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TitleDodds Theurgy and Its Relationship to Neoplatonism
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Table of Contents
                            p. [55]
	p. 56
	p. 57
	p. 58
	p. 59
	p. 60
	p. 61
	p. 62
	p. 63
	p. 64
	p. 65
	p. 66
	p. 67
	p. 68
	p. 69
		Volume Information [pp. 231-234]
		Front Matter [pp. i-x]
			Prefatory Note [pp. 1-2]
			Bibliography of the Published Writings of N. H. Baynes [pp. 3-9]
			On the Foundation of Constantinople: A Few Notes [pp. 10-16]
			The Constitutio Antoniniana and the Egyptian Poll-Tax [pp. 17-23]
			Tax Collecting in Byzantine Egypt [pp. 24-33]
			Imperial Deportment: Two Texts and Some Questions [pp. 34-38]
			The Later History of the Varangian Guard: Some Notes [pp. 39-46]
			The Fall of Jerusalem and the 'Abomination of Desolation' [pp. 47-54]
			Theurgy and Its Relationship to Neoplatonism [pp. 55-69]
			The Canons of John Mauropous [pp. 70-73]
			Procopiana [pp. 74-81]
			The Wicked Guardian [pp. 82-90]
			The First Political Commentary on Tacitus [pp. 91-101]
			The Emperor's Divine Comes [pp. 102-116]
			The Peasant's Pre-Emption Right: An Abortive Reform of the Macedonian Emperors [pp. 117-126]
			Constantine as a 'Bishop' [pp. 127-131]
			A Possible Conflict of Laws in Roman Britain [pp. 132-134]
			Roma and Constantinopolis in Late-Antique Art from 312 to 365 [pp. 135-144]
			The Nativity Drama of the Byzantine Church [pp. 145-151]
			Letter to N. H. Baynes [pp. 152-156]
		Imperivm Maivs: A Note [pp. 157-164]
		Roman Britain in 1946: I. Sites Explored: II. Inscriptions [pp. 165-182]
			Review: untitled [pp. 183-186]
			Review: untitled [pp. 187-191]
			Review: untitled [pp. 191-198]
			Review: untitled [pp. 198-202]
				Review: untitled [p. 203]
				Review: untitled [pp. 204-205]
				Review: untitled [pp. 205-207]
				Review: untitled [pp. 207-208]
				Review: untitled [pp. 208-209]
				Review: untitled [pp. 209-212]
				Review: untitled [pp. 212-214]
				Review: untitled [pp. 214-216]
				Review: untitled [pp. 216-217]
				Review: untitled [pp. 217-219]
				Review: untitled [pp. 219-220]
				Review: untitled [p. 221]
				Review: untitled [pp. 221-222]
				Review: untitled [pp. 222-223]
				Review: untitled [p. 223]
				Review: untitled [p. 223]
				Review: untitled [pp. 223-224]
				Review: untitled [p. 224]
		The Following Works Have Also Been Received [p. 224]
		Proceedings of the Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies, 1946-7 [pp. 225-226]
		Report of the Council for the Year 1946 [pp. 227-230]
		Back Matter [pp. 1-24]
                        
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Page 2

THEURGY AND ITS RELATIONSHIP TO NEOPLATONISM 1

By E. R. DODDS

The last half-century has seen a remarkable advance in our knowledge of the magical
beliefs and practices of later antiquity. But in comparison with this general progress
the special branch of magic known as theurgy has been relatively neglected and is still
imperfectly understood. The first step towards understanding it was taken more than
fifty years ago by Wilhelm Kroll, when he collected and discussed the fragments of the
Chaldaean Oracles.2 Since then the late Professor Joseph Bidez has disinterred and
explained 3 a number of interesting Byzantine texts, mainly from Psellus, which appear
to derive from Proclus' lost commentary on the Chaldaean Oracles, perhaps through the
work of Proclus' Christian opponent, Procopius of Gaza; and Hlopfner 4 and Eitrem 5
have made valuable contributions, especially in calling attention to the many common
features linking theurgy with the Greco-Egyptian magic of the papyri.6 But much is
still obscure, and is likely to remain so until the scattered texts bearing on theurgy have
been collected and studied as a whole I (a task which Bidez seems to have contemplated,
but left unaccomplished at his death). The present paper does not aim at completeness,
still less at finality, but only at (i) clarifying the relationship between Neoplatonism and
theurgy in their historical development, and (ii) examining the actual modus operandi in
what seem to have been the two main branches of theurgy.

I. THE FOUNDER OF THEURGY

So far as we know, the earliest person to be described as eEoupy6s was one Julianus,8
who lived under Marcus Aurelius.9 Probably, as Bidez suggested,10 he invented the
designation, to distinguish himself from mere GeoA6yot: the GeoA6yot talked about the
gods, he ' acted upon' them, or even, perhaps, ' created' them.1" Of this personage we
know regrettably little. Suidas tells us that he was the son of a ' Chaldaean philosopher'
of the same name,12 author of a work on daemons in four books, and that he himself
wrote OE-oUpywKa, TE?\EorwKa, Aoyta bt' T-rrc5v. That these ' hexameter oracles ' were
(as Lobeck conjectured) none other than the Oracula Chaldaica on which Proclus wrote
a vast commentary (Marinus, vit. Procli 26) is put beyond reasonable doubt by the reference
of a scholiast on Lucian 13 to TO: TE?\EaTlKOa Iov?uavoO a Hp6KAos vO' >ivrcart3?, OlS ?

1 I must express my gratitude to Professors
M. P. Nilsson and A. D. Nock, who read this
paper in manuscript and contributed valuable
suggestions.

2 W. Kroll, de Oracuilis Chaldaicis (Breslauer
Philologische Abhandluingen vii, i, I894).

3 Catalogue des manuscrits alchimiqles grecs
(abbrev. CMAG), vol. vi; Melanges Cutmont 95 ff.
Cf. his ' Note sur les mysteres neoplatoniciens ' in
Rev. Belge de Phil. et d'Hist. 7 (1928), 1477 ff. and his
Vie de l'Emp. Julien 73 ff. On Procopius of Gaza as
Psellus' proximate source, see L. G. Westerink
in Mnemosyne IO (1942),- 275 ff.

4 Griechisch-Aegyptische Offenbaruingszauber(quoted
as OZ); and in the introduction and commentary to
his translation of the de mysteriis. Cf. also his
articles ' Mageia ' and ' Theurgie ' in Pauly-Wissowa,
and below, n. 115.

5 Especially ' Die auo-raais und der Lichtzauber
in der Magie', Symb. Oslo. 8 (1929), 49 ff.; and
' La Theurgie chez les Neo-Platoniciens et dans les
papyrus magiques', ibid., 22 (1942), 49 ff. I am
indebted to the author's kindness in sending me
a copy of the latter important paper. W. Theiler's
essay, Die chaldaischen Orakel uind die Hymnen

des Synesios (Halle, 1942), which reached this
country too late for me to use it, deals learnedly
with the influence of the Oracles on later Neo-
platonism.

6 Papyri Graecae Magicae, ed. Preisendanz
(abbrev. PGM).

I Cf. Bidez-Cumont, Les Mages Hellenise's I,
I63.

8TOU 1ro 1lOEVTOS 8EOupyOU 'IoUvuavo, Suidas, s.v.
9 Suidas s.v., cf. Proclus in Crat. 72, IO, Pasq.,

in Remp. ii, 123, 12, etc. Psellus in one place (con-
fusing him with his father?) puts him in Trajan's
time (Scripta Minora I, p. 241, 29, Kurtz-Drexl).

10 Vie de Yulien 369, n. 8.
11 See Eitrem, Symb. Oslo. 22, 49. Psellus seems

to have understood the word in the latter sense,
PG 122, 72I D: OEO?-S -0o"S &[email protected] EpY63ETraX. Cf.
also the Hermetic ' deorum fictor est homo ', quoted
below, p. 63.

12 Proclus' expression oi ETli M&pKOV 8EoupYoi (in
Crat. 72, IO, in Remp. II, 123, 12) perhaps refers
to father and son jointly.

13 ad Philops. 12 (IV, 224 Jacobitz). On this
scholion, see Westerink, o.C., 276.

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Page 8

THEURGY AND ITS RELATIONSHIP TO NEOPLATONISM 6I

But what puzzles Eitrem, as it has puzzled me, is the part played by the birds,
as KarrEYXE qlJAcKfS E'VEKa, i.e. to protect the operators from attack by evilly disposed spirits
(not, surely, to keep the birds themselves from flying away, as MacKenna, Brehier, and
Harder unanimously mistranslate: for then their presence would be wholly unexplained).
Protective measures are sometimes prescribed in the papyri.59 But how did the birds act
as a qpvAacKT ? And why did their death banish the apparition ? Hopfner says that the
impurity of death drove the god away: they were brought there so that their killing should
act as an a&rr6,Aials in case of need,60 but it was done prematurely and needlessly. Eitrem,
on the other hand, comparing PGM XII, I5 ff., where the strangling of birds is part of the
ritual for animating a wax figure of Eros, thinks that the real intention must have been
sacrifice and that Porphyry or his informant misunderstood what happened: he finds
the motives attributed to the piRos ' invraisemblables '. In support of this view he might
have quoted Porphyry's own statement in the Letter to Anebo 61 that 6i& VEK)V 1cxcv
T&r ToAAa ai eEaycyiyl E'-ITTEX-AoVTcvr, which seems to put Hopfner's explanation out
of court. There is, however, another passage of Porphyry which appears to imply that in
killing birds on this occasion the piAoS was breaking a rule of the theurgic p[uc-TflplOV:
at de abst. 4, i6 (255, 7 N.) he says, OcTiS E acayTpcV pvciv icyTOprCYEV, Oi?v Kae OV
Aoyov a'TrEXEaa XPn Tra(vTrcov Opvil3cov, Kat jacAloTca oTav ac?rEUv TLS ?K TCAJV Xeovicx
aTraAAaayflval Kai TpoS TouS oCipaviouS eEous iapuveivai. This fits the occasion at the
Iseum so aptly (for a&TrEXEceat can surely cover abstention from killing as well as from
eating) that it is difficult not to feel that Porphyry had it in mind.

But if so, why were the birds there ? Possibly because their presence was in itself a
plvAaKr). opvleEs without qualifying description are usually domestic fowl, KaTolKialol

opvIeEs (cf. LS9 s.v.). And the domestic fowl, as Cumont has recently pointed out,62
brought with it from its original home in Persia the name of being a holy bird, a banisher
of darkness and therefore of demons 63 Plutarch, for example, knows that KVIVES Kai
opvIeES belong to Oromazes (Ormuzd).64 Is it not likely that in this matter, as in its
fire-cult, the theurgic tradition preserved traces of Iranian religious ideas, and that Porphyry
at least, if not the Egyptian priest, thought of the birds' function as apotropaic and of their
death as an outrage to the heavenly phantasm ? There is, in fact, later evidence to support
the guess: for we learn from Proclus not only that cocks are solar creatures, PETEXOVTES Kac
ac(Tol TOIJ OEiov KaTra TflV EaUTCov -agiv, but that r85 Tiva -rCov rAcaKCov 5aipovcov AEOVTO-
Trp6cYcA)TrOV cpaivO,EVOV, aAEKTppJOVOs 5ElXGEvros, a&pavfi yEVEca(l cpac(iv VIJTOCTTEAAO0PEVOV Ta
7TCAV KpE1TTOVC0V CTVvflLPaTa.65

IV. THE MODUS OPERANDI: TEAEoTlK'1

Proclus grandiloquently defines theurgy as ' a power higher than all human wisdom,
embracing the blessings of divination, the purifying powers of initiation, and in a word all
the operations of divine possession ' (Theol. Plat. p. 63). It may be described more simply
as magic applied to a religious purpose and resting on a supposed revelation of a religious
character. Whereas vulgar magic used names and formulae of religious origin to profane
ends, theurgy used the procedures of vulgar magic primarily to a religious end: its TEAos
was fl Trpos To vofTrov -rrlp a5vo8oS (de myst. I79, 8), which enabled its votaries to escape

59 E.g. PGM iv, 814 ff. For yvNaK1, cf. Proclus in
CMAG vi, I5I, 6: &TT6XpTI yap TTp6s ... ptAaKiV 5&pvi,
p,PVOS, UKOUa, KT2K; and for spirits turning nasty
at seances, Pythagoras of Rhodes in Eus. Praep. Ev.
5, 8, I93B; Psellus, Op. Daem. 22, 869B.

60 Aspersion with blood of a dove occurs in an
xTTr6Nvais, PGM II, 178.

61 fr. 29 - de myst. 241, 4P. -Eus. Praep. Ev. 5,
IO, i98A.

62 CRAI 1942, 284 ff. Doubt may be felt about
the late date which Cumont assigns to the introduc-
tion of domestic fowl into Greece; but this does not
affect the present argument.

63 The cock has been created to combat demons
and sorcerers along with the dog', Darmesteter
(quoted by Cumont, i.c.). The belief in its apotropaic
virtues survives to this day in many countries.
A cock-headed baipwv is one of the commonest
figures on Greco-Egyptian amulets.

64 Is. et Os. 46, 369F.
65 CMAG VI, 150, I ff., 15 ff. (partly based on the

traditional antipathy of lion and cock, Pliny, NH 8,
52, etc.). Cf. Bolos, OIUJIKa fr. 9 Wellmann (Abh.
Berl. Akad., Phil.-Hist. Kl., 1928, N r. 7, p. 20).

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Page 9

62 E. R. DODDS

EiapvpEvl (v yap vq' Ei1apTrV ayE'Arv iTi1TToUro GEoupyOi, Or. chald. p. 59 Kr.; cf. de
myst. z69, I9 if.), and ensured -riS vuX>S aTaeavaTiypos (Procl. in Remp. i, I52,
IO).66 But it had also a more immediate utility: Book iII of the de mysteriis is devoted
entirely to techniques of divination, and Proclus claims to have received from the 6al'PovES
many revelations about the past and the future (in Remp. i, 86, I3).

So far as we can judge, the procedures of theurgy were broadly similar to those of
vulgar magic. We can distinguish two main types: (i) those which depended exclusively
on the use of avJ"poAa or uuveIAccTa; (ii) those which involved the employment of an
entranced ' medium'.

Of these two branches of theurgy, the first appears to have been known as T-EAEOTIKr,
and to have been concerned mainly with the consecrating (-rEAEiV, Procl. in Tim. iII, 6, I3),
and animating of magic statues in order to obtain oracles from them : Proclus in Tim. iII,
I55, I8, TlV TEAErT1KfV Kai XpTlrTlpla Kal aya[cpaTra GecoV i5pu0cat ETl yflS Kai 5iac TrVCOV

CIPpOuAcv E'TVlTf5Elca TrolElV Ta EK [LEplKflS VJATnS yEvo[LEva Kai (papTflS EiS To ?ETEXE1V GeEo
Kai KlVElCYal T(rap' aUTOI0 Kai TypoEYEIV TO p?AAov: Theol. Plat. i, 28, p. 70, 1 TAx?1Ki
8iaKaeT'Ipaca Kai Tivas XapaKTTlpaS Kai auu3oAac TrEplTlelcYaa TCo aya[uarTl E`IAJvXOV auTo

Erro ica: to the same effect in Tim. I, 5I, 25; iii, 6, iz ff. ; in Crat. I9, I2.67 We may
suppose that a part at least of this lore goes back to the TEAEaTrlKa of Julianus; certainly

the auCiipoAa go back to the Chaldaean Oracles.68

What were these o?u,poAa, and how were they used ? The clearest answer is given
in a letter of Psellus 69 : EKEiV yap (sc.

I
TEAEYTlKf ETVlCTfIL) Ta KoiAa TCV ayaVc(TCV

(ArlS Ep Trr COcYr ( OIKEIa' TcaIS EcpEUCTrKUicvlaS UVa[AECY, YC3)COV, UPJTCOV, AiOCOV, poTavc(V, pf3SioV,
cYcppcyi5cA),v, EYYpaIAIA-cTv, vVfoTE 5E Kai apCo[LaTCoV cU aTaGCoV, CYUyKa(l5poUvcca 5E TOUTOls
Kai Kpa-TrnpcS Kai cYTrOV5la Kaci tvLlaTarplca, 'E?TrVrcv TrITEl T z(a ElCoAa Ka(i Tri: arop Xr JvvaEl
KIVEl. This is genuine theurgic doctrine, doubtless derived from Proclus' commentary

on the Chaldaean Oracles. The animals, herbs, stones, and scents figure in the de myst. (233,
IO if., cf. Aug. Civ. D. io, ii), and Proclus gives a list of magical herbs, stones, etc., good
for various purposes.70 Each god has his ' sympathetic ' representative in the animal, the

vegetable, and the mineral world, which is, or contains, a cavupoAov of its divine cause

and is thus en rapport with the latter.71 These as,4poAa were concealed inside the statue,72
so that they were known only to the TrEAEacYT' (Procl. in Tim. I, 273, ii). The ayppay!&S
(engraved gems) and Eyyp'a,u,xcTa (written formulae) correspond to the XapaKThfpES Kal

ovo,Ao-ra 3coTlKa of Procl. in Timi. iII, 6, I3. The XapaKTflPES (which include such things
as the seven vowels symbolic of the seven planetary gods) 73 might be either written down

(Gais) or uttered (EK(pcAvrIl).74 The correct manner of uttering them was a professional

secret orally transmitted.75 The god's attributes might also be named with magical effect

66 Very similar ideas appear in the ' recipe for
immortality', PGM IV, 475 ff., e.g. 5 I I: iyva eau,uauc T6
TEpOV Trrip and 648: EK ToaoOTrrv nivpia65wv &-lTaeava(TlxeOs ?v
-raoTrn T9 6bpq. It, too, culminates in luminous visions
(634 ff., 694 ff.). But the theurgic 1aO&avaTnap6s may
have been connected with a ritual of burial and
rebirth, Procl. Theol. Plat. 4, 9, p. I93 : TCOV eEOupyuv
e&r-t6v -r6 aupa KEAEv6vJOvuv TTV TTS KE6paAs ?V T- P01KCTK-
Thr @rv TavEAErV (cf. Dieterich, Eine Mithrasliturgie
x63).

67 Psellus, though he, too, connects TEAE0SoIKr1
with statues, explains the term otherwise : TEAEUTIKi
? ErlaTPlj ?o-riv f 0IOV TEAOxJaa (so MSS.) TVV 4p)VX~

8i& T1S TaV ?VTaetj' 62AaV 8uvaPES (Expos. Or. Chald.
I 129D, in PG vol. I22). Hierocles, who represents a
different tradition, makes TCCUeTlKl the art of purifying
the pneuma (in auir. carm. 482 A Mullach).

68 Psellus says that 'the Chaldaeans ' 8tae6pots
OiAaeS &V8P6IKEea TrAFTTTOVTES aroTpo6rraa voarTaruv

?py&3ovrai (Script. Min. I, 447, 8). For aCippoAa, cf.
the line quoted by Proclus, in. Crat. 2I, I: auuppoAa
y&p TreTplKOS v6os gierITpEV KaT& KO6pov.

69 Epist. I87 Sathas (Bibliotheca Graeca Medii
Aevi v, p. 474).

7 ?CMAG VI, I5I, 6 ; cf. also in Timt. I, iii,
9 ff.

71 Cf. Proclus in CMAG VI, I48 ff., with Bidez'
introduction, and Hopfner, OZ I, 38z ff.

72 An identical practice is found in modern
Tibet, where statues are consecrated by inserting
in their hollow interiors written spells and other
magically potent objects (Hastings, Encycl. of
Religion and Ethics VII, I44, i6o).

7 3Cf. R. WuAnsch, Sethianische Verfliuchungs-
tafeln 98 f.; A. Audollent, Defixionum Tabellae,
p. LXXIII; Dornseiff, Das Alphabet in Mystik u.
Magie 35 ff.

74 Proclus in Tim. II, 247, 25 ; cf. in Crat. 3I, 27.
Porphyry, too, included in his list of theurgic
materia magica both ' figurationes' and ' soni certi
quidam ac voces' (Aug. Civ. Dei I0, ii).

75 Marinus, vit. Procl. z8; Suidas, s.v. XaNbalfKoTS
EarrTqEtJpcxaa. Cf. Psellus, Epist. I87, where we
learn that certain formulae are inoperative Ei VtlS T1s
TatJTa EpEI OTI rOYWA TI) y2CA) g-rEpcs ;)s i -rj V
81aTaTrErat.

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Page 15

68 E. R. DODDS

visibly elongated or dilated,123 or even levitated 124 (de myst. II 2, 3). But the manifestations
usually took the form of luminous apparitions: indeed, in the absence of these ' blessed
visions ', lamblichus considers that the operators cannot be sure what they are doing
(de myst. II2, i8). It seems that Proclus distinguished two types of seance: the' autoptic ',
where the OE=?TS witnessed the phenomena for himself; and the ' epoptic', where he
had to be content with having them described to him by the K2\rTCAp (6 TflV T TAEnT'JV
8iarrleE'pvoS).125 In the latter case the visions were, of course, exposed to the suspicion
of being purely subjective, and Porphyry seems to have suggested as much; for Jamblichus
energetically repudiates the notion that Eveovrulaspo's or ,uavT1KTI may be of subjective
origin (de myst. II4, i6 ; i66, I3), and apparently refers to objective traces of their visit
which the ' gods ' leave behind.126 Later writers are at pains to explain why only certain
persons, thanks to a natural gift or to iEpc(TLKi bvvapls, can enjoy such visions (Procl.
in Remp. ii, i67, I2 ; Hermeias in Phaedr. 69, 7 Couvreur).

The luminous apparitions go back to the Chaldaean Oracles, which promised that by
pronouncing certain spells the operator should see' fire shaped like a boy ', or' an unshaped
(aTvTrcoTov) fire with a voice proceeding from it', or various other things.127 Compare
the -riupavuyri qpacsypTa which the ' Chaldaeans ' are said to have exhibited to the Emperor
Julian 128; *the (pacpa-ra 'EKaTlKa yXATOE18rb which Proclus claimed to have seen (Marin.
vit. Procl. z8); and Hippolytus' recipe for simulating a fiery apparition of Ilecate by
natural if somewhat dangerous means (Ref. Haer. 4, 36). At de myst. 3, 6 (II2, IO ff.)
these phenomena are clearly associated with mediumship: the spirit may be seen as a fiery
or luminous form entering (EiuKplv0'p?vov) or leaving the medium's body, by the operator
(TC^) eyC)yXOUVTl), by the medium (TZ aExo~p?)E and sometimes by all present: the
last (Proclus' avxrToyica) is, we are told, the most satisfactory. The apparent analogy with
the so-called ' ectoplasm ' or ' teleplasm', which modern observers claim to have seen
emerge from and return to the bodies of certain mediums, has been noted by Hopfner 129
and others. Like ' ectoplasm', the appearances might be shapeless (aT(vTcoATa, apopqpcrTa)
or formed (T-TuTrv-ucopEva, p?upopqpck?Iva): one of Porphyry's oracles (Praep. Ev. 5, 8)
speaks of ' the pure fire being compressed into sacred forms (TUrlTol) ' ; but according to
Psellus (PG 122, II36 C) the shapeless appearances are the most trustworthy, and Proclus
(in Crat. 34, 28) gives the reason-avco yap apopqx.-Tos oi)0a Sia TNIV Tpoo6ov EyEVETO

pIpopqwpcEv-. The luminous character which is regularly attributed to them is doubtless
connected with the ' Chaldaean' (Iranian) fire cult; but it also recalls the poTcaycoyiac of
the papyri 1-30 as well as the ' lights ' of the modern seance-room. Proclus seems to have
spoken of the shaping process as taking place 'in a light' 131 : this suggests a kuXvopav-cTia,
like that prescribed at PGM VII, 540 ff., where the magician says (56I), ?>pT3ei aCrTOO
(sc. TOU -albc6OS) EiS TfV YAXJ)fV, IViv TUviTcbUTlTri TfV a&V(aTOV a .rOpvcpfV ?V EvCOTI Kpc(TcalX
Kial &(peOpTCp. Eitrem 132 would translate Tu1TCAYYrjTai here as ' perceive ' (a sense not

123 3Taip6OPEVOV 6p&rai i 510oyKOxPEVOv. Cf. the alleged
elongation of a sixteenth-century Italian nun,
Veronica Laparelli (7ourn. SPR 19, 5' ff.), and
of the modern mediums Home and Peters (ibid. io,
104 ff., 238 ff.).

124 This is a traditional mark of magicians or
holy men. It is attributed to Simon Magus (ps.-
Clem. Hom. 2, 32) ; to Indian mystics (Philost. vit.
Apoll. 3, IS); to several Christian saints and Jewish
rabbis; and to the medium Home. A magician
in a romance lists it in his repertoire (PGM xxxiv, 8),
and Lucian satirizes such claims (Philops. I3,
Asin. 4). lamblichus' slaves bragged of their master
being levitated at his devotions (Eunap. vit. soph.
458).

125 See the passages from Psellus and Nicetas of
Serrae collected by Bidez, Melanges Cumnont 95 ff.
Cf. also Eitrem, Symb. Oslo. 8 (I929), 49 ff.

126 de myst. x66, 15, where rouS KcaOuLopvouS seems
to be passive (sc. soEOs), not (as Parthey and
Hopfner) middle (= -rolus K?u1-ropca): it is the ' gods ',

not the operators, who improve the character of the
mediums (i66, i8, cf. I76, 3). If so, the stones
and herbs' will be ax6poAa carried by the gods '
and left behind by them, like the ' apports' of the
spiritualists.

127 Procl. in Remp. i, iii, I; cf. in Crat. 34, 28,
and Psellus, PG 121, I136 B.

128 Gregory of Nazianzus, Orat. 4, 55 (PG 35,
577 C).

129 Kindermedien,' 73 f.
120 Cf. de myst. 3, I4, on various types of qoT6s

&Ycoyu .
131 Simpl. in phys. 613, 5, quoting Proclus,

who spoke of a light -in a0TOTTIK a,K OcTcr aV ECvaJTCp
Tois c&iOIS EKgKcaiVOV EV TOvTX) yap ra aTrvTFC)Tra T1JTFouaiOi
q)1 Ka-T& TO A6ytov. Simplicius, however, denies that
the Oracles described the apparitions as arising EV TCAW
qx-ri (6 i 6, i 8).

132 Greek Magical Papyri in the British Museum
14. Reitzenstein, Hell. Myst.-Rel. 3I, translated it
' damit sie sich forme nach'.

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Page 16

THEURGY AND ITS RELATIONSHIP TO NEOPLATONISM 69

elsewhere attested) ; but in view of the passages just referred to I think we should
render ' give shape to' (' abbilden ', Preisendanz) and suppose that a materialization is
in question. The ' strong immortal light ' replaces the mortal light of the lamp, just as at
PGM iv, I I03 if., the watcher first sees the light of the lamp become ' vault-shaped ', then
finds it replaced by ' a very great light within a void', and beholds the god. But whether
a lamp was ever used in theurgy we do not know. Certainly some types of pcoTrccyCyac were
conducted in darkness,133 others out of doors,134 while lychnomancy does not figure
among the varieties of qpcoTos aycoyi' listed at de myst. 3, 14. The similarity of language
remains, however, striking.

13 de myst. I33, 12: TOTE tlV UK6-roS mVV?pyOV
AalpIPVOuCIV 0o qc0-rCXyYOOV-rES, cf. Eus. Praep. Ev.
4, I. Conjurors pretend for their convenience that
darkness is necessary, Hipp. Ref. Hlaer. 4, 28.

134 de myst. I33, 13 : TOTE 5E fMiou ys i CEVIS
6Acos -rtv OTraiOpiov acyfiv auc\ciappav6pEVa 'XoUai Trp6s -r9v
XMatxtv. Cf. Aedesius, supra n. 1 IO, Psellus, Expos.
or. Chald. 1133 B, and Eitrem, Symb. Oslo. 22, 56ff.

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