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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Pythago- ras of Samos lived towards the end of iambblichus sixth century B. The reference is probably to Arithmehic, Introduction to Arithmetic, 1. And the product of the limits is equal to the product of the means, as is the way with geometrical proportion: For certain synesthetes, all numbers have allusions beyond simple quantification.

One of three Fates: De Falco’s text is the most recent edition, and this was only the second time that the Greek had been critically edited: Puramis pyramid is linked with pur fire. So what is indefinite and formless falls under the dyad alone. So, for instance, the number one is present in all numbers and makes them what they are. The overall structure of the book is based on the Pythagorean Tetraktys. It is called ‘monad’ because of its stability, 1 since it preserves the specific identity of any number with which it is conjoined.

The Theology of Arithmetic

Moreover, anything in Nature which has process has three boundaries begin- ning, peak and end — that is, its izmblichus and its middleand two intervals that is, increase and decreasewith the consequence that the nature of the dyad and ‘either’ manifests in the triad by means 3.

The Pythagoreans were most impressed by the fact arithmetkc in these sequences square and cube numbers occur at regular intervals — squares in the first, third, fifth, seventh, etc. The dyad is arithmetix number, nor even, because it is not actual; at any rate, every even number is divisible into both equal and unequal parts, but the dyad alone cannot be divided into unequal parts; and also, when it is divided into equal parts, it is completely unclear to which class its parts belong, as it is like a source.

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But if the dyad is a system of monads, 15 then [14] the monads are generated earlier; and if the monad theoloyy half the dyad, then the existence of the dyad is necessarily prior.

These numbers are the points in space that define the solidity of the regular figures.

Its is the longest work on number symbolism to survive from the ancient world, arirhmetic Robin Waterfield’s careful translation contains helpful footnotes, an extensive glossary, bibliography, and foreword by Keith Critchlow. A tetrachord is said to consist of the first even and the first odd number. Plato’s Lambda from the Timaeus. Open Preview See a Problem? In the fourth place, as regards 1, 2, 3, 4, the decad, although even agithmetic successive, has acquired perfection in a different way from those other ways: Analogously, tneology regards the completion of the universe, there are angels, daemons, animals and plants, which complete [25] the universe.


Not least for the following reason also the dyad can be called indefinite: The Platonic Lambda filled out into the Pythagorean Tetraktys by the addition of 6, 12 and Lists with This Book. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account.

The Theology of Arithmetic by Iamblichus of Chalcis

Periisos more than equal is a word made up for the similarity with perissos odd ; similarly for the phrase ‘more than the equal’ — ‘the equal’ being the dyad, presumably. 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.

About Iamblichus of Chalcis. There is an obvious lacuna in the text; I have filled it in with a reasonable guess. This links the three domains through the metaphor of musical proportion, and with the pattern of the Sacred Decad or Tetraktys. The dyad is clearly formless, because the infinite sequence of polygons arise in actuality from triangularity and the triad, while as a result of the monad everything is together in potential, and no rectilinear figure consists of two straight lines or two angles.

For by the same number, 3, 9 both exceeds one extreme and is exceeded by the other. It was tempting to clutter up the pages with many footnotes, but I have tried to keep these to a minimum. That there was progress is clear: 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.

Iamblichus – The theology of arithmetic

The things of this world are either magnitudes or multitudes, and the tetrad is being said to be responsible for both categories. This paragraph is incomprehensible arlthmetic bearing in mind that here, and elsewhere in the treatise see pp. More importantly, the later extant texts often show a high degree of unanimity of thought and even of language.

Nicomachus is here imagining 0 cut in half down the teology axis. Smaller squares have areas less than the sum of their sides; larger squares have areas greater than the sum of their sides.

To the extent that a tradition can be said to be developed; it is more accurate to say that it can be clothed in different forms. The etymology of Prometheus is here derived from the Greek for ‘not outrunning. It is in fact rheology form of forms, since it aarithmetic creation thanks to its creativity and intellect thanks to its intelligence; this is adequately demonstrated in the [3] mutual opposition of oblongs and squares.


That is, as emerges from what follows, additions which involve triads and hexads, which have the two primary types of perfection.

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Amazon Music Stream millions of songs. The Pythagoreans honored it as the begetter of the decad. Nevertheless, because of the lecture-note style of the text, and because of its inherent difficulties, over the centuries the Greek has become corrupted in many places: The challenge that follows the allocation of three more points within the triangle figure 4 is to discover what numbers they afithmetic be, if they are not part uamblichus the existing progressions of 2 or 3.

Scientific and philosophic demonstrations always make use of the very smallest basic numbers, as both simple and trustworthy, and observe in them as paradigms the properties which they have in common with numbers of the same kind; for example, they prefer to observe in the dyad set against the monad the properties of the naturally infinite doubles, and in the triad set against the dyad the properties of sesquialters. Each star only valid to those who love ancient number mysticism.

When the Divine Craftsman “made of them arithmmetic out of three, straightaway He began to distribute this whole into so th portions It goes without saying that none of them are responsible for any remaining defects in quality and tone of my theoloty or com- mentary. The dyad is also an element in the composition of all things, an element which is opposed to the monad, ariithmetic for this reason theolkgy dyad is perpetually subordinate to the monad, as matter is to form.

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.

Like what other reviewers pointed out, the book is a synopsis.