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Plotiniana

Author(s): E. R. Dodds
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: http://www.jstor.org/stable/636215
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PLOTINIANA.
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.
Ka'CT6 KaO' aV'Tv,
(Man at his best is a god.) aiirbs LEv yap Eaty 8o XOEviKEOCEV,
If) YEVOLTO OLO9XOEV,
KaTa

T7JV

EKlEL'E'TL

4a&
V
V& 8c' t0UVpKW-O?)
EV'

?KWV Ka't Tov^Tov av'Tr

O/LOtwOEL

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
tory Matter allows. Read EKEtC7r v
Ko-O'lrand translate ' By the power
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.)
Of'rE8 ;vX' 7rapot10-7
roL^
7T KaKav
vaL
f\ 7/ap'
rv v KaKta v4'vOpolvoroL
toowrv,
alroOpoZ
No translator has succeeded in extracting a tolerable sense from this passage as
it stands. Kirchhoff conjectured Of'Uts8\ ;XVk
qrapEXoV'o-rq. I concur with the most
recent editor, Volkmann, in condemning the portentous
and I should add that
the contrast rapocr's . . w Irrapervat affords a strongOIpt,,
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 KaKOII 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
&LKalog
s 80
oaov01 fleXTIov (int. altiaOqOZ. El ov &Kato%,ra efpy Kat
rap" TOL
E rT7v TOW
Et'8e OV
dULKLaV
(int. 8Mjvarhptv). KaLaPX-ig8\
f(r?
rTtOJVTWOV
&KalO,
q o.
flEVIE7r
KaLOaTEpOV
repL air;~ XdyoS
7TfIEXTLOVJXOV
yap
OpV,
? 4q 7rpoowqKdVTWSro
q Eir' aTrblVStarpadfEvov
KcE
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.)

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E. R. DODDS

94
the MSS. are divided between

and ordTcrs. Hence I would read here


sovereignty is due to a wise choice or
to the ruler's own efforts;o" (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 vo&ov.
aTarpa$dlEvov -r&pw6v
?

icrioraro'.Deserved

Et :

Enn. II. iv. 5.


(Matter is in itself dark and formless.) El yap rap' EKdtvovT7 cg, Tob tEX4EVOV To'
To'4wITgrap,XXov.
CAt,aOX'a
aXXO
&$warOaL,
4)W^,
4?w OVKE'XEL
7rptv
;v E'yEt,TEL77p
&
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, EldLv8pGcEXEL,
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
Here again, as in the last ar~p
Plotinus's favourite particleao'~7,
has fallen out
example,
',
after -E,. Read 0ov& yap, El LvspwVs xeL,ov /aXXovVEV
KE(int. wVE
EL),'vaI~j
<Et
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
for KEcTaEis Plotinian. VEEtvcommonly refers to the Ip6o8os,but not invariably: e.g.
VI. viii. 16 -q
vE'Y^(T9 ro^
aro'v, of the One.
rpob

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 fL7Y7rOLtE'TaL
crdivay~aia
8O
UvoXE,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.
<<>
(Plotinus is arguing against astral determinism.) KaifA7vKalj 6fLOLdr?)~

Ttog

?L&O

g
yov\
frp5g TOV,

0
oLOoeV

olOt

L Kal

Ka

UO~

Ka'

a" Xo-o"vat,

a-X'

iv

o 7`-apa 'opcig

acrrpwv.

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

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PLOTINIANA

95

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,,X-r7-p
'
a-roLo-
'rooc,-(W.-T-OJTKq/V?)g
V 8ELVi' Elj
i-,jecripo7ta XLV-u jOV-ro
Evayb)vlcaa-OaL, T

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

qX-,

'

OVT

3.TE Ef

aXX-J~a /E1Ea/3oXj,

oXi)f PIEXlL'wvorcLa
Toy1
T'(aVTOU

TOLaL-q7 TV^WWV EL.t

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 r3LVsdJ'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.
below, Jd66VTrasKa' 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
7rEwp
vX I /KL
q
ELVaL,
v 0o'/taT
s dvov
Ka
W(T7'-Ep
yL"/yvojEvr)qs
Xwpcwi~o'F
'pT7
VXsT^
, Kalcv GoXkpyc.
c araO?s /"LwU30
v^ 8ClOTLKOV
^S /17'V
roy
? Kc/EapO-p
/qc
v
OOXEPy KaLtTOL
?j E/pEcTL3

E
EK TOJV cLTOWWVE&&JJXWVKal /l?Opq'
LOL, O 6E
Xwpl0EcT1O

/WL'E

WOOXX-

VE OECLKa'

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 XWcTLV70T

i"v -jv

Xvy'v

EC1e

rd7ydEl . ..Alq8'v

KfrYOatv TOi 7TXdovoS Ka'

TL W

c)&LXTXdICovrTo~
'7To.

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'

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E. R. DODDS

96

are not in place here, since there is plurality even in aidv (C'KroXAAWv
alTOv,
III. vii. 5); and
means not ' the many' but ' the additional,',Ayo/1vY
as in I. v. 6,
-'b rrk.dov
For
I suggest C7' 1 o0 v (cf. I. v. 6, e1 Se s Kaa
rob7rXdov oiXX&
Lar'friv.
Kfla-atv
7raph Tav rktldova
Ivra^Oa 'oot8-L
r
Xpdvov), and translate'may tempt us to credit
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.) Edy&p
- apXKal avavop[vov rTOyiXov
qravrbs OvTov repit r v [tCav,
0c(*a-rTOS7EptT-v ltav KaL
-ovc-t
E
V
Tl 1LTVVECTicwEV
LEUp7)
KaT
roXkok l-^v Otiwlv, -qvXyj
ac7roXL7ro
(TcLaTa' XXa
G9
6p
rdX71,o0'KIpa ~vV
'v T'5 Xp 'XLa-t
EvT0 E,;XELa.
For a?$avopuLvovread a v a t v o 4 v o v. It is no doubt true that ' in many plants,'

Ta

-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.
ai$iqOqwjva&

Enn. V. i. 2.
(Directions for a meditation upon the world-Soul.)

7?TLvt-c/Xiv

OV -KOE7rotrTEO
a'~ tvyXq
V_
8cav'yEcrw
10TOU
/Lj/1dvov
cW^tIa
KL
o -LtKp... jOVXov
Uq
?LEVOV
rEpKEi
l
,
,
vX;7v
[V
To
(cTWLaT0o9
Y7),
KLL w-qp Kat
KAV&JV, a(Xka Kal
jy,
vXos EOa'acra
7TE8PLEXOV'
7EV

"O7-vXos

8E

8
ESavXyJv
ai~rb oipavi~sadlvov. vodt-wraiv8roOEv
ai-irbviq-i-Z-a oVov $wOev
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
&0Eo-s bVXys":the soul, like the sea, has waves
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 KaXX0OlvTTE&v
VTO0L;
C KaiCL
L Xq/Ia
Ka Xp'a
a~'k t-TOVT'WY
l
1q
oV yap 8j Tba'/
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
T 0v
early. Possibly we should read aXX&Kal XpdGa
Xhkkr(iTOTVKat oX-t/Aa (ro
t
L
T
yap T X1/Aa> 7"oi'&v2j Tt 7)rX))Cov. 7 oLovTo
r&v
< TaC '> Ota
cL7Xtvov,
1X1: 'Clearly it does not consist in the blood and menses, but in a colour distinct
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.

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PLOTINIANA
Enn. V. viii. 4(A description of the 7rros ErlIv.)
T(? f0T) cTXGclc(0

KclL T'

KLXbv

KLXOV,)OIL

Kal
Lt)-

0'apa
o
crTc1frL
ev

Tp KaX)V.
-'

97
KLvovf/vl, OL AI

'EKaoTO
PEJ37)KE SE

/A/ILKTaL
1K

KaL OVK aVTb?g 1EV Oio,


0dzoirplap oLov yg. .
X'pa 8 a('ro (''oXXO. KCa yap Tr
K'T7L
vo S Kal atrbs
TOTOV
vosI
oTovEf
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

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

conjecture

EL7)
o'ov Et

Tb
9K a T a TOVTOV

oVpavbv 'bv dpo05bvEov

Ob
OqaVT, 'TO^TO
-roTELj

E. R. DODDS.
UNIVERSITY

COLLEGE,

READING.

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