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 Greek words for ‘anvil’ and ‘unwearying’ are superficially similar. Since the triad is the first actual number, and qualities and everything else owe their existence to number, then the triad is the source of all qualities. Children cut their teeth at seven months, and at twice seven sit up and gain an unswaying posture, and at three times seven they begin to articulate speech and make their first efforts at talking, and at four times seven they stand without falling over and try to walk, and at five times seven they are naturally weaned and milk ceases to be their food.

Further, the geometricals are elements compounded of the numbers with their inherent symmetrical harmonies. For the moon is not really halved at the time when it is thought to be,- it only appears to be halved, but it is demonstrable geometrically that it is alto- gether necessary for the illuminated part to be more than it appears to be and for the dark part to be less, since the sphere of the moon is smaller than that of the sun, and more than half of such a sphere is always lit up, so that the shadow cast ends up conical, and the shape which is produced in the opposite direction to the verticality of the lines of the cone is like a calathos; and the circular line which defines the illuminated part and the dark part circumscribes a base which is common to both shapes.

The portions of the Greeks settled on to the fertile earth, While those of the Trojans rose up towards the broad sky. Do we, I wonder, have the right to praise these as scientific, but condemn the Pythagoreans as irrational?

The ten Aristotelian categories are substance or beingquantity, quality, relation, place, time, situation, having, doing, and being done to. Return to Book Page. Share your thoughts with other customers. ON THE HEXAD 77 and so on, as far as you like — are added up, with the result that it turns out that all number is formed by the dependence of triad on hexad; and since number is formative of the formlessness in matter, we would not be wrong in considering the hexad to be the form of forms.

Statesman Cambridge University Press, Aristotle: Republic Oxford University Press, Plato: Amazon Drive Cloud storage from Amazon. In the first place, women’s evacuations occur by means of the aforementioned hebdomadic periods, and for this reason are called by some ‘menses’ and ‘menstruation.


For it is easier for a craftsman to procure matter for himself than for the reverse to happen — for matter to procure a crafts- man.

The Theology of Arithmetic

It is also necessary to calculate the seven configurations of the moon which pertain to its phases by means of a tetrad: It starts the word arche source. The similarity between this passage and p.

Cubes are said to be limiting because they encompass the limitation of solidity and three-dimensionality. The beginnings of arithmology among Pythagoras and his immediate successors are unknown. This is consistent with him having had the soul of Euphorbus during that period: The fact that the decad, which is gnomon and joiner, 1 is consummated by the tetrad along with the numbers which precede it, 2 is special and particularly important for the harmony which completion brings; so is the fact that it provides the limit of cor- poreality and three-dimensionality.

The missing positions in the Platonic Lambda. For the triad is the source in actuality of number, which is by definition a system a monads. Because it levels out inequality, they call it ‘Providence’ and ‘justice’ division, as it were23 and ‘Bubastian’ because of being honored at Bubastos in Egypt, 24 and ‘Aphrodite’ because it binds to allegorical interpretation. The overall structure of the book is based on the Pythagorean Tetraktys. Deborah Rankin rated it liked it Jun 17, The Counter-Earth is an invisible counterpart to the Earth.

The Pythagoreans honored it as the begetter of the decad. Aiolus means ‘the shifter.

And there are six bases which are the boundaries of the three dimensions of a cube — i. For the hexad is the first and most basic number to encompass [48] an arithmetic mean,- for since the arithmetic mean is obviously contained primarily in 1, 2, 3, and the combina- tion of these is the hexad, then the hexad admits the primary expression of proportionality and forms number itself, since the characteristic property of being a numerical mean is found essen- tially in it; 15 and also the primary embodiment of scalene number is solidified in the sequence up to it — 1, 2, 3.

These ex- amples of interpretation are an indication that Plato put forward the Lambda pattern in the first instance as one of profound signi- fication and yet left the inquiring mind to unfold the layers of meaning and the ‘Pythagorean’ source for themselves.

Avrohom rated it it was amazing Jun 30, Text, Translation, and Commentary Philosophis Antiqua.

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On seven-month and nine-month gestation, see also pp. One can iamblichud though that much of the material is repeated in a number of analogous sources, i. English] The theology of arithmetic: Rebecca rated it it was amazing Jan 26, However, here we have the word used to refer specially to symbolic narratives and their hidden meanings. For instance, his fragment 48 is: Karl rated it it was amazing Mar 18, The doctrine of the essentiality of number, which has held so much inspirational power for so long and is hardly far from modem concepts of mathematical atomism is a unlikely to have been totally divulged in the literature and is b likely to have had more than one teaching related to it.


Full text of “Iamblichus – The theology of arithmetic”

Because the perfection of the universe falls under the hexad, the virtue of the Creator God is rightly thought to be hexadic. In earlier Pythagoreanism, the identification of the tetrad with justice see p. Thus our treatise simply takes each of the numbers from one to ten, and spends a few pages describing its qualities and giving reasons for those qualities.

The simple mathematics of Greek arithmetic can inspire a complex and sophisticated mysticism. And astronomy — the science of the heavenly spheres — falls under the tetrad, because of all solids the most perfect and the one which particularly embraces the rest by nature, and is outstanding in thousands of other respects, is the sphere, which is a body consisting of four things — center, diameter, circumference and area i.

More significant is the fact that we are still happy to accept more 2. Is he referring to the primary geometric proportion 1, 2, 4, whose extremes add up to 5? Moreover, the mentioned elementary sources of harmony — the sesquialter and the sesquitertian — need a half for the sesquial- ter cannot exist without this, nor indeed can the musical fifth, which the sesquialter forms and a third for the sesquitertian is altogether bound up with this, and the musical fourth is naturally bound up with the sesquitertian ; and 6 is the first number to subsume both a half and a third at once, since it is made up of different and contrary factors — the root of things which are divis- 6.

So, for instance, the number one is present in all numbers and makes them what they are. These qualities are primarily mathe- matical, and then by extension allegorical. Thus, “” might be a restaurant in the French countryside that specializes in dishes seasoned with tarragon, while “” is an aging trailer park with metalized domiciles bleaching under a fierce Arizona sun.

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The study and use tyeology gematria by Jewish Kabbalists is relatively well known; more often forgotten is the fact that even such seminal Christian writers as John of Ruysbroeck were perfectly prepared to see numbers as authoritative symbols and paradigms of divine principles.