Julian the Apostate and Theurgic Magic

Julian the Apostate is often upheld as a beacon of Greek rationalism and tolerance resisting the flood of superstitious Christianity.

However, as John P. Anton notes in his article “Theourgia-Demiourgia: A Controversial Issue in Hellenistic Thought and Religion,” Julian was primarily interested in replacing Christianity not with a highly rationalistic Platonism or Aristotelianism but with a magical Neoplatonism. In fact, he was warned by Christians like Eusebius to avoid the company of wizards.

Moreover, Anton notes that Julian learned his magic from his “education in Athenian Neoplatonism.” What we see here is that the Platonic Academy was teaching magic not rationalist and agnostic Platonism.

Thus, when Christians would later expel the Platonic Academy, it was done in order remove the practice of magic not to get rid of philosophy.

Perhaps the biggest question is where this magic teaching went when it was suppressed by Christian emperors.

I wonder if Alexander Dugin knows….

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