Ammonius Saccas (Greek: Ἀμμώνιος Σακκᾶς; fl. 3rd century AD) was a Greek philosopher from Alexandria who is often referred to as one of the founders of Neoplatonism. He is mainly known as the teacher of Plotinus, whom he taught for eleven years from 232 to 243. Little is known about his own philosophical views.
Mme. Blavatsky wrote:
Ammonius Saccas. A great and good philosopher who lived in Alexandria between the second and third centuries of our era, and who was the founder of the Neo-Platonic School of Philaletheians or “lovers of truth”. He was of poor birth and born of Christian parents, but endowed with such prominent, almost divine, goodness as to be called Theodidaktos, the “god-taught”. He honoured that which was good in Christianity, but broke with it and the churches very early, being unable to find in it any superiority over the older religions.
Ammonius Saccas, the God-taught (theodidaktos) and the lover of the truth (philalethes), in establishing his school, made a direct attempt to benefit the world by teaching those portions of the Secret Science that were permitted by its direct guardians to be revealed in those days.‡ The modern movement of our own Theosophical Society was begun on the same principles; for the Neo-Platonic school of Ammonius aimed, as we do, at the reconcilement of all sects and peoples, under the once common faith of the Golden Age, trying to induce the nations to lay aside their contentions—in religious matters at any rate—by proving to them that their various beliefs are all the more or less legitimate children of one common parent, the Wisdom-Religion.
William Quan Judge wrote of Ammonius Saccas as a representative of Theosophical thought long before the Theosophical Society was formed:
About 1600 years ago Ammonius Saccas made a similar effort which was attended with good results. He had almost the same platform as the T.S., and taught that the aim of Jesus was to show people the truth in all religions and to restore the ancient philosophy to its rightful seat.
- Ammonius Saccas at WisdomWorld.org
- Ammonius Saccas at TheosophyTrust.org
- Ammonius Saccas at Theosophy World.
- Ammonius Saccas and His "Eclectic Philosophy" as presented by Alexander Winder by Jean-Louis Siémons. Theosophical History Occasional Papers 3.
- ↑ Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, The Theosophical Glossary (Krotona, CA: Theosophical Publishing House, 1973), 20.
- ↑ Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Collected Writings vol. XIV (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1995), 305.
- ↑ William Quan Judge, "Plain Theosophical Traces," The Path VII (August, 1892), 133-136.