Philonides of Laodicea


Philonides (Greek: Φιλωνίδης, c. 200 – c. 130 BCE) of Laodicea in Syria, was an Epicurean philosopher and mathematician who lived in the Seleucid court during the reigns of Antiochus IV Epiphanes and Demetrius I Soter.

He is known principally from a Life of Philonides, which was discovered among the charred papyrus scrolls at the Villa of the Papyri at Herculaneum.[1] Philonides was born into a family with good connections with the Seleucid court.[2] He is said to have been taught by Eudemus and Dionysodorus the mathematician.[3] Philonides attempted to convert Antiochus IV Epiphanes to Epicureanism, and later instructed his nephew, Demetrius I Soter, in philosophy.[2] Philonides was highly honoured in the court, and he is also known from various stone inscriptions.[4]

He was renowned as a mathematician, and is mentioned by Apollonius of Perga in the preface to the second book of his Conics.[3][5]

Philonides was a zealous collector of the works of Epicurus and his colleagues, and is said to have published over 100 treatises, probably compilations of the works he collected.[6]


  1. ^ Vita Philonidi, PHerc. 1044
  2. ^ a b Dov Gera, (1998), Judaea and Mediterranean Politics, 219 to 161 B.C.E., page 274. BRILL
  3. ^ a b Ian Mueller, Geometry and scepticism, in Jonathan Barnes, (2005), Science and Speculation: Studies in Hellenistic Theory and Practice, page 94. Cambridge University Press.
  4. ^ Dewitt, (1999), Epicurus and His Philosophy, pages 119–120. U of Minnesota Press
  5. ^ Apollonius, I 192.7–11
  6. ^ H. Gregory Snyder, (2000), Teachers and Texts in the Ancient World, pages 49–50. Routledge