As forerunners of Neoplatonism we may regard, on the one hand, those Stoics who accepted the Platonic distinction between the sensible world and the intelligible, and, on the other hand, the so-called Neopythagoreans and religious philosophers like Plutarch of Chaeronea and especially Numenius of Apamea.
A comparison between the Essenes and the Neopythagoreans shows a parallel so striking as to warrant the theory that the Essenes were profoundly influenced by Neopythagoreanism.
Apollonius of Tyana and the so-called Neopythagoreans drew similar ethical consequences from their eclectic study of Plato.
Further, it is necessary to distinguish from the Neopythagoreans a number of Eclectic Platonists, who, during the ist century of our era, maintained views which had a similar tendency (e.g.
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