The Theology of Arithmetic. On the Mystical, Mathematical and Cosmological Symbolism of the First Ten Numbers. Attributed to Iamblichus. The Theology of Arithmetic: On the Mystical, Mathematical and Cosmological Symbolism of the First Ten Numbers. Front Cover. Iamblichus. Phanes Press, Jan 1. The theology of arithmetic: on the mystical, mathematical and cosmological symbolism of the first ten numbers. Front Cover. Iamblichus. Phanes Press, .

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The race-track image which follows should be considered like this: God manifests in the mathematical laws which govern everything, and the understand- ing of those laws, and even simply doing mathematics, could bring one closer to God.

The Theology of Arithmetic by Iamblichus of Chalcis

The paragraph is a bit muddled, and perhaps the last section should follow straight on from the first. Theeology couplet is generally said to be merely a traditional Pythagorean oath and is never elsewhere attributed to the authorship of Empedocles. Philebus Penguin Books, Plato: Moreover, its parts namely, 1, 2, 3 have a certain arithmetical proportion.

The harmonic mean is first formed by the izmblichus, since the sesquitertian ratio of 8 set against 6, and the double ratio of 12 set against 6, are both gained.

The Theology of Arithmetic

And the product of the limits is equal to the product of the means, as is the way with geometrical proportion: This is, as far as I know, the first translation of the text out of its original Greek, let alone into a modern language. When people exalt extraordinary events, they derive words from the triad and talk of ‘thrice blessed,’ ‘thrice fortunate.

The facts of the heavenly spheres provide important proof of this thesis, in that the sphere of the moon, which is the eighth from the top and the third from the bottom, carries the influence and power of the influences which revolve around the Earth, since it is considered to be the mediator between those above and those below.

Thus arithmetic and geometric figuration, with the resultant harmonic musical figurations, are the most essential tools that Plato posits the Divine Craftsman uses to adorn the ‘likeness’ of the perfect cosmos, which he is attempting to deline- ate in the psycho-cosmogony of the Timaeus. That being said, there’s some really great discussions regarding the properties of atithmetic tetraktean numbers that goes beyond just mundane mathematics, e.

In order to understand it, it is useful to remember see also p. That is, as emerges from what follows, additions which involve triads and hexads, which have the two primary types of perfection. Moreover, this is also why there are six thrology true means which some call proportionsand this many simple ways of being unequal, 14 to which are assigned all the irrational parts, both of all other things and of the soul itself, which admit commensuration and equalization.


On the Dyad From Anatolius Adding dyad to dyad is equivalent to multiplying them: The word ‘hexad’ is here derived from hexis condition. What the author seems to be referring to is nothing more than that if I stand facing east, say, then the apparent motion of any heavenly body is upward as it risesforward as it passes above medownward as it sets and backward as it goes away from me under the Earth.

We have two squared and cubed, and three squared and cubed, giving iamblochus a dyad of forms of generation passing through the three dimensions on each arm.

Quality [64] and color and light accompany corporeal magni- tudes in three dimensions and evidently fall under the pentad; 23 ensoulment and the condition of life fall under the hexad, which is why it is so called; 24 completion and thought fall under the hebdo- mad.

For these are the limits and, as it were, the sources of the properties of number — the monad of sameness which is regarded as absolute, the dyad of difference and what is already atithmetic, the triad of particularity and of actual oddness, the tetrad of actual evenness. Since all numbers after ten are repetitions of the first cycle, the first decad of numbers ot manifest these principles. The triad is very well suited to geometry: Amazon Renewed Refurbished products with a warranty.

Search the history of over billion web pages on the Internet. Open Preview See a Problem? De Falco’s text is the most recent edition, and this was only the second time that the Greek had been critically edited: They also called it ‘hurler of missiles,’ ‘presider over crossroads’ and ‘measurer of time in twos’ — ‘hurler of missiles’ from it being generated by the triad, which tradition tells us is Hecate, when the triad is hurled and, as it were, added on to itself; 25 ‘presider over crossroads’ perhaps from the nature of the goddess, 26 but probably because the hexad is the first to acquire the three movements of the dimensions, and each movement is two-fold, being bounded on both sides by boundaries; 27 ‘measurer of time in twos’ because of the distribution of all oamblichus, which is accomplished by a hexad of zodiacal signs over the Earth and another under the Earth, or because time, since it has three parts, 28 is assimilated to the triad, and the hexad arises from two threes.

Greek months consisted of thirty days.

Gorgias Oxford University Press, Plato: There are excerpts from Nicomachus, Anatolius, Speusippus, etc. Arkthmetic there are four sources of a rational creature as Philolaus also says in On Nature — brain, heart, navel and genitals: Moreover, the triad makes 6 by the addition of the monad, dyad and itself, and 6 is the first perfect number. Four is the first number which is even-times-even.


This links the three domains through the metaphor of musical proportion, and with the pattern of the Sacred Decad or Tetraktys.

In this case, the ‘shadows’ would work in reverse, as it were. Much of what Hall talks about in his books made this book comprehensible for me.

On the other hand, [10] the dyad is the cause of things which are altogether dissimilar i. One of three Fates: It is also called ‘deficiency and excess’ and ‘matter’ for which, in iamboichus, another ttheology is the ‘indefinite dyad’ because it is in itself devoid of shape and form and any limitation, iambilchus is capable of being limited and made definite by reason and skill.

The arithmetic proportion theoogy the three arithmetic ‘means’ of 3, 6 and 9. Before proceeding further, we will do well to observe that we are allocating numbers to each of the ‘dots’ of the pure Tetraktys arithmetlc figure 1 ; we are accordingly already moving into symbolic repre- 14 FOREWORD sentation.

Because the perfection of the universe falls under the hexad, the virtue of the Creator God is rightly thought to be hexadic. Since in a case of injustice those who are wronged and those who do wrong are equivalent, just as in a case of inequality the greater and the lesser parts are equivalent, but nevertheless those who do wrong are more unjust than those who suffer wrong for the one group requires punishment, the other compensation and helptherefore the parts which are at a distance on the side of the obtuse angle, where the weighing instrument is concerned and in the terms of our mathematical illustration i.

Iamblichus – The theology of arithmetic

Figurative discourse is twofold, for we divide it into allegory and integumentum. It was especially strong over the Neoplatonists, but the early Neopythagoreans also paved the way for Greek arithmology to enter the Jewish tradition via the works of Philo of Alexandria, and the Christian tradition via the works of Clement of Alexandria.

As a matter of fact, however, the primary harmonic proportion was usually regarded as 3, 4, 6, not 6, 8, This is another Nicomachean excerpt. The progression given by Aetius is from first principles to numbers, symmetries, harmonies and geometricals, and it seems to reflect the progression arithmetic, harmonic and geometric, which are the three primary means that Plato proposed that the Divine Artificer demiurgos used to proportion the ‘world soul’ Timaeus