Logos57. The common ground between them is clearly reflected in the case the founder of the Neo-platonic School was Ammonios Saccas. Ammonios was a Christian born by Christian parents, while he was a renowned commentator on Aristotle58. He had among others two distinctive pupils, Plotinus and Origen, who will be representatives of the Pagan and Christian wings respectively. Plotinus is considered as the (co-) founder of the Neo-platonic pagan school, while Origen one of the greatest theologians of the Christian Church. Hence, in its very beginning in Alexandria, the school of NeoPlatonism composed by both Christians and Pagans. Other tutors of philosophy like Olympius and Asclepiodotus, both of them pagans, attracted many Christian pupils, while the Christian Aphthonius had many pagans.59. Yet Origen had another major teacher. This was Clement of Alexandria, one the most brilliant figures of the early Alexandrian school of Christian thought. Titus Flavius Clemens (c.150 – 215 AD), known as Clement of Alexandria (to distinguish him from Clement of Rome), was a Christian theologian and the head of the noted Catechetical School of Alexandria. Clement is best remembered as the teacher of Origen. Like Origen, he arose from Alexandria's Catechetical School and was well versed in pagan literature. He united Greek philosophical traditions with Christian doctrine, mostly by developing a Christian Platonism. He presented the goal of Christian life as deification, identified both as Platonism's assimilation into God and the biblical imitation of God.60.
The Catechetical School of Alexandria The Catechetical School of Alexandria is the oldest catechetical school in the world. St. Jerome records that St. Mark himself founded the Christian School of Alexandria and the first manager appointed by Saint Mark was Saint Justus, who later became the sixth bishop of Alexandria 61. There is another opinion that the school was founded mid-second century, around 190 AD62. Under the leadership of the scholar Pantanaeus (Fig. 64), the school of Alexandria became an important institution of religious learning, where scholars such as Athenagoras, Clement, Didymus,
“Neoplatonism” in Encyclopedia of Early Christianity, 640-642; Also, for a short overview of the intellectual life of the Late Roman Alexandria see Forster, 1961, 68-80. 58 Haas, 1997, 153. 59 Ibid, 154-155. 60 For the life and works of Clement of Alexandria see: "Clement of Alexandria." Cross, 2005; Durant, 1972. 61 http://www.copticchurch.net/topics/patrology/schoolofalex/I-Intro/chapter1.html. 62 http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/14441/School-of-Alexandria.