Research Training & Reading Groups

The Warburg Institute seeks to extend research training through the Reading Groups to students, Fellows and other interested parties in the pursuit of research excellence

Arabic Philosophy

Mondays, 17.00 - 18.30 - Classroom 2

Institute: The Warburg Institute 

Type: Research Training 

Description: Participants should have a basic reading knowledge of Arabic.

If you wish to take part please contact Professor Charles Burnett before  attending your first class:

Classical Arabic

Thursdays, 15.00 - 16.30 (final class 22 Mar) - Classroom 2

Institute:  The Warburg Institute 

Type: Research Training 

Description: In this reading group we shall look at the text and the way it sheds light on many aspects of the classical Arbic civilisation of the period. The class is intended to be both educational and fun. We shall begin with a discussion of the author, the manuscript tradition of the text before detailed group reading of chosen chapters. For more details click here

Classical Greek

Alternate Wednesdays, 12.00 - 13.15. Classes on 17, 31 Jan, 14, 28 Feb, 14, 28 Mar - Room 308

Institute: The Warburg Institute 

Type:  Research Training 

Description: Professor Charles Burnett, Warburg Institute, School of Advanced Study, University of London

A Reading Class in Classical Greek led by Charles Burnett. The class will be held in room 308 on selected Wednesdays, on the following dates:

Autumn term: 11, 25 Oct, 15, 29 Nov, 13 Dec 2017

Spring term: 17, 31 Jan, 14, 28 Feb, 14, 28 Mar 2018

Summer term: May 9, 23, Jun 6, 20, Jul 4 2018

Please contact Charles Burnett before attending your first class.

Esoteric Traditions and Occult Thought

Fridays, 13.00 - 14.15 - Classroom 1

Institute: The Warburg Institute 

Type: Research Training 

Description: The group reads texts in Arabic and Latin, spanning from the early Islamic period until the Renaissance.  Translations will be provided.

Those interested in attending are advised to contact Charles Burnett in advance for more details, and for copies of the texts to be studied.


Iamblichus Reading Group

Tuesdays, 17.45 - 19.30 (final class: 13 Mar) - Room 308

​Tuesdays, 17.45–19.30 - Warburg Institute, Room 308

Institute: The Warburg Institute 

Type: Research Training 

Description: In this seminar series we will discuss the Reply to Porphyry (De mysteriis) of Iamblichus of Chalcis (c.245–c.325 CE), the most influential Platonic philosopher of late antiquity after Plotinus. In his Reply of the Master Abamon to Porphyry’s Letter to Anebo, he answers his teacher’s questions and criticisms on theurgy, a ritual process intended to unite the human soul with the divine. This work, the foremost ancient pagan philosophical treatment of religious ritual, ‘magic’ and divination, influenced Christian sacramental theology and early modern occult philosophy through Pseudo-Dionysius and Marsilio Ficino.

After an introduction to Iamblichus in the first week, we will discuss the Reply to Porphyry in ten further weekly sessions, using Iamblichus, On the Mysteries, tr. Emma C. Clarke, John M. Dillon and Jackson P. Hershbell. No particular knowledge of Platonism or ancient Greek is required.

For further information please contact Merlin Cox