For the Neoplatonists, as for the members of other philosophical schools in antiquity, the primary objects of physics – or natural philosophy – are bodies and their movements. Because of the very assumptions of their own philosophy, however, unlike other thinkers, the Neoplatonists are almost exclusively interested in the metaphysical causes of the physical world. Consequently, they never examine natural phenomena iuxta propria principia, so to say, but rather concentrate on causes, or principles, which di er by nature from physical bodies, in that they are incorporeal, immaterial, “spiritual” and located in an order of reality that is not the same as the one allotted to bodies. ese causes belong in fact to a “superior”, more elevated order, which is usually described by the metaphor of “verticality”, much favoured by the Neoplatonists, hence the widespread use of the formula “vertical causation” to describe the “metaphysical” character of causes acting upon the physical world “from above”.1 On this account, the physical world, that is, the world of physical bodies, appears to be the outcome of incorporeal forces that transcend it, as well as the domain in which these forces operate.