Heidelberg University and The Internet Archive

Papyri Graecae Magicae

Description and organization

The Greek Magical Papyri (Latin Papyri Graecae Magicae, abbreviated PGM) is the name given by scholars to a body of papyri from Graeco-Roman Egypt, which each contain a number of magical spells, formulae, hymns and ritual. The materials in the papyri date from the 2nd century BC to the 5th century AD. The manuscripts came to light through the antiquities trade, from the 18th century onwards. One of the best known of these texts is the Mithras Liturgy.

The texts were published in a series, and individual texts are referenced using the abbreviation PGM plus the volume and item number. Each volume contains a number of spells and rituals. Further discoveries of similar texts from elsewhere have been allocated PGM numbers for convenience.

PGM XII and XIII were the first to be published, appearing in 1843 in Greek and in a Latin translation in 1885.

(Text by the organizers)

A digital version of the PGM (specifically, Preisendanz vol. II) at the University of Heidelberg:




The scriptural universe of ancient christianity

Guy G. Stroumsa, Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2016


The passage of texts from scroll to codex created a revolution in the religious life of late antiquity. It played a decisive role in the Roman Empire’s conversion to Christianity and eventually enabled the worldwide spread of Christian faith. The Scriptural Universe of Ancient Christianity describes how canonical scripture was established and how scriptural interpretation replaced blood sacrifice as the central element of religious ritual. Perhaps more than any other cause, Guy G. Stroumsa argues, the codex converted the Roman Empire from paganism to Christianity. The codex permitted a mode of religious transmission across vast geographical areas, as sacred texts and commentaries circulated in book translations within and beyond Roman borders. Although sacred books had existed in ancient societies, they were now invested with a new aura and a new role at the core of religious ceremony. Once the holy book became central to all aspects of religious experience, the floodgates were opened for Greek and Latin texts to be reimagined and repurposed as proto-Christian. Most early Christian theologians did not intend to erase Greek and Roman cultural traditions; they were content to selectively adopt the texts and traditions they deemed valuable and compatible with the new faith, such as Platonism. The new cultura christiana emerging in late antiquity would eventually become the backbone of European identity.

(Text from the publisher)

Table of contents

Introduction: A Double Paradigm Shift

1. A Scriptural Galaxy

2. A Divine Palimpsest

3. Religious Revolution and Cultural Change

4. Scripture and Culture

5. The New Self and Reading Practices

6. Communities of Knowledge

7. Eastern Wisdoms

8. A World Full of Letters

9. Scriptural and Personal Authority

Conclusion: Alexandria, Jerusalem, Baghdad





Discours sur les oracles chaldaïques

Wilhelm Kroll, Paris: Vrin, 2017


Les Philosophes néoplatoniciens après Plotin, en particulier Proclus et Damascius à Athènes, ont fondé leur philosophie de la religion grecque tardive sur un poème des environs de l’an 200 qui leur était présenté comme une suite d’Oracles venant de sages Chaldéens. Puisque l’on y entendait la parole des dieux, c’était pour ces philosophes néoplatoniciens comme une Bible. Ce poème est malheureusement perdu, mais grâce aux nombreuses citations faites par ces auteurs, on peut tenter d’en retrouver des morceaux et, en les rassemblant, de les expliquer. C’est ce travail d’une extrême difficulté que s’est proposé Wilhelm Kroll en 1894 (il avait 25 ans!), sous la forme d’une thèse pour l’Université de Breslau. L’usage universitaire de cette époque voulait que cette thèse fût rédigée et soutenue en latin. Le latin étant devenu une langue peu compréhensible de nos jours, on a jugé utile de traduire du latin en français ce Discours sur les Oracles Chaldaïques. La reconstitution de Kroll est un travail remarquable auquel il est toujours indispensable de retourner. On s’est seulement appliqué à moderniser les références aux textes cités dont on a aujourd’hui de bonnes éditions critiques qui n’existaient pas du temps de Kroll.

(Text de la maison d’édition)



The Platonic Art of Philosophy 

George Boys-Stones (dir), New York: Cambridge University Press, 2013


This is a collection of essays written by leading experts in honour of Christopher Rowe, and inspired by his groundbreaking work in the exegesis of Plato. The authors represent scholarly traditions which are sometimes very different in their approaches and interests, and so rarely brought into dialogue with each other. This volume, by contrast, aims to explore synergies between them. Key topics include: the literary unity of Plato’s works; the presence and role of his contemporaries in his dialogues; the function of myth (especially the Atlantis myth); Plato’s Socratic heritage, especially as played out in his discussions of psychology; and his views of truth and being. Prominent among the dialogues discussed are Euthydemus, Phaedo, Phaedrus, Republic, Theaetetus, Timaeus, Sophist and Laws.

(Text from the publisher)

Table of contents

Introduction George Boys-Stones

  1. Macrology and digression – Monique Dixsaut
  2. Two conceptions of the body in Plato’s Phaedrus – María Angélica Fierro
  3. Socrates in the Phaedo – Noburu Notomi
  4. Socratic intellectualism in the Republic’s central digression – David Sedley
  5. Timaeus in the cave – Thomas Johansen
  6. Reflective commentary (1): ‘Socratic’ psychology in the Republic – Christopher Gill
  7. Reflective commentary (2): appearance, reality and the desire for the good – Dimitri El Murr
  8. Waving or drowning? Socrates and the sophists on self-knowledge in the Euthydemus – M. M. McCabe
  9. Why was the Theaetetus written by Euclides? – Michel Narcy
  10. The wooden horse: the Cyrenaics in the Theaetetus – Ugo Zilioli
  11. The wax tablet, logic and Protagoreanism – Terry Penner
  12. A form that ‘is’ of what ‘is not’: existential einai in Plato’s Sophist – Denis O’Brien
  13. Truth and story in the Timaeus-Critias – Sarah Broadie
  14. The Atlantis-poem in the Timaeus-Critias – Mauro Tulli
  15. Friendship and justice in the Laws – Malcolm Schofield.



Multireligious Society

Dealing with Religious Diversity in Theory and Practice

Francisco Colom Gonzalez and Gianni D’Amato, London: Routledge, 2016


With the theory of secularization increasingly contested as a plausible development at a global scale, this book focuses on the changing significance of the religious element within a context of complex diversity. This concept reflects the rationale behind the deep transformations that have taken place in the dynamics of social change, giving way to a recombination of social, political and cultural cleavages that overlap and compete for legitimacy at a national and supranational level. Far from disappearing with modernization, new forms of religious diversity have emerged that continue to demand specific policies from the state, putting pressure on the established practices of religious governance while creating a series of normative dilemmas. European societies have been a testing ground for many of these changes, but for decades Canada has been viewed as a pioneering country in the management of diversity, thus offering some interesting similarities and contrasts with the former. Accordingly, the book deals with the diverging routes that political secularization has followed in Europe and Canada, the patterns of religious governance that can be recognized in each region, and the practices for accommodating the demands of religious minorities concerning their legal regulation, the management of public institutions, and the provision of social services.

(Text from the publisher)

Table of contents

Introduction – Francisco Colom González and Gianni D’Amato

Part I- Reframing the Narratives of Secularism

  1. Secularization and Beyond – Valeriano Esteban Sánchez
  2. Norms, Stories, and Ideologies: What We Talk About When We Talk About Political Secularism – Mathias Thaler

 Part II- The Governance of Religion: General Perspectives and Case Studies

  1. European Principles and Canadian Practices: Developing Secular Contexts for Religious Diversity – Kevin J. Christiano
  2. Political Instability and the Persistence of Religion in Greece. The Policy Implications of the Cultural Defence Paradigm – Daphne Halikioupoulou and Sofia Vasilopoulou
  3. Political Catholicism and the Secular State: A Spanish Predicament – Francisco Colom González
  4. Religious Governance in the Netherlands: Associative Freedoms and Non-discrimination after ‘Pillarization’. The Example of Faith-based Schools – Marcel Maussen
  5. From Law to Narratives: Unveiling Contemporary French Secularism – Valérie Amiraux and David Koussens

Part III- A Changing Institutional Framework

  1. Choice or Identity? Dilemmas of Protecting Religious Freedom in Canada – Avigail Eisenberg
  2. Dilemmas of Institutionalisation and Political Participation of Organised Religions in Europe. Associational Governance as a Promising Alternative – Veit Bader

Part IV- Accommodation Practices

  1. Islamophobia in Canada? Women’s Rights, Modernity,Secularism – Denise Helly
  2. Translocal, Faith-based Dispute Management: Moroccan-Canadian Struggles with Normative Plurality – Bertram Turner
  3. Multi-belief/Multi-faith Spaces: Theoretical Proposals for a Neutral and Operational Design – Francisco Díez de Velasco
  4. The Accommodation of Religious Diversity in Prisons and Hospitals in Spain – Mar Griera & Julia Martínez-Ariño
  5. The Legal Self-regulation of Religious Groups: Tackling the Normative and Practical Challenges of Legal Pluralism – Francisco Colom González



Formen und Nebenformen des Platonismus in der Spätantike

Helmut Seng, Luciana Gabriela Soares Santoprete, Chiara O. Tommasi (Hgs.), Heidelberg: Winter Verlag, 2016


Bezeichnend für Philosophie und Religiosität der römischen Kaiserzeit und Spätantike ist ein hohes Maß an Interaktion zwischen unterschiedlichen Richtungen. Nicht zu unterschätzen ist dabei die Bedeutung eher randständiger und oft exotisch anmutender Strömungen und Texte wie Gnosis, Hermetismus, Chaldaeische Orakel etc., die in intensiver Wechselwirkung mit den konventionelleren Spielarten insbesondere des Platonismus stehen. Ausgehend davon nehmen die Beiträge des vorliegenden Sammelbandes in den Blick, inwiefern die religiösen Veränderungen in der ‚oikoumene‘ des Mittelmeerraums durch solche Formen der Philosophie beeinflusst wurden oder umgekehrt auf diese zurückgewirkt haben. Besonderes Augenmerk gilt Formen der Spiritualität, der Kontroverse und der Identitätsbildung in der Diskussion um die kanonische Geltung von Lehrmeinungen und autoritativen oder heiligen Texten. Zu nennen sind insbesondere die Auseinandersetzung Plotins mit der Gnosis, die Bedeutung von Orakeltexten für die Entwicklung des spätantiken Platonismus oder der Richtungskampf zwischen Porphyrios und Iamblichos. Dabei wird deutlich, wie neben Formen offener Übernahme oder Ablehnung zum Teil auch unterschwellige Rezeption zum Tragen kommt.




Chiara Ombretta Tommasi: Some Reflections on Antique and Late Antique Esotericism: between Mainstream and Counterculture

Anna Van den Kerchove: La mystique dans les écrits hermétiques

Jean-Daniel Dubois: Controverses sur la sotériologie des gnostiques valentiniens

Angela Longo: La maschera di Epicuro sul volto dell’avversario in tema di provvidenza e piacere nello scritto di Plotino, Contro gli Gnostici: alcuni paralleli con Celso, Attico, Alessandro di Afrodisia e ‘Ippolito di Roma’

Luciana Gabriela Soares Santoprete: New Perspectives on the Structure of Plotinus’ Treatise 32 (V 5) and his Anti-Gnostic Polemic

Giulia Sfameni Gasparro: Tra costruzione teosofica e polemica anticristiana nel De Philosophia ex oraculis haurienda: sulle tracce del progetto porfiriano

Andrei Timotin: La polémique entre Porphyre et Jamblique sur la prière

Matteo Agnosini: Giamblico e la divinazione κατὰ τὸ φανταστικόν. Verso l’integrazione di un genere divinatorio: il caso dell’idromanzia

José Molina Ayala: La doctrina del alma, de Jámblico, como trasfondo en Dam., DP III 66, 1-68, 9 W.-C

Daniela Patrizia Taormina: I Greci a scuola degli Egizi e dei Caldei. Giamblico e la materia primordiale

Helmut Seng: Ἴυγγες, συνοχεῖς, τελετάρχαι in den Chaldaeischen Orakeln

Oliver Schelske: Neuplatonische Identität in literarischer Form: Die Orpheus-Figur zwischen christlichem und paganem Anspruch

Mariangela Monaca: Conversando con Porfirio: note alla Θεραπευτική di Teodoreto di Cirro

Ilinca Tanaseanu-Döbler: Damaskios gegen Proklos zum ersten Prinzip

Rainer Thiel: Die Transformation der Theurgie im christlichen Alexandria des 6. Jahrhunderts nach Christus




The Gnostic New Age

How a Countercultural Spirituality Revolutionized

Religion from Antiquity to Today

April D. DeConick, New York: Columbia University Press, 2016


Gnosticism is a countercultural spirituality that forever changed the practice of Christianity. Before it emerged in the second century, passage to the afterlife required obedience to God and king. Gnosticism proposed that human beings were manifestations of the divine, unsettling the hierarchical foundations of the ancient world. Subversive and revolutionary, Gnostics taught that prayer and mediation could bring human beings into an ecstatic spiritual union with a transcendent deity. This mystical strain affected not just Christianity but many other religions, and it characterizes our understanding of the purpose and meaning of religion today. In The Gnostic New Age, April D. DeConick recovers this vibrant underground history to prove that Gnosticism was not suppressed or defeated by the Catholic Church long ago, nor was the movement a fabrication to justify the violent repression of alternative forms of Christianity. Gnosticism alleviated human suffering, soothing feelings of existential brokenness and alienation through the promise of renewal as God. DeConick begins in ancient Egypt and follows with the rise of Gnosticism in the Middle Ages, the advent of theosophy and other occult movements in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and contemporary New Age spiritual philosophies. As these theories find expression in science-fiction and fantasy films, DeConick sees evidence of Gnosticism’s next incarnation. Her work emphasizes the universal, countercultural appeal of a movement that embodies much more than a simple challenge to religious authority.

(Text from the publisher)

Table of contents

1. The Matrix of Ancient Spirituality
2. The Gnostic True Man
3. Superpowers and Monsters
4. Paul and Gnostic Dogma
5. John and the Dark Cosmos
6. Gnostic Altered States
7. Hell Walks and Star Treks
8. Spiritual Avatars
9. The Pi of Politics
10. Pleasantville Religions
11. Gnosticism Out on a Limb
English Translation of Gnostic Sources



LEM / Centre Jean Pépin

Platonisme et Néoplatonisme


Description et organisation

Centre Jean Pépin et LEM dans le cadre du département de philosophie de l’ENS de la rue d’Ulm

organisé par Luc Brisson, Pierre Caye et Philippe Hoffmann


Les séances auront lieu les lundis de 15h à 17h

Salle Pasteur – Pavillon Pasteur

École Normale Supérieure, 45 rue d’Ulm – 75005 Paris


10 octobre 2016 : Luc Brisson, Démiurgie et téléologie

17 octobre 2016 :  Arnaud Macé, L’agir et le pâtir

7 novembre 2016 : Pierre-Marie Morel, La nécessité dans le Timée : une trace démocritéenne

14 novembre 2016 : Luc Brisson, Le corps et l’âme (du monde et de l’homme)

21 novembre 2016 : Marwan Rashed, Quelques remarques sur le corps et l’âme du monde dans le Timée

28 novembre 2016 : Véronique Boudon-Millot, La médecine dans le Timée ; le témoignage de Galien

5 décembre 2016 : Filip Karfik, Λέγει κινουμένη. Les fonctions de l’âme du monde dans le Timée de Platon

12 décembre 2016 : Gabrièle Wersinger, La chôra

9 janvier 2017 : Angela Ulacco, Le pseudo-Timée de Locres

16 janvier 2017 : Alain Lernoud, L’interprétation du Timée par Proclus

23 janvier 2017 : Anca Vassiliu, Le livre Lambda de la Métaphysique d’Aristote à l’aune du Timée.

30 janvier 2017 : Bruno Pinchard, Lectures du Timée à la Renaissance

(Texte des organisateurs)



École Pratique des Hautes Études




  • 9h-9h30, installation des posters.
  • 9h30-10h, petit déjeuner.
  • 10h-10h10, introduction par Hubert Bost (président de l’EPHE).
  • 10h10-11h15, présentations du contexte :
  • » Daniel Stökl Ben Ezra (chargé de mission HN), Présent et futur des humanités numériques à l’EPHE.
  • » Hélène Chaudoreille (PSL), Le développement de l’offre de services de la Direction des ressources et savoirs de PSL.
  • » Margot Georges et Mickael Malandran (SCDBA), Les données de la recherche à l’EPHE : services proposés par le SCDBA.
  • 11h15-12h30, table ronde : « Les humanités numériques pourquoi et comment ? »
  • » Laurent Coulon, (Égypte ancienne), égyptologie,
  • » Anne Marie Turcan-Verkerk (SAPRAT), philologie latine,
  • » Philippe Pons (CRCAO), ingénieur en humanités numériques,
  • » François Queyrel (AOROC), histoire de l’art,
  • » Antony Hostein (AnHIMA), numismatique.
    • 12h30-13h30, déjeuner.
    • 13h30-15h00, session de posters par des membres de SAPRAT, CRCAO, PROCLAC, O&M, Égypte Ancienne, PACEA, LEM, AnHIMA, MEDé :
      Hala Bayoumi, Marine Béranger, Laurianne Bruneau, Zina Cohen, Angela Cossu, Laurent Coulon, Marie-Françoise Courel, Dany Coutinho Nogueira, Jérémy Delmulle, Colette Dufossé, Frédéric Duplessis, Kaan Eraslan, Baptiste Fiette, Nicolas Fiévé, Thomas Gallopin, Martin Glessgen, Jean-Sébastien Gros, Jérôme Haquet, Michel Hochmann, Antony Hostein, Danielle Jacquart, Vanessa Juloux, Anne-Isabelle Langlois, Patrice Le Guilloux, François Leclère, Guy-Michel Leproux, Philippe Lorentz, Elizabeth MacDonald, Maria Grazia Masetti Rouault, Martin Morard, Costantino Moretti, Emmanuelle Morlock, Audrey Nassieu Maupas, Francesca Nebiolo, François de Polignac, Sépideh Qaheri, Francois Queyrel, Vincent Razanajao, Charlotte Rittemard, Régis Robineau, Karim Sayadi, Judith Schlanger, Daniel Stockholm, Daniel Stökl Ben Ezra, Anne-Marie Turcan-Verkerk, Anna van den Kerchove, Charlotte von Verschuer, Françoise Wang-Toutain.
  • 15h00-15h20, présentation de l’offre de formation :
    Marc Bui (MEDé), Jean-Baptiste Camps (ENC), François Jouen (MEDé), Vanessa Juloux (O&M), Karim Sayadi (MEDé), Daniel Stockholm (MEDé), Daniel Stökl Ben Ezra (O&M) :
  • 15h45 17h00, table ronde : les humanités computationnelles :
  • » Jérôme Courchay (PSL) et Daniel Stökl Ben Ezra (O&M), vision d’ordinateur,
  • » Benoît Sagot (INRIA/ALPAGE), traitement automatique de langage,
  • » Loïc Bertrand (IPANEMA), sciences des matériaux.
  • 17h00 17h45, conférence : les humanités numériques pour les sciences de l’érudition :
  • » Marie-Luce Demonet (Centre d’Études Supérieures de la Renaissance, U. de Tours, IUF),


Inscriptions ouvertes : http://bit.ly/2dTpMW8.

Le comité d’organisation :
Marc Bui, Laurent Coulon, Rainier Lanselle, Daniel Stökl Ben Ezra, Anne-Marie Turcan-Verkerk.

(Texte des organisateurs)



Divines techniques

Arts et langage homérique à la fin de l’Antiquité

Anca Vasiliu, Paris: Classiques-Garnier, 2016


La description homérique renaît à la fin de l’Antiquité. Les astuces du genre rhétorique s’associent aux techniques des ouvrages décrits notamment par Héliodore, Grégoire de Nysse ou Nonnos de Panopolis, pour créer une image du vivant. Rivalisant avec la nature, le langage prend les vertus d’un démiurge inaugural.
Homeric description was reborn at the end of Antiquity. The tricks of the rhetorical genre are associated with the techniques of works described notably by Héliodore, Grégoire de Nysse, and Nonnos de Panopolis in order to create an image of the living. Competing with nature, language takes on the virtues of an inaugural demiurge.

(Texte de la maison d’édition)

Table de matières

Epitomos: Parole d’or. Décrire en style homérique.


Raconter et décrire;

Les techniques divines du logos-dêmiurgos;

Décrire pour rester éveillé;

Le dispositif du témoignage;

Mimêsis et ekphrasis.


La description-bouclier;

Appropriation du singulier.
Cahier I. Homère, Iliade (chant XVIII): les marqueurs de la description princeps.


La pantarbe et son reflet. L’histoire des deux anneaux;

Un palais dans un tableau diptyque ou l’art de faire d’un lieu un portrait.
Cahier II. Héliodore et Nonnos de Panopolis: le portrait et l’image de l’être par ekphraseis interposées.


A quoi sert de bien parler de poires et de pêches;

Transformer la parole en oeuvre;

Description d’Homère par statue interposée ou le regard de l’aveugle toujours vivant.
Cahier III. Grégoire de Nysse et Christodoros de Coptos: le beau et le vivant. Le logos en maître du regard.


Décrire, enfanter la révélation;

« La Sagesse a bâtit sa maison » (Proverbes 9);

La couleur: recouvrement et rayonnement;

L’inscription du rythme ou le battement de la lumière;

La matière première et universelle;

Sagesse, sacralité, Esprit.
Cahier IV. Paul le Silentiaire, Ephrasis de Sainte-Sophie de Constantinople: matière et lumière, le corps agissant du logos.
Synopsis: L’oeil qui touche.


Index des auteurs anciens et modernes et des oeuvres anciennes.