Dreams, Theurgy and Freelance Divination: The Testimony of Iamblichus Author(s): Polymnia Athanassiadi Source: The Journal of Roman

Studies, Vol. 83 (1993), pp. 115-130 Published by: Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/300982 Accessed: 24/10/2008 09:06
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4 (357).I2 (409). 15 (1989-90). (I980). that professional valetudinarian whose night-diaries dictated by Asclepius covered more than three hundred thousand lines.2 30. For the true dimensions of Artemidorus' achievement. 'The future of dreams: from Freud to Artemidorus'. Athanassiadi. Parke. cf. 3 On the role of Plutarch in this revival.o1. 'Theurgy and its relationship to 37 (1947). see S. continued to fulminate against Delphi and Didyma in their anti-pagan attacks.7. 27I-8. R. . and Claros and of the cultural values for which they stood has recently formed the object of intense scholarly research.6 It was indeed this new divination. Hadrian and Delphi'. Past and Present I 3 (Nov. which they expressed in a variety of complementary or apparently contradictory ways: in polemic and dispassionate research. 8 Ix. 318- 5 See inter alia. If the rage that the vaticinating demons inspired in Oenomaus of Gadara and in Lucian is sufficient evidence of the rationalist's reaction to a mounting social and intellectual trend.i6.DREAMS. sticking to long-established rhetorical cliches. but more obviously in the act of reviving their ancient prophetic shrines and of establishing new oracles. see Eusebius.I6. XVI.9 (385). R. IO.I (392) the causes celebres of late antiquity involved the use of freelance divination: Ammianus xxix.Io.2 It was in precisely this world that the Delphic oracle underwent a remarkablerenaissanceunder the auspices of a Platonist philosopher. cf.3 and that an emperor commended the publication by a senator of a work about the dreams which foretold his ascent to the throne.7 (381). 4 etc. Robert. dreams of Septimius Severus). Sozomen vI. Ix. Neoplatonism'. Equally all (383).S. R.I6. 6.JRS 55-69. Ix. For the formidable attack on oracles by Oenomaus of Gadara.6. Averil Cameron. The Oracles ofApollo in Asia Minor ( 985). its polemicists. Aenriov XQetLaavltxri 'Erataliag N. and vi. see S. Dodds. Dodds saw in the Chaldaean Oracles. that dominated late antiquity to such an extent that it was viewed by both Church and State as at the same time the most representative and the most pernicious aspect of the pagan spirit. IX.7 Before attempting to define the new discipline of 'theurgy' (a task to which the whole of this paper in a sense is devoted).' So does the incredible success of the Pythagorean Alexander's oracular establishment on the inhospitable shores of the Black Sea. THEURGY. 6 See P. LXXIX. 2 Sacred Tale II. Aelius Aristides and 'Plutarch. 'The fate of oracles in late antiquity: Didyma and Delphi'. THE CATALYST OF DIVINATION The Antonine revival of such famous oracles as Delphi. A travers lAsie Mineure and H. 393-421. Simon Price and the Editorial Committee. IV.8 (370 or 373). the scholarly achievement of Artemidorus of Daldis at the instigation of Apollo himself exemplifies in more positive fashion the involvement of the age with prophetic lore. Swain. F.THEURGY AND FREELANCE DIVINATION: THE TESTIMONY OF IAMBLICHUS* By POLYMNIA ATHANASSIADI The men of the Antonine era shared with us a keen interest in divination.I2. 'AeXatoLoytxlg 7 See CTh xvi.i8ff. by the mid-fourth century prophecy had been definitively stamped out in both shrines.I9. passim. leaving only a vague memory of sanctity which was adroitly exploited by the Church. a prime example of automatic writing: * This paper has benefited in a variety of ways from the detailed criticism of John Avgherinos. and the personality of Aelius Aristides. HE Iv.5 (357). Dodds published his epoch-making article in this journal.6 (358).3 (C.7. W.I-2 (on the E.35.10. PE v. 6. 3-37.7 (364).5 though curiously no great interest has been displayed towards the fate of these same oracles in subsequent periods.i (321). Ix.i6. xvI. for Lucian's attack. ix. xvI. the Sacred Tales (I968)). XVI. catalysed by theurgy. see his Alex.23. Ix. A. Behr. Historia 40 (1991). it may be useful to try to dispel the notions which were sown almost fifty years ago when E. I986). i.4 I.I4. while their real target was home-made oracles and oniromancy. Price.io. which form the theoretical basis of theurgical practices.9 (371).8 Spurred by his private interests in psychoanalysis and spiritualism. An attempt in this regard to track down the archaeological and epigraphic evidence from Didyma and Delphi and compare it with literary testimonies has revealed an interesting picture. passim. L. Dio Cassius LXXIII. Didyma. Socrates.-2.2. John Dillon.

(= Iamblichus.2.4. sometimes they complained of his unduly original interpretation of Plato and of a lack of clarity in expressing his views. suggest that by then Iamblichus was an established master. comm. I have communicated this view to John Dillon. The GreekCommentarieson Plato's Phaedo I (1976).15 This combination of intellectual ambiguity and playfulness is at the basis of Iamblichus' elusiveness. while accepting Iamblichus' greatness. I would describe theurgy as the often involuntary manifestation of an inner state of sanctity deriving from a combination of goodness and knowledge in which the former element prevails.12 Of paramount importance among prophetological texts are Iamblichus' De Mysteriis and Eusebius' Praeparatio Evangelica. G.13 both works are of especial interest not so much as authoritative treatments of the theory and practice of divination (which is what they claim to be). he reached the conclusion that Iamblichan theurgy was a mere technique. In Ti. 14. Iamblichus was a revisionist thinker. shortly after 313 and completed before 320: Barnes. 14 See Proclus. 34 and Dillon's commentary ad loc. M. naturally became the object of controversy both between pagans and Christians and between dissenting pagans. It seems indeed not impossible. an assertion that the road to salvation is found not in reason but in ritual'.. as Proclus' treatment 10 ibid. 426. 548 (a good example of sticking to the letter of Iamblichan passages). This revised form of prophecy. D. fragmenta (1973). 15Anecdotes which illustrate both the humorous attitude of Iamblichus towards miraclesand the incapacity of his pupils to understand the spirit behind his remarks are reported by Eunapius (VS v. 64. In Phaed.1. so that for centuries his followers displayed religious reverence towards his word and. but as complementary visions of the paths that prophecy was to take in the later Roman Empire. he turned for a definition of the discipline to that 'manifesto of irrationalism'.7-Io). 82A): Iamblichus is accused of not being a careful reader of ttIv Plato. fr.14 while at other times they took him at face value. Damascius. 13 It is impossible to date the De Mysteriis on other than internal criteria. One of the aims of this paper is to show in what ways the De Mysteriis and the Praeparatio Evangelica influenced both the actual development of divination.. In Ti. and this characteristic was fully recognized by his followers. whose manner of telling the stories illustrates this attitude all too well. dial." But of course theurgy is not just a technique (though by a tenuous definition it can be this as well). Composed at the beginning of the fourth century.. v. 56-8. nI.7.I. Constantine and Eusebius (1981). 'Idxa'LLXog avto 1 0ov eTetoojQokei xai Tdtpacvi . T. In Phaed. (= Iamblichus. it is also however the source of his great charm. but rather a dynamic state of mind. I0. This passage offers an excellent illustration of the difficulties faced by Iamblichus' followers when dealing with his exegesis. J. 12 Eusebius. Iamblichus' De Mysteriis. 3ff.II6 POLYMNIA ATHANASSIADI their diction is so bizarre and bombastic. In Ti. fr. 307-9). in view of what we know about later theurgy. though not always as being a virtue. 240.9 Dodds' attitude towards theurgy was that of the uncharitable psychiatrist at work on the diagnosis of a morbid state whose random symptoms he raised to the status of unvaried characteristics. This attitude is perpetuated by Proclus' epigoni who. 257. In Ti. This claim was considerably facilitated by a potent amount of misunderstanding on the part of Iamblichus' progeny. 71-2. Both the fact that Porphyry addressed so important a questionnaire to Iamblichus. L. examining the way in which Neoplatonists from Maximus to Proclus applied theurgical devices for divinatory purposes. [EQLEeLii.2. " ibid.1990). 300. I3. of actually disregarding txo nHlkacovog Xt^v. For the close dependence of these commentaries on Proclus. varying from individual to individual and additionally undergoing constant change according to the theurgist's state of mind. 13. who discussed the merits of perpetual revelation in 'tens of thousands of essays' until their views hardened into party lines. pronounce him too intuitive and therefore unclear: Olympiodorus. who finds it 'perfectly reasonable' (letter of The Praeparatio Evangelica was begun 6. a few remarks on Iamblichus and his posthumous fate are necessary. PE Iv.207. and the self-confident tone of the latter's answer. 183. 8. pp. On the grounds that Chaldaeaninfluence is not yet as prominent in this work as in Iamblichus' later writings. 7. proposes by implication a date c. Barnes. Westerink. i8. Absolving Plotinus of any involvement with the 'rigmarole' of theurgy. A date around 300 or slightly later is therefore probable. Dillon. lamblichi Chalcidensis in Plat.l? But in this task Dodds used as a criterion of his research post-Iamblichan practice and. that they had their origin in the 'revelations' of some visionary or trance medium. I. 59: 'the de mysteriis is a manifesto of irrationalism. their thought so obscure and incoherent as to suggest rather the trance utterances of modern spirit guides than the deliberate efforts of a forger. and public opinion on the matter.2. 1. Mystemiis 280. 24ff. Attempting a provisional definition based on Iamblichus' understanding of the term. which gradually supplanted the traditional methods of the Roman East. but before doing that. 4-5: 6 stV Y?&Q OE0og 9 ibid. In Ti. III. I. failing completely to appreciate his considerable sense of humour. dates the De c. beginning with the emperor Julian. claimed philosophical descent from him.

41. 1. Iamblichus deals in highly critical. and saw life as the expanse within which he could find out more about the world and about himself. Ecl. This attitude caused him to ask many questions and change his mind according to the answers he received. 866). it contains an apology for traditional cult while playing down the importance of sacred places as compared with the authority of holy men. coupled as it was with misunderstanding. when in fact he does not. 175.he viewed it with the critical eye of the philologist and was not afraid to admit his doubts or conclude his investigation with a question mark. By contrast. which has reached us in the form of quotations by exclusively hostile critics. How he interpreted this material is not clear from the fragments of his work on the Philosophyfrom Oracles. An idea of what happened can be obtained by comparing what Iamblichus actually says about divination in the De Mysteriis with what his followers made of it. but.16 The ineluctable attraction then experienced by renewed generations of 'Iamblichans' towards their master. One thing seems certain however: Porphyry never suppressed evidence. But whereas Eusebius treated him somewhat slyly as an authority for polemical purposes. 17i. cf.DREAMS.32. for Proclus' conviction that he is 24. . However. resulted in the wide diffusion of a singularly distorted image of Iamblichus' contribution to theology. 16 For Julian on lamblichus. A good example of Proclus believing that he agrees with lamblichus. Iamblichus used his text with an intensely corrective intent. the two men had much in common too. On the 'IOQ1pljQoLO 6_ Soul (ap. Striking examples of this circumstance in connection with divination will be provided further in the text. Since this holy or unholy alliance (as the case may be) between the three men proved crucial for subsequent developments. For. They were both voracious readers and ardent researchers. IAMBLICHUS AND PORPHYRY At the root of both the Praeparatio Evangelica and the De Mysteriis lies Porphyry. When Porphyry decided to investigate divination. In this text.17Eusebius cannot have failed to notice this feature of Porphyry's way of thinking. EUSEBIUS. fashion with the different kinds of divination practised in his day. I73. if unsystematic. is provided by his In Ti. he saw nothing wrong in using any available means or method to achieve his objective. Porphyry knew that truth had only been partially revealed to him. II. when faced with a collection of contradictory texts. and it is worth trying to disentangle the threads of his narrative and pin down their historical relevance (cf. Eusebius and Porphyry Eusebius felt called upon to prove to the world the superiority of a religion that he intuitively knew to be the best. in. the theurgists. a careful study of lamblichus' De Mysteriis suggests that. ini. As lamblichus put it. Confident in his belief. 6-17: rac56& a ta xaOaQwtoTaL vvoLatg 'Ia3kXXov oiv?p6xE?ta. 'Porphyry was at a loss'. III). within the framework of a theoretical discussion. it is important to look at it more closely. promise which is not kept.a method that would have allowed him nicely to combine conflicting views within the framework of a system . he collected as many oracles as it was possible for a conscientious researcher to find. when it came to giving an opinion. following lamblichus. THEURGY AND FREELANCE DIVINATION II7 of the Iamblichan exegesis of Platonic texts amply shows. 30-I76. Stobaeus. Porphyry did not attempt to reconcile them. he used Porphyry's fumbling hesitation and doubts to piece together a bible of paganism and put it at the disposal of his public. Rather than classifying his evidence at different theological levels . see n. pretending not to understand how the philosopher's mind worked. Moreover. 174. In Ti. 99. 17 V6OLdC?tL': lamblichus. Invented by Marsilio Ficino. who are repeatedly contrasted with mere craftsmen of spirituality. the random title 'De Mysteriis' has long served to obscure the fundamental fact that the book is as much an assessment of contemporary divinatory belief and practice as a programmatic work.

Affect. 25 26 24 PE IV. see my 'Fate of oracles' (op. n.8-iob. 36 ibid.2-3 (silence of oracles). (n. 278). 169. VC 11. Bidez.3. I assume both the Letter to Anebo and the De Mysteriis to be contemporary. Lettera ad Anebo (1958). 15. along with Didyma.3a. II. while throughout thePE his main Porphyriansource is the De Philosophia. R. Phil. x.20 or. pp.22 As for Eusebius.lephilosopheneo-platonicien (I913).2c and PEv. Io Eusebius makes Porphyry contradict himself on the subject of sacrifices by introducing abundant evidence from the De Abstinentia (1. 28 Eusebius. Aneb. what exactly happens in the act of divination?37How does divination in traditional shrines differ from other more private types of prophecy?38 How is it that the gods deign to serve flour-prophets (dXtpLTO|AavTelg)?39 Who reveals the future to men. or an angel?40Is not the whole business of divination really a purely psychological phenomenon caused by a combination of inner and outward disturbances?41 18 InPE I. HE Ix. 172-3) as the only still surviving oracles. i. Porphyry turned to his younger contemporary lamblichus.29 Iamblichus and Porphyry In his constant desire to understand the cosmos. the gods of paganism were further characterized by Eusebius as mortal.5 PE v. I. 33 ibid. I. pp. they formed part of the polemical game and did not in any way prevent the message of the Praeparatio Evangelica from being clear: the overwhelming impression left by this text is that divination. on the other hand. 29 On the dishonest cunning of the Fathers in this connection.3.8. a demon. 36. 23 PE III. 27 PE IV. but given unusual force by Eusebius). 11-1 3. especially in the light of the connection that had by his day been established between pagan prophecy and Christian persecution.4. PE iv.14.28 As for the odd contradiction and the occasional error of logic in his work. Mort. Phil. 6).i.4-6. Porfirio. 11.i6 (quoting Porphyry.I. often contradicted by the apologist himself. 34 ibid. i. 13. v. v. p. the former instigating the latter. cit. 39 ibid.19 as liars.5.2' Once interpreted in this spirit. when Christ appeared on earth. io-i6. Theodoret (who actually acknowledges the PE to be his main source in his attack on paganism). 1707. 1. v. how is it that in theurgy gods are invoked as inhabiting areas not belonging to them?31 What are the characteristic qualities of the different types of divinity?32 Should one address prayers to gods?33Among gods. the theme was amply developed by Theodoret. 24. cf.I3. v. 30 J. Eusebius asserts. 40 ibid.4. VI. of course.3b.5. this process led gradually to the demise of oracles which by his day. and in v. I.II8 POLYMNIA ATHANASSIADI Porphyry's intellectual honesty was duly exploited by Eusebius. 38 ibid.24 Demoted to the level of demons. 11. 37 ibid.5. PE Iv.Aneb.i. p. he argued with faultless logic that the weak and immoral beings behind the oracles could not possibly be divine: they were either wicked demons23or human charlatans. II (Wolff). regarded the Letter to Anebo as a work from Porphyry's post-Plotinian period (Viede Porphyre. 1. many demons were annihilated.3c.43-8. I.17.4. i. 7. others maleficent. II. cf. IV. Affect. Pers.3. as passably competent astrologers subject to fate.7.II. 1.27 Eusebius' emotional tone when referring to the state of oracles is fully understandable. and placed the De Mysteriis after Porphyry's death (ibid.97. demons and charlatans: v. c.4. pp. 87). 156. 147-54. dates the text between 263 and 268 on internal evidence.3. Sodano. were fully silenced.26 The claim is.2.2. A.II. 17. 6o-i). or is this not the case?34How do incorporeal divinities mix with corporeal ones?35What is the typology of divine apparitions?36 Above all. . whose only incentive was gain. pp. I66-8 and PE vi. 32 ibid.2a. Ep. following Zeller. above. 22 Two authors stand out in this respect. 16.17.i. Iv. Cels. II.6.6-9 (death of Pan under Tiberius).'8 who made him present the gods as impotent beings in the service of magicians. pp.3d.82 (view already current in Christian polemic.50. III. 21 Phil. at best. cf. 35 ibid. some are beneficent. . 20 Phil. 26. 16.3.27. was a godless discipline on the way to extinction.17.2I.Ep. Phil. and date them c.8-Io. 19 Phil. 169. I75-6 and PE VI5. xxxii-xxxvi. who cannot control his anger at the foolishness of mankind still being deceived by the fraud of divination. cf. Lactantius. 5. and John Philoponus: Wolff.25 Indeed one of the major themes of the Praeparatio Evangelica is that. and asked again some of the agonizing questions he had posed to Plotinus :30since gods and demons are topographically allocated in the universe. 27.2. described as dead in Iv.. I3 (general statement). 118. a god.i6. I . 300 or later. 170 and PE vI. a large one. 80i). 31 Porphyry. n. 54-6. (on the authority of Oenomaus of Gadara). cunningly identified with the great oracular sites. Origen. x54-64.i.2. Delphi and Claros are PEv.Io-II.3 (an important passage)..2. II3a 41 ibid. 2. i. the oracles collected by Porphyry together with his commentary were used by virtually everybody who wrote against divination and fate in the centuries to come. i. In. I.

48 But then. o: T TV QvOo0vstodv xcaL To6La ja(ac3aoLg xTa Xa xat x6o([t) Tadeog JaQaxejtEl tl Tig tv t) Neoplatonism of lamblichus'. fr.DREAMS.LavTLXij (prophecy) is consubstantial with the One.gE0Og.Aneb. while unbridled hunting after qualities is unreasonable'.29. the study 42 See above.io. Aneb. 7. for being exists in unity (EvoeLSbg)and can only be comprehended by a simple act of intellection (tovoeL6&bg).46 'Such a division is false. Traditio 4I (i985). while God is manifesting Himself in such a manner. II. for otherwise Porphyry's questions would remain unanswered.28. For a good analysis of theurgy and the theurgic'way'. This he does as an expert and fully confident Platonist. see G. 54 Phil. either the soul or the body of the prophet intervenes.179. x. II. as also of Porphyry'sintellectuallimitations.54 lamblichus' optimistic assertion that any cause of disruption in divination can be controlled by the man who has fully surrendered himself to God is at the root of the important division he makes of prophecy into divine and human. unity of the cosmos.47 exclaims lamblichus. And yet. Ix.5. II.44 To him duality. For Iamblichus. In this. yet he also recognizes that in the course of history mankind invented many ways of foretelling the future. the gift of prophecy is also present in the cosmos. ibid.50 Yet. 111.3.55 He never tires of repeating that true prophecy is the gift of the gods alone. souls. 8 and Myst. vi. n. especially when the latter echoed Christian propaganda unawares . when answering specific points. Myst. was above all a teacher. and whatever other powers are mentioned by philosophers. Consequently he set out patiently to elucidate obscure points.I.. 47 ibid. Phdr. who was not in the least angry at such irreverent questions. demons. dispel doubts. 48 Thus on the typology of apparitions. there are moments when lamblichus suspends thought and speaks 'theurgically'. it is true. he was shocked by Porphyry's naivety.3. as in much else. 22.7off.4.2. 52 ibid. the gods. III.8 and Myst. who believes in the essential.ii . 51 ibid. 70.42 they do not seem to have upset lamblichus. . Ep. III. 44 A point made clearly by Iamblichus. at other times. Only by negating himself can man become aware of the divine spirit within him and reveal it to others. according to Iamblichus. attributesto Porphyry a hostileattitudeto divination. Affect. which accepted that in their journey towards the earth the god's utterances might easily fall under the influence of the stars. and is not an art. I. let alone plurality.7. and currently believed to be used in divination. 53Myst. p. not a way of being.7. is a figure of speech.2. It has nothing to do with human dispositions and habits.mentioning him in one breath with Diogenianus the Epicurean. heroes. 55 TEvXLXt6g 0sovQyLXog:Myst. 31. 17-27. Theodoret. but a wholly divine manifestation to which all psychological and bodily attributes as well as the peculiarities of specific places are subjected. though incredibly complex. angels. THEURGY AND FREELANCE DIVINATION II9 If such remarks were feasted upon by Eusebius and his intellectual progeny. . the oracle becomes disturbed and falsified.8. x. Aneb.5. finally. 43 Ep. iii. as linked with particular areas of the cosmos. 244cd and Plotinus III. being co-extensive with God. like Plotinus. also PE v. The De Mysteriis Aegyptiorum What Iamblichus does in the De Mysteriis is to produce a theoretical framework by reference to which every known divinatory practice can be classified or rejected.48.Ua. What resulted is a treatise on divination. 49 ibid. In Ti. cf.i.28. 'Theurgy: rituals of unification in the o{6? yv]ic?LO). Shaw.31. Iv.13-i6.Ep.5.43 but on the whole he was pleased to receive the Letter to Anebo. x. 3446 ibid.iiff.5. such as by the flight of birds.3. 1. lamblichus frontally attacked the spatial conception of spirituality typified by Porphyry. Occasionally. 45. Affect. 45 10o. he speaks 'theologically'. 170. and enables lamblichus to analyse and classify the various aspects of contemporary practice.7 and Myst.52the occurrence of passion and materiality at any stage of the prophetic action being fatal. rulers. x.8. I .51for if.115: yiyvovTaL xaCi OoQ@vuPboq V?uv6I Ta obXftL d&XTlig'6fjXatXL (tavreLa xat 6 &v0otoLaoloqg vo.2. 50Myst. 1. 11. he specifies he speaks 'philosophically'.rather than by analytical thinking. 111. it is worth noting that Theodoret.66-8.176. and hence inherent in the divisible.3. Plato. II. answer questions. symbolize stages in man's spiritual progress towards or away from being and should under no circumstances be envisaged topographically. Theoretically [. I.276. 4.42. IV.53By making man alone responsible for the distortion of originally truthful oracles. 1.io. II. he has no choice but to play the game of analysis and treat plurality as if it truly existed. xiv.49 This tripartite division of method corresponds to different approaches to divination. Iamblichus proves himself to be an orthodox Platonist.45 Thus.

6' If. bvotaig TOV LiovU. 6. 6pLCL'TTa0t .15.8) is that words are &dyakXctaa xQayRaTcov xbov koyxda.3a. III.57 But the distinction between human and divine prophecy is a fragile one. 1. against such optimism and spiritual autarky.67 Subsequently lamblichus analyses for Porphyry's sake the wide variety of canonical methods by which light can be drawn for the purpose of divination.23. 64 ibid. 66 Ep. above. man is ever to leave the world of diversity for that of unity.4.4. i8. ibid. fr. suggests Iamblichus. III. In fact theurgical divination is presented by him not so much as an end in itself. 87). 17.Disregarding this. 15. 1. IO. but as a stage on the way to mystic union. whose origin is no less divine. symbolized by an upward motion in the course of which among other things the future is revealed to it. he needs the starting point which is provided by cult. when used by an expert with a holy disposition. The manifest at that moment in the form of light.56These methods are all fallacious.9. v. 1.219. For the master of Apamea prayer and sacrifice. This could be 59ibid. .26.VII. the rest of mankind needs a routine of ritual.14. 111.59 they are rafts. The Platonicview as defined in the Cratylus and finalized by Proclus (In Parm.68 Yet in his desire to convey more fully what happens during theurgical divination.58so too matter. 67 Myst.20. 6B ibid. 70 ibid.71the familiar figure of the prophet Myst. and (In 60 Myst.69its nostalgia.3. cf. 22: cf. becausePlotinusbelievedthatthereis an elementin our soul for ever unaffected passion(Enn. On the VI. though it is possible that at the twilight of their lives a few men may indeed reach moral maturity and spiritual perfection and pass beyond the need of prayer.4. Religion (reqoxeLa) is not a matter of human convention.cf. having already overcome their dependence on the body.139. Porphyry had enquired in a passage that was feasted upon by Christian polemic.i). so to speak. 57 ibid. is perceptible to the theurgist divine 'uvac[tLg.without of course descending in any physical sense. stages of prayer. v. n. lamblichus devotes much effort to combating the common belief .61 In the context of this general thesis Iamblichus made a strong Cratylian point when he held against MalchusPorphyry that in religion names cannot be translated because they lose something of their essence. This apparent paradox is explained in the light of Iamblichus' understanding of cult and theurgy.237-8. who remains conscious.233. Here lies the essential difference between Plotinus and lamblichus: having a more pessimistic view of humanity. III.276. lamblichus reminded his readersthat the charioteerof the soul cannot help sinking at some point. vII.I7. the latter laid more emphasis on ritual than Plotinus. however. i. the god illuminates him with an excess of energy (reQiLouoia6uvat4ecwo). 71 This is an important theme in Eunapius'Lives of the Philosophers: Sosipatra was ooxpo6v(og vIovL[6)oXa.20. may indeed set it on the road of ethical and spiritual progress..15. he explained.62 If distorted therefore through translation or otherwise. IX.22ff. III.64 Having stressed the importance of ritual. i8..11-15. iv* i o.15. 27. 69 ibid. two inextricably entwined themes. 85I.. I148.70 This is how lamblichus conceives theurgy.3. 111. Aneb. which forms an inalienable part of the cosmos.25.20. v. by 62 ibid. IIn. 63 Myst.66 lamblichus solved the puzzle by anchoring himself on the Platonic principle of divine immobility and immutability: when the operant calls on the god. for they are the result of human science.26.14.that in theurgy the operant uses his knowledge of cosmic structures in order to bring down the god and obtain oracles.8.5. iv. who watches grace descend upon him. heightened by ritual. vII. but a divine gift. filling his pair of horseswithlameness moulting Ti.65'How is it that the gods allow themselves to serve the vilest of magicians?'. he also uses the familiar Platonic image of the ascent of the soul: if 'the human soul is held by one image and darkened on all sides by the body'. the Tyrian Malchus had translated his name into Greek as HroQp1uQLog allowed Amelius to call him and BaoLXkeFg.120 POLYMNIA ATHANASSIADI of entrails or the observation of the stars. iii.I43: 0o xaTLayTaL TO 1. are divine gifts to humanity. names injure divine harmony and can no longer operate as pass-words in the soul's upward journey. 61 ibid.228: 6Ve. which can at best only make conjectures about the future by using the clues of universal sympathy.37-8). Just as the divine can be disorientated at any point and never reach its destination if it encounters violence or gift passion. helps the soul to ascend by reminding it of the music of the spheres. And. V. 65 ibid. 111. In this connection lamblichus contrasts with the sober theurgist. 58 56 v.abundantly illustrated through the magical papyri . Plot. 111. who expected the gods to come to him (Porphyry.63 In similar fashion religious music. a goal which may be reached either consciously or unconsciously. which are the very foundations of cult. VI. can activate the divine word.0ov xai iv etgTa oTE?LaTig TavTiXtng. on which man can traverse more easily the ocean of diversity towards his goal of union with God.5. 43.

as lamblichus begins to disentangle the threads of Porphyry's theories on fate. 79 ibid. 72 facTroi. Myst.80 a power above fate who can indeed by the study and practice of theurgy be eventually turned into a god. But in its historical course astronomy (for which the term used is RtaNhtat'xL)suffered at the hands of men who.0o. For Plotinus' criticism of the for general belief in. however. see A. x. divination becomes a technique which does not bring happiness.Aneb. which is beyond against nature (rnaa& nature (rnei' Tljvqp6oLv)and lifts the soul up.76 III. Iamblichus' remarks on horoscope-casting . For the case of Plotinus.3. 80 ibid. all matters of great interest in philosophical circles. B.g. Greek Horoscopes (1959). .DREAMS. IX. W. the lessons of astronomy would have been lost to humanity. 83 ibid. VIII.275. to obtain divine messages by manipulating the laws of nature. falling into a trance. a true science.3: of6 tEnaaxoXov'oVoCtV 73 Ep. Porphyry had wondered whether prophetic trance was not caused by some sort of mental disturbance. and ecstasy caused by God.3 he condemns astrology on the Neugebauer and H. III. rushing to analysis and classification before establishing whether his material is homogeneous. Liebeschuetz. (1979).5c.72 With reference to such states. vI. in 11.73 To this irreverent remark Iamblichus opposed the two kinds of frenzy to which men may be subjected: ecstasy caused by passion. cf.75 but then. and central issues in the controversy between pagans and Christians. II. Iv. i0.25. 1. he admitted.7. 74Myst. . Maternus. Plot. who still practised the god-sent discipline in its genuine form. 76 ibid. astronomy.2. 75 ibid. esp. he is in fact attempting to grasp divine essence by applying human science.4. which had adepts in all social and intellectual strata.7.83 By splitting astronomy into a science and a pseudo-science. ix. 119-26. But at that point Iamblichus conceded to Porphyry and to the magically-minded prophets a point which has given rise to much misunderstanding about his own view of theurgic divination: it is possible. only divine prophecy (q fOcia[tavTLxI)can reveal the identity of the personal demon. can only be induced by absolute virtue which causes utter forgetfulness of the self and absorption into God. exchanges animal existence for a more divine life. the prerequisite is absolute virtue. Ix. who emerges as a man avid for knowledge but possessing a mind only superficially critical. lamblichus distinguishes it from astronomy.82 Indeed if it were not for some Chaldaean experts and Egyptian priests.79 For the teacher of Apamea the divinatory art ([tavxix~rtEXvq)with its computation of tables is a useless technique based on the externals of astrology. J. For Plotinus' punishment for his attack on fate and astrology.6. F. Iv. van Hoesen.4. IX. iv. lamblichus proves a stronger logician than Porphyry. THEURGY AND FREELANCE DIVINATION 12I or prophetess who.77'Your views on the subject do not seem to me either to be consistent or to bear any connection with the truth'78is his prelude. 77 Astrology and public life in the early Empire. Thus lamblichus shows that. he warned his correspondent. Math. almost everywhere. passim. G.4. -2. a science given by the gods.276. like Plotinus. which extended the power of fate to regions free from it such as man's divine self. however.81 For this to happen. when Porphyry uses astrological methods to find out about the personal demon. 0o. 111.3. viii. for. 2-32. H.I84. IX. Porphyry. As well as contrasting astrology with divine prophecy. and was therefore in full Myst. the De Mysteriis can serve to the historian as a highly critical guide of divinatory practice at the close of the third century. 176-90o.are severe. G. Armstrong in his edition of the Enneads 11(1966). IIIn.74 This second type of ecstasy.59.3. which is qpuav) and abases the soul. he wishes to castigate this extremely popular practice. For the problematic passage II. 78 82 Myst. based on the absurd assumption that man's divine nature can be ruled by cosmic powers inferior to itself. 54-5. 81 ibid.a discipline which he places at the lowest level of the astrological pyramid . In the process. I422.3. lamblichus solved an important problem of morals and metaphysics much in the way Origen had done.3. THE DE MYSTERIIS AS HISTORICAL DOCUMENT Astrology and Private Oracles As well as a metaphysical text of universal value. personal demons and horoscope-casting. Continuity and Change in Roman Religion grounds that its principles are incompatible with those of discipline. H.5. spoiled the divine gift by creating a pseudo-science.

Cf. pp. 118-19. 87 Myst. II. adaptations.92This belief and the hopes it stimulated are at the root of several theories of divination.Hex.9. which. i6. Aneb. HE iii. discreet and mobile.6B.7)92 See J. Believing that he was echoing Iamblichan views. passim (1-148. literally standing on characters. Vita Procli 35. Plotinus. faces the practice of astrology as a major social evil. -3.85 Porphyry had also wondered whether it was possible to obtain truthful answers from home-made oracles based on magical symbols. i-I 39-40.6. vi.. these methods enjoyed the authority of tradition.90 With such a pedigree. 5770. P. a pseudo-science. one of which claimed that not all statues can serve as divine abodes. the emperor Julian. Io (= Blockley.-C. as witnessed by many sources including amulets and the random collection of magical papyri now available to us.farfromcausingthe presenceof anygod. Phil. Bishop of Emesa and a pupil of Eusebius. 'Iconography and context: ab oriente ad occidentem'.150-82. III.3. to do the same in a work that can be described as a pagan catechism. vnII. 89Or. art of divination as the spontaneous dvdyvoxjtI q)vortx6v YQataoxTov (111. mer (5e siecle apres J. Synesius.5. Reported by Porphyry as a matter of fact. Kalavrezou-Maxeiner. Salutius. I64. Eunapius.Sev. encouraged belief in the intrinsic sanctity of magical characters. . 12. in whose spirit Iamblichus speaks. the gods resided in their statues. Philoc. that is the reading of signs which are 3tavta 32. a Homer oracle).3.36-50.V.3. magically obtained oracles: Ammianus xxIx.8. dlTQo0X0oy7a. thanks to persistent misunderstanding. Mag.HTR 39 (1946). 95 Ep. see J. I30-4. II1. also Porphyry. Basil of Caesarea. I.'The imperial chamber at of Isis from Philae to the land of the Blemmyes and the Nobadae at fixed intervals for the giving of oracles is still attested in the mid-fifth century: Priscus.94 lamblichus argues that nothing made of matter can be inherently divine. it producesa movement of the soul which attractsbut a dim and ghostly reflectionof the gods.)'. he wondered. The Egyptian Hermes (I986). the various methods of telling the future by the use of magical symbols (XcTQcrixQg) flourished. III. 242-3. participating in a more divine world in its aesthetic dimension only. 175. 23 and Eusebius. Julian: an 154. I. Aneb. 90De Diis I5. II. but only those manufactured in a certain fashion. as he explains in another passage: Iieora 6e OXlltEov xcia ooq6po Tig 6 (AaOCbv Et ak&ov a&ko (II. xI. Athanassiadi.i67. that there are craftsmen who can produce statues able to attract gods for the purpose of divination. vI.91 Divination by Statues According to Egyptian belief. PE vi. I78-9. Fowden. for a detailed description of an 6tLoxTx6v with characters. in M. 85 C Th ix. DOP 29 (1975). cf. Besides. V.86 Concerning this practice Iamblichus was categorical: This bad and superficialtype of divination.89 and urged his friend and collaborator. see Liddell-Scott-Jones 91 On xI. and P.6). cf. 94 as suggested by the Porphyriantext. Pagan Gods and Shrines of the Roman Empire (1986). this theory seems to have annoyed Iamblichus. G.95 84 Origen.28-9. 'Magicalamulets'.3 For the semantic evolution of the term.3. Cerny.28. thus demonstrating the persistence of a practice whose appeal proved more durable than religious dogma. Dagron and J. 86 Ep. I. 'Trois horoscopes de voyages en Marinus casting Proclus' horoscope. For the important distinction between astronomy.262-78 and AOavxeiov . however. uses falsehoodand intolerablefraud. especially after divination was officially banned. Ancient Egyptian Religion (1952). lost his see for dabbling in astrology: Socrates. S. The ferrying of the statue 88 v. x. for instance. ZachariasScholasticus.which is accessibleto the greatmajorityof men. 90-I.2a: lt[ XacttaxQoV aTOVTo:?. and astrology. G. divination by characters could scarcely disappear. For practical Intellectual Biography2 (1992). 93Myst.2i6c. 'why should one exchange true existence for idols'. Henig and A.88 Inexpensive. is sometimesdisturbedby wickeddemonicspirits.305-68. Phil.29HE 27-34. King (eds). Harris. Plotinus 11. I44a-I45b. pp. ubiquitous. Sozomen. vii. 137-8. 27).33. John of Ephesus. did not prove influential. and that a statue is merely an artificial mixture of many heterogeneous forces and elements. because of its very debility. R. PO 2. Insomn. II. 1. Campbell Bonner. FHG Iv. Eusebius.6. In the following centuries astrology and its practical applications continued to thrive. 'and descend from the first beings to the very last?'93 Against Porphyry's view.84 His view. REB 40 (I982). a science. Luxor'. i i. fr.87 The facile practice that Iamblichus censures in this passage was widespread. VS vII. defines the By contrast.. For (1940).6. HE 11.I22 POLYMNIA ATHANASSIADI agreement with Eusebius. Indeed our late antique and medieval literary sources are studded with divinatory scandals of this type. Rouge. not least among Iamblichus' self-appointed adepts. 64ff. a clear account of the use of characters for magical purposes. Myst.

it is only because he saw it as the very flower of divination that he tried so hard to dissociate it both from fraudulent practices and from the compromised mainstream oracular tradition.9ff. i. divination by statues became standard Neoplatonic practice. 137.6.. 4ff.accelerated it by lending it the prestige of his name. 174. Damascius.6-Io.173.29.'02 Such a view of theurgy would have horrified lamblichus.. above. In Ti. chose to forget this brief sentence. lamblichus reserved no place of honour for them in his scheme. VII. THEURGY AND FREELANCE DIVINATION I23 Iamblichus' refutation of Porphyry's view does not seem to have had any effect. Theol. I. n. among many others.2. Prod. to Porphyry's 97 See above. any more than they were in a position to see that Iamblichus' hierarchization of the cosmos was but a didactic device. The Egyptian Hermes (I986). Ep. 8). Marinus. though it must be pointed out that this was an easier task: the great oracular establishments were on the way to extinction and.3. yet this did not prevent the doctrine and practice of et'oxQoLILfrom becoming co-terminous with theurgy. sensing this.452a.. contains a straightforwardstatement that the god can be constrained to enter a statue and render oracles. that is of the ritual purification of a statue so that it receives God for the purpose of prophecy. the opposition of theurgy to magic could be understood and enforced only by another holy man. Plat. E[oxotLXL by the help of XaQctXiTQeg: Hermias. This could indeed happen because lamblichus' tenuous distinction between virtue and technical expertise .96 Another theory which originated in the belief that divinity may reside in statues was that of etoxtiQLLg. 00Myst. statues becoming animate: ibid. neither Julian nor Proclus nor any of the impressionable or scholastic minds who claimed descent from lamblichus were able to grasp and apply the criterion of holiness set by him. ooq(ac. 273. 26ff.. who in his letter to Porphyry went to great lengths to argue that theurgy is the way of the wholly virtuous.the combination of the two methods having already been advocated by Porphyry. partly on Christian polemic. at least in theurgical circles in Egypt. 111. II.29. 28. n.'01 Ironically. 99 Julian.175. p. On Maximus. 57c: in lamblichus there is to be found To6 TrXog. im. 6. XI. In Ti.g. claims Dodds in his influentialarticle (above. 101 v Psellus. I iff. As we have seen. 89a. av PoLv aXQLg& tuxivfl ?X6Og TOV 96 Isid. 89b. Fowden. modern scholarship understandably claims that theurgy and magic are disciplines resting on the same presuppositions and using some of the same methods in pursuit of different ends. Iamblichus had warned that 'one must apprehend the nature of this miracle-mongering and under no circumstances perform it or believe in it!'98 Yet one of his assiduous readers and warmest admirers could face Maximus as god on earth without sensing any contradiction in his allegiance. see also n. For Maximus animating a statue of Hecate. I (1876). 103cf. The sixth-century Athenian diadochus.6. But in the latter effort he was successful. MeaatcovtwxBtfSiAtoONxl 102 'The procedures of theurgy were broadly similar to those of vulgar magic' (n. I2 (Bidez).or what has come to be called 'theurgical divination' . But sadly. In the former attempt he failed. Public Oracles and Official Divination Based partly on post-Iamblichan Neoplatonic evidence.99 As we learn from Eunapius. Phil..97 Among Iamblichus' successors at one remove we find Maximus of Ephesus using statues of gods in order to perform miracles. III.i8ff. 474. Porphyry's question endorsed by Proclus: In Ti. 98 Myst.. far from arresting the course of the practice. Ep. 73).).12. VS vn. From Maximus onwards. reports as a sign of spiritual perfection that Heraiscus of Alexandria could tell the difference between a divine and a lifeless statue even at a distance. and emphasis was laid on the technicalities of the process which often involved the use of 'characters'. i87 in Sathas. 111. cf. Or. though it should be seen as a measure of the influence of the De Mysteriis that the misunderstood figure of the lamblichan theurgist gained such currency in subsequent times. an axiom which still seems to be universally accepted (cf. lamblichus' condemnation of statue prophecy . 97. see Eunapius. indeed. 87. ibid. despite both the danger that this act involved for his personal safety. and Iamblichus' verdict about technicians in divination: 'never will any divine light shine upon such souls!'10?Julian. p.i55. For violence used against the gods. . e. Ep.298b. 19. G. it was precisely a story about how Maximus had animated a statue of Hecate that set Julian in pursuit of him. Trig&vft0oxLvrg .30. ritually purified statues symbolizing the presence of the gods: Proclus. Io-2: xtaPLE(iaLE u OFlov TTIV To e@QajevEuovTa. In Phdr.. Iamblichus categorically denied that divinity may be drawn to a statue.103 Thus. I.DREAMS.in other words. fr.

they were useful accessories. the latter are a creation of the passions and should therefore be omitted from a serious discussion of mantic dreams. 72. as in R.I24 POLYMNIA ATHANASSIADI questions about what was happening at Delphi. as the case might be. there were many others who continued to honour these deeplyrooted practices in the Mediterranean world.108 Unlike his Christian counterparts. CTh xvI. 9. for which lamblichus provides a full typology. he likewise dismissed as mere craftsmanship some very ancient and popular divinatory methods. n. such as augury by the flight of birds and the observation of animal entrails.2-3. Lo.106For Iamblichus.7.4. Eusebius. Cf. 'Daikrates' dream: a votive relief from Kos.4: ao'I 8nQ(peoV QoaytdT(0ov. n. On the distinction between the 'Roman' and the 'Christian' use of the term superstitio in the fourth century.113As a natural sequel to this section.107 Soon. for any success they may have is purely coincidental. he attempted to dispel Porphyry's doubts by having recourse to the current distinction between predictive dreams (OveIQol) and mere fantasies (:vufrvLa).g. 'Une evolution du paganisme greco-romain: injustice et piete des dieux. II1.109Just as his view of the divine cosmos was built on the assumption of homogeneity and not of spatial hierarchization (yet a homogeneity that could at any moment be compromised by the intrusion of foreign elements).. 45-62. Oniromancy lamblichus lived in a world where prophecy by dreams was both traditional and popular. sanctioned by tradition. n. to the third/fourth centuries A. rather than lamenting the fate of the great prophetic sites of the ancient world. as Iamblichus had pertinently pointed out. xvI. nn. 105 See above. 'Philosophers and oracles: shifts of authority in late paganism'. 1-38. because of an original association with the god: the holy water.C. but historically. vi. 14.105 Besides the emperor Julian. Iamblichus was not an intellectual snob. Truth for lamblichus could be found at all levels of religious experience. are caused by the gods. leurs ordres ou "oracles"' Latomus 45 (1986).4.112lamblichus' most interesting pages on prophetic dreams are those in which he describes how they occur. however. 259-83. the divine staff or the fiery element. had divided 'onirologists' into believers and unbelievers. 1" Abundant evidence for dream oracles from the fifth/ fourth centuries B. since Aristotle's day. BABesh 5I (1976). Iamblichus answered with the boldness of the intelligent reformer. 134. 23. 112 Myst. 104 Myst.11'He fully acknowledged the fact and joined in the discussion which. Iamblichus gives the impression that he differed little from his Christian counterparts. 111. 108ibid.154.11.D. (Pack) p. Byzantion 62 (1992). Athanassiadi.104 In his attitude to much that pertained to traditional oracular practice. PE III. Io. MacMullen. not a merely intellectual entity. 1-2) and propagatedby modern prejudice. despite their occasional misuse at the hands of mortals. 107 Myst.i. Gascou.is well to be found in F. CJ 1.7.4-9. I (A. 3.D. On the transfer of the numinous from institutions to individuals in late antiquity see now P. Pagans and Christians (1986). had kept their divine core intact. he proclaimed their irrelevance to the core of divination.2. .I2. xvI. 392). 102. Subscribing to the former category. and offers a full 'theurgic' interpretation of their function in the cosmos. 109A distinction imposed on us by Christian polemic (e. 52. o0See above. Thus he argued that Etruscan divination and street magic were equally ungodly disciplines. See also below.II. see J. 106Ammianus xxv. 135-6. which of course never went out of fashion. T. while theurgic divination and oniromancy. with truth inhabiting the level of learned opinion and suffering a progressive weakening as it associated with more popular forms of learning.particularly represented. 53. Paganism in the Roman Empire (i981). bishops and emperors were to join their voices with Iamblichus' in denunciation of these squalid practices. J3EL XQV T? al vI. and some kat'onar dedications'. these technicalities were no better than the various methods of popular magic which sought to reveal the future by using corpses of animals. 652-5. for a corrective view. And just as.I6. truthfulness and falsehood in the spiritual sphere were not dependent on the simplistic scheme of learned versus popular religion. To his mind. who here too did not prove a very careful reader of Iamblichus.17. 'Le rescrit d'Hispellum'. Didyma. III. R. however. played a preparatory role in the dispensation of the divine word.22. and not crucial elements in the wielding of prophecy. 56. these places were sacred not theologically.D. 111. MEFR LXXIX (1967). and CTh Ix.2 and Artemidorus I. for it was a spiritual.110 so too the sphere of knowledge did not appear to him as a tiered structure.7. cf. since they encouraged people to think that they would discover what would happen in everyday life. above. for the third century see P. Veyne. and Claros. 113Myst. While the former. Lane Fox. For him. van Straten. with the second centuryA.

the case of Asclepiodotus of Alexandria. the obscure saints Cyrus and John served their apprenticeship at the shrine of Isis at Menuthis. op. cit. I8..84-91. On the history of the site. like Asclepius. 912. An excellent example of this is provided by the ancient oracle of Apollo Sarpedonius in Cilician Seleucia. but also universal belief in dreams and their prophetic/ healing function. III. (n. cf. and H. 44-7. Tl 121 cf. 17. Long after Bishop Cyril sent their relics to the Alexandrine suburb with the intent of ousting the goddess. xal XQLO'LaVOL6OVreg o- Intr. 116 Zosimus 1. NeueForschungen in Kilikien ( 986). 45d-I46a.18 Eventually he was. HE IIi. 120Cyril of Alexandria.8 and Dagron. 82.DREAMS. even after twenty camels loaded with sacred objects 115Myst. and even rhetorical contests take place. Mir. The variety of ethnic and geographic origin. see G. the author exposes in his introduction the fraudulence and wickedness of the pagan oracular tradition.. 24. he justified Iamblichus' insight unawares. Insomn. In similar circumstances. just as elsewhere he makes another province of human science. active in the second and third quarters of the fifth century. VAIII. . she is oLxoL: perpetually dashing all over the place. Dagron. n.e. 118 Mir. the Christians opened a rival oracle nearby some time before the end of the fourth century. 119 For Zeno's vision. though with considerably greater difficulty. This indeed happened. Isis)' moiqoov xailT6. Mir.3. h.44. including Cyprus. i. astronomy. o0OL &yQOi xai Mir. I6). that he would regain the throne.ta7c?ev6vT(nv61bt 0?o) . 11. 39. Indeed. 11. But the important theme remains that Thecla of Iconium made her reputation in the Byzantine world as a sender of prophetic dreams. an anonymous rhetor. intellectual level and age-group of the dreamers of Seleucia in this text indicates not only an atmosphere of religious ambivalence. THEURGY AND FREELANCE DIVINATION 125 he encourages incubation and. 117 Thecla appearsto Jews and pagans. and bestows her blessings on them. social status. 14. Mir. 22-31 and Cyril of Alexandria. 12. I o15. Fowden. Mir. G.114here he proclaims medicine to be the fruit of mantic dreams. Mir. 11. II05: o5QX?o0ooaVeI 6 ct1e0ovo016?eL y&ae [fLiv 6OVEiQCta dxaczifflXVcTv jTXdaTTeTaL' o6?ig 1 Xye?L 1O05 eQXOplVO1V-l'E@tIxev Kvud (i. his real aim was to convince everybody of the truth of Eusebius' thesis on pagan divination. 11. cf. at that date her establishment could still boast a staff of several priests and dream-interpreters. by reporting the fruit of a life-time's observation. 85-8. when he received an order in his sleep to go to Menuthis.117 But the purpose of the anonymous author was quite different and though. (n. 2 ibid. 38. she kept her supremacy unchallenged. In his Miracles of Saint Thecla. PG 77. 40. largely thanks to the venality of the local Christian community. while in practical terms Thecla would appropriate to herself Apollo's clientele. Zacharias. 6iL TOiVTo v dX'h6Lvvxal [caQzTov XEi4cav. Hild. Intr. 34. ora Iyvlr. 14 See above. 43. solely dependent on revelation. 46. Mir.Ioo-IoI.119a skill that she acquired in Seleucia. and shows throughout how Sarpedonius Apollo was a pathetic demon frightened out of existence by Thecla's superior power. but it took more than three generations for the transfer to be effected. The Egyptian Hermes (1986).2-4. Hellenkemperand F. i8.116 As Apollo's prestige refused to dwindle. While one by one the great oracular centres were falling silent. those shrines where prophecy was dispensed through incubation continued to thrive. 26. Yet.121indeed. see Evagrius. his subsequent campaign and his construction on the site of a y[tEYLo1V TE[Etvog.115 Iamblichus' emphasis on oniromancy was fully vindicated by historical developments. i8. 163-4 (on Thessalus). 10. By having recourse to the same old examples. cit. I . living in Aphrodisias in Caria. her yearly festival attractspeople from the whole area.34-5. those who ask for prophecy are iaxvTrg av0onQtoL ooa y?aQfvIq. 15. 55-73. Vita Sevein 17. ooaL xdTcia.120As late as the 480s Isis was in a position to summon her faithful from afar to her incubatory centre at Menuthis merely by appearing in their sleep. Mir. but her church is alwaysthronged with the sick of all ages. 33.57. PG 1101: OT laTx ?QTITE OLa EXQTlEV aTcpov 77. Vie et miracles de Sainte Thecle (I978). De Cyro et Johanne.122 The process of transfer of power was set in motion at Menuthis only after the dislocation of its crypto-pagan community. while the whole suburb has become an informal submonastic refuge. Mir. in which St Thecla prophesied Tco T)ioaCLEV&yov &vaxyais qp6XXovT. 40. 120). Mir. The point concerning the universality of dream divination was explicitly made by Synesius of Cyrene. Philostratus. Intr. which was of such importance in Iamblichus' day that both the emperor Aurelian and Queen Zenobia felt the need to consult it as they prepared for their struggle. such was their popularity that in many cases they were allowed to go into abeyance only once their functions had been assumed by the Church. 41. xIII. op. has left a detailed account of the trickling of influence from the pagan to the Christian dream-oracle.. 29. 5963. cf. The purpose that the imported martyr Thecla was expected to serve was twofold: on the supernatural level her relics would neutralize the demonic power of the pagan prophet.

Robert. Pisciculi: Studien zurReligion undKultur desAlterums. at Abydus. 3 8-19 and Athanassiadi. for a fuller description of the situation. 374. who one evening. 13 According to the Eusebian pattern. no. Coquin. 689-90. 117-24. Perdrizet and G.I26 POLYMNIA ATHANASSIADI arrived at Alexandria and the idols were festively burned. the renown of the Menuthian Isis remained unblemished abroad.3. Memoiresde la mission archeologique Amelineau. see Ammianusxix. pp. Franz Joseph Dolger. 33-6... he could enjoy the doubtful privilege of seeing the city fall to the Muslims. Lieux saints et pelerinages d'Orient (I985). 125 Ammianus XIX. he would be assaulted by the demon and handicapped for life. 128 Memnonion no. For the history of the site. no. V. it went on enjoying international fame long after paganism was officially banned. despite its relative remoteness. after the repeated entreaties of his disciples. ibid. who had consulted Bes by correspondence. Lefebvre. Fernandez Marcos.'26 In a period of a thousand years the identity of the divine prophet changed twice. forthcoming). and led them to Abydus to confront Bes. francaise au Caire IV. Indeed the monk Sophronius. 503: TO6v avTXov OX. More obscurely. be of Jewish extraction. though our text comes to an abrupt end at this point. Los Thaumata de Sofronio. and told others of the reliability of Bes. if a hostile person dared approach the temple of Bes. cit. as Patriarch of Jerusalem. For the date of Apa Moses. Ve Section (Sciences religieuses) 92 (1983-84). among whom was the author of our Vita. 2.3-i5. 528.130 What is certain is that. spent many a night incubating at their shrine before his eyesight was restored to him so that. A priestmyself. see R. This information comes from the very fragmentary Coptic Vita of Apa Moses of Abydus. 129 &kTOea.125another ancient dreamoracle had been functioning without interruption since Pharaonic times and. Bes continued to be all-powerful at Abydus and it is not unlikely that Christians too came to sleep at his oracle. 'in the depths of the Thebaid'. op. Sev. Harpocras. see P.2 (I895) fr. og &pvroxrov xaL 6&' OAg fjg xoutx'vrg RalTWQoviUevov. 528: dinX'eag 6ve@ouvg."28 Like Harpocras. the wicked demon was annihilated by coming into contact with the power of Christ. the dream-giver.inhabitantof the holy city of Panias. people returned to repeat their experience.129When in the fifth century the Thebaid was filled with monasteries.no. dargeboten (i939). Annuaire de I'Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes.123 If abroad people could still at the close of the fifth century enjoy the nocturnal visitations of Isis. Contribuci6n al estudio de la incubatio cristiana ( 975).JHS I 13 ( 993. no. no. 685-6. the founder of a monastery in the region. Athanassiadi. For the eventual Islamization of the dream oracle (re-named in due course Abukir after Aba Cyrus!). To Bes the diviner. often by correspondence. with L. as his peers in Cilicia and Alexandria had done. yet one suspects that the locals continued for some time to receive Bes' nocturnal visitations. the belief was widespread that. we are left in no doubt of which way victory went. 126 P. 524: T@oox vrlcUVtiaxoi '3o iQ 'Iowvvou. 500: navXakOfit. at Menuthis itself pilgrims came increasingly under the sway of Cyrus and John. and the second time the Hellenistic Erzatz Sarapis was supplanted by the increasingly popular Bes. 493: camvak^1i. People from all walks of life addressed their enquiries to Bes. 124 Latest edition by N. The demon played many tricks on his aggressors. of course.'24 At Seleucia and Menuthis then.-G. Herzog.. more than a century after the death of Theodosius I. though the most pious came and slept at the shrine in the hope of obtaining prophetic dreams. 127 For a case of high treason under Constantius II. I. who may. 492:navakXiq. (n. implicating high officials and intellectuals in Egypt and Syria. Les graffitesgrecs du Memnoniond'Abydos (1919). vi.I 2. Maraval. 131 E.127As an articulate pilgrim from Caesarea Panias in Galilee put it: I have often slept here and hadtruthfuldreams. ibid. xix-xxiii. and the letter never reached its destination. together Memnonion no. 'Der Kampf um den Kult von Menuthis'. in infinitegratitude. took seven terrified monks. For the prosperity of paganism in the area in the early sixth century. ip2EVoTov. to whom we owe the impressive list of miracles performed by the two saints around the end of the sixth century. . cf. We do not know whether Apa Moses undertook to Christianize Abydus' oniromantic tradition. the priestCoprias'belovedoffspring. Hellenica xiii. 'Christianismes orientaux'.. 123).1i0. see R. but Apa Moses kept encouraging his monks and. as the bearer of the synodal letter by which Peter Mongus asked Nonnus of Aphrodisias to publicize the matter was corrupted by the pagan network in Caria. 102. 489: 6nvxtLv no. 'Persecution and response in late paganism: the evidence of Damascius'. see P. Apollo and Isis kept the oracular tradition going against all odds for so long that in the end the Christian establishment had to suspend pretence and adopt it. After all 'the laws of the 123Zacharias.

who then found it impossible to replace it. Menuthis. 'Studies in the Graeco-Romanbeliefs of the empire'. Insomn. he imported into his argument an idea from Jewish theology and applied it unequivocally to a dynamic philosophical notion.Mitt. magically produced dreams run an increased danger of not being truthful as well as of not being precisely remembered. i. L. I. Belief in the god's residence in his main sanctuarywas well entrenched. cf. temple inscriptions. 72. Graf). The practice was not limited to the lower classes: Dio Herodian Cassius LXXIII.136 about all that pertains to the magical experience'. 132 Synesius.664-85 (tavTooiiviv . 45-6]. G. in C. 59.23.139 Here too Iamblichus seems to have provided the clue: though the magician could produce prophetic dreams by following technical instructions. Just as Asclepius was known since classical times to be present at Epidaurus (a circumstance to which we must attribute the prosperity of this sanctuary in late antiquity). IO. 137M. together with R. Herzog. His vision of contemporary prophecy and of the ways in which it could be exterminated was disarmingly if dishonestly . xai [tveTisg). THEURGY AND FREELANCE DIVINATION I27 malicious state cannot prevent dream divination nor indeed could they do so. amulets. however.135 To such an extent were Against the complete security attached to oniromancy wielded outside an institutional framework. V.3 (193 ). xxII. Die Wunderheilungen von Epidauros.-93. Whether he did this fully consciously we cannot tell. through were his experience of divine union. 121). about divination. Porph. the characteristic inscription on an amulet from xac X%QllaC)v K6iQe 660 Rome. 146a... Isid. no. R. E. F. Geschichte der griechischen Religion ii (I9743). and Bes (incidentally. Delphes: son oracle et ses dieux (1976). 336-7? 38 As the order of Isis to Asclepiodotus implies (see above. oracles by means of epic poetry.8. Markthe Deacon. the gods most frequently encountered in the magical papyri) were resident at Seleucia. Asclepius was immediately sent for.3. 5-7. 328ff. if they wanted for to'. Faraone and D. Roux. as in Galen 19. EUSEBIUS. 176-87. LXXV. above. Isis.138 Conversely. and in this connection both the Praeparatio Evangelica and the De Mysteriis proved in their different ways strangely visionary and influential texts. IV. see now S. IAMBLICHUS AND THE FUTURE OF PROPHECY Magic. 16. For where God has been known to speak truthfully neither reasoning nor violence can deter man from seeking out this truth.I6: rl t XQpTi[ixLio6vLOL v Tfl vUvxI TaUTIn tj' l&Xs0eEi( ?1ET'a Also PMag. Magika Hiera (i991). i. XII. Aristagorahad her head cut off from her body by Asclepius' sons. pretending not to know anything about the history and the actual state of paganism. xaTdxXtLLg may also mean horoscope-casting at the hour a patient takes to his bed. 23: at the Asclepieion at Troezen. n. 135 P. for it was natural for him to transpose the concept of sacred place from his Judaeo-Christian background into the area of paganism.. for a systematization of the evidence for inducing dreams. it was only the theurgist who.2.132 the practice is EX[tuIog. and this is what ensured their exceptionally long life.. while in the meantime the 6QIt patient remained headless xai 6 caT<Q>eigS [i'apQ t]av xecpaX&v d(patl'qcvav ToVoo!ctaxTog. Bis Acc. Nock. Nilsson. 12. the famous dream-oracles. d&Tiq). 145c133 (first dedication made at Didyma xaxta ovae). . Pagans and Christians (1986). n. vi. 35 (1985).137so too Apollo. Delphi had originallybeen a dream-oracle:Euripides.140 IV.1-2.DREAMS. IG XIv. and oniromancy are the two aspects through which prophecy prospered in late antiquity. W. and that is why it worked. 704-26 (lPEpaioS 6&& 140 Myst. II. Eusebius narrowed and confused the issue.See also the famous passage in Lucian.133 The evidence drawn from papyri. vII. 6veiQoVg) oracles (XQIT]LOLiO g).Mag.. !uAV6ljlg. sublimated under the name of theurgy. he exploited the semantic ambiguity of the word demon.P. II. 136 Damascius.4. revelations in dreams. two preoccupations which haunt all magical texts. Ist. mantic dreams normal in late antiquity that by the end of the fifth century the Alexandrians called their dreams (Txoi. In similar manner. sending of dreams. 134 cf. also A. Giinther. A. 73. 529. incubation (IrQiL xacaxtiaCeo). III. offered a guarantee of professionalism. I. the historians and the hagiographers makes it overwhelmingly clear that the commonest method of divination in late antiquity was by dream-oracles. I50-67. Obbink (eds). and Abydus respectively and appeared in person to their visitors. 48.24I3. D. 95-6 [= Essays. IT 1259ff. but could not come from Epidaurus until the following night. Lane Fox. 'Dreams and divination in magical ritual' (trans. we read in a Greek papyrus from fifth-century Egypt. JHS 45 (1925). Eitrem's posthumous study. According to tradition. LXXIX. PhilologusSuppl. n. Hellenica i. 'ask him about what you wish.3.. Robert.6.8. could guarantee that the O6VELQO actually 0e6Xi?EMotL. 189-91 cf. It was an image eminently graspable'and ibid. By ignoring the more fluid aspects of divination and concentrating his attack on the great oracular centres..134'When Apollo enters'. 139 cf. interpretation of dreams.simple.

(A. 151cf. fr. and more recently. Proclus lavished on Iamblichus his admiration. As well as his vagueness of exposition.24.141-2. 244 for the attribution. III. Affect. 'Antique statuary and the Byzantine beholder'. II. wood and flour. 435). in fact so shaded that even his own followers did not succeed in grasping its nuances. Proclus.1 Against Eusebius' clear and purposeful. In Ti. 146 Myst.151opts gladly for the splitting of hairs. Whereas Iamblichus is sarcastic towards those who stick to the letter of the Platonic text.D. see E. CQ 32 (1982). 142 For Aphrodite at Gaza. 61: (pd3r6aOtov 6 XQLOTO.3 etc.23. Of course. Iamblichus. Xyo[trev: Myst. If Eusebius' vision as it emerges from the Praeparatio Evangelica ignored the more fluid forms of divination. which inspired in his intellectual progeny a mood of religious respect.. but rather to be found in its raw state in the natural world. where Iamblichus is accused by Proclus of not being a careful reader of Plato. ibid. XQLtoLiavo zTO TIALOV TOVTeOTLV TOy TUitov TO oTavQpou).148yet both his methodology and metaphysics are strangely un-Iamblichan. 209. 77. 29ff. Les inscriptions grecques et latines de Philae ii (1969). 11. for the specific admission that he depends on the PE. on demons.232). Dagron. This impression was heightened and further spread by the representatives of the revived Athenian School. converted into a church of St Stephen in 537. and J.9. 214-15. Herrin.27. . 20o: 6 oTavQ6g dEi NVixqEa?V. For the survivalof belief in the demonic power of statues. iv. 127-50. 3I-4.or was it Syrianus? . 144 ibid. John Lydus Mens. Dillon in his introduction to Proclus' commentary On the Parmenides (1987). 23. ibid. if unsubtle. 111. 307. x.141One should not be surprised to find that both the spirit and the phraseology of all anti-pagan legislation down to the time of Justinian are strongly Eusebian. in frs 58 and 61 he opts for the simplest explanation. as has already been suggested.I9. 334.145 his readers might oppose his statement that even matter can be called pure and divine. what must have confused Iamblichus' readers is his ambiguous position on the issue of cult. In tune with the rest.28.administered to the saint of Apamea the coup Perhaps Iamblichus' greatest misfortune is that none of his pupils produced a biography that could convey something of the man's substance. As much by their teaching as by their example.28-9. For the temple of Isis at Philae. 148In Ti.uov ?v Tf OnTXTk.LaQFOAdov al6t'v TVlVoTanXTv xai dTaLitg JIoXirg. pp. Against his emphatic denial that divinity may be ritually drawn to a statue. vLXv ). frs 34 and 71 lamblichus disapproves of unnecessary distinctions. 15?. xv. JHS Io8 (i988). Mango. Although he often qualifies his defence of ritual by making its efficacy dependent on virtue. what must have finally contributed towards making his theory of divination either ungraspable or inapplicable by posterity were his austere monism and the ethics of sanctity which underlie it. Markthe Deacon.149and has recourse to analysis only as a last resort. v. the main culprit for this was Iamblichus himself. besides. v. Constantinoplein the Early Eighth Century: the Parastaseis Syntomoi Chronikai (I984). to whom sooner or later they were bound to abandon their patrimony. view of the pagan prophetic tradition and its future. the statement that God manifests Himself through pebbles and stones. until the diadochus Proclus . DOP 17 (1963). Myst. X6kov toV EooaxWdg 111. men like Maximus of Ephesus and his pupil Julian foisted on Iamblichus the image of the magician. G. 159. Averil Cameronand J. In Ti. 6 ?voLxCov bail.143his readers could quote. Bernand.33. lamblichus. nos 200-4 (esp. The demons who dispensed prophecy were by definition inferior to Christian saints. 1a5ibid.I28 POLYMNIA ATHANASSIADI de grace. see C.25. For Iamblichus and Syrianus.17.io. 9: ToavtaydtQ?oTLVtcdita Tig TOV nHXIdTvog6Lacvoitg. In Ti.23. Cf.2-3.I. xiii. vII. 147. Dillon. and Bes did. 59-64. EoQQPIEv ovvExXaaov aETXrv eisg 1Sokk xdaoFlaTa. and J. CTh xvI. &XX'oizX noXvkUoayq E ooAiv TrfgX (o5.15. and decries several traditional forms of divination. Theodoret. All that survived was a trivial halo of sanctity. as Apollo. 107. admittedly from another context. 14 On Syrianus' influence on Proclus. see Anne Sheppard. 165. I. teXhov ?X TO0 . 6.I.147 therefore it could easily be propagated by other polemicists or put into effect by men of action. V. providing they overlooked Iamblichus' qualification. this is only a way of Edv speaking ({i/ 6/ T1. that the matter which presents affinities with the divine is not manshaped. Ultimately the magic of the cross was superior to pagan magic.30. dead or alive. who produced a text often lacking in clarity and in structure. fr.150 Proclus is fascinated by the word. Isis. n. On the eternity of matter. nevertheless the inescapable impression left even on a careful reader by the De Mysteriis is that Iamblichus is a ritualist. 'Proclus' attitude to theurgy'.23. it at least provided a formula for their destruction whenever they could be pinned down against an institutional background. Porph. Iamblichus set an infinitely more shaded picture. 156-3I. 34-5. xxxi.. 75.146Above all. and seems to be happy 141 See above.25 143 Myst.TiT It6?v T6 q0(P@ov exTa (polpeov cTrleiov. Constantinople imaginaire (I984).97.gOavCutac?lTo . 152. 50 In In Ti. p. III. 82a.144To his objection to the divinity of statues on the grounds of their materiality.3 and On the Chaldaean Oracles ap. where the v'iXapt to receive divinity is surely our own body.

Proclus admits a hierarchization of the prophetic spirit. In Ti. m. 63. J. Intuition. i5ff. and those who preferhieraticpractice. with the result that he can be said to have played Porphyry to Iamblichus' Plotinus.. 1. 7 (Westerink). often to the detriment of clarity and detail. Iambl. cit. John Philoponus being a typical representative of this trend. 157 For Iamblichus agreeing with Plotinus. In Phil. 158lamblichus' manner is tnoJELTtXOTEov (intuitive). IV. also the valuable remarksof L.9.157In short. 159 For Proclus' daily programme. G. 22. Iv. 64. the way in which Proclus describes the theurgic ascent of the soul sets emphasis on knowledge rather than virtue and on the fragmentation of the cosmos rather than its unity. The Greek Commentaries on Plato's Phaedo I (1976). concentrating as it does on the essential. 156 Damascius. Porphyry and Proclus keep good company with the rest of the philosophers mentioned by Damascius as thinkers attached to the letter either of the Platonic texts under discussion or of cult. he writes v0eacotxCog an (in Proclus. Olympiodorus. where he is obliged to convict Iamblichus of inconsistency.153More specifically. Unlike Porphyry. 14. in Plat. Likewise. Chalc. cf. Proclus. fr. 293ab. inI. John Lydus.. as opposed to Porphyry'swhich is LiQlX(O'TEQOV (analytical): In Ti. i73b. but has a unified vision of the structure of all reality. the highest qualities in the spiritual and the moral spheres respectively are intuition and virtue. this was by no means the majority view among Christians. as observed by L. 6.like Iamblichusand Syrianusand Proclusand the adeptsof the hieraticSchool in general. p. (I973). 28c (In Ti.DREAMS. 307-9). cf. Proclus' conception of the function of the theurgist is in tune with the tradition which stems from Porphyry and is rejected by Iamblichus.172 (Westerink). Theol. Theol. paradoxically. G. Izff. n. n. Procl. 94). Marinus. neQei dyakadLCtov lamblichus attempted to prove the intrinsic sanctity of statues: ETcL [tdv 6 oxojitg 1W ed T? 6eiCaL T& cE6aoXa.. Dodds. M. Mens. 89b. IO. lamblichus was sometimes felt to be a pure Platonist: Damascius. 45-9.'56 Yet the pattern that emerges from these men's writings is different.154 Ironically. Appendix C. Bibl. 8).fragm. if Iamblichus spoke /vcraotLxiC0g. see also below. I56. is nevertheless slightly uneasy about it (art. Plat. one cannot escape the impression that to his mind theurgical divination is primarily dependent on complicated ritual acts. Even Julian seems to have understood what Iamblichus was saying on the divinity of statues and to have followed his teaching on this issue: Ep. I . is not the disagreement of Proclus and his successors with Iamblichus on the topic of divination. In Ti. Westerink in the introduction to his edition of Olympiodorus' commentary on the Phaedo (1976). 'IaFicXxp 160According to John Philoponus. the theory of divination put forward by the influential head of the Athenian School has a lot in common with those ideas of Porphyry which are challenged in the De Mysteriis. I9. 154In Ti. many Christians presented Iamblichus as the arch-magician. instead of the one b6otg claimed by Iamblichus. 155. 153 cf. 24ff.5. I59. Iamblichus. inspired manner): op. I8ff. who takes the statement of Photius-Philoponus at face value. cit. I. 152 A juxtaposition of the methods applied by the two men is to be found in Proclus.155 What is remarkable from our point of view. comm. p. In Ti. I. 155 ibid. InPhaed. 159 With friends like this.' See also nn. (n. I. in his lost treatise cod. Whereas for Plotinus and Iamblichus. 417-19. 215. Westerink."60Yet.like Porphyryand Plotinusand many other philosophers. For though occasionally Proclus denounces the technicians of prophecy. however. 15: 'Iamblichus' purpose is to make Plotinus' belief of the superiority of intuition to reason the guiding principle of a new systematic approach to Plato.53. The essential relation between Plotinus and lamblichus is one of vision and methodology. 307. 204.152Inevitably then. Dillon. does not proceed from point to point. 158. 31. and the testimony of Synesius of Cyrene is worth recalling in this connection. ff. 57. I. Plat. By the sixth century this belief was put forward unambiguously in a statement which has become classic: There are those who preferphilosophy. cf. In Phaed. Iv. which becomes weaker as it is dispensed by lower powers in the pyramid of being. i. 26-7. cf. dial. N). i6ff. . the person mainly responsible for belief in obtaining oracles through the animation of statues. and their teaching manner is rather careless. Photius. what of the Christian 'enemy'? Following the mainstream of inside pagan opinion. 55.158 Proclus had a scholastic mind which clung to the letter of both sanctity and metaphysics. A good example of Proclus'incapacityto grasp lamblichus' simplicity of thought is provided by his interpretation of Ti. which is a superior form of sight. but their firm conviction that their theory and practice of theurgy stemmed directly from his. THEURGY AND FREELANCE DIVINATION I29 only when he can indulge in an orgy of scholastic analysis. 12ff. who needs enemies? If the same people who extolled Iamblichus to the rank of the gods distorted his teaching on divination to the point of rendering it unrecognizable.

unlike that of Porphyry. Marmorstein) (1975). lamblichus does not constitute an obvious Christian target. The Christians rejected belief in fate solely on moral grounds.were a passing intervention with no real power over Being. T. but widely practised pastime which was persecuted by the state. secondly his views on fate and prophecy are not at such variance with standard Christian belief. which occurred towards the end of a night of inspiration in 405. In Alc. 88.161Claimed by its author as the product of automatic writing. Jdbir ibn Hayyan I (1942). Kraus. 5 (= Proclus. 42 (on Pythagorean commentaries). Barnes. and J. see N. Classical Heritage in Islam (trans. is hardly ever mentioned by Christian polemicists.I35c: 6e 6JIEQOQO)OLV (bC 6veiQWov te xai oo(qp.172though how and to what extent he was exploited by them is a subject awaiting research. LoXELXxLvEiV. 163 Insomn. they started their journey at diametrically opposite ends. and dismissed magical divination on the grounds that it uses violence towards the universe.167Synesius still presented prophetic dreams as the fruits of holiness.170For lamblichus on the other hand. Yet neither Eusebius nor Theodoret. To his mind man and God were for ever united. 2i819] (for Iamblichan influence). which did not recognize a divine origin to dreams. and their constant effort towards achieving reunion with God are eminently lamblichan themes. R. Arethusa Monographs io (n. trans. OU LAETeOTL 6AoxT4o(Ogd(lAaEt xI. divination by dreams was an extremely popular tuQaXev and the interest of Synesius' text resides in the fact that it provides an apology for it. (Iamblichus on ritual).164As we have seen. PG 149. and any elements that could blur this unity .272. E. Constantine and Eusebius (1981).8. though disdained by experts.7 and Gregory of Nyssa. Fat. 162 @QOUJtTOU 3TQcyJaTaog. pp.whether one chose to call them fate or passion . cf.I48-i49a.an otherwise flippant text .. 164Insomn. D.). xIv-xv.171 lamblichus' natural environment is.). as it developed from discussion in Sufi circles. This must indeed be the main reason why. vI. Basil of Caesarea. of course.I30 POLYMNIA ATHANASSIADI In a work of rare historical.163is the only universal road to the foreknowledge of the future. de0toul xaci . 5ib. I23ff. for they felt that. despite his cult among pagan intellectuals. I23-6. -Ji C1avTLXig 66oLiOOUQooSg 169 td tdOa. however. 172 M. one must remember that. fate had no place in the universe for purely ontological reasons: he conceived of the cosmos as a unity. Rosenthal. but most importantly he never writes in a defensive or aggressive spirit. v. Insomn. Ep. xII. among others. 165See above.d. the mystical dimension of Islam. Linley (ed. fr. University of Athens 161 Insomn. P. value the idiosyncratic bishop undertook to present divination by dreams as the only form of prophecy leading to God. v. cf. 154 ad fin. The See. 'Al-Farabi's theory of prophecy and divination'. F. xii. enjoyed a wide following. 166 Insomn. Synesius knew people who were collecting books on oniromancy. i44. if not literary. One should not forget that the Aristotelian view. ioff. xvII. Die arabischen Uebersetzungen aus dem griechischen (1960). 170 Insomn.). Proclus' Commentaryon the Pythagorean Golden Verses.162the De Insomniis . His name.169At the root of this treatment (which arises from negligence rather than deliberate scorn) lie three circumstances: firstly Iamblichus' style is not particularly relaxing. apt to arouse the Fathers' eristic vein. 167 168 Insomn. After all. practice. for an unpublished Arabic commentary on the Golden Verses. often expounded or pursued through methods which could well be described as 'theurgical'. can have been ignorant of his writ. It is in this work that Synesius offers abundant information about private oracular consultation as an expensive. That the teacher of Apamea was actually known in these milieux is established. Ibn al-Tayyib. if on matters of divination the two parties reached similar conclusions. PG 45. attributed in the title to Iamblichusand dated 677/1278-9. as a qualification to the second point. 44b.131d-I33a. as is the case in the Judaeo-Christian cosmology.i43b: i68.165 which was clearly influenced by Iamblichus' outlook:166 even though he espoused the conventional Neoplatonic view of the cosmos which laid emphasis on its hierarchical nature rather than its unity. did not pay any attention to Iamblichus. and on the other hand are to be found the rest of contemporary oracular methods .makes an important distinction: on one side stands dream divination which. i44a. 557. vIII. II. I47-8 [= Greek into Arabic (1962). Yet their belief in the essential unity of the cosmos and in inspired revelation. who does not allude to Iamblichus even once. belief in fate offended both the Creator and the created and rendered virtue superfluous. In Alc. i45b: JHS 77 (1957). by contradicting divine omnipotence and abolishing man's freedom of conscience. 171 Myst. where everything was produced by progression rather than craftsmanship.168 The great majority of Christians.all manner of private divination classified as lE avtLLX. Steinschneider. xII.Hex.ngs. I45-73. Walzer.

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