I seem to be getting to the core of the book as I appear to have reached the part where fortifications and defensive mechanisms employed are coming in to focus.
Book was an unusual read as it is giving a comparative account of historical documents and ideas but included no direct references. It now has, as it presents its hypothesis. I am not sure exactly what that is yet or even what the wider arguments are here. But it certainly looks like a well-groomed dog about to enter a dog fight.
Constructed to present as balanced an argument as possible and survive. Plotinus’s view’s and perspective are fragmentary and scattered throughout his writing. Reading here is based on gathering and constructing an eagle eye perspective from a much larger fluid and altering body.
viewing that from a wider historical perspective, it’s a task not without its difficulties and I suspect philosophical reconstruction does not escape the issues.
I’ve always largely ignored the subject as aside from issues of context, never sure how philosophy deals standard historical textual issues.
Historical documents are often by nature constructed over time, retro by nature.
A text may date to the 6th century. The only surviving copy may date no later than the 17th century. It may contain details that suggest re-working in the 9th century with further comments and edits in the 12th century followed by a revising and amending 15th century hand.
Irish medieval philosophy generally starts with or includes a discussion here, but then it’s what early medevial historians, trained in Ireland or the U.K. would expect to see. Can’t work with the documents without an understanding of the multi-contextual, organic nature of the text.
With ancient philosophy I am ignorant of what the case may be here, although I suspect it is not exempt from similar issues. Its audience is a philosophical one rather than historical one; detail which allows me to relax is notable by its absence so far. Far more comfortable with an Irish accent and emphasis here.
The book actualy goes as far in defending not taking an ahistorical approach in the introduction and feels the need to also explain why the ideas are set in a wider historical context. Which sends a slight shiver down my spine as I imagine what sort of fantastical creature is being addressed here and where it may dwell