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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database

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9 results for "eusebius"
1. Plutarch, On The Eating of Flesh Ii, None (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)  Tagged with subjects: •nan Found in books: Simmons(1995), Arnobius of Sicca: Religious Conflict and Competition in the Age of Diocletian, 313
2. Plutarch, Whether Land Or Sea Animals Are More Clever, None (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)  Tagged with subjects: •nan Found in books: Simmons(1995), Arnobius of Sicca: Religious Conflict and Competition in the Age of Diocletian, 313
3. Aelian, Nature of Animals, 1.4 (2nd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)  Tagged with subjects: •eusebius, attacks apollonius Found in books: Simmons(1995), Arnobius of Sicca: Religious Conflict and Competition in the Age of Diocletian, 313
4. Eusebius of Caesarea, Against Hierocles, 01/01/190012, 01/01/190013, 01/01/190014, 01/01/19004, 01/01/19009, 1, 10, 11, 12, 2, 21, 23, 26, 8, 01/01/190011 (3rd cent. CE - 4th cent. CE)  Tagged with subjects: •nan Found in books: Simmons(1995), Arnobius of Sicca: Religious Conflict and Competition in the Age of Diocletian, 28
5. Eusebius of Caesarea, Demonstration of The Gospel, 3.6-3.7 (3rd cent. CE - 4th cent. CE)  Tagged with subjects: •eusebius, attacks apollonius Found in books: Simmons(1995), Arnobius of Sicca: Religious Conflict and Competition in the Age of Diocletian, 28
6. Eusebius of Caesarea, Preparation For The Gospel, 4.1, 4.7 (3rd cent. CE - 4th cent. CE)  Tagged with subjects: •eusebius, attacks apollonius Found in books: Simmons(1995), Arnobius of Sicca: Religious Conflict and Competition in the Age of Diocletian, 28, 313
7. Porphyry, On Abstinence, 1.30.3-1.30.5, 2.5-2.32, 2.34.2, 3.2.4, 3.3.4-3.3.6, 3.4.4 (3rd cent. CE - 4th cent. CE)  Tagged with subjects: •eusebius, attacks apollonius Found in books: Simmons(1995), Arnobius of Sicca: Religious Conflict and Competition in the Age of Diocletian, 28, 313
2.5. 5.It seems that the period is of immense antiquity, from which a nation the most learned of all others 1 as Theophrastus says, and who inhabit the most sacred region made by the Nile, began first, from the vestal hearth, to sacrifice to the celestial Gods, not myrrh, or cassia, nor the first-fruits of things mingled with the crocus of frankincense; for these were assumed many generations afterwards, in consequence of error gradually increasing, when men, wanting the necessaries of life, offered, with great labour and many tears, some drops of these, as first-fruits to the Gods. Hence, they did not at first sacrifice these, but grass, which, as a certain soft wool of prolific nature, they plucked with their hands. For the earth produced trees prior to animals; and long before trees grass, which germinates annually. Hence, gathering the blades and roots, and all the germs of this herb, they committed them to the flames, as a sacrifice to the visible celestial Gods, to whom they paid |47 immortal honour through fire. For to these, also, we preserve in temples an immortal fire, because it is especially most similar to these divinities. But from the exhalation or smoke (εκ δε της θυμιασεως) of things produced in the earth, they called the offerings θυμιατηρια, thumiateria; to sacrifice, they called θυειν, thuein, and the sacrifices, θυσιαι, thusiai; all which, as if unfolding the error which was afterwards introduced, we do not rightly interpret; since we call the worship of the Gods through the immolation of animals thusia. But so careful were the ancients not to transgress this custom, that against those who, neglecting the pristine, introduced novel modes of sacrificing, they employed execrations 2 and therefore they now denominate the substances which are used for fumigations αρωματα, aromata, i.e. aromatics, [or things of an execrable nature.] The antiquity, however, of the before-mentioned fumigations may be perceived by him who considers that many now also sacrifice certain portions of odoriferous wood. Hence, when after grass, the earth produced trees, and men at first fed on the fruits of the oak; they offered to the Gods but few of the fruits on account of their rarity, but in sacrifices they burnt many of its leaves. After this, however, when human life proceeded to a milder nutriment, and sacrifices from nuts were introduced, they said enough of the oak. SPAN 2.6. 6.But as barley first appeared after leguminous substances, the race of men used it in primitive sacrifices, moistening it for this purpose with water. Afterwards, when they had broken and bruised it, so as to render it eatable, as the instruments of this operation afforded a divine assistance to human life, they concealed them in an arcane place, and approached them as things of a sacred nature. But esteeming the food produced from it when bruised to be blessed, when compared with their former nutriment, they offered, in fine, the first-fruits of it to the Gods. Hence also now, at the end of the sacrifices, we use fruits that are bruised or ground; testifying by this how much fumigations have departed from their ancient simplicity; at the same time not perceiving on what account we perform each of these. Proceeding, however, from hence, and being more abundantly supplied, both with other fruits and wheat, the first-fruits of cakes, made of the fine flour of wheat, and of everything else, were offered in sacrifices to the Gods; many flowers being collected for this purpose, and with these all that was conceived to be beautiful, and adapted, by its odour, to a divine sense, being |48 mingled. From these, also, some were used for garlands, and others were given to the fire. But when they had discovered the use of the divine drops of wine, and honey, and likewise of oil, for the purposes of human life, then they sacrificed these to their causes, the Gods. SPAN 2.7. 7.And these things appear to be testified by the splendid procession in honour of the Sun and the Hours, which is even now performed at Athens, and in which there were other herbs besides grass, and also acorns, the fruit of the crab-tree, barley, wheat, a heap of dried figs, cakes made of wheaten and barley flour; and, in the last place, an earthen pot. This mode, however, of offering first-fruits in sacrifices, having, at length, proceeded to great illegality, the assumption of immolations, most dire and full of cruelty, was introduced; so that it would seem that the execrations, which were formerly uttered against us, have now received their consummation, in consequence of men slaughtering animals, and defiling altars with blood; and this commenced from that period in which mankind tasted of blood, through having experienced the evils of famine and war. Divinity, therefore, as Theophrastus says, being indigt, appears to have inflicted a punishment adapted to the crime. Hence some men became atheists; but others, in consequence of forming erroneous conceptions of a divine nature, may be more justly called κακοφρονες, kakophrones, than κακοθεοι, kakotbeoi 3, because they think that the Gods are depraved, and in no respect naturally more excellent than we are. Thus, therefore, some were seen to live without sacrificing any thing, and without offering the first-fruits of their possessions to the Gods; but others sacrificed improperly, and made use of illegal oblations. SPAN 2.8. 8.Hence the Thoes 4, who dwell in the confines of Thrace, as they neither offered any first-fruits, nor sacrificed to the Gods, were at that time suddenly taken away from the rest of mankind; so that neither the inhabitants, nor the city, nor the foundations of the houses, could by any one be found. "Men prone to ill, denied the Gods their due, And by their follies made their days but few. The altars of the bless'd neglected stand, |49 Without the offerings which the laws demand; But angry Jove in dust this people laid, Because no honours to the Gods they paid." Hesiod. Op. et Di. lib. i. v. 133. Nor did they offer first-fruits to the Gods, as it was just that they should. But with respect to the Bassarians, who formerly were not only emulous of sacrificing bulls, but also ate the flesh of slaughtered men, in the same manner as we now do with other animals; for we offer to the Gods some parts of them as first-fruits; and eat the rest; --- with respect to these men, who has not heard, that insanely rushing on and biting each other, and in reality feeding on blood, they did not cease to act in this manner till the whole race was destroyed of those who use sacrifices of this kind? SPAN 2.9. 9.The sacrifice, therefore, through animals is posterior and most recent, and originated from a cause which is not of a pleasing nature, like that of the sacrifice from fruits, but received its commencement either from famine, or some other unfortunate circumstance. The causes, indeed, of the peculiar mactations among the Athenians, had their beginning, either in ignorance, or anger, or fear. For the slaughter of swine is attributed to an involuntary error of Clymene, who, by unintentionally striking, slew the animal. Hence her husband, being terrified as if he had perpetrated an illegal deed, consulted the oracle of the Pythian God about it. But as the God did not condemn what had happened, the slaughter of animals was afterwards considered as a thing of an indifferent nature. The inspector, however, of sacred rites, who was the offspring of prophets, wishing to make an offering of first-fruits from sheep, was permitted to do so, it is said, by an oracle, but with much caution and fear. For the oracle was as follows:--- "offspring of prophets, sheep by force to slay, The Gods permit not thee: but with wash'd hands For thee 'tis lawful any sheep to kill, That dies a voluntary death." SPAN 2.10. 10.But a goat was first slain in Icarus, a mountain of Attica, because it had cropped a vine. And Diomus, who was a priest of Jupiter Polieus, was the first that slew an ox; because, when the festival sacred to Jupiter, and called Diipolia, was celebrated, and fruits were prepared after the |50 ancient manner, an ox approaching tasted the sacred cake. But the priest, being aided by others who were present, slew the ox. And these are the causes, indeed, which are assigned by the Athenians for this deed; but by others, other causes are narrated. All of them however, are full of explanations that are not holy. But most of them assign famine, and the injustice with which it is attended, as the cause. Hence men having tasted of animals, they offered them in sacrifice, as first-fruits, to the Gods; but prior to this, they were accustomed to abstain from animal food. Whence, since the sacrifice of animals is not more ancient than necessary food, it may be determined from this circumstance what ought to be the nutriment of men. But it does not follow, because men have tasted of and offered animals in sacrifices as first-fruits, that it must necessarily be admitted to be pious to eat that which was not piously offered to the Gods. SPAN 2.11. 11.But what especially proves that every thing of this kind originated from injustice, is this, that the same things are neither sacrificed nor eaten in every nation, but that they conjecture what it is fit for them to do from what they find to be useful to themselves. With the Egyptians, therefore, and Phoenicians, any one would sooner taste human flesh than the flesh of a cow. The cause, however, is that this animal being useful, is also rare among them. Hence, though they eat bulls, and offer them in sacrifice as first-fruits, yet they spare cows for the sake of their progeny, and ordain that, if any one kill them, it shall be considered as an expiation. And thus, for the sake of utility in one and the same genus of animals, they distinguish what is pious, and what is impious. So that these particulars subsisting after this manner, Theophrastus reasonably forbids those to sacrifice animals who wish to be truly pious; employing these, and other similar arguments, such as the following. SPAN 2.12. 12.In the first place, indeed, because we sacrificed animals through the occurrence, as we have said, of a greater necessity. For pestilence and war were the causes that introduced the necessity of eating them. Since, therefore, we are supplied with fruits, what occasion is there to use the sacrifice of necessity? In the next place, the remunerations of, and thanks for benefits, are to be given differently to different persons, according to the worth of the benefit conferred; so that the greatest remunerations, and from things of the most honourable nature, are to be given to those who have benefited us in the greatest degree, and especially if they are the causes of these gifts. But the most beautiful and honourable of those things, by which the Gods benefit us, are the fruits of the earth. For through these they preserve us, and enable us to |51 live legitimately; so that, from these we ought to venerate them. Besides, it is requisite to sacrifice those things by the sacrifice of which we shall not injure any one. For nothing ought to be so inoxious to all things as sacrifice. But if someone should say, that God gave animals for our use, no less than the fruits of the earth, yet it does not follow that they are, therefore, to be sacrificed, because in so doing they are injured, through being deprived of life. For sacrifice is, as the name implies, something holy.5 But no one is holy who requites a benefit from things which are the property of another, whether he takes fruits or plants from one who is unwilling to be deprived of them. For how can this be holy, when those are injured from whom they are taken? If, however, he who takes away fruit from others does not sacrifice with sanctity, it cannot be holy to sacrifice things taken from others, which are in every respect more honourable than the fruits of the earth. For a more dire deed is thus perpetrated. But soul is much more honourable than the vegetable productions of the earth, which it is not fit, by sacrificing animals, that we should take away. SPAN 2.13. 13.Some one, however, perhaps may say, that we also take away something from plants [when we eat, and sacrifice them to the Gods]. But the ablation is not similar; since we do not take this away from those who are unwilling that we should. For, if we omitted to gather them, they would spontaneously drop their fruits. The gathering of the fruits, also, is not attended with the destruction of the plants, as it is when animals lose their animating principle. And, with respect to the fruit which we receive from bees, since this is obtained by our labour, it is fit that we should derive a common benefit from it. For bees collect their honey from plants; but we carefully attend to them. On which account it is requisite that such a division should be made [of our attention and their labour] that they may suffer no injury. But that which is useless to them, and beneficial to us, will be the reward which we receive from them [of our attention to their concerns]. In sacrifices, therefore, we should abstain from animals. For, though all things are in reality the property of the Gods, yet plants appear to be our property; since we sow and cultivate them, and nourish them by other attentions which we pay to them. We ought to sacrifice, therefore, from our own property, and not from the property of others; since that which may be procured at a small expense, and which may easily be obtained, is more holy, more acceptable to the Gods, and better adapted |52 to the purposes of sacrifice, and to the exercise of continual piety. Hence, that which is neither holy, nor to be obtained at a small expense, is not to be offered in sacrifice, even though it should be present. SPAN 2.14. 14.But that animals do not rank among things which may be procured easily, and at a small expense, may be seen by directing our view to the greater part of our race: for we are not now to consider that some men abound in sheep, and others in oxen. In the first place, therefore, there are many nations that do not possess any of those animals which are offered in sacrifice, some ignoble animals, perhaps, excepted. And, in the second place, most of those that dwell in cities themselves, possess these but rarely. But if some one should say that the inhabitants of cities have not mild fruits in abundance; yet, though this should be admitted, they are not in want of the other vegetable productions of the earth; nor is it so difficult to procure fruits as it is to procure animals. Hence an abundance of fruits, and other vegetables, is more easily obtained than that of animals. But that which is obtained with facility, and at a small expense, contributes to incessant and universal deity. SPAN 2.15. 15.Experience also testifies that the Gods rejoice in this more than in sumptuous offerings. For when that Thessalian sacrificed to the Pythian deity oxen with gilt horns, and hecatombs, Apollo said, that the offering of Hermioneus was more gratifying to him, though he had only sacrificed as much meal as he could take with his three fingers out of a sack. But when the Thessalian, on hearing this, placed all the rest of his offerings on the altar the God again said, that by so doing his present was doubly more unacceptable to him than his former offering. Hence the sacrifice which is attended with a small expense is pleasing to the Gods, and divinity looks more to the disposition and manners of those that sacrifice, than to the multitude of the things which are sacrificed. SPAN 2.16. 16.Theopompus likewise narrates things similar to these, viz. that a certain Magnesian came from Asia to Delphi; a man very rich, and abounding in cattle, and that he was accustomed every year to make many and magnificent sacrifices to the Gods, partly through the abundance of his possessions, and partly through piety and wishing to please the Gods. But being thus disposed, he came to the divinity at Delphi, bringing with him a hecatomb for the God, and magnificently honouring Apollo, he consulted his oracle. Conceiving also that he worshipped the Gods in a manner more beautiful than that of all other men, he asked the Pythian deity who the man was that, with the greatest promptitude, and in the best manner, venerated divinity, and |53 made the most acceptable sacrifices, conceiving that on this occasion the God would deem him to be pre-eminent. The Pythian deity however answered, that Clearchus, who dwelt in Methydrium, a town of Arcadia, worshipped the Gods in a way surpassing that of all other men. But the Magnesian being astonished, was desirous of seeing Clearchus, and of learning from him the manner in which he performed his sacrifices. Swiftly, therefore, betaking himself to Methydrium, in the first place, indeed, he despised the smallness and vileness of the town, conceiving that neither any private person, nor even the whole city, could honour the Gods more magnificently and more beautifully than he did. Meeting, however, with the man, he thought fit to ask him after what manner he reverenced the Gods. But Clearchus answered him, that he diligently sacrificed to them at proper times in every month at the new moon, crowning and adorning the statues of Hermes and Hecate, and the other sacred images which were left to us by our ancestors, and that he also honoured the Gods with frankincense, and sacred wafers and cakes. He likewise said, that he performed public sacrifices annually, omitting no festive day; and that in these festivals he worshipped the Gods, not by slaying oxen, nor by cutting victims into fragments, but that he sacrificed whatever he might casually meet with, sedulously offering the first-fruits to the Gods of all the vegetable productions of the seasons, and of all the fruits with which he was supplied. He added, that some of these he placed before the [statues of the] Gods,6 but that he burnt others on their altars; and that, being studious of frugality, he avoided the sacrificing of oxen. SPAN 2.17. 17.By some writers, also, it is related, that certain tyrants, after the Carthaginians were conquered, having, with great strife among themselves, placed hetacombs before Apollo. Afterwards inquired of the God with which of the offerings he was most delighted; and that he answered, contrary to all their expectation, that he was most pleased with the cakes of Docimus. But this Docimus was an inhabitant of Delphi, and cultivated some rugged and stony land. Docimus, therefore, coming on that day from the place which he cultivated, took from a bag which was fastened round him a few handfuls of meal, and sacrificed them to the God, who was more delighted with his offering than with the magnificent sacrifices of the tyrants. Hence, also a certain poet, |54 because the affair was known, appears to have asserted things of a similar kind, as we are informed by Antiphanes in his Mystics: In simple offerings most the Gods delight: For though before them hecatombs are placed, Yet frankincense is burnt the last of all. An indication this that all the rest, Preceding, was a vain expense, bestowed Through ostentation, for the sake of men; But a small offering gratifies the Gods. Meder likewise, in the comedy called the Morose, says, Pious th'oblation which with frankincense And Popanum7 is made; for in the fire Both these, when placed, divinity accepts. SPAN 2.18. 18.On this account also, earthen, wooden, and wicker vessels were formerly used, and especially in public sacrifices, the ancients being persuaded that divinity is delighted with things of this kind. Whence, even now, the most ancient vessels, and which are made of wood, are thought to be more divine, both on account of the matter and the simplicity of the art by which they were fashioned. It is said, therefore, that Aeschylus, on his brother's asking him to write a Paean in honour of Apollo, replied, that the best Paean was written by Tynnichus8; and that if his composition were to be compared with that of Tynnichus, the same thing would take place as if new were compared with ancient statues. For the latter, though they are simple in their formation, are conceived to be divine; but the former, though they are most accurately elaborated, produce indeed admiration, but are not believed to possess so much of a divine nature. Hence Hesiod, praising the law of ancient sacrifices, very properly says, |55 Your country's rites in sacrifice observe: [In pious works] the ancient law is best 9. SPAN 2.19. 19.But those who have written concerning sacred operations and sacrifices, admonish us to be accurate in preserving what pertains to the popana, because these are more acceptable to the Gods than the sacrifice which is performed through the mactation of animals. Sophocles also, in describing a sacrifice which is pleasing to divinity, says in his Polyidus: The skins of sheep in sacrifice were used, Libations too of wine, grapes well preserved, And fruits collected in a heap of every kind; The olive's pinguid juice, and waxen work Most variegated, of the yellow bee. Formerly, also, there were venerable monuments in Delos of those who came from the Hyperboreans, bearing handfuls [of fruits]. It is necessary, therefore, that, being purified in our manners, we should make oblations, offering to the Gods those sacrifices which are pleasing to them, and not such as are attended with great expense. Now, however, if a man's body is not pure and invested with a splendid garment, he does not think it is qualified for the sanctity of sacrifice. But when he has rendered his body splendid, together with his garment, though his soul at the same time is not, purified from vice, yet he betakes himself to sacrifice, and thinks that it is a thing of no consequence; as if divinity did not especially rejoice in that which is most divine in our nature, when it is in a pure condition, as being allied to his essence. In Epidaurus, therefore, there was the following inscription on the doors of the temple: Into an odorous temple, he who goes Should pure and holy be; but to be wise In what to sanctity pertains, is to be pure. SPAN 2.20. 20.But that God is not delighted with the amplitude of sacrifices, but with any casual offering, is evident from this, that of our daily food, whatever it may be that is placed before us, we all of us make an |56 offering to the Gods, before we have tasted it ourselves; this offering being small indeed, but the greatest testimony of honour to divinity. Moreover, Theophrastus shows, by enumerating many of the rites of different countries, that the sacrifices of the ancients were from fruits, and he narrates what pertains to libations in the following manner: "Ancient sacrifices were for the most part performed with sobriety. But those sacrifices are sober in which the libations are made with water. Afterwards, however, libations were made with honey. For we first received this liquid fruit prepared for us by the bees. In the third place, libations were made with oil; and in the fourth and last place with wine." SPAN 2.21. 21.These things, however, are testified not only by the pillars which are preserved in Cyrbe 10, and which contain, as it were, certain true descriptions of the Cretan sacred rites of the Corybantes; but also by Empedocles, who, in discussing what pertains to sacrifices and theogony, or the generation of the Gods, says: With them nor Mars nor tumult dire was found, Nor Saturn, Neptune, or the sovereign Jove, But Venus [beauty's] queen. And Venus is friendship. Afterwards he adds, With painted animals, and statues once of sacred form, with unguents sweet of smell, The fume of frankincense and genuine myrrh, And with libations poured upon the ground of yellow honey, Venus was propitious made. Which ancient custom is still even now preserved by some persons as a certain vestige of the truth. And in the last place, Empedocles says, Nor then were altars wet with blood of bulls Irrationally slain. SPAN 2.22. 22.For, as it appears to me, when friendship and a proper sense of the duties pertaining to kindred natures, was possessed by all men, no one slaughtered any living being, in consequence of thinking that other |57 animals were allied to him. But when strife, and tumult, every kind of contention, and the principle of war, invaded mankind, then, for the first time, no one in reality spared any one of his kindred natures. The following particulars, likewise, ought to be considered: For, as though there is an affinity between us and noxious men, who, as it were, by a certain impetus of their own nature and depravity, are incited to injure anyone they may happen to meet, yet we think it requisite that all of them should be punished and destroyed; thus also, with respect to those irrational animals that are naturally malefic and unjust, and who are impelled to injure those that approach them, it is perhaps fit that they should be destroyed. But with respect to other animals who do not at all act unjustly, and are not naturally impelled to injure us, it is certainly unjust to destroy and murder them, no otherwise than it would be to slay men who are not iniquitous. And this seems to evince that the justice between us and other animals does not arise from some of them being naturally noxious and malefic, but others not, as is also the case with respect to men. SPAN 2.23. 23.Are therefore those animals to be sacrificed to the Gods which are thought to be deserving of death? But how can this be possible, if they are naturally depraved? For it is no more proper to sacrifice such as these, than it would be to sacrifice mutilated animals. For thus, indeed, we shall offer the first-fruits of things of an evil nature, but we shall not sacrifice for the sake of honouring the Gods. Hence, if animals are to be sacrificed to the Gods, we should sacrifice those that are perfectly innoxious. It is however acknowledged, that those animals are not to be destroyed who do not at all injure us, so that neither are they to be sacrificed to the Gods. If, therefore, neither these, nor those that are noxious, are to be sacrificed, is it not evident that we should abstain from them more than from any thing else, and that we should not sacrifice any one of them, though it is fit that some of them should be destroyed? SPAN 2.24. 24.To which may be added, that we should sacrifice to the Gods for the sake of three things, viz. either for the sake of honouring them, or of testifying our gratitude, or through our want of good. For, as we offer first-fruits to good men, thus also we think it is necessary that we should offer them to the Gods. But we honour the Gods, either exploring the means of averting evils, and obtaining good, or when we have been previously benefited, or in order that we may obtain some present advantage and assistance, or merely for the purpose of venerating the goodness of their nature. So that if the first-fruits of animals are to be |58 offered to the Gods, some of them for the sake of this are to be sacrificed. For whatever we sacrifice, we sacrifice for the sake of some one of the above mentioned particulars. Is it therefore to be thought that God is honoured by us, when we are directly seen to act unjustly through the first-fruits which we offer to him? Or will he not rather think that he is dishonoured by such a sacrifice, in which, by immolating animals that have not at all injured us, we acknowledge that we have acted unjustly. So that no one of other animals is to be sacrificed for the sake of honouring divinity. Nor yet are they to be sacrificed for the purpose of testifying our gratitude to the Gods. For he who makes a just retribution for the benefits he has received, ought not to make it by doing an injury to certain other animals. For he will no more appear to make a retribution than he who, plundering his neighbour of his property, should bestow it on another person for the sake of honour. Neither are animals to be sacrificed for the sake of obtaining a certain good of which we are in want. For he who endeavours to be benefited by acting unjustly, is to be suspected as one who would not be grateful even when he is benefited. So that animals are not to be sacrificed to the Gods through the expectation of deriving advantage from the sacrifice. For he who does this, may perhaps elude men, but it is impossible that he can elude divinity. If, therefore, we ought to sacrifice for the sake of a certain thing, but this is not to be done for the sake of any of the before mentioned particulars, it is evident that animals ought not to be sacrificed. SPAN 2.25. 25.For, by endeavouring to obliterate the truth of these things through the pleasures which we derive from sacrifices, we deceive ourselves, but cannot deceive divinity. of those animals, therefore, which are of an ignoble nature, which do not impart to our life any superior utility, and which do not afford us any pleasure, we do not sacrifice any one to the Gods. For who ever sacrificed serpents, scorpions, and apes, or any one of such like animals? But we do not abstain from any one of those animals which afford a certain utility to our life, or which have something in them that contributes to our enjoyments; since we, in reality, cut their throats, and excoriate them, under the patronage of divinity 11. For we sacrifice to the Gods oxen and sheep, and besides these, stags and birds, and fat hogs, though they do not at all participate of purity, but afford us delight. And of these animals, indeed, some, by co-operating with our labours, afford assistance to our life, but others supply us with |59 food, or administer to our other wants. But those which effect neither of these, yet, through the enjoyment which is derived from them, are slain by men in sacrifices similarly with those who afford us utility. We do not, however, sacrifice asses or elephants, or any other of those animals that co-operate with us in our labours, but are not subservient to our pleasure; though, sacrificing being excepted, we do not abstain from such like animals, but we cut their throats on account of the delight with which the deglutition of them is attended; and of those which are fit to be sacrificed, we do not sacrifice such as are acceptable to the Gods, but such as in a greater degree gratify the desires of men; thus testifying against ourselves, that we persist in sacrificing to the Gods, for the sake of our own pleasure, and not for the sake of gratifying the Gods. SPAN 2.26. 26.But of the Syrians, the Jews indeed, through the sacrifice which they first made, even now, says Theophrastus, sacrifice animals, and if we were persuaded by them to sacrifice in the same way that they do, we should abstain from the deed. For they do not feast on the flesh of the sacrificed animals, but having thrown the whole of the victims into the fire, and poured much honey and wine on them during the night, they swiftly consume the sacrifice, in order that the all-seeing sun may not become a spectator of it. And they do this, fasting during all the intermediate days, and through the whole of this time, as belonging to the class of philosophers, and also discourse with each other about the divinity 12. But in the night, they apply themselves to the theory of the stars, surveying them, and through prayers invoking God. For these make offerings both of other animals and themselves, doing this from necessity, and not from their own will. The truth of this, however, may be learnt by any one who directs his attention to the Egyptians, the most learned of all men; who are so far from slaying other animals, that they make the images of these to be imitations of the Gods; so adapted and allied do they conceive these to be both to Gods and men. SPAN 2.27. 27.For at first, indeed, sacrifices of fruits were made to the Gods; but, in the course of time, men becoming negligent of sanctity, in consequence of fruits being scarce, and through the want of legitimate nutriment, being impelled to eat each other, then supplicating divinity with many prayers, they first began to make oblations of themselves to |60 the Gods, not only consecrating to the divinities whatever among their possessions was most beautiful, but, proceeding beyond this, they sacrificed those of their own species. Hence, even to the present time, not only in Arcadia, in the Lupercal festivals, and in Carthage, men are sacrificed in common to Saturn, but periodically, also, for the sake of remembering the legal institute, they sprinkle the altars of those of the same tribe with blood, although the rites of their sacrifices exclude, by the voice of the crier, him from engaging in them who is accused of human slaughter. Proceeding therefore from hence, they made the bodies of other animals supply the place of their own in sacrifices, and again, through a satiety of legitimate nutriment, becoming oblivious of piety, they were induced by voracity to leave nothing untasted, nothing un-devoured. And this is what now happens to all men with respect to the aliment from fruits. For when, by the assumption of them, they have alleviated their necessary indigence, then searching for a superfluity of satiety, they labour to procure many things for food which are placed beyond the limits of temperance. Hence, as if they had made no ignoble sacrifices to the Gods, they proceeded also to taste the animals which they immolated; and from this, as a principle of the deed, the eating of animals became an addition to men to the nutriment derived from fruits. As, therefore, antiquity offered the first produce of fruits to the Gods, and gladly, after their pious sacrifice, tasted what they offered, thus also, when they sacrificed the firstlings of animals to the divinities, they thought that the same thing ought to be done by them, though ancient piety did not ordain these particulars after this manner, but venerated each of the Gods from fruits. For with such oblations, both nature, and every sense of the human soul, are delighted. No altar then was wet with blood of bulls Irrationally slain; but this was thought To be of every impious deed the worst, Limbs to devour of brutes deprived of life. SPAN 2.28. 28.The truth of this may also be perceived from the altar which is even now preserved about Delos, which, because no animal is brought to, or is sacrificed upon it, is called the altar of the pious. So that the inhabitants not only abstain from sacrificing animals, but they likewise conceive, that those who established, are similarly pious with those who use the altar. Hence, the Pythagoreans having adopted this mode of sacrifice, abstained from animal food through the whole of life. But when they distributed to the Gods a certain animal instead of themselves, they merely tasted of it, living in reality without touching other |61 animals. We, however, do not act after this manner; but being filled with animal diet, we have arrived at this manifold illegality in our life by slaughtering animals, and using them for food. For neither is it proper that the altars of the Gods should be defiled with murder, nor that food of this kind should be touched by men, as neither is it fit that men should eat one another; but the precept which is still preserved at Athens, should be obeyed through the whole of life. SPAN 2.29. 29.For formerly, as we have before observed, when men sacrificed to the Gods fruits and not animals, and did not assume the latter for food, it is said, that a common sacrifice being celebrated at Athens, one Diomus, or Sopater, who was not a native, but cultivated some land in Attica, seizing a sharp axe which was near to him, and being excessively indigt, struck with it an ox, who, coming from his labour, approached to a table, on which were openly placed cakes and other offerings which were to be burnt as a sacrifice to the Gods, and ate some, but trampled on the rest of the offerings. The ox, therefore, being killed, Diomus, whose anger was now appeased, at the same time perceived what kind of deed he had perpetrated. And the ox, indeed, he buried. But embracing a voluntary banishment, as if he had been accused of impiety, he fled to Crete. A great dryness, however, taking place in the Attic land from vehement heat, and a dreadful sterility of fruit, and the Pythian deity being in consequence of it consulted by the general consent, the God answered, that the Cretan exile must expiate the crime; and that, if the murderer was punished, and the statue of the slain ox was erected in the place in which it fell, this would be beneficial both to those who had and those who had not tasted its flesh. An inquiry therefore being made into the affair, and Sopater, together with the deed, having been discovered, he, thinking that he should be liberated from the difficulty in which he was now involved, through the accusation of impiety, if the same thing was done by all men in common, said to those who came to him, that it was necessary an ox should be slain by the city. But, on their being dubious who should strike the ox, he said that he would undertake to do it, if they would make him a citizen, and would be partakers with him of the slaughter. This, therefore, being granted, they returned to the city, and ordered the deed to be accomplished in such a way as it is performed by them at present, [and which was as follows:] SPAN 2.30. 30.They selected virgins who were drawers of water; but these brought water for the purpose of sharpening an axe and a knife. And these being sharpened, one person gave the axe, another struck with it the ox, |62 and a third person cut the throat of the ox. But after this, having excoriated the animal, all that were present ate of its flesh. These things therefore being performed, they sewed up the hide of the ox, and having stuffed it with straw, raised it upright in the same form which it had when alive, and yoked it to a plough, as if it was about to work with it. Instituting also a judicial process, respecting the slaughter of the ox, they cited all those who were partakers of the deed, to defend their conduct. But as the drawers of water accused those who sharpened the axe and the knife, as more culpable than themselves, and those who sharpened these instruments accused him who gave the axe, and he accused him who cut the throat of the ox, and this last person accused the knife,---hence, as the knife could not speak, they condemned it as the cause of the slaughter. From that time also, even till now, during the festival sacred to Jupiter, in the Acropolis, at Athens, the sacrifice of an ox is performed after the same manner. For, placing cakes on a brazen table, they drive oxen round it, and the ox that tastes of the cakes that are distributed on the table, is slain. The race likewise of those who perform this, still remains. And all those, indeed, who derive their origin from Sopater are called boutupoi [i.e. slayers of oxen]; but those who are descended from him that drove the ox round the table, are called kentriadai, [or stimulators.] And those who originate from him that cut the throat of the ox, are denominated daitroi, [or dividers,] on account of the banquet which takes place from the distribution of flesh. But when they have filled the hide, and the judicial process is ended, they throw the knife into the sea. SPAN 2.31. 31.Hence, neither did the ancients conceive it to be holy to slay animals that co-operated with us in works beneficial to our life, and we should avoid doing this even now. And as formerly it was not pious for men to injure these animals, so now it should be considered as unholy to slay them for the sake of food. If, however, this is to be done from motives of religious reference of the Gods, yet every passion or affection which is essentially produced from bodies is to be rejected, in order that we may not procure food from improper substances, and thus have an incentive to violence as the intimate associate of our life. For by such a rejection we shall, at least, all of us derive great benefit in what pertains to be our mutual security, if we do not in anything else. For those whose sense is averse to the destruction of animals of a species different from their own, will evidently abstain from injuring those of their own kind. Hence it would perhaps have been best, if men in after-times had immediately abstained from slaughtering these animals; but since no one is free from error, it remains for posterity to take away by |63 purifications the crime of their ancestors, respecting nutriment. This, however, will be effected, if, placing before our eyes, the dire nature of such conduct, we exclaim with Empedocles: Ah me, while yet exempt from such a crime, Why was I not destroyed by cruel Time, Before these lips began the guilty deed, On the dire nutriment of flesh to feed? For in those only the appropriate sense sympathetically grieves for errors that have been committed, who endeavour to find a remedy for the evils with which they are afflicted; so that every one, by offering pure and holy sacrifices to the divinity, may through sanctity obtain the greatest benefits from the Gods. SPAN 2.32. 32.But the benefit derived from fruits is the first and the greatest of all others, and which, as soon as they are matured, should alone be offered to the Gods, and to Earth, by whom they are produced. For she is the common Vesta of Gods and men; and it is requisite that all of us, reclining on her surface, as on the bosom of our mother and nurse, should celebrate her divinity, and love her with a parental affection, as the source of our existence. For thus, when we exchange this life for another, we shall again be thought worthy of a residence in the heavens, and of associating with all the celestial Gods, whom, now beholding 13, we ought to venerate with those fruits of which they are the causes, sacrificing indeed to them from all these, when they have arrived at maturity, but not conceiving all of us to be sufficiently worthy to sacrifice to the Gods. For as all things are not to be sacrificed to the Gods, so neither perhaps are the Gods gratified by the sacrifice of everyone. This, therefore, is the substance of the arguments adduced by Theophrastus, to show that animals ought not to be sacrificed; exclusive |64 of the interspersed fabulous narrations, and a few things which we have added to what he has said. SPAN
8. Augustine, De Consensu Evangelistarum Libri Quatuor, 1.15.23 (4th cent. CE - 5th cent. CE)  Tagged with subjects: •eusebius, attacks apollonius Found in books: Simmons(1995), Arnobius of Sicca: Religious Conflict and Competition in the Age of Diocletian, 28
9. Augustine, The City of God, 10.24, 10.28-10.29, 19.23 (4th cent. CE - 5th cent. CE)  Tagged with subjects: •eusebius, attacks apollonius Found in books: Simmons(1995), Arnobius of Sicca: Religious Conflict and Competition in the Age of Diocletian, 28
10.24. Accordingly, when we speak of God, we do not affirm two or three principles, no more than we are at liberty to affirm two or three gods; although, speaking of each, of the Father, or of the Son, or of the Holy Ghost, we confess that each is God: and yet we do not say, as the Sabellian heretics say, that the Father is the same as the Son, and the Holy Spirit the same as the Father and the Son; but we say that the Father is the Father of the Son, and the Son the Son of the Father, and that the Holy Spirit of the Father and the Son is neither the Father nor the Son. It was therefore truly said that man is cleansed only by a Principle, although the Platonists erred in speaking in the plural of principles. But Porphyry, being under the dominion of these envious powers, whose influence he was at once ashamed of and afraid to throw off, refused to recognize that Christ is the Principle by whose incarnation we are purified. Indeed he despised Him, because of the flesh itself which He assumed, that He might offer a sacrifice for our purification - a great mystery, unintelligible to Porphyry's pride, which that true and benigt Redeemer brought low by His humility, manifesting Himself to mortals by the mortality which He assumed, and which the maligt and deceitful mediators are proud of wanting, promising, as the boon of immortals, a deceptive assistance to wretched men. Thus the good and true Mediator showed that it is sin which is evil, and not the substance or nature of flesh; for this, together with the human soul, could without sin be both assumed and retained, and laid down in death, and changed to something better by resurrection. He showed also that death itself, although the punishment of sin, was submitted to by Him for our sakes without sin, and must not be evaded by sin on our part, but rather, if opportunity serves, be borne for righteousness' sake. For he was able to expiate sins by dying, because He both died, and not for sin of His own. But He has not been recognized by Porphyry as the Principle, otherwise he would have recognized Him as the Purifier. The Principle is neither the flesh nor the human soul in Christ but the Word by which all things were made. The flesh, therefore, does not by its own virtue purify, but by virtue of the Word by which it was assumed, when the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. John 1:14 For speaking mystically of eating His flesh, when those who did not understand Him were offended and went away, saying, This is an hard saying, who can hear it? He answered to the rest who remained, It is the Spirit that quickens; the flesh profits nothing. John 6:60-64 The Principle, therefore, having assumed a human soul and flesh, cleanses the soul and flesh of believers. Therefore, when the Jews asked Him who He was, He answered that He was the Principle. And this we carnal and feeble men, liable to sin, and involved in the darkness of ignorance, could not possibly understand, unless we were cleansed and healed by Him, both by means of what we were, and of what we were not. For we were men, but we were not righteous; whereas in His incarnation there was a human nature, but it was righteous, and not sinful. This is the mediation whereby a hand is stretched to the lapsed and fallen; this is the seed ordained by angels, by whose ministry the law also was given enjoining the worship of one God, and promising that this Mediator should come. 10.28. You drive men, therefore, into the most palpable error. And yet you are not ashamed of doing so much harm, though you call yourself a lover of virtue and wisdom. Had you been true and faithful in this profession, you would have recognized Christ, the virtue of God and the wisdom of God, and would not, in the pride of vain science, have revolted from His wholesome humility. Nevertheless you acknowledge that the spiritual part of the soul can be purified by the virtue of chastity without the aid of those theurgic arts and mysteries which you wasted your time in learning. You even say, sometimes, that these mysteries do not raise the soul after death, so that, after the termination of this life, they seem to be of no service even to the part you call spiritual; and yet you recur on every opportunity to these arts, for no other purpose, so far as I see, than to appear an accomplished theurgist, and gratify those who are curious in illicit arts, or else to inspire others with the same curiosity. But we give you all praise for saying that this art is to be feared, both on account of the legal enactments against it, and by reason of the danger involved in the very practice of it. And would that in this, at least, you were listened to by its wretched votaries, that they might be withdrawn from entire absorption in it, or might even be preserved from tampering with it at all! You say, indeed, that ignorance, and the numberless vices resulting from it, cannot be removed by any mysteries, but only by the πατρικὸς νοῦς, that is, the Father's mind or intellect conscious of the Father's will. But that Christ is this mind you do not believe; for Him you despise on account of the body He took of a woman and the shame of the cross; for your lofty wisdom spurns such low and contemptible things, and soars to more exalted regions. But He fulfills what the holy prophets truly predicted regarding Him: I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and bring to nought the prudence of the prudent. Isaiah 29:14 For He does not destroy and bring to nought His own gift in them, but what they arrogate to themselves, and do not hold of Him. And hence the apostle, having quoted this testimony from the prophet, adds, Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this world? Hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that, in the wisdom of God, the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling-block, and unto the Greeks foolishness; but unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. 1 Corinthians 1:19-25 This is despised as a weak and foolish thing by those who are wise and strong in themselves; yet this is the grace which heals the weak, who do not proudly boast a blessedness of their own, but rather humbly acknowledge their real misery. 10.29. You proclaim the Father and His Son, whom you call the Father's intellect or mind, and between these a third, by whom we suppose you mean the Holy Spirit, and in your own fashion you call these three Gods. In this, though your expressions are inaccurate, you do in some sort, and as through a veil, see what we should strive towards; but the incarnation of the unchangeable Son of God, whereby we are saved, and are enabled to reach the things we believe, or in part understand, this is what you refuse to recognize. You see in a fashion, although at a distance, although with filmy eye, the country in which we should abide; but the way to it you know not. Yet you believe in grace, for you say it is granted to few to reach God by virtue of intelligence. For you do not say, Few have thought fit or have wished, but, It has been granted to few,- distinctly acknowledging God's grace, not man's sufficiency. You also use this word more expressly, when, in accordance with the opinion of Plato, you make no doubt that in this life a man cannot by any means attain to perfect wisdom, but that whatever is lacking is in the future life made up to those who live intellectually, by God's providence and grace. Oh, had you but recognized the grace of God in Jesus Christ our Lord, and that very incarnation of His, wherein He assumed a human soul and body, you might have seemed the brightest example of grace! But what am I doing? I know it is useless to speak to a dead man - useless, at least, so far as regards you, but perhaps not in vain for those who esteem you highly, and love you on account of their love of wisdom or curiosity about those arts which you ought not to have learned; and these persons I address in your name. The grace of God could not have been more graciously commended to us than thus, that the only Son of God, remaining unchangeable in Himself, should assume humanity, and should give us the hope of His love, by means of the mediation of a human nature, through which we, from the condition of men, might come to Him who was so far off - the immortal from the mortal; the unchangeable from the changeable; the just from the unjust; the blessed from the wretched. And, as He had given us a natural instinct to desire blessedness and immortality, He Himself continuing to be blessed; but assuming mortality, by enduring what we fear, taught us to despise it, that what we long for He might bestow upon us. But in order to your acquiescence in this truth, it is lowliness that is requisite, and to this it is extremely difficult to bend you. For what is there incredible, especially to men like you, accustomed to speculation, which might have predisposed you to believe in this - what is there incredible, I say, in the assertion that God assumed a human soul and body? You yourselves ascribe such excellence to the intellectual soul, which is, after all, the human soul, that you maintain that it can become consubstantial with that intelligence of the Father whom you believe in as the Son of God. What incredible thing is it, then, if some one soul be assumed by Him in an ineffable and unique manner for the salvation of many? Moreover, our nature itself testifies that a man is incomplete unless a body be united with the soul. This certainly would be more incredible, were it not of all things the most common; for we should more easily believe in a union between spirit and spirit, or, to use your own terminology, between the incorporeal and the incorporeal, even though the one were human, the other divine, the one changeable and the other unchangeable, than in a union between the corporeal and the incorporeal. But perhaps it is the unprecedented birth of a body from a virgin that staggers you? But, so far from this being a difficulty, it ought rather to assist you to receive our religion, that a miraculous person was born miraculously. Or, do you find a difficulty in the fact that, after His body had been given up to death, and had been changed into a higher kind of body by resurrection, and was now no longer mortal but incorruptible, He carried it up into heavenly places? Perhaps you refuse to believe this, because you remember that Porphyry, in these very books from which I have cited so much, and which treat of the return of the soul, so frequently teaches that a body of every kind is to be escaped from, in order that the soul may dwell in blessedness with God. But here, in place of following Porphyry, you ought rather to have corrected him, especially since you agree with him in believing such incredible things about the soul of this visible world and huge material frame. For, as scholars of Plato, you hold that the world is an animal, and a very happy animal, which you wish to be also everlasting. How, then, is it never to be loosed from a body, and yet never lose its happiness, if, in order to the happiness of the soul, the body must be left behind? The sun, too, and the other stars, you not only acknowledge to be bodies, in which you have the cordial assent of all seeing men, but also, in obedience to what you reckon a profounder insight, you declare that they are very blessed animals, and eternal, together with their bodies. Why is it, then, that when the Christian faith is pressed upon you, you forget, or pretend to ignore, what you habitually discuss or teach? Why is it that you refuse to be Christians, on the ground that you hold opinions which, in fact, you yourselves demolish? Is it not because Christ came in lowliness, and you are proud? The precise nature of the resurrection bodies of the saints may sometimes occasion discussion among those who are best read in the Christian Scriptures; yet there is not among us the smallest doubt that they shall be everlasting, and of a nature exemplified in the instance of Christ's risen body. But whatever be their nature, since we maintain that they shall be absolutely incorruptible and immortal, and shall offer no hindrance to the soul's contemplation, by which it is fixed in God, and as you say that among the celestials the bodies of the eternally blessed are eternal, why do you maintain that, in order to blessedness, every body must be escaped from? Why do you thus seek such a plausible reason for escaping from the Christian faith, if not because, as I again say, Christ is humble and you proud? Are you ashamed to be corrected? This is the vice of the proud. It is, forsooth, a degradation for learned men to pass from the school of Plato to the discipleship of Christ, who by His Spirit taught a fisherman to think and to say, In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made. In Him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. John 1:1-5 The old saint Simplicianus, afterwards bishop of Milan, used to tell me that a certain Platonist was in the habit of saying that this opening passage of the holy gospel, entitled, According to John, should be written in letters of gold, and hung up in all churches in the most conspicuous place. But the proud scorn to take God for their Master, because the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us. John 1:14 So that, with these miserable creatures, it is not enough that they are sick, but they boast of their sickness, and are ashamed of the medicine which could heal them. And, doing so, they secure not elevation, but a more disastrous fall. 19.23. For in his book called ἐκ λογίων φιλοσοφίας, in which he collects and comments upon the responses which he pretends were uttered by the gods concerning divine things, he says - I give his own words as they have been translated from the Greek: To one who inquired what god he should propitiate in order to recall his wife from Christianity, Apollo replied in the following verses. Then the following words are given as those of Apollo: You will probably find it easier to write lasting characters on the water, or lightly fly like a bird through the air, than to restore right feeling in your impious wife once she has polluted herself. Let her remain as she pleases in her foolish deception, and sing false laments to her dead God, who was condemned by right-minded judges, and perished ignominiously by a violent death. Then after these verses of Apollo (which we have given in a Latin version that does not preserve the metrical form), he goes on to say: In these verses Apollo exposed the incurable corruption of the Christians, saying that the Jews, rather than the Christians, recognized God. See how he misrepresents Christ, giving the Jews the preference to the Christians in the recognition of God. This was his explanation of Apollo's verses, in which he says that Christ was put to death by right-minded or just judges, - in other words, that He deserved to die. I leave the responsibility of this oracle regarding Christ on the lying interpreter of Apollo, or on this philosopher who believed it or possibly himself invented it; as to its agreement with Porphyry's opinions or with other oracles, we shall in a little have something to say. In this passage, however, he says that the Jews, as the interpreters of God, judged justly in pronouncing Christ to be worthy of the most shameful death. He should have listened, then, to this God of the Jews to whom he bears this testimony, when that God says, He that sacrifices to any other god save to the Lord alone shall be utterly destroyed. But let us come to still plainer expressions, and hear how great a God Porphyry thinks the God of the Jews is. Apollo, he says, when asked whether word, i.e., reason, or law is the better thing, replied in the following verses. Then he gives the verses of Apollo, from which I select the following as sufficient: God, the Generator, and the King prior to all things, before whom heaven and earth, and the sea, and the hidden places of hell tremble, and the deities themselves are afraid, for their law is the Father whom the holy Hebrews honor. In this oracle of his god Apollo, Porphyry avowed that the God of the Hebrews is so great that the deities themselves are afraid before Him. I am surprised, therefore, that when God said, He that sacrifices to other gods shall be utterly destroyed, Porphyry himself was not afraid lest he should be destroyed for sacrificing to other gods. This philosopher, however, has also some good to say of Christ, oblivious, as it were, of that contumely of his of which we have just been speaking; or as if his gods spoke evil of Christ only while asleep, and recognized Him to be good, and gave Him His deserved praise, when they awoke. For, as if he were about to proclaim some marvellous thing passing belief, he says, What we are going to say will certainly take some by surprise. For the gods have declared that Christ was very pious, and has become immortal, and that they cherish his memory: that the Christians, however, are polluted, contaminated, and involved in error. And many other such things, he says, do the gods say against the Christians. Then he gives specimens of the accusations made, as he says, by the gods against them, and then goes on: But to some who asked Hecate whether Christ were a God, she replied, You know the condition of the disembodied immortal soul, and that if it has been severed from wisdom it always errs. The soul you refer to is that of a man foremost in piety: they worship it because they mistake the truth. To this so-called oracular response he adds the following words of his own: of this very pious man, then, Hecate said that the soul, like the souls of other good men, was after death dowered with immortality, and that the Christians through ignorance worship it. And to those who ask why he was condemned to die, the oracle of the goddess replied, The body, indeed, is always exposed to torments, but the souls of the pious abide in heaven. And the soul you inquire about has been the fatal cause of error to other souls which were not fated to receive the gifts of the gods, and to have the knowledge of immortal Jove. Such souls are therefore hated by the gods; for they who were fated not to receive the gifts of the gods, and not to know God, were fated to be involved in error by means of him you speak of. He himself, however, was good, and heaven has been opened to him as to other good men. You are not, then, to speak evil of him, but to pity the folly of men: and through him men's danger is imminent. Who is so foolish as not to see that these oracles were either composed by a clever man with a strong animus against the Christians, or were uttered as responses by impure demons with a similar design - that is to say, in order that their praise of Christ may win credence for their vituperation of Christians; and that thus they may, if possible, close the way of eternal salvation, which is identical with Christianity? For they believe that they are by no means counter working their own hurtful craft by promoting belief in Christ, so long as their calumniation of Christians is also accepted; for they thus secure that even the man who thinks well of Christ declines to become a Christian, and is therefore not delivered from their own rule by the Christ he praises. Besides, their praise of Christ is so contrived that whosoever believes in Him as thus represented will not be a true Christian but a Photinian heretic, recognizing only the humanity, and not also the divinity of Christ, and will thus be precluded from salvation and from deliverance out of the meshes of these devilish lies. For our part, we are no better pleased with Hecate's praises of Christ than with Apollo's calumniation of Him. Apollo says that Christ was put to death by right-minded judges, implying that He was unrighteous. Hecate says that He was a most pious man, but no more. The intention of both is the same, to prevent men from becoming Christians, because if this be secured, men shall never be rescued from their power. But it is incumbent on our philosopher, or rather on those who believe in these pretended oracles against the Christians, first of all, if they can, to bring Apollo and Hecate to the same mind regarding Christ, so that either both may condemn or both praise Him. And even if they succeeded in this, we for our part would notwithstanding repudiate the testimony of demons, whether favorable or adverse to Christ. But when our adversaries find a god and goddess of their own at variance about Christ the one praising, the other vituperating Him, they can certainly give no credence, if they have any judgment, to mere men who blaspheme the Christians. When Porphyry or Hecate praises Christ, and adds that He gave Himself to the Christians as a fatal gift, that they might be involved in error, he exposes, as he thinks, the causes of this error. But before I cite his words to that purpose, I would ask, If Christ did thus give Himself to the Christians to involve them in error, did He do so willingly, or against His will? If willingly, how is He righteous? If against His will, how is He blessed? However, let us hear the causes of this error. There are, he says, in a certain place very small earthly spirits, subject to the power of evil demons. The wise men of the Hebrews, among whom was this Jesus, as you have heard from the oracles of Apollo cited above, turned religious persons from these very wicked demons and minor spirits, and taught them rather to worship the celestial gods, and especially to adore God the Father. This, he said, the gods enjoin; and we have already shown how they admonish the soul to turn to God, and command it to worship Him. But the ignorant and the ungodly, who are not destined to receive favors from the gods, nor to know the immortal Jupiter, not listening to the gods and their messages, have turned away from all gods, and have not only refused to hate, but have venerated the prohibited demons. Professing to worship God, they refuse to do those things by which alone God is worshipped. For God, indeed, being the Father of all, is in need of nothing; but for us it is good to adore Him by means of justice, chastity, and other virtues, and thus to make life itself a prayer to Him, by inquiring into and imitating His nature. For inquiry, says he, purifies and imitation deifies us, by moving us nearer to Him. He is right in so far as he proclaims God the Father, and the conduct by which we should worship Him. of such precepts the prophetic books of the Hebrews are full, when they praise or blame the life of the saints. But in speaking of the Christians he is in error, and caluminates them as much as is desired by the demons whom he takes for gods, as if it were difficult for any man to recollect the disgraceful and shameful actions which used to be done in the theatres and temples to please the gods, and to compare with these things what is heard in our churches, and what is offered to the true God, and from this comparison to conclude where character is edified, and where it is ruined. But who but a diabolical spirit has told or suggested to this man so manifest and vain a lie, as that the Christians reverenced rather than hated the demons, whose worship the Hebrews prohibited? But that God, whom the Hebrew sages worshipped, forbids sacrifice to be offered even to the holy angels of heaven and divine powers, whom we, in this our pilgrimage, venerate and love as our most blessed fellow citizens. For in the law which God gave to His Hebrew people He utters this menace, as in a voice of thunder: He that sacrifices unto any god, save unto the Lord only, he shall be utterly destroyed. Exodus 22:20 And that no one might suppose that this prohibition extends only to the very wicked demons and earthly spirits, whom this philosopher calls very small and inferior - for even these are in the Scripture called gods, not of the Hebrews, but of the nations, as the Septuagint translators have shown in the psalm where it is said, For all the gods of the nations are demons, - that no one might suppose, I say, that sacrifice to these demons was prohibited, but that sacrifice might be offered to all or some of the celestials, it was immediately added, save unto the Lord alone. The God of the Hebrews, then, to whom this renowned philosopher bears this signal testimony, gave to His Hebrew people a law, composed in the Hebrew language, and not obscure and unknown, but published now in every nation, and in this law it is written, He that sacrifices unto any god, save unto the Lord alone, he shall be utterly destroyed. What need is there to seek further proofs in the law or the prophets of this same thing? Seek, we need not say, for the passages are neither few nor difficult to find; but what need to collect and apply to my argument the proofs which are thickly sown and obvious, and by which it appears clear as day that sacrifice may be paid to none but the supreme and true God? Here is one brief but decided, even menacing, and certainly true utterance of that God whom the wisest of our adversaries so highly extol. Let this be listened to, feared, fulfilled, that there may be no disobedient soul cut off. He that sacrifices, He says, not because He needs anything, but because it behooves us to be His possession. Hence the Psalmist in the Hebrew Scriptures sings, I have said to the Lord, You are my God, for You need not my good. For we ourselves, who are His own city, are His most noble and worthy sacrifice, and it is this mystery we celebrate in our sacrifices, which are well known to the faithful, as we have explained in the preceding books. For through the prophets the oracles of God declared that the sacrifices which the Jews offered as a shadow of that which was to be would cease, and that the nations, from the rising to the setting of the sun, would offer one sacrifice. From these oracles, which we now see accomplished, we have made such selections as seemed suitable to our purpose in this work. And therefore, where there is not this righteousness whereby the one supreme God rules the obedient city according to His grace, so that it sacrifices to none but Him, and whereby, in all the citizens of this obedient city, the soul consequently rules the body and reason the vices in the rightful order, so that, as the individual just man, so also the community and people of the just, live by faith, which works by love, that love whereby man loves God as He ought to be loved, and his neighbor as himself - there, I say, there is not an assemblage associated by a common acknowledgment of right, and by a community of interests. But if there is not this, there is not a people, if our definition be true, and therefore there is no republic; for where there is no people there can be no republic.