Welcome to the second part of our deep-dive into Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa’s hugely influential giant book, Three Books of Occult Philosophy. In this episode, we will be searching for the answer to a pressing question: how did Agrippa manage to write such an enormous book before he even turned 25?
Thanks to Eric Purdue’s long work on his translation of this book, we have a pretty good answer: plagiarism! Agrippa used material from over 200 sources to compile and assemble Occult Philosophy. In many cases, he simply lifted complete passages from some of these sources. However, in spite of the rampant plagiarism in the text, Agrippa was able to assemble quotes and passages from these sources—some of them quite mundane—to put forth an argument for his own definition of an occult philosophy that proved to be both remarkable and influential.
We will look at three of Agrippa’s sources:
- Johannes Trithemius
- Pliny the Elder
- Johann Reuchlin
This series of episodes about Occult Philosophy will most likely last until Summer. My Patreon supporters will be receiving each episode a week before the rest of the world, along with bonus materials such as full interviews, a glimpse at works in progress, and the opportunity to suggest further topics for this Agrippa deep dive.
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- My review of the modern translations of Occult Philosophy
- J.F.’s translation, online for free!
- A Short History of Academic Plagiarism
- The Magus with R.A. Priddle
- The Aggripean Circle
- The Natural History of Pliny on Project Gutenberg
- The A.D. 79 Eruption at Mt. Vesuvius
- Pliny the Elder from Russian River
- On the Art of the Kabbalah by Johann Reuchlin, trans. Martin and Sarah Goodman
- Albert Pike’s Morals and Dogma: Annotated Edition edited and annotated by Arturo de Hoyos