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Guthrie: Vida de Plotino VII

sexta-feira 25 de março de 2022

VII. VARIOUS DISCIPLES OF PLOTINOS  .

Plotinos   had a great number of auditors and dis ciples, who were attracted to his courses by love of philosophy.

Among this number was Amelius of Etruria, whose true name was Gentilianus. He did indeed insist that in his name the letter "l" should be replaced by "r," so that his name should read "Amerius," from "ameria" (meaning indivisibility, though Suidas states that it was derived from the town of Ameria, in the province of Umbria), and not Amelius, from "amellia" (negligence) .

A very zealous disciple of Plotinos   was a physician from Scythopolis (or, Bethshean, in Palestine), named Paulinus, whose mind was full of ill-digested informa tion, and whom Amelius used to call Mikkalos (the tiny).

Eustochius of Alexandria, also a physician, knew Plotinos   at the end of his life, and remained with him until his death, to care for him. Exclusively occupied with the teachings of Plotinos  , he himself became a genuine philosopher.

Zoticus, also, attached himself to Plotinos  . He was both critic and poet; he corrected the works of Anti- machus, and beautifully versified the fable of the Atlantidae. His sight gave out, however, and he died shortly before Plotinos  . Paulinus also, died before Plotinos  .

Zethus was one of the disciples of Plotinos  . He was a native of Arabia, and had married the daughter of Theodosius, friend of Ammonius  . He was a phy sician, and much beloved by Plotinos  , who sought to lead him to withdraw from public affairs, for which he had considerable aptitude; and with which he occupied himself with zeal. Plotinos   lived in very close rela tions with him; he even retired to the country estate of Zethus, distant six miles from Minturnae.

Castricius, surnamed Firmus, had once owned this estate. Nobody, in our times, loved virtue more than Firmus. He held Plotinos   in the deepest veneration. He rendered Amelius the same services that might have been rendered by a good servant, he displayed for me the attentions natural towards a brother. Neverthe less this man, who was so attached to Plotinos  , re mained engaged in public affairs.

Several senators, also, came to listen to Plotinos  . Marcellus Orontius, Sabinillus and Rogatianus applied themselves, under Plotinos  , to the study of philosophy.

The latter, who also was a member of the seriate, had so detached himself from the affairs of life, that he had abandoned all his possessions, dismissed all his attendants, and renounced all his dignities. On being appointed praetor, at the moment of being inaugurated, while the lictors were already waiting for him, he re fused to sally forth, and carry out any of the functions of this dignity. He even failed to dwell in his own house (to avoid needless pomp) ; he visited his friends, boarding and sleeping there; he took food only every other day; and by this dieting, after having been af flicted with gout to the point of having to be carried around in a litter, he recovered his strength, and stretched out his hands as easily as any artisan, though formerly his hands had been incapacitated. Plotinos   was very partial to him; he used to praise him publicly, and pointed him out as a model to all who desired to become philosophers.

Another disciple of Plotinos   was Serapion of Alex andria. At first he had been a rhetorician, and only later applied himself to philosophy. Nevertheless he never was able to cure himself of fondness for riches, or usury.

Me also, Porphyry  , a native of Tyre, Plotinos   ad mitted to the circle of his intimate friends, and he charged me to give the final revision to his works.


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