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Ancient Philosophy, Mystery, and Magic: Empedocles and by Peter Kingsley

By Peter Kingsley

This can be the 1st booklet to investigate systematically the most important elements of old Greek philosophy of their unique context of puzzle, faith, and magic. the writer brings to gentle lately exposed facts approximately historic Pythagoreanism and its impact on Plato, and reconstructs the attention-grabbing esoteric transmission of Pythagorean principles from the Greek West right down to the alchemists and magicians of Egypt, and from there into the area of Islam.

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Sample text

How I wish our friend Panaetius were here! He conducts the most scholarly research into the heavens as well as everything else. But, Tubero, to give you my honest opinion, I don’t completely agree with our friend in this sort of thing: he makes such definite statements about things the nature of which we can scarcely guess, that he seems to see them with his eyes or even touch them with his hands. I am inclined to think Socrates all the wiser for having given up all concerns of this sort and for saying that research into natural philosophy seeks either things greater than human understanding can follow or things that have nothing at all to do with human existence.

Several recent collections of essays contain valuable papers (some of which are mentioned specifically below) on Cicero’s philosophical writings and their background: Philosophia Togata, ed. M. Griffin and J. Barnes (Oxford, ), and Philosophia Togata II, ed. J. Barnes and M. Griffin (Oxford, ); Cicero’s Knowledge of the Peripatos, ed. W. Fortenbaugh and P. , ) (mostly in German); Cicero the Philosopher, ed. J. G. F. Powell (Oxford, ); and Justice and Generosity (full citation above).

F. Powell for Oxford Classical Texts. ’’ To avoid extremely stilted translation, these phrases have been replaced here by the same dramatic convention as is used in On the Laws. With respect to the order and presentation of the fragments of On the Commonwealth, there have been many departures from Ziegler’s text. His numbering of the sections has been maintained (with the addition of lower-case letters to indicate separate fragments grouped under one section), although many of them have been moved; an index of fragments will be found at the back of the book.

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