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Guthrie: Vida de Plotino XXII

sexta-feira 25 de março de 2022

XXII. THE APOLLONIAN ORACLE ABOUT PLOTINOS  .

(But when I have a long oracle of Apollo to quote, why should I delay over a letter of Longinus s, or, in the words of the proverb, quoted in Iliad xxii. 126 and Hesiod Theogony 35), "Why should I dally near the oak-trees, or the rock? " If the testimony of the wise is to be adduced, who is wiser than Apollo, a deity who said of himself, "I know the number of the grains of sand, and the extent of the ocean; I understand the dust, and I hear him who does not speak!" This was the divinity who had said that Socrates   was the wisest of men; and on being consulted by Amelius to discover what had become of the soul of Plotinos  , said:

"Let me sing an immortal hymn to my dear friend! Drawing my golden bow, I will elicit melodious sounds from my lyre. I also invoke the symphonic voice of the, choir of Muses, Whose harmonious power raises exultant paeans, As they once sang in chorus in praise of Achilles, A Homeric song in divine inspiration. Sacred choir of Muses, let us together celebrate this man, For long-haired Apollo is among you! "O Deity, who formerly wert a man, but now approachest The divine host of guardian spirits, delivered from the narrowing bonds of necessity That enchains man (while in the body), and from the tumult caused by the Confusing whirlwind of the passions of the body, Sustained by the vigor of thy mind, thou hastenest to swim (And like the sage Ulysses in Phaeacia), to land on a shore not submerged by the waves, With vigorous stroke, far from the impious crowds. Persistently following the straightening path of the purified soul, Where the splendor of the divinity surrounds you, the home of justice, Far from contamination, in the holy sanctuary of initiation, When in the past you struggled to escape the bitter waves,* When blood-stained life eddied around you with re pulsive currents, In the midst of the waters dazed by frightening tumult, Even then the divinities often showed you your end; And often, when your spirit was about to stray from the right path, The immortals beckoned you back to the real end; the eternal path, Enlightening your eyes with radiant beams in the midst of gloomy darkness. No deep slumber closed your eyelids, and when shaken by the eddies (of matter), You sought to withdraw your eyes from the night that pressed down upon them; You beheld beauties hidden from any who devote them selves to the study of wisdom. "Now that you have discarded your cloak of mor tality, and ascended Climbing out from the tombs of your angelic soul, You have entered the choir of divinities, where breathes a gentle zephyr. There dwell friendship, and delightful desire, ever ac companied by pure joy; There may one quench one s thirst with divine am brosia; There bound by the ties of love, one breathes a gentle air, under a tranquil sky. There dwell the sons of Jupiter, who lived in the golden age; The brothers Minos   and Rhadamanthus, the just Aeacus, The divine Plato  , the virtuous Pythagoras  , And all those who formed the band of immortal love, And who by birth belong to the most blessed of divinities. Their soul tastes continual joy amidst perpetual feasts! And you, blessed man, after having fought many a valiant fight, In the midst of chaste angels, you have achieved eternal Felicity. "Here, O Muses, let us close this hymn in honor of Plotinos  ; Cease the mazes of the dancing of the graceful choir; This is what my golden lyre had to say of this eternally blessed man!

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