Aedesius was born into a wealthy Cappadocian family, but he moved to Syria where he was apprenticed to Iamblichos. He quickly became his best pupil and the two became friends. Aedesius' own philosophical doctrine, however, was somewhere between Platonism and eclecticism. After his teacher's death, he distanced himself from philosophy, probably because he feared the hostile attitude of the Christian emperor Constantine the Great towards the practice of philosophy. His students nevertheless succeeded to convince him to devote himself again to philosophy. He moved to Pergamon, where he became a teacher. None of his writings have survived, but there is an extant biography by Eunapius, a Greek sophist and historian of the 4th century who wrote a collection of biographies entitled Lives of the Sophists.
School of philosophy at Pergamon
Aedesius founded a school of philosophy at Pergamon, which emphasized theurgy and the revival of polytheism. The later emperor Julian was one of his many students. After he became emperor, he invited Aedesius to further educate him. By this time Aedesius was however too old and too weak and he personally appointed two of his most talented followers, Chrysantes and Eusebius, to take his place. Another of his followers was Maximus of Ephesus.
- Cappadocia: A region in central Turkey, largely in Nevşehir Province.