Professor John Dillon

Professor John Dillon

Trinity College Dublin – Department of Classics

General CV

I studied Classics at Oxford, and subsequently completed a Ph.D., at the University of California, Berkeley, joining the faculty there in 1969.

In 1980, I took up the Regius Chair of Greek at Trinity College Dublin, and remained in that post until my retirement in 2006. I am founder and Director Emeritus of the Trinity Plato Centre.

My chief field of interest is Ancient Philosophy, and in particular the philosophy of Plato, and the tradition stemming from him, through the Old Academy, the ‘Middle Platonic’ and ‘Neoplatonic’ periods, to the Arabic, Christian and Renaissance periods, as well as the Jewish Platonism of Philo of Alexandria.

My particular concerns at the moment are with Philo, Plotinus, and Dionysius the Areopagite. With Prof. Andrew Smith, I am currently acting as General Editor of a series of translations of the tractates of Plotinus, with commentaries, for Parmenides Press, of which ten volumes have so far been published.

Selected Recent Publications

Dillon, J. (2020) ‘Plutarch, Plotinus and the Zoroastrian Concept of the fravashi’, in B. David (ed.), Passionate Mind: Essays in Honor of John M. Rist, Academia Verlag: Baden-Baden, 181-190.

Dillon, J. (2020) ‘The World-Soul Takes Command: The Doctrine of the World-Soul in the Epinomis of Philip of Opus and in the Academy of Polemon’, in C. Helmig (ed.), World Soul – Anima Mundi: On the Origins and Fortunes of a Fundamental Idea, Berlin: De Gruyter, 155-66.

Dillon, J. (2019) ‘Hermias as Transmitter of Iamblichus’ Exegesis of the Dialogue’, in J.F. Finamore, C.-P. Manolea, S. Klitenic Wear (eds.), Studies in Hermias’ Commentary on the Plato’s Phaedrus, Brill: Leiden, 25-34.

Dillon, J. (2019) ‘Dodds, Plotinus and Stephen MacKenna’, in C.J. Stray, C.R. Pelling & S. Harrison (eds.), Rediscovering E. R. Dodds: Scholarship, Poetry and the Paranormal, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Dillon, J. (2019) ‘Xenocrates on Plato, Pythagoras and the Poets’, Methexis 31: 65-79.

Dillon, J. (2018) ‘Prayer and Contemplation in the Neoplatonic and Sufi Traditions’, in E. Pachoumi & M. Edwards (eds.), Praying and Contemplating in Late Antiquity, Túbingen: Mohr-Siebeck, 7-22.

Dillon, J. (2018) ‘Theories of Knowledge in the Old Academy’, in F. Verde & M. Catapano (eds.), Hellenistic Theories of Knowledge, Lexicon Philosophicum, 6.

Dillon, J. (2018) ‘Paideia Platoniké: Does the later Platonist programme of education retain any validity today?’, in Bildung and Paideia: Philosophical Models of Education, Educational Philosophy and Theory (Special Number), Vol. 50.

Dillon, J. (2018) ‘Aporetic Elements in Plutarch’s Philosophy’, in G. Karamanolis & V. Politis (eds.), The Aporetic Tradition in Ancient Philosophy, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 192-204.

Dillon, J. (2018) ‘Plato’s Doctrines in Diogenes Laertius’, in J. Miller (ed.), Lives of the Eminent Philosophers, Diogenes Laertius, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 592-7.

Dillon, J. (2018) The Roots of Platonism: The Origins and Chief Features of a Philosophical Tradition, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Dillon, J. & Zovko, M.-E. (eds.) (2018) Bildung and Paideia: Philosophical Models of Education, in Educational Philosophy and Theory (Special Issue), Vol. 60, nos. 6-7, 2018.

Dillon, J. (2017) ‘Embracing the Academic Tradition: Some Reflections on the Aporetic Elements in Plutarch’s Philosophy’, in Y.Z. Liebersohn, I. Ludlam, A. Edelheit (eds.), For a Skeptical Peripatetic: Festschrift in Honour of John Glucker, Sankt Augustin: Academia Verlag, 264-77.

Dillon, J. (2016) ‘The Reception of Aristotle in Antiochus and Cicero’, in A. Falcon (ed.), Brill’s Companion to the Reception of Aristotle in Antiquity, Brill: Leiden.

Dillon, J. (2016) ‘Carneades the Socratic’, Dionysius 34: 27-45.

Dillon, J. (2016) ‘Philo on the Telos, in G. Sterling (ed.),  Studia Philonica Annual XXVIII: Festschrift for David Runia, 111-121.

Dillon, J. (2016) ‘Plutarch the Philosopher and Plutarch the Historian on Apatheia’, in J. Opsomer, G. Roskam, F.B. Titchener (eds.), A Versatile Gentleman: Consistency in Plutarch’s Writing  (Festschrift for Luc van den Stockt), Leuven University Press, 9-15.

Dillon, J. (2016) ‘Plotinus Orator: Literary and Rhetorical Features in the Enneads’, in Mannlein-Robert, Schorn, & Tornau (eds.), Philosophus Orator:Rhetorischen Strategien und Strukturen in philosophischen Literatur. Michael Erler zum 60. Geburtstag, Basel: Schwabe Verlag, 282-198.

Dillon, J. & Timotin, A. (eds.) (2016) Platonic Theories of Prayer, edd. John Dillon & Andrei Timotin. Leiden: Brill, 2016.

Dillon, J. (2015) ‘Proclus on the Myth of Er’, Dionysius 33: 132-44.

H.J. Blumenthal & Dillon, J. (eds.) (2015) Plotinus, Ennead IV 3 – 4, 29: Problems Concerning the Soul, Las Vegas: Parmenides Press.