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By Mark Edwards

Those texts are basic for the certainty not just of Neoplatonism but in addition of the conventions of biography in overdue antiquity. Neither has bought such broad annotation prior to in English, and this new statement makes complete use of modern scholarship. The lengthy creation is meant either as a beginner’s advisor to Neoplatonism and as a survey of historic biographical writing.

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101 See Edwards (1994) against Puech (1978), 61 and De Blois (1989). My arguments are distilled in the notes to Plotinus, chapter 3. 102 Harder (1960) has impressed many subsequent scholars. On the senator Rogatianus see Plotinus 7. INTRODUCTION xxxix taking up his new responsibilities as a praetor. Should we surmise instead that he was a friend of the royal adventurer, and that this was the reason for his £ight to Antioch in the wake of Gordian’s death? This would be a fair inference if we were sure that ‘‘death’’ meant ‘‘murder at the hands of his compatriots’’, which might then entail reprisals against his former partisans.

This is the theme of Proclus’ Commentary on the First Alcibiades, which serves as an introduction to his thought because he believed that Plato had composed dialogue as a preface to a systematic perusal of the corpus. Here, because the approach of Socrates to Alcibiades is portrayed as a sort of courtship, we ¢nd the most meticulous analysis of the di¡erent kinds of love in Platonic literature; and here, because Alcibiades aspired to be a statesman, Proclus can devise a cunning harmony between the three modes of oratory ^ forensic, epideictic and deliberative ^ and the three goals of philosophy ^ Justice, Beauty and the Good.

119 See especially Bowersock (1990). 120 Photius, Bib. 183^4 etc. xlvi INTRODUCTION a host of deities, some traditional, some hitherto unknown. The name of Plutarch, known to us from more than one commemorative inscription, is also that of an eminent philosopher, who came of a line of priests. We cannot say whether this was the civic donor, nor whether he traced his ancestry to Plutarch of Chaeronea. His grandfather ^ still called long after his death ‘‘the great Nestorius’’ ^ left his writings on religious ceremonial and theurgy as a Book of Common Prayer to the Athenian Neoplatonists of the ¢fth century.

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