When I undertook to prepare an English edition of Paul Kalligas’s commentaries on the first three Enneads of Plotinus, it was agreed with the author that we would be addressing a reader whom we could not suppose to possess any knowledge of Greek, ancient or modern, but whom we would suppose to be equipped with A. H. Armstrong’s Loeb translation of Plotinus. This pair of assumptions had some important implications. First, it meant that in several instances where Kalligas’s construal or interpretation of Plotinus’ text differed markedly from Armstrong’s, some unobtrusive editorial changes to the commentary would have to be made in order to assist readers, whether by advising them of Kalligas’s reading or by providing them with an alternative translation to Armstrong’s. In this respect the English edition diverges from the modern Greek one. Second, it meant that several of Armstrong’s choices for the translation of philosophical terms—choices that are often in agreement with those of W. D. Ross in his versions of Aristotle—were adopted in the interests of clarity and consistency, even though they may occasionally sound somewhat old-fashioned. Third, it meant that all citations of ancient texts—which in the modern Greek edition appear in their original wording—had to be translated into English, and indeed in such a way as to make perspicuous the reason for their inclusion. Here again it was felt desirable to maintain consistency where possible in the rendering of philosophical terms. Accordingly, standard translations, even when available, had often to be adapted or replaced.
Elizabeth Key Fowden had already finished her translation of the commentary to Porphyry’s Life of Plotinus when I started work on my part of this edition. Some minimal adjustments were required in order to harmonize the two parts, which I undertook at the request of the author.
My translation of the commentaries to Enneads I and II was generously supported by personal grants bestowed on me, respectively, by the J. F. Costopoulos Foundation (in 2002) and the A. G. Leventis Foundation (in 2004) on the kind recommendation of the late Michael Frede. Let this be a record of my gratitude.