L’Esotérisme dans l’Antiquité


Un nouveau site web est en ligne (http://ancientesotericism.org/) pour tout ceux qui s’intéressent aux doctrines philosophico-religieuses qui nonobstant soient souvent considérées comme marginales dans l’histoire de la philosophie platonicienne de l’Antiquité tardive, ont joué un rôle très important dans celle-ci.

Voici les infos données dans l’onglet « About » : « Ancient Esotericism.org is the website for the Network for the Study of Ancient Esotericism (NSEA), a thematic network associated with the European Society for the Study of Western Esotericism (ESSWE). NSEA specializes in the study of esoteric phenomena of the ancient period and provides contact for specialists of ancient esoteric thought, history, and literature.

This website is intended as a resource for scholars and students. While the ancient sources (Gnostic, theurgic, Neoplatonic, Hermetic, etc.) of Western Esotericism possess enormous importance for the development of esoteric currents from the fourteenth century onwards, there remains only a minimum of interaction between the antiquity experts and their (proto)-modern colleagues. The Network therefore is intended to:

1) introduce scholarship on ancient esotericism to students of Western Esotericism,

2) serve as a forum in which to exchange ideas, notes and references, etc. outside of other professional bodies which are not concerned with esotericism per se,

3) to coordinate study and workshops with other working groups on the subject, such as the Society of Biblical Literature’s Section on Esotericism and Mysticism in Antiquity, and

4) (and most importantly) to provide a junction of the many resources online that can serve as aids in the study of this fascinating and difficult material (dictionaries, textual corpora, blogs, etc.) ».

Voici les onglets thématiques du site :


Pour accéder à la base de données « Les Platonismes de l’Antiquité Tardive » qui a été crée avec ce carnet de recherches cliquez sur http://philognose.org

Cette base de données permet de réaliser des recherches croisées entre les corpus philosophiques, gnostiques, hermétistes et chaldaïques, portant sur le vocabulaire, les doctrines et la bibliographie afférente.

Dieu sans la puissance

Dunamis et Energeia chez Aristote et Plotin

Gwenaëlle Aubry

Comptés par Aristote comme l’un des principaux sens de l’être, l’en-puissance et l’en-acte ouvrent dans la Métaphysique une voie négligée, mais qui permet peut-être d’en dépasser les lectures aporétiques comme les réductions ontothéologiques. C’est cette voie que l’on propose de suivre, en examinant au fil du texte, et dans leur corrélation, la constitution du projet métaphysique d’Aristote et celle du couple conceptuel de la dunamis et de l’energeia. Irréductibles tant à la puissance et à l’action qu’à la matière et à la forme, l’en-puissance et l’en-acte paraissent à même de fonder une ontologie unitaire, qui se dévoile aussi comme une ontologie axiologique, identifiant en l’acte le mode d’être du bien, en l’en-puissance son mode d’action. Cette ontologie porte une pensée singulière du divin : acte, et non « forme pure », sans puissance, mais non pas impuissant, le premier moteur aristotélicien échappe à l’alternative entre le Dieu tout-puissant de la tradition métaphysique et le Dieu faible des inquiétudes contemporaines. Qu’en est-il, alors, du devenir de cette ontologie? On tente de mesurer la portée du geste par lequel Plotin désigne son premier principe non plus comme acte mais comme puissance de tout, dunamis pantôn. Avec lui s’inaugurent peut-être la subversion et l’oubli d’une pensée pour laquelle l’être, et le divin, ne se confondent ni avec la puissance ni avec la présence.

(Text by the author)


Table des Matières: TdM_9782711628063

Essays in Ancient Greek Philosophy I

John P. Anton – Editor and George L. Kustas – Editor, 1971


The essays in this volume treat a wide variety of fundamental topics and problems in ancient Greek philosophy. The scope of the section on pre-Socratic thought ranges over the views which these thinkers have on such areas of concern as religion, natural philosophy and science, cosmic periods, the nature of elements, theory of names, the concept of plurality, and the philosophy of mind.

The papers dealing with the Platonic dialogues examine with unusual care a great number of central themes and discuss them in considerable depth: problems in language and logic, myth, reason, hypothesis, eros, friendship, reason, morality, society, art, the nature of soul, and immortality; in addition, they offer fresh discussions on a number of basic morphological, methodological, and philological issues related to philosophical arguments and introduce new aspects for a critical reexamination of controversies surrounding the doctrines and the authenticity of certain Platonic works.

The essays on the philosophy of Aristotle are closely reasoned analyses of such basic themes as the universality of the sensible, the nature of kinesis, the problem of future contingencies, the meaning of qualitative change, the doctrine of phantasia, the essence of intelligence and the metaphysical foundations for the ethical life.

The essays on post-Aristotelian developments in ancient philosophy offer challenging and well-documented discussions on topics in the history of ancient logic, categorical thought, the ethical doctrines of ancient Scepticism, epistemological issues in the physical theory of the Epicureans, and basic concepts in the metaphysics of the neo-platonists.





Journal Abbreviations


  1. Pre-Socratics

Religion and Natural Philosophy in Empedocle’s Doctrine of the Soul – Charles H. Kahn

Cosmic Periods in the Philosophy of Empedocles – Edwin L. and Minar, Fr.

Mind’s Commitment to the Real: Parmenides B8. 34-41 – Alexander P. D. Mourelatos

The Problem of Anaxagoras – Margaret E. Reesor

Empirical Aspects of Xenophanes’ Theology – H. A. T. Reiche

Anaximander and the Problem of the Earth’s Immobility – John Robinson

A Zenonian Argument Against Plurality – Gregory Vlastos

Parmenides on Names – Leonard Woodbury


2. Plato

The Argument from Opposities in Republic V – R. E. Allen

Gorgias and the Socratic Principle Nemo Sua Sponte Peccat – Guido Calogero

Dreaming and Waking in Plato – David Gallop

Techne and Morality in the Gorgias – Robert W. Hall

On the “Gold-Example” in Plato’s Timaeus (50A5-B5) – Edward N. Lee

Some Observations Concerning Plato’s Lysis – Donald Norman Levin

Language, Plato, and Logic – Ronald B. Levinson

Reason and Eros in the “Ascent”-Passage of the Symposium – J. M. E. Moravcsik

The Unity of the Laches – Michael J. O’Brien

The Two States in Plato’s Republic – Martin Ostwald

Supporting Themes in the Symposium – George Kimball Plochmann

The Argument for Immortality in Plato’s Phaedrus – Thomas M. Robinson

Plato’s Hypothesis and the Upward Path – Thomas G. Rosenmeyer

Reply to Dr. Levinson – Rosamond Kent Sprague

The Creation Myth in Plato’s Timaeus – Leonardo Tarán

The Philosophical Passage in the Seventh Platonic Letter and the Problem of Plato’s “Esoteric” Philosophy – Kurt von Fritz


3. Aristotle

The Metaphysical Foundations for Aristotle’s Ethics – Thomas Gould

The Universality of the Sensible in the Aristotelian Noetic – Joseph Owens

Aristotle on κίνησις – Arthur L. Peck

Aristotle’s Treatment of φαντασία – D. A. Rees

Notes on Aristotle De anima 3.5 – John M. Rist

Aristotle’s Doctrine of Future Contingencies – Richard Taylor

The Aristotelian Doctrine of Qualitative Change in Physics VII, 3 – G. Verbeke


4. Post- Aristotelian Philosophy

Ancient Interpretations of Aristotle’s Doctrine of Homonyma – John P. Anton

Οὐ μᾶλλον and the Antecedents of Ancient Scepticism – Phillip DeLacy

Knowledge of Atoms and Void in Epicureanism – David J. Furley

Body and Soul in the Philsophy of Plotinus – A. N. M. Rich

Subject Index

Name Index

Religious Competition in the Third Century CE: Jews, Christians, and the Greco-Roman World

(Supplements to Journal of Ancient Judaism, 15)


by Nathaniel DesRosiers,‎ Jordan D Rosenblum,‎ Lily Vuong, (Editors), Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Supplement edition, 2013.


The essays in this work examine issues related to authority, identity, or change in religious and philosophical traditions of the third century CE. This century is of particular interest because of the political and cultural developments and conflicts that occurred during this period, which in turn drastically changed the social and religious landscape of the Roman world. The specific focus of this volume edited by Jordan D. Rosenblum, Lily Vuong, and Nathaniel DesRosiers is to explore these major creative movements and to examine their strategies for developing and designating orthodoxies and orthopraxies. Contributors were encouraged to analyze or construct the intersections between parallel religious and philosophical communities of the third century, including points of contact either between or among Jews, Christians, pagans, and philosophers. As a result, the discussions of the material contained within this volume are both comparative in nature and interdisciplinary in approach, engaging participants who work in the fields of Religious Studies, Philosophy, History and Archaeology. The overall goal was to explore dialogues between individuals or groups that illuminate the mutual competition and influence that was extant among them, and to put forth a general methodological framework for the study of these ancient dialogues. These religious and philosophical dialogues are not only of great interest and import in their own right, but they also can help us to understand how later cultural and religious developments unfolded.

(Text by the editors)







I: Assessing Religious Competition in the Third Century : Methods and Approaches

Daniel C. Ullucci – What Did He Say ? The Ideas of Religious Experts and the 99 %

Heidi Marx-Wolf – Pythagoras the Theurgist Porphyry and Iamblichus on the Role of Ritual in the Philosophical Life

Arthur P. Urbano – Narratives of Decline and Renewal in the Writing of Philosophical History

Steven J. Larson – The Trouble with Religious Tolerance in Roman Antiquity

Kevin M. McGinnis – Sanctifying Interpretation The Christian Interpreter as Priest in Origen

Andrew B. McGowan – Rehashing the Leftovers of Idols Cyprian and Early Christian Constructions of Sacrifice


II: Ritual Space and Practice

Gregg E. Gardner – Competitive Giving in the Third Century CE Early Rabbinic Approaches to Greco-Roman Civic Benefaction

Nathaniel P. DesRosiers – Oath and Anti-Oath Alternating Forms of Community Building in the Third Century

Jordan D. Rosenblum and Daniel C. Ullucci – Qualifying Rabbinic Ritual Agents Cognitive Science and the Early Rabbinic Kitchen

Lily C. Vuong – The Temple Persists Collective Memories of the Jewish Temple in Christian Narrative Imagination

Jacob A. Latham – Battling Bishops, the Roman Aristocracy, and the Contestation of Civic Space in Late Antique Rome


III: Modes of Competition

Karen B. Stern – Inscription as Religious Competition in Third-Century Syria

Gil P. Klein – Spatial Struggle Intercity Relations and the Topography of Intra-Rabbinic Competition

Ari Finkelstein – The Use of Jews in Julian’s Program “Dying for the Law” in the Letter to Theodorus – A Case Study

Todd S. Berzon – Heresiology as Ethnography Theorising Christian Difference

Todd C. Krulak – The Damascian Dichotomy Contention and Concord in the History of Late Platonism

Ross S. Kraemer – Gendering (the) Competition Religious Competition in the Third Century : Jews, Christians, and the Greco-Roman World


List of Abbreviations

Collected Bibliography

List of Contributors


Priests and Prophets among Pagans, Jews and Christians

Series:  Studies in the History and Anthropology of Religion, 5


Editors:  Dignas B., Parker R., Stroumsa G.G., 2013


The emperor Julian pointed out that the duties of priesthood were better understood among ‘the impious Galileans’ (i.e. Christians) than among his pagan contemporaries. Like the emperor, the essays in this volume look in both directions. Its pages are populated by very diverse figures: Plutarch, Aelius Aristides, Alexander of Abonouteichos, Daniel the Stylite, Gregory of Nazianzus, Shenoute of Atripe, Mani, Muhammad, and a host of anonymous Greek and Roman priests, prophets, and diviners. The priests of second temple Judaism are considered too. Both in the Greco-Roman and the early Christian worlds the neat division between priests and prophets proves hard to sustain. But in terms of fame and influence a strong contrast emerges between Greco-Roman and Judeo-Christian prophets; this is why it is only among Jews and Christians that ‘false prophets’ are feared. Two recurrent preoccupations are the relation of priests and prophets to secular power, and the priest/prophet not as reality but as idea, an imagined figure. Leading scholars of the religions of antiquity come together in this wide-ranging and innovative volume.

(Text by the editors)




Notes on Contributors

R. PARKER, Introduction

J. SCHEID, Priests and Prophets in Rome

T. RAJAK, Investment in/of the Jerusalem Priesthood in the Second Temple and Beyond

N. MCLYNN, Aelius Aristides and the Priests

B. DIGNAS, Greek Priests in the First Three Centuries CE: Traditional, Diverse, Wholly New?

N. BELAYCHE, Priests as Diviners: An Impact on Religious Changes in Imperial Anatolia?

J.N. BREMMER, The Representation of Priests and Priestesses in the Pagan and Christian Greek Novel

S. ELM, Priest and Prophet: Gregory of Nazianzus’s Concept of Christian Leadership as Theosis

K. TRAMPEDACH, Daniel Stylites and Leo I: an Uneasy Relationship between Saint and Emperor

G.G. STROUMSA, False Prophets of Early Christianity

Index of names, subjects and passages.

Der Mittelplatonismus 

by Clemens Zintzen (Editor), 1981


Comme les autres volumes de la collection, celui-ci reproduit des études de divers auteurs qui étaient disséminées dans plusieurs ouvrages on revues et qui, réunies, présentent les divers aspects d’une question. Il s’agit dans le cas présent de l’histoire du platonisme depuis le Ie. siècle avant J.-C. jusqu’au IIe. après. Toutes sont en allemand, qu’elles aient été écrites dans cette langue ou traduites pour la circonstance.  Le choix de Cl. Zintzen est intéressant: les travaux qu’il a retenus comptent effectivement parmi les meilleurs ou les plus significatifs sur le sujet; ils concernent Eudore (J. M. Dillon); Philon (P. Boyancé et W. Theiler); Gaios (K. Praechter); Albinos (H. Cherniss, J. H. Loenen, H. A. Wolfson, J. M. Whittaker, R. M. Jones, A. N. M. Rich, J. M. Rist); Apulée (Cl. Morechini, R. Mortley, G. Barra); le commentaire anonyme sur le Théétète (K. Praechter); Justin et le platonisme chrétien (C. Andresen, N. Hyldahl, J. C. M. van Winden, J. H. Waszink); Numénius et Ammonius Saccas (H. Ch. Puech, R. Dodds). Suivent quelques indications bibliographiques et des index. Un livre utile.

(Text by P. Nautin)

Je voudrais vous indiquer l’exposition « Alexandrie la divine » qui aura lieu du 5 avril 2014 au 31 août 2014 à la Fondation Martin Bodmer et le colloque scientifique sur le thème des « Sagesses barbares » qui aura lieu à Fribourg en août 2014.

Voici le résumé du projet rédigé par les organisateurs (cf. http://fondationbodmer.ch/2011/12/alexandrie-la-divine/) : « Le projet «Alexandrie la Divine» associe la Fondation Martin Bodmer (Cologny-Genève; FMB), la Fondation Gandur pour l’Art (FGA), la Biblio­teca Medicea Laurenziana (Florence; BML), la Bibliothèque de Genève (BGE) et la Fondation Carène (photographies). Il rassemble une centaine de chercheurs autour d’un projet de publication scientifique et muséographique sur le thème du dialogue des cultures dans l’Alexandrie ptolémaïque et romaine, et plus largement, dans l’espace hellénistique et romain. La parution de l’ouvrage est prévue en avril 2014 (1140 p., 2 vol., Editions du Cerf). L’exposition sur le même thème se tiendra à la Fondation Martin Bodmer d’avril à septembre 2014. Elle présentera des papyri (collections FMB et BGE), des ma­nuscrits et imprimés (collections FMB et BML), des objets archéologiques (col­lec­tion FGA) et des tirages argentiques des sites archéologiques majeurs (F. Möri).

La coexistence des cultures les plus anciennes et les plus vénérables d’alors – l’Égypte, la Judée, la Perse, l’Inde – en un même espace sous domination gréco-macédonienne, a fait d’Alexandrie «l’axe du monde» alors connu, et a infléchi le développement des cultures en jeu. Un développement que la domination ro­maine n’a pas entravé, à une époque où fleurirent les religions nouvelles, dont le christianisme, qui y développa des principes théologiques comptant parmi les plus importants de son histoire. Toutes ces cultures furent influencées, parfois de manière décisive, par ce bouillonnement culturel intense. C’est ce phénomène d’interactions que nous souhaitons étudier, sur la durée, sans nous limiter à la cité fondée par Alexandre, mais en la considérant comme l’axe de l’espace dont elle fut un réceptacle. Notre champ de recherches s’étend de l’Egypte ptolé­maïque et de la Grèce classique (études des prodromes) aux héritages d’Alexan­drie dans le monde musulman (translatio studiorum) et dans l’espace culturel chré­tien (Byzance, Europe occidentale) jusqu’à la Renaissance (le projet des Médicis).

Ce projet, dont l’IRD assume la coordination scientifique, en col­la­boration avec le Prof. Charles Méla, directeur de la Fondation Martin Bodmer, aboutira à l’organisation d’un colloque scientifique dirigé par le Prof. Mariano Delgado, sur le thème des «Sagesses barbares», à Fribourg, dans le courant de l’année 2014. Commissaire : Dr. Frédéric Möri ».

History of Platonism : Plato redivivus 

Berchman, Robert M., Finamore, John F., 2005


Following from the centuries of philosophical and religious thinkers who have studied and used Plato’s 4th Century B.C. doctrines, this anthology offers interpretations of Plato’s own works. The authors consider the intermediary role of Aristotle, the Neoplatonism of Plotinus, the religious and mystical theories of later Neoplatonic sources (including Egyptian writings), the effect of Platonic philosophy on Jewish writers during the Middle Ages, the adaptations of Cambridge Platonists, the Neoplatonic basis of Jung’s psychological writings, and the role of Plato’s doctrines in 20th Century Post-Modern philosophy.


Table of Contents:

Republic VI 509a9-c10 and its interpretation in antiquity : dialogical or dogmatic reading – Luc Brisson

Immortality vs. tripartition : the soul in Plato – Gwendolyn Gruber

The tripartite Soul in Plato’s Republic and Phaedrus – John F. Finamore

Erãos as institution : a consideration of why Plato wrote the Symposium – Matthew E. Kenney

Metaphors : thinking and being in Aristotle and Plotinus – Robert Berchman

Plotinus’ Philosophical Opposition to gnosticism and the implicit axiom of continuous hierarchy – Zeke Mazur

Plotinus : self and consciousness – Gary M. Gurtler

Alone to the Alone: The ascent to the One in Plotinus – Deepa Majumdar

The Sphere and the Altar of Sacrifice – Gregory Shaw

The Egyptian Book of the dead and Neoplatonic Philosophy – Algis Uzdavinys

Theories of nature in ancient platonism – John Phillips

A physics for the psyche? : Proclus’ Instituta physica and the « life » of the soul – Emilie Kutash

Damaskios’ new conception of metaphysics – Carolle Tresson & Alain Metry

« The Torah speaks in the language of humans » : on some uses of Plato’s theory of myth in medieval Jewish philosophy – Aaron Hughes

The manifest image : revealing the hidden in Halevi, Saadya and Ibn Gabirol – Sarah Pessin

Prophecy, imagination and the poet’s fine frenzy : reflections of a Cambridge platonist – Douglas Hedley

Listening to the voice of fire : theurgical fitness and esoteric sensitivity – Leonard George

Evolution, Jung, and theurgy : their role in modern neoplatonism – Bruce MacLennan

The problem of the self and its centre : postmodernism and neoplatonism – Kevin Corrigan.