Plotinus

Definition

Plotinus (c. 204-270 CE) was a Platonic philosopher born in Lycopolis, Egypt. Although the story of his life was written down by his student Porphyry, few biographical details are included because Plotinus rejected the physical world of appearances in favor of the realm of the mind and considered trivialites such as his birth date, family, ancestry and personal endeavors unworthy of mention. At the age of 28 he began a course of study with the Platonist Ammonius Saccas that deeply impacted his life. Already a student of philosophy, Plotinus devoted himself fully to the discipline, absorbing Plato's Dialogues and his teacher's commentary on them. Plotinus' concept of the Divine Mind and the purpose of mortal existence exerted tremendous influence on all three of the world's great monotheistic religions and, for this reason, many consider him the most significant philosopher of the ancient world. He is the founder of the school of thought known as Neo-Platonism; a significant number of famous ancient writers, theologians, politicians, generals, and philosophers are now recognized as Neo-Platonists, although they would not have referred to themselves by that label. Plotinus' philosophy was recorded in the Enneads by Porphyry; he wrote nothing himself. He died in Rome at the age of 66.

More about: Plotinus

Timeline

  • c. 204 CE - 270 CE
    Life of Plotinus.
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