Home About Network of subjects Linked subjects heatmap Book indices included Search by subject Search by reference Browse subjects Browse texts

Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



4458
Dio Chrysostom, Orations, 12.53-12.83


nan For you see that the issue is no small one, nor the danger, for us. Since in times past, because we had no clear knowledge, we formed each his different idea, and each person, according to his capacity and nature, conceived a likeness for every divine manifestation and fashioned such likenesses in his dreams; and if we do perchance collect any small and insignificant likenesses made by the earlier artists, we do not trust them very much nor pay them very much attention. But you by the power of your art first conquered and united Hellas and then all others by means of this wondrous presentment, showing forth so marvellous and dazzling a conception, that none of those who have beheld it could any longer easily form a different one. <


nan Pray, do you imagine that it was owing to lack of money that Iphitus and Lycurgus and the Eleans of that period, while instituting the contest and the sacrifice in such wise as to be worthy of Zeus, yet failed to search for and find a statue to bear the name and show the aspect of the god, although they were, one might almost say, superior in power to their descendants? Or was it rather because they feared that they would never be able adequately to portray by human art the Supreme and most Perfect Being?" <


nan Perhaps in answer to this Pheidias would say, since he was not tongue-tied nor belonged to a tongue-tied city, and besides was the close friend and comrade of Pericles:"My Greek fellow-citizens, the issue is the greatest that has ever arisen. For it is not about empire or the presidency of one single state or the size of the navy or as to whether an army of infantry has or has not been correctly administered, that I am now being called to account, but concerning that god who governs the universe and my representation of him: whether it has been made with due respect to the dignity of the god and so as to be a true likeness of him, in no way falling short of the best portrayal of the divinity that is within the capacity of human beings to make, or is unworthy of him and unbefitting. <


nan "Remember, too, that it is not I who was your first expounder and teacher of the truth, for I was not even born as yet when Hellas began to be and while it still had no ideas that were firmly established about these matters, but when it was rather old, so to speak, and already had strong beliefs and convictions about the gods. And all the works of sculptors or painters earlier than my art which I found to be in harmony therewith, except so far as the perfection of the workmanship is concerned, I omit to mention; <


nan your views, however, I found to be ingrained, not to be changed, so that it was not possible to oppose them, and I found other artistic portrayers of the divinity who were older than I and considered themselves much wiser, namely the poets, for they were able through their poetry to lead men to accept any sort of idea, whereas our artistic productions have only this one adequate standard of comparison. <


nan For those divine manifestations — I mean the sun and the moon and the entire heavens and the stars — while in and of themselves they certainly appear marvellous, yet the artist's portrayal of them is simple and has no need of artistic skill, if one should wish merely to depict the moon's crescent or the sun's full orb; and furthermore, whereas those heavenly bodies certainly, taken by themselves, reveal in abundance character and purpose, yet in their representations they show nothing to suggest this: which perhaps is the reason why at first they were not yet regarded by the Greeks as deities. <


nan For mind and intelligence in and of themselves no statuary or painter will ever be able to represent; for all men are utterly incapable of observing such attributes with their eyes or of learning of them by inquiry. But as for that in which this intelligence manifests itself, men, having no mere inkling thereof but actual knowledge, fly to it for refuge, attributing to God a human body as a vessel to contain intelligence and rationality, in their lack of a better illustration, and in their perplexity seeking to indicate that which is invisible and unportrayable by means of something portrayable and visible, using the function of a symbol and doing so better than certain barbarians, who are said to represent the divine by animals — using as his starting-point symbols which are trivial and absurd. But that man who has stood out most above others in respect of beauty and majesty and splendour, he, we may say, has been by far the greatest creator of the images of the divine beings. <


nan For certainly no one would maintain that it had been better that no statue or picture of gods should have been exhibited among men, on the ground that we should look only at the heavens. For although the intelligent man does indeed reverence all those objects, believing them to be blessed gods that he sees from a great distance, yet on account of our belief in the divine all men have a strong yearning to honour and worship the deity from close at hand, approaching and laying hold of him with persuasion by offering sacrifice and crowning him with garlands. <


nan For precisely as infant children when torn away from father or mother are filled with terrible longing and desire, and stretch out their hands to their absent parents often in their dreams, so also do men to the gods, rightly loving them for their beneficence and kinship, and being eager in every possible way to be with them and to hold converse with them. Consequently many of the barbarians, because they lack artistic means and find difficulty in employing them, name mountains gods, and unhewn trees, too, and unshapen stones, things which are by no means whatever more appropriate in shape than is the human form. <


nan "But if you find fault with me for the human figure, you should make haste to be angry with Homer first; for he not only represented a form most nearly like this statue of mine by mentioning the flowing locks of the god and the chin too at the very beginning of the poem, when he says that Thetis made supplication for the bestowal of honour upon her son; but in addition to these things he ascribes to the gods meetings and counsellings and harangues, then also journeyings from Ida to the heavens and Olympus, and sleep-scenes and drinking-bouts and love-embraces, clothing everything in very lofty poetical language and yet keeping close to mortal likeness. And the most striking instance of this is when he ventured to liken Agamemnon to the god in respect to the most distinctive features by saying, His eye and lofty brow the counterpart Of Zeus, the Lord of thunder. <


nan But as to the product of my workmanship nobody, not even an insane person, would liken it to any mortal man soever, if it be carefully examined from the point of view of a god's beauty or stature; since, if I shall not be found to be a better and more temperate artificer than Homer, whom you thought godlike in his skill, I am willing to pay any fines you wish! But I am speaking with an eye to what is possible in my art. <


nan For an extravagant thing is poetry and in every respect resource­ful and a law unto itself, and by the assistance of the tongue and a multitude of words is able all by itself to express all the devisings of the heart, and whatever conception it may arrive at concerning any shape or action or emotion or magnitude, it can never be at a loss, since the voice of a Messenger can disclose with perfect clearness each and all these things. For, as Homer himself says, For glib runs the tongue, and can at will Give utterance to discourse in ev'ry vein; Wide is the range of language; and such words As one may speak, another may return. <


nan Indeed, the race of man is more likely to run short of everything else than of voice and speech; of this one thing it possesses a most astounding wealth. At any rate it has left unuttered and undesignated no single thing that reaches our sense perceptions, but straightway puts upon everything the mind perceives the unmistakable seal of a name, and often even several vocal signs for one thing, so that when man gives utterance to any one of them, they convey an impression not much less distinct than does the actual thing itself. Very great indeed is the ability and power of man to express in words any idea that comes into his mind. <


nan But the poets' art is exceedingly bold and not to be censured therefor; this was especially true of Homer, who practiced the greatest frankness and freedom of language; and he did not choose just one variety of diction, but mingled together every Hellenic dialect which before his time were separate — that of the Dorians and Ionians, and also that of the Athenians — mixing them together much more thoroughly than dyers do their colours — and not only the languages of his own day but also those of former generations; if perchance there survived any expression of theirs taking up this ancient coinage, as it were, out of some ownerless treasure-store, <


nan because of his love of language; and he also used many barbarian words as well, sparing none that he believed to have in it anything of charm or of vividness. Furthermore, he drew not only from things which lie next door or near at hand, but also from those quite remote, in order that he might charm the hearer by bewitching and amazing him; and even these metaphors he did not leave as he first used them, but sometimes expanded and sometimes condensed them, or changing them in some other way. <


nan "And, last of all, he showed himself not only a maker of verses but also of words, giving utterance to those of his own invention, in some cases by simply giving his own names to the things and in others adding his new ones to those current, putting, as it were, a bright and more expressive seal upon a seal. He avoided no sound, but in short imitated the voices of rivers and forests, of winds and fire and sea, and also of bronze and of stone, and, in short, of all animals and instruments without exception, whether of wild beasts or of birds or of pipes and reeds. He invented the terms 'clang' (kanache), 'boom' (bombos), 'crash' (ktupos), 'thud' (doupos), 'rattle' (arabos), and spoke of 'roaring rivers,' 'whizzing missiles,' 'thundering waves,' 'raging winds,' and other such terrifying and truly astonishing phenomena, thus filling the mind with great confusion and uproar. <


nan Consequently he had no lack of fear-inspiring names for things and of pleasant ones, and also of smooth and rough ones, as well as of those which have countless other differences in both their sounds and their meanings. As a result of this epic art of his he was able to implant in the soul any emotion he wished. "But our art, on the other hand, that which is dependent on the workman's hand and the artist's creative touch, by no means attains to such freedom; but first we need a material substance, a material so tough that it will last, yet can be worked without much difficulty and consequently not easy to procure; we need, too, no small number of assistants. <


nan And then, in addition, the sculptor must have worked out for himself a design that shows each subject in one single posture, and that too a posture that admits of no movement and is unalterable, so perfected that it will comprise within itself the whole of the god's nature and power. But for the poets it is perfectly easy to include very many shapes and all sorts of attitudes in their poetry, adding movements and periods of rest to them according to what they consider fitting at any given time, and actions and spoken words, and they have, I imagine, an additional advantage in the matter of difficulty and that of time. For the poet when moved by one single conception and one single impulse of his soul draws forth an immense volume of verses, as if from a gushing spring of water, before the vision and the conception he had grasped can leave him and flow away. But of our art the execution is laborious and slow, advancing with difficulty a step at a time, the reason being, no doubt, that it must work with a rock-like and hard material. <


nan "But the most difficult thing of all is that the sculptor must keep the very same image in his mind continuously until he finishes his work, which often takes many years. Indeed, the popular saying that the eyes are more trustworthy than the ears is perhaps true, yet they are much harder to convince and demand much greater clearness; for while the eye agrees exactly with what it sees, it is not impossible to excite and cheat the ear by filling it with representations under the spell of metre and sound. <


nan Then again, while the measures of our art are enforced upon us by considerations of numbers and magnitude, the poets have the power to increase even these elements to any extent. For this reason it was easy enough for Homer to give the size of Eris by saying, With humble crest at first, anon her head, While yet she treads the earth, affronts the skies. But I must be content, I suppose, merely to fill up the space designated by Eleans or Athenians. <


nan "Thou certainly wilt agree, O Homer, wisest of poets, who both in the power of thy poetry and in time dost by far excel and wast practically the first to show the Hellenes many beautiful images of all the gods, and especially of the greatest among them, some images mild but others fear-inspiring and dread. <


nan But our god is peaceful and altogether gentle, such as befits the guardian of a faction-free and concordant Hellas; and this I, with the aid of my art and of the counsel of the wise and good city of the Eleans have set up — a mild and majestic god in pleasing guise, the Giver of our material and our physical life and of all our blessings, the common Father and Saviour and Guardian of mankind, in so far as it was possible for a mortal man to frame in his mind and to represent the divine and inimitable nature. <


nan "And consider whether you will not find that the statue is in keeping with all the titles by which Zeus is known. For he alone of the gods is entitled 'Father and King,' 'Protector of Cities,' 'God of Friendship,' and 'God of Comradeship' and also 'Protector of Suppliants,' and 'God of Hospitality,' 'Giver of Increase,' and has countless other titles, all indicative of goodness: he is addressed as 'King' because of his dominion and power; as 'Father,' I think, on account of his solicitude for us and his kindness: as 'Protector of Cities' in that he upholds the law and the common weal; as 'Guardian of the Race' on account of the tie of kinship which unites gods and men; <


nan as 'God of Friendship' and 'God of Comradeship' because he brings all men together and wills that they be friends of one another and never enemy or foe; as 'Protector of Suppliants' since he inclines his ear and is gracious to men when they pray; as 'God of Refuge' because he gives refuge from evils; as 'God of Hospitality' because we should not be unmindful even of strangers, nor regard any human being as an alien; as 'Giver of Wealth and Increase' since he is the cause of all crops and is the giver of wealth and power. <


nan "And so far as it was possible to reveal these attributes without the help of words, is the god not adequately represented from the point of view of art? For his sovereignty and kingship are intended to be shown by the strength in the image and its grandeur; his fatherhood and his solicitude by its gentleness and kindliness; the 'Protector of Cities' and 'Upholder of the Law' by its majesty and severity; the kinship between gods and men, I presume, by the mere similarity in shape, being already in use as a symbol; the 'God of Friends, Suppliants, Strangers, Refugees,' and all such qualities in short, by the benevolence and gentleness and goodness appearing in his countenance. The 'God of Wealth' and the "Giver of Increase' are represented by the simplicity and grandeur shown by the figure, for the god does in very truth seem like one who is giving and bestowing blessings. <


nan "As for these attributes, then, I have represented them in so far as it was possible to do so, since I was not able to name them. But the god who continually sends the lightning's flash, portending war and the destruction of many or a mighty downpour of rain, or of hail or of snow, or who stretches the dark blue rainbow across the sky, the symbol of war, or who sends a shooting star, which hurls forth a stream of sparks, a dread portent to sailors or soldiers, or who sends grievous strife upon Greeks and barbarians so as to inspire tired and despairing men with unceasing love for war and battle, and the god who weighed in the balance the fates of the godlike men or of whole armies to be decided by its spontaneous inclination — that god, I say, it was not possible to represent by my art; nor assuredly should I ever have desired to do so even had it been possible. <


nan For of thunder what sort of soundless image, or of lightning and of the thunderbolt what kind of a likeness without the lightning's flash could by any possibility be made from the metals taken from the subterranean workings of this land at least? Then when the earth was shaken and Olympus was moved by a slight inclination of the eyebrows, or a crown of cloud was about his head, it was easy enough for Homer to describe them, and great was the freedom he enjoyed for all such things; but for our art it is absolutely impossible, for it permits the observer to test it with his eyes from close at hand and in full view. <


nan "But if, again, anyone thinks that the material used is too lacking in distinction to be in keeping with the god, his belief is true and correct. But neither those who furnished it, nor the man who selected and approved it, has he any right to criticize. For there was no other substance better or more radiant to the sight that could have come into the hands of man and have received artistic treatment. To work up air, at any rate, or fire, or 'the copious source of water,' what tools possessed by mortal men can do that? <


nan These can work upon nothing but whatever hard residuary substance is held bound within all these elements. I do not mean gold or silver, for these are trivial and worthless things, but the essential substance, tough all through and heavy; and to select each kind of material and entwining them together to compose every species, both of animals and of plants — this is a thing which is impossible for even the gods, all except this God alone, one may almost say, whom another poet quite beautifully has addressed as follows: Lord of Dodona, father almighty, consummate artist. <


nan For he is indeed the first and most perfect artificer, who has taken as his coadjutor in his art, not the city of Elis, but the entire material of the entire universe. But of a Pheidias or of a Polycleitus you could not reasonably demand more than they have done; nay, even what they essayed is too great and august for our handiwork. <


nan Indeed, not even Hephaestus did Homer represent as showing his skill in other materials, but while he furnished a god as the craftsman for the making of the shield, he did not succeed in finding any different sort of material for it. For he speaks as follows: The stubborn brass, and tin, and precious gold, And silver, first he melted in the fire; Nay, I will not concede to any man that there ever has been a better sculptor than I, but to Zeus, who fashioned the whole universe, it is not right to compare any mortal." <


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

16 results
1. Diodorus Siculus, Historical Library, 12.39.2 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

12.39.2.  Consequently, when the Assembly convened to consider the affair, the enemies of Pericles persuaded the people to arrest Pheidias and lodged a charge against Pericles himself of stealing sacred property. Furthermore, they falsely accused the sophist Anaxagoras, who was Pericles' teacher, of impiety against the gods; and they involved Pericles in their accusations and malicious charges, since jealousy made them eager to discredit the eminence as well as the fame of the man.
2. Livy, History, 1.12 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

3. Artemidorus, Oneirocritica, 2.39 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

4. Dio Chrysostom, Orations, 2.64, 3.37, 6.16, 7.134, 11.51, 11.62-11.63, 12.11, 12.47, 12.52, 12.54-12.83, 20.20, 25.9, 32.35, 32.56, 36.5, 36.8-36.9, 36.25, 36.43, 38.33, 48.5, 49.9, 53.8 (1st cent. CE

6.16.  That for which men gave themselves the most trouble and spent the most money, which caused the razing of many cities and the piti­ful destruction of many nations — this he found the least laborious and most inexpensive of all things to procure. 12.52.  Such a wondrous vision did you devise and fashion, one in very truth a Charmer of grief and anger, that from men All the remembrance of their ills could loose! So great the radiance and so great the charm with which your art has clothed it. Indeed it is not reasonable to suppose that even Hephaestus himself would criticize this work if he judged it by the pleasure and delight which it affords the eye of man." "But, on the other hand, was the shape you by your artistry produced appropriate to a god and was its form worthy of the divine nature, when you not only used a material which gives delight but also presented a human form of extraordinary beauty and size; and apart from its being a man's shape, made also all the other attributes as you have made them? that is the question which I invite you to consider now. And if you make a satisfactory defence on these matters before those present and convince them that you have discovered the proper and fitting shape and form for the foremost and greatest god, then you shall receive in addition a second reward, greater and more perfect than the one given by the Eleans. 12.68.  "And, last of all, he showed himself not only a maker of verses but also of words, giving utterance to those of his own invention, in some cases by simply giving his own names to the things and in others adding his new ones to those current, putting, as it were, a bright and more expressive seal upon a seal. He avoided no sound, but in short imitated the voices of rivers and forests, of winds and fire and sea, and also of bronze and of stone, and, in short, of all animals and instruments without exception, whether of wild beasts or of birds or of pipes and reeds. He invented the terms 'clang' (kanache), 'boom' (bombos), 'crash' (ktupos), 'thud' (doupos), 'rattle' (arabos), and spoke of 'roaring rivers,' 'whizzing missiles,' 'thundering waves,' 'raging winds,' and other such terrifying and truly astonishing phenomena, thus filling the mind with great confusion and uproar. 12.69.  Consequently he had no lack of fear-inspiring names for things and of pleasant ones, and also of smooth and rough ones, as well as of those which have countless other differences in both their sounds and their meanings. As a result of this epic art of his he was able to implant in the soul any emotion he wished. "But our art, on the other hand, that which is dependent on the workman's hand and the artist's creative touch, by no means attains to such freedom; but first we need a material substance, a material so tough that it will last, yet can be worked without much difficulty and consequently not easy to procure; we need, too, no small number of assistants. 12.70.  And then, in addition, the sculptor must have worked out for himself a design that shows each subject in one single posture, and that too a posture that admits of no movement and is unalterable, so perfected that it will comprise within itself the whole of the god's nature and power. But for the poets it is perfectly easy to include very many shapes and all sorts of attitudes in their poetry, adding movements and periods of rest to them according to what they consider fitting at any given time, and actions and spoken words, and they have, I imagine, an additional advantage in the matter of difficulty and that of time. For the poet when moved by one single conception and one single impulse of his soul draws forth an immense volume of verses, as if from a gushing spring of water, before the vision and the conception he had grasped can leave him and flow away. But of our art the execution is laborious and slow, advancing with difficulty a step at a time, the reason being, no doubt, that it must work with a rock-like and hard material. 12.71.  "But the most difficult thing of all is that the sculptor must keep the very same image in his mind continuously until he finishes his work, which often takes many years. Indeed, the popular saying that the eyes are more trustworthy than the ears is perhaps true, yet they are much harder to convince and demand much greater clearness; for while the eye agrees exactly with what it sees, it is not impossible to excite and cheat the ear by filling it with representations under the spell of metre and sound. 12.72.  Then again, while the measures of our art are enforced upon us by considerations of numbers and magnitude, the poets have the power to increase even these elements to any extent. For this reason it was easy enough for Homer to give the size of Eris by saying, With humble crest at first, anon her head, While yet she treads the earth, affronts the skies. But I must be content, I suppose, merely to fill up the space designated by Eleans or Athenians. 12.78.  "As for these attributes, then, I have represented them in so far as it was possible to do so, since I was not able to name them. But the god who continually sends the lightning's flash, portending war and the destruction of many or a mighty downpour of rain, or of hail or of snow, or who stretches the dark blue rainbow across the sky, the symbol of war, or who sends a shooting star, which hurls forth a stream of sparks, a dread portent to sailors or soldiers, or who sends grievous strife upon Greeks and barbarians so as to inspire tired and despairing men with unceasing love for war and battle, and the god who weighed in the balance the fates of the godlike men or of whole armies to be decided by its spontaneous inclination — that god, I say, it was not possible to represent by my art; nor assuredly should I ever have desired to do so even had it been possible. 12.79.  For of thunder what sort of soundless image, or of lightning and of the thunderbolt what kind of a likeness without the lightning's flash could by any possibility be made from the metals taken from the subterranean workings of this land at least? Then when the earth was shaken and Olympus was moved by a slight inclination of the eyebrows, or a crown of cloud was about his head, it was easy enough for Homer to describe them, and great was the freedom he enjoyed for all such things; but for our art it is absolutely impossible, for it permits the observer to test it with his eyes from close at hand and in full view. 32.35.  But to take just that topic which I mentioned in the beginning, see how important it is. For how you dine in private, how you sleep, how you manage your household, these are matters in which as individuals you are not at all conspicuous; on the other hand, how you behave as spectators and what you are like in the theatre are matters of common knowledge among Greeks and barbarians alike. For your city is vastly superior in point of size and situation, and it is admittedly ranked second among all cities beneath the sun. 36.5.  For that reason the fortunes of the Greeks in that region reached a very low ebb indeed, some of them being no longer united to form cities, while others enjoyed but a wretched existence as communities, and it was mostly barbarians who flocked to them. Indeed many cities have been captured in many parts of Greece, inasmuch as Greece lies scattered in many regions. But after Borysthenes had been taken on the occasion mentioned, its people once more formed a community, with the consent of the Scythians, I imagine, because of their need for traffic with the Greeks who might use that port. For the Greeks had stopped sailing to Borysthenes when the city was laid waste, inasmuch as they had no people of common speech to receive them, and the Scythians themselves had neither the ambition nor the knowledge to equip a trading-centre of their own after the Greek manner. 36.8.  Callistratus was about eighteen years of age, very tall and handsome, having much of the Ionian in his appearance. And it was said also that in matters pertaining to warfare he was a man of courage, and that many of the Sauromatians he had either slain or taken captive. He had become interested also in oratory and philosophy, so that he had his heart set on sailing away in my company. For all these reasons, then, he was in high repute with his fellow-townsmen, and not least of all because of his beauty, and he had many lovers. For this practice has continued among them as a heritage from the city of their origin — I refer to the love of man for man — so much so that they are likely to make converts of some of the barbarians, for no good end, I dare say, but rather as those people would adopt such a practice, that is to say, like barbarians and not without licentiousness. 36.9.  Knowing, then, that Callistratus was fond of Homer, I immediately began to question him about the poet. And practically all the people of Borysthenes also have cultivated an interest in Homer, possibly because of their still being a warlike people, although it may also be due to their regard for Achilles, for they honour him exceedingly, and they have actually established two temples for his worship, one on the island that bears his name and one in their city; and so they do not wish even to hear about any other poet than Homer. And although in general they no longer speak Greek distinctly, because they live in the midst of barbarians, still almost all at least know the Iliad by heart. 36.25.  As a usual thing those who come here are nominally Greeks but actually more barbarous than ourselves, traders and market-men, fellows who import cheap rags and vile wine and export in exchange products of no better quality. But you would appear to have been sent to us by Achilles himself from his holy isle, and we are very glad to see you and very glad also to listen to whatever you have to say. However, we do not believe that this visit of yours is to be of very long duration, nor do we desire it to be, but rather that you may have a prosperous voyage home as speedily as possible. 36.43.  "What follows regarding the horses and their driving I really am ashamed to tell in the manner in which the Magi set it forth in their narrative, since they are not very much concerned to secure consistency at all points in their presentation of the picture. In fact, quite possibly I may appear absurd when, in contrast with Greek lays of grace and charm, I chant one that is barbarian; but still I must make the venture. "According to the Magi, that one of the horses which is the highest in the heavens is immeasurably superior in beauty, size, and speed, since it has the outside track and runs the longest course, a horse sacred to Zeus himself. Furthermore, it is a winged creature, brilliant in colour with the brilliance of the purest flame; and in it Helius and Selenê are to be seen as conspicuous signs or marks — like, I fancy, the marks which horses bear here on earth, some crescent-shaped and some of other patterns. 38.33.  But you must also strive to give the provincial governors occasion to respect you, by continually making it manifest that you are not content with merely being well governed yourselves, but that you are concerned for the welfare of the whole Bithynian people, and that you are no less displeased over the wrongs inflicted upon the others than you are over those inflicted upon yourselves; moreover, that if any persons flee to you for succour, you aid them promptly and impartially. This line of conduct is what will yield you that primacy which is genuine, and not your squabble with Nicaeans over titles. 48.5.  Then what you do not tolerate from the lips of others will you yourselves say against yourselves? If ever a quarrel arises and your adversaries taunt you with having wicked citizens, with dissension, are you not put to shame? As for myself, I swear to you by all the gods, I was indeed violently angry when a certain person said to me, "Bring reconciliation to the city," and I was vexed with him. For may I never see the day when you need reconciliation, but, as the saying goes, may such things be diverted to the heads of our enemies, that is, to the accursed Getae, but not to any others, members of our own race. 53.8.  For in what respect is it a greater feat to cast a spell upon stones and trees and wild beasts and to make them follow than to have mastered so completely men of alien race who do not understand the Hellenic speech, men who have acquaintance with neither the poet's tongue nor the deeds of which his poem tells, but are, as I believe, simply enchanted by a lyre? Moreover, I believe that many barbarians who are still more ignorant than those men of India have heard of the name of Homer, if nothing more, though they have no clear notion what it signifies, whether animal or vegetable or something else still.
5. Martial, Epigrams, 9.59 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

6. Martial, Epigrams, 9.59 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

7. Pliny The Elder, Natural History, 34.19, 35.34 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

8. Plutarch, Pericles, 31.2-31.4 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

31.2. But the worst charge of all, and yet the one which has the most vouchers, runs something like this. Pheidias the sculptor was contractor for the great statue, as I have said, and being admitted to the friendship of Pericles, and acquiring the greatest influence with him, made some enemies through the jealousy which he excited; others also made use of him to test the people and see what sort of a judge it would be in a case where Pericles was involved. These latter persuaded one Menon, an assistant of Pheidias, to take a suppliant’s seat in the market-place and demand immunity from punishment in case he should bring information and accusation against Pheidias. 31.3. The people accepted the man’s proposal, and formal prosecution of Pheidias was made in the assembly. Embezzlement, indeed, was not proven, for the gold of the statue, from the very start, had been so wrought upon and cast about it by Pheidias, at the wise suggestion of Pericles, that it could all be taken off and weighed, Cf. Thuc. 2.13.5 . and this is what Pericles actually ordered the accusers of Pheidias to do at this time. 31.4. But the reputation of his works nevertheless brought a burden of jealous hatred upon Pheidias, and especially the fact that when he wrought the battle of the Amazons on the shield of the goddess, he carved out a figure that suggested himself as a bald old man lifting on high a stone with both hands, and also inserted a very fine likeness of Pericles fighting with an Amazon. And the attitude of the hand, which holds out a spear in front of the face of Pericles, is cunningly contrived as it were with a desire to conceal the resemblance, which is, however, plain to be seen from either side.
9. Tacitus, Annals, 1.73, 3.36 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

1.73.  It will not be unremunerative to recall the first, tentative charges brought in the case of Falanius and Rubrius, two Roman knights of modest position; if only to show from what beginnings, thanks to the art of Tiberius, the accursed thing crept in, and, after a temporary check, at last broke out, an all-devouring conflagration. Against Falanius the accuser alleged that he had admitted a certain Cassius, mime and catamite, among the "votaries of Augustus," who were maintained, after the fashion of fraternities, in all the great houses: also, that when selling his gardens, he had parted with a statue of Augustus as well. To Rubrius the crime imputed was violation of the deity of Augustus by perjury. When the facts came to the knowledge of Tiberius, he wrote to the consuls that place in heaven had not been decreed to his father in order that the honour might be turned to the destruction of his countrymen. Cassius, the actor, with others of his trade, had regularly taken part in the games which his own mother had consecrated to the memory of Augustus; nor was it an act of sacrilege, if the effigies of that sovereign, like other images of other gods, went with the property, whenever a house or garden was sold. As to the perjury, it was on the same footing as if the defendant had taken the name of Jupiter in vain: the gods must look to their own wrongs. 3.36.  Now came the disclosure of a practice whispered in the private complaints of many. There was a growing tendency of the rabble to cast insult and odium on citizens of repute, and to evade the penalty by grasping some object portraying the Caesar. The freedmen and slaves, even, were genuinely feared by the patron or the owner against whom they lifted their voices or their hands. Hence a speech of the senator, Gaius Cestius:— "Princes, he admitted, were equivalent to deities; but godhead itself listened only to the just petitions of the suppliant, and no man fled to the Capitol or other sanctuary of the city to make it a refuge subserving his crimes. The laws had been abolished — overturned from the foundations — when Annia Rufilla, whom he had proved guilty of fraud in a court of justice, could insult and threaten him in the Forum, upon the threshold of the curia; while he himself dared not try the legal remedy because of the portrait of the sovereign with which she confronted him." Similar and, in some cases, more serious experiences, were described by a din of voices around him; and appeals to Drusus, to set the example of punishment, lasted till he gave orders for her to be summoned and imprisoned, after conviction, in the public cells.
10. Aelius Aristides, Sacred Tales, 3.47 (2nd cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

11. Clement of Alexandria, Exhortation To The Greeks, 4.57.4-4.57.5 (2nd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

12. Pausanias, Description of Greece, 5.11.1-5.11.11 (2nd cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

5.11.1. The god sits on a throne, and he is made of gold and ivory. On his head lies a garland which is a copy of olive shoots. In his right hand he carries a Victory, which, like the statue, is of ivory and gold; she wears a ribbon and—on her head—a garland. In the left hand of the god is a scepter, ornamented with every kind of metal, and the bird sitting on the scepter is the eagle. The sandals also of the god are of gold, as is likewise his robe. On the robe are embroidered figures of animals and the flowers of the lily. 5.11.2. The throne is adorned with gold and with jewels, to say nothing of ebony and ivory. Upon it are painted figures and wrought images. There are four Victories, represented as dancing women, one at each foot of the throne, and two others at the base of each foot. On each of the two front feet are set Theban children ravished by sphinxes, while under the sphinxes Apollo and Artemis are shooting down the children of Niobe. 5.11.3. Between the feet of the throne are four rods, each one stretching from foot to foot. The rod straight opposite the entrance has on it seven images; how the eighth of them disappeared nobody knows. These must be intended to be copies of obsolete contests, since in the time of Pheidias contests for boys had not yet been introduced. This statement is certainly incorrect; Pausanias himself says that contests for the boys were introduced at the thirty-seventh Festival, i.e. in 632 B.C. Several suggestions have been made for correcting the text. One of the most attractive is that of C. Robert (see Hermes XXIII. 1888, p. 451), who would read ἀγωνιστῶν for ἀγωνισμάτων and transpose οὐ γάρ (for which he reads ἄρα ) πω . . . τῆς Φειδίου to after ὀγδοήκοντα. This would mean: “So P. had not reached the age of boys at the time of Pheidias.” The figure of one binding his own head with a ribbon is said to resemble in appearance Pantarces, a stripling of Elis said to have been the love of Pheidias. Pantarces too won the wrestling-bout for boys at the eighty-sixth Festival. 5.11.4. On the other rods is the band that with Heracles fights against the Amazons. The number of figures in the two parties is twenty-nine, and Theseus too is ranged among the allies of Heracles. The throne is supported not only by the feet, but also by an equal number of pillars standing between the feet. It is impossible to go under the throne, in the way we enter the inner part of the throne at Amyclae. At Olympia there are screens constructed like walls which keep people out. 5.11.5. of these screens the part opposite the doors is only covered with dark-blue paint; the other parts show pictures by Panaenus. Among them is Atlas, supporting heaven and earth, by whose side stands Heracles ready to receive the load of Atlas, along with Theseus; Perithous, Hellas, and Salamis carrying in her hand the ornament made for the top of a ship's bows; then Heracles' exploit against the Nemean lion, the outrage committed by Ajax on Cassandra 5.11.6. Hippodameia the daughter of Oenomaus with her mother, and Prometheus still held by his chains, though Heracles has been raised up to him. For among the stories told about Heracles is one that he killed the eagle which tormented Prometheus in the Caucasus, and set free Prometheus himself from his chains. Last in the picture come Penthesileia giving up the ghost and Achilles supporting her; two Hesperides are carrying the apples, the keeping of which, legend says, had been entrusted to them. This Panaenus was a brother of Pheidias; he also painted the picture of the battle of Marathon in the painted portico at Athens . 5.11.7. On the uppermost parts of the throne Pheidias has made, above the head of the image, three Graces on one side and three Seasons on the other. These in epic poetry Hes. Th. 901 are included among the daughters of Zeus. Homer too in the Iliad Hom. Il. 5.470 foll. says that the Seasons have been entrusted with the sky, just like guards of a king's court. The footstool of Zeus, called by the Athenians thranion, has golden lions and, in relief, the fight of Theseus against the Amazons, the first brave deed of the Athenians against foreigners. 5.11.8. On the pedestal supporting the throne and Zeus with all his adornments are works in gold: the Sun mounted on a chariot, Zeus and Hera, Hephaestus, and by his side Grace. Close to her comes Hermes, and close to Hermes Hestia. After Hestia is Eros receiving Aphrodite as she rises from the sea, and Aphrodite is being crowned by Persuasion. There are also reliefs of Apollo with Artemis, of Athena and of Heracles; and near the end of the pedestal Amphitrite and Poseidon, while the Moon is driving what I think is a horse. Some have said that the steed of the goddess is a mule not a horse, and they tell a silly story about the mule. 5.11.9. I know that the height and breadth of the Olympic Zeus have been measured and recorded; but I shall not praise those who made the measurements, for even their records fall far short of the impression made by a sight of the image. Nay, the god himself according to legend bore witness to the artistic skill of Pheidias. For when the image was quite finished Pheidias prayed the god to show by a sign whether the work was to his liking. Immediately, runs the legend, a thunderbolt fell on that part of the floor where down to the present day the bronze jar stood to cover the place. 5.11.10. All the floor in front of the image is paved, not with white, but with black tiles. In a circle round the black stone runs a raised rim of Parian marble, to keep in the olive oil that is poured out. For olive oil is beneficial to the image at Olympia, and it is olive oil that keeps the ivory from being harmed by the marshiness of the Altis. On the Athenian Acropolis the ivory of the image they call the Maiden is benefited, not by olive oil, but by water. For the Acropolis, owing to its great height, is over-dry, so that the image, being made of ivory, needs water or dampness. 5.11.11. When I asked at Epidaurus why they pour neither water nor olive oil on the image of Asclepius, the attendants at the sanctuary informed me that both the image of the god and the throne were built over a cistern.
13. Plotinus, Enneads, 5.8.1 (3rd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

14. Augustine, The City of God, 8.23 (4th cent. CE - 5th cent. CE)

8.23. The Egyptian Hermes, whom they call Trismegistus, had a different opinion concerning those demons. Apuleius, indeed, denies that they are gods; but when he says that they hold a middle place between the gods and men, so that they seem to be necessary for men as mediators between them and the gods, he does not distinguish between the worship due to them and the religious homage due to the supernal gods. This Egyptian, however, says that there are some gods made by the supreme God, and some made by men. Any one who hears this, as I have stated it, no doubt supposes that it has reference to images, because they are the works of the hands of men; but he asserts that visible and tangible images are, as it were, only the bodies of the gods, and that there dwell in them certain spirits, which have been invited to come into them, and which have power to inflict harm, or to fulfil the desires of those by whom divine honors and services are rendered to them. To unite, therefore, by a certain art, those invisible spirits to visible and material things, so as to make, as it were, animated bodies, dedicated and given up to those spirits who inhabit them - this, he says, is to make gods, adding that men have received this great and wonderful power. I will give the words of this Egyptian as they have been translated into our tongue: And, since we have undertaken to discourse concerning the relationship and fellowship between men and the gods, know, O Æsculapius, the power and strength of man. As the Lord and Father, or that which is highest, even God, is the maker of the celestial gods, so man is the maker of the gods who are in the temples, content to dwell near to men. And a little after he says, Thus humanity, always mindful of its nature and origin, perseveres in the imitation of divinity; and as the Lord and Father made eternal gods, that they should be like Himself, so humanity fashioned its own gods according to the likeness of its own countece. When this Æsculapius, to whom especially he was speaking, had answered him, and had said, Do you mean the statues, O Trismegistus? - Yes, the statues, replied he, however unbelieving you are, O Æsculapius - the statues, animated and full of sensation and spirit, and who do such great and wonderful things - the statues prescient of future things, and foretelling them by lot, by prophet, by dreams, and many other things, who bring diseases on men and cure them again, giving them joy or sorrow according to their merits. Do you not know, O Æsculapius, that Egypt is an image of heaven, or, more truly, a translation and descent of all things which are ordered and transacted there, that it is, in truth, if we may say so, to be the temple of the whole world? And yet, as it becomes the prudent man to know all things beforehand, you ought not to be ignorant of this, that there is a time coming when it shall appear that the Egyptians have all in vain, with pious mind, and with most scrupulous diligence, waited on the divinity, and when all their holy worship shall come to nought, and be found to be in vain. Hermes then follows out at great length the statements of this passage, in which he seems to predict the present time, in which the Christian religion is overthrowing all lying figments with a vehemence and liberty proportioned to its superior truth and holiness, in order that the grace of the true Saviour may deliver men from those gods which man has made, and subject them to that God by whom man was made. But when Hermes predicts these things, he speaks as one who is a friend to these same mockeries of demons, and does not clearly express the name of Christ. On the contrary, he deplores, as if it had already taken place, the future abolition of those things by the observance of which there was maintained in Egypt a resemblance of heaven, - he bears witness to Christianity by a kind of mournful prophecy. Now it was with reference to such that the apostle said, that knowing God, they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful, but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened; professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into the likeness of the image of corruptible man, Romans 1:21 and so on, for the whole passage is too long to quote. For Hermes makes many such statements agreeable to the truth concerning the one true God who fashioned this world. And I know not how he has become so bewildered by that darkening of the heart as to stumble into the expression of a desire that men should always continue in subjection to those gods which he confesses to be made by men, and to bewail their future removal; as if there could be anything more wretched than mankind tyrannized over by the work of his own hands, since man, by worshipping the works of his own hands, may more easily cease to be man, than the works of his hands can, through his worship of them, become gods. For it can sooner happen that man, who has received an honorable position, may, through lack of understanding, become comparable to the beasts, than that the works of man may become preferable to the work of God, made in His own image, that is, to man himself. Wherefore deservedly is man left to fall away from Him who made Him, when he prefers to himself that which he himself has made. For these vain, deceitful, pernicious, sacrilegious things did the Egyptian Hermes sorrow, because he knew that the time was coming when they should be removed. But his sorrow was as impudently expressed as his knowledge was imprudently obtained; for it was not the Holy Spirit who revealed these things to him, as He had done to the holy prophets, who, foreseeing these things, said with exultation, If a man shall make gods, lo, they are no gods; Jeremiah 16:10 and in another place, And it shall come to pass in that day, says the Lord, that I will cut off the names of the idols out of the land, and they shall no more be remembered. Zechariah 13:2 But the holy Isaiah prophesies expressly concerning Egypt in reference to this matter, saying, And the idols of Egypt shall be moved at His presence, and their heart shall be overcome in them, Isaiah 19:1 and other things to the same effect. And with the prophet are to be classed those who rejoiced that that which they knew was to come had actually come - as Simeon, or Anna, who immediately recognized Jesus when He was born, or Elisabeth, who in the Spirit recognized Him when He was conceived, or Peter, who said by the revelation of the Father, You are Christ, the Son of the living God. Matthew 16:16 But to this Egyptian those spirits indicated the time of their own destruction, who also, when the Lord was present in the flesh, said with trembling, Have You come here to destroy us before the time? Matthew 8:29 meaning by destruction before the time, either that very destruction which they expected to come, but which they did not think would come so suddenly as it appeared to have done, or only that destruction which consisted in their being brought into contempt by being made known. And, indeed, this was a destruction before the time, that is, before the time of judgment, when they are to be punished with eternal damnation, together with all men who are implicated in their wickedness, as the true religion declares, which neither errs nor leads into error; for it is not like him who, blown here and there by every wind of doctrine, and mixing true things with things which are false, bewails as about to perish a religion, which he afterwards confesses to be error.
15. Gregory of Nazianzus, Orations, 38.7 (4th cent. CE - 4th cent. CE)

16. Velleius Paterculus, Roman History, 1.11.3-1.11.5



Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
archaeology Chaniotis, Unveiling Emotions: Sources and Methods for the Study of Emotions in the Greek World vol (2012) 131
arnulfo di cambia Rutledge, Ancient Rome as a Museum: Power, Identity, and the Culture of Collecting (2012) 109
artemis, of ephesus Rutledge, Ancient Rome as a Museum: Power, Identity, and the Culture of Collecting (2012) 109
artemis Rutledge, Ancient Rome as a Museum: Power, Identity, and the Culture of Collecting (2012) 109
athens, athena Schliesser et al., Alexandria: Hub of the Hellenistic World (2021) 479
athens, praxiteles of athens Schliesser et al., Alexandria: Hub of the Hellenistic World (2021) 474
authentic versus copy, and pleasure Rutledge, Ancient Rome as a Museum: Power, Identity, and the Culture of Collecting (2012) 109
bithynia (roman province) Stanton, Unity and Disunity in Greek and Christian Thought under the Roman Peace (2021) 104
caecilia, gaia Rutledge, Ancient Rome as a Museum: Power, Identity, and the Culture of Collecting (2012) 109
caecilius metellus macedonicus, q. Rutledge, Ancient Rome as a Museum: Power, Identity, and the Culture of Collecting (2012) 96
cicero Stanton, Unity and Disunity in Greek and Christian Thought under the Roman Peace (2021) 104
clement of alexandria Schliesser et al., Alexandria: Hub of the Hellenistic World (2021) 474, 479
contemplation MacDougall, Philosophy at the Festival: The Festal Orations of Gregory of Nazianzus and the Classical Tradition (2022) 111
dio chrysostom, olympic discourse MacDougall, Philosophy at the Festival: The Festal Orations of Gregory of Nazianzus and the Classical Tradition (2022) 111
dio chrysostom MacDougall, Philosophy at the Festival: The Festal Orations of Gregory of Nazianzus and the Classical Tradition (2022) 111
dio chrysostomos/dion of prusa Schliesser et al., Alexandria: Hub of the Hellenistic World (2021) 474, 479
dio chrysostomus Chaniotis, Unveiling Emotions: Sources and Methods for the Study of Emotions in the Greek World vol (2012) 131
diodoros sikeliotes Stanton, Unity and Disunity in Greek and Christian Thought under the Roman Peace (2021) 94
diodorus siculus Schliesser et al., Alexandria: Hub of the Hellenistic World (2021) 479
dion of prousa Stanton, Unity and Disunity in Greek and Christian Thought under the Roman Peace (2021) 104
greek/barbarian division Stanton, Unity and Disunity in Greek and Christian Thought under the Roman Peace (2021) 104
greek gods, apollo Schliesser et al., Alexandria: Hub of the Hellenistic World (2021) 479
gregory of nazianus, or. 38 on the nativity MacDougall, Philosophy at the Festival: The Festal Orations of Gregory of Nazianzus and the Classical Tradition (2022) 111
hercules, temple at akragas Rutledge, Ancient Rome as a Museum: Power, Identity, and the Culture of Collecting (2012) 109
hermes the egyptian Rutledge, Ancient Rome as a Museum: Power, Identity, and the Culture of Collecting (2012) 109
humankind, unity of Stanton, Unity and Disunity in Greek and Christian Thought under the Roman Peace (2021) 94, 104
impietas against, associated with miracles Rutledge, Ancient Rome as a Museum: Power, Identity, and the Culture of Collecting (2012) 109
impietas against, sacred nature of Rutledge, Ancient Rome as a Museum: Power, Identity, and the Culture of Collecting (2012) 109
impietas against, veneration of Rutledge, Ancient Rome as a Museum: Power, Identity, and the Culture of Collecting (2012) 109
impietas against, viewer response to Rutledge, Ancient Rome as a Museum: Power, Identity, and the Culture of Collecting (2012) 109
macedonia Rutledge, Ancient Rome as a Museum: Power, Identity, and the Culture of Collecting (2012) 96
nasrallah, l. s. Rutledge, Ancient Rome as a Museum: Power, Identity, and the Culture of Collecting (2012) 109
nativity MacDougall, Philosophy at the Festival: The Festal Orations of Gregory of Nazianzus and the Classical Tradition (2022) 111
oikeiosis Stanton, Unity and Disunity in Greek and Christian Thought under the Roman Peace (2021) 104
panaitios of rhodes Stanton, Unity and Disunity in Greek and Christian Thought under the Roman Peace (2021) 104
pausanias Rutledge, Ancient Rome as a Museum: Power, Identity, and the Culture of Collecting (2012) 109
pheidias of athens Schliesser et al., Alexandria: Hub of the Hellenistic World (2021) 474, 479
phidias MacDougall, Philosophy at the Festival: The Festal Orations of Gregory of Nazianzus and the Classical Tradition (2022) 111
plutarch of athens Schliesser et al., Alexandria: Hub of the Hellenistic World (2021) 479
poet MacDougall, Philosophy at the Festival: The Festal Orations of Gregory of Nazianzus and the Classical Tradition (2022) 111
praxiteles, aphrodite of cnidos Rutledge, Ancient Rome as a Museum: Power, Identity, and the Culture of Collecting (2012) 96
realism Rutledge, Ancient Rome as a Museum: Power, Identity, and the Culture of Collecting (2012) 96
rome, portico of metellus Rutledge, Ancient Rome as a Museum: Power, Identity, and the Culture of Collecting (2012) 96
saint peter Rutledge, Ancient Rome as a Museum: Power, Identity, and the Culture of Collecting (2012) 109
saint peters basilica Rutledge, Ancient Rome as a Museum: Power, Identity, and the Culture of Collecting (2012) 109
statuary, and asylum Rutledge, Ancient Rome as a Museum: Power, Identity, and the Culture of Collecting (2012) 109
statuary, sacred nature of Rutledge, Ancient Rome as a Museum: Power, Identity, and the Culture of Collecting (2012) 109
statue Chaniotis, Unveiling Emotions: Sources and Methods for the Study of Emotions in the Greek World vol (2012) 131
theoria' MacDougall, Philosophy at the Festival: The Festal Orations of Gregory of Nazianzus and the Classical Tradition (2022) 111
tiberius Rutledge, Ancient Rome as a Museum: Power, Identity, and the Culture of Collecting (2012) 109
tullius cicero, m. Rutledge, Ancient Rome as a Museum: Power, Identity, and the Culture of Collecting (2012) 109
universal state Stanton, Unity and Disunity in Greek and Christian Thought under the Roman Peace (2021) 94
universe, citizen of the Stanton, Unity and Disunity in Greek and Christian Thought under the Roman Peace (2021) 94
venus, of cnidos Rutledge, Ancient Rome as a Museum: Power, Identity, and the Culture of Collecting (2012) 96
verres, c., loots akragas Rutledge, Ancient Rome as a Museum: Power, Identity, and the Culture of Collecting (2012) 109
viewers, shared values of Rutledge, Ancient Rome as a Museum: Power, Identity, and the Culture of Collecting (2012) 109