Post a Comment. In this article and the next [ Chaldean Oracles of Zoroaster - Beliefs Summary by Psellus and this Author ] we seek to understand the Oracles, discuss its possible authorship, and note any convergence or divergence with mainstream Zoroastrian philosophy and theology. Its neighbour to the east would have been Elam and Persia.
In English language translations and interpretations of Classical Greek accounts of the reason, we find the name Chaldea used where we might otherwise find Sumer, Babylonia or even Mesopotamia. During the time when the classical Greek histories and accounts were written, Chaldea or Babylonia were part of the Persian Empire and Babylon was a centre of learning visited by several Greek travellers. Pythagorean "scriptures" are said to have included the Chaldean Oracles of Zoroaster.
We presume that the word 'Oracle' in the title signifies it being a source of wisdom - even a divine message or a divinely inspired message - rather than it being a source of prophecy. Authorship of the Oracles According to Taylor The edition of the text that came into the possession of the Greeks was said to have been written in Chaldean i. Akkadian or Babylonian. Babylonian-Persian] origin, and were not forged by Christians of any denomination, as has been asserted by some superficial writers, is demonstrably evident from the following considerations: In the first place, John Picus, Earl of Mirandula [a lord in Italy b.
And that he did not speak this from mere conjecture as Fabricius thinks he did is evident from his expressly asserting, in a letter to Urbinatus p.
Proclus in his MS. One individual sometimes credited as being a possible compiler of the Oracles is Julian the Theurgist , son of Julian the Chaldean. The Theurgy of the Chaldean Oracles was said to have provided the knowledge to aid the soul on its ascent to re union with the Divine, a process called henosis.
Plotinus promoted contemplation and mediation as the means to reunion with the Divine while Iamblichus of Calcis Syria a student of Porphyry himself a student of Plotinus promoted invocation and ritual. Hunter Lewis. Percy Bysshe Shelley. Bygone Beliefs. Herbert Stanley Redgrove. The Natural History Of Religion. David Hume. Baron Henry Peter Brougham.
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Beelzebub's Tales to His Grandson. Elemental Epicureanism. Early Greek Philosophy. Friedrich Nietzsche. Richard Maurice Bucke. The Road to Inner Freedom. Dagobert D. A Confession. Leo Nikoleyevich Tolstoy. Egyptian Magic. Wallis Budge. Chaldean Oracles. Gnostic Philosophy. Tobias Churton. The Virgin of the World. Hermes Trismegistus. Jesus after the Crucifixion. Graham Simmans. The Art and Thought of Heraclitus.
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The Chaldaean Oracles of Zoroaster by W. Wynn Westcott
No And Yes. Mary Baker Eddy. The Golden Chain. Of the Conduct of the Understanding. The 4th-century Emperor Julian not to be confused with Julian the Chaldean or Julian the Theurgist suggests in his Hymn to the Magna Mater that he was an initiate of the God of the Seven Rays , and was an adept of its teachings.
When Christian Church Fathers or other Late Antiquity writers credit "the Chaldeans", they are probably referring to this tradition. An analysis of the Chaldean Oracles demonstrates an inspiration for contemporary gnostic teachings: At the base of all lies created Matter, made by the Demiurgic Intellect. A combination of ascetic conduct and correct ritual are recommended to free the soul from the confines of matter and limitations, and to defend it against the demonic powers lurking in some of the realms between Gods and mortals.
It is not known whether Julian the Chaldean was actually of Eastern descent, or whether the term "Chaldean" had by his time come to mean "magician" or practitioner of mysterious arts. The circumstances surrounding the writing of the Oracles are also mysterious, the most likely explanation being that Julian uttered them after inducing a sort of trance, leading to the belief that they were handed down to Julian by the gods.
Neoplatonists including Porphyry , Iamblichus , and Proclus wrote extensive commentaries on the Oracles which are now lost. The most extensive surviving commentary was written by the Christian philosopher Michael Psellus in the 9th century C. Psellus' work has been an important tool for interpreting earlier and more fragmentary excerpts from the Oracles. Whether or not they were composed by Julian himself, or whether Julian compiled them from actual Chaldean originals, the oracles are mainly a product of Hellenistic and more precisely Alexandrian syncretism as practiced in the cultural melting-pot that was Alexandria, and were credited with embodying many of the principal features of a "Chaldean philosophy".
They were held in the greatest esteem throughout Late Antiquity, and by the later followers of Neoplatonism , although frequently argued against by Augustine of Hippo. The Chaldean Oracles were considered to be a central text by many of the later Neoplatonist philosophers, nearly equal in importance to Plato 's Timaeus.