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Plotiniana Author(s): E. R. Dodds Reviewed work(s): Source: The Classical Quarterly, Vol. 16, No. 2 (Apr., 1922), pp.

93-97 Published by: Cambridge University Press on behalf of The Classical Association Stable URL: . Accessed: 21/07/2012 09:40
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As the later phases of Greek thought are at last beginning to receive in England and Ireland the attention they merit, it is hoped that the following critical notes on Plotinus may be of interest to a few readers. Some involve points of doctrine; others are intended to illustrate certain shortcomings of the German school, who have hitherto been practically the sole workers in the textual field. Enn. I. ii. 6. T6 KaO' aV'Tv, aty 8o XOEv Ka'C (Man at his best is a god.) aiirbs LEv yap E iKEOCEV,
If) YEVOLTO OLO 9XOEV, KaTa T7JV EKlEL'E'TL 4a& V V& 8c' t0UVpKW-O?) EV'

?KWV Ka't Tov^Tov av'Tr


vauTv T-qV iKELvov.

It is surprising that this text should have been passed without comment by five ^ successive editors, since the statement v,,)& vv(pKt01 stands in flagrant iEvOB_E qKOWV contradiction to all Platonic psychology. The soul or true 'man' forms upon incarnation (ivOd&E "'Kwv) a partnership not with the Intelligence (to which the soul is linked eternally, V. i. I) but with the body, which soul enlightens so far as refrac\ 8 o-vv(T and translate ' By the power tory Matter allows. Read EKEtC7r v Ko-O'lr of the Divine (IKdEvov) he will assimilate to himself even this bodily man (Trorov) with whom he became associated by incarnation.' Enn. I. viii. 5 fin. (Moral evil need not be present in all men, though Matter is always present.) 8 ;vX' 7rapot10-7 Of'rE roL^ 7T KaKav vaL f\ 7/ap' rv v KaKta v 4'vOpolvoroL toowrv, alroOpoZ No translator has succeeded in extracting a tolerable sense from this passage as it stands. Kirchhoff conjectured Of'Uts 8\ ; XVk qrapEXoV'o-rq. I concur with the most recent editor, Volkmann, in condemning the portentous and I should add that OIpt,, the contrast rapocr's . . w Irrapervat affords a strong argument in favour of the The further contrast implied in cqr8edveOpd-oV suggests genuineness of that for Ofaswe -rapo'o-q3. should read 0 Eo s. 7b KaKOI I suspect to be a gloss on explainA-.Xq ing its connexion with KaKla. The meaning is then: '(We must hold) that although Matter is present in the sensible gods, in gods the vice which men have is not present, since even in men it is not always found (and is therefore not an invariable concomitant of Matter).' For ' sensible gods' and their sinlessness, cf. V. viii. 3,fin. Enn. II. iii. 14. (Illustrations showing that there is no such thing as pure chance.) rT 8' Ivo80ov OZ. El ov &Kato%,ra efpy Kat & s 80 LKalog oaov01 fleXTIov (int. altiaOq rap" TOL E rT7v TOW OV Et' 8e dULKLaV (int. 8Mjvarhptv). KaLa PX-ig 8\ f(r? rTtOJVTWOV &KalO, q o. L air;~ XdyoS flEVIE7r KaL rep 7TfIEXTLOV yap OaTEpOV JXOV OpV, ? 4q 7rpoowqKdVTWSro q Eir' aTrblVSt KcE arpadfEvov rEpwv (ralpotv Kirchhoff Ficinum secutus) -VO-T&rEl There is no clause to balance OcrEpov and the 'rEpouvor 'alpowv cUVcrdcroE contradicts the rTO'V.Moreover, elsewhere;'V" in Plotinus -crvra-crtmeans 'constitu. tion' or ' composition' of an organism. In two passages (I. viii. 8 init.; II. i. 2. fin.)

94 the MSS. are divided between

aTarpa$dlEvov -r&pw6v ? 8 r

Et :

and ordTcrs. Hence I would read here sovereignty is due to a wise choice or o" to the ruler's own efforts; (the sovereignty) of others (arises) by o'rdra't,etc.' The ellipse is not impossible for Plotinus; and we get a precise correspondence between the causes of dpXyi and the causes of rb v o&ov.

Enn. II. iv. 5. T7 cg, Tob tEX4EVOV To' (Matter is in itself dark and formless.) El yap rap' EKdtvov To' 4w XXov. CAt, aXXO &$warOaL, 4)W^, 4?w OVKE'XEL 7rptv aOX'a ;v E'yEt, TEL77p ITgrap, & has no is meaningless, and the dAXXd As the text stands, either dEl or 7rpt'v &aeOaL but this implies that Matter has an force. Volkmann boldly alters dlEto aXrOLtviv: apparent ' illumination' before it comes into relation with Form. Plotinus held that Matter had in itself no 'illumination,' and also that it was eternally in relation with Form; and precisely this position is laid down in the present sentence, if I am right in pointing after o i KC' Xc and inserting ' before d t. With - dedunderstand t : the ellipse is quite Plotinian, as is also the use of ' prefixing a more correct statement of the writer's view. Enn. II. ix. 4. (The world-Soul cannot be said to have 'fallen' (vEEv) : for to fall is to forget the intelligible world; and if the Soul had not in some degree remembered the intelligible world she could not have created the sensible.) o062 yp, EldLv8pGc EXEL, LVE fL? afIvqopwg r8to. OVf.LcLXXov KE', vev'Et This sentence has puzzled the translators. It can, I think, only mean: ' For if the Soul's vision is dim, yet she does not seek to remedy this by inclining towards the Intelligible (~KeE).'But this has no relevance to the context, and is false doctrine besides (cf. II. ix. 2, 7- E ls $UV L etc.). rpb 'T O K^araKoo'3o~oa 0Gavi ao'~7, Here again, as in the last ar~p Plotinus's favourite particle has fallen out example, ', after -E,. Read 0ov& yap, El LvspwVs xeL,ov /aXXovVEV KE(int. wVE EL), <Et 'vaI~j dt1vision be dim, 8 : ' For though her yet that implies no declination; rather &/vBSpG? she inclines herself towards the Intelligible that she may see plain.' The use of EiKE is Plotinian. VEEtv for KEcTaE commonly refers to the Ip6o8os,but not invariably: e.g. VI. viii. 16 -q vE'Y^(T9 ro^ aro'v, of the One.

Enn. II. ix. i8. The true Hellenic philosopher is compared to a good-humoured guest in the inn of life; the Pharisaic ' otherworldly' Gnostic to a querulous lodger who finds fault Tt Tp / with his quarters, EpV' a 8tapctL, E'rEpKa fL7 crdivay~aia 8O UvoXEY7rOLtE'TaL
,ayvowv v XiOwv. 1ya7riv o X-rvy7 KXor pa.eLvv seems indefensible, though Kirchhoff defended it. Vitringa's correction, rotELra dyarwv, is accepted by Mfiller and Volkmann. It rroti raVra 8vo-XEpa[vwv <dak'>

would be simpler merely to alter 7roetTra to rpoorrodTLra, rendering ' unless indeed his discontent be feigned, whilst privately he is enamoured of the charming masonry.' The Gnostics are similarly charged with hypocrisy in c. 15. Enn. III. i. 5 fin. Kalj 6fLOLdr?)~ <<> (Plotinus is arguing against astral determinism.) KaifA7v



g yov\ frp5g TOV,

0 oLOoeV


L Kal




a" Xo-o"vat,



o 7`-apa 'opcig


I render: 'Moreover, the physical resemblance of children to their parents tells us that both beauty and ugliness are hereditary and not determined by the movement c&rs j. Not recognizing this of the stars.' With -'/to&drqs jo-t`cf. V. v. 12, ? ) @4~E



Plotinian usage, Miiller and Volkmann read axo-Lfor 4ro-t in defiance of sense and syntax. Enn. III. ii. 15. (Internecine warfare among animals is part of Life's law; but ' Life' is after all ETL only a stage-play.) eC oi'v Tb T'ro0aVELv a'XXayr-?J
W-'TOS, , ~ LvE Ka E0 KE (sc. ,v ao-K,~vj), Loo, ' c, (W.-T-OJTKq/V?)g ,X-r7-p -u jOV-ro a-roLo- 'roo V 8ELVi' Elj i-,j ecripo7ta XLV Evayb)vlcaa-OaL, T
' 3.TE Ef OVT 3

'7ry'Ep(70'^io9 oKE 7



aXX-J~a /E1Ea/3oXj,

U TO oXi)f PIEXlL'wvorcLa Toy1 T'(aV

atLa YvE;a, 7EvPXEaV

The short way which the German school sometimes has with refractory texts is well illustrated by their treatment of this passage. Kirchhoff, apparently assuming that TOTE must be taken with altered it to o'w7orE. Volkmann accepted ?$o,,ros, o0rOE and altered r3LVs dJ'oOlcs to suit, recklessly substituting avrEXls d'7r0E0Ls. Muller deleted everything from Ordrto vuaywvtraoa-u0, being, as Volkmann charitably puts it, ' in expellendis glossematis et interpolationibus paullo calidior.' The sentence as it stands in the MSS. needs only the insertion of a comma after to make excellent sense. I render:' If death is but a change of body, as an rdrOTE actor changes his robe, or else an intermittent release from the body, as the actor makes his last exit for that night (rrOE) yet will come again to play another time,' etc. In the whole context there is no hint of a final release for human souls (cf. K below, Jd66VTras a' w'cv lovTas),still less for the animal souls to which alone in strictness the present sentence refers. The alternatives are not reincarnation and final return to Heaven, as theGermans assume, but immediate reincarnation through being eaten alive (cf. above, -d 8' El E4VETO;) and reincarnation after an /pOEvrXXcha interval. Enn. III. vi. 5. (Since soul is by its own nature impassible, how can we speak of its Ktdapo-6s and XopLaCo? The answer is) 7) LEV Ka av E) KaiTaXLEV v v ... KaOap-fLs EK dv?' T 7rE wp vX I /KL q ELVaL, v 0o'/taT s dvov Ka W(T7'-Ep yL"/yvojEvr)qs Xwpcwi~o'F 'pT7 VXsT^ , Kal c araO?s /"LwU30 v^ 8ClOTLKOV ^S /17 'V cv GoXkpyc. roy ? Kc/EapO-p /qc v OOXEPy KaLtTOL
?j E/pEcTL3

TaKaTW 7rrEpL /IavTraQ. This /0cr and perfectly straightforward passage offers a careful definition of KWap-s as applied (i) to the higher soul, (2) to Tb AkEy6LEvov wpLo-/iEs (which is rrwaOTLKO , the former I ; and the terms really OoEp supra). The latter is Ev oXEpok drraOs, ,v in the two cases. and bear distinct though related meanings KaOcdap-s should XopLo6s 8E; otherwise the text is sound. But like ye perhaps be Xpwoscorrupted in the hands of successive editors. XwppUs last cited it has been progressively the Kirchhoff needlessly reads 70 8~ 1 waO?1LKO^.This 8&apparently gave Volkmann the idea that the whole passage must refer to Tb rraOptLKdv, the second sentence simply recapitulating the content of the first. Taking Kirchhoff's reading for granted (as in the previous example), he tried to bring the text into conformity with it by deleting after qxs and 0"after o'/uws. The next editor, building on these foundations, will /ur doubtless make the tautology complete by deleting etc., in the second 7roXXn, 1drroyv, sentence! Enn. III. vii. 6. (On the meaning of the word dELas applied to eternity.)
Cel OU aOcdp-VT 7roavp S XWcTLV 70T i"v -jv






e EC1

KfrYOatv TOi 7TXdovoS Ka'

ydEl . ..Alq8'v rd7


It is hard to extract any meaning from the phrase Edsi'KpacLtv Tro rr)AEovos. Inge renders, doubtfully, 'by using words applicable only to the many.' But ' the many'

c)&LXTXdICovrTo~ '7To.



are not in place here, since there is plurality even in aidv (C'K roXAAWv alTOv, ,Ayo/1vY III. vii. 5); and means not ' the many' but ' the additional,' as in I. v. 6, -'b rrk.dov & 7' 1 o0 v (cf. I. v. 6, e For I suggest C rob7rXdov oiXX 1 Se s Kaa Lar'friv. Kfla-atv 7 raph Tav rktldova Xpdvov), and translate'may tempt us to credit Ivra^Oa 'oot8-L r eternity with a future or to think of it as unending persistence in time.' Enn. IV. vii. 8 (I3). (Even the vegetative soul is not inseparable from its physical envelope.) Ed y&p - apXKal avavop[vov rTOyiXov qravrbs OvTov repit r v [tCav, 0c(*a-rTOS7EptT-v ltav KaL

-indeed, in all plants-' the rest of the body grows round the root'; but how can it be said that 'the life of the plant evidently retreats' while this is happening ? The copyist's error may be due to occurring just below.

-ovc-t E V Tl 1LTVVECTicwEV LEUp7) KaT roXkok l-^v Otiwlv, ac7roXL7ro (TcLaTa' XXa G9 qvXyj 6p o0'KIpa ~vV rdX71, 'v T'5 Xp 'XLa-t EvT0 E,;XELa. For a?$avopuLvov read a v a t v o 4 v o v. It is no doubt true that ' in many plants,'

Enn. V. i. 2.

OV -KOE7rotrTEO a'~ tvyXq V_ 8cav'yEcrw 10TOU /Lj cW^tIa KL o -LtKp... jOVXov Uq ?LEVOV rEpKEi /1dvov l , , vX;7v [V To (cTWLaT0o9 Y7), KLL w-qp Kat KAV&JV, a(Xka Kal PLEXOV' jy, vXos EOa'acra 7TE8
7EV "O7-vXos 8E

(Directions for a meditation upon the world-Soul.)


8 ESavXyJv ai~rb oipavi~s raiv8roOEv ai-irbv iq-i-Z-a oVov $wOev adlvov. vodt-w The point of this famous passage has often, I think, been E-ploEcr-av. misconceived. It can hardly convey an injunction to meditate on the world-Soul only when atmospheric conditions are favourable; such a precept is surely inconsistent with Plotinus's view that the human consciousness at its best is independent of environment. What we are told is that having secured the inward calm necessary for any meditation we are to imagine a sleeping universe and then picture the entry into it of Soul, the vitalizing element. The word idyvwvhas long been recognized as corrupt. The earliest correction, avWV (Kirchhoff) is little better. Plotinus d4/towv (Jahn), is singularly tasteless. dK indeed speaks (I. vi. 5) of an dLKv 8L the soul, like the sea, has waves &0Eo-s bVXys": to be quelled. But the oipavo's (firmament) cannot lose the waves it has not got. And palaeographically the conjecture is not especially plausible. Volkmann, and dKV'/owv, dissatisfied with &iv/'wov adopted the unconvincing expedient of bracketing the word. in the next sentence suggests that the true reading may be &ip a p vov : him conceive the very firmament pausing in sympathy.' If pa/auEvwv be'let Eo-roa came a/~evwvby lipography, d/udlvwvwould inevitably emerge.

Enn. V. viii. 2. (Wherein consists the beauty of living bodies ?) o'v Tb KaXX0OlvTT E&v VTO0L; C KaiCL L Xq/Ia Ka Xp'a a~'k t-TOVT'WY a'/ l 1q oV yap 8j Tb aXX oi018q' T& KaT-aanqVta Kao r oT ;) oLov "r 7EptXov a7cXovv rt a iXtjr. drrXll/Lov. of this passage. Mfiller, with his customary resourcefulness, Volkmann despairs deletes it in its entirety. But comparison with the Arabian paraphrast (the so-called 'Theologia Aristotelis') shows that something like our present text existed very T0 Kat Kal XpdGa (ro early. Possibly we should read aXX& v Xhkk r(iTOTV oX-t/Aa t L T yap T X1/Aa> 7" oi'&v2j Tt 7)rX))Cov. 7 oLovTo r&v < TaC '> Ota cL7Xtvov, in a colour but distinct 1X1: 'Clearly it does not consist in the blood and menses, from theirs, and in a shape (whereas these have either an unshapely shape or none). Or it may be some unity like the embracing Form, to which these things stand in the relation of Matter.

Enn. V. viii. 4(A description of the 7rros ErlIv.)
T(? f0T) cTXGclc(0 KclL T' KLXbv KLXOV, )OIL

KLvovf/vl, OL A I
1K M


0'apa o crTc1frL

strange long ignored. is deleted by corruption in the last sentence is more deep-seated. r c~o-?pa all the German editors. Muiller'srendering is 'etwa wie man auch diesen sichtbaren lichtartigen Himmel ansehen k6nnte als Erzeuger dieses aus ihm kommenden Lichtes,' which gives a not very pointed comparison at the cost of making q4vaL transitive. I think Plotinus meant to say that the intuitive self is at home in the intuitable universe because it is of the same substance, just as the stars, which are made of fire (Enn. II. i. 6), might feel at home in the luminous firmament. I would
KaX.. The

KaL OVK aVTb?g 1EV Oio, 0dzoirplap oLov yg. . X'pa 8 a('ro (''oXXO. KCa yap Tr K' vo S Kal atrbs TOTOV vosI oTov Ef T7L bP~pWVOV 7roKEt/LeVov Trov rb o4pavbv ov TOS " vo~oete ra VTa 'oTpa. (rovmro rb 4S rb $ airo 3 4hvat, In the first sentence symmetry and sense surely require o"c I Ev < J 4> TW, It is that so obvious a need should have been so

Tp KaX)V. -'



EL7) o'ov Et

Tb 9K a T a TOVTOV

oVpavbv 'bv dpo05bvEov

Ob OqaVT, 'TO^TO -roTELj