|Died||c. 325 (aged around 80)|
|Other names||Iamblichus Chalcidensis, Iamblichus of Chalcis, "Iamblichus of Apamea|
|Metaphysics, philosophical cosmology|
Iamblichus (//; Greek: Ἰάμβλιχος Iámblichos; Aramaic: 𐡉𐡌𐡋𐡊𐡅 Yamlīḵū; c. 245 – c. 325) was a Syrian neoplatonic philosopher of Arabic origin. He determined a direction later taken by neoplatonism. Iamblichus was also the biographer of the Greek mystic, philosopher, and mathematician Pythagoras. In addition to his philosophical contributions, his Protrepticus is important for the study of the sophists because it preserved about ten pages of an otherwise-unknown sophist known as the Anonymus Iamblichi.
According to the Suda and Iamblichus' biographer, Eunapius, he was born in Chalcis in Coele Syria. The son of a wealthy, well-known family, Iamblichus was descended from the Emesene dynasty. He initially studied under Anatolius of Laodicea and later studied under Porphyry, a pupil of Plotinus (the founder of neoplatonism). Iamblichus disagreed with Porphyry about theurgy, reportedly responding to Porphyry's criticism of the practice in De Mysteriis Aegyptiorum (On the Egyptian Mysteries).
He returned to Coele Syria around 304 to found a school in Apamea (near Antioch), a city known for its neoplatonic philosophers. Iamblichus designed a curriculum for studying Plato and Aristotle, and wrote commentaries on the two which survive only in fragments. Pythagoras was his supreme authority, and he wrote the ten-volume Collection of Pythagorean Doctrines with extracts from several ancient philosophers; only the first four volumes and fragments of the fifth survive.
Iamblichus wrote the Exhortation to Philosophy in Apamea during the early fourth century. Considered a man of great culture and learning, he was renowned for his charity and self-denial and had a number of students. According to Fabricius, he died sometime before 333 during the reign of Constantine.
Iamblichus detailed Plotinus' neoplatonic formal divisions, applied Pythagorean number symbolism more systematically, and (influenced by Oriental systems) interpreted neoplatonic concepts mythically. Unlike Plotinus, who broke from platonic tradition by positing a separate soul, Iamblichus re-affirmed the soul's embodiment in matter and believed that matter was as divine as the rest of the cosmos.
See also: Neoplatonism § Iamblichus
Iamblichus placed the Monad at the head of his system, from which emanates the Nous (intellect, or demiurge) and the psyche. Plotinus represented the Nous as three stages: objective being, subjective life, and realized intellect. Iamblichus divided them into two spheres: intelligible (the objects of thought) and intellective (the domain of thought).
Iamblichus and Proclus may have introduced a third sphere between the two worlds, separating and uniting them. The identification of nous with the demiurge in the neoplatonic tradition was adopted and developmentin Christian gnosticism. St. Augustine follows Plotinus, identifying the nous with logos (the creative principle) as part of the Trinity.
Iamblichus multiplied the number of divine entities according to universal mathematical theorems. He conceived of gods, angels, demons and heroes: twelve heavenly gods (whose number increases to 36 or 360), 72 other gods proceeding from them, 21 chiefs and 42 nature-gods. His divine realm extends from the Monad to material nature, where the soul descends into matter and becomes embodied in human form. These superhuman beings influence natural events and communicate knowledge about the future, and are accessible with prayers and offerings. Iamblichus posited that numbers are independent, occupying a middle realm between the limited and unlimited.  He believed that nature was bound by fate, differing from divine things which are not subject to fate and turn evil and imperfection to good ends; evil was generated accidentally in the conflict between the finite and the infinite.
Only a fraction of Iamblichus' books have survived; knowledge of his system is preserved in fragments of writings preserved by Stobaeus and others: notes by his successors (especially Proclus), his five extant books and sections of his work on Pythagoreanism. In addition to these, Proclus attributed to him the Theurgia (also known as The Egyptian Mysteries). Although stylistic and doctrinal differences exist between this book and Iamblichus' other works, it originated from his school at least.
Iamblichus was praised by his followers, and contemporaries credited him with miraculous powers. The Roman emperor Julian, not content with Eunapius' modest eulogy that Iamblichus was inferior to Porphyry only in style, regarded him as second only to Plato and said that he would give all the gold in Lydia for one of his letters. During the 15th- and 16th-century revival of interest in his philosophy in theies, Iamblichus' name was rarely mentioned without the epithet "divine" or "most divine".
((cite encyclopedia)): CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
public domain: Sorley, William Ritchie (1911). "Iamblichus, the chief representative of Syrian Neoplatonism". In Chisholm, Hugh (ed.). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.This article incorporates text from a publication now in the