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Iamblichus - Theurgia or Egyptian Mysteries

Iamblichus - Theurgia or Egyptian Mysteries

Iamblichus, more than any other single philosopher, has generally been credited with the transformation of the Neoplatonism advocated by Plotinus earlier in the 3rd century into the stiff and complicated, yet often profound, pagan religious philosophy, best known from the works of Proclus. Attempting to develop a theology encompassing all of the rites, myths, and divinities of syncretistic paganism, he was the first Neoplatonist to displace Plotinus’ purely spiritual and intellectual mysticism in favour of theurgy, the magical conjuration of the gods. Beyond the One of Plotinus, identical with the Good, Iamblichus asserted that a higher One exists outside the range of human knowledge and qualifications. To the three existing ethical virtues of Neoplatonism—political, purifying, and exemplary—he added the contemplative virtue and placed above all four the priestly, or unifying, virtues by which men obtain ecstatic union with the One. For his stress on theurgy and his elevation of the nonintellectual virtues, Iamblichus was known for the next two centuries as “the divine,” or “inspired.”

Iamblichus also had a strong influence on other Renaissance occultists like Ficino, Pico della Mirandola, and Giordano Bruno.


• Letter of Porphyry to Anebo
• Reply of Abammon
• The Superior Races
• Rites, Symbols, and Offerings
• The Superior Races and their Manifestations
• The Order Exhibited at the Rites
• Origin of the Art of Divination
• The Divining Art Universal
• Dæmons
• Concerning the Powers Invoked
• The Question Stated
• Notions of Priests Criticized
• Concerning the Mystic Rites
• Conditions for Successful Results
• Origin of Egyptian Symbolism
• Questions Proposed
• The Personal Dæmon
• Eudæmonia, or the True Success
• Valedictory

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