Journal title RIVISTA DI STORIA DELLA FILOSOFIA
Author/s Riccardo Chiaradonna
Publishing Year 2023 Issue 2023/1 Language Italian
Pages 15 P. 25-39 File size 147 KB
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The present article focuses on three exemplary deaths in Late Antiquity: Plotinus (see Porphyry, Vita Plotini, 2);; the Emperor Julian (see Ammianus Marcellinus, XXV, 3, 22-23);; Augustine (see Possidius, Vita Augustini, 28 and 31). It is argued that the three reports point to different philosophical and cultural backgrounds. Plotinus’ and Julian’s deaths mirror Socrates’ example recorded in Plato’s Phaedo. Their analogies notwithstanding, some interesting differences emerge. Plotinus is a sage who has attained a complete knowledge of reality through the conjunction of his embodied mind to his higher and purely intellectual self. Julian dies as philosopher-king who is fully aware that his earthly performance has commended his soul to the heavenly sphere of the stars. Augustine dies as a Christian Saint who is tragically aware of his infirmity vis-à-vis God.
Keywords: Philosophical death, Plotinus, Emperor Julian, Augustine, Late Antiquity.
Riccardo Chiaradonna, Tre morti esemplari alla fine del mondo antico: Plotino, Giuliano, Agostino in "RIVISTA DI STORIA DELLA FILOSOFIA" 1/2023, pp 25-39, DOI: 10.3280/SF2023-001003