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New Commentary on Plotinus II.1

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  • vaeringjar
    I took a look at the new commentary by Wilberding on Ennead II.1,
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 26, 2007
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      I took a look at the new commentary by Wilberding on Ennead II.1,
      <Plotinus' Cosmology> and it is quite a resource, I at least would say.
      There is an interesting usage at 7.29, where Plotinus refers to
      the "anthos" of incorporeal light, from the corporeal sun. Wilberding
      notes (p.218) that anthos is a typical Chaldaean expression, but there
      really doesn't seem to be any hint here in Plotinus of a Chaldaean
      interpretation coming into play. Of course he is discussing the
      physical universe, and he uses the metaphor of anthos very much as we
      would describe the "bouquet" of a wine, in purely a physical context.

      Still, with all this talk of light and fire, I was wondering if this
      wouldn't have been an opportunity at least to refer to the noeric
      counterpart of the sun and light and fire, so common in the Oracles and
      later Platonists, if in fact the notion really even existed in
      Plotinus' time outside the Oracles, which it may not have, but there is
      none of that here. I posted once before that as far as I can tell
      Plotinus sees noeric fire as strictly Stoic, and rejects it. But anthos
      was used metaphorically of fire already in the Prometheus Bound, so
      it's certainly not necessarily only a Chaldaean metaphor. Wilberding
      doesn't include this reference, but he does point out that Plutarch
      quoted a variant line of the Iliad already including it, one however
      rejected by Aristarchus.

      Porphyry's view is not so clear to me on the Chaldaean noeric fire,
      etc., though if we had his lost treatise <Sol> I suspect we might know
      a lot more. I don't have all of Smith's edition of the fragments, but
      from the index I do have, it appears to me that Smith lists this work
      as dubious. If this is true, I wonder why? Courcelle in his discussion
      of Macrobius in his book on the Greek influence on later Latin writers
      quotes Servius' reference to <Sol> and the citation Servius gives makes
      it sound rather legitimately Porphyrean - ?

      Dennis Clark
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