91. The Alexandrian School. Ammonius. -- AMMONIUS, a disciple of Proclus, is the most striking personality in the Alexandrian school of this later period. He perpetuated the tradition of scientific Neo-Platonism, and took up the interpretation of Aristotle in the spirit of Porphyry. During his long and influential career, Ammonius formed the minds of most of the philosophers of this closing epoch. Damascius was his disciple, and later on John Philoponus, Asclepius, Simplicius and Olympiodorus. Christians attended his lectures and he always avoided wounding their religious susceptibilities. Not only in fact did the Alexandrian school display a considerate sympathy with the Christian beliefs, but -- unlike that of Athens -- it even tended daily more and more in the direction of Christianity. JOHN PHILOPONUS, who wrote Aristotelian commentaries, and a treatise on the Eternity of the World directed against Proclus, within the first third of the sixth century, expressly professed the Catholic religion. OLYMPIODORUS was also a convert; indeed we might say that from the middle of the sixth century the Alexandrian school was mainly Christian.
A new cycle of speculations was thus gathering force when in 640 the Arabs invaded Egypt and burned the Alexandrian schools and the famous library which had long been the glory of the Caesars.
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