Plotinus showed, too, an unconquerable reluctance to sit to a painter or a sculptor, and when Amelius persisted in urging him to allow of a portrait being made he asked him, ‘Is it not enough to carry about this image in which nature has enclosed us? Do you really think I must also consent to leave, as a desired spectacle to posterity, an image of the image?’

Plotinus was often distressed by an intestinal complaint, but declined clysters, pronouncing the use of such remedies unbecoming in an elderly man: in the same way he refused such medicaments as contain any substance taken from wild beasts or reptiles: all the more, he remarked, since he could not approve of eating the flesh of animals reared for the table.

Plotinus said: ‘I have been a long time waiting for you. Strive to give back the Divine in yourself to the Divine in the All.’ As he spoke a snake crept under the bed on which he lay and slipped away into a hole in the wall: at the same moment Plotinus died.

Porphyry, “On the Life of Plotinus and the Arrangement of his Work”