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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



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Dio Chrysostom, Orations, 1.43
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1. Dio Chrysostom, Orations, 1.42, 12.34, 36.13, 36.29-36.38, 40.35-40.37 (1st cent. CE

36.13.  Or don't you think Phocylides had good reason for attaching his name to a maxim and declaration such as this? This too the saying of Phocylides: The law-abiding town, though small and set On a lofty rock, outranks mad Nineveh. Why, in comparison with the entire Iliad and Odyssey are not these verses noble to those who pay heed as they listen? Or was it more to your advantage to hear of the impetuous leaping and charging of Achilles, and about his voice, how by his shouts alone he routed the Trojans? Are those things more useful for you to learn by heart than what you just have heard, that a small city on a rugged headland is better and more fortunate, if orderly, than a great city in a smooth and level plain, that is to say, if that city is conducted in disorderly and lawless fashion by men of folly?' 36.29.  Yet, despite my brave words to Hieroson, I was moved and heaved a sigh, as it were, when I bethought me of Homer and Plato."Well then," said I, "the term 'city' must be taken on the understanding that our sect is not literally defining the universe as a city; for that would be in direct conflict with our doctrine of the city, which, as I have said, the Stoics define as an organization of human beings; and at the same time it would possibly not be suitable or convincing, if, after stating in the strict sense of the term that the universe is a living creature, they should then call it a city 36.30.  for that the same thing is both a city and a living being is a proposition that, I imagine, no one would readily consent to entertain. Yet the present orderly constitution of the universe ever since the whole has been separated and divided into a considerable number of forms of plants and animals, mortal and immortal, yes, and into air and earth and water and fire, being nevertheless by nature in all these forms one thing and governed by one spirit and force — this orderly constitution, I say, the Stoics do in one way or another liken to a city because of the multitude of the creatures that are constantly either being born or else ending their existence in it, and, furthermore, because of the arrangement and orderliness of its administration. 36.31.  "This doctrine, in brief, aims to harmonize the human race with the divine, and to embrace in a single term everything endowed with reason, finding in reason the only sure and indissoluble foundation for fellowship and justice. For in keeping with that concept the term 'city' would be applied, not, of course, to an organization that has chanced to get mean or petty leaders nor to one which through tyranny or democracy or, in fact, through decarchy or oligarchy or any other similar product of imperfection, is being torn to pieces and made the victim of constant party faction. Nay, term would be applied rather to an organization that is governed by the sanest and noblest form of kingship, to one that is actually under royal goverce in accordance with law, in complete friendship and concord. 36.32.  And this, indeed, is precisely what the wisest and eldest ruler and law-giver ordains for all, both mortals and immortals, he who is the leader of all the heaven and lord of all being, himself thus expounding the term and offering his own administration as a pattern of the happy and blessed condition, he whom the divine bards, instructed by the Muses, praise in song and call the 'father of gods and men.' 36.33.  "For the chances are, indeed, that poets as a class are not utterly bad marksmen when they speak of sacred things and that they are not missing the mark when they use such expressions as that repeatedly; on the other hand, it is not likely that they have received a real initiation according to the rites and regulations of true initiates, or that with reference to the universe they know anything, if I may say so, which is true and clear. But we may think of them as merely like the attendants at the rites, who stand outside at the doors, decking portals and the altars which are in full view and attending to the other preparations of that kind but never passing within. Indeed that is the very reason why the poets call themselves 'attendants of the Muses,' not initiates or any other august name. 36.34.  So, as I was saying, it is reasonable to suppose that not only do those who busy themselves near some ritual, hard by the entrance to the sanctuary, gain some inkling of what is going on within, when either a lone mystic phrase rings out loudly, or fire appears above the enclosure, but also that there comes sometimes to the poets — I mean the very ancient poets — some utterance from the Muses, however brief, some inspiration of divine nature and of divine truth, like a flash of fire from the invisible. This is what happened to Homer and Hesiod when they were possessed by the Muses. 36.35.  But the poets who came after them in later days, bringing to stage and theatre naught but their own wisdom, uninitiate addressing initiate, have ofttimes disclosed imperfect patterns of holy rites; but, being applauded by the multitude, they tried in their own right to initiate the mob, actually, as we might say, building open booths for Bacchic rites at tragic crossroads."Yet all these poets in precisely the same fashion call the first and greatest god Father of the whole rational family collectively, yes, and King besides. 36.36.  And trusting to these poets men erect altars to Zeus the King and, what is more, some do not hesitate even to call him Father in their prayers, believing that there exists some such government and organization of the universe as that. Therefore, from that standpoint at least, it seems to me, they would not hesitate to apply the term 'home of Zeus' to the entire universe — if indeed he is father of all who live in it — yes, by Zeus, and his 'city' too, our Stoic similitude, to suggest the greater office of the god. 36.37.  For kingship is a word more appropriate to a city than to a home. For surely men would not apply the term King to him who is over all and then refuse to admit that the whole is governed by a king, nor would they admit that they are governed by a king and then deny that they are members of a state or that there is a kingly administration of the universe. And again, conceding 'administration,' they would not balk at accepting 'city,' or something very like it, as descriptive of that which is administered. 36.38.  "This, then, is the theory of the philosophers, a theory which sets up a noble and benevolent fellowship of gods and men which gives a share in law and citizenship, not to all living beings whatsoever, but only to such as have a share in reason and intellect, introducing a far better and more righteous code than that of Sparta, in accordance with which the Helots have no prospect of ever becoming Spartans, and consequently are constantly plotting against Sparta. 40.35.  Do you not see in the heavens as a whole and in the divine and blessed beings that dwell therein an order and concord and self-control which is eternal, than which it is impossible to conceive of anything either more beautiful or more august? Furthermore, do you not see also the stable, righteous, everlasting concord of the elements, as they are called — air and earth and water and fire — with what reasonableness and moderation it is their nature to continue, not only to be preserved themselves, but also to preserve the entire universe?
2. Irenaeus, Refutation of All Heresies, 4.38.3 (2nd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

3. Marcus Aurelius Emperor of Rome, Meditations, 4.4, 7.48 (2nd cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)



Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
ailios aristeides Stanton, Unity and Disunity in Greek and Christian Thought under the Roman Peace (2021) 171, 172
apameia Stanton, Unity and Disunity in Greek and Christian Thought under the Roman Peace (2021) 101
cicero Stanton, Unity and Disunity in Greek and Christian Thought under the Roman Peace (2021) 172
city/state Omeara, Platonopolis: Platonic Political Philosophy in Late Antiquity (2005) 97
cosmopolis Omeara, Platonopolis: Platonic Political Philosophy in Late Antiquity (2005) 97
dion of prousa Stanton, Unity and Disunity in Greek and Christian Thought under the Roman Peace (2021) 101, 171, 172
god, gods Stanton, Unity and Disunity in Greek and Christian Thought under the Roman Peace (2021) 101
harmonia Stanton, Unity and Disunity in Greek and Christian Thought under the Roman Peace (2021) 101
harmony of opposites Stanton, Unity and Disunity in Greek and Christian Thought under the Roman Peace (2021) 172
homer Stanton, Unity and Disunity in Greek and Christian Thought under the Roman Peace (2021) 101
homonoia Stanton, Unity and Disunity in Greek and Christian Thought under the Roman Peace (2021) 101, 171, 172
humankind, unity of Stanton, Unity and Disunity in Greek and Christian Thought under the Roman Peace (2021) 101
koinonia Stanton, Unity and Disunity in Greek and Christian Thought under the Roman Peace (2021) 101, 171
marcus aurelius Stanton, Unity and Disunity in Greek and Christian Thought under the Roman Peace (2021) 171, 172
mirrors of princes, pseudo-pythagorean Omeara, Platonopolis: Platonic Political Philosophy in Late Antiquity (2005) 97
models (political) Omeara, Platonopolis: Platonic Political Philosophy in Late Antiquity (2005) 97
nikaia Stanton, Unity and Disunity in Greek and Christian Thought under the Roman Peace (2021) 101
nikomedeia Stanton, Unity and Disunity in Greek and Christian Thought under the Roman Peace (2021) 101
odysseus Stanton, Unity and Disunity in Greek and Christian Thought under the Roman Peace (2021) 101
philia, philoi Stanton, Unity and Disunity in Greek and Christian Thought under the Roman Peace (2021) 101, 171
plutarch Stanton, Unity and Disunity in Greek and Christian Thought under the Roman Peace (2021) 101
polis (greek city) Stanton, Unity and Disunity in Greek and Christian Thought under the Roman Peace (2021) 171
prousa (in bithynia) Stanton, Unity and Disunity in Greek and Christian Thought under the Roman Peace (2021) 101
pseudo–aristotle, on the kosmos Stanton, Unity and Disunity in Greek and Christian Thought under the Roman Peace (2021) 172
sciences, scale of' Omeara, Platonopolis: Platonic Political Philosophy in Late Antiquity (2005) 97
stobaeus Omeara, Platonopolis: Platonic Political Philosophy in Late Antiquity (2005) 97
stoic thought Stanton, Unity and Disunity in Greek and Christian Thought under the Roman Peace (2021) 101, 171, 172
sungeneia Stanton, Unity and Disunity in Greek and Christian Thought under the Roman Peace (2021) 101
universe, harmony of the Stanton, Unity and Disunity in Greek and Christian Thought under the Roman Peace (2021) 101, 171, 172
universe and the city Stanton, Unity and Disunity in Greek and Christian Thought under the Roman Peace (2021) 171, 172
zeus Stanton, Unity and Disunity in Greek and Christian Thought under the Roman Peace (2021) 101