This introductory chapter provides an overview of the book's main themes. It begins with a brief discussion of the life and work of Claudius Ptolemy, and how his contributions in philosophy have been all but forgotten. It then sets out the book's purpose, namely to prove that Ptolemy was very much a man of his time in that his philosophy is most similar to middle Platonism, the period in Platonic philosophy that extended from the first century BCE—with Antiochus of Ascalon, who was born near the end of the second century BCE and moved from Ascalon, in present-day Israel, to Athens to join the Academy—to the beginning of the third century BCE, with Ammonius Saccas, the Alexandrian philosopher and teacher of Plotinus, the founder of Neoplatonism. Both Antiochus and Ammonius Saccas are known for their syncretic tendencies.
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