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Iamblichus: On the Mysteries (Writings from the Greco-Roman World) Paperback – 30 Oct 2003

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Iamblichus: On the Mysteries (Writings from the Greco-Roman World) + Philosophy and Theurgy in Late Antiquity
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Product details

  • Paperback: 428 pages
  • Publisher: Society of Biblical Literature; Bilingual edition (30 Oct. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 158983058X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1589830585
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.4 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 819,470 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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It takes a whole team, and several years, to translate work by the Syrian native Iamblichus (250-330), because his writing is neither eloquent nor graceful. They use the Bud text of douard Des Place as a basis for facing pages of Greek and English. The work attempts to combine the teachings of revelation literature with those of Neoplatonism, and t

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Free Buzzard on 27 Dec. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
All this talk about "new age" and ancient traditions, Wicca, etc. Go to the source. Iamblichus is the last pagan philosopher and practitioner of theurgy, before the dark ages covered all of the West. I think only professors and serious graduate students are the target audience but if you are like me and trying to go to the source of things, genuine sources that is, well worth it.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jan W. Tromp on 10 Jun. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
the best series on the subject.
and therefor worth the price
Very good books, when you have one
you want them all
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Amazon.com: 6 reviews
27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
Exoteric Manual of Theurgy receives a much needed updating 5 May 2004
By Nama Shivaya - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Before this English translation of Iamblichus' only surviving defense of theurgy, scholars and those few others, curious about such matters had only Taylors' version to refer to. (While I am aware of A. Wilders' translation it suffers from far too many errors to be of much real value). Now Clarke, Dillon, and Hershbell have gifted us with what is sure to be the standard for years to come. That is not to say that Thomas Taylor was not a super-Damion among men. His translation no doubt will remain for years. This due to the fact that Taylor truly understood Theurgy as few other scholars.
So why the need for a new critical translation? Besides the fact that more extant manuscripts were examined than ever before in its preparation, this is a near transparent reading of Iamblichus' intent with clarity and fidelity. Unlike Proclus and many other Platonic fathers, Iamblichus according to Eunapius did not possessed a silver tongue. His writing is at times both tortured and unconventional. Somehow our current team has managed to negotiate many of the traditional Iamblichean hurdles.
The De Mysteriis is a brief examination of noetic or abiding principles of the soul together with proceeding and returning principles. Add to this that based upon the the focused questions from Porphyry, Iamblichus takes on some of the more difficult questions left unanswered by Plotinus. Questions such as the descent of the soul; whether or not the charioteer or One of soul remains undescended. In adddition Iamblichus deals with material sacrifice and its relation to the unmovable Gods, appearances of sound and light and their relation to the quale of beingness, epopteia and the art of Telestai. All these thorny questions and still more Iamblichus tackles in De Mysteriis.
An absolute must for all Scholarch-mystae!
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Excellent translation, but... 30 Sept. 2008
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I was very excited to get my copy of this classic work. From all the reviews I read I thought this would be the best version being more accurate in the translation than the previous one. However, I think the translation is a little too literal in some cases which tends to obscure the meaning of the text unless you are familiar with the colloquialisms they are translating. For example they use the phrase "necessity of the Gods" in reference to magical work where other translations use the word "spell" as in magical spell. Although the phrase gives an interesting insight into the thinking of Iamblichus, "necessity of the Gods" doesn't help the lay reader understand what he is talking about in that section.

Overall it is a good translation, but make sure to read other translations as well to get some insight into what Iamblicus is actually trying to say.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Profound and readable. 18 Jun. 2011
By Richard Miller - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Finally an English Translation of Iamblichus' letters On The Mysteries that is both readable and profound. Well done!
Along with the works of Plato, Plotinus, and Proclus this work can easily be considered as a cornerstone of the great Pythagorean-Neoplatonic tradition. Unlike Plato Iamblichus is writing here on esoteric subjects without the usual veils that hide the Mysteries from the uninitiated public. This is probably due to the fact that he is writing in the form of letters to Porphyry, a highly developed student in his own right, and not to the general public.
Except for the distracting not very useful footnotes this translation along with its very informative Introduction is nearly perfect. I recommend it highly.
A modern translation of a neoplatonic classic, more than ... 23 Dec. 2014
By Matthew Marroquin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
A modern translation of a neoplatonic classic, more than likely though the de myst. as we have it now is the product of more than one hand as can be seen by comparing the divine hierarchy of "book 1" with the hierarchy of "book 2", note that Iamblichus was known for criticizing Porphyry's interpretation of a Timaeus passage because of his use of archangels, also i dont agree with the unfounded abuse the introduction directs to Parthy's edition, as Clarke's edition more than often makes use of the same manuscripts Parthy relied on...Also i think that the enigmatic "Ikton" of page 311 is Egyptian for Ikh-Ptah or Ak-Ptah, that is the Ka of Ptah, or the Genius of Ptah, which would fit in well with the line of reasoning in the rest of the passage.
All I expected 11 Jun. 2013
By Sharon Tuggle - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an excellent read. Great insight into theurgy. Religious rites has meaning for me now. The book emphasizes the necessity of theurgic rites because of the soul's descent into matter and the need for divine union. I highly recommend this book.
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