Plotinus (205–270) was born in upper Egypt. At the age of 28, he began an 11-year study of philosophy with Ammonius Saccas (n.d.). He left to fight with Emperor Gordianus III’s (Marcus Antonius Gordianus Pius; also known as Gordian III; 225–244) army against Persia. After Gordianus died, or according to some accounts was murdered, Plotinus fled to Antioch, but then settled in Rome. He founded a school in Rome, became friends with Emperor Gallienus (Publius Licinius Egnatius Gallienus; c. 218–268), and began writing down his philosophy. Gallienus intended to give Plotinus land to set up a community in accordance with Plato’s dialogue, the Laws (c. 360 B.C.E.), but others intervened, and Gallienus was soon assassinated by his own officers in the midst of a competitive military campaign. Plotinus himself died two years later, it is said, from leprosy.
Plotinus was the founder of Neoplatonism during the decline of the Roman civilization (Art Archive).