Adrastus of Aphrodisias


Adrastus of Aphrodisias (Greek: Ἄδραστος ὁ Ἀφροδισιεύς; fl. 2nd century) was a Peripatetic philosopher who lived in the 2nd century AD. He was the author of a treatise on the arrangement of Aristotle's writings and his system of philosophy, quoted by Simplicius,[1] and by Achilles Tatius. Some commentaries of his on the Timaeus of Plato are also quoted by Porphyry,[2] and a treatise on the Categories of Aristotle by Galen. None of these have survived.[3] He was a competent mathematician, whose writings on harmonics are frequently cited by Theon of Smyrna in the surviving sections of his On Mathematics Useful for the Understanding of Plato.[4] In the 17th century, a work by Adrastus on harmonics, Περὶ Ἁρμονικῶν ("On Harmonics"), was said by Gerhard Johann Vossius to have been preserved, in manuscript, in the Vatican Library, although the manuscript appears to be no longer extant, if indeed this was not an error on Vossius' part.[5]

Adrastus of Philippi is also reported by Stephanus of Byzantium, as a peripatetic philosopher,[6] he is presumably the same philosopher, unless there was a different, earlier, disciple of Aristotle.[7]


  1. ^ Simplicius, Praefat. in viii. lib. Phys.
  2. ^ p. 270, in Harmonica Ptolemaei
  3. ^ Jowett, Benjamin (1867), "Adrastus (3)", in Smith, William (ed.), Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, vol. 1, Boston, p. 21
  4. ^ Andrew Barker, (1984), Greek Musical Writings, page 210. Cambridge University Press
  5. ^ Long, George (1842), "Adrastus", The Biographical Dictionary of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, vol. 1, London: Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans, p. 366
  6. ^ Fragmente der griechischen Historiker Part 7, Page 51 (1999)
  7. ^ Among the (very) few sources prepared to give Adrastus of Philippi an independent existence is: Trevor Curnow, (2006), The philosophers of the ancient world: an A to Z guide, page 8. Duckworth.