Bibliotherapy

Iamblichus & Simplicius, late Neo-Platonists philosophers in prayer

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Gift of Hermes and Athena.‘ A 1560 vignette from the printer, Gratiosus Perchacinus.

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Today’s sharing from the Blue House of HYGEIA are four short prayers/invocations by Neo-Platonists philosophers, Iamblichus and Simplicius.

 

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From Iamblichus’ ‘On the Mysteries’, chapter X, closer paragraph. Translation by Emma Clarck, John M. Dillon and Jackson P. Hershbell.

Thus, to the best of our ability, have we responded to the problems you have raised about divine prophecy and theurgy. It remains, therefore, at the end of this discourse, for me to pray to the gods to grant both to me and to you (Porphyry) the unalterable preservation of true thoughts, to implant in us the truth of eternal things forever, and to grant to us a participation in the more perfect conceptions of the gods in which the most blessed end of good things is placed before us, along with the sanction of the harmonious friendship between us.

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Epilogue to Simplicius’ ‘Commentary on Epictetus’ Handbook’. Translated by Tad Brennan and Charles Brittain.

That concludes what I had to contribute, to the best of my ability, to the elucidation of the sayings of Epictetus for anyone undertaking to study them. I myself am grateful for the opportunity to devote my time to such studies, which came at a fitting time for me, i n these tyrannical circumstances. I shall end my treatise by finishing it with a prayer that is appropriate to the people present.

I beseech you, Lord, father and guide of the reason in us, remind us of our noble origin, which we were deemed worthy to receive from you. Act with us (as we are self-movers) for our purification from the body and its irrational emotions, that we may be superior to them and rule them, and that we may use them as instruments i n the fitting way. Act with us also for the precise correction of the reason i n us and its unification with the genuinely existent things through the light of the truth. And the third request to the Saviour: I beseech you, completely remove the mist from the eyes of our souls, ‘so that we may clearly know’, as Homer says, ‘both God and man’.

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Closing Prayer in Simplicius’ ‘Commentary on Aristotle’s De Caelo’. Translated by Ian Mueller.

I offer these things as a hymn to You, Lord, Creator of the whole cosmos and of the simple bodies in it, and to those who have been made by You, desiring to behold the greatness of Your works and proclaim it to the worthy so that, thinking nothing mean or merely human about You, we might kneel down to You because of the superiority which You have over all the things created by You.

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Closing prayer in Simplicius’ ‘Commentary on Aristotle’s Categories’. Translated by Richard Gaskin.

Since this is also as far as the divine lamblichus reached, I too cease here my account, entreating the guardians of my words both to render a more accurate scrutiny of these matters [than I have] and to bestow this on me as a resource on my journey towards the sublimer theories, and [thereby] to grant me relief from the distractions of life.

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About Iamblichus: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iamblichus 🌿 About Simplicius of Cilicia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simplicius_of_Cilicia
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