Stoic, Cynic, Epicurean Philosophy

Erlend D. MacGillivray

ErlendMacGillivrayMy academic pursuits have led me to study the reciprocal exchange dynamics in Graeco-Roman and Jewish society, the institutional history of the Epicurean philosophical, and the philosophies of Philo of Alexandria and Epictetus. In 2018 I completed a PhD at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, where I explored the Stoic understanding of how non-philosophers could make moral progress (an, until then, completely ignored topic in scholarship), and the influence this viewpoint had over Second Temple Jewish thinkers, such as Philo of Alexandria, and their view of non-Jews.

I was also a tutor in early Christian history and ancient literature at the University of Aberdeen, and was a visiting Professor in New Testament Studies at Asian Theological Seminary, Manila. Currently I am working in publishing in my home city of Edinburgh, Scotland. I also maintain an interest in website design and in the expanding field of digital humanities. I founded the website www.ancientphilosophytimeline.com as a way of combining these two interests. From my time spent in south-east Asia, as well as my marriage in 2018 to my wonderful wife who is of Chinese heritage, I have an increasing interest in ancient Chinese philosophy, which might at some point be integrated into the scope of the timeline.

My first book, The Rest of Humanity: Epictetus' Views of Non-Philosophers, is currently under review with a University Press. My second book, a full-length study on the extent to which ancient philosophy was disseminated across early-mid Empire Roman society, is in progress.



My Peer-Reviewed Publications:

- 'Reassessing Epictetus' Views on Divination,' Apeiron: A Journal for Ancient Philosophy and Science (forthcoming).

- 'Fall Narratives in Classical Stoicism,' in Fall Narratives: An Interdisciplinary Perspective, eds. Aine Larkin and Zohar Hadromi-Allouche. Ashgate Publishers. 2017.

- 'Epitomizing Philosophy and the Critique of Epicurean Popularizers,' Journal of Ancient History 3.1 (2015), pp.22-54.

- 'The Popularity of Epicureanism in Late-Republican Roman Society,' Ancient World 43 (2012), pp.151-172.

-'Romans 16:2, prostatis and the Application of Reciprocal Relationships onto New Testament Texts', Novum Testamentum 53.2 (2011), pp.183-199.

-'Re-evaluating Patronage and Reciprocity in Antiquity and New Testament Studies', Journal of Greco-Roman Christianity and Judaism (2009), pp.37-81.



Ongoing Research Projects:


- 'Jesus the Cynic?' An article that explores recent research that suggests there was a Cynic influence upon Jesus of Nazareth.

- 'Did Ancient Stoicism Compete With Early Christianity?' An article that considers whether the Stoics attempted to propogate their philosophy beyond the educated elite (through 'street preachers' or simplified texts).

- 'Philo of Alexandria and the Moral Conformity of Non-Philosophical Gentiles' A lengthy article that considers a neglected topic in Philonic scholarship- his views of non-philosophically aware non-Jews.

- 'Philosophy in the Marketplace?' A book-length research project that explores the extent to which philosophy was able to disseminate itself to the general populace from the time of the Late Roman Republic until Constantine.