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Guthrie: Vida de Plotino IV

sexta-feira 25 de março de 2022

    

IV. HOW PORPHYRY   CAME TO PLOTINOS  . FOR THE FIRST TIME, IN 253.

In the tenth year of the reign of Gallienus, I (then being twenty years of age), left Greece and went to Rome with Antonius   of Rhodes. I found there Amelius, who had been following the courses of Plotinos for eighteen years. He had not yet dared to write any thing, except a few books of notes, of which there were not yet as many as a hundred. In this tenth year of the reign of Gallienus, Plotinos was fifty-nine years old. When I (for the second, and more important time) joined him, I was thirty years of age. During the first year of Gallienus, Plotinos began to write upon some topics of passing interest, and in the tenth year of Gallienus, when I visited him for the first time, he had written twenty-one books, which had been circulated only among a very small number of friends.

They were not given out freely, and it was not easy to go through them. They were communicated to to students only under precautionary measures, and after the judgment of those who received them had been carefully tested.

PLOTINOS’S BOOKS OF THE FIRST PERIOD (THE AMELIAN PERIOD).

I shall mention the books that Plotinos had alreadv written at that time. As he had prefixed no titles to them, several persons gave them different ones. Here are those that have asserted themselves:

1. Of the Beautiful. i. 6.

2. Of the Immortality of the Soul  . iv. 7.

3. Of Fate. iii. 1.

4. Of the Nature of the Soul. iv. 1.

5. Of Intelligence, of Ideas, and of Existence, v. 9.

6. Of the Descent of the Soul into the Body. iv. 8.

7. How does that which is Posterior   to the First Proceed from Him? Of the One. v. 4.

8. Do all the Souls form but a Single Soul? iv. 9.

9. Of the Good, or of the One. vi. 9.

10. Of the Three Principal Hypostatic Forms of Existence, v. 1.

11. Of Generation, and of the Order of Things after the First, v. 2.

12. (Of the Two) Matters, (the Sensible   and Intelligible) . ii. 4.

13. Various Considerations, iii. 9.

14. Of the (Circular) Motion of the Heavens, ii. 2.

15. Of the Daemon   Allotted to Us, iii. 4.

16. Of (Reasonable) Suicide, i. 9.

17. Of Quality, ii. 6.

18. Are there Ideas of Individuals? v. 7.

19. Of Virtues. i. 2.

20. Of Dialectics. i. 3

21. (How does the Soul keep the Mean between Indivisible   Nature and Divisible Nature? ) iv. 2

These twenty-one books were already written when I visited Plotinos; he was then in the fifty-ninth year of his age.


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