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1516 - Iamblichus + Hermetica - Foundational Texts of Western Occultism

1516 - Iamblichus + Hermetica - Foundational Texts of Western Occultism


The collection includes Iamblichus' famous On the mysteries of the Egyptians, along with numerous other neo platonic and hermetic works, many dealing with demonology, magic, and other occult matters. Authors include Proclus, Porphyry, Michael Psellus, Pythagoras, Xenocrates, Hermes; plus commentary contributions by Ficino. The volume includes, among other works, the Asclepius, and the first fourteen treatises of the Corpus Hermeticum (under the collective title Poemander); as well as De Operatione Daemonum, a discourse on the nature and classification of demons, by Michael Psellus, a Byzantine monk. The myth of Hermes Trismegistus is fully outlined in this book, translated by Ficino, from a manuscript purchased by Cosimo de Medici. The manuscript, printed in Macedonia, was the beginning of the Hermetic tradition in the West. Hermes, the teacher of wisdom to the Egyptians, was such a power, he changed the direction of Western civilization in terms of spirituality and religious philosophy, ushering in modern occultism. Hermes' legend transformed science, mathematics, religion, and the entirety of Western culture. 


Without any doubt, this is the foundational book of Western Esotericism, Hermeticism and Occultism.  Gathered in these pages are the summation of ancient Pagan esoteric wisdom selected and translated by the leading Renaissance mystical philosopher, Marsilio Ficino - see list of titles below - printed by the most celebrated printer of the period, an absolute tour de force.  Printed within the first 100 of printing itself, this very rare volume represents the dawn of how print would introduce a radically new spirituality into the west and would be the crown of an occult book collection.


1) 'On the mysteries of the Aegyptians, Chaldeans, and Assyrians' by Iamblichus (250-325 CE) (Iamblichus de mysteriis Aegyptiorum. Chaldærum. Assyriorum);

2) 'Commentary on Plato's Alcibiades – on the soul and daimones' by Proclus (412-84 CE) (Proclus in alcibiadem de anima atque dæmone);

3) 'On sacrifice and magic' by the same author (Proclus de sacrificio et magia);

4) 'On deities and daimons' by Porphyrius (c 234-c. 304 CE) (Porphyrius de diuinis atque dæmonibus);

5) 'On dreams' by Synesius (5th century CE) (Synesius Platonicus de somniis);

6) 'On daimons' by Michael Psellus (1018-78 CE) (Psellus de dæmonibus);

7) 'The commentary on Theophrastos's On the senses' by Priscian (6th century CE) and Marsilius (Expositio Prisciani et Marsilii in Theophrastum de sensu. phantasia et intellectu);

8) 'An introduction to the Philosophy of Plato' by Alcinus (2nd century CE) (Alcinoi philosophi liber de doctoria Platonis);

9) 'On Plato's Definitions' by Speusippos, Plato's disciple, (407 BCE-339 BCE) (Speusippi Platonis discipuli liber de Platonis difinitionibus);

10) 'Maxims' and 'Symbols' by Pythagoras (560 BCE-480 BCE) (Pythagoræ philosophi aurea uerba; Symbola);

11) 'On Death' by Xenocrates (c. 396 BCE-34 BCE) (Xenocratis philosophi platonici liber de morte); and

13) The Corpus Hermeticum & Asclepius, foundational of western occultism

14) Various Writings by Ficino including the pleasure of philosophy, magical extracts from his Three Books on Life, the Tranquility of the Soul, etc.


1516. Iamblichus, et al. De mysteriis Aegyptorum, Chaldaeorum, Assyriorum (plus 20 additional works, Post Incunable). Edited and translated by Neo-Platonic mystic Marsilio Ficino. Illustrated with woodcut Aldine device on title and verso of final leaf. Folio. Bound in 19th-century boards, backed in modern calf; spine with five raised bands, decorated in gilt and blind, lettered in gilt; marbled endpapers. Venice, Aldine Press, 1516. Second Aldine Edition, considerably expanded from the first edition printed by Aldus in 1497. (Covers slightly rubbed; blind/embossed library stamp; o/w a very clean, wide-margined example. Very Rare.

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