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Theurgy & Neoplatonism: Iamblichus' Reply to Porphyry / De mysteriis Aegyptiorum

Wed. 7pm Eastern

Course Description: This course explores Iamblichus’ ​Reply to Porphyry / De mysteriis Aegyptiorum​. In this course we will read the entirety of the work in English, as a way of approaching the topic of theurgy in the Late Antique Neoplatonic context. The most important of Iamblichus’ works to survive intact, the ​Reply​ defends religious practices such as sacrifice, prayer, and divination against the more theoretical Porphyry’s criticism. In reading the ​Reply to Porphyry,​ we will try to grasp the relationship between ritual action and Neoplatonic metaphysics and the promised return of the soul to the One.


Level: We will be reading in translation, so no knowledge of Greek is required. If participants can read Greek, we may look at passages.
Textbook: Clarke, E.C., J.M. Dillon, and J.P Hershbell, 2003, ​Iamblichus: De Mysteriis​ (Writings from the Greco-Roman World 4), Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature.
Sections capped at: 5 students. If the course is sold-out, please fill out this waiting-list form.

Regular price $250.00

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David Hewett

David Hewett is Paideia’s Outreach Manager for Classical Tours. He has an M.A. in Classics from the University of Virginia and began a dissertation there on Seneca’s Epistulae Morales, before taking his position at Paideia. He has been a Regular Member of the American School for Classical Studies at Athens, a student at the Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies in Rome, and holds a B.A. in Classical Studies from Dickinson College. In addition to this formal education, he studied with Reginald Foster in Rome, has attended numerous Conventicula, and has lived and traveled extensively in England, Germany, Turkey, & Egypt. He currently lives in Frederick, Maryland, managing Paideia’s European and American tours and teaching Latin and Greek online in Telepaideia.