Plotinus on Love

An Introduction to His Metaphysics through the Concept of Eros

Alberto Bertozzi, Leiden: Brill, 2021


Plotinus’ metaphysics is often portrayed as comprising two movements: the derivation of all reality from a single source, the One, and the return of the individual soul to it. Alberto Bertozzi argues that love is the origin, culmination, and regulative force of this double movement. The One is both the self-loving source of the derivation and articulation of all reality in levels of unity and love and the ultimate goal of the longing of the soul, whose return to its source is a gradual transformation of the love it originally received from the One. Touching on virtually all major concepts of Plotinus’ philosophy, Plotinus on Love is at once an investigation of a lesser-studied Plotinian theme and an introduction to his metaphysics. Plotinus on Love is winner of the 2021 Outstanding Academic Titles award in Choice, a publishing unit of the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL).

(Text by the publisher)

Table of contents

Front Matter

Eros in Neoplatonism and its Reception

in Christian Philosophy. 

Exploring Love in Plotinus, Proclus and Dionysius the Areopagite

Dimitrios A. Vasilakis, London, Bloomsbury, 2020, 232 p.


A detailed analysis of the fundamental texts on Love (eros) by three key Neoplatonic thinkers, as well as a systematic comparison of them. Showing the ontological importance of eros within the philosophical systems inspired by Plato, Dimitrios A. Vasilakis examines the notion of eros in key texts of the Neoplatonic philosophers, Plotinus, Proclus, and the Church Father, Dionysius the Areopagite. Outlining the divergences and convergences between the three brings forward the core idea of love as deficiency in Plotinus and charts how this is transformed into plenitude in Proclus and Dionysius. Does Proclus diverge from Plotinus in his hierarchical scheme of eros? Is the Dionysian hierarchy to be identified with Proclus’ classification of love? By analysing the Enneads, III.5, the Commentary on the First Alcibiades and the Divine Names side by side, Vasilakis uses a wealth of modern scholarship, including contemporary Greek literature to explore these questions, tracing a clear historical line between the three seminal late antique thinkers.

(Text from the publisher) 

Table of contents

Abstract and Key-words

Chapter 1 Plotinus and Enneads III.5.[50]: “On Love”
1.1. The ontological status of Soul’s Eros
1.2. Potential objections and answers
1.3. Nous and Eros
1.4. Conclusions

Chapter 2 Proclus on the First Alcibiades
2.1. Providential and Reversive eros: Proclus versus Plotinus?
2.2. Locating Eros in the intelligible hierarchy

Chapter 3 Dionysius and the Divine Names
3.1. Divine Eros and its function
3.2. From Christian agape to the Christification of Eros