IAMBLICHUS; GALE, Thomas, (tr.). ΙΑΜΒΛΙΧΟΥ ΧΑΛΚΙΔΕΩΣ ΤΗΣ ΚΟΙΛΗΣ ΣΥΡΙΑΣ ΠΕΡΙ ΜΥΣΤΗΡΙΩΝ ΛΟΓΟΣ.= Iamblichi Chalcidensis ex Coele-Syria, De mysteriis liber. Præmittitur epistola Porphyrii ad Anebonem Ægyptium, eodem argumento.
Oxford, E Theatro Sheldoniano, 1678.
FIRST EDITION. Folio, pp. (xl) 316 (viii), *-2*2 a-h2 A-Z4 Aa-Zz2 Aaa-Nnn2. Roman and Greek letter, some Italic; Greek and Latin in parallel columns. Large title-page vignette of the Sheldonian Theatre. Some light browning and spotting throughout. Ex libris on front pastedown of Richard Fort, lord of the Read Hall manor, Lancashire, during the beginning of C19th; another unidentified bookplate, probably French, with initials “C. E. De M. K.”. In early gilt-ruled polished calf over boards, joints (especially the upper one) somewhat worn and rugged, gilt lettering to decorated spine in compartments with raised bands, marbled pastedowns and fore-edges. Covers and corners a little rubbed, leather repair to lower corner of rear board. An excellent, crisp and clean copy.
This is the first English edition of Iamblichus’s ‘De mysteriis’, by scholar Thomas Gale (1636-1702). Iamblichus (c. A.D. 250-325) was one the most important so-called Neoplatonic philosophers and a disciple of Porphyry. His influential treatise ‘Theurgia’, or ‘On the Mysteries of Egypt’ dealt with ‘higher magic’ operating through the agency of the gods. Besides the influence he has had on Medieval thought, Iamblichus strongly influenced authors like Ficino, Pico della Mirandola, and Giordano Bruno.
Bibliography: ESTC R13749; Wing (CD-ROM, 1996), I26, Madan, III, 3179. Clarke, E. (tr.) Iamblichus: De mysteriis, translated 2003, p. xiv.