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date: 29 March 2020

Plotinuslocked

(205–270 CE),
  • Andrew Smith

Extract

Hellenistic philosopher, founder of Neo-Platonism, was born probably in Lycopolis in Egypt. He took up the study of philosophy relatively late in life at the age of twenty-seven and attended the philosophical schools of Alexandria, where he was particularly impressed by Ammonius Saccas, about whom little is known. After the failure of the military expedition of the Emperor Gordian to Persia, which he had joined in order to make contact with the Brahmans, he moved to Rome where he founded his own school in a private house. His philosophical treatises, the Enneads, were composed late in life and represent his mature thought.

As a follower of Plato he considered his task to be the careful exposition of Plato s real meaning To this end he creatively adopted many Aristotelian ideas as well as Stoic concepts His interpretation of Plato led him to identify Plato s Good with a principle ...

A version of this article originally appeared in The Dictionary of African Biography.

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