Jaap Mansfeld studied classics and some philosophy at Utrecht University,
where he obtained his PhD in 1963 with a dissertation on the ancient
philosopher Parmenides. From 1973 to 2001 he was ordinarius of the History
of Ancient and Patristic Philosophy at Utrecht University, subsequently of the
History of Ancient and Medieval Philosophy. He is a member of the board of
several scholarly journals and of an important series, and a fellow of several
learned societies, among which from 1991 the Royal Dutch Academy. In 1998
he was given a Humboldt Research Award. He has published widely on
ancient philosophy from the Presocratics to Neoplatonism, with a special
interest in traditions of transmission and the literary aspects of philosophical
literature and sub-literature. He has co-edited scholarly volumes such as
Assent & Argument: Studies in Cicero’s Academic Books (Leiden: Brill 1997), The
Cambridge History of Hellenistic Philosophy (Cambridge: CUP 1999), Hermann
Diels (1848-1922) et la science de l’antiquité (Vandoeuvres-Genève: Fondation
Hardt 1999), and Aristotle’s On Generation and Corruption I (Oxford: OUP
2004). Recently he has published a thoroughly revised edition of a work first
published in 2 vols. in 1983–1986 and often reprinted: Die Vorsokratiker,
griechisch / deutsch (Stuttgart: Reclam 2011), now including a chapter on
Empedocles by Oliver Primavesi (Munich).
 From the late ’80s of the last century he has for the most part worked on the
traditions of ancient doxography, in close collaboration with David T. Runia
(Melbourne). Our knowledge of ancient philosophy must be based on
transmitted texts. Unfortunately almost all writings of the early Greek and
Hellenistic philosophers are lost, making us dependent on second-hand
reports. An important source of information is the genre of doxography, brief
systematically organized accounts of important doctrines attributed to
individual philosophers. The project uncovers the text of the most important
ancient doxographer, Aetius, based on principles developed in our research.
The resultant studies, text edition and commentary are superseding the
foundational work of Diels (1879) and will be of inestimable value to all
scholars working in the field of Greek philosophy.