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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



1600
Augustine, Sermons, 311.5
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Intertexts (texts cited often on the same page as the searched text):

6 results
1. Augustine, Confessions, 6.2.2 (4th cent. CE - 5th cent. CE)

2. Augustine, Reply To Faustus, 13.7-13.9 (4th cent. CE - 5th cent. CE)

3. Augustine, The City of God, 8.27, 10.16 (4th cent. CE - 5th cent. CE)

8.27. But, nevertheless, we do not build temples, and ordain priests, rites, and sacrifices for these same martyrs; for they are not our gods, but their God is our God. Certainly we honor their reliquaries, as the memorials of holy men of God who strove for the truth even to the death of their bodies, that the true religion might be made known, and false and fictitious religions exposed. For if there were some before them who thought that these religions were really false and fictitious, they were afraid to give expression to their convictions. But who ever heard a priest of the faithful, standing at an altar built for the honor and worship of God over the holy body of some martyr, say in the prayers, I offer to you a sacrifice, O Peter, or O Paul, or O Cyprian? For it is to God that sacrifices are offered at their tombs - the God who made them both men and martyrs, and associated them with holy angels in celestial honor; and the reason why we pay such honors to their memory is, that by so doing we may both give thanks to the true God for their victories, and, by recalling them afresh to remembrance, may stir ourselves up to imitate them by seeking to obtain like crowns and palms, calling to our help that same God on whom they called. Therefore, whatever honors the religious may pay in the places of the martyrs, they are but honors rendered to their memory, not sacred rites or sacrifices offered to dead men as to gods. And even such as bring there food - which, indeed, is not done by the better Christians, and in most places of the world is not done at all - do so in order that it may be sanctified to them through the merits of the martyrs, in the name of the Lord of the martyrs, first presenting the food and offering prayer, and thereafter taking it away to be eaten, or to be in part bestowed upon the needy. But he who knows the one sacrifice of Christians, which is the sacrifice offered in those places, also knows that these are not sacrifices offered to the martyrs. It is, then, neither with divine honors nor with human crimes, by which they worship their gods, that we honor our martyrs; neither do we offer sacrifices to them, or convert the crimes of the gods into their sacred rites. For let those who will and can read the letter of Alexander to his mother Olympias, in which he tells the things which were revealed to him by the priest Leon, and let those who have read it recall to memory what it contains, that they may see what great abominations have been handed down to memory, not by poets, but by the mystic writings of the Egyptians, concerning the goddess Isis, the wife of Osiris, and the parents of both, all of whom, according to these writings, were royal personages. Isis, when sacrificing to her parents, is said to have discovered a crop of barley, of which she brought some ears to the king her husband, and his councillor Mercurius, and hence they identify her with Ceres. Those who read the letter may there see what was the character of those people to whom when dead sacred rites were instituted as to gods, and what those deeds of theirs were which furnished the occasion for these rites. Let them not once dare to compare in any respect those people, though they hold them to be gods, to our holy martyrs, though we do not hold them to be gods. For we do not ordain priests and offer sacrifices to our martyrs, as they do to their dead men, for that would be incongruous, undue, and unlawful, such being due only to God; and thus we do not delight them with their own crimes, or with such shameful plays as those in which the crimes of the gods are celebrated, which are either real crimes committed by them at a time when they were men, or else, if they never were men, fictitious crimes invented for the pleasure of noxious demons. The god of Socrates, if he had a god, cannot have belonged to this class of demons. But perhaps they who wished to excel in this art of making gods, imposed a god of this sort on a man who was a stranger to, and innocent of any connection with that art. What need we say more? No one who is even moderately wise imagines that demons are to be worshipped on account of the blessed life which is to be after death. But perhaps they will say that all the gods are good, but that of the demons some are bad and some good, and that it is the good who are to be worshipped, in order that through them we may attain to the eternally blessed life. To the examination of this opinion we will devote the following book. 10.16. What angels, then, are we to believe in this matter of blessed and eternal life?- those who wish to be worshipped with religious rites and observances, and require that men sacrifice to them; or those who say that all this worship is due to one God, the Creator, and teach us to render it with true piety to Him, by the vision of whom they are themselves already blessed, and in whom they promise that we shall be so? For that vision of God is the beauty of a vision so great, and is so infinitely desirable, that Plotinus does not hesitate to say that he who enjoys all other blessings in abundance, and has not this, is supremely miserable. Since, therefore, miracles are wrought by some angels to induce us to worship this God, by others, to induce us to worship themselves; and since the former forbid us to worship these, while the latter dare not forbid us to worship God, which are we to listen to? Let the Platonists reply, or any philosophers, or the theurgists, or rather, periurgists, - for this name is good enough for those who practise such arts. In short, let all men answer - if, at least, there survives in them any spark of that natural perception which, as rational beings, they possess when created, - let them, I say, tell us whether we should sacrifice to the gods or angels who order us to sacrifice to them, or to that One to whom we are ordered to sacrifice by those who forbid us to worship either themselves or these others. If neither the one party nor the other had wrought miracles, but had merely uttered commands, the one to sacrifice to themselves, the other forbidding that, and ordering us to sacrifice to God, a godly mind would have been at no loss to discern which command proceeded from proud arrogance, and which from true religion. I will say more. If miracles had been wrought only by those who demand sacrifice for themselves, while those who forbade this, and enjoined sacrificing to the one God only, thought fit entirely to forego the use of visible miracles, the authority of the latter was to be preferred by all who would use, not their eyes only, but their reason. But since God, for the sake of commending to us the oracles of His truth, has, by means of these immortal messengers, who proclaim His majesty and not their own pride, wrought miracles of surpassing grandeur, certainty, and distinctness, in order that the weak among the godly might not be drawn away to false religion by those who require us to sacrifice to them and endeavor to convince us by stupendous appeals to our senses, who is so utterly unreasonable as not to choose and follow the truth, when he finds that it is heralded by even more striking evidences than falsehood? As for those miracles which history ascribes to the gods of the heathen - I do not refer to those prodigies which at intervals happen from some unknown physical causes, and which are arranged and appointed by Divine Providence, such as monstrous births, and unusual meteorological phenomena, whether startling only, or also injurious, and which are said to be brought about and removed by communication with demons, and by their most deceitful craft - but I refer to these prodigies which manifestly enough are wrought by their power and force, as, that the household gods which Æneas carried from Troy in his flight moved from place to place; that Tarquin cut a whetstone with a razor; that the Epidaurian serpent attached himself as a companion to Æsculapius on his voyage to Rome; that the ship in which the image of the Phrygian mother stood, and which could not be moved by a host of men and oxen, was moved by one weak woman, who attached her girdle to the vessel and drew it, as proof of her chastity; that a vestal, whose virginity was questioned, removed the suspicion by carrying from the Tiber a sieve full of water without any of it dropping: these, then, and the like, are by no means to be compared for greatness and virtue to those which, we read, were wrought among God's people. How much less can we compare those marvels, which even the laws of heathen nations prohibit and punish - I mean the magical and theurgic marvels, of which the great part are merely illusions practised upon the senses, as the drawing down of the moon, that, as Lucan says, it may shed a stronger influence on the plants? And if some of these do seem to equal those which are wrought by the godly, the end for which they are wrought distinguishes the two, and shows that ours are incomparably the more excellent. For those miracles commend the worship of a plurality of gods, who deserve worship the less the more they demand it; but these of ours commend the worship of the one God, who, both by the testimony of His own Scriptures, and by the eventual abolition of sacrifices, proves that He needs no such offerings. If, therefore, any angels demand sacrifice for themselves, we must prefer those who demand it, not for themselves, but for God, the Creator of all, whom they serve. For thus they prove how sincerely they love us, since they wish by sacrifice to subject us, not to themselves, but to Him by the contemplation of whom they themselves are blessed, and to bring us to Him from whom they themselves have never strayed. If, on the other hand, any angels wish us to sacrifice, not to one, but to many, not, indeed, to themselves, but to the gods whose angels they are, we must in this case also prefer those who are the angels of the one God of gods, and who so bid us to worship Him as to preclude our worshipping any other. But, further, if it be the case, as their pride and deceitfulness rather indicate, that they are neither good angels nor the angels of good gods, but wicked demons, who wish sacrifice to be paid, not to the one only and supreme God, but to themselves, what better protection against them can we choose than that of the one God whom the good angels serve, the angels who bid us sacrifice, not to themselves, but to Him whose sacrifice we ourselves ought to be?
4. Augustine, Sermons, None (4th cent. CE - 5th cent. CE)

5. Julian (Emperor), Against The Galileans, None (4th cent. CE - 4th cent. CE)

6. Augustine, Letters, 22 (7th cent. CE - 7th cent. CE)



Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
augustine, martyr feasts Cosgrove, Music at Social Meals in Greek and Roman Antiquity: From the Archaic Period to the Age of Augustine (2022) 335
augustine of hippo Geljon and Vos, Rituals in Early Christianity: New Perspectives on Tradition and Transformation (2020) 140; Kahlos, Religious Dissent in Late Antiquity, 350-450 (2019) 76, 190
brown, peter Kahlos, Religious Dissent in Late Antiquity, 350-450 (2019) 190
christians, martyr feasts Cosgrove, Music at Social Meals in Greek and Roman Antiquity: From the Archaic Period to the Age of Augustine (2022) 335
cymbals Cosgrove, Music at Social Meals in Greek and Roman Antiquity: From the Archaic Period to the Age of Augustine (2022) 335
cyprian of carthage Geljon and Vos, Rituals in Early Christianity: New Perspectives on Tradition and Transformation (2020) 140
dance/dancers, christian martyr feasts Cosgrove, Music at Social Meals in Greek and Roman Antiquity: From the Archaic Period to the Age of Augustine (2022) 335
donatists Kahlos, Religious Dissent in Late Antiquity, 350-450 (2019) 76
egypt, martyr feasts Cosgrove, Music at Social Meals in Greek and Roman Antiquity: From the Archaic Period to the Age of Augustine (2022) 335
eucharist Cosgrove, Music at Social Meals in Greek and Roman Antiquity: From the Archaic Period to the Age of Augustine (2022) 335
faustus of milevis Kahlos, Religious Dissent in Late Antiquity, 350-450 (2019) 190
gaddis, michael Kahlos, Religious Dissent in Late Antiquity, 350-450 (2019) 76
honorius Kahlos, Religious Dissent in Late Antiquity, 350-450 (2019) 76
julian, emperor Kahlos, Religious Dissent in Late Antiquity, 350-450 (2019) 190
manastirine (croatia) Cosgrove, Music at Social Meals in Greek and Roman Antiquity: From the Archaic Period to the Age of Augustine (2022) 335
mappalia (north africa) Cosgrove, Music at Social Meals in Greek and Roman Antiquity: From the Archaic Period to the Age of Augustine (2022) 335
martyr feasts, christian Cosgrove, Music at Social Meals in Greek and Roman Antiquity: From the Archaic Period to the Age of Augustine (2022) 335
salzman, michele' Kahlos, Religious Dissent in Late Antiquity, 350-450 (2019) 76
shenoute, archimandrite Cosgrove, Music at Social Meals in Greek and Roman Antiquity: From the Archaic Period to the Age of Augustine (2022) 335