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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



1568
Augustine, The City Of God, 7.21


nanNow as to the rites of Liber, whom they have set over liquid seeds, and therefore not only over the liquors of fruits, among which wine holds, so to speak, the primacy, but also over the seeds of animals:- as to these rites, I am unwilling to undertake to show to what excess of turpitude they had reached, because that would entail a lengthened discourse, though I am not unwilling to do so as a demonstration of the proud stupidity of those who practise them. Among other rites which I am compelled from the greatness of their number to omit, Varro says that in Italy, at the places where roads crossed each other the rites of Liber were celebrated with such unrestrained turpitude, that the private parts of a man were worshipped in his honor. Nor was this abomination transacted in secret that some regard at least might be paid to modesty, but was openly and wantonly displayed. For during the festival of Liber this obscene member, placed on a car, was carried with great honor, first over the crossroads in the country, and then into the city. But in the town of Lavinium a whole month was devoted to Liber alone, during the days of which all the people gave themselves up to the must dissolute conversation, until that member had been carried through the forum and brought to rest in its own place; on which unseemly member it was necessary that the most honorable matron should place a wreath in the presence of all the people. Thus, forsooth, was the god Liber to be appeased in order to the growth of seeds. Thus was enchantment to be driven away from fields, even by a matron's being compelled to do in public what not even a harlot ought to be permitted to do in a theatre, if there were matrons among the spectators. For these reasons, then, Saturn alone was not believed to be sufficient for seeds - namely, that the impure mind might find occasions for multiplying the gods; and that, being righteously abandoned to uncleanness by the one true God, and being prostituted to the worship of many false gods, through an avidity for ever greater and greater uncleanness, it should call these sacrilegious rites sacred things, and should abandon itself to be violated and polluted by crowds of foul demons.


Intertexts (texts cited often on the same page as the searched text):

2 results
1. Euripides, Bacchae, 279-285, 453-459, 677-774, 278 (5th cent. BCE - 5th cent. BCE)

278. ὃς δʼ ἦλθʼ ἔπειτʼ, ἀντίπαλον ὁ Σεμέλης γόνος
2. Augustine, The City of God, 7.13 (4th cent. CE - 5th cent. CE)

7.13. But why speak more of this Jupiter, with whom perchance all the rest are to be identified; so that, he being all, the opinion as to the existence of many gods may remain as a mere opinion, empty of all truth? And they are all to be referred to him, if his various parts and powers are thought of as so many gods, or if the principle of mind which they think to be diffused through all things has received the names of many gods from the various parts which the mass of this visible world combines in itself, and from the manifold administration of nature. For what is Saturn also? One of the principal gods, he says, who has dominion over all sowings. Does not the exposition of the verses of Valerius Soranus teach that Jupiter is the world, and that he emits all seeds from himself, and receives them into himself? It is he, then, with whom is the dominion of all sowings. What is Genius? He is the god who is set over, and has the power of begetting, all things. Who else than the world do they believe to have this power, to which it has been said: Almighty Jove, progenitor and mother? And when in another place he says that Genius is the rational soul of every one, and therefore exists separately in each individual, but that the corresponding soul of the world is God, he just comes back to this same thing - namely, that the soul of the world itself is to be held to be, as it were, the universal genius. This, therefore, is what he calls Jupiter. For if every genius is a god, and the soul of every man a genius, it follows that the soul of every man is a god. But if very absurdity compels even these theologists themselves to shrink from this, it remains that they call that genius god by special and pre-eminent distinction, whom they call the soul of the world, and therefore Jupiter.


Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
augustine Simmons, Arnobius of Sicca: Religious Conflict and Competition in the Age of Diocletian (1995) 203
augustine of hippo Gorain, Language in the Confessions of Augustine (2019) 13
bacchanalia Gorain, Language in the Confessions of Augustine (2019) 13
bacchic rites, slaves involved in Panoussi, Brides, Mourners, Bacchae: Women's Rituals in Roman Literature (2019) 242
bacchus/dionysus Panoussi, Brides, Mourners, Bacchae: Women's Rituals in Roman Literature (2019) 242
barnes, t. d. Simmons, Arnobius of Sicca: Religious Conflict and Competition in the Age of Diocletian (1995) 203
ceres, see also demeter Gorain, Language in the Confessions of Augustine (2019) 13
greek literature and practice, bacchic rites Panoussi, Brides, Mourners, Bacchae: Women's Rituals in Roman Literature (2019) 242
ivy Gorain, Language in the Confessions of Augustine (2019) 13
lavinium Gorain, Language in the Confessions of Augustine (2019) 13
leglay Simmons, Arnobius of Sicca: Religious Conflict and Competition in the Age of Diocletian (1995) 203
libera, see also koré Gorain, Language in the Confessions of Augustine (2019) 13
liberalia Gorain, Language in the Confessions of Augustine (2019) 13
livy Gorain, Language in the Confessions of Augustine (2019) 13
phallophoria Gorain, Language in the Confessions of Augustine (2019) 13
plutarch Gorain, Language in the Confessions of Augustine (2019) 13
polytheism Wiebe, Fallen Angels in the Theology of St Augustine (2021) 194
porphyry, philosophia ex oraculis, ancestral customs Simmons, Arnobius of Sicca: Religious Conflict and Competition in the Age of Diocletian (1995) 203
religion (religio), moral instruction in roman Wiebe, Fallen Angels in the Theology of St Augustine (2021) 194
senate Gorain, Language in the Confessions of Augustine (2019) 13
statius Gorain, Language in the Confessions of Augustine (2019) 13
tiresias Gorain, Language in the Confessions of Augustine (2019) 13
tiriolo Gorain, Language in the Confessions of Augustine (2019) 13
varro' Simmons, Arnobius of Sicca: Religious Conflict and Competition in the Age of Diocletian (1995) 203
varro Gorain, Language in the Confessions of Augustine (2019) 13