Up@dawn 2.0

Monday, November 30, 2015

2nd installment :Plotinus

Posted for Karol Saleh (#8)

Plotinus




Childhood & Early Life

1.   Just like most of the ancient philosophers not too much is known about Plotinus’ life but because one of his disciples Porphyry had written a biography on him, therefore we know more about him than any other ancient philosopher.
2. Plotinus was born in Lycopolis, Egypt, in 204 or 205 C.E. Towards his late 20's, he moved to Alexandria to learn more about philosophy. He was not happy with any teacher’s teachings until he met Ammonius Saccas.
3. He started studying under his newly found teacher and was also influenced by the philosophical works of Alexander of Aphrodisias, Numenius and various Stoics.

Life & Work
·       1. Around the age of 38, after studying intently in Alexandria for about eleven years, Plotinus decided to take his philosophical curiosity to the Persian philosophers and Indian philosophers.
·      2.   For his new pursuit, he joined the army of Gordian III, which was assigned to capture Persia but unfortunately they failed and after Gordian’s death Plotinus had to leave the place, which is why he fled to Antioch.
       3. By the age of 40, under Philip of Arab’s sovereignty, Plotinus came to Rome and built up a circle of students, which included: Porphyry, Amelius Gentilianus of Tuscany, the Senator Castricius Firmus, Eustochius of Alexandria, Zoticus, a critic and poet, etc.
·        4.   He also had students amongst the Roman Senate, like, Marcellus Orontius, Sabinillus, etc. He also had female students and lived in the house of one of his woman disciples named Gemina. He was a correspondent of philosopher Cassius Longinus.
·     5. In Rome, he became famous amongst the royal family as well; he gained the admiration of the Emperor Gallienus and his wife Salonina. He also endeavored rebuilding an abandoned settlement in Campania and called it ‘City of Philosophers’.
·      6. He spent his final days in isolation on his friend Zethos’ property in Campania. Eustochius attended him at the end and Plotinus' final words were, "Strive to give back the Divine in yourselves to the Divine in the All."
·      7. Plotinus was 66 years old when he died in 270 C.E., the second year of the reign of the emperor Claudius II. 
         8. Plotinus’ essays became ‘Enneads’ about 17 years after his death. Porphyry compiled and arranged his notes himself and before that they were just a huge collection of notes and essays that Plotinus used to use for his lectures

Posted for Karol Saleh (#8)

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