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The Heart of Plotinus

Drawing parallels with other traditions, Uzdavinys emphasizes that Plotinus' philosophy was not a purely mental or rational exercise, but a complete way of life incorporating the spiritual virtues. Plotinus is widely regarded as the founder of the school of Neo-Platonism and this book provides an introduction to his teachings and an informative commentary on the Enneads. Also included is a commentary by Plotinus' leading disciple, Porphyry (c. 233-305 A.D.), on an enigmatic passage from Homer's epic, the Odyssey. Plotinus was born at Lycopolis, in Upper Egypt in 204 CE, and died at Campania in 270 CE. In the twenty-eighth year of his life he applied himself to philosophy, and attended the lectures of the most celebrated men of that time in Alexandria. In 244 he went to Rome and won numerous adherents to his teaching, among them the Emperor Gallienus and his wife Salonina. He taught in Rome until about 268, retiring then to the country estate of a disciple in Campania. Plotinus did not reduce his doctrine to writing until toward the close of his life, and then did not publish it. His pupil Porphyry, arranged the fifty-four treatises of Plotinus in six Enneades, placing them in logical order from the simplest to the most abstruse, as well as chronological sequence.
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About the Author

Dr. Algis Uzdavinys is a senior research fellow at the Lithuanian State Institute of Culture, Philosophy, and Arts and an associate professor at the Vilnius Academy of Fine Arts in his native Lithuania. He is a published scholar in English, French, and Lithuanian.

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