Der Occultismus des Altertums
A leading German theosophical writer, Karl Kiesewetter (1854-95) published several influential works in the years just before his early death. They included a history of modern esotericism (1891), a biography of Mesmer (1893, also reissued in this series), studies of John Dee and of the Faust legend (both 1893), and this two-volume account of occult beliefs and practices in the ancient world (1895), which was completed by Ludwig Kuhlenbeck (1857-1920), a scholar of ancient philosophy and law. Volume 2 focuses on the civilisations of the Mediterranean (Greece, Alexandria, Rome) and northern Europe (the Germanic and Celtic peoples). Each general description is followed by more detailed investigations of particular aspects of that community, such as individuals (Socrates, Philo and Pythagoras), practices (divination, healing and oracles), and teachings (gnosticism, Manicheanism and creation, the afterlife), together with textual excerpts (in German translation).