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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database

Cassius Dio, Roman History, 58.27.1

nan And if Egyptian affairs touch Roman interests at all, it may be mentioned that the phoenix was seen that year. All these events were thought to foreshadow the death of Tiberius. Thrasyllus, indeed, did die at this very time, and the emperor himself died in the following spring, in the consulship of Gnaeus Proculus and Pontius Nigrinus.

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

13 results
1. Hesiod, Fragments, 304 (8th cent. BCE - 7th cent. BCE)

2. Herodotus, Histories, 2.73 (5th cent. BCE - 5th cent. BCE)

2.73. There is another sacred bird, too, whose name is phoenix. I myself have never seen it, only pictures of it; for the bird seldom comes into Egypt : once in five hundred years, as the people of Heliopolis say. ,It is said that the phoenix comes when his father dies. If the picture truly shows his size and appearance, his plumage is partly golden and partly red. He is most like an eagle in shape and size. ,What they say this bird manages to do is incredible to me. Flying from Arabia to the temple of the sun, they say, he conveys his father encased in myrrh and buries him at the temple of the Sun. ,This is how he conveys him: he first molds an egg of myrrh as heavy as he can carry, then tries lifting it, and when he has tried it, he then hollows out the egg and puts his father into it, and plasters over with more myrrh the hollow of the egg into which he has put his father, which is the same in weight with his father lying in it, and he conveys him encased to the temple of the Sun in Egypt . This is what they say this bird does.
3. Seneca The Elder, Suasoriae, 4.1-4.3 (1st cent. BCE - missingth cent. CE)

4. Arrian, Anabasis of Alexander, 7.16.5-17.6 (1st cent. CE - missingth cent. CE)

5. Pliny The Elder, Natural History, 5.128, 7.35, 9.11, 10.5, 34.31 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

6. Plutarch, Alexander The Great, 73.1 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

73.1. As he was on his way to enter Babylon, Nearchus (who had joined him again after sailing through the ocean into the Euphrates) told the king that certain Chaldaeans had met him and advised that Alexander should keep away from Babylon. According to Arrian ( Anab. vii. 16, 5 ), the Chaldaeans besought Alexander in person to suspend his march to Babylon. It was in the spring of 323 B.C. Alexander paid no heed to this, but continued on his march; and when he was arrived at the walls, he saw many ravens flying about and clawing one another, and some of them fell dead at his feet.
7. Statius, Siluae, 3.2.113 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

8. Suetonius, Caligula, 19.3 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

9. Tacitus, Agricola, 44, 3 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

10. Tacitus, Annals, 6.20-6.21, 6.28, 6.28.1, 11.11, 13.58 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

6.20.  About the same time, Gaius Caesar, who had accompanied his grandfather on the departure to Capreae, received in marriage Claudia, the daughter of Marcus Silanus. His monstrous character was masked by a hypocritical modesty: not a word escaped him at the sentencing of his mother or the destruction of his brethren; whatever the mood assumed for the day by Tiberius, the attitude of his grandson was the same, and his words not greatly different. Hence, a little later, the epigram of the orator Passienus — that the world never knew a better slave, nor a worse master. I cannot omit the prophecy of Tiberius with regard to Servius Galba, then consul. He sent for him, sounded him in conversations on a variety of subjects, and finally addressed him in a Greek sentence, the purport of which was, "Thou, too, Galba, shalt one day have thy taste of empire": a hint of belated and short-lived power, based on knowledge of the Chaldean art, the acquirement of which he owed to the leisure of Rhodes and the instructions of Thrasyllus. His tutor's capacity he had tested as follows. 6.21.  For all consultations on such business he used the highest part of his villa and the confidential services of one freedman. Along the pathless and broken heights (for the house overlooks a cliff) this illiterate and robust guide led the way in front of the astrologer whose art Tiberius had resolved to investigate, and on his return, had any suspicion arisen of incompetence or of fraud, hurled him into the sea below, lest he should turn betrayer of the secret. Thrasyllus, then, introduced by the same rocky path, after he had impressed his questioner by adroit revelations of his empire to be and of the course of the future, was asked if he had ascertained his own horoscope — what was the character of that year — what the complexion of that day. A diagram which he drew up of the positions and distances of the stars at first gave him pause; then he showed signs of fear: the more careful his scrutiny, the greater his trepidation between surprise and alarm; and at last he exclaimed that a doubtful, almost a final, crisis was hard upon him. He was promptly embraced by Tiberius, who, congratulating him on the fact that he had divined, and was about to escape, his perils, accepted as oracular truth, the predictions he had made, and retained him among his closest friends. 6.28.  In the consulate of Paulus Fabius and Lucius Vitellius, after a long period of ages, the bird known as the phoenix visited Egypt, and supplied the learned of that country and of Greece with the material for long disquisitions on the miracle. I propose to state the points on which they coincide, together with the larger number that are dubious, yet not too absurd for notice. That the creature is sacred to the sun and distinguished from other birds by its head and the variegation of its plumage, is agreed by those who have depicted its form: as to its term of years, the tradition varies. The generally received number is five hundred; but there are some who assert that its visits fall at intervals of 1461 years, and that it was in the reigns, first of Sesosis, then of Amasis, and finally of Ptolemy (third of the Macedonian dynasty), that the three earlier phoenixes flew to the city called Heliopolis with a great escort of common birds amazed at the novelty of their appearance. But while antiquity is obscure, between Ptolemy and Tiberius there were less than two hundred and fifty years: whence the belief has been held that this was a spurious phoenix, not originating on the soil of Arabia, and following none of the practices affirmed by ancient tradition. For — so the tale is told — when its sum of years is complete and death is drawing on, it builds a nest in its own country and sheds on it a procreative influence, from which springs a young one, whose first care on reaching maturity is to bury his sire. Nor is that task performed at random, but, after raising a weight of myrrh and proving it by a far flight, so soon as he is a match for his burden and the course before him, he lifts up his father's corpse, conveys him to the Altar of the Sun, and consigns him to the flames. — The details are uncertain and heightened by fable; but that the bird occasionally appears in Egypt is unquestioned. 13.58.  In the same year, the tree in the Comitium, known as the Ruminalis, which eight hundred and thirty years earlier had sheltered the infancy of Remus and Romulus, through the death of its boughs and the withering of its stem, reached a stage of decrepitude which was regarded as a portent, until it renewed its verdure in fresh shoots.
11. Tacitus, Histories, 4.84 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

4.84.  When the ambassadors reached Sinope, they delivered the gifts, requests, and messages of their king to Scydrothemis. He was all uncertainty, now fearing the god and again being terrified by the threats and opposition of his people; often he was tempted by the gifts and promises of the ambassadors. In the meantime three years passed during which Ptolemy did not lessen his zeal or his appeals; he increased the dignity of his ambassadors, the number of his ships, and the quantity of gold offered. Then a terrifying vision appeared to Scydrothemis, warning him not to hinder longer the purposes of the god: as he still hesitated, various disasters, diseases, and the evident anger of the gods, growing heavier from day to day, beset the king. He called an assembly of his people and made known to them the god's orders, the visions that had appeared to him and to Ptolemy, and the misfortunes that were multiplying upon them: the people opposed their king; they were jealous of Egypt, afraid for themselves, and so gathered about the temple of the god. At this point the tale becomes stranger, for tradition says that the god himself, voluntarily embarking on the fleet that was lying on the shore, miraculously crossed the wide stretch of sea and reached Alexandria in two days. A temple, befitting the size of the city, was erected in the quarter called Rhacotis; there had previously been on that spot an ancient shrine dedicated to Serapis and Isis. Such is the most popular account of the origin and arrival of the god. Yet I am not unaware that there are some who maintain that the god was brought from Seleucia in Syria in the reign of Ptolemy III; still others claim that the same Ptolemy introduced the god, but that the place from which he came was Memphis, once a famous city and the bulwark of ancient Egypt. Many regard the god himself as identical with Aesculapius, because he cures the sick; some as Osiris, the oldest god among these peoples; still more identify him with Jupiter as the supreme lord of all things; the majority, however, arguing from the attributes of the god that are seen on his statue or from their own conjectures, hold him to be Father Dis.
12. Pausanias, Description of Greece, 8.46.1 (2nd cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

8.46.1. The ancient image of Athena Alea, and with it the tusks of the Calydonian boar, were carried away by the Roman emperor Augustus after his defeat of Antonius and his allies, among whom were all the Arcadians except the Mantineans.
13. Velleius Paterculus, Roman History, 2.45.5

Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
a roman amateur Rutledge (2012) 57
aemilius scaurus,m. Rutledge (2012) 210
alexander the great Green (2014) 194
altars Shannon-Henderson (2019) 230
andromeda Rutledge (2012) 210
animals Rutledge (2012) 210
annales maximi,narrative placement of material in Shannon-Henderson (2019) 230
antiquitas Shannon-Henderson (2019) 230
apis,egyptian deity Manolaraki (2012) 202
arellius fuscus Green (2014) 194
assimilated in rome,interpretatio graeca as cerberus Manolaraki (2012) 202
astrology,after augustus Green (2014) 194
astrometeorology,at rome Green (2014) 194
augustus,and the calydonian boars tusks Rutledge (2012) 210
authentic versus copy,ignorance of Rutledge (2012) 57
beneventum Rutledge (2012) 210
britannicus,murder of Shannon-Henderson (2019) 230
brothers Shannon-Henderson (2019) 230
chios Rutledge (2012) 210
conquers britain,displays hippocentaur Rutledge (2012) 210
conquers britain,displays phoenix Rutledge (2012) 210
cornelius valerianus Rutledge (2012) 57, 210
decemuiri sacris faciundis Davies (2004) 216
dionysus,sanctuary of Rutledge (2012) 210
domitian,emperor,controls celers egyptian experience Manolaraki (2012) 202
egypt Rutledge (2012) 210; Shannon-Henderson (2019) 230
elephants Rutledge (2012) 210
emperors and egypt,claudius Manolaraki (2012) 202
emperors and egypt,tiberius Manolaraki (2012) 202
fatum,in tacitus Davies (2004) 216
ficus ruminalis Davies (2004) 216; Shannon-Henderson (2019) 230
flavian dynasty Shannon-Henderson (2019) 230
fratricide Shannon-Henderson (2019) 230
hellenization of egyptian institutions,in herodotus Manolaraki (2012) 202
hellenization of egyptian institutions,in statius Manolaraki (2012) 202
isaeum campense,temple of isis Manolaraki (2012) 202
jaffa Rutledge (2012) 210
judaea Rutledge (2012) 210
lentulus spinther,p. Rutledge (2012) 210
metanarrative perspectives Manolaraki (2012) 202
mirabilia,and keepers of the wonders Rutledge (2012) 210
miracula Shannon-Henderson (2019) 230
myth Shannon-Henderson (2019) 230
nero (emperor),murders committed by Shannon-Henderson (2019) 230
phoenix,bird Manolaraki (2012) 202
phoenix Davies (2004) 216; Shannon-Henderson (2019) 230
pliny the elder,and egyptian deities Manolaraki (2012) 202
prodigies Shannon-Henderson (2019) 230
rome,comitium Rutledge (2012) 210
rome,founders Davies (2004) 216
rome,horti caesaris Rutledge (2012) 210
rome,temple of divus augustus,victoria in Rutledge (2012) 57
romulus Davies (2004) 216
saecula,100 years Davies (2004) 216
saecula,beatissimum Davies (2004) 216
saecula Davies (2004) 216
saecular games,dating Davies (2004) 216
saecular games,of augustus Davies (2004) 216
saecular games,of claudius Davies (2004) 216
saecular games,of domitian Davies (2004) 216
saecular games Davies (2004) 216
saeculum corruptissimum,dating Davies (2004) 216
saeculum corruptissimum Davies (2004) 216
senate,and emperor Davies (2004) 216
seneca the elder Green (2014) 194
septimius severus Rutledge (2012) 210
sophia,and domitian Manolaraki (2012) 202
sophia,investigates egyptian deities Manolaraki (2012) 202
stones,onyx Rutledge (2012) 210
stones Rutledge (2012) 210
suasoriae (seneca the elder) Green (2014) 194
syme,ronald Shannon-Henderson (2019) 230
tacitus,and the fatum of rome Davies (2004) 216
theriomorphism,trademark institution of egypt,investigated by statius Manolaraki (2012) 202
thrasyllus (astrologer) Green (2014) 194
tiberius Rutledge (2012) 57, 210
trees' Shannon-Henderson (2019) 230
tullius cicero,m.,public versus private view of art Rutledge (2012) 57
verres,c.,his mania for collecting Rutledge (2012) 57
vespasian Shannon-Henderson (2019) 230