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Book of the XXIV Philosophers (Liber XXIV philosophorum)

Book of the XXIV Philosophers (Liber XXIV philosophorum)

Photo: Priest with two christian crosses in a Lalibela carved church, Ethiopia.
 

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The Liber is a mysterious and Hermetic medieval work, thought by some to have been composed in the 4th century AD. It consists of twenty-four definitions of God and is one of the most important texts in the history of medieval philosophy, and indeed in the history of philosophy. These 24 statements have influenced the likes of Dante, Meister Eckhart, Giordano Bruno and Leibniz and is a very useful tool to help anyone from any religious tradition to have a deeper understanding
 of the Divine.

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Upon a gathering of twenty-four philosophers, only one question remained for them to answer: what is God?

They then agreed to have a recess, in order for each of them to come up with a definition in his own terms, to gain some certainty from their individual definitions and thus be able to make a consensual assertion about God.

God: an infinite sphere whose centre is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere.

God: entire in his every thing.

God: the mind that generates an utterance prolonged continually.

God: that better than which nothing can be conceived.

God: beginning without beginning, unchanging progress, endless end.

God: its power cannot be measured, its being cannot be enclosed,
its goodness does not have limits.

God: beyond what is; necessary; alone in self-sufficing abundance.

God: whose will is equalled by divine power and wisdom.

God: the life which has truth as way to form and goodness as way to unity.

​God: the intellection of itself alone, free from every predicate.

Continue Reading 'The Liber'

 

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Recommended Reading:

'What is Ancient Philosophy?'
​By Pierre Hadot (Author)

Purchase Book:

Amazon.com
Amazon.co.uk


Description:

A magisterial mappa mundi of the terrain that Pierre Hadot has so productively worked for decades, this ambitious work revises our view of ancient philosophy―and in doing so, proposes that we change the way we see philosophy itself. Hadot takes ancient philosophy out of its customary realm of names, dates, and arid abstractions and plants it squarely in the thick of life. Through a meticulous historical reading, he shows how the various schools, trends, and ideas of ancient Greek and Roman philosophy all tended toward one goal: to provide a means for achieving happiness in this life, by transforming the individual’s mode of perceiving and being in the world. Most pressing for Hadot is the question of how the ancients conceived of philosophy. He argues in great detail, systematically covering the ideas of the earliest Greek thinkers, Hellenistic philosophy, and late antiquity, that ancient philosophers were concerned not just to develop philosophical theories, but to practice philosophy as a way of life―a way of life to be suggested, illuminated, and justified by their philosophical “discourse.” For the ancients, philosophical theory and the philosophical way of life were inseparably linked. What Is Ancient Philosophy?
 also explains why this connection broke down, most conspicuously in the case of academic, professional philosophers, especially under the influence of Christianity. Finally, Hadot turns to the question of whether and how this connection might be reestablished. Even as it brings ancient thoughts and thinkers to life, this invigorating work provides direction for those who wish to improve their lives by means of genuine philosophical thought.
 

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