- Contenu de la note
This treatise is number 34 in Porphyry’s chronological order. It immediately follows the work now generally referred to as the “Gross-Schrift” or “Great Work”, which Porphyry so strangely divided into four and placed in three different Enneads (see Introductory Note to III, 8), so that in his Ennead edition it appears as III. 8 (30), V. 8 (31), V. 5 (32) and II. 9 (33).
V. 5 contains a brief account of what Plotinus thought about the One and numbers in chapters 4 and 5, and the present treatise is announced at the end of chapter 4 : “If there are any difficulties about this, we will deal with them later.”
The status of numbers in the intelligible world and the generation of Numbers and Forms from ultimate principles, the One and the Indefinite Dyad, had been matters of interest and importance to Platonists since the lifetime of Plato himself, especially to those who were influenced by that side of their traditional inheritance which goes back to the Pythagoreans. Between the time of the revival of Platonism and Pythagoreanism in the first century B.C. and the time of Plotinus a considerable numerological literature had developed. But his treatise On Numbers is not at all closely related to it. His thought here is outstandingly original and independent and his interest in numbers is subordinate to his great primary concerns, to show how all reality proceeds in due order from its source, the One or Good, and how the human spirit may find its way back to that source, which is also its goal.
- Remarques de l'éditeur
- Luciana Santoprete
- Note d’introduction au Traité 34 (VI, 6)
- Sources modernes
- Armstrong, A. H. + Plotinus, Enneads VII
- Sources anciennes
- Platon + Porphyre
- Mots-clefs français
- nombre + tétralogie antignostique
- Plotin et le Gnosticisme
- Traité 34 (VI, 6) (entier) + Traité 32 (V, 5) § 4