Neoplatonic Saints: The Lives of Plotinus and Proclus by by Mark Edwards

By Mark Edwards

Those texts are primary for the certainty not just of Neoplatonism but in addition of the conventions of biography in overdue antiquity. Neither has acquired such large annotation ahead of in English, and this new statement makes complete use of contemporary scholarship. The lengthy advent is meant either as a beginner’s consultant to Neoplatonism and as a survey of historical biographical writing.

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INTRODUCTION xliii fourth century as Philostratus’ Lives of the Sophists is of the second. 113 One such professor, a certain Maximus, gained such a reputation as a philosopher that the Emperor Julian was inclined to engage him as a tutor. His counsellor Chrysanthius was so disturbed that he told him an admonitory tale of the man’s vulgarity. An associate of his had once been present when Maximus was praying to Athena. He had gone so far as to ask her statue to smile, and such was his meretricious skill that the goddess had complied.

Their powers may be refracted through successive layers of being, they may seem (as in the Cratylus) to be 125 On the interpretation of the Republic see Sheppard (1980); on the vehicle of the soul see my notes to Proclus 3. On the supracosmic soul see Dillon and Morrow (1970), xv, as well as my notes to Proclus 23. 126 On the speakers see Parm. 628^9 Cousin (where they are related to Being, Mind and Life) and 663^70 (where some are more daemonic, some more godlike). On the antinomies of the Parmenides see Parm.

281^2 Nauck. Marcella, the recipient of this letter, was a widow with ¢ve children, reputedly a Jewess, whom Porphyry married late in life not, as he frankly tells her, for her wealth, her reputation or her beauty, but to appease his natal daemon: 273^4 Nauck. 79 Proclus, Tim. 22^3 Diehl, cited as Numenius Fr. 25^6 Des Places. 80 See 245^51 on the Jewish ascetics called Essenes (following Josephus) and 265^6 on the Brahmins. xxxii INTRODUCTION character of being. A similar expedient will accommodate both the Aristotelian and the Platonic theories of the soul, which occupies a level of being between the intellectual and the physical.

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