Article Iamblichus

Adrien Lecerf et Riccardo Chiaradonna, 2019

Iamblichus (ca. 242–ca. 325) was a Syrian Neoplatonist and disciple of Porphyry of Tyre, the editor of Plotinus’ works. One of the three major representatives of early Neoplatonism (the third one being Plotinus himself), he exerted considerable influence among later philosophers belonging to the same tradition, such as Proclus, Damascius, and Simplicius. His work as a Pagan theologian and exegete earned him high praise and made a decisive contribution to the transformation of Plotinian metaphysics into the full-fledged system of the fifth-century school of Athens, at that time the major school of philosophy, along with the one in Alexandria. His harsh critique of Plotinus’ philosophical tenets is linked to his pessimistic outlook on the condition of the human soul, as well as to his advocacy of salvation by ritual means, known as “theurgy”.

(Texte des auteurs)

  • 1. Life and Works
    • 1.1 Life
    • 1.2 Works
  • 2. Iamblichus’ Place in Greek Neoplatonism
    • 2.1 The second founder of Neoplatonism
    • 2.2 Exegesis
    • 2.3 Philosophy and theology
    • 2.4 Iamblichus’ posterity
  • 3. Iamblichus’ System
    • 3.1 The One and the higher principles
    • 3.2 “Intelligible” and “intellective”
    • 3.3 Lower entities
    • 3.4 Nature and Matter
    • 3.5 Overarching concepts and general traits
  • 4. Pythagoreanism, Mathematics
    • 4.1 Limit and the Unlimited
    • 4.2 Mathematics
    • 4.3 Iamblichus and Pythagoreanism
  • 5. Logic and the Categories
    • 5.1 Iamblichus’ commentary work on Aristotle
    • 5.2 The Pythagorean reading of the Categories
    • 5.3 Categories and theology
  • 6. The Soul, Theurgy and Religion
    • 6.1 The soul’s place in the system
    • 6.2 Soul and embodiment
    • 6.3 Soul’s ascent and salvation; religion
  • 7. Ethics and Politics
    • 7.1 Neoplatonism and politics
    • 7.2 The hierarchy of virtues
  • Bibliography
    • A. Primary Sources
      • A.1 Extant Works by Iamblichus
      • A.2 Fragmentary Works by Iamblichus
      • A.3 Works by Iamblichus Whose Title Only is Known
      • A.4 Editions and Translations
      • A.5 Other Primary Sources
    • B. Secondary Sources
      • B.1 General References
      • B.2 Selected Studies
  • Academic Tools
  • Other Internet Resources
  • Related Entries

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Numénius a-t-il commenté le Parménide ? Première partie : L’œuvre parvenue de Numénius et le Parménide de Platon

Article de Fabienne Jourdan, Revue de Philosophie Ancienne XXXVII (1), 2019

Une version électronique de la Revue de philosophie ancienne est désormais disponible sur CAIRN (

Roman Imperialism

in Brill Research Perspectives in Ancient History

Paul J. Burton, 2019


Rome engaged in military and diplomatic expansionistic state behavior, which we now describe as ‘imperialism,’ since well before the appearance of ancient sources describing this activity. Over the course of at least 800 years, the Romans established and maintained a Mediterranean-wide empire from Spain to Syria (and sometimes farther east) and from the North Sea to North Africa. How and why they did this is a source of perennial scholarly controversy. Earlier debates over whether Rome was an aggressive or defensive imperial state have progressed to theoretically informed discussions of the extent to which system-level or discursive pressures shaped the Roman Empire. Roman imperialism studies now encompass such ancillary subfields as Roman frontier studies and Romanization.

(Text by the author)

The International Journal of the Platonic Tradition, Volume 11, No. 1

Table of Contents:

Research Articles

Zeke Mazur, “A Gnostic Icarus? Traces of the Controversy Between Plotinus and the Gnostics Over a Surprising Source for the Fall of Sophia: The Pseudo-Platonic 2nd Letter”

Irini-Fotini Viltanioti, “Porphyry’s Real Powers in Proclus’ Commentary on Plato’s Timaeus

Marilena Vlad, “Stepping into the Void: Proclus and Damascius on Approaching the First Principle”

Notice nécrologique for Zeke Mazur, Jean-Marc Narbonne

Book Reviews

‘Pretty much the whole of Education’:1 Virtue and Performance in the Laws – Author: Richard Stalley

A Fourth Way of Reading Plato’s Phaedo – Author: Donka D. Markus

Platonic Theories of Prayer, Studies in Platonism, Neoplatonism, and the Platonic Tradition , written by John Dillon and Andrei Timotin – Author: Harold Tarrant

Die Wurzel allen Übels. Vorstellungen über die Herkunft des Bösen und Schlechten in der Philosophie und Religion des 1.-4. Jahrhunderts. Ratio Religionis Studien III, written by F. Jourdain/R. Hirsch-Luitpold – Author: Matthias Perkams

Gandhi and the Stoics, Modern Experiments on Ancient Values, written by Richard Sorabji – Author: Deepa Majumdar

À la recherche des idées. Platonisme et philosophie hellénistique d’Antiochus à Plotin , written by Mauro Bonazzi – Author: Francis Lacroix

Existence et identité , written by Michel Fattal – Author: Jérôme Laurent

Plotinus, Ennead VI The Enneads of Plotinus with philosophical commentaries, written by Eyjólfur K. Emilsson, Steven K. StrangeJohn M. Dillon and Andrew Smith – Author: Luc Brisson

Aesthetic Themes in Pagan Christian Neoplatonism: from Plotinus to Gregory of Nyssa, written by Daniele Iozzia – Author: Anna Corrias

Olympiodorus, On Plato First Alcibiades 10-28, written by Michael Griffin – Author: Sebastian Gertz

Dans un précédent billet, Luciana Soares signalait la parution d’un recueil d’articles de John Dillon, The Platonic Heritage – Further Studies in the History of Platonism and Early Christianity. Parmi ces articles, l’un concerne plus particulièrement la thématique de ce carnet de recherche, « Monotheism in the Gnostic Tradition », précédemment publié dans Polymnia Athanassiadi and Michael Frede (ed.), Pagan Monotheism in Late Antiquity, Oxford, 1999, p. 69-79.

Dans cet article, l’auteur s’interroge sur le monothéisme des écrits gnostiques connus pour leur hiérarchie divine complexe, avec un plérôme constitué de nombreuses entités. Il montre, à partir de quelques exemples (Apocryphon de Jean, Allogenes), qu’il existe bien un monothéisme dans les écrits gnostiques. Ce monothéisme doit peu au christianisme, selon notre autre, et il serait même plus radical que le monothéisme juif ou chrétien, avec un Dieu transcendant et impersonnel.

Les dernières lignes sont intéressantes, même si elles concernent moins le thème même de l’article. Il s’interroge en effet sur la contribution éventuelle des gnostiques (et des Oracles chaldaïques) aux idées des platoniciens, voire de Plotin lui-même, pour ce qui concerne la présence d’une triade au niveau de la deuxième divinité ; sauf si Numénius avait déjà préparé un système de ce genre.

Il s’agit d’un article toujours intéressant. Mais il faudrait mettre de côté certaines affirmations qui témoignent que John Dillon ne doit pas beaucoup aimer les gnostiques. Ainsi, il semble considérer l’éventuelle contribution des gnostiques aux idées platoniciennes comme negative (p. 78) : « the alternative, I fear, is to admit that the Gnostics (and Chaldaeans) made this substantive contribution to the later Neoplatonic system, and even to that of Plotinus himself. » Plus haut (p. 74), il parlait des gnostiques : « as very much the magpies of the intellectual world of the second century, garnering features that take their fancy both from the Jewish and Christian scriptures, and from the metaphysics of contemporary Platonism. »




The riddle of the Timaeus: is Plato sowing clues?

Plotinus, Speusippus and the Platonic Parmenides

The Timaeus in the old Academy

Philip of Opus and the theology of Plato’s Laws

Atomism in the old Academy

Theophrastus’ critique of the old Academy in the Metephysics

The pleasures and perils of soul-gardening

Asomatos: nuances of incorporeality in Philo

Plutarch’s debt to Xenocrates

Plutarch and the inseparable intellect

Plutarch on God: theodicy and cosmogony in the thought of Plutarch

Plutarch’s use of unidentified quotations

The social role of the philosopher in Athens in the 2nd century CE: some remarks

Pedantry and pedestrianism? Some reflections on the middle Platonic commentary tradition

Monotheism in the Gnostic tradition

An unknown Platonist on God

Holy and not so holy: on the interpretation of late Antique biography

Plotinus on whether the stars are causes

lamblichus’ Noera Theoria of Aristotle’s categories

lamblichus’ identification of the subject-matters of the Hypotheses

lamblichus on the personal daemon

The theology of Julian’s Hymn to King Helios

A case-study in commentary: the neoplatonic exegesis of the Prooimia od Plato’s Dialogues

Damascius on procession and return

‘The eye of the soul’: the doctrine of the higher consciousness in the neoplatonic and sufic traditions



Includes bibliographical references and index.