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Occult Sciences

Occult Sciences
The Philosophy of Magic, Prodigies and Apparent Miracles
2 Volume Set


Part of Cambridge Library Collection - Spiritualism and Esoteric Knowledge

Francois Arago
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  • Date Published: February 2012
  • availability: Out of stock in print form with no current plan to reprint
  • format: Multiple copy pack
  • isbn: 9781108044325

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About the Authors
  • This examination of the connection between the belief in miracles and religious practices in ancient times was originally written by French politician and polymath Anne-Joseph-Eusèbe Baconnière de Salverte (1771–1839) and published in 1829. In 1846, it was translated into English by a Scottish physician and writer, Anthony Todd Thomson (1778–1849), and published in two volumes. Thomson explains that Salverte's work was an important study of miracles and the power of priests, and he had 'performed a beneficial service in throwing open the gates of ancient sanctuaries'. However, Thomson also states that he differed from Salverte over the idea of the miraculous, and that he had expunged or heavily edited any passages relating to Christianity, even changing 'miracles' in the original subtitle to 'apparent miracles'. Volume 1 deals with human credulity and ancient beliefs in magic. Volume 2 discusses the role of drugs and poison in magic.

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    Product details

    • Date Published: February 2012
    • format: Multiple copy pack
    • isbn: 9781108044325
    • length: 804 pages
    • dimensions: 216 x 140 x 45 mm
    • weight: 1.08kg
    • availability: Out of stock in print form with no current plan to reprint
  • Table of Contents

    Volume 1: Preface
    A biographical sketch of M. Salverte Francois Arago
    Preface by the editor
    1. Man is credulous because he is naturally sincere
    2. Difference between miracles and prodigies
    3. Enumeration and discussion of causes
    4. Real but rare phenomena successfully held up as prodigies proceeding from the intervention of a divine power, and believed because men were ignorant that a phenomenon could be local and periodical
    5. Magic
    6. Trial of skill between the thaumaturgists
    7. Errors mingled with the positive truths of science
    8. Safeguards of the mystery that surrounded the occult sciences
    9. Notwithstanding the rivalry of religious sects, the spirit of a fixed form of civilization existed
    10. Enumeration of the wonders that the thaumaturgists acquired the power of working, by the practice of the occult science
    11. Apparent miracles performed by mechanism
    12. Acoustics
    13. Optics
    14. Hydrostatics
    15. Secrets employed in working apparent miracles, in initiations, and in religious rites
    16. Secrets to work upon the senses of the animals. Volume 2:
    1. Preparations of drugs and beverages, some soporific, others for producing temporary imbecility
    2. Effect of perfumes on the moral nature of man
    3. Influence of the imagination, seconded by physical accessories
    4. Medicine formed a part of the occult science
    5. Poisonous substances
    6. Sterility of the soil
    7. Meteorology
    8. The art of drawing lightning from the clouds
    9. Phosphorescent substances
    10. Compositions similar to gunpowder
    11. The thaumaturgists might have worked pretended miracles with the air-gun, the power of steam, and the magnet
    12. Conclusion

  • Author

    Eusèbe Salverte

    Editor and Translator

    Anthony Todd Thomson


    Francois Arago

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