Institute of Philosophy
Russian Academy of Sciences

  Alexander Stoliarov
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Alexander Stoliarov

Alexander Arnoldovitch Stoliarov

Alexander Arnoldovitch Stoliarov, Leading Research Fellow at the Department of History of Western Philosophy.



Date and Place of Birth


Born October 12, 1953 in Moscow.





Graduated from Lomonosov Moscow  State University, Faculty of History, Department of Ancient History, in 1975.



Academic Degrees

  • PhD in Philosophy (1983). PhD Thesis: «The Problem of the Freedom of the Will in Early Medieval Philosophy: Aurelius Augustinus» (Institute of Philosopy, The USSR Academy of Sciences).
  • DSc in Philosophy (1997). DSc Thesis: «Philosophy of Stoic School: Main Problems of Genesis and Evolution» (Institute of Philosopy, Russian Academy of Sciences).

Fields of research

  • Ancient Philosophy,
  • Stoicism,
  • Early Christian Thought.
List of publications BOOKS


  • Gaius Musonius Rufus. The Fragments. Introduction, translation, and commentary by Alexander A. Stoliarov. Moscow, Institute of Philosophy Press, 2016. – 144 pages. – Paperback. – ISBN: 978-5-9540-0311-6 (in Russian)

This edition presents the first Russian translation of the full corpus (on the base of the Hense's edition) of Musonius Rufus, whose fragmentary texts are largely extracted from Stobaeus and also from a number of minor sources. Gaius Musonius Rufus was a Roman Stoic philosopher of the 1st century AD who, despite being a less-known figure, for his importance can be compared with Seneca, Hierocles, Epictetus (who was Musonius’ disciple) and Marcus Aurelius. He first engaged in the study of philosophy in Rome during Nero’s reign and, after being exiled in 65, came back to Rome after Galba’s ascent to power; at some time in the 70s he had to go to exile again, to be back only after the death of Vespasian. Like many other representatives of the Later Stoa, Musonius paid little attention to the theoretical side of the Stoic doctrine, concentrating mostly on practical ethics, namely, the so-called paraenetic, or moralistic discourse, a discipline which eventually exerted great influence of European moral philosophy. Musonius advises on how one should behave in a given situation, parting from the positive assumption that a human being is born with a proclivity for virtuous life and a capacity of goodness. The present book follows Musonius’ life and teaching through the events of Roman history and public life; as a result, one gets a more complete understanding of his character and thinking (and also of the reasons why it became influential), as well as of the common background of Roman, in particular Stoic, philosophy of the 1st century. A paradigmatic Roman intellectual, Musonius contributed to shaping that idea of a dignified way of life which dominated European consciousness ever since; his own example gave proof of his adherence to the principles he believed to be true.

No cabinet philosopher, Musonius Rufus was a champion of education, marriage, equality of the sexes, and freedom of the individual. But especially he taught how to live a virtuous life in difficult circumstances. His methods included Socratic discussion, training exercises, and close association with students such as Epictetus and other well-known figures of the time. Above all he was a living example of what he taught. Based on the ancient texts and modern scholarship, this book is the first russian comprehensive treatment of Musonius Rufus, his life, teachings, and methods. It recounts his active life in dramatic times, describes his basic teachings and their application to practical problems of life, and systematically presents all aspects of his approach to philosophy, education and related items.

  • Fragments of the Early Stoics: In 3 Vols. /Translation and commentaries by Alexander Stoliarov. Мoscow, Museum Graeco-Latinum Publ., 1998–2010. – Hardcover. (in Russian)

This edition presents the first full translation into Russian of Stoicorum veterum fragmenta – the classical coprs of early stoic texts, prepared by von Arnim. The present edition has two main goals: to intorduce the texts of early Stoics to russian audience and to elaborate the principles of translation of stoic terminology into Russian (on the base of experience that is provided by foreign and russian literature about Stoics). The edition is supplied with commentary and indexes.


  • Vol. I. Zeno and his disciples. 1998. – 230 pages. – Hardcover. – ISBN: 978-5-87245-034-6.
  • Vol. II, 1. Chrysippe of Soli. Logical and physical fragments. 1999. – 280 pages. – Hardcover. – ISBN: 978-5-87245-054-0.
  • Vol. II, 2. Chrysippe of Soli. Physical fragments. 2002. – 260 pages. – Hardcover. – ISBN: 978-5-87245-091-5.
  • Vol. III, 1. Chrysippe of Soli. Ethical fragments. 2007. – 300 pages. – Hardcover. – ISBN: 978-5-87245-136-5.
  • Vol. III, 2. Chrysippe's disciples and successors. Indexes. 2010. – 267 pages. – Hardcover. – ISBN: 978-5-87245-166-2.


  • Freedom of the Will as a Problem of European Moral Concsiousness (Some Essays on History from Homer to Luther). Moscow: Museum Graeco-Latinum Publ., 1999. – Hardcover. (in Russian)

Freedom is one  of the main intuitions of european culture since antique times. Therefore it is important to develop an understanding of the way freedom became a real problem of philosophical reflection – especially in its specific form, the freedom of the will. The latter in historic retrospective often appeared rather as «philosophical metaphor» than as strict notion. But in spite of this there exists a coherent set of key problems, such as: what is moral action? does imputation of action require moral autonomy? and the like. The book tries to reconstruct the basic types of european moral consciousness and different aspects of evolution of «voluntaristic» terminology.



  • The “Jewish Question” in the Mirror of Ancient Philosophy // Istoriko-Filosofskii ezhegodnik [History of Philosophy Yearbook]. 2018. T. 33. Pages 52–88. (In Russian)

    This article provides the vision of the “jewish question” in so far as the latter can be illustrated by the opinions of ancient philosophers and authors with semi-philosophical interests. The article rests upon the collections of texts supplied by T.Reinach and M.Stern, the starting point being one of the first works of S.Luria, the prominent Russian researcher of antiquity. Up to my mind, there existed no consistent and centralized antisemitic policy in antiquity. Far from being homogenous, the attitude of ancient philosophical and semi-philosophical socium towards jews and Judaism compared with that of other ancient intellectuals appears, however, to be marked in its positive aspect by a higher level of reflexion and by intention to find out productive elements in judaism and in monotheistic paradigm. Such attitude is peculiar to many adherents of platonic and pythagoreic tradition, particularly to Numenius; from the historic-philosophical and from historic-cultural points of view it appears to be more perceptive and decidedly tolerant.

  • Alexander Stoliarov: «I’ll be perfectly honest with you». Prof. A. Stoliarov interviewed by Olga Kusenko // History of Philosophy Yearbook [Istoriko-Filosofskii ezhegodnik]. 2016. T. 2016. Pages 228–248. (In Russian)
This conversation with Alexander Arnoldovich Stoliarov ‒ an eminent scholar, the leading expert in the Stoic philosophy and Patristic tradition ‒ took place in the summer 2017 as a part of RAS Institute of Philosophy project “Pages of History”. In the interview Prof. Stoliarov talks about his student years in Lomonosov Moscow State University, the faculty of history and its professors, the department of Ancient History, bookstores and samizdat, perception of classical music, “Okhotnik” [Hunter] cafe menu, a tour to Solovki, his working as a secretary in A.F. Losevʼs (an outstanding Russian philosopher of the 20th century) home-office, the “blank spot” in Stoicism, his thesis defense, Volkhonka 14, weird soviet “traditions”, friends of his youth, colleagues and many other things. People and situations mentioned here comprise the collective intellectual biography of the 1970s‒1980s generation of young Soviet scholars and introduce the reader to this interesting period of the Soviet history. Interview conducted by Olga Kusenko.

DOI: 10.21267/AQUILO.2018.2017.9382

  • Scholarly Philosophy of Late Antiquity and the Christian Teaching: Some Reflections Concerning the Interference of Ideas // History of Philosophy Yearbook'2011 / Institute of Philosophy, RAS. Moscow, 2012. P. 101–170. (in Russian)
The influence of ancient philosophy on patristic is obvious. But since long there exists an opinion that Christianity also had influence upon some pagan philosophers of late antiquity, especially on Hierocles of Alexandria and on Ammonios, the teacher of Plotinus. However the teaching of Ammonios defies any reconstruction. All attempts to seek direct Christian influence on Hierocles in the sphere of fundamental notions about the structure of being and the arrangement of the world can only lead to erroneous conclusions. If it is possible at all to speak about Christian influence upon pagan philosophy – namely upon later Neoplatonists – its traces are most likely to be found in the areas marginal for the pagan consciousness. As a possible example we can consider neoplatonic triads similar to the evangelic triad «faith–hope–love».
  • On Forthcoming Edition of the Fragments of Posidonius // Philosophical Journal. 2011. № 1 (6). P. 31–53. (in Russian)
This is the first part of the forthcoming publication of the first Russian translation of the fragments of Posidonius, the foremost representative of the Middle Stoa, containing the testimonies of his life and doctrine with a general introduction. The collection of fragments will be arranged to an original pattern differing from the editions by both Edelstein–Kidd and Theiler.
  • Genesis of the Philosophical Problematics of Freedom: Antiquity and Patristics // Philosophy and Culture [Philosophia i Kultura]. 2008. № 3. (in Russian)
  • The Corps of Early Stoic Texts: Principles of Composition and Basic Editions // The Bulletin of Russian Foundation for Humanities [Vestnik RGNF]. 1997. № 3. P. 155–162. (in Russian)
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