"Master, what schools of magic
is practiced by the famous Ahmet the Egyptian?"
"The world of the Oath of
Empire is strongly based on the history and philosophy of our own
world, as are its systems of magic.
Your last question is the easiest to answer: Ahmet was trained at
the School of Pthames. Unfortunately, this is roughly equivalent
to saying "Thomas Harlan was trained at Miles Elementary
School"; it doesn't tell you a lot unless you also know about
the peculiar philosophy of Miles "ELC".
The School of Pthames is one of the schools operated by adherents
of the Order of Hermes Trismegistus, which is more likely what you
wanted to know.
Now, the Order of Hermes Trismegistus is a body of men (and
occasionally women) who study the nature of the universe,
attempting to understand why and how the world is the way it is.
They have accumulated a body of knowledge and teachings which they
pass on via their schools .
Rank within the Order is determined by one's seniority and by
one's grade of initiation.
The principal magics taught to their Initiates consist of enabling
contact with the multiple planes of reality -- planes here
referring to the layers of manifestation that separate the mundane
from the divine. They are also typically potent
thaumaturges-- literally, "miracle workers." The
sorts of effects which we see Ahmet use early in TSoA (dismissing
the bees, causing crocodiles to avoid the swimming boys) fall into
Note that Dwyrin's skills with fire are also a manifestation of
thaumaturgy; he simply happens to have a natural affinity for
fire, much as a musician might be able to play several different
instruments, but have an affinity for piano which lets their
performance thereon exceed what their training might otherwise
lead one to expect.
Regarding your second question, most Persians (like most
reasonably sane people) have as little to do with the practice of
any kind of magic as they can.
That said, the philosophy of Zoroastrianism (which at this time
pervades Persia) is given to seeing things starkly in terms of
light and dark, good and evil, with little of the shades of
meaning and intent that color Greek and Roman philosophy; thus,
when a Magus (a person trained in the magical forms of
Zoroastrianism) turns to evil, he turns completely to
evil. His philosophical training won't let him do anything
else. Since evil tends to be more outspoken than good, this
leads to the stereotype of the "evil Persian sorcerer"
so beloved of Alf layla wa layla .
Dahak is, I believe, a special case that I will not -- for your
safety and mine -- elucidate in this forum.
How many schools of magic are there? From your list, I can
see that you're using "school" to mean approximately
what I mean by "affinity" or "talent", which
is how our heroes would think of it.
The notion of a "school" or any kind of institution
devoted solely to, say, fire-casters, would be thought of as
For example, note the concern of the Legion that Dwyrin receive
training in skills other than fire-casting. He already knows
how to wield fire: he needs training in how to do other things,
like turn arrows aside, or purify water for drinking, but he
doesn't go to a separate institution or Order for each of these
The way our heroes think of these things is as schools of philosophy,
of ways of looking at the world: the Magi have one way, the Order
of Hermes Trismegistus has another, Galen's Order of Asclepius has
yet a third. In the religious orders, each Temple had its
own perspectives and teachings: the Temple of Jupiter Lapis ,
for example has a different philosophy than the Temple of Jupiter
Of such schools of philosophy, there were several thousand
attested historically, though most were local phenomena, similar
to religious denominations in the United States in the
1800s. Only a hundred or so reached any kind of prominence:
the Order of Hermes Trismegistus, incidentally, being one of such
fame that there are a number of occult and mystical organizations
today that trace their roots to it.
Most of these schools with an emphasis on magical ability taught
their students whatever range of skills was appropriate to the
philosophy, thus the Hermetics teach as wide a range of skills as
possible, where the Asclepians focus on manipulation of the anima
The situation is much as a student at Julliard specializing in
violin will also be taught composition, music theory, the theory
of orchestration, and several other skills that have little to do
with violin performance -- but all of these things will be taught
in such a way that, years later, an observer will be able to look
at the way the performer holds her bow, or the way the composer
lays her notes on the staff and say "Ah! She was
trained at Julliard."
I hope that this essay has provided some understanding ot the
complexity  and depth of our world." ~ Barzai
 I could go on about the specifics at some length, possessing
as I do several copies -- some in the original classical Greek --
of their religious, philosophical, and alchemical teachings, but
I'll leave that for another time.
 "The Thousand Nights and a Night," a popular
collection of Near Eastern folktales.
 Literally, Jupiter the Stone. This was one of the
earliest attested Jupiter cults, who used a stone imbued with the numen
of Jupiter in their divinatory rites.
 Literally, Jupiter the Unconquered. This was a prominent
cult of the later Republic, membership open to the Patrician class
only. Gaius Julius was in fact an priestly initiate in the Temple
of Jupiter Invictus, though he did not frequently exercise this
 This is translated as "soul" in Christian
ecclesiastical texts, though it classically refers to the quality
of being that imparts movement to animals -- hence the term,
 If this seems complicated -- it is! There are literally
entire libraries devoted to the topics of natural and religious
philosophy, and more scholarship than it's possible to absorb in a
human lifetime. Literally millions of people over the last
five thousand years that people have been writing on these topics
have contributed to a modern understanding of them, and we've
still only scratched the surface. Only in the last four
hundred years or so have we come to any understanding at all of
what's possible with philosophical engineering, and the efforts in
that direction have been uncoordinated at best.