The Garden of Cyrus

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The Garden of Cyrus, or The Quincuncial Lozenge, or Network Plantations of the Ancients, naturally, artificially, mystically considered, is a discourse written by Sir Thomas Browne. It was first published in 1658, along with its diptych companion, Urn-Burial. In modern times it has been recognised as Browne's major literary contribution to Hermetic wisdom.[1] [2]


Frontispiece to 'The Garden of Cyrus' (1658)

Written during a time when restrictions on publishing became more relaxed during Oliver Cromwell's Protectorate, The Garden of Cyrus (1658) is Browne's contribution to a 'boom period' decade of interest in esoterica in England.[3]

Browne's discourse is a Neoplatonic and Neopythagorean vision of the interconnection of art and nature via the inter-related symbols of the number five and the quincunx pattern, along with the figure X and the lattice design.[4] Its fundamental quest was of primary concern to Hermetic philosophy: proof of the wisdom of God, and demonstrable evidence of intelligent design. The Discourse includes early recorded usage of the words 'prototype' and 'archetype' in English.


  1. ^
  2. ^ Faulkner, Kevin (2002). "Scintillae marginila: Sparkling margins - Alchemical and Hermetic thought in the literary works of Sir Thomas Browne". Retrieved 16 February 2017. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ Frank Huntley Sir Thomas Browne: a Biographical and Critical Study Ann Arbor, University of Michigan Press, 1962

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