Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The Unusual Suspects: The Byzantine Pagan Roots of the Western Mystery Tradition

This is basically a placeholder for now, to remind me to come back and do this right. Essentially what I have in mind is just a good old-fashioned literature survey. The focus will be on contemporary scholarship relevant to the question of what one might call (if anyone has alternative suggestions, I am all ears) "Byzantine Underground Platonic Paganism". The literature I have in mind falls into four groups:

  1.  The works of Anthony Kaldellis, Niketas Siniossoglou and Aslihan Akisik.
  2.  Other Byzantinists who concede that at the very least George Gemistos Plethon (and possibly others) provide genuine examples of crypto-Paganism.
  3. Non Byzantinist scholars of Esotericism (I have Wouter Hanegraaff especially in mind) who, like category 2 above concede that at the very least George Gemistos Plethon etc etc.
  4. Other scholars who continue to hold to some verion of the Kristeller/Febvre Party Line that underground Paganism not only did not exist at the times and places in question, but that it was, as a matter of existential fact, an impossibility.
Perhaps as much as 50% (or even more) of this survey already exists, at least in outline form, in scattered posts in this blog over the last 5+ years or so.