This edition of the Complete Works of Plotinus was the first full English translation of all Enneads. The translation follows in the footsteps of previous Platonists, such as Ficinus and Taylor, and builds on Dr. Guthrie's translations and explanations of Plotinus's master Numenius, the Pythagorean texts, the works of Proclus, etc.
Dr. Guthrie's translation includes several major features that are not found elsewhere, including: 1) a reorganization of the books of the Enneads into chronological order, displaying 4 progressive stages of development; 2) a comprehensive concordance of terms and ideas; 3) an examination of Plotinic philosophy’s origin, development, and destiny.
Kenneth Sylvan Launfal Guthrie (1871-1940), was a Scottish-born American philosopher, writer, and Episcopalian priest who issued a series of translations of ancient philosophical writers, "making available to the public the neglected treasures of Neo-platonism".
The works that he chose to translate are often very obscure. Few of them had ever been translated into English before; in many cases they have not been translated since. During his lifetime he was obliged to self-publish these books, and sell them by post in mimeographed form, often complaining of poverty and lack of recognition and support. Almost all of them have remained in print ever since.