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An Essay on the Beautiful From the Greek of Plotinus   By: (205?-270)

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An Essay on the Beautiful From the Greek of Plotinus is a thought-provoking and profound piece of philosophical writing. Written by an unknown author, this book offers a fresh translation of Plotinus' ancient Greek texts, delving into the concept of beauty and its significance in our lives.

The author skillfully presents Plotinus' ideas through a clear and accessible writing style, making it accessible to both philosophy enthusiasts and newcomers to the subject. They meticulously examine each aspect of beauty, from its essence to its effects on our perception and spiritual growth. Through this exploration, readers are taken on a captivating journey that challenges their understanding of aesthetics and its relationship with the divine.

One of the strengths of this book lies in its ability to bridge the gap between ancient philosophy and contemporary thought. The author effortlessly contextualizes Plotinus' ideas, drawing parallels with modern theories and cultural perspectives. This approach adds relevance and relatability to the discussions, allowing readers to connect with the material on a personal level.

Additionally, the book provides insightful commentary and analysis, enriching the reader's interpretation of Plotinus' texts. The unknown author goes beyond translation, supplementing the original work with explanations and examples that serve to clarify complex ideas. This guidance is invaluable, especially for those new to Plotinus' philosophy, enabling a deeper understanding of his concepts.

Furthermore, the book's structure is well-organized, making it easy to navigate and digest the content. The author carefully paces the exploration of different dimensions of beauty, allowing readers to absorb each part before moving on to the next. This deliberate approach fosters a more comprehensive understanding of Plotinus' intricate teachings.

However, one aspect that could be improved is the inclusion of additional historical context. While the book effectively links ancient and contemporary thought, a deeper exploration of the cultural and societal influences on Plotinus' ideas would have enhanced the reader's understanding further. Nonetheless, this does not significantly detract from the overall quality of the book.

In conclusion, An Essay on the Beautiful From the Greek of Plotinus by an unknown author is a captivating and engaging read that masterfully presents Plotinus' concepts on beauty. With its accessible language, insightful commentary, and thoughtful exploration, this book serves as a valuable resource for anyone interested in philosophy, aesthetics, or the intersection of the divine and the beautiful. It is a must-read for both scholars and casual readers seeking to expand their knowledge and perception of beauty's profound impact on our lives.

First Page:

AN ESSAY ON THE BEAUTIFUL (From the Greek of Plotinus)

Translated by Thomas Taylor

London John M. Watkins 21 Cecil Court, Charing Cross Road 1917


It may seem wonderful that language, which is the only method of conveying our conceptions, should, at the same time, be an hindrance to our advancement in philosophy; but the wonder ceases when we consider, that it is seldom studied as the vehicle of truth, but is too frequently esteemed for its own sake, independent of its connection with things. This observation is remarkably verified in the Greek language; which, as it is the only repository of ancient wisdom, has, unfortunately for us, been the means of concealing, in shameful obscurity, the most profound researches and the sublimest truths. That words, indeed, are not otherwise valuable than as subservient to things, must surely be acknowledged by every liberal mind, and will alone be disputed by him who has spent the prime of his life, and consumed the vigour of his understanding, in verbal criticisms and grammatical trifles. And, if this is the case, every lover of truth will only study a language for the purpose of procuring the wisdom it contains; and will doubtless wish to make his native language the vehicle of it to others. For, since all truth is eternal, its nature can never be altered by transposition, though by this means its dress may be varied, and become less elegant and refined... Continue reading book >>

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