The Phaedrus and the Life of Plotinus



A perusal of Plato’s dialogue the Phaedrus sheds much light on Porphyry’s Vita Plotini. The similarities between the two works are impressive, and it can be argued that Porphyry wrote his text with the dialogue in mind. These similarities include their use of medicine, their structural disunity, and their cast of characters, among which must be included the impalpable but pervasive entity the supernatural. Two of the key themes of the Phaedrus—communication and the godlikeness of the pre-fallen soul—also inform the present discussion of the Vita. Plotinus had difficulty with both spoken and written communication, but his godlikeness allowed him to triumph over them.
  • Year: 2014
  • Volume: 8
  • Page/Article: 1-13
  • DOI: 10.18573/j.2014.10322
  • Published on 15 Dec 2014