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Permeable Worlds in Iamblichus’s Babyloniaka

Dimitri Kasprzyk

Abstract

In his Babyloniaka (second century CE), Iamblichus devotes an important part of the narration (as it is summarized by Photius) to events occurring in a very particular place: an unnamed island formed by the Tigris and the Euphrates. This paper aims to show how Iamblichus has intermingled times, places, identities and genres to create a permeable world which reflects the pluricultural identity of the author. The island concentrates levels of reality which are usually separated to construct a geographically and ontologically hybrid world, which is enigmatic and paradigmatic of the novel as a whole. In accordance with a permeable genre, Iamblichus has constructed a permeable world, which seems to be characteristic of an author who has several geographical and cultural roots.

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