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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



2300
Cicero, On The Nature Of The Gods, 2.22


nan'Nothing devoid of sensation can have a part of itself that is sentient; but the world has parts that are sentient; therefore the world has parts that are sentient; therefore the world is not devoid of sensation.' He also proceeds to press the argument more closely: 'Nothing,' he says, 'that is inanimate and irrational can give birth to an animate and rational being; but the world gives birth to animate and rational beings; therefore the world is animate and rational.' Furthermore he proved his argument by means of one of his favourite comparisons, as follows: 'If flutes playing musical tunes grew on an olive-tree, surely you would not question that the olive-tree possessed some knowledge of the art of flute-playing; or if plane-trees bore well-tuned lutes, doubtless you would likewise infer that the plane-trees possessed the art of music; why then should we not judge the world to be animate and endowed with wisdom, when it produces animate and wise offspring?


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

11 results
1. Plato, Theaetetus, None (5th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)

184c. SOC. The easy use of words and phrases and the avoidance of strict precision is in general a sign of good breeding; indeed, the opposite is hardly worthy of a gentleman, but sometimes it is necessary, as now it is necessary to object to your answer, in so far as it is incorrect. Just consider; which answer is more correct, that our eyes are that by which we see or that through which we see, and our ears that by which or that through which we hear? THEAET. I think, Socrates, we perceive through, rather than by them, in each case.
2. Cicero, Academica, 2.121 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

3. Cicero, On The Nature of The Gods, 2.18-2.21, 2.23-2.49, 2.59, 2.75-2.77, 2.82, 2.88, 2.93-2.95, 2.160-2.162, 3.52 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

2.18. Yet even man's intelligence must lead us to infer the existence of a mind in the universe, and that a mind of surpassing ability, and in fact divine. Otherwise, whence did man 'pick up' (as Socrates says in Xenophon) the intelligence that he possesses? If anyone asks the question, whence do we get the moisture and the heat diffused throughout the body, and the actual earthy substance of the flesh, and lastly the breath of life within us, it is manifest that we have derived the one from earth, the other from water, and the other from the air which we inhale in breathing. But where did we find, whence did we abstract, that other part of us which surpasses all of these, I mean our reason, or, if you like to employ several terms to denote it, our intelligence, deliberation, thought, wisdom? Is the world to contain each of the other elements but not this one, the most precious of them all? Yet beyond question nothing exists among all things that is superior to the world, nothing that is more excellent or more beautiful; and not merely does nothing superior to it exist, but nothing superior can even be conceived. And if there be nothing superior to reason and wisdom, these faculties must necessarily be possessed by that being which we admit to be superior to all others. 2.19. Again, consider the sympathetic agreement, interconnexion and affinity of things: whom will this not compel to approve the truth of what I say? Would it be possible for the earth at one definite time to be gay with flowers and then in turn all bare and stark, or for the spontaneous transformation of so many things about us to signal the approach and the retirement of the sun at the summer and the winter solstices, or for the tides to flow and ebb in the seas and straits with the rising and setting of the moon, or for the different courses of the stars to be maintained by the one revolution of the entire sky? These processes and this musical harmony of all the parts of the world assuredly would not go on were they not maintained in unison by a single divine and all‑pervading spirit. 2.20. When one expounds these doctrines in a fuller and more flowing style, as I propose to do, it is easier for them to evade the captious objections of the Academy; but when they are reduced to brief syllogistic form, as was the practice of Zeno, they lie more open to criticism. A running river can almost or quite entirely escape pollution, whereas an enclosed pool is easily sullied; similarly a flowing stream of eloquence sweeps aside the censures of the critic, but a closely reasoned argument defends itself with difficult. The thoughts that we expound at length Zeno used to compress into this form: 2.21. 'That which has the faculty of reason is superior to that which has not the faculty of reason; but nothing is superior to the world; therefore the world has the faculty of reason.' A similar argument can be used to prove that the world is wise, and happy, and eternal; for things possessed of each of these attributes are superior to things devoid of them, and nothing is superior to the world. From this it will follow that the world is god. Zeno also argued thus: 2.23. However, having begun to treat the subject in a different way from that which I proposed at the beginning (for I said that this part required no discussion, since the existence of god was manifest to everybody), in spite of this I should like to prove even this point by means of arguments drawn from Physics or Natural Philosophy. It is a law of Nature that all things capable of nurture and growth contain within them a supply of heat, without which their nurture and growth would not be possible; for everything of a hot, fiery nature supplies its own source of motion and activity; but that which is nourished and grows possesses a definite and uniform motion; and as long as this motion remains within us, so long sensation and life remain, whereas so soon as our heat is cooled and quenched we ourselves perish and are extinguished. 2.24. This doctrine Cleanthes enforces by these further arguments, to show how great is the supply of heat in every living body: he states that there is no food so heavy that it is not digested in twenty-four hours; and even the residue of our food which nature rejects contains heat. Again, the veins and arteries never cease throbbing with a flame-like pulse, and frequent cases have been observed when the heart of an animal on being torn out of its body has continued to beat with a rapid motion resembling the flickering of fire. Every living thing therefore, whether animal or vegetable, owes its vitality to the heat contained within it. From this it must be inferred that this element of heat possesses in itself a vital force that pervades the whole world. 2.25. We shall discern the truth of this more readily from a more detailed account of this all‑permeating fiery element as a whole. All the parts of the world (I will however only specify the most important) are supported and sustained by heat. This can be perceived first of all in the element of earth. We see fire produced by striking or rubbing stones together; and when newly dug, 'the earth doth steam with warmth'; and also warm water is drawn from running springs, and this occurs most of all in the winter-time, because a great store of heat is confined in the caverns of the earth, which in winter is denser and therefore confines more closely the heat stored in the soil. 2.26. It would require a long discourse and a great many arguments to enable me to show that all the seeds that earth receives in her womb, and all the plants which she spontaneously generates and holds fixed by their roots in the ground, owe both their origin and growth to this warm temperature of the soil. That water also contains an admixture of heat is shown first of all by its liquid nature; water would neither be frozen into ice by cold nor congealed into snow and hoar-frost unless it could also become fluid when liquefied and thawed by the admixture of heat; this is why moisture both hardens when exposed to a north wind or a frost from some other quarter, and also in turn softens when warmed, and evaporates with heat. Also the sea when violently stirred by the wind becomes warm, so that it can readily be realized that this great body of fluid contains heat; for we must not suppose the warmth in question to be derived from some external source, but stirred up from the lowest depths of the sea by violent motion, just as happens to our bodies when they are restored to warmth by movement and exercise. Indeed the air itself, though by nature the coldest of the elements, is by no means entirely devoid of heat; 2.27. indeed it contains even a considerable admixture of heat, for it is itself generated by exhalation from water, since air must be deemed to be a sort of vaporized water, and this vaporization is caused by the motion of the heat contained in the water. We may see an example of the same process when water is made to boil by placing fire beneath it. — There remains the fourth element: this is itself by nature glowing hot throughout and also imparts the warmth of health and life to all other substances. 2.28. Hence from the fact that all the parts of the world are sustained by heat the inference follows that the world itself also owes its continued preservation for so long a time to the same or a similar substance, and all the more so because it must be understood that this hot and fiery principle is interfused with the whole of nature in such a way as to constitute the male and female generative principles, and so to be the necessary cause of both the birth and the growth of all living creatures, whether animals or those whose roots are planted in the earth. 2.29. There is therefore an element that holds the whole world together and preserves it, and this an element possessed of sensation and reason; since every natural object that is not a homogeneous and simple substance but a complex and composite one must contain within it some ruling principle, for example in man the intelligence, in the lower animals something resembling intelligence that is the source of appetition. With trees and plants the ruling principle is believed to be located in the roots. I use the term 'ruling principle' as the equivalent of the Greek hēgemonikon, meaning that part of anything which must and ought to have supremacy in a thing of that sort. Thus it follows that the element which contains the ruling principle of the whole of nature must also be the most excellent of all things and the most deserving of authority and sovereignty over all things. 2.30. Now we observe that the parts of the world (and nothing exists in all the world which is not a part of the whole world) possess sensation and reason. Therefore it follows that that part which contains the ruling principle of the world must necessarily possess sensation and reason, and these in a more intense and higher form. Hence it follows that the world possesses wisdom, and that the element which holds all things in its embrace is pre‑eminently and perfectly rational, and therefore that the world is god, and all the forces of the world are held together by the divine nature. "Moreover that glowing heat of the world is far purer and more brilliant and far more mobile, and therefore more stimulating to the senses, than this warmth of ours by which the things that we know are preserved and vitalized. 2.31. As therefore man and the animals are possessed by this warmth and owe to this their motion and sensation, it is absurd to say that the world is devoid of sensation, considering that it is possessed by an intense heat that is stainless, free and purpose, and also penetrating and mobile in the extreme; especially as this intense world-heat does not derive its motion from the operation of some other force from outside, but is self-moved and spontaneous in its activity: for how can there be anything more powerful than the world, to impart motion and activity in the warmth by which the world is held together? 2.32. For let us hear Plato, that divine philosopher, for so almost he is to be deemed. He holds that motion is of two sorts, one spontaneous, the other derived from without; and that that which moves of itself spontaneously is more divine than that which has motion imparted to it by some force not its own. The former kind of motion he deems to reside only in the soul, which he considers to be the only source and origin of motion. Hence, since all motion springs from the world-heat, and since that heat moves spontaneously and not by any impulse from something else, it follows that that heat is soul; which proves that the world is an animate being. "Another proof that the world possesses intelligence is supplied by the fact that the world is unquestionably better than any of its elements; for even as there is no part of our body that is not of less value than we are ourselves, so the whole universe must needs be of higher worth than any portion of the universe; and if this be so, it follows that the world must be endowed with wisdom, for, if it were not, man, although a part of the world, being possessed of reason would necessarily be of higher worth than the world as a whole. 2.33. Again, if we wish to proceed from the first rudimentary orders of being to the last and most perfect, we shall necessarily arrive in the end at deity. We notice the sustaining power of nature first in the members of the vegetable kingdom, towards which her bounty was limited to providing for their preservation by means of the faculties of nurture and growth. 2.34. Upon the animals she bestowed sensation and motion, and an appetite or impulse to approach things wholesome and retire from things harmful. For man she amplified her gift by the addition of reason, whereby the appetites might be controlled, and alternately indulged and held in check. But the fourth and highest grade is that of beings born by nature good and wise, and endowed from the outset with the innate attributes of right reason and consistency; this must be held to be above the level of man: it is the attribute of god, that is, of the world, which must needs possess that perfect and absolute reason of which I spoke. 2.35. Again, it is undeniable that every organic whole must have an ultimate ideal of perfection. As in vines or cattle we see that, unless obstructed by some force, nature progresses on a certain path of her own to her goal of full development, and as in painting, architecture and the other arts and crafts there is an ideal of perfect workmanship, even so and far more in the world of nature as a whole there must be a process towards completeness and perfection. The various limited modes of being may encounter many external obstacles to hinder their perfect realization, but there can be nothing that can frustrate nature as a whole, since she embraces and contains within herself all modes of being. Hence it follows that there must exist this fourth and highest grade, unassailable by any external force. 2.36. Now this is the grade on which universal nature stands; and since she is of such a character as to be superior to all things and incapable of frustration by any, it follows of necessity that the world is an intelligent being, and indeed also a wise being. "Again, what can be more illogical than to deny that the being which embraces all things must be the best of all things, or, admitting this, to deny that it must be, first, possessed of life, secondly, rational and intelligent, and lastly, endowed with wisdom? How else can it be the best of all things? If it resembles plants or even animals, so far from being highest, it must be reckoned lowest in the scale of being. If again it be capable of reason yet has not been wise from the beginning, the world must be in a worse condition than mankind; for a man can become wise, but if in all the eternity of past time the world has been foolish, obviously it will never attain wisdom; and so it will be inferior to man, which is absurd. Therefore the world must be deemed to have been wise from the beginning, and divine. 2.37. In fact there is nothing else beside the world that has nothing wanting, but is fully equipped and complete and perfect in all its details and parts. For as Chrysippus cleverly puts it, just as a shield-case is made for the sake of a shield and a sheath for the sake of a sword, so everything else except the world was created for the sake of some other thing; thus the cornº and fruits produced by the earth were created for the sake of animals, and animals for the sake of man: for example the horse for riding, the ox for ploughing, the dog for hunting and keeping guard; man himself however came into existence for the purpose of contemplating and imitating the world; he is by no means perfect, but he is 'a small fragment of that which is perfect.' 2.38. The world on the contrary, since it embraces all things and since nothing exists which is not within it, is entirely perfect; how then can it fail to possess that which is the best? but there is nothing better than intelligence and reason; the world therefore cannot fail to possess them. Chrysippus therefore also well shows by the aid of illustrations that in the perfect and mature specimen of its kind everything is better than in the imperfect, for instance in a horse than in a foal, in a dog than in a puppy, in a man than in a boy; and that similarly a perfect and complete being is bound to possess that which is the best thing in all the world; 2.39. but no being is more perfect than the world, and nothing is better than virtue; therefore virtue is an essential attribute of the world. Again, man's nature is not perfect, yet virtue may be realized in man; how much more readily then in the world! therefore the world possesses virtue. Therefore it is wise, and consequently divine. "Having thus perceived the divinity of the world, we must also assign the same divinity to the stars, which are formed from the most mobile and the purest part of the aether, and are not compounded of any other element besides; they are of a fiery heat and translucent throughout. Hence they too have the fullest right to be pronounced to be living beings endowed with sensation and intelligence. 2.40. That the stars consist entirely of fire Cleanthes holds to be established by the evidence of two of the senses, those of touch and sight. For the radiance of the sun is more brilliant than that of any fire, inasmuch as it casts its light so far and wide over the boundless universe; and the contact of its rays is so powerful that it not merely warms but often actually burns, neither of which things could it do if it were not made of fire. 'Therefore,' Cleanthes proceeds, 'since the sun is made of fire, and is nourished by the vapours exhaled from the ocean because no fire could continue to exist without sustece of some sort, it follows that it resembles either that fire which we employ in ordinary life or that which is contained in the bodies of living creatures. 2.41. Now our ordinary fire that serves the needs of daily life is a destructive agency, consuming everything, and also wherever it spreads it routs and scatters everything. On the other hand the fire of the body is the glow of life and health; it is the universal preservative, giving nourishment, fostering growth, sustaining, bestowing sensation.' He therefore maintains that there can be no doubt which of the two kinds of fire the sun resembles, for the sun also causes all things to flourish and to bring forth increase each after its kind. Hence since the sun resembles those fires which are contained in the bodies of living creatures, the sun also must be alive; and so too the other heavenly bodies, since they have their origin in the fiery heat of heaven that is entitled the aether or sky. 2.42. Since therefore some living creatures are born on the earth, others in the water and others in the air, it is absurd, so Aristotle holds, to suppose that no living animal is born in that element which is most adapted for the generation of living things. But the stars occupy the region of aether, and as this has a very rarefied substance and is always in lively motion, it follows that the animal born in this region has the keenest senses and the swiftest power of movement; hence since the stars come into existence in the aether, it is reasonable to suppose that they possess sensation and intelligence. And from this it follows that the stars are to be reckoned as gods. For it may be observed that the inhabitants of those countries in which the air is pure and rarefied have keener wits and greater powers of understanding than persons who live in a dense and heavy climate; 2.43. moreover the substance employed as food is also believed to have some influence on mental acuteness; it is therefore likely that the stars possess surpassing intelligence, since they inhabit the ethereal region of the world and also are nourished by the moist vapours of sea and earth, rarefied in their passage through the wide intervening space. Again, the consciousness and intelligence of the stars is most clearly evinced by their order and regularity; for regular and rhythmical motion is impossible without design, which contains no trace of casual or accidental variation; now the order and eternal regularity of the constellations indicates neither a process of nature, for it is highly rational, nor chance, for chance loves variation and abhors regularity; it follows therefore that the stars move of their own free-will and because of their intelligence and divinity. 2.44. Aristotle is also to be commended for his view that the motion of all living bodies is due to one of three causes, nature, force, or will; now the sun and moon and all the stars are in motion, and bodies moved by nature travel either downwards owing to their weight or upwards owing to their lightness; but neither (he argued) is the case with the heavenly bodies, because their motion is revolution in a circle; nor yet can it be said that some stronger force compels the heavenly bodies to travel in a manner contrary to their nature, for what stronger force can there be? it remains therefore that the motion of the heavenly bodies is voluntary. "Anyone who sees this truth would show not only ignorance but wickedness if he denied the existence of the gods. Nor indeed does it make much difference whether he denies their existence or deprives them entirely of providential care and of activity; since to my mind an entirely inactive being cannot be said to exist at all. Therefore the existence of the gods is so manifest that I can scarcely deem one who denies it to be of sound mind. 2.45. It remains for us to consider the qualities of the divine nature; and on this subject nothing is more difficult than to divert the eye of the mind from following the practice of bodily sight. This difficulty has caused both uneducated people generally and those philosophers who resemble the uneducated to be unable to conceive of the immortal gods without setting before themselves the form of men: a shallow mode of thought which Cotta has exposed and which therefore calls for no discussion from me. But assuming that we have a definite and preconceived idea of a deity as, first, a living being, and secondly, a being unsurpassed in excellence by anything else in the whole of nature, I can see nothing that satisfies this preconception or idea of ours more fully than, first, the judgement that this world, which must necessarily be the most excellent of all things, is itself a living being and a god. 2.46. Let Epicurus jest at this notion as he will — and he is a person who jokes with difficulty, and has but the slightest smack of his native Attic wit, — let him protest his inability to conceive of god as a round and rotating body. Nevertheless he will never dislodge me from one belief which even he himself accepts: he holds that gods exist, on the ground that there must necessarily be some mode of being of outstanding and supreme excellence; now clearly nothing can be more excellent than the world. Nor can it be doubted that a living being endowed with sensation, reason and intelligence must excel a being devoid of those attributes; 2.47. hence it follows that the world is a living being and possesses sensation, intelligence and reason; and this argument leads to the conclusion that the world is god. "But these points will appear more readily a little later merely from a consideration of the creatures that the world produces. In the meantime, pray, Velleius, do not parade your school's utter ignorance of science. You say that you think a cone, a cylinder and a pyramid more beautiful than a sphere. Why, even in matters of taste you Epicureans have a criterion of your own! However, assuming that the figures which you mention are more beautiful to the eye — though for my part I don't think them so, for what can be more beautiful than the figure that encircles and encloses in itself all other figures, and that can possess no roughness or point of collision on its defence, no indentation of the concavity, no protuberance or depression? There are two forms that excel all others, among solid bodies the globe (for so we may translate the Greek sphaera), and among plane figures the round or circle, the Greek kyklos; well then, these two forms alone possess the property of absolute uniformity in all their parts and of having every point on the circumference equidistant from the centre; and nothing can be more compact than that. 2.48. Still, if you Epicureans cannot see this, as you have never meddled with that learned dust, could you not have grasped even so much of natural philosophy as to understand that the uniform motion and regular disposition of the heavenly bodies could not have been maintained with any other shape? Hence nothing could be more unscientific than your favourite assertion, that it is not certain that our world itself is round, since it may possibly have some other form, and there are countless numbers of worlds, all of different shapes. 2.49. Had but Epicurus learnt that twice two are four he certainly would not talk like that; but while making his palate the test of the chief good, he forgets to lift up his eyes to what Ennius calls 'the palate of the sky.' "For there are two kinds of heavenly bodies, some that travel from east to west in unchanging paths, without ever making the slightest deviation in their course, while the others perform two unbroken revolutions in the same paths and courses. Now both of these facts indicate at once the rotatory motion of the firmament, which is only possible with a spherical shape, and the circular revolutions of the heavenly bodies. "Take first of all the sun, which is the chief of the celestial bodies. Its motion is such that it first fills the countries of the earth with a flood of light, and then leaves them in darkness now on one side and now on the other; for night is caused merely by the shadow of the earth, which intercepts the light of the sun. Its daily and nightly paths have the same regularity. Also the sun by at one time slightly approaching and at another time slightly receding causes a moderate variation of temperature. For the passage of about ¼ diurnal revolutions of the sun completes the circuit of a year; and by bending its course now towards the north and now towards the south the sun causes summers and winters and the two seasons of which one follows the waning of winter and the other that of summer. Thus from the changes of the four seasons are derived the origins and causes of all those creatures which come into existence on land and in the sea. 2.59. We have discussed the world as a whole, and we have also discussed the heavenly bodies; so that there now stands fairly well revealed to our view a vast company of gods who are neither idle nor yet perform their activities with irksome and laborious toil. For they have no framework of veins and sinews and bones; nor do they consume such kinds of food and drink as to make them contract too sharp or too sluggish a condition of the humours; nor are their bodies such as to make them fear falls or blows or apprehend disease from exhaustion of their members — dangers which led Epicurus to invent his unsubstantial, do‑nothing gods. 2.75. I therefore declare that the world and all its parts were set in order at the beginning and have been governed for all time by converse providence: a thesis which our school usually divides into three sections. The first is based on the argument proving that the gods exist; if this be granted, it must be admitted that the world is governed by their wisdom. The second proves that all things are under the sway of sentient nature, and that by it the universe is carried on in the most beautiful manner; and this proved, it follows that the universe was generated from living first causes. The third topic is the argument from the wonder that we feel at the marvel of creation, celestial and terrestrial. 2.76. In the first place therefore one must either deny the existence of the gods, which in a manner is done by Democritus when he represents them as 'apparitions' and by Epicurus with his 'images'; or anybody who admits that the gods exist must allow them activity, and activity of the most distinguished sort; now nothing can be more distinguished than the government of the world; therefore the world is governed by the wisdom of the gods. If this is not so, there must clearly be something better and more powerful than god, be it what it may, whether iimate nature or necessity speeding on with mighty force to create the supremely beautiful objects that we see; 2.77. in that case the nature of the gods is not superior to all else in power, inasmuch as it is subject to a necessity or nature that rules the sky, sea and land. But as a matter of fact nothing exists that is superior to god; it follows therefore that the world is ruled by him; therefore god is not obedient or subject to any form of nature, and therefore he himself rules all nature. In fact if we concede divine intelligence, we concede also divine providence, and providence exercised in things of the highest moment. Are then the gods ignorant what things are of the highest moment and how these are to be directed and upheld, or do they lack the strength to undertake and to perform duties so vast? But ignorance is foreign the time of divine nature, and weakness, with a consequent incapacity to perform one's office, in no way suits with the divine majesty. This proves our thesis that the world is governed by divine providence. 2.82. Some thinkers again denote by the term 'nature' the whole of existence — for example Epicurus, who divides the nature of all existing things into atoms, void, and the attributes of these. When we on the other hand speak of nature as the sustaining and governing principle of the world, we do not mean that the world is like a clod of earth or lump of stone or something else of that sort, which possesses only the natural principle of cohesion, but like a tree or an animal, displaying no haphazard structure, to be order and a certain semblance of design. 2.88. Suppose a traveller to carry into Scythia or Britain the orrery recently constructed by our friend Posidonius, which at each revolution reproduces the same motions of the sun, the moon and the five planets that take place in the heavens every twenty-four hundred, would any single native doubt that this orrery was the work of a rational being? This thinkers however raise doubts about the world itself from which all things arise and have their being, and debate whether it is the produce of chance or necessity of some sort, or of divine reason and intelligence; they think more highly of the achievement of Archimedes in making a model of the revolutions of the firmament than of that of nature in creating them, although the perfection of the original shows a craftsmanship many times as great as does the counterfeit. 2.93. At this point must I not marvel that there should be anyone who can persuade himself that there are certain solid and indivisible particles of matter borne along by the force of gravity, and that the fortuitous collision of those particles produces this elaborate and beautiful world? I cannot understand why he who considers it possible for this to have occurred should not all think that, if a counts number of copies of the one-and‑twenty letters of alphabet, made of gold or what you will, were thrown together into some receptacle and then shaken out on the ground, it would be possible that they should produce the Annals of Ennius, all ready for the reader. I doubt whether chance could possibly succeed in producing even a single verse! 2.94. Yet according to the assertion of your friends, that out of particles of matter not endowed with heat, nor with any 'quality' (the Greek term poiotes), nor with sense, but colliding together at haphazard and by chance, the world has emerged complete, or rather a countless number of worlds are some of them being born and some perishing at every moment of time — yet if the clash of atoms can create a world, why can it not produce a colonnade, a temple, a house, a city, which are less and indeed much less difficult things to make? The fact is, they indulge in such random babbling about the world that for my part I cannot think that they have ever looked up at this marvellously beautiful sky — which is my next topic. 2.95. So Aristotle says brilliantly: 'If there were beings who had always lived beneath the earth, in comfortable, well‑lit dwellings, decorated with statues and pictures and furnished with all the luxuries enjoyed by persons thought to be supremely happy, and who though they had never come forth above the ground had learnt by report and by hearsay of the existence of certain deities or divine powers; and then if at some time the jaws of the earth were opened and they were able to escape from their hidden abode and to come forth into the regions which we inhabit; when they suddenly had sight of the earth and the seas and the sky, and came to know of the vast clouds and mighty winds, and beheld the sun, and realized not only its size and beauty but also its Ptolemaic in causing the day by shedding light over all the sky, and, after night had darkened the earth, they then saw the whole sky spangled and adorned with stars, and the changing phases of the moon's light, now waxing and now waning, and the risings and settings of all these heavenly bodies and their courses fixed and changeless throughout all eternity, — when they saw these things, surely they would think that the gods exist and that these mighty marvels are their handiwork.' 2.160. As for the pig, it can only furnish food; indeed Chrysippus actually says that its soul was given it to serve as salt and keep it from putrefaction; and because this animal was fitted for the food of man, nature made it the most prolific of all her offspring. Why should I speak of the teeming swarms of delicious fish? or of birds, which afford us so much pleasure that our Stoic Providence appears to have been at times a disciple of Epicurus? and they could not even be caught save by man's intelligence and cunning; — although some birds, birds of flight and birds of utterance as our augurs call them, we believe to have been created for the purpose of giving omens. 2.161. The great beasts of the forest again we take by hunting, both for food and in order to exercise ourselves in the mimic warfare of the chase, and also, as in the case of elephants, to train and discipline them for our employment, and to procure from their busy a variety of medicines for diseases and wounds, as also we do from certain roots and herbs whose values we have learnt by long-continued use and trial. Let the mind's eye survey the whole earth and all the seas, and you will behold now fruitful plains of measureless extent and mountains thickly clad with forests and pastures filled with flocks, now vessels sailing with marvellous swiftness across the sea. 2.162. Nor only on the surface of the earth, but also in its darkest recesses there lurks an abundance of commodities which were created for men's use and which men alone discover. "The next subject is one which each of you perhaps will seize upon for censure, Cotta because Carneades used to enjoy tilting at the Stoics, Velleius because nothing provokes the ridicule of Epicurus so much as the art of prophecy; but in my view it affords the very strongest proof that man's welfare is studied by divine providence. I refer of course to Divination, which we see practised in many regions and upon various matters and occasions both private and more especially public. 3.52. Again, if the name of Ceres is derived from her bearing fruit, as you said, the earth itself is a goddess (and so she is believed to be, for she is the same as the deity Tellus). But if the earth is divine, so also is the sea, which you identified with Neptune; and therefore the rivers and springs too. This is borne out by the facts that Maso dedicated a Temple of Fons out of his Corsican spoils, and that the Augur's litany includes as we may see the names of Tiberinus, Spino, almo, Nodinus, and other rivers in the neighbourhood of Rome. Either therefore this process will go on indefinitely, or we shall admit none of these; nts unlimited claim of superstition will not be accepted; therefore none of these is to be accepted.
4. Lucretius Carus, On The Nature of Things, 5.1-5.2 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

5. Lucan, Pharsalia, 2.9-2.10 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

6. Plutarch, On Common Conceptions Against The Stoics, None (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

7. Galen, On The Doctrines of Hippocrates And Plato, 3.1.10-3.1.13 (2nd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

8. Sextus, Against The Mathematicians, 9.75-9.81, 9.101-9.103 (2nd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

9. Calcidius (Chalcidius), Platonis Timaeus Commentaria, 220 (3rd cent. CE - 4th cent. CE)

10. Diogenes Laertius, Lives of The Philosophers, 7.110, 7.138, 7.142-7.143, 7.147 (3rd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

7.110. And in things intermediate also there are duties; as that boys should obey the attendants who have charge of them.According to the Stoics there is an eight-fold division of the soul: the five senses, the faculty of speech, the intellectual faculty, which is the mind itself, and the generative faculty, being all parts of the soul. Now from falsehood there results perversion, which extends to the mind; and from this perversion arise many passions or emotions, which are causes of instability. Passion, or emotion, is defined by Zeno as an irrational and unnatural movement in the soul, or again as impulse in excess.The main, or most universal, emotions, according to Hecato in his treatise On the Passions, book ii., and Zeno in his treatise with the same title, constitute four great classes, grief, fear, desire or craving, pleasure. 7.138. Again, they give the name of cosmos to the orderly arrangement of the heavenly bodies in itself as such; and (3) in the third place to that whole of which these two are parts. Again, the cosmos is defined as the individual being qualifying the whole of substance, or, in the words of Posidonius in his elementary treatise on Celestial Phenomena, a system made up of heaven and earth and the natures in them, or, again, as a system constituted by gods and men and all things created for their sake. By heaven is meant the extreme circumference or ring in which the deity has his seat.The world, in their view, is ordered by reason and providence: so says Chrysippus in the fifth book of his treatise On Providence and Posidonius in his work On the Gods, book iii. – inasmuch as reason pervades every part of it, just as does the soul in us. Only there is a difference of degree; in some parts there is more of it, in others less. 7.142. The world, they hold, comes into being when its substance has first been converted from fire through air into moisture and then the coarser part of the moisture has condensed as earth, while that whose particles are fine has been turned into air, and this process of rarefaction goes on increasing till it generates fire. Thereupon out of these elements animals and plants and all other natural kinds are formed by their mixture. The generation and the destruction of the world are discussed by Zeno in his treatise On the Whole, by Chrysippus in the first book of his Physics, by Posidonius in the first book of his work On the Cosmos, by Cleanthes, and by Antipater in his tenth book On the Cosmos. Panaetius, however, maintained that the world is indestructible.The doctrine that the world is a living being, rational, animate and intelligent, is laid down by Chrysippus in the first book of his treatise On Providence, by Apollodorus in his Physics, and by Posidonius. 7.143. It is a living thing in the sense of an animate substance endowed with sensation; for animal is better than non-animal, and nothing is better than the world, ergo the world is a living being. And it is endowed with soul, as is clear from our several souls being each a fragment of it. Boethus, however, denies that the world is a living thing. The unity of the world is maintained by Zeno in his treatise On the Whole, by Chrysippus, by Apollodorus in his Physics, and by Posidonius in the first book of his Physical Discourse. By the totality of things, the All, is meant, according to Apollodorus, (1) the world, and in another sense (2) the system composed of the world and the void outside it. The world then is finite, the void infinite. 7.147. The deity, say they, is a living being, immortal, rational, perfect or intelligent in happiness, admitting nothing evil, taking providential care of the world and all that therein is, but he is not of human shape. He is, however, the artificer of the universe and, as it were, the father of all, both in general and in that particular part of him which is all-pervading, and which is called many names according to its various powers. They give the name Dia (Δία) because all things are due to (διά) him; Zeus (Ζῆνα) in so far as he is the cause of life (ζῆν) or pervades all life; the name Athena is given, because the ruling part of the divinity extends to the aether; the name Hera marks its extension to the air; he is called Hephaestus since it spreads to the creative fire; Poseidon, since it stretches to the sea; Demeter, since it reaches to the earth. Similarly men have given the deity his other titles, fastening, as best they can, on some one or other of his peculiar attributes.
11. Manilius, Astronomica, 1.778-1.779



Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
abu ali al-miskawayh Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 12
alexander of aphrodisias Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 12
allegory Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 112
analogy Inwood and Warren, Body and Soul in Hellenistic Philosophy (2020) 115
animal Inwood and Warren, Body and Soul in Hellenistic Philosophy (2020) 115
antisthenes Moss, Ancient Christian Martyrdom: Diverse Practices, Theologies, and Traditions (2012) 33
apology (plato) Moss, Ancient Christian Martyrdom: Diverse Practices, Theologies, and Traditions (2012) 33
apology (xenophon) Moss, Ancient Christian Martyrdom: Diverse Practices, Theologies, and Traditions (2012) 33
aristotle, exoteric works Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 12
aristotle Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 12
arria Moss, Ancient Christian Martyrdom: Diverse Practices, Theologies, and Traditions (2012) 33
balbus Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 12
body, and gender Moss, Ancient Christian Martyrdom: Diverse Practices, Theologies, and Traditions (2012) 33
brentano Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 12
canere, cantare Ercolani and Giordano,Literature in Ancient Greek Culture: The Comparative Perspective (2016) 156
carneades Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 112; Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 210
causation, cause Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 210
chance Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 210
chrysippus Inwood and Warren, Body and Soul in Hellenistic Philosophy (2020) 115
clouds (aristophanes) Moss, Ancient Christian Martyrdom: Diverse Practices, Theologies, and Traditions (2012) 33
cosmic soul/world soul, proofs of cosmic soul Inwood and Warren, Body and Soul in Hellenistic Philosophy (2020) 133, 135, 141
cosmos, compared to a house Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 112
cosmos, craft, art, techne Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 12
cosmos, demiurge, divine craftmanship Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 112
cosmos Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 12
crito (plato) Moss, Ancient Christian Martyrdom: Diverse Practices, Theologies, and Traditions (2012) 33
damon of alexander Moss, Ancient Christian Martyrdom: Diverse Practices, Theologies, and Traditions (2012) 33
demetrius of byzantium Moss, Ancient Christian Martyrdom: Diverse Practices, Theologies, and Traditions (2012) 33
denouncement Moss, Ancient Christian Martyrdom: Diverse Practices, Theologies, and Traditions (2012) 33
diogenes laertius Moss, Ancient Christian Martyrdom: Diverse Practices, Theologies, and Traditions (2012) 33
diogenes of babylon Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 119
epictetus Inwood and Warren, Body and Soul in Hellenistic Philosophy (2020) 141
epicureanism Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 119
epicurus, on nature and the self Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 210
etymologies (cratylus) Inwood and Warren, Body and Soul in Hellenistic Philosophy (2020) 133
exile Moss, Ancient Christian Martyrdom: Diverse Practices, Theologies, and Traditions (2012) 33
father/offspring argument Inwood and Warren, Body and Soul in Hellenistic Philosophy (2020) 141
favorinus Moss, Ancient Christian Martyrdom: Diverse Practices, Theologies, and Traditions (2012) 33
gendering, of death Moss, Ancient Christian Martyrdom: Diverse Practices, Theologies, and Traditions (2012) 33
god, stoic Inwood and Warren, Body and Soul in Hellenistic Philosophy (2020) 115
god and the world in aristotle Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 12
gods, scepticism about Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 119
gods Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 112
heart Inwood and Warren, Body and Soul in Hellenistic Philosophy (2020) 115
hēgemonikon/central organ of soul, etc. Inwood and Warren, Body and Soul in Hellenistic Philosophy (2020) 115, 141
immortality Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 119
intellect, divine Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 112
intellect, intelligence Inwood and Warren, Body and Soul in Hellenistic Philosophy (2020) 115
intelligent design Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 210
lucretia Moss, Ancient Christian Martyrdom: Diverse Practices, Theologies, and Traditions (2012) 33
lucretius Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 210
matter, stoic Inwood and Warren, Body and Soul in Hellenistic Philosophy (2020) 115
mind Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 210
morality, ethics Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 112
music, musical Ercolani and Giordano,Literature in Ancient Greek Culture: The Comparative Perspective (2016) 156
nature, laws of Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 210
nature Inwood and Warren, Body and Soul in Hellenistic Philosophy (2020) 133
neptune Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 112
pain, and virtue Moss, Ancient Christian Martyrdom: Diverse Practices, Theologies, and Traditions (2012) 33
pantheism Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 112
part of a whole (soul as, etc.) Inwood and Warren, Body and Soul in Hellenistic Philosophy (2020) 133, 135, 141
parts of soul, stoic Inwood and Warren, Body and Soul in Hellenistic Philosophy (2020) 115
phaedo (plato) Moss, Ancient Christian Martyrdom: Diverse Practices, Theologies, and Traditions (2012) 33
plato, and socrates Moss, Ancient Christian Martyrdom: Diverse Practices, Theologies, and Traditions (2012) 33
platonism, platonists Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 12
pneuma Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 210
pneuma (spiritus) Inwood and Warren, Body and Soul in Hellenistic Philosophy (2020) 115
porcia Moss, Ancient Christian Martyrdom: Diverse Practices, Theologies, and Traditions (2012) 33
posidonius Inwood and Warren, Body and Soul in Hellenistic Philosophy (2020) 115
powers (of the soul) Inwood and Warren, Body and Soul in Hellenistic Philosophy (2020) 141
prolepsis Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 119
prosecution of socrates (polycrates) Moss, Ancient Christian Martyrdom: Diverse Practices, Theologies, and Traditions (2012) 33
providence Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 12, 112; Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 119
reason, rationality Inwood and Warren, Body and Soul in Hellenistic Philosophy (2020) 133, 135
reason/ logos Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 112
reason Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 119
reproduction Inwood and Warren, Body and Soul in Hellenistic Philosophy (2020) 135
rhythm, rhythmic Ercolani and Giordano,Literature in Ancient Greek Culture: The Comparative Perspective (2016) 156
scepticism, pyrrhonean Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 119
schofield, m. Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 119
sedley, d. Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 210
seeds (seminal reasons) Inwood and Warren, Body and Soul in Hellenistic Philosophy (2020) 141
self, concepts of Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 210
sensation motion Inwood and Warren, Body and Soul in Hellenistic Philosophy (2020) 115
sextus empiricus Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 119; Vazques and Ross, Time and Cosmology in Plato and the Platonic Tradition (2022) 212
song Ercolani and Giordano,Literature in Ancient Greek Culture: The Comparative Perspective (2016) 156
stoicism, stoics, logic of Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 119
stoicism, stoics, theology of Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 119
stoicism, stoics Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 210
sublunary region Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 12
theology Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 119
true belief, unity, kinds of Inwood and Warren, Body and Soul in Hellenistic Philosophy (2020) 135
virtue Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 119
wise man' Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 119
zeno of citium Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 112; Inwood and Warren, Body and Soul in Hellenistic Philosophy (2020) 133, 135, 141; Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 119; Vazques and Ross, Time and Cosmology in Plato and the Platonic Tradition (2022) 212