Neoplatonism

Porphyry: The Isagoge

The Isagoge or Introduction by Porphyry is a commentary on Aristotle's Categories, which itself became a key logical text of the Middle Ages, being translated into Arabic via Syriac, and into Latin by Boethius. Along with the Categories and On Interpretation, it formed part of the Ars Vetus or Old Logic, the works available in the Medieval Latin West prior to the translation of Aristotle's other logical works.

The medieval concept of the Porphyrian Tree was inspired by Porphyry's presentation of Aristotle's system of  classification. Porphyry bracketed the issue of whether Aristotelian genera and species were merely concepts used to describe particular things or had independent reality, but his formulation of the question was, via Boethius, influential for the medieval debate about universals. 

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Free online texts

Forum Romanum: Isagoge, translatio Boethii. Latin text, HTML format.

Internet Archive: Porphyrii Isagoge et in Aristotelis Categorias commentarium, edited by Adolfus Busse (1887). Greek text, multiple formats.

The Logic Museum: Isagoge. Greek/Latin/English parallel text, HTML format.

Prometheus Trust: The Introduction of Porphyry to Aristotle's Categories, translated by Thomas Taylor. HTML format.

Tertullian.org: Introduction (or Isagoge) to the logical Categories of Aristotle, translated by Octavius Freire Owen (1853). HTML format. (see also the preface).

Universitatea Babeş-Bolya: Isagoge. Greek text, PDF format. Archived at the Internet Archive.

Universitatea Babeş-Bolya: Isagoge, translatio Boethii. Latin text, HTML format. Archived at the Internet Archive.

Other Resources

History of Philosophy without any gaps: King of Animals: Porphyry - podcast by philosopher Peter Adamson.

Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Neoplatonism.

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Porphyry.

The Logic Museum: Isagoge.

Wikipedia: Porphyry (Philosopher) - Isagoge -Porphyryean Tree.

Further reading at Tom's Learning Notes

The Enneads, Porphyry's account of the teachings of Plotinus.

Aristotle's Categories and other works of the Organon.


Augustine: The City of God

The City of God Against the Pagans (Latin: De Civitate Dei contra Paganos) is a major philosophical work written by the Latin Christian St Augustine of Hippo in the early 5th Century AD.

Written as a refutation of those who blamed Christianity for the sack of Rome in 410 AD, the work cast history as a cosmic struggle between the Earthly City and the City of God, with the latter destined to be victorious. It had profound effect on the worldview of the Latin West in the Middle Ages.

The City of God at Amazon: United States | Canada | United Kingdom | France | Germany | Spain | Italy

Free online texts

Bibliotheca Augustana: de Civitate Dei. Latin text, HTML format.

Christian Classics Ethereal Library: St. Augustine's City of God and Christian Doctrine, translated by Philip Schaff. Multiple formats.

Gutenberg: The City of God, Volume I, Volume II. Multiple formats. 

Internet Archive: City of God Complete Vols 1 and 2. Translated by Dods (1871). Multiple formats.

Latin Library: Augustine of Hippo, Latin texts.

Wikisource: Latin text. English translation by Marcus Dods. Multiple formats.

Continue reading "Augustine: The City of God" »


Plotinus: The Enneads

The Enneads of Plotinus represent the surviving teachings of the most influential philosopher of Late Antiquity. Plotinus' synthesis of earlier thought, adapting Aristotle to the study of Plato, has been seen as inaugurating a neoplatonic tradition that was formative for Jewish, Christian and Islamic philosophy as well as later pagan thought. 

The Six Enneads are treatises compiled from Plotinus' lectures by his pupil Porphyry, also the author of a biography that makes Plotinus one of the best-known of ancient philosophers.

Free online texts

Bibliotheca Augustana: Ἐννεάδες. Greek text. Html files.

Christian Classics Ethereal Library: The Six Enneads, translated by Stephen Mackenna and B.S. Page. Multiple formats.

Gutenberg: Plotinos - Complete Works Vol I, Vol II, Vol III, Vol IV; translated by Kenneth Sylvan Guthrie. Multiple formats.

Internet Archive: Select Works of Plotinus, translated by Thomas Taylor (1895). Reprint of an older partial translation. Multiple formats.

Internet Archive: Plotinus: The Ethical Treatises, volume I, translated by Stephen MacKenna, (Medici Society 1926). First Ennead with Porphyry's life of Plotinus. Multiple formats.

Internet Archive: Plotinus: The Psychic and Physical Treatises, volume II, translated by Stephen MacKenna, (Medici Society 1921). Second & Third Enneads. Multiple formats.

Internet Archive: Plotinus: On the Nature of the Soul, volume III, translated by Stephen MacKenna, (Medici Society 1924). Fourth Ennead. Multiple formats.

Internet Archive: Plotinus: The Divine Mind, volume IV, translated by Stephen MacKenna, (Medici Society 1926). Fifth Ennead. Multiple formats.

Internet Archive: Plotinus: On the One and Good, volume V, translated by Stephen MacKenna, (Medici Society 1926). Sixth Ennead. Multiple formats.

Internet Classics Archive: The Six Enneads, translated by Stephen Mackenna and B.S. Page. Html and text files.

Lotophages.org: Enneads, Greek text (Kirchoff) and MacKenna English translaton. Preserved at the Internet Archive.

Wikisource: Enneads, translated by Stephen MacKenna. HTML, Only first three Enneads completed to date.

The Enneads of Plotinus: Direct Links to Enneads, Treatises and Chapters Online, by John Uebersax.

Other Resources

Plotinian Bibliography, in English and French, by Richard Dufour.

History of Philosophy without any gaps: A God is my Co-pilot- The Life and Works of Plotinus - podcast by philosopher Peter Adamson.

History of Philosophy without any gaps: Plotinus on the One and Intellect - podcast by philosopher Peter Adamson.

History of Philosophy without any gaps: Plotinus on the Soul - podcast by philosopher Peter Adamson.

History of Philosophy without any gaps: Plotinus on Matter and Evil - podcast by philosopher Peter Adamson.

History of Philosophy without any gaps: Wilberding on Plotinus - podcast by philosopher Peter Adamson.

History of Philosophy without any gaps: O'Meara on Neoplatonism - podcast by philosopher Peter Adamson.

Internet Archive: The Philosophy of Plotinus, by Ralph Inge (Longmans, 1918).

Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Plotinus.

International Society for Neoplatonic Studies.

Neoplatonism - Yahoo Group

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Plotinus.

Wikipedia: Plotinus - Enneads.

The Great Conversation: Further reading at Tom's Learning Notes

Ancient Greek resources: Learn to read Greek classics in the original.