology, geography, astronomy, mathematics, history, and rhetoric. Only a few fragments of his works have been preserved.

Posidonius refined the Stoic doctrine of the creative fire and its permutations, using the Platonic concept of the Intellect (nous), which he presented not only as the world of ideas and numbers but also as a fiery pneuma that scatters throughout the world the logoi spermatikoi (“seminal reasons”)—the individual, fiery conceptual embryos of all things. Thus, the divine being is a thinking, fiery breath. Posidonius’ doctrine of pneumatic outflows was very important in laying the foundation for the Neo-platonic theory of emanation. Similarly, Posidonius combined the Stoic idea of the cosmos as the circulation of fiery substance with the Platonic doctrine of the harmony of the spheres and the purposeful musical, geometrical, and numerical structure of the cosmos. He also accepted the doctrine of the transmigration and reincarnation of souls, linking the cycle of the births of souls with the periodic burning of the universe (world conflagrations).

The Stoic idea of an all-penetrating world fire and, associated with it, a universal cosmic “sympathy” (the presence of all in everything) led Posidonius to the doctrine of a universal law of nature and fate, which can be understood with the aid of mantics (soothsaying) and astrology. Even though fate is omnipotent, the sage can rise above it by means of knowledge and virtue.

In his philosophy of history Posidonius attempted to combine the teaching of Hesiod about the golden age of man and his gradual rebirth with the concept of culture developed by Democritus, Epicurus, and Lucretius, who asserted that the price of the development of crafts, sciences, and arts is a moral fall that calls for the intervention of laws and philosophers.


Posidonius [Works], vol. 1—. The Fragment. Edited by L. Edelstein and J. G. Kidd. Cambridge, 1972.


Losev, A. F. “Posidonii.” In Istoriia grecheskoi literatury, vol. 3. Moscow, 1960.
Reinhardt, K. Poseidonios. Munich, 1921.
Heinemann, I. Poseidonios’ metaphysiche Schriften, 2nd ed., vols. 1–2. Hildesheim, 1968.


References in classic literature ?
Of these different rifts some were perfectly straight, as if cut by a line; others were slightly curved, though still keeping their borders parallel; some crossed each other, some cut through craters; here they wound through ordinary cavities, such as Posidonius or Petavius; there they wound through the seas, such as the "Sea of Serenity.
In this respect, although Aristotle, Theophrastus, Posidonius, and Pliny the Elder figure prominently throughout the book, so do Cicero and, most interestingly, Ovid and Virgil.
25) In "la limite du mouvement du monde," citing Philo and the Stoic Posidonius, he then reviews Gignoux's work on the question of "time" in the Denkard (III, 193), underlining the Stoic elements, stating that, by reading between the lines, Gignoux's work permits the conclusion that "la pensee du Denkard est une doctrine stoicienne" (p.
8 First Quarter Moon First Quarter lunar features Craters 1 Piccolomini 2 Stevinus 3 Fracastorius 4 Theophilus 5 Langrenus * 6 Delambre 7 Macrobius 8 Posidonius 9 Atlas 10 Hercules 11 Burg 12 Eudoxus * 13 Aristoteles * 14 Aristillus 15 Manilius * 16 Julius Caesar 17 Horrocks 18 Hipparchus 19 Albategnius 20 Werner 21 Aliacensis 22 Stofler 23 Maurolycus Mountains TM Taurus CM Caucasus Other features AV Alpine Valley LM Lacus Mortis LS Lacus Somniorum MC Mare Crisium MF Mare Frigoris Mfe Mare Fecunditatis MN Mare Nectaris MS Mare Serenitatis MT Mare Tranquillitatis MV Mare Vaporum RV Rheita Valley * These craters stand out well during a lunar eclipse and can be used to note the progress of the umbra across the lunar disk.
Zeno of Sidon founded the Epicurean school; Cicero was a pupil of Antiochus of Ascalon at Athens; and the writings of Posidonius of Apamea influenced Livy and Plutarch.
Corrigan portrays the often overlooked diversity of transformative interpretations of Plato's dialogues concerning the tripartite division of the soul by Aristotle, Plotinus, Proclus, Philo, Plutarch, and Posidonius.
The absence of the familiar from the pages of the Portfolio is due, Hill explained, to: 'The almost total exclusion from my logbooks of old warhorses such as the Theophilus trio, the Ptolemaeus group, Posidonius, Gassendi etc.
What the use of this Platonic passage by Cicero and Calcidius has in common is that both cite it in contexts which are heavily influenced directly or indirectly by the Stoic philosopher Posidonius (fl.
In a very important passage where he takes up classical definitions of anger, such as those of Seneca, Posidonius, Aristotle, and Cicero, Lactantius suggests that these thinkers too frequently reduce anger to a desire for repaying pain with pain.
The crater, previously named Posidonius J, is located in the Moon's Lake of Dreams, and is close to a 1,200-acre parcel purchased by Michael Jackson.
Posidonius had established a monastery at the Field of Shepherds by 380 when John Cassian and Germanus stayed there.
Having undergone a long and tortuous evolution in the Platonic Academy and among the early Stoics, conceptions of pederasty changed further when Panaetius and Posidonius introduced Stoicism to the Romans.