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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



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Clement Of Alexandria, Exhortation To The Greeks, 6
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Intertexts (texts cited often on the same page as the searched text):

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1. Philo of Alexandria, On The Decalogue, 53-57, 52 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

2. Philo of Alexandria, On The Contemplative Life, 8 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

8. for as for the customs of the Egyptians, it is not creditable even to mention them, for they have introduced irrational beasts, and those not merely such as are domestic and tame, but even the most ferocious of wild beasts to share the honours of the gods, taking some out of each of the elements beneath the moon, as the lion from among the animals which live on the earth, the crocodile from among those which live in the water, the kite from such as traverse the air, and the Egyptian iris.
3. Athenagoras, Apology Or Embassy For The Christians, 22 (2nd cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

22. But perhaps these things are poetic vagary, and there is some natural explanation of them, such as this by Empedocles: - Let Jove be fire, and Juno source of life, With Pluto and Nêstis, who bathes with tears The human founts. If, then, Zeus is fire, and Hera the earth, and Aïdoneus the air, and Nê stis water, and these are elements - fire, water, air - none of them is a god, neither Zeus, nor Hera, nor Aïdoneus; for from matter separated into parts by God is their constitution and origin:- Fire, water, earth, and the air's gentle height, And harmony with these. Here are things which without harmony cannot abide; which would be brought to ruin by strife: how then can any one say that they are gods? Friendship, according to Empedocles, has an aptitude to govern, things that are compounded are governed, and that which is apt to govern has the dominion; so that if we make the power of the governed and the governing one and the same, we shall be, unawares to ourselves, putting perishable and fluctuating and changeable matter on an equality with the uncreated, and eternal, and ever self-accordant God. Zeus is, according to the Stoics, the fervid part of nature; Hera is the air (ἀήρ)- the very name, if it be joined to itself, signifying this; Poseidon is what is drunk (water, πόσις). But these things are by different persons explained of natural objects in different ways. Some call Zeus twofold masculine-feminine air; others the season which brings about mild weather, on which account it was that he alone escaped from Kronos. But to the Stoics it may be said, If you acknowledge one God, the supreme and uncreated and eternal One, and as many compound bodies as there are changes of matter, and say that the Spirit of God, which pervades matter, obtains according to its variations a diversity of names, the forms of matter will become the body of God; but when the elements are destroyed in the conflagration, the names will necessarily perish along with the forms, the Spirit of God alone remaining. Who, then, can believe that those bodies, of which the variation according to matter is allied to corruption, are gods? But to those who say that Kronos is time, and Rhea the earth, and that she becomes pregt by Kronos, and brings forth, whence she is regarded as the mother of all; and that he begets and devours his offspring; and that the mutilation is the intercourse of the male with the female, which cuts off the seed and casts it into the womb, and generates a human being, who has in himself the sexual desire, which is Aphrodité; and that the madness of Kronos is the turn of season, which destroys animate and iimate things; and that the bonds and Tartarus are time, which is changed by seasons and disappears - to such persons we say, If Kronos is time, he changes; if a season, he turns about; if darkness, or frost, or the moist part of nature, none of these is abiding; but the Deity is immortal, and immoveable, and unalterable: so that neither is Kronos nor his image God. As regards Zeus again: If he is air, born of Kronos, of which the male part is called Zeus and the female Hera (whence both sister and wife), he is subject to change; if a season, he turns about: but the Deity neither changes nor shifts about. But why should I trespass on your patience by saying more, when you know so well what has been said by each of those who have resolved these things into nature, or what various writers have thought concerning nature, or what they say concerning Athênâ, whom they affirm to be the wisdom (φρόνησις) pervading all things; and concerning Isis, whom they call the birth of all time (φύσις αἰῶνος), from whom all have sprung, and by whom all exist; or concerning Osiris, on whose murder by Typhon his brother Isis with her son Orus sought after his limbs, and finding them honoured them with a sepulchre, which sepulchre is to this day called the tomb of Osiris? For while they wander up and down about the forms of matter, they miss to find the God who can only be beheld by the reason, while they deify the elements and their several parts, applying different names to them at different times: calling the sowing of the grain, for instance, Osiris (hence they say, that in the mysteries, on the finding of the members of his body, or the fruits, Isis is thus addressed: We have found, we wish you joy), the fruit of the vine Dionysus, the vine itself Semelé, the heat of the sun the thunderbolt. And yet, in fact, they who refer the fables to actual gods, do anything rather than add to their divine character; for they do not perceive, that by the very defense they make for the gods, they confirm the things which are alleged concerning them. What have Europa, and the bull, and the swan, and Leda, to do with the earth and air, that the abominable intercourse of Zeus with them should be taken for the intercourse of the earth and air? But missing to discover the greatness of God, and not being able to rise on high with their reason (for they have no affinity for the heavenly place), they pine away among the forms of matter, and rooted to the earth, deify the changes of the elements: just as if any one should put the ship he sailed in the place of the steersman. But as the ship, although equipped with everything, is of no use if it have not a steersman, so neither are the elements, though arranged in perfect order, of any service apart from the providence of God. For the ship will not sail of itself; and the elements without their Framer will not move.
4. Diogenes Laertius, Lives of The Philosophers, 7.147 (3rd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

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.


Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
affiliation Despotis and Lohr, Religious and Philosophical Conversion in the Ancient Mediterranean Traditions (2022) 135
and paganism, ; philosophers approach Sider, Christian and Pagan in the Roman Empire: The Witness of Tertullian (2001) 74
and paganism, ; the soul witness to Sider, Christian and Pagan in the Roman Empire: The Witness of Tertullian (2001) 74
apology Despotis and Lohr, Religious and Philosophical Conversion in the Ancient Mediterranean Traditions (2022) 135
aristides, aelius Taylor and Hay, Philo of Alexandria: On the Contemplative Life: Introduction, Translation and Commentary (2020) 119
athenagoras Taylor and Hay, Philo of Alexandria: On the Contemplative Life: Introduction, Translation and Commentary (2020) 119
belief and faith Despotis and Lohr, Religious and Philosophical Conversion in the Ancient Mediterranean Traditions (2022) 135
chaeremon the stoic, on the egyptian priests Taylor and Hay, Philo of Alexandria: On the Contemplative Life: Introduction, Translation and Commentary (2020) 119
clement of alexandria Schliesser et al., Alexandria: Hub of the Hellenistic World (2021) 451
cognitive aspect Despotis and Lohr, Religious and Philosophical Conversion in the Ancient Mediterranean Traditions (2022) 135
continuity Despotis and Lohr, Religious and Philosophical Conversion in the Ancient Mediterranean Traditions (2022) 135
divine Despotis and Lohr, Religious and Philosophical Conversion in the Ancient Mediterranean Traditions (2022) 135
exhortation, paraenesis Despotis and Lohr, Religious and Philosophical Conversion in the Ancient Mediterranean Traditions (2022) 135
knowledge of god/truth Despotis and Lohr, Religious and Philosophical Conversion in the Ancient Mediterranean Traditions (2022) 135
orphism/orphic Despotis and Lohr, Religious and Philosophical Conversion in the Ancient Mediterranean Traditions (2022) 135
philo, and clement Schliesser et al., Alexandria: Hub of the Hellenistic World (2021) 451
philosophers; proofs of christianity from Sider, Christian and Pagan in the Roman Empire: The Witness of Tertullian (2001) 74
plato/platonism Schliesser et al., Alexandria: Hub of the Hellenistic World (2021) 451
poets; proofs of christianity from Sider, Christian and Pagan in the Roman Empire: The Witness of Tertullian (2001) 74
religion, religious Despotis and Lohr, Religious and Philosophical Conversion in the Ancient Mediterranean Traditions (2022) 135
revelation, xii, ; general Sider, Christian and Pagan in the Roman Empire: The Witness of Tertullian (2001) 74
stoics; porchof Sider, Christian and Pagan in the Roman Empire: The Witness of Tertullian (2001) 74
truth Despotis and Lohr, Religious and Philosophical Conversion in the Ancient Mediterranean Traditions (2022) 135
wisdom Despotis and Lohr, Religious and Philosophical Conversion in the Ancient Mediterranean Traditions (2022) 135
world, the; secular (learning)' Sider, Christian and Pagan in the Roman Empire: The Witness of Tertullian (2001) 74