Mariapaola Bergomi (Università degli studi di Milano)
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Traditionally, historians have placed Plotinus’ birth around 205 CE in a city called Lycopolis, in Egypt. Although we do not know about his family and early life, we do posses a good summary of his adult life by his closest pupil and friend, Porphyry of Tyre (

Vita Plotini


On the Life of Plotinus

). According to this biography, written by Porphyry around thirty years after his teacher’s death, Plotinus was reluctant to talk about himself, his background and his physical condition; moreover, he was – in Porphyry’s own words – “ashamed” of having a body. The biography states that Plotinus discovered philosophy at the age of twenty-seven, and, after a disappointing experience in Alexandria, where he first attended the lectures of the best-known professors of the time (Whittaker,…

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Citation: Bergomi, Mariapaola. "Plotinus". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 07 July 2017 [, accessed 25 July 2024.]

13945 Plotinus 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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