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Iamblichus: On the Mysteries (Writings from the Greco-Roman World, V. 4.) Paperback – November 1, 2003
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About the Author
Emma C. Clarke teaches at The Latymer School in North London, England. John M. Dillon is Regius Professor of Greek at Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland. Jackson P. Hershbell is Emeritus Professor of Classics, University of Minnesota.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
This book is filled to the brim with superstition, a sort of occultic theosophic religio-philosophy. It seems to me that Iamblichus was very capable of answering Porphyry's questions, in fact one time in the book Porphyry is reported to have said something rather strange that seemed very inconsistent with the entire system of Neoplatonism and Iamblichus pounces on this and tears down what was said with ease.
So again; this book is filled with superstition, however among all the dross there is still a little bit of good, that is if one is reading it for plain philosophical thought, as to its historical value of course it is all good for this is an important book. Indeed Iamblichus is part of a line that goes to Proclus and through Proclus (it would seem) comes to influence the angelology of Pseudo-Dionysius, who wrote some monumentally influential texts.