Guthrie: Vida de Plotino XXIV


This is what I have to relate of the life of Plotinos, He had, however, asked me to arrange and revise his works. I promised both him and his friends to work on them. I did not judge it wjse to arrange them in confusion chronologically. So I imitated Apollodorus of Athens, and Andronicus the Peripatetician, the former collecting in ten volumes the comedies of Epicharmus, and the latter dividing into treatises the works of Aristotle and Theophrastus, gathering to gether the writings that referred to the same subject. Likewise, I grouped the fifty-four books of Plotinos into six groups of nine (Enneads), in honor of the perfect numbers six and nine. Into each Ennead 1 have gathered the books that treat of the same matter, in each case prefixing the most important ones.

The First Ennead contains the writings that treat of Morals. They are:
1. What is an Animal? What is a Man? 53.
2. Of the Virtues, 19.
3. Of Dialectics, 20.
4. Of Happiness, 46.
5. Does Happiness (consist in Duration) ? 36.
6. Of Beauty, 1.
7. Of the First Good, and of the Other Goods, 54.
8. Of the Origin of Evils, 51.
9. Of (Reasonable) Suicide, 16.

Such are the topics considered in the First Ennead; which thus contains what relates to morals.

In the Second Ennead are grouped the writings that treat of Physics, of the World, and of all that it con tains. They are:
1. (Of the World). 40.
2. Of the (Circular) Motion (of the Heavens), 14.
3. Of the Influence of the Stars, 52.
4. (Of both Matters) (Sensible and Intelligible), 12.
5. Of Potentiality and Actuality, 25.
6. Of Quality (and of Form), 17.
7. Of Mixture, Where there is Total Penetratration, 37.
8. Of Vision. Why do Distant Objects Seem Smaller? 35.
9. (Against Those Who say that the Demiurgic Creator is Evil, as well as The World It self), Against the Gnostics, 33.

The Third Ennead, which also relates to the world, contains the different speculations referring thereto. Here are its component writings:

1. Of Destiny, 3.
2. Of Providence, the First, 47.
3. Of Providence, the Second, 48.
4. Of the Guardian Spirit who was Allotted to Us, 15.
5. Of Love, 50.
6. Of the Impassibility of Incorporeal Things, 26.
7. Of Eternity of Time, 45.
8. Of Nature, of Contemplation, and of the One, 30.
9. Different Speculations, 13.

We have gathered these three Enneads into one single body. We have assigned the book on the Guardian Spirit Who has been Allotted to Us, in the Third Ennead, because this is treated in a general man ner, and because it refers to the examination of con ditions characteristic of the production of man. For the same reason the book on Love was assigned to the First Ennead. The same place has been assigned to the book on Eternity and Time, because of the observa tions which, in this Ennead, refer to their nature. Because of its title, we have put in the same group the book on Nature, Contemplation, and the One.

After the books that treat of the world, the Fourth Ennead contains those that refer to the soul. They are :

1. Of the Nature of the Soul, the First, 4.

2. Of the Nature of the Soul, the Second, 21.

3. Problems about the Soul, the First, 27.

4. Problems about the Soul, the Second, 28.

5. (Problems about the Soul, the Third, or) Of Vision, 29.

6. Of Sensation, of Memory, 41.

7. Of the Immortality of the Soul, 2.

8. Of the Descent of the Soul into the Body, 6.

9. Do not all Souls form a Single Soul? 8.

The Fourth Ennead, therefore, contains all that re lates to Psychology.

The Fifth Ennead treats of Intelligence. Each book in it also contains something about the principle su perior to intelligence, and also about the intelligence characteristic of the soul, and about Ideas.

1. About the three Principal Hypostatic Forms of Existence, 10.

2. Of Generation, and of the Order of Things Posterior to the First, 11.

3. Of the Hypostatic Forms of Existence that Transmit Knowledge, and of the Superior Principle, 49.

4. How that which is Posterior to the First Proceeds from it? Of the One, 7.

5. The Intelligibles are not Outside of Intelligence. Of the Good, 32.

6. The Super-essential Principle Does Not Think. Which is the First Thinking Principle? Which is the Second? 24.

7. Are there Ideas of Individuals? 18.

8. Of Intelligible Beauty, 31.

9. Of Intelligence, of Ideas, and of Existence, 5.

We have gathered the Fourth and Fifth Ennead into a single volume. Of the Sixth Ennead, we have formed a separate volume, so that all the writings of Plotinos might be divided into three parts, of which the first contains three Enneads, the second two; and the third, a single Ennead.

Here are the books that belong to the Sixth Ennead, and to the Third Volume.

1. Of the Kinds of Existence, the First, 42.

2. Of the Kinds of Existence, the Second, 43.

3. Of the Kinds of Existence, the Third, 44.

4. The One Single Existence is everywhere Present in its Entirety, First, 22.

5. The One Single Existence is everywhere Present in its Entirety, Second, 23.

6. Of Numbers, 34

7. Of the Multitude of Ideas. Of the Good, 38.

8. Of the Will, and of the Liberty of the One, 39.

9. Of the Good, or of the One, 9.

This is how we have distributed into six Enneads the fifty-four books of Plotinos. We have added to several of them, Commentaries, without following any regular order, to satisfy our friends who desired to have ex planations of several points. We have also made headings of each book, following the chronological order, with the exception of the book on The Beautiful, whose date of composition we do not know. Besides, we have not only written up separate summaries for each book, but also Arguments, which are contained among the summaries.1

Now we shall try to punctuate each book, and to correct the mistakes. Whatever else we may have to do besides, will easily be recognized by a reading of these books.

GUTHRIE, K. S. Plotinus: Complete Works: In Chronological Order, Grouped in Four Periods. [single Volume, Unabridged]. [s.l.] CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2017.

  1. The fragments of all this are probably the Principles of the Theory of the Intelligibles, by Porphyry